Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Jack in the 'Burgh

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Jack in the 'Burgh

Article excerpt


Critic's Call: ***

If you were driving through Pittsburgh during rush hour on Oct. 7, 2011, and thought you saw Tom Cruise alone on the Fort Duquesne Bridge -- and then figured, that can't be him -- well, your first instinct was right.

In the audio commentary for "Jack Reacher." director Christopher McQuarrie recalls the challenge of doing a drive-by shot of Mr. Cruise on a Friday during rush hour, as the light was fading and the production was able to close only one lane of traffic.

The sole way to do it was to drop Mr. Cruise off and then drive past him and the filmmaker jokes motorists might have wondered, "Is that Tom Cruise? ... It's not like they don't know you're in town."

"Jack Reacher," based on the Lee Child novel about the footloose former military investigator, arrived on Blu-ray and DVD this week. It was filmed in Pittsburgh in fall 2011 and early 2012, and is set here.

It still opens with a sniper in a Downtown parking garage aiming his weapon at the sun-drenched walkway outside PNC Park and killing five. The picture's arrival on the heels of the real-life school shooting in Connecticut made it a tough sell for some moviegoers, and so did Mr. Cruise's failure to look like the Jack Reacher on the page.

That is addressed by Mr. Child as well as Mr. McQuarrie in the extras, which also quote the director on returning to the quarry in Saltsburg, Indiana County, he had scouted on a sunny day and now found remote, muddy and cold. "I had some small sense of what Napoleon felt on his way out of Russia," he says in the extra, "When the Man Comes Around."

Werner Herzog, meanwhile, reveals that he didn't think his villainous character of the Zec should look well-fed so he lost 23 pounds. His secret? He ate one-third of what he normally would consume.

As for anyone disappointed by the lack of a romance between Rosamund Pike's Helen and Jack Reacher, Mr. McQuarrie said he told his leading man, "You can be charming with Helen but you can never charm her," because Reacher would not get involved with a woman he had to leave behind. …

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