Saturday, January 7, 2012

Phil sees TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY at the Camera 7 Pruneyard-January 6, 2011

Welcome everybody to 2012 and welcome to an all new year of film reviews! I hope you had a lot of fun on New Year's Eve! Now that the holidays are behind us, it's now time to get back to watching movies! So for tonight I headed back to the Camera 7 in the Pruneyard Campbell and saw two great films. The first film up is one that has been causing quite a buzz lately, and with very good reason. Featuring a cast of talented actors, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY is, without question, one of the best spy thrillers I have ever witnessed.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2012)
The film is based on author John le Carré's groundbreaking cold war bestseller. Control (John Hurt), the leader of an unknown sector of the British Intelligence service, is ousted along with his long-standing companion George Smiley (Gary Oldman) due to a botched operation in Budapest, Hungary which saw the officer Jim Prideaux (Mark Strong) murdered in public. Control was under the impression that there was a mole among the top ranking members of the service, referred to as the Circus by the other top ranking members due to its location in Cambridge Circus, London. Smiley is drawn out of retirement to pinpoint the culprit after Control passes away. Alongside the young Intelligence officer Peter Guillam (Benedict Cumberbatch), Smiley has four primary candidates to focus his investigation upon; the last remaining members of the Circus, Bill Haydon (Colin Firth), Percy Alleline (Toby Jones), Roy Bland (Ciaran Hinds) and Toby Esterhase (David Dencik).

This is not your typical spy film. If you are expecting to see car chases, gadgets galore, spills. thrills, beautiful women, and highly stylized choreographed fight scenes, then you will be disappointed. If however, you wanted to see a beautifully played and observed spy film, one that makes you think while watching it, enticing you to unravel the mystery along with our protagonist, then this is the film that you having been wishing for.

The film was directed by Swedish filmmaker Tomas Alfredson, who erupted upon the international scene three years ago with his film adaption of John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. After the success of the film, Alfredson was soon attached to this project as director. Needless to say, Alfredson does an incredible job and allows the film to unfold at an almost flawless pace. Every sequence contains a small snippet of information which allows the viewer to conduct their own investigation alongside with Smiley's. While the narrative is also driven along by strong performances from the primarily male cast, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Ciaran Hinds, David Dencik, Stephen Graham and Kathy Burke all give strong, commanding performances. There is nothing that I can say that will give these fine actors enough praise. All are outstanding, which is very rare to see in a film these days.

All in all, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY is simply a masterpiece of incredible intelligence; a film that will no doubt win several awards in the coming year. If you want to see a fantastic, international spy film that will knock you out of your chair, then by all means see this film!

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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