Paramount via Everett Collection
A quarter of the way into Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit's far-too-long runtime, the titular hero takes note of a war-time portait in his adversary Viktor Cherevin's office. "Napoleon," Ryan says, proudly identifying the subject of the painting. "Ah," the nefarious Cherevin smiles. "I see you know your history." You'd think we'd get a bit more academic sophistication in a film directed by Kenneth Branagh... hell, in a line delivered by Kenneth Branagh. But this is par for the course in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit's script. And even more problematic, it's the thing that sticks with me most only a few days after seeing the movie. Well, that and the fact that Chris Pine and Keira Knightley make for the most compatibly attractive onscreen couple I have ever seen. Aside from these standout elements, the film dissolves into a 105-minute (jeez, it feels twice that) blur of running, driving, choking, shooting, and the like.
But it's not a painful jaunt all the while, and this is thanks almost entirely to Pine. An actor who we remember popping up in early Lindsay Lohan movies and thinking little of, Pine has earned his place at the center of franchises like Star Trek and, this weekend's box office intake permitting, Jack Ryan. He maintains character and personality in the movie's heightened scenes of "the first kill" and pulling the long con on Cherevin. With a better, smarter script, Pine could thrive in an action hero role like Ryan, but here he's only left to occasionally cut through a staunch layer of boredom.
Paramount via Everett Collection
The other winning factor of Jack Ryan is in its female lead: Knightley and her character Dr. Cathy Mullins. Another pervasive charmer, Knightley manages to inject a wealth of vitality into the movie at the points most desperate for some flavor — so much so that we're not simply thrilled, but relieved when she shows up unexpectedly to tag along with boyfriend Jack on his mission to... to... well, it's something to do with stopping terrorism. Trust me, you'll forget the specifics as soon as you leave the theater, if not sooner. But the most impressive part is that Shadow Recruit actually gives Knightley something to do as Mullins. She doesn't just wait around and lament the life choices of her danger-prone boyfriend, she gets in on the action. And we're glad for it. Without her, it'd just be Pine. And as much as we like him, he needs somebody else with a personality to play off (sorry, Kevin Costner, but you're not exactly playing your A Game here).
The best player in the World for movie trailers, Hollywood interviews and movie clips.
In short, there's almost nothing to say about Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which in itself says a lot — it's dull, it's slow, and it's got two stars who deserve a lot better than the material they're dealt. Aw hell, maybe the sequel (yeah, we've come out of denial... it's gonna happen) will up the ante on the script, and not mistake knowing who Napoleon is for being a history expert.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
Is a Here Comes Honey Boo Boo wedding in our television future? Perhaps, as two of the TLC series' stars — coupon queen/matriarch Mama June Shannon and daddio to Alana "Honey Boo Boo/Smoochie" Thompson, Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson — have either gotten married, recommitted themselves to each other, or just had a fancy Cinco de Mayo love ceremony/BBQ, depending on who you ask on the Internet.
I mean, the whole fiesta sure did have the trappings of a wedding-type ceremony: there were vows exchanged, a cake, the company of good friends and family, and even an oh-so elegant a camouflage gown to round out the day. According to People, the duo are mums the word as to what the party was all about, but the ever-vigilant sleuths at TMZ have obtained what they allege to be an invitation to the big day, touted as a wedding and also a "taped event," signaling that it won't be long before we see this family fart their way towards wedded bliss. No word as to whether or not the family's staple meal, Sketti, was served.
The couple have been together for nine years, after they met in an online chat room, because of course they did. Regardless, mazels all around for quite possibly the happiest/most loving family in America. Just a word to the wse: maybe don't wear that camo gown around a bunch of potentially drunk hunter types after dark. You're just asking for trouble, then, June.
What do you think of the latest Honey Boo Boo news? Sound off in the comments.
Follow Alicia Lutes on Twitter @alicialutes
More:What Happens When Reality Bites Back at Honey Boo BooHoney Boo Boo's Girl Scout Cookie Scheme Gets Shut Down Honey Boo Boo's Most Redneckognizable Moments
From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
October, 2012: a time for frights and scares, ghouls and dares—it's Halloween on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, family of America's favorite pageant queen, Honey Boo Boo/Smoochie/Alana Thompson. Everyone was here! Uncle Poodle, all the girls, and Sugar Bear—who has been renamed Spooky Bear for the holiday festivities in 2013's post-holiday world. It was over-the-top, ridiculous, and everything you'd expect from one of the most unconventional families on television.
