Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Well even before the title I was absorbed into this third impossible mission. We start with a flashback, where things have clearly hit their peak in a mission that seems to have gone incredibly wrong, then were back in present time where things are at it’s happiest for Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), he’s engaged! Let the mission begin: what started off as a search and rescue becomes a lot more than that. Plus, his fiancé knows nothing of his spy tales.

Mission Impossible 3 - Search and Rescue Mission

This Mission Impossible may have just topped the first and second. This third movie of the series is jam-packed with so much action, it’s even more explosive, there’s more fights, it’s non-stop action –there may be 15 minutes throughout the whole movie that isn’t. This really is a brilliant action movie, the plot was interesting, the villain was fantastic, the action was explosive and the twists were shocking. A lot happens in this film, like the others there’s layers to build the action in the plot, but this one seems to have a lot more to it with action in every section.

Played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, the villain of the film is the best one so far! It doesn’t seem like the mission is easy, because this man doesn’t hold back. His sadistic twisted ways portray Ethan Hunt at his most desperate. We see as there are helicopter chases, missiles fired, arrests and jumping out of windows and off roofs. Additionally, Simon Pegg is in this movie and he does make me giggle even at a time of peril for Ethan Hunt.

Mission Impossible 3 - Ethan Hunt

‘Mission: Impossible III’ is a brilliant action movie. I’ve enjoyed this one more than the other two. So far (as I’m watching them in order for the first time), I would rank this one top, the first second and the second last. It was nice to see Ethan Hunt in a different light of a normal family life, but always returning to his spy ways and this film just brought bigger and better explosive action. Obviously, with the excellence of the use of faces alike to the first two films, but this time we get an insider peak of how they are made.

Mission: Impossible II (2000)

Another impossible mission. The second delves into pharmaceuticals, the advancement of biotech. A deadly virus has been stolen and it’s up to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team to take it back before it’s sold. Additionally, Luther (Ving Rhames) is back in his hacking duties excellent as ever.

‘Mission: Impossible II’ builds the tension really well once again. Everything seemed to connect better in this film, everything you watch will be linked in. Where the first ten minutes of the first ‘Mission: Impossible’ seemed irrelevant, this one interweaves much more nicely. Although, I do think that the first film has a better plot. Not that this one is bad, because it isn’t, it’s interesting and things definitely don’t go well for Ethan Hunt – things do not go to plan. This second film brings explosions and an action-packed plot. Oh and it’s very dramatic.

Mission Impossible 2 - Ethan Hunt

The villains do seem to have swapping accents, it does become a bit annoying, although maybe I’m thinking about it too much. It’s not that much of a problem. You definitely tend to watch these films for the action plots anyway rather than the talking. And what’s important is that the action plot was there. There were lots of moments of long fighting scenes although still remain investing, car chases and more of Ethan Hunt’s acrobatics. Furthermore, ‘Mission: Impossible II’ has another new character in the mix, Nyah (Thandie Newton), who’s a great addition. A character Ethan is sent to hunt down for the beginning of the film, unknown to him why and what his mission actually is. Nevertheless, the romance wasn’t necessary, it escalated rather quickly…

I did enjoy this second Mission Impossible. So it’s not the most amazing action film I’ve ever seen, but it’s still enjoyable. Maybe more could have been put into the plot, but as I’ve said it’s one of those films for the action thrilling scenes. The use of faces makes you second guess everything, just like their use in the first film. The use of these is very clever. On the other hand, there’s a lot of slow-motion moments and I’m not sure if all of them actually hold the action value they are supposed to – it did become a bit silly with them. Regardless, it remains an action-packed film with twists and turns throughout. A solid action film – it is what it is! Not a fan of Tom Cruise’s haircut though…

The Lion King (2019)

As Disney are doing remakes, I think everyone was excited to find that Disney’s next project was the classic ‘The Lion King’ from 1994. Everyone must know the story of ‘The Lion King’ – it contains one of the most distressing moments in Disney films, the death of a beloved lion king. This film only makes this moment seem more real, more heart-breaking in Simba’s pleas for help and Mufasa’s stillness in the gorge.

