Re-Watch: Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Mission: Impossible III
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J.J. Abrams
Based on: The TV Series
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II
Cast: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell, Maggie Q, Simon Pegg, Eddie Marsan, Laurence FishburneSasha Alexander, Tracy Middendorf, Aaron Paul, Timothy Omundson
Seen on: 4.8.2015

Plot:
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has retired from active field duty. Instead he teaches spy hopefuls and is about to marry Julia (Michelle Monaghan). But then IMF director Musgrave (Billy Crudup) contacts him: his student Lindsey (Keri Russell) was captured by blackmarket dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Hunt has to save her. Hunt reluctantly accepts and gets to work together with his team, consisting of Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Zhen (Maggie Q) and Luther (Ving Rhames). But the recapture goes wrong and Hunt soon finds himself in deeper than he ever expected.

Mission: Impossible III is a definite step up again after the second film (although that is not saying too much – it would have taken serious commitment to be worse than the second film). But depite the awesome cast, especially the antagonists, M:I-3 might be the film of the series that is most easily forgotten.

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Insurgent (2015)

Insurgent
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writer: Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman, Mark Bomback
Based on: Veronica Roth’s novel
Sequel to: Divergent
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Mekhi Phifer, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Octavia Spencer, Zoë Kravitz, Ashley Judd, Ray Stevenson, Naomi Watts, Maggie Q, Daniel Dae Kim, Janet McTeer
Seen on: 25.03.2015

Plot:
The Erudite have attacked Abnegation and Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), Marcus (Ray Stevenson), Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Peter (Miles teller) are heading to Amity for a safe place to stay. But Erudite’s attack is just the beginning of an upheaval in their society in which the Divergent have a huge part to play. But Tris doesn’t know what exactly is going on. She just knows that Jeanine (Kate Winslet) won’t stop hunting her.

After Divergent I actually thought I’d skip Insurgent but then I was weak and went to see it after all. And it was actually worse than Divergent.

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Divergent (2014)

Divergent
Director: Neil Burger
Writer: Evan Daugherty, Vanessa Taylor
Based on: Veronica Roth’s novel
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Kate Winslet

Plot:
In Beatrice’ (Shailene Woodley) world, people are divided into five castes according to their strengths – Abnegation are the selfless, Erudite the intelligence, Candor the truthful, Dauntless the brave and Amity the peaceful. Until their 16th birthday, kids just live in the caste of their parents, but then there’s an aptitude test and they have to choose their own place. For Beatrice that means ending up to choose Dauntless, while her brother (Ansel Elgort) chooses Erudite – much to the shock of their parents who practically lose them both since they remain in Abnegation. Adapting to the new caste is a challenge for Beatrice, now Tris, and having a crush on her instructor Four (Theo James) doesn’t help. But there are even bigger things at stake.

I’m already not a huge fan of the book series but the film was even worse. Flat, boring and pretty much wasting the (supporting) cast.

divergent

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Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Live Free or Die Hard
Director: Len Wiseman
Writer: Mark Bomback
Based on: John Carlin‘s article A Farewell to Arms
Sequel to: Die Hard, Die Hard 2, Die Hard: With a Vengeance
Cast: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long, Maggie Q, Cliff Curtis, Kevin Smith, Zeljko Ivanek, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Plot:
After the FBI has been hacked, John McClane (Bruce Willis) is supposed to bring in Matthew (Justin Long), a suspected hacker. What should be a routine pick-up and drop-off, ends up in a full-blown shoot-out. And suddenly McClane finds himself right in the middle of the biggest hack of the century, trying to avoid the complete dismantling of the financial system.

After I actually liked the third Die Hard movie, I thought that I had finally hit my stride with these films. Unfortunately McClane is totally unhinged in this film, and they liberally peppered the script with misogyny and racism. That is not cool.

live_free_or_die_hard

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Priest (2011)

Priest is Scott Stewart‘s adaptation of Min-Woo Hyung‘s graphic novel, written by Cory Goodman and starring Paul Bettany, Maggie Q, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, Lily Collins, Stephen Moyer, Brad Dourif and Christopher Plummer.

Plot:
As long as anybody can remember, humans and vampires have been battling each other. And the vampires seemed to be winning – until the Priests came along, a specially trained task force sent by the church. They managed to relegate the vampires to reservations and a kind of peace has settled over the war-destroyed world. But then a small town on the outskirts is overrun by vampires and the young Lucy (Lily Collins) is abducted. Lucy’s boyfriend Hicks (Cam Gigandet) calls on her uncle for help – a Priest (Paul Bettany). Together they go after the vampires.

Priest is everything it promises to be: full of oneliners that are instant classics, hammy performances and plot and characters from the stereotype shelf. In short, it’s absolutely craptastic. The only thing that was really unentertaining about it was the lack of naked Paul Bettany: he only got to undress once and then only for a couple of moments. Not okay.

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New York, I Love You (2009)

New York, I Love You is a collection of short films, bundled together because they are all set in New York. The segments were directed by Fatih Akin, Yvan Attal, Allen Hughes, Shunji Iwai, Wen Jiang, Shekhar Kapur, Joshua Marston, Mira Nair, Natalie Portman and Brett Ratner, the transitions between the segments by Randall Balsmeyer. And in the various segments there were Justin Bartha, Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom, James Caan, Hayden Christensen, Julie Christie, Bradley Cooper, Shia LaBeouf, Andy Garcia, Ethan Hawke, John Hurt, Cloris Leachman, Blake Lively, Drea de Matteo, Natalie Portman, Maggie Q, Christina Ricci, Eli Wallach, Robin Wright and Anton Yelchin.
I’ll spare you and me the writers, but they are interesting, too. [Also, do not ask how long this paragraph has taken me to write and link. It is better not known for it shows my obsessive-compulsive qualities.]

Plot:
A young woman (Emilie Ohana) drives around New York with her video camera, capturing various stories and moments around her.

The single segments deserve their own reviews (mostly) [which I’ll do after the jump] but overall, I have to admit that I was mostly bored during this movie. The stories weren’t connected enough – I expected a more unifying theme – nor were they representative of New York (unless New York barely has any black, hispanic or Asian people and no none-cis gendered, none-hetero persons either). I think most of the segments would have worked beautifully as short films, but bundling them together to one feature film didn’t work out.

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