Jun 22, 2014

The Monuments Men

My wife is on nights at the hospital, so that means it is time for another round of “David Catches Up on Movies!” Last time, I watched some sci-fi films that I had managed to miss. This time, I am just grabbing anything that piques my interest.  I was again too tired on Wednesday night to watch a movie.  And after my lack of appreciation for the violent films, I decided to pick up "The Monuments Men" with George Clooney and a ton of other people.

I like George Clooney.  I mean, I don't know him or anything.  But I like him as an actor and entertainment personality.  One of my favorite movie franchises is the Oceans trilogy.  I have enjoyed several Clooney starring, directed, or produced projects (Good Night and Good Luck, The Descendants, Leatherheads, Up in the Air, Out of Sight).  I also like the fact that he is concerned about the world around him.  So whenever Clooney is involved in something, it immediately gains my attention.

I like Matt Damon.  Again, I don't know the guy personally.  I enjoy his movies.  Obviously, I am a big fan of Oceans.  I've also loved Damon in We Bought a Zoo, the Bourne Trilogy, The Good Shepherd, True Grit.  He's a good actor.  In addition, he also is very interested in helping the world around him.  Which is great.

I like Bill Murray.  One of my favorite movies is Groundhog Day.  I think Murray is a severely under appreciated actor.  I like John Goodman.  I like Cate Blanchett.  You see where this is going.  When I saw the marketing for The Monuments Men, it seemed like a surefire hit.  The cast is astounding.  Clooney directed it.  It is set in World War II, which has such a rich depth of available stories.  And there appeared to be a kind of Oceans Eleven vibe to it.  The previews seemed pretty humorous.  "'I appear to have stepped on a land mine.'  'Well what did you do that for?'"  And I mean, look at the tagline for the movie.  "It was the greatest art heist in history."  Good stuff, right?

Then I finally got to watch The Monuments Men.  I honestly felt like the movie suffered from the same problem that Clooney himself suffers from.  I never know when to take the film, or the actor, seriously.  Clooney has that little smirk, even when he is isn't in a funny movie.  I have had a hard time in some of his stuff because he doesn't really have an intensity switch.  The movie itself had the same problem.  Was it a lighthearted take on a marginal element of World War II?  Or was it something more serious?  

If you look at the cast, it is heavily loaded with actors very comfortable with comedy: Goodman, Murray, Clooney, Bob Balaban (Friends, Christopher Guest movies), Jean Dujardin (The Artist), even Damon.  The previews were heavy on the comedic elements.  The score by Alexandre Desplat had this kind of playful quality.  It seemed to be written for a old-school farce or something.  All of that is swirling around against the backdrop of the horrors of war.  

Then there was another problem, one that the characters IN the film seemed to wrestle with most of the time.  These guys were scampering around Europe trying to save works of art while there were millions of people trying to, you know, not die.  World War II saw some of the worst atrocities in human history.  The violence was so brutal (referring back to Saving Private Ryan, mentioned in my post the other day).  Concentration camps, ethnic cleansing, internment camps, atomic bombs, relentless bombing, starvation.  War is despicable.  World War II was beyond despicable.  As these artists are racing around, they try to get help from "real soldiers."  These war weary men look at the artists like they are crazy.  One officer responds to a request help with, "I know exactly what you want.  You want me to tell my guys, who are trying to fight off an enemy force, to risk being killed by not blowing up certain buildings."  It really was ludicrous.  

But, on the other hand, you could understand what these guys were saying as well.  Hitler didn't just want to win the war or take over the world.  He didn't even want to just kill the Jews.  He wanted to erase them from history.  Clooney's character keeps saying that it is important to preserve the culture of a people as well.  They make good points.  But, as one commenter on imdb.com said, "Who cares.  Twelve million people died."  Point taken.
The movie would be humming along, these guys sparring with and razzing each other.  Then, all of the sudden, someone would get killed.  Or they would find giant barrels full of gold teeth pulled out of the mouths of Jewish people killed by the Germans.  Then they would go back to goofing around.  Then they would rush some guy into a battlefield hospital who was destroyed by artillery fire.  Then they would flirt with a French resistance fighting artist.  It was weird.  

