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
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 Radcliffe, Toni Collette, Sam Trammell
Rating R Released 2016
The Hundred Foot Journey
This is a story that begins with terrible loss, yet out of this tragedy great success is found. This Indian family move from Mumbai to England (at first) then finally settle in France after a fateful mishap. Brakes always brake for a reason you know. This drastic move provides young chef Hassan Kadam with an opportunity of a lifetime after his father purchases a restaurant just across the street from an already decorated Michelin star restaurant.
Hassan is a wide eyed talent in the kitchen. His ability to create and innovate in the kitchen while maintaining the foundations of standard dishes brings high praise to him and his family’s restaurant. With every dish cooked, served and eaten, my mouth begins to water. It’s such a light-hearted film you can’t help but enjoy it. From delicious entrees to the father’s loving banter to the start of new love between two chefs, this movie captures it all.
If you want that movie you can just sit back, relax and enjoy, The Hundred Foot Journey delivers. It will put a smile on your face throughout and, as any good movie, will leave you smiling (and maybe even looking up cooking schools).
GMBM Verdict : Food is the way to our heart and so is this film. Good Movie.
Starring: Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal, Om Puri, Charlotte Le Bon
Rating PG Released 2014
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Caught in a loveless marriage, John and Jane Smith realize that they have more in common than previously believed. The Brangelina era started here with this film and you can see why. Their chemistry on camera in undeniable. This is an action film that also plays out the story of a couple working through a marriage that’s on the rocks.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith have been married about five or six years. However, each has their own demanding business that draws them from the other only to see each other for brief periods of time during their 7pm dinners. Little communication and coldness plagues the relationship until one day their jobs cross paths with the other and things take a turn for the exciting.
You can tell why Brad and Angelina became a thing around the time this movie was released. They have clever banter back and forth that is delivered with quite playful chemistry. While the Smith marriage might be in shambles during the fighting, you can still tell that they fight consciously aware they are still spouses. It’s the chemistry between these two film giants that really draws you in to the quirky-ness and playful tone of the action and really lets you enjoy this movie.
GMBM Verdict: Brad+Angelina = Good Movie.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vince Vaughn
Rating PG-13 Released 2005
Everybody Wants Some!!
So you just graduated high school, got that scholarship to play college baseball and you’re finally out on your own. What do you do? Who’s there to help guide you? What classes/parties/girls/guys/beers do you choose?! Good thing you’ve got teammates to help with that.
Blake Jenner (no relation) plays Jake, a college freshman who is about to begin the plunge into the best four years of his life. The movie starts on move-in day and it’s 3 days before classes start. He and his other freshman newbies immediately meet their upperclassman teammates when they step foot into the baseball house. From there, it’s a short, deep, yet succinct snippet of the beginnings to their new lives as collegiate student-athletes in the 1980’s.
This film does well to capture the real relationships between teammates and especially incoming freshman who are wide-eyed to the world of college. From real life advice and teammate initiation to stoned existential conversations and themed parties, Everybody Wants Some is a real, funny, genuine look at the beginning of a new stage in a young person’s life. It’s a quality college movie set in the 80’s, but its message reaches to more than just that generation.
GMBM Verdict : You should want some! Good Movie.
Starring: Blake Jenner, Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Tyler Hoechlin
Rating R Released 2016
Do you love to run? Do you despise it? Well, good thing it doesn’t matter which side you’re on because this movie isn’t truly about the sport of cross country. This movie shows the real value of family, community, courage, and hard work through the medium of a dark horse cross country team from Central California.
Kevin Costner is a high school PE coach on his last strike in a place he never thought he would end up. He takes a rag-tag group of kids under his wing to give them the chance of something bigger, outside of the city they feel so stuck in. It’s your classic inspirational movie with a twist. Underdogs in more ways than one, the McFarland cross country team is the embodiment of overcoming obstacles and pain.
Watch McFarland for an insight into Mexican American culture and values and the true power that sticking together can breed miracles. Based on a true story, McFarland, USA rises above the rest because of the culture it is set in. Put this in your must watch list.
GMBM Verdict : Great Story, Great Movie.
Starring: Kevin Costner, Carlos Pratts, Johnny Ortiz
Rating PG Released 2015
Megamind, the incredibly handsome criminal genius and master of all villainy! Or so how he describes himself. This charismatic villain is the protagonist of a surprisingly deep story of good vs evil for an animated film. You almost cheer for Megamind and at times empathize with him as he brings up the importance of duality and purpose in life. If there is evil in the world, there must also be good.
With clever jokes, quotable one-liners and quality writing this is a pretty good comedy with a top-billed cast. It portrays the exaggerated super hero very well while making the super villain truly the one we hope succeeds. This movie is definitely a chill-at-home kind of movie that’ll leave you feeling pretty good. It’s a great comedy that will provide you some classic quotes to use with friends, and that’s all we want from a movie anyway.
Destiny isn’t the path chosen for us, it’s the path we choose ourselves. All men must choose between two paths. Good is the path of honor, heroism, and nobility. Evil… well, it’s just cooler.
GMBM verdict : Mega-Good Movie.
Starring: Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill
Rating PG Released 2010
You have to keep moving. Whatever you do, don’t stop. You’re only as strong as your next move. Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightly are great examples of this in this movie, Begin Again. Mr. Ruffalo is a down on his luck music producer with an eye for exceptional talent and Keira Knightly is a New York newbie with an exceptional talent. And as per usual, they happen to meet through… lets call it fate.
This movie is centered around music and because they are both outsiders to the mainstream industry they now have to get unique in order to generate a following and get her music out to the public. In one specific scene, Begin Again re-ignited my love for music and reminded me of it’s ability to turn the mundane events of life into moments of great emotional connection. Or as the script puts it, “all these banalities, they’re suddenly turned into beautiful, effervescent pearls.”
Begin Again is a simple, feel good movie about finding ways to follow your dreams even when you’ve been knocked down. This is another movie with a great soundtrack as well, with some excellent original songs. It is like one long music video. Also, Adam Levine is a d**k. Enjoy!
GMBM Verdict : Good Movie. Simple verdict for a simple movie.
Starring: Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, Adam Levine
Rating R Released 2013
Crazy, Stupid, Love
When a middle-aged Steve Carell is thrown into a mid-life crisis after his wife orders “divorce” for desert, he decides its time to take back his manhood. Or so that’s how it is sold to him by the ladiesman who takes him under his wing.
This movie is smartly written. It’s funny yet down to earth and has a top quality love story. So my dudes, fear not! A mushy romantic comedy this is not. (But we’ll just keep pretending you don’t actually enjoy some of those mushy rom-coms). This love story has the realistic grounding that makes you truly believe in it. Plus how can you turn down a funny Ryan Gosling? No doubt it will shoot to the top of the list of your favorite movies. I know it’s one of mine.
No matter how many times I’ve seen it, it doesn’t get old. Good stories rarely do. Love takes work, but loving this movie was easy.
GMBM Verdict : Ryan Gosling approved. Good Movie
Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone
Rating PG-13 Released 2011
WARNING! If you watch this movie hungry there is a guarantee of stomach growling but also having a new favorite movie… so, worth it. This movie is definitely one of my favorites. Following your passion and making it work is the essence of Chef. If you’re not happy, fly across the country and buy a food truck. Ok, maybe not that specifically, but chase your passion, whatever it is.
Jon Favreau is a brilliant chef who once was on the cutting edge of the culinary world but is now pigeonholed in a restaurant that stifles his creativity. He then decides to take a huge risk in order to reignite his passion for cooking. But let’s be honest, if Sofia Vergara was telling me I should do something, that’s pretty good motivation already!
First time I saw this, I took a chance on it in the theaters, not having heard much about it. The risk was greatly rewarded. Chef has cemented itself as one of my top choices. It’s a feel good movie that’s got all the goods: delicious food, lively Latin culture and music, and lovable characters.
GMBM Verdict : I’ll take the Chef’s special please! Good Movie!
Starring: Jon Favreau, Sofía Vergara, John Leguizamo
Rating R Released 2014