Payday May continues on You Love to See It, and we’re taking things back to the beginning once again with 1996’s Brian De Palma-directed Mission Impossible. It’s the first in a series that started it all for one Tom Cruise and his perverted obsession with making each subsequent film an increasingly worrying exercise in Jackassery for our entertainment. Cruise pocketed a cool $70 million thanks to a monster back-end gross revenue deal that puts him high up there on the disavowed millionaire list once the revolution pops off. Just kidding to the IMF agent reading this.
This is my second attempt at transcribing an episode of the podcast with a few little bonuses sprinkled throughout, so if you’ve got any feedback regarding these transcripts, please feel free to jump into our Discord over at fanbyte.casa or email us at email@example.com. Any and all feedback is welcome!
EXT. FANBYTE CITY – EVENING
Some very chill 80s-inspired music plays as we slowly move from an extreme wide shot of the sun setting on the city into a quiet main street revealing the You Love to See It store, complete with two cardboard cutouts of Vanessa Redgrave and Ving Rhames in the window.
Through that same window, a view of the carpeted store inside emerges. Shelves line the walls and form aisles full of bright red VHS tape covers.
INT. YOU LOVE TO SEE IT STORE – CONTINUOUS
Fernanda, store uniform rolled up to accentuate her cool tattoos, stands behind the counter, screwdriver in hand, repairing a VHS rewinder. Sitting on a stool next to her is Danielle, in the perfect combo of workout gear and her store uniform grading papers with a red marker.
[00:00:00] Danielle: (to the tune of the Mission Impossible theme song:) Dun dun dun dun dun, doo doo doooooo
You walk through the front door and the bells chime, they both look over at you.
[00:00:33] Fernanda: Oh, hi there. And welcome You Love to See It. Fanbyte’s, movie review podcasts. Every month we pick a theme every week we watch a movie and then we decide where it belongs in our delightful neighborhood video store. If it possesses Emilio Estevez levels of computer skills and therefore was able to hack its way into our staff pick shelf.
It fits no $10 million heist but isn’t just a failed mole hunt either. And thus, earns a spot in our totally acceptable middle aisle, or if it is nothing but a dead rat in an air vent and is doomed to become organic fuel for our dreaded dumpster where everyone is some dude trying to criminalize women’s bodies. Working the counter today- (laughs)
No resemblance to reality, just a hypothetical thing that I’m talking about. Like, wouldn’t that be terrible if we lived in that kind of a society? (Danielle laughs)
Working the counter today. We have yours truly Fernanda “Chunnel Chopper” Prates, my fellow IMF agent: Danielle “Hasta Lasagna” Riendeau. Hi, Danielle.
[00:01:47] Danielle: Don’t get any on ya!
[00:01:48] Fernanda: Amazing. One of the best- I need to learn who wrote it.
Like who wrote that specific line? ‘Cause there are several writers involved in the movie that we don’t know what it is yet because we haven’t told you, even though it’s in the episode title, (laughs) but yeah, I’m curious, I’m curious. But before we get to all that, I also have to introduce another guest, a very special guest that we have here today.
Our producer, our very own Ving Rhames, Paul “TOAST” Tamayo. Hi, Paul.
[00:02:21] Paul: Wow. Thank you for blessing me with that. That title. I want to say my bald king- fellow bald king Ving Rhames. I’m happy to be here as always.
[00:02:30] Fernanda: Amazing. Yeah, you’re our tech guru. (Danielle and Paul laugh) You’re the one interrupting the signals of people’s transfers to benefit our show.
We do that sometimes. It’s very good. Yeah. We’re sabotaging other podcasts to become number one.
[00:02:46] Paul: Yeah. Learning magic tricks with discs in my hands. Yeah. (Fernanda laughs)
[00:02:51] Fernanda: This month, as you may remember, as you may not remember, whatever if you don’t remember, we’ll tell you again, this month is Payday May, meaning we are watching movies where an actor infamously got a massive paycheck from a movie, according to Hollywood legend and or the reporting we were able to find on the subject.
So get ready for big budgets, big egos, and big, bold spectacles. As we dive all the way into payday may. And this week we’re watching Mission Impossible, which apparently has earned its star slash producer, Tom Cruise, and his cable-hanging, mask-shedding, gum-exploding alter ego, Ethan Hunt a cool $70 million. (Danielle: “god damn.” Paul sighs with a revolutionary glint in his eyes.)
Thanks to a then-groundbreaking — good gig if you can get it — then-groundbreaking backend gross revenue deal. Cruise would end up making even more than that for reprising the role of Hunt in the subsequent 3,400 movies of the franchise, making him one of Hollywood’s top earners and also a pretty easy target for the upcoming revolution.
Sorry, Tom. Nothing personal. (Guillotine sound plays.) He’s gotta go. (Paul: “Hasta lasagna!”)
Too many millions. (laughs) Hasta lasgana, Tom. Good on you for doing your own stunts, but you are hoarding some of the world’s wealth, so nothing we can do for ya. You had a good run! (laughs in working class.)
Setting The Scene
[00:05:08] Fernanda: We’ll start off, as usual, with our very first segment called Setting the Scene in which we introduce the movie at hand and we have a little spoiler-free chat about our personal history with it.
But first to those unfamiliar with the story. Here’s a brief summary of Mission Impossible. Mission Impossible is a movie that I shouldn’t have to explain to you on a count of literally every human being that exists on this planet, knowing what mission impossible is. It stars Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, a dude who can pretty much do anything, including the impossible, which explains the title. (Danielle laughs) On this particular film, which spawned a franchise that is projected to be outlived only by cockroaches and Harry Kissinger on God’s green Earth, Hunt finds himself on a frantic quest to save his own damn self after he is framed for the deaths of several of his Mission Impossible Force teammates in a mole-hunting operation, gone awry. So, we’ll start with the person responsible for this pick- (Paul and Danielle laugh) which I say is a bad thing, but it is not, oh, we’ll get into it. But of course, I got to start with you, Paul since you are the one who brought the Mission Impossible suggestion to our noble month of Payday May.
And I know judging by your notes, which are the- probably the nerdiest notes this show has ever seen (laughs) in its history. Amazing. You’ll all have access to the notes after the show, by the way, we have been posting them up on fan byte dot com. So it’s like, you get to have double the fun, you get to hear us talking about it, and then you get to read our beautiful notes and Paul’s notes for this one are incredibly thorough.
But yeah. So we’ll start with you, Paul, what is your history with Mission Impossible?
[00:07:15] Paul: So I think this movie came out in 96 when I was seven, eight because I have a late birthday. So I completely missed the whole theater window that Tom Cruise is apparently so adamant about having for like three months, apparently according to the mess that is Mission Impossible 7’s production.
But yeah, so I was, I was a tiny little baby and then two years later, I remember really like getting into it via just honestly probably renting it from like Blockbuster or something. And it became a favorite of mine that I would go on to own on DVD eventually, maybe a couple of years after that.
And then. Again, proceed to rewatch a thousand times in case folks were wondering where I, where I would land on the Shelf Life portion of our episode. But yeah, I love this movie. It’s, it’s very like silly and playful, but also has like a very kind of serious tone throughout that I think is really cool.
And, and I think, you know, since it’s based on like a kind of goofy old era TV show that I’m completely unfamiliar with outside of, you know, seeing a couple of clips here and there. I love this movie. I love Brian DePalma’s work. Obviously, you know, Tom Cruise is a weird pervert in a lot of different ways and tends to really go for it in ways that endangered both him and the crew.
But I yeah, I love, I love this movie. I’ve watched it a billion- a million times and I probably will continue to watch it over the course of my life because it’s one of those movies that like really benefits from repeated watching.
[00:08:37] Fernanda: And what about you, Danielle? What is your history with Mission Impossible?
[00:08:41] Danielle: It’s kind of funny because I don’t think I had ever seen this before, like ever. And I feel like I had like false memories of it and I think what happened. I think what had happened is I thought I had seen it and I was thinking of the second one from like 2000 or 2001, maybe because I was like, where’s Bolero font.
All I remember is bolero font and there’s a virus, like all this shit like that. I was like “where is this?” And I was watching this movie and I was like, oh, I think I’m thinking of the wrong movie. So this was my first time. Watching this. And I will say, I, you know, I definitely enjoy this sort of the latter-day, I guess, mission– Missions Impossible?
