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Tom Cruise performs death-defying stunt: watching Tenet in a packed cinema | Tom Cruise

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We’ve seen him climb skyscrapers. We’ve seen him shatter his ankle leaping between buildings. We’ve seen him cling to the side of an aeroplane as it roars into the sky. But this week Tom Cruise embarked upon his most dangerous stunt yet: going to see a film, in a cinema, with other people, during the coronavirus pandemic. Truly, the man knows no fear.

On Tuesday, Cruise posted a 34-second video to Twitter. It begins with him in a car driving through London, expressing amazement that three girls on bicycles recognise him – one of the world’s most famous men, who was simultaneously waving at them and being filmed – despite him wearing a face mask. Then he pulls up outside Waterloo Imax, gestures towards a huge Tenet poster and says “Here we are, back to the movies”. He takes his seat next to the screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie. The movie starts. The audience applauds. We see a close-up of his eyes as Tenet plays before him. Then, as the film ends, Cruise shouts: “Great to be back in a movie theatre, everybody!” to his fellow moviegoers. “I loved it, I loved it,” he says as he leaves the auditorium. This might have been in reference to Tenet itself, or simply the act of sitting in a chair for two hours. We may never know.

This is just what the movie industry needs. Film’s biggest star has trained all his slightly-too-intense enthusiasm on getting bums back on seats, and the reaction – if you don’t count all the replies freaking out about how closely together everyone was sitting – was overwhelmingly positive. Cinemas are back in business, and it’s all thanks to Tom Cruise.

In truth, though, Cruise needs cinemas to be open more than most. Every day that people stay away is a day where film lovers get used to watching new releases on their televisions, and Tom Cruise is absolutely not in the small-screen business. He is, especially at this point in his career, a man of total spectacle. His films are now little more than a dozen ostentatious stunt sequences spliced together with the thinnest threads of narratives.

And that’s brilliant – show me someone who didn’t love the last three Mission: Impossible films with their whole heart and I’ll show you a corpse – but the films need theatrical releases to sing. They require collective consumption. They’re powered by the gasps and disbelieving laughs of an audience. One of my favourite cinema moments came at the end of the Parisian motorbike chase in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, when the 250 people at my screening all realised at the same time that they had been involuntarily holding their breath for the duration of the sequence.

Do hold your breath ... Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Fallout.
Do hold your breath … Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Photograph: Chiabella James/AP

Cruise’s next film is Top Gun 2 and, like the rest of his recent output, it will rely on people watching it on massive screens. The trailers barely told a story, any pretence of a recognisable three-act structure hid behind a barrage of queasily daring practical jet fighter effects. It will be an astonishing thing to watch at an Imax cinema, and much less so in a living room.

By a weird miracle, Cruise is making some of the best films of his career by harnessing cinema’s aptitude for berserk spectacle. If people stay away from cinemas for much longer, the theatrical moviegoing experience may die, and wildly expensive Tom Cruise action films will die with them. Instead, Cruise will have to once more revert to the doldrums of mid-budget dramas. Do you remember Lions for Lambs? Do you remember how bad that thing was? Nobody wants Cruise to make any more of those. So, please, buy a cinema ticket. The man needs you.

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Recast “Gossip Girl” As A ’90s Teen Drama

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OK, hear me out…Paul Rudd as Dan Humphrey???

  1. Recast Serena van der Woodsen:

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  2. Recast Blair Waldorf:

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  3. Recast Dan Humphrey:

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  4. Recast Nate Archibald:

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  5. Recast Chuck Bass:

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  6. Recast Jenny Humphrey:

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  7. Recast Vanessa Abrams:

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  8. Finally, Recast Lily van der Woodsen:

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Nostalgia Trip

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Who needs nightmares like George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky when there’s the news? | Film

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Post-apocalyptic sci-fi used to be cosy fun, like getting in from the freezing misery of a January day and snuggling down in the knowledge that, in another life, you’d still be out there shivering in torment. It’s meant to be a glimpse into a future that almost certainly won’t take place, a vision of someone else’s horrifying existence that makes us feel better about our own average lives.

And yet, watching the new trailer for George Clooney’s Oscar-bait sci-fi drama The Midnight Sky, it struck me that this is exactly the kind of movie that, in a pandemic-torn world struggling with rightwing populism and imminent environmental meltdown, is about as cosy as plunging into a bath full of ice and cut glass.

The film sees poor old George – in beardy, underplayed Syriana mode – struggling to get a message out to a group of astronauts that they might be better off staying up in space given that something terrible has happened back home. The promo hints at plenty of trudging through snow and probably some kind of heroic sacrifice, perhaps allowing the continuation of human civilisation beyond Earth’s borders. Though quite what future that would be, given that the planet appears to have suffered some kind of nuclear apocalypse, iwe don’t know.

Clooney has described the movie as a cross between Gravity and The Revenant, but it also recalls the hard-to-watch John Hillcoat drama The Road, with perhaps a hint of Snowpiercer. The only cheery thing about The Midnight Sky is the waggish musing in some parts that the white-bearded Clooney might be playing a sort-of real-life Santa, spreading joy and the gift of not dying a horrible death from radiation poisoning to the remnants of mankind from his dinky Arctic base. But this is not the rosy-cheeked little Saint Nick from Elf or the Santa Clause movies.

The trailer for The Midnight Sky arrives at the same time as news of potential reboots for two less sombre sci-fi stalwarts. Legendary Pictures wants to bring back Buck Rogers, an intriguing blend of space opera and post-apocalyptic sci-fi whose 1979 film (a TV pilot) and subsequent two-season run is fondly remembered by fans. Then there’s the long-mooted film version of Battlestar Galactica, which in its latest configuration has X-Men boss Simon Kinberg on board as writer-producer.

The latter also has elements of post-apocalyptic futurism. Although it is about humans who initially appear to have no connection to Earth, it is very much in the “mankind v machine uprising” mode. The 2004 TV reboot of Glen A Larson’s short-lived late 70s show, which arrived during the so-called war on terror, intelligently played on contemporary concerns about torture and mistreatment of enemy combatants. It asked smart questions about the nature of sentience and the soul, though flagged after a bravura first season.

How successful are new film reboots likely to be? Buck Rogers will face a struggle to balance its hard sci-fi and pulpy space thriller elements, and yet any saga that helped to popularise ray guns and cosmic space adventure ought to find its 21st-century audience. Battlestar Galactica seems better suited to TV than film, with its continuing search for a new home planet for the ragtag survivors of the machine apocalypse: no previous version has solved the puzzle of what happens once the humans have escaped their Cylon adversaries.

Kyle Chandler as Mitchell in The Midnight Sky.



Lost in space? Kyle Chandler as Mitchell in The Midnight Sky. Photograph: Philippe Antonello/Netflix/PA

In post-apocalyptic terms, these fantasies are surely the kind of movies that will warm the cockles as we hunker down for more lockdown with one hopeful eye on the US presidential election, amid the nagging fear that the world’s leading narcissist might do something really crazy if he loses this time. Films such as The Midnight Sky seem a little too chilling and close to home for comfort.

Yet one of the most popular movies on Netflix at the height of the first wave of Covid-19, was the 2011 pandemic thriller Contagion, which suggests confronting the horror of one’s realities can give a thrill. But give me a good ray gun and some swashbuckling cosmic heroism any day when we only have to turn on the news to feel truly terrified.


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Halloween Movies To Watch Based On Your Haunted House

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