Captain Phillips – A Movie Review

 Culture, Movies  Comments Off on Captain Phillips – A Movie Review
Oct 182013
 

Captain Phillips Movie PosterCaptain Phillips is a multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is – through director Paul Greengrass’s distinctive lens – simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller, and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award®-winner Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control.

In Theaters: October 11, 2013; MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sustained intense sequences of menace, some violence with bloody images, and for substance abuse); Genres: Drama, Adaptation; Run time: 2 hours, 13 minutes

Director: Paul Greengrass

Writers: Billy Ray (screenplay), Richard Phillips (based upon the book “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea” by), Stephan Talty

Stars: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali, Michael Chernus, Catherine Keener, David Warshofsky, Corey Johnson

Wow, just Wow!  This is definitely the best movie I’ve seen so far this year. Me and Lay went to see this last Saturday, and I’ve gotta tell you, it rang as true story-telling. Continue reading »

Green Zone – A Movie Review

 Culture, Movies  Comments Off on Green Zone – A Movie Review
Mar 222010
 

During the U.S.-led occupation of Baghdad in 2003, Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller and his team of Army inspectors were dispatched to find weapons of mass destruction believed to be stockpiled in the Iraqi desert. Rocketing from one bobby-trapped and treacherous site to the next, the men search for deadly chemical agents but stumble instead upon an elaborate cover-up that inverts the purpose of their mission. Spun by operatives with intersection agendas, Miller must hunt through covert and faulty intelligence hidden on foreign soil for answers that will either clear a rogue regime or escalate a war in an unstable region. And at this blistering time and in this combustible place, he will find the most elusive weapon of all is the truth.

Genres: Drama, Thriller, Adaptation and War; Running Time: 1 hr. 55 min.; Release Date: March 12th, 2010 (wide); MPAA Rating: R for violence and language.

Starring: Matt Damon, Amy Ryan, Greg Kinnear, Antoni Corone, Nicoye Banks

Directed by: Paul Greengrass

Green Zone is the latest Iraq War inspired motion picture. The film is based on the 2006 non-fiction book ‘Imperial Life in the Emerald City’ by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a journalist for The Washington Post. I haven’t read the book so I can’t comment on how closely the film follows it.

I enjoyed the Bourne movies, so I was expecting a decent movie, and got it. Green Zone is fast paced, and never takes the time to get sappy. The war being fought in the film is more between the Pentagon and the CIA than the US v Iraq which makes it all the more interesting and finally allows you to see a hint of things from Iraq’s perspective for a change.

The premise set up in the film about the ‘Intelligence’ surrounding Weapons of Mass Destruction used to justify the invasion is entirely believable. Matt Damon is well suited to his part as a unit leader Roy Miller, as is Brendan Gleeson as the CIA man and Greg Kinnear is appropriately nasty as Poundstone from the Pentagon – all turn in good performances. Shot on location in Morocco, Spain and in England I could have sworn we were in Bagdad the whole time. The settings are completely believable. Greengrass uses a lot of handheld camera work to build suspense. It may be a little too much for some people, but I thought it worked as a style element for this film.

There is no denying the fact that there are political viewpoints in the movie. By now everyone should know the intelligence was manufactured, and the US knew months before the invasion there were no weapons. It’s also clear that installing a government there has been a disaster, and this film begins to show some of why that is, and how we “screwed the pooch” in the earliest part of the war. The best scenes in the movie involve the meetings among the Iraqi factions trying to keep the country from collapsing into further chaos. They’re too brief, but they crackle with what’s going on now. I especially waiting on the film that shows even more of this perspective.

All-in-all, a very good movie, and well worth the time and money.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...
Aug 132007
 

The Bourne UltimatumRogue agent Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is being hunted by the people in the CIA who trained him to be an assassin. Still suffering from amnesia and determined to finally learn of his true identity, he is lured out of hiding to contact a journalist named Simon Ross (Paddy Considine), who has been following his story. Throughout his research, Ross has gathered valuable information about Bourne and Treadstone, which trained him. This is rather inconvenient for U.S. government official Noah Vosen (David Strathairn), who is hoping to start a new organization under the codename Blackbriar (which is briefly mentioned at the end of the first film) which would follow in Treadstone’s footsteps.With intent to kill Bourne and the journalist before they expose the program’s disturbing secrets, Vosen sends agent Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) to lead the search effort. Simultaneously, Paz (Edgar Ramirez), one of the remaining living Treadstone assassins, is dispatched to find and neutralize Bourne and Ross. In order to finally learn of his true origins and find inner peace, Bourne will have to evade, out-maneuver, and outsmart the deadliest group of highly-trained agents and assassins yet.

Director
Paul Greengrass

Genre
Action, Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Thriller, International Intrigue

Cast
Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Paddy Considine, Edgar Ramirez, Albert Finney, Joan Allen, Tom Gallop, Corey Johnson, Daniel Brühl, Joey Ansah, Colin Stinton, Dan Fredenburgh, Lucy Liemann

The final installment in the action thriller franchise is just that probably the hardest hitting of the three films. It goes further to play the anti-Bond theme. Bourne doesn’t like what he is doing and wants to know about his blurry past. Everything about this film hits it on the nail from the cinematography to choreography/stunt work to the script to acting.

The film starts out in a flurry as Bourne is running from the Moscow police. The story seems to pick up right where the first film left off. Or does it? The time is a little muddled here, but we get the fact that Bourne is remembering things. A sudden flashback while trying to clean himself up nearly gets him caught, but he makes it and doesn’t kill anyone. They aren’t his target. From there we get more of the intrigue of his past with a new player, Noah Vosen, who seems to know everything about Bourne and will protect it at all costs. Pamela Landy is back as well as Nicky Parsons who seems to have a past with Bourne as well.

The cinematography is in your face following tight on practically everything. The car chase is even more intense if that seems possible than the ones from the first two. And the veteran cast chasing Bourne is superb with a nice part by Albert Finney. It also has slight political overtones in relationship to rendition and other government policies, but that is minor and integrated very well within the plot. 

Unlike most trilogies, the three movies are well tied together, and all three are equally well done. This was intense from start to finish, and didn’t have to include the usual soupy love scene/interest and a scantily clad woman.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading... 

snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake