The third installment into the Mission: Impossible movie franchise is this 2006 action packed, interesting, and most importantly, entertaining movie. J.J. Abrams directed this one and it’s not hard to tell, there are a ton of lens flares that can be distracting but don’t take too much away from the movie. This is the first Mission: Impossible movie that delves into Ethan Hunt’s (Tom Cruise) personal life, and it does it in a way that it doesn’t feel forced or like it only did that to be different from the others. The villain, Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is actually one that intimidates the audience and his way of getting information from Ethan about his personal life is done cleverly. It really feels like there is a relationship between Ethan and his wife Julia (Michelle Monaghan) and you don’t want anything bad to happen to that relationship, you are genuinely concerned for it. As with the first film, there is an unpredictability of what’s going to happen and what the end result of the movie will be. As with the first two films, there is a lot of unbelievable luck, but of course, that is to be expected with these type of movies. This feature was a lot darker than the other ones, both cinematographic-wise and plot-wise, but it didn’t take away the feeling of these feelings as being just a fun movie. Ving Rhames returns as Luther, but, other than him and Ethan, there aren’t many returning characters, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Many of the new characters are performed well and provide something meaningful to the plot. This film is good.
Mission: Impossible II, is from the year 2000 and it definitely shows. Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt, Thandie Newton is Nyah, and Dougray Scott is Sean Ambrose, just to name a few good performances in this film. Hans Zimmer does a pretty good job with music but, other than his music, the tunes are just very dull and repeatative and sometimes annoying. Scenes are so incredibly in the style of the nineties that today some of it is almost unbearable. The action and spy scenes were good but pretty much everything outside of that was poorly executed and just went on for too long. After just a small dialogue scene, the viewer is begging for something to happen. The characters sometimes made stupid decisions but they became important plot points which in return, made the viewer feel clever for noticing their mistakes. There is a scene that does this well and sets it up by making the most important part of a sentence interrupted and said by another character. Many of the action scenes were extremely over dramatized showing five different shots of the same stunt simultaneously. It’s only really in the second half of the movie that it starts picking up, and of course, it wouldn’t be a Mission: Impossible movie if it didn’t allow the main characters to have tremendous luck. This movie isn’t much of a comedy but it does have quite a few good lines that would make you at least smile. Also the relationship between Ethan and Nyah is developed well enough to see a connection between them. This movie is alright.
Mission: Impossible is the first movie of a big series of movies based off of the T.V. show of the same name from the 1960s to 70s and the movie keeps the unforgettable theme of the show reinvented by Danny Elfman. The movie is about a secret agent named Ethan Hunt played by Tom Cruise, whose IMF (Impossible Mission Force) squad has just been wiped out and he wants to know who did it and why they did it. It’s quite like a heist movie but instead of stealing for their own personal gain, it’s for the better of everyone. A lot of the film is pretty cool and makes you feel pretty cool just for watching it all happen. It’s also awesome that Tom Cruise performs all of his own stunts to provide a realism to it quite like The Dark Knight using a very minimal amount of CGI. The movie did have a lot of scenes that were genuinely tense and stressed the viewer with not knowing what the result of many actions scenes would be. There was a scene in particular, with a helicopter and a train, and the CGI just looked terrible as well as the big light on the helicopter trailing behind the train. In that scene Ethan has some incredible, unrealistic luck that sort of takes you out of the movie. The movie makes up for that scene with the scene of Ethan infiltrating the headquarters of the CIA assisted by Luther (Ving Rhames), Krieger (Jean Reno) and Claire (Emmanuelle Béart). This scene makes the movie feel really like a classic heist movie in which you root for the “bad guys”, it’s also very tense and the result of the scene isn’t ever obvious. This film isn’t my favorite action movie but it would be understandable if it was someone else’s. This movie is good.
