Watching Bridge of Spies and The Martian

It’s been so dang hot here that it doesn’t even feel like Fall. Just about the only thing I can seem to do it hunker down at home with the AC on while I jealously look at out of state Instagram feeds. Or…I could go to the movies. This week I did just that. Twice.

On Monday I checked out a free advanced screening of Bridge of Spies.

Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies stars the one the only Tom Hanks. That was enough to get me out of my AC slumber. It’s also directed by a certain Steven Spielberg, perhaps you’ve heard of him? The film takes place during the Cold War and is the true story of James Donovan a lawyer assigned to represent a Soviet immigrant accused of espionage. Covered are the trial, the aftermath and a trip to Berlin in the dead of winter to negotiate the release of a captured American.

A fan of period films I was intrigued to see how well the movie captured Cold War America. Turns out pretty darn well. The costumes, settings and acting transported me back to the era. Speaking of the acting…it was superb. Tom Hanks was great as always and the fantastic Amy Ryan shone in her too small roll but the true standout was Mark Rylance (an actor I was unfamiliar with) as the accused Soviet Spy, Rudolf Abel. He truly inhabited his roll. The entire film was beautifully shot and really captured the drama of the period. Yet…it’s something I never need to see again. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t memorable enough to become a classic.

IMG_0284On Saturday I needed an excuse to get out of the house so I headed to my favorite theatre – the Art in Long Beach and caught a screening of The Martian.

The Martian

Here’s the thing. I don’t like space. Something about the vast nothingness makes me nervous so I generally avoid films having to do with it. You’ll never find me at a screening for Gravity. But there was something about The Martian that interested me. Perhaps it was Matt Damon who really is the Tom Hanks of his generation. Regardless, I ignored my nerves and went to see the film.

I loved it. It was humorous yet poignant and also suspenseful. Matt Damon was perfect (could he have been anything else?) and it was truly fascinating to see him try to overcome the odds and survive on the Red Planet. Plus, very few shots took place in space itself so I wasn’t anxious too often.

When the heatwave ends and we finally start to settle into Fall I hope I’ll continue to go to the movies. I don’t do it enough plus Oscar season is here! What should I see next?

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