The Highly Anticipated First Trailer For ‘Avengers: ENDGAME’ Has Arrived!

Directed by: Joe & Anthony Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johannson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Chadwick Boseman, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Sebastian Stan, Winston Duke, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Tom Holland, Paul Rudd, Benedict Cumberbatch, Vi Diesel, Pom Klementieff, Jeremy Renner, Jon Favreau, Benedict Wong, Sean Gunn, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper

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‘Mission: Impossible’ Retrospective: Part 2

Welcome back. My mission, that I’ve chosen to accept, is to look at the recent era of the M:I franchise. If you missed it, check out Part 1 of this retrospective.

Amidst growing opinions about Cruise’s personal life and despite the commercial success of Mission: Impossible III, Paramount were reportedly undecided on the future of their spy adventures. With everything quiet on M:I front for a few years, it wasn’t until august of 2009 that the matches considered to be lit once more. Writers Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec brought on to write the screenplay.

Like Abrams before them, the two writers had cut their teeth in the TV circuit and Ghost Protocol was to be their big break. Funnily enough, Nemec had actually served as a writer prior on Abrams successful show, Alias. With the script in the works, the search for a director was underway. Due to scheduling conflicts, J.J Abrams made it clear that directing would not be an option for him; opting to take a producing position instead alongside Cruise.

March 2010 saw the preliminary talks of bringing The Incredibles director Brad Bird on board. By May of the same year, it was confirmed that Bird would be sitting in the director’s chair. This was to be Bird’s first live action feature; a choice that Bird didn’t take lightly.

This was his chance to flex his already outstanding skill set, in a now well oiled franchise. Consideration towards the direction of the brand itself was in the air, going right down to the “Mission: Impossible” namesake. Discussions were taking place to consider scrapping the established brand name, to be more akin to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Thankfully, it was decided that going into a subtitle phase would be the suitable way forward for Mission: Impossible IP.

Production began on September 29th 2010 and ran all way to March of the following year. Carrying on the globetrotting element of M:I III, locations would include the Czech Republic, Hungary, Moscow and Dubai. Most of the crew heading into the production, Cruise in particular, felt that M:I III was a turning point for the franchise in regards to tone and how to combine action with a gripping story. The aim was to continue this approach and give audiences a visceral blockbuster experience. With the director of thrilling stories like The Iron Giant and The Incredibles, Cruise and Bird were ready to turn the tide.

Fan favourites Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg returned to the cast, while newcomers Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton were brought onto the I.M.F team. It could be seen that Renner was maybe a contingency plan, should Cruise fail to deliver the goods on his fourth outing, in a franchise with an uneasy start. The ball was in Cruise’s court to turn public perception around and give them new contest for exactly why he might be referred to as “crazy” or “insane”. How exactly would do that? Hanging off the side of the tallest building in the world isn’t a bad idea to start with.

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Ghost Protocol would up the ante for the audacity of death defying stunt work. Cruise being the workhorse that he is, was ready again to cheat the reaper on screen. The Burj Khalifa sequence in Ghost Protocol is a stomach churning endurance test for the best of those unafraid of heights. Like the best sequences in the recent entries, this set piece isn’t shoehorned in just for the sake of it. The height induced paranoia is in service of the story.

Bird’s touch and sense in Ghost Protocol has the same air of style and sophistication displayed in The Incredibles. In tandem with the returning Michael Giacchino and Robert Elswitt making the first of two contributions to M: I, Bird oozes an aura that’s closer to Bond but refined rather than copied beat for beat. Of course with bigger action, comes the realisation that M:I retains a license to be sillier if done right. While my soft spot for M:I II remains, it’s more of a Bond shaped ghost than a competitor to Daniel Craig’s grounded character study approach.

Cruise is dialling it all the way. Sandstorms and a descending battle through a multi-level car park see Cruise proving he is the anchor on this ship. No contingency is needed. Mission: Impossible was now your go to vender for blood rushing action.

Filling into cinemas on December 16th 2011, Ghost Protocol became the highest grossing entry in the franchise and Cruise’s biggest grossing film. Critical consensus also offered the installment the highest praise of the series (until Fallout).

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Following previous collaborations and the release of an adaption based around Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novel series, Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise were ready to get back to work again on a project together. Following McQuarie’s uncredited rewrite on Ghost Protocol, Cruise already impressed with Oscar winning McQuarrie’s ideas and was eager for him to helm the next installment of M:I.

