HUNTING PARTY, THE: DVD
When Simon Hunt (Richard Gere) goes emotionally over the edge during a live feed from the front, his stellar career suddenly collapses and he's reduced to filing reports for various backwater outlets. His cameraman, Duck (Terrence Howard) moves into cushier posts, but when he accompanies network anchorman Franklin (James Brolin) on a trip to survey Bosnia a decade after the war, Simon pursues Duck and tries to sell him on the idea that as reporters, they can score an exclusive with The Fox (Ljubomir Kerekes), murderer of thousands of Bosnian Muslims and the most wanted man in the Balkans. Young Benjamin (Jesse Eisenberg), a network exec's son assigned to produce Franklin's reports in the field, insists on coming with them. This trio inadvertently arouses the suspicions of U.N. peacekeeping official Boris (Mark Ivanir), who assumes the group is CIA, and The Fox assumes it's a hit squad.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
'Only the most ridiculous parts of this story are true' says the opening card, setting us up for the film's tone (at least for the first half), somewhere between buddy movie, gallows humour and world weary cynical satire. I can dig that. Like at one point after our protagonists escape a bad situation, the soundtrack pumps in 'Bad Situation'. But there are some profoundly dramatic moments that ground the film's story in the reality of that dreadful Bosnian war.
Performances are excellent: Richard Gere creates a complex character whose innermost emotions are key drivers for the story. Terrence Howard makes an engaging Duck, whose sense of self preservation vacillates dangerously, and young Jesse Eisenberg is perfectly cast as the cub reporter given a special posting because his dad is a senior exec at the network. James Brolin shines, too, as the anchorman, and all the supports, including key baddie Ljubomir Kerekes as The Fox, are first class. Dylan Baker makes a small but powerful appearance as a CIA operative and Diane Kruger is surprisingly effective as Mirjana, a local with an agenda.
The film ends with a series of cards that refer to the real characters and the suggestion that none of the people looking for Bosnian war criminals (like The Fox) actually want to find them - for a variety of political reasons.
Published July 17, 2008
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HUNTING PARTY, THE: DVD (MA)
CAST: Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, James Brolin, Ljubomir Kerekes, Dylan Baker, Nitin Ganatra, Diane Kruger, Goran Kostic, Kristina Krepela
PRODUCER: Paul Hanson, Scott Kroopf, Mark Johnson
DIRECTOR: Richard Shepard
SCRIPT: Richard Shepard (Esquire article 'What I did on my summer vacation' by Scott Anderson)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Tattersall
EDITOR: Carole Kravetz
MUSIC: Rolfe Kent
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jan Roelfs
RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes
PRESENTATION: Widescreen; DD 5.1; DD 2.0
SPECIAL FEATURES: Deleted scenes; The Making of; the Real Hunting Party; trailer; English captions for the audio impaired
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: July 10, 2008
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.