I have had a couple of days to think about the movie.  And I still don't really know what exactly Clooney was trying to do with the film.  Were we supposed to sympathize with the artists and their quest to save over three million pieces of art?  Or were we supposed to think that their efforts were juvenile when compared with the massive cost of the war?  There were times when it felt like these guys were being mocked by the movie itself - putting a huge discovery of art in juxtaposition with the barrels of teeth, for example.  At other times, it was clear that they were the heroes, protecting what no one else realized was even important.  But even the overall villainy wasn't clear.  Hitler was the ultimate bad guy.  He was the one behind all of the atrocities - the destruction, the Jewish persecution, the theft and/or destruction of tons of irreplaceable artwork.  But, the most tense moments in the film came when these artists were faced with a confrontation with the Soviets, who were planning on taking all the Nazi-stolen art back to Russia to make up for their losses.  And the people that raised the most ire for me were actually the allied military leaders who completely ignored the Monuments Men's warnings about several dangers, which led to the deaths of multiple people.  Again, it was weird.

Needless to say, I was very disappointed with the film.  It was extremely uneven in tone and message.  The acting was nice.  It was like having a good time with friends, chatting and hanging out.  Then those fun times were punctuated by shockingly horrific events.  Only, then we were expected to just go back to having a good time.  Why?  That's the question I was left asking.  Were we supposed to take on a bigger message, like how easily it is to just forget the horrors of the world around us in favor of what we see as important?  That makes me feel like the Monuments Men were completely misguided in their efforts.  Or were we supposed to realize that the cost of war is more than just lives and structural damage, but also the heart, souls, and culture of the people involved?  In that case, the soldier artists were definitely heroes.  I desperately wanted to like the film.  I wanted to see it as important.  But it felt like the movie itself kept me from succeeding in my mission.

Jun 18, 2014

Olympus Has Fallen

My wife is on nights at the hospital, so that means it is time for another round of “David Catches Up on Movies!” Last time, I watched some sci-fi films that I had managed to miss. This time, I am just grabbing anything that piques my interest.  I was too tired on Monday night to watch a movie.  Our movie this time is the Gerard Butler terrorist action flick "Olympus Has Fallen."

One of the most terrifying books that I ever read also ranks as one of my favorites.  I have never been a person who likes horror or thriller novels or movies.  I have never read a Stephen King book, and the only movies of his I have seen were Shawshank Redemption and Running Man.  So there aren't a lot of books that scare me.  They end up being things rooted in real life - that I can picture happening in a horrific manner.  This book was called Under Siege.  No, it was not the basis of the Stephen Seagal warship movie.  It was a novel by Stephen Coonts (not Dean Koontz, horror writer).  Coonts was another author during the rise of the techno-thriller.  You had Tom Clancy (as I discussed in my last post) and Michael Crichton.  They were the top of the chain.  Then you had some other authors in that realm - Coonts, old school Dan Brown (before The DaVinci Code), Larry Bond, and Harold Coyle.

Stephen Coonts wasn't a bad author.  His books were hardly as good as the best Clancy or Crichton books.  But they were exciting and entertaining.  The main character was Jake Grafton.  He was a fighter pilot, and we first met him in Vietnam during Flight of the Intruder.  That was turned into a disappointing movie, which killed the Grafton series.  Coonts wrestled with the same protagonist problem as Clancy - namely, character promotion.  Grafton went from fighter pilot to government official during the books.  Other characters had to move to the front of the action.  Those people were not always that interesting, unfortunately.

Under Siege, though, was really good.  It centered on a wide-scale terrorist attack on the US Government.  Keep in mind, this was pre 9/11.  The world was a completely different place then.  The USofA was untouchable.  We were still portrayed as the "good guys" in films.  Everyone didn't assume there was always some conspiracy at play, so the movies and books reflected that.  The fall of the Soviet Union made it a little more difficult to have a quick, go-to villain.  But there were mysterious Islamic extremists that made for a handy bad guy.

The thing about Coonts' set up was that it was so, well, believable.  The main antagonist got a list of government officials to kill.  He got paid for each one that he successfully took out.  The goal was to cause massive instability and panic in the country by causing upheaval in the government.  He started by trying to assassinate President George Bush (the First).  He knew that if he attacked someone else first, the security around the President would just clamp down.  So he fired a missile at the Marine One helicopter from a park.  Then he drove to the Senate Majority Leader's house and shot him on his front step.  The next day, he gunned down the Supreme Court Chief Justice on a freeway, driving to work.  Then he took shots at several cabinet members with a sniper rifle, killing a couple.  Everything happened in such quick succession that the country just freaked out.  The DC area turned to bedlam.  Martial law, riots, mob justice.  It was terrifying.  I actually had to put it down a couple of times because it was too realistic.

