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Friday, January 31, 2014

The American - George Clooney

I remember seeing the trailers for this movie when it came out and thinking that it might be pretty cool/fun, and it was, but not in the action-thriller kind of way that you might expect from the previews. George is holed up in a little Italian town, keeping a low profile. We follow him around town for a bit, and gol durn it, I think I read the book: A Very Private Gentleman by Martin Booth. Turns out I started it, but I wasn't able to finish it. George, being the manly man he is, cannot help but attract a series of beautiful women: as his ill-fated Swedish girlfriend, as a fellow criminal-in-arms, and as the hooker with a heart of gold. They make it very easy to watch. 
    George has a job putting together a rifle with a silencer, and we get to watch him at work, including making the silencer (sorry, "suppressor") out of some metal scraps he picks up at a garage. When he demos the gun he tells us that the muzzle velocity is 360 miles per hour. Never heard it done that way. It is usually given in feet per second, at least over here in the USA. In Europe I expect they use meters per second. Anyway 360 MPH works out to 528 feet per second, which is pert near dead slow for a bullet, especially one coming out of a rifle. Rifles are usually upwards of 2,000 feet per second. The suppressor would slow it down some, but not that much. That's Hollywood for you.
    He also sabotages the gun at the last minute when his suspicions about his employer bloom. There is never any real clear indicator that he is himself a target, but we just have little incidents happening that let you know something it now quite right. Anyway, it turns out he is right and the sabotage has fatal consequences for his would be assassin. Kind of interesting since I was just reading about some lethal problems with guns.

Three of the towns mentioned in the film are just outside of  Rome. Another one that gets mentioned is another part of the country entirely. View 2014 January in a larger map

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