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GreenCine Movie Talk
In The Theaters
I just saw it and boy does it...
318

Enron-The Smartest Guys in the Room
Topic by: lizzoqops
Posted: May 13, 2005 - 9:49 AM PDT
Last Reply: May 14, 2005 - 6:57 PM PDT

author topic: Enron-The Smartest Guys in the Room
lizzoqops
post #1  on May 13, 2005 - 9:49 AM PDT  
This week's cinema excursion takes us to the magical fairyland of Houston, Texas, where some really ingenious guys figure out how to make money from nothing, profit from debt, and bilk thousands out of their life savings. Maybe even a little death and destruction in there, too.

If you're pissed off, you'll be more pissed off when you leave the theater.

Here's hoping CourtTV picks up the trials.
ahogue
post #2  on May 13, 2005 - 9:53 AM PDT  
> On May 13, 2005 - 9:49 AM PDT lizzoqops wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> This week's cinema excursion takes us to the magical fairyland of Houston, Texas, where some really ingenious guys figure out how to make money from nothing, profit from debt, and bilk thousands out of their life savings. Maybe even a little death and destruction in there, too.
>
> If you're pissed off, you'll be more pissed off when you leave the theater.
>
> Here's hoping CourtTV picks up the trials.
> ---------------------------------


So it's a good film, then? All of a sudden there are so many political documentaries out there. I saw one on Karl Rove that was so shody it wasn't even up to PBS standards, much less feature documentary standards. Since then I've been pretty much staying away from the genre.
underdog
post #3  on May 13, 2005 - 11:01 AM PDT  
This one is of the higher quality end of the political doc spectrum, as is The Corporation. Which doesn't mean perfect, it just means higher production values, well-made, well thought through, etc. There are definitely quite a few quickies out there not worth much but those came out around the election, hoping to make an impact.

Anyway, the Enron doc just played at the SFIFF. Surely worth checking out...
lizzoqops
post #4  on May 13, 2005 - 12:08 PM PDT  
> On May 13, 2005 - 11:01 AM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------

>
> Anyway, the Enron doc just played at the SFIFF. Surely worth checking out...
> ---------------------------------

Yes, it was good, and it was well-made. And don't call me Shirley.
ahogue
post #5  on May 14, 2005 - 8:33 AM PDT  
> On May 13, 2005 - 12:08 PM PDT lizzoqops wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On May 13, 2005 - 11:01 AM PDT underdog wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
>
> >
> > Anyway, the Enron doc just played at the SFIFF. Surely worth checking out...
> > ---------------------------------
>
> Yes, it was good, and it was well-made. And don't call me Shirley.
>
> ---------------------------------

How about surly?
lizzoqops
post #6  on May 14, 2005 - 1:07 PM PDT  
Not when compared to some of the curmudgeons around here (you know who you are).

: )
Shaky
post #7  on May 14, 2005 - 6:57 PM PDT  
I thought it was really good, and not really that political. On the political side, there ARE connections between Ken Lay and the Bush family in reality. But the film doesn't dwell on them, nor does it ignore them. It simply lays out the connection with relatively little comment and lets you draw your own conclusion. I wouldn't really even consider this a political documentary.

Instead, it's an excellent telling of the story of Enron so that folks without an accounting degree can understand it. With all the Enron mess drawn out over many articles and news stories over such a long period of time, and with as many different scams as Enron was running, it's difficult to get a good picture of the whole thing unless you've followed EVERY article and story. But that's exactly what the authors of the book on which this film is based did. In fact, they wrote some of those articles themselves.

So what was Enron all about? Was it about unusual accounting practices? Was it about manipulating the energy market to make money on California? Was it about lying to Enron's employees? The answer is "yes," and therein lies the confusion. The book sorted it out, and the movie fleshes out the book with pictures, interviews and taped telephone conversations. It starts with Ken Lay as a lobbyist in Washington trying to get the kind of deregulation that would allow the formation of something like Enron, and it follows through ALL their various dirty scams, assembling the pieces so that they make sense in the whole. Even if you followed the Enron stories as they were happening, you'll probably STILL be surprised at some of the things those ass clowns were trying to do. People actually died in California because of them.

Best of all, since it's laid out as a coherent story, it's NOT BORING! I think a lot of people tuned out the Enron mess when it was on the evening news, just because some of it was pretty dry stuff. But this movie has some humor in it and presents the major players as three dimensional characters who are pretty interesting themselves. At some point or other you will necessarily find yourself wondering, "What the hell were they thinking?"

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