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Brad Bird and Tom Cruise have a great film out this week-Mission Impossible 4-Ghost Protocol, no it’s not just great, it’s incredible.

The Incredibles director Brad Bird-who tons of us in animation have either worked with, studied with or just learned from, makes his live action debut with a 4th installment of the Mission Impossible series staring Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt.

The film had Brad all over it. If you know his films, his storyboard style or anything about him, you will know when you see it. The shots are “so him.” It’s amazing.

I have been a fan of Tom Cruise since I was pretty young, in fact I got my first fake ID to get into Risky Business because then you had to be 16 and I was not, so I made a deal with my mother-who refused to buy me a ticket, instead said she wouldn’t stop me if I figured out how to do it. So being tall and filled out for my age-I went to one of the local high schools and registered as a senior-got my senior class ID and that was it.

Ever since then I have seen every Tom Cruise film the day it comes out, with one exception, Valkyrie-which just didn’t appeal to me. (Sorry Tom, I am sure you were brilliant as always). What used to be a young girl’s crush on an actor quickly turned into respect for a brilliant actor and all around amazing person. I have watched Cruise’s career and he is just impressing me more and more as we go. I really hope to work with him someday in the near future.

But enough about Cruise, let’s talk about Ghost Protocol.

From the minutes it opens it is non stop action, and it reminded me of the first one, which until now was my fav. I love John Woo and J.J. Abrams, but I didn’t love MI2 & MI3 as much as this one.

The shots were amazing-in that storywise every shot told the story, even if you were watching it without sound you would feel what the director, Bird, wanted you too. He is a master storyboard artist and visually knows his stuff.

On a character level. Ethan is Ethan and you always love to watch him in these spy flicks, but there is depth there, especially if you saw MI3, you know the past. Jeremy Renner, (The Town, The Hurt Locker) is brilliant-as he always is and really rounds out Hunt’s team.

Simon Pegg, (Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead), is a comedian at heart and this is well executed in this film with his witty banter and general comic demeanor in these millions of lives at stake situations.

Now onto the bit in the film that had my heart pounding-the STUNTS. I never thought Tom Cruise would be able to top the opening to MI2 where he is swinging and jumping on the side of a mountain in the western US, but he did. In this film he is 132 stories up on the world’s tallest building with nothing but gloves and his strength to help him climb up 11 stories and break through glass. It’s intense to say the least. I am telling you my palms were sweaty and I was wishing the scene would just end because it was so uncomfortable watching it. Seriously amazing shit-pardon my French, but it was!

From the way it was shot to the way Cruise handled it-and yes he does his own stunts!! (I would love to know how much that insurance policy costs.) Say what you want about him and his religious beliefs and or jumping on Oprah’s couch, but you have to respect this level of commitment. It’s just incredible!

So your mission should you choose to except it is to go see Ghost Protocol this weekend, bring your family, tell everyone cuz it is one fun ride with emotional moments woven throughout just enough to make you care about the team. Some old faces make cameos as well.

This is a photo of Tom waving at onlookers as he was shooting the scene on the world’s tallest building!