Movie Review: Mission Impossible (1996)

With the upcoming release of “Mission Impossible: Fallout”, I decided that I should go back and review the previous movies in the series… except for “Ghost Protocol”, since I already reviewed that way back when my blog was total shit (now it’s only partial shit). So without further ado, let’s jump into the first installment of this franchise.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mission Impossible”.

When he’s framed for the deaths of his teammates, IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has to go rogue to find out who truly is behind this entire situation. So now we have spy thriller. And I do think this plot is quite good. What I like most is that it focuses more on building a suspenseful and somewhat unpredictable spy narrative rather than being a typical shooty-bang-bang summer action movie. It went for a somewhat different approach to its storytelling than its contemporaries. The slowly building sense of dread and paranoia is what makes it stand out. That said, the plot isn’t flawless. While enjoyable and well told, it can at times feel a little bit convoluted. It’s not as insane in that regard as some other movies, but it’s still worth pointing out. So overall this plot is good.

The characters in this are all layered, likable, and interesting. Tom Cruise plays Ethan Hunt, a young and slightly cocky agent who gets put to the ultimate test when he gets blamed for his team’s demise. What I like about him here is that he’s a very vulnerable hero whose mind slowly kinda snaps after the shit that happens to him, and it’s interesting to see him get developed throughout the movie. And Tom Cruise is damn good in the role. Next I wanna mention Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell. A generally tough guy playing the tech dude… that’s just amazing. And Rhames is so much fun in the role. Then we get performances from people like Jon Voight, Vanessa Redgrave, Jean Reno, Henry Czerny, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Béart, Emilio Estevez, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles. The reason why I’m keeping it vague is because their characters/arcs are best left experienced rather than explained.

The score for the movie was composed by Danny Elfman, and it is pretty fantastic. His score jumps between bombastic, droning, emotional, and fun, and it just elevates the movie quite a bit, adding so much to the scenes where it can be heard. And can we just take a second to talk about that classic theme? It’s just so fucking good and is just the epitome of awesome spy/action stuff.

Based on a 1960s tv show, this movie was directed by Brian De Palma and I think he did a great job with it. His direction here is incredibly tight and manages to build some absolutely nailbiting suspense at times. Just take the famous vault sequence for instance, one of the most suspenseful scenes I’ve ever watched, and that thanks to De Palma’s relatively minimalist direction. And the action scenes in this are in general very well choreographed and shot. This movie also has some of the best uses of the dutch tilt that I’ve seen. Though that could also be because I’ve seen a whole bunch of films use it as a crutch rather than a tool. Again, De Palma and crew did a great job.

This movie has gotten somewhat mixed reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 62% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 59/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

“Mission Impossible” is a suspenseful and highly entertaining spy thriller. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing. As previously mentioned, the plot can be a little bit convoluted at times, but it doesn’t ruin it too much for me. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mission Impossible” is an 8,87/10. So while flawed, it’s definitely still worth buying.

My review of “Mission Impossible” is now completed.

One down, three to go.

Movie Review: Carlito’s Way (1993)

Today’s lesson (which is a repeat of an older lesson): Crime. Don’t commit crimes. Committing crimes is bad. This has been your lesson/PSA for the day.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Carlito’s Way”.

After serving five years in prison, Carlito Brigante (Al Pacino) is attempting to sort of reboot his life, escape his old criminal ways and become a good citizen. But that is quite hard when he feels pressure from various people around him. So now we have our crime-drama. And I was quite engrossed by the plot here. On one hand, it subverted my expectations. When it started out, I thought it would go one way, but then it took some turns that I really didn’t expect. And it’s overall a tense and dramatic plot that I found myself quite invested in throughout the entire runtime. It’s more of a character-driven drama rather than a typical gangster-story (though there are elements of that too at times), and I found it to be a damn fine plot.

