REVIEW: ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The movie: “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.” Premiere date: Friday, July 31, 2015. Director: Christopher McQuarrie. Your mission, should you accept it, is to tolerate not only a punctuation-heavy title, but also embrace two hours of anticipated action and thrills with a continuing minimal focus on character.After being officially disavowed and forced to work off the grid in “Ghost Protocol” (2011), Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his fellow Impossible Missions Force (IMF) agents now find themselves in a similarly precarious position. While “Rogue Nation” followed the basic premise consistent in previous “Mission: Impossible” films, the fifth installment successfully delivered–almost celebrated, really–the continuation of Cruise’s over-the-top action scenes.Look no further than the highly promoted plane scene in which Cruise–and the film’s three producers–try to move the needle yet again, perhaps hoping it’d be enough to push an already adrenaline-fueled generation of moviegoers to the edge of their seats. While watching Cruise dangle off the side of an aircraft as it rocketed off a runway did indeed provoke my anxieties of commercial flying, the high-octane scene, despite the marketing attention it has received, is given only five minutes of screen time. Alongside a high-speed car/motorcycle chase and an underwater sequence, fans old and new are treated to a revived tension (the “vault scene” from the original film, for example) that has been noticeably absent from previous installments.Still, for all its action and even some creative gadgets and weaponry, the lack of originality in the premise was disappointing. No amount of action or tension saved the climax, which fell flat in comparison to the rest of the film. The fault, I felt, was a lack of focus on the characters.This time around, Ethan Hunt had his sanity toyed with. McQuarrie took a different approach to him that made me slightly more appreciative of the direction the protagonist could go. But for the most part, Hunt seems to have become some kind of fusion between the classy James Bond and the intense Tom Cruise.Following Hunt are some returning characters as well as some new faces. Fellow agents Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), and Will Brandt (Jeremy Renner) return with entertaining, humorous, and couple-like banter. Alec Baldwin joins the cast as the strict and self-righteous CIA director Alan Hunley, but the spotlight for the supporting characters was almost entirely stolen by badass sidekick Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson).Though she matched Hunt in almost every way, Faust presumably joined a long list of replaceable, underdeveloped and unappreciated female leads in the Mission series. Faust was complex, and her motivations and goals were understandable. She and Hunt share a deeper connection, which strengthened their dynamic. As an added bonus, the connection wasn’t romantic! Interestingly, Faust made for a more compelling antagonist than the mysterious and al-Qaeda-like shadow organization called the Syndicate.The main villain, Syndicate leader Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), was creepy but not a memorable evildoer. The Syndicate was made up of dozens of rogue IMF agents, but our heroes seem to believe that taking down Lane would shut the whole thing down. As Hunt and his crew clearly didn’t learn from history, eradicating an organization, especially one trained in your own tactics, is not that simple.Like its predecessors, “Rogue Nation” punched, kicked, shot and exploded its way into theaters across the nation. The action took priority, which pleased fans expecting that nostalgic familiarity, but sacrificed a fifth opportunity for some originality.last_img read more

House Approves $15 Federal Minimum Wage

first_imgHouse Democrats approved legislation on Thursday to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in 10 years.Boosting the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour is a top campaign priority of the Democrats.Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference with labor leaders and employees just before the vote, “America’s workers deserve a raise.” While lifting a young girl into her arms, she added, “This is what it’s all about… It’s about family.”Under the House bill, tipped workers would have to be paid the same as other employees earning the minimum. Their current rate is $2.13.During the floor debate on Thursday, Republican Ronald Wright from Texas called the legislation a “disastrous bill.” He added that the bill should be renamed the “Raising Unemployment for American Workers Act.”Republicans say that states and municipalities already have the ability to raise the wage beyond the federal minimum, and many of them have done so. They add that higher wages will cost a loss of jobs, especially among smaller business owners.According to a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, more than 30 million workers would receive bigger paychecks with a higher wage, lifting more than 1 million workers from poverty. However, the same report adds that between 1 million and 3 million jobs could be lost as a result of an increase.The House voted 231-199, with three Republicans voting for the increase.last_img read more

Dan Lennon prepares for return to track after month-long hiatus

first_imgDan Lennon is anxious to get back on the track.He hasn’t raced since the Stanford Invitational on April 4, Syracuse’s first meet of the outdoor season, and won’t race again until the ACC Outdoor Championships — a hiatus that spans over a month.“I’ve joked around with my coach, coach Fox about running a 1,500 or something like that… we both know that that will never happen,” Lennon said.Because of the strenuous nature of the 10,000-meter run, Lennon’s event, he has been limited in his opportunities to run throughout the season. Instead, more of an emphasis has been placed on his rest and recovery. To combat this lull and still maintain both his physical shape and competitiveness, Lennon has simulated races during practice to fully prepare for his next go-round.Since last running the 10,000-meter at the Stanford Invitational, Lennon has been slowly working his way back into form. Upon returning from the meet, he took the whole week off from workouts. Only recently has he begun to tack on more mileage to his practice regiment.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe logic behind such a plan is simple: rest now, run later.“It sometimes bangs you up,” assistant coach Adam Smith said, “so you just don’t want to race too much.”Smith said he expects Lennon to be one of the top 12 runners selected to make it to NCAA Outdoor Championships for the 10,000-meter run, and preserving Lennon’s legs for the more critical postseason races helps to keep him fresh and rejuvenated.The SU coaches have strategically worked to evenly spread out the meets Lennon will run in throughout the season. If Lennon qualifies for NCAA Outdoor Championships, he will be running only his fifth event in over two months.“It’s just a lot,” Smith said. “10k racing is just a lot on your legs, so we just try to keep those guys fresh… We kind of try to take it slow with those guys and just have the big meets count.”Long periods of recuperation and high volume training in between races are extremely beneficial for 10,000-meter runners runners like Lennon, fellow distance runner Joel Hubbard said.Some days the waiting gets harder than others. It was during a recent workout at Sweet Road, a 6.5-mile, up-hill path run for distance runners, that Lennon felt especially antsy.“I was thinking, ‘Man, feeling pretty good today, can’t wait to race,’ and then it just goes through your head,” he said.Lennon acknowledged the time off aids him physically, but it can just as much build up anxiety. Sometimes, it leaves more time to ponder racing and to worry about how good the competition could be.That’s when Lennon focuses on Sweet Road. It’s there that Lennon tries to simulate a race to reduce his nerves and fortify his preparation.During his workouts, Lennon attacks the second to last rep the hardest, something he said assists him both mentally and physically.“My philosophy is you can always go fast on the last one,” he said. “So it’s much harder to go fast on the last one when you work hardest on the second to last.”But Sweet Road isn’t the same as running in a meet. Lennon still has to wait for that. And despite yearning to return to the track, he realizes the importance of taking it easy.Last season, Lennon ran twice before the ACC Outdoor Championships and narrowly missed the cut for NCAA Outdoor Championships. With a more strategic game plan this season, he’s looking to avoid repeating that outcome.“He wants to be going to Eugene (Oregon) in June to run nationals” Hubbard said, “…he understands that, that’s his focus right now.” Comments Published on April 27, 2015 at 10:17 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Asafa Powell Runs Fastest Time in Three Years in Germany

first_imgLEVERKUSEN, Germany – Former 100m record holder blazed to his fastest time in three years to place second in the 100m at the Bayer Classic in Germany on Wednesday.At the meet which took place in Leverkusen, Germany, 36-year-old Powell clocked a time of 10.02 seconds, recording a season’s best, to finish behind Arthur Cisse of the Ivory Coast who won the race in 9.93 seconds. Ojie Edoburun of Germany was third in 10.08sThe 10.02 represents the fastest time Powell has ran since his  10.01 at the Zagreb World Challenge Meet in Croatia in September of 2016.Powell has been steadily finding form this season, clocking faster times as the season progresses.Just two weeks ago at the Spitzen Leichtathletik Luzern meet in Switzerland, Powell finished fourth with a time of 10.17. He had qualified for the men’s 100m final with 10.35.Asafa Powell was the Jamaican world record holder of the 100m before Usain Bolt. He first broke the 100m world record when he ran 9.77s in Athens in June 2005, breaking the previous record of 9.78 held by American Tim Montgomery. He broke his own record again in September 2007 in Rieti, Italy with a time of 9.74 seconds.Usain Bolt then lowered the record to 9.72 the following year.last_img read more