Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) – Review

4 Stars

The ageless wonder, Tom Cruise, is back to his high energy antics in his latest slam-bang thrill ride, Mission:Impossible-Rogue Nation. This entry is the strongest ‘spy’ movie since Casino Royale back in 2006. Now, that Bond does more brooding than bashing, Ethan Hunt is back on the job to satisfy that international intrigue itch and send audiences home sedated. This fifth film in the M:I series is an absolute joy to behold, clever and clean in terms of storytelling, editing, and overall execution. Director/writer Christopher McQuarrie does an excellent job behind the camera with assured direction and some brilliant set-pieces.

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

The thrill of discovery that was such an overriding presence in 2009’s Star Trek is sadly missing from this slick follow-up. If Star Trek represented the creative high of Casino Royale for Trekkies, in the sense of a rather daring dismissal of all before, then Star Trek Into Darkness is the harsh come-down of Quantum of Solace. There is much to like and admire about the new entry, but after a high-spirited first hour, the story and action take on a bloated predictability that borders on tedium. Longtime fans of the series will relish in the reappearance of ‘the villain that shall not be named’.

Mission: Impossible III (2006) – Review

3 Stars

T.V. director J.J. Abrams makes his feature film debut with the third installment in the Mission Impossible franchise. This entry is a slam-bang action thriller; throwing plausibility out of the window early on and reveling in the techno-gadgetry that makes the series so appealing. Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is aided this time out by series regular Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), as well as two new operatives on the IMF team. The MacGuffin in this episode is called ‘the rabbits foot’, a mysterious device that can cause a doomsday affect. Abrams and his writers have wisely chosen to treat the object as a perfunctory part of the storyline. The real focus in the screenplay by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, is on the relationship between Hunt and his fiancee, Rachel.

New Mission Impossible 4 – Ghost Protocol (2011) Trailer

After news that six minutes of The Dark Knight Rises will be featured on 70mm prints of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol in IMAX theaters you’d think there’d be little else needed to get people to go check it out, but this new trailer gives us many more reasons. If you’re somehow upset over the changes to the Bond series, MI:4 is set to swoop in and take its place. With sleek action and state of the art gadgetry this advert is reminiscent of a Pierce Brosnan Bond movie. Brad Bird’s direction looks spot on and continuing with the running gag of Tom Cruise’s Hunt coming so close to death right in the beginning and getting it out of the way is a strong choice (that gag is wearing on me). The failure of summer movies to deliver great action might just be made up here. This go around the team consists of Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, Jeremy Renner as Brandt, Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, and Paula Patton as Jane Carter. Will you be catching the early IMAX showings (specifically in the real IMAX theaters for Dark Knight footage)?

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Star Trek (2009) – Review

4 Stars

J.J. Abrams’ reboot of the much loved ‘Star Trek’ franchise is an enormous achievement. Fresh, funny and emotionally involving this space-opera is everything that ‘Star Wars’ fans had hoped the prequels would be…creatively innovative. After a somewhat precarious introduction to the world of feature film on ‘Mission Impossible 3’, director J.J. Abrams work here is far more accomplished and assured, displaying an ease with both intimate human moments and blockbuster sized spectacle. Working from a witty well-crafted screenplay by writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Abrams and company have found a way to incorporate the mythology of previous incarnations, along with some new rather brilliant ideas.

Paul – Trailer

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, most remembered for ‘Shawn of the Dead’, star in ‘Paul’. The trailer makes the movie seem like it will be a fun ride, even if it’s not laugh out loud funny. Of course crossing ideas from ‘Men in Black’ and ‘ET’ is sure to earn it at least a modest success. Also starring Jason Bateman, Sigourney Weaver, Kristen Wiig and Seth Rogen as the voice of the alien. Hits theaters March 18, 2011.