Daily Diary: The Abyss (1989), All the President’s Men (1976)

Sep 4th, 2011

The Abyss (1989)

The beginning of James Cameron’s love affair with the sea (excluding “Piranha II: The Spawning” of course), “The Abyss” follows a team of offshore oil-rig workers tapped by the military to rescue survivors trapped in a sunken submarine at the bottom of the Cayman Trough. Cameron’s eye for cinematic imagery and flair for gripping set pieces get heavy play. But his weakness for sentimentality, which is sometimes mistaken for optimism, rears its ugly head, undermining some of the philosophical capital he had built up throughout the film.

All the President’s Men (1976)

It’s wasn’t easy to standout in a year that all also produced classics like “Rocky,” “Taxi Driver,” “Carrie,” “Network,” “In the Realm of the Senses” and “1900,” but Alan J. Pakula’s journalism procedural “All the President’s Men” does just that. The film follows the two Washington Post reporters (played by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman) who broke the Watergate Scandal, which eventually led to the political demise of President Nixon. It’s got basically no action, no violence and no sex, yet “All the President’s Men” is one of the most exciting movies to come out of the 1970s. The drama comes from the tight-rope walk of breaking the biggest story of the decade without getting it wrong or running the story too early or being perceived as serving a political agenda. It’s influence is still felt today in modern journalism film’s like “Zodiac.”

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