Hungry to get back in motion, Paramount announced in August of 2013 that Christopher McQuarrie would be taking on the director’s mantle for the next endeavour. With a story from Iron Man 3 writer Drew Pearce, McQuarrie sank his teeth in concocting the screenplay. Taking cues and inspiration from De Palma’s original outing and admiring the franchise’s growing legacy, McQuarrie decided to bring the story back it’s insider operation roots. After hints of the next installment were left literally in the last seconds of Ghost Protocol, it was the first time that Mission: Impossible were considering having a direct-sequel narrative.

Once again however, Bond was being thrown back into the conversation. As both productions were set to feature narratives about villainous organisations (S.P.E.C.T.R.E and The Syndicate), the topic of which film would come out on top began to dominate itself amongst fans. Was Bond even a threat to Mission: Impossible at this point? Not a chance.

Production began on Rogue Nation on August 20th 2014 and concluded in March of 2015, a week before the official announcement of the title and teaser poster were released. Rogue Nation felt confident from the get go. With the critical affirmation of the franchise in it’s past two entries, Cruise and his team were in business. It was time for Bond to see how far this franchise had come in full force.

How should we start out movie? Cold open? Shadowy objectives via sunglasses? Let’s throw the audience in head first.

The intro sequence of Rogue Nation couldn’t encompass what this franchise is about more if it tried. Ethan’s team are in position. Communication is assertive, panicked but assertive. Where is Cruise though?

Enter the iconic notes of Lalo Schifrin’s theme and the definition of movie star enters the frame. The objective is simple: stop a plane from taking off and secure the payload. Sure? Not in this franchise.

The excitement sets in and we’re off to the races. Cruise mounts the airbus, clinging for dear life, more than ever. The airbus storms into the air and takes Cruise with it, at 5,000 feet in the air. No stunt double.

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The pressure is increasingly mounting both for Cruise and his team. Alas, the objective is secured and we’re strapped into the grin inducing title sequence.

This IS Mission: Impossible in all its glory. Everything you need to know about this series is given you to in an exhilarating injection of adrenaline. From there on, McQuarrie’s direction is assured, composed and almost pitch perfect. I could go on about that Opera sequence for days but I think its already clearer how dynamite that set piece is.

Sean Harris is also a saving grace for the antagonist aspect of these films. Where Ghost Protocol lacked a memorable foe, Rogue Nation rectifies this and gives us the sometimes underused Solomon Lane. With his nasally voice and soul inspecting stare, Sean Harris dominates the role every chance he is given. I can’t explain how claustrophobic I feel when Lane bests Ethan in the record shop.

The sheer terror on Cruise’s face explains it all.

Rogue Nation is an excellent feat for both McQuarrie and the series. Unfortunately, I do feel like the transition from Morocco into the third act is unfocused at times. It was reported in February of 2015 that production was on hold so that Cruise, McQuarrie and an unknown party could reconfigure the third act (specifically the ending). This may explain why Rogue Nation struggles to find its ongoing purpose after the superb beats that have come before it.

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Have I mentioned Alec Baldwin’s speech in the third act? In any other film where the hero is referred to as the “living manifestation of destiny”, I would erupt with laughter. Here, I have a massive grin on my face as you made clearly aware just how bad ass Ethan Hunt has become over the past two decades.

Opening in July of 2015, Rogue Nation would go to make just slightly less than its predecessor, with a box office take of $682.7 million. Just like Ghost Protocol, Rogue Nation was another freshly received entry to the franchise that was confidently set to rival Bond’s November outing later in the year.

So now we’ve reached 2018 and this week sees the release of the sixth (sixth!!) installment of Mission: Impossible. In a series first, McQuarrie has returned to deliver his second take on Ethan Hunt’s ongoing tale of defying the impossible. It really is incredible to see a franchise like this still going strong after all this time. Tom Cruise has to be commended for his undying commitment to his endearing goal as an actor: to entertain an audience the best he can.

I have seen Fallout currently three times and you can bet I’ll be catching it a forth. If you want to know what JUMPCUT makes of it, head over to Dave’s review to see his take on McQuarrie’s critical darling.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this retrospective of Mission: Impossible.

