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Movies for the Week of January 10th, 2014

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Ride Along
Devil’s Due
The Nut Job

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit


jack-ryan-posterJosh Hadley: Personally, I have nothing against the Jack Ryan character, in fact I really liked The Sum Of All Fears, but this is just another bland, overblown, ridiculous stunt filled, pseudo-plot twist riddled, muddled spy “thriller” that has come in the wake of The Bourne Identity. I am sick of these movies and I have no interest in this new, rebooted “franchise”

Alex Jowski: So it’s an all Bourned up Jack Ryan reboot.  I read quite of few of Tom Clancy’s novels about the character and watched the movies.  It already had a reboot with The Sum of All Fears when Ben Affleck did a fairly great job assuming the mantle of the young CIA analyst.  I think Chris Pine will do a great job and it’ll be fun to see if he’s got the chops to bring a character to the screen that’s decidely not Captain Kirk.  Still, I don’t like the very action-flick angle this presents.   Tom Clancy’s novels (and not all those knock-off ones ghost written that simply say “Tom Clancy’s Whatever”) were very intellectual and well-thought out geo-political thrillers with not much action.  I don’t feel that this carries the spirit of the late author’s original works but instead caters to those lackluster FPS games of “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six”

The Tonnina: This movie seems to have it all! Romance, drama, action!  I’m interested because it doesn’t seem too cheesey, it has decent actors who seem to know what they are doing and because it has a simple storyline… Jack Ryan is the good guy who wants to fight the bad guys to save the country and people he loves!  Of course it will probably be a rocky road, seems like there is some secret agent stuff going on and lies and manipulation… all in all it seems descent.  I wouldn’t mind going to see this in theaters.

Mike White: It only makes sense to base a movie on a character that Tom Clancy wrote in the same way that Tom Clancy “wrote” many of his last few novels.  You just sell your name and have a ghost writer do your writing for you.  Same thing here. The character of Jack Ryan — who I feel doesn’t really have that name recognition that the studios think he does — has been played by three actors so far and Chris Pine makes the fourth. By calling the film “Jack Ryan”, we’re supposed to already know who this guy is, though we’ve seen him in middle age, youth, and as a decrepit old man running and pointing the only way Harrison Ford can.

Shadow Recruit looks like a typical spy film from the Cold War days, including our intrepid director Kenneth Branagh attacking a Russian accent like there was no tomorrow.  He’s so Russian in this film that he sweats vodka.

Prediction: At the end of the film our Russian villain is going to hold a gun against the head of Jack Ryan’s main squeeze, and no one is going to really care.

mister X: meh…looks okay, i guess-although i will say that since i haven’t seen chris pine play a character other than chris pine at least they paired him with a similarly-limited character actor…

Charley McMullen:  If this trailer gave any -ANY!- indication that the heroes would lose and the villains with cartoony accents would win, I’d see it.  If I were able to ignore this nagging suspicion that this once great franchise has been dumbed down into a by-the-numbers action movie (say, a Bourne movie, minus the gripping subtext), I’d see it.  If I had never heard of Waterworld, The Postman or Field of Dreams, I’d see it.  If cows were self-aware and vocally expressed their displeasure with the Dept. of Agriculture’s standard & practices regarding the living conditions for the livestock on government-subsidized farms, I’d see it.  So, I probably won’t see this.  Kiera Knightly sure is purty, though

Ride Along

Ride_Along_6Josh Hadley: This is… this… this is… nope, not doing it, SCREW YOU JOWSKI… I AM NOT DOING THIS… JUST DIE (Walks off in a huff).

Alex Jowski: This is a Chris Tucker role being filled by Kevin Hart so I guess that’s a positive to see that Chris Tucker won’t be irritating us anymore.  However we now have Kevin Hart taking that mantle which is kind of a shame since I like his stand-up but he looks so unentertaining in this movie.  Ice Cube is simply Ice Cube and this is far superior to Are We There Yet.  Still, this movie’s not my thing in the slightest so chances are I won’t be catching it at all.  Sorry.

The Tonnina: Ah Kevin Hart… If anyone isn’t familiar, this guy is almost as funny as Charley McMullen!  I love watching his stand up.  We use his jokes constantly.  He’s funny.  This movie looks funny, but it may suffer from funny trailer syndrome… where all the funny parts are in the trailer so there’s no real reason to go see the movie for the comedy.  My guess is that he does end up with the sister, but he may get hurt in the line of duty or the brother might get hurt… it’s a very predictable plot line.  I’m interested because it looks funny, I’m ashamed because it probably isn’t as funny as the trailer builds it up to be… Still I will probably go see it because it’s Kevin Hart…. I mean COME ON! He’s a funny guy!

