Bridge of Spies – Entertaining

I don’t know what it is about Tom Hanks – maybe it’s his “everyman” quality – but he brings something to the party in every film he stars in – and Bridge of Spies is no different.

Another “based on real events” offering, where this differs from Black Mass is in its storytelling methodology, pacing and chemistry between the principles. While it’s always a pleasure to see Mr Hanks onscreen, it’s the scenes with Mark Rylance that elevate the experience. This should come as no surprise to those of us who are familiar with Mr Rylance’s acting quality.

And for those who may have thought Steven Spielberg’s filmmaking abilities were on the wane, Bridge of Spies is proof positive he’s still in the game. Wonderfully shot and engaging to the end, here’s 141 minutes of your life you’ll be glad you gave up in the pursuit of entertainment.

Thank you for reading 🙂

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Jason Statham – he does exactly what it says on the tin!

Statham banner

Currently sitting at no. 173 in IMDb’s STARmeter chart, the legend that is Jason Statham usurps the likes of Arnie (he’s so big we don’t even need to say his surname), Gerard Butler, Liam Neeson and Tom Hanks! I mention these first 3 as a deliberate comparison – Arnie in his heyday was the go-to action star and in their current guises Messrs. Butler and Neeson have a penchant for the Action genre. As for Mr. Hanks, well, he’s a two-time Oscar winner, but while sitting at no. 199, still can’t get a look in on the popularity stakes compared to The Stath! I know these kinds of charts mean next to nothing in the real world, but it is a good indiction of where these actors sit in the “where have I seen him/ her before?/ what else have they been in?” >clicks IMDb< area of our lives. What’s more, you’ve only got to type in the first 3 letters of his first name for the Mighty One to appear at the top of the aforementioned site’s list of suggestions!

Norris

To give his output of films some kind of comparison, I would look no further than the output of the one and only Chuck Norris, albeit with (perhaps) slighty higher production values. If you haven’t seen the Chuck Norris Facts website, with classic statements like “Chuck Norris doesn’t obey laws…the laws obey him“, then check it out – it’s a whole other world of funny. But substitute Norris for Statham and you too can be wearing a shirt that says “Jason Statham doesn’t flush the toilet, he scares the sh*t out of it“. Not wanting to besmirch the great Mr. Norris, I think it’s fair to suggest that The Stath is just as much an action hero now as Mr. Norris was back in his hey day.

Wild Card v2

Why, you may ask, am I giving a Post over to The Stath? Well, there’s two answers to that query. One, the powers-that-be have recently released a trailer for his latest opus. And here it is:

And two, having watched the trailer a couple of times – yes, I am a Jason Statham fan – it got me to thinking. If you’re familiar with The Stath’s canon, you’ll likely agree that the above 100 seconds of trailery goodness ticks all the right boxes when consideration is given to a film starring said action star. Or, it does if you’ve only seen a few of the more well-know ones and while I would call myself a fan, I haven’t seen nearly enough. So, over the coming months I will attempt to view all the films The Stath has starred or co-starred in and proffer my views. Hopefully, it will give me – and by association you, dear reader – a better understanding of where Jason Statham sits in the pantheon of “action movie” actors. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it. Oh, by the way, I do realise that he starred in an Uwe Boll film too. That’s the one I’m least looking forward to viewing.

Thank you for reading 🙂

“We’re back, we’re bad…” blah, blah, blah

Lazy

Apathy is a dirty word, but one that I’m familiar with. You just have to look at the time it’s taken me to update this Blog to understand my ongoing battle with the “A”-word! So, firstly an apology to my hardened followers for this inexcusable lack of cinematic updates… I’m sorry. Looking back at what I’ve missed in the intervening months I have to be honest and say “not too much”! Although the obvious omission would be Gravity. It’s not that I haven’t seen anything though. Let’s start with…

SEPT. 2013

After Elysium I went to see Riddick and perhaps that’s where it all started. Don’t get me wrong, it’s far better than the second installment of the current trilogy, but quite frankly is a retread of the original. Worth a watch but nothing more. Didn’t get round to seeing Rush and I blame Riddick for that – the rot had started to set in! Nor did I catch White House Down and I did want to see that one. I do enjoy a bit of Roland Emmerich carnage. I did however see the other one on Sky TV. Now for all the cack most people think Gerard Butler has been in, Olympus Has Fallen isn’t one of them. A highly entertaining and hugely violent piece of nonsense; pretty much what I was/ am expecting from White House Down. We’ll have to wait and see. Wild horses couldn’t drag me to see Diana, so you can thank your lucky stars you weren’t subjected to any kind of diatribe regarding that release! R.I.P.D. looked interesting but seemed to be a bit of a misstep for Mssrs. Bridges and Reynolds, so once again I won’t lose much sleep about not seeing that one. Huge Action in Prisoners and the Affleck/ Timberlake two-hander Runner Runner didn’t float my boat either and so on we go to…

