Bridge of Spies

Set in the late 50’s during the dawn of the Cold War, Bridge of Spies brings you a tale of two national super powers struggling to show dominance while toeing a fine line of diplomacy as to not start a thermonuclear war. The United States and USSR were constantly trying to gain the upper hand on each other through covert measures, and these measures often required people who were caught and put on trial as traitors, as in this film. Two entire civilizations opposing each other because each’s ideology of how the world should be wouldn’t leave room for the other.

In steps Donovan, an insurance lawyer played by Tom Hanks. He is given a no win situation when offered the thankless task of defending accused Russian spy Rudolf Abel, played by Mark Rylance (and played well enough for an Oscar). From there we see an American civilian thrown into the deep end of the Cold War and very much being out of his depth seeing as he has no experience with such fragile national security affairs. However, because of this, we see what kind of man Donovan really is. We see how he approaches his situations he’s given and when all he wants to do is go home, he still proves himself to stay true to his character. Amidst turmoil and ostracization at home, he persists.

Bridge of Spies is a thriller, however, you are not going to get your over the top action scenes you get from other war time movies. Spy thrillers deal with covert operations and by definition cannot draw attention to themselves. This movie is no different. It is a slower film, moving methodically through the plot but with purpose and without all the extravagances that a lesser, poorly written screenplay would depend on. It attaches you to its characters, hoping for them to succeed. Yes, even Mr. Abel.

GMBM Verdict  :  1 Oscar and 2 thumbs up from us. Good Movie.

Starring: Mark Rylance, Tom Hanks, Alan Alda

Rating   PG-13     Released  2015
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Nocturnal Animals

Right off the bat, lets just warn you.. there is graphic nudity paraded as art to start the movie. So, from the get-go you really know this isn’t a conventional film. Cold faces, straight lines, grey colors all set up this heartless feeling. Director Tom Ford really did well to create an atmosphere void of rich, deep feeling. Not the void of something that never was, but a void as if it once was there, and had been lost.

Amy Adams is an art gallery director who is in her second marriage and early on she receives a proof-read of a book written by her former husband, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Her first marriage, full of love but not a “practical” relationship in her eyes, was ended years ago. This was the first she had heard from her ex in many years. The rest of the film revolves around Amy Adams pouring herself into the manuscript, as told by faux-memories played out for the audience.

Nocturnal Animals never really was a big hit in the box office, but that’s exactly why GMBM is here, to open up some of those lost films for you. The film is definitely unique. It’s heavy and dark and really delves into some of the toughest parts of humanity. That being said, it’s a well acted, well made film. And as I continue to write this and let the movie soak in, it continues to grow on me. Let it soak.. let it provoke some thought.

GMBM Verdict  :  Not for the faint of heart. Good Movie.

Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon

Rating   R     Released  2016

Imperium

While radical Muslim terrorist attacks are frightful and take a great amount of news-space, white supremacist terrorist groups have also dealt serious damage on our own home soil in recent years. A desire to purify the “once great European race” has led to terrible events including the South Carolina church shooting and that of the OKC bombing.

And that is the premise of Imperium. Daniel Radcliffe is a desk man for the FBI but wants more from life, wants to make a bigger difference. An opportunity comes across for him to do that via an undercover infiltration operation. A potential dirty bomb has come to the attention of the FBI and they pursue a lead that points directly at white supremacist groups in the Northeast of the United States.

While an interesting concept, it is difficult to watch. Not due to the quality of movie or acting, but due to the fact that it deals with some very heavy aspects of society. They really went for realism and I appreciate that. As the movie deals with the white supremacists, they don’t shy away from the words they use, how they act, or their symbols they hold dear. I think you get my point. This realism does help the film however. It keeps you on the edge of your seat in suspense and your heart beating fast as you realize how important it is that he doesn’t get found out and hope he successfully completes his mission.

GMBM Verdict  :  Daniel Radcliffe is Harry Potter no more. Good Movie.  

 

Starring: Daniel RadcliffeToni ColletteSam Trammell

Rating  R     Released  2016