Tag Archives: Tom Cruise

My thoughts on: Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018)

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Where to even begin on a film like this? Let’s start with something simple: Mission Impossible: Fallout definitely lives up to the hype surrounding it. While it is the sixth installment in the Mission Impossible franchise, it feels as fresh as the first, with twists and turns around every corner and a climax that left me wide-eyed until the very end.

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Fallout is a direct sequel to Rogue Nation and sees Ethan Hunts dealing with the consequences of capturing Solomon Lane alive at the end of that film. Similar to Ghost Protocol (the fourth film), Ethan must again stop nuclear weapons from being unleashed on the world, but this time the enemy is everywhere. One thing I really loved about this film is how it keeps you guessing as to what’s really going on. Most of the characters seem to have their own hidden agendas and just when you think you understand the status quo, the story gets turned on its head (in fact this happens several times throughout the story, my favorite instance coming just before the final act of the film).

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Due to commitments to the MCU, Jeremy Renner’s character Will Brandt is absent from the story, but is hardly missed due to the awesome work done by Henry Cavill playing August Walker (more on him in a minute), a CIA agent assigned to work with Hunt. Simon Pegg returns as Benji Dunn and I think this is the most we’ve seen of Luther (Ving Rhames) since MI:2 but I could be wrong. Rebecca Ferguson also returns as Ilsa Faust and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters in the series. Sean Harris returns as Solomon Lane and is brilliant throughout. He actually doesn’t say that much compared to his appearance in Rogue Nation, but his words are never wasted.

*WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW FROM THIS POINT*

As I mentioned, the story is full of twists, one of the biggest involves the true identity of a rogue agent known only as “John Lark.” The moment August Walker begins convincing his CIA boss that Ethan is this rogue agent, something in me just knew that it was actually Walker the entire time. It’s an old trope, but a good one: the true villain sets up the hero by ascribing his own actions to someone else. The scary thing is, while I knew Ethan was innocent, there was a still a small voice in the back of my head that whispered “but it really could be him.” And that voice is right, Ethan could have easily done these things, as Walker says, he’s been disavowed and betrayed so many times, it’s a wonder he hasn’t snapped yet. And that makes me wonder if the dialogue was meant to serve as a set up for a future film where Ethan finally does go completely rogue. He’s almost crossed the line several times and it would be interesting to see what would push him over the line.

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Another scene that I loved was Ethan (posing as Lark) meeting an arms dealer known as the White Widow (Vanessa Kirby). She was holding a gala in honor of her mother and I bolted upright when she referred to her mother as “Max.” If you don’t know, Max was the name given to an arms dealer/terrorist that Ethan worked with all the way back in the first Mission Impossible film in 1996. According to the trivia, it is indeed the same Max being referred to, making this one giant Easter Egg (and you don’t see that many that reference the first film). It’s also slightly mind-boggling that we’ve now gotten to working with the grown children of characters introduced in earlier films (sometimes it’s easy to forget that this franchise is 22 years old). Assuming the series continues, I have a feeling the White Widow will be returning; she was set up as one of those enigmatic figures that can pop in and out when necessary to the plot.

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As for the ending…I won’t spell it out but for a split second, when the screen went white, I really thought the filmmakers had pulled an Infinity War on us. Luckily it turned out to be a colossal fake-out but for a minute I was completely wide-eyed thinking they’d actually gone and done the unthinkable. And speaking of the climax, once it gets going, you will not be able to look away until its over.

The score for Fallout was composed by Lorne Balfe (Penguins of Madagascar; Pacific Rim: Uprising), who does an excellent job with creating and maintaining tension throughout the film. There’s an especially powerful moment that comes at the conclusion of a long chase through London when Ethan is standing on top of a tower.

So in conclusion, where does Fallout fall in the ranking of Mission Impossible films? Well, based on what I saw, the new ranking is as follows:

  1. Mission Impossible: Fallout
  2. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
  3. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
  4. Mission Impossible
  5. MI:3
  6. MI:2

What do you think of my new ranking? What do you think of Mission Impossible: Fallout? Did it live up to the hype? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film/TV Reviews

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Soundtrack Review: American Made (2017)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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So to give you an idea of just how crazy the month of October has been for me, I originally wanted to write this review a solid MONTH ago, but then I got sick, and then I got sick some more, and, yea, it’s been insane. But I’m determined to deliver what I promised, so here is a look at the soundtrack for American Made, a film based on the real life of Barry Seal, a TWA pilot who became a pilot for the CIA and later got mixed up in the affairs of a drug cartel.

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I have to be completely honest, as soon as I saw the track listing for this film, I immediately liked it less than some of the others I’ve seen, and that’s because most of the tracks consist of pre-existing material (this is sometimes referred to as a pop soundtrack). It would be wrong to say that pop soundtracks are inferior to those with freshly composed material, but I happen to prefer the latter.

That being said, I will highlight two selections because I did find their use interesting. The first is “A Fifth of Beethoven” by Walter Murphy and The Big Apple Band. This is a disco remix of Beethoven’s iconic Fifth Symphony and most of you have probably heard it at least once. It is considered one of the most popular pieces from the disco era.

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The other piece I need to highlight is “Hooked on Classics Parts 1 & 2” by Louis Clark and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. If you haven’t listened to this, you need to because it is kind of funny. Each part of “Hooked on Classics” jams a lot of classical music into a five minute segment with almost zero transition (and it sounds pretty cool). I haven’t seen this film, but I could make a pretty reasonable guess that this music turns up in some kind of montage scene.

Two other songs that sound good are “Black Widow Blues” and “What Makes a Good Man?” (the latter is so appropriate given the story of the film), but other than these I can’t recommend too much about the score.

Now, I have some great soundtrack reviews coming, among them are (hold onto your hats): The Walking Dead and Stranger Things!! I’m hoping to get both out this week, they’re LONG overdue but I hope you enjoy them regardless.

My thanks once again to The Krakower Group for this soundtrack.

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See also: Film Soundtracks A-W

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Brian Tyler conducts The Mummy (2017)

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One thing that never fails to get to me is when a wonderful film score is attached to a terrible film: a recent case in point being the most recent box office bomb, The Mummy. Despite the film being an abysmal failure (and hopefully the death knell of the Dark Universe before it really gets going), the score, composed and conducted by Brian Tyler, is really beautiful.

An amazing thing about Tyler is that on his Facebook page he will release footage of himself conducting pieces from his film scores (I have a confession, that’s where I find most of Tyler’s material to share with you). And when I saw that he had posted video of himself conducting the score at a special premiere, I had to watch.

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Brian Tyler conducts The Mummy (2017)

It was beautiful!! Brian Tyler is a very talented composer and it shows in this excerpt. The music begins relatively subdued, with an iteration of a particular theme (I suspect it is Ahmanet’s). But as the music goes on, this theme gains intensity and power, until the full orchestra and chorus is backing it.

Unfortunately, I fear the abysmal reviews of the film will prevent many people from experiencing the beauty of this film score (a similar thing happened with Gods of Egypt; Marco Beltrami composed a great score, but the bad reviews meant that many people never heard it). Thus, I am sharing this performance with all of you and I hope you enjoy it. On a side note, when I commented on Facebook that I loved how the theme built in power, Brian Tyler liked the comment!!

If you feel that I should give this film a chance when it’s available to rent on Redbox, let me know in the comments below (I’ll consider it if enough people think so).

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Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Brian Tyler “Alien vs. Predator: Requiem” scoring session (2007)

Brian Tyler scoring Partition (2007)

Brian Tyler talks War (2007)

Brian Tyler talks Rambo (2008)

Brian Tyler “Law Abiding Citizen” scoring sessions (2009)

Brian Tyler “Dragonball Evolution” scoring session (2009)

Brian Tyler talks The Expendables (2010) 

Brian Tyler talks Fast Five (2011)

Brian Tyler “Battle: Los Angeles” (2011) scoring session

Brian Tyler scoring session for Iron Man 3 (2013)

Brian Tyler “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2014) scoring session

Brian Tyler conducting and scoring Now You See Me 2 (2016)

Brian Tyler “Power Rangers” scoring session (2017)

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What a guy!: Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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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Michael Giacchino talks Mission: Impossible 3 (2006)

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Michael Giacchino talks Mission: Impossible 3 (2006)

I have greatly enjoyed all five Mission Impossible movies (1996-ongoing) but even I will admit that Mission Impossible 2 was not as good as the rest. So, I was so happy to get to Mission Impossible 3 and be like “Wow! This is insane (and fascinating too).” Though I will admit, the opening of the film (with the flash forward sort of thing) threw me for a few minutes. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman plays what is probably the most evil villain Ethan Hunt has ever faced.

Mission Impossible 3 was also Michael Giacchino’s first foray into this franchise (he also composed the score for Ghost Protocol), and I really hope that he can return in the future as this series shows no signs of slowing down. In the meantime, enjoy this interview that looks into the scoring of Mission Impossible 3! Have a good day!

See also:

Michael Giacchino talks The Incredibles (2004)

Michael Giacchino talks Ratatouille (2007)

Michael Giacchino talks Up (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Super 8 (2011)

Michael Giacchino talks John Carter (2012)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

Michael Giacchino talks Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World (2015)

Michael Giacchino scoring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Zootopia (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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