Movies Opening in Connecticut – Weekend of January 17th, 2014

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After a very quiet start to the year (not counting Lone Survivor, which originally opened in December) 2014’s first major releases hit this weekend.  We’ve got the latest reboot in a franchise of reboots; a throwback urban action comedy buddy movie that looks like it’s been in a vault since 1999 and yet another found footage horror film:

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit:  Fifth installment in Paramount’s two decade old Jack Ryan “franchise”.  Well, if you can call a five picture series that consists of one original film, a sequel and three reboots a franchise.

Anyway, this time Chris Pine steps into the shoes of Ben Affleck’s Jack Ryan, who had stepped into the shoes of Harrison Ford’s Jack Ryan, who replaced Alec Baldwin after his single turn.

I’d summarize the plot, but even after seeing the trailer a half dozen times I have absolutely no idea what it’s about.  My best guess: wet behind the ears CIA Analyst Jack Ryan (Pine) heads to Russia with his mentor (Kevin Costner) and girlfriend (Kiera Knightley) where they mix it up with a baddie/dutch angle loving Director (Kenneth Branagh) who intends to _____________ the world’s ___________.

While this should earn enough this weekend to avoid being a complete embarrassment – I’m doubtful that this will launch an on-going franchise. The studio’s lack of confidence has been apparent since last Summer with the ever-changing release dates, titles (from simply “Jack Ryan” to “Jack Ryan: Shadow One” to “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”) and delayed marketing campaign.

Critics are iffy on it, but it sounds like a briskly-paced, mostly agreeable spy thriller that you can absolutely, 100% wait to watch on EPIX or Netflix towards the end of the year.

Personal interest factor: 6

Ride Along: Call of Duty-obsessed security guard (Kevin Hart) agrees to do a ride along with his brother-in-law: a tough-as-nails Atlanta cop (Ice Cube).  Tested through the roof and the studio is already talking sequel. The trailer worked for me, surprisingly.

Personal interest factor: 6

Devil’s Due: Found footage trash about a haunted pregnancy or woman carrying the devil’s spawn or something.  I don’t know. Great viral campaign, though!

Personal interest factor: 0

For classic fare: The Criterion in New Haven is running All About Eve (1950) and Beetlejuice (1988) Friday-Sunday.

One response »

  1. Jack Ryan will be lucky to clear 18M for the four day weekend, meaning we can look forward to yet another reboot in coming years!

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