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Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol still entertains, but it does not save the world.

14 Feb


Tom Cruise once again accepts the mission to star as Ethan Hunt in the fourth installment of the Mission Impossible franchise. Ghost Protocol adds some new members, Jeremy Renner (William Brandt) and Paula Patton (Jane Carter), which do a good job complimenting Cruise, but it is obvious that the villains do not share the same fire power. The story is straight-forward with no twists. There are some amazing stunts that keep the film in the conversation, but the action is not good enough to save the story. If Hunt is going to continue to accept missions, then it is time the franchise find a new a star to take on the role. I am a big Tom Cruise supporter, but he does not have the same explosive presence he did in the earlier films. He looked tired and undersized for the role standing next to Renner. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol still entertains, but it does not save the world.


Chuck’s Grade: B-

Adam’s Grade: B+

Zero Dark Thirty

17 Jan


Zero Dark Thirty chronicles an inexperienced CIA officer’s pursuit of Osama Bin Laden over a ten year investigation that led from one clue to the next, until she was able to convince a group of senior officials that Bin Laden was living in a compound in Pakistan.

Director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal team up again after their success of The Hurt Locker and deliver one of the most talked about films of 2012. I cannot remember when so many people have asked me if I had gone and seen the movie. There is an emotional investment that Bigelow and Boal are able to honor with their efforts, which is rare in Hollywood. The film successful builds tension for a known story, until the climatic twenty minute raid sequence in the end. Jessica Chastain’s presence is commanding and her performance is the compass that leads audiences safely through this deadly game of hide and seek with a sense of satisfaction.


Adam’s Grade: B+
Chuck’s Grade: A


3 Jan


Haywire is a fast paced action thriller that follows a betrayed covert operator that wants to exact revenge on her former employers. Director Steven Soderberg’s film features Hollywood’s next big action star. Her name is Gina Carano, a former mixed martial artist that has real fighting skills and good looks that gives her an on-screen presence not seen since Chuck Norris retired his black belt. Granted, Carano’s acting ability is rough around the edges, but there are moments that reveal her potential for becoming a natural. The fight sequences are great, but there are some clunky scenes, as well as some unrealistic logistics for the sake of pacing. Soderbergh puts together an interesting cast: Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton, and Ewan McGregor. My main criticism is that these actors did not have enough to do because of a lean script. Hopefully, Carano will get an opportunity to turn this character into a successful franchise.


Chuck’s Grace: B

Adam’s Grade: C+

Casino Royale: BOND IS BACK

9 Aug

Daniel Craig takes the reins in the new and improved Bond series. What the writers and director have accomplished in Casino Royale is astounding. They took a battered and bruised series and made it into an inventive spy serial with a new look. The real ace flying the plane is Mr. Craig who brings us along for the ride. Obviously, the film wasn’t shot in sequence but it seems that way. We see him change from cockiness to stubborn to humble to confident. He also has a supporting cast that is flawless with Eva Green, Jeffrey Wright, Dame Judi Dench and Mads Mikkelsen giving a non-cartoonish role as the film’s villain.

At 145 minutes it’s the longest Bond yet, but thanks to its sharp editing and quick pacing it breezes by. The action sequences are choreographed extremely well and besides the multiple endings, this is easily one of the best Bond and films of 2006.


Adam’s grade: A-

Chuck’s grade: B