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PCR # 319  (Vol. 7, No. 18)  This edition is for the week of May 1--7, 2006.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Mission: Impossible: III"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three and a half stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"Mission: Impossible: III"  by Mike Smith
Illegal Immigration Day....New Orleans Jazz Festival....Visa the New Green Card?  by Josh Montgomery
Mission: Impossible....I Didn't Mean Me!...Day Without Immigrants...OK, Now I Understand....Hey, Who Do I Have To Sleep With...Movie Notes....My Favorite Films -- Part 18: "E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial"  by Mike Smith
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Starring: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michelle Monaghan, and Ving Rhames
Directed by: J. J. Abrams
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 2 hours 6 mins

Ah, summer. Is there any better time of the year for fans of action movies? I didn't think so. This year summer starts on May 5, thanks to "Mission: Impossible: III."

10 seconds. As the film begins, IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is given 10 seconds to appease bad guy Owen Davian (Hoffman). If he doesn't, Davian has declared that he will kill the beautiful woman in front of him. Flashback time. Ethan and Julia (Monaghan) are celebrating their engagement. No longer "in the field," Ethan is a trainer and feels his life has settled down enough to start a family. A mysterious call leads him to a recorded message. A fellow agent has been kidnapped and needs to be rescued. Taking the assignment (he tells Julia he has to go to a transportation seminar), he teams up with old pal Luther (Rhames) and new agents Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Zhen (Maggie Q). Only partly a success, the mission introduces the team to bad guy Davian. And now the fun begins!

I'll admit right now that I have never watched an episode of "Alias" or "Lost." But judging from the work of their creator, J.J. Abrams, those shows must really kick butt! Whereas most action films these days are just a string of unbelievable situations with a car chase or big explosion thrown in every now and then, "M:i:III" takes everything you may have thought you knew about action films and thrown it out the window. Abrams, who also co-wrote the script, takes his cameras to China, Germany and Italy, among other places, and captures a true feel for the locations. The film keeps you on the edge of your seat as the story presents more twists and turns than Lombard Street in San Francisco (sorry, obscure "crookedest street in America" reference). Abrams' camera is constantly moving, taking the audience with it as Hunt scales walls, runs over roofs or base jumps off of a Chinese skyscraper. While previous "Mission: Impossible" directors Brian De Palma and John Woo put their individual touches on their films, Abrams stands on top of the mountain. Two highlights include a dog fight with helicopters and an attack on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge that has to rank as one of the best action scenes ever put on film. The cast is outstanding with Cruise and Hoffman leading the way. Given a story that calls for emotion, Cruise shows the turmoil his character is going through. Current reigning Best Actor Oscar winner Hoffman is just as good. He's played ill mannered before, but here he is just evil. When the film ended I couldn't help but think that Hoffman would make an outstanding James Bond villain. Come to think of it, Abrams would be an outstanding choice for the next 007 adventure as well.

A film that keeps you guessing at every turn while keeping you on the edge of your seat, "Mission: Impossible: III" is guaranteed to start summer off with a bang! On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Mission: Impossible: III  Three and a half stars

This week's movie review of "Mission: Impossible: III" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2006, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.