North by Northwest is another film from the great director Alfred Hitchcock, and in this movie, he doesn’t disappoint. Long before seeing this, I used to think that this movie was a James Bond movie, and the opening title was visually pretty cool so one wouldn’t be blamed for making that mistake. This film is a lot like Vertigo in the sense that it’s about an innocent person dragged into a dramatic situation he had no part in. The story is about Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) and his kidnapping that created his sudden identity crisis leading to him being convicted of drunk driving, lying to a judge, and eventually even murder. He evades authority across the country and meets Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) who isn’t who she seems to be at first. You never quite understand the reason for Roger’s kidnapping, but either way, you feel bad for him as he was just misunderstood for the entire first half of the movie. many of the sets looked very modern and you likely wouldn’t be surprised if the sets were used in a newer movie. This movie was more humorous than Hitchcock’s other movies but the jokes don’t ever seem out of place and they fit into the plot and characters well, as in, a certain joke would make sense with the certain character who said it. There are also a whole bunch of great shots such as the scene with the cop duster plane chasing Roger just as one example. The soundtrack by Bernard Herrmann, a Hitchcock favorite, was great, as expected from such a respected music producer in the film industry. This isn’t my favorite Hitchcock film, but it is definitely up there. This film is superb.
Ben-Hur is a movie based of the story of the book by Lew Wallace about an upper class jew, Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston), in Jerusalem and his journey from there to being a slave in the galleys and eventually to a very successful chariot racer. It’s a film about a person’s life over many years after some dramatic changes, similar to movies like Doctor Zhivago or Forrest Gump. I personally enjoy movies like this as they haven’t failed to disappoint for me. David Lean is especially keen with these movies and I was surprised to find out that he hadn’t directed this one. More about the movie, It’s one of the longest movies I have ever seen at 3 hours and 42 minutes long, but I wasn’t bored for a second. William Wyler does a spectacular job of making a very visual story that a deaf man could follow along with. Charlton Heston’s character of Judah Ben-Hur is performed in a way so that you feel for him and understand him and his motives. Stephen Boyd who plays Messala does a great job of being dislikeable. The movie was also easy to understand plot-wise, you don’t need to be a major nerd on the movie to know what’s happening. The cinematography was amazing, almost every shot, especially shots from the chariot racing scene, were memorable. There was a scene in which Ben-Hur is a slave being dragged across miles and miles of land to be sent to the galleys and they eventually get to a small village where there is a person who gives him some water even though the Roman guards told people not to give water to Ben-Hur specifically. The way that the scene is shot makes you feel like this person is going to be a major character, and the camera is about to show their face, but it just doesn’t. The viewer is desperate to know who it is but the film refuses to let them know, and the movie is arranged so well that everything else in it distracts you from the mystery of who this person is so it doesn’t bother you for the entire movie, potentially ruining the experience for yourself. This movie is a masterpiece.
This movie wasn’t too bad, I heard what all the critics were saying about it but it was overall still pretty enjoyable. Out of all the Disney Star Wars movies, I’d even say that I enjoyed this one more than Rouge One, because it actually genuinely feels like a Star Wars Story, a small story of a big character. Some serious bits of the film were unintentionally hilarious which obviously isn’t great for a film. One part of the movie I was pretty distracted by was the cinematography, a lot of the shots were too dark to see what was going on, and other times it felt as though the camera was too uncomfortably close to be able to get the full picture. Another critique was the plot was too predictable, there were one or two times that I was surprised at the actions of a person, but it’s a story about Han Solo, we already know he’s going to live, and the people we don’t recognize from other Star Wars films are going to die or leave, we know how this story will end. The crew tried their best with that fact and it definitely could’ve been done better, but definitely could’ve been done worse. Many people were making a big deal about Lando being pansexual but, the film itself doesn’t make a big deal about it. If you never heard about that news then you would probably come out of the theater without even thinking about it. I just personally think that his character could’ve been developed better and shown a little more screen time. L3-37 was the Jar Jar Binks of this film, an unnecessary companion to the main characters that is just for laughs yet is just plain annoying. Compared to other Star Wars movies, this one was very goofy, which a lot of people didn’t like but it’s a story about Han Solo, the rebel who doesn’t take anyone too seriously. One scene in which Solo was a soldier for the empire, felt more like I was watching a World War 2 movie than an intergalactic Sci-Fi. This movie was okay.