Davis: Oliver Stone’s Snowden should be entertaining

Snowden should feature Stone’s signature style of riveting storytelling.

  • Sep. 13, 2016 9:00 a.m.

Melissa Leo (left)

Rick DavisOliver Stone (Platoon, JFK) takes on yet another socially and politically charged subject with Snowden, the story of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who leaked thousands of classified documents and created a media and political firestorm.

It is based upon the books The Snowden Files by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena (Snowden’s Russian lawyer). It was made with the co-operation of Snowden himself and Stone and Gordon-Levitt both had meetings with the whistleblower in Moscow where he is in exile.

As usual, Stone has assembled a strong ensemble cast including Shailene Woodley (Divergent), Melissa Leo (Fighter), Zachary Quinto (Star Trek), Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton), Scott Eastwood (The Longest Ride) and Nicolas Cage. While it is not getting the acclaim that the Academy Award-winning documentary about Snowden (called Citizenfour) received, it should feature Stone’s signature style of riveting storytelling. Stone initially put his own money into the project as he had trouble getting backing from U.S. sources and ended up getting financing from France and Germany. He also avoided filming in the U.S. for fear of interference from the NSA.

It has been over a decade since the last Bridget Jones movie and her personal life seems to have not improved much.  In Bridget Jones’s Baby, Renée Zellweger returns as the title character who, at 43-years-old, is reeling from the breakup with her love Mark Darcy (Colin Firth).  She pushes forward to find fulfillment in other parts of her life when she meets a dashing American named Jack (Patrick Dempsey).  However, her life gets complicated after having consecutive one night stands with each man and soon after discovers that she is pregnant.  Now she must figure out who the father is, enlisting her loyal friends and eccentric co-workers and her amused yet no-nonsense gynecologist (Emma Thompson) to figure out who the father is. Thompson (who also co-wrote the screenplay) is said to steal every scene she is in.

Now, 17 years after The Blair Witch Project became a low-budget horror phenomenon, a direct sequel to it is being released. The original started the “found footage” style of storytelling and the sequel, simply titled Blair Witch, is again told as if the events actually happened. The brother of one of the victims of the original ventures into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland with a documentary film crew to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of his sister and how it is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. As they investigate the dark and winding woods, they realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.

While this sequel will not have the impact of the original (the way it was filmed and marketed led people to believe the events in the movie actually happened), it is getting much better reviews than the original sequel called Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2.

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