I bring this up because I was reminded of the book's premise as I watched Olympus Has Fallen.  I am hardly saying this movie was realistic. I'm sure a Washington insider could find fifty plot holes in ten minutes. But the setup was, I thought, brilliant. 

The opening scenes with Gerard Butler, President Harvey Dent and his family, and the surefire tragedy to come were decent. I guess they were important to show how close Butler's Secret Service agent was to the First Family before the family tragedy. But, as far as other characters go, it was kind of pointless. I didn't get connected to the majority of Secret Service guys because they all looked the same. Seriously. They all looked like they had played linebacker at a Big Ten school and gone into government work. I honestly couldn't remember which ones were in both the opening scene and the later scenes. The only one who stood out was Dylan McDermott Mulrooney. He didn't do much, but I knew he was too big of a name to be cannon fodder. 

The movie really picked up when the terrorist plan kicked into gear. It was thirteen minutes of insanity. I know it was thirteen minutes because the main bad guy says to the President Dent, "Standard deployment time for the emergency teams is fifteen minutes. We took the White House in thirteen."  The plan was brilliant. Of course, it must have taken a massive amount of planning and financial resources to make it work. But that is neither here not there. If you start looking for logic in action movies.... Let's just say that's a fool's errand. 

It started with the South Korean delegation arriving for a crucial meeting with President Harvey Dent. They arrive with a legit security detail headed up by, hey!, Dermott McDylan Mulrooney. Told you he was coming into play. There is a crowd of Koreans outside the White House showing their support or protesting or whatever crowds do. A nondescript C130 cargo plane zooms from Chesapeake, Virginia (thanks handy info labels!) towards DC. Air command finally realize that this plane isn't supposed to be there and they scramble jets to take it down. Oops. Hidden doors on the side open to show mini guns that take out the planes. This causes a chain reaction. The President and His Cabinet are hustled down into the bunker below the White House. Being the nice guy he is, El Presidente also brings the Korean Prime Minister and his detail, against protocol, naturally. More jets are scrambled. The C130 starts firing all kinds of guns, missile deterrents, missiles all over the place. The jets are crashing. Crowds are getting strafed. Chaos. The plane finally crashes through the Washington Monument and onto the White House lawn. Explosion. Fire. Chaos. 

The crowd outside the White House aren't what they seem. They are armed terrorists. They start firing all over the place, taking out Secret Service and military personnel. Suicide bombers blow themselves up at the gate. Two garbage trucks come hurdling down Pennsylvania Avenue. They blow up their tires so they can't be moved. More gunmen are hidden inside. An armored car comes along and blows the gate open. The gunmen all stream in and shoot all the security personnel. It is horrific. The editing gives it a relentless feel. There is wave after wave of attacks, each successive one to nullify the next safety protocol. Whether or not it was plausible, it felt possible. It brought that same feeling of horror from the book I mentioned. 

Peppered through this we see how Gerard Butler manages to get into the White House to do his Die Hard John MacLaine impersonation. The rest of the movie is Butler trying to save the President, idiotic military and government officials making idiotic decisions, the North Korean terrorist trying to access the US Cerberus system to blow up all American nukes, and lots and lots of murder.

This is where things get a bit uncomfortable to me.  And it is probably why I didn't watch this movie when it was out in the theaters.  I find it very difficult to just overlook wanton violence any more.  There was a time when I had no qualms about watching a movie with people getting massacred all over the place.  I've seen more than my share of violent action movies.  Trust me, that was my main movie preference for many years.  I remember going with a group of friends to see Saving Private Ryan.  That is the most violent movie I have ever seen.  There have been stories for years about how the only reason the movie got an R rating instead of NC-17 was because it was made by Stephen Spielberg.  Some of the girls who went with us felt ill and left, or sat with their eyes closed in the theater.  It was horrific, but I was okay.  Things change, though.  I have never seen Saving Private Ryan again.  I used to watch Schindler's List every year.  I can't even remember when I last watched it.  It is hard for me to swallow that level of atrocity any more.