Mike White: I swear that I saw this same film twenty years ago but with two white guys. Or maybe I’m thinking of that guy who wanted to dated Murtaugh’s daughter in Lethal Weapon.  Regardless, I think this movie may win the award for being the greenest film of 2014 as I guarantee 90% of its jokes have been recycled from other films.

mister X:  feel like i should have liked that more…but all it got was a few smirks

seems like something that should have been the follow-up to FRIDAY before chris tucker outstayed his welcome…

Charley McMullen I heard about this early on, and I had really high hopes.  I like buddy cop movies and I really like Kevin Hart, but…this…this is asking me to overlook a fuck of a whole lot in order to get to the 4 or 5 funny scenes between all the plot contrivances, two-dimensional caricatures and sitcom-caliber quips, and I just don’t think I have it in me.  I’m willing to defend only so much, Kevin!  I have to buy the concept that a grown adult woman won’t marry someone she loves without her brother’s permission, then I have to like a character who’s ego turns every human interaction into a pissing contest (“You need to show me you’re worthy!”  Fuck, I could hear that “you’re” was misspelled in the script), then I have to pretend that “You can’t drive it anymore!” was really the best line anyone could come up with after a car explodes.  Meet me halfway, Kevin!  You are supposed to strive for quality and raise the goddamn bar, not expect slack and turn comedic filmmaking into a fucking Special Olympics!  I wish you luck, Kevin.  I know you have a good performance in you somewhere deep down, but you need to find better projects to say yes to, sir.

Devil’s Due



Alex Jowski: Wow.  Did I just watch a trailer for a found footage attempt at Rosemary’s Baby?  Yep.. I sure did.  I guess Hollywood is more bereft of creativity than I thought it was.  Depressing.

The Tonnina NOPE… I don’t do horror movies… I really hate when horror movies involve babies and I can’t stand when HORROR MOVIES COME OUT AND IT’S NOT HALLOWEEN TIME!

Mike White: Oh, hey, it’s a “found footage” version of Rosemary’s Baby, kinda. Who gives a fuck?  I’m just surprised it wasn’t called Paranormal Activity: Devil’s Due.

mister X:


Charley McMullen:  I found this footage to be fucking stupid!  Will it have a happy ending or a down ending?  Trick question!  I have to give a fuck about the characters for it to matter, and this trailer gave me nothing.  I don’t mean to be harsh, but this movie -along with EVERY OTHER MOVIE in this ginger stepchild of a horror sub-genre- leeches onto the found footage format without having any reason to do so.  All I’m asking for is a quick fucking title card at the top telling me why I’m about to watch camcorder footage for $9 a ticket.  Christ, remember the Blair Witch Project /Sci-Fi Channel special that premiered about 3 weeks before the movie?  Where do you go when that is a high water mark beyond your abilities?!  Way to aim low and settle for very little, Hollywood.  This, every one of the increasingly interchangeable Paranormal Activity movies, all of them are found footage movies because they are cheap, easy and require no actual filmmaking skill or acting abilities.  None.  This dead horse will never stop twitching as long as there are greedy little fucking “directors” out there looking for a cheap and dishonest shortcut to a filmmaking career.  You should all fuck off and leave the movie-making to people who care about what they’re doing.

The Nut Job


Alex Jowski: You know what’s fun?  Just listen to this trailer instead of watching it.  You hear all the lines of “I want those nuts!”  “I’m gonna get these nuts!” “He’s in my underwears!” and without the context of wildlife talking about their food source it sounds like the audio to the wackiest gay porno that ever was.

Anyway, I’ll have to see this movie because of the kids and it’s not one I’m really looking forward to.  This trailer lost my interest the second someone said “Holy Macadamia,” and then further alienated me by forcing a non-pun out of “the lost city of Nutlantis.”  There’s not a lot of thought put into this movie it seems so, the kids can have it to keep them occupied for a while.

The Tonnina: It’s an animated movie about squirrels… I’m in! MUST SEE THE SQUIRRELS!!!

Mike White: I suggest a drinking game for The Nut Job. Take a drink every time someone says “nuts” and have the hospital on speed dial. I have a feeling that this movie is a Chip N’ Dale episode that went awry.

mister X:when u can cram more than one fart joke into your 160 second trailer it becomes clear that i am NOT your target audience

…and when i wanna see talking animals scrounging for food, i watch THIS:

Charley McMullen:  I’d like to speak to the animation community directly for just a moment.  Hi, there.  Come on in; have a seat.  Coffee?  No?  Well, it’s in the kitchen if you change your mind.  Listen, I respect what you do.  I really do.  You’re making kids’ movies.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s not your fault John Lassiter long ago decreed that “All animation must look the same FOREVER!!”  Kids enjoy animation and that’s what animation is now.  “March of Progress” and all that.  Will Arnet, you’re taking work away from actual voice actors that probably really need the money, but I’ll let that slide.  You’ve got a great voice and it’s well-suited to this kind of thing.  The thing is, these don’t need to be in the theatre.  I don’t know if all of you have kids or not, but getting them all dressed, into the car, into the theatre and getting the little fuckers to shut up and fucking sit still in the theatre for 90 minutes is just a giant pain in the ass.  What if you just made all of these things for OnDemand viewing exclusively.  You’ll save money of prints, advertising and you can free up screen space for movies for grown-up adults.  You know, the ones that buy the tickets, generally.  Again, Keep it up.  You’re entertaining children and, goddamnit, that is noble!  Just keep it on the playground and leave the theatres for the real movies, okay?  Good talk.

Next Week
I, Frankenstein
The Adventurer: Curse of the Midas Box
Cold Comes the Night
Black Coffee
About The Author
Matthew Coats
Matthew Coats
Formerly known under the pseudonym of Alex Jowski. Site owner, movie aficionado, and film school grad. Matthew Coats presents reviews, some written, some as vlogs, and some as weekly shows, for a variety of different movies and television shows. After years of struggling to get his own projects off the ground amidst the normal routine of living, Matthew Coats decided to create a site in order to share and promote movie reviews, video games and much much more from talented and original people all across the internet.

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