And, as is the way with the McIntyre, Georgia clan: s**t got real messy. In fact, messes of all kinds seemed to punctuate the episode, from Pumkin's penchant for grossing people out unidentifiable objects from the outdoors! June was a mess! Uncle Poodle was a mess! Pumkin was a mess! Poor Sugar Bear's legs, too, were also a mess. But that's life, eh? Messy. The family, of course, threw in some costumes and candy for good measure. Lots of candy. Pumpkins and Pumpkins! This family was made for days like Halloween.
The episode is sure to spawn a thousand GIFs, as the family's no-holds-barred attitude was on full display—even Sugar Bear (who we saw in the hospital and unable to walk at the beginning of the episode) was letting his feelings be heard. And for that, June was ready for him to get back to work.
But a lot of planning goes into a Very Honey Boo Boo Halloween (you better redneckognize!): there are pumpkins to be picked, costumes to be worn, and candy to be consumed. But not without a few side-stories along the way. First, the family goes pumpkin picking on a farm equipped with metal barrel cows to cart them all around the farm. Chants of "Corn!" and "We're gonna die!" filled the crisp autumnal air.
It is here that we learn the definition of wop-sided. You see, to be wop-sided means to be just like Mama June: flat in the back with a big belly. But Mama cries foul: she's not wop-sided, she's curveous. The nerve of family, huh? It didn't stop there, though, as the family's seemingly-ritualistic antics of throwing things at each other continues with balls. The balls, they went flying. Balls everywhere. So many balls, so little time! Poor Mama June went and got herself a ball to the face. That's when it was game over. The girls tried to escape the wrath of Mama, and left Sugar Bear and Kaitlyn behind to fend for themselves in the process—up a thumb, but down two working legs.
Before Halloween's evening of costumery and dress-up, June wanted a bit of a makeover for herself. The girls help her go blonde, which was...a mistake. Let's just be frank and state what all the girls said, and what we're all thinking: she looks a mess. June, blonde is so not your color. Go for a warm chestnut brown if you want a makeover! Something with a lot of depth of tone to it: blonde just washes you out, Coupon Queen. Though this was not the only opinion in the room: June actually loved it. And Sugar Bear really loved it.
"Seeing June as a blonde would definitely make my loins perk up." Frisky McBrisky over here was ready to go—all episode long Sugar Bear was in the mood for some affection from his lady. June was not having it, though. Even threats of a black-crusted biscuit wouldn't deter the fire of Sugar Bear's desire.
But enough of all that mushy love stuff: it's time to get messy again! Bring on the pumpkins and an Uncle Poodle for good measure. Almost immediately, pumpkin seeds and guts went flying. They were shoved, caressed, smooshed, and flung onto every body part, and into several orifices. Caught in the crossfire and then used as a plaything, Kaitlyn's face was covered in seeds: she looked like a sesame seed bun and inspired cravings for burgers. Uncle Poodle put the wop-sided pumpkin on his head and, of course, got stuck.
After Uncle Poodle bashed his own, giant pumpkin head in The Great Mayonnaise Experiment began. Mayonnaise, you see, is the devil, according to Mama June. Unless it's in a potato or tuna salad that somebody else makes (then she'll eat it and it's OK), but mostly, it holds a great psychological power. Long ago when June was just a wee bairn, June had a babysitter who was possibly part monster (because there's really no excuse for this) or alien, as she would only feed them mayonnaise sandwiches for every.single.meal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, sketti time: mayonnaise on white bread and nothing else. It's time to face the fear, Mama June—there are so many coupons for mayonnaise, Coupon Queen! You have to overcome it for the good of the DEALS!
Alana is on a mission to cure her mother. It is her quest to bring peace and joy to every member of her family: quelling every fear with the flick of her wrist and the shake of her head. Her mama will not be afraid of no mayonnaise Honey Boo Boo, child! So she empties three jumbo-sized jars of mayo into a bowl and presents it to her mother, who immediately retches. June's chest tightens and her throat closes up as she covers her eyes, aquiver with fear. Get thee mayo away! She rushes from the room, overcome with what we can only imagine to be post-traumatic stress disorder. Alana's verdict? "It tastes like vanilla ice cream." Hmmm…they must be a Cool Whip family. In the end, all was not lost, as we did learn something: the jury might still be out on the vegetarianess of mayonnaise, but marannaise does not have meat in it—this we know definitively.
