Last week brought a hilarious new example of studio thinking blowing up in their faces, a title change for the eighth Mission: Impossible movie that means Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One will also be the only part of Dead Reckoning. It’s almost like audiences don’t like to see movies that might as well be advertised as not having an ending. But of course Dead Reckoning had a lot more going against it than the “Part One”, namely being released a week before what turned out to be the most lucrative pair of movies in recent box-office memory and also lacking the wow factor that got people so excited about the previous M:I movie. I didn’t see it because Fallout already didn’t blow me away and Top Gun: Maverick confirmed that I don’t really have an appetite for meat-and-potatoes “Tom Cruise shows the youngsters how it’s done” movies anymore, and then I was further turned off by hearing about the climactic plot turn, even as it’ll probably get walked back by
Dead Reckoning Part Two Dead Fables of the Reconstruction.
Reject the hollow pleasures of digitally-smoothed tentpoles and go back to the salad days, when Johns Frankenheimer and Sayles could team up for violent pulp about Scott Glenn learning the ways of the samurai from Toshiro Mifune. I can’t make the argument that The Challenge, reissued this week by Kino, is great action cinema, since so much of the middle is misty-eyed “manly” melodrama (try saying that five times fast), but at worst it’s charmingly square and at its best it’s delightfully gruesome, culminating in a siege on an office building where multiple human heads are decimated. Tom Cruise could never.
The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection Vol 3 4K (Rope / The Man Who Knew Too Much / Torn Curtain / Topaz / Frenzy) (Universal)
American Ninja (Kino)
American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (Kino)
Blue Beetle 4K (Warner)
The Challenge (Kino)
Dance, Fools, Dance (Warner Archive Collection)
Double Trouble (Warner Archive Collection)
Enter the Ninja (Kino)
Larry Clark’s Marfa Girl 1 & 2 (Dark Star)
Mad City (Warner Archive Collection)
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One 4K (Paramount)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 (Universal)
Squaring the Circle (Utopia)