Review (DVD): Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit

4 Star, Reviews (DVD Only)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Colm Feore

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 for stars, 4 for plot, 3 for authenticity, October 5, 2014

As a former Marine Corps infantry officer and also a former CIA clandestine operations officer, one of the first to chase terrorists full time (in the 1980’s), I found the movie engaging but annoying. The producers obviously did not think enough of the USMC or the CIA to actually have a consultant able to catch the many small and some large mistakes in procedure (weapons on a helicopter are supposed to be muzzle down, always) and tradecraft.

There are so many excellent reviews, this review is primarily to add the DVD to my existing list of reviews of DVDs for people who share my love of non-fiction but also like to enjoy serious DVDs with a few blantantly unrealistic DVDs thrown in when it suits me. To see all 135 reviews, each linked to its Amazon home page (139 after I post the four reviews from movies watching on Virgin Atlantic yesterday), visit Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, at the very bottom of the right-hand column see Reviews (DVD Only) (139) .

Kevin Costner is a given as a fine actor, the two new protagonists were excellent. While Alec Baldwin set the gold standard for an analyst taking on operational responsibilities in The Hunt for Red October, the male and female leads here have enormous potential and I hope they get material — and proper consulting on authenticity — for future productions.

The best spy movies remain those based on John Le Carre’s George Smiley series, including:
Smiley’s People

If you are interested in the craft of OLD intelligence, consider my 300+ Amazon reviews linked from an easily found online list, Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Government Secret Intelligence. The new craft of intelligence, personal, public, and political, can be explored through various briefings, chapters, and posts at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog.

The one interesting element of the plot was the idea of riding the electrical power lines into a computer. Most now know that Best Buy sells a kit that allows a router to be connected to the electrical supply via a socket at one level, and then on another level, a virtual ethernet extension comes out. What most do not know is that the Chinese have been doing this to NSA and the US military (e.g. NORAD) for over a decade, and this is the “fog fact” (see Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin) that NSA is keeping from our rather retarded and corrupt Congress.

There is way too much about the film that is just flat out unrealistic, it crosses way over into a Tom Cruise fictional genre for my taste, but it held my attention and I would like very much to see these stars go forward. The might start by reading my online post, Search: Seven CIAs [Steele on the Record]. I came out from under cover when Alvin Toffler wrote a chapter centered on me, “The Future of the Spy,” in War and Anti-War: Survival at the Dawn of the 21st Century, and I am most interested in seeing if the stars — or their producers — would like to make money while also educating the public, not just providing “drop out” entertainment.

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