Then came time for the ancient tale of the Fart Ghost. You know Fart Ghost, of course, don't you? It's Fart Ghost! The ghost that you can smell before he enters a room. I believe his origins begin in 1640s era Paris, France. His name was Pepe LePew (I'll pause here for the sake of your uproarious, never-ending laughter at that joke). Fart Ghost seems to follow the family wherever they go. Perhaps he feels a kindred spirit in this flatulent family.
Down at Kackleberry Farms, a corn maze finds itself playing the role of outdoor bathroom for Mama June, who—while stuck in the seemingly never-ending maze—needs to pee, real bad. So she blazes a trail to the middle of the maze's corny barriers and takes a quick pee. Oh, there was also a giant bouncy pillow, some bellowing, and a zip line.
But this was just a precursor to: Costumes! Alana wants a costume made of bacon, but they're fresh out. Aww shucks! She settles for a blue "power wig" (Shh! It's a wig!) to help her make the right decision. They decide that Kaitlyn needs to either be a cheeseball or a crab (you know, because her extra thumb looks like crab claw. Their words, not mine! I don't like to make fun of children). Then Sugar Bear and Mama dress up with afros and caftans and call themselves "village people" in a moment that was seconds away from feeling sort of racist? The show moves on quickly, thankfully.
In the end, the family decided on the following: a hot dog costume for Kaitlyn, with coordinating ketchup and mustard bottles for her mom and aunt Jessica. Alana was a gothic vampire. Sugar Bear was an actual bear that Alana accessorized with a pound of sugar. June was Marilyn Monroe for 3 seconds, which turned Sugar Bear into Horny Bear. But June was not a fan of the dress' lack of modesty, so Mama became a Mummy…or a crap paper monster, according to the girls.
Pumkin got hit in the face with keys thanks to Sugar Bear, and is on bedrest and antibiotics to stop her eye from bleeding. So she can't go trick-or-treating. But have no fear! Alana gets her an eyepatch with a mini-pumpkin bucket covering the eye—enough for a few pieces of candy! They promise to bring back extra candy for Pumkin. And did they ever! Alana and Co. ended up in the rich part of town, with a mission: to bogart as much of the best candy as possible. Four bags each (!!!) later, it wasn't all confectioner's delights: somebody gave them dental floss! (The horror, the horror!) There were even a few pieces of fruit (the horror, continued!), but the family knew what to do with those: throw 'em to the deer before s** gets messy.
What did you think of tonight's Halloween-themed episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo? Let us know in the comments!
[Photo Credit: TLC]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
Redneckognize It! Honey Boo Boo is One of Barbara Walter's 'Most Fascinating People'
'Honey Boo Boo' Halloween Special Promo: It's Spooky How Staged This Looks
'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' For A Second Season: Internet Implodes
You Might Also Like:
20 Hottest Bikini Bodies of 2012: Katy Perry, Miley and More!
10 Pop Culture Moments That Would’ve Been Better Naked
Sift through comments on franchise sequel announcements and you'll find many crying afoul to Hollywood's insistence of resurfacing every last brand in their bank of titles. The desire for original content is reasonable but occasionally a cinematic follow-up does have the potential to be rich and rewarding. Revisiting characters who've seen time pass in their own lives is worthy of exploration — Peter Bogdanovich's Texasville Richard Linklater's Before Sunset and even A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas prove that theory. American Reunion reaches for that same dramatic arc reentering the lives of its core cast eight years after American Wedding. But instead of mixing comedy with any weighty issues the movie only tickles the nostalgia bone (and without f**king one pie in the process) — a hurdle that keeps American Reunion from being nearly as riotous as the original.
Life hits a wall for Jim (Jason Biggs) in 2012. He's a happily married man a father and a moderately successful employee of a faceless company. But after catching his wife Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) enjoying the company of a shower head it dawns on Jim that he's in need of a shake-up. Perfect timing: Jim packs up the family and heads to his hometown for his 13th high school reunion (sure why not) where he reunites with the old gang: Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) currently whipped into submission by his girlfriend Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) back from a trip around the world Oz (Chris Klein) now a superstar sportscaster fresh off a celebrity dance show stint and Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott) a law firm temp who continues to turn women into his own personal squeeze toys. The high school buddies devolve quickly into their old habits alcoholic antics and potty-mouthed rants by the red solo cupful. Good fun for Jim no fun for Michelle.
