Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol is Brad Bird‘s first live-action movie. Think about that for a second. In the film community he’s easily one of the most exciting and respected directors out there but he’s never released a movie with a flesh and blood person in it. It’s fairly mind-boggling. Then you watch The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille and realize the characters in those are way more human than humans are in most movies.

The fact of the matter is Brad Bird was simply born to tell entertaining, exciting stories and he’s finally doing it with humans with Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, which opened last week in IMAX and opens everywhere else today. Tom Cruise returns as IMF agent Ethan Hunt whose team, including Simon Pegg, Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner, are disavowed and must fight to save the world.

In October, /Film spoke to Bird at a Beverly Hills hotel about his first foray into live action, shooting for IMAX, its early release, the then-rumor of The Dark Knight Rises prologue being in front of his movie and the latest on his long discussed disaster film 1906. Read the interview after the jump. Read More »

Chances are you saw the new trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises and didn’t catch Robin the boy wonder or a reference back to the very beginning of the trilogy: Batman Begins. And you probably also saw Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in IMAX but somehow missed the hidden Pixar easter eggs that Ratatouille/The Incredibles director Brad Bird hid within the film. Aren’t you glad we’re here to point them out to you? Find the easer eggs, after the jump.

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This week, Dave Chen, Devindra, and Adam discuss The Dark Knight Rises prologue, praise the rarely seen Enlightened, and reflect on shows that have come back from the dead, creatively. Special guest Tasha Robinson from AV Club joins us for this episode.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Live broadcasts will resume in 2012.

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A Look Back at the Music of ‘Mission: Impossible’

Composers probably count themselves lucky if, within their lifetime, they can come up with a single piece of music that becomes ingrained enough in popular culture that it is instantly recognizable after only a few notes. Lalo Schifrin is one such composer. While Schifrin’s work spans decades, one of his most well-known pieces is the theme to the Mission: Impossible television series.

With today’s limited IMAX release of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (see Germain’s review here), I thought it might be fun to take a look back at some of the music from this series. Hit the jump and share your favorite pieces of music from the Mission: Impossible series after the jump.

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Without exaggeration, you can probably count the amount of static dialogue scenes in Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol on one hand. In seemingly each and every scene, director Brad Bird’s first live-action film is bursting with vitality. Things are always moving, situations are stressful, not everyone is who they say they are, and more often than not there’s some kind of awe-inspiring stunt or intense fight happening. From frame one, Ghost Protocol is a high-octane drag race of non-stop action and that in itself would almost be sufficient. Bird, however, separates this film from not only the rest of the series, but most action films in general, by having these scenes advance the plot as well as character, all while maintaining a welcome balance of levity and heart. Read More »

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Where can you be the among the first audiences ever to see The Cabin in the Woods, The Grey, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the first trailers for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and G.I. Joe Retaliation as well as huge upcoming titles like The Adventures of Tintin, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol all in one sitting, all for one ticket price, with the best film audience imaginable? Butt-Numb-A-Thon, of course.

For movie fans, Butt-Numb-A-Thon is the biggest and most rewarding test of film going stamina out there today. Now in its thirteenth year, this annual film festival celebrating the birthday of Ain’t It Cool News founder Harry Knowles is 24 straight hours of new and vintage films played to a hand-picked audience of fans who had to jump through all sorts of hoops to attend. Homework assignments, applications, embarrassing photos. Butt-Numb-A-Thon is not only a marathon of film watching, it’s a decathlon of film passion.

This year’s Butt-Numb-A-Thon, dubbed Butt-Numb-A-Thon Thirteen Wolf, featured an almost staggering amount of new movies, some incredible vintage films and surprises galore. Both Peter and I were lucky enough to have our applications accepted and you can read a full recap and more after the jump. Read More »

Tonight I was invited to the IMAX Theatre at Universal Citywalk to get an early look at Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises prologue, which will be attached to huge screen IMAX prints of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol on December 16th 2011 (participating theaters list). I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, so my report will be pretty spoiler free — purely a reaction.

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/Film readers were the first to know a 6-minute prologue to The Dark Knight Rises would be appearing exclusively in front of IMAX prints of Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol. It was then revealed the prologue wouldn’t be at all IMAX locations showing Brad Bird‘s film, just the 70mm ones, which cuts the number down drastically. Warner Bros. has finally fessed up to the fact that this is happening and they’ve released a full list of theaters that will be showing the prologue to Christopher Nolan‘s highly-anticipated film.

Let’s not short change Mission: Impossible though. Bird shot upwards of 30 minutes of his film in IMAX and is releasing it exclusively in that format five days before any normal theater can show it. It’s a big part of the movie and the best way to see it. So, odds are, you are going to want to click below, find the theater closest to you and buy your tickets as soon as possible. I know I will. Read More »

Thursday not only brings a brand new trailer for Brad Bird‘s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, it brings the permission for me to let you know what I thought of the two full, IMAX action scenes I saw from the film earlier this month. Paramount invited members of the press to the Rave Motion Pictures 18 in Los Angeles to see some of the footage Bird shot in full IMAX and it did not disappoint. It’s massive, it’s epic and it’ll make you hold on for dear life. After the jump, I’ll briefly describe the two scenes before jumping into a video blog reaction to the footage with Alex Billington from FirstShowing.net. Read More »

Here’s the full trailer for Brad Bird‘s first foray into live-action, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. This follows the same basic opening thread as the teaser trailer before kicking into gear with more story, suspense and action. There are some visual callbacks to past films in the series, and Simon Pegg gets a good moment. Ghost Protocol stars Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner, with Paula Patton, Josh Holloway, Ving Rhames, Michael Nyqvist, Anil Kapoor, Lea Seydoux and Vladimir Mashkov. Check out the trailer after the jump. Read More »