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Tag Archive: Jeff Daniels


Actor and Kansas City Royals baseball fan Paul Rudd stars in a new World War II movie premiering next month.  He plays real-life professional baseball Morris “Moe” Berg in this espionage thriller from director Ben Lewin (Please Stand By).  The movie adapts the true story of the catcher who became a World War II spy.  The Boston Red Sox player was a private figure when, in 1944, the U.S. government’s wartime intelligence agency enlisted his services.  His mission:  To go behind enemy lines in Europe to assassinate the Nazi’s chief nuclear scientist before the Germans develop an atomic bomb.  IFC Films is marketing the film as a high-stakes game of cat and mouse.

The film stars Rudd along with Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man, The Illusionist, The Amazing Spider-man 2), Mark Strong (The Imitation Game, Kingsman, Shazam!), Jeff Daniels (Good Night, Good Luck, Radio Days), Sienna Miller (G.I. Joe: The Rise of COBRA, Layer Cake), Tom Wilkinson (Valkyrie), Guy Pearce (Alien: Covenant, Iron Man 3), and Wonder Woman’s Queen Hippolyta, Connie Nielsen.  Adapted from a book The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg, by Nicholas Dawidoff, with a script by Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan, Thor: The Dark World), the film has a similar look and feel to other recent World War II espionage thrillers, like Tom Cruise’s Valkyrie and Benedict Cumberbatch’s The Imitation Game. 

 

Production design is by Academy Award-winning designer Luciana Arrighi (Howard’s End, Remains of the Day).  Costumes were designed by Joan Bergin (The Prestige, In the Name of the Father, My Left Foot, Vikings).  Three-time Oscar winning composer Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit) created the musical score.

Here’s Paul Rudd starring in the trailer for The Catcher Was a Spy:

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The Martian space walk

First Matt Damon was the guy in the title–Private Ryan–the soldier rescued from the front lines in Saving Private Ryan.  Now he is the guy in the title again, an astronaut on Mars who gets separated from his crew, left for dead, in the Winter 2015 release The Martian.  Truth is stranger than fiction, so it will be hard to top Ron Howard’s ultimate big-budget space rescue Apollo 13, but the buzz is building for The Martian as the next Gravity or Interstellar.

That could be good or bad.  It’s good because we all are waiting for the next great science fiction movie, and sometimes you have to go through plenty of weeds to find a rose.  It’s bad because mainstream, big-budget outer space movies with major actors usually disappoint–wannabes that are never as good as their lower budget, often brainier brethren.  Then again, it stars Matt Damon.

The Martian model

Matt Damon has taken on some interesting roles, earning him some street cred with sci-fi fans.  Even if the films aren’t great, his performance typically is.  Look at films like Elysium and The Adjustment Bureau.  And he’s often one of the best features of other films, like Titan A.E., Ocean’s Eleven, The Bourne Identity, The Brothers Grimm, The Departed, and The Monuments Men.

Check out this first look at The Martian:

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