Michael Clayton (***½)

Posted on October 14th, 2007 in Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy

Michael Clayton is an old-fashioned movie, which means that the movie is built on a great script, great directing, and great acting.  It is exciting with minimal special effects.  It is tense with little or no blood or gore.  It is funny without gross-out humor.  There is a hero, but he is a flawed human being.  There are strong male and female leads, but no love story.  There appears to be some type of redemption at the end, but it is of cold comfort.

George Clooney (above, right) plays the title character, who is a cleaner at a high-powered law firm.  When one of the firms big-wig clients gets dirt under their fingernails, the firm sends in Michael Clayton to clean up the mess.  He’s not a trial lawyer, he’s a fixer.  He greases the right skids, spins the right stories, smartens up the clients as to realistic expected outcomes, and then moves on to the next mess.  He’s highly paid, but not a partner, and apparently never will be given the…distasteful…nature of his specialty.  He’s a mercenary fighting for the side with the most money, and rightness and justness are left for children’s fairy tales.

And despite his high wages, Clayton is broke.  He started a bar with his brother as a partner, but his brother fell off the drug wagon and took the business with him.  Clayton also spends too much time at back-room poker games, and also funded the failing bar with loan shark money.  This pressing debt makes it very difficult for him to see that he is mortgaging his humanity for money.

His latest mess involves one of his own firms star trial attorneys, Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson), who for the last six years has been leading the defense of one of the firms clients (a gigantic food company a la Con Agra or Archer Daniels Midland) against charges that one of their farming chemicals kills said farmers and their families, and the company knew about it and did nothing.  But Arthur has snapped his cap, stripped naked during depositions, and chased the opposition around a parking lot in nothing but his socks.

Arthur’s madness is not random, it is a breakdown brought on by the fact that while sifting through tens of thousands of documents during discovery he uncovered a report from the client’s own scientists…stating that their product will kill people…escalating the issue to executive management…and with an acknowledgments page containing the signature of the CEO.  In other words, not only the smoking gun, but the gun, the bullets, the motive, the opportunity, the blood, the body, the microbes, the fingerprints, the gunpowder residue, the security cam footage, and the confession. The signed confession.

However, all Clayton knows is that the lead counsel for their largest client has gone off his rocker, and as the fixer he needs to get him under control and not jeopardize the upcoming settlement.  However, as Clayton digs into the facts he begins to learn the truth, and the


Posted on October 6th, 2007 in Mynagirl by mynagirl


Ok, seen this makeup on TV?  It sure looks amazing — so much so that engineerboy even told me one morning, "Wow, I saw this infomercial on TV last night and almost ordered it for you without even checking for you!".  The unretouched photos looked amazing.

So I ordered it, despite my *extreme* reservations about buying anything that entails a membership/subscription/crap-showing-up-at-my-door-regularly type deal (anyone else have about 5 million bottles of ProActive toner from a subscription-gone-wild?!)  But this stuff just looked so great, and a friend recommended it as well.  I'm a sucker for anything that professes to look "natural", as any cakey/liquid makeup is the fru-it of the dev-il as far as I'm concerned.  I think they clinched the deal with the slogan "makeup so pure you can sleep in it".  Now I'm hooked — natural AND I can be lazy?!  Sign me up!!

So the stuff arrived in this gorgeous pink/brown box, and so far I really like it.  I was already tired of the tap-tap-tap sound before I'd even tried it after watching the online video of "swirl-tap-buff" application technique (which they trademarked, believe it or not).  And the tap-tap-tap shenanigan does waste a lot of powder in the tiny trial size — you don't so much tap the excess powder back into the lid as you do liberally apply it to your bathroom counter from a 2' height. 

However, the stuff is really beautiful.  My face looks very fresh without looking "done".  Using the same powder with different brushes to get different coverage actually works — I was able to decently cover up a blemish with the "concealer" brush without that horrible real-life-Photoshopping effect that most liquid concealers give.

And it seems to be very friendly to my skin so far, no breakouts or anything.  My nose is a bit dry around the edges but that could be the approach of fall and me getting lazy with my moisturizer.

All in all, a good recommendation so far. 

Anyone else love it or hate it?  Email me!

One quick additional note: if your company's job is to sell makeup that makes your skin look flawless, shouldn't you go ahead and splurge for a full-quality video on your website rather than a low-res crappy one?  Because you're just not really giving a good sales pitch when your video shows your model's beautiful new face as represented in dull, pixellated tiny-screen mode.  But maybe that's just me!