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December 21st, 2012

Movie Review - Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher

Starring: om Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo, Robert Duval, Werner Herzog, Jai Courtney, Vladimir Sizov, Alexia Fast, Joseph Sikora, and more.

Directed by: hristopher McQuarri Screenplay by: hristopher McQuarri Based on the novel "One Shot" by: ee Chil Cinematography by: aleb Deschane Original Music by: oe Kraemer

Premise: hen an ex-military sniper kills five random people, Jack Reacher comes out of hiding to make good on a promise he'd made the suspected killer back in Iraq. Ready to take care of the problem, Reacher is surprised to find that Barr actually asked for him after he was arrested, rather than fear his appearance. Unfortunately, Barr is now in a coma after being beaten by other felons in a police van, so he can't ask him why. The evidence is overwhelming, however, so Reacher is sure Barr is guilty. But there are a couple of pieces that don't quite fit, and until they do, he's going to keep trying to uncover the truth (Rated PG-13)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: om Cruise was a lot of fun as Jack Reacher. Rosamund Pike's character Helen made a good foil for Reacher. Some very nice interplay between the two actors. Richard Duval lent a comedic touch to several scenes as Martin Cash. Werner Herzog made the Zec masterfully creepy.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: hough not a film needing a lot of special effects, the department did a great job with the ones they had. My favorite had to do with mixing the view out of the rifle scope as they panned over the normal view as seen from the parking garage. It really put the audience in the POV of the sniper.

During the big gun battle, ricochets and rock splinters were visible and added to the excitement. The bathroom fight scene with tiles and glass shattering during the violence were seamless.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: hile the main thrust of the story was nothing unusual, the characters and some of the subplots were, making the film much more robust. There were also a lot of little unexpected moments that made the film stand out from others like it. For example: a car chase scene where the person being chased by several police cars decides that's the perfect time to chase after those who've been following him all day, or telling the kidnapper it's okay to go ahead and shoot the hostage. Also the way Reacher and Helen, and later Reacher and Cash, kept turning things once each other. Lots of fun, unexpected things.

There are a couple of plot points that are inferred (why Reacher doesn't own a car, the real reason Helen and her father are so at odds, the bosses above the Zec, a death which had probably been a murder), and are never actually remarked upon. And while they don't detract from the movie itself, it did make for some nice conversation after.

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: he hand-to-hand combat was pretty good and there were several unual moves. The fight in the small bathroom with two big big guys, a baseball bat, and a crowbar won't soon be forgotten. Add in the inventive weapon Reacher uses when they're back out in the hallway, and the scene became priceless.

Totally loved the long car chase scene and the many fender-benders which ensued. Hubby loved the detail of  the hero's car stalling mid-chase. And the way he escapes the situation was as 'cheeky' as it was ingenious.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Thumbs Up: ittsburgh made a nice backdrop for the film. The spanning views through the sniper rifle and in general, especially those across the area of the original shooting (and from different angles) really locked the images in for the audience.

6) Costuming/Makeup - Total Thumbs Up: loved the fact that after Reacher got a bump on his head, the blood, the matted hair, and the stained the collar were still there when they cut to another scene as he'd neglected to do anything about them. Injuries resulted in bruises and cuts and were kept from scene to scene, remaining consistent.

The work done for Zec's hands and eyes totally served to enhance Herzog's performance. Nicely done!

Conclusion: surprisingly fun film with heavy doses of action surrounding a multi-layered mystery of corruption and survival.

Rating: out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: efinitely Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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