Steven Soderbergh


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Traffic , 6/10
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Steven Soderbergh

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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If English is your first language and you could translate the Italian text, please contact me. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989) e` una commedia di maniere. John e Ann formano una coppia della media borghesia, apparentemente felici. In realta` Ann, casalinga, e` una complessata che non prova l'orgasmo, e ha problemi a lasciarsi toccare dal marito, ed e` sotto cura da uno psichiatra. John si sfoga con l'avvenente Cynthia, sorella della moglie, barista, che e` tutto l'opposto: una donna senza inibizioni, un'amante vorace. John porta a casa l'amico dei tempi del college Graham, che non ha visto da nove anni. Graham e` introverso e insicuro, e Ann si confida proprio con lui. Lui ricambia rivelandole che e` impotente. Ann va a trovarlo mentre lui si sta masturbando davanti ad alcuni videotape. Lui le confessa che si eccita soltanto guardando i videotape di donne che raccontano la propria vita sessuale. Ann, sconvolta, se ne va e poi si sfoga al telefono con la sorella. Questa, incuriosita, si reca dal giovane e lui la convince a lasciarsi intervistare. Lei non solo gli racconta i suoi fatti intimi, ma si spoglia e si masturba di fronte alla cinepresa. Ann intanto comincia a sospettare che il marito abbia una relazione. Quando scopre prove inconfutabili, si consola offrendosi per le interviste di Graham. Lo confessa al marito, che corre da Graham e si mette a guardare il video della moglie che parla della vita sessuale con lui. La moglie in realta` fa parlare Graham del suo complesso, come una terapista, e a un certo punto impugna la cinepresa e si mette a intervistare e riprendere lui. Alla fine del video dichiara che ha intenzione di lasciare suo marito. Il video, in pratica, ha psicanalizzato Graham e in piu` ha trasmesso un messaggio al marito. Poi Ann si avvicina a Graham e comincia a baciarlo, e Graham spegne la cinepresa. Ann ha guarito Graham. Il marito finisce di guardare il video. E il suo matrimonio finisce li`. Ann trova impiego e si mette con Graham, mentre a John rimane la sua carriera di avvocato.

Gray's Anatomy (1996) e` un documentario immaginario girato in bianco e nero in cui una serie di personaggi raccontano episodi che hanno a che vedere con incidenti agli occhi.

Out Of Sight (1998) is adapted from an Elmore Leonard novel. Jack is a smart bank robber who tricks a bank teller to hand him the money by pretending that someone is ready to shoot her boss. It works but his car stalls and the police capture him. It turns out he has robbed hundreds of banks with his charm. He is sent to prison. He is a sharp observer and a fantastic psychologist. He fools a guardian and joins a group who's escaping. His big black friend Buddy has stolen a car from a lady in a store's parking lot and is waiting outside. But female marshall Karen happens to see the men coming out of the tunnel and alerts the guards, who start shooting. Jack and Buddy manage to disarm the woman and take her hostage. They meet another accomplice, Glen. By taking advantage of his stupidity, she manages to escape.
A flashback shows Jack and Buddy in prison, learning about Richard, a seasoned gangster and financier in whose home are hidden diamons worth millions.
Karen has found the motel where the escaped convicts are hiding, but, instead of arresting him, she walks into his bath-tub and makes love to him.
Later, Karen is in bed, her father taking care of her. An agent (Daniel) wants to know how she got hurt. A flashback shows how she ran away from the escaped convicts and crashed the car.
Karen convinces Daniel to take her on the task force that has to arrest Buddy and Jack (they have been turned in by a friend). When the task force raids the hotel, she could stop them but instead lets them escape again.
Karen is looking for Jack, but it is Jack who finds Karen, and they make love again.
Glen has dragged other gangsters into the deal. They are ruthless and likely to take off with the diamonds. While the gang opens the safe, Jack and Buddy find the diamons in a fishtank. Buddy runs with the diamonds but Jack is stuck inside, trying to help the hostage. He wins against the ruthless gang, but Karen is waiting for him and shoots him in the leg. But it is not clear if she wants him for the prison or for herself.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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If English is your first language and you could translate my old Italian text, please contact me.

