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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

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Mark Suszko
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
on Aug 1, 2015 at 3:14:16 am

I think they gave away too much in the trailers for this one. But it's an MI movie with Cruise, so, it's going to follow a pretty predictable formula anyhow.

Great stunt work, and the caper scenes were engaging. Too many chase scenes, and too long for my taste, though of course they are executed well, but they make Cruise's character so over the top indestructible that I start to lose a little empathy for the character. Whatever work he's had done to his face, it's a little distracting.

I'll say that the villain in this one is really good: Sean Harris without a beard is scary. I forgot he was in Prometheus, where his character was kind of stupid and pointless, but you should SEE this guy in Showtime's "The Borgias", where he's freaking INCREDIBLE as a trusted Borgia family spy and assassin, Migueleto (SEE THIS SERIES ON PPV OR DVD) . Here in Rogue Nation, he carries a weight and a foreboding air that nicely counterbalances Cruise' Ethan Hunt.

In this one, Simon Pegg gets a lot of screen time filling in two roles: the funny support guy AND basically the role usually filled in by Hunt's girlfriend of the moment. Ving Rhames shows up for like five minutes here and there, and kind of phones in his part. Baldwin is a mix of his Jack Ryan and a standard government hardass boss who won't listen, and he chews the scenery well.

Overall, I can't say I was blown away. Ghost Protocol was perhaps more exciting. This was "okay", but made me yearn to see what we get from the upcoming UNCLE and James Bond movies. For me, the key to Mission Impossible, the TV series, was the gimmick that they had a solid plan which would get a huge wrench thrown into it, then the agents would have to improvise around the problem and save the mission. The movies don't press that improv-on-the fly aspect enough, I feel.

This was probably a good one to finish the franchise on.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
on Aug 1, 2015 at 5:33:52 am

[Mark Suszko] "This was probably a good one to finish the franchise on."

Not a chance. LOL

Your opinion is always clear-eyed and well-founded, and if I could be persuaded to put on pants -- or if movie theaters could be persuaded to let me in sans pants -- but the numbers on this one are a slam dunk.



First, let's get this out of the way right up front. They don't make these movies to win awards, right? This isn't critic-bait, right?

And yet the score at Rotten Tomatoes? NINETY THREE PERCENT FRESH, on 178 reviews. Which means that out of those 178 reviews, 163 are positive. That's astonishing. Any arthouse film from the arthouse-iest director would kill for 93% of their reviews to be positive.

I just looked it up, because I personally have no use for Woody Allen, but I understand he's pretty arty, and I know his last picture won Cate Blanchett an Oscar and I love Cate Blanchett...

...poor Woody, only ninety-ONE percent fresh at Rotten Tomatoes.

While I was in the neighborhood, I popped in the names of the only kinda arty pictures whose titles I could remember:

Birdman, 91% Fresh.

Gone Girl, 88% Fresh.

Did I mention the score for MI:RN? 93% Fresh.

So yeah, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is doing BETTER with reviewers than the last Woody Allen picture, which was good enough to win at least one Oscar, better than Birdman, better than Gone Girl, blah blah blah...

CRITICS LOVE MISSION IMPOSSIBLE:ROGUE NATION.

Related, let's get THIS out of the way right now. You might not like one critic, or one review, but the idea that critics don't know how to watch "fun movies" and can't just sit back and enjoy them -- absolutely, utterly, and very simply WRONG.

Here's where it gets crazy.

Acknowledging that not all reviewers have equal standing in the marketplace in general, or within the critical community, Rotten Tomatoes has a subcategory they call Top Reviewers. Even if you hate critics, you can guess a third to a half of the publications right off the top of your head...the most serious, stuffy, mainstream, stuck-up, self-important, self-righteous publications that ever piled up at the bottom of your trash can...

...NINETY FOUR PERCENT of them are positive reviews!!!!

SO maybe THIS Mission Impossible film is made for academics and elitists who hate mainstream moviemaking, traditional family values, and America in general? LOL

Actually, maybe so. Those eggheads at NPR call this the best franchise going, and said this was the best installment. Clearly a communist plot.



I'll note, though, that as impressive as a 93-94% score is for MI:RN, the score for Mad Max was 98% Fresh, as was Inside Out. So clearly the communists and their propaganda lapdogs in the critical establishment are winning at the box office.


Sigh..sorry for that entirely off-topic rant, Mark. I know that YOU were saying nothing of the sort. This is just the kind of movie where you see a lot of people saying things like "I loved it but the critics are going to tear it to shreds" or something. Uhm, no.