The Lion King 2019 - Simba and Zazu

This film is so visually pleasing, it’s a beautiful film in its special effects. It follows the 1994 version extremely accurately. Except there are a few differences, which are happily welcomed. There seems to be more of a context, a background story, between Scar and Mufasa. Additionally, there are a few new songs. The songs are taken a little more realistically, rather than animals standing upon each other like in ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’ – where in the animation this was a fantastic spectacle, the new film takes a turn in adding to this realistic feel of these Pride Lands. ‘In the Jungle’ was a brilliant scene, with the animals dancing, the immense jungle in which the “outcasts” have been left with is stunning and explored during this song amongst other scenes. I cannot forget to mention the little snap of a beloved song from another Disney film, which I loved!

Now with the songs, as it is a musical, I can’t say all the songs were better than the original, however all were enjoyable. I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of Beyoncé (I know unpopular opinion), and she seemed to make the songs a lot more flowery than the classic originals. For example, I definitely prefer the original of ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’. Although saying this, it didn’t take anything away from the film as obviously the songs have to be sung again for a remake!

Pumbaa and Timon are excellent as usual! They hold so much comical spirit. With Seth Rogen voicing Pumbaa I wasn’t certain if I would like the outcome, but I was so wrong with this one! He was excellent. I loved the new twist to ‘Hakuna Matata’ with it’s added comical moments. Also, Pumbaa’s brilliant line of “I may run away from Hyenas, but I stand up to bullies” was fabulous. Pumbaa and Timon seem to have more to say in this film and hold a lot more as characters than just the friends Simba found when he ran away. They are brilliant characters in both the 1994 and 2019 versions.

The Lion King 2019 - Simba and Scar

The whole movie seemed to hold a lot of modern elements in its meanings. Which should be loved by the audience in the strength of the female characters not just male on screen. Scar still creeps me out, he has to be one of the darkest villains on Disney screen. There does seem to be more violent in this film, compared the first original, which is probably why it’s actually a PG rather than a U. I really did enjoy this new remake. Loved that they kept the voice actor of Mufasa as James Earl Jones the same as the original too! ‘The Lion King’ (2019) is a visually beautiful film which holds the best elements of the original and adds some new great additions too. I don’t know whether it would beat the original classic version, because that will always hold as one of the best Disney Classics in nostalgia and perfect songs. I do prefer Rowan Atkinson as Zazu too. Nevertheless, both are enjoyable and still an emotional rollercoaster whenever Mufasa is on screen.

Mission: Impossible (1996)

The beginning of Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise). ‘Mission: Impossible’ is what is says on the tin, although impossible when Tom Cruise is in the mix? I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of Tom Cruise, although he is what he is, a great action star and this is proven by this series of missions impossible.

1996 brings the original ‘Mission: Impossible’ where a mission has gone terribly wrong and Ethan is the only one left alive – but now he’s suspected as the traitor in the CIA. But I don’t think him calmly explaining that he isn’t the mole will solve the issue; of course a fight is ahead of them, a mystery to be solved, uncovered, who is the true traitor? And the only way to do that? Apparently by stealing the highly secretive information he’s been wrongly accused of stealing…
Mission Impossible - Ethan Hunt

Tom Cruise does execute the action in films excellently, there’s no denying that, even if I’m not his biggest fan. The storyline is really good, it’s very enjoyable and exciting to try and uncover the real culprit of the mission going wrong. Meanwhile, Ethan Hunt gathers a new team together to steal the real disk drive from the CIA. This is where we meet new characters, ex-spies Krieger (Jean Reno) and Luther (Ving Rhames). Krieger brings tension in the group, but fundamental to the mission where Ethan hangs in suspension in a room sensitive of everything (a truly great scene). Luther is a great addition, he’s funny and an enjoyable character to watch with expert hacker skills. We also see the actors Vanessa Redgrave aka the lovely innocent Claire from ‘Letters to Juliet’ and Henry Czerny the hated Conrad Grayson from ‘Revenge’!

