Reel Corner - September 2015

Why is 2015 the year of the SPY?

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by Donne Paine

Spies are everywhere in pop culture, including tons of spy movies and TV shows. So why are we so obsessed with secret-agent madness? Is it nostalgia, or a reflection of new, real-life preoccupations? 

Spies, secret agents, covert affairs operatives, people with their fingers all over everyone’s secrets; these are themes we’ve been seeing throughout 2015, a year that began when surveillance expose Citizenfour picked up Best Documentary at the Oscars in February. With the current technologies at our fingertips, the spy movie genre sure is changing.

Here’s a look at this fall’s spy agenda:

PG 13  |  Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki  |  Directed by Guy Ritchie

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.  is set against the backdrop of the early 1960s period of the Cold War. This spy action comedy centers on U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement). Two agents team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. If this is done early “Ritchie” style, it could prove to be very entertaining.

PG 13  |  Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Mark Rylance  |  Directed by Steven Spielberg

A dramatic thriller set against a series of historic events. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union captured U.S. pilot Francis Gary Powers after shooting down his U-2 spy plane. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, Powers’ only hope is New York lawyer James Donovan (Hanks), recruited by a CIA operative to negotiate his release. Donovan boards a plane to Berlin, hoping to win the young man’s freedom through a prisoner exchange. Hanks and Spielberg are a winning combination.

PG 13  |  Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Naomie Harris, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes  |  Directed by Sam Mendes

While “M” battles political forces to keep secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the truth behind Spectre. Who doesn’t like a Bond movie?

Kit Harington, Peter Firth, Jennifer Ehle, Elyes Gabel  |  Directed by Bharat Nalluri

Harry Pearce (Firth) is being blamed for a botched terrorist hand over. Wonder how often that happens?

PG 13  |  Pierce Brosnan, Paddy Wallace, Parker Sawyers, Milla Jovovich  |  Directed by James McTeigue

A Foreign Service Officer in London tries to prevent a terrorist attack set to hit New York, but is forced to go on the run when she is framed for crimes she did not commit.


1) What was the Melissa McCarthy character’s name in SPY?
a. Stella Dallasb. Susan Cooperc. Sally Harrison

2) Who’s the wheelchair bound spy in Rear Window?
a. Cary Grant b. Jimmy Stewart c. Henry Fonda

3) Who created the James Bond character?
a. William Fleming b. Alexander Fleming c. Ian Fleming

4) What branch of government is usually associated with spying?
a. CIA b. USPS c. FBI

5) What’s the name of the leader of the criminal organization in seven Bond films?
a. Matrixb. Blofieldc. Dr Evil

6) James Bond’s secretary is ____________.
a. Miss Moneypatty b. Miss Moneybaby c. Miss Moneypenny

7) In the Mission Impossible movies Tom Cruise plays what character?
a. Ethan Hawk b. Ethan Harris c. Ethan Hunt

8) Which Bourne movie did not star Matt Damon?
a. Bourne Identity b. Bourne Supremacy c. Bourne Legacy

9) The Robert Redford film Three Days of the Condor was about____________.
a. The Berlin Wall b. Oil c. Putin and the Ukraine

10) Who played Evelyn Salt, CIA officer accused of being a Russian?    
a. Catherine Zeta-Jones b. Rachel Weisz c. Angelina Jolie

Answers: 1-b, 2-b, 3-c, 4-a, 5-b, 6-c, 7-c, 8-c, 9-b, 10-c

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