This article will not self destruct in five seconds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tag

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Year: 2018
Directed by: Jeff Tomsic
Starring: Jeremy Renner, John Hamm, Jake Johnson, Ed Helms, Hannibal Buress, Isla Fisher

WRITTEN BY ELENA MORGAN

The true story of a group of friends who, for one month every year, continue playing the same game of tag they started when they were kids. But this year, Jerry (Jeremy Renner) who has never been tagged, plans to retire from the game once he’s married and this is the last chance for his friends to get him.

‘Tag’ is a lot of fun and is laugh out loud funny. The action sequences of various characters trying to tag Jerry, and other participants in the game, are all well-shot and innovative. When Jerry is the one being ambushed, everything slows down as he takes in what’s happening, then there’s a voiceover from him as he commentates on what his friends are doing and how he’s going to beat them. Everything works so well together in those sequences.

The cast are all brilliant. They all have great chemistry and you really buy into them being childhood friends, even though they are all at different stages of their lives. Hoagie (Ed Helms) is married to super competitive Anna (Isla Fisher) who must make do with helping the guys out as the rules the friends made up when they were kids state that girls are not allowed to play. Bob (Jon Hamm) is a high-flying businessman, Chilli (Jake Johnson) is divorced and almost constantly high and Sable (Hannibal Buress) is in therapy. It’s clear that this game of tag has kept them in touch over all these years as no one wants to be the person tagged by June 1st.

Some of the supporting female cast do get short-changed. Rashida Jones has little to do when she shows up mid-way through, and Annabelle Wallis’s journalist is mainly there as a stand-in for the audience, asking the right questions at the right time to help move some of the more character-driven stuff along. Ed Helms does play a very Ed Helms-esque character but it’s always great to see Jon Hamm show off his comedy skills and it’s a pleasant surprise to see how funny Jeremy Renner can be. As an actor that’s typically seen in more serious roles, it was fun to see his droll sense of humour, and that almost cackle-like laugh, on screen.

‘Tag’ is a comedic action film and it does a fine job of balancing those two aspects. There are a few jokes that edge very close to being in bad taste, it’s almost like watching a car crash happen in slow motion as other characters know that what a character is saying is not good but there’s little they can do to stop it. At least the film seems to be aware of the barriers it’s pushing, and the rest of the jokes are funny and unoffensive.

The story does lag a bit in the middle but the chemistry and jokes between these characters see you through till the next big game of tag. The thing that’s surprising about ‘Tag’ is how heartfelt it is. In the end, this film pulls you into these guys friendship and that makes this entertaining film unexpectedly sweet.

ELENA’S RATING:

4

Avengers: Infinity War

Year: 2018
Directed by: Joe & Anthony Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johannson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Chadwick Boseman, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Sebastian Stan, Winston Duke, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Tom Holland, Paul Rudd, Benedict Cumberbatch, Vi Diesel, Pom Klementieff, Jeremy Renner, Benicio Del Tor, Jon Favreau, Benedict Wong, Sean Gunn, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper

Written by Dave Curtis

18 films, 10 years and it all comes down to this. ‘Avengers Infinity War’ is the film that Marvel studios has been building too ever since Robert Downey’s first ‘Iron Man’ appeared on our cinema screens back in 2008. Back then, Marvel weren’t even a proper studio, they were just a small cog in a much bigger wheel. Well, now they are the wheel. To say this is a big deal would be a understatement. This is the ultimate event movie. The hype and build up that surround the release of the film have been huge. Very few spoilers have leaked out and we are going to keep it that way. JUMPCUT will be releasing much more and spoiler filled and in-depth reviews over the next few weeks.

This is just initial reactions from the press screening that happened in London on 24th May 2018

Before the screening you could feel the anticipation in the room. Conversations were rife with the future of all our favourite characters. Where’s Hawkeye? Does Cap’s beard play a major role? Where’s that missing soul stone? Answers were coming. The lights went out and the Marvel Studio logo comes up and the crowd went wild.

For the next 149 minutes we were all putty in the Russo brother’s hands. They have woven a tale which bounces around all Marvel’s best and across the darkest corners of the universe and back again to New York and Wakanda. It was always going to be a hard job to give every character their moment but ‘Infinity War’ just about does that. With multiple story-lines, it does feel more like ‘Return of the Jedi’ and ‘The Two Towers’ than the normal single story narrative. The script is so tight and every word that is said is important, so listen carefully.

Thanos lives up to his reputation at the ultimate bad guy (A problem Marvel has had in the past). The Mad Titan is at the heart of the movie and Josh Brolin’s voice will send shivers down the spine of any mortal man. He truly is a test for the Avengers.

