Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the Michael B. Jordan action thriller “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” (Amazon Prime Video), the Liam Neeson not-so-action-packed film “The Marksman” (VOD) and the weird and wild Nicolas Cage flick “Willy’s Wonderland” (VOD).
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Michael B. Jordan action thriller “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” (Amazon Prime Video), the Liam Neeson not-so-action-packed film “The Marksman” (VOD), the charming comedy “Golden Arm” (VOD/Digital) and the weird and wild Nicolas Cage flick “Willy’s Wonderland” (VOD).
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Michael B. Jordan action thriller “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” (Amazon Prime Video), the Liam Neeson not-so-action-packed film “The Marksman” (VOD), the charming comedy “Golden Arm” (VOD/Digital) and the weird and wild Nicolas Cage flick “Willy’s Wonderland” (VOD).
If you took all the gun play out of “Without Remorse,” the new Michael B. Jordan thriller on Amazon Prime Video, the movie would only be about 10 minutes long. The Tom Clancy adaptation is a bullet ballet that plays like a throwback to 80s matinee action movies.
When we first meet John Clark (Jordan) he’s leading an elite team of US Navy SEALs on a dangerous top-secret mission in Syria to liberate a CIA operative taken hostage by ex-Russian military forces.
Cut to three months later. Back in the United States, the quiet life Clark and his pregnant wife Pam (Lauren London) have created for themselves is shattered by Russian assassins who invade their home. Looking for revenge, the Russian hit team kill Pam before Clark is able to off three of the four hitmen. The fourth gunman fires back, leaving Clark for dead, riddled with bullets.
As Clark recuperates in hospital, his colleagues, SEAL Lt. Commander Karen Greer (Jodie Turner-Smith), CIA agent Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell) and Secretary of Defense Thomas Clay (Guy Pearce), determine how to best respond to a Russian attack on U.S. soil.
Not satisfied with the official way of doing things, Clark becomes a one-man army, seeking revenge and answers. He is the very definition of a man you don’t want to mess with. He’s a killing machine, especially when you take away the only thing he had to live for. He tracks down a Russian diplomat he thinks is responsible for the murder of his wife and coerces information out of him in a spectacular and completely illegal way. “They brought the war to my house,” he says. “The contract is broken. They’re going to play by my rules now.”
His act of retribution lands him in prison but he’s able to trade the sensitive information he garnered in his one-man mission for a second chance at revenge. This time with the cooperation of the CIA and military.
One secretive flight to Russia later, cue the carnage and conspiracy.
“Without Remorse” is an extremely violent movie with more bullets than brains.
Director Stefano Sollima stages intense action scenes and isn’t afraid to let the bodies fall where they may. Unfortunately, it’s in the handling of the other stuff, the intrigue, that the movie comes up short. In between bullet blasts a conspiracy slowly comes into focus, but it is never developed. Buried beneath an ever-increasing body count is the broader and more interesting picture of governmental tampering with world politics. Countries need outside enemies, it is suggested, or people will turn on their neighbors looking for someone to hate. It’s a timely message, a bit of debatable ideology, that could have been the underpinning for a rich subplot. Instead, “Without Remorse” is a standard issue shoot ‘em up.
Jordan brings charisma and physicality to the role, but is saddled with Steven Seagal-level dialogue. “Death follows me around,” he says in a line that could be from any number of direct-to-DVD action films from the last thirty years.
“Without Remorse” starts off with a bang—many of them in fact—but ends as a regression to cold war paranoia fuelled by bullets and brawn.
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Andrea Bain to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the award-worthy war film, “The Outpost,” the social drama “White Lie,” the ho-hum heist film “A Perfect Plan” and the documentary “Helmut Newton: The Bad and The Beautiful.”
Richard and “CP24 Breakfast” host Pooja Handa have a look at some special streaming opportunities and television shows to kill time over the weekend including the music documentary “David Crosby: Remember My Name” on Crave, two ways to get your live theatre fix on-line, “”Shrek the Musical” on Netflix and “Jesus Christ Superstar Live Arena Tour” on YouTube and “The Outpost,” an exciting new war film on VOD.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the immersive war film, “The Outpost,” the social drama “White Lie,” the ho-hum heist film “A Perfect Plan” and the documentary “Helmut Newton: The Bad and The Beautiful.”
