Mission: Impossible – Fallout (***1/2) completes a cycle

"This is an excellently crafted film. It hits every mark that needs to be hit, often times too squarely for effect. The story worked with Rogue Nation for a two film arc, but it would be a good idea to go back to the original premise of different directors for different films now that we've seen what McQuarrie can do...twice."

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American Made (***1/2) Liman and Cruise in Scorsese mode

American Made - 2017 Director Doug Liman Screenplay Gary Spinelli Starring Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Jayma Mays, Jesse Plemons, Caleb Landry Jones, Alejandro Edda, Mauicio Mejia, Connor Trinneer, Jed Rees Watching Tom Cruise move through the quick cuts of Doug Liman's story about Barry Seals secret life of transporting weapons, taking pictures for the Feds and drugs for … Continue reading American Made (***1/2) Liman and Cruise in Scorsese mode

The Mummy (**1/2) guesses wrong…a lot

This film is messy, but it's not a complete disaster. It guesses a lot and most of those guesses land awkwardly... The film is passable, but in no way can we consider it the solid basis for the Dark Universe franchise. The sense of adventure exhibited in this film could lead to something better. It's a long shot, though.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (***1/2) Needs desperate times…

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation - 2015 Written and Directed by Christopher McQuarrie Starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin One of the funniest scenes in the entire M:I series takes place during the 3rd act. As the principal protagonists surround a person of interest, one of the good guys, Benji (Pegg) is kidnapped by … Continue reading Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (***1/2) Needs desperate times…

The Hustler (****) / The Color Of Money (*****): Who owns this place?

The Hustler - 1961 Director Robert Rossen Starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott, Myron McCormick, Murray Hamilton, Jake LaMotta, Michael Constantine Screenplay Sidney Carroll & Rossen based on The Hustler by Walter Tevis In an era where film was often an extension of the stage, The Hustler plays as exactly that. It is an exceptional meditation of … Continue reading The Hustler (****) / The Color Of Money (*****): Who owns this place?

Edge Of Tomorrow (***1/2): Try, try again…

Edge of Tomorrow - 2014 Director Doug Liman Starring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Noah Taylor Screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth based on All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka First thing's first.  Edge of Tomorrow is a likable film.  Tom Cruise puts everything into it, just like usual.  Cruise's Major William Cage is a mouthpiece … Continue reading Edge Of Tomorrow (***1/2): Try, try again…

Oblivion: A nice, unoriginal Sci-Fi story with great visual flair

Oblivion - 2013 Director Joseph Kosinski Starring Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Melissa Leo, Morgan Freeman Screenplay Joseph Kosinski, Karl Gajdusek, Michael Arndt So many elements are borrowed from other sources in Oblivion, it's remarkable that it ends up as cohesive as it is.  That the sources all derive from the more contemplative sci-fi of the 1970's may have something to do … Continue reading Oblivion: A nice, unoriginal Sci-Fi story with great visual flair

Jack Reacher plays like a procedural with an edge

Jack Reacher - 2012 Written and Directed by Christopher McQuarrie Starring Tom Cruise, Jai Courtney, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, Werner Herzog, David Oyelowo, Robert Duvall, Alexia Fast Taking on book franchises can be a tricky business.  One can run the risk of pissing off the fan base even before the movie is released.  Tom Cruise managed to … Continue reading Jack Reacher plays like a procedural with an edge

Rock Of Ages: Hair Spray on a Wig

Rock of Ages - 2012 Directed by Adam Shankman Starring Julianne Hough, Diego Bonita, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bryan Cranston, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige Screenplay by Justin Thoroux,  Chris D'Arienzo, Allan Loeb "What's it like to be THE Stacie Jaxx?" And do we care? Time for nonsense of a different sort.  Rock … Continue reading Rock Of Ages: Hair Spray on a Wig

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol: Chaplin, Chan, Cruise

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol - 2011 Directed by Brad Bird Starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg,  Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Samuli Edelmann, Léa Seydoux Written by André Nemec, Josh Appelbaum There are some incredible visuals in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, taking one to some of the most picturesque landmarks in the world: Budapest, Moscow, Dubai, Mumbai … Continue reading Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol: Chaplin, Chan, Cruise