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Mission: Impossible Fallout Is the Most Spectacular Action Film in Years

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“Tom Cruise takes the title of his Mission: Impossible franchise as a literal challenge. With each successive installment, Cruise attempts to demonstrate that no classic set piece cant be topped and that, no matter his advancing age (56), he can keep ignoring (if not outright fighting) Father Time to pull off ever-greater acts of stuntman insanity, at crazy risk to his personal safety. Thats never more true than with Fallout, his sixth outing as covert agent Ethan Hunt, which reconfirms that his inspired-by-TV endeavor is still the greatest blockbuster saga around, and that hes Hollywoods premiere action-adventure Peter Pan, an actor whoregardless of his spottier track record as of lateis right at home in this world of spies, masks and self-destructing messages. Determined to perpetually raise the bar for both the series and himself, Cruise again proves, with his latest, that both of those seemingly impossible feats is possible.

Fallout is the best action film since Mad Max: Fury Road, and its unique in the big-screen history of Mission: Impossible, in that its the first episode to be helmed by a return directorChristopher McQuarrie, who spearheaded 2015s stellar Rogue Nation. For an undertaking once defined by its shifting personalitythanks to each entry being a stand-alone effort from a distinctive auteur (Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams, Brad Bird)the decision to reenlist McQuarrie signifies that Cruise has settled on a signature voice for his series. Not only does McQuarrie deliver the same style of grand, vigorous mayhem that he did before, but working as sole screenwriter, he also turns Fallout into a legitimate sequel to its immediate predecessor, continuing the story he began three years agowhile additionally, in one key respect, referencing Abrams Mission: Impossible III.

The decision to go back to McQuarrie does negate the thrill of discovering a new aesthetic and tone, which up until now has been a Mission: Impossible hallmark. Nonetheless, whats gained is far greatera refinement of McQuarries superb action form. Fallout features more astounding set pieces than can be found in the rest of 2018s summer crop combined, all of which escalate with such mounting electricity that its hard to catch ones breath. The directors stunning widescreen visuals (even more impressive in IMAX, whose outsized format is repeatedly exploited) enhance the magnificence of his scripting and staging, in which initially straightforward scenarios become complicated by a raft of unforeseen events, until the tension is almost too much to bear. In terms of providing a pure adrenalized rush, almost no contemporaries are in its league.

That Cruises Hunt routinely responds to surprising situations with Ill figure it out only amplifies the anxious anticipation of…….”

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/mission-impossible-fallout-is-the-most-spectacular-action-film-in-years

New Movie Reviews

‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ is one of the best superhero movies ever: Review

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There’s a new Spider-Man in town, and he’s freaking amazing.

Image: Columbia / Sony

“To say that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse feels like a comic book come to life may sound like faint praise, seeing as we’re two decades into a superhero movie boom that the original Spider-Man helped jump start.

But few recent films have embraced the comic book style and sensibility — its visual quirks and anything-goes openness — as wholeheartedly as Spider-Verse has, or enjoyed as fully the potential in combining the two mediums.

Right off the bat, Spider-Verse acknowledges that it’s probably the 700th Spider-Man story you’ve seen in the past few years. A voiceover “yada yadas” the basics of Peter Parker’s origin story, while winking at almost every iteration of it; even the much-maligned Spider-Man 3 gets a rueful shoutout. This movie isn’t afraid of a laugh at its own expense, though the knowing humor is more affectionate than biting.

Spider-Verse has a distinct feel unlike any other Spider-Man movie before.

When that montage ends with Peter telling us “there’s only one Spider-Man,” it plays like another joke, because we’ve seen so many Peters over so many years. And becomes even more of one once we meet Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore).

Though Miles has been a fan favorite in the comics since 2011, Spider-Verse marks his first time on the big screen. Accordingly, Spider-Verse has a distinct feel unlike any other Spider-Man movie before it.

