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Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Release Date:
July 31, 2015

 

Home
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Release Date:
March 27, 2015

Vacation
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:

Release Date:
July 29, 2015

 

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments
Release Date:
March 6, 2015

Southpaw
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language throughout, and some violence
Release Date:
July 25, 2105

 

The Longest Ride
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Release Date:
April 10, 2015

New in Theaters

grade:
B+

Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation

Lowest Recommended Age:
Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Release Date:
July 31, 2015
grade:
D

Vacation

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Release Date:
July 29, 2015
grade:
B

Southpaw

Lowest Recommended Age:
Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language throughout, and some violence
Release Date:
July 25, 2105

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New to DVD

pick of the week
grade:
B+

Home

Lowest Recommended Age:
Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Release Date:
March 27, 2015
grade:
B+

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments
Release Date:
March 6, 2015
grade:
C

The Longest Ride

Lowest Recommended Age:
High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Release Date:
April 10, 2015

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Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date:July 31, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date: July 31, 2015
Copyright Paramount 2015

Copyright Paramount 2015

You think you’ve seen it before? Well, it is a familiar situation. Hitchcock had an assassin waiting in a concert hall for the right moment to shoot and our hero trying to stop it — twice, in the original “Man Who Knew Too Much” and the endlessly repeating “Que Sera Sera” remake. There was something along those lines in “Foul Play,” too, with Dudley Moore conducting. And you’ve seen four earlier “Mission Impossible” movies with Tom Cruise already. So you think you know where this is going? You are wrong. You’ve never seen this.

“Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” is the action movie of the year, with stunts and chases that are dazzling in conception and execution. You know that amazing shot from the trailer with Tom Cruise hanging on to the outside of a plane as it takes off, the G-force coming at him like a locomotive and his legs dangling off the side as the ground disappears below? I’ll bet you thought that was the movie’s climax — in any other movie it would be. In any other year it would stand out as the best we saw. But in this film, they’re just getting started. It’s over by the time the credits come on, so we can get down to the real stuff.

Testifying before Congress we have angry bureaucrat Henley (Alec Baldwin) and imperturbable IMF chief Brandt (Jeremy Renner) responding to questions about some of the activities of the Impossible Mission Force, following that Russian blow-out in the last movie. Soon IMF is shut down, just as Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is (1) finally learning about this movie’s bad guys, known as The Syndicate, and (2) captured. Good thing he’s been doing his ab exercises, because his hands are cuffed behind a pole, so some very impressive legwork is going to be needed to get him up and over. Hunt manages to escape with the help of a beautiful and mysterious women named Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) who is either on his side or not.

They next meet up at the Vienna Opera House where a brilliantly-staged instant classic sequence has Hunt and a would-be assassin fighting while a production of “Turandot” is going on below — and a head of state is enjoying it with his wife from their box seats.  Coming up: a wild motorcycle chase scene and an underwater adventure with no oxygen tanks allowed.

So who cares if they keep referring to a thumb drive as a disk, the concept of “The Syndicate” is as weak and unimaginative as its name, and the final confrontation is logistically impossible? It is enormous fun, and Cruise is a master at the top of his game. There are exotic locations, the stunts and actions scenes are intricate and clever, and, of course, the fate of the world is at stake just as our heroes are entirely on their own. We know that the IMF team will be disavowed if they are caught; that’s the end of the assignment messages, just before they self-destruct. This is the fifth film; we think we know how this goes. But we start getting surprises right from the beginning as writer/director Christopher McQuarrie (“The Usual Suspects”) knows where the twists go (this is not your usual monologuing hero and villain) and Cruise knows just how to deploy his endless movie star sizzle. My favorite moment in the movie is the look on his face in the middle of a flight scene when his adversary pulls out yet another weapon and Cruise gives him (and us) a look that says, “Dude. Really?”

McQuarrie wisely gives Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner some screen time, and Ferguson is Hunt’s equal in fight skills, spycraft, and keeping everyone else guessing. The real Mission Impossible is topping the earlier films in the series plus upstarts like “Fast/Furious.” Challenge accepted.

Parents should know that this film includes constant spy-style action, peril, and violence, guns, knives, chases, explosions, characters injured and killed, and brief nudity.

Family discussion: How did Ethan decide who was trustworthy? Should Ethan have notified the British authorities of the threat? Should real spies behave like this?

