MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: Yesterday I had the great pleasure of seeing “Bridge of Spies,” which stars Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Apollo 13), Mark Rylance (The Other Boleyn Girl, Angels and Insects), Amy Ryan (Birdman: Or [The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance], Escape Plan), Scott Shepherd (Side Effects, And So It Goes), Austin Stowell (Whiplash , Dolphin Tale), Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others, A Good Day to Die Hard), Dakin Matthews (Lincoln, The King of Queens [TV series]), Alan Alda (M*A*S*H [TV series], The Aviator), Billy Magnussen (Into the Woods, The Brass Teapot), Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad [TV series], Battleship), Will Rogers (The Bay, A Good Marriage), Victor Verhaeghe (The Wolf of Wall Street, August Rush), and Domenick Lombardozzi (The Wire [TV series], Phone Booth). It is directed by Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park, Jaws) and is co-written by Matt Charman (Our Zoo [TV miniseries],Suite Française), Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, The Man Who Wasn’t There), and Joel Coen (The Big Lebowski, Fargo ). James B. Donovan (Hanks) is an insurance lawyer during the Cold War who is forced to represent a Soviet spy named Rudolf Abel (Rylance), after Abel is captured by the American government. Donovan’s company expects him to do so as a way of giving a fair trial no matter who the defendant is, and although he isn’t keen on it at first, Donovan begins to understand the situation as he starts talking to Abel. This in turn sets Donovan up to negotiate a trade between a newly captured American spy in Russia and Abel.
Starring Tom Hanks…directed by Steven Spielberg…co-written by the Coen brothers…how much more awesome can this film get!? It is how it sounds, and in saying that I will conclude that this movie was truly great. There’s a lot to really study when going into this picture because with such big names, a lot of thought and detail goes into everything. The dialogue is rich and keeps me interested throughout, the camera angles and cinematography is eye candy, for you don’t even need to be talked to about what’s going on rather than just show with direction, and the acting is brilliant from all ends. It’s just a masterpiece. Any venture with Steven Spielberg is entertaining in itself no matter how good the story is. And this is the first film I have seen in theaters that he has directed. The guy is like the McRib to the extreme. He doesn’t direct but once every couple of years (I don’t like McRibs, but I do like Steven Spielberg!). And I’d rather have it that way instead of him taking up any story that is thrown at him. What this plot brings is one of tension, being set in a place in time where fear was everywhere. Although I didn’t feel too tense with the plot (I knew it’d turn out well), I did feel into it. The story was all talking, with only one action scene, but everything that was said had a meaning. Everything was vital to the conflict at hand and the dialogue really fleshed out the characters who were the true pro of this movie. All the actors were great and the characters are what drove this movie to epicness. The fear, the compassion, the nothing-but-the-agenda. There’s a lot to watch in this and what makes it better is that it needs no action or violence to liven it up. The fact is, with a flick like that, these are some of the best types out there. Talking more about the acting, it was a pleasure in itself seeing everyone perform. Tom Hanks is fantastic as always, and surprisingly, Mark Rylance was one of my favorite actors in the show. Don’t take the word “surprise” as in he’s not usually a good actor. I just thought Tom Hanks would outshine every person. Mark Rylance brought a different personality to the field with his character of Rudolph Abel, being insouciant and delivering a funny presence at times. The way this movie was set up with both sides of the Cold War having a viewpoint was genius. Sure, it took until halfway through the movie to see one of the American spies being interrogated by Russians, but whenever it happened, it brought a new light on how differently spies are interrogated and treated. The Americans asking questions and putting spies through a “fair” trial while the Russians interrogate with mean tactics until the spy cracks. I just loved watching this film. One more pro I will mention is the time period. Yes, the Cold War wasn’t a nice time, but I liked looking at the culture, the trends, and the way people thought back then. It’s invigorating. The only real problem I saw with this movie would have to be that it can get slow at times. It’s over two hours long and there’s a lot to cover. Which can also go to saying that if you aren’t into dialogue-heavy films, you’ll probably be bored with this one. Overall, I commend everyone that worked on this and I appreciate Steven Spielberg for once again giving me a movie to remember and think of as grand. I recommend anyone to watch this movie. FINAL SCORE: 95%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: