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Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol / Rated PG-13 for violence and unconvincing disguises.

When Dr. No (1962) opened at the box office, it created a sensation that is still rolling along. The James Bond franchise found a way to tell a story while maintaining a level of action and fun that had never before been equaled.

The original MI film (1996) was a set piece film that delivered the goods. The sequel in 2000 was a letdown, but acceptable entertainment. The third film in 2006 was so bad the MI film team went into hiding…never to be seen again.

The newest installment to the series still has Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, but has added a new group of actors and director, Brad Bird. Bird’s prior experience directing has primarily been in animation. His credits include Ratatouille (2007) and The Incredibles (2004) at Pixar and the underrated Iron Giant back in 1999. Too bad he didn’t get around to live action sooner.

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MI #4 is the best of the group and a throwback to the James Bond films of the 1960s. It is full of big set pieces and high-speed action from end to end. The suspense is incredible, especially in the scenes from the previews where TC’s character ends up hanging around outside the world’s tallest building.

Add in a doomsday scenario right out of the James Bond films and MI is probably the best film of the genre in this century. It also sports a fine score by Michael Giacchino. Giacchino deftly weaves in Lalo Schifrin’s famous MI TV theme so you end up with onscreen dynamite.

Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) adds a strong second man for the TC team leader. Simon Pegg (currently playing the part of “Scotty” in the newest revision of Star Trek) is the computer whiz. Paula Patton, no known relation to George, provides the smarts and female kung fu. She also looks great in a prom gown.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be really entertained. This review will self destruct in 5 seconds. Stand back.

Rated 4.0 out of 4.0 reasons why you will be glad you took my advice on this one – for a change.

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Owens Corning

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