Posted in U.S. Film

ATOMIC BLONDE (2017)

Atomic blonde

A film by David Leitch

Cast: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman 

Constable Lorraine Broughton is one of the best spies of Her Majesty’s Intelligence Service; At once sensual and wild and ready to deploy all her skills to stay alive during her impossible mission …

This stylish and impressively choreographed action sequences, Atomic Blonde is surreal entertainment, although the spy narrative is a bit disorganised. And yes it does not matters here is the latest action film by Leitch is full of action and Charlize demonstrate that the action film are not just for guys anymore. Beautiful choreograph action scene and shot on location in Berlin and Budapest Charlize who can kick ass in high fashion to not and it based on the graphic novel this high kicking high octane film  is its November 89 Berlin setting, just before the wall came down. In this film so I have noticed there are al lot of smoking and drinking Vodka and kick ass. The stunt coordinator who has done many films like for John Woo demonstrate here that he is capable of some cool kick ass action. I lost count of the colourful characters, there are Eddie Marsan as Spyglass, Toby Jones as the MI head, John Goodman as the CIA chief and Sofia Boutella  as the French spy Delphine with whom Lorraine has a relationship. The violence is graphic and brutal as all forms of weapons  come into play including corkscrew, lampshade, rope and a red stiletto. Cars pirouette on land and water in a barrage of stunts, But here Charlize incarnate the character beautifully well as always a pleasure to watch. Well she can kick my ass anytime plus a little spanking at the end would be nice. Yes I know I am dreaming. C’est la vie.

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Posted in U.S. Film, uncategorized

JASON BOURNE (2016)

Bourne

A film by Paul Greengrass

Cast: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel 

Jason Bourne who is off the grid hurries through various European capitals — Rome, Athens, London. Well the CIA does not know where he is and some one is trying to locate him. Someone needs to tell him something about his father.

The good news and the bad news is that Jason Bourne,  directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Matt Damon as everyone’s favorite amnesiac assassin, feels like old times. But there is some of the older members as well as some new ones. The thrill is still there Jason Bourne is a uniquely passive action hero, a man who runs on pure survival instinct as he tries to figure out who is after him and why. Bourne, who has been pursuing his Plan B career as a bare-knuckle boxer in the wilds of Greece, is approached by his former colleague and fellow Company renegade well you know who. after hacking in the CIA computer to get some files to get to Bourne, The CIA tracks her down, and the chase is one . Yes there is the usual suspect the team, the team leader and the ever ambitious Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) who wants to bring Bourne and yes of course there will be consequences.There are dark whispers about external threats, and invocations of the tension between security and privacy in the digital age. Damon here shines as Bourne at 45 years of age and looks in top shape here he must have the same work out that I have drinking a lots of wine. I doubt he’ll ever truly figure out who he is. But hey that’s life.

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Posted in Based on a true story, U.S. Film

BRIDGE OF SPIES (2015)

Bridge of spy

A film by Steven Spielberg

Cast: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda 

During the cold war a lawyer is recruited to defend a soviet spy in court. Then help the CIA to facilitate an exchange of an American spy detained in the Soviet Union Francis Gary Powers, who was captured flying an American U2 spy plane.

Spielberg captures the arc of a man who is caught up in something bigger than himself and somehow rises to the occasion. And yes he has done it many times but this time it is based on a true story. Jim Donovan (Tom Hanks), an insurance lawyer called into duty by his government when the  painter, a man named Rudolph Abel (Mark Rylance), is captured for the crime of espionage against the United States on behalf of the USSR. Yes it is 1957 and kids back then was learning about the nuclear war and how to protect themselves if that was to be happening. Like I said that was back in the day. Donovan is asked to serve as Abel’s defense attorney by his boss (Alan Alda), who just wants Donovan to be a warm body to the Soviet spy so he can think he had a good defense but he will be found guilty any way. To keep the story short here they were suppose to hang him but Donovan argues that Abel not only represents valuable political currency, which could come in handy if the US ever needs to negotiate with the Russians, but also that Abel should be treated as we would want any American POW to treated in turn. Yeah like the soviet at the time is going to treat a US soldier with decency. There is two more stories there that are going to merge and complicated things a bit.

