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10th Anniversary: A SERIOUS MAN

"I have never seen a film that mixes laugh-out-loud comedy so intimately with dead serious philosophical questioning. It packs so much into its short runtime. " - Dr strange

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Entries in Tom Cruise (53)


The New Classics: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

by Michael Cusumano

Scene: Scaling the Burj Khalifa
In the course of writing this column, I eventually got around to asking myself the inevitable question:  “What is the 21st century scene I’ve watched the most times?” 

I knew with certainty that the answer was the Burj Khalifa scene from Brad Bird’s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, even if I couldn’t immediately account for the why. Of course you could simply say ”Why not?” It’s already firmly established in the pantheon of great action scenes. But it’s not like the past two decades have seen a dearth of great action filmmaking. Why not “Ship’s Mast” from Death Proof or the centerpiece car chase from Drive? What exactly is it about Tom Cruise pawing his way up the side of the world’s tallest building? 

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YNMS: Top Gun Maverick

We're way behind on movie trailers. So here's another Yes No Maybe So courtesy of Tony Ruggio...

The interwebz collectively threw shade a year or two ago when Tom Cruise, Jerry Bruckheimer, and director Joseph Kosinski (Tron Legacy, Oblivion) announced the twenty-years-too-late sequel to Top Gun, complete with some premise about sons and legacies and an aging Maverick. Sounded like the same ol’ routine any time a long-dormant brand or franchise suddenly decides to reboot or, in the case of Top Gun, sequelize for the very first time. It’s somethin’ else what a good trailer can do...because all of that is here and more in the first trailer which dropped on Thursday, and yet it’s one of the best teasers this year...

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#TBT: The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus

by new contributor Maggy Torres-Rodriguez


Today’s special #TBT goes to the magnificently odd Terry Gilliam picture The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 10 years ago this week. Lush with extravagant dreamscape sets, innovations in CGI, and an all-star cast, it still holds its own today.

Minus that one scene with Verne Troyer in blackface that was meant as a joke, but generated more of an uneasy murmuring of “oh no, baby what is u doin?” from the audience. But... problematic decisions in Hollywood are made on the daily, so everyone kind of just ignored that and focused on the fact that it was Heath Ledger’s last film... 

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The New Classics - Collateral

Michael Cusumano here to take us back to the Summer of 2004 for the latest film to join the ranks of The New Classics.

Scene: Jazz Club
While Collateral has both feet down in the realistic, that trademark Michael Mann style is just intoxicating enough to make my mind wander to the mystical. I can't help but view Mann’s thriller as a modern retelling of Bergman's The Seventh Seal. Tom Cruise’s Vincent is the Grim Reaper and Jamie Foxx’s Max is von Sydow’s knight, granted a temporary reprieve because he has piqued Death’s interest...

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Months of Meryl: Lions for Lambs (2007)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep.  


#38 — Janine Roth, a liberal network journalist faced with an ethical quandary.

JOHNWhen Meryl Streep accepted her Golden Globe for The Devil Wears Prada in January 2007, she divulged a prophecy: “This has been such a fun year to watch movies because of you gals,” she said, citing fellow nominees like Annette Bening, Toni Collette, and Beyoncé. “[It] makes you want to cry with gratitude… until next year.” How could Streep have known that her 2007 would contain some of the most insipid and unwatchable films of her entire career?

In Robert Redford’s Lions for Lambs, Streep switches sides from Rendition, her previous War on Terror drama, playing Janine Roth, an investigative journalist given an exclusive scoop by a hawkish, right-wing senator named Jasper Irving (Tom Cruise) about a new military tactic being deployed in Afghanistan. Because Lions for Lambs was made under the same misguided inspiration of everything-is-connected political narratives like Babel, Crash, and Rendition, Streep and Cruise’s conversation is just one of three narrative threads...

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The Link Next Door

Brain Pickings Marilyn Monroe's unpublished poems on the anniversary of her death
Vulture Every Tom Cruise performance ranked. Interesting and sound choices mostly though I don't understand the #1 choice at all.
• TV Line The Americans wins big at the Television Critics Awards while Killing Eve is named best new series

Salon has a piece on MoviePass troubles that is the most sane and balanced I've read. (I'm so sick of the disdain most articles have for a subscription that has meant so much to so many people and convinced them to see more movies - only a good thing!)
Coming Soon Patrick Stewart to lead Star Trek again
EW Lance Bass is buying the Brady Bunch house. Wha?
Variety... spoke too soon. Lance Bass lost the house again. And it upset about the shady dealings!

Heated Discussion Point
As you may have heard by now Chloe Moretz has dissed the gay conversation camp drama Boy Erased sight unseen because the director isn't queer unlike her gay conversion camp drama The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Her reasoning is 'queer people should be making queer films'. As you may have guessed I have some feelings about this. A) Maybe people should wait until they see films before judging them and B) Maybe a straight woman taking a gay role when there are plenty of queer women who can act shouldn't be throwing such stones? and C) We should all be worrying about this emotionally and intellectually lazy epidemic of people demanding and assuming that artists stay in their lane and only do biographical work from here on out; Artists are capable of great leaps of imagination. Ang Lee is straight and made two great gay movies plus a smashingly good Austen adaptation and he definitely didn't grow up British and white and female in the 19th century.  Spike Lee has made two terrific movies with non black leads (Summer of Sam and 25th Hour). White guy Hal Ashby made a fascinating movie about race (The Landlord). Todd Haynes and Pedro Almodovar tend to make amazing movies about women and only occasionally about gay men, though they are gay men. Steve McQueen's first two genius movies were about a white guy. Etcetera. Not everyone can or should be like Sofia Coppola and Woody Allen and just make movies about one specific kind of person or autobiographical milieu. 

I don't want to discount the importance of minority voices telling their own stories. I just want there to be some balance in the discussion because imagination and artists who push themselves towards a wide range of expression are gifts to audiences. (All that said, Boy Erased might be terrible, who knows. But let's see it before we decide that.)

Happy Centennial to Tom Drake. 100 years ago on this very day "The Boy Next Door" was born in Brooklyn.

Though he never became a household name, he worked steadily through the 1940s and 1950s in films like Meet Me In St Louis (1944), Mrs. Parkington (1944), Raintree County (1957), and Words and Music (1948) where he played Rodgers of Rodgers & Hammerstein and Rodgers & Hart musical fame. Some faces achieve immortality through proximity; Once you've heard Judy Garland yearn for him from him window and porch vantage point with "The Boy Next Door," you'll be ready to marry him on the spot, too.