Movie Review: Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

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.”

missionimpossiblefallout.jpg

The Impossible is Possible

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.

The People Behind the Screen

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.

The Characters and Plot Summary

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.

A Fractured Ankle Might be a Problem

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.

Everything Must Come to an End

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.

Pisaries Creator Rating

Mission: Impossible -Fallout gets four fingers and one thumb at 96%

pcratingfive1

Trailer/One Sheet by Paramount Pictures

cwhite2018

Various Quotes

hleequote

senecaquote

pynchonquote

gaimanquote

johnsonquote

brownsteinquote

eliotquote

saulquote

rainerquote

aristotlequote2

cwhite2018

Trifecta #19

You probably thought I walked right off the edge of the Earth into some abyss.   I feel in some ways I have, but slowly getting back into the grind of things.  Here is my trifecta for August 2018.

Word of the Month

fastidious

Picture of the Month

foxsleeping

Video of the Month

cwhite2018

Old Blog about a Handful of Different Artists

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

artisticfolds

van gogh

July 4, 2017: Mary Cassatt

Born: May 22, 1844
Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, United States

Died: June 14, 1926
Château de Beaufresne, near Paris, France

Mary Cassatt is an American painter and printmaker although she lived most of her life in France. Her mediums were pastel, oil, gouache, watercolor, and graphite. Her upbringing is what you would call privileged as she belonged to the upper/middle class. Much of her influence came from her mother who was also well-educated and read. She never married and dedicated her life to artwork even in the years when she was partially blind, had rheumatism, and other physical ailments.

She was what you would also call a pioneer as she sided with women’s rights, but did not like to be viewed as adhering to one particular concept or thing. She consistently demanded the same treatment as her male comrades in the art world and did not compromise herself. Her subjects ranged from family members to Parisian models.

She formed an intimate friendly relationship with Edgar Degas, as they had common interests and backgrounds. It was in France she felt most at home although she returned to the East Coast out of necessity. She was resistant to change in her later years and struggled to find a place in the art world. Her work would later be recognized for their brilliance especially after her death. No one can say she was not great at capturing the human subject in her intimate portraits. Many of her works are in notable galleries and have sold for as much as four million dollars.

marycassat

marycassatt2

marycassatt

Pictures/Information by Wikipedia

June 11, 2017: Katsushika Hokusai

Born: October 31, 1790

Died: May 10, 1849

hokusai

There’s an eerie thing when you read about an artist, and recognize certain elements of yourself in him or her. The main one being I often wanted to change my name. I have less of an urge to do this now, but I think about it from time to time. Would I pick a Korean name? Would I pick a more Western name? Would I pick a fictional name?

Hokusai, as he was called, attached various names to himself throughout his career. He had chosen around thirty different names, often mirroring changes to his artistic styles, and overlapped at times. A woodblock artist, he creating prints and paintings using subject matter of people, landscapes, and flora and fauna. He also produced erotic pieces, which was used by all classes, and known as shunga.

During the height of his career, he produced brush paintings, known as surimono, and two collections of landscapes, Famous Sights of the Eastern Capital and Eight Views of Edo. This was also the time when his skill was recognized, partly due to self-promotion and taught students thirsty for his knowledge. He paid equal attention of his work in published books as with his actual works.

His most famous work, Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, includes the recognizable Great Wave off Kanagawa. There were 36 prints in total, and included ten additional prints later. The longevity of his work can also be seen in his twelve manga volumes (9 published before 1820 and 3 published posthumously). He created the series in between the years 1830 to 1832.

As is the occurrence of artists finding influence in others, he served as inspiration to Impressionist painters. He cultivated and reinforced the path for Western countries and artists to view Japanese artistic contributions as legitimate. He desired to live into his hundreds, but died at the age of eighty-eight. What more could he have possibly achieved? Probably a great deal, but with everyone and everything, it must all come to an end.

1760 Childhood Name: Tokitarō

1779 First Name Change: Shunrō

1793-1797 Name Change: Tawaraya Sōri

1798 Name Change: Hokusai Tomisa

1811 Name Change: Iitsu

Pictures/Information by Wikipedia

June 6, 2017: Jan van Eyck

Born: c 1380-1390 in Maaeseik/Belgian Province

Died: July 9, 1441 in Bruges/Flemish Region

van eyck

Portrait of a Man, 1443

Jan van Eyck was a Netherlandish Renaissance painter. His subject matter had religious figures and overtones including the Madonna and baby, Jesus’s crucifixion, and was also a successful portrait artist. I remember being amazed at his level of detail in his paintings. His most iconic piece being the Arnolfini Portrait. Painters of his caliber at the time were much like the current painters of photo realism today.

His securement in the artistic world was equally due to his court painting and commissioned portraits. This brought him financial stability, and in turn, he was able to not feel the strain of producing work to feed himself. He worked alongside his brother, Hubert van Eyck, on some paintings.

He was a meticulous painter, leaving nothing to chance, including his unique way of signing his name to his works and how he used frames to enhance the worlds unfolding on the canvas. Whether you view his signature and dating of his work as condescending or spirited, he dared to affirm what he already knew about himself. He was a permanent influence during his time, and by him creating no doubt about the authenticity of his works, he protected his legacy.

