Tag Archives: Kevin Costner

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: Man of Steel

Man-of-Steel-Poster“Man of Steel” is like Superman taking a punch from a human; you feel nothing.

The film kicks off just as Krypton’s unstable core is about to decimate the planet. In an effort to ensure his race carries on, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) pops his newborn baby boy into a pod and ships him off to Earth. The pod lands in Kansas, right in the Kent’s backyard, and while Jonathan and Martha (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane) raise the boy as their own, they’ve also always known he’s not from here. In order to keep his origin a secret, Clark goes through school as an outcast, constantly getting picked on but unable to unleash his unearthly strength to fight back.

Now a 33-year-old man, Clark (Henry Cavill) moves from place to place, trying to keep a low profile. Trouble is, when he sees someone in trouble, he just can’t help himself. Finally Clark seizes an opportunity to learn about his real parents and home planet, but accessing that information also unleashes an unspeakable evil upon Earth, one that only he can stop.

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Review: The Company Men

Whether it’s happened to you or someone you know, job loss is a personal matter for the large majority and that makes it a testy topic to manage in a film. If it isn’t represented accurately it could be insulting, then again if it’s dealt with too precisely, it could be too much for some to handle, however, The Company Men approaches the issue quite tactfully. Not only does it deliver a respectable presentation of the hardship, but still manages to maintain a light enough tone making the film a viable source of entertainment rather than just a pity party. In fact, The Company Men might also be a fantastic source for those in need of a little hope.

It doesn’t matter how high you are on the food chain; at GTX, Global Transportation Systems, everyone is on the chopping block during a recession. One of the first to feel the effects of corporate downsizing is Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck), a family man who enjoys cruising around town in his Porsche and improving his golf game. Bobby is certainly angry when he gets the bad news, but pulls himself together quickly and heads into the world of unemployment sure he’ll only be there for a short while. Days turn into weeks and weeks into months leaving Bobby no choice, but to go to work for his brother-in-law (Kevin Costner) building houses.

Meanwhile, back at GTX, longtime employee Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper) is paranoid his day will come, too. Sure enough, he becomes a victim of a second round of cuts as does the company’s second in command, Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones). All three men suffer the same fate, but their roads to redemption are wildly different.

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