Starring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Irrfan Khan, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Foster, Ana Ularu, Ida Darvish, and more.
Directed by: Ron Howard Screenplay by: David Koepp Based on the Novel by: Dan Brown Cinematography by: Salvatore Totino Music by: Hans Zimmer
Premise: Robert Langdon wakes in a hospital in Florence, Italy. He has no memory of how he got there. A cryptic email from a friend and the fact someone tries to kill him make it clear that he's gotten himself into some kind of mess. The weird hallucinations of blood and hell don't help matters. Aided by the young doctor at the hospital, Professor Langdon tries to put the broken pieces back together. (Rated PG-13)
1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Tom Hanks reprises his role as Professor Robert Langdom for the third film of the series. He has great rapport with his rescuer Dr. Sienna Brooks. Felicity Jones does a great job as Brooks, showing multiple facets of her complex personality quite well. Irrfan Khan turns out to be a real treat in the film as the pragmatic Harry Sims. There's some real sizzle between Tom and Sidse Babett Knudsen once some of the secrets are revealed. Great job from all parties.
2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: There are special effects of all kinds in the film. Lots of surreal imagery with lots of detail. There's a painting in the Hall of the 500 in the Palazzo Vecchio which gets brought to life. Looked fantastic.
Rivers of blood running down modern city streets. Physical renditions of Dante's Inferno as painted by Botticelli. Reality and myth all wound together in disturbing imagery. Tons of lovely work.
There are a couple of falling deaths that were well done. Both looked incredibly painful. The work on the second body and the closeup on the face were gruesome and poignant.
3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: Doors are a main theme. Those we open, those we close, and those whose frame we stand in. The play with the concept is rather fun and viewed in many angles. Love and its many facets are also explored.
I don't want to say too much and inadvertently spoil several of the surprises in store. Watch for the 'odd socks' as they are hints. A thing or two that seem like mere plot devices are actually something else.
Overall, it all holds together pretty well. They do pound a couple of things more times than necessary, but didn't prove overtly irritating.
4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: The film isn't filled with them, but the few there are were well done. The knife fights were quick and well choreographed. A little shaky-cam was used during a water fight, but it didn't detract too much.
5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: One of the best parts of the Professor Langdon movies are the locations! Salvatore Totino has been involved in the cinematography of all three films. As you view the lovely exotic locations you'll realize why. Several gorgeous panning shots of Florence and other locals will fill the screen. The aerial views from the drone in the park by the Palazzo Vecchio looked great. There's a shot of Istanbul with a huge setting sun that was fantastic. Lots and lots of lovely vistas. I very much enjoyed all the shots of the historical places, especially the areas where normal visitors are not allowed. :)
Super loved the location for the climax. Looked so cool!
Conclusion: Inferno is a nice addition to the Professor Langdon historical mysteries. Another cool puzzle buried in historical trivia and awesome locations. Even has food for thought!
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Aldis Hodge, Patrick Heusinger, Holt McCallany, Madalyn Horcher, Robert Catrini, and more.
Directed by: Edward Zwick Screenplay by: Richard Wenk, Edward Zwick, and Marshall Herskovitz Based on the novel by: Lee Child Cinematography by: Oliver Wood Music by: Henry Jackman
Premise: Jack starts having phone conversations with Major Turner after a successful sting. He invites her to dinner and makes his way to D.C. to meet her face to face. When he gets there, however, he finds out she's been removed from her post. She's been placed in jail while waiting to be tried for treason. Something about this doesn't seem right. Reacher becomes sure of it when he finds himself being tailed. (Rated PG-13)
1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Tom Cruise reprises his role as the loner, ex-military man, Jack Reacher. As always, he's a lot of fun to watch. Love all his little telltale expressions. Getting caught between Turner and Samantha made for a lot of amusing scenes. Cobie Smulders as Turner had some nice back and forth chemistry with Tom. Both characters are quite set in their ways and are a bit like mixing oil and water. Making the mix even more chaotic is Danika Yarosh who plays Samantha. Her character reflects facets of both of the two as they all go on the run.
