Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

Hello, everyone! I finally made my way to the theatres thanks to a very lovely  Cineplex week of cheap Tuesday price all week long! I just had to take the opportunity to go and since I’ve been wanting to see Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation since forever, this was the perfect time to go! I went with my friend on Wednesday night, ran over there after work and made it just in time with a little bit of time before TimePlay started.

There was only 3 people playing TimePlay but I got 1st place! Woohoo! 😉

So, allow me to do a rant before we start this review so I can get this off my chest! If you don’t want to read it, simply scroll down and start reading where the poster starts 🙂

Some of you that have been reading a good bit of my reviews know that my theater visits have been…eventful.  I mean, when I went to go see Gravity, there was a dog in the theater.  That’s an extreme case.  This time around, I had to be extremely proud of myself for controlling my urge to toss my apple juice bottle at the couple sitting like 4 seats away.  I have no issues with young couples.  I’m even cool with PDA.  BUT, the theater is NOT your living room.  You do not commentate in a voice that you think is whispering but I can hear throughout the movie, especially in the quiet talking parts.  Two, you can make out on your living room couch but not the theater even if its in your dark little corner especially when your f**king seats creek every single time you shift.  Subtlety is your best friend in that situation.  I kid you not, these two love birds were non-stop the whole time.  When the movie was in their discussion part, no music, quiet, I could hear them even clearer and those lip smacks and that vibe of, “I want to rip your clothes off right here and then” was travelling straight at me a few seats away.  So no, if you intend on being inappropriate, don’t go to the theater, wait for the damn movie and rent it.  Then you can do whatever you so wish and NO ONE will give a crap! If you do decide to go to the theater, then have the common courtesy and shut the f**k up! You might not give a shit about the $7 spent on this movie but I went to see a movie, not hear you smooch and chat and comment and whatever else all that noise was. RANT OVER!

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Cast: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin

Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF. – IMDB

 The Mission Impossible series fell a little short for me in the middle but it sure did pick itself up in the last one, Ghost Protocol.  Now, that one had me all pumped about this one.  Sure, Tom Cruise went a little cray-cray with his scientology but there is no doubt that he is a respectable action star.  One that doesn’t seem to be leaving this world of adrenaline pumped scenes.  And Rogue Nation is full on proof that his stunts are more and more dangerous every time.  Excuse me as I catch my breath just thinking about a few of the scenes. As disturbing as my theatre neighbors were, they only ruined my movie experience and not so much the movie.  Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is a lot of high octane, adrenaline rush, blood pumping fun rolled in with some fantastic moments that kind of break the intensity a little.  In parts that you probably shouldn’t laugh, they give us a reason to just relax for a sec. That is all thanks to a wonderful cast that mesh so well together.

mission impossible rogue nation

Tom Cruise is the star here but there is no doubt that his IMF team is equally great.  Benji, played by Simon Pegg is hilarious all the time.  When he is scared, he makes us laugh even more.  And then we have the absolutely stylishly cool but funny one liners in Ving Rhames.  Making up for the authority in the IMF is Jeremy Renner who has a much smaller part this time but whenever he shows up, he makes up for some good laughs.

mission impossible rogue nation

 This time, we toss Alec Baldwin in the mix as CIA essentially dissolves IMF and then takes over their people and is this authority that really doesn’t believe much.  But he definitely isn’t the highlight.  New addition highlight goes to the new girl Ilsa, played by Rebecca Ferguson who not only is pretty and sexy but also a rather good actress and has some really great action scenes. I guess we can’t talk about her and not talk about our bad guy in this installment, Solomon Kane, the mystery man behind the elusive Syndicate that is played by Sean Harris. While I was not exactly sure about him and his bad guy role, I think as a villain, he was convincing enough mostly because we never really knew who he was and even when he was around, it was never long enough to figure him out completely.  That sort of mystery keeps the plot going as to what the Syndicate is and who this man is and what in the world he is after.

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

What we can’t ignore is that while the characters are fun and entertaining or twisty and mysterious, there is no denying that the sets they did and the location they chose were fantastic.  The shots are just so nice to look at whether its in London or Venice or wherever else they went.  The mood fit what they wanted to do.  Everything worked very well together.

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

Overall, Mission Impossible Rogue Nation is a lot of fun.  The IMF crew with Ethan Hunt, Brandt, Benji, and group are as always funny and entertaining.  Their chemistry is really great.  The new additions are nice as well.  I kind of think that the villain could’ve been a little better but what he represents was mysterious enough to keep me guessing what the end goal was. Best of all, the action sequences are intense and dangerous, exactly what we expect Tom Cruise to do and he delivers those adrenaline filled sequences remarkably. Its the fifth outing for Mission Impossible and I’ve got to say that I really look forward and hope to see a sixth installment.

Have you seen Mission Impossible Rogue Nation? What did you think about it? 

The Departed (2006)

A round of applause please! I made it through The Departed finally! I figured it was the stylish way to end off the Infernal Affairs trilogy review and finally get this crossed off my to-do list.

Lets check it out!

the departed posterDirector: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, Vera Farmiga, Ray Winstone, Alec Baldwin

An undercover state cop who has infiltrated an Irish gang and a mole in the police force working for the same mob race to track down and identify each other before being exposed to the enemy, after both sides realize their outfit has a rat.-IMDB

The Departed is inspired by Infernals Affairs in case you didn’t know before. Directed by Martin Scorsese, it has a style that cannot be replaced or doubted. I’ve always been a fan of his despite sometimes really not liking the length especially in gang/crime movies. The Departed really could have benefit from being shorter. The first half was so slow. I literally wanted to cry because it felt like it would never end. And then the halfway point hit and the majority of the events were almost identical to Infernal Affairs.  I’m not saying thats a bad thing but I guess because I found the original to be genius, this one didn’t have as much of an impact.Does that make sense?

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However, like Infernal Affairs, it has a very strong cast. I may not be very knowledgable about Matt Damon but I have always liked Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson. They both did well. I still think Leonardo did better than Matt in some ways. The best has to go to Jack Nicholson in his role as the bad guy, the leaderof the Irish gang. He had this outrageous unpredictable nature and that gave immense life to the movie. I couldn’t really picture another actor taking up that role in having such an impact. Another actor that I loved was Mark Wahlberg. He was completely an asshole but it worked well to give the movie some conflict and friction.

the departed vera farmiga

These movies are all about the boys but the difference is in the love story behind this. In this one, it just has one lady, but who wants to compete with the lovely Vera Farmiga? She really can act in any role. Her character brought in nice balance especially because she was kind of like the intermediary between the undercover and mole. Her one character replacing the two separate ones gave The Departed a nice little twist that I thought worked very well.

the departed mark matt

Casting and cinematography are definitely not my issues with this. My issue is really the story itself. I can get that background check would lead to Leonardo’s character being discovered and his getting kicked out. But although its not an obvious connection, Matt’s was really visible ever since he was a kid. How was it not apparent? Maybe its just me being nitpicky but I felt on some levels this was just a little too over the top for my liking.

I really don’t have much to say anymore. Overall, The Departed was an okay remake of its original. It had an awesome cast that brought life to a stretched out story. Although it did give it a new twist to it, I’m still debating if I really liked the ending. I know I’m the minority who doesn’t think this was absolutely great but thats okay. We can’t agree with everything 😉

What did you think of The Departed?

Prelude to a Kiss (1992)

Next up in recommendations is from Paul S at Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who has openly admitted to loving Michelle Pfeiffer and Meg Ryan at the same time, other than myself.  Paul is one of those people and he does it in the form of that amazing blog that I linked up there.  I had wanted to review this one for the Valentine’s marathon but didn’t get a chance.  Last year, I had wanted to do a Meg Ryan marathon but apparently compiling ALL of Meg Ryan movies was costly and close to impossible so before I knew it, I gave up and decided I’d find a reason to review the ones I had during this year… Long story short, this leads up to this review of Prelude to a Kiss.  I gave Paul a choice between this and Sleepless in Seattle and he chose this one 🙂

prelude to a kiss posterDirector: Norman Rene

Cast: Alec Baldwin, Meg Ryan, Stanley Tucci, Sydney Walker, Kathy Bates

Peter (Alec Baldwin) meets Rita (Meg Ryan) at a party.  They are the opposite in personality; one who is optimistic and the other completely afraid of the world.  After a few weeks, their relationship develops into more and they decide to get married.  On the day of their marriage, an old man (Sydney Walker) appears and asks to kiss the bride. The kiss ends up changing Rita and when they head off to the honeymoon, Peter starts seeing Rita’s personality change into someone else.  At first, he thinks that it’s just getting married but when they get back home, he starts noticing that maybe something else a bit more unusual has happened.

Prelude to a Kiss is a likable romantic comedy.  I found the characters started a bit strange to begin with, even before the unusual happened with Rita.  I don’t really think it was the story itself that was very original because it was pretty obvious what had happened, however the cast did a great job in making a predictable story a cute and even touching watch.

prelude to a kiss rita

Out of all the characters I’ve seen Meg Ryan act out, this is one of the cutest ones.  There’s something strange and awkward about how she interacts with the world from the beginning and a lot of it made me laugh.  Plus, halfway through this awkward character had to make a personality change and she was playing another character again.  The way Meg Ryan portrayed Rita had to be the highlight of this flick.

