Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Judi Dench, Naomi Watts, Josh Lucas
Written By: Dustin Lance Black
Directed By: Clint Eastwood
Studio: Warner Bros
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There are some things that shouldn’t be made into a movie. The life of J. Edgar may sound compelling on paper, but it’s just not an exciting story. It just could be this movie though.
J. Edgar is about the life of J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio), who was the head of the FBI for 50 years. The film opens with an older J. Edgar, where he is discussing the beginning of the FBI with a writer. Everything all started around the Palmer assassination attempt and then from there, the FBI was born around 1919. From there, the film goes back and forth from older J. Edgar to younger J. Edgar. Later on, Hoover eventually hires Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer) and becomes his second in command…and something else. The two men are in separable to say the least. Besides the strange work/more than friends relationship between J. Edgar and Tolson, he also had an overprotective mother (Judi Dench) that was chiming in his ear all the time. Hoover knew a lot political figures’ secrets, but if any of his secrets got out, it would have ruined his career.
I always heard that J. Edgar was a gay/cross-dresser/whatever and this film by Eastwood explores that, well not the cross-dressing part. It’s one of the major themes of the movie, along with the disappearance of Charles Lindbergh’s baby. But about the gay theme, It just seems he didn’t really know what or who he was. The guy went by so many names: John, J. Edgar, Edgar, J. Edgar Hoover…like the great George Carlin once said…”pick a fucking name!” I don’t think the themes in the movie weren’t interesting, I just think the execution of everything was done sloppy and made the film dull. I usually like Eastwood’s movies but this one I just didn’t like at all. The first thing I noticed was Leo’s awful accent, then I heard other bad accents from other actors. It’s tough to get pass that. I like Leonardo as an actor when he’s not using some over-the-top accent.
Plus, the lighting in the dark scenes was just DARK. I couldn’t see anything during those scenes. I also haven’t been a fan of Clint Eastwood’s scoring the music for his own movies the last few movies. No offense but hearing slow, piano music just bogs the movies down. The music certainly didn’t help my already sleepy feeling about the whole movie.
I like historical dramas but there was something about J. Edgar that I just found utterly boring. I actually had the the urge to turn off the movie towards the end, and I never get that way. I think if perhaps someone else directed this movie, and did the movie in another way, I might have liked this.
J. Edgar: The Most Powerful Man in the World
Ultraviolet Digital Copy Of Feature Film
Widescreen 2.40:1 Color
ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
English, Spanish, French
Bottom Line: Slow, boring and not that interesting.
Running Time: 137 mins