There were two movies we wanted to see Labor Day weekend, but the timing didn't quite work to go out to dinner first. So instead we decided to have hot dogs and nachos at Celebration North -- the Holland 7 doesn't do hot dogs -- on Friday evening to get in the first. I dropped Mrs. Dr. Phil off to do tix and food while I parked and made my way in.
Mrs. Dr. Phil was "incensed" that the girl in the ticket line wanted to give her the over-60 senior discount. My wife certainly doesn't look old, is years away from 60 and "I don't act like a senior citizen!" Sort of the opposite of getting carded for being underage. Not cool.
The Debt [R]
Celebration North, #11, 7pm
The Debt is a remake of an Israeli film about a team of Mossad operatives sent into East Berlin in the 60s to kidnap the former Nazi "Surgeon of Birkenau". Naturally things don't go smoothly.
The first time we were aware of Helen Mirren, it was in 2010: The Year We Made Contact, the sequel to 2001. We assumed she was a Russian actress. We wuz wrong. Since then she's made our short list of actors Who Can Do Anything -- and we'll watch.
But The Debt isn't just a Helen Mirren film -- there's two sets of casts for 1966 and 1997. The film is revealed in layers of shifting times. One key scene is shown twice -- once as described in a new book by Helen Mirren's daughter and then we see the truth.
I'd wondered if the truth was they'd gotten the wrong man. But our ex-Nazi has, underneath a pleasant demeanor, the core of a manipulative monster. The mess which results has to be cleaned up thirty years later.
There are some spectacular twists and some serious suspenseful spots.. The 60s pre-cell/pre-Internet spy craft is refreshing to watch. And the sound people captured the singing wires of the moving electric trains for a personal treat. There's some spectacular images and shocking action scenes. A number of reviews complain that the two men in the 1966 timeline look too similar -- I'm not seeing that confusion. Like Munich we get a window into a world where there is no choice but to act.