(Welcome to Team Leaders, a series where we explore how the directors of the Mission: Impossible movies used this franchise as a canvas to explore their pet themes and show off their unique sensibilities. In this edition: J.J. Abrams brings his “mystery box” methods to the series and reboots it all.)
After Mission: Impossible II made over half a billion dollars worldwide, it wouldn’t seem prudent to re-tool the franchise’s format. However, due to the overblown shooting schedule on John Woo’s first sequel, and the fact that the somewhat compromised final cut received mixed to negative reviews from both critics and fans (on top of Tom Cruise butting heads with the Hong Kong auteur on numerous occasions behind the scenes), taking the Mission: Impossible movies in a new direction makes sense in hindsight (at least from its star/chief creative force’s perspective).
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This morning I came across a well-edited video essay titled Star Wars – The Force of Abrams by Dan Fox (aka Hello Film Guy). The video is essentially an examination of filmmaker JJ Abrams‘ visual storytelling skills, theorizing how his methods might affect Star Wars: The Force Awakens. How will the JJ Abrams visual style affect the next installment of the Star Wars series? Find out after the jump.
Note: The video essay focuses only on visual style and doesn’t delve into the reoccurring plot devices or story beats of Abrams work. So you can feel free to watch this if you’re trying to avoid spoilers or speculation about the plot of The Force Awakens. That said, the video does use clips from the two released trailers.
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Posted on Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 by David Chen
In this week’s episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar, and Adam Quigley discuss their thoughts on upcoming renditions of Akira and the Riddick franchise, lavish some love on Adam Reed’s Archer, and see the return of Adam Quigley’s much-loved “Shit movie of the week” segment. Special guest Dan Eckman, whose film Mystery Team is now available for pre-order, 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. Join us next week on Monday night at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review Shutter Island.
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In this episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley get excited for 24: New York, get ambivalent about Wanted 2, get disappointed by Mitch Hurwitz’s Sit Down, Shut Up, and get intrigued by The Girlfriend Experience. Special guests Dan Trachtenberg from the Totally Rad Show and Jen Yamato from Rottentomatoes join 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. Join us next MONDAY night at Slashfilm’s live page at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST as we review State of Play.
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“Slide to the left, now slide to the right.”
The Internets today: Tom Cruise‘s career is on life support, yadda yadda. Is the Internets correct? I’m not fond of talking about Tom Cruise around the water cooler, but I’d say the Internets are wrong. Does that make me a relevant revolutionary? United Artists, which is headed up by Cruise and Paula Wagner, has pushed back the release date for Bryan Singer‘s expensive kill-Hitler flick, Valkyrie, from October ’08 to February 13th, 2009. Yes, that means Tom Cruise will battle Jason Voorhees. Amazing.
This marks the second calendar move for the poorly buzzed and semi-mocked war film. Previously, Valkyrie was set for a release this June, but when the original trailer–which lacked the kinetic action of a summer blockbuster and memorably showed Cruise as an eye-patched Nazi who talks like a Santa Cruz sensimilla dealer–bombed the film suddenly became a “prestige picture.” Fall called. Now President’s Day Weekend calls. Here’s what MGM’s distribution president, Clark Woods, had to say to The Hollywood Reporter…
“When an opening became available for Presidents Day weekend, we seized the opportunity. Having seen a lot of the film and how great it is going to play once it’s finished, moving into a big holiday weekend is the right move.”
Over at The Hot Blog, David Poland speculates that Cruise will rev up Mission: Impossible 4 for a start in September in order to get a sure thing in the basket. Poland doesn’t give specifics but says he’s 90% sure that M:I 4 will happen. Really? Given how poorly M:I 3 did domestically, I can’t imagine Cruise resorting to Ethan Hunt for the save. Peter disagrees, but I think Cruise should follow-up his cameo in Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder, which has great w.o.m., with another comedy. Hardy Men with Stiller needs to happen, stat. After Lions For Lambs (which cannot be blamed on The Cruise, it was a terribly marketed talk-fest war film) and Valkyrie (which clearly has identity issues), I really don’t think audiences want to see this guy in another serious role.
The only way for Cruise to avoid more stabs from Perez Hilton’s ilk, boisterous Scientology haters and the Net’s endless celebrity career strategizers is to take aim at the very notion that it’s getting to him. Showing American audiences how fast The Cruise can sprint from million-dollar missiles is not going to prove anything at this point.
As for Valkyrie‘s new date, I think it’s actually smart. It meets expectations for the film, and while February is considered a dead zone, The Wolf Man and The Pink Panther 2 were formerly parked there. When it comes to marketing, the main thing with Valkyrie is “what in the hell is it?” At this point, it just needs to be entertaining and not accidentally hilarious. If it flops during Valentine’s Day, there will be less eyes and less surprise.
Discuss: Do you think M:I 4 will happen? Would Cruise be better off following-up his Valley Nazi with Hardy Men or even Risky Business 2? Is it action film or bust at this point?