Friday, January 17, 2014

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

My View:  Jack Ryan:  Shadow Recruit  (2014) PG-13  Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) is a junior analyst for the CIA. When he uncovers evidence of an imminent terrorist attack, he is sent to Moscow to continue his investigation. He encounters Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh) who is intent on taking down the world’s economy. Can Jack stop Cherevin’s plan?  This is an enjoyable spy caper with Pine playing the new recruit trying to save the world from economic disaster and terrorists at the same time.  I like the interplay between Pine and Kevin Costner (who plays the man that recruits Ryan into the CIA).  Keira Knightley is cute as Ryan’s girlfriend who gets caught up in the action, but she isn’t asked to do much in the film.  I felt that Branagh made a rather poor villain, as he played the part too low key.  While not a great film, it is an enjoyable ride and makes a nice diversion from all the Oscar heavyweights in the theatres right now.  The film is being shown in IMAX, but unlike the last Mission Impossible film, this one isn't worth seeing in that format.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Family Faire:  The Nut Job (2014) PG  Surly (Will Arnett) is a squirrel with a hankering for nuts. After burning down the tree where all the animals were storing their nuts for winter, he is banished from the park. In town, Surly discovers a Nut store and with his friend, a rat, he plans the heist that could keep him in nuts for the rest of his life. What could go wrong?  This isn’t a bad film, but it can best be described as bland.  I didn’t like Will Arnett as the lead squirrel as I think he really brought nothing to the role.  I did enjoy Maya Rudolph, who voices the Pug Precious, as she steals the movie playing the loveable dog.  The animation was clean and crisp, but the storyline was just dull and lifeless.  I kind of wish the film had been about Precious and not Surly.  The film is not worth seeing in 3-D and parents be warned, there are a number of fart jokes. My Rating: Cable  The Nut Job Facebook Page

Forgotten Film:  Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2003) R  Harry (Robert Downey Jr) is a bumbling thief.  Evading the police after a botched robbery, Harry stumbles into an acting audition and impresses the producers of a movie.  At a Hollywood party, Harry meets a Private Investigator, Perry (Val Kilmer) who is going to train Harry for his role in the film.  An unusual friendship is started and soon the pair are caught up in a murder investigation.  This is a very funny comedy that plays on stereotypical detective films of the 40’s and 50’s.  Downey and Kilmer are hilarious, and the dialogue is sharp and fast.  My Rating:  Full Price  Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Info

In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I’ve Only Seen in Trailers But Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  Blended (2014)  This romantic comedy  stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore who, after a blind date that goes bad, find themselves and their families on the same vacation.  I think Sandler just makes movies now so that he can travel, this time to Africa.  Blended Website

In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD/Blu-ray):  Carrie  (2013) R  I didn’t like this film, mostly because it didn’t bring anything new to the plot.  I felt that Chloe Moretz was badly cast as Carrie, and the film didn’t have any spark to it.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee  Carrie Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit:  Russian arm operator

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  The Railway Man  (2013)  Based on a true story about a British officer who was forced to help the Japanese build a railway during World War II. Now, years later, he finds out that the Japanese officer who tortured him is still alive.  Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth star in the film.  The Railway Man Facebook Page
Until Next Time!

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