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Mainstream - The Crooked E - The Unshredded Truth About Enron

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The Crooked E - The Unshredded Truth About Enron
Christian Kane, Shannon Elizabeth, Mike Farrell, Brian Dennehy
Directed by Penelope Spheeris
Based on the book by Brian Cruver
Made for TV 2003
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment 2007
84 minutes

I like a movie that keeps the story simple but not stupid. Such is the case with The Crooked E The Unshredded Truth About Enron DVD. This is a smart, interesting, visually lush drama about the downfall of Enron and the effects this had on its employees. The Crooked E is a TV movie DVD that quickly sets up the players and the arena in which they are competing, is pretty good about making the financial mumbo jumbo understandable, and keeps things moving at a brisk pace.

At a 4th of July party, young Brian Cruver is told by Mr. Blue, a friend of the family, "This is America. If you want something, you take it." Fifteen years later, in April 2001 and 8 months before its collapse, Cruver starts his first day at Enron in a sales boiler room and discovers Mr. Blue is one of the big shots in the company. The Crooked E The Unshredded Truth About Enron tells the story of what happens when a company applies Mr. Blue's rule across the board and follows the Enron collapse through Cruver's eyes and his own personal meteoric rise and downfall. A secondary set of both sarcastic and dreamy eyes is provided by coworker Liz (Nancy Anne Sakovich).

The Crooked E is a great looking movie that has a 1984 feel to it. There is obvious indoctrination and a follow the crowd to success mantra going on at Enron and Cruver (the very good Christian Kane) is more than happy to go along with it. There is also a very large number of guys in dark suits, sunglasses, and earpieces everywhere in the building at all times, something director Penelope Spheeris uses as a sinister undercut to the we're all a happy family feeling the company promotes.

The movie has a couple of minor flaws. The photographs used in the movie, such as Ken Lay / Mike Farrell with President Bush, have obviously been Photoshopped on a Commodore 64. The viewer also knows the action is taking place in Atlanta because though nobody in The Crooked E has a southern accent the second person to talk to Cruver wishes everybody a Good day, y'all. She does come back later on for a rather darkly funny turn.

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