Quote from Mission: Impossible – Fallout by August Walker: “How many times has Hunt’s government betrayed him, disavowed him, cast him aside? How long before a man like that has had enough.”
Tom Cruise has never shied away from doing his own stunts, and the six installment of Mission: Impossible is no exception. The pacing was good and everything that happened was for a reason. There wasn’t any time I thought, jeez, you could’ve cut that out because it didn’t contribute anything to the movie. It opened up with a major problem, increasing in its tension along the way, and finished with a bang. It was nothing but pure entertainment that successfully delivered in action, thrills, and adventure.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout was written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie and based off the television series written by Bruce Geller. This story follows Ethan Hunt and his trusted co-workers as they chase their way after plutonium to save the world from destruction. It’s produced by Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, Jake Myers, and J.J. Abrams under the direction of Skydance Media, TC Productions, and Bad Robot Productions. The distributor is Paramount Pictures and was released on July 27, 2018. The budget was around $178 million and so far has grossed around $366 million worldwide. The main cast includes Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell, Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, Henry Cavill as August Walker, and Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust. It also stars Alec Baldwin, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan, Vanessa Kirby, and Sean Harris. The MPAA rating is PG-13 for violence, intense action sequences, and briefly strong language. It has a running time of 1 hour and 47 minutes.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout begins with yet another mission for Ethan Hunt and his crew. This time he has to capture stolen plutonium so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands. Things don’t go as planned, which sends Ethan, Luther, and Benji into a cat and mouse chase in cars, helicopters, and motorcycles after the deadly radioactive chemical element. The problem remains that none of the good guys know who stole the plutonium. They devise a plan in the hopes of outsmarting the bad guys and going as far as needed to protect the innocent. Insert, August Walker who is introduced to Ethan Hunt and his team by the CIA Director. This sets up some of the great stunts of the two C’s: Cruise and Cavill as the movie progresses. Insert also, The White Widow who shows Ethan she is worth her weight even though he has a fair amount of skepticism about her plan, but he really wants that plutonium. It leaves him little choice but to do what is asked of him, and with the help of Walker, he secures what is asked. Everything seems to be going as planned until someone betrays him, and Ethan now has no choice but to follow the antagonist along with wondering why Ilsa, an ex MI6 agent, is so invested in this. Everyone rushes from London to Kashmir for different reasons where the movie finishes with more chases, fights, and weapons.
It goes without saying it takes a lot of pre-planning to make this kind of movie. I’m continually amazed that the five to ten minutes you see takes months of training, and in this case a year for the High Altitude Low Opening stunt done by Cruise. It isn’t just the physical fitness actors/actresses need to complete their scenes effectively, but you also need to look good while doing them. No amount of makeup or CGI will make a person’s unflattering expression flattering. Okay, maybe it will, but the director probably wants someone who can keep their expression in check. Yes, Tom Cruise is showing his age a bit. He should, but there is no denying he can still run fast and look good while doing it. There are pitfalls during every filming process so when things go wrong, it can be catastrophic and production stops. Or, you can keep going until you are forced to stop, but start-up again when the time is right again. See, a fractured ankle can work in someone’s favor. Tom Cruise is a challenge seeker, and the success of this movie will encourage him to star and produce another one. See, everyone wins.
I would recommend this movie not only for its action sequences, but for its decent story. I can forgive the lack of fine tooth combing of the dialogue because no one sounds prim and proper when you’re running after or fighting someone. Some of the dialogue is cartoonish and cheesy, but I expected this. The serious lines are delivered just fine. You might grumble about the lack of reasons for why a character did or did not do something, but it doesn’t detract that much from the movie. It is suitable for teens and adults and as I’ve come to realize more these days even for babies.
Mission: Impossible -Fallout gets four fingers and one thumb at 96%
I thought 2018 would be the year where I really made some changes in my life. I guess I should give myself a little bit of slack since I basically moved across state lines in four different trips. I’m working to make my blog a little easier to access for people and hoping in September 2018 onward I will have gotten rid of redundant information. I’m getting rid of some pages and therefore am posting this on a blog. I had high hopes of adding new things each month in all the various interests I have. It was becoming too much, but hope to resume this soon as I did in 2017.
August 1, 2017: This will resume again in 2018
Died: June 14, 1926
Château de Beaufresne, near Paris, France
Portrait of a Man, 1443
I have cut myself to my ankles many times before
because that is what you taught me.
This is what you breathed into my mouth
when I didn’t want your lips anywhere near mine.
Boy, did you keep insisting.
Jeez, how deep did you think you could go?
What the fuck was the matter with you?
Wait, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.
The hatred. The loathing. The revenge. The pain.
The sad part is you still don’t give a shit.
I trusted you to have my back,
and you did nothing but push me down,
over and over again
until my shell was cracked into a thousand pieces.