OCT. 2013

We have to get to 18th October before there’s a decent film to see this month! Prior to that, Filth, Machete Kills, The Fifth Estate or V/H/S/2 weren’t really floating my boat. It was worth waiting for though. Captain Phillips was a triumph and I’d be very surprised if Mr. Hanks doesn’t receive another Oscar nom for his troubles. The Stallone/ Schwazenegger vehicle Escape Plan escaped my attentions as did Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and Ender’s Game. We’ve got to wait until the end of the month to get our latest fix of the Marvel Universe in the form of Thor: The Dark World and we’re clearly doing away with those stupid number things and being all colonated with our future releases…so there!! That being said, Thor 2 (see what I did there?) was very good and yes Chris Hemsworth is still total eye-candy! That leaves us with…

NOV. 2013

Missed Philomena, and out of all the films I haven’t seen between the end of August and now, that’s the one I’m sorry I didn’t catch. Having not seen it, I’ll still stick my neck out and say that Judi Dench should get a nod from Oscar for her role; as too should Sandra Bullock for Gravity. There’s one film I am glad I saw at the flix and is without doubt one of the best films I’ve seen this or any other year! And while we’re mentioning Oscar, I’d like to put it out there that Emma Thompson‘s portrayal of P.L. Travers is definitely worthy of a nomination. Saving Mr. Banks is a delightful film and a welcome treat for us Tom Hanks fans. I have also seen Hunger Games: Catching Fire and thought it was a worthy sequel. It’s about time Hollywood got a best-selling novel adaptation right and they have so far with the first two films of this trilogy. Here’s hoping they don’t drop the ball with the third installment! Of those I hadn’t seen during November, Carrie is a notable mention, but once again, one that I’m not too fussed about viewing. Honourable mentions should be made to Don Jon – I do like Joseph Gordon-Levitt – and The Butler, but I’m sure I’ll catch them on Sky in the New Year.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

So there we have it – a 600-ish word prattle regarding the whys & wherefores of the last three months in cinema that have passed this blog by. Oh, before I forget, I also saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty at a screening for Cineworld Unlimited cardholders a couple of weeks ago, but that can’t be watched by mere mortals until Boxing Day. Suffice to say it’s a triumph – Ben Stiller captures the narrative with aplomb through his stellar performance and wonderful direction. Justice would also be served if Mr. Stiller were nominated for an Oscar in either a Director or Actor role or even both if they were feeling generous. We’ll have to wait and see!

I’ll try not to keep you waiting three months for the next update! Thank you for reading 🙂

A Poster A Day – Tom Hanks Rules!

Just like a London bus, you wait for ages for a Tom Hanks film to come along and then two show up at once. If you’re lucky enough to score tickets to this year’s London Film Festival (LFF) Opening Gala and Closing Gala you’ll have the pleasure of seeing just those two films. I’ve already posted about the (hopefully) delightful Saving Mr. Banks which will close the LFF, so now for your delight and delectation I give you Captain Phillips, an altogether different kind of movie and the Festival’s opening number.

As far as I’m concerned, Paul Greengrass films define “gritty realism”, so his latest offering – based upon actual events that took place as a freighter was hijacked by Somali pirates – certainly looks to fall within those parameters. The initial trailer was released some three months ago, but it’s these latest two and a half minutes that cranks up the tension and pulls the viewer in. Fortunately we will only have to wait until October this year to feel a part of the hijacked crew, so hopefully this trailer will tide you over until then.

And if that’s not enough, hopefully these atmospheric posters will aid in assuaging the waiting time as well.

A Poster A Day – Mr Hanks does Mr Disney

Quite frankly, I could watch Tom Hanks watching paint dry – he is my out-and-out favourite actor. I even liked the Coen brother’s reworking of The Ladykillers primarily due to Mr Hanks’ delicious performance. So my delight knew no bounds when I came across this excellent trailer for Saving Mr. Banks and was treated to lovely sight of Tom Hanks playing Walt Disney. The added bonus of course is the involvement of Emma Thompson – she’s great too!

I’d seen the poster for this feature a few weeks ago and didn’t really pay too much attention to it – and that is entirely to my detriment! Whether viewing the poster would pique your interest to seek out the trailer or vice versa, whoever it is over at The Cimarron Group that has created this one-sheet seems to have encapsulated the essence of this movie. You lucky people in the USA will get to see for yourselves over the Christmas period this year, while the UK will have to wait a little longer until January 2014.

Saving Mr Banks poster