The Battle of Kamdesh was a bloody 2009 confrontation that saw 400 Taliban fighters attack Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan, a station manned by 53 American soldiers and just days before it was to be shut down. “The Outpost,” a new film starring Scott Eastwood and Orlando Bloom and new to VOD, recreates the attack in gut-wrenching detail.
Based on the bestselling “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor” by CNN’s chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper, the movie focusses on Bravo Troop 3-61 CAV, soldiers working from a base camp situated at the bottom of three mountains. Nestled in a deep valley, the camp’s location is difficult to defend, allowing the Taliban to position themselves as to pick off the soldiers below.
The film’s first hour hints at what is to come. Like many war movies before it, “The Outpost” uses this time to get to know the men, Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha (Eastwood, ironically playing a character named Clint), Captain Ben Keating (Orlando), Specialist Ty Carter (Caleb Landry Jones), CPT Robert Yllescas, (Milo Gibson), and Daniel Rodriguez, a veteran of the battle who plays himself in the film. Between bouts of enemy fire we learn of their hopes, ambitions and thoughts of home. Its brotherhood building that, in terms of the drama, really pays off in the last hour when we see how the bond between the soldiers comes into play during battle.
Director Rod Lurie, a West Point alum, class of 1984, with four years of military service, has made a you-are-there film. He immerses the viewer in the details, the lives, sacrifices and, ultimately the skill under pressure of these men as bullets and bombs fly. The battle scene is ferocious, tour de force filmmaking, creating an atmosphere of bombast while never losing the connection between the men that will make the difference between life and death. But it is still a study in the importance of working as a unit as Lurie emphasizes the camaraderie as much as the action during the twelve-hour, close contact gun fight.
The performances are uniformly effective but it is Jones who stands apart as Specialist Ty Carter, a Medal of Honor winner, who fights through his fear to do his job.
“The Outpost” has all the earmarks of a war film, the action, the brotherhood, but it isn’t a recruitment film. It is respectful of the soldiers, their duty and courage but critical of a government who knew Combat Outpost Keating was a sitting duck and did nothing to remedy the situation. As a stark comment on the cost of war it is a powerful and award worthy effort.
Check out episode twenty-four of Richard’s web series, “In Isolation With…” It’s the talk show where we make a connection without actually making contact! Today, broadcasting directly from Isolation Studios (a.k.a. my home office), we meet Rod Lurie, a West Point graduate who became a film critic and was once banned from screenings for referring to Danny DeVito as “a testicle with arms.” He is a journalist and author and, since 1999, a filmmaker. In this interview we talk about West Point, why he stood at attention at a screening of “Poltergeist” and, of course, his latest film, “The Outpost.” It’s an intense recreation of the Battle of Kamdesh, a bloody 2009 confrontation that saw 400 Taliban fighters attack Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan, a station manned by 53 American soldiers and just days before it was to be disbanded.
Critics are raving about the film. “IndieWire” said that Rod shot “much of the 45-minute long ambush in hectic, agile long-takes that allows him to capture the Battle of Kamdesh for all of its terror, and with a clarity that allows us to feel that terror in our bones.” The film is also being praised by veterans, including those who fought in the battle, for its realistic depiction of warfare and the life of a soldier.
“The Outpost” is available now on VOD, wherever you legally rent or buy movies.
“I think that my most memorable was in 1982,” he says in the interview. “I was a cadet at West Point. I had leave for the weekend. I went to New York City, and went to see two movies. One was The Road Warrior, George Miller’s film. Oh my god, I was so absolutely excited by that movie. I thought it was so thrilling and I left on such a high. I always knew I want to be a filmmaker and I said to myself, ‘That’s the kind of movie that I want to make. I want to have that sort of effect on an audience.’ I left that theatre, and I went to see another movie, and that movie was ET. And I remember at the end of that movie I was in tears like a baby. I’m this tough military guy and I’m crying because he went home and his heart is beating. ‘I’ll be right here.’ I leave that movie and I say, ‘Oh my god, this is the kind of movie I want to make.’”
Now let’s get to know Rod Lurie…
Watch the whole thing HERE on YouTube or HERE on ctvnews.ca!