Tom Cruise

All You Need is Kill Suits

If you’re going to battle aliens, you need an awesome suit. If you’re going to relive the same day of battling aliens over and over, you need whatever Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are wearing in this new, clear look at All You Need is Kill. It’s kind of an awesome weapons system even if it looks impossible to carry around. In the future, you have to do a ton of cardio and snatches to be a supersoldier. The movie from director Doug Liman hits theaters next summer, and with Comic-Con around the corner, we’ll probably see more soon.

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first blood

In recent years some of the luster has come off of Oliver Stone’s career. He wasn’t always the guy who made movies like World Trade Center and Savages. Far from it, actually. He used to be the sort of respected director who cleaned up at the Oscars. One of the best-loved and most respected of the works from his peak was Born on the Fourth of July, a drama that not only earned him an Academy Award for Best Director and a nomination for Best Picture, but also went a long way toward making a serious actor out of its star, Tom Cruise. Cruise had become a huge name in the business thanks to roles in things like Risky Business and Top Gun, but before he did things like this and Rain Man, he still might have proved to be just a flash in the pan who opened a couple of big movies thanks to a pearly grin and a haircut, and then became a footnote. Even after all of these years though, Born on the Fourth of July is still considered to be one of the big entries in the highlight reel of Cruise’s career, and an argument could even be made that it still contains his very best performance. Ted Kotcheff isn’t a director whose career ever came near the heights of Stone’s. You might not have even heard of him if you aren’t a big fan of Weekend at Bernie’s or The Red Shoe Diaries. One big […]

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tom-cruise

Want to drop a major piece of casting news? Let it loose on the Friday before the season’s first holiday weekend. Deadline Hollywood reports the genuinely surprising news that Tom Cruise has quit the already-beleaguered The Man from U.N.C.L.E. feature he has been attached to since March. The film has already been through a few incarnations, most notably when it was set to be directed by Steven Soderbergh with George Clooney starring, but it looked to finally be on track with Guy Ritchie directing and Armie Hammer co-starring as one half of an agent duo from the United Network Command for Law Enforcement. Cruise has reportedly stepped aside because of good old-fashioned scheduling conflicts, as he is now turning his attention to producing and starring in that upcoming Mission: Impossible sequel (the fifth film in the franchise). With U.N.C.L.E. still set to film this fall, Cruise seemingly had way too much on his plate to do both.

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cc jack reacher

I’m usually not all that interested in a film’s box-office haul because it has no bearing on the quality of the movie, but I make exceptions when it’s a film in need of a sequel. Jack Reacher deserves a sequel. American audiences weren’t much help here as they failed to turn out in big numbers for what is essentially a mid-budget action throwback. Thankfully though the addition of overseas earnings was enough to nudge Paramount in the right direction. The film is only the second with Christopher McQuarrie in the director’s chair (with his first coming twelve years prior), and it stars Tom Cruise in the title role as a drifter seemingly unable to avoid trouble. It’s a damn fine movie and hopefully not the last adaptation we see of Lee Child‘s bestselling novels. Keep reading to see what I learned from the commentary track for Jack Reacher.

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news mission impossible 5

File this announcement under “Duh.” While it’s been rumored since Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol banked nearly $700 million worldwide it’s only just become official that Tom Cruise will be returning for a fifth impossible mission. You’d think by this point the IMF would simply accept that the missions being given to Ethan Hunt are actually possible after all, but I’m no secret agent so what do I know. Details as to who will direct, write and co-star are still probably months away (at least), but it’s confirmed that Cruise will produce alongside J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot shingle. Brad Bird directed the fourth installment to the series’ greatest heights, but the rumor mill has Christopher McQuarrie on tap to helm the latest.

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kosinski

With only two films under his belt, director Joseph Kosinski‘s architectural background rings loud and clear. From his approach to framing to the elaborate sets, everything feels deliberate. For Kosinski, that purposefulness doesn’t purely derive from painting a shiny picture, but from building character. For his second feature film, Oblivion, the director follows his dissatisfied protagonist, Jack Harper (Tom Cruise), through isolating and contrasting settings highlighting his dillema. Jack’s conflict is what drove Joseph Kosinski to spend the past few years of his life developing the project based on an idea of his own. The TRON: Legacy director wanted to make a character-driven science-fiction film, not a set-piece one. Kosinski’s film isn’t one packed with set pieces, making the movie rest on Jack and Cruise’s shoulders. Kosinski, despite his busy schedule, made the time to speak with us this week after the film’s successful release. Here’s what he had to say about the heart of the film, his favorite set, and how video games differ heavily from movies.

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Oblivion

Oblivion is the kind of science fiction movie that plays with a lot of other movies’ toys and forgets to clean them up afterward. Then we all step on a HAL 9000 doll in the middle of the night when we’re going for that last piece of fried chicken in the fridge, and the bruise reminds us to yell rhetorically at the Tom Cruise-starring movie the next morning. How many times have we told it to pick up its things? The movie’s created some mixed responses, but it’s also left behind some huge questions. Plot holes, really, if we’re being honest. It’s messy for how hard it tries to be smart. Some of those questions are inconsequential, some slightly annoying and some vital to what could have been sci-fi success. On their own, they could have amounted to nitpicks, but the sheer number of them (and the severity of a few) made for a truly confused experience. Spoilers for Oblivion abound so beware, but if you’ve already seen or just plain don’t care, let’s dive in to the bizarre question marks looming high in the sky over Joseph Kosinski‘s latest film.

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review oblivion

Oblivion is many things. [pause for laughter from readers who've seen the film] It’s a thrilling mix of science fiction, action and discovery. It’s visually stunning and filled with beauties both CGI and natural. It’s a major step up from director Joseph Kosinski‘s debut film (Tron: Legacy). It’s a thinly-veiled commentary on drone warfare. It’s scored with occasional energy and life by M83. It’s a rare example of a film that almost demands to be seen on an IMAX screen. It’s the near epitome of style over substance. And it’s the most derivative sci-fi film since Avatar. Jack (Tom Cruise) is a repairman whose sole duty is keep defensive drones functioning. He and his teammate, Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), are the last remaining humans on Earth after a devastating alien attack sent our species scrambling for new digs on Saturn’s moon, Titan. A handful of humans including Jack and Victoria’s commander sit aboard a space station orbiting above them, but when Jack’s curiosity regarding alien actions on the planet’s nuclear pock-marked surface causes friction he’s thrown into an unexpected adventure with far-reaching implications.

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news cruise yukikaze

Whether you think of him as a cocktail-slinging flair bartender, a hotshot fighter pilot, or a highly trained secret agent, there’s no question that Tom Cruise is one of the biggest movie stars the entertainment industry has ever seen. Heck, his new sci-fi blockbuster, Oblivion, has already made over $61 million, and it hasn’t even opened in the United States yet. So, seeing as movie producers like to make money, and movie audiences seem to like watching Cruise doing sci-fi action stuff, everyone has decided that the next logical step is to have the veteran actor star in another sci-fi action film, this one called Yukikaze. If that title sounds Japanese to you, that’s because it is. The scoop of Cruise’s casting comes from Deadline, who reports that Universal is putting together this adaptation of Japanese author Chohei Kambayashi’s modern classic science fiction novel of the same name. Not only is this project notable because of the respect that Kambayashi’s work gets in the science fiction community, but also because it combines two of the subjects that Cruise has historically tackled very successfully: piloting aircraft and dealing with alien invasions.

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Oblivion Movie

Joseph Kosinski‘s Oblivion is a lot like a fireworks display on a Tuesday. It has no real reason to exist, and while the visuals are exciting, they only impress for fifteen minutes before things get faulty and repetitive. In other words, leave it to Kosinski to make fireworks boring. In the film itself, those fifteen minutes are scattered unevenly through a wasteland that feels much longer than its runtime. Around the third hour of the two-hour-long movie, Morgan Freeman‘s gruff survivalist character describes an outside threat as without a soul, without humanity, merely a beautiful machine. He might as well have been talking about this movie. Jack (Tom Cruise) is a handyman soldier stationed at a beautiful house that stands above the wreckage that used to be the planet. His job is to repair drones that have malfunctioned or been brought down violently by Scavengers — the enemy that destroyed the Moon, that doomed mankind to head for an interstellar refuge and that still lives in small numbers despite the utter devastation caused by earthquakes and floods. That war was sixty years ago, but Jack and his romantic colleague Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are doing a tour of earthbound duty  to ensure that a few giant, floating rigs are able to suck up the remaining sea water in order to harvest energy. However, Jack is plagued by dreams of a woman (Olga Kurylenko) standing atop the pre-war Empire State Building and can’t shake the feeling that he knows her. Eventually, that […]

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Oblivion

Well now, this just seems cruel. While we’ve long known that the Earth would be getting busted up in Joseph Kosinski‘s upcoming Tom Cruise-starring Oblivion, no one ever said a damn thing about the moon (sweet, innocent moon!) taking some heat, too. Though most television spots for new films tend to be cobbled together from a bunch of previously-seen theatrical trailers, one of today’s two new Oblivion spots actually comes complete with some very intriguing new material (yes, like the moon-kablooey) that give us more insight to just what sort of things happened when the film’s aliens (or are they?) destroyed our planet. Yes, we’ve long known about some football stadium-related disasters, but it’s nice to get a larger sense of scope, particularly of the celestial body variety. Check out two new television spots for Oblivion after the break, including that moon-busting little ditty we’ve been teasing.

