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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
[img]http://www.customdvd.org/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=26090&d=1364293933&thumb=1[/img]
Releasing Studio: Paramount
Disc/Transfer Information: Region 1; Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 130 Minutes
Tested Audio Track: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring Cast: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo, Werner Herzog, Jai Courtney, Robert Duvall, Joseph Sikora


THE LAW HAS LIMITS. HE DOES NOT.


PLOT ANALYSIS:


Boy, what another disappointment this was. After seeing the hyper-kinetic trailers and teasers for Jack Reacher, which included fast-moving sequences involving Cruise in yet another Mission: Impossible-like butt-kickin’ role in which he appears to be some unstoppable CIA/James Bond type taking out bad guys like we take bags of trash to the street, I was stoked to experience this theatrically or via rental. Of course, like always, the theatrical release came and went and before I knew it I was receiving the standard DVD to review and share my thoughts on. The final product, as what, for some reason, always seems to happen when we’re really anticipating a title, was far more disappointing in my opinion as compared to what was promised. I’ll explain…

First, let me say that I know it seems like an almost oxymoron-like standpoint, but I actually like Cruise in these “action hero” roles; you wouldn’t think he would work, at all, in these leads, but for whatever reason, he seems to kick butt with the best of ‘em up on the big screen when he’s portraying these secret spy/highly trained operative types a la Mission: Impossible, and it seemed from the first trailers for Jack Reacher, he was again slipping into the point-and-punch role of a rogue operative gone nuts, exhibiting incredible martial arts-like fighting skills in which he completely immobilizes his targets. And, like the aforementioned Mission: Impossible franchise films, from what I could tell from the trailers, Cruise was just going to work here. However, something went wrong after almost an hour of watching this went by and I found myself entwined in some sort of “lawyer drama-meets-brief-action-sequences” plot that didn’t really deliver what the trailers teased at (can we say Iron Man 3?)

Based on the novel One Shot by Lee Child, Jack Reacher opens with a sequence depicting a lone sniper in Pennsylvania taking shots at what appears to be five random people on the other side of a river just off a ball park. The sniper’s identity is exposed to us, the viewers, as being a rugged, Bane-from-Dark Knight Rises-looking tough guy named “Charlie” (Jai Courtney)…but all is not what it seems. Planting the fingerprints of an ex-army sniper named Barr (Joseph Sikora), Charlie disappears and Barr is brought in by Pennsylvania police where he refuses to speak but instead writes down one message about locating someone named Jack Reacher (Cruise). Cruise’s Reacher character is also ex-army, with some kind of counter-intelligence experience and advanced security training that makes him a physical nightmare for whomever is fateful enough to cross his path. Meanwhile, the gorgeous blonde lawyer taking the case to defend Barr (Rosamund Pike) is in a battle of wits with her own father, the D.A. (Richard Jenkins) and the ace cop he has working the case (David Oyelowo) – until Reacher steps in and is kind of “hired” by Pike to investigate what is really going on here after Reacher explains to her how Barr couldn’t have possibly done this shooting.

Reacher’s investigating leads him to – as it always does in nearly all of these “quasi-dramas” of late – a conspiracy being covered up by the cops and maybe even Pike’s father involving Russian gangsters and a construction empire that was interfered with; somehow, the people killed by sniper Charlie in the opening sequence have ties to possible ways of stopping the money rolling in from these cover ups, from what I gathered, and thus everyone and anyone even willing to get in the way of this scenario is disposed of, usually by Charlie. The whole notion was unnecessary and long-winded, taking us away from what we thought this film was going to be about – Cruise in a lead fighting hero role – and drawing us into a two hour kind of sappy drama involving lawyers, D.A.s, corrupt cops and…oh, you know the script…have any of you seen Broken City?

