Brubaker seems to do a wonderful job at looking at some issues with the penal system. Granted it’s dated and I really know nothing about the system, but it seems credible and the source material it is somewhat based off of is strong. Even if it was entirely fabricated it is an amazing look at some of the life inside a penitentiary some years ago. It actually does a better job at that than Shawshank did.
The story is wonderful. My problem is how it starts. I read the Netflix synopsis, or skimmed it. I knew ahead of time that Robert Redford’s character was a warden undercover. Unfortunately that was actually something I wish I hadn’t known going into the film. His being undercover only lasts half an hour. That half an hour dragged for me. It was hard to enjoy because I had no clue what was going on. You just watch some guys go through some routine when arriving at Wakefield and we clearly focus on Redford, who does nothing but watch. Knowing he was a warden ahead of time just made it harder to sit and enjoy what was going on. I wanted action. Even without that knowledge it was still a grueling half hour. It was well shot and ultimately it is extremely important, but some less patient people would probably be skipping out before things really start rolling.
Once things start moving though, they really move. The supporting cast is great. Redford is great as well. I’ve never not liked him in a movie. He always turns out good work it seems. And yes Morgan Freeman makes an extremely small appearance in here. Nothing to get excited about, though he is amazing. I actually think he did a phenomenal job with the few minutes he had. I can’t think of any roles that I’ve seen him in where he acts like he did in this movie either, which is a bummer.
As long as you wait through the first half hour you’ll be rewarded with a great film.
I watched The Gingerbread Man because of Kenneth Branagh and it being based off of John Grishma’s work. It’s pretty much what you would expect, which isn’t negative. I like Grishim’s books. I’ve read most of them (not so much lately). I’ve always enjoyed the adaptations because they are pretty good thrillers. This one however wasn’t anything special.
The performances were ok. Kenneth Branagh was interesting to watch as a southern lawyer, but his other work is better.
Worth the watch if you enjoy the genre or author.