It’s a wonder how I ever survived through it all.
Yet, I did.
Some fucking how, I did.
Here, I am, the only one left.
It started with you and ends with me.
Get ready because soon the whole world will know what you did
despite you never caring.
Random pictures of water (public domain) taken by people from around the world.
Quote from Beirut by Mason Skiles: “Maybe one of you can tell me what I’m doing here?”
I felt excited to see what Beirut would offer me. The opening scene was engaging as it delved into the perceived stereotypes and real dangers of living in the Middle East. The relations and conflicts between Israel and Arab nations continue to this day, but in the 1980s there was just as much tension. I thought of the movie Rosewater while watching it for some reason. While the portrayal of Iranians was more negative than positive, I wondered why I felt little discomfort. It probably had to do with the fact it was non-fictional and was told by Maziar Bahari himself. While some boycotted Beirut for its one-sidedness and white man rescue syndrome, this doesn’t mean it is an inherently bad movie although it thrust it into the unwanted spotlight.
Beirut is a drama written by Tony Gilroy and directed by Brad Anderson. Its major cast includes Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike, Dean Norris, Shea Whigham, and Mark Pellegrino. The movie centers around an American diplomat leaving his old life behind him due to tragedy, and finding himself having to re-enter that world. Along the way, he hopes to find reconciliation within himself and the people he left behind. The running time is one hour and 49 minutes and rated R for language, some violence, and brief nudity.
The movie begins with Mason Skiles living a good life with his Lebanese wife and being a father figure to a Palestinian boy who does not have a family of his own in Lebanon. We learn Kamir does have family. He has a brother who may or may not be part of a terrorist group, and this is when tragedy falls on Skiles. The life he knew is gone and makes the decision to leave Lebanon for good, but as fate has it, he returns later because the U.S. government needs his help. For a while he is unclear why he is there, but then learns someone he knew in his past is in danger. This leads to him working with the CIA and state officials to uncover the whereabouts of the person. He traverses to places of his past, all in the attempts to formulate a plan on how to get the person back to safety.
It feels a little wrong to give Jon Hamm such great props for portraying Skiles while not talking about the other major cast. It is not that they do not have the skill set to portray convincing and (un)likable characters. They all do because I’ve seen them shine: Breaking Bad (Norris), Hostiles (Pike), Boardwalk Empire (Whigham), and Dexter (Pellegrino). But, if anyone deserves all the opportunities to showcase his talent, it would be Jon Hamm. One upcoming movie I do want to see him in is Bad Times at the El Royale. He has come a long way from moving furniture around soft core porn sets. I’ve never seen him in a show or movie I didn’t think he was outstanding. Hamm has all the nuance, intuition, and timing to make Skiles character realistic and likable. He carried a large part of the movie, and it is partially why I kept watching it to the end. He has range and if you doubt me, watch any Saturday Night Live skit he takes part of.
I recommend this movie because the cast is good, and it caters to adults because children will not have the attention span for this. I would venture to say some adults don’t have the attention span for this kind of movie because it progresses at a slower pace. While it is described as a drama/thriller, I thought it was more drama and less of a thriller. Most of the major events and scenes steering Beirut in the direction it did was predictable. I will say that the ending was fitting, and glad the direction went that way instead of other ways. Despite the controversy and negative critique, I would recommend it although there are more compelling movies about the CIA and Middle East. Maybe, therein lies the problem because both are complicated subjects, and appears Beirut only scratched the surface flesh in some areas when it should’ve drawn blood, but there is only so much you can fit into a script. Creators have the freedom to create most anything, but that doesn’t always translate into a positive outcome for everyone. I can see the dissenters had valid reasons for disliking Beirut, but the fact remains that people do kill others based on their differences, and I’m not only talking about the Middle East. It isn’t right to demonize a collective group of people based on their appearance alone. Yes, Hollywood needs an overhaul on what and who is portrayed on the screen. Not everyone is going to like the final cut, and how much does a writer/director take into account the critiques of others before, during, and after the process while not sacrificing thier own vision? The last remaining observation is timing can be a blessing or a curse.
Beirut gets three fingers at 79%
I’m waiting for the thrill of living in the Las Vegas area to subside, but so far it hasn’t. After spending time in both the old and new strip within the last month, I prefer the modern hotels compared to Fremont. I spent about four hours today walking around Flamingo, Venetian (no pictures this time), Palazzo, New York New York, Mirage (no pictures this time). I went inside Linq, the former Imperial Palace, which was the first hotel I stayed about ten years ago. I included a few pictures of Caesar’s Palace from an earlier time too. Enjoy.
The consensus continues to be adaptations, remakes, sequels, and spin offs hitting the theaters with a smattering of original movies being released in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Here is a very short list of movies I’d like to see in the theater in the next three years. This doesn’t mean I’ll get to all of them, but I’m hoping I get to more than less. Not all one sheets are available and used photos when allowed.
