Life is flying by so fast! Thanks heavens for having my movie-loving son home and a week of vacation for spring break. We managed to see three movies, and completely enjoyed every one of them. Here's a quick review.
A slave-turned-gladiator finds himself in a race against time to save his true love, who has been betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius erupts, he must fight to save his beloved as Pompeii crumbles around him. The ultimate Romeo & Juliet story set against a historical background. From the opening battle scene to the final moment of climax and resolution, I was completely hooked. Kit Harrington and Kiefer Sutherland were superb in their roles as the hero and villain. As a matter of fact, I wanted to grab a sword and take care of Sutherland several times myself because he was so evil I couldn't stand knowing he was going to strike one more time. Fortunately he and the people of Pompeii got was deserving them for the wickedness, although the final hope for Milo and Cassia was buried in the end, as we knew it would have to be. but still, the romantic can hope. Perhaps that final moment is the reason the film didn't set well with audiences. I'd still recommend it it you like disaster films with a love story and some epic battle scenes.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Jack Ryan, as a young covert CIA analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack. A well-written and well-directed back story for Tom Clancy's familiar character, Jack Ryan. I was on the edge of my seat the entire film, not only because of the action scenes, but because this movie strikes a little too close to home. The story question is: When it comes to the governments of both Russia and the U.S., who can you trust? The twists and turns will keep you guessing and the only way you know Jack will make it out alive is because this is a prequel story to the rest of the Jack Ryan collection (Sum of All Fears, Clear and Present Danger, The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games). Chris Pine, Keira Knightly, Kevin Costner, and Kenneth Branagh were all excellent in their roles, and kudos to Branagh on the directing. It was a nice touch to include Mikhail Baryshnikov in an uncredited role. I can't wait for my husband to see this because it is his kind of movie.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier. An excellent follow-up, that is perhaps better than the first. No more back story for Captain America, he is part of our fighting force in today's world, and like Jack Ryan, Steve Rogers has to decide who he can trust. This time the enemy is the entire government operation known as S.H.I.E.L.D. The film is filled with high action, building relationships, moments when you think it is all over for our hero, and challenges all you thought you knew about the Marvel characters. Chris Evans was good but Anthony Mackie and Scarlett Johansson sole the show. Robert Redford was incredibly believable in his role as well, almost to the point of wondering if he's been there in real life. Be sure to stick with the movie until the final time the screen goes black. There are two bumps during the credits and at the very end that preview a coming sequel and the next Avengers.