Pulp Fiction (1994): That Is a Tasty Movie

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! In just a matter of weeks, Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood” is being released in theaters, with select engagements in 35mm. But before that comes out, I wanted to look back at three previous films this cinematic powerhouse has helmed over the years. And to kick this series off, we are going to tackle one of Tarantino’s most popular and highly revered titles, “Pulp Fiction.” This flick first released in the mid 1990s and is one of his earliest attempts at creating a film. Much like his previous efforts such as “My Best Friend’s Birthday” and “Reservoir Dogs,” Tarantino also had personal credits for “Pulp Fiction” as both a writer and an actor. Without further ado, let’s start the–

*GUNSHOT*

*in Samuel L. Jackson’s voice* Motherf*–

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“Pulp Fiction” is directed by Quentin Tarantino and stars John Travolta (Grease, Welcome Back, Kotter), Uma Thurman (Batman & Robin, Gattaca), Samuel L. Jackson (Jurassic Park, The Avengers), Harvey Keitel (Taxi Driver, Thelma & Louise), Tim Roth (The Hit, The Cook), Amanda Plummer (The Fisher King, Needful Things), Maria de Medeiros (Midsummer Madness, April Captains), Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible, Bringing Out the Dead), Eric Stoltz (Mask, St. Elsewhere), Rosanna Arquette (Desperately Seeking Susan, Nowhere To Run), Christopher Walken (A View to a Kill, Batman Returns), and Bruce Willis (Moonlighting, Die Hard). This film is partially inspired by unused scenes from the 1993 flick “True Romance,” also written by Quentin Tarantino. Without going into much detail, because to be completely honest, it’s hard to talk about the plot to a certain extent without spoiling, the film involves a bunch of different people who all have one thing in common: Deadly situations at hand. You have a couple of hitmen played by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, there’s a couple who wants to rob a restaurant, etc.

I went into “Pulp Fiction” with extreme expectations. After all, many would call this movie a masterpiece. Plus, prior to seeing the whole film on Blu-ray, my dad showed me clips on YouTube 5 years ago. From what I saw, I was rather impressed. In fact, as of publishing this review, this is the only Tarantino film I have watched from start to finish. I have seen part of one of the “Kill Bill” films when it was on Starz, but that’s not really saying much, isn’t it? I also saw the “Why do I have to be Mr. Pink?” clip from “Reservoir Dogs” five years ago.

And some may even argue that I saw a short film from Quentin Tarantino. I say so because “Family Guy” once did an episode presented in the style of three directors, with the first director being Tarantino. While he was never involved with the episode, the parody is there.

How was the film? Is it the masterpiece that just about every cinephile is making it out to be? Abso-f*ckinglutely. This is screenwriting at its finest! This is set design at its finest! This is actors’ chemistry at its finest!

In fact, I owe a serious apology to what I have said about John Travolta, because I think he has made some unwise choices throughout the century. “Gotti” was his most recent example. And while this was done last century, I now have an increased amount of respect that I can give to him as an actor. Also, Samuel L. Jackson has an incredible resume based on how much work he has been able to get over the years. Out of the millions of projects he has tackled in his career, this might as well be the one with his best performance yet. And part of that has to do with his traditional mannerisms where he yells and swears in a over the top fashion, but also due to what I’ll call “perfect dialogue.”

I cannot cite the screenplay of “Pulp Fiction” from start to finish, although based on how much I enjoyed this film, a mission like that would probably be on my bucket list. There are a lot of moments, either through spoken dialogue or visuals that feel like they would randomly play out in an everyday conversation, or at least I that’s the way I would desire these moments of dialogue to play out. Because there are no points in my life that I would discuss matters involving foot massages with others, but this movie makes me want to go to my local coffee shop or restaurant with someone I know just to talk about the most random topics. It doesn’t have to be foot massages. It could probably be about toenail clippings, maybe which brand of light bulb is the most reliable, which Target store is the best for shopping? There are a ton of moments where the movie is technically sticking to the main story, but it occasionally has diversions when it comes to spoken dialogue. And none of these diversions feel forced because each one is as entertaining as the next. Aside from the foot massage scene, we get a hypnotizing moment where one character wants to order a $5 milkshake, which plays out very well based on the chemistry between the two main characters in the scene, not to mention perhaps the sense of wanting to be a part of this world. Granted, that is a bit of an inaccurate statement, because I don’t want to get shot. I don’t want to get an overdose. I don’t want to be in much danger.

BUT LOOK AT THIS JAW-DROPPING SET!

Seriously, if Tarantino imagined this, he is automatically my favorite filmmaker of all time. This is a classy, American restaurant with a lively interior, but with some unique features, one of my favorites being the car table on the right! At the start of the scene, we see John Travolta and Uma Thurman sitting across from each other chatting and eating, and a part of me just felt immersed into this other-worldly atmosphere. It was almost like watching a “Star Wars” movie if it took place on Earth! It almost reminds me of this movie theater chain that’s primarily known in New Hampshire, I’ve gone several times, but I have not been in years. If you are in northern Massachusetts, or southern New Hampshire, or if you ever heard of Chunky’s, you’d know what I’m talking about. They have this concept that combines a movie theater with a restaurant, where you can sit in car chairs at long tables. I imagine this could exist in other parts of the world, but it is a concept that is close to home for me. They have some traditional American restaurant food like… burgers. OK… this movie made me hungry.

Between this Thurman/Travolta segment and the scene in the apartment from the start of the film, “Pulp Fiction” really makes me want to go out and grab a burger. Coincidentally, I live near Boston, which has a quick bite chain called “Tasty Burger,” whose name was partially inspired by Samuel L. Jackson’s tasting of the Big Kahuna burger from this movie.

“Mmm-mmmm. That is a tasty burger.” -Jules

Another highlight from Thurvolta, as I’ll call them in this review, is something I won’t dive too deep into, but there is a scene where Uma Thurman has an overdose. And let me just say, as those around her are trying to revive her, the execution of this process is nothing short of engaging and kinda brilliant. Again, I didn’t think this was going to happen based on the type of movie this is, I kinda felt like I was there. Luckily, I was not the one with the overdose, but a third party observer.

Last but not least, and WITHOUT SPOILERS of course, because this is one of those films you have to see before you die, let’s talk about the ending. Granted, over my years of experience of going to the cinema and watching films, I saw the direction this film was tending to go towards, but it does not mean that it is not awesome. It’s one of those endings that I feel like I will remember in my last moments. Between the atmosphere, the dialogue, and the mannerisms perhaps provided through Tarantino’s direction, it was like eating an entire birthday cake and realizing you lost a ton of weight the following morning. Again, there is not much I can say about it, because a lot of people who are young will probably read this, maybe they have yet to experience the film for one reason or another. This is a film that you have to watch before you die! TAKE MY WORD FOR IT!

In the end, what else can I say about “Pulp Fiction?” It’s creative, hypnotizing, and gritty to the freaking core. I have only seen one Tarantino film from start to finish, so I cannot really call him my favorite director. But depending on how I feel about the next two films I do in this series or “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” I would not be surprised if I ultimately rank the man in my top 5 directors, or screenwriters, of all time. The man isn’t too bad at acting either. I don’t know when I am going to watch “Pulp Fiction” again, but when I do, I am gonna be grinning like an idiot. Why? This thing is freaking phenomenal. Well done to everyone involved (maybe except Harvey Weinstein)! I’m going to give “Pulp Fiction” a 10/10!

Thanks for reading this review! For those who want to know, my next Tarantino review is going to be for the 2012 film “Django Unchained,” I will be posting my thoughts on that next Monday, July 15th, which will eventually be followed by one more Tarantino review on July 22nd, stay tuned for both of those. As for new releases, I am trying to go see “Spider-Man: Far From Home” as soon as possible, maybe I’ll go Tuesday, I dunno. But on Wednesday I will be going to see the movie “Stuber” as part of an advance screening. I was gonna go see this a couple weeks ago for a Regal Crown Club screening, but due to a mish-mash of reasons, I ended up bowing out. I am however going to do my best to make this one, because I am curious to see how this film turns out. Especially when you consider that this is one of the first Fox films released under their new Disney overlords. Be sure to stay tuned for that review, along with more great content! Also, be sure to follow Scene Before through WordPress or an email! Or, if you are on social media, check out my Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Pulp Fiction?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your personal favorite Samuel L. Jackson performance? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go grab a burger.

Mission: Impossible: Fallout (2018): Tom Cruise Is A Madman!

