Catch Me If You Can

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You can usually count on Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List) to deliver, and he does. This movie is a pretty good account of Frank Abagnale Jr., who takes being an impostor and forger to a whole new level. Leaving his house at an early age, he pretends to be be school teachers, airline pilots and doctors, and of course gets the hefty pay checks! Although he really never saw his father again, Chrispopher Walken (Pulp Fiction) plays Frank Sr and is a good sounding board for Frank Jr., played by Leonardo DiCaprio. (Titanic, The Aviator) After years of running from the FBI, Carl Hanratty played by Tom Hanks (Best Actor Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) finally rescues him from a French prison to take him back to the United States, just to be incarcerated there. Hanratty seeing his talents eventually recruits him to serve out his sentence helping the FBI as an adviser. 

Leonardo DiCaprio gives a very good performance showing love for his father, and the rest of his family as he is on the run. Christopher Walken was very good, but to me he seems to play the same character over and over again. Nice performances from those who had smaller parts, Amy Adams (Doubt) and Martin Sheen (The Departed).

I imagine most have seen this film, but if you haven’t, take the time to watch this one. It is a very well acted well crafted film, from the opening cut paper look title sequences to the soundtrack. The is great cinema storytelling!

Gettysburg

053939613926Any person that is into military history or the civil war should see this film. Although it has a whopping running time of roughly 4 hours and 21 minutes. Even at that length there are still lots of details about the battle of Gettysburg and the days preceding it that were omitted. Still, a very in depth look at Gettysburg and seeing the battle unfold in the end takes about an hour in itself. The final battle was massive in scale as far as soldiers, yet probably did not come close as to how large of scale it really was. Over the three day period, more men were lost at Gettysburg than the entire Vietnam War.

This film has many characters, but only a few really hold together well as characters in the film itself. I would have loved to have seen more about General George Pickett played by Stephen Lang. That is just a personal preference though. In my opinion Jeff Daniels (Speed) gives the best performance. He also had the most “moving” material to work with, with having a brother under his command and the the key figure in the battle at Little Round Top. Tom Berringer (The Gingerbread Man) also gives a nice performance as General Longstreet, who stays true to character in his beliefs of taking a defensive strategy and is even remorseful about giving the command at Gettysburg, knowing it will be an ill fated attempt. Martin Sheen (The Departed) makes a good General Lee and others have notable performances….Richard Jordan, Sam Elliot and Kevin Conway to name a few.

A salute needs to go out to Ted Turner for making this film happen. From What I remember, it was originally going to be made for TV until they realized they had something special. It is truely a specticle to see. Even if it takes two nights to take this film in, it is well worth it.