Anyway, critics don't actually buy movie tickets. So what did AUDIENCES think?

It's on track to open around $50-ish million domestic, which is pretty good. Some people are predicting as much as $60m. Maybe. Either way, for all that it's not record-setting or anything, it's good. He's actually never done movies that open super big -- War of the Worlds was biggest, at $62 million if I remember correctly, so this is toward his upper limit to date.

Overseas, I'm guessing it'll do three times that. Pretty typical for Tom's movies to do 60%-70% of the bo outside the US.

With a relatively nimble $150 million production budget, they'll have made it all back before Monday. Depending on the timezone, they may even be in the black on this on Sunday night.

The thing about franchises, though, is that the gross for THIS movie is NOT a referendum on THIS movie. It's a referendum on the NEXT movie. People are saying, "I want to live in this world a little longer."

Overwhelming critical support, strong audience support, and lots of actual box office dollars: the filmmakers apparently have everything they need to take another roll of the dice in 2018 with a 56 year old Tom Cruise. For all we know, he could pull a Liam Neeson and do his biggest action hits after he turns 60. There's no indication that this is beyond his reach.

As long as nobody leaves it on the top shelf.

GET IT? TOM CRUISE IS SHORT.

Okay, back to sort of on topic. I was struck by the fact that it's directed by Christopher McQuarrie. I hadn't noticed that until this week, and it was driving me crazy that I couldn't remember the last time I'd seen his name, and then I remembered: he wrote Edge of Tomorrow!

I don't remember which of you lovely people it was, but some folks here praised that highly enough that I finally caught it at home, and I LOVED it! What a terrific movie. Everything about it was damn near perfect, including Cruise. I don't think he gets enough credit for his comic chops, and it was great to see him play the stereotype of Tom Cruise as slick and indestructible for laughs, in the character of a loser who accidentally and sort of against his will becomes a hero of sorts.

So the last thing that McQuarrie directed was also for Cruise, Reacher. Ironically named since, of course, Tom Cruise can't reach anything.

BECAUSE HE'S SHORT.

Also ironic: in the books, the character named Jack Reacher is 6'4" and his size gets remarked upon every few pages. Whatever.

(I do HIGHLY recommend the Reacher books by the way. Written by Lee Child, a former TV writer actually, there have been 19 so far. I've read 'em all. A dozen clear winners, a handful of 'em are "only" pretty darn entertaining, and one dud...but even that one sizzled right up until it fizzled.)


Anyway, neither Reacher nor Edge of Tomorrow is where I actually remembered McQuarrie's name first. I remembered it from the Oscar he won for writing The Usual Suspects. Which is pretty gol-dang rad. An Oscar winning WRITER of a refreshingly twisted, now-iconic tale gets to direct a blockbuster franchise.

You know the old saying: Pants is the better part of valor. Valor is the discretion of pants? Something like that. Lacking valor, discretion, AND pants, I nevertheless look forward to seeing this.....


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Mark Suszko
Re: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
on Aug 1, 2015 at 6:16:51 am

I was a big fan of Edge of Tomorrow, maybe you heard it from me.


Renner and Rhames were wasted in this one, though. The team chemistry wasn't what I'd hoped. Hanging off the Dubai tower was cooler than this one, IMO, and it was a bigger part of the film than the "throwaway" airplane stunt you've already seen in the commercials.


I'm not one that cares too much about box office numbers. My criteria are based around these factors: Does it engage me with a well-told story, a decent plot arc, a few surprises, and good, interesting, smart characters with some kind of development?. Second, is it aesthetically and technically attractive? Third: does it have a Big Idea or Eternal Truth that's worth discussing over dinner and drinks after seeing the movie?


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
on Aug 3, 2015 at 11:58:03 pm

[Tim Wilson] "NINETY THREE PERCENT FRESH, on 178 reviews. Which means that out of those 178 reviews, 163 are positive. That's astonishing. Any arthouse film from the arthouse-iest director would kill for 93% of their reviews to be positive."

Yeah, yeah... but what does Scott Roberts think of it?

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
on Aug 4, 2015 at 12:27:40 am

[Jason Jenkins] "Yeah, yeah... but what does Scott Roberts think of it?"

You're quite right of course. I'm shocked we haven't heard from him yet.

