When I tell people that my favorite director is Steven Spielberg, I tend to get a lot of eye rolls from fellow movie buffs. He’s considered too popular or mainstream, he plays it too safe and isn’t edgy or artistic enough, he’s too sentimental and melodramatic, his only interest is in spectacle, etc. Cinephiles love to hate on the man who is probably the most successful (critically and commercially) filmmaker of the last fifty years, and are often quick to point out alternative artists who they feel has a similar career but does everything better (Christopher Nolan frequently pops up in these discussions). But from now on when anyone brings up these hackneyed Spielberg criticisms I will simply point them to one scene from The Post and ask them to show me another filmmaker who could make that scene any better.
When is a spy movie not a spy movie? Bridge of Spies has all of the trappings of a spy movie, espionage, hidden communications, interrogations, secret identities, a race against the clock, and worldwide consequences hanging in the balance, but it’s as far from a “spy movie” as you can get. Instead, Bridge of Spies is a film about spies. Steven Spielberg has teamed up once again with Tom Hanks (with a script by the Coen brothers) bring us a true story from the height of the Cold War, a story of subtle legal and political maneuvering with the fate of not only two spies but two nations hanging in the balance. The result is a tense, thrilling, yet beautifully quiet film that focuses on the human element of international espionage, and the way the lives of those who only wish to serve their country are used or discarded as situations change.
Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies.
You can tell the summer’s over when the Oscar-bait trailers start showing up more regularly. While it’s not the first trailer of the pre-awards season, this one seems destined for discussion come January. Take a look, and read on for my thoughts below:
Captain Phillips tells the true story of the captain of the cargo ship, Maersk Alabama, who was captured by Somali pirates back in 2009. Continue reading