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Bridge Of Spies Blu-ray Review

Bridge of Spies Blu-ray

“Bridge of Spies” is a minor Spielberg effort.

Based on true events, “Bridge of Spies” is a historical Cold War drama from director Steven Spielberg. The film begins with the arrest of a Soviet Spy (Rudolf Abel) on American soil. A lawyer (James Donovan) is given the tough task to defend Rudolf in a trial. Amidst this time of Cold War tension, a U.S. pilot (Gary Powers) is shot down and captured in Russian. Powers isn’t the only taken captive, however, as an American student (Frederic Pryor) becomes arrested as well. Much to his surprise, Donovan becomes further mixed up in this crisis as he is sent to Berlin to try and negotiate a prisoner exchange (Rudolf for Powers or Rudolf for Powers and Pryor). The rest, as they say, is history.

With the combined talents of Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Steven Spielberg, and the Coen Brothers (who are co-writers on the film), one would think “Bridge of Spies” would be near excellence. It’s not.

Of all of the historical stories to tell, the “behind-the-scenes” drama involving James Donovan during the Cold War seems an odd one to say the least. It’s even more peculiar knowing that he also dealt with a much larger situation in Cuba later on (as the end title cards reveal). Why that story wasn’t told instead is beyond me, but what can you do? The story we do get is the type of dull and slow fare one would have to sit through in a history class. Call me crazy, but a story about negotiations, legality, and waiting for the inevitable doesn’t exactly scream cinema. It doesn’t particularly feel cinematic either through its absurdly long 141 minute runtime.

On the plus side, actors Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance manage to make the movie watchable. Their scenes together are the glue that hold this movie together. Without them, I doubt anyone would even rate this movie at all.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? This is the type of crystal clear transfer you would come to expect from a new release.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A 7.1 track might seem like overkill for this movie, but it certainly does the trick to be sure.

Extras:
* Digital copy and DVD copy.
* “A Case of the Cold War: Bridge of Spies”- A featurette that is more interesting than the film itself. This tackles the real life events (and people) that are the basis for the movie. There’s also some tidbits as to why Spielberg took on this project.
* “Berlin 1961: Re-Creating The Divide”- An extra about the real Berlin Wall, the time period, the setting, and the re-creations made for the film.
* “U-2 Spy Plane”- An up close look at an actual U-2 plane and the making of the crash sequence.
* “Spy Swap: Looking Back On The Final Act”- A piece on the bridge exchange sequence both in real life and in the movie.

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January 28, 2016 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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