Hey Scott, you okay man?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
on Aug 4, 2015 at 4:09:54 am

He's off the grid; he's gone dark, man, like a good operative should. Leave a red Umatic record stopper button on the end of the third counter to the right of the door at B&H, wait two hours, then go to dead drop number three in Battery Park and pick up his review.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
on Aug 4, 2015 at 3:44:12 pm

I'm actually a double agent, and was doing a mission for CreativeBULL (Bureaucratic Underlings of Lower Lomonosov), which is why it took so long for me to respond. It's a former Soviet super forum that has gone rogue under a renegade web developer. We do a lot of important stuff. And they have donuts at their meetings. Just don't tell anyone over there that I'm here, too. So, my super secret mission took up my whole weekend, and I didn't get to see this movie until last night. But here's my reports.


[Mark Suszko] "I'll say that the villain in this one is really good: Sean Harris without a beard is scary."

Very James Bond villain-like. The slow, creepy whispers do it for me.


[Mark Suszko] "Ving Rhames shows up for like five minutes here and there, and kind of phones in his part."

Was Ving Rhames in Ghost Protocol? I don't think he was, but I don't remember. But I also haven't seen Mission Impossibles 1 through 3, so I was confused as to who he was? I mean, I get that he was a computer expert (wasn't Simon Pegg a computer expert, too? [wait, aren't they all kind of computer experts?]). Regardless, he seemed like a throwaway character.


[Mark Suszko] "Baldwin is a mix of his Jack Ryan and a standard government hardass boss who won't listen, and he chews the scenery well."

Seriously, just give the guy a suit, some responsibility, and a bunch of people to look over, and he DELIVERS.


[Tim Wilson] "CRITICS LOVE MISSION IMPOSSIBLE:ROGUE NATION."

I feel like critics tend to enjoy a super well made, really entertaining action movie nowadays. See also: Guardians of the Galaxy (91%), X-Men Days of Future Past (91%) and Mad Max: Fury Road (98%). If you're losing it over the 93%, Tim, I will point you in the direction of the 98% that the Australian film about exploding cars has gotten.


[Tim Wilson] "As long as nobody leaves it on the top shelf.

GET IT? TOM CRUISE IS SHORT."


*SWISH*


[Mark Suszko] "Hanging off the Dubai tower was cooler than this one, IMO, and it was a bigger part of the film than the "throwaway" airplane stunt you've already seen in the commercials."

I don't know, I genuinely enjoyed how that big stunt with Tom Cruise holding onto a plane that everyone was talking about leading up to the release of the movie, that probably cost millions of dollars in itself and put their A-list star in life-threatening danger twelve times; was just some throwaway stunt in the first five minutes of the movie that had nothing to do with the main plot of the film. It's kind of hilarious.



And then here's just all of my other assorted thoughts:

-It's these kinds of things that honestly make me forget about what a weirdo Tom Cruise probably is in real life. Of course there's those moments periodically while watching where I thought, "Oh yeah, that's that goofy bastard, isn't it?", but by golly, the guy really gives it his all for these summer blockbuster movies. For two hours, I can really appreciate that this 53-year-old man has the gusto to be this entertaining. If he keeps doing projects like this, maybe everyone will forget what they saw in that Going Clear documentary? To be fair, I appreciate Tom Cruise giving it his full-speed-running-everywhere-ALL over someone like Johnny Depp giving it his heavy-makeup-N'-dumb-accents-ALL.

-Also, *I* think Tom Cruise is still lookin' good! There was only one moment I can remember where his age showed and he looked like a 10-year-old bloodhound.

-This is a good example of a spy movie with a bunch of fun twists and turns that isn't unbearably over-complicated. Kingsman was another good one like that recently. Like, I get the desire to make a thinking man's spy movie, but I even more get the appeal to make a spy movie where they just have to dive into an underwater hard drive thing to get the codes or something to move the story along or whatever, because the underwater hard drive thing was a really cool sequence to watch. You know what I liked better than all of Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy? The underwater hard drive sequence in this movie.

-FINALLY, an IMAX movie where I got the benefits of the awesome sound system, without the pointless drawback of the dumb 3D gimmick.

-You know what I like about Simon Pegg in these movies? He's obviously the comic relief, but he can still have a wide array of emotions, and he's very essential to the plot. I guess he kind of transcends "comic relief" and just sort of becomes a "funny character" at a certain point.

-The leading lady (played by someone I do not know [Rebecca Ferguson?]) was really good at her job. Her acting job, I mean. Well, her spy character was pretty good at her job too. I liked that she didn't have to kiss Tom Cruise just because she was the only woman in the movie. #progress

-Since I'm just naming everybody, Jeremy Renner was there and fine or whatever, too. Jeez, what's next, I gotta complement the guy who played the "Bone Doctor"? I'm drawing a line.