(Fernanda and Paul laugh)
[00:09:21] Danielle: How does one to pluralize this term?
[00:09:24] Fernanda: The impossible missions?
[00:09:25] Danielle: Impossible missions. Like the second, I guess the most recent two movies, I think are really outrageously entertaining and like problematic for plenty of reasons, for sure. But like as a piece of entertainment and spectacle, like really, really, really fun.
So it was exciting to kind of go back and be like, oh, this is the root of this for at least this franchise as a movie franchise. Obviously, there was a TV series in the 60s and a sort of semi-reboot, I think after that. So not, not the root root, but like the movie root. So it was fun. It was very fun to kind of go back and see this and also see that this was like a, you know, this is a big-budget Hollywood movie, but it doesn’t feel like one in all the ways all the time.
And that’s just because of bombastic the serious has become like how truly wild some of the stunts have become, that this feels like a tighter movie in a lot of ways. Right?
[00:10:18] Fernanda: Yeah. Like for me, I had seen it as a kid because it was on all the time. And so I like you was like I have memories of it. I know I’ve seen it, but I didn’t really remember much of it.
And I have a thing with Mission Impossible that like my brain auto deletes, whenever I watch it, I think– (Danielle: “it auto destructs!”)
This mission of watching this movie and then it’s like, it just goes away. So I was actually reading not an oral history this time. Okay. But it was like a little post on the Roger Ebert website, like kind of revisiting all the movies and I’m like, I’ve seen them all. And I don’t remember a single thing that happened in any of them.
I like, I remember like Sean Harris. I remember Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I remember Thandie Newton, I remember Michelle Monaghan. I remember they existed. But it’s like, I immediately leave the theater and whatever happened is just gone. (Paul: “Disavowed”) Disavowed. I retain the emotion. I was like, I think I enjoyed myself. I just wouldn’t be able to tell you why.
But I rewatching this for the show. I was expecting something entirely different. I feel like I associated the, I just, in my mind, there’s just always this action-packed super fast-paced, thriller, which it is, but it’s much more stylish and in some ways like darker and kind of more somber than what I had expected which I say in a good way, it’s a much more interesting movie in some ways than my memory retained.
Oh, let’s regale the youths that might be listening to this show with a little bit of history. I don’t know. Back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, there was a thing called ringtones.
[00:12:18] Danielle: Yeah!
[00:12:18] Fernanda: Remember what it was like? Now only sociopaths allow their phones to make noises.
[00:12:26] Paul: Yeah. Like who would have the F1 theme as the ringtone, you know? (Danielle and Fernanda laugh)
(Danielle: “Yeah, who would do that!?”)
[00:12:32] Fernanda: The Terminator theme, only literal monsters, but yes, back in the day, we used to not only enjoy ringtones but pay money for them. And I don’t know if that was a phenomenon anywhere else in Brazil, it was the number one pick. The Mission Impossible theme was everywhere. Every person with no personality who wanted to pretend like they had a personality, had a Mission Impossible ringtone.
So between that. And the, was that a thing in the US or is it Brazil being Brazil? I’m I’m confused. I have questions.
[00:13:11] Paul: I don’t know. Was it the Limp Bizkit cover or was it the original?
[00:13:16] Fernanda: Just a little like monophonic, like: (Fernanda hums the theme song in bleeps and bloops.)
[00:13:19] Paul: Oh yeah.
[00:13:22] Fernanda: Just a little theme. It was everywhere. You could hear cell phones playing the Mission impossible song a lot. Or am I –
[00:13:30] Paul: It’s a banger!
[00:13:31] Danielle: I mean, it is a great song. There’s no, there’s no getting around it. It’s a banger. It’s a banger, even in that shitty MIDI format. Right. Like it’s like (humming) dun dun dun dun dun dun! I mean, that, that carries better than a lot of songs.
[00:13:48] Fernanda: Yeah. Yeah. I think it’s a perfect song. But between that and the scene, the classic-like scene in the vault being overplayed, I feel like the actual movie got replaced with these snippets in my mind. So it was very, very interesting to actually revisit it and watch it as something close to an adult. (Paul and Danielle laugh) So I’m excited to get into it with my wonderful cohosts, which is what we are about to do in our second segment called Stripping It Down, which we should warn you is a part where we discuss plot-specific aspects and things that are otherwise known as spoilers.
So if you haven’t watched the movie yet, What’s in any way. It’s Mission Impossible. It’s from ’96. You should know what happens! (Danielle laughs)
When you probably forget about it by the time we’re done with this show. Like just listen. But yeah. As a warning, we are about to answer spoiler territory so beware.
(Cue mellow sax segue music.)
Stripping It Down (Full Spoilers Ahead)
[00:15:15] Fernanda: Here we are in Stripping It Down, the part of the episode where we discuss the details of the film and there is actually quite a lot to discuss. I’m particularly curious. And I’ll start with you, Paul, because like I said, you had just very, very thorough notes.
[00:15:32] Danielle: It’s so good.
[00:15:34] Fernanda: I was reading it like- put on my glasses and everything to fully dive into the most complete notes I have ever seen.
[00:15:43] Paul: Wow! Wow. Coming from you that is high praise, I must say. (Danielle: “yeah that is really high praise!”)
Yeah- no, I- again, I love this movie. I think it strikes a perfect balance of being both like serious and playful at the same time, which I think some of my favorite, you know, cinematic experiences are just that, like that very thing.
And I’m also like a big fan of, you know, again, De Palma’s work, but also just the idea behind like the approach behind, you know I went to film school, I studied screenwriting for four years. I was on track to becoming an assistant camera. I was like getting ready to like take a union test and stuff.
So a lot of this stuff really connects to a lot of my training. Like a lot of stuff I studied growing up as a, you know, as a young 20-something. So this really hits a lot of those notes for me that I love and, and ones that I, in retrospect, thinking back on it now, really helped introduce me to cameras in general.
Like I remember being really captivated by the- at the time again, children ask your parents, but there were these things called mini DV tapes, floppy discs. (Danielle: “god, Mini DV tapes!”) Yeah. Like there’s so much beautiful, of-the-era- and at the time felt like very futuristic technology that I was also like very tapped into, you know, being the kid of a mechanical engineer and other things like that.
So I remember us having a camera that had the little mini DV tapes. And I remember playing around with cameras because of like, mostly because of just the mechanical interactions that, that are really present throughout this film. And that kind of, I think, played a huge part in my fascination with, you know, taking things apart, putting them back together and, and also just like film and filmmaking in the language of film and understanding what specific things mean and how they can be applied and the fun ways that DePalma and his cinematographer that they’re employing.
And, and this movie that I, that I love. So, it does a lot for me that works well. And I think, you know, when you sort of sit back and think about movies and the way they’re often used to entertain us, they really are like these elaborate illusions. I mean, even down to like their basic core mechanics, like the motion picture that you’re seeing is literally just like a dreamlike representation of reality.
And the fact that this movie understands that assignment really, really well and plays with your own perception and has fun with, you know, this, you know, kitschy TV property that hadn’t seen any kind of love. I’m assuming for, for decades, if I had to guess was sort of my first introduction to. “Oh, cool. You can do that?”
Like that’s possible. And just seeing all these different departments work in collaboration and work really well, you could tell a lot of this stuff was planned to the T. It has, it has to be when you, when you think about filmmaking and the different departments involved and the different disciplines and skills and De Palma productions are always kind of firing on all cylinders in a way that I love and, and yeah, I’ll get into the nerdier stuff later on, but yeah, I just, I just love this film’s, overall playful tone.
[00:18:46] Fernanda: There is like I said- there’s, to me, a certain, like, darkness to it, but also, like you said, a very playful sort of undertone. And I like how these things balance each other out. One thing I wanted to discuss, cause you both put it on your notes and I agree is the sort of the opening scene. We’ve talked about this on the show before and sort of how important and how we’re all suckers for a solid opening scene. And I feel like what a good opening scene does is both prepare us for what we’re about to like prime us, of course. But not just in terms of the content, but also in terms of the mood. Right? Like, and I do think that this one does the job really well.
And so I wanted to ask you Danielle, like your- this is I think your first observation here sort of your thoughts on, on, on the way that they kind of set up the scene for us.
