Jack Reacher

Paramount

At the start of Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow our hero, Major Bill Cage (Tom Cruise), is a coward. He’s more than ready to run from a fight he knows he’s not equipped for. That’s not the kind of hero we expect from a blockbuster, but it’s the type of subversive choice we should expect from screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, who had a hand in bringing Hiroshi Sakurazak’s graphic novel, All You Need Is Kill, to the big screen. A protagonist unwilling to help save the world isn’t the only fresh idea in Edge of Tomorrow. Even when Cage becomes a fierce soldier, he’s still no match for the bad-ass helicopter-blade-wielding Rita Vrastaski (Emily Blunt). She is the hero of this movie. Vrastaski drives the story. Cruise, once again playing a role a lot of movie stars would pass on, consistently pushed for his co-star to be this film’s true hero. Cruise and McQuarrie’s creative partnership is built on risky choices. Valkyrie, a one-eyed Nazi movie about killing Hitler, was released on Christmas day in 2008. They took a crack at Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, the kind of character that doesn’t think twice about putting a bullet in the head of his unarmed enemy even after they’ve surrendered. And now, with Edge of Tomorrow, they’ve championed a project that follows an unlikely hero in a story not based on a well-known property. The two men are now hard at work on the next Mission: Impossible, but Christopher McQuarrie was kind enough to speak with us weeks after Edge of Tomorrow‘s release. The very candid Mr. McQuarrie openly discussed his […]

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Jack Reacher

Once Lee Child fans got over Tom Cruise not having the exact physicality of Jack Reacher, they realized Cruise nailed the most important part of the character: his spirit. By the end of writer/director Christopher McQuarrie‘s adaptation you wanted more adventures with the tiny brawler. The 2012 film managed to do that without any loose threads or blatant sequel flags, but instead ended on a note that says everything about the titular character. Reacher is a rare blockbuster protagonist: he knows who he is, there’s no self-doubt, and, best of all, he has a good sense of humor. Make no mistake, the character spawned a blockbuster hit. The film only cost $60m to make and earned over $218m worldwide, before going on to make a killing on home video. The character doesn’t face costly world-ending scenarios, so this is a series that could continue without an astronomically advancing price tag. On paper this reads as a no-brainer franchise, so why haven’t we heard much about a potential sequel? We asked Edge of Tomorrow co-writer Christopher McQuarrie that very question.

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cc jack reacher

If you’ve read FSR for a while you know that unlike some movie sites we like to add commentary and opinion to the news we’re reporting, and since a lot of what Hollywood produces are sequels and remakes you’ve probably also noticed that once in a blue moon our opinions can lean toward the critical. But seriously, they’re remaking Poltergeist and Videodrome, so can you really blame us? But while negativity breeds louder and funnier jokes, not all such announcements meet our ears with the expected skepticism and disappointment intact. Case in point are a pair of news items that hit over the weekend and immediately put a smile on my face. It’s worth noting that neither represents an official announcement and production starts on both are at least a year or two away, but hot damn this is good news all the same.

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blackfishmovie

Welcome to my 6th annual list of halloween costume ideas. These are mostly original, yet also mostly unlikely suggestions. One thing a lot of them have in common is the fact that you’ll need to explain exactly what you are, even if there is some mainstream-recognized foundation. For example, if this was a list of costume ideas based on movies that haven’t come out yet, one might be “Justin Bieber as Robin in Batman vs. Superman.” The basic Robin uniform would probably be easily understood, but the fact that the colors have been changed to purple, white and black, and why you’ve got a mop top will require the clarification that it’s based on a casting rumor the singer made up. I’d like to preface this year’s list by saying that I feel the past 12 months have either been uninspiring compared to other years — and/or I haven’t seen the hip movies of 2013. And I didn’t bother with much from the last quarter (as in post-Halloween) titles from 2012, because they all just feel like they’re from a century ago. Seriously, if you see anyone dressed as Abraham Lincoln and mention Spielberg’s movie, you’re sure to get a reaction of “oh yeah, there was that movie.” Feel free to borrow any of the following ideas for your Halloween festivities, especially if you want something that’s a conversation starter. But you must send us pictures. And if you don’t like my suggesions but you come up with your own very […]

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christophermcquarrie

Update: Paramount has confirmed that Christopher McQuarrie will direct Mission: Impossible 5. Producer/star Tom Cruise said, “Chris is an extraordinary filmmaker who will deliver the heart-pounding action and thrills that audiences around the world have come to expect from the Mission: Impossible franchise.” It took 12 years for director Christopher McQuarrie to follow up his divisive 2000 debut, The Way of the Gun, with a sophomore effort, but it’s looking like we’re not going to have to wait nearly as long between his second film and his third. That second film, Jack Reacher, didn’t look like a sure thing by any means. It had a generic title that wasn’t likely to capture the imaginations of casual audiences, it defied fans of its source material by casting minuscule pretty boy Tom Cruise in the role of the protagonist, who was traditionally viewed as being a hulking lump of a man, and it was being brought to us by a director who had only made one small action film that only managed to amass a small, cult fandom. Despite any unease audiences had going in, however, Jack Reacher proved to be a really entertaining action movie, and an entertaining Tom Cruise-starring action movie to boot. So as soon as it came out and didn’t get savaged by audiences and critics, rumors started flying around that Paramount was looking to put him on the next installment of their most valuable Cruise-led franchise, the Mission: Impossible series. Well, it’s looking like those rumors weren’t […]

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cc jack reacher

I’m usually not all that interested in a film’s box-office haul because it has no bearing on the quality of the movie, but I make exceptions when it’s a film in need of a sequel. Jack Reacher deserves a sequel. American audiences weren’t much help here as they failed to turn out in big numbers for what is essentially a mid-budget action throwback. Thankfully though the addition of overseas earnings was enough to nudge Paramount in the right direction. The film is only the second with Christopher McQuarrie in the director’s chair (with his first coming twelve years prior), and it stars Tom Cruise in the title role as a drifter seemingly unable to avoid trouble. It’s a damn fine movie and hopefully not the last adaptation we see of Lee Child‘s bestselling novels. Keep reading to see what I learned from the commentary track for Jack Reacher.

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disc 050713

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Telephone Book Alice is a young lady in the Big Apple whose libido is constantly on the lookout for the next arousing adventure, and she finds it when an obscene caller targets her for an erotic tongue-lashing. She becomes obsessed with finding the man behind the voice and sets out on a journey that brings her in contact with some truly eccentric characters and ultimately in touch with herself. This 1971 film was apparently thought lost for some time to the point that most people have probably never heard of it before. Vinegar Syndrome is still a very young label (this is only their seventh release), but they’ve more than proven their worth here by resurrecting it onto blu-ray. While described as an erotic cult classic I found the movie to actually be surprisingly funny too. Sarah Kennedy does her best “young Goldie Hawn” combining an adorable goofiness with a real sexiness, and the film as a whole is just the right kind of absurd. It’s a strange time-capsule back into the early seventies and manages to display a wit and intelligence unheard of in the softcore genre. [Blu-ray extras: Commentary, trailers, still gallery]

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On Demand: Jack Reacher

Back after a week of self-reflection, our patented, custom-built supercomputer known as the Video On Demand Power Ranker is back in action. This week it’s all crime thrillers, time-lapsing epics and stories about people with a screw (or seven) loose. And a movie about your uncle’s favorite band, The Eagles.

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The Last Stand

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s full fledged return to the big screen in this weekend’s The Last Stand isn’t triumphant by any measure, but it is a pretty fun action film which is all the more impressive considering the star is 65 years of age. Raking in an estimated and meager $6.3 million three-day total, the film was handily out-grossed by Mama, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook, Gangster Squad, A HAUNTED HOUSE, Django Unchained, The Hobbit, and man the list just keeps on going. I mean, seriously, did you see that A Haunted House, a movie that likely shouldn’t have even gotten a theatrical release, beat out The Last Stand at the movies? That’s disgraceful. I’m glad to see the success of Mama and many of the other films are Awards Season hold-overs, but this weekend should have been one for Arnold to win. If you’re an action film, I’m here to tell you: you’ve got to see action films in theaters or we’re screwed.

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Jack Reacher

Even though there are 17 Jack Reacher novels and 2 short stories featuring the stoic action hero, don’t plan on seeing Lee Childs‘ character back on the big screen any time soon. The Hollywood Reporter is claiming that the box office for the Paramount film starring Tom Cruise has been solid but not spectacular enough to ensure a franchise launch. The production house is waiting on business from major Asian territories to see if it can earn another $100m to reach a $250m total goal. If it does, negotiations may begin to see Cruise return for a sequel, but even if that lofty goal is met, the secondary challenge will be keeping the sequel’s budget around the same $60m of the first flick. In other words, there’s only a slim chance of seeing Jack Reacher 2. At least until Paramount reboots the property with Chris Pine in the role.

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Tom Cruise Rock of Ages

Tom Cruise is in the entertainment news again, but not for the widely acclaimed and well received action flick Jack Reacher. No, the Hollywood powerhouse is once again being talked about because of his very close association with Scientology. Never a group to pass up a chance to take free shots at someone, headlines from semi-journalists everywhere announce “Tom Cruise to Save Fellow Scientology Members from Aliens Within.”  When I first heard that, I was intrigued of course. I thought maybe Cruise had gone off the deep end, publicly, but no, that’s not the case. What’s happening, in reality, is that Pulitzer-Prize winning author Lawrence Wright is releasing a book entitled “Going Clear: Scientology.” In it, the book will supposedly talk about Cruise’s billion-year contract with Scientology and the process of auditing — essentially stuff South Park has already covered. Cruise has been the butt of many jokes for many years, and it’s gotten old. It’s time to give him a break.

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The Best Action Movies of 2012

Movies are many different things to many different peoples. A film may tug at your heart strings, tickle your funny bone, or change the way you look at the world. But sometimes all you want from a movie is an adrenaline shot straight to the heart, a testosterone booster right to the balls, or whatever the female equivalent of getting really hyped up over an action film is. 2012 didn’t see the apocalypse, but it did see a bunch of cinematic ass-kickery, the best of which is counted down here for your pleasure.

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Zero-Dark-Thirty

As dissent continues to flourish in this country, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that discordant responses to films is also on the rise. Divisiveness has always been one thing among film critics, with publications throughout the past decade loving to showcase opposing views of everything from Dancer in the Dark to Tree of Life. But it’s another thing for broader American society to not only disagree with one another but to really go at each other over a certain motion picture or movies overall. This is the year that a right-wing political documentary (2016: Obama’s America) outgrossed all but one of Michael Moore’s films, including the gun violence issue doc Bowling for Columbine. It’s also a year, now, when the notion that violent films may have an impact on gun violence more than guns themselves is being spouted by everyone from NRA leaders to actor Jamie Foxx. Does that make Foxx’s new movie, Django Unchained, one of the most dangerous films of 2012? It depends on whether or not you agree with that idea of films and video games being so influential. Also depending on your side of a debate, you might agree with those calling Zero Dark Thirty “dangerous,” as Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side; My Trip to Al-Qaeda) has now done. I haven’t seen the film yet, so I can’t offer any real opinion on the torture scenes provoking discussion, but here’s what Gibney has to say about it in a lengthy article he wrote […]

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Christopher McQuarrie has been trusted for quality ever since his screenwriting debut with The Usual Suspects. It’s an intriguing movie, not only because of the twist we all know, but it’s made even more interesting by the fact McQuarrie knew next to nothing about the 101 rules of screenwriting. It was unconventional, surprising, and entertaining. Most of those adjectives don’t apply to his adaptation of Lee Child‘s character Jack Reacher, but “entertaining” surely does. The lack of surprise becomes apparent from scene one in McQuarrie’s film. It is a mystery story that we already know the answer for, at least a part of it. The first act comes down to James Barr’s (Joseph Sikora), a former Army sniper, involvement in a horrific shooting. We know most of that answer in frame one, and that’s a smart choice on McQuarrie’s part. Based on conventions alone, we already know whether Barr is innocent or not, so McQuarrie doesn’t try to string the audience along for that meaningless mystery, telling us flat out from the start if he did it or not.

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herakles

I think it’s pretty safe to say that the most exciting thing about Tom Cruise‘s new action flick, Jack Reacher, is Werner Herzog. The legendary German director does act, occasionally, but playing a Russian bad guy in a mainstream Hollywood movie? That’s something to be excited about, if only because his Russian accent will almost definitely be memorably off-beat. Yet, perhaps unsurprisingly, this isn’t Herzog’s first time dealing with machismo on film. Way back in 1962 he made a short called Herakles, his very first film ever. It’s a critical look at the relationship between masculinity and the 20th century world, at least in a sense. The bulk of the film is made up of footage of bodybuilders working out in a gym, wearing the scantiest of briefs and flexing for the camera as often as possible. The beefcake reel is then interwoven with images from the modern world that clash with the “ideal” human male, sarcastically representing the twelve labors of Hercules. “Will he clean the Augean stables?” Herzog asks, and then shows us an enormous pile of trash.

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Django Unchained

This last month of 2012 is packed with movies to suck up our time when we need it the most. You got Tom Cruise stretching his acting muscles as an action hero, Russell Crowe singing in the shower, Matt Damon getting all teary eyed nostalgic over old America, and more. Plenty of variety before the apocalypse ruins our chance of ever seeing what Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s Batman would be like. If this is our final month of filmgoing, then so be it. With Quentin Tarantino, Peter Jackson, Judd Apatow, Kathryn Bigelow, Christopher McQuarie, and Gus Van Sant all jollying up our holiday season, we couldn’t ask for a better last hurrah for movies if those apocalypse rumors are proven correct. Before we all die horrible and painful deaths, make sure to see these films:

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Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol

It must feel pretty good to be Christopher McQuarrie right now. The writer/director has Jack Reacher coming out in a month’s time, which is hopefully as cool as the footage we’ve seen, but that’s not the only reason McQuarrie must be pleased with himself. With the big promotional push for a risky Christmas Day release, Paramount is putting a lot of confidence into McQuarrie’s movie. Now, with news of the Usual Suspects writer in line to helm Mission: Impossible 5, the studio clearly wants to stay in the McQuarrie business. And good for him. Ever since The Way of the Gun, he’s been stuck in director’s jail, or at least it seemed that way. His excellent, overlooked directorial debut was critically divisive and far from a box office hit. His lack of directorial work doesn’t mean he hasn’t been keeping busy, though. Over the past few years he’s struck a good working relationship with Tom Cruise, and after Jack Reacher, it’s apparently gotten better.

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Jack Reacher Tom Cruise Robert Duvall

Lee Child has published seventeen novels with lead character Jack Reacher, and this December one of them will finally be hitting the big screen. Reacher was a military policeman once upon a time, but just because he no longer carries a badge doesn’t mean he’s forgotten wrong from right. Now he wanders the nation from one state to the next, and like Bruce Banner and Sam Beckett before him he helps those unable to help themselves. “One Shot” (renamed simply Jack Reacher for the movie) is the ninth book in the series and sees him investigating a mass shooting in Middle America and the man arrested for the crime. Reacher has some very specific characteristics, mostly focused on his size, that should have realistically precluded any actor under 6’3″ from playing him onscreen. Hollywood though is a magical place where respect for the written word isn’t always a priority, so Tom Cruise was cast in the role. Cruise, as we all know, stands 3’7″ which led to a fair amount of bitching and moaning online about his giant ego in a tiny body ruining such a kick-ass literary character. But books and movies are two different mediums, and changes big and small are inevitable when adapting between them meaning the resulting films should be judged on their own merits. We got a glimpse of those merits with the first teaser back in July, but today the full trailer has dropped offering us a look at the story, writer/director Christopher McQuarrie‘s sense […]

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While we may always wonder what a Jack Reacher film would look like with a star who actually fits the description of the character from Lee Child‘s popular book series (you know, “a giant, standing at 6′ 5″ tall with a 50-inch chest, and weighing between 210 and 250 pounds…Reacher is strong enough to break a man’s neck with one hand and kill a villain with a single punch to the head or chest”), star Tom Cruise seems pretty determined to get down to the neck-cracking, despite his smaller frame. In the film’s first teaser trailer, Cruise’s Reacher breaks approximately one bone every twenty seconds (you know, other people’s bones – it doesn’t look like Reacher can even bleed), and no matter how disgusting the necessary sound effects are, it’s a riveting little bit of marketing. See just how much Jack Reacher doesn’t care about the law (and does care about cracking skulls), after the break.

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The Wikipedia page for Lee Child‘s Jack Reacher character informs readers that Reacher, former Army Military Police Major, lone wolf, and total badass “is a giant, standing at 6′ 5″ tall with a 50-inch chest, and weighing between 210 and 250 pounds. He has ice-blue eyes and dirty blond hair. He has very little body fat, and his muscular physique is completely natural…He is exceptionally strong but is not a good runner. Reacher is strong enough to break a man’s neck with one hand and kill a villain with a single punch to the head or chest. In a fight against a 7 foot, 400 lb steroid-using thug, Reacher was able to lift his opponent into the air and drop him on his head.” Of course, Reacher is being played by Tom Cruise in the upcoming adaptation of the Child book “One Shot,” now just titled Reacher. Cruise, at the very least, has blue eyes. While it’s easy enough to mock the choice of Cruise for this highly psychical role (easy enough that this very article has done it at least twice already), buzz about the film has been strong, and screenwriter and director Christopher McQuarrie remains confident that Cruise is the right man for the job. So, of course, here comes the world’s first look at Cruise as Reacher, and he’s…standing in front of a car? Cool.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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