Film Review: Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies

Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies is a well made and entertaining political drama. The film bears certain hallmarks of director Spielberg, most apparent in the tone of the picture.

During the Cold War, James Donovan, an American insurance lawyer, is recruited to defend an alleged Soviet spy. Reluctant to take the case at first, Donovan must pursue justice, despite the odds being stacked against his client…

As Bridge of Spies begins, it appears that the focus will be on the lawyer James Donovan fighting the case for a prisoner accused of espionage. Yet this initial premise is wrapped up fairly early on in the film, leaving a more interesting, and more tense, story to be told. The initial set up works well to build the protagonist and introduce the audience to the environment of the late 1950s setting. It is the narrative that builds on this, however, which will engage viewers.

Director Spielberg and writers Mark Charman and Ethan and Joel Coen humanise Cold War espionage with Bridge of Spies. Dealing with the actions and fates of a handful of characters, rather than concentrating on the wider picture, allows Spielberg to illustrate the characters behind the politics. The film features a level of schmaltz that those familiar with the director’s multiple films with quickly recognise. Nevertheless, Bridge of Spies is well scripted and well crafted, creating an engaging picture.

James Donovan is an interesting protagonist inasmuch as his flair for his job is depicted. Adept at arguing his case, the emphasis is on the character successfully doing his job; the family simply make the protagonist more well-rounded. Drama is infused with flecks of comedy, particularly a sequence that takes place in East Germany. The conclusion of Bridge of Spies has the necessary tension. This sequence has been building for some time, and does not disappoint. Tom Hanks’ charisma seems most fitting for the role of Donovan. Mark Rylance offers a strong performance as Rudolf Abel.

Bridge of Spies is Cold War drama on a small and personal scale. As such, the film offers a different angle on the political period.

Previews: Finding Dory Trailer, Triple 9 and More!

Much to see in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the first Finding Dory trailer, Triple 9, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 and more…

Finding Dory Trailer

Here is the first Finding Dory Trailer. Finding Nemo is a modern Disney classic, so its sequel has to impress. From the looks of the Finding Dory trailer, the film has the same feel as its predecessor. Finding Dory is set to hit the big screen in Summer 2016.

Triple 9 UK Trailer

Triple 9 has a most enviable cast. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet and Anthony Mackie are among those who star in the crime thriller. When a group of corrupt cops are blackmailed by the Russian mafia, they must go to desperate measures to pull off a heist. Triple 9 will be released in the UK on 19th February 2016.

Zoolander 2 Poster

Zoolander 2 poster

Derek Zoolander and Hansel are doing what they do best in this poster for sequel Zoolander 2. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell are joined by Kirsten Wiig this time round, with a screenplay written by Justin Theroux. Zoolander 2 is out on 12th February 2016.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Trailer

This seems to have sprung from nowhere. Here is the unexpected trailer for belated sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. The sequel reunites the cast of the original, as the Portokalos family come together for another wedding. Also written by and starring Nia Vardalos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 hits UK cinemas on 25th March 2016.

Bridge of Spies Clip

In this Bridge of Spies clip, Tom Hanks’s character James Donavan discusses his controversial forthcoming case with his family. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film also stars Mark Rylance and Alan Alda. Bridge of Spies is out in UK cinemas on 26th November 2015.

Victor Frankenstein Clip

In this clip from Victor Frankenstein, the famed scientist exhibits much enthusiasm for his work. James McAvoy stars as the title character, with Daniel Radcliffe as protégé Igor. The film, written by Max Landis, is a twist on the Mary Shelley classic. Victor Frankenstein hits UK screens on 3rd December 2015.

Previews: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Bridge of Spies and More!

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions including the full Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, a clip from Bridge of Spies and more…

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

Here it is. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer has already set the internet ablaze since its release a matter of hours ago. People are reminiscing over their childhood, ticket sales are going crazy; it is pretty much the biggest news of the day. Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released in cinemas on 17th December 2015.

Bridge of Spies Clip

 

Tom Hanks stars as an insurance claims lawyer who finds himself thrust into the centre of the Cold War in Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies. The above clip shows Hanks’ character as he gets ready for his trip abroad. Bridge of Spies hits UK screens on 27th November 2015.

The 33 Featurette

The 33 is about the story of the Chilean miners who were trapped underground in 2010. This featurette sees the cast and crew of the new movie discussing the event, and their thoughts behind the film. Starring Antonio Banderas and Juliette Binoche, The 33 is set for release on 29th January 2016.

Joy Trailer

Writer-director David O. Russell re-teams with Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper for Joy. The film is about a family across four generations, and centres on a young woman who founds a business dynasty. Joy is scheduled for release in January 2016.

Hail, Caesar! Trailer

The Coen Brothers’ latest is Hail, Caesar!, a comedy set during Hollywood’s Golden Age. The film follows Josh Brolin’s studio fixer Eddie Mannix, who encounters plenty of problems with the studio’s stars. With an enviable cast that includes George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton, Hail, Caesar! will hit the big screen on 26th February 2016.

Previews: Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer, Jungle Book and more

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including The Hunger Games: Mockingly Part 2 trailer, the first look at The Jungle Book and more…

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer

Here is the latest Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 trailer. This preview focuses on Prim, and her relationship with older sister Katniss. Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland et al return for the final instalment of The Hunger Games franchise. Mockingly Part 2 will hit the big screen on 19th November 2015.

Macbeth Poster

Macbeth poster

Here is one of the new posters for the upcoming Macbeth. Starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, the film is the latest adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s best-known plays. The film is directed by Justin Curzel, best known for 2011’s Snowtown. Macbeth is released in UK cinemas on 2nd October 2015.

The Jungle Book Trailer

Well this looks pretty spectacular. Here is the first look at Disney’s live action version of The Jungle Book. The special effects look wonderful, and the film features an enviable voice cast that includes Idris Elba, Bill Murray, and Scarlett Johansson as the terrifying Kaa. The Jungle Book will roar on to the big screen in April 2016.

In the Heart of the Sea Trailer

Ron Howard re-teams with Chris Hemsworth for In the Heart of the Sea. Also starring Cillian Murphy, Benjamin Walker and Ben Whishaw, the film tells the true story of a New England whaling ship in 1820. In the Heart of the Sea is scheduled for release on Boxing Day, 26th December 2015.

Bridge of Spies Poster

Bridge of Spies Poster

Here is the poster for Steven Spielberg’s latest Bridge of Spies. Starring Tom Hanks, the film is about an insurance claims lawyer who is sent on a mission by the CIA to negotiate the release of a captured American pilot during the Cold War. Bridge of Spies will be released in UK cinemas on 27th November 2015.

The Martian Video

The marketing for The Martian is pretty slick, with a series of “training videos” produced, like the one above. With a stellar cast that includes Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and Chiwetel Ejiofor, it will be interesting to see if the film can replicate the success of recent space-set blockbusters like Interstellar and Gravity. The Martian is out in UK cinemas on 30th September 2015.

Pan Trailer

The latest Peter Pan adaptation, Pan, is about to be released. Starring Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund and Rooney Mara, the film is directed by Joe Wright. It will be interesting to see how the film measures up against 1991’s Hook. Pan will hit the big screen on 16th October 2015.