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Your mission, should you choose to accept it, can simply be referred to as “out with the old, in with the new.” After reviewing five “Mission: Impossible” movies starring Tom Cruise, it is time to focus on a new chapter while it is still in theaters. With the same amount of Jackassery as ever, you will find some things that if you read the other Scene Before “Mission: Impossible” reviews, or even the Scene Before reviews that aren’t related to “Mission: Impossible,” they’d be like a trip down memory lane. Whether you choose to read this sitting down, standing up, or if you’re Tom Cruise, running around the world, be sure to observe every detail of the review very carefully. As always, should you or any of your Force be caught or killed, the Movie Reviewing Moron will disavow any of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

“Mission: Impossible: Fallout” is directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the director of the previous “Mission: Impossible” film, “Rogue Nation,” and stars Tom Cruise (American Made, Risky Business), Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Bringing Out the Dead), Simon Pegg (Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead), Rebecca Ferguson (Life, The Girl on the Train), Sean Harris (The Borgias, Harry Brown), Angela Bassett (Olympus Has Fallen, American Horror Story), Michelle Monaghan (Eagle Eye, Patriots Day), and Alec Baldwin (The Boss Baby, The Departed). This film is the sixth installment in the “Mission: Impossible” movie franchise that has been going on since 1996. While the plot of this film may have a familiar feel to it when compared to other installments in the franchise, there is no denying that it totally works. Now that the IMF is stable again, the same can’t be said for the world. The villain from “Rogue Nation,” Solomon Lane, has some remaining members of his terrorist organization, The Syndicate. These remaining members have now formed a new group by the name of The Apostles. Now it is up to Ethan Hunt and his allies to stop havoc from happening after The Apostles gain possession of plutonium. And no, they are not using it to power a DeLorean in order to travel through time, the reason is much more deadly.

Let me just start off this review as a flashback to those who read my stuff regularly and a newsflash to all of the newcomers or some of you viewers who don’t check out my content as much as some other people. Before the release of “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” I made an effort to get through each one of the Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” installments. This would also help me in creating my review series for all of these movies before “Fallout” was even able to be witnessed by the public. One thing I noticed is that the franchise always seems to step up their game (personally) from one installment to the next. I thought the first movie was great, the second one, stupid, the third one, alright, the fourth one, pretty good, the fifth one, f*cking fantastic. I started to wonder, how would the sixth one be? I had tremendous faith based on how much I appreciated the trailers, the positive buzz, Christopher McQuarrie being in the director’s chair again, all that sort of jazz. I was beginning to wonder to myself, given how much I enjoyed “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation,” the fifth movie in the franchise, which just so happened to be my absolute favorite, how could this be topped? Is there any possible chance that they could top the awesome opening sequence with the A400 plane? Is there any possible chance they could top all of the crazy s*it that happened in the opera house? Is there any possible chance that they could top the scene where Tom has to deal with a security system underwater? Is there any possible chance that “Mission: Impossible: Fallout” could top “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation?”

Well, it did.

Actually, ya know what? I take that previous statement back. “Mission: Impossible: Fallout” DID NOT top “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation,” it DESTROYED it. I’ve seen a lot of movies over the past few years, many of which I’ve actually reviewed here on Scene Before, and I still find it amazing that after all of the movies I’ve seen, my jaw still drops to this day at new content. This movie literally has everything an action movie should have. Some may say the story is cliche or familiar. And while I’m not gonna say that’s an unfair or invalid criticism, I’d personally say that this familiar story was very well done. In fact, I’d say the “Mission: Impossible” movies are doing what the “Transformers” movies should be doing, because both movies seem to have plots or elements of the story that repeat from movie to movie, but the thing about “Mission: Impossible” is that it is either a little less obvious, or I care more about the characters, or perhaps both. This movie has scenes that feel raw. There is reliance on actual stunts as opposed to a green screen. You have your adrenaline rushes, you have exposition that isn’t really that boring, great characters, not too many jump cuts or quick cuts, and moments you just don’t want to end.

There have been many great action movies throughout the 2010s. Some of these include “John Wick,” “Atomic Blonde,” “Skyfall,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” “Deadpool,” “Baby Driver.” Comparing “Fallout” to all of the other movies I listed, this movie beats every single one of them. A couple movies on this list, they have an action sequence that I deeply remember. In “John Wick” you have the nightclub scene where Wick basically kills everyone to some kick-ass music. You also have “Atomic Blonde” where there is this beautifully shot one-take sequence where the main character of Lorraine is basically taking everyone down on a stairwell. It was magic. A good action movie can contain a memorable sequence. But an amazing action movie can contain a bunch of sequences worth talking about. In “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” you get an awesome bathroom fight where Tom Cruise smashes a guy into a mirror. You get a killer chase in the streets where there’s cars, motorcycles, and it’s just epic. You get a great duel on a mountain near a cliff. You get what might possibly be the best chase scene of the decade, the one where there’s a duel between two helicopters. That scene is LIFE.

Seriously, that helicopter scene alone is worth the price of admission! You thought Tom Cruise hanging on the side of a plane in “Rogue Nation” was thrilling? The thrill levels only rise from there! Tom Cruise learned how to fly a helicopter for this movie! I’m not even going to get too much into the helicopter scene, because I want to savor the flavor for those who have not been exposed to the true work of art I like to call “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Although I will say once the scene started, not to mention progressed, I was on the edge of my seat with my jaw dropping. Once the scene ended, I wanted more! It was THAT GOOD. Another advantage I had with the helicopter scene is that it was one of the sequences which gave me a bigger image in IMAX theaters. I went to a local AMC which had an IMAX screen, which in reality, is not the IMAX that I would usually go for, but it’s still a very fun experience. Not to mention, since I’m a Stubs member, it was $5 ticket Tuesday so I got a pretty good deal. Once the scene began, the aspect ratio would go from scope format to covering the entire IMAX screen through a scrolling process. It was just epic! Now, without getting into spoiler territory, one thing that I didn’t complain about but I imagine some people seeing this in IMAX would probably complain about is that there is a scene that actually cuts in between moments of the helicopter chase, and the scene is in the scope aspect ratio, so there’s brief moments where you go from the bigger IMAX exclusive aspect ratio to the scope aspect ratio and back to IMAX once again. If this were “Transformers: The Last Knight,” I’d be complaining a whole lot, because all of the aspect ratio changes in that son of a bitch, just happens to be worse than finding lots of hair on a guestroom bed.

Guys, I think it’s especially clear at this point that Tom Cruise might just be one of the greatest action stars of all time! The guy is in his mid-fifties, he still looks and acts like he’s a lot younger than that, and he just commits to his craft. While I can definitely praise Cruise for his portrayal as Ethan Hunt, making it believable, charming, and an overall delight, most of my praise for Cruise has to do with his stunts. One of the reasons why I consider the “Mission: Impossible” franchise to be some of the better action movies is that this is not done on green screen sets. I actually remember hearing that Tom Cruise broke his ankle, which by the way, there’s a moment where the ankle break is caught in the movie. Not only that, but Cruise, as mentioned, learned how to fly a helicopter. He even trained awhile to do a HALO (high altitude low open) jump. This makes Cruise the first ever person to do a HALO jump on camera. There have been HALO jumps in movies before, there was one earlier this decade in “Godzilla,” but this is basically the first REAL HALO jump. It doesn’t rely as much on stock footage, CGI, green screen, none of those cheap tricks. The tricks here are f*cking expensive! These tricks are expensive enough to make this film have a $178 million budget!

Each movie in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise always seems to have at least one notable newcomer in the mix when it comes to the cast. This time, the most notable newcomer is Henry Cavill. He plays a character named August Walker. I liked a lot of things about this character. Seeing him in action was pretty cool, the chemistry he has with Ethan, not to mention Erica Sloan was definitely charming, and I also kind of dig his mustache.

Wait a minute… Should I say that? Henry Cavill had the same mustache in “Justice League” and I didn’t like that. I don’t want to look like a hypocrite!

Another personal standout character for me is also a standout from the last “Mission: Impossible” as well and that is the character of Benji played by Simon Pegg. To me, Benji just seems like a guy who would make a lovely assistant in life. If you need something done, just get Benji to help and you’re good! If you need moral support, Benji will be your cheerleader! If you need a question answered, Benji will do his best to get the best possible answer to you as soon as he can. There’s something about Benji that just makes me want to hang out with him, maybe grab some lunch. I dunno, Benji just seems like a pretty cool dude even though he may sound like a geek. Then again, I’m a geek so yeah…

One returning character is Alan Hunley, played by Alec Baldwin. At the end of “Rogue Nation” it is revealed that Hunley becomes the secretary of IMF. Here, you actually get to see Hunley in said position. Having seen this movie, I think Baldwin is definitely a good pick for this character. That previous thought probably sounds like something I would say in a review for “Rogue Nation,” but in all seriousness, given his transition from “Rogue Nation” to “Fallout,” Hunley is probably in a very believable position and Alec Baldwin continues to play his character very well. My one disappointment however, and this has nothing really much to do with the movie itself, it doesn’t affect my final verdict at all, but it is a thing that I want to bring up. There is a scene in the movie where CNN, the cable news channel, has a heavy presence. Alec Baldwin happens to play Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live.” There’s not even one point in the script that just MAYBE could have utilized a fake news joke? I do think that there are times in my life where I’d go ahead and say that I’ve had it with politics and hearing about it, but I’d probably admire the use of that sort of joke if it were to have been uttered in the movie.

