I knew nothing about Moe Berg, a baseball player from the 1920’s and ’30’s. He was a Princeton graduate, major league baseball player, could speak something like eight languages and was Jewish. The OSS recruited him during World War II to find out if one of Germany’s top scientists was close to developing the atomic bomb. He did so by going to Europe and infiltrating Nazi circles. The movie stars Paul Rudd in a totally serious role and he does a good job. He plays Berg as an enigma, someone who doesn’t get close to anyone. The film is slow and not always interesting, even if the story is. It was released on Netflix, not in theaters, so you can watch it at home. Not the greatest, but like I said, it is an interesting, little know part of our history. P.S. Berg’s baseball card is the only one on display at CIA headquarters.
“Beirut” is a suspense thriller starring Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike. It’s a kidnap/ransom story with a lot of twists. There are Americans, Palestinians, Lebanese, and Israelis in this intriguing story. The film shows how Lebanon changed from the 1970’s to the 1980’s, basically from a nice, modern city to a war torn hell hole. Hamm starts off as a well connected power player who loses it all when his wife is killed during a kidnapping. He is brought back to negotiate the release of a high level diplomat who happens to be his friend. It is hard to figure out who are the heroes and who are the villains. The story is based on fact with a lot of twists. Not a lot of action, but interesting.