prelude to a kiss alec baldwin

I’m not such a huge fan of Alec Baldwin.  Apparently in the 90s, he was a pretty good looking man.  Well, now I know.  Alec plays Peter who falls in love with this woman who is afraid of world but still, he loves her for who she is.  His character brought alive a lot of the touching moments of desperately trying to find back the woman that he knew and married and no who she has become and especially why she has changed. Helpless and loss; thats what Peter had to deal with or was up against and Alec Baldwin did a fantastic job in showing all that.  There is no doubt that Alec Baldwin is a good actor and I may not have a seen a whole lot of movies with him in it but this is his best role 🙂

prelude to a kiss

 I’m not sure how much is too much in revealing this story so I’m just going to say less.  If you’ve seen this one, you know what happens but if you haven’t, at least you still have a bit of guessing to do in what actually happens. The Old Man carries the wisdom in this one about true love and about facing sudden changes.  Prelude to a Kiss is overloaded with talent.  There’s a young Stanley Tucci who has the chance to smile a few and crack a few jokes and we have the wildly talented Kathy Bates who plays the Old Man’s daughter and tries to work out how to live with him as he ages.

Prelude of a Kiss may not be my favorite love story because it actually feels a bit predictable.  I don’t really mind it so much, especially when the cast impressed me a lot.  They took each of their roles and touched me in a different way.  The characters themselves are much more memorable than the story.  It carries a deeper meaning of what true love actually is. How can you not appreciate a story like that?

Have you seen Prelude of a Kiss? What do you think of the performances? Do you like Alec Baldwin and what movie of his is your favorite?

Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Saturday movie night with my best friend ended up being her choice out of my unseen movies pile! We love watching animation together and its been forever since we’ve actually sat down at home eating dinner together and just enjoy a movie.  Last movie we saw was in the theatres last year, Brave and it was totally awesome 😉 Rise of the Guardians was one that we believe we saw the preview of when we went to see Brave.

rise of the guardians posterDirector: Peter Ramsey

Voice Cast: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Jude Law, Dakota Goyo

The Four Guardians have always taken care of the hopes and beliefs and happiness of all the kids around the world.  They consisted of a russian accent Santa Claus called North (Alec Baldwin), Easter Bunny called Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Tooth Fairy called Tooth (Isla Fisher) and Sandman called Sandy who doesn’t talk.  When North sees that the Boogeyman called Pitch, has come out of hiding and used his darkness to try to take over the Earth, he calls up the Guardians for a meeting.  When asking advice from the moon, they see that they are to summon a 5th Guardian, who is a mischievous Jack Frost (Chris Pine). This comes as a surprise to both Jack Frost and the Guardians.  As Pitch launches his plan to come out of hiding and destroy every child’s dreams and happiness, the Guardians along with Jack Frost needs to find a way to work together and figure out how to stop him before its too late.

Was 2012 the year of awesome animated flicks? I loved The Lorax (although there was a fair share that didn’t).  I absolutely adored Brave and now I had so much fun with Rise of the Guardians! I just totally blame the promotional team for this one.  It was so awesome but yet the trailers, not for one second, made me want to go see this.

rise of the guardians guardians

This movie is definitely one that I found was really magical.  Its suitable for kids but gives the adults a good sense of adventure as well.  Its not dumb childish humor but actually rather witty dialogue.  Bringing in the mythical characters that a lot of children do (or adults have) believe in and setting them as the heroes of the story makes it very unique.  It also gives them a meaning as we are revealed that even our heroes before they become immortal have to earn their way to be who they are and each one had a life before this one.

RISE OF THE GUARDIANS

All the characters were designed really well.  My best friend (and I) particularly loved how they made North have a Russian accent.  I thought that was really nifty and cool.  Easter Bunny was made all ninja style and he rocked the screen under Hugh Jackman’s voiceover. That makes sense since he has to jump and hop everywhere.  His interaction with everyone was most of the comic relief.  Chris Pine did a very good Jack Frost, although I almost didn’t even recognize his voice at first.  His story was the main focus throughout this flick so his character grew on me as it progressed.

rise of the guardians pitch

This flick had Pitch as the villain. I think he did so amazing.  For one, he has one of the best voices in the business and its actually sad that I don’t recall him doing any voice work before.  He rarely does bad guys but somehow I felt he was a good level of evil to make everything work out.

rise of the guardians sandy

One last thing that I really loved was the visuals.  The way the designed each of the “palaces” where the guardians lived were all very creative.  They each gave a beauty and imaginative.  The way the characters would use their magic and the colors they used were absolutely amazing.  I may have talked about this last but it was the big element that kept drawing me into the world of the Guardians.

This flick had a good amount of action to hold both children and adults but in no time did it feel that it was too intense or inappropriate for children at least.  They kept reminding us that we all have that child in us.  I’d recommend not only for a fun magical adventure but also that it carries a deeper meaning that we need to find our center.  No one will treat situations the same way but we all are unique and that gives us our advantage.