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Showing posts from December, 2015

Bridge of Spies

In 1957, a Russian spy is captured in Brooklyn and insurance lawyer James Donovan is given the thankless task of being his defense lawyer in court. When an American spy is shot down over the Soviet Union, however, Donovan is asked to negotiate the trade between the two men in the now divided Berlin, and must tread a tightrope so treacherous, it could not only get himself captured or killed, but cause tensions between the two countries to blow.

Tom Hanks gives a wonderful performance as Donovan, dutiful to his job, the Constitution, and the practice of law, as do the rest of the cast, especially Mark Rylance as the captured Russian spy Rudolph Abel, and Mikhail Gorevoy as a contact who Donovan meets at the Russian embassy in Berlin (who reminded me a lot of Peter Lorre).

Spielberg perfectly captures the look and feel of the 50s era both in America and the split Berlin. With America, its not only the lighthearted nostalgic stuff like the cars, the wardrobe, and the media (77 Sunset Str…

The Walk

Robert Zemeckis's latest film is the true story about Phillipe Petit, an eccentric French street performer and tight rope artist, who is inspired to tight rope between the recently completed Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974 despite all the risks in front of him. Like Flight beforehand, Zemeckis is back in good form with this one, showing his skillful weaving of a good story, strong characters, and especially his mastery of special effects, with the film's centerpiece: Petite's walk between the Two Towers with absolutely flawless CGI. The Walk sequence alone is worth the price of admission whether in 2D or 3D (people queasy of heights, be warned) and is pure cinema: dream-like, filled with imagination and emotion. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is wonderfully cast as Petit, giving boundless energy and vigor, supported by cast members such as Ben Kingsley and Charlotte Le Bon who all work well together and give them enough personality to stick out as individuals. Th…

The Martian

A science-fiction survival story about an astronaut who, believed to be dead, is accidentally left behind during a mission to Mars and must use what little resources he has to survive until he can be rescued (but not for 4 years) or until his resources run out and he perishes. I'm going to say it right up front that even though I've only seen a couple of Ridley Scott's films (Alien and Blade Runner included), this is definitely one of my top favorites if not my top favorite film of his that I've seen so far (not to mention one of the best films he's done in a while) and proves my theory that Scott is an excellent visual director but even better when he has a strong script to back him up. The Martian is definitely the latter as Scott gives us very rich visuals, making the surface of Mars look both beautifully and harshly realistic and NASA back on Earth a nice mix of advanced technology grounded in the present mixed with the beauty of business related architect…