The Jack Ryan Collection is a solid release from Paramount for what I consider a nice franchise, however there never was one that stoodout, each being fine filmmaking and storytelling and nice performances from the respective actors.
Ride Along 2 is no better or worse than the original. You’ve pretty much got the same type of jokes and the performances from its core cast isn’t anything special, though presumably they at least had a good time while filming. The action is rather ho-hum and although I don’t mind Kevin Hart, even he seemed to be going through the motions.
Run All Night isn’t great but a perfectly satisfactory and entertaining action/thriller flick. Liam Neeson does employ his “special set of skills” but unlike the Taken movies, his character does get more depth and actual emotion. The writing isn’t the best, in particular developing the plot, but this is at least worth a rental.
“Rizzoli & Isles” is a fun show that won’t challenge the brain which makes it a nice, relaxing viewing. But beyond the stories, what drives the series, since its inception, the cast it what makes it go headlined by Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander who share amazing (friendly) on-screen chemistry.
Ride Along had the potential to be a good action-comedy and despite good on-screen chemistry between its two leads, it gets bogged down with a clichéd screenplay and ho-hum direction. The Blu-ray released by Universal does offer up a good selection of bonus material and the video/audio transfers are top notch.
Despite its many flaws in the show, I still found “Rizzoli & Isles” to be enjoyable enough. Is it as engaging from episode to episode? Not quite, but the performances from the cast do at least make me want to see future episodes at some point. Hopefully season four will have improved things on the story front while still moving the characters forward. The DVD has some OK, one-time viewing, features while the audio/video transfers are more than adequate.
Lincoln is bolstered by strong performances especially from Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones and although I appreciate Spielberg limiting such an interesting character, and President, to two aspects of his time in the White House, for whatever reason the story lacked an emotional punch. However, in spite of that, this is still a very well made historical drama and well worth checking out as you do get a better glimpse of the man beyond the legend he has become today.
Despite its 7 Academy Award nominations, The Insider is a woefully under-appreciated drama filled with excellent performances and a compelling story. Al Pacino, Russell Crowe and Christopher Plummer are all incredible and Mann’s direction, alongside Dante Spinotti’s lense, makes for a near masterpiece. The Blu-ray offered here fails miserably in the features department but the audio/video transfers are both top notch, the latter especially.