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Mission: Impossible III thread (reviews,etc.)

Old 04-20-06, 09:23 PM
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Mission: Impossible III thread (reviews,etc.)

Cruise is the only reason that I don't want to see this.

Here is Jeffrey Wells' latest column:

**Possible Spoilers**

Bunny Rabbit

I saw Mission: Impossible III (Paramount, 5.3) this morning at screening room #5 at Paramount Studios, and I'm not dissing anyone or anything with the title of this piece. Not even a little bit.

The MacGuffin of J.J. Abrams' power-packed thriller, after all, is a smallish device called "rabbit's foot", and Tom Cruise's hard-wired performance as IMF agent Ethan Hunt feels, to me, like something new: he's made himself into the energizer bunny of action heroes. And it works.

The advance buzz about M:I:3 being awfully damned good has turned out to be true, I'm afraid -- as shallow but very expensive action films go, this is about as good as it gets. But I would hold up on the talk about Phillip Seymour Hoffman stealing the picture from Cruise.

Philly is super-cool -- cold and snarly with style to burn -- but he hasn't been given enough ammo -- not enough scenes or killer lines -- to help him stand up against M:I:3's 43 year-old star.

It's no secret Cruise has been getting ("generating" is closer to the truth) a lot of bad press over the last year or so, with most of it centering on the perception that he's become overly manic...that his stability is perhaps open to question on some level.

Well, guess what? Cruise answers that perception straight-on in this frenzied summer action film and then rolls right over it like a tank.

He's made Hunt into a kind of mirror image of hard-core tabloid Tom. It's like he's saying, "Okay, fine...you guys think I've gone around the bend? All right, then I have! And I'm into it! Being hard-core, I mean." And this leaves you with a feeling of respect for a guy who may be this or that, but has stood his ground. No backing off! I am what I am!

Hunt is a "character," yes, but based more than ever on the pumping piston rods of Cruise's personality. A guy who's all about focus, juice, intensity, endorphins. Sca- ling walls, rapelling down walls. Plotting strategy, eyeballing his costars, running for his life (in more ways than one) and turning tomato red in the face. Neck veins! Neck veins!

And you're fine with all of this because...I haven't said this in so many words, have I?...Mission: Impossible III is easily the best of the three M:I's. No, I'll go further: it's one of the best high-torque summer action films ever.

Brian De Palma's Mission: Impossible (1996) had two or three brilliantly staged sequences, especially the CIA break-in-and-robbery and the chunnel-train sequence, but some of it was in and out and a lot of people felt confused by the plot.

John Woo's Mission: Impossible II (2000) was an okay spin on Notorious with Thandie Newton as Ingrid Bergman and Dougray Scott as Claude Rains, and my memories of it aren't that vivid, so it couldn't have been that great.

This new one, directed and written by Abrams, is far more relentless and slam- bammy than its predecessors. You're supposed to give your audience a little downtime between action beats, but this sucker won't rest. You know the old analogy that action films are like musicals? Mission: Impossible III is almost an opera.

Okay, there's a mildly relaxing party sequence in the beginning and one or two dialogue-with-Lawrence-Fisburne-as-the-obligatory-company-asshole-riding-the- IMF-team scenes, but that's pretty much it. The rest is all on the treadmill running at 10.

There are four beautifully composed set pieces -- a rescue mission in a factory in a Berlin suburb, a kidnapping in the Vatican, an aerial attack on a causeway over Chesapeake Bay, and a break-in and a rescue in Shanghai. But there are always tangents and side-shows connected to these main events, and something riveting is always going on.

This is the kind of summer "ride" movie that even sourpusses like me can sit back and roll with. Shrewd, inventive and into punching the gas. It's empty, yes -- it's basically just one technical challenge after another, with arguments and a couple of "I love you"'s thrown in -- but this is one of those films in which depth would get in the way.

When I hear a film is a "check-your-brain-at-the-door" thing, I know I'm going to hate it. This is not that. It exemplifies what a good geek-level action film should be. Abrams, the director-writer, keeps playing to slightly higher intelligence levels than these films are usually geared to.

Harry Knowles has called M:I:3 "the best damn retooling of True Lies that will ever be done." Funny, but the only thing I can remember about True Lies is liking Tom Arnold's dialogue and attitude and Bill Paxton's character begging for mercy in front of Arnold Schwarzenegger by saying he had a "little dick."