Limey (1999) is a thriller that dares to experiment on one of the most stereotyped genres. Soderbergh does so through his a manic exploration of time and a cryptic characterization of the protagonist. The man does not only bring justice, but also an aura of divine redemption to the sordid, decadent milieu of the entertainment business. Jenny e` una ragazza morta in un incidente stradale. La versione ufficiale dice che si e` addormentata alla guida.
Un uomo arriva dall'Inghilterra in aereo con in mano un ritaglio di giornale in cui si parla di quell'incidente e va subito a trovare Ed, un ex galeotto che gli ha mandato quel ritaglio. L'uomo e` il padre di Jenny ed e` appena uscito a sua volta dal carcere. Non vedeva la figlia da anni. Il racconto e` spezzato in flashback asincroni, che procedono per associazione d'idee piuttosto che per cronologia o causa ed effetto.
L'uomo compra una pistola da un ragazzino. Ed si ricorda che Jenny gli chiese di accompagnarlo in un magazzino nella periferia e il padre chiede ad Ed di accompagnarlo li`. L'uomo entra nel magazzino di nascosto e aggredisce il responsabile per ottenere informazioni su Terry, il ragazzo di Jenny. Gli uomini del magazzino lo picchiano e lo buttano fuori. L'uomo si rialza, estrae la rivoltella, torna dentro e ammazza tutti meno uno.
Terry vive in una villa lussuosa con vista su Los Angeles in compagnia di una ragazza dolce e attraente, che evidentemente ha preso il posto di Jenny, e di Jim, l'uomo che gli protegge le spalle e gli fa da intermediario con la malavita.
Intanto l'uomo e` andato a trovare Elaine, la miglior amica di Jenny. Il loro discorso prosegue in luoghi e tempi diversi.
Terry e` diventato ricco nell'ambiente della musica rock. Ed accompagna l'uomo a un party di Terry. L'uomo curiosa per casa, trova un poster della figlia, ed e` tentato di uccidere Terry. Ma Ed lo ferma e lo porta fuori. Jim manda una guardia del corpo a controllare di chi si tratta e l'uomo lo scaraventa giu` dalla terrazza. Ed e l'uomo scappano in auto, inseguiti da Jim che ha intuito di chi si tratta. Dopo un accanito inseguimento, Jim blocca l'auto dei due ma l'uomo riesce a liberarsene. A casa Terry ha scoperto che il poster di Jenny e` scomparso.
Jim va a trovare due gangster e commissiona loro l'assassinio dell'uomo. I gangster stanno per ucciderlo mentre sta parlando con Elaine ma vengono sbaragliati da agenti della DEA. La DEA interroga l'uomo e lo lascia andare quando lui dice la verita`. Gli dicono quanto basta per capire che Terry ricicla denaro sporco e che Jenny aveva scoperto le attivita` criminali di Terry.
Jim ha intanto consigliato a Terry di lasciare Los Angeles. Terry, la ragazza, Jim e altre due guardie del corpo si recano pertanto alla villa di Big Sur. La sera avvertono la presenza di qualcuno. Temono che si tratti del padre di Jenny. Spengono le luci, si nascondono. Due guardie del corpo scompaiono. Jim uccide qualcuno: e` uno dei gangster che aveva assoldato, che avevano deciso di derubarli. Il complice lo sorprende e lo ferisce a morte prima che Jim riesca a freddare lui.
Irrompe il padre di Jenny, che si avventa subito su Terry. La ragazza lo pugnala e consente a Terry di scappare verso la spiaggia. Ma l'uomo lo raggiunge e lo fa confessare: uccise lui Jenny, in una colluttazione, quando lei lo minaccio` di chiamare la polizia.
L'uomo e` di nuovo sull'aereo. Flashback della partenza, dei saluti. Tutti i flashback sono stati muti.
Piu` che il racconto vale lo stile del racconto, nervoso, irregolare, discontinuo. L'uso creativo dei flashback.

