Monthly Archives: October 2016

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Movie:  Jack Reacher:  Never Go Back

Rating:  3 1/2 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:   Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) is a ramblin’ kind of guy.  A former military police Army major, Reacher retired and became a drifter living off the grid, hitch hiking and taking bus rides around the country just to see what’s out there.  Then he gets summoned back to Washington DC because of a paternity suit that’s been filed against him, and that is just the beginning of his troubles.

The 110th Military Police unit was Reacher’s former command, and the current commander, Major Susan Turner (Colbie Smulders), is suddenly thrown in jail.  Reacher may be a vagabond and a lone wolf, but he also has a deeply ingrained sense of right and wrong, and everything about Turner’s arrest smells like a dead fish that’s been out in the sun too long.  Naturally, once Reacher sticks his nose where he shouldn’t, things take a nasty turn in short order.  He attracts the attention of a very proficient killer (Patrick Heusinger), and there are fist fights, gun fights, car chases and Mardi Gras mayhem.  Just another normal week in the life of knight errant Jack Reacher.

Jack Reacher is the creation of novelist Lee Child, and Reacher is supposed to be about 6 foot 5 inches, and 250 pounds of muscle.  Tom Cruise doesn’t quite fit that description, but if you want your action boiled down to a two hour movie, this film does a pretty good job.  It gives you the basic story line from the novel, and adds in plenty of action to hold your interest.  This is the second Jack Reacher movie for Cruise, so it looks like he has another franchise to go with his Mission Impossible series.  Cruise may be 54 years old, but he can still handle the action sequences and look damn good doing it.

Dialogue Nuggets:  Reacher to Sheriff – “Two things are going to happen in the next 90 seconds.  First, that phone over there will ring.  Second, you’re going to be wearing these cuffs.”

Reacher to Teenage Girl – “I look like a cop?”  Girl – “Just the haircut.”  Reacher – “Yeah?  I did it myself.”

Major Turner – “So now I’m a fugitive from justice.”  Reacher – “Also, a traitor to your country.  Don’t forget that.”

Reacher – “Never underestimate the charm of a seedy motel.”

Bad Guy to Reacher – “We’re not going to kill you.  Not until you beg for it.  And believe me, you’ll beg for it.”

Major Turner to Reacher – “You’re like something feral.  You got their scent in your nose, and you want them dead.”

Reacher to Teenage Girl – “I remember the women I sleep with.”  Teenage Girl – “Who says she’ll remember you?”

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot:  Despite all the ass-kickings and beat downs he gets in the course of the movie, Cruise only has one small cut on his left cheek to show for it.

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The Girl On The Train

Movie:  The Girl On The Train

Rating:  4 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:    Many New Yorkers ride the commuter train from their suburb into New York City.  Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) is one such commuter, who has a particular fascination with one two story white house that she sees every day from the train.  She often catches glimpses of a young couple inside the house, or outside on the second story deck, embracing or engaging in romantic behavior.  To Rachel, this couple becomes a fixation, as they represent everything that Rachel yearns for in her life.  For Rachel is divorced, depressed, driven to alcohol abuse and prone to blackouts.  In short, her life is spiraling out of control.

Unable to let go of her past life, Rachel often visits the house of her ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux), and his new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), to watch them from afar.  As it turns out, just down the street live the idyllic couple Rachel keeps track of from her seat on the train, Megan (Haley Bennett) and Scott Hipwell (Luke Evans).   What starts out as a simple fascination of strangers’ lives slowly gets darker, more complicated, and Rachel begins to founder in a sea of terrible secrets, lies, hidden motives and murder most foul.

This is quite a fascinating film, based on the best selling novel by Paula Hawkins.  But beware, this is not a movie to relax and mindlessly chomp on popcorn.  Rather it is a story that will throw the viewer into deep waters, and you must pay close attention as layer after layer of secrets and falsehoods are peeled away before you arrive at your destination.  Definitely worth the price of admission to get on this train ride.

Actors To Watch:  Emily Blunt is superb in this film.  Despite efforts to make her look as drab as possible, she carries this film with her impressive acting skills.  Expect Emily to get a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her efforts.  Also, Haley Bennett does a fine job, and with her recent supporting role in The Magnificent Seven, she is suddenly becoming a star in her own right.

Dialogue Nuggets:  Rachel – “My husband used to tell me I have an over active imagination.  I can’t help it.”

Rachel – “Sometimes I try to remember the last time I had meaningful contact with another person.”

Megan – “The only time I feel like myself is when I am running.”

Rachel – “I’m here because I woke up covered in blood.”

Megan – “Lying is like taking a trip.  Like touching yourself when no one else knows.”

Rachel – “She loved you.  She loved you in ways that people only dream of being loved.”

? – “You’re like an unwanted dog.  You can kick them, and they keep coming back to you.”

Masterminds

Movie:   Masterminds

Rating:  3 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:    David Ghantt (Zach Galifianakis) is a young man with big dreams but limited potential (as well as IQ).  He has a steady but low paying job as a driver for the Loomis Fargo armored car company.  He is engaged to be married to Jandice (Kate McKinnon), but has a fantasy of being with co-worker Kelly Campbell (Kristin Wiig).  David seems destined to plod through life with his stifled dreams until Kelly propositions him with a wild scheme to rob the armored car company and run off with her to sunny Mexico to live the good life.  David, normally a straight arrow kind of guy, wavers in the face of his fantasy babe painting a life of exotic fun and adventure (and sex), and his will power crumbles.

Enter sleezeball Steve Chambers (Owen Wilson), the brains behind the armored car idea, staying behind the curtain and pulling Kelly’s strings.  The robbery plan is actually pretty simple, but not all goes as planned.  As things unravel, hitman Mike McKinney (Jason Sudeikis) is needed to take care of loose ends.  Of course law enforcement is all over the case, in the person of FBI special agent Scanlon (Leslie Jones).  Events spiral out of control, as greed and desperation drive our characters to their destinies.

This film is billed as a comedy, and there are certainly many amusing moments that are entertaining as hell.  What is even more interesting is that this movie is based on real events and actual people involved in the 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery in North Carolina that resulted in 17 million dollars being stolen.  Some of the story line devices in the film are fictitious, but a lot of it actually happened.  Apparently it is possible for some real knuckleheads to execute a robbery for a staggering amount of loot.  This is practicality a long Saturday Night Live skit with this cast.  Watch the film and enjoy the antics of a solid gold cast of comic actors.

Dialogue Nuggets:  David Ghantt – “All I ever wanted was adventure; that’s what got me into the armored car business.”

Kelly to David – “Man, you just shot yourself in the butt hole, went right down the crack.”

Steve to David – “I need you to come back from planet cornball and concentrate on the robbery!”

David to Kelly – “I had to make myself a disguise.  I look like Gene Shalit from the Today Show.”

Agent Scanlon – “She called me a dude!”

David – “I’m starting to feel like a corn dog at a hot dog party.”

Jandice to Kelly – “NO, NOT THE VAGAWAY!”  (Note:  this line is from funniest scene in the movie)

David – “I’d rob a million banks for you.  I would!”

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot:  Seriously, who would wear a white tuxedo with a camouflage bow tie and cummerbund to a wedding?

Nitnoid Fact:  Jim Carrey was originally signed on to play the part of David Ghantt but dropped out.