[00:19:42] Danielle: Yeah. So we’re kind of doing fun spy shit, which, you know, it, it’s a little, it’s a little hard because obviously, like, the very, very kind of beginning is in Kiev.
And like, that’s a little tough right now, of course, but everything, you know, the world is, is bad. So we’re, we’re trying to move along into, but it is like this really fun thing that kind of just keeps coming up in the movie. And Paul has some really good notes about this as well. It’s like reincorporated so many times with the mask and identities and who is who, and who’s doing what and getting the job done.
And it’s kind of like, oh, we’re doing fun cool spy shit, fun cool spy shit. And then we go right into this. It’s just an absolute moment of, okay. Exposition as mission briefing or mission briefing as exposition, really where it’s like, all right, here’s the characters, this one’s good at this, this one’s good at this, this one’s good at this.
And we get all our, you know, our, our major players. And of course, it’s kind of funny because it’s, it’s done like on an airplane. Like, do you want to watch a movie? And they, they give the little tape and of course the message is going to self-destruct. (Fernanda and Paul laugh) It’s like all of this fun, goofy spy shit stuff. Right.
So we have our first sequence where we just go in on the action, our second little scene here, where we’re on the airplane, getting our full exposition of everything and who does what, and what’s going to happen. And then we have like this really fun little comedy scene where we get the mission briefing, and then they like wine about coffee?
(Fernanda and Paul laugh and agree)
[00:21:03] Danielle: So it’s like all this good stuff inside of, I want to say inside of five minutes or six minutes, like we’re already into like the fourth scene of the movie. A lot of stuff has happened, but we have all this information and that’s just like really good economical filmmaking. Like, it’s just all this good stuff has already happened.
We already know what’s going on. Whether or not you care about like MacGuffins and you know, what the, what, the specific plot of the thing that’s happening. Like the specific plot of the spycraft itself kind of doesn’t matter. It’s kind of completely beside the point. And I think maybe that’s part of why Fernanda, I had this too, of like having almost like a fugue sense of like, I’ve seen this movie.
No, I haven’t. Maybe I have, and that really remembering a lot of specifics, but like you remember the characters and you remember cool sequences and cool visuals and things like that. So it’s really kind of signposting this for us in this like beginning you know, a bunch of scenes here. And I think it’s like really smartly done and really fun.
And I might like the intro more than I like the rest of the movie, just because this was such a bright spot for me, but it’s still, I think, well done overall.
[00:22:05] Paul: The fact that they had the audacity to- the casting person on this film deserves hopefully the same amount that Tom Cruise got because casting Emilio Estevez in that role as a sort of like, you know the comic relief, the hacker guy and like the sort of – that introduction scene where they’re getting the briefing, you know, around the table is, is really striking for me because it’s like, oh, they’re like these, you know, very I’m guessing important spies who work on stuff that we don’t know anything about, but they’re also like kind of just hanging out.
It’s a very Breakfast Club kind of vibe to it. And Emilio Estevez is like, you know, constantly with the little quips and the little jokes and And flirting. Yeah. And it also is, it does a good job of establishing Ethan Hunt, Tom Cruise’s character as a sort of like quarterback, jock guy. Who’s like, you know, obviously has the, you know, the eye of one of the women, which, you know, also plays a weird role down the line, but it’s a really great way to establish who Ethan is as this sort of hot shot, who who’s still kind of has a lot to learn and, and I think most good heroic tales always show you that sort of base starting area and that. How much they can grow from there. And that this whole beginning portion is like a lot of that, even though we, we see that little quick Bond-like introduction, that’s like a separate little piece about establishing who they are and what they do.
It’s, it’s, it’s really, like you said, really economically done a well-made and it’s like, it’s just so much fun to watch unfold and easy to process.
[00:23:38] Fernanda: Yeah. And that’s the thing. And that’s honestly, that’s why I was thrown off in a good way. I think my brain is so like trained to expect this like natural progression, like, okay.
So we are introduced to these people. They’re a team they’re going to do things together and then things are going to go wrong. And then maybe like one or two of them will die. And then right after that scene, right in their first mission. And again, this is on me sort of like having different expectations of the movie. We have that scene and then, like we just said, Emilio Estevez is introduced as this kind of like almost goofy guy who makes mistakes, which by the way, refreshingly relatable. We want to see these spies fucking up on screen. Okay. It makes us feel as bad about ourselves. And then he just suffers gruesome fucking death!
(Paul and Danielle quietly agree)
[00:24:30] Fernanda: I was so shocked because I remember none of it and I’m sitting here on the couch and I see the elevator going up and I’m like, cause he dies on an elevator going up to like- what even was that like these sharp metal things stemming from the ceiling of the elevator shaft or whatever it was. So I see the elevator going up and I’m like, oh, they’re going to stop this elevator within inches of the spikey things and then they just jam Emilio Estevez right through it! I was like “No! No! This is not what I signed up for!” and then a bunch of them proceed to die. And I’m like, “how are they all dying? This is so strange. How is Tom Cruise going to do the impossible missions without his team?”
I’m so confused and relatively there’s this from a little bit on the Herald times: this is kind of a bloodless particularly bloodless of film in the franchise. .
The 1996 Mission Impossible is a mostly bloodless affair. It doesn’t feature any shootouts or gunfights. In fact, Ethan Hunt never even fires a weapon in the entire movie. And the final body count (seven) is almost entirely from the opening sequence. Compare that with its trigger-happy sequel Mission Impossible 2 directed by John Woo, of course, which has 107 onscreen casualties.
(Danielle laughs. Paul: “Damn!”)
[00:26:00] Fernanda: 68 of them in a plane crash. According to a website called a lot at bubblegum- all out of bubblegum.com. But yeah, so, and I kind of had confused the John Woo one with the third one, which is actually JJ Abrams and the John Woo one is the one with the several masks. I didn’t even know
[00:26:26] Danielle: The Bolero font and the virus. The only things I remember. (Paul: “yeah!”)
[00:26:32] Fernanda: And Thandie Newton was having a revival in her career.
[00:26:38] Paul: I think that kind of really demonstrates the similarities that this franchise shares with other big blockbuster franchises. Like they kind of start- like, I think immediately of Fast and Furious. About how that first film was basically just Point Break or you know, Donnie Brasco, it’s like a story about this undercover cop, but he’s like infiltrating the tuner car scene in LA.
And then now it’s like, they’re just super spies. They just basically have become the IMF essentially with Ludacris and Tyrese. But like this film kind of like your guys are alluding to really is rooted in this you know, quote-unquote realistic, more grounded Level that where the stakes are high, but they’re not like “the world’s gonna end” high.
And I prefer to like those kinds of experiences over the, you know, Tom Cruise hanging on the side of a plane, as fun as they are to watch. They, don’t really stick with me as, as much as, as this one does. And that scene in particular- the leading up to that, the whole plan kind of unraveling is so much fun to watch because it reminds me so much of — this is, again, a video game reference.
I’m sorry, Fernanda, we have to put you through this all the time.
[00:27:43] Fernanda: Don’t worry. I know the environment I’m in. I’m in the minority. I’m the one in the wrong here for not doing video games.
[00:27:53] Paul: (sarcastically) How dare you?! It reminds me a lot of Hitman, (Danielle: “Oh yes!”) a game that Danielle, I know you love and the whole setup and the elaborate large room with all these different characters who Tom Cruise has to sort of navigate around, wearing that goofy disguise.
And you know, it also reminds me that IO Interactive, the folks responsible for Hitman, are making a 007 game, which makes me very excited. And I can’t wait to play that, but yeah — this moment, in particular, has a very jarring again, playful use of camera work, where we’re literally put into his perspective when we’re walking through the space and you know, one of his partners is sort of introduced- or she runs up to him and it’s like, oh, “I haven’t seen you in forever!” and then kind of takes him off to go, you know, try to get the disc or whatever. It’s just really cool. Like it’s really, it’s really jarring for a movie to just cut to a POV scene and you’re hearing Tom Cruise speak it. You almost feel like you’re watching that on-board feed of the glasses, which again, pays off later down the road.