Traffic (2000) is a social melodrama about the drug war staged by the United States in the 1990s. Soderberg depicts the corruption and the inconsistencies in the American policy. While the film displays Soderberg's skills at "mixing" multiple actions, the melodrama is quintessential Hollywood stereotype: the man in charge of the war of course is also touched personally by the war and eventually resigns to support his daughter (a noble message for the Christmas holidays); the Mexican authorities are corrupted and resort to torture, while, of course, the American authorities are serious about fighting drugs (never mind that Americans just elected a president, George W Bush, who used to be a cocaine user); a lonely Mexican police officer manages to destroy the career of the corrupt general; and, dulcis in fundo, the Americans reward him by donating Mexico a baseball field (baseball, not soccer, as if anyone outside the US knew what baseball is); and so forth. Soderberg's script is full of stereotypes of the Hollywood melodrama, that are somehow adapted to the circumstances. In the Mexico desert two police officers, Javier and Manolo, ambush drug traffickers and arrest them. On the way back, they are surrounded by the army, led by general Salazar in person. They have to surrender the prisoners and the drugs.
In the US, Robert is a judge who has just been appointed the "drug czar", in charge of coordinating the war against drugs.
In San Diego two police officers, Ray and his black buddy, frame a drug dealer, Edoardo, a small catch but hopefully one who knows a lot.
Also in San Diego, a mother, Elena, is driving her child back home.
Back in the US, kids do drugs together. One of them is a girl, Caroline.
In Mexico, the general asks Javier to deliver him Frankie, a crook who can lead him to the bosses of the cartel he has sworn to destroy. The rival of that cartel, has died. By destroying the surviving druglord, the general would have won the war against drugs in Mexico.
In San Diego, Ray and his buddy promise immunity to Edoardo is he testifies against the local druglord. Edoardo accepts and minutes later the police arrest a wealthy businessman, Carl, who is Elena's husband. Elena is shocked to learn that he is implicated in criminal activities. They live in a fantastic mansion.
Judge and new drug czar Bob returns home and is welcome by his loving wife and his daughter Caroline, who is... one of the kids who were doing drugs. Bob does not suspect anything, since Caroline is one of the best students of her school.
Javier captures Frankie and delivers him to the general. The general's men torture Frankie.
The kids are doing drugs again and this time one of them overdoses. The kids panic. They load the body in a car and dump it in front of a hospital. The police stops them and arrests all of them.
Carl's best friend Ernie visits Elena, who is still incredulous. Ernie tells her that the house is bugged (true, Ray and his partner are listening) and whispers that Carl smuggles drugs into the US from Mexico.
Caroline's parents are shocked but react in different ways: the mother would like to forgive her (she also experimented in college), while the father would like to punish her severely. Caroline starts doing drugs at home, in her bathroom.
The Mexican general finally extorts a confession from Frankie. Next day, dozens of leaders of that cartel are arrested. Javier releases Frankie.
Judge Bob visits the border facilities. He is told that the druglords overspend the whole budget of his department. Bob decides that his counterpart in Mexico is general Salazar and they should cooperate. Nobody is his team gives him any useful idea on how to fight the drug war. Bob is now very interested in treatment as well as fighting the war, but soon finds out that nobody else is.
Elena is abandoned by all her wealthy friends. Elena has always been surrounded by luxury and can't give up her lifestyle. A man threatens to steal her child if she doesn't pay the money that her husband owes them. Ernie is clearly more interested in Elena than in Carl.
Caroline does drugs with her boyfriend in a hotel room.
By order of the general, Javier takes a gorgeous girl to a mansion. Inside the mansion, the girl hugs a much older man, his face covered with scars: this is the druglord that was believed to be dead. Javier and his partner Manolo realize that the general is working for him: the general has destroyed the rival clan and now the surviving cartel can rule alone.
Bob has a bitter argument with his wife over their daughter and vents his boredom for their domestic life. Bob catches Caroline doing drugs in her bathroom and Caroline ends in therapy.
Elena finds her husband's microfilms that detail his business and his money. Elena has secretely decided to become a criminal, if that is the price to pay to keep their wealth.
Bob flies to Mexico and meets with Salazar. Bob asks Salazar what is his suggestion for treatment: Salazar answer that drug addicts eventually overdose and take care of themselves.
Manolo has decided to sell the information about the general's real goals to the Americans.