When I say that, people will often respond with, "You do realize they are fictional, right?  This is just a movie."  Not always, they aren't.  Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List weren't fictional.  On screen, it is a representation, but it was based on truly horrific things that really happened.  But even when a movie is fictional, like Olympus Has Fallen, it is hard for me to disconnect.  I watch movies in a different way than a lot of people.  I think about them and dissect them.  I try to dive in and relate to what is going on.  It probably comes from the way I read books.  So when I see a jet in a movie crash into a neighborhood, I don't think, "Oh cool.  That jet just blew up."  I remember in Orlando a few years ago when a small plane crashed into a house in Sanford and killed the kids who lived there.  That family didn't think it was cool.

That is the problem I have with this type of film (and I include disaster flicks in this genre).  It just isn't that entertaining for me.  I don't enjoy watching cities get wiped out like in Independence Day any more.  It is too hard for me to forget the images of real planes crashing into real buildings and real people running for their lives when those real buildings fell into real streets.  How can anyone who lived through 9/11 NOT think about those things?  How can you not think of the horrific school shootings?  Or the Fort Hood shooting?  Those things aren't cool.  I have a hard time disconnecting my feelings about that just because it is on screen.  I am a father of three kids.  I can't turn that off in a theater.  Sure, I try when there is a movie I want to see.  But I still cringed when New York got obliterated in The Avengers or when DC got messed up in X Men 17 this summer.  But there is a level of violence, of brutality, that just crosses a line for me.  I remember feeling that during Dark Knight Rises.  I love Batman and I loved the Nolan trilogy.  However, the horrific brutality in the third one just made it hard to appreciate the film as much as I wanted to.  As bad as this sounds, it wasn't just killing someone.  It was battering them and really hurting them first.  That is something I just can't get behind.

So, when it comes to Olympus Has Fallen, I can appreciate the creativity of some parts of the movie.  The execution of the attack on the White House was impressive.  Gerard Butler did a fine job saving the President.  I appreciated that the movie didn't feel it necessary to have a "US Government is really behind this" subplot.  I get tired of those.  The big lesson I got from the film, though, is that I guess I'm not really in a place any more to enjoy films like this.  There are a bunch of movies that I have wanted to see - even ones I planned on watching in the next few days.  (Lone Survivor and Zero Dark Thirty, to name a couple.)  It feels like visiting a city I used to live in and discovering that I don't like being there anymore.  I moved for a reason, I suppose.

Jun 16, 2014

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

My wife is on nights at the hospital, so that means it is time for another round of “David Catches Up on Movies!” Last time, I watched some sci-fi films that I had managed to miss.  This time, I am just grabbing anything that piques my interest. Our first offering was the Kenneth Branagh directed spy-thriller, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

I got hooked on Tom Clancy books when I was in Middle School. A friend of mine was reading them, so I asked my dad if I could borrow his books. That was an advantage of having a book-devouring father that never got rid of the books he finished. They would spill out of a bookcase in my parents’ room onto the floor. You can say a lot of things about my dad, but he was a voracious reader all the way until the end.

I started with Hunt for Red October. It really was my first “grown up” novel. I was fascinated by it. Tom Clancy was a master of the techno-thriller. And his protagonist, Jack Ryan, was the kind of guy a nerdy kid could get behind. He wasn’t a superhero or a muscle-bound behemoth. He was an analyst that got dragged into operations. He had a doctorate in economics and had a different way of seeing current events. When you combined that with Clancy’s bizarre ability to describe military hardware that “didn’t exist,” you had a great book. His next work, Red Storm Rising, is still one of my favorite books ever. It wasn’t part of the Jack Ryan timeline, was never made into a movie, and will never be made into a film. The subject material (Soviet Russia, mostly) and 1980s technology means that it is pretty irrelevant now. I still remember Clancy describing the Frisbees - stealth bombers that eerily matched the real US stealth bomber that no one knew about yet. The whole book gave me chills.

