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The Manchurian Candidate


This is a remake of the classic 1961 movie starring Frank Sinatra as the infantryman who was brainwashed in Korea and made into a political assassin.

In the new version, Ben Marco (Denzel Washington) and his unit are captured during the first Gulf War in '91. Fast forward 15 years and Marco's platoon-mate Raymond Shaw (played by Liev Schreiber) is running for vice-president of the US. Through dreams, a visit from another platoon-mate, and some Internet research, Marco figures out that they were all captured and brainwashed.

What I Thought

Did you see the original? It is awesome, with Angela Landsbury playing the evil woman that puts Alexis Carrington to shame, Frank Sinatra is awesome, and the whole plot is chilling, suspenseful, and very interesting to watch. Did you know that Sinatra delayed this movie from coming out for 25 years after JFK's assassination?

Anyway, rent it and see it.

Now, this remake.

Why? Which film company exec had the bright idea of remaking an amazing movie classic? Are Casablanca, Citizen Kane, or Gone with the Wind next?

I mean, it wasn't bad (the acting was a little weak and uninteresting, but so was the plot). It was slow. Sloooooow. And it had credibility issues.

Who's Marco's German friend who has the high-tech lab and the high-tech theoretical knowledge? I mean, is that believable that Marco just has a friend who has all this stuff? How about a Senator will believe an ex-military guy with an FBI file an inch thick, being followed by them, and a long history of mental instability and being medicated? I can't get in to see my own STATE rep (let alone Federal) AND I'm mentally balanced!

I don't think so.

I could write more. The music was good, the eerie background sounds were done well. But I'm quickly losing interest. That's how I felt in the middle of this movie.


All photos and text copyright Ryszard Kilarski, unless otherwise noted. Clip art, drawings, paintings are either free domain or copyrighted by the artists.