They don't make'm like they used to. They really don't. This is an opinion piece as you can probably tell, but there are a good number of folks that I'm pretty sure could agree with me on this.
You have to hand it to this film. It tells an incredibly good story while appealing to both adults and children. It's a very difficult thing to do. I would rate this film as one of the best live action films for all audiences that I have ever seen. Looking back, I am surprised at the attention it received by the Academy. At the time, it was just a gimmicky kids film. How is this a masterpiece? There are a few things that give it such a masterful quality. The story is seamlessly told, and it builds upon everything that happens in as realistic a way a story about talking animals can. They feel and look human. In a funny way, James Cromwell feels more of a cartoon than the actual animals in the film, and his performance will always fondly be remembered. It's a heartwarming film. It's 20 years old this year, and holds up very well.
Where did the time go?
Love this movie. Love. Love. Love this movie. Back when it was released in 1996 I knew this was a "really cool" movie, but what I didn't know was that so very few movies like it were going to be made ever again. The strength of this film is that it does not solely rely on HUGE ACTION SEQUENCES to wow or entertain the audience. Yes, there are action sequences, but the overwhelming majority of the film is espionage and heisting (is heisting a word?). The movie's title says it all. "MISSION," "IMPOSSIBLE." There is an actual impossible mission in this film, and while they are toying with the idea of doing it you're sitting there thinking "What? Try that? That's impossible." This film shows a much younger Tom Cruise (can't believe how young he looks in this film) in one of his first real action hero performances. He is super vulnerable, and relatable as a guy dealing with the having to go it alone, and being involved in a twisted scheme full of danger (I'd describe more but there are too many spoilers).
I, admittedly, have not seen the fourth or fifth installments of the Mission: Impossible franchise, but this one, BY FAR. Is my favorite of 1,2, and 3. The film is super suspenseful, and incredibly satisfying to watch. I still believe another film of this caliber has yet to be released.
We all kinda liked this movie a little bit when it first came out, but we really started to appreciate it more and more as time went on.
The exploration of the idea that another being other than ourselves lives out there is something we are still exploring and actively trying to solve today. The movie hasn't aged a single day. Until we do find some form of intelligent life we will still be coming back to this movie as the one that realistically tried to ask the questions that we are all to afraid to ask about extra-terrestrial life.
Whatever your religious beliefs are, this film has a way of bringing people together in spite of them. For that, I consider it way ahead of its time. I wish there were more films like this.
This film is definitely a keeper. The hilariously ironic thing about this movie is that I've seen it over, and over, and over, and over. When I was growing up my family and I would watch this movie every February 2nd. We just loved it. We weren't aware that we were, indeed, performing an action that the movie talks about. I just think that's freaking awesome. This movie uses repetition as a comedic device, yet it's preserved on film where we can see it, in the same way, every time we watch it. It's one of the greatest films ever made, because it is so PERFECT. It's perfectly executed, perfectly acted, perfectly written, hilarious, fun, lighthearted, heavy, and romantic. Can't think of any reason why this movie isn't great.
At the time, no one knew how much of a cultural phenomenon this film would become.
Leaving Las Vegas
This is a tale of warning. You can call it a tragedy, melodrama, or any very dramatic-type genre label you can think of, but at its base it's a warning. Alcoholism, despair, and depression are traps. They are not real. They are choices that some can fall into as the character in this film does. He is willingly drinking his life away, and letting his world crumble before his eyes. If I saw this movie when it came out way back when, I'm positive I would've understood not too much about it. I probably would've seen Nic Cage's character as a really strange person who likes to get drunk. He's a human unfortunately, and as some people have come to experience, a lot like themselves (or a potential version or themselves). I shudder to think of what compelled the writer to write this movie. I hope his life was not like this. I gather it wasn't as he went on to direct less memorable, but decent films and is still alive at 67.