this is an interesting film for a couple reasons. for one it’s based on the valerie plame case so it’s another recent history film and it’s about a case that is going to be covered by watts and penn next month in fair game. secondly, this film has quite a few stars, but because the production group filed for bankruptcy, it never saw theatrical release beyond la and nyc. it’s also interesting because, stylistically, it’s the kind of film i would probably end up making if i ever made a film. every scene tries to be great by putting in nice little touches and you can see that the director was really thinking about punching up every scene with style and film school tricks. in other words, i’d probably suck as a director because i was trying to do too much. a guy like capra was great in part because he didn’t want to wow the audience in every scene. kurosawa was a more cerebral filmmaker, but his films worked on that higher level without hitting you over the head with their brilliance. this film lacks that ability to tone it down when necessary. the cast, too, gets into the routine of trying to hit a homerun with every line they deliver. in the end it just doesn’t work for this reason. it’s got a good enough core of talent and writing, but the director/producers just went too far over the top to be really successful.