Thursday 31 Jul

Power Pyramid - Power Pyramid

Power Pyramid doesn’t have much patience for nonsense. That appears to be the takeaway from the Oklahoma City quintet’s last 10 months, which brought The God Drums in September, the Insomnia EP in January and its latest, self-titled effort in July.

07/29/2014 | Comments 0

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Hilarious 'In the Loop' shows the...

Hilarious 'In the Loop' shows the messy, petty side of war

Joe Wertz February 18th, 2010

In the run-up to real war, the messiest battles are waged behind the scenes by bureaucratic troops armed with memos, leaked reports, white papers and committees. These soldiers are as fierce as they a...

In the run-up to real war, the messiest battles are waged behind the scenes by bureaucratic troops armed with memos, leaked reports, white papers and committees. These soldiers are as fierce as they are petty, and every effort is made to minimize collateral damage to precious political careers.

Thick tension

A British satire of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, "In the Loop" is irreverent, inappropriate and probably spot-on. Spun off from the BBC television series "The Thick of It," the film is fast, funny and is paced like a long sitcom. The movie screens 2 p.m. Sunday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

At the center of the action is midlevel British government worker Simon Foster (Tom Hollander, "The Soloist"), the minister for international development. Backed into a corner during a radio interview, Foster mistakenly opines that a war in the Middle East is "unforeseeable."

The tape lands on the desk of Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi, TV's "Torchwood"), the prime minister's "enforcer," who's tasked with making sure every Brit in official capacity toes the proper line. His technique involves threats of physical violence and admirable streams of creative cursing.

Foster's team goes into PR overdrive. Leading the department is Judy Molloy (Gina McKee, "Atonement"), a tired, bureaucratic veteran whose role is eventually overshadowed by hapless newcomer Toby (Chris Addison, "The Thick of It"), who is appointed Foster's assistant for a fact-finding trip to the United States. Rallying around Foster's "unforeseeable" comment is a host of midlevel political leaders in the U.S., a rabble that is simultaneously planning an invasion, preventing an invasion and denying any such planning altogether.

Thick tension
Tension is thick between the two U.S. assistant secretaries of state, Karen Clarke (Mimi Kennedy, TV's "Dharma & Greg"), tasked with taking the diplomatic lead, and Linton Barwick (David Rasche, "Burn After Reading"), a policy wonk with a hankering for clandestine meetings and secret committees with innocuous names and sinister purposes.

James Gandolfini ("Where the Wild Things Are") makes an appearance as Lt. Gen. George Miller, an impatient medal-bedecked war hawk caught between Clarke and Barwick. There's a particularly funny scene with Gandolfini and Kennedy, where in a child's bedroom at some head of state's house, the general reaches for a pink, Math-'N-Teach-type toy to calculate troop-deployment numbers for an invasion.

While not exactly gritty, the hilarious "In the Loop" has a casual style " handheld camera work, awkward angles, improvisation " that coats every scene with an insidery veneer, a style the Brits perfected with TV series like "The Office." Also delightful is omnipresent vulgarity, usually uttered by Capaldi's Tucker character, who uses "fuck" like a comma to string together compound run-on sentences of brilliant profanity.

Instead of building to a big showdown, the film's action is mundane and lifelike. Little fights are picked and conflicts are resolved only with resentments and vows for future vengeance. And because all are utterly disloyal to anything but their own interests, there's a tangled web of agreements and small-time office politics that's familiar and frightening, especially given the ramifications of lifetime bureaucrats and their top-secret "Future Planning Committees." "Joe Wertz
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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