Hold on...it's coming back to me. Arnold was a secret operative who hadn't told Jamie Lee Curtis what he really does, and then a job he's on turns bad and Jamie Lee gets brought into it and so on. Michelle Monaghan is the Jamie Lee character, I guess, but...you know what? Screw this analogy. I've never once seen True Lies on DVD, and for a reason.

M:I:3 is about the IM force trying to shut down a ruthless arms and technology dealer named Owen Davian (Hoffman), who's about as lethal as they come. The story is basically a tit-for-tat game. I'll kidnap and try to squeeze you for inform- ation, and then you'll come after me or my girlfriend and try to squeeze me for information, and we'll see who's smarter and craftier.

Abrams starts things off an extremely fierce and intense tone. Right away you're saying to yourself, "This is good...Abrams clearly knows what he's doing." As far as hero-being-tortured, tell-me-what-I- need-to-know-or-else scenes go, I would say it's up to the level of Laurence Olivier pulling Dustin Hoffman's teeth out in Marathon Man.

Hoffman's Damian is the torturer, and it's a little odd that this is his best scene in the film. He's nearly spellbinding in just about every scene he's in, but after Capote and all you're kind of waiting for Philly to really step up with something climactic and classic...and it never comes. He kicks ass with the lines and scenes he's been given, but somebody wanted this to be Tom Cruise's film.

The IMFers -- Ving Rhames, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Maggie Q -- hold up their end. Billy Crudup is perfunctory as Cruise's home-office ally. Simon Pegg (last in Shaun of the Dead) has the obligatory computer-geek-who-saves-the-day-with- crucial-key-punching-in-the-last-act role.

Michelle Monaghan has the meatiest female role as Ethan's initially clueless wife. Keri Russell burns through strongly in the first act. Maggie Q (Around the World in 80 Days, Rush Hour 2) is...well, she's fine, but the best thing she does is wear a very hot red dress to a black-tie affair at the Vatican.

I laughed three times out loud -- not at anything "funny" but because I was really enjoying the moxie that went into the writing or acting. I won't spoil them by sharing.

I had a good enough time with this that I'm going back to see it a second time this evening.

Too many cheerleading pieces and people will start to think I'm a professional kiss-ass, but I have to say it: Tom Cruise's image problems aren't going to vanish like that when Mission: Impossible III opens 16 days from now, but they're probably going to be put on hold.


http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/archi...y_rabbit_i.php
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Old 04-20-06, 10:06 PM
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look very forward to seeing this. i'll be using my free ticket as well!
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Old 04-20-06, 11:09 PM
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I wasn't a fan of the last two but a big fan of the TV show. I have to admit the previews do look good. So, is this more in the spirit of the TV show with a "group" trying to outwit the enemy instead of a one man Cruise vehicle?

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Old 04-21-06, 11:24 AM
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This new one, directed and written by Abrams, is far more relentless and slam- bammy than its predecessors. You're supposed to give your audience a little downtime between action beats, but this sucker won't rest.
i'm in
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Old 04-21-06, 11:26 AM
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After all of the Tom Cruise hoopla, I wasn't sure if I wanted to see this movie but after seeing the trailers, I'll give this movie a chance.
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Old 04-21-06, 11:30 AM
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Sounds like 3 for 3 for me. I so cant wait to see this. This going to get DLP treatment at Lowe or so? Maybe worth begging for long drive down to IL.
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Old 04-21-06, 11:31 AM
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I can't wait for it, and will be using my free pass as well. Loved the first two, and love Cruise in these types of roles.
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Old 04-21-06, 11:36 AM
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Once I heard Abrams was involved, I figured it would be full-throttle. Sounds like a killer ride.
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Old 04-21-06, 03:27 PM
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Love the first one, hate the second one, but will definitely be there on the first day for this.
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Old 04-21-06, 03:29 PM
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The official Mission: Impossible website (missionimpossible.com) has a bunch of clips and featurettes on it. The clips are short and don't really give anything away, but if you watch them, they might take away a couple "wow" factors for when you see the movie.
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Old 04-21-06, 03:47 PM
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Cant wait for this movie, whats up with people having problems with Cruise? who cares what he did or does hes always good in all the movies hes in. hwats the problem with him thuogh? he jumped on a couch or scientology? alot of actors are in that, just the media blowing stuff out of propotion.