And of course, we have one of my favorite cast members/characters of the film, Ving Rhames returns once again as Luther. Rhames just knows how to be charming and maintain a presence that doesn’t feel over the top. One of my favorite scenes with his character actually occurs in the start of the movie, when the plot is just beginning to unfold. Without getting into specific details, there’s this one moment where Tom Cruise is just getting pumped with rage and he basically has to take it out on someone. Rhames is trying to avoid this from happening and attempts to calm Cruise down, it’s really engaging.

In the end, there are so many things I can continuously talk about that’s related to “Mission: Impossible: Fallout” until the day I die. From the action to the twists and turns to the cinematography, there’s so much to love about this movie. But one thing that needs to be addressed is that this is pretty much the opposite of what someone like myself would expect out of a movie franchise. Usually you start off good and your future is full of inferiority. While I wouldn’t call each movie a complete step up from the one before it, most of the movies in the franchise are worthy of that label, and “Fallout,” when compared to “Rogue Nation,” to my surprise, is no exception. The first thing I said once I finished watching the movie was a slow but steady “Holy crap.” There was multiple parts where I whispered to myself “Oh my gosh.” There were several moments where my jaw dropped. Every single frame had my attention and I was totally entertained, not to mention appreciative of the genius filmmaking efforts. Towards the end of the movie, I couldn’t breathe. It was one of the best feelings I had in my life, and when I was breathing, that felt equally fulfilling. When it comes to 2018 movies, I can declare that “Mission: Impossible: Fallout” has something in common with “Ready Player One,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?.” Why? That’s because I’m gonna give “Mission: Impossible: Fallout” a 10/10! This might just be my best movie of the year so far. I can’t say for sure, because a part of me is still trying to process what exactly I just saw, but I really couldn’t help but love every minute of my kick-ass experience. One last thing I will mention, Tom Cruise has an EPIC running scene in this movie. Look forward to it! Thanks for reading this review! I’d just like to take a moment to remind my viewers that I’m going to be utilizing a Facebook page specifically dedicated to Scene Before. If you want to like it or follow it, click the link below that way you can take yourself to the page and do your thing. Also, if you guys currently have “Mission: Impossible” fever, feel free to check out my reviews for the other “Mission: Impossible” movies. Be sure to check all of that out and stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Mission: Impossible: Fallout?” What did you think about it? Or, which “Mission: Impossible” movie is your favorite of the bunch? Another question I’ll ask, what is your favorite action movie of the 2010s? I currently don’t have an answer for that as this is still certainly a contender and I am not sure where it should be ranked. But if it is not my favorite, my number one choice would something like “Inception.” Nevertheless, leave your comments below, check out my Facebook page, and be sure to follow me here on Scene Before to stay up to date on my latest reviews, countdowns, thoughts, and more! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/mission-impossible-1996-this-movie-review-will-self-destruct-in-five-seconds/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/mission-impossible-ii-2000-impossible-to-enjoy/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III REVIEW https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/mission-impossible-iii-2006-the-young-and-the-fearless-spoilers/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL REVIEW https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/mission-impossible-ghost-protocol-2011-your-movie-review-should-you-choose-to-accept-it/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION REVIEW https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/07/25/mission-impossible-rogue-nation-2015-a-revisit-to-my-first-mission-impossible-movie/

Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015): A Revisit To My First Mission: Impossible Movie

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Your mission, should you choose to accept it, has been leading up to this point. The movie reviewing community’s biggest Jackass is about to review the last available “Mission: Impossible” movie before the release of the franchise’s upcoming film, “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Your mission is to read through the review. You will eventually discover that this movie is directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who also directed another film starring this film’s lead actor, Tom Cruise, “Jack Reacher.” McQuarrie, believe it or not, will also be directing “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” making him the first director to do two “Mission: Impossible” movies. As always, should you or any of your Force be caught or killed, the Movie Reviewing Moron will disavow any of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

“Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” is directed by Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher, Way of the Gun) and stars Tom Cruise (Edge of Tomorrow, Oblivion), Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy), Simon Pegg (Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead), Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen, Hercules), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Lilo & Stitch), Sean Harris (The Borgias, Prometheus), and Alec Baldwin (The Departed, 30 Rock). This film is about IMF agent Ethan Hunt as he’s back for another round of action, as he cooperates alongside his team to take down an organization known as the Syndicate, an international rogue organization.

Back before this movie came out, I remember seeing the trailer for this film. I knew what “Mission: Impossible” was, but at the time I technically haven’t been exposed to any of its material. Having seen the trailer and hearing that this film is getting a special countdown in IMAX, I felt it was necessary to go ahead and check out this film in the IMAX format while it was still in theaters, which I did.

For all who happen to be judging me, SHUT UP! That is a PERFECTLY JUSTIFIABLE REASON! I didn’t go to use my phone! I didn’t go to fall asleep! I didn’t go to chit chat with those around me! I went for the experience! Speaking of the experience, I had a really fun time, therefore making me really excited to watch this movie again on Blu-ray, especially considering it has been nearly three years since my first watch. And guys, let me just tell you, out of all the “Mission: Impossible” movies I’ve seen thus far, this is definitely my absolute favorite in the franchise!

Over the past number of days, I’ve been thinking to myself, “Mission: Impossible” is just like “Fast & Furious,” the movies just get better as they go on. The main difference however between “Mission: Impossible” and “Fast & Furious” however is that when it comes to overall quality, it feels like that is something that more associated with the “Mission: Impossible” franchise. Both movies have similar feels that will give adrenaline rushes, but “Mission: Impossible” feels a lot like a movie made for smarter audiences. I’m not saying those who go see “Fast & Furious” are stupid, I enjoy those movies, and one of my personal friends from Texas has a huge fascination towards the franchise. But what I am saying is that when it comes to “Mission: Impossible” and “Fast & Furious,” two franchises that if you look at them, have many similarities, I’d say that “Mission: Impossible” comes off as more than just popcorn entertainment. “Fast & Furious” feels ludicrous, maybe that’s because it’s lighthearted and while perhaps there is stuff at stake, you as an audience member might be more focused on chewing on your popcorn. As I watch “Mission: Impossible” however, I’m absolutely curious to know more about it. Maybe because Tom Cruise has built this reputation of being the biggest daredevil action star of his generation, but when I watch these films, they don’t feel like products meant to feed to the throats of the masses (except “Mission: Impossible II”), these feel like movies. I seriously want to know about these characters because I truly deeply care about them, for example, Ethan Hunt! How could I not care about him at this point?

Ethan Hunt is great once again in this movie, I totally bought Tom Cruise as him, and I think I cared about his character here just about as much as I did in the first one. When it comes to his character, I wouldn’t necessarily say that my appreciation towards Cruise not specifically to just Hunt himself, but I rooted for him. The way his mission is set up in this movie is brilliant, awesome, and kind of sets the stage for what’s to come. Without going into detail, the terrorist organization Hunt is supposed up against, the Syndicate, just became a whole lot more threatening in just a short matter of exposition. However, they’re not the only thing standing in Hunt’s way. Again, without going into detail, Hunt is pursued by the CIA in this movie.

Speaking of Tom Cruise and Ethan Hunt, let’s talk about one of the most disturbing scenes I’ve watched in any movie. This scene might be more disturbing than most horror movies! Remember how in the first “Mission: Impossible” Ethan had to go down into this restricted area on a wire? It might be the most famous scene in all of the “Mission: Impossible” movies. As much as I love this scene, I think I have a much softer spot for another scene in “Rogue Nation.” There’s a scene that is conceptually similar to the famous wire scene in the first movie that appears in this one. But the thing about this scene, is that while Hunt is supposed to go into a restricted area for the sake of completing a mission. And as if this task weren’t already heavy enough, it involves constantly being in an area that’s UNDERWATER. I felt like I was on the edge of my seat during this scene! I am just amazed that five movies in, I STILL manage to feel like this is the original production and I’m watching this franchise for the very first time. Then again, maybe not, because I’ve seen Ethan Hunt grow as a character, therefore I care about him a lot more than I would than if I saw him for the first time (depending on the scenario).

