Thursday, March 1, 2007

MOVIE REVIEW>> 3-02-07

By Staff Sgt. Mitchell Lombard
Special to The Drop Zone

The Bridge to Terabithia
Rated PG

How far can your imagination take you? In a Walt Disney film spawned from the book of the same name, ‘Terabithia’ explores that very question, but not as diligently as you might think. Jesse is a normal kid who has an imagination that can’t be contained. Drawn into a fantasy world inside his mind, he keeps his head in the clouds until he meets Leslie, a girl whose ability to make believe might just be greater than his own. Together, they discover a world in their minds that helps them escape the pressures of everyday life.

Children’s acting is rarely any good, and there is no exception here, even if they were passable in their roles. We don’t get much out of the adults either though, with a bunch of no-names surrounding an unconvincing Robert Patrick as Jesse’s father.

“C’mon” you say, “we don’t watch these films for the acting.” True enough, but if it is a world of fantasy and impressive special effects you are after, you aren’t going to get that either. In an effort to squeeze a few extra million out of unknowing moviegoers like myself, Disney shamefully put every single scene of fantasy inside the trailers you have already watched.
Fans of the book will probably be very happy to know that the film doesn’t stray from the original literature. For the rest of us, the film that seems to be promised to us on T.V. exists only in very small glimpses throughout the movie, with the first glimpse taking almost 45 minutes to appear.

Nonetheless, what is left is a fairly decent two hour drama about the everyday life of schoolchildren. Trouble with the family, dealing with bullies, and all the other normal childhood movie fodder are present, and are presented rather well…if that’s what you are wanting to see.

I must also warn you that the film is sad, perhaps even tragic. Take heed if your children won’t handle such things easily. Maybe this is indeed a faithful rendition of a much loved book, but I would like to argue that knowing this should not be a prerequisite to enjoying an afternoon at the movie theater with your children. Shame on Disney for pulling the wool over our eyes, even if they did it charmingly.
Coming soon to your AAFES movie theater.



Rated PG-13 for violence and language

In 2001, the single most damaging spy to ever work in America was arrested. What could be more fun than watching how it all went down? Not much I say.

Eric O’Neil is a up-and-coming agent in the F.B.I. When he is suddenly handed the assignment of a lifetime, he embarks upon an unprecedented mission to bring down the greatest internal American enemy in history. His personal life and sanity are put to the test as the task of outwitting the brilliant spy Robert Hansen starts to pull him into a dangerous game of cat and mouse.

Chris Cooper is undeniably fantastic as the ingenious super spy. I can only hope that his fascinating performance will be remembered when it comes time for the Oscars for 2008. In addition, I found Ryan Phillipe (playing Eric O’Neil) to be quite good, even though I haven’t been able to take him seriously in the past.

I recently managed to overcome my horrible habit of biting my nails. With that in mind, I picked a poor time to walk into “Breach” as I successfully gnawed off every semblance of a fingernail by the time the film ground to a satisfying close.
The game of wits that is presented bounces back and forth, playing with your emotions and making your teeth grind in the tensest moments. But even with the nail-biting scenes aside, some brilliant drama plays out as we watch the young agent get drawn farther into his task at the expense of his young wife’s needs and his own mental health.

Watching it all come together is just too much fun, with a ending sequence that was filmed with a stroke of genius. There aren’t explosions erupting across the screen or gunfights cracking off throughout the film, but there just isn’t room for them. The mental war that is waged sucks up everything around it into a vacuum and leaves you there, gasping for air. I’ll gladly sacrifice a bit of oxygen for this.

Coming soon to your AAFES movie theater.


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