Posts Tagged ‘Robert Redford’

The Over the Hill Gang

The Old Man & the Gun

Director: David Lowery

Cast: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Tika Sumpter, John David Washington, Elisabeth Moss, Keith Carradine

Oscar winners Robert Redford and Casey Affleck unite in a languid and quirky bank robber film entitled The Old Man & the Gun beautifully directed by David Lowery. Possibly Hollywood Legend Robert Redford’s final film who shot to fame with some superb onscreen performances in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Out of Africa and The Sting.

Redford plays compulsive bank robber Forrest Tucker who along with two other crew members Teddy played by Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon, Grand Canyon) and Waller played by Tom Waits (At Play in the Fields of the Lord, The Book of Eli) casually and with an unusual amount of charm rob banks mainly in the American Mid-West and Southern States of Texas, Arkansas and Missouri in the early 1980’s.

What really ignites The Old Man & the Gun is the sophisticated dialogue between Forest and his love interest Jewel wonderfully under played by Oscar winner Sissy Spacek (The Coal Miner’s Daughter) who is fascinated by the handsome and mysterious drifter who is also a thief.

Oscar winner Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea) plays Dallas police detective John Hunt who relentlessly chases Forest Tucker and successfully identifies him as the charming old man who is sticking up unsuspecting bank tellers all over these Southern States.

There is a fantastic scene between Affleck and Redford where they meet by chance in the men’s room of a diner in Dallas and the tension between the young ambitious detective and the old ruthless bank robber is charged with energy and sophisticated bravado.

The Old Man & the Gun is slow moving in parts but those that love seeing acting legend Robert Redford on the Big Screen should definitely see this charming and quirky bank robber tale which does not make the crime melodramatic or too simplistic, but purely unbelievable. As this film shows audiences that Bank Robbing is a compulsion for some people that prefer a dangerous life of crime as opposed to earning an honest living.

Supporting Cast for The Old Man & The Gun include Denzel Washington’s son John David Washington as Lt. Kelley and Tika Sumpter as Detective Hunt’s supportive wife Maureen.

Beautifully acted and superbly directed, The Old Man & the Gun gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10 and is recommended viewing as a classic tale of robbery, romance and rivalry.

Freedom versus Fear

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Directors: Anthony & Joe Russo

Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Sebastian Stan, Frank Grillo

Not quite matching up to the brilliance of the Coen brothers or the technical wizardry of the Wachowski brothers of the Matrix series, directing team and brothers Anthony and Joe Russo who directed You, Me and Depree are at the helm of the new Captain America movie with the expert assistance of Joss Wheldon (The Avengers, Cabin in the Woods). Chris Evans reprises his role as Captain America along with Scarlett Johannsen as wise cracking Natasha Romanoff or The Black Widow along with newcomer Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) as Sam Wilson or known as the Falcon. Emily Van Camp (from the TV series Revenge) makes a welcome big screen appearance as SHIELD agent 13 along with Frank Grillo and Callan Mulvey recently seen in 300: Rise of an Empire who all round off the star studded cast.

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In Captain America: The Winter Soldier the action is firmly rooted in America’s capital Washington DC with the Smithsonian and Virginia as backdrop focusing on the SHIELD headquarters which are duly comprised when an assassination attempt on its leader the aptly named Nick Fury smoothly played by Samuel L. Jackson. The so-called chief of SHIELD Alexander Pierce played by Hollywood veteran Robert Redford appears to have a more sinister agenda.

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Captain America aka Steve Rogers teams up with The Black Widow and Falcon to fight the seemingly invincible Winter Soldier who is an evil Hydra byproduct from the Second World War and played by an unrecognizable Sebastian Stan (Black Swan). Where the first Captain America dwelt firmly on America’s successful involvement in World War II heading up the allies defeat of Nazi Germany and all its equally nefarious covert operations, Captain America: The Winter Soldier thrusts the WWII all American hero firmly in the 21st century where with the aid of the internet Steve Rogers has managed to catch up on the last 50 years of human history.

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There are a couple of references to the original Americana of the first film, but this Captain America sequel takes on a more Transformeresque approach and features lots of brash action sequences clearly initiated by influence from director Joss Wheldon’s big budget blockbuster The Avengers. The only criticism of the film was that with all the explosive action taking place, Captain America: Winter Soldier does not effectively use the medium of 3D and could easily have been viewed in traditional 2D.

The nostalgic glamour of 1940’s America and Europe during a World War is replaced with high-tech gadgetry of a level resembling a more ambitious and implausible sci-fi film set well beyond the 21st century. Naturally the plot takes a couple of fascinating twists but the entire narrative of Captain America: Winter Soldier lacks a uniformity of vision so clearly tangible in the original film, but this sequel is nevertheless entertaining and will surely please all superhero fans.

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Although there is no real love interest like in Captain America – with Hayley Atwell’s character considerably aged, the downside of dating a boyfriend who was kept on ice for 50 years! Captain America: The Winter Soldier is another great superhero action film in the Avengers vein with Marvel studios clearly capitalizing on a hugely successful and ever expanding franchise especially after the success of Iron Man 3.

Not to be over analyzed but simply enjoyed in the perennial battle of freedom versus fear or SHIELD versus Hydra, fans of Captain America, Thor and Iron Man will surely not be disappointed. Note to audiences to wait in the cinema beyond the retro 007 end credits for a sneak peak at potential plot of Captain America 3?

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