Matt Damon returns as Jason Bourne in this sequel to the 2002 film “The Bourne Identity.” Paul Greengrass takes over directing duties in this installment and doesn’t miss a beat.
The story picks up two years after the events of “The Bourne Identity.” Jason Bourne and Marie Kreutz (Franka Potente) are living a peaceful life in hiding in Goa, India. However, their tranquility is shattered when Bourne is framed for the assassination of a CIA officer during a covert operation in Berlin, an operation he had no part in. As a result, the CIA, led by Deputy Director Pamela Landy (Joan Allen), believes Bourne has gone rogue and must be taken down.
Bourne is driven to find out who is behind the setup and why they are targeting him. In the process, he uncovers more about his past as a CIA assassin and the Operation Treadstone program. Bourne’s quest takes him across Europe, from Berlin to Moscow, as he evades capture and confronts the people responsible for framing him.
Brian Cox reprises his role as Ward Abbott, the high-ranking CIA official who played a crucial role in the creation and management of Operation Treadstone. He is determined to cover up his involvement in Treadstone and protect his career, and throughout the film, he tries to maintain control over the situation and prevent the exposure of Treadstone’s illegal activities. Julia Stiles also returns as Nicky.
Continue reading »
Like many good action movies, all of the Bourne films are rewatchable, so it was fun to go back to this film 21 years after its release. The first installment in the Bourne film series was released in 2002 starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. It’s the type of role actors dream about. Damon gets the opportunity to explore the many layers of this character while also building a blockbuster Hollywood franchise that certainly paid off nicely. And, who wouldn’t enjoy playing a badass!
The film is an action-thriller film directed by Doug Liman and based on the 1980 novel of the same name by Robert Ludlum. The story revolves around Jason Bourne, an amnesiac who slowly uncovers his past as a highly-skilled and lethal CIA assassin.
The story begins with Bourne found floating in the Mediterranean Sea with gunshot wounds and no memory of his identity. He is rescued by a group of fishermen, and upon examining his body, they discover a small laser projector surgically implanted in his hip, which displays a Swiss bank account number.
Continue reading »
It’s always refreshing to see excellent television shows wrap up there series before the show gets stale. “Succession” has been a big hit for HBO, but we saw last year that the cycle of conflict started to settle into a somewhat predictable pattern. Of course the show still packs quite a punch, and consistently delivers plot twists to keep viewers on their toes, but how many storylines can you create around family strife?
A final season also helps to generate buzz, and the first episode generated great rating according to HBO:
The season four debut of SUCCESSION garnered 2.3 million viewers across HBO Max and linear telecasts, marking a series high. Total viewing for Sunday night was up 62% compared to last season’s premiere (1.4M) and 33% compared to last season’s finale (1.7M), with season 3 episodes going on to average 7.2 million viewers per episode across platforms. Viewership figures are based on Nielsen and first party data.
The battle between Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his three of his children is heating up as Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Siobhan (Sarah Snook) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) team up to do their own thing in the media business. Meanwhile, first-born Connor (Alan Ruck) continues to be a clown with his pathetic presidential campaign. The first episode was packed with drama as the kids find themselves in a bidding war with Logan.
This fourth and final season should end up being memorable, as opposed to a show like Showtime’s “Billions” which was equally brilliant in the early seasons but then hung around way to long, becoming a caricature of itself in recent seasons.
Those who basked in the wonders of “Planet Earth” and its follow-up “Life” would do well to delve into this frequently mind-blowing five hour series from the Beeb, hosted by physicist (and ex-rock star) Professor Brian Cox. “Wonders of the Solar System” is a triumph of both education and entertainment. On solar eclipses, Cox explains: “The sun is 400 times the diameter of the moon. And by sheer coincidence, it’s 400 times further away from the Earth. There’s something like between 145 and 167 moons in the solar system, depending on how you’re counting, but none of them produces such perfect eclipses as the Earth’s moon.” He then goes to India to partake in a breathtaking total solar eclipse in the presence of a massive, fervent crowd. Cox marvels, “That’s the solar system comin’ down and grabbin’ you by the throat!”
The youthful professor trots all over the globe, using locations and incidents on Earth such as volcanoes, the Grand Canyon, tornadoes and the Northern Lights to practically explain what the rest of the planets in our solar system are actually like. The series also mixes satellite photography and gorgeous CGI that give plenty of insight into our neighboring worlds. When it really comes down to it, though, it’s Cox’s enthusiasm, intelligence, and unexpected bursts of humor that give “Wonders of the Solar System” an edge over other, similar documentary series. It’s a pleasure to have this man as a living, breathing guide as opposed to an unseen narrator. The only area where the series comes up a little short is in the aforementioned CGI department, as a fair amount of it manages to be recycled perhaps a few too many times. There are two extra programs (presented in SD) entitled “What on Earth is Wrong with Gravity?” and “Do You Know What Time It Is?,” which brings the total running time of the set up to almost seven hours. While watching this material, I kept thinking, “If I’d been able to see this kind of stuff in high school, I probably wouldn’t have fallen asleep in science class.”
Click to buy “Wonders of the Solar System”
There have been a wealth of jailbreak films throughout the course of history, but only a few can be considered true classics. Rupert Wyatt’s directorial debut, “The Escapist,” doesn’t quite make the cut, but it’s definitely one of the better entries in the genre. The always reliable Brian Cox stars as Frank Perry, a prison convict serving a life sentence who devises a plan to break out when he discovers that his daughter is dying. In order to do so, however, he’ll have to convince the right players (including Joseph Fiennes, Liam Cunningham and Seu Jorge) to join his crew and outwit the cell block’s brutal kingpin (Damian Lewis). There’s nothing here you haven’t seen before, but the cast does well enough to keep things interesting – especially Cox, who delivers yet another fine performance in an otherwise underrated career. Though “The Escapist” begins to drag towards the end, the film’s killer twist ending makes it more than worth sticking around for. It might not have gotten the U.S. release that it deserved, but this old-school jailbreak film is a smarter, better acted, and much more realistic version of FOX’s hit drama, “Prison Break.”
Click to buy “The Escapist”