-Suffers from the same issue I have with Fast & Furious movies where a character can take a spill off a 115 MPH motorcycle with no helmet and a Hawaiian shirt and be perfectly fine in the next scene without any bruises or ripped clothes. I'd be a hypocrite if I trashed Vin Diesel for having a stain resistant white tank top after an explosion, if my boy Tom Cruise does the same thing with his stylish rags. All I know is that I changed the license plate registration sticker on my car yesterday, and my knee was covered in dirt by the end of it, so I know these movies are inaccurately clean.

-I thought the final action sequence was definitely the worst. Or to phrase it better, it was the least spectacular. Kind of ended on a whimper. You can't have a movie with non-stop insane stunts for 85% of it, then end the movie with some fistfights and foot chases. Where's the heart...? And by heart, I mean HEARTy explosions? I didn't pay five extra dollars to NOT have the IMAX speakers permanently damage my ears.

-Before MI5 they played trailers for the Michael Bay Benghazi movie, the Statham-less Transporter reboot, Man From U.N.C.L.E., and the new James Bond movie. Action movie overload. I was almost burnt out on nonsensical action editing before the real movie even started. It was like going to see an Iron Maiden concert, and the opening acts were GWAR, Slayer, Motorhead, and a German death metal group you've probably never heard of, but they're kind of a big deal in Düsseldorf.


-Overall, I thought it was better than Ghost Protocol, and I really liked G-Protz (that's how all the cool forum posters spell it). It just flowed better overall, in my opinion.

86 MPH out of a 100 MPH bike stunt off of a cliff


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Mark Suszko
Re: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
on Aug 4, 2015 at 4:44:50 pm







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Stephen Smith
Re: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
on Aug 11, 2015 at 4:05:33 pm

I'm going against the grain here. I thought this was the best Mission Impossible film ever! This is a must see film in the IMAX. When the plane took off my seat was rattling and I really loved this film. However, maybe I love this film so much because I can relate to it. I do impossible stuff all the time. When I left the theater I got my large popcorn refiled. While driving home I made sure not one piece of popcorn feel out of the bucket. This wasn't an easy task considering how high the popcorn was above the bucket.

[Tim]
I don't remember which of you lovely people it was, but some folks here praised that highly enough that I finally caught it at home, and I LOVED it! What a terrific movie. Everything about it was damn near perfect, including Cruise. I don't think he gets enough credit for his comic chops, and it was great to see him play the stereotype of Tom Cruise as slick and indestructible for laughs, in the character of a loser who accidentally and sort of against his will becomes a hero of sorts.

I loved the Edge of Tomorrow and put it in my top three favorite films of last year. I felt it showed that Tom Cruise does have acting range. I loved how the film had a great blend of action and humor. I felt MI Rogue Nation hit that same great blend.

As for Luther ( Ving Rhames ) he and Tom are the only people who have been in every MI movie. The end of the last one he just had a cameo. Luther and Brandt being side characters didn't bother me at all. When Ethan Hunt has less support it just raises the stakes. I think Simon Pegg and Tom balance each other our really well.

This film has only been out two weeks and is already ranked 17 in most money made this year. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=2015&p=.htm

I give this film a solid A! Even if they don't have Mission Impossible food at Dennys.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Tim Wilson
Re: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
on Aug 12, 2015 at 6:43:46 pm

[Stephen Smith] "I'm going against the grain here. I thought this was the best Mission Impossible film ever! "

You're not going against the grain at all! Maybe the grain in this forum, but certainly not against the grain of movie critics, who overwhelmingly agreed with you that it was terrific, and most of whom agreed it was the best yet.

That's right, you and the movie critic mainstream in complete agreement.

I'm not sure what to do with that information. LOL


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Stephen Smith
Re: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
on Aug 13, 2015 at 12:37:24 am

[Tim]
Maybe the grain in this forum

When it comes to MI Rouge Nation is there any other opinions that matter other then the ones in this forum? :-)

If you haven't seen the film this is a must watch in IMAX.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Mike Cohen
Re: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
on Aug 13, 2015 at 1:11:09 pm

Jeff Goldsmith has a great interview with Chris McQ and Tom Cruise about this movie, which followed a screening for an audience in LA.
I got a new appreciation for Tom Cruise from the interview - while I know he gives 110% on his movies, it turns out he is a film geek and gets involved in every aspect of production. Yeah I know he produces his own movies, but it is interesting to hear him speaking like a regular non-Tom Cruise like person about how he works.

Once the interview got to spoilers I stopped listening, but it sounds like a well done movie

Mike Cohen


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