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tom-cruise

What is Casting Couch? An attempted rounding up of all the casting news that’s running loose out there in the wilds of cyberspace (does anyone still say cyberspace?). Read on to find out which big-name actor has become the cherry on top of the sundae that is Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla cast. Can Tom Cruise carry yet another franchise? Despite the fact that he’s already the face of the Mission: Impossible films, where he does the secret agent thing, and the fact that there are plans for him to do more Jack Reacher movies, which see him doing the private detective thing, director Guy Ritchie has decided to go after the veteran movie star to play the lead in his upcoming The Man From U.N.C.L.E. feature anyway. Deadline reports that the actor is currently negotiating to star in the project, which was once upon a time going to star George Clooney and be directed by Steven Soderbergh. Given U.N.C.L.E.’s history of problems, only time will tell if this possible Ritchie/Cruise pairing actually bears fruit. You have to see casting the guy who already launched an old spy show into a successful movie franchise as the new guy trying to launch an old spy show into a successful movie franchise as something of a desperate move though, don’t you?

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Oblivion

The fact that Joseph Kosinski‘s Oblivion looks just beautiful in its ads isn’t surprising – his Tron: Legacy may have been a giant disappointment, but that disappointment sure looked nice on the big screen – but now that the wow factor of the Tom Cruise-starring, future-set film has warn off, it’s time we actually examine the meat of what we’ve been shown so far. First of all, no matter what its tagline tells us, we’re fairly certain that Earth isn’t just “a memory.” In fact, we’re also fairly certain that Tom Cruise’s Jack Harper is actually kicking it on Earth throughout much of the film. Gotcha, marketing! Wait, we knew that already? What? Of course we knew that already, but why then is the film’s tagline the bizarrely obtuse “Earth is a memory worth fighting for”? We know that Jack’s down on Earth, tasked with drone repair on a plant ruined after a long war with an alien race (essentially, he’s Wall-E), and we know that he finds people (maybe?) still living on the desecrated planet – so why all this “memory” hubbub? Let’s hope Kosinski has an answer for us to make up for Tron. In the film’s latest trailer, we get more “memory” talk and a greater understanding of Jack’s day to day work. Check it out after the break.

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Top Gun

Why’s this guy so agressive? Why is he taking pictures while flying that plane upside down? Will he and his partner find love in the blood-sprayed midst of war? It’s really impressive that studio re-releases are meant for fans, but that there’s also another audience out there that’s never seen the films (no matter how old or iconic) that get a decades-later shot at bringing in money on the big screen. Imagine for a second that you know nothing about Top Gun, and try to picture what it would be like to step into a theater and watch it for the first time 30 years after it’s made its impact. It’s weird, right? Like hearing REM’s “Losing My Religion” in a Major key or putting on a wet swimsuit. At any rate, Tom Cruise is back from the past to flaunt the authority of the Navy, blow some stuff up, and hopefully get a little romantic payoff for all the chest grease he invested in. The movie is now in IMAX and 3D, which should make for some very special volleyball action and remind everyone of how much we miss Tony Scott. Check out the new trailer for yourself:

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Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

It’s too bad everyone (but me) hates Catfish so much, because otherwise the Manti Te’o fake girlfriend story would make for a great movie, documentary or drama. It’ll still probably wind up being told in some form or another anyway. Or perhaps it’ll just inspire a Law & Order SVU episode (the death of a pro athlete’s girlfriend is investigated… but then it turns out she never existed in the first place!). For now, it’s our lead-in to another Reject Recap, where the best film-related stories on FSR and around the web are listed for you to easily get caught up with. We understand, you were too busy following the Manti drama and the Lance Armstrong confession and mourning Mr. Drummond this week. As we head into the weekend, you should first feast your eyes on our reviews of new releases, including the Arnold Schwarzenegger comeback (The Last Stand), the scary movie with the feral children and a raven-haired Jessica Chastain (Mama), the fake Sidney Lumet film (Broken City) and the Common drama from the previous Sundance (LUV). I don’t think we liked any of them, really. But, hey, Quartet is expanding a bit, and Will Ferrell sure made that sound enticing at the Golden Globes when he pronounced it “Cordet.” Speaking of which, you’re only a few days behind, but if you missed those awards, you can read through our live-blog transcript and feel as though you actually watched. Now, check out the biggest and best stories and original […]

