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The Last Castle
The Last Castle (Soundtrack)

The Last Castle (Double Sided)
The Last Castle (Double Sided)
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The Last Castle Review

Directed By: Rod Lurie
Starring: Robert Redford, James Gandolfini and Mark Ruffalo.

The first of two films slated for release this year with Robert Redford headlining. Coming out from hiding after a three-year hiatus by the Sundance man. Interesting. Makes me suspect Mr. Redford is up to something; though what that something might be I have no idea.

And what does he return with? A prison movie. A military prison to be sure, but a prison movie nonetheless. And therefore we are about to be exposed to the following clichés. Men that, despite their crimes are good hearted, stronger and craftier than their evil imposing warden. A quiet soul who reflects on the banalities of life and history which, in turn, makes them seem to carry more weight than oh, say, getting shot with a rubber bullet.

However, this makes it seems as if I am down on the film. Truthfully, I'm not. Honestly. I like a good prison movie. Cool Hand Luke, The Birdman Of Alcatraz, are all great watches for me and I still feel that no one will ever top the accomplishment of The Shawshank Redemption.

So, when former three star General Eugene Irwin (Robert Redford) is sentenced to ten years in The Castle and tries to settle in quietly it is obvious that this cannot be. The warden (James Gandolfini) torn between control of his prison and respect for the former General realizes he may have a battle on his hands and continually takes steps to keep his control.

In fact, this is when The Castle is at its best. When the warden and the ex-General are having their quiet little verbal battles discussing the situation, discussing control, history and the way things truly are in prison.

Some great performances here by Redford, Gandolfini, and Mark Ruffalo (You Can Count On Me). Ruffalo has been compared to a young Brando and I think that is an unfair promise to have to try and live up to. Brando was barely ever the young Brando and his promise was never truly fulfilled.

It will be hard to leave your comparisons at the door, but when a cliché does rear its ugly head, try and let it slide by with only the quickest of head shakes. There are other moments in this film that make up for the obvious ones and while none may surprise you are content that at least they tried.

Last Castle Special note: The poster up top is the new release in the wake of the tragedy of the terrorist attacks while the one to the left here is the original. I think it is easy to see why the new poster, which was probably to be released closer to opening day anyway, takes prominence.

Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul

DVD Information:

Special Features:
Deleted Scenes with Director Commentary
HBO Special: Inside The Castle Walls
Feature Director Commentary
Theatrical Trailer
Production Notes
Cast and Filmmaker Bios

Video: Widescreen 2.35:1 (Anamorphic)

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Evil Ash

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