Friday, January 06, 2012

The Week in Review: Lights, Camera, Action-packed Sequels

Christmas break always means family time at the movies for the Staheli family. This year’s selection wasn’t as appealing perhaps as in recent years, but I still managed to find two movies that I really enjoyed, maybe more than I liked the previous installments if the truth be told. The target audience for both might have initial been of the male persuasion, but add a little eye-candy and women like me will enjoy them too.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Okay, so Tom Cruise got a little wild when he jumped on Oprah’s couch, and maybe Knight and Day didn’t make a billion dollars for Hollywood (although I personally enjoyed it very much!), and maybe Valkyrie was a little too dramatic for you, but surely you can’t hold that against Tom forever.

The Mission Impossible franchise is back, and on top—on top of the tallest building in the world as well, a stunt that Tom actually did himself, albeit with lots of harnesses that magically disappear in the final movie. Even though my mind knew those harnesses were there while they filmed, I still found myself emotionally involved when the dust storm was coming and the specially designed grabber glove failed. Oh my!

And the eye candy? Tom was more than cute in this movie. There were certain scenes when he was downright sexy. A subtle look, the way he stood, the clothes he wore all added up to make those years melt away and he was HOT! Sorry, getting a little carried away here.

Anyway, I loved the movie. The addition of humor enhanced not only the plot, but the total viewing experience. And the potential promise of more to come made this movie-goer very happy. I think I’ll have to hit the theater a second time when it comes to my hometown.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Robert Downey, Jr. is another actor that has had his ups and downs. Thanks heavens he is on the upside now (and   not bad eye-candy himself, despite the sometimes grimy condition he gets himself into in this movie). Both Iron Man movies have been stellar, we’re looking forward to the Avengers (did you catch his small part at the end of Captain America?), and now a second Sherlock that I think was better than the first.

This isn’t the Sherlock Holmes your grandparents knew, but that’s okay. The story takes up exactly where the last one leaves off, adds a little more steam punk, tosses in some intriguing use of slow motion photography and rewinding time techniques, and the audience begins to see things the way the mind of Sherlock does when he unravels a mystery.

I predicted the end of this film only because I was familiar with the history of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but let it be said that this one leaves itself also wide open for yet another film to follow. And it must! After all, aren’t movies and books meant to be trilogies, rather than a simple duo?

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