As with the too-early franchise reboot in 2012, this sequel struggles to balance the demands of a teen romance with a superhero blockbuster. The interpersonal storylines are sharply written and skilfully played by the gifted cast, but the eye-catching effects sequences feel like little more than a shiny distraction. Action fans will love the way digitally animated Spidey swings more realistically than ever down the streets of New York, but the fact remains that these scenes are cartoons. And a new template is badly needed for this genre.
It kicks off as Peter (Andrew Garfield) nearly misses his high school graduation to save the city from another crazed nutcase. His girlfriend Gwen (Emma Stone) is fed up, and then crushed when Peter breaks up with her because he's worried about her safety. So she considers taking a place at Oxford University to get away. Meanwhile, Peter is also trying to understand the truth about why his parents (Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz) left him to be raised by his Aunt May (Sally Field). But he's interrupted from all of this by the arrival of old pal Harry (Dane DeHaan), back in town to inherit the family business from his dying dad (Chris Cooper) and in need of moral support from Peter.
In each of these three plot strands, Peter faces a significant dilemma that's beautifully played by Garfield as a cheeky, good guy who worries about the darkness all around him. And there's also a nefarious side-plot trying to take over the movie, as nerdy technician Max (Jamie Foxx) is transformed by an electric shock from Spider-man's biggest fan to a spark-emitting villain called Electro. This shift doesn't make sense on any level, and Harry also has a sudden personality change that's badly under-explained, forcing the film into a series of huge action showdowns along with a completely irrelevant aside about two colliding airplanes that feels tacked on to up the human stakes.
Continue reading: The Amazing Spider-man 2 Review
There's nothing very original in this spy thriller, but director Branagh gives the film a weighty sense of importance that at least makes it feel important. He can't make up for the flimsy plot or cliched characters, but he can coax shaded performances from the cast to grab our interest. And while the action is never as coherent as a Bourne movie, it at least has a sense of gravitas about it.
For yet another reboot of the Tom Clancy franchise, we go back earlier to follow Jack Ryan (Pine) as he is inspired by the 9/11 attacks to leave his financial studies and join the Marines. Shot down over Afghanistan, he undergoes a gruelling recovery and is recruited by CIA operative Harper (Costner) to work undercover on Wall Street, monitoring terrorist fund movements. A decade later his girlfriend Catherine (Knightley) has no idea what his real job is, so when she surprises him on a business trip to Moscow she ends up in the middle of an operation to investigate shady Russian businessman Cherevin (Branagh), who's behind some sort of imminent global attack.
The film's brisk pace focusses on Jack's motivations all the way through, so we understand his earnest desire to serve his country. Although we can't quite figure out how he developed all these he-man skills working behind a desk in a bank. Not only is he adept at firearms and hand-to-hand combat, but he can ride a motorcycle like a stuntman! Fortunately, Pine's everyman persona makes him easy to identify with and bodes well for future franchise instalments. Opposite him, Costner is marvellously lean and cool, Branagh has terrific lip-less menace and Knightley does her best in the standard underdeveloped female role.
Continue reading: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Review
Jack Ryan is a young office worker at CIA headquarters whose life turns upside down when his cosy desk job turns into a major physical operation. He's been able to hide his dangerous career from his new wife Cathy for a couple of years, but now that someone is trying to kill him, things get a little trickier. He is enlisted to help thwart a major Russian terrorist plot that threatens the lives of millions of people in all the major cities of the world, but when he makes it to Moscow, he finds a very angry wife waiting for him. However, as things turn out, she has a crafty head on her herself and agrees to get involved with the operation as a diversion, but when her life is suddenly at risk, Jack has to decide where his priorities lie.
Based on the Tom Clancy book series which kicked off with 1984's 'The Hunt for Red October', Kenneth Branagh ('Thor', 'As You Like It', 'The Magic Flute') directs action thriller 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' - the fifth film in the movie series produced by Mace Neufeld ('The Aviator', 'Beverly Hills Cop III', 'Asylum'). David Koepp ('War of the Worlds', 'Angels & Demons', 'Jurassic Park') and Adam Cozad are screenwriters and it will be released in the UK on December 26th 2013.
Jack Ryan is a young CIA analyst who joined Intelligence hoping for a comfortable office job that he could easily cover up so that his wife Cathy, who he met three years ago, won't find out what he does for a living. However, things don't exactly go according to plan and he finds himself being targeted by an assassin while uncovering a frightening plot involving Russian terrorists launching a major terrorist strike at the main cities of the world in a bid to destroy the US economy. He is charged to go to Moscow to stop the conspiracy from going ahead but then finds he has other problems to deal with when his wife follows him and discovers the extent of his deception.
Raquel Welch has been cast in a Donatella Versace biopic movie. The film, which is due to air in October on Lifetime, stars Gina Gershon as Donatella, Colm Feore and Enrico Colantori.
Raquel Welch will play Donatella Versace's aunt in a Lifetime biopic TV movie of the fashion designer's life. The film, entitled House of Versace will follow the life of Versace as she is forced to deal with the death of her brother Gianni.
Raquel Welch at the 32nd annual Carousel Of Hope Ball held at The Beverly Hilton in L.A.
The founder of the company, Gianni, was killed in 1997 by spree killer Andrew Cunanan. It is still not known why Gianni Versace was a target of the killer. His niece Allegra, then only eleven, inherited the majority of the company's shares and control. His sister Donatella took over the position as head of design.
Continue reading: Raquel Welch Cast In Donatella Versace Lifetime Movie