Skip to main content  
  Helping the environment one joke at a time, Grinning Planet. Click to go to home page. flying letter; click to go to signup page for free email version
Get GP free
via email !
 
   
       
 

MOVIE REVIEW FOR ...
Syriana  (2005)

Starring: George Clooney, Christopher Plummer, Jeffrey Wright, Chris Cooper, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet, Alexander Siddig, Tim Blake Nelson, William Hurt

This Syriana review written by Mark Jeantheau, Grinning Planet.

DVD cover for Syriana Syriana sets out to explain to us how things really are when it comes to oil, The Middle East, and US policy, and to do so in an entertaining manner. It weaves together oil contracts, bribes, and Justice Department investigations; radical Islam, Islamic reformers, and the seamy politics of US dealings with royal families; CIA operations and "expendable personnel"; and, finally, the public illusions that must be maintained to keep Americans within their safe psychological envelope.

The plot centers on a CIA operations officer (Clooney) who is given an assignment that, um, does not go as planned. But this film does not have not a straight-ahead, single-story structure—other characters and threads include a hot-shot financial analyst (Damon) who ends up advising a reformist emir; the machinations of oil companies and their powerful honchos (Cooper and Plummer, among others); and how the right accountant or lawyer (Wright) is essential to making sure any uneven pieces get sewed up properly. The multiple, interwoven plot lines give this movie a more mature feel as compared to a "normal" suspense-thriller about powerful people and dangerous times. (Let's just say the same movie would have played a lot differently if it had starred Steven Segal.)

As described by Clooney in an interview, Syriana was meant to be an "apolitical" movie—one that tries to tell a story and present insights into the motivations of all sides in the struggle. On that score, it does an excellent job. For instance, we get both the rationale for the United States' aggressiveness in ensuring its energy supplies, from getting oil deals by bribing foreign officials to using lethal force to deal with those who are uncooperative. On the other side, we see US through the eyes of Middle East states as it variously supports or undermines the struggle for democratic and civil reform depending on whether it suits our interests, and we see how frustrations in daily life can combine with religious propaganda to instill the notion in a young Muslim that he should blow things up and kill infidels.

Those unfamiliar with the real-world details surrounding oil supplies, the importance of energy to the global economy (particularly the US economy), and the connection of these things to US foreign policy and Islamic terrorism may want to start with simpler fare. Syriana, while well crafted and entertaining, is written and edited in way that requires the viewer to carefully follow many plot threads (and at times fill in some gaps). Those new to talk of petrodollars, peak oil, and plutocracy may find the movie a bit challenging. But for those of us who are watching keenly as modern industrial society begins its slow, deathly descent towards the center of the petroleum whirlpool, Syriana is a must-see.

Check out Syriana at Amazon.com

Bookmark and Share

Related options....

Or search Amazon.com for more...

 

Liner notes for Syriana :
Tagline: "Everything is connected."   Categories: Peak Oil, Suspense, Thriller.
Directed by Stephen Gaghan.   Runtime: 126 min

FREE AUDIO CLIPS

free audio news clips link; image of zombie kid - DON'T BE A MAINSTREAM MEDIA DRONE! - Free MP3 news download at Grinning Planet

 

Grinning Planet also has audio . . .

RELATED AUDIO

CATEGORY:  PEAK OIL, COLLAPSE — 29.SEP.2014

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

Taking Odds on Global Collapse — If you are wondering how long this high-consumption civilization can keep going, you are not alone. It's not just counter-culture types either. A small parade of billionaires have recently appeared on the financial blog Zero Hedge, predicting a shattering financial crash. But seldom do we find academics asking whether global collapse is imminent. A new research paper by Graham M. Turner takes another stab at the "Limits to Growth" angle and, as with the original paper by that name, concludes that the current civilizational trajectory will indeed fail, and that energy constraints will be the main reason.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   20:00

GP comment:  Anytime billionaires start publicly pushing an angle, bet the other way.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.Sep.2014

CATEGORY:  ENERGY — 23.SEP.2014

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good The Keiser Report

From Fracking Utopia to Cold, Hungry, and in the Dark — Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the increasing desperation in people's actions to acquire resources, from rich desert dwellers buying water to keep their plants green in a drought, to the natural gas industry running fracking wells at a loss. However, despite the obvious evidence of our unsustainable path, it appears very few are willing to leave behind all that they believe. ~~ In the second half, Max interviews Bill Powers, author of Cold, Hungry and in the Dark: Exploding the Natural Gas Supply Myth. Powers talks about some of the troublesome fundamentals in the natural gas industry and explains how cheap-money policies are fueling the boom, not an abundance of the resource. He says all the elements are there for a repeat of a 1970s-style energy crisis.
Watch  |  Download/listen   25:45

GP comment:  Are you resilient yet?

Original Show Pub Date: 20.Sep.2014

CATEGORY:  COLLAPSE — 11.SEP.2014

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Agroinnovations Podcast

Living Life as Collapse Proceeds — Host Frank Aragona and KMO of the C-Realm Podcast discuss a variety of issues, including.... collapse and one's personal posture towards it; the politics of poverty; the dominance of profit over service in corporate culture; permaculture as an outlet that deflates pushback.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   50:02

GP comment:  At one point KMO despairs that there is very little we can do that truly has an impact on fixing the massive problems of modern civilization. Gandhi agreed, but reminded us that it is very important that we do what we can, regardless.

Original Show Pub Date: 02.Sep.2014, Original story title: The Peter Principle

MORE

Get more audio clips on energy and peak oil (and many more topics) in Grinning Planet's biweekly downloadable audio news feed.

 
 

 

ADVERTISEMENT

 

 

Hey, we don't pick
the Google ads!   – GP

 
CLICKS ON OUR ADS AND PURCHASES VIA OUR AMAZON LINKS HELP SUPPORT THIS FREE SITE... THANKS!
 
       
   >              
   > document gif Sign up to get Grinning Planet free by email, or get more info about it    
   > Copyright 2008 © Mark Jeantheau — All rights reserved.  
   
   
 
 
NEWS, ARTICLES, INFO

MP3 News Download
Video/Audio News Sites
Environmental News Sites
Investigative Journalism Sites

Environment/Energy/Economy
    - Articles/Resources By Topic
    - Articles By Date

Environmental Quotes
    - Funny Environmental Quotes
    - Peak Oil Quotes

Environmental Cartoons/Jokes
    - Environmental Videos/Animations

Environmental Products
Eco/Nature Greeting Cards

Grinning Planet Farm

FUNNY STUFF

Funny Jokes/Cartoons
    - Environmental Cartoons

Funny Animations/Videos
    - Environmental Animations/Videos

Funny Quotes
    - Environmental Funny Quotes

BOOKS

Environmental Books
Global Warming Books
Energy Books
Solar Energy Books
Peak Oil Books
Food-Gardening Books
Media Books

 
MUSIC & MOVIES

Environmental Movies
Environmental Songs
Environmental Music Videos

Album Reviews
Fun With Lyrics

ADMIN

Home Page
Search
Site Map
About Us
FAQs
Contact
Free Subscriptions
Unsubscribe
Privacy Policy