Kenneth Branagh

Vanity Fair Prepares for War

by Alan Rapp on February 6, 2015

in Short Films

  • Title: Preparing for War

Just in time for Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood issue photographer Jason Bell offers us three short films showcasing various British actors reenacting a wide breadth of scenes from American cinema. The various stars include Benedict Cumberbatch, Jamie Dornan, Eddie Redmayne, Ruth Wilson, Dominic West, James Corden, Kenneth Branagh, Natalie Dormer, Jeremy Irons, Terence Stamp, Michael Caine, Orlando Bloom, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jude Law, Jack Huston, James McAvoy, Sally Hawkins, Clive Owen, Tom Hiddleston, and Felicity Jones, but Keira Knightley steals the spotlight with her recreation of the famous orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally…

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Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

by Alan Rapp on June 15, 2014

in Home Video

  • Title: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
  • IMDB: link

Jack Ryan: Shadow RecruitPulled from it’s plumb Christmas Day scheduled release date to be dumped in the middle of the graveyard of January and February, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit came and went without much fanfare. Although pulling in more than $135 million worldwide the movie underachieved based on its original planned release and met with mixed reaction from both critics and fans.

Rebooting the long-dominant Jack Ryan series, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit cast Chris Pine in the role of Jack Ryan. I enjoyed the film, and found it more memorable than either of Harrison Ford‘s offerings or the Ben Affleck 2002 attempt to reboot the franchise.

Bringing in Keira Knightley as Ryan’s girlfriend, Kevin Costner as his CIA mentor, and Kenneth Branagh to do double duty both as the film’s villain and director, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit offers a solid cast for an old school thriller.

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Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

by Alan Rapp on January 17, 2014

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
  • IMDB: link

Jack Ryan: Shadow RecruitIt’s been more than a decade since the last movie based on Tom Clancy‘s thinking man’s action hero Jack Ryan opened in theaters. Far from a box office bomb The Sum of All Fears still failed to relaunch the franchise with Ben Affleck in the starring role. 11 years later Hollywood tries again with Chris Pine taking over the role in a Jack Ryan origin story that is the first of the five films to not be based off one of Clancy’s novels.

Although it plays with the timing of various important events, the screenplay remains close to Ryan’s origins from the Clancy novels. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit offers a quick look at the series of events that led him from earning a Doctorate in Economics to his stint in the Marine Corps and his eventual injury and recruitment into the CIA by Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner). The film also spends quite a bit of time developing the relationship between Ryan and Cathy (Keira Knightley), a phsycial therapist earning her medical degree who helps in his recovery and rehabilitation following the helicopter crash that nearly left him paralyzed.

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Coming Soon

by Alan Rapp on December 18, 2013

in Film News & Trailers

  • Title: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
  • IMDB: link

Rebooting the Jack Ryan film series, Chris Pine and Keira Knightley star as covert CIA Agent Jack Ryan and his wife who travel to Moscow and find themselves in the middle of a complicated conspiracy. Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh, Colm FeoreDavid Paymer, and Karen David also star. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit opens in theaters on January 17th.

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Thor

by Alan Rapp on May 6, 2011

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Thor
  • IMDB: link

thor-posterThere are quite a few challenges and obstacles laid at the feet of Thor given its main character and choice for both leading man and director. Could Kenneth Branagh direct an action-heavy comic book film? Could Chris Hemsworth carry the movie? Would Thor look cool or ridiculous as a live-action character? Is there another important post-credit sequence? How large is Jeremy Renner‘s role in the film? Would the movie start out the summer season with a whimper or a bang?

We need not have worried. Yes, Hemsworth does a great job carrying the weight of the film. Yes, Branagh not only succeeds in the character-driven scenes but also with the film’s not inconsiderable amount of both humor and action. Yes, Thor looks good. Even the character’s more ridiculous features (such as spinning the hammer to create whirlwinds and tornadoes) come off as impressive and very, very cool.

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