Mission: Impossible (1996) – Review

3 Stars

Brain De Palma’s big screen incarnation of the venerable 1960’s television show arrived in theaters riding a wave of promotional hype. A high concept premise with roots to older audiences starring a proven box office draw (a mixture that proved successful for The Fugitive) had summer ticket buyers expecting a balls out action extravaganza. So inevitably audiences were greatly disappointed when Mission: Impossible turned out to be a quiet almost cerebral thriller more akin to 1970’s government paranoia thrillers like The Parallax View than the Bond films.
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Quantum of Solace (2008) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

A marvelous pre-title car chase saves this by-the-numbers Bond film from being a total misfire. Picking up directly where Casino Royale left off Quantum is a direct sequel (a first in the longstanding history of the series). Daniel Craig is back for his second go around as her majesty’s secret agent 007. This time the action (or lack thereof) takes place in exotic locations such as Spain and Peru yet the movie has a dullness that it’s never able to shake.
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Avatar (2009) – Review

4 Stars

James Cameron’s first film in 12 years is a mesmerizing experience filled with some of the most visually brilliant images to have ever graced the big-screen. Riding in on a tidal wave of hype and expectations Avatar manages to meet and surpass any preconceived assumptions. Cameron single handily reinvigorated the 3D format in creating an immersive and stunning visual design, with a story that lends itself to indulgences in ‘showy’ sequences. The taming of a wild bird and the battle to save an ancient tree are just a few of the amazing set pieces in this long but briskly paced Sci-fi epic.
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War of the Worlds (2005) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

Tom Cruise gives another one of his patented intense performances in his second collaboration with Steven Spielberg. When the worlds biggest star works with the most gifted commercial director in history the bar is always going to be set high. That War of the Worlds is good; isn’t good enough when two titans of the era come together with $150 million dollar budget and a prime summer release date.
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The Road Warrior (1981) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

Essentially, this Australian feature is B-movie OZ-ploitation fare, but done with exceptional cinematography, skillful direction and editing. In a post- apocalyptic wasteland, a group of survivors battle over a small amount of gasoline supplies. Mel Gibson reprises his role as ‘Mad Max’, a loner who begrudgingly helps a colony defend itself against a roving band of marauders. This is the second film in the ‘Mad Max’ trilogy and many consider it to be the best. Short on story but loaded with spectacular stunts and a dazzling climax ‘The Road Warrior’ exceeds its genera confines and emerges as a stunning piece of film-making from a visionary director.
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