I reviewed John Carney’s Begin Again for The Reel Deal. Have a watch below.
Following on from predecessors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck, Chris Pine is the latest actor to take on the mantle of the late Tom Clancy’s CIA analyst in Kenneth Branagh’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014), a safe series reboot which takes the character unsurprisingly back to his roots.
We are first reintroduced to our eponymous hero as just another helpless college student watching 9/11 before fast-forwarding three years to a marine-clad Ryan serving in Afghanistan. When he is seriously injured on a mission, he has to undergo intense physical therapy to even have a hope of walking again. It’s here he meets Dr. Cathy Muller (Keira Knightley) and shadowy agent Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner). Ten years pass, and Jack is working as an undercover CIA analyst in Wall Street ferreting out possible terrorist threats by analysing data whilst also trying to convince Cathy, now his girlfriend, to marry him.
Setting a narrative during the final days of civilisation is a premise which has been utilised on countless occasions in films. However, instead of focusing on a last ditch attempt to save the planet, Lorene Scafaria’s romantic comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012) paints an intriguing picture of what the world might look like if the end was upon us. Dodge’s (Steve Carell) wife ditches him when a humorous radio transmission informs them that the world will end in three weeks. Alone and unsure of how to spend his last days, fate intervenes in the form of next-door neighbour Penny (Keira Knightley).
Read the rest of this review at CineVue here.
Director Joe Wright (of Atonement (2007), Pride & Prejudice (2005) fame) teams up with muse Keira Knightley for the third time in Anna Karenina (2012), an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s esteemed 19th century novel. Slated for release in the fall (right when the awards season begins to heat up), Wright’s latest offering looks set for Oscar contention.
Penned by award-winning screenwriter Tom Stoppard (1998’s Shakespeare in Love), Knightley plays the titular character, an aristocrat who maintains a loveless marriage to a much older government official Alexei Karenin (Jude Law), abiding by the Russian high-societal norms of the time. When she encounters the more suitably-aged bachelor Count Vronsky (Aaron Johnson), she begins to question her happiness, and in doing so change comes to her family, friends, and community.
Watch the trailer on CineVue here.