Day 260: Snowden (2016)

background-twitterOne of the most controversial filmmakers in Hollywood has always been Oliver Stone who has tackled topics like the assassination of John Kennedy (JFK), 911 (World Trade Center), and insider trading (Wall Street) to name a few. Now he returns with a new film about one of the most controversial figures today in the film Snowden. Snowden tells the tale of former CIA and NSA operative Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a man who exposed the United States Government for spying on it’s own people without warrants as he distributed the proof to the press. The film follows Snowden from how he got his start in the intelligence field to the struggles he dealt with when he got too deep into what was happening. The film also stars Shailene Woodley (The Fault In Our Stars) as Lindsey Mills, Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) as Glenn Greenwald, Melissa Leo (Red State) as Laura Poitras, Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man) as Corbin O’Brian, Robert Firth (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Dr. Stillwell, Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins) as Ewen MacAskill, Timothy Olyphant (Rock Star) as CIA Agent Geneva, Scott Eastwood (Fury) as Trevor James, Keith Lakeith (Straight Outta Compton) as Patrick Haynes, Ben Chaplin (Thin Red Line) as Robert Tibbo, Bhasker Patel (Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom) as Marwan Al-Kirmani, and Nicolas Cage (Drive Angry) as Hank Forrester.

screen_shot_2016-04-27_at_12-19-14_pm-0I have to be honest in saying that I wasn’t really aware of what it was that Edward Snowden was being accused of, but what ever it was he was being called either a traitor or hero. The one thing that I can say about him after watching this film is that he should be considered a hero. The United States government shouldn’t be allowed to pry in your life unless they have a warrant. According to the film, they were bypassing all of it by claiming that there were secret warrants so that they wouldn’t tip off the “Threats”. Now as far as the films is concerned I thought the film was alright in my opinion. It just runs a little too slow for my liking at times and there is a lot of computer jargon that the average person will not understand in it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a terrific job in the film as Edward Snowden and he even changes his voice to sound more like him. Shailene Woodley actually does a great job too and she even shows off some of her assets in the film which was a change for her. She does a great job being the perfect balance between the nerdiness and what is real in life. Now the beginning of the film claims that this is a dramatization so how much of it is true, I am not completely sure. I am actually interested to see what is fact and/or fiction. There are some thrills and suspense in the film as you wonder if he’s going to get caught, but we all know how the story ends. The film even features a cameo from the real Edward Snowden so look for that if you choose to see this. I am going to give the film an A- and I am doing this because I thought it was a good film (which is the same as alright), but I am just not into the computer jargon.

Day 253: Sully (2016)

sullyThere are stories in the world that truly capture the imagination when you hear them and sometimes it’s so incredible its hard to believe. Then there are miracles that happen in the world that you just want to know the incredible story behind them. That was definitely the case with US Airways Flight 1549 which was a flight that left New York’s LaGuardia Airport and landed in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009 which is explored in the new film Sully. Tom Hanks (Bridge Of Spies) plays former US Airways pilot Chesley Sullenberger a.k.a Sully, a pilot who had to make a snap decision after losing both his engines due to birds flying into them on that faithful day. The film explores the aftermath of the event and all of the questioning he faced afterwards as to whether it was the right choice to make. The film also stars Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) as Jeff Skiles, Valerie Mahaffey (Senior Trip) as Diane Higgins, Mike O’Malley (R.I.P.D.) as Charles Porter, Jamey Sheridan (Spotlight) as Ben Edwards, Anna Gunn (Red State) as Elizabeth Davis, Holt McCallany (Fight Club) as Mike Cleary, Laura Linney (Mystic River) as Lorraine Sullenberger, Molly Hagan (Election) as Doreen Welsh, Ann Cusack (Stigmata) as Donna Dent, and the film was directed by Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby).

images-1Spoiler Alert: There may be information contained in this Article that could potentially spoil the plot of the film so continue with caution or do not read any further if you do not want to know. I have always thought that the story is absolutely incredible and one that should be told for the ages. The film at first focused more on the aftermath of the whole event as it focused on Sully struggling with what happened and the committee not believing Sully. The issue with them not believing Sully is because of simulations saying that they could’ve made it back to either LaGuardia or the airport in Newark. So, the film is Sully’s hunt to prove that he wasn’t wrong and that he made the right choice. They eventually show you what happened on the plane twice which means two different points of view. One showing of the event starts with Sully and co. but then it switches to what the air traffic controller hears the whole time. Then when they are in a meeting, it goes from the point of view of everyone involved inside the plane, but more importantly through Sully. The man was a hero for what he did and the committee was literally treating him like he may have gone senile or had a nervous breakdown. I thought that the film was very good, but not great. It felt like it was just cruising along for the most part and I felt that the landing should have been the focus point of the beginning of the film rather than starting with the investigation. If you never knew about the event, you might have been confused about the beginning of the film. Nonetheless, as I said it was a very good film, but if you plan on flying you may not want to watch this till afterwards. I am going to give the film a grade somewhere between an B+/A- because the acting was great and the story was good.