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on 6 October 2014
A new version of the saga of CIA analyst, Jack Ryan. It begins when Ryan was attending the London School of Economics; and 9/11 happened. He would then enlist in the Marines and would go to Afghanistan. The chopper he was on would get shot down and he would suffer severe injuries that would require intense rehab. While there, he grabs the attention of a man named Harper, who works for the CIA and would like him to finish his studies and get a job on Wall Street so he can find out of any terrorist plot through their finances. A few years later, Ryan finds anomalies in the accounts of a Russian named Cherevin. Jack thinks he should go to Russia to find out what's going on. Jack was told not to tell anyone who he is and that includes his girl friend Cathy. But she catches Jack in some lies which makes her doubt him. Jack goes to Russia and Cherevin assigns him someone to take care of him. But when they're alone the man tries to kill Jack. So Jack kills him. Obvious Cherevin is hiding something so Jack goes to meet him, and he says he will bring his fiancé along. But Cathy shows up and Jack has to tell her the truth. Harper says Cathy has to go with Jack when she meets Cherevin. Jack doesn't want her to but Cathy says she's going. So the action begins that leads to the climax...

Well directed, good acting, good supporting cast and drama, action that keeps you watching with a simple straight foward storyline.

Overall a decent action/thriller. Enjoy
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on 26 January 2014
"Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" (2014 release; 105 min.) brings a reinvented Jack Ryan to the screen, this time as played by Chris Pine, he of the "Star Trek" reboot franchise (as Capt. Kirk). As the movie opens, we see Ryan on the campus of the London School of Economics when 9/11 happens. Ryan volunteers for the Marine Corps and is deployed in Afghanistan, where he gets severely injured during a helicopter attack (check out the Bengals/Ravens jokes before the attack!). During rehab, he gets to know Cathy Muller (played by Keira Knightley), who is about to graduate from med school. Flash forward 10 years: Ryan is now working for the CIA as a financial analyst at a Wall Street investment bank, and he notices weird financial transactions going on in Russia. He reports it to his CIA boss Tom Harper (played by Kevin Costner), and off goes Ryan to Moscow to investigate further. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first, this film is directed by none other than Kenneth Branagh (who also plays "the bad guy"). When I see his name, I usually think of William Shakespeare and theater, not action movies. Not that he doesn't do a pretty good job at it. Second, it really takes a jump of faith to see Chris Pine as Jack Ryan, for one thing, he just looks too young! Third, Keira Knightley oozes charm (and beauty) as Ryan's girlfriend/fiancee. Fourth, as to the action itself, something seemed a little off once in a while. For example, the crucial break-in sequence (where Ryan penetrates the office of the bad guy) goes off way too easily. Last but not least, there are some great one-liners in the movie which bring some much needed light touches. At one point Ryan convinces his Wall Street banker boss that he isn't going to rock the boat, to which his boss replies: "it's not a boat, it's a luxury yacht, and we're all on it together", ha! Later on, when Ryan meets up with Harper in Moscow, Ryan complains that he was promised an office job, to which Harper relies "You're not just a financial analyst anymore, you're operational", and hands him a gun, ha!

Bottom line: while this is certainly not a bad movie per se, and the time flew by quickly, I was nevertheless slightly let down as something is not quite right with this Jack Ryan reboot. The screening I saw this at was surprisingly well attended for a weekday evening show, so it must be that there is a demand for this movie. If you like Jack Ryan, I suggest you check this out for yourself, be it in the theater or on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusions about this reboot.
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on 16 February 2016
VIDEO:

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit arrives on blu-ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.35:1 encode. This terrific transfer has a warm cinematic presence. Contrast is excellent with deep, solid blacks and revealing shadow delineation. The colour palette is richly hued with strong primaries and vibrant highlights that pop with brightness. Colour graduations are perfectly smooth and beautifully textured. Resolution is outstanding, with fine detail evident throughout. Detail is never lost, even in the darkest scenes. Facial features are finely resolved, as well as hair, clothing, and object texture. Fleshtones are perfectly hued, for impressive naturalness. This is a wonderful picture with stunning, reference imagery. (5/5)

AUDIO:

