pop culture

SPECTRE / Bridge of Spies

Movies!  We’ve seen a few lately! Must briefly talk about them!

1$_V?_Job Name

SPECTRE (2015)

Saw this on November 7, 2015 at the TCL Chinese Theater in glorious IMAX

Mixed reviews be damned, SPECTRE was pretty damn fun and was a great entry into the James Bond franchise.  The setup of the plot is that even though you may have thought Skyfall finished setting up the pieces so that James Bond can go and do some spy shit out there unencumbered by the shackles of his past, you’re not quite right.  In fact, a message from an old friend spurs James on to get to the bottom of things (coughBLOFELDcough) and learn that the last 3 movies had a throughline to them that even he didn’t realize.  Anyway, we get taken through Mexico City (the much-lauded Day of the Dead sequence is breathtaking and is one of the more tense scenes in recent Bond history), London, Rome (ah, ROME!!!  It was great to see it again even if in movies), the Austrian mountains (definitely had a On Her Majesty’s Secret Service vibe) and the Moroccan desert in spectacular fashion as James goes on the hunt for the guy behind it all.  It’s awesome.  There’s plenty of over-the-top action setpieces, good James Bond humor, bad-ass villains, and of course Bond Girls for those who care.  🙂  I know I enjoyed the movie as did Larry, and the presentation of it at the Chinese Theater was phenomenal.

Wonderfully, we also got to see the full trailer for The Force Awakens and it was absolutely magical.  There were many rounds of applause just for that trailer.

BRIDGE-OF-SPIES-Poster-e1433542435366-677x400Bridge of Spies (2015)

Saw this on Oct 31, 2015 at the Pacific Theaters in Americana.

It’s a little strange when a Steven Spielberg movie seems to have minimal buzz around it, right?  Because while there were ads for this movie on TV (I remember because what caught my attention is the super-hot guy who plays Gary Powers shown in the ads) you don’t really get the sense that this is a STEVEN SPIELBERG picture.  It looks almost generic.  But damn, that’s a really inaccurate impression to have as this movie was pretty great.  It is set in the 50s & early 60s when the Cold War was in full swing.  Tom Hanks, amazing as always, portrays James Donovan, an insurance lawyer who gets enlisted into providing legal defense for an accused Russian spy.  He takes it on even though he knows it makes him wildly unpopular, but he believes that the US should give all accused a fair shake.  Little does he know that his work is only beginning as he gets further enlisted to help when Gary Powers gets shot down in his U-2 aircraft over the Soviet Union; also over in Berlin, Germany, the Wall is going up and an American student is caught on the wrong side and is accused of being a spy.  Donovan becomes the unofficial means for the US to figure out a way to get both Americans back from the Germans and Russians.  It’s an absolutely fascinating look at the world then.  It’s a time we don’t really get much in movies anymore, so to see the hostile and frankly now-unbelievable world of East vs West Berlin is jarring.  I don’t doubt that Bridge of Spies will get some Academy recognition but I also wouldn’t be surprised if it’s low-key nature means it gets somewhat overlooked.  But YOU should make sure to go see it.  If only just to see this hottie:

14Okay, also go see it for the amazing true-life story of James Donovan.  It’s kind of incredible it all happened.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.