I will say that there are definitely action movies out there that rely on entertaining audiences simply on great action, and maybe leaving story as an afterthought. I wouldn’t say that when it comes to “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation.” The story in this movie is pretty solid, I cared about the characters and where this movie happened to be going. But the action scenes in this movie are nothing short of top notch.

You know how I said that the exposition for the Syndicate really set the tone for what’s to come? Well, I was referring to a moment after the opening credits in a record shop. There is one scene that takes place before the opening credits involving a plane, and my gosh, it is one of the best openings to a movie I’ve ever seen. Everything from the cinematography, the music, the writing, it kind of gives you tension as an audience member, I just ate it up! Afterwards, the movie does its opening credits, and while I will give “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” some credit for being the most creative opening of the “Mission: Impossible” movies, I thought this opening might have been better. It’s a lot like the first movie’s opening, but the music is slightly different. While I did praise the first movie’s opening because it had a TV show feel, I may sound like a hypocrite here, but I really don’t care, this one deserves my praise for its movie feel. With five installments that are technically movies and not TV shows, I personally think that’s a fair sentiment to have.

Speaking of scenes with vehicles, let’s take about that scene where Tom Cruise rides a motorcycle! It’s awesome! It’s quite an amazing ride! Seeing Cruise blaze through the streets in this bad boy is nothing short of a treat, and it’s definitely better than that climax in “Mission: Impossible II.”

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One last scene I’m gonna talk about is the action sequence inside the Vienna State Opera. Before this whole scene begins, there is one line uttered by Ethan to Simon Pegg’s character of Benji that I will probably use so many times for the rest of my life.

“You want drama? Go to the opera.”

And drama there was indeed! This is one of the slower-paced scenes in the movie, but it completely worked. The intensity got higher and higher by the second, it was almost as if I didn’t know what was going to happen even though I watched this movie once, and it just reminds me why I think opera might be an underrated art form. In fact, this scene probably wouldn’t have worked if there was a different form of music. If this were a pop concert or jazz band or something, there would be a lot less intensity. The scene might still work and be effective, but it wouldn’t have that oomph that it got here.

In the end, “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” is DEFINITELY the best the franchise has had to offer in all of its movies. Tom Cruise shines as Ethan Hunt, supporting cast members like Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin, Rebecca Ferguson, and Simon Pegg all do a great job as well. The direction and screenplay was probably what I’d want out of a summer blockbuster such as this, and speaking of that, Christopher McQuarrie, a screenwriter and the director behind this film, has his name on the credits of the next film, “Fallout,” which is set to come out not long after this post’s publication, once again in the director’s chair and as a screenwriter. Given the job he has done on this movie, it makes me extremely faithful in this upcoming installment. I’m going to give “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” a 9/10. Thanks for reading this review! Be sure to stay tuned for my review of “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” This completes my series of older Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” movie reviews, most of the movies have been good, one although has been a near-death experience. And I don’t know how long it’ll take me to get my “Fallout” review up and ready to go, but I’m making sure I can do it as soon as possible. As for other series’ of older movies I can review, I wanted to do a Jason Statham series since “The Meg” comes out August 10th, but I wanted to do one movie per week, and I’m not quite sure I actually have the time for that, so that’s cancelled. If I do come up with another series of older movie reviews, I’ll make an announcement in a future post, until then, stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what are your thoughts on “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation?” Or, have you gotten a chance to see “Mission: Impossible: Fallout?” Tell me your thoughts on that! Also, if you want to check out my other “Mission: Impossible” reviews, links to those will be provided below! Check em out, follow me, enjoy your day, all that jazz! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/mission-impossible-1996-this-movie-review-will-self-destruct-in-five-seconds/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/mission-impossible-ii-2000-impossible-to-enjoy/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III REVIEW https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/mission-impossible-iii-2006-the-young-and-the-fearless-spoilers/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL REVIEW https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/mission-impossible-ghost-protocol-2011-your-movie-review-should-you-choose-to-accept-it/

Mission: Impossible III (2006): The Young and the Fearless *SPOILERS*

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read the third review in some jackass’s series. The series can go by a number of names, might not even go by a name at all, but it makes up of all “Mission: Impossible” films starring Tom Cruise. If this mission is unacceptable to you, there are other “Mission: Impossible” films which the particular jackass has reviewed prior to this one. Those include the two films released earlier in the franchise, also starring Tom Cruise. As always, should you or any of your Force be caught or killed, the Movie Reviewing Moron will disavow any of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/mission-impossible-1996-this-movie-review-will-self-destruct-in-five-seconds/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/mission-impossible-ii-2000-impossible-to-enjoy/

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“Mission: Impossible III” is directed by JJ Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lost) and stars Tom Cruise (The Last Samurai, The Firm), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Almost Famous, The Big Lebowski), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Lilo & Stitch), Billy Crudup (Big Fish, Princess Mononoke), Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Bourne Supremacy), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Match Point, Vanity Fair), Keri Russell (Felicity, Malibu Shores), Maggie Q (Nikita, Live Free or Die Hard), and Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, Mystic River). This film is about Ethan Hunt, who is marrying Michelle Monaghan’s character of Julia, while at the same time, he has to face an arms dealer who threatens both him and the girl whom Hunt intends to marry.

This is my third installment in my Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” review series. I’ve already covered my thoughts on the first installment, which I thoroughly enjoyed and the more I think about it, the better it actually gets. The second movie, honestly was a fail and a half. It had some neat cinematography and some neat action with real cuts added to Cruise’s face during the final fight by the way. The “Mission: Impossible” movies, regardless of how good or bad they are when watching them, can become more interesting once you take a gander at the work put into them. This third installment is no exception. Tom Cruise once again does his own stunts, very pleasing to hear personally. This is also the first feature film directed by JJ Abrams, and its budget believe it or not is quite an expensive one for a first time feature film director coming in around $150 million. And the best part about this movie is that it is better than “Mission: Impossible II.” However, it does not mean that this film is perfect. I’ve actually watched the film in two sittings. I did so for two reasons. First, the Celtics-Cavs Eastern Conference Finals game was on. Second, I was kind of bored during the first half-hour at times. As I watched this movie, there were some times where I almost thought about checking out. I came close, but I survived. The story of the movie is nothing I raved about, in fact at times I almost got angry with it because it didn’t feel like an action movie like it’s supposed to be and felt more like a soap opera at times. And there’s your reason for my review title “The Young and the Fearless.” I may be cheating with this because I never watched the whole movie, but it kind of reminded me of “Jaws: The Revenge,” but nowhere near as excessive or terrible.

Say what you want about JJ Abrams. I know a friend who saw his “Star Trek” reboot, she’s a massive “Star Trek” fan and couldn’t be more dissatisfied with it. I am a huge “Star Wars” lover and I found his film, “The Force Awakens” to be one of the best “Star Wars” films ever made. Regardless of how pissed my friend is about “Star Trek” and how happy I am about “Star Wars,” I found “Mission: Impossible III” to kind of be in between those two in terms of the score. Ultimately, “Mission: Impossible III” is somewhere around the average range.

“Mission: Impossible: III” serves its purpose as an action movie where Tom Cruise kicks ass and takes names. Although with that comes some moments where you wonder how much longer the movie has left in terms of runtime and a relationship you kind of WANT to care about, but simultaneously when it comes to that part of the movie you can’t help not giving a single s*it. I buy into the chemistry between Cruise and Monaghan’s characters, but if I had to pick something that I believe deteriorates the film’s overall quality and my ability to fully enjoy it, that would be the #1 aspect of the film I’d choose.

In fact, when it comes to this movie, my favorite things about it have nothing to do with story and characters. I like the characters in the movie, but the real thing that keeps this movie going is the action, Michael Giacchino’s awesome score, and something I never usually point out, the lighting. The lighting in this movie is vivid and colorful at times and felt very suitable for a modern day action flick such as this one. His version of the “Mission: Impossible” theme is similar to Danny Elfman’s, who did the theme for the 1996 “Mission: Impossible” film. And honestly, it’s just as good, which is saying something because I really do admire Danny Elfman’s theme. I also gotta say that when it comes to choosing someone to score this movie, Michael Giacchino’s a great pick, because this is the same guy who did the score for 2004’s “The Incredibles,” and thinking about both intellectual properties, the ideal music I’d think of when it comes to both sound rather similar to each other. I mean, over the years, Giacchino has shown that he has more range in his music than the sounds and visions presented in “The Incredibles” and “Mission: Impossible: III,” but if I heard Giacchino was announced to do the score for this movie back in the 2000s and I had already seen “The Incredibles,” I’d be completely sold.

