Barry Levinson
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

, /10

Rain Man (1988) Charlie (Tom Cruise) e` un avventuriero che torna a Cincinnati, accompagnato dalla sua ragazza, perche' il padre e` morto. Scopre con sgomento che l'intera eredita` e` andata a qualcun altro: a lui il padre ha lasciato soltanto una vecchia auto d'epoca. Con un minimo di indagini, scopre che l'erede e` ricoverato in un ospedale psichiatrico, e che si tratta di un fratello, Raymond, di cui non conosceva l'esistenza. Deciso a impadronirsi dell'eredita`, trova una scusa per portare via il fratello. Benche` l'abbia praticamente rapito, lo tratta con arroganza e disprezzo, tanto che la ragazza lo lascia.
Cruise deve rientrare urgentemente a Los Angeles, ma Hoffman, forte delle statistiche sugli incidenti aerei che conosce a memoria, rifiuta di prendere l'aereo. Hoffman e` un'enciclopedia vivente, capace di imparare a memoria qualsiasi libro. Prende di continuo appunti davanti al televisore. E soprattutto e` di una calma olimpica. Cruise e` invece irritabile per via dei suoi guai finanziari.
Cruise e` costretto a prendere l'auto del padre, e Hoffman, dopo aver visto un incidente mortale, non vuole neppure che guidi sull'autostrada. I due fratelli si mettono cosi` in viaggio per le strade periferiche. Il viaggio dura dei giorni, durante i quali i rapporti fra i due fratelli si deteriorano. Hoffman rifiuta di uscire all'aperto quando piove, per cui lo chiamano "rain man". Cruise perde spesso la pazienza di fronte alla paranoia petulante e capricciosa del fratello. Devono persino fermarsi a una casa isolata perche' Hoffman non puo` perdere la sua trasmissione televisiva preferita. A Las Vegas Hoffman si fa perdonare aiutando Cruise con la sua prodigiosa memoria a prevedere le carte che usciranno. Hoffman si porta dietro un televisore portatile. La ragazza li raggiunge, sempre piu` preoccupata dalla salute del malato lontano dalla sua casa di cura. Lo fa ballare e lo bacia.
Adesso Cruise si e` sinceramente affezionato al fratello e gli dispiace quando l'ospedale gli intima di restituirlo.
E` un "road movie" un po' sui generis, tutto focalizzato sul rapporto fra i due uomini, un poco di buono sano di mente e un uomo onesto completamente pazzo.
If English is your first language and you could translate this text, please contact me.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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Good Morning Vietnam (1987) is a military comedy that in theory should depict the moral education of an American soldier, but in practice it is neither a funny comedy or a touching parable. It is only a vehicle to make a lot of money out of a movie star. Adrian is a comedian who is flown to an American military base during the Vietnam war and put in charge of hosting an early-morning radio show ("Good morning Vietnam"). He is soon introduced to a captain and a major who show no sympathy for his status: the captain thinks he is funnier than Adrian and the major is a sadist who hates civilians. Adrian's show is immediately a success... and a scandal. Adrian's wild, fast-talking improvised monologues and his mockery of the authorities connect with the ordinary soldiers. Adrian flirts with a Vietnamese teacher, who is as cold as pretty and does not enjoy his jokes, entertains her class and befriends her younger brother. Adrian witnesses and barely survives (the young Vietnamese calls him out) a bomb that blows up a popular bar. The major forbids him to tell the news on the radio, but he still does and he's therefore thrown off the radio. Adrian is replaced by the captain but the troops complain. Adrian is reinstated (obviously, he accepts only reluctantly) but the major plots revenge and sends him out to an area that has fallen to the Viet Cong. Adrian's jeep capsizes in the middle of the jungle in enemy's territory and Adrian is saved by the girl's brother. Back at the base, he is informed by the major that the girl's brother is actually a dangerous terrorist, responsible for the very bomb he witnessed (that's why he survived it). Adrian confronts the kid, who is hiding in the slums of Saigon, but only to understand the anger and humiliation of these people (yawn). The army expels Adrian on account of his friendship with a terrorist and Adrian plays one last game of baseball with his Vietnamese friends and then leaves, escorted by military police.
After this sequence of tedious disadventures, Adrian's transformation is finally complete: he has understood that war is senseless and that soldiers (on both sides) are human, and that people are people in every place of the world.
This pathetic message could not be told in a more stereotyped (and less convincing) way.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