Caroline runs away from the institute and sleeps with a drug dealer for drugs.
The trial against Carl is about to begin. Edoardo is the key witness. Now Elena wants him dead and hires Frankie. Frankie puts a bomb under the police car that is supposed to take him back to the hotel. But Edoardo decides to walk. At the same time, a hitman has been paid to kill Frankie, punishment for his cooperation with Salazar. Frankie is shot, Ray jumps in the car to chase the killer, the car explodes, Ray dies.
Manolo is intercepted by Salazar's men. Both Manolo and Javier are taken to the woods to be killed, but only Manolo is killed because Manolo tells them Javier had nothing to do with it.
Bob is in the bad neighborhood of the drug dealers searching for his daughter.
Elena has found out the secret of her husband's dealings: a project to build dolls out of cocaine. She drives to Mexico to offer a deal to the leader of the cartel. In return, she wants Edoardo dead and to become the exclusive US distributor of cocaine.
Javier crosses the border in the other direction and tells the Americans everything he knows about Salazar. In return, he wants a baseball field for the kids of his hometown.
Elena and Javier cross the border at the same time in opposite directions.
Bob and his wife find out that Caroline stole their jewels. Bob picks up Caroline's boyfriend at school and forces him to tell him the address of the drug dealer. But Caroline is not there. The kid tells the judge how ridiculous his drug war is: there will be sellers for as long as there are people willing to buy.
Javier tells Manolo's girlfriend that Manolo died a hero, to help bring down Salazar.
Bob follows the kid and finds his daughter, drugged and naked, in a dirty room.
Edoardo is poisoned minutes before he has to testify at Carl's process. Carl is free. Edoardo had just told Ray's buddy how pointless the drug war is: there will always be people selling drugs and the police officers are just wasting their time and their lives. The trial cannot continue and Carl is released.
Javier leads the arrest of Salazar and his men. Salazar ends up in the cell where he used to torture his prisoners and Javier sees him die.
Bon is introduced to the press as the new drug czar, but he doesn't have the guts to do it and resigns.
Carl and Elena throw a big party to celebrate Carl's freedom. During the party, Carl has Ernie killed for trying to steal his wife and his money. Ray's black buddy walks into the house and starts a fight. It is a pretext for planting a mike under a table.
Caroline is on therapy again, but this time her parents are sitting right next to her.
Javier watches a baseball game in his new baseball field.
Without all the stereotypes, it could have been a powerful drama that shows parallel stories of involvement in the drug war. How drugs are affecting different people in different ways: the honest politicians, the corrupt politicians, the police officers, the small crooks, the druglords, ordinary families and families of crooks. Everybody is in the same boat. There are no winners: for one druglord who survives, another one dies. For one police officer who will frame the druglord, another one just died. This is a war that just cannot be won.
(Translation by / Tradotto da Erika Sofi)

Traffic (2000) e' un melodramma sociale che racconta la storia della guerra del narcotraffico ambientato negli Stati Uniti degli anni 90. Soderbergh rappresenta la corruzione e l'inconsistenza della politica americana. Mentre il fim mostra le abilita' di Soderbergh nel mescolare le numerose scene d'azione, il melodramma e' la quintessenza dello stereotipo hollywoodiano: un uomo responsabile della guerra ne e' anche vittima e alla fine si rassegna per aiutare la figlia (un messaggio nobile per il periodo natalizio); le autorita' messicane sono corrotte e ricorrono alla tortura, mentre ovviamente quelle americane sono decise a combattere il narcotraffico (non importa poi se gli americani hanno appena eletto come presidente George W. Bush che un tempo faceva uso di cocaina); un agente della polizia messicana da solo progetta di distruggere la carriera di un generale corrotto; e dulcis in fundo gli americani come ricompensa fanno dono al Messico di un campo da baseball (baseball, non calcio come se nessuno al di fuori degli Stati Uniti conoscesse il baseball); e cosi' via. La sceneggiatura di Soderbergh e' colma di stereotipi del melodramma hollywoodiano adattati in un certo qual modo alle circostanze.