I know I already said a lot about Tom Cruise, but seriously, I gotta give credit where credit is undoubtedly due, the dude can act, he can do stunts, he can do action, just give him any movie script and he can automatically make the movie better. I will say though, as much as it is a treat to see the character of Ethan Hunt on screen, I wouldn’t say his reasons for having anything to do with the movie made him shine like a star. He, just like a lot of the characters in this film for the most part, feel somewhat wasted. There’s something about them, but I can’t put my finger on what exactly that something could be.

And while I will say that most of the characters feel like they don’t stand out, one character who not only stands out, but also stands tall is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character of Owen Davian. I… LOVE. THIS GUY. If I weren’t into the technical aspects of movies or action and mainly focused around movie characters, Owen Davian, the film’s main villain, was spectacular in just about every sense of the word. His interactions with other characters, his threatening presence that you as a viewer are automatically subjected to during the film’s beginning, and Hoffman’s performance. Davian is probably my favorite character in the movie, and I gotta say, RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman, you knocked this character out of the park.

Last but not least, this is getting into spoiler territory, so you have been warned. But I want to talk about how Hoffman dies in this movie. He and Cruise are fighting each other and it’s kinda thrilling. They’re outside, and at one point, Cruise is lying on the road. Hoffman is on top of him. Then this truck comes in, it’s very fast, and SHABANG! It makes contact with Hoffman, Cruise is lying under it avoiding the possibility of getting ran over, then seconds later, you see a black shoe that is obviously Hoffman’s. F*cking brilliant. That death is perhaps the one of funniest I’ve seen in the movie, at least for a major villain. The only thing that would make the death funnier is if the truck actually happened to be an ice cream truck playing music, or when Hoffman got hit, you’d hear a Wilhelm scream.

In the end, “Mission: Impossible III” is definitely a much more watchable movie than the gosh-awful “Mission: Impossible II.” Tom Cruise is great, JJ Abrams had a great movie directorial debut, and I have to praise a lot of the technical aspects of the film as well. However, this movie to me does have its issues, and the issues absolutely deteriorate the score. As much as I appreciate the script being about character building, I just wanted more action. And somehow when I was going through the action, it just didn’t satisfy me. I felt like it was just going on for a tad too long in certain sequences. That’s just me though. So for now, I say for now, because this definitely might change in the future depending on what happens. I’m going to give “Mission: Impossible III” a 6/10. This is not a bad movie, very enjoyable indeed, and I’d probably give it another watch in the future, but if the movie adjusts a few things here and there, the score would definitely boost. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’ll have my review up for “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” I’m seeing that movie tonight and as I promised, I’ll have my review for it up tomorrow. As for other reviews, I still have to see “Deadpool 2,” I might go see a movie this weekend, maybe that’ll be the one, we’ll have to see. But summer’s comin’, which only means I have a lot more free time, and a lot more content that can definitely be produced. So with that in mind, stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what are your thoughts on “Mission: Impossible III?” Or, as sick as a question as this may sound, I’m somewhat curious to know your opinions on this. What is the funniest death you’ve ever seen in a movie? Now don’t kill me for saying that, I have no motivation to kill any of you, so I don’t see why you should have a motivation for doing the same to me. If you all have a perfectly sane mindset, just jot your thoughts down in the comments section, I’d appreciate hearing them. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Mission: Impossible II (2000): Impossible To Enjoy

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read through some jackass’s review of “Mission: Impossible II.” Make sure you read through everything if your enjoyment levels are high. If your enjoyment levels are not high, please seek some counseling or other reading material. This is one of five reviews being done in preparation for the same jackass’s review for “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” As always, should you or any of your Force be caught or killed, the Movie Reviewing Moron will disavow any of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

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“Mission: Impossible II” is directed by John Woo (Hard Boiled, The Killer), stars Tom Cruise (Risky Business, Top Gun), Dougray Scott (Ever After: A Cinderella Story, Deep Impact), and Thandie Newton (Gridlock’d, Beloved) in the sequel to the 1996 mega-hit “Mission: Impossible.” The first movie took a popular TV show, brought it to the big screen with Tom Cruise as the star, and a lot of people ate it up. So naturally, a sequel was released four years later, and this time there’s a genetically modified disease that goes by the name of Chimera. The creator of this disease is killed and stolen by IMF agent Sean Ambrose. Now it is up to Ethan Hunt and Nyah Nirdoff-Hall to go undercover and find out whatever they can about the disease. It’s not an easy task, but if the task is completed, the disease can eventually be brought down.

This movie is the sequel to the highly successful “Mission: Impossible” released in 1996. During its theatrical run it made a final box office total of over $457 million worldwide. This final result made it the third highest-grossing film of the year, just below “Twister,” sitting at #2, and “Independence Day,” taking the cake at the #1 spot. “Mission: Impossible” also made more than any motion picture release from Disney that year, which if your film is doing that nowadays, it says something. Four Disney films released that year were in the worldwide box office’s top 10 by the way. The Disney releases included “The Rock,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” live-action “101 Dalmatians,” and “Ransom.” Now it’s 2000, and “Mission: Impossible II” is on the horizon. Once it came out, guess what happened? It made more than the original! It made a worldwide total of over $546 million. According to Wikipedia, this film’s reviews were “mixed to positive.” Me personally, I felt like I was getting cavities filled on all my teeth at once, so I really did not enjoy what I saw. I did a couple things related to this review before I saw the movie (mainly some stuff that wouldn’t require me to watch the movie), but once I got down to the nitty-gritty, I kind of forgot what I just witnessed on screen. It’s kinda like a dream, ya know. Unless the dream is truly significant depending on what the dream is, not to mention when, and maybe where it happens, or if you keep track of your dreams in a journal, you won’t remember anything about it. I could just say that this is a fun action movie, and at times it is, but a movie like “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” was a fun action movie. Not to mention, it was also a more memorable and admirable sequel than this. This kind of feels like a fun movie, but also made because the studio likes money.

Tom Cruise is the star of this movie as Ethan Hunt, and yes, he is fun to watch without any doubt whatsoever. But sadly, he might be one of the only good things you remember about this movie. Seeing Cruise in various action sequences is a delight, but when it comes to him as a character, talking to other people, that’s when the movie’s weaknesses start to show.

And I feel like this is why the movie falls flat on its face as an overall product, Cruise steals the show as an action star, and the scenes where action is happening sometimes stand out positively like a t-rex in a museum. But when it comes to any sort of moment that needs to trigger with the audience’s thoughts, emotions, anything like that, the movie just doesn’t know what to do. There’s some great direction, some great cinematography, and if you find out some what happens behind the scenes when it comes to the action sequences, the movie might just get better. If you’re coming into this movie, expecting some great character moments, times where you can root for everybody on screen, scenes where there are stakes, that’s not going to happen, at least that’s not what I felt happened.

One of the worst parts of the movie is the romance between Ethan Hunt and another character who goes by the name of Nyah Nirdoff-Hall. I don’t own this movie on DVD, my only source of watching this movie is a Blu-ray disc which is part of a 4 movie “Mission: Impossible” collection, and on the case I have dedicated to said collection, it doesn’t give a single full description for one of the movies. But according to the DVD, it describes the character of Nyah Nirdoff-Hall as “beautiful.” Sadly, that’s the only thing they got right about her. Other than her beauty, nothing else really stood out about her. I kind of bought her as a spy, but there were times I didn’t care about her, I didn’t buy the romance between her and Ethan. That side of the story improved a bit towards the climax, but during the beginning it sucked. It felt really forced, and it almost reminded me of Anakin and Padme in “Star Wars Episode II.” It’s two people who are working together, and somehow they force themselves into a romance because, well, apparently there’s nothing better that can be put in the script! If you had to one day ask me what Nyah was like, I’d either answer to you, “What are you talking about?”, “Who is this?”, or “A Bond Girl.”

You know how in all the “James Bond” stories they have a girl in there that’s basically exclusive to that story? Well, that’s what Nyah feels like to me. And as I do research on this movie, I feel like I like her less. Because this movie actually made a chase scene which was basically inspired by a race featured in “Goldeneye” between Bond and Xenia Onatopp. I can’t talk too much about it considering how I haven’t watched “Goldeneye,” but on IMDb’s trivia page dedicated to “Mission: Impossible II,” it suggests what I just said. It just feels like the crew behind this movie didn’t have any idea how they can define Nyah through an original thought. They just said, “Hey! A lot of people like James Bond, let’s put some of its s*it into our movie!” I’m not saying that “Mission: Impossible” and “Bond” aren’t similar in ways, but I am saying that if you aren’t careful, you can become a ripoff.

