Blu-ray Review “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”

Actors: Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Branagh, Lenn Kudrjawizki
Directors: Kenneth Branagh
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Run Time: 105 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

The character of Jack Ryan from Tom Clancy’s novels has been played by many very talented actors over the last roughly 25 years from Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck. They have all done great with the character…yes even Affleck. Chris Pine, who just revived life into the character of Captain Kirk in the reboot of the “Star Trek” franchise, is hoping to do the same with this character but fails due to an extremely bland and unoriginal story. The film is so generic that you know where every scene it going with little to no surprise around each corner. I guess we will have to wait until they decide to reboot this series yet again or finally put it to sleep.

Official Premise: The thrills are non-stop as CIA recruit Jack Ryan (Chris Pine, “Star Trek” series) is caught in a dangerous web of intrigue and espionage spun between a shadowy government agent (Kevin Costner, “Field of Dreams”), his unsuspecting fiancee (Keira Knightly, “Pirates of the Caribbean” series) and a fearless Russian power broker (Kenneth Branagh, “Thor”). Jack must quickly evolve from soldier to analyst to full-fledged operative to stop a devastating terrorist plot against the United States.

Despite, the painfulness of the film itself, Paramount delivers an phenomonal release. “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” comes as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet digital copy. It boasts an outstanding 1080p transfer. The film just looks stunning and very details. The real winner though for this release is easily the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track. It works perfect building the film’s tension and shakes the walls in the action scenes. The score is also highlighted so well and sounds absolutely amazing. Overall, this was very effective and quite unexpected from this film, so I give major kudos.

The special features are quite decent as well. There is a solid and quite engaging audio commentary track from director Kenneth Branagh and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. “Jack Ryan: The Smartest Guy in the Room” is an all-around behind-the-scenes look into the film. “Sir Kenneth Branagh: The Tsar of Shadow Recruit” focuses on the director/actor role in the film. “Jack Ryan: A Thinking Man of Action”
looks into several key action sequences. “Old Enemies Return” is a look into the film’s villains in depth. Lastly, there are a five deleted & extended scenes, as well an alternate ending all with optional commentary by Director Kenneth Branagh and Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.


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Film Review “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”

Starring: Chris Pine, Keira Knightley and Kevin Costner
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hour 45 mins

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When I lived in Baltimore I had season tickets to the Orioles at Memorial Stadium (and, later, Camden Yards). The seats behind me were owned by a very nice guy who sold insurance. We would talk between innings about all kinds of things. From football (he HATED the Washington Redskins) to where to get the best burnt ends (off Route 40 near the Golden Ring mall). The man also wrote a little. His name was Tom Clancy and one of the characters he created is the subject of the new film “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.”

When we meet Jack Ryan (Pine), he’s a college student in England. Then the events of September 11, 2001 take place and we meet him again on a military mission in Afghanistan as a member of the U.S. Marines. After his helicopter is attacked and crashes, his injured body is sent to Walter Reed Medical Center where he learns to walk again thanks to his beautiful doctor, Cathy (Knightley). Now working as a bank examiner, Jack hides from Cathy the fact that his job is a cover for his work as an analyst for the C.IA, where he was secretly recruited while in the hospital by Thomas Harper (Costner). Jacks latest assignment will take him to Moscow, where his dealings with crooked businessman Viktor Cherevin (Branagh) may make this lesson his last.

First things first, this film is not based on any of Tom Clancy’s books. The filmmakers have basically taken his most popular character and given him a new backstory. And, if you’re not a fan of the books, it works. While Ryan is much more of an action hero here (“you’re not just an analyst,” Harper tells him) Pine still manages to keep the character grounded in reality. Knightley gets a little more to do than in previous stories and Costner is an excellent choice to play Ryan’s mentor.

The action comes non-stop and credit director/co-star Branagh with making the film interesting, both with his performance and his guidance. The film moves quickly to a rather satisfying climax. This is not your father’s Jack Ryan and, when everything is taken into consideration, that’s really not a bad thing.

Win Passes to the Advance Kansas City IMAX Screening of “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” [ENDED]

Media Mikes has teamed up with Paramount Pictures to offer our Kansas City area readers a chance to attend the upcoming advance screening of the new film “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” starring Chris Pine. The screening will be on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. and will be held at the AMC Studio 30 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas.

For a chance to win two passes go to and register. Winners will be notified by GOFOBO on Sunday, January 12, 2014.

Official Website:
Twitter: @JackRyanMovie #ShadowRecruit

Opening Date: Friday, January 17, 2014

Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and intense action, and brief strong language.

Based on the CIA analyst created by espionage master Tom Clancy, “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” is a blistering action thriller that follows Ryan (Chris Pine, “Star Trek”) from his quiet double-life as a veteran-turned-Wall Street executive to his all-out initiation as a hunted American agent on the trail of a massive terrorist plot in Moscow.

Ryan appears to be just another New York executive to his friends and loved ones, but his enlistment into the CIA secretly goes back years. He was brought in as a brainy Ph.D. who crunches global data – but when Ryan ferrets out a meticulously planned scheme to collapse the U.S. economy and spark global chaos, he becomes the only man with the skills to stop it. Now, he’s gone fully operational, thrust into a world of mounting suspicion, deception and deadly force. Caught between his tight-lipped handler Harper (Academy Award-winner Kevin Costner), his in-the-dark fiancée Cathy (Keira Knightley) and a brilliant Russian oligarch (Kenneth Branagh), Jack must confront a new reality where no one can seem to be trusted, yet the fate of millions rests on his finding the truth. With the urgency of a lit fuse, he’s in a race to stay one step ahead of everyone around him.