The Predator on September 14th
I want to be sitting in the theater and will make a solid effort to see it. This is a Shane Black project and fourth movie in this franchise. The predators are coming back stronger and faster and all because child a can’t find constructive things to do in his free time. Get the popcorn ready, please.
Bad Times at the El Royale on October 5th
The cast should be great together with Jon Hamm, Chris Hemsworth, Nick Offerman, and Jeff Bridges. This mystery/thriller is about a group of strangers finding redemption in a rundown hotel.
Bohemian Rhapsody on November 2nd
I’ve been waiting for this movie to come out when I first read about it, and one I want to see for sure in the theater. Rami Malik plays lead singer of Queen, Freddy Mercury, which focuses on his Live Aid concert in 1985 in this biopic. I used to have recordings of his concert on VHS, but can’t wait to see this biopic.
Aquaman on December 21st
I like Jason Momoa and not because he did that commercial for cotton, but because I think he’s a good actor. He has good range. I’m giving a shout out to DC Comics. I thought Suicide Squad was decent movie and definitely willing to give Aquaman a try. After seeing the cast on Conan, there’s no other option than to watch it now.
Drunk Parents in 2018
Who doesn’t like Alec Baldwin or Salma Hayek? I can think of one in particular that won’t be named. Baldwin and Hayek play two drunks who hide their financial embarassments from their daughter in this comedy.
John Wick 3: Parabellum on May 17th
Keanu Reeves is back as the gun wielding, kick ass hitman in this third installment. He’s now trying to survive against the whole world as there’s a nice prize for his head. I’m sure seeing him riding a galloping horse in NYC will be worth seeing.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on July 26th
Quentin Tarantino’s movie stars Margot Robbie, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Brad Pitt. This drama/thriller is about an actor and stunt double when Charles Manson brought mass hysteria to Los Angeles in 1969.
It: Chapter Two on September 6th
This is going to be one of the most anticipated movies of next year. With a cast of Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Bill Skarsgård and others, it is going to be good. I read that they might include a scene that was edited out of the first movie. I hope they do because it will drive home there’s scary and evil stuff out there.
Judy in 2019
It all started with the Wizard of Oz where Judy Garland held her weight with three male cast members. This focuses on her concerts in 1968 where Renee Zellweger plays Judy.
The Irishman in 2019
Martin Scorsese teams up with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino again. This crime drama is an adaptation about a hitman’s possible involvement in Jimmy Hoffa’s death. It will be good to see both De Niro doing serious film and Pacino doing a Mafia film again.
Bad Boys for Life on January 17th
The third installment of this franchise of Detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett. I enjoyed the original more than the sequel, but still good enough to own. It would be pretty awesome if Captain Howard came back. He has to come back. Right?
Sherlock Holmes 3 on December 25th
Another third installment of a franchise and again the focus being Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson, and love interest Irene Adler. A little action, adventure, and crime all wrapped into a perfect little box to be opened on Christmas Day.
Avatar 2 on December 18th
This will probably exceed everyone’s expectations because it’s directed by James Cameron. The story continues of Jack Sully and his now seemingly permanent connection with Pandora. After this movie, there is guaranteed to be a third in 2021 and hopefully a fourth in 2024 and fifth in 2025.
Fengshen Trilogy in 2020
This is based on the classical fantasy novel of China about mythical wars among humans, immortals, and monsters. The three films will likely be released in succession and with great potential.
Phantom of the Opera in 2020
Things change quickly in Hollywood because I had movies that were tentatively to be released in 2020 and then they disappeared from IMDb. This brings me to the last movie I wouldn’t mind seeing. It’s been done before many times, but I’m a sucker for musicals and a little romance.
And there you have it, the five movies I’d like to see in the theaters for remainder of this year and the next two years. Happy movie watching everyone.
The following is a peculiar court transcript cited in Rodney Jone’s Disorderly Conduct: Verbatim Excerpts From Actual Cases (1987):
The Court: I got the Quadrophenia, but then he said somebody played in it, and I didn’t get that.
Prosecutor: The Who.
The Court: The what?
Prosecutor: The Who.
Witness: The Who.
The Court: Who?
Witness: The Who. That’s the name of the band.
The Court: So that’s the name of the group, the Who?
Witness: Yes, the Who.
The Court: Not the What? The Who?
Witness: No, the Who.
The Court: You got it, everybody? The Quadrophenia is a movie with the Who.
Witness: Punk rockers.
The Court: All right.
Almost two months ago, I came across a great gray owl that was surveying a bog from the top of a weathered fence post. I watched him for a few minutes as he looked around. Then the big, yellow eyes watched me for a few seconds before the wings stretched out and he flew up […]