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Clear And Present Danger (DVD)

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  • Ford's acting was not his best
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      02.08.2009 15:47

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      A great eveing's entertainment

      I am a fan of the Jack Ryan movies, save perhaps for The Sum of All Fears, and in my opinion this is the best of them.

      This movie came out before Harrison Ford decided to start phoning in his performances and togther with him, the great Willem Defoe and returning James Earl Jones we have a rip roaring movies that is a superior take on the action genre.

      Essentially the movie revolves around the US President's attempts to cover up the criminal connection of one of his friends, following the friend's murder by the Colombian drug cartels, and the effect of that cover up has on both the cartels. It studies the willingness of the ficitonal president's willingness to serve his own interests at the expense of others.

      Fantastic acting all round and great action means that you are gripped to the screen throughout. Couple that with a fantastic soundtrack from James Horner and you have a recipe for a great eveing. Interesting, at two and a half hours you think this movie will drag by but it most certainly doesn't.

      Well worth investing in.

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      21.05.2009 16:58
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      Watch this with the other two and you will love it.

      Poor old Jack Ryan, it's all kicking off again and he's right in the middle of it once more. This time it's the Columbians, well really it's the Americans but the Columbians started it .

      Jack's called in by his terminally ill old friend James Greer to take his place as Deputy Head of the CIA. Unbeknown to Jack there is a secret army unit taking the fight to the Columbian drug cartels as a revenge attack by the President of the United States of America for the brutal slaying of one of his friends. Before he knows it he's up to his neck in the middle of a government conspiracy with lives at stake.

      Poor olg Jack's lot goes from bad to worse with every film, this time he hasn't just got some big bad villain to contend with but also assorted angry Columbians and his own government. Still, all in a day's work really .

      This region 2 disc sports an excellent anamorphic widescreen transfer and I could find no fault with this release whatsoever. At all times the picture remains sharp and clear regardless of the on screen conditions. Colours are also handled well and my complaint of washed out colours in Patriot Games is not evident here.

      The Dolby Digital soundtrack on this disc is excellent throughout. There are several scenes that were made for a decent surround track and I'm glad to say that they work a treat. The best surround scenes tend to involve either helicopters, jungles or storms. Well this movie has the first 2 and the jungle sounds are particularly well done, constantly making me look about. Whilst the explosions will rock your room with a decent sub none of the sound is ever over done, scoring highly in the realism stakes.

      The soundtrack, once again by James Horner, is much improved from Patriot Games. Although there are still undertones from previous films.

      Once again we are treated to just a trailer as a feature.

      Clear and Present Danger is a great film, thoroughly enjoyable and easily the best of the Jack Ryan films for two reasons.

      Firstly the DVD quality has improved with each release to the point where Clear and Present Danger impresses as an all round excellent quality disc. The only disappointment continues to be the extra features, i.e. the almost total lack of them. I would love to see a special edition box set of all 3 of these movies packed to the gills with extras but also packaged with the original Tom Clancy novels, I find it always good to compare a film adapted from a book, to the book!

      Secondly it's interesting to see how the main characters have grown along the way, particularly Jack Ryan, masterfully portrayed by Harrison Ford of course. As the series has moved on Jack has moved from the totally naïve naval author of the first movie to the far stronger Deputy Head of the CIA in the third. Along the way though the character has stuck to his morals and has never compromised the truth in any way, refrshing to see.

      As the movies have progressed a background of minor roles has grown that really helps build a believable world in which they live. The story is a solid one of bad vs good and bad vs worse as America takes on the Columbian drug cartels whilst Jack Ryan takes on just about anyone he can find . The character of Ryan is given far more scope as well and it's a pleasure to see Harrison Ford in numerous different situations.

      Clear and Present Danger sees Willem Dafoe join the cast as John Clark, a one time US operative working out of Columbia. He's never believable in the role unfortunately but his part is not a major one. Representing the sleazy side of US politics is Robert Ritter, played byHenry Czerny, and James Cutter, played by Harris Yulin. This double act work excellently as you wish you could reach into the TV and throttle the pair of them.

      So to sum up the DVD is first class, spoilt only by Paramount's refusal to acknowledge that demand for extra features. The movie is great entertainment and I highly recommend it.

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        13.09.2008 12:08
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        Good film from Noyce

        Clear and Present Danger is the 1994 film from director Phillip Noyce who teams up with Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan once again to produce the sequel to Patriot Games. It is adapted from the Tom Clancy novel of the same name, features a bit more intrigue and corruption than Patriot Games and reverts Jack Ryan back to a more solid CIA role, and was acclaimed as a better film than Patriot Games.

        Ford stars as Jack Ryan, appointed CIA deputy director following the deteriorating health of his mentor, Admiral Greer (James Earl Jones). With political situations tense on Colombia and strains between it and the States, Ryan assures there will be no black ops action in the South American country, only for National Security Advisor Cutter (Harris Yulin) to secretly order otherwise. Ryan ends up going to Colombia with JOhn Clark (Willem Dafoe) to sort out the problems caused by this order. He uncovers political corruption as things become clear, and the path leads all the way back to the White House.

        There are some solid performances throughout this film, particularly with the leads. Harrison Ford gives a good turn as Ryan, and Willem Dafoe is solid as Clark. There are also good turns from Joaqim de Almeida as Cortez and some convincing acting from Anne Archer as Ryan's ever suffering wife Cathy. The remainder of the cast do well.

        The film is acclaimed as better than Patriot Games. Politically, it was more stable and seemed more comfortable dealing with a South American country than Patriot Games did with Ireland. The film has less care about it in this way and that kind of gives us a bit more action. There is a bit of confusion in the film, and you are never sure who is the guilty party in the film and who isn't, even at the end, and this I find rather annoying.

        The film kept me entertained all the way through, and I was impressed with Noyce's direction. The scenery was well used, particularly with the Colombian scenes, and the whole ensemble of the film is typical of a Tom Clancy tale - tell everyone what's going on, then tell them something different and light some fireworks. The DVD is available from amazon.co.uk for £3.98.

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          12.08.2008 00:11
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          another great turn for Jack Ryan and Harrison Ford

          Intelligent and engrossing thriller that keeps you entertained throughout. Clear and Present Danger is the perfect companion piece to the also excellent Patriot Games.
          Fod plays Jack Ryan with a good deal of naivity, as he goes through the red tape of modern day Washington. As a political thriller it brilliantly shows the inner workings of the presidential office, rather like The West Wing. As Ford goes deeper the conspiracy behind the drug cartels appears larger than he first imagined.
          Willem Dafoe also has a good part, as the mercenary soldier whose troops are left abandoned by the US department. Ford plays well against type as the man who finds being the action hero difficult, leaving Dafoe to do all the shooting, while he does all the shouting.
          The best scene is left to the last where Jack Ryan confronts the President about his actions - excellent edge of the seat stuff. One wonders why no more Jack Ryan films with Ford were made after this as there was much more scope for his character - less said about Ben Affleck the better.

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            24.05.2008 14:05
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            Super film.

            This is a great action thriller which stars Harrison Ford and Willem Defoe. Ford returns as CIA strategist Jack Ryan who is asked to look into the death of a close friend of the president and during this not only does he identify a link to the dead man and the Colombian drugs cartels but also his onw close friend General Greer is diagnosed with cancer and has to relinquish his role. The President is so impressed with Ryan performance and advice he asks him to step in and temorarily replace Greer. What Ryan does not know is that another part of the political network close to the President are waging a waragainst the cartels using American troops sent in without direct authorisation.


            Cast List

            Harrison Ford ... Jack Ryan
            Willem Dafoe ... John Clark
            Anne Archer ... Cathy Muller Ryan
            Joaquim de Almeida ... Col. Felix Cortez
            Henry Czerny ... Robert Ritter
            Harris Yulin ... James Cutter
            Donald Moffat ... President Bennett
            Miguel Sandoval ... Ernesto Escobedo
            Benjamin Bratt ... Captain Ramirez
            Raymond Cruz ... Domingo Chavez
            Dean Jones ... Judge Moore
            Thora Birch ... Sally Ryan
            Ann Magnuson ... Moira Wolfson


            This is a super film with an excellent plot and some fine performances throughout. There is a good balance of action scenes mixed with political intrigue and there are some definate similarities with some of the events surrounding the Oliver North scandal and Nicaragua although this time it is the Colombian drg cartels that provide the backdrop.

