The Weekly DISCussion is back and more non-weekly than ever, but it still delivers two great movies to watch at home!
Three Kings is the third film from director David O. Russell. Russell has since become very well known with his more recent films like The Fighter and this year’s Silver Linings Playbook. However, in 1999, Russell released Three Kings, which is quite possibly his best film. The story revolves around three American military men of varying ranks during the Iraq War (George Clooney, Mark Whalberg, and Ice Cube) who happen to stumble upon a possible location of hidden gold Saddam Hussein’s forces have stolen from Kuwait. Their journey to find this gold takes them through the consequences of war in a surprising and stylized way that few films have ever successfully managed to do. Like Platoon or more recently, The Hurt Locker, Three Kings focuses on the conscience of the soldier as well as the morality of the people who live in a war-torn country. It is not to be missed.
The Queen of Versailles is one of the greatest accidents ever to be captured on film. What director Lauren Greenfield had set out to make was a documentary profiling billionaire real estate tycoon David Siegel’s efforts to create the largest single occupancy home on American soil. What she got was a character study of that same family once the rug is pulled out from underneath them when the real estate bubble unexpectedly pops. Suddenly Siegel’s kingdom is reduced to rubble as the film explores the financial challenges that his family must now face. The film does not take the cheap approach of poking sticks at people who thought they were better than others. That would be cruel and distasteful. What the film does do, is expose some of the nastiness that sometimes goes along with those who have achieved the “so-called” American Dream. We don’t enjoy watching people get ruined by things that are out of their control, but we are fascinated by people who are so affected by desire for wealth and power that they are incapable of helping themselves.