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.
Collateral Beauty is the epitome of what is wrong with studios today, especially considering the outright dishonest trailer they put together for this which features really unlikeable characters. The performances from Smith, Winslet, Pena and Mirren were alright at least but hardly could make up for the bad script.
Needless to say, Everest isn’t exactly a lighthearted adventure flick but in spite of that, and some so-so writing, the performances from the ensemble cast, Jason Clarke and Josh Brolin especially, makes it worthwhile, though for myself, I’m not sure if I’d ever revisit it. The Blu-ray released by Universal offers excellent video and audio transfers and a fine selection of bonus material.
The Imitation Game probably gets a solid “B+” for sheer entertainment value but a “D+” for accuracy, something that is an unforced error as the real life story of Turing, as well as co-inventor Gordon Welchman, is interesting enough without having to introduce non-existent plot points and changing around characters to fit the dramatic story the filmmakers wanted to tell. Even so, the acting still is top notched especially by Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.
Begin Again is one enjoyable movie about the music industry without too many inclusionary or referential backgrounds, unlike something like High Fidelity (which is a great movie on its own), and instead is a light-hearted character drama with some catchy songs and actually, Knightley isn’t a half-bad singer. Basically, this is a fun movie that’s neither challenging nor forgettable at the same time.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is hardly the perfect movie, it’s not even a good thriller, but it’s a satisfying enough flick so long as you aren’t a fan of the character or novels. The plot is a bit thin but the action scenes, as dumb since as they may be, were well filmed at least. The Blu-ray release has incredible audio and video while the features are good enough.
Anna Karenina is yet another film with plenty of potential but failed thanks to a lifeless script and oft stilted acting from what is normally a respectable cast. This is the epitome of style over substance as Wright attempts to give his portrayal a different flavor than those that have come before and while I do appreciate trying something different, perhaps more focus should’ve been paid on the script and, in some cases, casting. This is not a completely disastrous production and not void of anything good, but for me it’s worth one viewing only
I enjoyed London Boulevard, warts, clichés and all, and because of the casting and some nice camera work, I’d give this a slight recommendation, though it might be wise for a rental. The Blu-ray itself comes with solid video and audio transfers but the special features are much to be desired.
Sony Pictures has announced the date and released artwork for the crime drama, London Boulevard starring Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Ray Winstone, David Thewlis and Ben Chaplin. It is the directorial debut of William Monahan (The Departed). Click on the link below or image to the left to check out the features and artwork.
Last Night might not have hit the homerun I was looking for, the trailers at least did catch my eye and I think there certainly are some good points to the film and unlike many other generic and often overly dramatic rom-dramas, this one has stuck with me hours after watching.
Never Let Me Go is perhaps the most sadly overlooked picture of 2010. While I doubt any of the three performances were worthy of an Academy Award Nomination but the film as a whole deserved more notice than it received at the box office. With life now on DVD and Blu-ray, I think it’s certainly worth giving a try especially if you liked dramas such as Atonement.