THE CATCHER WAS A SPY
*Official Selection of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival*
In Theaters and On Demand June 22, 2018
The Catcher Was a Spy tells the true story of Morris “Moe” Berg (Paul Rudd), the Major League Baseball player, Ivy League graduate, attorney and top-secret spy who helped the U.S. defeat Nazi Germany in the race to build the atomic bomb.
Paul Rudd gives a stunning performance as the real-life and incredibly enigmatic “Moe” Berg. A former catcher for The Boston Red Sox, a Princeton grad, and all-around genius of a man, Berg speaks 7 languages and has the guts to take on a mission to save the world. Rudd, someone who has a natural talent for improvisation and making us laugh until we pee ourselves, carries this dramatic film like a true movie star. While his Ant-Man training certainly came in handy for this particular role, playing Berg is further proof that Rudd is underutilized outside his typical comedic fare. More dramatic roles could boost him into award season regular status. The complexities of this man are not lost in the complicated narrative of history. Three cheers to the writers on that front. The superb editing heightens the action and intrigue that leaves the viewer fully engrossed. The film easily captures what might seem like a crazy premise, use a former baseball player as a spy, until you are let into the eccentric and bold mind of Moe Berg. With striking sets and costumes and alongside a massively hard-hitting cast (the likes of Jeff Daniels, Mark Strong, Sienna Miller, Guy Pearce, Paul Giamatti, Hiroyuki Sanada), The Catcher Was A Spy is an exciting historical period drama that delves into one of the most unique stories of the WWII era.
Paul Rudd, Jeff Daniels, Mark Strong, Sienna Miller,
Guy Pearce, Paul Giamatti, Hiroyuki Sanada
Directed by Ben Lewin (The Sessions)
Written by Robert Rodat (Academy Award Nominee, Saving Private Ryan)
Score by Howard Shore (Academy Award Winner, Lord of the Ring series, Hugo)
As I’m watching the new trailer for Morgan, I get deja vu. Oh, a group of scientists engineers a human, well, a female human. I think I’ve seen this before. I found two other trailers that are strikingly similar. You be the judge. I am looking forward to this movie. Yeah, it’s the same story, but sometimes, how it’s told makes all the difference.
Splice – I really liked this, but perhaps Adrian Brody had a lot to do with it. He’s just great in everything.
Species – Ok, so this is REALLY cheesy, but hey, it was the 90s.
Morgan – Terrible title. There’s nothing to give an indication of the plot.
20th Century Fox has released the teaser trailer for the upcoming thriller Morgan directed by Luke Scott and we have it for you below!
A corporate troubleshooter (Kate Mara) is sent to a remote, top-secret location, where she is to investigate and evaluate a terrifying accident. She learns the event was triggered by a seemingly innocent “human,” who presents a mystery of both infinite promise and incalculable danger.
The movie also stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Toby Jones, Rose Leslie, Boyd Holbrook, Michelle Yeoh, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Paul Giamatti.
Morgan is coming soon
Actor Dwayne Johnson returns to the big screen with the newest disaster flick San Andreas, a film that will no doubt continue Johnson’s string of high budget, low payoff films that have plagued his career since he broke into Hollywood over a decade ago. Director by Brad Peyton (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island) helms this “by the book” action fluff film that will wow the visual effects fan out there, but will leave audiences wishing that a natural disaster would wipe this film from existence.
Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson) is a Los Angeles Fire Department rescue-helicopter pilot who is credited with over 600 rescues in his career. Gaines, a family oriented man who recently separated from his wife Emma (Carla Gugino), counts his daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) as his biggest accomplishment and will do anything to protect her. Having previously lost their other daughter to a freak accident, Ray and Emma are left to continue separate lives, one that includes Emma’s new boyfriend David (Ioan Gruffudd), a wealthy architect whom Emma and Blake intend to move in with. Ray’s plans for spending a final weekend with Blake before she begins university in the San Francisco area are dashed when a major earthquake hits Nevada and his squad is mobilizes to respond while Daniel offers to fly Blake up north on his private jet.
Revelations are uncovered that the Nevada quake is only the beginning as Lawrence Hayes (Paul Giamatti), a seismology professor at CalTech, has reason to believe the seismic activity is headed towards California. Before Hayes can get word out to the public, the first of many big tremors hits downtown Los Angeles, where Emma is lunching in a high rise restaurant as the building begins to crumble around her. Ray, sensing danger, swoops in and rescues her from the roof in his chopper. Blake, now caught in the earthquakes path, reaches out to her father for help. Realizing what they must do, Ray and Emma race up the coast to save their only daughter before it’s too late. But their treacherous journey north is only the beginning, and when they think the worst may be over…it’s just getting started.
Director Brad Peyton, along with cinematographer Steve Yedlin and VFX supervisor Colin Strause, have created a thrilling spectacle with intense visual effects and non stop action that will have audience members holding on to their seat, but the dialogue and execution of the human aspects leave this film lacking the heart it needs to succeed. Dwayne Johnson does a worthy job holding the film together, but the wrestler turned actor is given very few opportunities to show off why he is the most popular action star in Hollywood these days. Alexandra Daddario is a strong presence during her screen time in the film. Her character teeters on the edge of cliche as the damsel in distress, but she does her best to separate herself from the norm and create a character with strong undertones. Veteran actor Paul Giamatti does his best to work with a weak script and even weaker science but ultimately turns in a stale performance with very little substance. Actress Carla Gugino does little to add to the dramatic aspects of the film and turns in a rather forgetful performance.
Overall, San Andreas is not as bad as recent disaster films such as 2012, but falls victim to too many cliches and weak story telling to be counted as good. Should you see the film? Fans of Dwayne Johnson will be entertained, fans of disaster films and visual effects will be entertained, slightly, but not many others. In a summer filled with hit or miss films, San Andreas is a slight miss.
2 1/2 out of 5
After Credit Scene?
Which actors & actresses would you draft for the perfect movie?
In this special edition of The Reel Big Show, Michael had the idea for the gang to choose a movie concept and then they would cast it, ala snake draft!
Here’s a few teasers, but you’ll have to listen to get the details!
So which cast goes with which movie?
New Line Cinema and Village Roadshow Pictures have released the new trailer for San Andreas starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The film reunites Johnson with director Brad Peyton and producer Beau Flynn who previously collaborated on Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
The film also stars Carla Gugino (Watchmen), Alexandra Daddario (True Detective), Ioan Gruffudd (Forever), Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife), Hugo Johnstone-Burt (Home and Away), Art Parkinson (Game of Thrones) and Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man).
After a devastating earthquake hits California, a Los Angeles Fire Department rescue-helicopter pilot (Dwayne Johnson) and his ex-wife (Carla Gugino) attempt to leave Los Angeles and head to San Francisco to find and rescue their estranged daughter (Alexandra Daddario).
The film opens in 3D and 2D theaters on Friday, May 29th