The characters in this are quite interesting. Sure, a decent amount of them don’t get the most amount of depth, but I found them all working well enough within the movie. Al Pacino plays Carlito Brigante, the man in the title who has some trouble leading a legitimate life. At first he just seems like a smug and charismatic gangster who might go back to his old ways ASAP, but those layers quickly get peeled back and we see that he really means to go legit, to be a good man. And he gets some interesting development throughout. And Pacino is great in the role. Then we have Sean Penn as David, Carlito’s sleazy lawyer. And when I say sleazy I mean that he’s a somewhat dorky, coked out, jerk. And it’s interesting to see him and his interactions with Carlito. And Penn is really good in the role. Then we have Penelope Ann Miller as Gail, an old flame of Carlito, and his love interest for the movie. She’s a highly driven dancer who is a bit split when it comes to Carlito. She is also an important part of Carlito’s arc. And Miller is really good in the role. We also get some really solid supporting turns from people like James Rebhorn, Luis Guzmán, John Leguizamo, Viggo Mortensen, John Ortiz, and more. ’tis a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Patrick Doyle, and it was really good. What we have here is an emotional, tense, and just overall well composed. It’s a score that fits the movie very well, and often helps elevate a lot of scenes throughout. Not saying that the scenes were bad in general, just that the music added something extra to them. There were also a couple licensed tracks used throughout, and they worked well within their respective scenes.

This movie was directed by Brian De Palma, and he of course did a great job (what else did you expect?). His directing here is tight and intimate while also making it feel a bit bigger than it is. However, compared to “Scarface”, the other De Palma/Pacino crime movie, it’s quite subdued in it’s approach. There is certainly a little bit of action in this, but it’s not quite as extreme as in “Scarface”. Yeah, it’s violent, but it isn’t quite as insane as the stuff in “Scarface”, relying more on pure tension rather than the coked out insanity of that other movie. Speaking of which, De Palma manages to bring out a lot of tension throughout this movie, making you actually kind of fear for Carlito and what might happen.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10.

“Carlito’s Way” is a great crime drama. It has a great plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Carlito’s Way” is a 9,82/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Carlito’s Way” is now completed.

Oye como va mi ritmo
Bueno pa’ gozar, mulata

Movie Review: Carrie (1976)

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Hello guys, welcome to “The Month of Spooks”! The time here in October where I review some horror movies. I know that it might be a little bit late to start with that shit in the late half of October, but I am an idiot so that is why we get it now. But hey, better late than ever. Anyway, the movie of today was suggested by Peggy over at the blog peggyatthemovies.com which I highly recommend if you want high quality movie (and TV) stuff. Now that we have gotten that little plug out of the way, let’s move on to the review.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would really like you to meet… “Carrie”.

Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is a very shy and quiet girl who does not have the best of lives. First off, her mom (Piper Laurie) is a real fire & brimstone type of religious nut who really tries to dominate and have full control over Carrie’s life. Second, the other girls at her school bully her to no end and they are some of the worst people I have ever seen on screen. Seriously, those girls and Tommy from “The Butterfly Effect” are my picks for the biggest pieces of shit in cinematic history. Anyway, when Carrie has all of these problems she discovers that she has telekinesis. And from that we get a very interesting and pretty well presented, if a little sloppy plot. I’m not gonna say that it’s terrifying, but it’s definitely creepy and has an uneasy atmosphere. However there are moments of the story that I would call sloppy and it takes away a little from it. So I would say the plot is pretty good if a bit sloppy.

The characters like I said are some of the biggest pieces of shit ever. Except for Carrie, she is a very sweet girl who I just wanna hug and then tell her “It’s gonna be okay”. And Sissy Spacek gives a great performance as this shy, scared and damaged girl. I would say that everybody gave great performances, even young John Travolta (Yep, he’s in this movie).

The score for the movie was composed by Pino Donaggio and I think it was pretty freaking great. It is beautiful, creepy and is very well-composed. It is heavily based in stringed instruments and piano which is really fun to hear, especially since it turned out to be as great as it is.

