Grosse Point Geek – Mission : Impossible – Fallout (2018)

Grosse Point Geek – Mission : Impossible – Fallout (2018)

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Grosse Point Geek casts his critical eye over the latest (some sometimes greatest) releases… this time out Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission : Impossible – Fallout 

Cast: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Plot in a nutshell: Its a tad complicated but the basics are as follows -when three nuclear devices go missing, its up to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team to get them back before a mysterious group called The Apostles detonates the lot of them and kills millions of innocent people in the process.

What worked: In short , pretty much everything  – especially the action scenes – which are genuinely gob smacking, manage to elevate the film into a whole new stratosphere of brilliance and are made even more impressive due to the fact that Tom Cruise did all his own stunts. Yes folks that really IS him performing the halo jump out of that plane and yes it’s also him piloting that helicopter at breakneck speed in the films stunningly mental finale. Indeed one can only imagine the amount of squeaky bum time the insurance company and the producers suffered throughout filming, wondering in desperation if their utterly mad bastard of a star actor was going to make it through to the next day in one piece.

In addition, whilst the action is outstanding, one must also credit writer/director Christopher McQuarrie, who not only directs with flair and confidence but also crafts an extremely good plot that manages to twist and turn and offer up some real surprises. Its also very well acted  – Cruise, as ever exudes mega watt charisma and owns every scene he is in,  Cavill (plus the legendary King’tache) does well and shows a refreshingly different side to what we are used to when he dons the cape as Superman, Rhames is his usual cool as a cucumber self, Pegg is great fun and gets lots more to do than just act as the comedy foil, Rebecca Ferguson makes a very welcome comeback as Isla Faust and once again more than holds her own in the action stakes, plus Sean Harris returns as the completely evil Solomon Kane and proves to be the best baddie of franchise so far.

What could have been better: Not much really  –  A few one liners from Cruise wouldn’t have gone amiss perhaps – the character of Ethan Hunt can be a little too serious at times and could do with occasionally being lightened up a bit. Finally, whilst the story is really good there are a couple of plot twists that i could see coming a mile off.

Best Scene: The films climax  – a frankly amazing helicopter chase that has to be seen to be believed

Summary Review:  A proper honest to goodness blockbuster and an incredible action film to boot, extremely well made and expertly directed by Christopher McQuarrie, however to be fair its Cruise who deserves most of the praise – the guy puts in a serious shift here doing most if not all his own stunts and  giving another great performance in what is rapidly becoming his signature role.

Fantastic entertainment  -don’t miss it

Pay to see it at the cinema? – You would be mad not to

Buy on DVD/Blu Ray? – God yes

 

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek

 

 

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Review: Blue Jasmine (DVD/BR)

Review: Blue Jasmine (DVD/BR)

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The Review: Cate Blanchett stars as Jasmine in Woody Allen’s latest dramedy – a sort of retelling of The Prince and the Pauper, brought up to date to analyse just how far a fall from grace can land you in an unexpected place.
Jasmine is a deeply complex character – precisely because she’s maddeningly straightforward; a lady of luxury, married to a wildly successful business, she’s living the high life in their fancy houses and dozens of cars.

She’s from modest means; an adopted child, along with her non-biological (and non-biodegradable, as it turns out) sister, Ginger. However, the bottom falls out of the good time and her husband is arrested for fraud, her son flees home to avoid the disgrace and Jasmine finds herself stripped of absolutely everything… and on the doorstep of her bohemian sibling in San Francisco. She has nowhere to go and must now acclimatise herself to a life of extreme poverty – in her eyes, of course. To us, this modest, happy-go-lucky (with every pun intended) is fairly routine. But what if you had everything and then lost it?

Allen of late has been like a pinball in a mixed-genre machine; from crime caper, to the downright farcical (the less said about Snoop, the better) it’s fair to say he’s not been at his best since the near-perfect Crimes and Misdemeanours of the late eighties. A number of reasonable spikes – including Match Point, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and, arguably, Midnight in Paris – have not sold me on a return to the glory, heady days of Annie Hall and Bananas in the long term.

Yet – somehow – Allen achieves gold here with Blue Jasmine. I suppose when you make a film a year on a stream-of-consciousness assembly line, the stars will align eventually to produce a fascinatingly brilliant drama. Blue Jasmine is that film.
Consider a character as rich in conceit as Jasmine herself; she’s somehow very unlikeable to us and everyone she meets, but she plays it up on the understanding that this is a career; a life of luxury is not handed to you on a silver platter, even though your three main meals are. Cate Blanchett dominates the role; alternately passive and mad, yet somehow we still root for this ditzy, spoiled witch. And then there’s her sister played in scene-stealing fashion by our own Sally Hawkins. Her Ginger is a twee, goofy solid gold lump of adorableness; the better of the two halves.

In reality, we all know these two people, somewhere, but rarely have to siblings been more at odds with one another. This paves the way from some quality drama between the pair, as they both hope off their previous love boats (Alec Baldwin in typical greasy smarm-overdrive, and a wonderfully sharp performance by Andrew Dice Clay) and on to their new prospects (Stellan Skarsgaard in typical greasy smarm-overdrive, and a wonderfully blunt performance by stand-up Louis C.K.).

Woody Allen knows, seemingly, that he’s struck gold this time around. His labours of “like” in the previous years have been exactly that; stop-gaps in time till a story he lands on truly becomes a story worth telling.

Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins alone wrestle the movie away from Allen’s clutches – yet his script and deft, dry – near passive – direction wrestle it back from them, until both parties agree to let go and climb on the back and run with it. It really ought not to be as captivating and insolently fascinating as it must surely sound on the page, but the movie is truly something very special.

It’s a story of family, greed and sheer apathy – and a welcome glisten of hope to a return to form for Allen which, I dunno about you, I thought had long since departed.


Reviewed By: Andrew Mackay

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