And they’re really adamant about showing what those glasses can do, right? Like they kind of set it up in that room very particularly. And they, they cut – they give it its own closeup. This heroic, extreme close-up. (Danielle chuckles) And yeah, it’s just like, it’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of fun to have this jarring, weird wacky stuff happening, but you know, again, really easy to follow.
[00:29:14] Fernanda: One of my favorite, like sort of stylish De Palma-ass moments is when he is in the meeting with Kittridge, the main like the main dude who is the one who kind of breaks it to him, like: “Hey, you’re the one who’s alive. We kind of think you’re the one who set this whole thing up, so…”
[00:29:32] Danielle: “You’re the one who fucked up, man.”
[00:29:36] Fernanda: I love how that scene is shot. They do these sort of like under, like the shots are from come from under the table. And you have these ups looking up at both their faces and it goes back and forth and it really creates this really interesting tension. And right from that, we go to him exploding, a giant tank that is apparently half of a restaurant and just unleashing hell, but it’s water on everyone.
It’s just like, to me, that’s what makes this movie so interesting. It has these little more sort of quieter moments where the tension, like you said, well, it kind of plays out in the less obvious Tom Cruise hanging off an airplane type of way, which by the way he actually did. I think we all know that Tom Cruise does most of his stunts, but yeah, I was just watching a video like on YouTube, by a insider in which they kind of broke down his eight of his stunts, not just in Mission Impossible.
And it is- why are you this millionaire person hanging off a plane, Tom?
[00:30:44] Paul: Yeah, why are you like this?
[00:30:47] Fernanda: God bless you. But honestly, you don’t need to do this.
[00:30:51] Paul: I went to a Director’s Guild screening for it, that my buddy invited me to when that one particularly came out and I remember that there was a Q&A with the director who was like, yeah, he had to wear like these contacts, because if anything at that speed enters your eye, you’re like your eye is done.
So I’m like, I immediately upon hearing that kind of information, like “I have to do what? I have to wear these contacts because why? No, I’m not doing this. I don’t care how much this is going to make me.” (Fernanda laughs)
[00:31:17] Fernanda: Yeah. It was like a special contact that covered his entire eye. Not just obviously the Iris, so he could, you know, do this thing and apparently took eight takes for him to be satisfied with the scene. (Danielle and Paul are flabbergasted lol)
So he’s voluntarily hung beside- (laughs) we hear these reports, especially with the latest Mission Impossible. That was kind of a standoff from what I could understand between Tom cruise and the studio involving money and whatever. And like you guys were like, I think it was your Paul who mentioned that he needs he requires three months of the thing being on theaters and like Tom cruise, just being an absolute, like diva about it.
I’m like, you know what Tom, you earned it. You get to be a fucking diva about it.
(Paul and Danielle laugh. Paul: “Yeah, this is your baby.”)
[00:32:07] Fernanda: If you’re gonna hang off a plane and jump off very high rocks and literally hang on the side of a giant building for this movie, you get to demand it stays however long you want it to stay in the freaking theater.
[00:32:24] Paul: Yeah, you’re the boss, man. I don’t, I don’t know what you’re capable of, but there’s also that I think it was the same movie.
He like jumps out of a window and I think he like broke his ankle or something and he kept running. But-
[00:32:34] Fernanda: I have questions! (laughs)
[00:32:36] Paul: We got to stop this man. He’s he’s going, gonna hurt himself and potentially other people, but-
[00:32:41] Fernanda: Maybe Scientology is onto something. Maybe he is- that is a joke. I’m not supporting Scientology.
[00:32:50] Paul: But going back to the Mission Impossible 1- one of the links you provided. The little trivia fun facts about this movie that I had no idea about was, and I had a suspicion like watching this again, this time around I’m like, is this the first time he got a taste of like that adrenaline?
Because he actually did that stunt. And he was really adamant about like, no, I have to be the one to like, run out and do this. And it is, I mean, at the time I remember as a kid, again, I was a tiny little baby child, but even still today, it is kind of visually striking, like in a way that doesn’t look fake at all.
And it makes me miss those sorts of real big bombastic productions of the nineties, where that was a real ass aquarium that got exploded. And, you know, he that’s him running out. And I don’t know if the fish were real, but they were certainly flopping around. Like they were.
[00:33:35] Danielle: I’m a little sad about the dead fish. Now I’m not going to lie! (laughs)
[00:33:40] Fernanda: This is not a vegan friendly movie and it cannot happen in 2022 , like there would be some protests.
[00:33:46] Danielle: Yeah. I mean, for sure. And it did also again, Paul, sorry, Fernanda, but it made me think of that Miami level with all those fish and Hitman 2. And it was like, again, I kept getting Hitman vibes from various elements of this movie, like all the time. (Paul enthuastically agrees)
So I gotta, I gotta back you up on that. There was so much Hitman in this movie. Or I’m sure you know, the level designers are more influenced from this movie and these types of movies, but still let’s, let’s just call it the way we feel.
[00:34:17] Fernanda: But when did it hit men come out the video game?
[00:34:20] Danielle: And the first game was like 99.
I want to say, like, not long after this the more recent games are the ones that I’ve actually played and have a much more firm understanding of.
[00:34:30] Paul: I think even like for me, this also hit at a very particular time around Metal Gear Solid’s first game, or I guess second game or whatever, third, whatever the first PlayStation game because it has very similar vibes.
I mean, Snake even has like a very Tom cruise-like look to him and all that espionage and the gadgets and stuff. It just hit me at the right moment where I was just- yeah, I was just so into all of this nonsense to a degree, I still am. (Laughs)
[00:34:56] Fernanda: Everybody is! The world is. That’s why this franchise keeps being so freaking successful.
Right? I think the only one that wasn’t, that impressive was the third one, like in terms of just profits and then they kind of reinvented the franchise. So it’s kind of like, it’s so alluring for literally everyone. It’s the kind of stuff that it takes a very weird person to watch a Mission Impossible movie and like actively hate it.
(Everyone laughs and agrees.)
[00:35:21] Danielle: I mean, if you hate Tom Cruise, like if it was like Jeremy Renner in these movies, sorry to go back to that.
[00:35:29] Fernanda: Which he is by the way. He’s in the third one.
[00:35:32] Danielle: Yeah, I know. And it’s like, I even like that movie, so that’s really kind of telling you something.
[00:35:37] Paul: I like that one too, I can’t lie. (Laughs)
And 4, again, the ones I actually remember better are like pretty, pretty good action movies, but like, if it were Renner Renner’ing everywhere, like if he was the star of the movie? I don’t know.
He tried! Remember? He was in that Bourne movie.
[00:35:56] Fernanda: Honestly, after Danielle revealed her Renner hatred, (Danielle and Paul laugh) I keep seeing Jeremy Renner everywhere. It’s like, was he literally everywhere? I’m looking right now at his IMDB page and-
[00:36:07] Danielle: For like 10 years. He was.he was in like 60 credits. Yeah.
[00:36:13] Fernanda: Was it the third Mission Impossible? No, it was Rogue Nation. Rogue Nation.
[00:36:21] Danielle: Is that the third or the fourth one?
[00:36:22] Fernanda: I think that’s the fourth one.
[00:36:24] Danielle: Okay. Gotcha. Yeah.
[00:36:25] Fernanda: And I think the idea, I read it somewhere like a little trivia, a little page, like fun facts about Mission Impossible, that it was supposed to be a kind of passing of the torch thing.
[00:36:37] Paul: Bring Emilio back!
[00:36:39] Fernanda: Justice for Jack. He did not deserve to die that way. John Voight No, I will never get over it.
[00:36:47] Paul: It was someone else in a mask. It wasn’t actually Emilio.
[00:36:51] Fernanda: Oh, that would have been- ohh, that’s a good thing. I hope they bring it back and just be like: “Surprise!
[00:36:56] Paul: Tom, hit me up.
[00:36:57] Fernanda: “I’m alive. It wasn’t me. It was some other hacker dude.” that would be like the best plot twist in the history of the-
[00:37:06] Danielle: There are five! This whole time, I have been fucking up in thinking there are four of these movies. There are five and Renner was in the middle one, the 2006 one, it looks like.
[00:37:16] Paul: There’s six of them!
[00:37:18] Danielle: There are six!
[00:37:18] Fernanda: The seventh is going to come out.
