Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The State Within|
Actors: Jason Isaacs, Ben Daniels, Eva Birthistle, Neil Pearson, Genevieve O'Reilly
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
Can you believe what your superiors tell you -- even if you are the British Ambassador to America? In this high octane, action-packed conspiracy thriller, a terrifying plot is played out along the dark corridors of power. ... more »
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Truth, lies and political expediency
Robin Benson | 02/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A cracking political thriller with most of the action Washington based and involving governments, private companies and perhaps predictably, a small oil-rich Asian country (Trygyzstan, Tyrgyztan or Tyrygsztan depending how quick your eyes are) so the events are very contemporary and mostly credible, too.
The 350 minutes get off to a stunning start with an airliner being blown up and crashing onto an expressway near Washington and from this point on you'll be hooked like I was. Considering this is not big bucks Hollywood the crash looked incredibly convincing, as does everything else though it was mostly filmed in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario.
The six parts move along efficiently, especially with plenty of steadycam and accompanying sound effects, but you'll have to pay attention because this is not black and white plotting, the good guys are not obvious and there is no winning side. The casting is fine with Jason Isaacs turning in a great British Ambassador and perhaps Sharon Gless should be taken on by Department of Defence as their no-nonsense Secretary (but maybe her hands are tainted, too). Nothing is what it seems at first.
The UK DVD release includes a twenty-seven minute 'making of' extra. Worth a look though it is the usual back slapping stuff. Several minutes are devoted to creating the airliner crash, which I thought were interesting and Grainne Marmion has some good comments on how she interpreted the production.
This is a conspiracy thriller that will certainly be worth watching several times."
A Rousing British Miniseries That Brings The Terrorism, Espi
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 03/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While I don't think "The State Within" is a perfect political thriller, I will pay it the highest compliment for this type of entertainment--it is ambitiously complex without being unnecessarily convoluted. This six part British miniseries (each part is approximately an hour) carries about twelve major characters and five major plot strands and interweaves them expertly throughout. Seemingly unrelated events converge as layers of intrigue and duplicity are revealed. While some have compared this to a more cerebral "24," it actually has little in common with the American show other than the overt themes inherent in global politics, government corruption, and terrorism. But wait a minute.....Just as "24" in an intriguing thrill ride that sometimes strains credibility, so is "The State Within." And just as you might overlook the believability factor in "24" because the story told is so intricate and entertaining, you might also be willing to accept "The State Within" at face value. For make no mistake, "The State Within" (at the most fundamental level) is rousing entertainment.
Surprisingly, this British production is set largely in the United States. The British Ambassador, played by Jason Isaacs, becomes the centerpiece for the story when an airplane is bombed as it takes off over Washington D.C. Issacs is, literally, in the middle of the wreckage (in an impressively staged action scene) and continues to be, figuratively, as a British national is implicated in the terrorism. With multiple plot strands that include a death row inmate, an American company's international investment, a rogue military unit on U.S. soil, a controversial and brutal coup, and the Secretary of Defense (Sharon Gless)--this drama effectively juggles a lot of action. With a solid, well written screenplay--it keeps the pacing quick and handles matters intelligently and, for the most part, believably. That's not to say everything is 100% believable in concept, but within the context of the story--things flow logically and maintain your interest without insulting your intellect.
While surrounded by a capable and talented cast, Isaacs does carry much of the production as the Ambassador/action hero. Always good, and underrated, this is an interesting counterpoint to his most recent role as an Irish mob boss in Showtime's "Brotherhood." Any doubt to his versatility should be put to rest in comparing these pieces of good versus evil (and for good measure, throw in the romantic leading man of "Passionada" and "Nine Lives"). Gless has the showiest role as the tough-as-nails official--and while many will appreciate its ferocity, it lacked a subtlety that I would have found more compelling. But everyone really contributes to the excellence of "The State Within" in terms of acting. For such a large ensemble, there isn't one missed opportunity when it comes to casting.
I really enjoyed "The State Within" and recommend it wholeheartedly. When judging material of this length (or a series, for that matter), I have to contemplate--"Is it worth the time invested?" Definitely yes, in this case. Smart and literate. Exciting and topical. And best of all, a suitably ambiguous ending that gave me a great belly laugh! Check it out if you're a fan of political thrillers--but be forewarned, this one will require the use of your brain. KGHarris, 03/07."
Compelling believable political thriller
Hilary | Northern Virginia | 04/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This series was often compared to "24"--I can't compare them, as I always found "24" too stupid and convoluted to watch. "The State Within" also has a complicated storyline, dealing with a range of subjects from the influence of the military-industrial complex to the morality of capital punishment.
In the main, these are skillfully juggled and the various characters deal with them in ways that are interesting and believable.
Jason Isaacs is terrific as the confused and conflicted Mark Brydon, struggling to navigate through a morass of obstruction and obfuscation, and the rest of the cast, particularly the very welcome Sharon Gless, offers uniformly strong and capable performances."
It's entertainment, not a documentary
Carla Lilie | Des Moines, Ia. United States | 06/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The State Within" is an intelligent, well-acted, entertaining political thriller. What it is not is a diatribe against the United States. Having read reviews claming that it was, I watched "The State Within" with some trepidation. One review said that, with the exception of the death row prison guard, the Americans were all one-dimensional villains. Not true. There were good Americans and bad Americans in the film, just as there were good British characters and bad British characters.
The film does make the point that, in politics, even choosing the better (most moral) choice can lead to unintended and even evil consequences. No one recognizes this better than Mark Brydon, the hero and clearly a good man. There are some veiled references to Iraq, so I supposed those individuals who firmly believe invading Iraq was the correct thing to do might take offense, but that still doesn't mean "The State Within" is anti-American.
The viewer does need to be patient with "The State Within." There's a fairly large cast of characters and it may take an episode or two to keep them all straight. I'm astounded by the reviewer who claimed to have the entire story figured out in half an hour. I'm not sure all the characters were even introduced by that point. The production as a whole is top-notch, and I especially enjoyed Eva Birthistle as Jane Lavery and Ben Daniels as Nicholas Brocklehurst. His character will keep you guessing for several episodes. Also outstanding was the actor who played the prison guard (not sure of his name), He has such an expressive face. Jason Isaacs gives a compelling performance as the lead character Mark Brydon. Ever since I saw him as Lucius Malfoy in the second Harry Potter movie I've found him to be a fascinating actor, and it was so enjoyable to see him play a hero for a change.