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Saturday, November 5, 2011
HERZOG: DE PALMA IS THE BETTER DIRECTOR THAN ME
AND BRAD BIRD DISCUSSES CRUISE/REDGRAVE DYNAMIC IN DE PALMA'S 'MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE'
The second trailer for Brad Bird's upcoming Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol was released last week, and Flickering Myth's Rohan Morbey included this juxtaposition of a screen shot with one from Brian De Palma's 1996 M:I film. This placement of Jeremy Renner as a direct homage to De Palma and Tom Cruise's showstopping moment in the first film (which itself was an homage to Jules Dassin's Topkapi, MI creator Bruce Geller's original inspiration for the TV series) seems to bolster the idea (rumor) that Cruise and company are looking toward Renner to possibly take over at some point as lead actor in the franchise.

Bird told the Los Angeles Times' Geoff Boucher that he watched the earlier films in the series to find the playful rhythms he wanted to weave into his version. "One of my favorite moments acting-wise were the scenes [Cruise] did with Vanessa Redgrave; he kind of came alive in a slightly different way,” Bird told Boucher in reference to the De Palma picture. “You could tell he had a lot of respect for Redgrave and knew that he had to be on his game because she was going to get every drop out of her part of the scene, so he better get every drop of his. There was a playfulness to those scenes together that I really liked. When you see the [new] film, it’s a little more playful than the other Mission: Impossible films — hopefully without undermining the suspense or action.”

HERZOG: "IF I HAD TRIED TO MAKE 'MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE', I WOULDN"T HAVE COME UP WITH A FILM AS INTENSE AS BRIAN DE PALMA"
Meanwhile, Cruise is currently shooting his next movie, One Shot, which also features Werner Herzog, not as director, but as actor. Herzog plays the villain in the Christopher McQuarrie adaptation of the novel by Lee Child, which Cruise is hoping will be the first film in a new franchise. Herzog spoke with Movieline's S.T. VanAirsdale yesterday about working with Cruise, and Cruise's knack for working with great directors. Herzog surprised VanAirsdale when he stated that De Palma "is certainly the better director than me." Here is the excerpt:

VanAirsdale: Cruise is an interesting actor to me — someone who’s never directed, but who’s instead worked with some of the foremost filmmakers of the last half-century: Kubrick, Scorsese, Coppola, Spielberg, and many others. Have you met him?
Herzog: Yes.

What do you think of his regard for filmmakers? Do you think his wanting to work with you in this context was because he probably wouldn’t have the chance otherwise?
No, he does not work with me. He works with the director, Chris McQuarrie. I’m only a partner in crime onscreen. But let me try to describe him: Yes, he has worked with some very, very good — very good — serious filmmakers. But what strikes me is that sometimes you can tell from five miles’ distance: “This is a professional man. He means business.” He’s extremely well-prepared, very good to work with, very respectful — a very kind human being. And you can tell, strangely enough, from five miles’ distance.

McQuarrie aside, being on this set is probably as close to working with you as Tom Cruise is going to get, considering the films you make.
Not necessarily, because the kind of films he has been into — like Mission: Impossible — I’m convinced that… I don’t even know who made Mission: Impossible. Who directed Mission: Impossible?

The first one was Brian De Palma.
OK. Brian De Palma is certainly the better director than me.

Really?
If I had tried to make Mission: Impossible, I wouldn’t have come up with a film as intense as Brian De Palma. I mean this very film, for example. There are other people who do that better.

Fair enough.


Posted by Geoff at 5:56 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, November 5, 2011 6:05 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink | Share This Post

Sunday, November 6, 2011 - 4:50 PM CDT

Name: "Harry Georgatos"

De Palma applies masterful visual planning to an ordinary script targetted to older teenagers. GHOST PROTOCOL will have the action that the MI1 is missing. MI1 needed another huge action set-piece to compliment the action set-piece of the TGV bullet train. And where were the complex shoot-outs? The scene where Ethan has the black hood removed to meet Max for the first time was building up to a huge gunbattle between Max's henchmen and CIA and when nothing happened there was something badly missing at that point! There should have been a shoot-out leading to a high-octane car chase sequence! De Palma as a director for hire was given a below par script and made it better with his visual planning. Based on the trailer GHOST PROTOCOL should be the best of the lot and up there with CASINO ROYALE!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011 - 5:11 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.briandepalma.org

With all due respect, Harry, I have to disagree. De Palma hammered out ideas for the script himself with Steven Zaillion in the beginning of the script process for this film, and they did not target their script to teenagers. After that, David Koepp, who had just worked with De Palma on CARLITO'S WAY, which Cruise saw and loved, was brought in to write the screenplay (and later, while filming, Cruise brought in his buddy Robert Towne to touch up some things). But it's a film that carried the tagline, "Expect the unexpected," and I think the hooded Cruise is a great example of that theme-- you seem to have expected a typical gun battle, but what happened was an intriguing conversation between Ethan and Max, followed by the CIA's search for these ghosts who have suddenly disappeared.

Monday, November 7, 2011 - 12:07 AM CST

Name: "Principal Archivist"
Home Page: http://www.swanarchives.org

Haven't we all seen more than enough gun battles and car chases to last us a lifetime?  With MI1, I hoped for more than that, and De Palma delivered.   Much of the charm of the Mission Impossible franchise (at least the TV series and MI1) is that the good guys win by out-clevering the bad guys...not by being better shots and having faster cars. 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, November 7, 2011 - 5:10 PM CST

Name: "Harry Georgatos"

I remember sitting in a sold-out session of MI1 in 1996 and when Ethan looks at his wrist-watch monitor and see's a gun pointed at Jim Phelps being shot and then we see Phelps bloody hands a kid in cinema yelled out "that's Jim Phelps pointing a gun at himself". That's how obvious it was! A chimpanzee could have seen Phelps was the mole and assassin! CIA would not implicate Ethan as the mole that easily without recovering the dead bodies first. Jack would have been recovered from the elevator shaft, Hanna from the bombed car, Sara's body would have been recovered leaving Ethan, Jim and Claire unaccounted. Obviously the audience knows Ethan is not the mole leaving Jim and Claire as the only options. The CIA does not work that way with all it's resources and budgets. This was a simple script that was certainly not as braintwisting as everyone made out at the time. INCEPTION is a Mission:Impossible film set in the dream world and MI1 should have been that inventive and original! INCEPTION had extensive shoot-outs and car chases with a truly mindbending script. Cruise releasized his mistake with MI1 and with 2 and 3 had shoot-outs and car chases knowing he was making summer holiday entertaiment. Based on the trailer GHOST PROTOCOL has extensive visual spectacle that MI1 only hinted at.

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