I could talk about the villain. But you know what? He’s forgettable. So let’s move on. Enough said.

As suggested, the action in this film is great at times, but then there are times when it just gets–um–yeah I don’t give a f*ck about my life anymore, this movie is s*it! The action just gets so silly and stupid that it’s hilarious!

There comes a point in the movie, that Ethan Hunt and Sean Ambrose are on motorcycles. You can BARELY tell who is who. I was almost even questioning which person I was looking at during certain moments of the film! It was kind of like “The Girl on the Train!” You ever seen that movie? I know, f*cking bats*it crazy! I can let that complaint slide, because it’s more on the nitpicky side, but I don’t know if I should be complaining more about that, or about what I’m going to explain to y’all. Although I will say, part of me… is doing cartwheels of excitement over this! So there’s a point where both bikers stop, they’re looking at each other on their vehicles, and after preparing their motors, they charge forth! Each operator hopes they can annihilate their opponent, both do a wheelie, when all of sudden, they jump off their bikes, making contact with each other, getting violent as they fall off a cliff, all the while both bikes explode, as both beings land on the sand, and they get back up in little to no time whatsoever!

That scene… may have been worth the watch. It’s one of the STUPIDEST things ever, but at the same time, one of the FUNNIEST things ever. But yeah, I gotta say it, f*ck this movie!

In the end, “Mission: Impossible II” was impossible to like. There were several scenes of boredom that made me avoid enjoying myself. Some of the stuff behind the scenes may improve the movie a little bit, but when it comes to the script, that’s the Achilles Heel. “Mission: Impossible II” honestly just feels like a studio film. Created solely just to make money. Maybe some passion was put into it, but based on what was presented to me, I wasn’t able to see any of that passion. This movie took out elements of what made the prior one enjoyable, such as the layers behind it, the characterization, etc, and just stuck to action. Stupid. I’m gonna give “Mission: Impossible II” a 3/10. I enjoy action movies, and I also enjoy Tom Cruise, but this movie felt like an impossible mission to get through. I have heard though that this movie is rather divisive so I’m curious to know some thoughts from the people who actually enjoyed the movie.

Thanks for reading this review! Since next month is May, that means I’ll have another “Mission: Impossible” review for you all to read, this time I’ll be doing “Mission: Impossible III,” directed by JJ Abrams, who according to one of my best friends, “ruined ‘Star Trek'” and according to another group of people I know, “saved ‘Star Wars’.” So I’m interested to see where Abrams is going with this movie. Speaking of “Mission: Impossible,” if you want to read my review for the first Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” film, the link to that is down at the end of this post.

Also if you are bored and want to read something that I promise you won’t have spoilers that will ruin the entire meaning of your life, check out my review for “Avengers: Infinity War.” Click the red box below if you want to read it. If you’re reading this and this is the last post I made, you’ll only see one red box and that’s the one you should click on. If you’re reading this and this is not the last post I made, click the red box on the bottom left. Stay tuned for more great content, should you choose to accept it! I want to know, did you see “Mission: Impossible II?” What did you think about it? Where do you personally stand on this movie’s divide? Or, do you think I’m too hard on Nyah Nirdoff-Hall? I mean, she is gorgeous and the movie certainly gets that notion right, but I seriously want to know your thoughts! Leave a comment below, and I just hope I enjoy “Mission: Impossible III” more than I enjoyed “Mission: Impossible II.” Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/mission-impossible-1996-this-movie-review-will-self-destruct-in-five-seconds/

Mission: Impossible (1996): This Movie Review Will Self-Destruct In Five Seconds

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read through the first of the “Mission: Impossible” reviews from Scene Before. More are on the way, such as “Mission: Impossible 2,” a movie whose review shall be published a month after this one. As always, should you or any of your Force be caught or killed, the Movie Reviewing Moron will disavow any of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

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“Mission: Impossible” is directed by Brian De Palma (The Untouchables, Dressed to Kill) and stars Tom Cruise (Top Gun, Risky Business) as an American agent who goes by the name Ethan Hunt. In this movie which is inspired by the television series of the same name, Hunt must find out who framed him for murder of the entire Impossible Missions Force.

This is the first movie of the ongoing Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” series, and I imagine there’s a good number of people out there like myself who has seen this movie or another movie in the series and couldn’t compare it to the original TV series. As far as which incarnation is better, I can’t say, but I can say that this movie is super thrilling! Let’s dive into it a bit deeper.

The movie starts off with the crew on a mission. One character, Jack, played by Emilio Estevez (Young Guns, Repo Man), is watching the surveillance, doing his job, and we see one guy in a white tank top being interrogated. The guy asking all the questions is Tom Cruise who eventually reveals his true self, Ethan Hunt by taking his snobby, Spanish-looking Agent Smith mask off. We see Tom Cruise going over to Claire, played by Emmanuelle Béart (Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud, 8 Women), injecting a needle, then we hear Claire, all bloodied up, asking Ethan, “Did we get it?” Ethan responds, “We got it.” Great exchange, great timing, and a great transition to the title sequence featuring the endlessly famous “Mission: Impossible” theme song. Just… perfect. That’s all I gotta say. The intro doesn’t really show all too much except for major characters, but the transition from the intro to the main events of the movie probably couldn’t have been done better.

The “Mission: Impossible” theme used for this movie by the way, was composed by none other than Danny Elfman, and if you have known me, I love Danny Elfman. I will say that sometimes his scores are somewhat underwhelming and don’t deliver the goods that they should (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Justice League), but when his scores are well done from my personal view, they stand out like Marilyn Monroe in a beauty pageant. Elfman from my personal view did a fine job on the movie’s score and this is definitely one of his better ones. Although one interesting thing about it is that it wasn’t supposed to be his.

Alan Silvestri, another terrific composer who has new work coming out in films such as “Ready Player One,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “The Women of Marwen,” was originally supposed to do the score, but his was ultimately rejected. That’s not to say that Danny Elfman made a bad score, I think it is very well done. But I listened to Alan Silvestri’s “Mission: Impossible” theme, and I think it is an interesting rival to Elfman’s. For how this movie turned out, I gotta say that Elfman’s is a bit more appropriate for something like this, but Silvestri’s is just killer. The reason why Elfman’s theme works for this movie is because the movie had an intro that made it feel like we were watching TV, and his song was short and effective. Silvestri’s felt really grand and epic at times, especially with the drums. I’ve been looking around online and I don’t think there’s been a single announcement as to who will officially score “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Silvestri’s got some stuff up his sleeve as we speak, but I would love to see him come back and score this upcoming movie with the use of his own theme that would have been inserted back in 1996 if no conflict got in the way. By the way, be sure to let me know which of the two “Mission: Impossible” themes you prefer: Elfman’s or Silvestri’s.

Funny thing about these themes is, I gave a compliment to the Elfman one for feeling like a TV show and that is something I usually DON’T want in my movies. The rest of the movie feels like a film, but with this TV-like theme, I can’t help but praise it.

Now I talked a little bit about Tom Cruise here, but I can’t really say I’ve dived into too much depth about him. Tom Cruise’s character of Ethan Hunt has defined the movie and Cruise probably had no idea how much this character would make a newfound path in his acting career. Cruise delivers a fine performance as Hunt in this movie. It’s believable, you feel his pain, you buy him as this agent and his performance maintains a fine line between fun and serious which totally worked for the movie. A couple of other standout characters include Luther, played by Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, ER) and Jim Phelps, played by Jon Voight.

Fun fact about Jon Voight by the way, he would have never been in this movie if it weren’t for one thing. Believe it or not, Voight wasn’t the goto as for who would be cast as this character. If you watch the original show and its revival (where he appears as only original cast member to return), you’d know that the character of Phelps is played by none other than Peter Graves and there was a point where he found out about some actions that his character did in the movie. Once he found out about them, he didn’t want to be a part of the project.

Now let’s get to the best part of the movie, and it is probably the part that you all know about if you’ve seen the film, or maybe even if you haven’t seen it, and it’s the wire sequence. Like, holy crap! This is my second time watching this movie, and my jaw literally dropped! Tom’s performance in here is pristine! He’s silent, he’s mentally terrified, but also somewhat determined. The suspense levels during this scene just happens to be unbelievable! It has the environment, if you can call it that, of a library, but it also has the feel of a boxing match! I talked about the music in this movie and how well done it was, but there’s barely any music during this sequence and the movie as a whole is all the better for it! Just… wow! My favorite Tom Cruise movie is “Risky Business,” but if you ask me which scene from a Tom Cruise movie might be the best, this one, I cannot guarantee is my favorite, but it’s certainly a contender, I need to probably make a conclusive list before I decide whether or not it is my favorite.

Also, it’s not just Tom Cruise who has the spotlight here in this scene, some of it is given to a minor character by the name of William Donloe, played by Rolf Saxon (Saving Private Ryan, Woman in Gold). In this scene, he headed to the secure area where Cruise is downloading files, but the fact that he pretty much had a bad meal allows Cruise, conveniently, to carry on the mission with slightly less worries.

In the end, “Mission: Impossible” the second time around actually turned out to be better than the first time. I didn’t hate it the first time, but I’m just saying. “Mission: Impossible” is certainly a fun movie, but at the same time, somewhat dramatic. The tone works overall. On one hand you have a story where the main character has to deal with his crew dying, and on the other hand, you have a story where that same character fights someone on a train with a wind machine going at 140 miles per hour so his face gets distorted, a speed so fast that Tom Cruise himself approved of it because wind at that speed could possibly knock him off the train. The more I find out about this movie and the more I think about it, the more interesting it gets. I’m gonna give “Mission: Impossible” an 8/10. This in my mind, is currently a low 8 on a scale of 1-10, but this could increase overtime. It would probably be a 7 though if less passion were injected and less standout moments and characters were inserted into the final product. I’m honestly willing to bet that next time I’ll watch it, I’ll like it even more. And speaking of products…

*SPONSORSHIP ALERT* (although I’m not getting paid)

Call kids what you may. You can call them what I just said, or you can call them children, offspring, products of two parents, etcetera. You might as well say these products are newly realized each and every day. And one day, the realization will arrive to a male and a female. For example, a gal named Genevieve, and a guy named Paul, will achieve that realization in a number of months. But before that, they had to suffer through the seemingly neverending process, which might as well now be a neverending story, of something that their child will ultimately thank them for. Making them. This is all explained… in “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF?” is a relatively new series and channel on YouTube, where Genevieve and Paul document their time trying to have a baby. To them, the journey is hard, but they “keep effing trying” as they face tiny victories, but also enormous losses. Get ready for the drama between the two as they encounter problematic situations in sex, testing, wasting money on everything that’s needed for impregnation, and needles so sharp they might as well kill you! Their latest episode listed above is the fourth episode in the series and it is a deep dive on trying to conceive! You see the couple going to Dollar Tree and buying pregnancy tests, Genevieve utilizing an app that might as well be a diary she never wanted, and a shoutout to the drink Surge! By the way, this is a late announcement, but if you haven’t heard, they actually brought the drink back! Just a fun fact because I’m not sure if everyone is aware! To catch up on the latest episodes regarding Genevieve and Paul’s adventure to conception, click the link below to their YouTube channel, be sure to subscribe, like, click the bell, whatever it takes to make them happy without buying something for their baby. Also, be sure to check out their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and their website! All the links are down below, and if check all of this stuff out, be sure to let them know that Jack Drees sent you over!

WTIVF? WEBSITE: http://www.whattheivf.com/

WTIVF? YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCILXSidkzWgwrQ5Oa1py78w/featured?disable_polymer=1

WTIVF? TWITTER: https://twitter.com/WTivF

WTIVF? INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/wtivf/

WTIVF? FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/What-The-IVF-288868031634125/

Thanks for reading this review! April is on the way! “Ready Player One” is out! I’m probably gonna catch it in 70mm! Quite a time to be alive! Not only that, but April will also be the month where I continue this series of reviews and focus on “Mission: Impossible II!” Stay tuned for that, and also I want to let everyone know that I made a part 2 to a post I made back in November which got a decent amount of hits, “What the Heck Is Up with Justice League?” In this new post, I talk about the movie’s box office total, how it is shockingly low for the kind of movie it is, and I even give a sense of wonder as to where the Detective Comics Extended Universe could be going from here. The link to that is down below, be sure to check it out, and be sure to follow me here on WordPress so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see the 1996 “Mission: Impossible?” Let me know your thoughts if you did! Do you think the movies or the TV shows are superior? I actually kinda really want to know since I never watched the show on TV. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

WHAT THE HECK IS UP WITH JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017)? *PART 2*: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/03/24/what-the-heck-is-up-with-justice-league-2017-part-2/

Father Figures (2017): A Very Bastardizing Film

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“Father Figures” is directed by Lawrence Sher in his directorial debut. This guy has done cinematography for movies such as “The Hangover,” “War Dogs,” and the 2005 film adaptation of “The Dukes of Hazzard.” The film stars Owen Wilson (Cars, Wedding Crashers), Ed Helms (The Office, Vacation), JK Simmons (Whiplash, Juno), Katt Williams (Norbit, Scary Movie 5), Terry Bradshaw (The Cannonball Run, Failure to Launch), Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible, Pulp Fiction), and also features Christopher Walken (The Jungle Book, The Deer Hunter), along with Glenn Close. This film’s about two fraternal twins who find out the truth about their allegedly dead father has been a lie. The information concerning this has been hidden by their mother for years, leading to the twins going out to seek their real father.

I first heard about this film back in 2016, and I was wondering for a while, “What happened to this film?” Well, here it is now. Why did I hear about it that early? Turns out there was a trailer for a comedy that was supposed to release in January of this year, AKA this exact film, and at the end, we see a title card with the word “Bastards.” The name does make sense considering the technical definition for a bastard is a child whose birthparents weren’t married at the time of the child’s birth, which is true to the twins in the movie. Although I’m willing to bet they changed the name to “Father Figures” because to some people it might be weird walking around and talking about a movie called “Bastards” since the word is associated with vulgarity. Who’s they? I don’t know. I’m willing to bet it’s either the director or the studio, one of those two. Nevertheless, I think this movie shouldn’t have been called “Father Figures.” I don’t even think it should be called “Bastards.” You know what it should be called? “Bastard.” Just “Bastard.” And that’s because this movie felt like a total bastard! This is probably the worst comedy I’ve seen all year! This movie brought almost two hours of inglorious bastardization into my life!

I would like to take a second to apologize to Quentin Tarantino, I just probably ingloriously bastardized him if you know what I mean.

I’ve seen a number of s*itty comedies in 2017, but even at the end of the year, I’m still coming across them. I think I found the pinnacle of s*it when it comes to this year in comedy. “Father Figures” is a f*cking bastard and I’m about to tell you why in just a second! But before I go into why, let me go over some of the other crap I’ve seen this year when it comes to comedy.

First off, we have “Snatched,” which I saw in May. The movie’s about a mother and daughter going away to paradise, which doesn’t end up going well because they get captured and some other s*it happens. I knew going into this particular film it was going to be bad, but there was one really funny scene and there was a character that I kind of liked.

Next we have “How to Be a Latin Lover,” which was just awkward as hell to watch. It’s about a guy who is dumped by his elderly wife. He has to move in with his sister, played by Salma Hayek, and adjust to normal society after living a spoiled life. I bought the movie used for $9.99 on Blu-ray, which isn’t too bad of a deal for a Blu-ray if you ask me, but I still suffered through the unfunny jokes and awkward story full of mostly unlikable characters.

I also saw “Fist Fight,” which admittedly, is nowhere near as unwatchable as the other two films I mentioned, but is still something I would say technically qualifies as a waste of time. What’s the plot? Just take the basic idea of “Three O’Clock High” and make the teachers fight instead of the students. I just thought it contained too many predictable attempts at humor and forced sex jokes.

I’d probably rather watch any of these comedies before “Father Figures.” “How to Be a Latin Lover” is a tad debatable but in reality, “Father Figures” is just a comedy that should have never been made. I will admit, when I saw the first trailer for the film released in 2016, part of me was looking forward to this movie. Sure, I like Owen Wilson. Sure, I like Ed Helms. There’s someone I admire more in this movie compared to them, specifically JK f*cking Simmons! JK’s one of my favorite actors of all time! And if you put him in, well, anything for that matter, I’ll watch it. You can even put him in a movie called “Don’t Watch This Piece of Crap,” it can be eight minutes including credits, it can be a guy bloodied up screaming for help on pavement, and I’ll still check it out because JK Simmons was in it. Granted, I don’t think his performance was that bad. In fact, I have to say it’s one of the more redeemable parts of the entire film.

Speaking of likable performances. Terry Bradshaw was playing himself in this film. It almost gave me a similar vibe to seeing Sam Jones in “Ted” based on the chemistry between him and the two main characters.

Moving onto our recently suggested main characters, we have Kyle, played by Owen Wilson, alongside Peter, played by Ed Helms. Seeing these two together, I can somewhat buy into them being twins, but the whole ride they take during the movie was just a wreck. Neither of them are funny, they have a couple of moments where they disagree with each other and get in arguments, I just wanted to leave at some points instead of watch the duo compare themselves to one another every now and then.

