The Ghost Writer

After seeing a couple of ho-hum movies at the theatre with Shutter Island and Alice in Wonderland, seeing Ghost Writer makes up for a lot. directed by Roman Polanski (The Pianist, Death and the Maiden), you would expect nothing less than a very grey toned pot boiler! First a little about the story…and as always without giving too much away. Pierce Brosnan (Goldeneye, The Thomas Crown Affair) plays former British Prime Minister Adam Lang. It just so happens he is in need of a Ghost Writer for his memoirs, as the last one was found washed up dead on the beach. A replacement is quickly found with english writer played by Ewan McGregor (Star Wars Episode 1, Black Hawk Down), who eagerly takes over the memoirs only to find the last writers death a bit suspicious. The plot twists and turns on that basic idea, but I won’t give anything away here, go find out yourself.

It is very clear in this film that Polanski was influenced by Alfred Hitchcock. Vertigo and Frenzy come to mind. It also has a similar tone as other Polanski greats like Death and the Maiden and Frantic. This film is not about violence or blow-up-buildings action. This movie is very engaging, with plot elements being revealed a little at a time, building up tension and gaining steam as it goes. Even the score was reminiscent of a classic Hitchcock movie. As far as acting goes, even though Pierce Brosnan seems to always play the same character, he is perfectly cast as the retired Prime Minister. Ewan McGregor does a good job as well. It was also a nice surprise to see some big names in some very small roles, Eli Wallach (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, The Deep) even though he is really showing his age has a part, as well as Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton, In the Bedroom, The Full Monty).

As you can probably tell, I can’t say enough good things about this film. And obviously fans of Hitchcock will love this movie. My recomendation is of course, go to the theatre and see this one for sure!

Angels and Demons

angels_and_demons

This film was interesting throughout, and thought it was just as good as The Da Vinci Code. If course working in an art field, it doesn’t hurt that they are darting from church to church in Rome looking at ancient statues doesn’t hurt a thing for me.

The only thing that really did bother me in the movie was that Ewan McGregor’s character jumped into the helicopter and took off as if he were a flying ace with hours of flight time. Yet, in a high position in the Catholic church, something that I think would take years of dedication, I really doubt he could have spent enough time flying to react like that. Oh well, we are talking about movies here. And my wife pointed out that there was mention in a line about the character doing something in aeronautics, an obvious line to justify his later actions.

Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) was his usual inquisitive bookworm type character already developed in the previous film, and his performance was good, but nothing groundbreaking. Armin Mueller-Stahl (Eastern Promises, X-Files: Fight the Future) and Stellan Skarsgård (Good Will Hunting) had the most interesting characters since their stance on the mystery at hand is not really as it seems.

This might be a movie that I will enjoy even more a second time, knowing the outcome, might pick up on more interesting details. To me this is a very entertaining film. Worth checking out.