Movie Review: Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit *****

movie review jack ryan shadow recruit

Tom Clancy created Jack Ryan and Harrison Ford played the part in several movies. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a modernized telling of how the familiar character became who he is. Now, Chris Penn is a young Jack Ryan in 21st century America whose college life changes during the terrorist attack on 9/11. He joins the Marines and gets injured during action in Afghanistan. During his recovery, he gets approached by a shadowy figure who enlists his intellect and patriotism to find money transfers that could be funding terrorist plots. He covertly watches money exchanges by becoming a banking auditor on Wall Street. Suspicious monetary transactions are affecting the American dollar in a positive way when domestic events lead most to believe the economy should be declining. Upon further analysis, a plot is uncovered that could collapse the US economy. Jack is sent overseas to try to prevent the event from occurring.

The movie moves very quickly. Each segment is created and explained very well so we can follow the process of a CIA recruit who can tell no one of his real purpose while trying to live a normal life. The good guys, bad guys, and minor characters on both sides are very well played. The story is very well told. I was entertained. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on January 31, 2014 at 8:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Movie Review: American Hustle ****

movie american hustle

American Hustle is a truth based fictional movie nominated for 10 Academy Awards. The movie revolves around the ABSCAM scandal. Although  the disclaimer says that it is a work of fiction, the opening credits say that some of this stuff really happened. A con man finds a partner to improve his scams. They get caught by an FBI sting and agree to work off their sentence by helping an agent assigned to white collar crimes. Their schemes take them into local politics with high ranking officials involved with businessmen, mobsters, lovers, and an Arab sheikh. Just when things seem to be going as planned, a wild card is played that could change everything. The fact that this movie is based on a true story is enough intrigue to be interesting. The actors are perfect for the roles they play and portray them in a most convincing way. This is the kind of movie that the Academy Awards like to nominate for lots of awards. The story is very good, the acting is very good, the direction is very good. Standing alone as a believable story that I would be excited to share with all my friends, the movie is just very good, not great. 4 out of 5 stars from me.

Published in: on January 28, 2014 at 11:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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Movie Review: Lone Survivor **

movie lone survivor

Lone Survivor is a modern day war movie about Navy Seals targeting al Qaeda militia during the war in Afghanistan. While the opening credits roll, we get a glimpse of the rugged training that Navy Seals endure to prepare for potentially brutal real life missions. Simulations of torture and drowning are a few of the exercises portrayed to train these soldiers for worst case scenarios. A plan is formatted to hike through rugged terrain to get to a village where a key opposition leader is assembling and training rebels. The objective is to get in, hit the target, and get out. Unforeseen circumstances occur, and decisions must be made to complete or abort the mission with consideration given to the rules of engagement.

The movie is based on a true story of American involvement during the war in Afghanistan. Mark Wahlberg stars as the main character. His physique makes him a convincing example of an elite soldier. He could pass as a Navy Seal. His portrayal is believable. The clash between forces and the brutality of war is documented with a long, intense, harrowing firefight in the rugged terrain of Afghanistan.

This movie is not for the squeamish. Lots of F-bombs are used. Gory death scenes, beheadings, fatal falls, and broken bones cross the screen. View the show expecting to see a real depiction of war. Unfortunately, the title of the movie gives away the ending. 2 out of 5 stars,

Published in: on January 23, 2014 at 12:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Movie Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty *****

movie secret life of walter mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a retelling of the classic 1939 short story by James Thurber, and an updated production of the 1947 Danny Kaye movie about a daydreamer.  Walter Mitty has a behind the scenes job and lives a boring life. He is socially inept, and regularly zones out at work and with family. During these episodes, he daydreams of what he would do if he were someone other than himself. He could be the hero, the lover, or the guy who stands up to the bully. But then reality reappears and he becomes the nobody he has always been. He has a huge crush on a co-worker but has trouble approaching her because he sees himself as an uninteresting person who has never done anything compelling or noteworthy. His job contains a key support role to another co-worker whom he has never met in person. An important piece of his work responsibility is lost and his job is jeopardized because of it. He seeks out this missing item and discovers that he is somebody.

Ben Stiller plays Walter Mitty and does an excellent job of portraying a serious character (for a change). The scenes go from the big city to the Arctic to the Middle East. Amazing characters are met in a backdrop of spectacular locations when he steps out of the security of his everyday surroundings.

This movie depicts the fears that many people have. We think about what we might do in a difficult situation–if we only had enough courage to take action. Watching Walter Mitty move away from his daydreams and actually take uncomfortable steps is a lesson in growing up. I found myself rooting for him while wondering if he was actually maturing, or if this was all another prolonged daydream. He seems to develop confidence in building relationships in his personal and professional life.

This is a very good date movie. I loved it. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on January 2, 2014 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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