Posts Tagged ‘CIA’

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The hunt for a new action hero: “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”

January 19, 2014

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After more than a decade hiatus, CIA analyst Jack Ryan–Tom Clancy’s signature creation—is back on the screen. First embodied by Alec Baldwin nearly 25 years ago in a career-making (and, perversely enough, career-derailing) performance in The Hunt for Red October, the role then went to the more appropriate, but less interesting Harrison Ford in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. An attempt to reboot the character was made in 2002 when Ben Affleck stepped into the role in The Sum of All Fears, and that went about as well as everything else Affleck did in the 2000s. Now, Hollywood as decided to reboot the reboot with Chris Pine stepping in to retcon the character yet again in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. This time, however, the results are far more positive.
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From the Mists of Time: “Wanted Dead or Alive”

January 14, 2014

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Here’s a strange little number. It’s a movie that could just as easily fit in the “Criminally Overlooked” category as “From the Mists of Time,” since it’s actually quite a good movie, which never garnered the cult status it deserved. Even now I’m hesitant to wholeheartedly endorse it, since it’s the product of a more innocent time, which now takes on the dimension of a nightmare. Still, there’s no getting around the fact it’s a solidly-built thriller with more than ample amounts of ‘80s cheese, all served atop a hearty helping of Rutger Hauer. Okay, that metaphor went wrong, but you get the point: Rutger Hauer, sawed-off shotgun, terrorists in L.A. Need I say more? Of course not, but I will…
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From the Mists of Time: “Assassin”

April 9, 2013

625282900796“From the Mists of Time” is a new, semi-regular filler feature based upon Sci-Fi Invasion, a cheapie DVD set of 50 films that was an impulse buy as I was killing time until it was a more respectable hour to hit the local bars.  These are all largely-forgotten movies that span the history of cinema. They’re not good—Lord, they’re not—but some of them are entertaining enough to warrant a mini-review…

Installment #1: Assassin (1986): You know, you just can’t go wrong with Robert Conrad. He was the essential ‘60s and ‘70s tough-guy—a gravely-voices, ruggedly handsome leading man for the small-screen, equally comfortable slipping into the Cockpit of an F4U Corsair in Baa Baa Black Sheep as he was into a pair of the tightest pants in existence for The Wild Wild West (you know, before the inevitable scene where he’s stripped to the wait and tied up…man, that show had issues.) Anyway, in this made-for-TV movie he plays a retired CIA operative called back in to hunt a rogue—you guessed it!—assassin. It’s a fairly solid setup for an intrepidly-goofy movie.
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From the Archives: “Abduction”

March 30, 2012

This week, the wags at How Did This Get Made took on 2011’s Abduction. As with 88 Minutes, I got there first. Here is a repost of my Abduction review from Sept. 26, 2011. Digitally remastered.

Twenty years ago, John Singleton made his first feature film, Boys in the Hood, which earned him two Academy Award nominations. This year, he released Abduction, a brain-dead Bourne Identity rip-off that exists solely to showcase Taylor Lautner’s abs at the expense of intelligence, logic, coherence, and even basic filmmaking competence. I hope the money he made off this flick bought him a nice boat or a nice enough bender that when he finally comes to in a pool of his own sick he has no memory whatsoever of this film. Lord knows my attempts didn’t work.

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Blinded by Taylor Lautner’s teeth: “Abduction”

September 26, 2011

Twenty years ago, John Singleton made his first feature film, Boys in the Hood, which earned him two Academy Award nominations. This year, he released Abduction, a brain-dead Bourne Identity rip-off that exists solely to showcase Taylor Lautner’s abs at the expense of intelligence, logic, coherence, and even basic filmmaking competence. I hope the money he made off this flick bought him a nice boat or a nice enough bender that when he finally comes to in a pool of his own sick he has no memory whatsoever of this film. Lord knows my attempts didn’t work.
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Eric Bana’s groin is a lethal weapon: “Hanna”

April 16, 2011

Okay, so first up on my cinematic adventures in Hong Kong is the recently-released Hanna. I was pretty stoked to see this one. I’d read some interesting reviews of it in the American press, but a Thai release date seemed a long way off. Here, I got to see an interesting, small-release film in a timely fashion. Score! Besides, 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy was sold out, and I really didn’t want to see The Lincoln Lawyer.
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Well, they got the title right: “The Losers”

May 24, 2010

The Losers is based on a comic from the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics, the same people who brought us Wanted. As near as I can tell, Vertigo specializes in violent, nihilistic comics that almost no one reads. And then people make movies out of them, for some reason or other. I never read the comic (has anyone?), but based upon the Wikipedia entry, they seem to have gotten at least the basics right: The Losers are a Spec Ops team who get burned by their CIA handler, scapegoated for the slaughter of a bunch of kids and declared dead. So, they go deep underground to clear their names and nail their handler. If The Dirty Dozen and The A-Team had a kid, it would be The Losers—provided they drank like William S. Burroughs during the pregnancy.
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