The old adage goes that a good movie is “three great scenes and no bad ones.” There are at least three great action setpieces in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol–astonishing, humorous, and always inventive. The story once again follows IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team of fellow agents (Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, and Simon Pegg) as they movie from thrill ride A to thrill ride B to stop an insane man (Michael Nyqvist) from starting a global nuclear war. The stuff in between the action is serviceable, but the film really comes to life when Ethan and company (but mostly Ethan) find themselves in precarious situations, like when Ethan must scale the tallest skyscraper in the world using only some electronically adhesive gloves. After a productive career in animation, director Brad Bird makes his live-action debut with immediate and kinetic simplicity. My review is here. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.
An artfully composed and constructed depiction of the hollow, unfulfilling life of a sex addict, Shame winds up sharing the same traits as its central character’s life. Michael Fassbender plays Brandon, a New York professional who spends his days watching porn at work and his night’s spending time with prostitutes or any woman he can pick up at a bar, and it’s a strong performance. So is Carey Mulligan’s as his sister, a woman with big dreams and little to show for them. Still, thematically, the movie is repetitive, pounding away at the same point in its own subdued way. My review is here. Available on DVD/Blu-ray Combo.