Browse Tag: tom cruise

RECAP: The Last Samurai

The Last Samurai (2003): Ed Zwick

Tom Cruise. Yeah, he’s on the poster. His face is one of the most recognizable in the world. For several years he topped list after list of the most bankable stars. Cruise is one of a few actors to star in a Best Picture winner and a year’s number one box office success. He’s also 5’7”, four inches shorter than his ex-wife Nicole Kidman, but you would never know that from watching his films. He also does his own stunts. You would know that, at least from the press for his movies. Cruise has worked with Stanley Kubrick, Cameron Crowe, Michael Mann, and Steven Spielberg. He’s as successful as any actor could even hope to be.

The word "is" is not on this poster. That's important.
The word “is” is not on this poster. That’s important.

Cruise is a titan of action films, especially the science-fiction versions. War of the Worlds, Minority Report, Oblivion, Edge of Tomorrow, and the terrific actioners of Mission: Impossible. But today I’m talking about the 2003 samurai drama The Last Samurai

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: An American soldier flees America to be a soldier in Japan, and he falls for the samurai culture.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Mission: Impossible-Fallout

Mission: Impossible–Fallout (2018): Christopher McQuarrie

Ethan Hunt returns to clean up the mess he left after the events of Rogue Nation. The first straight sequel in the six-deep franchise, Mission: Impossible–Fallout also returns the chief villain from the last installment in 2015.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Ethan Hunt finds that the past can haunt you, as people from his past crop up left and right, and there’s some nukes in the wind.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016): Edward Zwick

Jack Reacher goes forward through a ton of bad dudes to investigate some crimes and stuff. There’s a woman imprisoned for a crime she didn’t commit. There’s a possible daughter situation. You get the idea.

Edward Zwick comes onboard to direct a tightly portrayed character-based thriller, not at all like his epic period pieces such as The Last Samurai (also starring Tom Cruise), Glory, or Defiance.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Jack Reacher defends a colleague for a crime she didn’t commit, and both of them protect a teenage girl for some reason.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher (2012): Christopher McQuarrie

Lee Child’s novel One Shot served as the source material for Jack Reacher. Four years on, I can’t decide which title is better.

“One Shot” is practically meaningless, the least sexy title in recent memory. On the other hand, “Jack Reacher” is…quite a name. Better to be weird than boring.

Jack Reacher limped into theaters and strode out with more than $200 million global box office. That’s money that Tom Cruise gets you.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: An off-the-grid ex-military cop investigates the alleged murder of five Pittsburgh citizens by a former Army sniper.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Mission: Impossible 3

Mission: Impossible 3 (2006): J.J. Abrams

After an underwhelming sequel from John Woo, world-class cinematic entertainer J.J. Abrams got the reins of the Impossible Franchise.

It’s hard to believe, ten years on, that hiring Abrams was a bit of a risky proposition. He had never tried a straight action movie before, but he was certainly a god on the small screen.

Felicity, Alias, and Lost were about as big as TV hits got in the 21st century. Still, Abrams directing was not the lead story. Instead, it was, as usual, that Tom Cruise was in the movie.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Superspy Ethan Hunt wants to quit the spy game, but a kidnapped former student draws him back to the field.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow (2014): Doug Liman

Live. Die. Repeat. Few taglines get better than that. Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt. Few headline actors get better than that. Edge of Tomorrow came and went in theaters in the summer of 2014, earning $100 million and finishing the year in 33rd place, a few tickets shy of Noah. It should have done better. Why didn’t it? Perhaps I can address that in today’s edition.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Forced to aid an invasion of alien-held Normandy, Lieutenant Colonel Bill Cage lives, dies, repeats. Continue Reading

RECAP: Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation (2015): Christopher McQuarrie

Have you ever wondered, does the Impossible Missions Force work missions deemed possible? Or are they just hanging out, working out, playing cards, and such, for years at a time, between impossible missions? The fifth installment in the Mission: Impossible series sort of answers these questions. But can anyone answer this question: why did the original show give the IMF the same acronym as the International Monetary Fund?

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Ethan Hunt, disavowed by the U.S. government, goes rogue to destroy a shadow group called The Syndicate. Continue Reading