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1-channel soundtrack is effectively impressive, with a fully active immersive soundfield that envelops throughout, both in terms of low-level ambiance and energized peaks. The track is consistently dynamic, full, wide, and rich, delivering everything from robust musical notes to subtle ambiance with ease and lifelike accuracy. Music is very well spaced and plays with natural, enveloping stage presence. Clarity is strong throughout the range. Action sound effects are impeccably placed and detailed, whether the chaotic sounds of a helicopter before and after coming under fire, gunshots, or car crashes. Even more subtle sound effects, like brass casings falling to the floor after ejection from a suppressed pistol, play with an uncanny lifelike sound. Gently falling rain and rolling thunder, typical big city din, and airport public address announcements all play with a lifelike clarity and precision placement. Dialogue flows evenly and clearly from the center. This is a top-notch, reference-capable soundtrack from Paramount. (5/5)

MOVIE:

This is the fifth instalment of the Jack Ryan franchise, following The Hunt For Red October (Alec Baldwin), Patriot Games and Clear And Present Danger (Harrison Ford) and The Sum Of All Fears (Ben Affleck). Chris Pine did great justice to Clancy's patriotic, honest and heroic character. Ken Branagh was simply terrific, both as the Director, and as a ruthless Russian criminal, Viktor Cherevin. He brings an intensity to his villainous character, the likes of which we haven't seen in a Jack Ryan film yet. Both Kevin Costner and Keira Knightley are terrific in their roles. Not based on a previously existing Jack Ryan book, Shadow Recruit features a completely original story that gives the character an origin, a backstory and a motivation. (4.5/5)

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a worthy entry to Tom Clancy's five-film-deep Jack Ryan franchise, a solid way to kick-start the franchise for new viewers while pleasing the long-time fans. It's surprisingly well balanced with character, emotion, romance, plot, action and tension. The original screenplay written by Adam Cozad was entitled Dubai and was intended to be an action film starring Eric Bana. Paramount later asked Cozad to rewrite his old script and to change the lead character to Jack Ryan. Unfortunately, the box office was a failure. I hope with good blu-ray sale, hopefully, we don’t have to wait another decade for another sequel to the Jack Ryan franchise. Both the video and audio are terrific. I particularly enjoyed the Commentary by Kenneth Branagh in the Bonus Feature, where the informative track demonstrated how grand his knowledge of filmmaking is. This set is highly recommended.
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'Jack Ryan'(Chris Pine) a marine stationed in 'Afghanistan' is injured in a helicopter
crash.
.His recovery is a long and difficult road, but determination and encouragement
determination and encouragement from a 'Doctor' brings the desired outcome.
As a marine he is well respected, he has a high intelligence level, because of
this he is offered the opportunity to continue serving his country by 'C.I.A agent
'Thomas Harper'.(Kevin Costner)
'Jack' will complete his economics course and join a financial institution as a analyst,
but will be an under-cover operative.
'Cathy' (Keira Knightley) the doctor he'd met whilst in hospital is now his fiancée, but is
blissfully unaware of 'Jack's' involvement with the C.I.A.
'Jack' notices irregularity's in the Russian side of the businesses financial activity, and
realizes it needs investigating.
As compliance officer he decides to travel to Russia with the intention of investigating
a financial plot.
He is met at the airport a man who claims to be designated to escort him to the hotel
and be his driver, when reaching the hotel room the man attempts to kill 'Jack' .........
Not a great welcome to Russia.
'Thomas Harper' and a team are in Moscow to watch over 'Jacks' activity.
When going to the office the next day, it seems the Russians are a couple of steps
ahead of the game, 'Jack' appears to have nothing left to audit.
'Viktor Cherevin' informs 'Jack' that 'his fiancée 'Cathy' is waiting for him at the hotel,
her presence will mean he has more than just himself to watch out for.
The situation becomes much more dangerous as 'Jack' try's to dig deeper into 'Viktor's'
operation, it turns into a life or death situation for both 'Jack' and 'Cathy' 'Viktor' is a
ruthless character.
The Russians plan for America's financial collapse taking proceedings into the heart of
the U.S financial Centre.......'Wall Street'
This is a 'Jack Ryan' re-invented tale, hi-tech, with some decent action along the way, I
don't think however either 'Bond' or indeed 'Bourne' need worry.....though I can see an
obvious opportunity to create a movie-series.
Bonus Features -
* Deleted and Extended Scenes with optional commentary by 'Kenneth Branagh' and
'Lorenzo Bonaventura'
* Jack Ryan' - The smartest guy in the room.
* Sir Kenneth Branagh' - The tzar of Shadow Recruit.
* Jack Ryan' - A thinking man of Action.
* Old Enemies return.
* Commentary by 'Kenneth Branagh' and 'Lorenzo Bonaventura'
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on 3 June 2014
The latest film to feature the character of Jack Ryan from the Tom Clancy books is also an attempt to return to his original recruitment and first mission. This is a little odd as the Ben Affleck version of "A Sum of All Fears" already did that. But, like Spiderman it seems people like making movies about Jack Ryan's origins, and this time its updated to a post 9/11 setting. By doing that however you remove the whole tone of the original Tom Clancy novels, which were always set in the Cold War with the Russians as the bad guys. This time, having updated the setting the Russians are again the bad guys!

