Monday, June 30, 2014

June 2014 Movie Wrap-Up

By Andrea Renee Cox

This month has been a busy one for me. The San Antonio Spurs won the NBA championship. So proud of them. This makes five championships for Coach Gregg Popovich and player Tim Duncan. The summer session of tutoring has begun. I’m not as busy there as I usually am, but I’m enjoying the break. Last school year was crazy-hectic for me, and being able to breathe properly again is quite nice. The extra time I have due to the lack of students in my area of expertise I’ve been putting to good use. Editing one story while writing another is a challenge that I’m trying to balance out. Plus, I’ve been able to squeeze in a proofreading job.

Even with all these things piling up, I’ve managed to get several movies in this month. Each movie falls in the political thriller genre, except one (The Monuments Men), although the political part might still be correct; it’s more of a political adventure that’s based on real events. Not sure why I was drawn to that genre this month, especially because I dislike politics, but each film is wonderful in its own right. All four movies I’ve chosen to tell you about this month contain some rough language and are rated PG-13, so viewer discretion is advised.


NEW! TO OWN OR RENT


Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

When an injured military man is recruited by the CIA, his life spins out of control. Will he have what it takes to sort through the chaos and discover the enemy’s secrets before it’s too late?

This story captured me from the beginning when Jack Ryan decided to join the military because of the attack on the Towers on 9/11. Once he’s recruited by the CIA, he’s blindsided by a live or die mission. This action packed thriller kept me on the edge of my seat until the end credits rolled up the screen. Nice humor sprinkled throughout brought an extra depth—and brief reprieves!—to the storyline.

The cast of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is top notch. Chris Pine gives his best performance yet as Jack Ryan. Keira Knightley dons an American accent and also brings stellar talent to the screen in my favorite role of hers. Then you have Kevin Costner in a role of leadership, which is nothing new for him, yet he finds a way to make us think he’s never been better than in this film.


The Monuments Men

When artwork goes missing or gets destroyed during World War II, a group of men (who each specialize in some form of art) band together to steal back the stolen art. Even though they’re unlikely heroes, they dig deep and find they’ve got what it takes to become the soldiers the Allies need them to be. Will they find all the pieces before Hitler’s men destroy them? Will they all make it home alive, once their mission is completed and the war is over?


Shadowed by Grace
by Cara C. Putman
Another fabulous cast lights up the screen. George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, and John Goodman, among others. Do you see the comedic moments waiting to happen? You’ll laugh, you might cry. I found myself doing both at once a couple times. The emotional journey of the Monuments Men is even greater than normal because it’s based on real events. Those types always grip my heart a bit stronger.

There’s a Christian fiction novel by Cara Putman that was inspired by the Monuments Men’s story (though it was written before the movie came to theaters). It’s called Shadowed by Grace, and I hope you have an opportunity to read it. You can read the first chapter of this book here. The Kindle version of this book is on sale through Tuesday (that’s tomorrow, folks!) for only 99 cents. Be sure to grab your copy before this sale runs out!


ALSO ON BLURAY AND DVD


The Bourne Legacy

When the United States’s intelligence community decides to erase all evidence of the programs compromised by Jason Bourne and Pamela Landy, the agents’ and even the scientists’ lives are at risk. Rogue agent Aaron Cross not only uses his genetically-engineered skills to survive the program shutdown, but he also saves scientist Marta Shearing’s life for reasons you wouldn’t expect. Thrust together in the midst of a crazy cat-and-mouse chase, will Aaron and Marta escape their demise long enough to accomplish their goals? Or will the next generation of agents be able to take them out?

This movie is my newest obsession. I can’t watch it enough times. The original Bourne trilogy (Identity, Supremacy, and Ultimatum; all starring Matt Damon) were awesome films themselves. When the Bourne Legacy came to theaters, I wasn’t sure if the filmmakers would be able to capture the essence of the original three films and yet make it their own. With Jeremy Renner as the rogue agent and Rachel Weisz as the scientist, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Legacy is an amazing story. I’m planning on watching all four Bourne films as part of a movie marathon weekend sometime in July. I’ve already seen Legacy four times this month, and I’m still not tired of it. I understand a new piece of it every time I watch it. I can’t recommend it enough.