If you like this, try: The four earlier “Mission Impossible” movies and the “Bourne” series

Coming Soon: Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism

posted by Nell Minow
Copyright 2015 ARC Entertainment

Copyright 2015 ARC Entertainment

Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism is now a film starring Dominic Monaghan (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”), Lesley Manville (“Maleficent”), Emily Watson (“The Theory of Everything”) and Joan Collins (ABC’s “Dynasty”) and Raffey Cassidy, the breakthrough star of “Tomorrowland.” It will be available in theaters, on VOD, and iTunes on August 14, 2015.

Copyright ARC Entertainment 2015

Copyright ARC Entertainment 2015

Interview: Joshua Oppenheimer of “The Look of Silence”

posted by Nell Minow
Copyright Drafthouse Films 2015

Copyright Drafthouse Films 2015

Joshua Oppenheimer has made “a companion piece” to his stunning documentary about government-sanctioned gangster killings of more than a million Indonesians in the mid-1960’s, “The Act of Killing.” In “The Look of Silence,” we see Adi, the brother of one of the men who was killed sit with the people who participated in the genocide and ask them about what they did. It was a pleasure to speak with him again, and I look forward to our Q&A tomorrow at the E Street Theater in Washington, D.C.

Your images are so gorgeous and so striking; they could be in a very different kind of film, like a lyrical romance. Why is it so important that your visuals be so beautiful?

There are two things that those kind of images do in the film. I think first of all I am trying to create the sense of the hauntedness of the space in which Adi’s family, his mother, his father have to live, the presence of ghosts. And I don’t think the images are beautiful in a postcard way. I think they are haunting, and I think that’s achieved through a certain kind of enchantment, there’s a sense of something beyond just a picture but a swarming, a presence of ghosts that have never been properly buried, the dead that have never been properly buried, that has never even been properly mourned.

I hope the tender way in which I tried to film the family and the precision with which I tried to look for the traces of fear and decades and decades of living with fear on their faces, in their bodies and also created a space for the grace and the love that they have managed to find and to live despite having to leave in fear, surrounded by the perpetrators who killed their loved ones. In general I felt that my task with this film was to create a kind of backward-looking poem in memoriam for all that’s been destroyed, not just the dead who obviously can never be wakened, those who were killed but also the lives that have been broken by a half a century of fear that can never be made whole again because in some way whatever justice, truth and reconciliation, whatever form of justice might in the future occur in part perhaps as a result of these two films, it will never make whole what’s been broken.

The film tries to honor and do justice for all that’s been destroyed, and for all that’s been destroyed not just during the genocide but in the years after. It doesn’t end with the killings if the perpetrators remain in power because people’s life continue to damaged, wrecked by fear and trauma that they can’t work through.

I thought it was very meaningful that in this case your lead character wasn’t even born when his brother was killed and that shows how the trauma goes on to the next and the next and the next generation.

That’s right and it also is a source of hope in the sense that first of all he has the courage to confront the perpetrators. That is in part because unlike the rest of his family he’s not traumatized by the actual events of the killing itself, yet he is trying to understand what happened to his parents, to his family, to his village, to his country to make them the way they are and in a sense make him who he is. He is born into a situation that didn’t know and understand and that is what gives him the courage to do what he does. He finds this one person who was able to give him what he is hoping for, which is an acknowledgment that what happened was wrong and an apology. It’s also someone born too young to remember the killings or born after the killings, the daughter of one of the perpetrators who hears for the first time the details of what her father did. And we see her realize that he is not the hero she hoped he was and we see her face collapse in that moment and realize that she’ll have to spend the rest of his life caring for a man who is in some terrible way a stranger now. And yet instead of doing what any guy would do in that moment which is panicking and kicking the film crew out of the house and needing to collect herself she becomes very quiet and listens to herself and her conscience and takes the extraordinary step of apologizing on her father’s behalf and saying to Adi, “Let’s be family,” trying to reach across this abyss of fear and guilt that divides everybody in Indonesia.

Sadly, throughout the world we have seen many genocides there have been many many different ways of responding and moving forward from it. We’ve seen the Truth and Reconciliation Commission model and the Nuremberg and Rwanda models. I guess you could even include the Indians and the United States. What do you think is the best way for a community to respond and to find some kind of meaning and healing from an experience like that?

You need an acknowledgment of what happened in the past. You need a thorough recognition that this is a wrong. I think although we the efforts in postwar Germany were incomplete I think the effort by the next generation, the generation born by the end of the war in the late 60’s to actually demand a kind of honesty from their parents, the reconciliation of the past in the late 60’s and 70’s going forward is the best human beings have come, the closest human beings have come to acknowledging their past. All the examples you gave with the exception of the Native American genocide ended with the perpetrators being removed from power and whether it’s the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process in South Africa or Nuremberg trials or a tribunal in Rwanda, these steps happen after perpetrators were removed from power. The Americans genocide of the Native Americans is surely the closest and we can see how the effects of that linger today.

People sometimes saw “The Act of Killing” and would say, “Isn’t it tasteless that someone wants to produce West cowboy scenes essentially in a desperate and ultimately doomed attempt to glorify what he’s done?” And my feeling when I would hear that question is “No, I feels it’s absolutely appropriate because after all the whole genre of the cowboy movies, the Western from its outset was to glorify genocide, the native American genocide.” Native Americans families experience living surrounded, living in increasingly small reservations surrounded by the society that destroyed their civilization and are still stigmatized. For decades and decades for hundreds of years except in Indian schools they weren’t allowed to speak their language. That stigma takes a terrible toll. It lasts frpm generation from generation to generation until a society has the courage to acknowledge the past. You see, we can never run away from our past, the past will catch up to us because it is us, it is a part of us, it’s what makes us we are, it’s what delineates the borders of our societies. It’s what gives us here in United State a common language, English. It’s who we are. And so all we can do is find the courage to stand still and to look backwards. Despite our politicians endlessly saying we need to look to the future, actually we need to look backwards and we need to accept our past not in the sense of making excuses for it but truly accepting it and taking responsibility for it, so that we can then turn around again and move forward into the future but knowing ourselves honestly really for the first time.

Are you writing history or are you changing history with these films?

I was asked from the very beginning to do this work by survivors. It was Adi who first encouraged me. When I was first filming the survivors back in 2003, he then encouraged me to film the perpetrators. When the survivors were not allowed to make the film with me, he then watched as much as he could of what I was shooting with the perpetrators. It was Adi who then insisted that he could meet the perpetrators in 2012 when I returned to make “The Look of Silence.” It was the survivors, Adi’s family, the survivors community more broadly, the Indonesian human rights community as a whole, who encouraged me to do this work. I always felt in a funny way that I was not a foreign filmmaker coming in to expose a terrible political situation for the outside world. I felt that I was being entrusted to do a work that they couldn’t in order to intervene in the mechanisms of fear inside Indonesia. I’m humbled by the impact that the two films have made.

“The Act of Killing” has fundamentally transformed the way of Indonesia talking about its past with the mainstream media now talking about the genocide as a genocide and talking honestly about the regime of fear and corruption that the perpetrators have built into that space. There is a sense that the film has come to Indonesia, the second film as well, Like the child in “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” saying look how torn our society is, look at the prison of fear in which we are being asked to raise our children and we can no longer ignore this.

We have to support truth and reconciliation and some form of justice. And with justice, with truth comes a revision of the nation’s history curriculum, so a part of that movement is demanding a change of the national history curriculum which is still being taught in the way that we see in the film. So the teachers around the country until the government changes the curriculum can say, “This is what we’re supposed to teach you and now this movie is the truth.”

Tom Cruise Tells Kevin McCarthy about the Airplane Stunt in “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Kevin McCarthy asked Tom Cruise how he shot that incredible stunt that has him holding onto the side of a plane while it takes off for “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.” The 53-year-old actor did the stunt himself, no green screen, with contacts to protect his eyes that prevented him from seeing anything, and his primary concern was making sure his legs were dangling enough to make it look real.

Previous Posts

Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation
You think you've seen it before? Well, it is a familiar situation. Hitchcock had an assassin waiting in a concert hall for the right moment to ...

posted 5:54:06pm Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Coming Soon: Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism
Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism is now a film starring Dominic Monaghan ("The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"), ...

posted 4:57:43pm Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Joshua Oppenheimer of "The Look of Silence"
Joshua Oppenheimer has made "a companion piece" to his stunning documentary about government-sanctioned gangster killings of more than a ...

posted 11:40:16am Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Tom Cruise Tells Kevin McCarthy about the Airplane Stunt in "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation"
My friend Kevin McCarthy asked Tom Cruise how he shot that incredible stunt that has him holding onto the side of a plane while it takes off for "Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation." The 53-year-old actor did the stunt himself, no green ...

posted 8:59:43am Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

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