Nel deserto del Messico due agenti di polizia, Javier e Manolo tendono un'imboscata ad alcuni narcotrafficanti e li arrestano. Sulla strada del ritorno vengono circondati dall'esercito guidato dal generale Salazar in persona. Sono costretti a consegnare i prigionieri e la droga.
Negli Stati Uniti, Robert e' un giudice da poco nominato lo "zar della droga", ed e' incaricato di coordinare la guerra contro il narcotraffico.
A San Diego due agenti di polizia, Ray e il suo compagno di colore, incastrano uno spacciatore, Edoardo, una piccola preda ma fortunatamente uno che sa molto.
Sempre a San Diego, una donna, Elena, sta portando il proprio figlio a casa.
Nuovamente negli Stati Uniti, alcuni ragazzi si drogano in gruppo. Uno di loro e' una ragazza, di nome Caroline.
In Messico, il generale chiede a Javier di consegnargli Frankie, un criminale che puo' portarlo ai boss del cartello che ha giurato di distruggere. Il rivale di questo cartello, e' morto. Distruggendo i restanti signori della droga, il generale avrebbe vinto la guerra contro il narcotraffico in Messico.
A San Diego, Ray e il suo compagno promettono a Edoardo l'immunita' se questi testimoniera' contro i signori della droga. Edoardo accetta e qualche tempo dopo la polizia arresta un ricco uomo di affari, Carl, marito di Elena. Elena e' sconvolta nello scoprire che suo marito e' implicato in attivita' criminali. Entrambi vivono in uno splandido palazzo.
Bob, giudice e nuovo zar della droga torna a casa e viene accolto dalla dolce moglie e da sua figlia Caroline...che si trovava con quei ragazzi che si drogavano. Bob non sospetta nulla, dal momento che Caroline e' uno degli migliori studenti della scuola.
Javier cattura Frankie e lo consegna al generale. Gli uomini del generale torturano Frankie.
I ragazzi si drogano di nuovo ma questa volta uno va in overdose. Sono terrorizzati. Caricano il corpo su un'auto e lo abbandonano davanti ad un ospedale. La polizia li ferma e li arresta tutti.
Ernie il miglior amico di Carl va a trovare Elena, che e' ancora incredula. Ernie le svela che la casa Š tenuta sotto controllo (infatti, Ray e il suo collega stanno ascoltando) e confessa che Carl contrabbanda la droga dal Messico agli Stati Uniti.
I genitori di Caroline sono sconvolti ma reagiscono in modi diversi: la madre vorrebbe perdonarla (ha esperienza anche nel college), mentre il padre vorrebbe punirla severamente. Caroline comincia a drogarsi in casa, nel bagno.
Il generale messicano riesce infine a estorcere a Frankie una confessione. Il giorno seguente, decine di spacciatori facente parte di quel cartello vengono arrestati. Javier rilascia Frankie.
Il giudice Bob controlla le risorse di confine. Gli e' stato detto che i signori della droga hanno sfruttato piu' del dovuto l'intero budget del suo dipartimento. Bob decide che la sua controparte in Messico e' il generale Salazar e che dovrebbero collaborare. Nessuno nella sua squadra riesce a fornirgli consigli utili per combattere la guerra del narcotraffico. L'interesse di Bob ora e' quello di trovare una soluzione e di combatere la guerra ma presto scopre che nessuno vuole aiutarlo.
Elena viene abbandonata da tutti i suoi ricchi amici. Elena e' sempre stata circondata dal lusso e non riesce a abbandonare questo stile di vita. Un uomo minaccia di rapire il figlio se la donna non pagher… la cifra che il marito deve loro. Ernie e' chiaramente piu' interessato a Elena che a Carl.
Caroline si droga con i suoi amici in una stanza d'albergo.
Su ordine del generale, Javier conduce una ragazza molto affascinante in un palazzo. Nel palazzo, la donna abbraccia un uomo molto piu' vecchio di lei, con il viso coperto da cicatrici: si tratta del signore della droga che tutti davano per morto. Javier e il suo collega Manolo scoprono che il generale lavora per lui: il generale ha sconfitto il clan rivale e ora il restante cartello puo' governare indisturbato.
Bob ha una discussione accesa con la moglie sulla loro figlia e confessa la sua preoccupazione per la loro vita familiare. Bob scopre Caroline mentre si droga nel bagno e Caroline finisce in terapia.
Elena trova alcuni microfilm del marito nel quale viene descritta dettagliatamente la natura dei suoi affari e del suo denaro. Elena ha segretamente deciso di diventare una criminale, se questo il prezzo da pagare per proteggere la loro ricchezza.
Bob vola in Messico e si incontra con Salazar. Bob chiede a Salazar un consiglio risolvere il problema della droga: Salazar risponde che i tossicodipendenti alla fine vanno in overdose e si prendono cura di loro stessi.
Manolo ha deciso di vendere le informazioni circa i veri obiettivi del generale nei confronti degli americani.
Caroline scappa dall'istituto e passa la notte con dei tossicodipendenti per procurarsi la droga.
Il processo contro Carl sta per cominciare. Edoardo e' il testimone chiave. Ma Elena lo vuole morto e ingaggia Frankie. Frankie mette una bomba sotto l'auto della polizia che si suppone debba riportare Edoardo all'albergo. Ma questi decide di andare a piedi. Nel frattempo, un killer viene pagato per uccidere Frankie, come punizione per aver collaborato con Salazar. Frankie viene colpito, Ray salta sull'auto per inseguire il killer, l'auto esplode, Ray muore.
Manolo viene intercettato dagli uomini di Salazar. Sia Manolo che Javier vengono portati nel bosco per essere uccisi, ma viene ucciso soltanto Manolo perch‚ afferma che Javier non ha niente a che fare con tutto questo.
Bob si trova in una zona malfamata di spacciatori in cerca di sua figlia.
Elena ha scoperto il segreto dei traffici di suo marito: il progetto e' quello di fabbricare bambole piene di cocaina. Elena parte in Messico per proporre un affare al capo del cartello. In cambio, vuole la morte di Edoardo e diventare il solo distributore di cocaina negli Stati Uniti.
Javier attraversa il confine nella direzione opposta e racconta agli americani tutto quello che sa su Salazar. In cambio, vuole un campo da baseball per i ragazzi della sua citta'.
Elena e Javier attraversano il confine nello stesso momento ma in direzioni opposte.
Bob e sua moglie scoprono che Caroline ha rubato loro alcuni gioielli. Bob aspetta il fidanzato di Caroline davanti alla scuola e lo obbliga a dirgli dove si trova lo spacciatore. Ma Caroline non Š lŤ. Il ragazzo racconta al giudice che la sua guerra contro il narcotraffico e' ridicola: finche' ci sara' gente che compra droga, ci sara' chi la vende.
Javier dice alla fidanzata di Manolo che questi e' morto da eroe, per aiutare a sconfiggere Salazar.
Bob segue il ragazzo e trova sua figlia, drogata e nuda, in una sudicia stanza.
Edoardo viene avvelenato qualche tempo prima di testimoniare al processo contro Carl. Carl vine scagionato. Edoardo ha appena detto all'amico di Ray quanto inutile sia questa guerra: ci sara' sempre chi vende droga e la polizia perde soltanto il suo tempo e la vita dei suoi agenti. Il processo non puo' continuare Carl viene rilasciato.
Javier compie l'arresto di Salazar e dei suoi uomini. Salazar finisce in progione dove viene torturato dai suoi prigionieri e Javier assiste alla sua morte.
Bob viene presentato alla stampa come il nuovo zar della droga, ma non ha il coraggio di continuare nella lotta e si dimette.
Carl e Elena organizzano un grande party per festeggiare la liberta' di Carl. Durante la festa, Carl uccide Ernie per aver tentato di rapire sua moglie e di rubare il suo denaro. Il collega di Ray entra nella casa e inizia ad attaccare briga. E' un pretesto per piazzare un microfono sotto il tavolo.
Caroline e' nuovamente in terapia, ma questa volta i suoi genitori la sorvegliano standole vicino.
Javier assiste a una partita di baseball nel suo nuovo campo.
Senza tutti questi stereotipi, il film avrebbe potuto essere un dramma efficace che racconta storie parallele di implicazione nella guerra del narcotraffico. Racconta di come persone diverse siano coinvolte nella droga in modi diversi: i politici onesti, i politici corrotti, gli agenti di polizia, i piccoli criminali, i signori della droga, famiglie normali e famiglie di criminali. Si trovano tutti sulla stessa barca. Non ci sono vincitori: per ogni signore della droga che sopravvive, un altro muore. Per ogni agente di polizia che incastra un signore della droga, un altro muore. E' una guerra che non si puo' vincere.
Erin Brockovich (2000) was based on a true story. Erin is a twice-divorced mother with three small children who is desperately looking for a job. Instead she gets into a car accident and then misbehaves in court so that she loses her case. Furious at the attorney, she asks him to hire her as an assistant. When she's working, she has to hire the cheapest babysitters, and one of them simply takes off leaving the children alone. Luckily the odd-looking neighbor, George, is truly sincere in wanting to become her friend and takes care of them. She gets excited about the case of a family who is being asked by the utility company to sell their house. She investigates and finds out that the utility company is trying to hide a case of serious contamination. But she neglects her chores long enough that the attorney fires her, and her unconventional attitude in the office does not help. More desperate and disillusioned than ever, she finds at home the only good news: George is fixing her plumbing, and behaving like a nice husband and father. And this time he wins her heart too. The next good news is that the attorney recognizes that she was onto something and hires her back, with a salary increase. The utility initially laughs at their request, and her boss would be happy to just settle for a lot of money, but she wants the utility to be punished for poisoning poor families and causing cancer. She is stubborn and disrespectful of her boss, but eventually she always gets it her way. As she collects more and more testimonies, she becomes the protagonist of the biggest litigation in the firm's history, a determined crusader. Unfortunately, this costs her George: feeling that he has now become merely a babysitter, he leaves her. Her boss decides to partner with a larger firm, whose style of course Erin can hardly stand. And the larger firm decides to avoid the full trial because they lack the evidence to link the corporate offices of the utility company to the branch that poisoned the water. Then a man shows up who tells Erin he destroyed documents when he used to work for the utility company. That's the final straw to win a huge amount for the families. Erin's boss can expand his firm, Erin gets a managerial office and a huge bonus, and George returns.

Contagion (2011)

The film begins on day 2 when a John calls his lover, a blonde named Beth, who is leaving from the airport of Chicago and coming from Hong Kong.. Meanwhile, a kid is getting very sick in Hong Kong and is run over by a truck. A girl gets sick in London. A businessman in Tokyo collapses on a bus. In San Francisco an aspiring reporter, Alan, tries desperately to sell the story of a man dying in a bus but the tv station is skeptic. A happy family in Minnesota is waiting for the return of Beth. At the most advanced center in the world for disease control in Atlanta a female scientist is getting on the case. Beth, just returned from her Hong Kong trip, is caughtt by seizures and dies suddenly. The husband has hardly time to understand what happened that his child also dies suddenly. At the World Health Organization the experts are already aware of the deadly disease that is killing people. They know it comes from the most densely populated region in the world. At the autopsy of Beth the doctors are shocked to find that her brain had been devastated by the virus. The hudband is hospitalized with the same symptoms but survives: his immune system is the rare case who fights the virus. The number of deaths keeps increasing. The government fear a biological attack. The female doctor in charge of the case realizes that it is necessary to track down everybody who came in touch with Beth. Trying to understand how she spread it to Chicago, where John died, she learns from the husband that John was her former lover: the husband understands that she was still cheating on him. A scientist in San Francisco, stalked by Alan the aspiring reporter, is told to stop doing his research on the virus because it is too dangerous but he persists and manages to grow the virus. Now they can use the husband to produce vaccine. There are now eight million people infected. The female doctor catches the disease and dies. Meanwhile another woman, Leonora, is investigating how Beth got it in Hong Kong. She tracks it down to a casino, and watches the video of Beth. We finally see what happened on day one, when Beth landed and called John because she had a few hours free. The Chinese men who escort her believe that the USA has the vaccine and keeps it secret. They kidnap her to keep her as a hostage until her government finds a cure... and gives it to them. Back home the female doctor is dying. The authorities are still trying to leep the epidemics secret so that the population does not panic, but the chief scientist, the boss of the female doctor, tells his daughter to get out of town as fast as possible and the word spreads quickly. People loot stores and pharmacies. Alan is also an amateur biologist and is experimenting his own potion. The army shuts down the entire region that is plunging into chaos. On television the chief doctor is confronted by the amateur journalist who has figured out that the panic started from him. Two million people have now died. The president of the country is hiding in a secret location. Curfews are in effect. Beth's husband gets a gun. The female doctor who is developing the vaccine decides to test it on herself. But it will take months to manufacture enough of it. Meanwhile twenty million people have died. Alan, unmasked as a charlatan, gets arrested, but then released by popular demand. Meanwhile, the kidnappers in China are preparing to swap their hostage (the woman who was investigating) for one hundred doses of the vaccine. But then the official tells Leonora that it gave them a fake, and Leonora decides to stay with them. The vaccine works. More and more people return to normal life. The husband's daughter can finally go out with her boyfriend. But the man is still devastated by the double loss of his wife (she died and she was cheating on him) and of his child.

