This week on Bluray from director Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Pictures and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the riveting look into our nation’s history with five-time Oscar nominated film “Bridge of Spies.”
This film tells the story of a very untrusting time in our nation’s history. Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), a KBG intelligence officer, has been arrested. Angering the judicial system and the public, getting anyone to take on his case is a problem. When James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) is recruited, he knows the problems he will face.
When Abel is sentenced to 30 years, the public outcry is swift. Donovan wants to file an appeal believing that Abel did not get a fair trial. That would be put on the back burner when a United States U-2 spy plan crashes in the Soviet Union and pilot Francis Powers (Austin Stowell) is taken captive.
The world is in chaos enough but in Germany, American economics student Frederick Pryor (Will Rogers) has been taken captive as well. When Donovan begins receiving communications for Abel he is told that it is a way of facilitating an exchange of prisoners. Asking that he head the negotiations, Donovan heads to one of the most dangerous parts of the world.
His goal is to not only bring back the U-2 pilot, but the American economics student as well. In 1957, in the height of the Cold War, it is an intense game of chess that can quite easily be lost.
Hanks as Donovan is such the perfect actor to play this role. In his demeanor and actions Hanks gives everything without giving away anything. Of course Hanks is the actor I would want for a role that needs a steady hand. Doing the right thing by a man most wanted to hang, Hanks continues to be concerned with Abel and once realizing there is an American student who was taken for no reason, gets the wheels turning.
Rylance as Abel is a quiet character who comes to appreciate Donovan and his efforts. Once the trade is set up, watch both Hanks and Rylance as the bridge – a great scene. Stowell as pilot Powers couldn’t have imaged how his life would change I’m sure. Staying true to his training, the Soviets want information and Powell wants to go home – stalemate.
Other cast include: Sebastian Koch as Wolfgang Vogel, Peter McRobbie as Allen Dulles, Steven Boyer as Marty, Edward James Hyland as Justice Warren, Agent Somner as Jon Curry, Stephen Kunken as William Tompkins, Scott Shepherd as Hoffman, Dakin Matthews as Judge Byers, Amy Ryan as Mary Donovan, Alan Alda as Thomas Watters Jr., and Jesse Plemons as Joe Murphy.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is amazing to once again bring just what fans want for their home library. Continually bringing new entertainment content for everyone’s media library, their format includes DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. To discover more of what they have to offer please visit www.foxconnect.com.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Bridge of Spies” four tubs of popcorn out of five. I personally enjoy films that are based on our history but they have to be done well. In this case, “Bridge of Spies” is done exceedingly well. The scene where the wall is being built in Germany was rendered even more heartbreaking with Hanks’ look of sadness looking out the window of the train. It is moments such as those that give this film such heart and meaning.
Watching the film you can not help but notice the extra care taken with the scenes, the special effects of flight and especially (and my favorite) the costuming. Each of these elements lends such a unique insight to the era and gives the story even more depth for the viewer.
The Bluray, DVD and Digital HD gives a further look into the films making with the exciting extras of A Case of the Cold War: Bridge of Spies, U-2 Spy Plane, Berlin 1961: Re-creating the Divide, Spy Swap: Looking Back on the Final Act. Please do watch these extras as it gives an even deeper look into the making of “Bridge of Spies.”
In the end — in the shadow of war, one man showed the world what we sta