Se sei interessato a tradurre questo testo, contattami

Wag The Dog (1997), written by David Mamet and Hilary Henkin and based on Larry Beinhart's novel "American Hero", is a hilarious, even savage, socio-political satire, both a satire of politics and a satire of Hollywood (with a sinister similarity of Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky), partly inspired by Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove (but, unlike that classic, here the characters are not caricatural, are eeriely realistic).
The other message of the film is that Washington equates Hollywood and viceversa: "war is show business" (Conrad's motto). Conrad (Robert De Niro) is called urgently to a top-secret meeting with the team of the president of the US headed by tough woman Winifred: two weeks away from election day a sex scandal is about to break out (although everybody believes the president to be innocent) and Conrad is being hired to advise them a damage-control strategy. Conrad's idea is to deflect the media's attention by creating a bigger news, so he single-handedly manufactures a war against Albania, relying on the average American's complete ignorance of geography.
The scandal breaks out while the president is in China. Conrad hires Hollywood producer Stanley, specialist in propaganda, and Stanley, a frustrated and vain producer who is after his masterpiece, treats the war just like any entertainment product. The goal of the team is to create confusion till election day.
The first step is to create attention. Conrad exploits the media's and the audience's passion for secrets: he has the president's spokeswoman deny (fictitious) rumours about a (fictitious) bomber plane. The "secret" immediately spreads in the news.
More rumors are leaked, and the trick is deying them once they are broadcast. Soon, television news create a war that does not exist. The zealous Stanley uses all the stereotypes out of the patriotic past to create the sensation, the pride and the fear of the present war: he fabricates a phony documentary on the war by hiring an actress, setting up a stage and enhancing the action with digital techniques; he hires a country singer and a choir to record a patriotic version of "We Are the World";
Conrad and Stanley have to solve countless emergencies, but the trick works. Until the CIA realizes that there is no war, there is no warplane and there are no nuclear terrorists. Conrad deflects the blow, but the CIA strikes a deal with the President's opponent to fabricate the counter-news: the war has ended.
Conrad and Stanley sail through this with the same calm: they simply invent a new news, that an American soldier has been left behind. They invent a hero, and find a name that everybody can identify with: Schumann (rhymes with "shoeman"). Soon, the American public is ready to pay tribute to the missing hero with a shower of symbolic shoes. (While driving in a limo with Conrad, Stanley even suggests to nominate the president for the Nobel Peace Prize. When Conrad notes that there was no war, Stanley simply replies that this makes it an even greater accomplishment). Conrad and Stanley are having the time of their life fooling the American public, while each day gets the president closer to re-election.
They fly to pick up the convicted rapist who is supposed to impersonate the hero, but he suffers from some mental illness and causes the plane to crash. They all survive and find shelter in a farm in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately, the rapist molests the farmer's daughter and the farmer shoots him dead. So the team has to improvise a new news: the hero is dead and the whole nation cries.
But Stanley is a psycho who has spent his life dreaming of the day he could take credit for his productions and now cannot stand being left behind the scenes one more time. Conrad has to arrange for his "heart attack" so he doesn't ruin everything, while the whole country watches the military funeral of the rapist.
Suddenly, a real war starts in Albania...
The movie has an interesting premise: the accusations against the president may be completely unfounded, but the media's hunger for scandals is a guarantee that the mere mention of a possible scandal would be enough to turn the public against the president. The cynical clamor of the media and the gullibility of the public are the real protagonists of the story, even if all the attention is focused on the team that is trying to fool both. Nobody is interested in the truth anymore. A lie is enough to destroy a character, therefore you need a bigger lie to save it. What the media lives of is lies, and what the public swallows is lies. There seems to be no truth anymore.
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )