I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Posts Tagged ‘Alan Alda’

Bridge of Spies

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

tn_bridgeofspiesIt’s like a whole bridge full of spies. Or at least, there are a couple spies on this bridge. It’s the climax of the story, two countries meeting up one cold night to trade prisoners. I guess that’s where the title comes from.

Tom Hanks plays James Donovan, who is not a spy. He’s just a lawyer who, through luck, foresight and principles, ends up rescuing a downed American spy pilot in this true Cold War story.

When we first meet him Donovan seems far from an American hero. He’s an insurance company lawyer in a bar having an argument where he’s comparing motorcyclists run over by a truck to bowling pins. But when the Russian spy Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance, BLITZ) is captured, somebody (Alan Alda) decides to give Donovan the shit job of defending him. What nobody expects is that he will take the job seriously.

They tell him he should defend Abel to show that America believes in giving everybody a fair trial. But of course none of these people want to actually give him a fair trial. They’re angry and confused when Donovan tries to, like, do his job. But his attitude is that if we’re gonna brag about what we stand for then we should put in the work to actually stand for that.

I gotta be honest, if I didn’t know this was a Steven Spielberg movie I would never have seen it. The trailers and the poster really make it look like a chore. You can picture the righteous speeches and triumphant music as a Regular Man stands up for noble ideals in court rooms and wintery period settings. And don’t get me wrong, this is a movie for grown ups. It is a 2 hour, 21 minutes drama starring Tom Hanks about the Cold War and the idea of America. That is true. But it’s way more fun than the trailers make it out to be. It’s not that dry, and it’s got plenty of laughs. It’s entertaining. It’s Spielberg. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

The Aviator

Friday, December 31st, 2004

In this new movie from Martin Scorsese (THE KING OF COMEDY), Scorsese’s young companion Leonardo Dicaprio plays an aviator. I was surprised to find that it was not just any aviator he was playing, it was actually Howard Hughes, the famous rich guy who peed in jars, wore kleenex boxes for shoes, etc. It turns out he not only grew his fingernails long and made a giant plane, he also was a movie director and producer. Which is probaly why Scorsese is interested in him.

After a brief origin story (explaining how a childhood incident led to his obsessive compulsive powers) the movie starts out with young rich boy Hughes, having inherited his parents’s drillbit company, making the world war one flying ace movie HELL’S ANGELS. He actually bought “the world’s largest private air force” and after years of disastrous (3 fatalities, 3 million dollars spent) shooting made a movie with the most spectacular aerial scenes ever produced (I guess. I haven’t really seen it. I am a phoney). THE AVIATOR gets alot of entertainment mileage out of portraying him as this crazy rich boy with a vision. Everybody thinks he’s nuts including his right hand man John C. Reilly. But he’s gonna spend his money how he wants to and he’s gonna make a god damn movie. This part of the movie I was thinking it reminded me a little bit of that movie where Johnny Depp plays Ed Wood. Then all the sudden Howard goes to ask a favor from Mr. Mayer of MGM… and it’s the same fuckin guy that Ed Wood tried to get a movie deal from! Same exact dude. Plus both movies have a score by Howard Shore. It’s like all the stars are lining up or something. There is no significance to it though in my opinion. Let’s get off of this tangent I guess. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.