Mission Impossible

Paramount

At the start of Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow our hero, Major Bill Cage (Tom Cruise), is a coward. He’s more than ready to run from a fight he knows he’s not equipped for. That’s not the kind of hero we expect from a blockbuster, but it’s the type of subversive choice we should expect from screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, who had a hand in bringing Hiroshi Sakurazak’s graphic novel, All You Need Is Kill, to the big screen. A protagonist unwilling to help save the world isn’t the only fresh idea in Edge of Tomorrow. Even when Cage becomes a fierce soldier, he’s still no match for the bad-ass helicopter-blade-wielding Rita Vrastaski (Emily Blunt). She is the hero of this movie. Vrastaski drives the story. Cruise, once again playing a role a lot of movie stars would pass on, consistently pushed for his co-star to be this film’s true hero. Cruise and McQuarrie’s creative partnership is built on risky choices. Valkyrie, a one-eyed Nazi movie about killing Hitler, was released on Christmas day in 2008. They took a crack at Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, the kind of character that doesn’t think twice about putting a bullet in the head of his unarmed enemy even after they’ve surrendered. And now, with Edge of Tomorrow, they’ve championed a project that follows an unlikely hero in a story not based on a well-known property. The two men are now hard at work on the next Mission: Impossible, but Christopher McQuarrie was kind enough to speak with us weeks after Edge of Tomorrow‘s release. The very candid Mr. McQuarrie openly discussed his […]

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IntroWorstPlacesToWork

Forget Weyland-Yutani or Initech; statistically speaking they are fine places to work. Hell, you think Cyberdyne didn’t have a stellar employee benefits package, or at least decent break rooms? Sure – everyone dies, but day-to-day it’s not that terrible. In the movie world, there are far worse jobs out there. These are places that – from one day to the next – level out as the worst possible places to be employed.

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Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol

It must feel pretty good to be Christopher McQuarrie right now. The writer/director has Jack Reacher coming out in a month’s time, which is hopefully as cool as the footage we’ve seen, but that’s not the only reason McQuarrie must be pleased with himself. With the big promotional push for a risky Christmas Day release, Paramount is putting a lot of confidence into McQuarrie’s movie. Now, with news of the Usual Suspects writer in line to helm Mission: Impossible 5, the studio clearly wants to stay in the McQuarrie business. And good for him. Ever since The Way of the Gun, he’s been stuck in director’s jail, or at least it seemed that way. His excellent, overlooked directorial debut was critically divisive and far from a box office hit. His lack of directorial work doesn’t mean he hasn’t been keeping busy, though. Over the past few years he’s struck a good working relationship with Tom Cruise, and after Jack Reacher, it’s apparently gotten better.

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Last night a bunch of critics in the UK were treated to an early screening of Skyfall, and while nobody invited any of our diehard 007 junkies, I figured it’s worth our while to take a look at the first reactions to the new James Bond blockbuster. To do so, I’m using the recent breakdown of elements by one of FSR’s resident Bond experts, Kevin Carr, in order to dissect the reviews and highlight their takes on each individual ingredient. What about overall opinions? It seems they’re generally of a simple consensus, that Skyfall is not only a great return for the series following the disappointing Quantum of Solace but it may be one of the best Bond installments yet. This feat is achieved, apparently, in director Sam Mendes‘s balance of serious and nostalgic tone, brought about with a script (by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and John Logan) pays tribute to the past films and franchise conventions while still also delivering a lot of fresh ideas. And Roger Deakins‘s cinematography sounds like a real highlight of the film — even Oscar-worthy, according to some critics. Check out what the reviews (linked at the bottom of the page) have to say about Bond’s fit with the 10 main ingredients of a 007 film after the break.

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Best Action Movies of 2011: Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol

The interesting thing about the Mission: Impossible franchise is that, more than any other blockbuster franchise out there, it has been a showcase for its directors. Though they all star the Tom Cruise-played character of Ethan Hunt, the first few Mission: Impossible movies tell very contained stories, and rely very little on what came before them. And when you think back to each movie and what makes them stand out in your mind, whether you picture the kinetic action of John Woo or the lens flares of J.J. Abrams, it’s that the style of their directors was so prominently on display. That’s been a fun exercise so far, but one that may be called into question soon. The big news of the day, as far as Mission: Impossible is concerned, is that a fourth sequel has been confirmed as being in the planning stages. According to a THR report, when asked at a shareholder’s meeting whether there were “any plans to develop an additional sequel,” Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman replied, “Oh, yes.”