            Ford is excellent as the Tom Clancy created character Jack Ryan, he combine well the character who is extremely bright but also politically naive and bewildered at times with his swift elecvation and the need to balance a family life.

            This is an excellent film and well worth watching.

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              09.08.2001 01:19
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              • "Ford's acting was not his best"

              When the U.S. Coast Guard intercepts a derelict yacht floating in American waters, it discovers that it was the scene of a grisly set of murders. The victim was a prominent businessman and his family, all personal friends of U.S. President Bennett (Donald Moffat). Bennett is shocked and angry, particularly when investigation proves the murdered man had financial ties to Columbian drug lords. Bennett hints to his security advisors that the time has come to start striking back against the Columbian drug families. And the action taken and its results are the heart of this story. Tom Clancy's bestseller has Jack Ryan acting as Head of the CIA when his mentor Admiral Greer falls prey to cancer. On his watch, the President of the United States orders a covert operation to attack some South American druglords responsible for a friend's death. Ryan, who swears before Congress not to engage in covert action, must choose between loyalty and integrity. Jack Ryan finds himself in the wrong place, standing between the U.S. President and some Columbian cocaine cartels, specifically Joaquim de Almeida and Miguel Sandoval. As the subordinates of the naive President realise a war against an invisible Army cannot be won, they enter secret dealings with a high up individual of the cartel, offering to give away the positions of the small elite infiltration force operating in the cartel's backyard. The member of the cartel is operating behind his boss's back, as is the CIA agent. As Ryan gets wind of this, he personally gets involved in a desperate attempt to beat the Cartel to the American Commandos and secure their fate. From here on, things get very dramatic, as more and more tails of deception and greed ensue in this dog eat dog world - Ryan stuck in between two corrupt forces, the commandos acting as nothing more than trading cards. What you thought were bad guys become good guys, and some good guys turn out not to be so good afterall in this amaz
              ing sequel. The directing is amazing, and the soundtrack is awesome, building suspence at all the right moments. Towards the end the action becomes a little less intelligent and a little more action-orientated. In a way, what shapes up to be an amazing film has a bit of a rubbish end. It all seems to finish quickly after such a complex plot. I haven't read the book, but apparently the film misses lots out. Certainly I believe at 2 hours and 16 minutes this film is just too short. Such a complex plot develops, lies and deception begin to unfold, then there's a burst of action and it's over. Don't get me wrong, this is a great film, but it could have gone on another 45 minutes, perhaps even another hour, provided the rest of the film was as gripping. I'd have happily sat and watched this for over 3 hours if it was all of the quality of the 2 hours 16 minutes we were given. The potential was always there, the action scene at the end shouldn't have been as short, and the race for the commandos could have had us in suspense for a lot longer than it did. For this reason, I can only give this film 4 stars, missing the full score due to getting its priorities wrong, and skipping through a potentially amazing part of the film.

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                18.12.2000 06:54
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                This is another excellent Harrison Ford film, surrounding the war on drugs. A friend of the US President is involved with, and then killed by a Colombian drug cartel, the Cali Cartel. In retaliation the President indirectly orders the setting up of a team to destroy the cartel and all its members. Harrison Ford is cast as Dr Jack Ryan, the Deputy Director of Intelligence. The other members of the intelligence staff keep Ryan in the dark over the covert operations, but his persistence leads to him finding out the truth. The film has a number of interesting twists in it and is extremely well directed and acted. The action shots are very well filmed and in some excellent locations. The only part of the film I did not like was the sequence when dead Americans were being fetched home in coffins. This sad moment was done in extremely good taste, but unfortunately the backing music was the same music used in the traditional Hovis Bread advert and this completely ruined the moment for me. If you enjoy political manoeuvring mixed with good fighting action then have a look at this film.

