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Anyone growing into pop culture consciousness during the mid-2000s will be familiar with a certain type of Tom Cruise, one labeled with some criticism in a recent Buzzfeed article as “Tom Cruise 2.0.” To them, Tom Cruise may have first become familiar as Ethan Hunt in the first Mission: Impossible movie, as an action star who, in spite of fearful insurance agents and publicists, prefers to do his own stunts—especially if they include declaring maniacal love for Katie Holmes atop Oprah Winfrey’s couch. He was probably their first introduction to the alien world of Scientology, or perhaps already known as the face of another hero thrust into the supernatural, having once served as the model for the titular character in Disney’s Aladdin.
This Tom Cruise, in spite of several critical successes in the past 10 years, has yet to shake completely the straws of tabloid fodder that prick up every time someone dares, »
- Christina Leo
Tom Cruise has been welcomed back to the nation’s multiplexes, with “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” heading for a U.S. opening weekend that could top $50 million, according to early estimates Friday.
That could be four times as much as that for the rebooted “Vacation,” which is underperforming with a projected Friday-Sunday total of $12.5 million and a disappointing five-day cume ar0und $19 million.
“Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” is dominating Friday business, with a first-day total of at least $20 million at 3,956 locations. That figure includes $4 million from Thursday-night preview showings.
Paramount’s fifth entry in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise has launched amid a marketing campaign with Cruise — one of the best promoters in the business — hitting the circuit to discuss the film and its eye-popping stunts, such as his clinging to the side of an Airbus A400 plane during takeoff.
The studio has been cautious in its guidance for the action-adventure, »
- Dave McNary
The preview showings began at 8 p.m. at 2,764 locations. The gross is comparable to “Mad Max,” which earned $3.7 million in evening shows; “World War’s” $3.6 million; and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'” $4.1 million.
Paramount’s fifth “Mission: Impossible” expands to 3,956 locations on Friday. The studio’s extensive marketing campaign has centered on the 53-year-old Cruise clinging to the side of an Airbus A400 plane during takeoff.
The action adventure, which carries a hefty $150 million budget, is on pace to open to $40 million over the weekend. Some analysts think that number could rise to $50 million, given the strong critical support for the film.
- Dave McNary
Tom Cruise can do no wrong, in my opinion. I was listening to a Grantland podcast episode recorded as part of the site's Tom Cruise Week coverage, and the Grantland team was talking about Cruise as Hollywood's "most effortful" action star. Now that I know effortful is an actual word in the English language, I think it perfectly captures what I like about Cruise. He tries. He tries hard. If a Cruise movie is going to fail -- and these days, if they don't carry the Mission: Impossible brand name, they often do -- it won't be for the star's lack of trying. For instance, I didn't care for Oblivion, but I liked what Cruise was going for and I liked that he was pushing to make something interesting. Cruise is well-known for his impressive stunt work, sitting atop and dangling from the world's tallest building in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, »
- Jordan Benesh
In the fifth installment of the two-decade-old series, Cruise clings to the side of an Airbus A400 plane during takeoff, holds his breath under water for six minutes, and rappels down the side of the Vienna Opera House. For part six, he’ll likely have to strap himself to the undercarriage of a ballistic missile and go soaring across the Pyongyang skyline if he wants to top himself.
Despite his willingness to risk doing some damage to that beautiful barrel chest, “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” may struggle to bring in crowds. The action adventure is on pace to open to $40 million, a soft opening considering the franchise’s long history and its hefty $150 million pricetag.
“It seems low to me,” said Eric Handler, an analyst with Mkm Partners. »
- Brent Lang
A new wave of women are holding their own with men on the big screen, and the Mission Impossible actor is willing to share the spotlight
Tom Cruise may ... ahem ... get the odd bit of bad press, but he remains Hollywood’s most dependable action hero. There’s been the odd clanger (Oblivion, Knight and Day) in recent times, but the couch-jumping poster boy for Scientology has been on a hot streak of late with last year’s alien invasion romp Edge of Tomorrow and the new Mission: Impossible movie – Rogue Nation, right up there with the best.
Continue reading »
- Ben Child
The theme that runs like a quick-burning fuse through “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” is the tricky relationship between inevitability and chance — or luck, rather, as signaled by the brief appearance of a rabbit’s foot in one of Tom Cruise’s more brutal action sequences. It’s a dynamic that applies to the film as well: If the robust commercial performance of 2011’s “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” made a follow-up inevitable, then luck turns out to be very much on the side of this unusually spry and satisfying fifth entry, which finds the surviving members of the Impossible Missions Force trying to neutralize an insidious global threat, while struggling to convince their skeptical overlords that there is such a threat to begin with. The result is an existential quandary that writer-director Christopher McQuarrie negotiates with characteristic cleverness and a sly respect for the sheer durability of genre; at once questioning »
- Justin Chang
Regular readers of the site will know that earlier this year we ran a series looking at the classic films of Keanu Reeves. This was to co-inside with the release of the fantastic John Wick; now we turn our attention to another big name from the nineties, Tom Cruise. Each week from now until the release of the highly anticipated fifth Mission Impossible film, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the films that we feel are his classics. This week’s pick is Minority Report.
Minority Report takes place in 2054 where all crime is predicted and controlled by the PreCrime task force. Trouble brews when one of their best agents, Anderton, finds his name on this list and gets hunted down before he can commit the pre-destined murder.
- Kat Smith
Dougray Scott's villain perfectly summed up Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible 2. "Hunt invariably favours misdirection over confrontation," Scott's preening bad guy tells an assembly of goons. "He'll no doubt engage in some acrobatic insanity before he'll risk harming a hair on a security guard's head."
This is Tom Cruise's Impossible Missions Force agent Hunt in a nutshell: a romantic daredevil who seems to actively enjoy throwing himself off tall buildings. After nearly 20 years, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Cruise might have grown weary of his thrill-seeking alter-ego. But here he is in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (film number five), clinging to the sides of planes, making leaps from high places and hurtling around on motorbikes.
This time, Hunt comes up against the Syndicate, a shadowy »
The Water Diviner starring Russell Crowe is loosely based on a true World War I story where an Australian farmer journeyed to Turkey in order to locate the bodies of his three sons that were presumed killed in the battle of Gallpoli. Though the film takes great liberties with the character's journey and outcome, but touches upon the pain and grief this man and his wife must have felt knowing all of their sons were lost and mostly likely dead in a far off land. The film also marks Crowe's directorial debut.
Warner Home Video is bringing The Water Diviner to Blu-ray. DVD and Digital HD on July 28, 2015. We've teamed up with Warner to offer three lucky readers each a copy of The Water Diviner Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD combo pack in this contest.
For a chance to win, please fill out and submit the short entry form below. »
This December, when J.J. Abrams. Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally hits theaters, it will continue the narrative of the original trilogy. With the big three stars, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher, as well as others returning, there is an obvious continuity, but Abrams went to even greater lengths to connect The Force Awakens to the original trilogy. Talking to Thompson on Hollywood at San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend, production designer Darren Gilford (Oblivion) discussed how they used old school special effects at every opportunity, trying to replicate the way George Lucas did things on the first film back in 1977. He said: J.J.'s mandate from day one was authenticity and being as true to the original trilogy as possible. And he felt the prequels were flawed by the fact that they had every [CG] tool known to mankind and used everything at their disposal. »
The generational theme of J.J. Abrams' "The Force Awakens" naturally carried over to the crew, including the production design partnership between two-time Oscar winner Rick Carter ("Lincoln," "Avatar") and up-and-comer Darren Gilford ("Oblivion," "Tron: Legacy"). Gilford told me it was a very fluid, symbiotic collaboration built on a back-to-basics, hybrid philosophy via Abrams for maintaining continuity with the original trilogy. This entailed shooting as much in-camera as possible and using lots of practical sets, models and matte paintings. They also reverse-engineered the VFX to accommodate, for example, 2D forced perspective backings rather than relying on CG set extensions from Industrial Light & Magic. You can glimpse this in a corridor shot in the Comic-Con making-of reel (see below). Of course, there's plenty of CG but only when expedient. "A big part of it was the two generations working together, and »
- Bill Desowitz
Academy invitee Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything.' Academy invites 322 new members: 'More diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before' The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has offered membership to 322 individuals "who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures." According to the Academy's press release, "those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2015." In case all 322 potential new members say an enthusiastic Yes, that means an injection of new blood representing about 5 percent of the Academy's current membership. In the words of Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (as quoted in the press release), in 2015 "our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization." In recent years, the Academy membership has »
- Anna Robinson
Back in February, we reported that MGM has hired Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles writer Evan Daugherty to pen the script for their Tomb Raider reboot. Now it seems that script has been completed, with Heroic Hollywood reporting that the studio is sending out the Tomb Raider movie script in hopes of securing a female director for the project. The studio is looking for a "Michelle MacLaren-type." You may recall that Michelle MacLaren was initially attached to direct Wonder Woman for Warner Bros., before she backed out in April, leading to Patty Jenkins taking over.
