Rant, Raves & Reviews – Jack Ryan

p17351835_b_v8_acWho doesn’t like Jack Ryan, the loveable CIA Analyst played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and now John Krasinski? Even though he routinely gets out from behind his desk to save the world, he seems more like the guy next door than that famous British spy.

Cathryn and I have taken the next step in home entertainment by streaming movies and shows through the internet and on our television. We thoroughly enjoyed the first season of Jack Ryan and I was excited to hear that Prime Video was releasing the second season a day early.

Guess how we spent Halloween night? Instead of coaxing costumed munchkins to our front door with the promise of candy, we hid in the dark and binged on season two of Jack Ryan. I felt like a junkie craving one more fix when the eighth and final episode concluded. What the hell, a season is only eight episodes now?

Anyway, the new series was a bit more explosive as the first, with scenes in places like Moscow and Caracas, Venezuela. So be sure to check out Amazon Prime if you have it, but I’m sure it will make its way to Crave or Netflix too. Be sure to listen for the reference to a Canadian institution – CIA boss Jim Greer poses as a Canadian coffee businessman by the name of Timothy Horton.

The Broker – John Grisham

the brokerThe Broker 
by John Grisham (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 02, 2019  

 

I’ve read four other Grisham novels, with mixed reviews. I’ve also seen many of the movies made from his books and perhaps The Broker needs a few Hollywood twists to liven it up.
The story is about a Washington lawyer/power broker who’s greed lands him in jail. A presidential pardon gives his a second chance at life, but the CIA must hide him so other governments don’t kill him.
Without giving away all the backstory I thought this would be an action-packed spy thriller full of drama or intrigue. I was wrong. The author wasted about one hundred pages describing the Italian lessons the main character had to take while in hiding. Grisham said in his author’s notes that he was enthralled with Italy. I wished he would have spent half those pages describing food instead of Italian verbs.
The story dragged on and became predictable in the end. In thinking about the book and this review I was generous in giving it three starts. I’ve read much better from Grisham.

The Secret Servant – Daniel Silva

secret sevantThe Secret Servant (Gabriel Allon, #7)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Sep 14, 2018  
I’ve read a few of Daniel Silva’s novels now, and I’ve become a fan of his spy thrillers and Israeli Intelligence character Gabriel Allon. The stories are action-packed, and take us to different countries around the world. Most plots revolve around terrorism.
The Secret Servant has the Mossad and the CIA working together to hunt down bad guys and kidnappers in Amsterdam and London, England. I like how Silva’s main character relies on his support team to get things done, unlike the superhero characters of some novels.
The stories in this series are fictitious, but right on the mark with it’s tales of terror before and after 911. Allon is infamous hunting down and executing the Islamic terrorists who were responsible for Black September, the massacre at the Munich Olympics.
The story’s pace is quick and it keeps the reader flipping to the next page.

The Equalizer 2

equalizerWho doesn’t like Denzel Washington? I can think of one or two of his movies I didn’t like, but can’t think of one that I didn’t like him in. Many of us complain about sequels, like I just did with Jurassic World, but it’s hard not to cheer for vigilantes like Denzel’s Equalizer character.

As The Equalizer he has no problem taking on the roll of action hero. Cathryn doesn’t usually go for the shoot-em-up flicks, but she wanted to see this one and was glad she did. It was no surprise to me that they made a sequel to the first movie since they teased us with the option at the end.

Continue reading “The Equalizer 2”

The Messenger – Daniel Silva

messengerThe Messenger (Gabriel Allon, #6) 
by Daniel Silva

 

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 16, 2018  

 

I’d read The Black Widow before this book, but it actually follows the Messenger. That wasn’t a problem because the story stands well on its own and some of the names are familiar adding more to the story.
Gabriel Allon is supposed to be the Israeli intelligence officer who assassinated the terrorists known as Black September for their killing of Jewish Olympians during the Munich Olympics. The character is also a world renown art restorer.
The story is a good old fashioned spy thriller where the good guys chase the bad guys through various exotic locations around the world.
I’m now a Daniel Silva convert.

American Made

American madeWith all the political crap that is going on in the United States I think the timing of this movie’s release is perfect. Reviews are all over the map on this one with Tom Cruise lovers and haters. I’m not sure why the latter would see the movie in the first place.

Cruise plays Barry Seal, a TWA pilot who is recruited by the CIA to help Americanize certain third-world countries in Central America. In the interest of democracy Seal plays errand boy between the U.S. government and Manuel Noriega, running money and guns into Nicaragua. To supplement his personal income he helps the Medellin Cartel export cocaine to the U.S.

While messing in political and government affairs in Nicaragua, the CIA turns a blind to Seal’s extra-curricular activities. Although the story material is dead serious, the movie is almost comical. The role is not typical for Cruise, but he personifies the true all-american.

If nothing else, the movie was highly entertaining. Anyone who follows politics will recognize the names of Escobar, Ollie North, Noriega, and certain  U.S. presidents.

Cathryn and I both enjoyed American Made. She gives it a 9 and I an 8 out of 10.