Browse Tag: CIA

RECAP: xXx: Return of Xander Cage

xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017): D.J. Caruso

Sing it with me: What the world needs now/is love, sweet–XANDER CAGE MOTORCYCLE SKI SURFING.

What happens when an actor gets a little bored of his multi-billion-dollar action franchise? He works in his multi-million-dollar action franchise.

Look out, Earth, Xander Cage is back, and he’s EXTREMELY EXTREMER THAN EVER.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: XANDER CAGE SKIS JUNGLES; XANDER CAGE SLEEPS WITH HOT WOMEN; XANDER CAGE PLAYS GRENADE ROULETTE; XANDER CAGE SAVES EARTH. Continue Reading

RECAP: Jason Bourne

Jason Bourne (2016): Paul Greengrass

Strap on your puke bags, kiddos, because Greengrass and Damon are back to shaky-cam you to oblivion. After a forgettable Bourne outing minus Bourne, Matt Damon returns to the fold for a cool $25 million, and to right a few more wrongs buried in his forgotten past.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Jason Bourne returns to the grid to find out what his father had to do with Bourne’s crappy adult life as an assassin.   Continue Reading

RECAP: X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class (2011): Matthew Vaughn

Following the less-than-stellar success of X-Men: The Last Stand (not to mention its ultimate title), Fox decided to reboot the entire X-Men franchise. Sort of.

They recast all the characters, but made a prequel set in the 1960s, a film that would show the origins of the primary mutants. The old actors playing Magneto and Professor X would be recast with Hollywood’s hottest young actors.

The movie was a box office mediocrity. The lowest grossing of the mutant ensemble movies, it might be the franchise’s best entry. When you hear critics and fans berating Hollywood because they want to see better movies with original ideas, remind them of the box office problems that befell X-Men: First Class.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Mutants assemble for the first time, battling each other under the guise of the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Continue Reading

RECAP: X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016): Bryan Singer

The ageless first class of X-Men actors advance to the 1980s in X-Men: Apocalypse. Mutants have many powers, but did you know they can age not a day in 20 years?

Consider that Sophie Turner, who plays Jean Grey, is 20. The events of First Class took place 20 years before Apocalypse shows up. So she was a wee baby when Xavier lost his walking ability and Magneto first donned his helmet.

These folks haven’t aged in the 20 years of this series. I can suspend the disbelief, because I like what the producers have striven for in setting the mutants in older times. Still, the idea seems to wane in public consciousness. This third film of the prequel series’ theatrical earnings will fall much behind Days of Future Past when it closes its theatrical run.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The first, and most powerful, mutant tries to destroy the world right after he forms an awesome band of backup mutants.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Sicario

Sicario (2015): Denis Villeneuve

What’s more dangerous, more convoluted than policing the drug trade? That question is raised by the 2015 drug update Sicario. What does “sicario” mean? According to the intro, it’s what the Jews called people who actively opposed Roman leaders. In Mexico, a sicario is a hitman.

Acclaimed cinematographer Roger Deakins picked up his 13th overall and fourth consecutive Oscar nomination, all of them losses. The visuals were terrific, but I found Johann Johannsson’s Oscar-nominated score the movie’s real star.

Deakins and Josh Brolin both worked on another movie focusing on the drug war around El Paso, 2008’s Best Picture winner No Country for Old Men.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The US wages secret war against the Mexican drug cartels.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Clear and Present Danger

Clear and Present Danger (1994): Phillip Noyce

Harrison Ford became the only person to play Jack Ryan twice, when he took another turn capably bumbling through a mission for the CIA.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Colombian drug lords pose a clear and present danger to the United States, and the president decides to fight against them, in secret.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014): Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh descended from atop his mountain of Shakespearean prestige and Marvel money to direct and appear in this tight, Clancy-inspired thriller. He does a bang-up job.

This movie came out in January, a major setback for its box office chances and the future of the character, a shame, because Branagh’s movie is every bit as good as those Bourne movies, and devoid of nauseating handheld cameras.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: CIA operative Jack Ryan clashes with Russian terrorists, all while keeping his girlfriend from dumping him. Continue Reading