[00:37:21] Danielle: I fucked up again! I’m so sorry, everyone. I’ve clearly- I’m fucking up. I’m so sorry.
[00:37:27] Paul: I gotta say I haven’t seen 2 recently. So I have to revisit that I remember being completely like- you know, just didn’t know how to process it at the time because of how just over the top it was, but I will say there, these are all like really solid action movies.
I always leave like, oh, wow. That was really, really good. And it, it, it does make me a little sad though, that it continues to move further into the big blockbuster, you know, epic that they have now become. Because again, going back to this one a lot of the, not to say that the newer ones aren’t as, you know, creative and artistic, but this one in particular, there are so many like beautiful decisions made throughout that I kinda missed that from the newer ones, even though, you know, it’s fun to watch Henry Cavil reload his arms in the bathroom.
But that can be art too.
(Danielle and Fernanda laugh)
[00:38:14] Fernanda: But that’s exactly why- I agree with you. And that’s kind of what I was saying. Like, I was positively impressed. Not that these other movies are not fun, like I said, but I was positively impressed by how just a quirky in a way.
This is like, it’s just very- yeah. So I totally agree with what you’re saying. Like, I feel like this might have a- not necessarily a depth, but it’s richer in some ways. So I was very like positively, just sort of, okay, this is not what I thought I was signing up for. And it also like doesn’t it last less than two hours? Amazing.
[00:38:55] Danielle: It’s just under which is great, honestly.
[00:38:57] Paul: Chef’s kiss. Efficient. (Danielle: “Economical filmmaking!”)
[00:39:03] Fernanda: This is a bargain because for less than two hours, (Danielle laughs) you get that scene where everybody- the opening scene, When everybody dies, you get Jean Reno following a train through the “chunnel” with a helicopter, and attempting to kill Tom Cruise with the helix, which honestly, if the movie didn’t contain the classic scene of Tom Cruise lowering himself- well being lowered by Jean Reno down the vault and the whole, like the most classic Mission Impossible scene.
I would argue if the movie didn’t have that, I feel like we, as a society would be discussing the tunnel scene a little more like, oh, sure- (Laughs)
[00:39:50] Paul: Yeah!
[00:39:50] Fernanda: It’s a shame we’re not talking about this! (Continues laughing)
[00:39:54] Paul: Red light green light! Going back to the artistic decisions being made throughout this film – and the economic thing that Danielle was talking about, which again is one of my favorite things about movies whenever I see it. I’m always like, “oh, thank God!” Like I always kind of roll my eyes whenever there’s an action scene, particularly in American films where it’s cut so much and there’s so many quick closeups, or I can’t even process what’s happening or what the geography of the room is like.
And I’m just kind of lost, I think more recently, like the most recent Matrix, which I, which I loved actually, but, but some of the action stuff was just hard to- it was just like a soup of stuff. And I think that was definitely intentional in that movie’s case, but in this one one of my favorite examples and one of my favorite shots, I’ll mention the other one a little later, but I guess I should preface this by saying again- (sighs) I went to film school. I apologize.
[00:40:46] Danielle: Honestly, it’s ok. I did too. You’re in good company.
[00:40:50] Fernanda: Be a nerd. We love it.
[00:40:51] Paul: Alright cool.
[00:40:51] Fernanda: Danielle finally has some company instead of me being like, “What about that stupid email address?” No, we want you to tell us! (Everyone laughs)
[00:40:58] Danielle: No, I love it!
[00:40:59] Paul: We’ll talk about that too. So this film was shot using anamorphic lenses, essentially. So it was like these, this filter- the long and short of it- I’ll link videos that feature explainers behind all this stuff.
But anamorphic is basically, it’s shot like in with the oval kind of shape lens. So everything is originally filmed kind of squished. And then in post, you stretch it outso it’s wider. So, you know, JJ Abrams actually does this a lot. A lot of, a lot of filmmakers do this De Palma obviously does this a ton. It’s you know, responsible for all those JJ Abrams flares.
It’s a very distinct style that makes the background and the whole image overall, a little softer, more dreamlike, more like a painting. And there’s this really beautiful technique that also gets used that I’ll get into later using a particular piece of equipment. But my favorite shot is speaking about the economic thing is when Ethan meets, well- one of my favorite shots- is when Ethan meets Max’s contact on the bench. It’s a really cool establishing shot.
It starts off this way. It’s like a slow dolly in you see a guy sit on a bench and then it keeps moving in and then you hear Ethan’s voice. The guy turns around and looks directly at the camera. So you go, oh shit, I’m Ethan again. And then the car pulls up into the, into the foreground now.
And then the door opens and you go into the car or you talk to the guy in the passenger seat. Like it’s just so dynamic. And it’s one shot. It’s one long take that. I think a lot of movies nowadays don’t do so much. And it’s like something that you kind of have to do with, with this kind of approach, like anamorphic lenses because they’re generally really hard to light and they, they don’t come in a lot of different, you know ranges.
So you have to be really particular about what you’re doing and It’s just a perfect example of how this movie really doesn’t waste time. Like it’s, you know, we talked about how it’s under two hours, but it uses that time very efficiently. It’s aided by the fact that it’s a spy movie so a lot of it is just mostly exposition, but even despite that, you’re able to really follow along and, and understand who these characters are and who they are in the space. And you know, it’s- again, it’s just like it’s just a masterwork. I love this dumb spy movie!
[00:43:00] Fernanda: But it that’s the thing it’s not- I feel like it’s easy to think it’s dumb because it’s so convoluted, but then you’re like it’s actually more clever than a lot of the things we were subsequently exposed to in action movie lore. (Laughs) it’s a lot smarter than that. Well, since you mentioned Max, I wanted to hear from Danielle about her opinion on the appearance of Max who happens to be played by Vanessa Redgrave.
[00:43:35] Danielle: Oh my God. She’s my favorite part of the movie. Like she really is. I love a lot of the like goofiness and I love how much this movie leans into the goofiness of spy stuff. Like it’s very fun and it’s very playful in that sixties way, but the best part, I mean, Ving Rhames too. Okay. Listen, there’s two best parts, ok?
(Fernanda and Paul laugh)
[00:43:54] Danielle: Listen, I also love Emilio Estevez. I’m not going to, I’m not going to throw him under the bus. He just isn’t in as much of it as these two incredible, just amazing performances. Honestly, Vanessa Redgrave is just so fucking good here. (Fernanda: “So good!”) Like she’s just- she’s so playful. And again, Paul, you had written in your notes that sort of like aggressive, but playful.
Like that’s our whole tone here. (Paul: “yeah!”) It’s so good. She’s the massive, you know, hacker. Like I want to say, I want to say hacker, but really she’s like in charge of all of the things. She’s almost like in Mr. Robot terms, like you know, like, holding up a whole coalition kind of thing, you know, it’s like very, I dunno, it’s very, very, it’s attractive.
I’m just going to say that. I think she’s very it’s really hot. It’s a really hot performance!
[00:44:43] Fernanda: And them in the car is hot. (Danielle: “It’s hot, right?!”) I was like, I don’t know if this is just me or?
[00:44:51] Paul: I was blushing. (Laughs)
[00:44:52] Fernanda: This is a weird, do I feel sexual tension here? Is it just me like being horny again, being horny on main again.
[00:45:00] Paul: No movie is horny!
[00:45:02] Danielle: We’re allowed. (Fernanda and Danielle laugh)
[00:45:03] Paul: When Ethan Hunt is first introduced to her, like Danielle was saying, that’s kind of the whole attitude of this movie, right? It’s like, he’s smiling and he knows he could easily be killed, but he knows that he’s going to walk away from this interaction successfully, right? And he knows what he’s talking about is rightand it’s true. And that kind of confidence- and she’s kind of like, you know- She finds that appealing in a way, like she likes to sort of toy with them, like like my cat does with a crumpled up receipt. (Danielle: “Yeah!”) It’s kind of fun to just see them, both play with each other in that way.
And, you know, especially with Tom, Cruise’s like psychotic smile that he, that he flashes constantly throughout.
[00:45:41] Fernanda: And those interactions are sort of what give this character, which could be very one dimensional, some depth, right? Like he makes Ethan Hunt be a little mysterious in a way, because he’s this cocky asshole, who like you said, smiles in a way that feels like he knows he can get away with literally anything.
