Denton: Magic Attend Advanced Screening for Team Bonding Experience

By John Denton
Jan. 8, 2014

PORTLAND – Orlando Magic standout guard Victor Oladipo calls Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, ``a great movie’’ and one that ``definitely challenges you.’’

Power forward Andrew Nicholson has this to say about Shadow Recruit: ``It’s one of my favorite ones ever and definitely in my top 10.’’

Jacque Vaughn, head coach of the Magic, raves of Shadow Recruit’s ``suspense’’ and ``great storyline,’’ while small forward Maurice Harkless offered up this bit of advice to moviegoers: ``If you like action, you should definitely go see this movie.’’

The Magic’s players, coaches and travelling party were given an advanced screening of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit on Tuesday night at a downtown Portland movie theater. The Paramount production, starring Chris Pine, Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner and Kenneth Branagh will be released in theaters on Jan. 17.

``I haven’t been to a movie in a long time that wasn’t animated, first off,’’ joked Vaughn, who most recently saw Disney’s Frozen. ``So it was nice to be part of a movie where you had suspense and a great storyline. I really enjoyed myself.’’

In a story taking place prior to the original Jack Ryan stories, Ryan (Pine) is a young stockbroker working for a billionaire in Moscow (Branagh) before joining the CIA. When the billionaire he is advising frames him for a terrorist plot and kidnaps his wife (Knightley), Ryan must race against time to clear his name, stop the p… Morelot, and save his wife.

``It was a good movie with great actors. It was a fun thing for us to do as a team,’’ Oladipo said. ``Pretty much everybody came and it was a great venue. We really appreciated the opportunity to get to do that and people should really go see the movie. It definitely challenges you because it’s such a good movie.’’

Harkless, a Queens, New York native, said he greatly enjoyed the movie because of the intensity of the fast-paced action scenes shot in Russia and New York City. But what Harkless also favored was the team-bonding aspect of the night at the movies.

``It was a good movie with a lot of action. I like action movies so that part of it was really good to me,’’ Harkless said. ``It was really good from a bonding experience. That’s the first time we’ve done something like that as a full team. I think we should continue to do stuff like that because it helps.’’

Vaughn concurred, adding: ``Just to get the guys in the same atmosphere and in the same room and maybe they will talk about something that went on during the movie later on the bus. Just spurring conversation is good for team chemistry.’’