Matt Damon is back as "Jason Bourne" - his 4th time in the role! Our movie critic Paul McGuire Grimes from Paul's Trip to the Movies shares his thoughts on Damon's return to the series. Plus, he's got a Netflix pick that'll make you feel like you're back in the 80s!
JASON BOURNE (theatrical release)
It’s been nine years since Matt Damon donned the identity of Jason Bourne, and boy does it feel great to have him been in such a memorable role. Bourne has been lying low passing his days as a rough street boxer. Julia Stiles is also back as Nicky Parsons, Bourne’s contact regarding the Treadstone Project. She’s at her rope’s end and wants to expose the CIA for all of their secretive wrongdoings. She’s caught in Iceland transferring a massive amount of Black Ops files, which leads to a huge breach within the CIA. Treadstone, Blackbriar are two of the files along with a new program called Ironhand. The breach is thought to be worse than a Snowden attack. Nicky Parsons tracks down Bourne in Athens to give him the intel on Ironhand, but the CIA is hot on their trail. He’s Bourne after all, so he is able to flee, starting another cat and mouse chase between the two parties. The contents of Ironhand open his eyes to the truth about his past and the connections his father once had to the CIA.
-Starring: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel
-Damon looks as gruff and unstoppable as ever. He says few words throughout the movie, but he’s a force to be reckoned with.
-Written and directed by Paul Greengrass, who also directed The Bourne Supremacy (#2) and The Bourne Ultimatum (#3) Damon said he would only come back from Paul Greengrass was involved. Does not have any connection to the spinoff The Bourne Legacy, which starred Jeremy Renner.
-Much like the original trilogy this film consists of chase sequence after chase sequence as the CIA tracks Bourne across the globe to: Russia, Athens, Berlin, London, and Las Vegas. Each sequence is shot well, fast-paced, yet controlled and easy to follow
-The story not only deals with the past and how David Webb became Jason Bourne, but lives in the present with a subplot involving the CEO of a social media platform who finds himself caught in a web with Tommy Lee Jones’ CIA director who wants the tech guru’s help with illegal Big Brother-style global surveillance.
-There are enough flashbacks and quick references to past events to satisfy anyone coming into this without having seen the other three.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Thanks to Damon, Bourne’s a tried and true character. Sign me up for more.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
STRANGER THINGS (Home release)
Netflix continues to take the pop culture zeitgeist by storm with their original content. Much like House of Cards or Orange is the New Black, their new series, Stranger Things, have left people glued to their TVs binging on a nostalgic trip back to the 1980s. It’s set in an Indiana town in 1983 with four young boys enjoying a fun night in playing Dungeons and Dragons. After Will Byers bikes home that night, he is attacked by a mysterious creature and vanishes into thin air. His mother, Joyce, becomes convinced that a paranormal creature has snatched her son. She falls down this rabbit hole oftentimes causing a scene and tearing her house a part as she believes Will may now been trapped her in walls. Shortly after his disappearance, a mysterious young girl with a shaved head shows up without any connection to anyone in town. Will’s friends secretly take her in and learn she may know of his whereabouts. She barely speaks a word but has telekinetic powers. Joyce, the boys, and the local police sheriff all stop at nothing to find Will even if it means going up against a government-led agency conducting experimental trials behind closed doors.
-Only eight episodes total in the first season, each lasting 45-55 minutes. It’s very easy to binge as you will instantly get hooked. Sci-fi, mystery, family drama, supernatural, fantasy, horror all rolled together.
-Even if this isn’t your standard genre of choice, give it a try. There’s so much emotion put into it for a many of the characters that you can easily connect to someone’s plight whether it’s the mother or the boys. I found myself in tears by the end of the final episode.
-Heavily influenced 1980s pop culture like The Goonies, Dungeons and Dragons, and the works of Steven Spielberg (E.T, Close Encounters) Stephen King (Carrie, Firestarter, IT, Stand By Me), John Carpenter (The Thing). If you’re as obsessed with that time period like me, you’ll notice so many little touches along the way without it feeling like a copycat.
-Feels like a large-scale movie that is broken out into eights parts versus your standard television series. You can’t jump in mid-way through as it’s one storyline that is fleshed out and explored as various characters are affected and come together to find Will.
-Winona Ryder is making a career comeback playing Joyce. Her acting may feel a bit off at the beginning, but she’s just as unhinged as any mother would be who is trying to find their child. Other notable faces include David Harbour (The Newsroom) as the sheriff and Matthew Modine as the head of the government agency. He’s the main human villain in the series.
-The attention to detail is stunning as it looks like it was made in the ‘80s. One breakout aspect of the show is the synthesizer-based score. It really captures the period and adds a pulsating drive to each episode.