Monday, May 08, 2006
Movie Reviews: Mission Impossible 3 & The Family Stone
Mission Impossible 3
Retired from active duty, former spy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) now spends his time training IMF agents. But when a lunatic arms dealer named Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) threatens the life of his protégé, Lindsay (Keri Russell), the superspy gathers his crew old buddy Luther Strickell (Ving Rhames), transportation ace Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and underground operative Zhen (Maggie Q) to bring her back to safety. Doing so, however, causes Davian to go after Hunt's wife-to-be, Julia (Michelle Monaghan).
Cast Tom Cruise, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell
Director(s) J.J. Abrams
Writer(s) J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Status In theaters (wide)
Genre(s) Action, Spy, Sequel
Release Date May 5, 2006
Running Time 126 minutes
MPAA Rating PG-13 - for intense sequences of frenetic violence & menace, disturbing images & some sensuality
MI:3 is a satisfying way to start off the summer blockbuster season. A real step up from the 2nd film, J.J. Abrams already has a knack for the super spy genre with his experience on Alias. Abrams transition to the screen is fairly fluid and painless. Aside from one groan inducing, albeit small, Matrix-ish scene in the early part of the film, the action set pieces are bold and exciting. The plot is fairly straightforward and easy to follow, the action rarely lets up but when it does the film does a good job of fleshing out Ethan Hunt. Hunt was a fairly underdeveloped character in the first 2 films but here he seems more realistic, well realistic for a super spy that is. Tom Cruise is his usual consistent self, nothing really special in his acting but nothing horrible either. Ving Rhames returns as well and has some of the best one liners in the movie. Phillip Seymour Hoffmans character is a bit too one dimensional for my taste and a waste of such a great actor. Hoffman does well with the little hes given to do but for the most part hes under utilized. There is a twist near the end of the movie which is telegraphed from the get go but beside that small complaint this movie really excels.
The Family Stone
Everett (Mulroney) brings his girlfriend, Meredith (Parker), home to New England to meet his family, the Stones. She's an uptight New Yorker who doesn't blend in well with the easygoing, bohemian Stones. Soon, things are going so badly that Meredith calls her sister (Danes) for support.
Cast Diane Keaton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Dermot Mulroney, Claire Danes, Rachel McAdams (more)
Director(s) Thomas Bezucha
Writer(s) Thomas Bezucha
Status On DVD
Genre(s) Drama, Comedy
Release Date Dec. 16, 2005
DVD Release Date May 2, 2006
Running Time 102 minutes
MPAA Rating PG-13 - some sexual content including dialogue, and drug references
The Family Stone should be a very good movie; the talent involved alone should have guaranteed that but it fails to deliver. The movie suffers from quite a few aliments but mostly it just cant decided if it wants to be a serious film or a funny one. The tone of the movies changes so drastically from one moment to the next that the audience cant help but be entirely taken out of the film. The characters in the film are fairly unrealistic and do things that no rational human beings would do. This family is so clichéd in its quirks and dysfunction that the characters come off more as caricatures than real people. Im sure there was a good idea in the script somewhere but it just didnt make it to the screen. Sadly, the Family Stone a real waste of top-notch talent.