‘Avengers Infinity War’ at its best is epic, emotional and very, very shocking. It has impressive set pieces and of course it’s very funny. The few faults it does have are going to be down purely to the viewer. A knowledge of all that has happened before is essential. This is not the film for newbies. If you don’t know your Captain Americas from your Star Lords then maybe it would be best to catch up first. . Also as you expect some characters get more screen time than others, sadly some of your favs may just be bit part players. Overall this was worth the wait.

‘Infinity War’ holds true to its core and has truly raised stakes on the Marvel cinematic universal. Nothing will be the same again. Roll on May 2019 for Avengers 4.

ps. There is a end of credit scene, so don’t leave early!

Dave’s Rating: 8.5/10

You can hear more of Dave’s thoughts in his podcast!

A 30-Year Game Continues In New Trailer For Comedy Film ‘Tag’!

Written by Megan Williams

Do you remember the games you’d play when you were a child? In the playground, there would be games of hide and seek, tic-tac-toe or tag. But, as you got older, these games were put to rest. Well, for the cast of the new comedy film ‘Tag’, that is not the case as this particular game has been going on for 30 years.

‘Tag’ stars Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms, Isla Fisher, Jake Johnson and Jon Hamm as a group of friends who have been playing the same game of Tag since they were children. However, their friend Jerry (Renner) has never been tagged, so the friends decide to work together to end his triumph.

Unlike some films that advertise that they’re based on a true story, this one actually is: The actual story revolved around Patrick Schultheis and his nine friends who continued to play a game of Tag until they all left for college. However, eight years later at a reunion, they decided to revive the game and made up a contract called ‘Tag Participation Agreement’. The game was to be played throughout February and the last person to be ‘tagged’ on the 28th would have to carry this title for the rest of the year. On top of this, nothing was off limits: Schultheis even stated that he was ‘tagged’ at his father’s funeral; a scenario that is replicated in the trailer.

The ‘Tag’ trailer delivers slapstick humour aplenty, and it’s one of the funniest trailers I have seen in a long time, something that’s been missing recently from the comedy genre. The film also has a great cast and looks like a fun experience.

‘Tag’ is in US cinemas on 15th June and UK cinemas on the 6th July.

The End Begins In Brand New ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Trailer

Directed by: Joe & Anthony Russo

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johannson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Chadwick Boseman, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Sebastian Stan, Winston Duke, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Tom Holland, Paul Rudd, Benedict Cumberbatch, Vi Diesel, Pom Klementieff, Jeremy Renner, Benicio Del Tor, Jon Favreau, Benedict Wong, Sean Gunn, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper ,

Date: April 26th, 2018

Marvel Unleash First ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Trailer

“An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time. The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Anthony and Joe Russo direct the film, which is produced by Kevin Feige. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo and Stan Lee are the executive producers. Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely wrote the screenplay.”

It’s finally arrived! After months of fan speculation, numerous fake pictures and screenshots of release dates, Marvel have unleashed the first official trailer for the third ‘Avengers’ film, ‘Infinity War’.

The star studded film brings together every hero we’ve met in the last 10 years, including Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Guardians, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Black Panther. They’re all coming together to take on the Mad Titan, Thanos, who we’ve seen very little of and only ever really been teased about the threat he poses to Earth. Last time we saw him he grabbed his currently stone-less Gauntlet and declared “I’ll do it myself”.

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In the first post-credit scene, Thor, Loki, Valkyrie, and the Asgardians come face to face with a humongous ship. Fans speculate that ship belongs to non-other than the Mad Titan himself, and that this will tie in with the beginning of ‘Infinity War’.

The heroes also feature in the latest Vanity Fair issue, which includes photos of how some of the heroes will look in the film, but as many have noticed, some costumes (and weapons) don’t seem to match what we know going into ‘Infinity War’, which could mean that the Russo Brothers have plenty of surprises up their sleeves.

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The Avengers Trilogy Teaser Posters

New Look At ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ From Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair are kicking off this week in tremendous style by unleashing our first official look at the cast of  ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.

The magazine has 4 different covers available, which include a handful of huge cast of the film, including a beardless Captain America, Black Panther, blonde Black Widow, Pepper Potts, The Wasp, Hawkeye, and Vision!

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Along with the new covers, there are also some brilliant new shots of the characters, which you can see below! I think it’s safe to say that we can expect the first trailer for the film any day now!

