Tag Archives: Tom Cruise

The Set of 400: #207 – My Favorite Strenuous Objection

Today! Because you want me on that wall! You need me on that wall!

A Few Good Men (1992)

Directed by Rob Reiner (x2)

Starring Tom Cruise (x4), Demi Moore (x2), Jack Nicholson (x3), Kevin Pollak (x2), Kevin Bacon (x4), Kiefer Sutherland, J.T. Walsh (x4), Christopher Guest (x2), James Marshall, J.A. Preston, Xander Berkeley, Wolfgang Bodison, Cuba Gooding Jr., Noah Wyle, Joshua Malina, David Bowe

The 65th Academy Awards were the first that I really paid attention to – I had some movie-fan familiarity with prior ones, but this felt like the first year I made a point to see nominated movies, even in that limited, 1992, racing up Green Ridge Street to the Blockbuster in Dunmore, hoping copies were available, world we lived in. And as I’ve mentioned many times, 1992 is the most represented year on this list – this could certainly be part of the reason. Look at the wide smattering of films 12/13 year old Joe enjoyed enough to still remain in the consciousness now, 25+ years later – #262 The Crying Game, #389 Memoirs of an Invisible Man, #219 The Player, #242 Chaplin, #343 White Men Can’t Jump, and so on. And yes, there are still fully eight more movies to come!

Oh, the epochal shouting!

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The Set of 400: #217 – My Favorite Adult Braces

Today! Because it’s not going to stop/’Til you wise up –

Magnolia (1999)

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (x4)

Starring Tom Cruise (x3), Philip Seymour Hoffman (x4), Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly (x4), William H. Macy, Jason Robards (x2), Melora Walters, Ricky Jay, Alfred Molina (x3), Felicity Huffman, Melinda Dillon (x2), Luis Guzman (x3), Philip Baker Hall (x3), Thomas Jane (x2), Michael Murphy (x3), Henry Gibson (x3), Neil Flynn (x2), Patton Oswalt, Jim Meskimen (x2), Jeremy Blackman, Michael Bowen, Cleo King, Clark Gregg (x3)

Like many people, my initial reaction to Magnolia was that I had a problem with the ending. For everything else going on in this movie – and there is a ton going on here – the natural takeaway, as it is the climax of the movie, is “What the hell is all this with the frogs now?” But, come on, how else was it going to end? Isn’t it obvious that the solution to all the crazy pent up drama is for the sky to open up and drench the city in biblically apocalyptic frogs? No?

I mean, this kid seemed to dig it

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The Set of 400: #244 – My Favorite Sandstorm

Today! Because our media is no more truthful than yours, American –

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Directed by Brad Bird

Starring Tom Cruise (x2), Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Anil Kapoor, Lea Seydoux, Josh Holloway, Ving Rhames (x2), Tom Wilkinson

The second, last, and best film in the series on this list, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol resurrected the brand from virtual extinction after the solid but underperforming third entry in 2006. Really, the only film in the group that sucks in any major way (to quote, I don’t know, Pauline Kael, probably) is II, which was super lousy. But once they worked out the formula (“It’s like the Fast and the Furious movies, except in half the shape with twice the age!”), it has been running like the proverbial well oiled Tom Cruise ever since. These last three movies – Ghost Protocol, Rogue Nation, and Fallout – are largely interchangeable in quality and action, not unlike James Bond movies of the ’70 or the ’90s, but the one that still features the two most memorable set pieces is this one here.

Jiminy!

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The Set of 400: #392 – My Favorite Drake Hotel, Chicago Plot Device

Today! Because you’ve never seen me very upset –

Mission: Impossible (1996)

Directed by Brian De Palma

Starring Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Beart, Ving Rhames, Jean Reno, Emilio Estevez, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vanessa Redgrave, Henry Czerny, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, John McLaughlin, Garrick Hagon

Ah, the glorious summer of 1996! While it was expected to be the big draw that season, and would only end up third behind ID4 and Twister, it proved to have the longest legs, cranking out sequels straight to the present day. And even though I think it’s fair to say the first one is no one’s choice for best film in the series, the De Palma outing does have a lot going for it. Because all the follow-ups would get helmed by action directors (I don’t care what else you might think of J.J. Abrams), this one stands out for the underlying suspense De Palma (at the end of his effectiveness as a director) brought to it, the first of many fake masks and double-crosses, and for that sequence where they break into Langley to steal the list. The effects may get bigger and wilder as the series goes on, but nothing will ever quite compare to panicky Cruise quietly dangling from a rope as Jean Reno kills that rat. Holy wow. Sure, the plot is convoluted nonsense, and some of the motivations are a bit fuzzy to say the least, but it’s still a pretty exciting running/jumping/punching flick. Continue reading

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