Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jason watches MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL

aka TOM CRUISE LOOKS GOOD RUNNING FROM 'SPLOSIONS.

So the caper is actually pretty amusing. Plot elements you should know from the trailer--the Kremlin blows up, it's blamed on Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team. The President calls for "ghost protocol"--disavowing IMF and labeling them rogue terrorist agents.

The rest of the caper--they were in the Kremlin in the first place to break into the archives and see if they could find out the identity of "Cobalt," a black-market figure who allegedly intends to start a global nuclear war. Yup, the stakes are really that high. And so with no backing and very few resources, Ethan Hunt and his team (which now includes Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, and the great Simon Pegg as comic relief) have to stop Cobalt and save the world. There's lots of good action, and the scenes on the Burj Khalifa in Dubai really tickle my sense of acrophobia. Director Brad Bird, who has made some of my favorite animated films (THE IRON GIANT and THE INCREDIBLES), has graduated well to live action.


But now I'll talk about what I really want to say. I saw this at a theater with digital projection (everything is switching over to that now, at least for new films). I don't have an objection to digital projection per se, I just want to see it projected well. But on the screen where I saw it there was a dead pixel--a little blue dot near the bottom of the screen, slightly to the right of center. And it occurred to me, when everyone starts projecting digitally, this will be a relatively common occurrence. And it made me wonder, what--if anything--is an equivalently annoying problem inherent to film projection? Is it scratched film? A bad slice? Hair in the gate? Certainly it was annoying in this case, in no small part because it persisted through the entire movie. But I'm wondering if there's something equivalently annoying in film that I've learned to ignore automatically.

Running Time: 133 minutes
My Total Minutes: 260,156
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