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Breach - quick review

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Breach - quick review

Old 02-17-07, 10:38 PM
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Breach - quick review

I found "Breach" quite slow and methodical, to its detriment. Chris Cooper, playing Robert Hanssen (one of the most notorious spies ever caught) is very good in his role, but Ryan Phillippe just isn't up to the challenge, playing Eric O'Neill (an ambitious FBI agent-wannabe tasked with shadowing Hanssen as his clerk). Weirdly enough, I wanted more on Laura Linney's character, O'Neil's handler in the Hanssen sting.

The cat-n-mouse sequences never quite provide riveting cinematic tension, and I put most of the blame on the direction by Billy Ray for the film's shortcomings. It's running time is under 2 hours, but it felt like 2.5 hours, and not in a good way.

I give it 2.5 stars, or a grade of C+.

Last edited by Patman; 03-11-07 at 07:39 PM.
Old 02-17-07, 11:02 PM
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There is a great deal of buzz about this around where I go to school. The real FBI agent Ryan Phillippe plays is an Auburn graduate.

I probably see it sometime or another based on that. Probably dvd.
Old 02-17-07, 11:50 PM
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I have to believe there was more footage shot dealing with O'Neill and his dad. Bruce Davison didn't sign on for two minutes, did he?
Old 02-18-07, 12:14 AM
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I thought this movie had a strong opening half but it was hard to believe the climax of the entire movie was the scene in the traffic jam. I kept waiting for something to pop out in the final 30 minutes and nothing happened. By the time the elevator scene came on, it was too little too late. I'm a huge fan of political thrillers but this one was maybe one step above a simple police procedural.

This story should've been about Hanssen and Brian Kelley, who had been falsely accused of being the mole. O'Neill's involvement wasn't that interesting.
Old 02-18-07, 02:56 AM
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And don't get me started about the beeping beeper! Why wasn't the beeper in vibrate mode? Oh, yeah, because the sound of the beeping would set up cliched paranoia in Hanssen.
Old 02-18-07, 11:52 AM
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Saw this last night at a late viewing and although good, it suffered from all the detriments Patman mentioned. Really boiled down to a drama with a few tense moments more than the thriller/ cat & mouse genre.

I have always had a thing for Kathleen Quinlan. She's just a few years older than I am, but she is one hot 52 year old woman. I would have rated the movie much higher had they had some gratuitous nudity with her in that video.
Old 02-18-07, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by AnonomusBob15
There is a great deal of buzz about this around where I go to school. The real FBI agent Ryan Phillippe plays is an Auburn graduate.
He's on the cover of the Spring '07 edition of Auburn Magazine. That's the real guy, not Ryan Phillipe.

It's one of the things that has peaked my interest about this film, so I will probably check it out.
Old 02-18-07, 04:24 PM
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I thought it was extremely suspenseful and give it a solid B. I dislike Ryan Phillippe but thought he did quite well opposite the always excellent Chris Cooper. Some of the bits with O'Neill's wife did get a bit cliched, though.
Old 02-18-07, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Patman
And don't get me started about the beeping beeper! Why wasn't the beeper in vibrate mode? Oh, yeah, because the sound of the beeping would set up cliched paranoia in Hanssen.
Call the nitpick police!

Vibrations can be missed. Eric could't miss those pages.
Old 02-18-07, 06:27 PM
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If the cover story was that the beeper was from his wife, you bet if I were Hanssen, I'd demand O'Neil put that beeper on the Vibrate Mode while at work because that's personal frikkin' business!!!
Old 02-18-07, 10:23 PM
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I liked it though there wasn't as much spying as I thought there'd be (like in The Good Shepard) but I can sorta forgive that since there were trying to catch Hanssen at a time when he was winding down. For such a rushed story, it was rather slow.
Old 02-19-07, 10:54 AM
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Saw it yesterday, and I thought it was pretty damn good. Chris Cooper definitely made the movie. But the direction by Billy Ray was way above the usual formulaic FBI film. He seems to like to deal in the details of the job, and someone hitting their bottom in the workplace, see Shattered Glass. I think I liked it more because it dealt with the minutia of everyday Federal Bureau operations. I was pleasantly surprised.
Old 02-19-07, 03:09 PM
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I think I wanted to see more about Hanssen actually doing some breaching, instead of just being told of his "espionage".
Old 02-21-07, 07:45 AM
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Here's my question to those Catholics who have seen the film. When the Eric O'Neill and Robert Hannsen characters go to morning mass, Ryan Phillippe puts his fingers into the holy water and then proceeds to totally blow the sign of the cross. I have brought this up with others and some think it was done deliberately so as to make the O'Neill character appear to someone who has been away from mass so long that he has forgotten some of the rituals. I think it was simply a mistake and that no one on the set thought twice about it either beacuse they didn't notice it or they didn't know it was wrong. Has anyone heard or read any comment on this anywhere else? I know it's a minor point (and quite irrelevant to the film's plot), but it sure bugged me.

Despite that, I did enjoy the movie.

Last edited by auntiewinnie; 02-21-07 at 07:22 PM.
Old 02-21-07, 04:59 PM
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I noticed his sign of the cross was different than Hansenn's but I don't know if you can call it wrong. If I remember from Catholic school correctly, it is more important to cover the four ends of the cross than the actual order in which they are done. Now I'd like to see that scene again to see how he did it. Perhaps Hansenn just was a little more deliberate about reaching over to his shoulders on the "holy ghost" parts. Even Christmas and Easter people remember how to do the sign of the cross. I won't have a more acurate guess until the dvd comes out or I see it again watching for that scene, but with so many good ones coming out, I probably won't see it before DVD.
Old 02-21-07, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by JimRochester
I noticed his sign of the cross was different than Hansenn's but I don't know if you can call it wrong.
He went head, shoulder, shoulder, breast (I think that's right -- he defintely went from head to shoulder). The correct order is head, breast, left shoulder, right shoulder. You're right that it's a really simple gesture that's just about impossible for a Catholic to forget. Which is why I was shocked to see it messed up in a major hollywood movie.
Old 03-11-07, 01:32 PM
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I saw this yesterday and liked it a lot. Chris Cooper's getting to be one of my favorite actors.

Originally Posted by Patman
And don't get me started about the beeping beeper! Why wasn't the beeper in vibrate mode? Oh, yeah, because the sound of the beeping would set up cliched paranoia in Hanssen.
Heh heh. I agree. I realize why it's done for story purposes, but it just seems silly. If you can't figure out that it'd be better to leave your pager on vibrate, you don't deserve to be promoted to FBI agent. Hell, I am in no way dealing with national security or other life or death situations and I keep my cell phone's ringer off during work.

I thought the same thing during The Departed.

Anyone read the book that this movie's based on? I'm considering adding it to my already huge reading pile.
Old 03-11-07, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Patman
I think I wanted to see more about Hanssen actually doing some breaching, instead of just being told of his "espionage".
i saw this last weekend and agree with your comment. more of the espionage would have made it more interesting. i really enjoyed it though overall and would give it a solid B rating.

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