We’re finally getting to that time of year when some of this winter’s finest are getting releases alongside some of this year’s nicest TV sets. This week, fans can choose between purchasing Christopher McQuarrie’s big action flick, Jack Reacher, Andy Muschietti’s terrifying horror flick, Mama, and the newest Nicholas Sparks adaptation, Safe Haven, which mixes the usual romance up with a few thriller aspects. Overall, there’s a lot to choose from in a lot of different genres of film.
Read on to learn about some of May 7th's best releases, and maybe even a few that may have slipped under your radar.
Jack Reacher Blu-ray
Usual Suspects writer Christopher McQuarrie is behind the script and directed Jack Reacher, and it’s the former that is not all that it’s cracked up to be during the film. Reacher is a little heavy-handed at times and occasionally offers lines that are laughable in a bad way. Some of the fodder from the film is taken directly from Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books, so it’s hard to tell if the lines just don’t translate on film. Regardless, what the movie does offer is a straight-up badass in Tom Cruise, who plays the titular character.
The quick and clever opening scene introduces us to a crime from a sniper psychopath. It’s entrancing and sickening to watch the unknown perpetrator take his time shooting five victims and when the supposed killer is found, he asks for Reacher. The problem? Reacher is a ghost, a former military cop who has all but disappeared, occasionally picking up his paycheck via money order. With great intuition, Reacher appears on the scene, anyway, to act as a sort-of detective on the case, and that’s when the real fun begins.
Jack Reacher follows a fairly regular procedural plot, but Reacher himself isn’t a regular character. He isn’t afraid to bend the rules or get involved in whatever brutish fights he needs to in order to get to the bottom of the mystery and determine what really happened. He’s a loner, but he’s still good with people, charming the defense attorney on the case, Helen (Rosamund Pike), and getting chummy with gun range owner, Cash (Robert Duvall). There are both interesting feats of hand-to-hand combat and shooting in the movie, and action lovers will not be disappointed by the fight choreography Cruise and the gang bring to the table.
Overall, the action is solid and there is enough similarity from the book to movie transfer that fans of the novels and new fans alike should be able to find reasons to invest in Jack Reacher.
We’ll keep you posted if this one gets a sequel.
Best Special Feature: There’s been a lot of criticism from fans of Child's’ books that Cruise was signed on to play the role. Reacher is described as a big man, 6’5’’ tall, who comes off as imposing. Cruise is almost the physical opposite of the character in the book, but the bonus feature “When the Man Comes Around” goes to great pains to explain that their were no ideal actors of the right height and shape to take on the role and that there are other facets to Reacher that made Cruise an ideal candidate.
Additionally, the segment looks into the role of the villains in the film and how Werner Herzog eventually came to take on an acting role in the film. Getting into casting details is usually pretty interesting, but especially so in this film.
Other Special Features:
“You Do Not Mess With Jack Reacher: Combat & Weapons”
“The Reacher Phenomenon”
Commentary By Tom Cruise
Commentary By Director Christopher McQuarrie