But then at the same time, you’re curious- it’s not just this action guy who can do cool shit. Even though he is you’re kind of curious to keep watching and find out a little bit more about Ethan, which is something that I feel like it’s hard to do. For that to stand out among all the noise. But one thing that we were talking about sort of the horny stuff- we didn’t even mention that there is a sort of weird love triangle aspect of this because John Voight who is the lead- from what I understand in the series, John Voight never becomes evil.
I think he’s like the he’d become sort of the lead agent. I didn’t get way too into it. All I know is that Sam Elliott was in this series at some point. And the we’re not allowed to like Sam Elliott anymore because he said some dumb shit about the movie with Benedict Cumberbatch about cowboys.
[00:47:04] Danielle: (Deflated) Yeah.
[00:47:04] Paul: And John Voight to be honest. He’s a dickhead in real life.
[00:47:08] Fernanda: Yeah. A real piece of shit, apparently. But what was I saying? I got distracted by Sam Elliott’s mustache. I can’t just ignore all the horniness I nurtured for Sam Elliot for a long time. (Laughs) But what I was about to say, the John Voight character, who is sort of like the leader of the situation is married to Claire, who we first think died in the the mole operation gone awry, but then we find out she’s alive and we don’t really understand, did she ever sleep with Ethan?
I don’t- Did she? Maybe who knows, but I will say, I think she’s the weakest link in the movie. I don’t even know that actress, like, maybe she’s great. Maybe it was the role, but if we got to talk about the performances, I say Claire’s probably, to me the most forgettable part of the movie.
[00:48:01] Paul: It is a weird component to the whole thing.
I feel like they- I don’t know if this was the screenwriters feeling, some kind of a pressure to include a “bond girl”, so-to-speak, or just introduce that sort of weird romantic element. But it’s funny ’cause I’ve watched this movie a million times and the ending still always like surprises me when, when John Voight’s character, Phelps, I believe is his name is like you know, he, he mentioned that like he quotes the Bible verse of like, “do not covet thy neighbor’s wife” or whatever. Yeah. And I was just like, oh, I forgot about this bullshit. We did not need this at all.
[00:48:40] Fernanda: It’s so weird. Like it feels so jammed in there, like you said, like to have an element of this “Bond girl” type or because I guess Hollywood feels like we need a romantic innuendo to fully appreciate a movie, but it just feels extremely strange.
[00:49:00] Danielle: For me, it’s not even the actress. It’s that this whole situation feels stupid and forced and like, it just doesn’t really play well. And we didn’t need it with all our goofy spy hijinks and our sad stuff going on. It feels a little bit to me, like, you know, we talked about in Sphere, there’s this real stupid, like romance element or whatever you want to call it where she just doesn’t feel- not even necessary. It doesn’t even feel like human. It feels like robots wrote that part of the script kind of thing. (Paul laughs) And like these poor actors had to do something with it and just there was nothing to do with it. Like that’s that could’ve just been cut and this would have been a stronger and even tighter movie, I think.
And it is, I think generally a pretty strong and tightly produced movie, but we just didn’t need that shit, you know?
[00:49:45] Fernanda: And then she dies. Like seriously? This is why we have Claire here to like first be an asshole and then maybe cheat on John Voight, who knows? Well, not cheat. Well cheat. Cause she knew he was alive.
Yeah. Like I don’tknow-
[00:50:04] Danielle: Yeah, it’s just convoluted, but not in a fun way. The way other things are convoluted in a fun puzzle way. This is just like, oh, I don’t care!
[00:50:12] Paul: Yeah, I kind of wish they gave her like, just more of her own sense of self, like her own sense of motivation, because like it comes off as this sort of – kind of like a plot device.
[00:50:22] Paul: And it’s unfortunate because she has in my opinion, the best shot of the entire movie, which is my excuse to also go into my nerdy filmmaking shit, which is that technique that I was referring to earlier. So there are certain shots in the movie where you can see a character in the foreground on one side of the frame in focus and then the background with something else or someone else.
also in focus. It’s a weird interesting technique that works differently than the way our eyes do. So it has this very distinct quality to it. And it’s it’s specifically again, the, the cinematographer Steven H Burum, which I think thankfully wrote down here they use this very specific technique that now I can’t find it in the mess of notes that I have.
[00:51:06] Fernanda: The split field diopter.
[00:51:08] Paul: There you go. Thank you, Fernanda. (Danielle: “Ah yes.”)
[00:51:11] Fernanda: Oh, I totally knew that. I wasn’t just reading your notes. This is a thing that I knew myself in my brain.
[00:51:18] Paul: You’re talking about this all the time. You’re always talking about this.
[00:51:21] Fernanda: People are like”Fernanda, will you please just stop talking about the split field diopter. You’re bringing the mood down.” That’s me at parties. (Paul and Danielle laugh)
I’m sorry. Go ahead.
[00:51:30] Paul: So this technique is used a lot in the De Palma films. You see it in this movie a bunch like there, there are even certain Dutch angles, which by the way, in my notes, I wrote all caps, “DUTCH ANGLES LET’S FUCKING GO” because I love Dutch angles. (Fernanda laughs: “Can confirm.”)
They are very easy, obvious way to communicate something is off. Yeah. So the shot with her in particular where, you know, it’s revealed that she’s the one who blew up the car, that technique is being applied there. And it’s, it’s so brilliant because if you go and rewatch it, I would recommend everybody go check that one shot out- just go, just go YouTube it or something, or even just look up even just look up a screenshot on Google images.
Like, you’ll see where that line in the middle with that blur line is like disguised by the edge of two buildings meeting. And it’s also like the shadow of a tree, but she it’s, it’s in slow motion. She detonates the bomb, it explodes this, this really beautiful, like painting. And then she turns around slowly and looks directly into the camera.
Like, “yeah, it was me the entire time.” And that’s like her best moment. And only moment really outside of, you know, anytime she’s there to basically just I don’t know, comfort Tom Cruise or something, or some shit like-
[00:52:38] Fernanda: Or be pushed around by Tom Cruise or murdered by her own husband.
[00:52:42] Paul: Yeah. So it’s both like-. I don’t know it’s a little disappointing and it is kind of one of those things where it’s a sign of the times, but also like, you know, we still see that shit now.
[00:52:54] Fernanda: That’s scene is like that meme of the girl looking at the camera while everything burns down in the back.
(Danielle and Paul laugh)
[00:52:58] Paul: Yes. Yes. That’s my energy all the time. I’m going to blow some shit up and look right at you. When I do it,
[00:53:07] Fernanda: I will say, like, to be the coolest way to disrupt a scene now will forever be just blowing up a tank. Like that’s just amazing.
No body count, just chaos.
[00:53:17] Paul: Nah, but the waiter got it. I’m pretty sure that waiter was dead-
(Fernanda and Danielle laugh)
[00:53:22] Paul: Just thrown out of the window. Every time that happens, I laugh hysterically because it just looks so comical. It’s like an anime or something.
[00:53:29] Fernanda: I hope that the waiter is okay. That it was just a few broken bones. Tom Cruise has survived through stunts that involved hanging off buildings and helicopters. So maybe that waiter is okay.
I will say we are inching closer and closer to becoming a Ving Rhames stans podcast.
[00:53:49] Danielle: Oh, a hundred percent.
[00:53:50] Fernanda: I feel like moving forward whenever he appears in a movie, we’ll just assume it’s just implied that he’s one of the best parts of the movie. Like we don’t even need to discuss it. It’s like “Ving Rhames is in this.” (Paul laughs)
(Danielle: “That’s perfect!”)
[00:54:07] Fernanda: I do think we would be remissed to end this conversation without addressing the beauty of the email that Tom Cruise-
(Danielle and Paul in unison: “Oh my god”)
So Tom Cruise is trying to get in touch with he knows the trader is going by Job and responding to a person who by then we don’t know is Vanessa Redgrave named Max. And he emails the address max @ Job 3:14. (laughs)
And it is amazing. It’s just an impossible email address. ’96, different times, but I’m pretty sure we knew how emails were supposed to work back then. And I just love that this happened. (Laughs)
[00:54:55] Paul: Yeah. You mean you never got your, your Job 3:14 sample disc- trial disc in the mail?
[00:55:04] Fernanda: Absolutely beautiful. Exchanging Bible verses and finding out through a Bible.
And that I know Paul that you took issue with right? The discovery that the Bible falls off a shelf, and that’s how Tom Cruise kind of puts it together, that the Bible had a stamp referencing the Drake hotel in Chicago, which we knew that John Voight had been in. And that’s kind of like how he pieces everything together.
But I know you had some issues with that, with that concept,
[00:55:35] Paul: Yeah. Yeah, because I mean, I was taught in school that coincidence works best when it gets characters further into trouble and doesn’t like help them or solve some kind of puzzle that they’ve been trying to figure out. Cause it is always kind of like unsatisfying for the answer to just be handed to our heroes.
And yeah, I just think it’s a little lazy, in my opinion, that this sort of answer is just handed to him in that way. I don’t know if the movie necessarily needed that. I think John Voight could have come into the equation and maybe even slipped some information out there that Ethan was aware of some, some other way that that would have been cooler.
But you know, I guess hindsight, but also quarterback screenwriting- (Fernanda laughs) sorry, armchair screenwriter over here, but yeah not my favorite.
[00:56:22] Fernanda: I mean, you could see how, like there’s a lot that we’re dealing with. Let’s just do like one lazy thing and, fuck it.
(Danielle and Paul laugh)
[00:56:29] Paul: Yeah. That cut out 10 minutes of a scene that they probably already filmed too. They were like, “ahh, let’s just drop a Bible on the floor. I don’t know.”
[00:56:36] Fernanda: And they immediately, like, they don’t even let us remember by ourselves that he had referenced the Drake hotel, even though like, like we’ve been saying the movie last less than two hours, like you can easily remember that happened.
They’ve even shoot to a flashback of him.
[00:56:52] Paul: You’re right!
[00:56:52] Fernanda: It’s the laziest part, but they’re going through so much trouble with the rest. They’re like, yeah, we got it. We got to piece this shit together somehow. We don’t usually do this on this show, but I am curious because I feel like this movie has so much- it’s such a rich text and we’ve covered so many different scenes that I want to ask both of you.
And I’ll start with Danielle. What is it, if you had to pick one favorite scene or favorite snippet of this movie, what would it be?
[00:57:28] Danielle: God, it’s really hard because I truly love the sort of like mission briefing into the coffee thing. Like I just think that’s such a strong intro and it’s so much fun. And it’s like it has paid off really nicely with the very ending too with when he gets the, you know, the message and we cut into the music and then the music comes in and then we cut to the credits. Like for me, that’s like really, really- I guess I just picked three things, but the way they work in concert, there you go. That’s, that’s, that’s my pick by far. I also really do, like- I know it’s been like, you know, parodied, but I do love the sort of like the ropes you know, hacking sequence.
That’s just very good and very tense and very fun and like, yeah, sure. It’s a parody. (Fernanda: “it’s amazing!”) It’s good. It’s really well done. Like, it’s just good. (Paul: “That’s mine.”) Gotcha. I’m sorry. You can talk about that one. I don’t need to talk about it.
[00:58:22] Fernanda: Capital F- as you would say, Paul, capital F Filmmaking. So let’s lead into it ’cause obviously I was just about to ask you, so that’s your favorite scene?
[00:58:29] Paul: Yeah, no question. ‘Causewe’re also- again, this movie I wrote in my notes. This movie has the audacity to have Jean Reno and Ving Rhames together as like this duo of you know, disavowed, former agents and just the, again, it’s like it’s a really fun Ocean’s Eleven style heist that we see the before, during and after moments of, and it’s sort of like all leads up to this one beautiful, chef’s kiss, cherry on top moment where a Jean Reno, no finally pulls up Ethan all the way. And then he snatches the disk out of his hands, boom, betrayal. Right. Or like, at least he’s not to be trusted and the knife falls and they both, so they both react to the fact that, oh, wow. A twist, but then also, oh no, the knife.
And like the whole plan of theirs just begins to freefall. Just like the knife is, and it’s a beautiful, again- it’s a beautiful blend, like, like Danielle says of like this, these different moments that all kind of work in concert with each other and build up to a certain. You know, particular idea that just completely works so well that I think, you know, despite the bombastic nature of the more recent films, I still think like this film is probably my favorite of the bunch.
Like the one I’ve seen the most. And yeah, I mean, I just like that whole- even the room itself feels like it’s something out of Star Wars or 2001. It’s just like, it’s so weird and bizarre in contrast to the very, like, you know, corporate feel of the other space outside of that, it just like. Ah man. It’s so cool. It’s just so cool.
[01:00:06] Fernanda: It is really cool. Like Danielle said , this is the scene that- it’s very easy to, I feel like, desensitize yourself to these moments that have been played to death. The theme song is, is one of them, but also like this scene in particular, right?
That has been so played and parodied. And, and we’ve seen it so much that, you know, it kind of goes into the back of your head is, you know, just this moment, more, more of a moment in pop culture than an actual. From a movie and then rewatching it. I was just like blown away by it all. Like I knew everything that was going to happen because even though I hadn’t seen the movie as a kid, I had seen the scene several times in several different ways, but like maybe not from beginning to end and not inserted in the context of the entire movie.
And it’s just like, it’s so incredibly tense. And the tension is so well built. And, you know, even the guy, the poor shmuck who has to, you know, be poisoned and vomit a lot- (laughs)
(Danielle: “I feel bad for that guy!”)
[01:01:15] Fernanda: He’s in charge of a very, very sensitive thing and being the only person in charge of a very, very sensitive thing must be terrible on your bowels as it is.
He’s like him coming in and out of the room and, you know, the drop of sweat and the decibels be measured with the rats. And Joe had those struggling to keep the- “toast!”- and then Jean Reno struggling to keep the rope. And then we see Ethan also struggling to keep his balance. Like it’s so tense and it also has like a little space for humor and everything it’s just really is, there is a reason why this scene has been played to death.
It is extremely, extremely good. But since you pick that, I’m going to go with a scene that I mentioned in my nickname. And that I’ve said before, the tunnel is just absurd. It’s bizarre.. It’s ridiculous. Jean Reno follows the train with a helicopter into the tunnel. I don’t know if that’s physically possible.
Can helicopters do that? Can they fly in that straight line inside a tunnel and not like banging against the walls and crash? (Paul: “don’t worry about it…”) I’m not, I’m not, I’m just marveling at it. I don’t know if the Myth Busters is went into it at one point,
[01:02:37] Fernanda: And then he tries to kill Tom Cruise with the freaking helix of the helicopter, ala Ray Romano in ER, like.
[01:02:46] Fernanda: And Tom Cruise is meanwhile, balancing himself on the train, trying to escape the helicopter while inside- and then they show like next, oh, they the news clip talking about how the helicopter lost control and ended up in a tunnel. And the accident was a technical malfunction. And let’s let us not forget that it involves Jon Voight dying in a very gruesome way, because it shows like him sort of being torn apart by the helicopter.
And it is graphic. I’m going to go with this-
[01:03:20] Paul: Yeah, payback. Payback for Jack.
[01:03:22] Fernanda: Payback for Jack, maybe Emilio Estevez is the helicopter? Who knows? Maybe he reincarnated as a helicopter. I don’t know.
[01:03:32] Danielle: He died by the blade now. He lives by the blades. There it is.
(Paul and Fernanda laugh. Paul: “Oh shiiiiiit”)
[01:03:39] Fernanda: Amazing. So see, Danielle always talks about the lesbian utopia that should follow every movie.
I’m going to talk about how Emilio Estevez should come back at the end of every movie as like a transformer and just have his revenge. I don’t know if that’s how transformers work. I’ve never seen it. So yeah, I feel like that covers a lot of it before we move on. I just want to ask from both of you, if, if you guys have anything that you want to add, that we haven’t touched on.
[01:04:13] Paul: Not really. I think I think I’ve said everything I needed to about this masterpiece. Anything that I missed we’ll we’ll be in our lovely show notes post. So if you want any juicy, additional trivia tidbits with links, I’ll throw them in there.
[01:04:27] Fernanda: You guys have notes!
[01:04:28] Danielle: I don’t have anything extra, but yeah, I feel like these notes are even beefier than usual and I’m so excited about it.
There’s such good notes. I get excited about notes. Okay. Notes are thing for me.
