Mission Impossible:Rogue Nation Review

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This is the fifth installment of the Mission Impossible franchise. This has been Tom Cruises child for about twenty years now. He plays the lead character Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible:Rogue Nation just like he has in the past four films, This film starts off with Ethan Hunt fighting mercenaries on a plane. Most of the scene though is him hanging off the side of said plane. This was quite a breathtaking scene even though we have seen it in the trailers. Back in the states Jeremy Renner’s Brandt fights to save the IMF. The super secret organization Ethan and he work for. Alec Baldwin plays the head of the CIA Alan Hundley he wants to disband the IMF because there not being responsible for all the deaths and damage they cause while in the process of doing there jobs. Ethan has to hide in the shadows but also try and keep tabs on and with his fellow IMF friends. Benjamin Dunn played by Simon Pegg is stuck at his desk doing analysis and has to go through weekly lie detector tests. He gets a letter from from an unknown person to go to Vienna with tickets to the opera. He takes an impromptu vacation to Europe on a whim.

Ethan goes to a secret library for special agents of the IMF and get knocked out by nerve gas and kidnapped by his new adversary Solomon Lane played brilliantly by Sean Harris. Under the watch of his captures he meets a beautiful women named Ilsa Faust played by Rebecca Ferguson. She helps Ethan escape but she has reasons for doing so. She hopes he’ll lead her to a secret file she needs. She befriends Ethan and his fellow IMF Agents and end up working with them to find and retrieve the file they need. This leads to one of the main action set pieces in the film. Involving diving down into a huge water tank and holding his breath for three minutes while Bengy goes through the front door and through some other fail safes. After this everything leads to a huge chase seen involving cars and motorcycles.

These Mission Impossible movies have mostly been great. All but,the second have been. They all have different types of stories while all remaining faithful to the source material. The last one Mission Impossible:Ghost Protocol was epic in scale. This however has more of a story based feel to it then the last one. The action scenes are breathtaking and heart stopping like others have been in the series, Especially the Burj Khalifa scene in MI:Ghost Protocol. The characters in this film though are what makes the story flow and makes it much more believable then past installments of this franchise. Simon Pegg, adds some comedy relief and Jeremy Renner and Rebecca Ferguson are both solid in there respective roles as Ilsa Faust and William Brandt. I give Mission Impossible:Rogue Nation a big See-it. This edition to the franchise is one of the better films after MI;Ghost Protocal in my opinion.

Dan Skip Allen

These are Tom Cruise’s Best Films of his career.

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#10: On my list of Tom Cruise films is A Few Good Men. Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) is a military lawyer defending two U.S. Marines charged with killing a fellow Marine at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Although Kaffee is known for seeking plea bargains, a fellow lawyer, Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore), convinces him that the accused marines were most likely carrying out an order from a commanding officer. Kaffee takes a risk by calling Col. Nathan R. Jessep (Jack Nicholson) to the stand in an effort to uncover the conspiracy.

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#9: On my List is Risky Business. Ecstatic when his parents leave on vacation for a few days, high school senior Joel Goodsen (Tom Cruise) cuts loose with his best friend Miles. After an attempt at securing the services of a prostitute goes slightly awry, Joel hires gorgeous Lana (Rebecca De Mornay) for a night of delight. Stunned by the amount of Lana’s “bill” the next morning, Joel grows frantic after he crashes his father’s Porsche. In an effort to raise lots of money fast, a desperate Joel turns the house into a brothel.

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#8: On my List is Mission Impossible:Ghost Protocol. Blamed for a terrorist attack on the Kremlin, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the entire IMF agency are disavowed by the U.S. government, while the president initiates the Ghost Protocol. Forced to go “off the grid” — left without resources or backup — Hunt must somehow clear the agency’s name and prevent another attack. Complicating matters even more, Ethan must undertake the impossible mission with a group of fellow IMF fugitives whose actual motives are suspect.