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There were some supposed protagonists I loathed this year — everyone in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, that asshole narcissist Hal Jordan, the annoying Jack Sparrow — but there were plenty who showed honorable and, yes, badass traits. 2011 brought a few real American heroes (and from parts elsewhere), both in personality and actions. One doesn’t need superpowers or a gun to be a hero, but, as shown by a few choices I made, those simple good traits. And, even if one’s not the greatest of people, you can still be a great hero, as shown by the a*hole category that kicks off the list…

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UPDATED: Dear Commenter Jhester24, you have won with your entry “Mission: Impossible — Women.” Please email the editors to claim your prize!  Good day, Mr. FSR Readership. Just in time for the release of Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, we have a pair of stylish boots from Giorgio Brutini as featured in the film. These men’s boots are plain-toed, six inch calf leather and are generally damn sexy. Take a good look at this slick pair below. Your mission, should you wish to win the boots, is to complete the post-colon, secondary title to the next Mission: Impossible film. What we’re looking for is the funniest, cleverest, most laugh-inducingest title continuation. For example… MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – PICKLE JAR. Does that one suck? Absolutely! So come up with a better one and post it in the comment section on this piece. We’ll choose a winner on Monday who will be stylin’ like a bad IMF’er. This post will self-destruct…never. Feel free to peruse more incredible footwear designs from Giorgio Brutini

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Boiling Point

The press for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is warming up, granting me ample opportunity  to watch Tom Cruise’s most excellent wirework as he tears ass down the face of the tallest building in the world. It’s truly a sight to see – there are no stuntmen, and the footage is exciting. I’ve seen it in IMAX, twice, and a few times on the television. With all the death Ethan Hunt is defying, there is one thing I can’t take my eyes off: his pants. Sure, Tom Cruise is a handsome fellow, and I’m not staring at his pants out of lust, but rather, out of confusion. Why am I seeing his ankles? Wait, why is he wearing climbing shoes? Are those capri pants? This is not the manly wardrobe of the world’s greatest super spy.

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Sometimes writing about movies on the internet has some benefits. I mean, we get all the crappy straight to DVD movies you can think of and sometimes free popcorn. We make next to no money, but in return we get to see movies early and sometimes, just sometimes, we get to see bits of movies before they’re ready. Such was the case recently when I, along with a few other journalists, got a chance to see about twenty minutes of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol projected in a true IMAX theater. If my description, reaction, and thoughts isn’t enough to get you wet with excitement, we’ve also got the new trailer for you, so come on in and read some more.

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Remember Avatar Day? Remember having to procure tickets for what was essentially an extended trailer? Remember feeling really strange about going to a movie theater for a less-than-twenty-minute presentation? Oh, well, me either, because I didn’t do any of those things, but let’s work from the same sort of frame of mind, but with an actual film attached. Our friends over at /Film are reporting an exclusive tip that Warner Bros. is attaching a six-minute “prologue” for The Dark Knight Rises to all IMAX prints of Paramount’s upcoming Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol release. Though the films are coming from different studios, should this prove to be true, such a slice of marketing mayhem will no doubt push interested moviegoers and fans of the Batman to check out the Brad Bird-helmed franchise entry in the IMAX format. Paramount is already making a to-do of their film’s IMAX release, putting that version in theaters on December 16, five days before the film hits regular theaters on December 21. Both Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and The Dark Knight Rises will feature “extensive scenes” shot for IMAX, so this may prove to be the holiday season’s best pairing (beyond egg nog and whiskey). Warner Bros. has declined to comment on the story to /Film, but the team over there has gathered a couple of other sources that confirm it. Will this drive you to check out Ghost Protocol in IMAX? And just what the heck do they mean by “prologue”? Aren’t two previous films […]

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, screenwriter Marti Noxon discusses the lack of sparkles in Fright Night and writer/director Tom McCarthy talks good people doing bad things in Win Win. Plus, good old Rob Hunter faces off against Hollywood.com Movies Editor Matt Patches in a grudge match that will be written about for hours to come. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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Your mission, if you choose to accept it… During an undercover mission in Prague, IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) witnesses his spy team picked off one by one—including his mentor and friend, Jim Phelps (Jon Voight). With the blame of sabotage and treason on his head, Hunt goes on the run to clear his name, entrap the real conspirators and deliver the perfect dose of tentpole bravado.

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I have no idea why we should celebrate the 15th anniversary of the first Tom Cruise Mission Impossible with even more Tom Cruise Mission Impossible.

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abrams-cruise-impossible

Hot of the hotness that was Star Trek, J.J. Abrams is out there talking about things he might do in the future. One option: producing (and maybe directing) a fourth Mission Impossible film.

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Ten Spies Who Stole Moves from James Bond

Ever since Ian Fleming began penning his James Bond series in 1953, spy adventures and espionage have been hot topics for cinema and television. From Xander Cage to Maxwell Smart, we’ve got the top 10 spies influenced by James Bond.

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Secret Agent Week

One of the coolest things about secret agent movies is the toys they have to do their jobs. The scary thing is that while some of these gadgets were figments of a writer’s imagination many years ago, some are becoming a reality.

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Secret Agent Week

Yesterday Kevin Carr unleashed our list of the Ten Greatest Fictional Secret Agents of All-Time, but we know that it is our duty to give you the final say in who really is the world’s greatest fictional secret agent.

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