I’ve heard there’s going to be another new Bourne film in 2016. I haven’t heard the title yet, but Jeremy Renner is supposed to be bringing Aaron Cross back to the big screen. Can’t believe we have to wait so long to see it, but I guarantee you it will be worth the wait.


Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

When the bombing of the Kremlin implicates the IMF as international terrorists, Ethan Hunt and his elite team must go underground yet still work to clear the agency’s name and stop the real terrorists before they set off a nuclear war. This may be their most dangerous, most impossible mission yet!

Guess who joins the cast in this one? Jeremy Renner. Yep, the Avengers (Hawkeye) and Bourne Legacy (Aaron Cross) actor joins Tom Cruise’s crew as they use every new gadget in the book. The stunts are out-of-this-world crazy, keeping you glued to the screen. I recommend watching the previous three films to catch up on the missions before watching this one, but you wouldn’t have to. Ghost Protocol stands on its own two feet very well. The cast is a bit different than in the previous films, but you’ll notice a couple have stuck around. There might even be a little cameo appearance by one of my favorite agents near the end of the movie. (Can you guess who?)

Soon there will be a fifth Mission: Impossible movie, and I’ve heard Jeremy Renner is returning to reprise his role. I’m pretty sure the summers of 2015 and 2016 will have me practically living at the movie theater. How could they not with so many Jeremy Renner flicks coming out? (Have you figured out yet that he’s my current favorite actor?)


Readers, what are your favorite political thriller movies? Is there a movie that you’re obsessed with and can’t watch often enough? Do you like to read books inspired by the same events that inspired movies?


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4 comments:

  1. Hi Andrea! Of those movies, the only one I've seen is Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. I totally agree that it helps to see the other ones first. I hadn't seen any of them, so I kept asking "what was that about?" or "what did I miss?" Someone finally recapped them for me so I'd know what was going on and be quiet. :)
    I honestly don't know what falls into the category of political thriller to tell you what my favorite is. I'm actually not that into movies - I'd much rather be reading than watching TV, though I do make an except once in a while.
    I did enjoy your post, though! I have Shadowed by Grace on my Kindle, waiting for me, so maybe I'll watch the Monuments Men after I read it - that would be interesting. :)
    Hope you have a great week!
    ~Sarah

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    1. Sarah, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you liked my article. I like to watch series in order to avoid that "what did I miss?" thing. I like to know what's come before the current episode. So happy your friend could fill you in. I'm sure the story made much more sense after that!

      What's your favorite type of book to read? I hope you enjoy Shadowed by Grace and Monuments Men. The book is up next for me to read after I finish the one I'm currently reading. I'm hoping it's everything (plus more!) that I've been expecting.

      Blessings to you, my friend.
      Andrea

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    2. Hi Andrea! I'm sitting here, trying to figure out what my favorite type of book to read is. Asking that is a little like asking my favorite author or to pick one favorite book, simply because I like such a variety. We've already discussed my love for Dee Henderson's books and that love falls into almost any suspense novel. I also enjoy a good romance, like Becky Wade's books or Beth K. Vogt's. I love historical and any book that can make me laugh. I love the more serious ones that compell me to really think, like Katie Ganshert's or Kate Breslin's. And I love military novels, like Ronie Kendig's, so picking one favorite isn't really possible for me, because I read almost everything Christian. The only ones I haven't tried yet are steam punk and SciFi so I can't claim those as favorites. :)
      Do you have a favorite type of book to read?
      Blessings,
      ~Sarah

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    3. Those are all great choices. The only two you mentioned that I haven't yet read are Becky Wade and Kate Breslin. Becky's been on my wish list for a couple years now, though, so I'll have to find some of hers very soon.

      Like you, it's hard to choose a favorite type. I find myself straddling the fence between historical and contemporary. Both are wonderful in their own rights. Plus, Dee Henderson's and Lynette Eason's suspense books are really great. Beth Vogt is a favorite, as is Melissa Tagg and Kim Vogel Sawyer. Carrie Turansky, Joanne Bischof, JoAnn Durgin... So hard to choose!

      Have a blessed week.
      Andrea

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