Bridge of Spies (2015)

After a slight break with a whole backlog of posts needing to go up, I’m back on the 2015 reviews catch-up.  My new goal is to work on Oscars nominees that I can get to.  If I don’t get to everything, the Best Picture nominees have the first priority as long as I can get my hands on it. Its a bit limited but I’m trying.  I have two more lined up in the next two weeks before Oscars swings around!  First up is Bridge of Spies!

Let’s check it out! 🙂

Bridge of Spies (2015)

Bridge of Spies

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Joshua Harto, Amy Ryan, Austin Stowell, Will Rogers

During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.-IMDB

I love a great thriller now and again. I’m even okay with espionage sort of films because they can be really intriguing.  The deal with Bridge of Spies which made me hesitant to start it was the fact that its about war and hints of politics. Call me ignorant but I’m not one to love the reality of it all and it hits me really hard.  Going into Bridge of Spies, the possibility of me liking is not quite as high as the general public.  For starters, my husband loved this movie. I’m more of a meh.  There is no doubt that Steven Spielberg does a good job with the directing and Tom Hanks pulls a great performance.  Those are expected factors.  The breakthrough role here is Mark Rylance who is on trial as a Russian spy and yet he is such a cool cat. If you watched it, whenever he says “Would it help?”, it just changed the whole dynamic of the scene.  He turns into a character that seems to have such depth without even saying a whole lot.

Bridge of Spies

I took a few days to ponder over Bridge of Spies.  As you can see, I do praise this movie for being good.  The directing, the acting and even the story is good.  The script was well-written.  Except I can’t help but to hesitate in saying that I fully appreciated it, because I didn’t.  I know what is good but maybe its the length or the pacing or just the war and politics that didn’t grab me because I tried to watch this two times and I had to force myself to stay awake.  When I woke up, I was into the story right away but then I felt it a little tiring all over again.  The best part of the movie was the beginning and the ending.  Everything in the middle was good but maybe just not tight-knit and thrilling enough.  With a long movie, this one had to stuff in scenes that jumped from different places and honestly, I felt it was hard to follow since they never dwell long enough in one place to make it something I cared about.

Bridge of Spies

 The best aspect for Bridge of Spies was that it did capture the devastation of the East and West Germany/Berlin Wall and the touchy time that everyone dwell in.  Even the urgency and danger of the situation was highly evident when Tom Hanks’ character was in negotiations.  Other than that, it did well to highlight the selfish political choices and the contrast of what using an untrained citizen would make in the broader spectrum.  Tom Hanks character Donovan was a good man and really was simple.  He didn’t want to be in this but he made choices he thought was right and he was a very perspective man who stepped out of his comfort zone literally to do just that. Tom Hanks embodied that character really well.

Bridge of spies

Overall, Bridge of Spies is a good movie.  The directing and the cast was great, especially when we talk about Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance.  The devastation and the desperation of the place and the situation was both captured really well also.  However, I can’t help but feel that something didn’t pull me in completely.  Maybe its the length being tiresome or simply the pacing was a flawed.  The better way to word it would be that at its high points, it was tense but at its low points, it was lacking the thrills. However, I do blame it a little on my lack of interest in war/political based espionage thrillers. I do think that Bridge of Spies is worth a watch!

Have you seen Bridge of Spies? What did you think of it?

Gone Baby Gone (2007)

Following Argo winning best picture at the Oscars last week, I decided to watch this flick.  Ben Affleck‘s directorial debut Gone Baby Gone.  I actually saw this one in the theatres with my best friend when it came out in 2007.  Of course, I didn’t know that Ben Affleck was the director but I was intrigued by the trailer. I know I’m a week late but I’ve been running a bit slow on these reviews and hopefully I’ll catch up soon enough.

gone baby gone posterDirector: Ben Affleck

Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Amy Ryan, John Ashton

This place takes place in where a little girl, Amanda McCreedy has been kidnapped and the police have been trying to find her with all their forces.  This is when the aunt and uncle of Amanda, in desperation, goes to hire a private investigator, Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and his partner, Angie (Michelle Monaghan) because they are known to have connections to the criminal side of Boston.  Much to the police’s disapproval, the captain (Morgan Freeman) however still is obliged to assign two officers, Remy Bressant (Ed Harris) and Nick Poole (John Ashton). In their investigation, they learn that Amanda’s mother, Helen(Amy Ryan) is involved in a messy situation because of her way of living and people she connects to.  The further they investigate, the more secrets get revealed and it drags them deeper and deeper into a situation that they can’t turn back anymore.  (Did I make that sound really dramatic? But thats how I felt it was..)

This movie is all about the secrets so I had to be really short with the summary so you get an idea but not really spoil this flick if you haven’t seen it.  I’ve seen The Town and I probably won’t end up catching Argo until a few months later when it might *crosses my fingers* drop a bit in price. This is an intriguing suspense drama.

gone baby gone 2

Its packed with awesome performances from the cast.  Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris was amazing as usual.  This is the only movie I’ve seen of Casey Affleck and man, he’s a pretty good actor.  He had me intrigued the whole way, dragged me into every tight situation and carried every intense moment on his shoulders.  Michelle Monaghan looks really familiar, I think she was the chick in Eagle Eye and maybe some other ones that slip my memory.  She was good too although I’d have to say that she didn’t really have much to say in my recollection of it now.  I still think she did pretty decent.  I really need to start digging up some more of Casey Affleck’s roles.  Any recommendations?

gone baby gone 3

This was adapted from a novel (from what I’ve read) with the same name by Dennis Lehane.  It has now been added to my to-read list.  I’m sure that if the movie can be this intriguing, the source material is probably going to be 20 times better.  At least thats the usual case, we’ll see when I get to check it out. The story was just so captivating and mysterious.  The intensity was over the top crazy.  At the end of the movie (for those who know it), it had me and my boyfriend thinking a lot.  We even engaged in a discussion about the ending at 1am  or something, which is not very often that it happens.

gone baby gone 1

I would definitely recommend this movie.  I don’t know if Argo can beat it but this movie ranks higher than The Town to me so far.  The story is suspenseful, the cast is fantastic and it’ll bring you for an unpredictable and intense ride and possibly leave you with a good amount of thinking at the end.  Affleck’s career as a director is one that I respect a lot right now and I hope to see more movies from him that are as great as this one.