As for Donavan discovers that the world of espionage is really about deal-making. The tension is build up thought the film which has a blueish feel to it. The attention to detail for the costume as well as the decor inside and outside is breathtaking here. I except that from Spielberg. It has some realism here as you watch the film.Look at the colors distinguishing the United States from Germany. In the States life is good so the colors are brighter but when you come to Germany the color are darker and depressive. Here hawks delivers the role perfectly well and what an actor he has become he gets better and better. He finds his balance here by not over playing it. The Cohen brothers and Matt Charman has done a wonderful job here on the screenplay. As for Spielberg well here it is Bridge of Spies you have seen this film before in the 40’s film in an other word it is done in a classic mode but at the start of his career Spielberg didn’t do his film in that manner he experimented with them then as time went by he went back to the old formula toward the end of his career, do not get me wrong he is one of the greatest director and never miss a beat. But I wish he would of keep experimenting with film. Most director has done that nothing new here. Great film here do not miss this one.

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Posted in U.S. Film

SPECTRE (2015)

spectre

A film by Sam Mendes 

Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Monica Bellucci

With casino the studio one back to the novel of Ian Flemming. they kept it going so far and Craig has been lucky enough to be part of it. Last year Skyfall has pulled the numbers and the most profitable Bond ever a billion some dollars it is crucial that they do not miss the next one.

Bond act as a rogue agent. Following instructions left on a DVD by the late previous M (Judi Dench), Bond has been tracking down members of a mysterious organisation, and following a pre-credits ‘incident’ in Mexico City, he’s suspended from duty. Is that going to stop bond? no what so ever Bond is going to look into it some more with the assistance of Q (Ben Wishaw).

The film starts with some quite spectacular cinematography in Mexico where they celebrate the day of the dead. In one shot we follows two people in costumes into a hotel room, they reveal themselves to each other and then the girl says “where are you going “ of course the replied from Bond is “I’ll be back” and he jump off the window unto the ledge to do well you know. And that there sets up the film very well. Since from Casino they went back to the old formula not doing over the top stunts with explosion after an other. They stuck within the books which was smart to do. However the cast the film well Lea Seydoux and Monica Belushi. One plays the nice widow the other has is cold but yet has deep feelings for Bond well she has two sides. The cinematography and the location are out of this world of course there is the fine Christopher Waltz who does an outstanding job here as always. Dave Bautista does well there is the perfect role for him. I am going to say this in a good way I expected a little more here but did not get it, I am not saying that the film was not good it is a very good film but it needed a little paper in the sauce sort of speak. I still enjoyed it. I hope you will too.

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spectre

Posted in U.S. Film

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (2014)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A film by Matthew Vaughn

Cast: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson

In 1997, a man is killed while protecting his comrades. it is soon revealed that man was working for a secret organization call the Kingsman. An agent named Harry Hart (Colin Firth) takes it upon himself to visit the man’s family and leaves a bravery medal with the man’s young son, Eggsy. he tells him if you ever need help to call that number on the back. 17 years later Eggsy gets in trouble with the local thugs and steals his car. Eggsy who is at the police station calls the number which lead to Harry Hart to show up takes him as his protégé and introduce him to be a Kingsman.