Spider-Verse eschews both the slick three-dimensional look of most modern studio animated movies (think Pixar or Illumination) and the gritty “realism” of most live-action superhero movies, in favor of a flatter, sketchier aesthetic bursting with poppy colors, Ben-Day dots, and motion lines. It’s an obvious nod to Spidey’s ink-and-paper history, but it’s also an expression of how Miles, himself a character who’s grown up admiring Spidey and reading Spidey books, might view his own superhero saga…………………………………………”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/spider-man-into-the-spider-verse-movie-review/

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Creed II review – Rocky saga continues with knockout sequel

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“Before he delivered arguably Marvel’s most dazzling chapter to date, Ryan Coogler had managed something close to impossible in Hollywood: he had found a fresh way to reboot a dusty franchise. In a landscape of endless thirst and vacant remixing, he had somehow managed to concoct a nifty, imaginative way back into the Rocky saga with Creed, a film that felt old-fashioned yet fresh, intimate yet grand, a rousing return from the grave.

By focusing on the son of Rocky’s competitor-turned-friend Apollo Creed, Coogler was also able to reteam with Michael B Jordan, who made such an indelible impression in his first film, 2013’s devastating fact-based drama Fruitvale Station. The duo worked together again in Black Panther earlier this year, with Jordan switching tacks to play villain Killmonger, and so soon after, seeing him return as Creed is a further reminder of his broad star appeal, the sort of rare leading man one can imagine remaining at the top of his game for years to come. Given his time in Wakanda, Coogler was unable to return but he has handed over directorial duties to Steven Caple Jr, who impressed in 2016 with debut feature The Land, and it is a similarly deft rise from micro-budget indie to franchise film-making.

While it’s not quite the showstopper that its predecessor was, Creed II is still another knockout piece of entertainment. There’s a keen awareness of what made Creed work so well without it feeling like a lethargic rehash. This time, Adonis (Jordan) is the heavyweight champion of the world, in a loving relationship with his pregnant musician girlfriend Bianca (Tessa Thompson) and still living near and working out with a recovering Rocky (Sylvester Stallone). But there’s discontent from……………………………………..”

Read More Here: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/nov/16/creed-ii-review-rocky-sylvester-stallone-michael-b-jordan

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They Shall Not Grow Old review – a breathtaking journey into the trenches

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Written by Mark Kermode, Observer film critic

“There’s a familiar mantra that computers have somehow taken the humanity out of cinema. In an age when it’s possible to conjure spectacular action from digital effects, many modern movies have developed a sense of weightlessness – the inconsequentiality of artifice. Along with Avatar director James Cameron, New Zealand film-maker Peter Jackson has been at the forefront of the digital revolution, with his twin Tolkien trilogies (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) pushing the boundaries of computer-generated entertainment.

Yet with his latest project, a revivification of the Imperial War Museum’s archive of first world war footage, Jackson has done something quite remarkable: using 21st-century technology to put the humanity back into old movie stock. The result is utterly breathtaking.

Commissioned for the Armistice centenary by IWM and 14-18 NOW in association with the BBC, They Shall Not Grow Old is not a document of the world at war. Rather, it is an arresting snapshot of the lives of British soldiers who went to fight in Europe, many of them having lied about their tender ages to enlist. There are no historians, narrators or political commentators to guide us; the voices we hear are those of veterans, many gathered by the BBC during the making of its 1964 documentary series The Great War.

As we watch a line of soldiers marching through mud towards the front, something extraordinary happens. The film seems almost miraculously to change from silent black-and-white footage to colour film with sound, as though 100 years of film history had been suddenly telescoped into a single moment. Stepping through the looking glass, we find ourselves right there in the trenches, surrounded by young men whose faces are as close and clear as those of people we would pass in the street. I’ve often argued that cinema is a time machine, but rarely has that seemed so true………………………………………………”

Read the rest of the article here: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/nov/11/they-shall-not-grow-old-peter-jackson-review-first-world-war-footage

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