Instead of digging deep into its well-founded characters (which I swear is allowed in a raunchy R-rated comedy) American Reunion sticks to the familiar goofball scenarios of its predecessors. Which is passable because the core group who stuck through all three movies — Biggs Nicholas Thomas and Scott — make poop-infused pranks and slapstick shtick like a scene in which Jim and co. must get a drunken naked eighteen-year-old back into her parents' house without looking like total creepsters highly entertaining. Scott once again proves him an underused comedic talent making Stifler one of the few characters who can rattle off colorful cuss words while showing a glimmer of humanity. Same goes for Eugene Levy as Jim's Dad who finds his role beefed up now that he's once again single. Grieving for years over his wife's death Jim helps his advice-dealing pop hit the dating scene and Levy spins gold out of the silliest of situations.
The problem with American Reunion is everyone else. Chris Klein never clicks with the rest of the group (that's what he gets for skipping out on Jim's wedding) while the rest of the ensemble feel ham-fisted for cameo purposes rather than complimenting the storyline. Tara Reid and Mena Suvari return to the franchise to stand around and react to the ineptitude of their male counterparts. Natasha Lyonne is in and out faster than Jim's first time. Other brief character appearances are like bigfoot sightings. The idea of bringing the entire cast of the original back for more seems perfect but without proper pacing from writers/directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay) there's never a moment to enjoy it.
American Reunion is a flaccid entry servicing fans while coming through with enough laugh out loud moments to make one scream (In one scene Jim takes a page out of Michael Fassbender's Shame that will elicit audible reactions). If these were fresh characters we'd brush it off — but at the film's core is a lovable familiar bunch of knuckleheads that can't be ignored. And if Stifler wants to party you party.
Not to be confused with the 1979 ghost story The Changeling this Changeling is a horror story of a very different stripe. Based on a long forgotten case buried deep in the L.A. crime files this true tale revolves around the mysterious 1928 disappearance of 9-year-old Walter Collins. Set in an election year and with heavy political pressure on city officials and a corrupt LAPD they find a child five months later who they claim is Walter and arrange to reunite him with his mother Christine (Angelina Jolie). Only problem is she says this is not her kid. When she asks the police to continue trying to find her son she finds herself victimized and accused of being insane and unfit for not going along with the PR campaign informing the public that the police have solved the case. With the help of a community activist Reverend Briegleb (John Malkovich) she begins to fight the city and the police who try in every way to silence her even committing her to a mental institution. The film details not only her valiant quest to right a wrong and find her real son but serves as a probing indictment of the police state 1920’s Los Angeles had become. As in her searing portrayal of the pregnant Marianne Pearl in last year’s A Mighty Heart Angelina Jolie once again connects with her maternal side. In another challenging role she must exhibit a wide emotional range going from fear to anguish to anger to pure resolve in an effort to uncover the mystery of her son’s abduction. Splendidly outfitted in ‘20s garb Jolie delves deep into the soul of a woman who dared to go against the grain and challenge a corrupt police department in Prohibition-era L.A. She’s simply remarkable in the most intense determined and heartbreaking role of her career. As the man who helps out in her cause Malkovich is perfectly matched to Jolie. As the merciless Captain Jones who heads the investigation to find Walter Jeffrey Donovan (TV’s Burn Notice) is properly frustrating and imposing while Colm Feore gets the evil side of his LAPD police chief down pat. Nailing her few scenes Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone) plays a fellow psycho-ward inmate who helps Christine when she is institutionalized. Particularly impressive is Eddie Alderson as the 15-year-old nephew of the serial killer who leads police to a grisly crime scene and his uncle played a bit over the top by Jason Butler Harner. And filling out their juvenile roles nicely are Gattlin Griffith as Walter and eerie Devon Conti as the young man impersonating him. Clint Eastwood knows his way around ominous foreboding material so it’s no wonder he was instantly attracted to J. Michael Stracynski’s immaculately researched script. After Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River Eastwood exhibits a strong understanding of the dark side of human nature. Changeling fits right in with his oeuvre and he delivers yet another superbly crafted and acted film -- one that exists on two separate levels as a look at the corruption that crept into the LAPD of the era and as an impassioned journey of a woman trying to find a happy ending for herself and her son. Shot with the director’s usual ease Eastwood seems comfortable letting the almost unbelievable facts of the story speak for themselves and remarkably didn’t change a word of Stracynski’s fascinating screenplay. He doesn’t have to. The fact that it’s a true story that all really happened is simply incredible by itself. This is an unforgettable triumph for everyone involved.