so far the previews have been getitng me excited, cant wait to see what JJ. Abrams does with a big budget.
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Old 04-21-06, 06:32 PM
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I'll see this one, though I think this will be the least successful of the franchise due to the public perception of Tom Cruise. If the movie really is good, I think that will be a shame. War of the Worlds did well despite coming out on the heels of Cruise's Oprah antics and his spat with Matt Lauer, but that may have been more to do with Spielberg than anything else.
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Old 04-21-06, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by madara
Sounds like 3 for 3 for me. I so cant wait to see this. This going to get DLP treatment at Lowe or so? Maybe worth begging for long drive down to IL.
Not sure about Loews or AMC, but I know that it'll be showing in DLP at the Crown Theater in Skokie, IL (just north of the city) Tickets on sale now.

Abrams has made some really good TV that I eventually stopped watching because they stopped being good (IMO), but when he's had his heart in it in the beginning, they've all been spectacular. Although I've grown to hate the shell of its former self that is Alias, there is no denying that for a while, that show was pumping out some of the best heart pounding hours on TV, so this movie, and the shorter film form should be a natural step of Abrams (assuming he can adapt to painting on a bigger canvas).

Either the Scientologist are handing out some major payola on this one, or the thing is actually really that good. We'll see on May 5th.
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Old 04-26-06, 04:27 PM
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There's an advance screening tomorrow here in Vegas. I was thinking about going to the Kinky Boots screening tomorrow, but now, maybe not...
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Old 04-26-06, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal-El
Love the first one, hate the second one, but will definitely be there on the first day for this.
Took the words out of my mouth.

And Maingon, people have a problem with Cruise in the real world because he's a little....well....nutty. Can't remember where I saw the clip, but he was being interviewed on some Australian show where the interviewer asked him if Nicole was the love of his life and Cruise went ballistic. Saying "You're WAY out of line!"
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Old 04-26-06, 05:11 PM
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Tom Cruise the man does not bother me as long as he's not doing anything evil. If we started punishing artists/actors for eccentricities, there'd be no one "good enough" for us.

As far as the movie? I wasn't huge on the first two, but this one looks great. Killer trailer.
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Old 04-26-06, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. DVD
I'll see this one, though I think this will be the least successful of the franchise due to the public perception of Tom Cruise. If the movie really is good, I think that will be a shame. War of the Worlds did well despite coming out on the heels of Cruise's Oprah antics and his spat with Matt Lauer, but that may have been more to do with Spielberg than anything else.
It didnt hurt War of the Worlds.
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Old 04-27-06, 03:07 PM
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There's an extremely negative review of MI3 on slashfilm.com written in March by someone who never even saw the movie and is using his "review" as a means to bash Tom Cruise. Does that count?
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Old 04-28-06, 04:36 AM
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I saw the flick earlier this evening. Or should I say last night at this point?

I'll go more in depth later as it's currently 2:30am my time and I'm tired, but M:I-3 is a much superior film to DePalma and Woo's previous efforts (by far). Abrams got everything right that DePalma and Woo couldn't. It's a solid action blockbuster that is a blast to watch.
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Old 04-28-06, 06:51 AM
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I just noticed that this is opening on Thursday night @ 12:01 a.m. @ my local theater.
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Old 04-28-06, 09:10 AM
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Caught a sneak preview last night......

It was spectacular! I loved every second of it! The action was great and all the different locales added to my enjoyment. The story was good, the stunts were awesome, and there was never a shortage of explosions.

The big summer blockbuster movies have begun!
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Old 04-28-06, 10:40 AM
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Glad to hear... was thinking of taking a date to this one. C'mon Tom don't let me down!

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Old 04-28-06, 06:34 PM
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Do does Abrahms do the "Team" thing unlike the other movies?
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Old 04-28-06, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by riley_dude
Do does Abrahms do the "Team" thing unlike the other movies?
Yes. It works out pretty well and it's one of the movie's strengths.
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Old 04-28-06, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by riley_dude
Do does Abrahms do the "Team" thing unlike the other movies?
Though, yes, the focus is clearly on T.C., the first movie did feature a team of six at the start, then a new team of four later on; the first sequel featured a team of four, as well. In the interest of accuracy and fairness...
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