Man on A Mission

Bill C’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

Man on A Mission: Richard Garriott’s Road to The Stars is a documentary about Richard Garriott’s visit to the international space station as one of the first space tourists.  He paid the Russians $30 million to take him up on a Soyuz rocket.  I saw a special screening that included a Q+A with the director and producer.  It’s an entertaining movie that gives good insight on Richard’s preparation and his visit to the space station.   Richard also left his camera on to get some interesting footage during the re-entry and landing. In addition to Richard the movie features several interesting characters (including his retired astronaut father).

This movie opens in N.Y. next week and in Austin the following week.  Richard will be at the Austin premiere (he lives in Austin).

This is a must see for anyone with $30 million considering a space trip and recommended for others just interested in the space program from afar.

As tis has not opened in New York Bill I. has not had a chance to review this one.

Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Bill C’s review – 3 Stars

Ghost Protocol is the 4th in the series of Mission Impossible movies and is very entertaining.  The action is non-stop and they have gone out of their way to out-do the action in previous movies.  The movie really flies by and is fun to watch.  Tom Cruise deserves kudos for really hanging on the outside of the tallest building in the world (with cables that were later erased using CGI).  As a fan of the old TV series I think they rely a little too much on action and could use more brilliant plans to fool the enemies, but that is a small quibble.

***** Spoiler Alert ******

As in all of these types of movies you need to be ready to forget about reality and just enjoy the action.  So I happily did that as Tom dangled off the building, had a high speed chase in a blinding sand storm (which miraculously ended just as the chase did), dropped multiple stories in a car, etc., BUT who could believe the ending: Tom Cruise watching his wife, who he pretended to kill and had to abandon prior to this movie, while she is hanging out with some new guy.  When she sees him, she is happy to smile at him from a distance and then just goes on with her new life.  Wouldn’t she either be totally disgusted to see him (after all he put her through in the last movie and prior to the start of this one) or if she loved him (and since he is Tom Cruise), wouldn’t she want to ditch the very heavy un-Tom Cruise like guy and reminisce about old times???  You can only suspend belief so much!

Bill I’s Review – 3.5 Stars

First, I must say that I missed the fantastic editing job of MI III, done by our old friend, Maryann Brandon, teamed with one of my favorite directors, JJ Abrams, the same team who brought us Super 8,  the last Star Trek and of course the Alias TV Series. I agree the action in Ghost Protocol is the main attraction, and knowing Tom supposedly did his own stunts including jumping outside the world’s tallest building made it more thrilling. Jeremy Renner as his new sidekick is excellent, and Paula Patton as the kick-ass martial arts colleague made me forget about all these other supposed super beauty action heroes (Megan Fox pales in comparison, Angelina Jolie-Pitt is old news). The fact that Tom doesn’t make a play for her, and as Bill C. alludes to in his spoiler above, still pines for his wife (ex-wife? witness protection wife?), in fact lets Paula walk off with another dude after he clearly could do his best James Bond and have his way, is really what made me not believe the ending similar to Bill. Finally, I must mention the most inventive chase/fight scene I’ve seen in years, held in a super automated futuristic parking garage – where are these in Manhattan! Here’s Paula: