REVIEW: Mission: Impossible – Fallout [2018]

We’re never free. The former leader of a group of rogue agents seeking to unite people against unchecked government oversight—a cause worthy of pause if not for the terrorist acts of genocide utilized to achieve this goal—speaks to the man who caught him with confidence about how he’s worked to ensure the price of that “hero’s” good intentions will soon be paid in full. We wonder how this is possible considering Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) was captured by Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) two in-film years ago, spending every second since…

Read More

REVIEW: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation [2015]

“Face your fate” It’s amazing what a few years can do for a celebrity’s image. From couch-jumping in love to rumors of getting written out of the fourth Mission: Impossible installment despite building the franchise to being the bell of the Hollywood Ball scaling the Burj Khalifa and now hanging from an Airbus A400M Atlas in flight without a stunt double, Tom Cruise epitomizes box office royalty. Hell, there’s even rumblings he’s trying to distance himself from Scientology now—but I won’t hold my breathe with that one. Whatever he does…

Read More

REVIEW: Edge of Tomorrow [2014]

“The only thing missing is you” When a script is placed on The Black List—an unauthorized survey of the “best” unproduced screenplays making the rounds—it’s generally a calling card for the writer. Many of these works come off to huge success and springboard the author to great heights in hopes more box office winners lay dormant inside his or her mind. With the highly entertaining Edge of Tomorrow, however, this isn’t quite the case. While based on a Japanese young adult novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka entitled All You Need Is…

Read More

REVIEW: X-Men [2000]

“What do they call you? Wheels?” It’s hard to believe-fourteen years gone-that X-Men was the comic book property used to usher in our current “golden age” of superhero movies. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised considering it’s probably the most relatable due to its being devoid of flying aliens, radioactive spiders, and Gods. No, short of Batman transforming the memory his parents’ murder into the life of a vigilante, mutants are the most “human” creation Marvel or DC has created (at least to someone with barely a cursory knowledge of…

Read More

REVIEW: The Wolverine [2013]

“Everything has a meaning” To think, just a few short years ago The Wolverine held infinite promise. Fox brought in Christopher McQuarrie to rekindle his X-Men involvement after uncredited work on pal Bryan Singer’s franchise starter and independent auteur Darren Aronofsky was tapped to finally get a comic book flick after losing out on a Batman: Year One go. Star Hugh Jackman was giddy in interviews about the visual aesthetic a Japanese setting would give—the film culls its material from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s Wolverine arc—as well as the…

Read More

REVIEW: Jack the Giant Slayer [2013]

“We never forget a smell” What do you get when you combine the English folktale Jack and the Beanstalk with the more violent Cornish fairy tale Jack the Giant Killer in an age where computer animation pretty much allows anything to be possible? Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer, of course. A film that has traveled through many hands—Darren Lemke wrote the original script, David Dobkin has a credit, D.J. Caruso was once attached to direct, and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie reworked the tone and plot to where it is today—I…

Read More

REVIEW: Jack Reacher [2012]

“Weird to meet you” It appears it was only a matter of time before author Lee Child—or Jim Grant to his parents—saw the sole protagonist of his life’s work on the big screen. Jack Reacher is the type of character audiences adore; one easily catered towards the sequel model paved by Tom Clancy‘s Jack Ryan if and when Tom Cruise finally gives up action flicks. An ex-Army Military Police Major who spent his childhood abroad before a stint at West Point led to thirteen years in the service, he now…

Read More

REVIEW: Valkyrie [2008]

“Long live sacred Germany” Bryan Singer returns to a world that isn’t inhabited with superheroes, joining an old friend in screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, a partnership that last resulted in The Usual Suspects. The question then becomes whether lightning can strike twice and if Tom Cruise’s thoughts that it would, by producing it as his second feature as head of United Artists, could be correct. With Valkyrie, a “based on true events” tale of high Nazi officials with enough guts to risk their lives to stop Adolf Hitler’s reign of terror…

Read More