Archive for: CIA

A New Take on Jack Ryan

JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT

Tom Clancy’s hero gets a reboot this week in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, a new movie version starring Chris Pine getting a shot at movie stardom outside of playing Captain Kirk in the Star Trek movies.

As written in Clancy’s novels, Ryan can be a pretty irritating character. He’s almost always the smartest guy in the room and he can’t help letting the bureaucrats know he can see right through them. As noted in our review of the Jack Ryan box set last December, Alec Baldwin’s annoying portrayal might have been the most accurate Ryan to date. +Continue Reading

‘Homeland’ Tries to Recapture the Magic

HOMELAND (Season 2)

Homeland returns for season three this Sunday on Showtime. This time last year, when season two was about to air, the show was an Emmy-winning breakthrough from the guys who made 24, a show that managed to take the tedium out of intelligence work and make it into high drama. +Continue Reading

‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Review

Zero Dark Thirty is a great movie, one that shows the men and women responsible for our national security as dedicated, determined, competent, intelligent and brave. Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal also portray the hunt for Osama bin Laden as a systematic quest for justice rather than an overheated quest for revenge.

It’s not the movie Washington expected, but it’s not the movie that Hollywood expected, either.

Anyone who wants their art to conform to a set of political beliefs (or even just hew closely to a particular version of the facts) will immediately have a lot of issues with Zero Dark Thirty. It’s neither the pro-Obama hagiography that pre-release critics claimed it would be, nor is it the pro-torture apology that some have claimed since its first screenings in late November. +Continue Reading

‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Filmmakers Finally Talk About ‘Leaks’

And.…here we go. Zero Dark Thirty, director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal’s movie about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, got its first public showing on Sunday in Los Angeles and early reviews are incredibly positive.

Bigelow and Boal were interviewed last night on ABC’s Nightline. Correspondent Martha Radditz called the movie “riveting” and gave the duo a chance to deny accusations that their screenplay was based on illegally leaked classified information. +Continue Reading

‘Trigger Point’ & the Future of Movies

Trigger Point is a CIA spy thriller set in Afghanistan starring Josh Dallas (from Thor and the Once Upon a Time TV series) and Vincent Regan (300 and excellent as the villain in Lockout earlier this year). You can’t see it in a theater or on DVD or as video on demand from your cable company because it’s a web exclusive from the folks over at Break​.com, a site usually known for its funny videos.

That’s not to say you can’t watch this one on TV. If you’ve got some kind of device that can access YouTube (Blu-ray player, Roku, AppleTV, etc), you can watch it on a big screen and be impressed with the production values for a movie shot on a budget that wouldn’t cover the catering bill on Battleship. +Continue Reading

Catching Up on ‘Homeland’

We totally missed it last year on the first season of Showtime’s series Homeland, which stars Claire Danes as a CIA agent who believes the Marine Sgt. played by Damian Lewis was turned and became an Al-Qaeda agent during his time as a POW in Iraq.

Apparently, Danes’ character may be right or she may have some mental health issues. Homeland was just nominated for a slew of Emmys and we’ve been hearing great things from folks who’ve seen the show. +Continue Reading

Army Vet Works the Safe House

Army Vet Jake McLaughlin has started building a career in Hollywood and now he’s spotlighted in one of the bonus features on the new Blu-ray of Safe House released this week. Safe House stars Denzel Washington as a rogue CIA agent who’s supposed to be protected by rookie agent Ryan Reynolds. Lead waterboarding interrogator Robert Patrick describes McLaughlin’s contributions to the scene in this exclusive clip. Watch for Jake in Oliver Stone’s upcoming Mexican drug cartel thriller Savages.

Operation Ajax Revisits an Iranian Coup

Cogito Comic’s  CIA: Operation Ajax uses an iPad app to tell the story of the 1953 coup that installed Mohammad Reza Shah as ruler of Iran.

Using Stephen Kinzer’s well-regarded 2003 book All the Shah’s Men as a starting point, Cogito uses a graphic novelization as a starting point but then incorporates the best elements of motion comics (sound effects & simple animations powered by the touch screen) and adds links to historical and biographical information for important players in the story  and even some contemporary newsreels to give more context. +Continue Reading