This movie was directed by Brian De Palma and he did a pretty fantastic job with the directing. The shots look great and there are a lot of gorgeous long takes and tracking shots that were just pure eye candy. I do think that no one could have done it better than De Palma, this is really his movie. And without any major spoilers for the people who might not have seen this, I have to say that the finale is one of the most bittersweet but still relieving finales ever. Is there some kind of comeuppance given to the assholes? Yeah and it is both amazing and kind of “Well that’s kind of terrible”. But it was still glorious and the very ending actually scared me in a way. You who have seen it know what the hell I am talking about.

This is a very well-received movie. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it got a score of 7,4/10. “Carrie” was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best Actress (Spacek) and Best Supporting Actress (Piper Laurie). 

“Carrie” is a very creepy horror movie with a very uneasy atmosphere with a good but still a little sloppy plot, great acting, great music, fantastic directing and an awesome final act. Time for my final score. BOO! My final score for “Carrie” is an 8,74/10. I do think it’s still worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Carrie” is now completed.

“The Month of Spooks” is on.

Movie Review: The Untouchables (1987)

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I don’t know why, but modern American history is incredibly interesting to me. And by modern American history I basically mean everything within the 1900’s. What mainly interests me are all the crime stories, especially the gangster-related ones. I have no idea why they interest me as much as they do, they just happen to do so I guess. And that is what I think fuels my love for gangster movies. So let’s review a gangster movie, shall we?

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Untouchables”.

So in this movie we follow Federal Agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) as he puts together a team of non-corrupt cops to find a way to legally take down gangster boss Al Capone (Robert De Niro) during the prohibition era. Simple premise, excellent execution. The plot lends itself to show some genuinely great drama and surprisingly good storytelling thanks to the premise being as simple as it is. What is also great about the plot is the pace, this movie moves at a pretty great pace. I never experienced it to be slow at all, I would even dare to say that it was pretty fast. And I liked it!

The characters in this movie all feel like real people… probably because a bunch of them are real people portrayed by actors. Examples: Eliot Ness was a real man who formed a real team called “The Untouchables”. And as you all know, Al Capone existed and was a ruthless gangster. Most other characters are fictional but still based on some men who existed back then. Anyway, how were the performances in this movie? Top notch, I tell you! Kevin Costner was great as Ness, Sean Connery stole the show (just like in “The Rock”) as old and wise police officer Jim Malone, Charles Martin Smith was great as his character, Andy Garcia was great as his character and Robert De Niro was fantastic (as always) as Al Capone. Everybody was great.

I don’t even have to mention how great the music is. You should know that I loved it. Why should you know such a thing? Because the score was done by none other than Maestro Ennio Morricone who might be my favorite composer of all time. But yes, he did the score and it is amazing. Next topic!

The shots in this movie look great, the camera work is great, it is a great looking movie. Thank you for doing that Brian De Palma! Now if you oculd direct a good movie again, that would be great! Now, instead of ripping on poor Mr. De Palma, let’s talk about something good from this movie: The action. The action in the movie is visceral, brutal and awesome. Whenever an action scene happened in the movie I cheered because the action scenes are just straight up awesome. Also, if you hate violence then you don’t want to see this movie. In fact, stay away from anything that Brian De Palma has directed if you don’t like violence in movies.

This movie has been very well-received over the years. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 79/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Supporting Actor (Connery). It was also nominated for 3 Oscars in the categories of Best set decoration, Best costume design and Best Original Score. 

“The Untouchables” is a very touchable movie that I think everyone should touch. I know, that sounded weird but trust me, it makes sense soon enough. The story is great, the acting is great, the music is great, the direction is great and the addition of the action is something I really liked a lot. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “The Untouchables” is a 9,89/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“The Untouchables” is now reviewed.

Can’t touch this…