Tom Cruise

Review: The Mummy

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Review: The Mummy

Since 1923 with the release of The Hunchback of Notre Dame audiences have been intrigued and delighted by The Universal Monsters: Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolf-Man, The Bride, and The Creature, etc. This summer fans once again are treated to a new version of one of the monsters’ oldest founding members: The Mummy. Along for the ride this time is superstar Tom Cruise. Together they make a pretty fun and entertaining monster movie that lays the groundwork for a whole new monster universe.

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Movie Issues: Mission: Impossible

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Movie Issues: Mission: Impossible

This week during Action August month the guys watch the 1996 flick Mission: Impossible. Tom Cruise kicking ass, dangling from wires, hanging off of speeding trains and running everywhere. It’s a solid flick with some great action beats. We also discuss sad news of Robin Williams death and give him some love. Its a full episode full of our normal random thoughts. Please download and enjoy with us.  Read On

Movie Issues: Legend

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Movie Issues: Legend

This week the guys are joined by Elizabeth from Comic Issues! They all got together to watch the 1985 fantasy flick, Legend. Yes, the the one with Tom Cruise as a woodlen man who fights Tim Curry in all his glory as Darkness, the embodiment of all evil and why there is so much glitter in fantasy films.  The group also discusses the Ant-Man drama over at Marvel. So please join us and see what crazy we get up too!

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Movie Issues: Oblivion

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Movie Issues: Oblivion

Oblivion is the brand new science fiction movie by writer/director Joseph Kosinski, whose previous film was 2010’s Tron: Legacy. It takes place in the year 2073, after an alien invasion sixty years prior which destroyed the Moon and nearly all of Earth. Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is Tech 49, one of the last remaining humans stationed on the planet. He and his communications officer Victoria (Andres Riseborough) are part of an operation to extract the planet’s remaining resources for use on the Moon Titan, which is where the surviving humans have settled. As Jack goes though his daily routine, he begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself. And like in all good science fiction, not all is what it seems.

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Comments Off on Minority Report

Minority Report

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What a great way to step back into the film criticism biz than with a great flick like Minority Report. Marketed like a latter day Blade Runner (which, in a sense it is) and banking its opening weekend numbers on the one-two punch value of Tom “Legend” Cruise and Stephen “1941” Spielberg, you might think perhaps you shouldn’t get your expectations up, because, really, how could can it be? And hasn’t Fox done enough lately to disappoint us?

Oh my Constant Readers, how pleased I am to say that this movie meets expectations very nicely. My immediate reaction was “Looks like A.I., feels like a Kubrick,” which is not meant to alienate detractors of the former. Visually, Janusz Kaminski and Spielberg have taken a lot of lessons learned from creating the visuals of A.I., and improved upon them. There is the element of the impossible cities of Fifth Element, the impersonal mechanization of Total Recall, and the dreamy technological fantasy of A.I. I even forgive Tom for making Vanilla Sky.

Based on the short story by Philip K. Dick, a famous meth-fueled author, the story deals with themes on what is reality and a sort of behavior model of the certainty principle. Even if compaing the action to this film to the whole notion of predicting movement is a quantum leap (ha ha) from the actual scientific principle, it neatly summarizes with just its dictionary definition the two main issues in this film. And, much to the wonderful screenwriters’ credit, it does it in an incredibly accessible way.

Many drug users struggle with the question of what is reality and how can I be sure what seems obvious is going to happen will happen with 100% certainty, but few struggle with such aplomb as Dick. To be fair, his stories play better when filtered through the typewriters of the sane; in this case, the laudable Scott Frank and Jon Cohen. Then of course, there’s the Spielberg Principle.

In many ways, this is not a typical Spielberg film; no music swelling over reaction shots, dangling the audience and prepping them for the real show, but the film still benefits from his extraordinary gift for storytelling and retaining the human component in an enormous story. However, it also benefits from his hours poring through Stanley Kubrick’s personal effects because the darkness is not alleviated by humor; the human errors are not forgiven. He has definitely gotten himself a bigger boat.

The design is wonderful. Set in 2054, it’s close enough to our reality (as close as 1950 is in the other direction) but far enough afield to make it still wonderful and high tech and frightening. One lesson Steve has learned that other directors (cough Lucas) have not is the best scenes are still the analog ones. A very expensive scene in a car factory, a tight, personal scene with only two men in it, a scene in a mall – it’s better because it is real. In these ways it is a Spielberg film, true, but it’s very mature and very very exciting.

I could go on and on about the superb supporting cast, but I’ll just name my favorites: Tim Blake Nelson, Lois Smith, and Peter Stormare. I admit, I had trouble with Colin Farrell – he’s the federal guy coming in and causing trouble, and he was alternately too milquetoast and too smarmy for me to get a bead on him; by the end I dug the casting completely.

It’s cool, but it’s also good, in the way Oscar winning movies are good. Go see it.

MPAA Rating PG-13
Release date 6/21/02
Time in minutes 145
Director Steven Spielberg
Studio Fox/Dreamworks