Mission: Impossible- Fallout – DeaconsDen Reaction

Mission: Impossible- Fallout is the sixth film in the series. For the first time in the franchise, a director has returned to helm the mission and Christopher McQuarrie, director of 2015’s Rogue Nation has proven along with Cruise, that Ethan Hunt belongs with the heavyweights of cinematic action heroes.

The Mission: Impossible films have taken quite an evolution over its run. The next best thing I can relate them to is the Fast and the Furious series, but those films began as one thing and then the decision was made to make them something else. And it was the right call. Mission: Impossible however began in 1996 with the original film, a spy thriller that closely felt like an episode of the television series the films are based on, directed by a master of paranoia in Brian De Palma. Then in 2000 we get a mashup of a Bond film, crazy stylish action and a vibe of badass, from action maestro John Woo. In 2006, JJ Abrams made his directorial debut with the 3rd film that married the spy thrills and action. The kinks from the first 3 films were ironed out in 2011’s Ghost Protocol that was directed by Brad Bird. Ghost Protocol was a refined version of the prior films that also gave us a glimpse of what the series wanted to become. It was a spy film, but more so than its predecessors, it felt a tad more grounded. The other films were good spy films, but the felt like spy films. Ghost Protocol started making the audience feel the real world stakes. 2015 brought about Rogue Nation and with that film, we see the goal of the Mission: Impossible films. A well blended mix of light and heavy. The events of the film are presented to enjoy as entertainment cinematically, but also allows you to take in world of espionage it presents. And now 3 years after the release of Rogue Nation we come to Fallout.

And what a ride it is.

Fallout is easily best in the franchise. After Rogue Nation, I went back and forth on what I felt was the best of the series between Rogue Nation and Ghost Protocol. The debate is settled. It’s Fallout. McQuarrie and Cruise deliver an awesome film that’s loaded with character and boasts some of the best action sequences since Mad Max Fury Road.

Fallout is not just a title relating to the theft of plutonium that starts the story off. It also refers to the fallout of Ethan Hunt’s actions over the years. The effects that reverberate to his personal life, profession and the world are all in play here. In addition to showing us and telling us these ramifications, it’s best used in the film as being personified as Henry Cavill’s Agent Walker. Forced on Hunt during his mission to recover the nuclear material, Walker is the hammer to Hunt’s scalpel. Hunt wants to accomplish the mission as best and with a little damage as possible. Walker just wants the job done. They are quite the case of contrasting characters. Ethan’s actions also impact his partners in the field as his victories in Rogue Nation play a role with Ilsa Faust (great to have Rebecca Ferguson back). By the end of the film’s final act, we’re given almost a revitalization of Ethan, the IMF and the series as a whole.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout is deserving of all the praise it can get. It is a smart and relentless spy thriller and action film that doesn’t let up, pays tribute to its predecessors adds some new dimension to Ethan Hunt and his place not only defending the world, but his place in cinema history as well.

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Teen Titans Go! To The Movies – DeaconsDen Reaction

Robin, Raven, Starfire, Cyborg and Beast Boy have hit the big screen together in this animated film based on the series Teen Titans Go! How did this quintet fare in their first movie adventure?

So I must begin with a little history. Teen Titans Go is a comedic spinoff of the Teen Titans series that aired for 5 seasons from 2003-2006. Teen Titans Go brought back the same voice actors from the original series, Scott Menville as Robin, Tara Strong as Raven, Greg Cipes as Beast Boy, Hynden Walch as Starfire and Khary Payton as Cyborg. The original show was really well received and enjoyed by many for balancing the character development and storylines while never forgetting that these are teenagers. Upon the release of the newer series, fans were not pleased with the new direction. It’s goofy, irreverent and does not take itself seriously.

Or does it?

One of the things I’ve grown to love about Teen Titans Go even as an adult in his 30s, is how committed it is to being what it wants to be and how it reflects things that we see everyday especially in a world occupied by social media. In terms of its quirkiness, it’s like an animated Seinfeld which is my favorite sitcom ever. Both shows have a cast of characters that have different characteristics and traits. And both poke fun at everyday situations. I especially love how it always lets people know that they are here to stay since you always hear about how people are fuming that this show exists and not the original. Well, this movie is here to remind you of its place in the world just like the show.

Believe it or not, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is both a hilarious spoof on superhero cinema and our love of them, while simultaneously providing its own commentary on its place in superhero media. Just because these aren’t what you specifically loved before, it doesn’t make them any less heroes. The show is super funny. This film was super funny and heartfelt. It actually makes a case for its place in the landscape and I find that a very important concept to explore in a landscape where it’s questionable it seems to have multiple iterations of comic book characters.

Oh and if you are a fan of DC Comics, which I assume if you see this movie anyway, there are references and Easter eggs galore. So many. And if there was a DC character you’ve wanted to see on screen, you probably will see them. No matter how obscure. Seriously, I don’t want to give spoilers, but there is one character I’d love to see in live action one day and it was great to see her (that’s all I’ll indicate) on screen.

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is a great time for kids who love seeing these characters be what they know them to be on television and adults will appreciate some of the DC related jokes and nods as well as the commentary about superheroes and the media we love to consume about them.

Gaming Gallery 5 – God of War

It’s the return of the Gaming Gallery where I showcase some of my in-game photography using the photo mode of the game. Today’s gallery is from God of War (2018). This game marks the return of Kratos after the events of God of War III. This time the adventure follows the Ghost of Sparta and his son Atreus as they traverse through the world of the Norse gods.

The First Purge – DeaconsDen Reaction

Upon first glance at the first image I saw for The First Purge, it was pretty clear where the franchise created by James DeMonaco was heading. The image of a red baseball cap with the words The First Purge makes it known that the horror series will certainly show the influences of a world that now has Donald Trump as President of the United States. The First Purge is a prequel to the series that shows the origins of the yearly event where for 12 consecutive hours any an all crime including murder is allowed. Now I personally have enjoyed all of the films in the series, including the first entry which is rated the lowest by most people. I was always sold on the initial concept of The Purge and its societal commentary. The second and third films, Anarchy and Election Year expand on the concept much more than the original and The First Purge continues by going back to the beginning. As far as a review goes, if you are familiar and like these films then you will get not much new in terms of narrative. However this particular installment really stuck with me because of what it showed us this time, while also giving some new textures to the original film in the process.The film covers the initial Purge, presented as sociological experiment on Staten Island in New York. The main area of focus is a predominantly black neighborhood. Our two main characters are black. One a black woman who is an activist and the other a black man who is a drug kingpin. Is it a daring decision? Probably not, but combining this with the fact that most of the cast are not household names adds to the feeling of caring about these people for me. That is the biggest thing The First Purge does for me, I actually want to see these characters in another Purge film fighting the power that seeks to destroy them. As a black man, I know these communities and I know these people so it hit close to home to see the Purge from their perspectives.The First Purge won’t reinvent this genre or even this series, I just wanted to give my reactions as to why this just became my favorite in the series.