Life as I know it… plus commentary

Breach (the spy movie, not the birth movie)

with 10 comments

I’ll say right now, this movie is not for everyone.  Several of my friends saw it this last weekend (without callng me and no… I… am… not…. bitter.  OK.   Phew.) and one fell asleep and the other thought it was boring.  So there you go.

OK, one more rant and then the review.  I think all film makers should have a seat shot in the first five minutes of the film (What’s a seat shot?  When a scene in the movie is so bright it lights up the theater enough for you to spot the empty seats).  I got to the theater right at 1:50 and the movie started at 1:50!  Where were the previews?  So I made my way in, got to the end of the entrance hall and couldn’t see anything.  I could, of course, see the aisle lights.  But that was it.  So I waited for an exterior shot or a brightly lit room so the theater audience could be lit up for a second and I could find a seat.  Nothing.  Oh… white cassette label close up….. too fast.  Oh he’s in a church exiting. Yes!  Dang… it’s dark and cloudy out. I ended up sitting way down front when I could see from a quick lobby shot.  OK, on to the review.

I, for one, liked it.  Breach is certainly not The Bourne Identity or even the Good Shepherd.  For one, Matt Damon is nowhere to be found.  In his place, we have Matt Damon Lite, Ryan Phillippe as Eric O’Neil.  He’s actually cast well in this movie, playing an ambitious young man hoping to be made an agent in the FBI and is set up to be an assistant to a double agent.  Chris Cooper, who actually was in the Bourne Identity, plays the double agent the FBI is trying to catch.  Again, I’ll tell you right now, there are no explosions, no car chases and no steamy distracting female spies.  This movie is all about the story of how the FBI caught Robert Hanssen, the most damaging double agent the US has known.

The movie is really interesting to me because of the story.  It’s a true one and the great lengths the FBI went to capture Hanssen were pretty amazing.  Equally interesting to me are the characters themselves.  Hanssen is portrayed as a God fearing Catholic man.  We can see this in every detail… his admiration of devout people, the intent way he crosses himself and the way he genuflects at his daily mass, and his view of the world.  Hanssen makes political jibes and social comments, many of which set the audience to laughing.  In the first part of the film, Phillippe’s character does not know of Hanssen’s guilt.  And despite the fact the man is gruff, hard to get to know and continually tests his new assistant, O’Neil comes to admire the man and to like his hard to work for boss.

And once trust is established, the deception begins.  The movie also provided an interesting take on the life of agents.  We’re quick to assume the lives of Jason Bourne running through the streets of exotic locations, running down bad guys.  Yet Breach gives us a high powered agent whose life is summed as “What?  You saw my apartment with the TV dinners and no cat and you want to quit?”

The movie continues to unfold until, as history has shown us, the spy is caught and the movie is resolved.  This leaves us having known two characters better, having learned an American spy story and that we’re better off without cats.


Written by arnold

February 20, 2007 at 1:14 pm

Posted in Movie Reviews

10 Responses

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  1. i’m trying to come up with the perfect post that pokes fun at the fact that you actually thought you were on time…and still insist on it even though it is well documented that every movie ever shown contains at least 10 minutes of commercials and 20-30 minutes of movie trailers.

    hm. not coming up with anything. so…

    i like cats.

    The Kyle

    February 20, 2007 at 1:39 pm

  2. Well… I just figured the previews started at 1:50.



    February 20, 2007 at 1:55 pm

  3. Well, at least we all know what movie Arnold is taking his next date to go see.

    Arnold’s master plan unfolds…

    Arnold: This movie is great. You’ll love it. A spy thriller!

    Date: Why are we going to the back row, The Arnold?

    Arnold: Best seats are back here.

    Date: Why are all the seats roped off but these two in the corner?

    Arnold: Must be maintenence. Those crazy kids, always breaking all the chairs in a row except for two in the back corner.

    Date: This sure is a dark movie, no one can even see us back here.

    Arnold: Yeah, how ’bout that?

    Date: Why is your huge arm suddenly around my shoulder?

    Arnold: I worked out Tricepts today. They’re really tight, it helps me to put the right one up and over someone’s chair.

    Date: I don’t know how you fit all those muscles into one theater chair?

    Arnold: I’m a ninja.

    Date: Oh! A scarey part! Hold me!

    …ninja’s mission is accomplished.

    It’s almost too easy.

    The movie sounds interesting. I like spy movies. I think I’ll check it out.
    Go Chargers.

    Norv Turner

    February 21, 2007 at 2:02 pm

  4. Of all the Norv.

    And it’s spelled “triceps”.


    February 21, 2007 at 6:33 pm

  5. Uncle Norv! Hilarious. My favorite part is that Arnold’s date calls him “the Arnold.” I keep trying to get my wife to call me “the husband” with very limited success. The closest she’s gotten is “the man beast.” Great post. keep up the good work. sorry about not making the playoffs next year because of your mediocre coaching skills. Give me a shot at head coach, I can call “LT left,” “LT right,” “LT HB pass” and “blitz merriman” all game long…and I will punt on fourth down. Nevertheless, you “Norv Vader,” are tight, like Arnold’s “tricepts” in a standard sized theatre chair, post-workout with a whey protein shake ingested. Arnold, can you please institute a spell check in your posting mechanism for us? Spelling well is so very trying. Holler at your boy dawg..


    February 22, 2007 at 6:32 am

  6. I’m the friend who didn’t like it. And, that was after 3 margaritas.

    Not enough flashy stuff. Too many suits. WAY too many gray desks with white hallways.

    It would have been more interesting if Phillippe’s wife turned out to be a spy, too. (I know “the Arnold” said that’s not how the true life story went) But, still, boring.

    Don’t tell me in this PM age we can’t fudge with history a little. Especially when it has to do with government. Who’s to say what THEY say is the “true” story is really true anyway? I’m betting some of those underground hallways are painted burnt sienna, not white. Or perhaps, Mexican Red.

    Basically: not enough flashy stuff. ;-8


    February 22, 2007 at 11:56 am

  7. Haven’t seen the movie yet, but who needs stuff from a can when I’ve got this kind of blog banter???? Make a film of THAT, and just watch the hardware roll in. Hope to see you all this summer when we come to a state near you…


    February 22, 2007 at 3:03 pm

  8. I just finished two days of filming on two short films for the 168 film festival. More info at: Just got back from Dirty’s rockin b-day party where a girl absolutely threw herself at Arnold and his mamoth tricepts or triceps for all you spelling bee champions out there. I felt bad for this girl tonight. She just wanted Arnold to give her more than a smile but to no avail.

    Foutsy, you’d be a good coach of the chargers with those plays. Plays involving LT are always in the Chargers best interest. If we could get you back out here on the west coast, I’d give you the O-coordinator spot in a second.

    I agree with Cubby about making a film about Ninja Santos on a date or on a series of dates. That’d be some good film making.

    I still need to see this movie now. Chris Cooper likes to make spy movies. Almost as much as LT likes to score TDs and lead the league in filthy running back moves and speed.

    Go Little Miss Sunshine in Oscars ’07!!!

    Norv Turner

    February 25, 2007 at 1:23 am

  9. I wonder why people keep looking at this review.


    July 12, 2008 at 2:42 pm

  10. What’s up, I recently started reading this blog – thanks for the good work. As an FYI that it’s not displaying correctly on the BlackBerry Browser (I have a Bold). Anyway, I am now subscribed to your RSS feed on my PC, so thanks!


    January 3, 2010 at 10:20 am

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