Pictures/Information by Wikipedia

May 14, 2017: Wassily Kandinsky

wassily kandinsky

A Russian painter and art theorist, Wassily Kandinsky, was born in Moscow in 1866. He was all encompassing where he taught design and painting classes in his later years, as well as educating about the importance of spiritual connection found in artistic mediums. He was fascinated with color and what it represented. This led to his enrollment into Munich Academy at the age of 30 in 1896. He was also influenced by Monet during this time, furthering his connection to color, which led to his own in depth exploration.

odessaport1898
Odessa Port, 1898
akhtyrka1901
Akhtyrka, 1901
murnau1909
Murnau, train & castle, 1909

Kandinsky was also fascinated with abstraction especially in the years between 1911 to 1914. I view him as a type of sponge much like myself. I want to gain more knowledge and learn it all.

thecow1910
The Cow, 1910
therider1911
The Rider, 1911
squareswithconcentriccircles
Squares with Concentric Circles, 1913

There was a transition to his later work where circles become an integral part of his paintings. He became enamored in geometric shapes and their representations as can be seen during the time he taught hungry students about design, color theory, and elements of painting. What I wouldn’t have given to attend a class of his or live in any major thriving artistic community during this time.

circlesinacircle1923
Circles in a Circle, 1923
softhard
Soft Hard, 1927

Kandinsky was what you might call an independent: politically and culturally and artistically. He laid roots where his heart felt was right as he left Germany and Russia for good, settling in France where he lived until he died in 1944.

brownwithsupplement1935
Brown with Supplement, 1935
Pictures/Information by Wikipedia

April 9, 2017: Vincent van Gogh

Fine Artists can be described in many different ways. They can be categorized with personality traits only they seem to have. A popular theory is any kind of artist has to be a little mentally unstable because what else drives him or her to create artwork. The first painter I’m discussing is a perfect example of what happens when you don’t set creative boundaries.

vangogh7
Self Portrait, 1887

Vincent van Gogh really needs no introduction. People know him because he cut his left ear during one of his many bouts of depression. He was a Post-Impressionist painter with his most obvious work titled The Starry Night, 1889. Have you ever gotten as close as possible to a van Gogh painting? Man, those brush strokes. Damn, those vibrant colors.

starrynight

The Starry Night, 1889

starryrhone

Starry Night Over the Rhone, 1888

He was born in March 1853, and died in 1890 due to complications from a self-inflicted gun shot. He was a smoker and drinker. He suffered from insomnia. Oh, the problems of a creative person. His vast collection of works included landscapes, portraits, and still lifes. I wonder if somewhere in another parallel or perpendicular universe, if van Gogh knows how influential and inspirational artist he became. I sure hope so as it would be a shame if he didn’t.

Old Man at the Fireside, 1881
A Pair of Shoes, 1887
Painter on His Way to Work, 1888
Wheatfield with Crows, 1890

vangogh

Pictures/Information by Wikipedia
cwhite19942018

 

Poem: Dig Deeper

Dig Deeper

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.

You insisted,

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. 

The survivor.

It started with you and ends with me.

Get ready because soon the whole world will know what you did

despite you never caring.

cwhite2018

Random Pictures of Water

Random pictures of water (public domain) taken by people from around the world. 

water3

water5

water1

water2

water4

 

Movie Review: Beirut (2018)

Movie Review: Beirut (2018)

Quote from Beirut by Mason Skiles: “Maybe one of you can tell me what I’m doing here?”

beirut

In the Middle East

middleeast

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.

People that Made it Happen

film.jpg

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. 

Characters and Plot Summary

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.

Jon Hamm is not Jon Hamm

jonworld

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.

Evaluating from Afar

binoculars.jpg

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.

Pisaries Creator’s Rating

Beirut gets three fingers at 79%

pcratingthree3

One Sheet and Trailer by Bleeker Street Media

cwhite2018

 

 

Vegas Strip #3

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.

Entering the Vegas Strip Again

IMG_3271

IMG_3274

IMG_3278

IMG_3279

IMG_3282

IMG_3283

Flamingo

IMG_3284

IMG_3285

IMG_3380

img_3347.jpg

IMG_3348

IMG_3345

IMG_3403

IMG_3344

IMG_3343

IMG_3335

IMG_3291

IMG_3328

IMG_3290

IMG_3330

IMG_3331

img_3334.jpg

img_3336.jpg

IMG_3337

IMG_3341

The Palazzo

IMG_3354

IMG_3355

IMG_3358

IMG_3359

IMG_3364

IMG_3365

IMG_3360

IMG_3362

IMG_3357

IMG_3353

IMG_3370

IMG_3371

IMG_3368

IMG_3367

New York New York

IMG_3385

IMG_3386

IMG_3388

IMG_3389

IMG_3393

IMG_3400

Caesar’s Palace

IMG_2817

IMG_2833

IMG_2832

IMG_2828

IMG_2826

IMG_2823

The Linq

IMG_3375

IMG_3374

IMG_3350

Miscellaneous Photos

IMG_3382

IMG_3373

IMG_3349

IMG_3275

IMG_2820

IMG_2831

IMG_3366

IMG_3261

cwhite2018

Briefly Looking Ahead to 2019 and 2020 while 2018 Quickly Heads to the Finish Line

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.

2018

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.

2019

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.

2020

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.

cwhite2018

Disorder In The Court

Learn Fun Facts

justice.jpg

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?

Witness: Musicians.

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.

View original post

A close encounter of the owl kind — Christopher Martin Photography

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 […]

via A close encounter of the owl kind — Christopher Martin Photography

August Random Information

august.jpg

%d bloggers like this: