Tag: <span>Tom Cruise</span>

Movie info from IMDB
Movie reviews from Metacritic

I’m part of an agency… called the IMF.
What’s that stand for?
Impossible Mission Force.
[chuckles] Yeah right.

So let’s get this straight. Tom Cruise, big budget action movie, and the guy behind Lost and Alias directing it? Can’t lose right? Right. And it doesn’t.

Yes Philip Seymour Hoffman acts Tom off the screen, yes the stunts and gadgets are over the top, yes there is a lot of violence and guns and explosions. And yes it works.

I’ve never really understood why the critics pan Tom Cruise for his poor acting in a movie like this. The entire point is that you aren’t watching HIM, you are watching the action. You are wanting to be entertained, to laugh, to be thrilled, to be excited. If I wanted to see some great acting… well I wouldn’t pick Mission: Impossible, would I.

Movies are about entertainment and that comes in many forms. It just so happens that this movie delivers in spades, the action scenes zip along, there are a couple of nice twists, and it’s hugely entertaining. JJ Abrams has injected a nice sense of humour to things, and there is even a distinct storyline in evidence. Suspension of disbelief is required, naturally, but as a summer blockbuster movie this hits the mark.

Mind you, ANY movie that features Simon Pegg can’t be bad, right?!

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Movie info from IMDB
Movie reviews from Metacritic

SPIELBERG, CRUISE, EPIC MOVIE, INCLUDING MORGAN FREEMAN NARRATING (doesn’t get much more epic than that these days… whatever happened to James Earl Jones?).

Yes, the self-proclaimed “blockbuster of the year” has finally been viewed and it was bloody good. Well it could have been utterly amazing, but Tom Cruise – and this is something my wife was the first to say, and she’s a HUGE Cruise fan – just can’t cut the mustard. He’s fine at wide sweeping and overly dramatic acting but give him something challenging, something that concentrates a lot of the camera time on him and more importantly, on him whilst he’s acting scared and needs to show emotion, and he’s hopelessly out of his depth.

A lot of the pre-movie press talked about “de-Cruising” Tom to give him more appeal as an everyday man on the street. That failed because he can’t act his way out of a paper bag. Dakota Fanning, who played his daughter, acts him off the screen, and the minute Tim Robbins appears you suddenly realise just how bad Tom is under this kind of intense scrutiny. Steven Spielberg said the decision to move the action to the basement of a house, focussing the action down there whilst above ground the action goes global, was to increase the tension. Unfortunately he was relying on the silent, “face only” acting of Cruise and is let down.

But I’ll stop going on about the lead actor, as it’s wholly unfair to let one bad egg spoil the entire cake. This movie was great. The effects were excellent, very believable, the tension was slowly ratcheted up very effectively, and in short this was Spielberg at his action movie best. The man knows how to toy with your emotions if you let him have them, he’ll wring you dry given half a chance, but I think he may have overstepped slightly at the end of the movie (I won’t spoil it but it may have been better if someone hadn’t reappeared).

Morgan Freeman opens the movie using the same narration that Richard Burton uses in Jeff Wayne’s classic musical, and the effects are almost the same (Freeman is good but vocally he’s no Burton, but then, who is?) chills slowly creeping up your spine. The storyline is fairly simple, martians take over the world and there’s bugger all we can do to stop them, so the opening scenes are given to creating some attachment to our characters and setting up the additional “failed father” backplot for Mr. Cruise.

But once the action starts it doesn’t stop, a few pauses here and there sure, but mainly it plows on, relentless and for a Spielberg film, remarkably bleakly. There are no grand heroics, no moving speeches, just widespread disbelief and panic. He handles it well, and before you know it the ending is open you, almost too suddenly? Perhaps.

This is one that will be best viewed on the big screen, but I’m curious as to how this will hit the TV screens, it’s hardly ideal fodder for a “family Christmas movie” after all. It’s good to see Spielberg back to the top of his game though, and I just hope that Tom Cruise sticks to making what he’s good (decent) at, simple films where he’s the dashing hero. Tom Cruise is NOT an everyday joe.

