Streaming now on Netflix is Christopher McQuarrie‘s action/thriller Jack Reacher, adapted from the Lee Child novel One Shot. This one had been sitting in my queue for some time and it finally got the call up this past week when Adam kindly gave notice that it would be leaving Netflix on June 30th. Released by Paramount in 2012 as the first movie adaptation of Child’s popular book series, Reacher garnered modest box office returns domestically but played well enough abroad for the studio to move forward with a sequel, possibly with Oscar winner Edward Zwick at the helm. I consider this to be good news because Jack Reacher is actually pretty damn solid.
Starring Tom Cruise as the titular character, McQuarrie’s film assembles a fantastic cast around him that includes Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, Richard Jenkins, Robert Duvall, and Werner Herzog in an excellent turn as the villain known as “The Zec”. The plot is fairly straightforward: Reacher, a former military cop, shows up to Pittsburgh to investigate a deadly sniper attack that left five seemingly random victims dead. Of course, Reacher uncovers that things aren’t as random as they seem and, in turn, he becomes the target of those responsible for the crime. In addition to an outstanding car chase sequence that features some classic Cruise stunt work, the pic has an undeniable charm. The 5′ 7″ Cruise is convincing as the perpetual smartest, best trained person in the room which (height aside) I assume is true to Child’s fictional character. He’s always one step ahead, has a touch of wit/humor about him, and the action that ensues from his investigation is entertaining throughout. All told, if you’re looking for an action/thriller fix, you could do far worse than Jack Reacher.
This week’s recommendation in the bag, let’s get to the Top 5:
1. SAN ANDREAS Review and Additional Coverage
Like many of you, I’m absolutely partial to anything Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson does. The dude’s a world-class entertainer with charisma for days. I’ve yet to see it so I don’t know how many redeeming qualities Brad Peyton’s San Andreas has, but I’m willing to bet that The Rock is one of them. He alone, is almost enough to get me to pay the price of admission. Whether you’re interest in the film comes from a love of disaster flicks or from the chance to see The People’s Champ play hero, I think you’ll do well to check out Matt’s review, 18 things to know about the movie, Steve’s interview with writer Carlton Cuse, and Chris’ retrospective on The Rock’s career to date.
2. Special Effects and Make-Up Legend Rick Baker Announces Retirement
Fans of gorgeous, practical make-up effects took a hit this week when Rick Baker announced his retirement. Per Baker, the industry is moving more and more to a “cheap and fast” approach to his line of work and, at 64 years of age, he sees it as his “time to get out”. The iconic effects artist will be remembered for his groundbreaking work on An American Werewolf in London, creating the zombies in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, and Harry and the Hendersons (a personal favorite) just to name a very few. More importantly, his legacy should include the fact that he was someone who took great pride in the quality of his work regardless of the project.
3. First Trailer for POINT BREAK Remake
The first trailer for director Ericson Core’s Point Break remake landed online this past week and it looks to be a visual treat if nothing else. The tone feels a little serious for a movie about extreme sports athletes who use their X Games skills to steal from the wealthy but I’m willing to keep an open mind.
4. Cary Fukunaga Leaves IT Remake; Film Moves Back to Warner Bros
It was a busy and disheartening week for the remake of Stephen King’s It. First, True Detective director Cary Fukunaga left the project he co-wrote with Chase Palmer purportedly as a result of New Line’s required budget cuts. Then, the film left New Line all together and returned to Warner Bros. where the studio is (sadly) expected to hire a new director for the two scripts co-written by Fukunaga. For now, it looks as if we’ll still be getting more Pennywise on the silver screen which is a postive. Replacing a filmmaker of Fukunaga’s caliber is no small task, however, so I’m suspending my once high hopes for the remake until Warner Bros. names his successor.
5. Features Galore: Natural Disasters, Bad Weekend, and More
News, reviews, interviews, etc. are great and I suspect they’ll continue to be cornerstones of the site going forward. That said, we’ve been spending more time of late developing original features so as to broaden our content both to keep readers coming back and to hopefully attract new readers in the process. Examples of this from the past week include Perri’s breakdown of survival tactics we learned from the movies, Adam’s look at some of the films you may have forgotten were scored by the great Hans Zimmer, Haleigh’s defense of Tomorrowland, and Matt’s ranking of the last 10 years of Memorial Day weekend releases from worst to best. We sincerely hope you enjoy and, as always, your constructive feedback is appreciated.