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Jack Reacher

Even though there are 17 Jack Reacher novels and 2 short stories featuring the stoic action hero, don’t plan on seeing Lee Childs‘ character back on the big screen any time soon. The Hollywood Reporter is claiming that the box office for the Paramount film starring Tom Cruise has been solid but not spectacular enough to ensure a franchise launch. The production house is waiting on business from major Asian territories to see if it can earn another $100m to reach a $250m total goal. If it does, negotiations may begin to see Cruise return for a sequel, but even if that lofty goal is met, the secondary challenge will be keeping the sequel’s budget around the same $60m of the first flick. In other words, there’s only a slim chance of seeing Jack Reacher 2. At least until Paramount reboots the property with Chris Pine in the role.

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Over Under - Large

Cameron Crowe is one of those directors who people just love. He’s made some stinkers along with with his good movies though, so when people talk to you about how much they love Cameron Crowe, generally what they mean is that they loved Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous. Or maybe even Say Anything, if they’re old school. Generally speaking, however, Jerry Maguire is Crowe’s big hit. This Tom Cruise-starring tale of a sports agent who experiences a moral epiphany got great reviews, became part of the pop culture lexicon of the late ’90s, and made about five times as much as Crowe’s next best loved film…give or take a bunch of millions or so. To call it a success would be putting things lightly. Gore Verbinski is another director who’s amassed a pretty loyal following, despite having made a couple of stinkers. When people say that they like his movies, generally they mean that they’re into the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie or Rango, or maybe they might even mean Mouse Hunt, if they’re the hip sort who likes to go back to the deep cuts. Certainly they very rarely mean that they like his strange followup to his runaway Pirates success, 2005’s Nicolas Cage-starring The Weather Man. It got mixed-to-scathing reviews, didn’t make a blip on the pop culture radar, and brought in pretty much zero money. Which is weird because—oh, my God—it’s basically the best movie ever.

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Tom Cruise Rock of Ages

Tom Cruise is in the entertainment news again, but not for the widely acclaimed and well received action flick Jack Reacher. No, the Hollywood powerhouse is once again being talked about because of his very close association with Scientology. Never a group to pass up a chance to take free shots at someone, headlines from semi-journalists everywhere announce “Tom Cruise to Save Fellow Scientology Members from Aliens Within.”  When I first heard that, I was intrigued of course. I thought maybe Cruise had gone off the deep end, publicly, but no, that’s not the case. What’s happening, in reality, is that Pulitzer-Prize winning author Lawrence Wright is releasing a book entitled “Going Clear: Scientology.” In it, the book will supposedly talk about Cruise’s billion-year contract with Scientology and the process of auditing — essentially stuff South Park has already covered. Cruise has been the butt of many jokes for many years, and it’s gotten old. It’s time to give him a break.

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59761341261826-jackreacher1

Christopher McQuarrie has been trusted for quality ever since his screenwriting debut with The Usual Suspects. It’s an intriguing movie, not only because of the twist we all know, but it’s made even more interesting by the fact McQuarrie knew next to nothing about the 101 rules of screenwriting. It was unconventional, surprising, and entertaining. Most of those adjectives don’t apply to his adaptation of Lee Child‘s character Jack Reacher, but “entertaining” surely does. The lack of surprise becomes apparent from scene one in McQuarrie’s film. It is a mystery story that we already know the answer for, at least a part of it. The first act comes down to James Barr’s (Joseph Sikora), a former Army sniper, involvement in a horrific shooting. We know most of that answer in frame one, and that’s a smart choice on McQuarrie’s part. Based on conventions alone, we already know whether Barr is innocent or not, so McQuarrie doesn’t try to string the audience along for that meaningless mystery, telling us flat out from the start if he did it or not.

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herakles

I think it’s pretty safe to say that the most exciting thing about Tom Cruise‘s new action flick, Jack Reacher, is Werner Herzog. The legendary German director does act, occasionally, but playing a Russian bad guy in a mainstream Hollywood movie? That’s something to be excited about, if only because his Russian accent will almost definitely be memorably off-beat. Yet, perhaps unsurprisingly, this isn’t Herzog’s first time dealing with machismo on film. Way back in 1962 he made a short called Herakles, his very first film ever. It’s a critical look at the relationship between masculinity and the 20th century world, at least in a sense. The bulk of the film is made up of footage of bodybuilders working out in a gym, wearing the scantiest of briefs and flexing for the camera as often as possible. The beefcake reel is then interwoven with images from the modern world that clash with the “ideal” human male, sarcastically representing the twelve labors of Hercules. “Will he clean the Augean stables?” Herzog asks, and then shows us an enormous pile of trash.

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