Mission Impossible - Ethan Hunt and Claire

After watching the first ‘Mission: Impossible’, I think I’ll make it my mission to watch the others. This one was enjoyable and action-packed. Although, I’m still at a loss with the first ten minutes of the film, I haven’t got a clue what that has got to do with anything else. Additionally, with only the films moving into the present the special effects are only going to get better; to be honest for a 1996 film the effects were actually quite good already! There were moments that weren’t up to scratch, so don’t expect perfection. However, it is easy to get over and it doesn’t ruin any part of the film, it’s still enjoyable for an action film with a great plot. There are some great scenes, some twists and turns, powerful action and an interesting mystery. Is there much more needed?

Dark/Web (2019 – )

Coming to Amazon Prime this Friday – a sci/fi horror television series. This show will take you on a mysterious journey into a cyber crisis that the world has turned into. ‘Dark/Web’ is revolved around this one genius programmer, Molly Solis, who has disappeared. A journalist, a social media star, a teacher and a hacker become in contact once again as they all receive unusual messages from this missing cyber analyst. These messages contain stories, stories which the audience experience as we are torn from real life to these fiction novellas. Soon, they realise all stories are clues, hints in how to help Molly. Meanwhile, in a self-destructing world where cyber-attacks are far too common and technological advances have become extreme.

The first thing I have to say is that I was hooked from Chapter One. You become drawn into this weirdly realistic life, where technology is not fully understood and holds no limits. The horror of the cyber advances become very suddenly recognised by the audience as you are warped into an untrusting relationship with all phones and computers. ‘Dark/Web’ as a programme is brilliant in absorbing the audience where there’s a need to watch more to try and solve this mystery of where is Molly and why does she want her old school friends to help her?

The stories that engulf the majority of the episodes are very twisted and dark with horror ridden throughout all. But they are so clever in capturing an audience. They have so much meaning to all of the stories, horrible as some of them are, they seem to have this realistic satirical element riddling the whole series. They make you think about every element of technology and it’s controlling matters. Very clever in its form as a programme. Very different from other shows I have seen also – you have the mystery side, but also the horror, sci-fi element, but with that there’s the fictitious twisted stories with dark meanings and consequences.

‘Dark/Web’ is a show you need to pay attention to. It’s not an easy watch, in fact some scenes were a bit too creepy for me to fully watch. But you need to pay attention and concentrate as there is so much to the show. You’ll find that you’d want to anyway, as you become invested in discovering what has happened to Molly. Furthermore, there is lots of interweaving in and out of stories, so recognising the story and the ‘real world’ of the show is important to acknowledge. Finally, I loved the camera angles of the show, something as small as this really added to the difference of the show. They were cleverly used to execute the horror in the stories or to express particular emotions or limit the audience of a full view. The use of technology, where we could visualise what is happening on screens through our screen added a creepy voyeuristic horror to the programme.

‘Dark/Web’ is a clever, different show that I haven’t seen anything like which just makes it that more intriguing. I would recommend this show, I watched it in a matter of days, addicted to wanting to uncover more of this twisted dystopian world. Even if unsettling in some ways.

Toy Story 4 (2019)

Is it all we’ve been waiting for while adding to the beloved Toy Story franchise? Or is it an ending that wasn’t necessary and Toy Story 3 was perfect as it was? One of these answers is a yes…

‘Toy Story 4’ brings back our favourite toys – Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Rex, Mr and Mrs Potato Head, Slinky, Jessie and Bullseye – the whole lot! As ‘Toy Story 3’ ended, in one of the most perfect endings of a trilogy I might add, the toys have been passed on to another little girl and Andy has moved on to college (emotions come flooding back…). With this new little girl, Bonnie, Woody and the toys are off on a road trip before their “kid” starts Kindergarten. Bonnie’s new attachment grows to one single toy, one particular toy that hasn’t actually been given to her from Andy, not one of the toys we love so dearly, but instead a toy the young girl made herself – Forky! A spork with wooden legs and pipe cleaner arms. But when Forky revives he hilariously just wants to be “trasshhh” instead, not a toy. Woody takes it upon himself to make sure Bonnie’s new favourite toy, Forky, is constantly by her side to keep her safe and always be there for her.