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Whilst I realise I’m not hugely representative of “mice and men”, I’m currently struggling to plan and control several different projects both at home and at work. Now, I’ve yet to finish reading Getting Things Done, and I have been trying to implement some of the ideas, but I’ve not had time (and for those who’ve read the book – yes yes, I know!!) to clear the slate. Evidence is below should it be required.

It has a knock on effect here I think. Blogging becomes a chore but is an “easy” diversion, and other things that I prefer doing leap to the top of the queue, knocking things like “buy car tax” below where it should be (and I didn’t set a date for it.. doh!).

Enough of my nonsense! I say. Although ALL of this is my nonsense, but you know what I mean. Onto other matters then.

A question for you bloggers; Presuming you have them, how do you go about titling your posts?

I’ll take the one above as an example. The thought in my head when I started to write this was “best laid plans of mice and men”. Now I happened to remember that I’ve used “Mice and Men” as a post title before, and whilst I’m not bothered about repeating these things, I do like to put a teeny bit of thought into it. Hence the above.

Laid Plans. Laid = Sated. Plans = Blueprints. Simple. No?

Hey I never said the thought was logical.

Well it’s either that or bizarre references to songs and as no-one mentions them I presume they skim right over your heads (I expected better from you though, yes YOU, you there. You know who you are).

Random thought, my wife is blonde, almost every woman on my “allowed list” is brunette*. Is that because no other blonde could compare? Or because, and this is more probable, I prefer brunettes? Anyway, I’ll go with the first one I think, just in case.

And, darling, if you read this just remember. You’re exactly the same!**

* Helena Christensen, Lisa Snowdon, Angelina Jolie, Liv Tyler, Kirsty Gallacher, Alyssa Milano…
** Tom Cruise, Adrian McMahon, bloke in Smallville, bloke in Roswell…

Ohh and HELLO GOOGLE!

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Cold, wet, grey, miserable.

The perfect day to stay at home and catch up on some watching.. Series 4 of Sopranos anyone?

In reward for yesterday’s cleaning/tidying efforts I was allowed out to the cinema… kidding. I was dragged out to see the latest blockbuster by Mr.Cruise (Mrs. McLean is a life-long fan, all the way back to Risky Business). I’ve come to accept these events as part of the compromise of marriage.

So The Last Samurai. A simple enough story of good versus evil. But more so, as I have to say that Tom Cruise is beginning to develop into a very good actor. I think the subject matter of the film helps, as does the script, but that shouldn’t detract from a very watchable movie. The battle scenes are very well done, and the emotional involvement is nicely handled as well. Recommended.

Other than that, things are still on track in 2004. Books are being read (books in the house that I’ve not read, despite owning for most of last year = 18), keyboard is setup (bought for Christmas 2002 and played, maybe once… I think I’ll pick up some Jamie Cullum next), and dieting is on track. Need to up the exercise ratio but that’ll improve with the weather.

Yes, I’m feeling very organised. Pity I’ve not gotten anywhere near this list yet.

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The Last Samurai

Working with a simple story (good versus evil), the script and direction make the movie, although they are helped in no little part by Tom Cruise and Ken Watanbe in the lead roles. Cruise handles his role well, he is a man in turmoil, on a downward path who finds peace with himself in the most unlikely of places. The underlying message of the movie is particularly prevalent during these times, remembering and honouring both where you come from, and differing cultures.

The battle scenes are violently gory, but with a purpose, and the final scenes moving. Only flaw is the very last scene which wasn’t needed and possibly dampened things, but all in all Mr.Cruise seems to be growing into an accomplished actor.

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Movie info from IMDB

I’ve let it settle in my head for a couple of days but it made no difference. I really enjoyed this and Tom Cruise was really good!

Plot flaws? Of course. Cloy moments? Of course (it is Speilberg after all). Annoying details about how things will be in the future? Of course. Enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. OF COURSE!

I’d write more about it but the one thing still stuck in my head is why they didn’t have the ‘crime room’ networked. I mean it was 2040-something, why did the guy have to put some data on a ‘disc’ (clear glass thingy granted..) and WALK across the room… I mean we’ve cracked that one already..

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5 July 2002

Minority Report.
Tom Cruise, Steven Speilberg, story based on a Philip K Dick short story. I think we can chalk this up as a ‘must-see’ (although if it has Tom Cruise in it I don’t usually get the choice, but I will admit he has been improving of late…).

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