Clancy threw out a prequel next, Patriot Games. It was another big hit and a major literary star was born. The US Government got tired of fighting Clancy, since his information all came from public sources. So they started to buddy up to him. This gave him unprecedented access for a writer of books in this genre. He used this to his advantage in Clear and Present Danger and Cardinal in the Kremlin. But things started to unravel pretty soon. His book swelled in size. It almost seemed like he was drunk on his own military and technological knowledge. By the time The Sum of All Fears came out, the books were almost unreadable. I was hoping he was righting the ship with Without Remorse and Debt of Honor. But, for me, the unthinkable happened. I stopped reading Clancy’s novels. I have tried to get through Rainbow Six about five times. But I just can’t. I recently read Red Rabbit, the prequel Clancy wrote about Jack Ryan’s early CIA days. But it was pretty bad and - shockingly - boring. How many times do we need to be reminded that Ryan’s “just an analyst” or “a tough former Marine?” How many characters needed to reference the fact that Ryan had broken his back in a helicopter accident and still completed his training?

There is a problem when you create a protaganist in a long-term series. You either have to forever freeze him/her in time (James Bond) or you have to address the fact that time moves on. Jack Ryan was just an analyst in the early books. But he was promoted, like most qualified people would be. Supervisors died or retired or were forced out. He moved up to Deputy Director of Intelligence, Director of Intelligence, Director of the NSA, Vice President, and then President of the USA. The President doesn’t go on ops. So what do you do? You start to build the books around other characters that had been introduced — James Clark (a black bag specialist), Ding Chavez (former Marine), even Jack Ryan Jr. Or you have to keep dipping into the prequel pool. That leads to the continuity issue - too many time fishing in that pond can start to goof up events that happened in earlier books.

Wait, I think we’re supposed to be talking about the movie. OH yeah. The Jack Ryan films have been hit and miss. Hunt for Red October was stellar. Alec Baldwin was perfect as Ryan. He was how I pictured the character as I read. Actually, he still is the way I picture him. When Harrison Ford took over, the films slipped. Ford is supposed to be playing “just an analyst?” He’s as old as the President in the films. That’s not admirable, it is sad. Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger were entertaining films. But things really went off the rails with the next reboot, The Sum of All Fears. There already was a built in problem - the book sucked. It was bloated and stupid. A completely new cast stepped in, with Ben Affleck playing a younger Jack Ryan. I hated the movie. So did most people. It seemed like Hollywood was content moving on from Jack Ryan. Tom Clancy’s other works - like Rainbow Six - had turned into a video game cash cow. Plus the spy thriller had moved on from the techno-thriller to the Jason Bourne spy movies. Technology moved too fast to impress people in a movie. It was now about being brainy and brawny.

I was a bit surprised when I saw that Hollywood was dipping back into the Tom Clancy reservoir. Twelve years had passed since The Sum of All Fears! Was there really that big of a crowd beating down the doors for a Clancy movie?  Instead of taking a standing book, though, they just co-opted the Jack Ryan character and wrote an original story. There were some impressive people attached. Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, Chris Pine, Kenneth Branagh. And Branagh was directing. I have been a big Branagh fan since he burst on the scene in Henry V. As a director, I thought he did a fantastic job on Thor. I am not completely sold on Chris Pine as a movie star. He is good in some stuff (Unstoppable, Star Trek), but he also can be very one note (This Means War). The whole concept sounded interesting. My wife and I planned on going to see it, but having three kids means that all movie plans are tenuous at best. So that meant the movie was a perfect option for a Redbox viewing.

Admittedly, I was interrupted several times during my movie-going experience.  My daughter for some reason kept coming downstairs - usually during a particularly violent scene that sent me scrambling for the pause button.  I flipped over to watch the end of the San Antonio Spurs/Miami Heat scrimmage.  And one of our dogs kept climbing on me.  However, I still feel I got a pretty good feel for the movie.