It is from the comic book that this film pop up and what better to have Matthew Vaughn to direct this film after all he has done a great job with kick Ass. when I saw the trailer I was not really going to see this film but a lot of people loved it so I wanted to see for myself and I was not disappointed. Of course a kingsman should wear a suit when he goes to battle. Another Great performance by Sam Jackson who plays the villain Richmond Valentine who has a lisp to top it all off can’t stand violence and the sight of blood. Dude what kind of villain is that. The films hilarious at times plus the fighting scenes the one in the church is outstanding especially to see Colin Firth bent his body in his fifties like that is amazing. In an interview he said that was the most difficult thing to do especially at my age, I didn’t know it could be done. It was spectacular to see that scene, it takes a lot of practice to pull that off. A film debut of Welsh actor Taron Egerton and he handles the role brilliantly. Firth has the definition of a gentleman who is an experience spy and plays it well, it feels just right. Great action scene violent at that but fun to watch. Matthew Vaughn redefine the spy movie a little bit a la James bond/ a la Quentin Tarantino.

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Posted in U.S. Film

A MOST WANTED MAN (2014)

A Most Wanted Man (2014)

A film by Anton Corbijn
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Daniel Brühl

A smart, effective adaptation of John le Carré’s post-9/11 political passion play about good, evil. Gunther Bachmann,(Philip Seymour) an espionage operative in Hamburg, a country trying to overcome its reputation as hot spot of terrorist activity. The organization is so secret and so deep underground than nobody know who they report to. In an other word they do not exist. Gunther is a man who is the leader because he can make the tough decision, and he is a tough as they come. When a beating up and starving half-Chechyan, half-Russian man emerges out of nowhere seeking political asylum, it catches the attention of not only Gunther’s agency, but the CIA (  Robin Wright) and other agencies in Germany. You see they want to know if he is who he says he is and not a terrorist. But the thing is that is father who died has left a ton of money to him. His father was a bad man. That is why Gunther is suspicious among other thing. in all of this emerges a lawyer and a banker.

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Here is a great spy film for the die hard movie spy buffs. The film moves at one pace only this is not you James Bond where you are going to see explosion and car chases. This has a little bit of realism into it I would say a lot. A great cast in this film Philip Seymour Hoffman, (who is no longer with us) Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, and Robin Wright. Hoffman truly delivers the role you can tell that Gunther has the weight on his shoulder. He also wants this badly he knows that is right and he instinct tells him to investigate more. Howerver Wright plays a smooth CIA agent who is trying to help. There is a remarkable tension throughout the film but to me it is a little bit predictable toward the end. In the spy game never trust anyone not to trust anyone not even your own people. Unfortunately this is the last film for Hoffman  past away a while back and what of great actor he was.

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Posted in Based on a true story, U.S. Film

FAIR GAME (2010)

fair game

A film by Doug Liman. 

Cast: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Sonya Davison. 

The bush administration has decided to go to war with Iraq.  Finding reasons to go to war supposedly found out that a African country Niger is make Uranium to build nuclear weapons.Joseph Wilson, ( Sean Penn) a former ambassador to Niger, was sent to seek evidence. He found none. In fact he found that such sales would be impossible . His report was tossed out in the garbage. His wife works for the CIA as a covert operative. The U.S. goes to war. Obviously that made Josephs angry and wrote an article of what he did found or din’t found. Some how Robert Novak wanted to discriminate him and leak that his wife was a CIA agent. Plame,( Naomi Watts) under a variety of aliases, ran secret networks of informants in Bagdad and other Middle Eastern cities. When the administration blew her cover, several of her informants were killed. Cheney’s aide, Scooter Libby, was tried and convicted of obstruction of justice and  sentenced to prison, his sentence quickly commuted by Bush. Dick Cheney was outrage because he wasn’t pardoned. Hey dude life goes on. The film is based on books by Valerie Plame Wilson and Joseph Wilson. Saddam Hussein had no WMD, the CIA knew it the White House knew it. The evidence was ignored. Naomi Watts played Valerie not like a hero but like a CIA operative/mother/wife and her acting is outstanding. Sean Penn plays Ambassador Wilson, who is aggressive is outraged by the way administration leaks try to destroy them and he fought back as hard as he could. He put up a great fight. Fair game was portrayed realistically. There this should be a topic for discussion and everybody is going to have a different opinion.

FAIR GAME

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