Thursday, January 12, 2012

PCP in Theaters - Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol; Breaking Dawn pt 1.

Welcome back to CRAPOLA!  In the last trimester of my wife’s pregnancy, we managed to squeeze in 2 last movies in theaters before having our son Jackson.  In fact, one of them we saw the night before our son’s birth, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.  So, in honor of these being the last 2 movies I’ll be seeing in theaters for awhile (probably until this summer when Dark Knight Rises comes out) I’ll do reviews of these movies while they’re still actually in theaters.  Also, at the end of this post there will be quick blurb reviews of 5 older movies that I also recently caught on DVD.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.  2011, Rated PG-13.  133 minutes.  Starring:  Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, & Michael Nyqvist.  My rating:  8 out of 10.

Pixar director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) makes the jump to live action in his first job directing actual humans as opposed to animated creations.  Based on this film, the 4th entry in the Mission: Impossible series, he made the jump successfully.  MIGP continues the franchise from where it left off after JJ Abrams (here returning as producer) delivered the great 3rd installment in the series.  Back are Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg, and joining them in this outing are Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner.  Renner’s character, Brandt, was created to be a replacement for Tom Cruise in the event Cruise ever leaves the franchise, allowing them to continue on the franchise without him.  Cruise is great, and back to his fine form that he had before jumping on Oprah’s couch.  Simon Pegg is funny as the team’s comic relief.  Paula Patton sizzles as the team’s sex appeal also.

The film tours the globe, going to Russia, The United Arab Emirates, & India.  The sequences in Dubai are amazing, especially Cruise’s stunt work 130 floors off the ground on the world’s tallest building.  Obviously they used CGI to remove his wire harness that he was wearing, but the fact that he was still willing to do his own stunts 130 stories up in the air was very impressive.  The sequence with him hanging off the building was great, filled with both tension and humor.  Also a standout stunt work sequence was the final fight sequence between Tom Cruise & Michael Nyqvist in a car garage in India.  That was a very clever and very entertaining fight, with some very creative stunts that I have never seen before in a film.

All in all MIGP was very enjoyable, a perfect popcorn film that would have fit right in during the summer blockbuster season.  The action sequences are great, especially the Dubai sequence, the dialogue entertaining, and the cast works very well together and plays off of each other nicely.  There’s even a small role for Lost alum Josh Holloway (Sawyer) and holy cow he cut his hair!  If you liked MI3, go see this for sure.  If you stopped watching the MI series after the first 2 turned you off, go back and watch 3 and 4, they’re definitely the best in the series as far as I’m concerned.

One interesting note on seeing this movie in theaters opening weekend – before the film aired, there was the debut of the new trailer for The Dark Knight Rises.  That trailer garnered applause from the audience.  I’ve never seen that for a trailer before.

Read the rest of the reviews after the jump!

The Twilight Saga – Breaking Dawn pt 1.  2011, Rated PG-13.  117 minutes.  Starring:  Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, & Robert Pattinson.  My rating:  6 out of 10. 

The Twilight movies approach their end with Breaking Dawn part 1.  One of the few reasons the prior Twilight movies have been bearable for me is the fact that there is at least some nice violence to get me through it, whether its werewolves or vampires or whatever.  This one unfortunately doesn’t have that much violence, but based on what is coming in part 2, there will hopefully be a little bit of violence in the series’ conclusion.  (There’s a reason that the last one in the series was my favorite so far, it had the most action).  This one focuses on the love story aspect – the wedding, the pregnancy, the drama, etc. etc.  It’s rather on the boring side really.  Basically, this movie’s review can be summed up in one sentence:  It’s a Twilight movie.  Whenever any of my friends asked me what I thought of the movie, that was my response to them.  What I mean by that is that it is in line with the other movies in the series in terms of its theme, acting ability, pacing, and plot.  If you liked the prior Twilight movies, you’ll like this one.  If you hated the other Twilight movies, you’ll hate this one.  If you think they’re decent but nothing spectacular, then this movie isn’t going to change your opinion either.  Thus, my statement of “It’s a Twilight movie.”

Ok and these are the five films that I caught at home that are from 2010 or older.

Blood: The Last Vampire.  My rating:  5 out of 10.  This live-action adaptation of an anime flick plays just like a live adaptation of an anime flick, with over the top action sequences and a plot with holes you could drive a truck through.  Cool swordfights though, but some of the special effects are extremely low budget and super cheesy.

Just Like Heaven.  My rating:  5 out of 10.  A perfectly average, predictable romantic comedy from Reese Witherspoon, who has made many better rom-coms than this.  I’m actually looking forward to her next one, This Means War, coming out Valentine’s Day 2012, but this one here was nothing special or to write home about.

Pet Sematary.  My rating:  6 out of 10.  Creepy 80s horror adaptation of the great Stephen King book.  The book, as always, was way better, but this was still a fun trip down retro lane.

The Romantics.  My rating:  5 out of 10.  This indie romance movie has a great cast, but unfortunately it falls flat way too often and too many of the characters are unappealing.  It’s a shame, because with this cast the film could have and should have been way better.

Tangled.  My rating:  8 out of 10.  Disney finally makes a good CGI film without having to use the folks over at Pixar.  Funny, touching, and entertaining, a great reimagining of the Rapunzel story.

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