Enter Kenneth Brannagh spouting dialogue in his best Russian accent and acting the part of a one dimensional Bond villian. To hell with Glasnost, those fools have betrayed Russia, etc, etc. Considering Kenneth Brannagh also directed this movie its surprising he didn't also insist on a volcano base and sharks with lasers on them.

Chris Pine does his best to show he is a serious actor, and in the first half of the movie he is not too bad. The overly complicated technoplot sounds like the sort of thing Tom Clancy might have written. But unfortunately half way through the film this novice Jack Ryan forgets he is supposed to be an analyst with no experience of field work and starts to kick butt. The movie rapidly descends into a run of the mill action thriller with chases, punch ups and even a bomb with a count down on it!

This is a far cry from the original Jack Ryan stories and suggests a certain dumbing down for modern audiences. Fans of the original Tom Clancy movies might enjoy the first half of this film. Fans of the new Star Trek will probably enjoy the second. Altogether its not a complete disaster but as a James Bond wannabe its a poor substitute.
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on 24 May 2015
Sometimes you just want a film that doesn't make you think too hard but is entertaining and watchable. This is not one of those films. It is a collection of pointless and boring characters churning out already exhausted cliches stringing along a plot that wouldn't fill a restaurant napkin. In a word, crap.
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on 30 January 2015
Predictable, cheesy crap complete with ubiquitous car chase or two. Yawn. Shame on Branagh for being involved in this. Poorly acted by most (especially Knightley although she is excellent at impersonating a gurning giraffe). Unsympathetic storyline as how many of us would really be that upset if those crooks on Wall Street were blown to bits? And the Russians were infinitely more interesting than the massive-browed drips, Pine and Knightley. Give this one a miss unless partly comatose on your couch from flu like I was and nothing else was on.
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on 19 June 2014
i guess you need to be american to enjoy this simple film of the all good american against the all bad russians … i am surprised that the two uk stars got involved in such predictable drivel ….. keira why the silly accent ….branagh the same …. there were some funny moments though when the hero spotted the explosive filled van because of the bad paint job...
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on 12 January 2015
So so bad. Kenneth Branagh seems to think that you do a foreign accent by not moving your top lip. Keira Knightley is probably the worst actress going. The story is a reboot but a very poor one. Jack Ryan is an already formed character but they thought they'd do the whole bond thing and start again..... Shouldn't have bothered.
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on 30 March 2015
Good movie, it did take a while to get going. The first half an hour was a bit slow but the rest of the movie made up for that. Chris Pine showed he could act, Keira Knightley and Kevin Costner both did a good job in the supporting cast.

The movie starts off with Jack/Chris in LSE (London School of Economics), where he see the Twin Towers attack. Deciding to leave university and join the millitery, he becomes Marine. Injured in combat he is visited by the CIA with an offer to join them as an analyst. After 10 years his he is forced back into the field. The action is good, more realistic that the average action movie. The explosion are a bit of a led down as the are quite obivously CG an not in a good way. However all in all a good all round movie.
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