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Austin Stowell

Review: Colossal

The big concept within Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal is clever enough that the movie might’ve rested on it alone. I mean, I can’t remember the last time I saw a film about a woman who steps into a kiddie park in her hometown and causes a giant reptilian monster to emerge in South Korea. So it’s got that going for it. But once Colossal sets its conceptual hook, it pushes its zany premise into authentically uncomfortable territory. It’s actually about something.

The woman in question is Gloria (Anne Hathaway), a frazzled millennial at loose ends. Scolded by her boyfriend (Dan Stevens) about her incorrigible partying, she moves out of their New York apartment and back to her parents’ house in a town upstate.

Continue reading at Seattle Weekly

Review: Bridge of Spies

Tom Hanks and Amy Ryan, with Alan Alda trailing behind

Bridge of Spies feels like two movies laid end-to-end, but both are so deftly handled that the divide hardly matters. The movie’s two faces also give director Steven Spielberg a chance to explore his dual interests: using history to comment on the present day, and executing old-school suspense.

The first section is the true saga of a New York lawyer, James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks), who was plucked from his profitable private practice to defend a Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), in the late 1950s. Abel is obviously guilty of espionage—but not, as Donovan carefully points out, of treason—but what pricks Spielberg’s interest is the way Donovan is ostracized for performing a constitutional task.

Continue reading at Seattle Weekly

Review: Bridge of Spies

Tom Hanks

The farther he moves away from temples of doom, altered suburbs, and shooting stars, the easier it is to somehow underestimate Steven Spielberg. (Yes, yes, Crystal Skull, I know.) Even at his most earthbound, though, the filmmaker’s basic chops still reside somewhere in the realm of the freakily supernatural. When he’s cooking, there’s nobody else who can do quite what he does.

Bridge of Spies, Spielberg’s first film since 2012’s Lincoln, is an exceptional job of work—a deliberately old-fashioned hybrid of courtroom drama and Cold War skullduggery that’s so expertly put together that you may not realize the beauty of its construction until after the fact.

Continue reading at Portland Mercury