Tag Archives: Mission Impossible

What a guy!: Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt

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This post is part of the Reel Infatuation Blogathon hosted by Silver Screenings and Font & Frock.

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It is no secret that I am a big fan of the Mission Impossible film series. But why do I like this series so much? Is it because of the music? Yes, that’s certainly part of it. Is it the action? Yup, there’s that too. But at the heart of it, the biggest reason I watch the movies is because of:

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Him.

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Him.

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And oh yes…him!!

That’s right. I confess that I have a gigantic crush on Ethan Hunt (aka the craziest spy to ever walk the face of the Earth. Brilliantly portrayed by Tom Cruise in five films and counting). I didn’t quite realize I had a crush on him until I saw Mission Impossible 2. As dated as that film is in terms of look, there’s a great plot line between Ethan and the thief Nyah, where Ethan has to save her in time after she injects herself with the last dose of the killer Chimera virus. If there’s one thing you can depend on with Ethan Hunt, it’s that he will move heaven and earth to save the people he cares about. And guys who care that deeply about people…well, I find that very attractive in a guy. (It also helps that Ethan is in perfect physical condition too).

Ethan is also that guy who can go anywhere, do anything and literally be anyone. Case in point: see the first Mission Impossible movie where he bluffs his way into meeting Max, the arms smuggler. And every time he raises the stakes with some death-defying stunt (including the free swimming one that nearly killed him in Rogue Nation), I actively worry about him, even though I’m pretty sure I would never cross paths with a man like Ethan Hunt in real life. But hey, I can dream right?

Anyways, that’s my crush on Ethan Hunt, I hope you liked reading about it (I’m totally going to binge on Mission Impossible  movies this coming weekend now).

See also:

“He’s not bad, just conflicted”: My crush on Tom Hiddleston’s Loki


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Film Music 101: Arranger

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Another individual (or group of individuals) who serve an important function in getting a film score put together is the arranger.

An arranger should not be confused with an orchestrator. An orchestrator takes the composer’s piano score and fleshes it out into a full-bodied orchestral score. Arrangement, by contrast, takes a pre-existing musical work and re-arranges it by adding new musical themes, new transitions or whatever is necessary to make an old work fit in a new context.

Take for example the main theme from the Mission Impossible film series. The title theme (featuring a lighted fuse) was taken from the original theme written for the television series in the 1960s.

The Mission Impossible film series now contains five films: Mission Impossible (1996), Mission Impossible II (2000), Mission Impossible III (2006), Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015), with Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018) coming out later this summer. For each film’s title sequence, the music has been arranged to fit the context of the new film, though the core of the music remains intact. Listen to the examples below and you’ll see what I mean (the biggest contrast, in my opinion, comes in the title sequence for Mission Impossible II, it has a definitive 2000-era vibe).

You can thank the arranger for the different sound of the music in each title sequence. So hard to believe that the first Mission Impossible movie opened TWENTY YEARS AGO!! Hope you enjoyed!

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See also:

Film Music 101: Anempathetic sound

Film Music 101: Empathetic Sound

Film Music 101: Foley

Film Music 101: Montage

Film Music 101: Compilation Score

Film Music 101: “Stinger” Chords

Film Music 101: Dubbing

Film Music 101: Diegetic vs. Non-Diegetic Music

Film Music 101: Underscore

Film Music 101: Sidelining

Film Music 101: “Test” Lyrics

Film Music 101: The First Film Score

Film Music 101: Borrowing

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Film Music 101: Diegetic vs. Non-Diegetic Music

In movies there are two kinds of music: diegetic and non-diegetic.

Diegetic music refers to music that occurs onscreen, in the universe created by the movie. A great example is seen in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (which came out in the summer of 2015). Without spoiling too much, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) ends up fighting some bad guys in the staging area of the Vienna Opera House while a performance of Puccini’s last opera Turandot is going on below (see the picture).

Throughout the fight, you can hear the performance going on and this serves as the “background music” to the drama happening onscreen.

Non-Diegetic music, by contrast, refers to music that is being played by an offscreen source, namely an orchestra, and most film music is considered to be non-diegetic. To record the music, the film plays on a screen while the orchestra records and it looks rather similar to the image below.
 
And there you have it, a little look into some of the terminology of film music. Expect another installment next week! Hope you enjoyed it.
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