Ocean's Eleven (2001), a loose remake of Lewis Milestone's Ocean's 11 (1960), is a stereotypical heist movie, but with enough twists to make it stand out in an inflated genre.

Released from prison, Danny Ocean recruits old acquaitances from all over the country to stage the casino heist of the century. They plan it like clockwork with massive investment of time and money, but at some point they found out the hidden motive behind Ocean's plan: the owner of the three casinos that he wants to rob is the man who stole his sexy wife Tess. This casino owner is also dynamiting a landmark casino, a symbol of the old Las Vegas. Danny even confronts her at a restaurant table but she has only hard feelings for him. The heist plan includes building an exact replica of the vault where the money is kept. Several hiccups threaten to kill their plan but they overcome them. They even steal a scientific instrument that can simulate a nuclear explosion and thus take out the electricity of the whole city. When the plan is set in action, Danny is still stalking his wife around the casino, pretending to just say goodbye. The bodyguards escort it to the office of the casino owner who wants to have a talk with him. It is actually part of Danny's plan becauses he has bribed one of the bodyguards to pretend to beat him up when instead he's helping him get into the ventilation system. Even his partners are surprised when Danny shows up to help. The owner and Tess are watching a boxing game in the casino with thousands of people. The older member of the team simulates a heart attack and his own death to distract the guards. The fake bombs takes down the electricity for a few seconds in the whole city wreaking havoc in both the casino and the ring, and giving Danny time to enter the vault. An acrobat hides inside a money container and jumps like a spider around the vault without touching the floor. As members of the team complete their task (including the resurrected dead), they join the one who is watching everything on cameras that they have installed around the basement. Finally, they call the casino owner and tell him to watch the heist live on his monitors and then blackmail him into actually helping the thieves carry half of the money out in return for leaving him the other half untouched. Tess easily guesses who's behind the heist. The casino owner obviously calls the police to arrest the thieves as they walk out. But something goes wrong because the vault is bombed and no thieves are found inside. Then the casino owner realizes that what he was watching on his monitors was staged in a replica of the vault: what we saw too was partly simply a "movie" made in the replica. When the casino owner called the police, the phone call was intercepted, and the police officers were no others than the real thieves who were escorted by the casino staff into the vaultand picked up the bags prepared by Danny and his men. The casino owner asks to be taken to the room where Danny is being beaten by the bribed bodyguards. Danny just crawled back there and is indeed being beaten by the friendly bodyguard. Tess gets a call that asks her to watch live on tv the conversation between the two men. Danny offers to give back the money if the casino owner gives up Tess: the casino owner agrees with no hesitation. Having witnessed the real heart of her lover, Tess leaves the casino and sees the police officers are arresting her ex husband Danny for violating his parole (the only crime they can pin on him). He is smiling though: he got what he wanted, which was to prove to her who really loves her. His partners are free and rich and take off. Months later Danny gets released and his wife Tess is waiting for him outside. However, two bodyguards of the casino owner are following them in a car... Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen were the inevitable sequels.
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