What was perhaps most disappointing was the lack of actual fighting scenes involving Cruise, in which he gets to show off his particular skill set a la James Bond or even Liam Neeson’s character from Taken – there are a couple of scenes, but not nearly enough based on what the trailers promised, though what scenes did involve Cruise’s Reacher character were exciting and well choreographed. One involves a moment in which Reacher is followed to a bar, where a young girl dressed very provactitavely comes onto him, leading him to be threatened by a group of tough guys who eventually make their way outside of the bar to confront him in a fight. Cruise’s cool, calm approach to giving these guys a “last chance” to walk away was one of the highlights of the entire film, but when the punches start flying and he takes out all five of these muscular dudes, it was pure eye candy. Another sequence towards the end of the film when Reacher tracks a kidnapped Pike to a desolate construction site to confront the Russian boss holding her there (Werner Herzog) and his men, one of which is the Bane character-like Charlie, is the other redeeming moment of the film, as Reacher enlists the help of gun range owner and operator “Cash” (Robert Duvall) to stage a secret attack on the kidnappers from the perimeter of the construction site. Most disappointing about this sequence, though, was the all-too-brief physical confrontation between Reacher and Charlie, of which the film kind of sets up all along the way…Reacher finally takes out all of Herzog’s guys, leaving only Courtney to pretty much do battle with outside the mobile office Pike is being held captive in, and in dropping his gun and rushing Charlie head on to engage in hand-to-hand combat, the two clash and pretty much beat the arm-and-leg-breaking snot out of each other…of course, Reacher gets the upper hand and stomps on Charlie’s broken neck and head like it’s a wet saltine cracker, leaving only the Russian mobster to deal with now. However, before he gets to the old man, we learn of someone else who was in on all of this…and it wasn’t Pike’s father, the D.A., which we’re lead to believe…

Something I noted when watching this final fight sequence between Cruise and Courtney: With the obvious lack of score in the background during this scene and the “grunts” of the two men as they punch each other into cole slaw, it reminded me very much of that first fight scene between Bane and Batman in The Dark Knight Rises…the eerie, tension-building lack of score or effects was really impactful even in Jack Reacher, and it seemed to me that McQuarrie had some inspiration from that film in shooting this last sequence.

Jack Reacher had so much potential, but, like unfortunately so many other films with the same promise on their proverbial shoulders, it fell flat in the end. I really thought this was going to be a Tom Cruise action stunner, with him portraying a character much like Liam Neeson’s in the aforementioned Taken films, using advanced martial arts and defense training to take out enemies left and right; what we got was a rather slow-moving yarn involving a beautiful lawyer and Cruise’s character’s involvement in assisting her prove her client didn’t kill those people in the sniper attack. But the whole thing came off as kind of corny and boring; not what I expected, at all.

[img]http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQAeFmNMIq1R_1f5NznEUDHS3MaQ7Qqn-shHzIspx0XUwv1rOiemD9HpWjvUw[/img]
VIDEO QUALITY ANALYSIS: HOW DID THE DISC LOOK?

Paramount presents Jack Reacher on standard DVD in a rather clean 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, and while it’s by no means a Blu-ray challenger, the picture quality got the job done. I experienced no compression noise and blacks were pretty spot-on in terms of shadow detail and bleeding. The image as a whole was on the soft side, but this could have easily been due to the noise reduction engaged in both my display and Blu-ray player (at low levels on both) – or it may have been a creative decision on the filmmakers’ part. Upconverted to 1080p via my OPPO BDP-83 player, Jack Reacher was about as satisfying as a current release on DVD could be.








[img]http://daily.greencine.com/Jack-Reacher-Rosamund-Pike-2012-film.jpg[/img]
AUDIO QUALITY ANALYSIS: HOW DID THE DISC SOUND?

The standard English Dolby Digital 5.1 mix accompanying Jack Reacher on DVD was on par with the video, and also got the job done. While a bit hushed and subdued in the dialogue, which required some master volume goosing, the entire track was engaging and aggressive when called upon – the last action sequence of the film in particular exhibited some excellent “ping-ponging” from bullets across the entire soundstage as Cruise, Duvall and Courtney trade machine gun fire outside the construction site. As machine gun fire blasts from all channels, the ricocheting effects were uncomfortably real on this soundtrack as bullet shells drop, fling and ping off of twisted metal in this construction boneyard.











FINAL THOUGHTS:

This was disappointing for me, but, as always, your mileage may vary. Jack Reacher will be yet another in a long line of titles I simply don’t see me putting on my collection shelf with regard to DVD or Blu-ray; if you’ve seen this, I’d like to hear from you, so let’s discuss Jack Reacher, fellow Shacksters!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Some nips and tucks/tweaks made to review; thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the review Osage!

I was originally intending to not watch this as I just could not see Tom playing a character that is 6'5" of pure packed muscle, but I figure I will at least give it a spin once - hopefully soon.
Hello, ALM!

Thanks so much for reading and for the feedback! Indeed, I know what you mean about his characterization in this film -- but I must say, that whole angle wasn't that overdone...I mean, he does pack muscle but he doesn't look like some WWF superstar or something, in any way...his build looks natural. As for the height thing, I don't think that they were going for making him appear that large (if that's what you meant) but the way in which most of his scenes were filmed -- like in all Cruise pictures -- he appeared taller than he really is...my wife actually said he's around 5'2" but I don't believe that...

I suppose it's worth a rental spin, as you say -- but I don't see the need to own this. :T
 

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Hello, ALM!

Thanks so much for reading and for the feedback! Indeed, I know what you mean about his characterization in this film -- but I must say, that whole angle wasn't that overdone...I mean, he does pack muscle but he doesn't look like some WWF superstar or something, in any way...his build looks natural. As for the height thing, I don't think that they were going for making him appear that large (if that's what you meant) but the way in which most of his scenes were filmed -- like in all Cruise pictures -- he appeared taller than he really is...my wife actually said he's around 5'2" but I don't believe that...

I suppose it's worth a rental spin, as you say -- but I don't see the need to own this. :T
I will make sure to post back after I have watched it - I need to get out to see Iron Man 3 as well before I read your other review! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will make sure to post back after I have watched it - I need to get out to see Iron Man 3 as well before I read your other review! :)
Oh, yeah, well with regard to Iron Man 3, don't read the thread -- it wasn't really a "review" per se, just a discussion launching point in which I felt a need to convey my disappointment with that film -- until you've seen it, please...there are some divulging bits of info there...:rolleyesno: :T
 

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Good review Osage, I watched it the other night and I thought it was pretty good; I'd probably give it a 7.5/10. I haven't read the books and didn't remember the previews before sitting down to watch it, all I knew was it didn't do that well in the theaters.

Just because Cruise was in it I was expecting more of a clichéd action movie instead of the thriller that it is but I would recommend it as a rental, I don't think it has much replay value. The sound was good with the engine notes in several sequences that made my sub come alive and good surround usage in the final shootout but nothing demo worthy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks very much, as always, for your kind feedback and for reading, Infra!

Did you demo the standard DVD version, as I did?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I see; it was a DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, I presume? And it didn't seem all that "demo worthy" to you? The DVD's Dolby Digital track was aggressive when called upon -- especially in that last shootout sequence at the "construction site," but otherwise it was a pretty ho-hum mix...

Interesting to see what turns up after my next two reviews on Texas Chainsaw and Silver Linings Playbook...
 

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I think it was DTS-HD; yes no scenes that would make me want to buy the disc and re-watch for the audio. The shootout wasn't bad but the most fun LFE came from the car scenes.

I plan on watching Silver Linings Playbook soon but I'm not into the horror genre so I'm going to skip Texas Chainsaw - I look forward to your reviews though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think it was DTS-HD; yes no scenes that would make me want to buy the disc and re-watch for the audio. The shootout wasn't bad but the most fun LFE came from the car scenes.
Indeed; most titles -- if not all -- are coming equipped as the de facto standard with DTS-HD MA, as DVD did, in the majority of cases, with Dolby Digital tracks...I actually thought, to my ear, Dolby's TrueHD codec was a bit more aggressive, as a whole, than the DTS-HD MA tracks (think the ultra-rambunctious Dark Knight or first Iron Man) but some DTS-HD MA mixes simply can't be denied their place on the "top shelf audio" mantle (i.e. Iron Man 2, Dark Knight Rises, The Incredible Hulk). Interestingly enough, I just watched an older title last night on BD -- Primal Fear with Richard Gere and Ed Norton -- and it was equipped by Paramount with a TrueHD track (probably because of its release vintage in the Blu-ray universe). The track was lethargic and not really involving -- and the video looked more like an average DVD transfer -- but that's a discussion for a separate review I am preparing...

As for rewatching this or buying it, I agree with you 100 percent, even if it wasn't for the audio alone -- I just don't see this having much replay value...

I plan on watching Silver Linings Playbook soon but I'm not into the horror genre so I'm going to skip Texas Chainsaw - I look forward to your reviews though!
Thanks so much, my friend; your reading and insight/feedback/opinions make writing them all the more worth it! :T Indeed; I'm sure we'll have much to discuss with regard to Silver Linings, and I hope you'll maybe give some feedback on Texas Chainsaw if you dare to experiment...:eek: :unbelievable: :unbelievable:
 

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Thanks for the review Osage!

I was originally intending to not watch this as I just could not see Tom playing a character that is 6'5" of pure packed muscle, but I figure I will at least give it a spin once - hopefully soon.
Hello, ALM!

Thanks so much for reading and for the feedback! Indeed, I know what you mean about his characterization in this film -- but I must say, that whole angle wasn't that overdone...I mean, he does pack muscle but he doesn't look like some WWF superstar or something, in any way...his build looks natural. As for the height thing, I don't think that they were going for making him appear that large (if that's what you meant)
I believe what ALMFamily was referring to is the character Jack Reacher in the books, who is frequently described by his size and appearance. In the books Reacher is 6'5", 250 lb's, and built like a bricklayer.

His back story is that he was an ex-MP that was part of an elite investigative team and has turned into a wandering, justice dealing, loner, who can barely drive (he only had a vehicle of his own in one book, an SUV, and even there he was uncomfortable driving), most of his driving experience was in the Army, hence the weirdness of the casting and car chase scene for anyone who is familiar with the books.

Also, Reacher is more of a brute force fighter than a martial artist. In the book "One Shot" he doesn't really have a confrontation with "Charlie", he sneaks up on him and throws him out of the attic window. Charlie is some tiny ex-sniper with no physical intimidation factor.

The buff guy that decks the girl ("Sandy, who is killed by a single punch, which implicates Reacher due to his size) is the main physical altercation in the book. Reacher takes out the giant Russian in a ferocious bear hug, crushing him to death in his arms. Obviously not something anyone is going to believe Tom Cruise is capable of.

As someone who has read many of the books, the casting only makes sense from the perspective that Cruise was an executive producer on the film. A more apt actor would have been the late-great Michael Clarke Duncan (although Reacher is Anglo in the books, I can overlook that more easily than a tiny Reacher).

If I ignored what I knew from the book, then the film was OK. When I viewed it from what I know of the character, and with the thought that they will probably want to make this into a franchise (all of Lee Child's Reacher books have now been optioned), then the discrepancies bother me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I believe what ALMFamily was referring to is the character Jack Reacher in the books, who is frequently described by his size and appearance. In the books Reacher is 6'5", 250 lb's, and built like a bricklayer.
Oh, I see -- well then, his sentiment makes total sense now...:T
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Indeed, ALM; I didn't know you were referring to the novelization of the character, as I had not read One Shot...
 

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Indeed, ALM; I didn't know you were referring to the novelization of the character, as I had not read One Shot...
(edited after a good nights sleep):innocent:

No worries. If you do get the chance, and liked the Reacher character, try reading one of the books. One Shot is among my favorites in the series so far.

Have a good weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What I was really trying to convey to ALM was that I didn't know he was referring to the way this character is portrayed outside of this film variant -- I thought he was referring to Cruise being characterized (by the looks of the trailers, at least) as some 6'5" muscle house and once you watch the film you know that isn't exactly accurate...but I was merely trying to explain, based on my interpretation of his comments, that I didn't think that was how he came off in the final shoot of the film, and thus why the conversation was going in the direction of discussing Cruise's actual real-life height, etc...

So, I shouldn't have stated my comment the way I did; I meant to say I didn't realize ALM was referring to the way in which this character appears in non-film variants of this story...
 

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What I was really trying to convey to ALM was that I didn't know he was referring to the way this character is portrayed outside of this film variant -- I thought he was referring to Cruise being characterized (by the looks of the trailers, at least) as some 6'5" muscle house and once you watch the film you know that isn't exactly accurate...but I was merely trying to explain, based on my interpretation of his comments, that I didn't think that was how he came off in the final shoot of the film, and thus why the conversation was going in the direction of discussing Cruise's actual real-life height, etc...

So, I shouldn't have stated my comment the way I did; I meant to say I didn't realize ALM was referring to the way in which this character appears in non-film variants of this story...
No worries here mate - I did not do a good job conveying my thoughts at all. Still need to get this watched!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It's all good, ALM -- please let me know what you thought of the film when you do get it watched!
 
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