Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol

I know Brad Bird best as the director of "incredible" animated features -- "Up," "The Iron Giant," "Ratatouille" and, yes, "The Incredibles." His live action feature "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" is so ceaselessly kinetic it often feels like a cartoon, a mindlessly explosive, edge-of-your-seat, hair-pulling, nail-biting, jaw-dropping adventure with narrow escape piled atop narrow escape. Tom Cruise leads his three black-ops teammates (Paula Patton, Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner) to retrieve the launch codes for Russian nuclear missiles before uber-baddy Hendricks (Swedish movie star Michael Nyqvist of the original Girl With ... series) vaporizes a U.S. city and starts WWW III. Hokum? Of course, but the action sequences are positively stunning. Despite his legendary fall out with Viacom chief Sumner Redstone, Cruise is all over this film and will certainly be at the helm when the IM team mounts up for the next episode. What a ride!

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Queen & Slim

In the soon to be iconic photograph from Melina Matsoukas's distressing Queen & Slim, stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith...