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Mission: Impossible III (2006)
Nice action flick... Cruise still brings it
Well, I truly didn't expect much out of this film. With all the preproduction problems and changes, I thought this would be a cluster. Also, the Bond-ish improbability of some of the stunts in MI-II were disappointing. This movie showed some heartbreak and emotion that was a pleasant surprise. Some of the fight scenes were truly well-done. But once... just once... I'd like to see someone do what they would do in real life if hit directly in the jaw... PASS OUT!!! Geeez! But MI-III is guilty as charged with the rest of Hollywierd in that crime. On the whole, this movie is well acted, filmed, and has the international flavor and feel a true spy-flick should.
The Departed (2006)
Twisted corruption... talented cast
Wow... what a cast. Everyone in this movie brings it. The talent pool here is so deep the story lines could stink and the movie still may have a change to be good. Thankfully, this movie keeps you guessing as to possible outcomes until the end. Casting Bostonians like Wahlberg and Damon doesn't hurt either. No fake accents and attitudes make things more believable. The violence in this movie is grotesquely real. Gun shots wounds and brain matter are everywhere. The movie has very nice tension due to the undercover work and the havoc that plays on the life of an officer. Try to get past the violence and sit back and watch good actors do their thing in this movie... and by all means keep the kids away from this one.
The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
Gladly more of the same-high tension and international flavor
Again, Jason Bourne is the real super-spy. While the Bond franchise and other projects with similar influences cross way over the reality threshold, Bourne is easier to swallow. You don't walk out of the theater laughing about the improbability of some scenes. Where the first movie starts stormy and icy, this movie starts warm and cozy. This is a nice trick, because there is never a calm day for a real CIA operative. Who do you trust? Not a soul. Who could be after you? Just about anyone, including your own (ex) colleagues. The Bourne series has actually made me more aware of my surroundings. I take everything in that I can. Bourne's world is crazy, but so is ours. After watching this series, who can get "comfortable?" Hey, it beats boredom!!!
The Bourne Identity (2002)
Edgy action, international flavor
The first time a watched this movie I was so surprised. The fighting scenes, the driving, the locations. It was glamorous, but not in a James Bond way. This type of spy movie seemed more palatable and real. I mean, did you ever see Bond disable people that efficiently? And, isn't that what spies and special ops agents are supposed to do? So, I was hooked. Even the old standby of amnesia was played out well. It was great to watch Bourne's superiors freak out about dis-associative amnesia and their super-spy "shortcircuiting." I also liked the fact that you never fully trusted ANYONE in this movie. That made for great tension. In the end, I wanted to go right out and get my own Sigarms 550 .223 sniper rifle, but it costs $15,000. And THAT, my friends, is why we have movies!!!
More Than Disturbing
This is a reverse chronology movie, much like Memento in 2000. The movie disturbs the senses from the very beginning with chaotic camera movements and repetitious musical rhythms. The coarse and sadistic comments of the police grab you first. Then the violent and edgy gay club scenes will shock most viewers. There were several "Oh My God" and expletive comments from me as I watched the scenes. Viewers finally learn how time and chance conspire to produce life altering events, showing no mercy. The never ending rape/sodomy scene will have both women and men looking over their shoulder in corridors after viewing this movie. This movie shows how dangerous it is to stand up for someone else, how evil some people can really become, and how justice and injustice can be served at the same time. I would never watch this movie again, because it is just too violent and sad.
Nice Flight - Hard Landing
I viewed this movie in-flight and really enjoyed the diversion. I was on my way to France, so it was a fitting movie. Romance and action are wonderfully mixed and delicately balanced with decency until the end. The flight scenes are outstanding and give you a sense of the fear these pilots had to deal with. Air combat was more personal in WWI. Dogfights where visual and not a computer game like the fly-boys deal with today. There was so much confusion at that time in history. News traveled slowly and events unfolded methodically instead of collapsing upon your senses... the film does a fine job of conveying this. The romantic interest between two main characters is left dangling at the end. It is just hard to swallow that two intelligent people in love could not develop a plan to meet in the future (for example: going to a famous landmark... in Paris there are many... every Sunday at noon after the war is over).