My Photo
Location: California, United States

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Three movies

I've been watching a lot of movies lately. Here's a bit about a few of the most recent ....

- Bridge of Spies ... a 2015 German-American historical drama-thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay written by Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, and Joel Coen. The film stars Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda. Based on the 1960 U-2 incident during the Cold War, the film tells the story of lawyer James B. Donovan, who is entrusted with negotiating the release of Francis Gary Powers—a pilot whose U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union—in exchange for Rudolf Abel, a captive and convicted Soviet KGB spy held under the custody of the United States, whom he represented at trial. The name of the film refers to the Glienicke Bridge, which connects Potsdam with Berlin, where the spy exchange took place.

I liked this one - Tom Hanks was good, as always, and the historical stuff was pretty interesting. Richard Roeper gave the film 4 out of 4 stars in his review - 'Bridge of Spies’: Spielberg finds the thrills, action in Cold War crisis. And here's a trailer ...

- Insomnia ... a 2002 American psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan, and starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank. It tells the story of two Los Angeles homicide detectives investigating a murder in an Alaskan town. A remake of the 1997 Norwegian film of the same name, Insomnia was released on May 24, 2002, to critical acclaim and commercial success, grossing $113 million worldwide

This film was really good, if grim and depressing. Al Pacino was great in his role, and made me think of a couple of other very different cops he played in Serpico and Heat. Also worth a look - the setting of a remote town in Alaska. complete with a glacier. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3.5 out of 4 stars in his review. Here's a bit of what he wrote ...

"Insomnia," the first film directed by Christopher Nolan since his famous "Memento" (2001), is a remake of a Norwegian film of the same name, made in 1998 by Erik Skjoldbjaerg. That was a strong, atmospheric, dread-heavy film, and so is this one. Unlike most remakes, the Nolan "Insomnia" is not a pale retread, but a re-examination of the material, like a new production of a good play. Stellan Skarsgard, who starred in the earlier film, took an existential approach to the character; he seemed weighed down by the moral morass he was trapped in. Pacino takes a more physical approach: How much longer can he carry this burden? The story involves an unexpected development a third of the way through, and then the introduction of a character we do not really expect to meet, not like this. The development is the same in both movies; the character is much more important in this new version, adding a dimension I found fascinating.

And here's a trailer ...

- Star Wars, the first one ... I refuse to call it # 4 ;) .... a 1977 American epic space opera[9][10] film written and directed by George Lucas. The first installment in the original Star Wars trilogy, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, and Alec Guinness .... The plot focuses on the Rebel Alliance, led by Princess Leia (Fisher), and its attempt to destroy the Galactic Empire's space station, the Death Star. This conflict disrupts the isolated life of farmhand Luke Skywalker (Hamill) who inadvertently acquires a pair of droids that possess stolen architectural plans for the Death Star. When the Empire begins a destructive search for the missing droids, Skywalker accompanies Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Guinness) on a mission to return the plans to the Rebel Alliance.

Of course I'd seen it before, but not for a long long time. I've been reading Star Wars novels lately, like The Thrawn Trilogy so I thought I'd revisit the original movies. It was at once both more old fashioned than I remembered but also more fun than I had expected, given how familiar it is. Next up, the second in the series :) You can read Roger Ebert's review from 1977 in which he gave the movie 4 out of 4 stars.

Here's a trailer ...


Post a Comment

<< Home