2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: This is an action film, so bullets and explosions are pretty much a must. Great job by the special effects team on all of them. Especially memorable was the scene at the warf. A ton of lead flying everywhere!
3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: I've not read the Jack Reacher book the film is based on, so apologies for not being able to give any opinions between the two. I have read one of the other books and enjoyed it quite a bit! Just need to find time to read more. :)
For once the previews did not reveal all! There's an added and unexpected element thrown into the plot they didn't give away. This added a different dynamic which for ends up prodding Reacher out of his comfort zone. While this particular complication is not new in the plot world, it made for a nice surprise. Especially since sneakily kept it out of the previews. Yay!
Action films do tend to let a few things slide so things will work out how they want. So there are a couple of bits. Sticky details like stewardesses and airport security. But they blank them out in such a way you don't realize it for the most part.
The pace is fast and slows down very little throughout.
Samantha is super street savvy yet also conveniently clueless. But it's so much fun watching Jack having to deal with the unexpected situation that it's easy to ignore the convenient manipulation.
4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: The film has lots of lovely hand to hand fights and on foot chase scenes. Major kudos for the kitchen fight scene. The rooftop chase/fight was painful and awesome!
5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Lots of nice cinematography. Loved the wide overhead shots of Turner and Reacher running in several scenes. New Orleans was a great venue for the last section of the film. Especially with the Halloween parade and fireworks. The closeup shots, especially during the last scenes, made them even more poignant.
Conclusion: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a fun ride. Full of mayhem and chaos, we get a lot of action scenes and close combat. Watching Jack squirm emotionally though? Priceless. :)
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again)
First, apologies for the lack of consistency on my posts of late. Between 2015 and 2016 life has been an ever filling bucket of chaos! Whee!
Most of it stems from the dreaded, but horribly necessary - Day JOB! I have to eat, pay bills, all those pesky things one does to survive while working above and beyond to push a writing career. Not for the faint of heart on a normal basis. And with all that's been happening at work in the last couple of years...
People leaving the department like every three months or so in 2015. Owner ship changes. Duty changes. And in 2016 the added fun of an accelerated system conversion at the same time as declaring bankruptcy and coming out the other side. Then add in the layoff and people who survived it leaving at the worst possible time...and you can see how full the bucket is.
I've got my fingers crossed that 2017 will finally have things slow down. I want to be able to WRITE! Got a science fiction manuscript screaming for me to edit it so I can shop it around and a new urban fantasy manuscript with several thousand words already down and tabulated research on the side. Neither of which has seen anything from me in at least six months. :(
The peeps from the writers group I belong to are not sure I still exist! (Been with them for a long time and I've always been anal about getting my crits for any submissions in! Now they never hear from me except to catch a glimpse and a word or two from me at cons. (I'm still alive! I promise! I will do my part soooooooonnnnnn!)
The blog schedule has not gone unscathed, and has gotten worse the last few months Apologies! At least I've still managed to show up at the cons. (Though on the last two I missed a couple of my panels - *gack* - Even after looking at my schedule repeatedly! Mind exhaustion anyone?)
We're hitting 3rd quarter close and audit - so it's not looking good for October. But I'll keep struggling to get back on track.
And so as part of this long apology for sporadic posting schedules and more I will also be a good author and announce the impending release of my novelette "Charity and Sacrifice."
Release date is October 14th! Less than a week away! And in case you missed the post a few weeks ago - it's already available for pre-order! Kindle, Kobo, and iBook.
The novelette is 10K words and will only be available in ebook. For a short excerpt check the book page here. It is a historical/alternate history work set in London, England in the late 1800's. :)
If you wouldn't mind, please help spread the word! And wish me LUCK! (I need it!) :P