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BRIDGE OF SPIES

A Cold War spook scenario revisited
Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance and Amy Ryan
Directed by Steven Spielberg

The Cold War, which provides the historical context for Steven Spielberg's new film BRIDGE OF SPIES, is one of modern history's more stupid phases (BRIDGE OF SPIES is based on real historical events), a Thanksgiving Day parade of hypocrites high on reefer-madness paranoia about the other guy. That era gave us doctrines, an arms race, the constant threat of mutually-assured destruction and a movie ... more >

2013—The year’s best

So much to be thankful for

Best hairdo: Bobby Canavale's nape in "Blue Jasmine." Best scene: Greta Gerwig running in "Frances Ha" to David Bowie's "Modern Love." Best newcomer: Barkhad Abdi in "Captain Phillips." Best acting award: New York City in "Inside Llewyn Davis." Best documentary: "The Act of killing." So much to be thankful for this year. Here are my favorites among those films which had an official U.S. ... more >

Cloud Atlas

When brave souls defy rules, often at a high cost
Tom Hanks and Halle Berry
Directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski

When early in the forties a young Greek director called Elias Kazantzoglou showed up at a major Hollywood studio, the studio head (one imagines him sending cigar smoke the way of the hopeful visitor), advised him on a name change as a first step. “How about Cézanne?” the studio head asked. The director who would go down in film history as Elia Kazan demurred. “There already is a Cézanne,” he said. ... more >

CLOUD Atlas

Six Degrees of Wachowski
Tom Hanks, Halle Barry and Jim Broadbent
Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lane Wachowski

“Cloud Atlas,” the latest effort from the Wachowskis, wraps a half-dozen stories, settings, and groups of characters into one film. But it doesn’t matter how many stories they do, their song remains the same. The “Matrix” helmers have hit the same point for a while now. Liberty is the freedom from illusions that are perpetrated by relationships of power. Bravery is the willingness to fight ... more >

Charlie Wilson’s War

Based on a true story--you thought they made this stuff up?
Tom Hanks, Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman
Directed by Mike Nichols

Aaron Sorkin has written the screenplay and Mike Nichols has shot it and the results are in: Charlie Wilson's War is a winner! The film, which is not only entertaining but engrossing, is about a period of American history which is still very relevant today (the Christianity versus Islam conflict in the 1980s) and more specifically about a politician (Congressman Charlie Wilson, played by a ... more >