Saturday, October 29, 2016


Director Ron Howard’s Inferno is a wild ride for Dan Brown fans. 

Writer David Koepp and Editors Tom Elkins and Daniel P. Hanley have done an admirable job in making a difficult story comprehensible. 
Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in a Florentine hospital with temporary amnesia and soon finds himself and the doctor, who was caring for him (Felicity Jones), on the run from an assassin cop (Ana Ularu) and Italian police. 
Langdon’s attempt to understand what happened to him and find the hiding place of a plague virus that could wipe out half of humankind take him and the doctor from Florence to Venice and on to Istanbul with plenty of action and surprises along the way.

Hanks and Jones are excellent, but the standout performances are from Irrfan Kahn as the head of a clandestine protection group and Sidse Babett Knudsen as a World Health Organization official with whom Langdon was once romantically linked.

Though sometimes a bit difficult to follow, the surprises make up for it.  I give Inferno a 3.9 out of 5.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Thanks to Co-Writers Richard Wenk and Marshall Herskovitz, Writer/Director Edward Zwick’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back has a better story than the original with Jack (Tom Cruise) trying to exonerate a wrongly-accused major (Cobie Smulders) and save a 15-year-old girl (Danika Yarosh), who may or may not be his daughter.
However, because of the story, there seemed to be less action than in the original, at least until the climactic chase.   But, then, I realized that the 4DX viewing (where your seat moves with punches, etc.) was actually impeding the action for this film as opposed to others I’ve seen in this format.  

So, don’t waste your money on it this time.  The film is more fun without it. 

I give Jack Reacher: Never Go Back a 3.4 out of 5.

Keeping Up With the Joneses

Despite Writer Michael LeSieur’s hit-and-miss script, Greg Motola’s Keeping Up With the Joneses provides its fun because of its talented cast.
Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher are a married couple, living on a cul de sac in an ideal residential community.  He works in HR at a aero-space company and she is an interior designer.

Their humdrum lives are changed, however, when a beautiful couple (John Hamm and Gal Gadot) moves in across the way.  Who these people really are and why they are there provides both the fun and the action.  And, it’s the ladies who provide most of it.

Despite its script shortcomings, I give Keeping Up With the Joneses a 3.4 out of 5.