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                  19.11.2000 02:42
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                  Clear and Present Danger is a good adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel to the big screen. Once again Harrison Ford is cast in the role of Jack Ryan. On this occasion Ryan is forced into the role of acting Head of the CIA when his mentor Admiral Greer, appropriately played by James Earl Jones, falls prey to cancer. As acting Head of the CIA Ryan is brought before Congress to swear that he will not engage in covert action. However, when the President of the United States orders a covert operation to attack South American drug lords who are responsible for a friend's death, Ryan must choose between loyalty and integrity. The film is well supported with a strong cast, a good storyline with an interesting and complex plot.

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                  21.09.2000 18:26
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                  If you watch this film after reading the book, you'll probably be a little dissapointed. If you just want a decent action thriller, though, this fits the bill perfectly. Harrison Ford returns as CIA operative Jack Ryan, the same character whose family were attacked by IRA terrorists in Patriot Games. James Earl Jones stars as his boss at the CIA, who is slowly dying. His portrayal of Admiral Greer fits the role perfectly, a man of dignity. The American government, tired of fighting an uneven battle with the Colombian drug cartels, decides to launch a covert operation to wipe them out. As a top secret operation, it is authorised by the President himself. As things start to go wrong with the plan, the President decides to cut the operation, leaving the team sent into Colombia to die a worthless death. When Ryan starts to uncover the plot, he decides to try to rescue the remaining members of the team This film has a number of great action sequences, but it's a little sad that so much of the book is missed out, or changed completely. Read the book and make up your own mind.

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                    14.08.2000 18:29

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                    This is one of the better films that I have seen. The film has mant interesting plots and sub plots and each one is defined very clearly and in great detail. All of the scenes involving the military are brilliant. Let it suffice to say that the story is interesting, reasonably complex and enjoyable, even if the ultimate outcome is never in doubt. One thing that I would say howevere is that if you haven't read the book make time to do that as well because the book is even better than the film.

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                    04.08.2000 19:34

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                    Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series continues with this tense story of CIA manipulations and drugs barons. Deputy Director Ryan (Harrison Ford) gradually learns of his superior’s involvement in covert operations inside Colombia. As part of this, Wilhelm Dafoe’s special forces team are monitoring the drugs-lords strongholds, and carrying out a dramatic attack using a laser-guided bomb. The tension and action is kept high, with a superb ambush sequence on a group of CIA cars containing Ryan and a Senator. Each side in the conflict is riven by divisions; Ryan trying to correct the human damage of CIA operations, while a new Colombian boss kills off the others. Much of the military action has similarities to Vietnam War films, with scenes like the ambush and helicopter rescue. This has a good plot, which keeps it one step ahead the generic action film. Although not as good as the tense submarine action of Hunt for Red October, it is superior to the other of the series, Patriot Games.

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                    08.07.2000 23:58

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                    This movie has to be a family favourite. It's got Harrison Ford, William Dafoe, Planes, Helicopters, Computers, Commandos and the list just goes on forever. There's action, humour, suspense, intrigue, a plot and it is all so accessable. There literally is something for every member of the family. I saw it a the cinema, and I am glad to say that there is hardly any effect lost on a smaller screen. I would recomend it to everyone: a real saturday night in, light-hearted all rounder.

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                  The third instalment in the cinematic incarnation of Tom Clancy's CIA analyst Jack Ryan and the second starring Harrison Ford, this follow-up to Patriot Games is a more complex, rewarding and bolder film than its predecessor. Ford returns as Ryan, this time embroiled in a failed White House bid to wipe out a Colombian drug cartel and cover up the mess. The script, by Clancy and John Milius (Big Wednesday), has an air of true adventure about it as Ryan places himself in harm's way to extract covert soldiers abandoned in a Latin American jungle. There are a couple of remarkable set pieces expertly handled by Patriot Games director Phillip Noyce, especially a shocking scene involving an ambush on Ryan's car in an alley. The supporting cast is superb, including Willem Dafoe as the soldiers' leader, Henry Czerny as Ryan's enemy at the CIA, Joaquim de Almeida as a smooth-talking villain, Ann Magnuson as an unwitting confederate in international crime, and James Earl Jones as Ryan's dying boss. --Tom Keogh