The reboot is said to be on the fast track to production, although it isn't known when the studio is wanting to start production. No plot details have been given, but the reboot is expected to feature a much younger version of the iconic Lara Croft character. MGM is teaming up with Warner Bros. to produce and distribute the Croft reboot. »
Earlier this week came a rumor that "Tron Legacy" and "Oblivion" director Joseph Kosinski was in early talks to direct the reboot of the "Tomb Raider" film franchise at MGM, Gk Films and Warner Bros. Pictures.
Evan Daugherty has reportedly finished the script which is currently out to directors, with the studio making a strong push to get the film moving due to their rights deal with game publisher Square Enix.
The new film is expected to be in line with the tone and feel of the 2013 video game reboot in which we follow a younger and more realistic 21-year-old version of British archaeologist Lara Croft. That game showcased how she started out as a frightened young woman »
- Garth Franklin
©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©Studio Pali Fekete architects/©A.M.P.A.S.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that the Los Angeles City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved plans for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Construction will begin this summer, and ceremonial groundbreaking festivities will occur this fall.
“I am thrilled that Los Angeles is gaining another architectural and cultural icon,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My office of economic development has worked directly with the museum’s development team to ensure that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will create jobs, support tourism, and pay homage to the industry that helped define our identity as the creative capital of the world.”
“We are grateful to our incredible community of supporters who have helped make this museum a reality,” said Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO. “Building this museum has been an Academy »
- Michelle McCue
Strangely dropping a press release on a historic day where the nation's attention is elsewhere, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their annual list of new member invitees this morning. For those who criticize the makeup of the Academy there was some good news and the stark realization the organization still has a long way to go. The Academy has spent the last eight to 10 years attempting to diversify its membership and this year's class mostly reflects that. There are significantly more invitees of Asian and African-American descent, but the male to female disparity is still depressing. Out of the 25 potential new members of the Actor's Branch only seven are women. And, no, there isn't really an acceptable way for the Academy to spin that sad fact. Additionally, It's important to realize the 322 people noted in the release have only been invited to join Hollywood's most exclusive club. »
- Gregory Ellwood
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences continues to push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who can help change the org’s demos.
Among the invitees are David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Felicity Jones, Emma Stone, Rosamund Pike, Bong Joon-ho, Justin Lin and Francois Ozon. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.
Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Acad, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices. For example, 323 films were eligible for 2014 awards — which means AMPAS should theoretically »
- Tim Gray
As reported by Deadline, Stanley Kubrick’s written script for The Downslope will now be made into a film series by World War Z and Finding Neverland director Marc Forster, who will serve as producer for all three films and director for the first. Kubrick wrote the script in 1956 after his film Fear and Desire hit theaters, and before he started working on Paths of Glory. The film is said to be “a sweeping, historical action-drama,” according to Deadline, and will revolve around the Civil War. The first film of the trilogy will be based on Kubrick’s script and concept, and the subsequent films will expand on his original ideas and focus on the after-effects of the Civil War.
Kubrick’s death in 1999 has obviously not stopped his ideas from reaching the big screen, as seen with Spielberg’s film A.I. Artificial Intelligence in 2001. That film was brought about »
Lauren Selig (“Lone Survivor”), Barry Levine (“Oblivion”) and Reneé Wolfe (“All I See Is You”) will be producing with Forster. Selig initiated the project with producers/rights holders Phil Hobbs (“Full Metal Jacket”) and Steve Lanning, who are also serving as producers.
The movie has the full support and encouragement of the Kubrick family. Kubrick wrote the script following the release of his allegorical war film “Fear and Desire” and prior to directing his World War I drama “Paths of Glory.” Both films were cautionary, anti-war stories.
“The Downslope” centers on a series of Civil War battles in the Shenandoah »
- Dave McNary
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