It would also be nice to post some reactions to Steven Spielberg‘s Bridge of Spies, which opened yesterday and is doing fairly well for a dialogue-driven espionage tale aimed at over-40s. Rather than solicit random comments perhaps readers could address certain opinions and observations from a 10.14 Film Comment review by Michael Sragow?

Remark / observation #1: “As he did in Munich, Spielberg broadens and coarsens a fascinating tale into an overbearingly obvious and preachy statement on the cruelty of political divisions (and borders) and the importance of preserving humane values.”

Remark / observation #2: “Whenever they collaborate on a movie (this is the fourth time), Spielberg and Tom Hanks say they play to their strengths. But by now they have succumbed to their weaknesses. They prod each other into even greater pseudo-innocence and forced, excessive sentiment. Their mawkishness seems to double when they’re in each other’s sight.”

Remark / observation #3: “Partly because of Spielberg’s determination that audiences get the right messages and feel the proper feelings, Bridge of Spies, despite tense and witty passages, is misshapen, over-long and cripplingly erratic.”

Remark / observation #4: “The depiction of Donovan’s family life resembles a 1950s issue of Family Circle magazine. When she isn’t setting TV dinners down in front of her kids as they gape at the boob tube, Mary fixes them meat loaf and mixed vegetables. .

Remark / observation #5: “During a gripping prisoner exchange at Berlin’s Glienicke Bridge, we’re supposed to believe that Donovan would be shocked to see snipers on either side. Like too much of the movie, that naive touch, and the feel-good choreography of Donovan’s subsequent homecoming, presents viewers with an insurmountable span to cross: the suspension bridge of disbelief.”