This movie just feels like it has too much going on in it. When we get to what almost feels like the climax, the movie just goes on like its jacked up on Red Bull. It’s just an absolute marathon of twists and turns and it’s just too much to process for a simple comedy! In fact I gotta say, one of the twists, which admittedly, reminded me of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, was actually ruined about ten or so minutes after it happens! So yeah, f*ck everything I guess!

Let’s also talk about Glenn Close’s character of Helen. At the beginning of the film, it’s established that Helen is the mother of both these boys. I’m just wondering, why would she lie about the father of her sons? First off, they’re adults, and I’m not adopted, but if I were, I’d want to know as soon as possible! As far as telling anyone else, I’d probably think to myself before whether or not I do that, but still. I also have to say that she mentioned that Terry Bradshaw was the actual father of the two kids, and Ed Helms’s reaction almost seemed like it could have been done differently. This is a man he idolized, someone he has high appreciation for, and he grew up during his youth never knowing Bradshaw was his dad?! I’ve grown up idolizing Howie Mandel, and if my mother kept a secret until a point such as this, or even longer for that matter, that Howie Mandel was my real father, you know what I’d do? I’d lose my f*cking mind! I might break a window! I might light my house on fire! I might slap my mother in the face! I’m not kidding! I would be in utter shock, and perhaps apalled upon why I had a secret like this kept from me for so long! I’d be happy to know Howie was my father but… why wait so long?

*SPOILERS IN THIS PARAGRAPH*

Speaking of idiocy, I’m gonna talk about a scene involving a train and an automobile. Sorry, planes, you have to sit out on this one. There’s one scene where the two main characters are in a car with each other, they’re still on their quest to find their dad, and at one point, they pick up a hitchhiker, played by Katt Williams. Due to Ed Helms being somewhat apprehensive about the fate of himself along with the fate of his brother, the hitchhiker is sitting in the back with his hands cuffed up. At one point, the car stops, and the two begin to argue. Moments later, we as an audience find out the car is stuck on a train track, but the two brothers are too focused on arguing back and forth so they don’t notice an approaching train. The one who does notice the train however is the hitchhiker, he’s trying to warn the two, but they don’t listen. As the light is coming closer, and the hitchhiker is still alerting the duo, they finally notice the train. So they attempt to escape. Ed Helms and Katt Williams make it out of the car, but the train slams the car, suggesting that it could have killed Owen Wilson. But it didn’t, he’s completely fine. WHAT THE F*CK?!

This is honestly just insulting! I get this is a comedy, but I would appreciate it more if it was logical. I don’t need another “Daddy’s Home” Ford Flex goes through the house and Will Ferrell isn’t badly hurt situation if you get what I’m saying. Remember “Paul Blart Mall Cop 2?” I honestly bought into the fact that Paul Blart could trap himself in a suitcase, slide downward on a bunch of steps, fall into a pool in said suitcase, have water come inside it, allow himself to exit the suitcase, and get out of the water alive more than this.

I do remember watching a movie in the past with a scene somewhat similar to this. There’s an extended cut to Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 2” referred to as “Spider-Man 2.1,” which might even be better than the original cut if you ask me. In that version of the film, part of the extended footage in that film is included on the train fight scene. Doc Ock and Spidey are going at it against each other, and Doc is holding onto the Web Slinger with his tentacles. Spider-Man has his feet on the side of one of the train cars, and he’s hit a bunch of closeby objects. Soon he turns his head, a train is quickly approaching him. Spider-Man gets hit by a train, but he instantly gets back to fighting like the hit was just a normal Tuesday in the office. Here’s the thing however. Spider-Man has superpowers, Kyle from “Father Figures” on the other hand, is an average human. Spider-Man has enough strength in him to walk something like this off, Kyle should have died. In fact, while Kyle dying may be somewhat abrupt, I almost thought that it would be kind of intriguing to see what would happen if Ed Helms had to continue the quest alone. I went to see the film with my mother, she and I discussed the film in the car after we watched it. I brought this up, and she figured I was thinking Ed Helms would continue the quest in Wilson’s honor, which almost sounds more like an adventure flick as opposed to a comedy, but quests are basically adventures.

The final moments of the film had some emotion packed into it, and in ways, I felt it. But ultimately, I felt that the movie didn’t earn its emotional ending on a technical level. For one thing, it’s a comedy, not a drama. Another thing is that I didn’t really care about a single character in this movie enough to say, “I like you. I stand with you. I’m on your side.” If I was able to care about any of the characters or if I had a logical reason to appreciate them more, then I might as well say that the movie earned it’s ending, but the movie itself dragged, it was full of unbearable characters, and it just wasn’t funny. So I can’t really say the end played out very well.

Let’s move onto marketing. I noticed the difference in the film’s marketing from when I first heard about it and when the film actually came out. There wasn’t much buzz about “Bastards” before January 2017, but now that we’re here in December, the movie, technically now referred to as “Father Figures,” was brought back to my attention, and I had the realization this was the same movie. Now that it’s here, I’m seeing Christmas related ads having to do with the film and a poster with red & green font. If one of the reasons for the movie releasing at this time was just to market it like it’s an experience related to the holidays, it just feels cheap! Oh yeah, did I mention this film was supposed to come out in January? I should have known what I was getting into. January movies usually suck! Last year, “The Fifth Wave” made my top 10 WORST movies of the year list. In general, when a movie comes out in January, critics are going to give it hell. I wonder why they moved it. Is it to market the film in a certain way? Possibly. Although part of me is willing to bet it’s to get more people in the theater. Given that a lot of people have breaks from school and work, they have more time to see a movie. January only has weekends, New Year’s Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Another part of me thinks that Warner Brothers, AKA the distributor of the film, or one of the production companies such as Alcon or Montecito, thought this would be a good tactic in order to get people to go see another movie when “The Last Jedi” sells out. Given the competition and the film’s box office return, I wouldn’t say this was the best idea. Just compare this film with “Pitch Perfect 3,” “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” plus family friendly animations such as “Coco” and “Ferdinand” and you’ll see the point. If last year’s “Assassin’s Creed” has taught moviegoers anything, it’s that you only market something in a Christmas related fashion when appropriate. Speaking of competition and “Star Wars,” I should also bring up another possible reason why all of this is happening. “Star Wars” is something that the world cares about. There’s barely anyone in this world who doesn’t know what “Star Wars” is. However, nobody knows about “Father Figures,” and it’s possible that Warner Brothers thought, “Eh, “Star Wars” is coming out in December, and that’s inevitably gonna be a big hit. What’s a movie that people want to avoid?” And someone said “What about that lame-ass comedy with Owen Wilson and Ed Helms?” Everyone agreed with that thought, and here we are. I was one of the people who saw it. But you know what? I survived, and that’s what matters.

In the end I have to say “Father Figures” is a really intolerable experience. While “How to Be a Latin Lover” was awkward and unfunny, I have to say that “Father Figures” was not just awkward and unfunny, but also boring, not to mention insultingly baffling. That train scene split my head open. It just f*cked me over. I’d rather spend an entire year watching a sloth pop bubble wrap from start to finish than watch this film a second time. Guys, this has a good chance of being this year’s worst comedy and I’m going to give “Father Figures” a 1/10. I went to see this film with my mother, she says it was good, so I gotta say this film does have an audience, so I can say that’s a plus. My mother and I also saw “Snatched” together and we both agreed that was total dogs*it. So this film has at least one thing going for it I guess.

Thanks for reading this review. This Saturday I’m going to see “The Disaster Artist,” which I’m truly stoked for. I can’t wait to see it and talk about it, it’s likely gonna be a blast! Also, speaking of fun things I have going on here on Scene Before, I will also soon have my top 10 BEST and WORST movies of 2017 lists. Meaning we can reflect on some of the milestones and trainwrecks I’ve sat through this year. I will have you know that depending on what happens, there’s a good chance that there’s at least one movie on either list that I saw and didn’t review, so if that ever comes up, that just means I didn’t have the time to sit down and write an analytical review of a certain film. Why? It’s the end of the year, and whenever time allows it, I’m trying to seek out as many of this year’s films as possible until I can no longer watch anymore. I’ve done this with “The Great Wall,” “American Assassin,” “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” “Crown Heights,” “Atomic Blonde,” and “The Only Living Boy in New York.” Anyway, stay tuned for more great content, including the recently mentioned review and countdowns! I want to know, if you saw “Father Figures,” what are your thoughts on it? What do you think is a better title for this film? “Father Figures” or “Bastards?” Also, what is the worst comedy of the year for you? Please leave a comment stating your responses to any of these questions, I’d be happy to look at them! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!