strumzilla

‚ÄčA blog/journal about my life and the stuff I like. Popular subjects include music, guitars, gear, books, movies, video games, technology, humor.

Filtering by Tag: Espionage

Movie Review - Breach

based on the true story of Robert Hanssen, the FBI agent responsible for what is considered the worst security breach in US Intelligence history. The story focuses on the short interval of time after the FBI had already begun an investigation into Hanssen. A young agent in training is assigned as his assistant to what is ostensibly supposed to be a sting operation to catch him as a sexual deviant with the true purpose of the operation being unknown to the young agent at the time. Chris Cooper delivers another great performance as the egotistical and domineering senior agent who looks at the entire agency and its personnel as being mentally and technically inferior to him. Ryan Phillippe plays Eric O'Neill and successfully captures the earnest but inexperienced stumblings of an agent in training. 

He is tasked by his superiors to keep track of all Hanssen's activities, but at the same time develops a grudging respect for the experienced operative. The story revolves around the bond of trust that develops between the two men and the thin line the young man must tread to fulfill his mission while deceiving an agent who is probably one of the best in the agency at smelling a lie. The story is a fairly slow paced character driven drama, but retains its interest especially since its based on true events. I'm curious as to why they didn't cover more of the 15 years of spying and Hanssen's interaction with the Soviets, as it seems that would have been interesting to see as well. Overall a good espionage story.

Movie Review - Casino Royale

We Netflixed (yeah, that's a verb) this after watching it in the theater and my first impressions hold true, in that I think this is the most promising first Bond picture I've ever seen. Daniel Craig is exactly how I picture Bond, much more in the mold of a Jason Bourne with the story grounded in realism as opposed to trying to outexplode or outsex the previous versions. Not that there are not some nearly unbelievable stunt sequences and the requisite number of gadgets and toys, but never to the extent that previous movies showed. I liked the fact he had to drive a rental car at one point until he managed to win a better one in a, wait for it, card game. There is one sequence where Bond is chasing a guy through a construction site that is one of the most impressive I have ever seen and it's all on foot (counting the jumping, bouncing, springing, etc.). Suprising, the villian is very Bond-esque with a scarred and translucent eye and on paper would seem like another standard over the top villian, but he actually works and the physical appearance doesn't take away from his believability. The movie manages to capture the original Ian Fleming concept without glamorizing it more for Hollywood. I am really looking forward to future installments now. Not to say that I didn't like Pierce Brosnan, but his Bond (and the series in general) had gotten very stale for me, and I consider myself a pretty big fan.