Day 5 – Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – 2014

I like Chris Pine. He is a lovely actor, nice guy and he also plays Captain James T Kirk in the Star Trek Kelvin universe. He plays Jack Ryan, the financial analyst whos then works undercover for the CIA to find the dodgy dealings of Russian magnate and thug Victor Cherevin.

Its a nice story, updated from the cold war russia to today and the rise of digital technology and the stock exchange and the supporting cast including Keira Knightley who plays Jack Ryans sweetheart ‘Cathy Muller’. She plays the standard damsel in distress, of which gets taken a couple of times throughout the movie in various situations. She plays the part well enough for you to care about her and the relationship between her and Jack Ryan. The villain is boring and you don’t care for his intentions. I am glad he dies.

Kevin Costner plays the CIA agent ‘Thomas Harper’ who recruits the shadow man himself into the CIA. Over the 10 year period he appears and asks Jack to help them with there assignment almost getting everyone killed in the process. A shoutout to Gemma Chan who plays a CIA operative, you may recognise her from her recent appearanec on the Channel 4 TV show called Humans where she plays the synth called Anita.

Jack Ryan has been played by 4 actors:

  1. The Hunt for the Red October – Alec Baldwin.
  2. Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger – Harrison Ford.
  3. The Sum of all Fears – Ben Affleck
  4. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – Chris Pine.

 

Its a fun adventure jumping from New York to Russia, a proper international spy film.

Should you watch it: YES

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Day 4 – The Revenant – 2015

Leonardo Dicaprio has been hunting for a best actor oscar for over 15 years and 2016 was his time to shine. Directed by oscar winning director from 2015 (Birdman) Alejandro González Iñárritu, and shot by 3 time oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki.

1820’s america, the frontiersman are gathering fur from bears to sell to makers across the americas, and Hugh Glass is the man to help them catch the pelts. During their journey, Glass and his son are mauled by a bear and fights for his life while his son protects him. During the film, a sense of deception happens to Glass as he is left for dead by the people on his expedition and has to fight for his life while catching up to the people who did that to him.

Its a thrilling story, set in the cold north of the americas, and Lubezki’s cinematography is amazing, using hues of blue and grey in the colour pallete to hint at the sense of cold the characters are facing during there ordeal.

Inarritu has shot this film in such a way that the opening shot is almost 10 minutes long with no break in the concentration. Amazing set pieces showcase the talent behind the camera and shows that his can truly shoot anywhere from the old outback, new york city and even in space.

This film is truly remarkable.

Should you watch it: YES

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Day 4 – The Departed – 2006

Martin Scorsese is a a director who’s likes to direct films about sicilian-american families in film such as Goodfellas, Casino, and Taxi Driver. This film is a departure from said films because its about the Irish Mob and the internal and external corruption in the boston police force. A woeful tale of being in the wrong place in the wrong time.\

Matt Damon, Leonardo Dicaprio and Jack Nicholson all star among the vast cast and crew of which are too many to list. The film is grim look at how police and mob corruption can effect even the smallest degree of culture. The identity of one emotions, self assurance and dreams are effected in the biggest way.

It was originally made in Hong Kong as Infernal Affairs and adapted by William Monahan for the western audience. Many believe the original was superior but i haven’t seen it so i am unable to comment. Maybe i should get around to viewing this marvel.

This film is brutal, the deaths you see are uncut and truly what it would have been like. Its intense, real, and based on a true story which inself was also turned into a motion picture.

Should you watch it: YES

 

 

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Day 3 – Moneyball – 2011

$120 The tale of the Oakland Athletics Baseball teams triumphant almost win in the 2002 league thanks to general manager Billy Beane reliance on player statistics thanks to computer generated analysis.

This film is not about baseball. It’s about one mans journey to turn around a team with limited funds and locate players from computer generated statistics. It’s amazing. Brad Pitt and Jonah Hills portrayal of ‘Billy Beane’ and ‘Peter Brand’ are superb as they both work off each other nuances.

Using technology to spend $35 Million dollars over the year to find the best candidates for the job at hand: Baseball. Comparing to other top tier teams who spend $120 Million dollars such as the New York Yankees.

The supporting acts such as Chris Pratt’s ‘Scott Hatterberg’, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s GM ‘Art Howe’ are written as good man who want to get the job done, but thanks to money they cannot stand against the tyranny of the media. That meant that scouts don’t look for them and they don’t get drafted into the league.

This film is amazing, one of my all time favourite autobiographical stories originally written Michael Lewis as a book in 2003.

 

Go see this film.

Should you watch it: YES

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Day 3 – Sully: Miracle on the Hudson – 2016

Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was the man who landed a plane in the Hudson River in 2009 when both his engines failed just after takeoff thanks to birds entering the engine. The man was a hero, but the aviation committee wanted to make him the villain. This film documents what happened on that flight and the aftermath after with Hanks portraying ‘Sully’.

Birds hit the plane and blow the engines. They can’t flight back to the airport, so they excute a text book water landing. No one in history has ever done it before and it was successfull.

The execution of direction is impeccable. Clint Eastwood at 86 years old has directed a fantastic autobiographical tale of the flight and the aftermath. It’s just a shame that the film at 1:36 long is a little short by Hollywood standards. I wish we could see a little more character development for the copilot ‘Jeff Skiles’ played by Aaron Eckart.

This film was fantastic and i implore everyone if they ever get a chance to see this film, they jump at it. Oscar nominee for best film/actor 2017…? Maybe.

Should you watch it: YES

Day 2 – Jack Reacher: Never Go Back – 2016

Tom Cruise is a top man. He is such a good actor, fantastic producer and generally a really nice guy. This film is a sequel to his Jack Reacher film from 2012 taken from the Lee Childs Book ‘One Shot’. That films was really good. Enjoyable, great plot and good cast. This film however does not have the same attributes

Its a good film, and Cruise plays Reacher to the same degree as the last film but this time the film has no pazzaze, no flavour, no soul. Cobie Smulders is the eye candy, but her character is boring. Another Navy general whos been charged with a crime that wasn’t her. Enter Cruise who has to find a way to bring her to justice the Reacher way.

Acting is ok, Cruise is fantastic as always and the supporting cast are generally ok (minus his hissy teenage daughter in the film).

Not worth your time.

Go watch Frozen instead.

Should you watch it: NO

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Day 1 – High-Rise – 2015

This was a film actually was actually planned to be made in 1975, but was deemed unfilmable by the producers for its scale and size. The film is actally set in the 70’s but never specified.

Tom Hiddleston moves into this new spaceage style apartment building block, where the rich are at the top and the poor are at the bottom causing a sense of class culture shock in certain scenes.

Hiddleston is flawless as Laing, the everyman whos thrusted into the crazy world of the High-Rise. His performance as man who wants change but is afriad shows the inert feeling of everyones first time moving out into there own space. Smoking, drinking and making love. Everything he ever wanted all in the comfort of his own space. Luke Evans, Jeremy Irons and Sienna Miller all star in this crazy film, all with there own mad character portrayals (props to Luke Evans and that haircut/moustache). Elizabeth Moss who many may recognise from Mad Men stretches her vocal cords with her britist accent which flawlessly showcases her talent for picking up local dialect.

This film is weird, really weird. The opening 30 minutes are a fun journey across the 70’s, but after that its becomes a whole different kettle of fish. You be the judge.

Should you watch it: YES

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