Tag Archives: Kenneth Branagh

Review: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Jack_Ryan_PosterThe second great depression? Who cares? Where’d the cute decoy dog go?

“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” focuses on the Tom Clancy-created character, Jack Ryan (Chris Pine), a CIA analyst who’s suddenly made operational after coming across hidden files suggesting a Russian oligarch is about to unleash a devastating financial attack on the United States. As the most knowledgeable person on the case, Jack’s superior, William Harper (Kevin Costner), decides he’s the man for the job and sends Jack on his first field assignment to Moscow where he’s expected to uncover the details of the terrorist plot before Kenneth Branagh’s Viktor Cherevin can topple the economy.

Oddly enough, more happens to Jack in the 15 minutes prior to everything in that synopsis. We meet a young Jack in London where his studies are interrupted by the 9/11 attacks. He’s inspired to join the Marines and becomes an all-star solider until his helicopter is shot down, landing him in rehab for months. His doctor-in-training, Cathy Muller (Keira Knightley), motivates him to suck it up and get back on his feet, and that’s when Costner’s Harper moves in, waiting until the time is right and then recruiting Jack for the CIA. Now that’s a movie. The script doesn’t give these life-changing events much time to breathe, but based on this sampling, had the film chronicled the ups and downs of Jack’s career prior to becoming an analyst, there would have been far more heart and meaning to the experience.

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Paramount Previews Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Footage

jackryanfootage1A new iteration of the Tom Clancy character, Jack Ryan, is about to hit the big screen and to ring in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit‘s impending January 17, 2014 release, Jack Ryan himself, Chris Pine, and Paramount screened 17 minutes of footage from the film in New York City.

In the Kenneth Branagh-directed film, we follow a young Jack Ryan as he tries to thwart a financial terrorist plot in present day Moscow. Before rolling into the footage, Pine prefaced, “Jack, he’s an analyst. He is a man that is physical, but is much more comfortable being behind the scenes.” Unlike a James Bond or Jason Bourne-type character who can quickly and naturally spring into action, simply put, Jack is scared. Pine further explained, “It’s a scary thing, just like if any of us were confronted with a violent or physical situation. You see a man who actually shakes.” And Pine meant that literally because in the footage screened, Jack trembles quite a bit.

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Review: Thor

As someone who isn’t up-to-date on her comic book reading, these films tend to be a bit of a blur. However, lately, that sensation fades after the films’ releases. Thanks to Marvel, over the years, I’ve gotten to know tons of endlessly fascinating characters like Iron Man, Spider-Man and more. Of course there were less memorable ones like Daredevil and the Punisher, but rest assured, Thor certainly earns his place in the latter group.

Meet Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), the king of Asgard. As the aging Odin approaches the end of his reign, he must select one of his two sons, the all-powerful Thor or the magical Loki (Tom Hiddleston), to assume the throne. While Thor’s seemingly the favorite, his decision to travel to the world of the Frost Giants to violently put an end to their long-term feud with the Asgardians, leaves his father no choice but to banish him for the threat his reckless behavior poses to their people.

Thor arrives on Earth via a charged tornado, the force setting off the radars of a local cosmologist, Jane (Natalie Portman). Jane rushes out to the scene of the action with Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) and their college intern, Darcy (Kat Dennings). That’s when she literally drives her truck straight into Thor. While Thor tries to figure out the oddities of this foreign realm, Jane and her team take him to be a guy who’s just out of his mind. However, as she starts to piece together the facts of his arrival and simply get to know Thor as a man, she’s compelled to believe.

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Interview: Pirate Radio’s Tom Sturridge

TomSturridgeIn the US, most people know Tom Sturridge as Robert Pattinson’s best pal. He’s had small roles in Vanity Fair and Being Julia, but beyond being by his vampire buddy’s side in tabloid photos, is widely unknown. It’s time you get to know Tom a little better because it’s his turn to prevail on the big screen, as a pirate.

In Pirate Radio Tom plays Carl, a kid who’s expelled from school and forced to work with his godfather. Lucky for him, his godfather is Quentin (Bill Nighy), the owner of Radio Rock, the ship responsible for bringing millions in Britain the music the government restricts.

Check out what Tom told me about getting his role, being naked in a bathroom with Nick Frost and his hopes to bring the play Punk Rock, for which he was just nominated for the Evening Standard Award for Outstanding Newcomer, to the US.

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Interview: Pirate Radio Writer-Director Richard Curtis

RichardCurtisEvery time I walk into a one-on-one interview with my Flip camera, the interviewee always takes note of it. It was a gift for my mother and, naturally, it had to have a pretty design on it. From there, we get to talking about what she uses it for and I’ve got to explain that the only ones in front of its lens are my dogs. Well, it’s time to not only aim the camera at someone who’s got something to say beyond barking, but the extremely talented writer and director, Richard Curtis.

Curtis is responsible for writing Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’s Diary. He wrote and directed Love Actually and now he’s pulling double duty, yet again, to set Pirate Radio afloat. Take a look at what Curtis told me about the filming process, his uproarious cast and hope to eventually bring the extended cut of the film to DVD.

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Interview: Pirate Radio’s Philip Seymour Hoffman

HoffmanAccording to Pirate Radio’s trailer, rock and roll played loudly throughout Britain until the government said no more. Okay, that sounds about right. The whole “until one American DJ and a band of renegades launched a radio station on the high seas” this? Well, not entirely. Philip Seymour Hoffman may be the most well known actor in Pirate Radio, particularly in the US, but he’s certainly not the star of this film and is eager to set the promotional material straight.

His character, The Count, is the sole American DJ aboard Radio Rock, a boat floating in the North Sea just outside the British government’s authority. It provides 24 hours of pop and rock a day until the government decides it’s time to sink their ship and outlaw them completely. The Count was just one of eight DJs determined to, in The Count’s words, “broadcast from this ship 24 hours a day until the day I die. And then for a couple days after that.”

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Review: Pirate Radio

PirateRadioPosterMoviegoing isn’t always about deep meanings, life changing concepts or even just sending someone home with a theory to consider. Sometimes it’s just about having fun and the men of Radio Rock will help you do just that. Pirate Radio is just as much of a party as the daily lives of the crew on the ship. No morals, no shame and good music; who wouldn’t want to climb aboard Radio Rock?

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