[01:04:40] Fernanda: I love notes. If I could just write notes forever. Instead of like actual things, because notes are easier,
[01:04:50] Fernanda: I will say, because this is payday may. One little tidbit that I found on the Hollywood reporter: Cruise is one of the last “dollar-one gross” in the business. So box office receipts are key to his compensation. And then on parenthesis, he makes much more from the films. Then the studio does.
Imagine being Tom Cruise. You’ll see it in the notes. I put some snippets from what I could find online, kind of explaining how he became how he was able to make so much money. He’s also a producer. So there’s that, but like how he was able to make so much money and it had to do, there was a very complicated explanation in this old Slate article that he kind of, the, it goes into the sort of idea of gross revenue and not only box office, but video distribution deals and how he was able to get a margin from like a percentage from the general revenue.
And not just, it’s a whole thing, but yes, that’s needless to say, Mr. Cruise is doing very well for himself. Money-wise I don’t know, in other aspects of his life. But, that doesn’t pertain to us so, this was certainly a very fitting pick for Payday May. So I guess that settles it, we’ve all made our cases.
Paul made a really passionate plea for this movie that I, I kind of have a feeling Paul, as to where you’re going to put it when we answer our final segment, which as you all know, by now, is called Shelf Life.
(Mellow synth music plays)
[01:06:42] Fernanda: So shelf life, as a reminder to those of you who are our usual customers and as an introduction. So those of you who are just coming in for the first time, this is the part of the show where we decide where the movie we just discussed belongs in our video store. If it’s a bonafide staff pick. To be displayed proudly, if it is a middle aisle pick, which, you know, not amazing, but not bad, either respectable or if it just sucks and we’re just sending it straight to the dumpster outback, a distinct honor that so far has only been bestowed upon Wild Wild West.
[01:07:24] Danielle: It’s true though. It’s gotten close with, I’ll be honest- I’m thinking about a retroactive one at times, you know?
[01:07:34] Fernanda: Yeah. Just last week we had Batman, 1989’s Batman sniff the dumpster.
[01:07:40] Danielle: (Paul laughs)
it’s sniffin’ that dumpster, remember? So
[01:07:44] Fernanda: But it made it to the middle aisle. So we’ll start with Paul who picked the movie again. I think what kind of know, Paul, but where are you putting Mission Impossible in our video store.
[01:07:59] Paul: So, yeah, I, I think it’s a nice alternative, especially at the time to the Bond series and it kind of spawned its own thing.
That I kinda hope does eventually live on post Cruise in a way that’s still kind of faithful to the original series where we’ve got to find another weirdo to do all the stunts, but yeah, I don’t know. I think it it’s one of my favorites, but I, but it’s not something that I would necessarily put in like my top 10 of all time kind of things, but I would be okay with the middle aisle placement.
I think it’s a, it’s a solid, you know, action movie that you can even have on in the background. And, and again, you can watch it over and over again in the background or attend attentively if you, if you so choose. But I think, I think a middle aisle outplacement would be cool. And I also maybe suggested adding a sticker on here that says “Paul really loves this one!”
[01:08:46] Paul: If that means anything, maybe you’ll like it!
[01:08:49] Fernanda: Like in Seinfeld when they have like Vincent’s picks or something when they go to the video store, like it’s not the necessarily the staff picks, but we have a little Paul distinction.
[01:09:03] Paul: It’s a tiny little part of the shelf.
[01:09:04] Fernanda: I love it. We’ll put a little like metal, like thing, like a gold metal saying Paul loves this. Paul approved.
[01:09:14] Danielle: It should be like a formula one, like thumbs up somehow like a F1 gloved, thumbs up. I’m feeling something like that for your pie. I’m sorry. I just made something up for you. But yeah,
[01:09:26] Fernanda: It will stand out. I’ve got to say, I’m surprised. I thought you were going to advocate for staff picks but maybe you also knew this was, this could have been a losing battle. I dunno.
[01:09:35] Paul: No, I just, I think – I dunno if I wouldn’t necessarily put it up there with the likes of The Core or Lionheart (Danielle and Fernanda laugh) you know what I mean? Yeah. It’s, it’s good, but it’s it ain’t that good in my, in my eyes. I think it’s, I love it. I love it dearly, but it’s not like a, yeah. It’s not like that good.
[01:09:54] Fernanda: What about you, Danielle? I think I have a hint because you kind of mentioned that on the notes, but I don’t know if Paul’s passion for the movie swayed you either way.
Where are you placing Mission Impossible?
[01:10:05] Danielle: I got to say, I appreciate Paul’s passion for the movie for sure. And I’ve really enjoyed talking about it. And and also reading Paul’s notes again, that are spectacular. You should go to fanbyte.com and read them because they’re really, really good.
But yeah, I think it’s a rock solid middle aisle pick. And I will say like, there are very, very good movies in the middle aisle. I think Nightcrawler is a fantastic piece of art that made it to the middle, just cause it wasn’t like a personal favorite, but it’s still like super, super solid movie. This I think is just like a really, really good, super solid rock-solid action movie that – I’m thinking high up in the middle aisle personally.
I think it’s pretty fucking awesome. Not, not a favorite, I wouldn’t say, but like definitely a really, really good movie, a solid pick.
[01:10:48] Paul: Like if Tom cruise were to walk in, it would be eye level with Tom Cruise up high on the shelf.
You knowI think he’s like my height so I can’t make fun of him too much. (laughs)
[01:10:59] Fernanda: Why put it in the staff picks if you couldn’t even pick it up from there? I feel like that would be a disservice to Tom.
[01:11:06] Paul: It’s also, for me, I can’t reach, I can’t reach it. As a short king myself.
[01:11:08] Fernanda: I absolutely agree with you. I think this really has like the middle aisle DNA, if that makes any sense. Like, I felt again entirely different vibes, but kind of like a felt about The Bodyguard.
Like it just, it just feels middle aisle-y if that makes any sense, but in a, in a good way, sometimes middle aisle-y can be bad. Cause it’s like, it just doesn’t really evoke any particular emotion, like the case of, of Batman last week. But no, I feel like this is just Just a solid little piece of action and, and, and shriek.
And I am totally okay with putting it a little higher up there and putting a little Paul disclaimer so that our customers know, know what’s up. Know what’s up.
[01:11:58] Paul: Yeah. It’s like a Tamayo seal of quality, you know?
[01:12:04] Fernanda: Well, with all that said and our verdict issued. That will be all for this week. I want to thank you, both my co-hosts for joining me today.
I want to thank you at home for listening. We do hope that you come back to our friendly neighborhood video store next week, as we continue payday may. And we got to say, we are struggling a bit with the third movie of the month, so we welcome your help. We were actually trying to find movies in which women of color got paid big bucks for, and surprisingly to no one there aren’t many.
So we might do the opposite next week and do kind of like an inverted theme and talk about women who were underpaid for movies that they should have been paid for. So we would welcome your suggestions in our little discord chat. If you’re so inclined, if you like the work we do, and you want to show some support, you can do so by rating and reviewing our show on apple podcasts or by rating us on Spotify.
So we can hopefully get on more Raiders because these VHS rewinders break all the time. And I gotta say, they are not cheap. You can check out our other podcasts over at fanbyte.com/podcasts. You can follow us on Twitter @fanbytemedia, you can follow us on Instagram @fanbyte, TikTok @fanbyte. And of course on fanbyte.com, which like we already said, we’ll have a little text about the episode with notes in a new innovation brought on by again, our amazing producer, Paul “TOAST” Tamayo, and that is transcripts of our little conversations. Very cool.
[01:13:51] Paul: Yeah. I want to just real quick, shout that out. I’m really proud of that. I’m going to try, I’m definitely committing to doing them for each episode. So I’ll also include a link to these show notes. So if you want to just like actually kind of read them and read them as you listen or download them as a PDF, it’ll be available and it’ll have links to stuff and images.
So it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be cool.
[01:14:10] Fernanda: Amazing. See, listeners how spoiled you all are. Love you so much, we’ll do anything for you. So yeah, also you can watch our streams on Twitch.tv/Fanbyte. And again, join us for our little discord channel where we discuss the movies and I guess talk shit about some people.
Cause that’s fun. That will be all for next week until next time. You love to see it.