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You can read Vanity Fair’s full article here

Wind River

Year: 2017
Director: Taylor Sheridan
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Gil Birmingham, Julia Jones, Kelsey Chow

Written by Rhys Bowen Jones

If you haven’t heard of Taylor Sheridan by now, I’m sure he is going to be a household name from 2017 and beyond. Following up two stellar films he wrote (‘Sicario’, ‘Hell or High Water’) with his directorial debut, ‘Wind River’, Sheridan is making a name for himself as one of the most exciting writer-directors in the business today.

According to Sheridan himself, ‘Wind River’ is the end of his “American frontier trilogy”, an anthology series documenting varying aspects of American life. Where ‘Sicario’ took on the military and immigration, ‘Hell or High Water’ took on crime and class culture, ‘Wind River’ takes aim at sexism and secluded societies around the country. Across all three films, Sheridan criticises aspects of life that have become part and parcel of American culture, while managing to tell a riveting story on top of it; and the final part, ‘Wind River’, is no exception.

‘Wind River’ is set in an Indian Reservation in Wyoming, a stunning, mountainous, snowy tundra of a place that is miles away from any sort of city. The people of Wind River are on their own, any problems that arise will have to be solved by themselves or not at all. Police are few and far between as the town’s police department is a 6-man operation that covers hundreds of miles of mountainous terrain. This is Cory Lambert’s (Renner) playground. He is a hunter, a man who roams the mountains and does odd jobs for the locals, hunting and killing the wild animals that are terrorising the town and their farm system. During one of his expeditions, Cory stumbles across a dead body in the snow, and suspecting murder, calls in young FBI Agent Jane Banner (Olsen) to investigate. What follows is a tense murder mystery that is sure to leave a lasting impression long after you’ve left the cinema.

What struck me during the film, and after the film had ended, was how assured a debut this was for Sheridan. It is as confident and as good a debut as I’ve seen since Steve McQueen’s ‘Hunger’ or Ryan Coogler’s ‘Fruitvale Station’. Everything in the film is done to such a high standard in front of and behind the camera that Sheridan was evidently in total control of his cast and crew, going as far as bringing out a career-best performance from Jeremy Renner. The cinematography gives the film a gorgeous, bright tone that does the area’s stunning scenery justice, the soundtrack complimenting the action on screen with both foreboding and uplifting moments, and the clever editing during certain scenes (there’s one sumptuous, intentionally surprising and jarring cut with an opening door that gives the upcoming scene an entirely different meaning) add to the film’s escalating tension.

As previously mentioned, Jeremy Renner is terrific in the role of mysterious recluse Cory. Living a life away from his ex-wife and son (who gets occasional visits), he has intentionally placed himself in an environment where he is effectively in charge of his own destiny. He has forged a small career out of his hunting and he thrives upon it, to the point where once the body is discovered, the FBI agent called in is effectively helping Cory solve the murder, rather than the way it was intended. Olsen is equally excellent as the underestimated agent, someone left on her own to solve a bigger crime than the FBI had anticipated, facing a constant stream of sexism and ageism from the locals and even the local police department. Olsen gets her moment in the spotlight in the final act as things begin to escalate out of control, and she brings out a fiery temperament that is sure to be a major reason for Banner to have climbed the ranks of the FBI.

Where I found the film stumbled slightly is in its climax. The story up to this point is so intriguing and well-thought out, the eventual reveal of how the events happened comes somewhat out of left field. In the best-written murder mysteries, an initially innocent moment or character is revealed as a major factor in the mystery; in ‘Wind River’, there is no earlier suggestion of “whodunnit”. As such, initially, the climax of the main murder lands with a hefty bump.

Since, however, the ending has improved in my mind. Sheridan doesn’t exaggerate the story for dramatic purposes; this is a story that happened, and this is how it ends. In real life, there is no dramatic final act twist. There may not be a wholly satisfying resolution to every last thread. People wish to put the dramatic events behind them, and people move on. I’ll be stunned if Sheridan doesn’t end up with an Oscar nomination for his script next year.

‘Wind River’ is a terrific film. There’s no other way of saying it; so much of this film is made to such a high standard that Sheridan has set himself an improbably high standard to exceed with his next film. If you can, avoid any trailers, go into ‘Wind River’ as blind as you can. You won’t regret it.

Rhys’ rating: 9.0 out of 10