tom cruise in rome shooting mission: impossible
Rome, Italy - October 13, 2020: actor Tom Cruise in the streets of the historic center, during the filming of the new action movie "Mission Impossible 7".

The action-packed trailer for Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning is here; Is Tom Cruise our last true movie star?; Alex Garland’s Men opens and promptly baffles audiences; some Cannes acquisitions. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.

But First: In our latest episode of MovieMaker, we speak with hip hop icon Fab 5 Freddy, who produces the documentary, Hold Your Fire. Freddy talks deescalation and says beat cops need a greater investment in the areas they’re policing, which starts with them living there. “The problem I have with policing — you have these guys, particularly in New York City, who rarely live in the neighborhoods where they’re policing. That’s rare. When I was a kid growing up in Bed Stuy not far from where this happened, there would be beat cops, and you would get to know them. Whether they were Black or white, these guys developed a rapport with the community.” Listen below:

Audiences Have Spoken: A24 horror film Men opened this weekend and Twitter was abuzz with reactions to Alex Garland’s new film. It’s best to go in as blind as possible, since the ending gets very weird and I suspect you won’t want that spoiled. Audiences aren’t so keen on the film (perhaps it’s that ending), as it currently holds a D+ CinemaScore and a 45 percent (up from 37 earlier this weekend) audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. After you see it and make your own decision, check out Adam Nayman’s review for The Ringer.

Cannes Acquisitions: Here are a few of the acquisitions that have gone down at Cannes recently: Sony Pictures Classics has taken on Mia Hansen-Løve’s One Fine Morning. IFC Films has purchased Cristian Mungiu’s R.M.N. Mubi, whose pre-Cannes acquisitions caught our attention, has boarded Return to Seoul for U.K., Ireland, Italy, Turkey, India and Southeast Asia, while Sony Picture Classics has taken North American rights, Variety reports. Iranian serial killer film The Holy Spider shocked audiences over the weekend and Utopia is circling an acquisition, Deadline reports. For the rest, IndieWire has a handy running list.

Cannes Podcasts: The Film Comment podcast (Apple, Spotify) and Nicolas Rapold’s The Last Thing I Saw (Apple, Spotify) both drop daily Cannes episodes with rotating guests to keep each episode fresh. I highly recommend both.

Non-Cannes Podcast: On Friday’s episode of The Town, host Matthew Belloni was joined by Funny or Die CEO Mike Farah and chief creative officer Joe Farrell to discuss the state of comedy in Hollywood. Listen on Spotify or Apple.

Survey of Contemporary Ukrainian Cinema: The New York Times asks: What does it mean to live in Ukraine? This profile of Ukrainian moviemakers includes arguably the most famous filmmaker from the region, Sergei Loznitsa, whose satirical Donbass (2018), and Babi Yar: Context (2021), both received renewed attention in the wake of Russian’s February invasion. Loznitsa’s four hour documentary, Mr. Landsbergis, also played True/False Fest earlier this year.

Tom Cruise, Our Biggest Star: Top Gun: Maverick played Cannes ahead of its Memorial Day opening, and The New York Times has a breakdown of the spectacle that was America’s biggest movie star returning to the croisette. It begins with Cruise arriving in a Top Gun: Maverick branded helicopter. The piece is a broader look at Cruise’s star power which he flexes to preserve a traditional moviegoing experience for adults. Can Cruise single handedly save the theatrical experience? With Netflix faltering and box office numbers returning to a stronger place, what once felt like a mission: impossible, might not be only Cruise’s fight.

Mission: Impossible Teaser: The teaser for Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One first appeared at CinemaCon last month and now it’s available to be streamed on laptops, phones and smart TVs. Whatever device you use, I’m positive you’ll agree with me that it looks awesome. Spotted is that much-discussed submarine.

Main image: Tom Cruise in Rome on the set of Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning. Courtesy of Shutterstock

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