Tuesday, June 2, 2015

What We've Been Watching

SPY GAME (2001)
Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, director: Tony Scott (Director)

Retiring CIA agent Nathan Muir recalls his training of Tom Bishop while working against agency politics to free him from his Chinese captors.

Reading the reviews ahead of time, I saw people either loved this or didn't believe the relationship between Redford and Pitt.

I was watching this for a movie group I lead and didn't have great expectations after I saw it was directed by Tony Scott. I know watching a Tony Scott movie is going to be entertaining but I don't expect it to be very deep.

So no one was more surprised than me that I loved this movie so much. But it worked for me. Really well. I bought it hook, line, and sinker.

This one benefits from discussion. I watched it for the movie group I lead at a nearby assisted living place and a lot really came out of our conversation. I'm pairing it with Three Days of the Condor, which we'll be viewing in a couple of weeks to contrast and compare Robert Redford then and now, our views of spies and government after Watergate versus after terrorism. ... and much more!

Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson,
director: Billy Wilder, screenplay: Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler

An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions.

This classic film noir was #10 in my Movies You Might Have Missed series.

I rewatched it because Scott and I will be discussing it for A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast.

Wow. How can I have let so much time go by without watching this? The sizzling dialogue and perfect delivery transported me yet again.

ROBOT & FRANK (2012)
Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, Peter Sarsgaard

Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team.

The trailers made this look as if it might be too cute and too obvious to work. And one strand of the story was precisely that. The other strand didn't seem to fit in well somehow, being very bittersweet and dwelling on the very real effects of old age.

We liked it but at the end were wondering what we were supposed to take away from it. Great acting but the slight story needed more work.

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