December 16, 2011, - 4:40 pm
Wknd Box Office: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Young Adult, The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby
Sad to say, but the new Tom Cruise movie is really the only good new movie at the box office, this weekend. I already reviewed “Shame” (read my review). Here’s my take on the rest:
* “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol“: Before this, I’d never seen any of the “Mission: Impossible” movies, and you don’t have to, in order to enjoy this movie and follow what’s happening. It’s filled with action, suspense, physical fights with bad guys, fantastic feats (too fantastic to believe, but still cool to watch, nonetheless), car chases, and excitement.
I could have done without the gratuitous, if brief, inclusion and promotion of anti-Semitic, anti-Israel Dubai and its Burj Al-Khalifa skyscraper hotel. It wasn’t necessary, and considering Dubai’s anti-Semitic, anti-Israel travel apartheid (you can’t go there as a Jew, if you have an Israeli passport or Israeli stamp in your passport), it’s a disgusting whitewash of Islamic bigotry. On the other hand, it wasn’t exactly the greatest promotion of the Gulf state, given that it looked like a miserable place to live because of brutal sandstorms.
The movie takes place in several international locales, beginning with Budapest, then Russia, and later Mumbai. Tom Cruise is broken out of a Russian prison by his fellow IMF agents, Paula Patton and Simon Pegg. He is given a mission to get codes from the Kremlin. But, instead, he’s set up to make it look like he’s the one that set off a bomb in the Kremlin, pitting Russia against the U.S. Cruise and Jeremy Renner, join the other IMF agents, traveling to several locales trying to get the nuclear launch codes, so they can avoid a war between the U.S. and Russia, which an evil guy is trying to set off.
Not believable or a “great” movie, but fun, lots of eye-candy, and you definitely won’t be bored. It’s movie escapism done good. I saw it in IMAX, which made it even better.
If only IMF personnel had guts and courage like this in real life, instead of being typical, gutless liberal-socialist usurpers of American tax dollars.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows“: In my review of the first “Sherlock Holmes” movie starring Robert Downey, Jr. , I told you it should have been called, “Not Sherlock Holmes.” This second installment should have been called, “Not Sherlock Holmes 2, Even Worse.” At least the first one had a semi-understandable plot. This one is just confusing, cockamamie, and convoluted. And ridiculous, too.
In the first movie, Sherlock Holmes and Watson are action heroes doing all kinds of acrobatics and swashbuckling. In this one, Sherlock Holmes is not just an action hero, but a superhero with magical powers. He can read minds, see into the future, communicate with mental telepathy, make people’s minds screw up so they throw their weapons at each other instead of him, look at a wall and see the past and how it was built, etc. Yup, absurd.
This might be tolerable if the way too long, boring movie actually had some sort of discernible story. The most I could gather was that Sherlock Holmes was on to some criminal professor who wants to start a world war so he can make money on weapons (kind of like the Mission: Impossible plot–see above). Somehow, it involves some gyspy-esque French fortune teller chick or masseusse or something whose brother was killed by someone. Oh, and there are some horses and a war room, as well as a world peace conference in Switzerland.
None of it makes sense. I guess it’s not supposed to because, again, this isn’t Sherlock Holmes. It’s some action hero slapped into a non-sensical story with the Sherlock Holmes moniker unduly affixed to him. A total waste of my time and yours. Drink lots of caffeine. This was snorable.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Young Adult“: While this movie had some very funny moments, it was mostly mean, cold, and pointless. It’s filled with much unnecessary, unentertaining melodrama and shrieking. Uh, no thanks. Predictably, most of the mainstream liberal movie critics loved it. Garbage sells. And this one is the empress with no clothing. It starts out as a promising movie, but when it falls down, it goes off the cliff.
Charlize “I Love Castro’s Cuba” Theron plays a pretentious, mean alcoholic ghostwriter for a passe series of young adult books. She is overdue in her last assignment before the series is canceled. But instead of locking herself in her Minneapolis apartment to finish, Theron travels to the small Minnesota town where she grew up to get back her high school boyfriend (the always bland Patrick Wilson). He’s married with a new baby, but she won’t let that get in her way. While she plots and schemes to get him back, Theron becomes friendly with the guy who was the high school geek (Patton Oswalt), beaten up and left for dead by athletes because they thought he was gay.
Why you’d wanna waste two hours and ten bucks for this, I don’t know. Just awful. Not that I expected anything better. After all, it’s written by that skanky former stripper with the pretentious name, Diablo Cody.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby“: I thought this would be exciting, or at the very least interesting. When a guy does a documentary about his late father who headed the CIA while the U.S. was in Vietnam and began his career with the agency, helping Italian Catholic Priests fight off Communism, you’d think it would be chock full of interesting anecdotes, intrigue, code names, etc. But there’s none of that in this. Instead, it’s a slow-paced documentary that does its best to make an exciting job and the person who occupied it seem like watching paint dry.
As you can tell from the title, the movie is made (and narrated) by William Colby’s son, Carl. You’d imagine he’d put some love and respect into it, and perhaps in his mind, he thinks he has. But not in my mind. Carl Colby sympathizes with protesters against the Vietnam War, who hated his dad, the CIA Station Chief in Saigon before he headed the entire agency. The Colby son blames his sister’s illness and death on his father.
And aside from the dissing of dear old dad, there’s simply no insight. Why, for instance, does a man choose a life as a spy? What motivates him? What was it like being the son of the CIA director? None of that is asked, let alone answered. I wasn’t sure what the point was, other than for Colby to put forth his belief that his father committed suicide. I don’t need a long, dull, boring movie for that. Despite the title of this film, there is little in the way of “searching” at all.
The only part I found interesting was Colby’s work to drive Communism out of Italy, and how the CIA gave money and aid to Catholic Priests and the Catholic Church to do it. If only we’d have done that with Islam all over the world, funding, enabling, and encouraging churches in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe to fight off Islam. But that was my insight, not the movie’s. There’s just not much useful information in the movie. And that’s disappointing, as I looked forward to seeing this documentary.
As I watched this, I thought of my late father, who read a million books about the history of the CIA and its various chiefs. He knew all about the history and loved to watch documentaries and movies about it. This would have been an utter disappointment for him. Just as it was for me.
William Colby deserved better than this. Sadly, he didn’t get it. I hope the kids of deceased Mossad chiefs don’t see this and get any ideas.
Watch the trailer . . .
Tags: Burj Al-Khalifa, Carl Colby, Catholic Church, Central Intelligence Agency, Charlize Theron, CIA, CIA Director, communism, Dubai, IMAX, IMF, IMF Agents, intrigue, Israel, Jeremy Renner, Jude Law, Kremlin, Mission Impossible, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, movie, movie review, Movie Reviews, nuclear launch codes, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt, Paula Patton, Robert Downey Jr., Russia, Saigon, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Simon Pegg, spy, Tom Cruise, Vietnam, Vietnam War, William Colby, Young Adult