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#7: On my List is Minority Report. Based on a story by famed science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, “Minority Report” is an action-detective thriller set in Washington D.C. in 2054, where police utilize a psychic technology to arrest and convictmurderers before they commit their crime. Tom Cruise plays (John Anderton)  the head of this Precrime unit and is himself accused of the future murder of a man he hasn’t even met. 

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#6: On my List is Top Gun. The Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School is where the best of the best train to refine their elite flying skills. When hotshot fighter pilot Maverick (Tom Cruise) is sent to the school, his reckless attitude and cocky demeanor put him at odds with the other pilots, especially the cool and collected Iceman (Val Kilmer). But Maverick isn’t only competing to be the top fighter pilot, he’s also fighting for the attention of his beautiful flight instructor, Charlotte Blackwood (Kelly McGillis).

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#5: On my List is Interview With a Vampire. Born as an 18th-century lord, Louis (Brad Pitt) is now a bicentennial vampire, telling his story to an eager biographer (Christian Slater). Suicidal after the death of his family, he meets Lestat (Tom Cruise), a vampire who persuades him to choose immortality over death and become his companion. Eventually, gentle Louis resolves to leave his violent maker, but Lestat guilts him into staying by turning a young girl (Kirsten Dunst) — whose addition to the “family” breeds even more conflict. 

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#4: On my List is Collateral. A cab driver named Max played by (Jamie Foxx) realizes his current fare is a hit man named Vincent played by (Tom Cruise) that has been having him drive around from mark to mark until the last witness to a crime is dead. When the cabbie finally figures out the truth, he must prevent the assassin from wiping out his last witness without becoming the next in the professional killer’s line of casualties. 

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#3: On my List is Valkyrie. Col. Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) serves Germany with loyalty and pride but fears that Hitler will destroy his country if allowed to run unchecked. With time running out for Germany and the rest of Europe, von Stauffenberg joins a group of like-minded, high-ranking men who want to overthrow the Nazi regime from within. With everything he holds dear in the balance, von Stauffenberg becomes the trigger man in a plot to assassinate the evil dictator. 

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#2: On my List is Magnolia. Tom Cruise plays motivational speaker Frank T.J. Mackey. On one random day in the San Fernando Valley, a dying father, a young wife, a male caretaker, a famous lost son, a police officer in love, a boy genius, an ex-boy genius, a game show host and an estranged daughter will each become part of a dazzling multiplicity of plots, but one story. 

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#1: On my List is Born on the Fourth of July. In the mid 1960s, suburban New York teenager Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) enlists in the Marines, fulfilling what he sees as his patriotic duty. During his second tour in Vietnam, he accidentally kills a fellow soldier during a retreat and later becomes permanently paralyzed in battle. Returning home to an uncaring Veterans Administration bureaucracy and to people on both sides of the political divide who don’t understand what he went through, Kovic becomes an impassioned critic of the war. 

Dan Skip Allen

Southpaw Review

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Southpaw is the latest movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal, he plays Billy “The Great” Hope. He’s a successful junior middleweight boxing champion with everything. A beautiful wife, Maureen played by Rachel McAdams, and a daughter, Laila played by Oona Laurence, and a nice house. He just wants to just continue to fight and defend his championship. He has a antagonist who wants to fight for the championship, Ramone played by Victor Ortiz, but his wife doesn’t want Billy to fight him.She wants him to take some time off from boxing and take a break. This all comes to a head when the three of them were at  a fundraising dinner and they get into an argument and Billy’s wife, Maureen,gets shot. This starts Billy down the road that is not so good because he ends up losing his house, losing his title.  He rushes into a contract with his manager, played by Jordan Mains played by 50 Cent, and he is not thinking about training he was  thinking about all his problems and the loss of his wife. Billy goes down a path of violence and self destruction.This leads him to lose his daughter to child services. He just wants to see his daughter again because that’s all he has.Naomie Harris plays Angela Rivera the child services counselor. She helps Billy get to see his daughter again by doing the things he needs to do. He gets a job at a local gym.   He ends up going to a gym where he meets a man by the name of Tigg Wells played by Forest Whitaker.  Wells doesn’t want to train Billy, but Billy convinces him that he is his only hope and that he was the only trainer that ever had a boxer that beats him even though it was a draw. Billy goes through the whole process of training and getting back on track to try to be the opponent where the other guy Ramone is the champ now.  He beat the guy that beat Billy. The movie climax is a big fight scene. This fight is a fight of redemption for Billy  and it will help him get some of his credibility back some of his greatness back from when he was a junior middleweight  boxing champion.

I give I give Southpaw a big See-it based on the great performance by Jake Gyllenhaal he gives the performance of the year in my opinion. This is one of the best  performances you’ll see this year or any other year for that matter.The brutality of the fights, just the down and dirty kind of way they film this movie. The training and all that stuff that goes into a boxing movie. Antoine Fuqua does it again. I think that this is one of his, if not his best movie to date after Training day and End of Watch. He captures the down and dirty aspects of a boxing movie in the gym in the fighting in the blood. Southpaws is up there with some of the greatest boxing movies ever Raging Bull, Rocky, Cinderella Man the Hurricane. They all capture what it is to be a boxer and what’s the lifestyle of a boxer is like.  I think this movie does it just as well if not better than the others. This is my review of Southpaw From the Fourth Row.

Dan skip Allen

Ant-Man Review

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Ant Man is Marvel’s latest stand alone film. It stars Paul Rudd as the titular Avenger. The film starts out with him getting out of prison trying to make things right with his estranged wife played by Judy Greer so he can see his daughter. Her husband played by Bobby Cannavale doesn’t want him to have anything to do with the little girl. Scott sets out to try to make things right in  his life. By getting a job at a Baskin Robbins ice cream shop.Scott has buddy Louis,played by, Michael Pena, who tries to convince him that he should get back into a life of crime. He’s got this one job he thinks would be perfect for Scott and his crew. After getting fired from Baskin Robbins Scott decides he needs money and he needs something to show his ex wife so he decides to do this one job. He ends up robbing the house of Hank Pym played by Michael Douglas and finds a suit in a vault and ends up taking the suit. He takes the suit back to his apartment and tries it on and realizes he has shrunk down to the size of an ant.  Normal tub water turns into a like a tidal wave and so he’s fighting for his life. Scott tries to bring the suit back but, Hank Pym gets in his ear because he had nanotechnology built into the suit so he could contact him. He says to him that he is the right man for the job and he wants him to be the Ant Man. With the help of his daughter Hope Van Dine  played by, Evengeline Lilly, and Hank puts Scott  through a rigorous training schedule so he can use the suit to break into Hanks company called Pym Technology. Corey Stoll, portrays Darren Cross, the head of Pym Technology and he has got his own suit called the Yellow Jacket.  He tries to use The Yellow Jacket to sell to the military and make a bunch of tiny warriors for the American government. That’s not exactly what Hank envisioned his company for so Scott and his crew Michael Pena, Louis,TI, and David Dastmalchian they all get together with Hank Pym and Hop Van Dine to try to rob Pym Technologies so they can get the suit out of the hands of Corey Stoll’s Darren Cross character.

Ant Man is a unbelievable, funny, action packed thrill ride but it has a heart. Where a lot of  Marvel films don’t have the heart that Ant-man has. This is a film about a father trying to find redemption and try to show his daughter that he’s a good father and he cares about her. There is so much comedy but the micro for photography really takes over. It’s just breathtaking to watch some of the scenes, fighting in and around a carpet or up on a little toy train set. I absolutely think that Ant-man is one of the Top Five of all the Marvel Cinematic movies.Guardians of the Galaxy,Avengers,Avengers:Age of Ultron and Captain America the Winter Soldier are the best and then Ant-man is after those in my opinion. It’s a heist movie and a shrinking movie all combined into one. Peyten Reed has really captured the essence of the character and the world he lives in with Ant-man. This is a movie for the entire family, parents, kids anybody that has a family and has struggled and specially separated families. You know you can really feel for what Scott Lang is going through so I give Ant-man a huge See-it.
Dan Skip Allen

Jack O’Connell a star on the horizon!

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Were in a new era of young stars on the horizon the last few years. With great young talents like Miles Teller,Micheal B. Jordan,Dane Dehaan and Jack O’Connell among others. Jack O’Connell though has been a little less known from the others I mention’d. He had lesser roles in 300:Rise of an Empire,Harry Brown and The Damned United as well as other smaller parts in a few more films. Three movies he has shined in though the last six months or so are Starred Up,71 and Unbroken.

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O’Connell stars as Eric Love in Starred Up a teenager transferred from a juvenile detention center to an adult prison for men. While there he runs in to his father Neville portrayed by another lesser known character actor but very good in his own right, Ben Mendlesohn. Of course they are like oil an vinegar. They instantly butt heads. Eric doesn’t like the fact that he’s locked up at all and frequently gets in fights or arguments with the prisoners and guards. He joins a group of prisoners who get together to talk about there problems and lives in and out of prison. The leader of the group Oliver played by Rupert Friend, tries to get through to Eric like no other have tried. Starred Up is a star making performance by O’Connell and he takes this role of this troubled teenager to the next level.

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O’Connell plays young British military officer Gary Hook. He and his unit are sent to Belfast Northern Ireland to quell some rioting and violence by Catholics. After getting a little to much resistance from the local people of Belfast Gary’s unit leaves him accidentally. The local IRA members find out about this and start searching the city furiously. Turning over every rock and go house to house and apartment to apartment. Gary find refuge with so local protestant sympathizers but has to go on the run again to keep the IRA off of his friends. 71 really shows how this feud between England and Northern Ireland escalated on such a violent level. The viciousness of this conflict shows in the chase for Hook through the streets of Belfast. Once again O’Connell shows he is a star on the rise.

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O’Connell plays Louis “Louie” Zmperini  a troubled teen. With the help from his older brother he starts to run to get his frustrations out. He later gets qualifies for the 1936 Olympic games as a long distance runner. When World War II breaks out Louie goes to enlist. While flying over the Pacific Ocean his plane crashes in the Ocean. His co-stars include Jai Courtney as Hugh ‘Cup” Cupper, Domhnall Gleason as Russell Allen ‘Phil”, Garrett Hedlund as John Fitzgerald and Finn Wittrock as Francis “Mac” MacNamara. A few of his plane mates survive along with Louie and they are adrift for 47 days. Until a Japanese ship finds them almost dead. They are put in a prisoner of war camp where Louie is targeted by the prison commander who was once a racing rival. Louie goes through some horrible torture at the hands of Mutsushiro Watanabe portrayed by Miyavi. Unbroken is directed by Angelina Jolie in her second go at the art f directing after In the Land of Blood and Honey. O’Connell once again shows what he’s willing to do to get the performance he needs to make the movie work on all levels. He really puts himself through a lot on this movie which makes for a better movie and a more enjoyable experience.

Jack O’Connell has proven in these three great performances that he has the acting chops to become one of the greats of his generation. With these roles you can see him get better and better at the craft of acting and as the films came out in the theaters the performances were better in each film. O’Connell will be one to watch as the days and months go by. I for one will definitely be keeping track of his up coming films

Dan Skip Allen

Neil Blomkamp is becoming a house hold name.

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When I first heard the name Neil Blomkamp it was in a story about him being tapped to direct a Halo movie. Peter Jackson said he wanted to produce it and have this unknown filmmaker direct it. Of course this didn’t go over so well with the video game faithful who religiously play the game for hrs at a time. The Halo fans created such a stink that Blomkamp and Jackson never made the movie. Neil Blomkamp would later go on to direct his first feature length film called District 9 instead. Neil is a South African filmmaker he directs,produces and writes his own material. He generally mixes science fiction and special effects shots with realistic settings and themes. He is based out of Vancouver British Columbia, Canada.

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District 9 was a critical and financial success. This film has some realistic themes like all of Blomkamp’s films. The theme apartheid was very prevalent and up front and in your face in this film. Coming from South Africa Blomkamp knew very well how this would be a tough theme to sell to audiences and critics. Nonetheless it was a huge success. Sharlto Copley was a child hood friend of Blomkamp’s and they would becomes very close after high school. They helped each other further there film careers in different ways. Blomkamp has used Copley in all of his theatrical releases to date. Copley plays Wikus a government agent who accidentally  opens a can of alien technology and spays its contents on himself. Trying to escape the law he eventually befriends some of the aliens living in squalor in District 9. Blomkamp uses a shaky cam style of film making while adding state of the art special effects. Mixing the two he creates the near futuristic  realistic world of Johannesburg. With the alien ship over head it looms large in the over all plot of the story and how these aliens disrespectfully called prawns because of there likeness to  sea creature’s can find better way of living. Wikus worked for MNU (Muti-National United and all the cared about was how to turn the alien tech into weapons they can use. Also Mumbo a Nigerien runs the slum of District 9 and he has is own agenda on how to use these sad aliens for his own gain. District 9 premiere’d August 14th 2009. District 9 has a 90 % on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Elysium was Blomkamp’s next film and once again he would have strong themes through out this sci-fi drama. Once again he would use his go to guy Sharlto Copley in Elysium but, this time as the evil killer Kruger. Big name actors have come on board this time around though as well. Matt Damon and Jodie Foster play both sides of a question. Damon’s Max who has been infected with a disease and Fosters Delacourt who is the defense minister vying for the Presidency. When her beautiful world of Elysium is threatened by this earth scum he vows to stop him and his friend Julio (Diego Luna) at all costs. Heath care is the major theme of Elysium and it was in the United States at the time this film came out was well. Blomkamp is great at putting his thump on the pulse of hard hitting topics. Then combining them with great sci-fi adventure and drama. Elysium came out in theater’s August 9th 2013 to mediate to mixed reviews by critics and audiences alike. Elysium has a 68 % on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Chappie is Blomkamp’s latest film out this week March 6th 2015. He once again mixes sci-fi themes with drama and action. Bullying and pear pressure are up front in this film. Along with who should be able to weld technology and the key to its creation. A couple of big name star once again join Blomkamp on this fore into robot police and law enforcement. Hugh Jackman is the foil to Dev Patel this time around with a company owner played by Sigourney Weaver. William Fichner played the company owner in Elysium. Very similar characters in both films. Chappie is voiced non other then Charlto Copley. This makes three films he and Blomkamp have worked together on. Blomcamp uses a couple local rappers/singers as some criminal robbers who find Chappie and reprogram him. He then gain sentient life and try to become more human.

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A couple of weeks ago on his twitter account Neil Blomkamp announced that his next film would be Aliens 5. It would star once again in the role of Ripley Sigourney Weaver. He said that it would take place between Aliens and Aliens 3 the the David Fincher outing he later disavowed. Blomkamp would bring so fresh energy to this dying franchise. After Aliens Resurrection and tow Aliens vs Predator movies this franchise has kind of died. Blomkamp definitely has a style he can and would lend to this sci-fi horror genre. Science fiction movies have been hit and miss and horror movies have been generally pretty bad and unoriginal. Hers hoping Blomkamp brings these two genre’s back with a bang. Ridley Scott will produce the new film and it will be separate from Prometheus 2 and its will be a 20th Century Fox film.

Dan Skip Allen