We are in major reboot, prequel territory.  Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) is first seen as a student in England during the 9/11 attacks.  He dropped out of school and enlisted in the Marines.  During his tour, his helicopter was shot down, breaking his back. (This apparently is the equivalent to Bruce Wayne's parents being killed in the Batman series.  You can mess around with a lot of things in that series, but not Bruce's parents getting whacked.  Or Jack Ryan breaking his back.)  During rehab he meets two important people - his future wife, Cathy Mueller (Keira Knightley), and his CIA recruiter, Something Idontcare (Kevin Costner).  Cathy is finishing up her medical school training and has just a few hours in her personal training rotation left before she is off to become a brilliant eye surgeon.  Costner has Ryan go back to school to finish his doctorate in economics to better establish his cover on Wall Street.  When we next see everyone, Ryan is an analyst examining mysterious accounts between Russian and American companies; Cathy is a ophthalmology resident; and Costner is not around.  We meet Kenneth Branagh's Russian bad guy as he is told by some mysterious government type played by Mikhail Baryshnikov that he is cleared to start whatever sneaky pete thing he is up to.  So, here is where I start to have my recap overrun by my gripes.

  1. Having been through the med school process with my wife, I don't buy the whole timeline with Jack's wife.  A PT rotation in fourth year?  Doubtful.  Scampering off to an Ophtho residency?  NOT how it works, pal.  Ophtho residents have to complete a year of internal medicine residency first.  In addition, the match process for Ophtho is EXTREMELY difficult.  We have a great friend from med school who went through that gauntlet and it was horrific.  From other Clancy books, we know Cathy is beyond brilliant as a surgeon.  But the whole thing just plays into a very generic "doctor making" timeline.
  2. Movie Marketing can destroy a movie.  I remember when Jim Carrey's movie The Cable Guy came out.  Everyone was expecting another slapstick, crazy Carrey-esque movie.  What they got was a dark comedy.  Very dark.  It was funny, but in a twisted and disturbing way.  The movie bombed.  Similarly, the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle Last Action Hero was marketed as another muscle-bound Arnie flick.  But it was actually a vicious satire of the entire action genre.  Go watch it sometime.  It is actually very good, if you understand WHAT it is.  Jack Ryan fell into the marketing trap.  Everything played up the paranoia angle.  Who do you trust?  Can he trust Kevin Costner's recruiter CIA man?  Can he trust his own wife?!?  Take a gander at that picture I included.  What's the tagline?  "Trust no one!" This is serious spy stuff, mister.  Espionage! Paranoia! Betrayal!  Trust no one.  Hey, guess how many double crosses there were in the movie?  NONE! Guess how many times I was worried there was going to be a double cross?  NONE!  I used to get more tense in an episode of Burn Notice or Chuck.  Don't make it seem like an espionage thriller when it isn't.
  3. You have Kenneth Branagh in this movie.  He is the current generation's best Shakespearean actor.  That means he is, by nature, a scenery chewer.  That is his job.  Now, I'm not saying I wanted him doing a Russian version of his Loveless character from Wild Wild West.  But, you're playing a Russian villain!  One of his biggest character traits was that he was quiet.  What?!? The ridiculous thing is that Branagh directed the movie, so he is the one to blame for this.  He doesn't even know how to utilize himself?  Maybe that was why Knightley and Costner could have just been played by any other actors without much of a glitch  Actually, getting right down to it, there were quite a few good actors whose skills were poorly tapped.  
  4. I still am not entirely clear what was going on in the movie.  There was some kind of plot where this Russian guy would bring down the US dollar.  He had these moves that were supposed to coincide with a terrorist attack or something.  But I really don't know what any of it had to do with anything.  It was a poorly constructed plan, to say the very least.  
  5. Jack Ryan is supposed to just be an analyst.  But he also apparently had intensive hand-to-hand combat training where he can fight off a MUCH larger enemy in a tight space (bathroom) and drown him in three inches of water.  Mmmm hmmm.  He also can stare at screens in a room and unravel an entire intricate hidden Russian economic terrorist plot, but can't remember the correct protocol words for an extraction.  Ok.  And he can't remember to throw away an incriminating movie ticket stub....
  6. What the heck is a Shadow Recruit anyway?  
I think that this movie was an effort to bring the Jack Ryan character into the Jason Bourne world.  But it didn't work.  I don't know if it was that Chris Pine is no Matt Damon, that the action scenes were harried but ineffective, or that the intrigue just wasn't there.  I was baffled at how little these big movie stars had to do.  I remember watching Kevin Costner in No Way Out and being glued to my screen.  There were so many twists and turns and secrets.  THAT is a spy movie.  This was just a poor attempt to capitalize on a once great character's name.  So, unless Paramount is planning on finally making the Without Remorse movie that should have been made, my advice is to leave Tom Clancy's library alone.