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Ok, so this was a good film. I did enjoy it. But was it all that it was cracked up to be? Sadly not. I feel ‘Toy Story 3’ ended too well, that nothing really could top it. With that, ‘Toy Story 4’ just becomes a film that doesn’t really feel attached to the original trilogy. It is no way near as good and it doesn’t seem to hold all the excellent qualities we loved from before.

I promise it’s not as bad as that though. As a film and maybe a side film of the franchise that is Toy Story, this fourth addition is a good film. I had a good giggle – although I didn’t find Forky as funny as it was made out to be. However, saying this, I did love the walking scene with him and Woody, that was enjoyable. Also, I really did like the ending, they did manage to capture that wholesome ending again, and that was definite in the beginning of the film as well, where it seemed to hold high hopes. The middle just felt a little lost, plus there’s some creepy dolls, which really are quite terrifying and I’m 22…

Toy Story 4 - toys

To sum up, ‘Toy Story 4’ as an adventure of Woody and Forky was enjoyable and had some of the great qualities of our loved classic toys. However, as a fourth ending to the already brilliant trilogy I don’t believe it made the cut. This film brings a lot of new characters, which is why it probably seems like such a different film. The once Bo Peep we knew of, is nothing to be recognised. Jessie was hardly present and I think I must have been Bullseye twice. Happily, the friendship between Buzz and Woody was celebrated once again, as the two favourites they remain great characters. Then, there’s a lot of other characters to bring in, including the creepy dolls and Forky. I did like the message of the film and I think that’s what made the wholesome ending acceptable. Finally, Woody’s reminiscing was very heart-warming which added to the beauty of the first three films. I would watch it again, it was a good giggle, but I think I would have rather the series stayed as it was with the perfect ending with Andy.

Big Little Lies (2017 – )

What an excellent explosive series! From episode one so much was going on, but I couldn’t really understand anything. Although, as episodes progress you slowly learn more and more about the characters of the show. How all the characters have a different plotline, mostly haunting and dark. The upper-class parents that seem perfect are far from the front that they all put up. Drama kicks off in the first episode with accusations and the new single mother and son of Monterey being the centre of hate and protection.

First of all, the actresses of this show are phenomenal. Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz, Laura Dern. Second season also brings Meryl Streep – which has to be mentioned, she’s outstanding. The women of the show are truly great, they all execute the drama of the show brilliantly as you’re drawn into their lives so quickly. The season jumps from future to present day as your intrigued from the get-go. There’s been a murder and we have no idea who has died or who killed them…

Big Little Lies 1

The show has a clever narration to the film, opinions from teachers and other parents, as the police interview in the future which reflects as we watch the present day. I also have to mention the brilliance of the music throughout the programme, which just adds to the enjoyment of the episodes. Furthermore, the camera and cinematography are fabulous. These are just a few unique elements of the show that just add to the excellence of the show and the understanding of its Emmy Award winning status.

I would definitely recommend this programme, if you’re looking for a new scandal, lies and drama-filled show. All the female stars are fantastic and so empowering to watch on show as you feel all the emotions of every single moment from them. Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) is a superb character, flawed but also funny. Nicole Kidman’s performance as Celeste is also outstanding, heart-breaking to the point where it feels so realistic. Then there’s Jane (Shailene Woodley), who is a character haunted, there is so much to this character, that when you uncover more you still feel there is so much left unsaid. Finally, I don’t really understand the hate that Laura Dern’s character seemed to get, Renata is a mother in agony, desperate for the safety of her child. The children are also brilliant in the show, particularly the role of Chloe (Darby Camp) who brings her own comedy to a drama show. ‘Big Little Lies’ does tackle some real issues to the point where it is hard to watch. It probably is inappropriate for younger ages with sex, nudity and swearing.

Big Little Lies 2

‘Big Little Lies’ becomes a show to quickly draw you in as you become desperate to uncover everything that has happened, past, present and future. I raced through the first season of only seven episodes in an evening and a morning. It becomes very addictive to watch, where there are shocks and surprises the whole way. There are a lot of lies and secrets in this show: no one is what they seem to the public eye.

 

If you’re a fan of this show, you will also like ‘Dead to Me’ review here.