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Blood Work /

Rated: R
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Daniels, Anjelica Huston, Wanda De Jesus, Tina Lifford
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Produced by: Clint Eastwood
Written by: Brian Helgeland

Distributor: Warner Brothers


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    Blood Work kept me captive. Unlike almost every other film that I see, there wasn’t one dry spot in this movie; I was never bored watching it. Despite the failed direction attempts by Eastwood, he and Jeff Daniels acting was top-notch. Even though not of the same style that the academy prefers, if it was up to me they would be Oscar nominated. This movie had no plot holes, horrible acting, or annoying soundtrack; the direction was its one and only error. Because of the shaky and off-beat camera-work caused by this reckless aspect of filmmaking, I must take off half of a bucket. But on a more positive note, I still highly recommend it.

     After a heart-attack, Terry McCaleb played by Clint Eastwood, an investigator for the FBI is forced into retirement because of his condition after receiving an organ transplant. After all of the chaos, everything is well and he is even enjoying life off the job despite his bizarre love for it until a woman confronts him when he comes home to his ever-prized boat in which he lives on. She demands that he looks into a case, even though he is without an independent investigatory license, and most importantly would rather not. She doesn’t offer him any money, but proceeds to tell him that the heart he received in transplant surgery was that of her sister; and the only reason that he was able to receive it was because she was the victim of a shooting in a convenience store. Though McCaleb doesn’t want to take the case, he feels that it is obligatory to. After looking into it, he finds some very shocking facts about the strange killer.

     As I said before, Clint Eastwood and Jeff Daniel’s performances were of the purest of quality, and in my opinion of Oscar worthiness. Clint was wonderful in his role, partially because the screenplay treated him as the old guy that he is. In the first scene he jumps two fences and almost outruns a twenty year old criminal; thankfully afterward he has a heart attack. The film-makers let Eastwood be Eastwood in action, but they were able to combine the plot with the right dose of reality excelling his ability to perform. Jeff Daniels was also superb. To my surprise it wasn’t weird to see him in a serious movie on a count of his role in Dumb and Dumber because his character was of the same comedic nature. He used just the right amount of comedy allowing him to combine it with a small dose of psychotics (I won’t give away where the psychotics come into play). The single person whose acting I disliked was Anjelica Huston’s, she was horribly suited fore her  role.

     The only downside to this high-class thriller was the mediocre direction. Clint Eastwood is an actor, not a director. Every movie he has directed has been brought down by the awkward positioning and a constantly moving camera; faults on his part. The direction in Blood Work just made me sick; the camera-work was too shaky, full of movement, and out of place. If they were to hire a different director than Clint, letting him focus on acting ability, this would’ve been a flawless four-bucket movie. Sadly, I must take off of the total grade because of this very recognizable error.

        Blood Work is an adrenaline rush that kept me on the edge of my seat and never bored. Clint Eastwood and Jeff Daniels put on two very worthy performances that shall be remembered in the Oscar race. Though it contains some shaky direction, it is still a very good film. If you want an extremely pure, first-rate thriller than go and see Blood Work now!

-Danny, Bucket Reviews