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Daily Reads: A Stuntman Picks Tom Cruise’s Best Stunts, ‘Mad Style’ Returns, and More

Daily Reads: A Stuntman Picks Tom Cruise's Best Stunts, 'Mad Style' Returns, and More

Criticwire’s Daily Reads brings today’s essential news
stories and critical pieces to you.

1. Tom Cruise’s Stunts, Reviewed. Tom Cruise has been running, jumping off buildings and doing other crazy shit on film for some thirty years, but Vulture’s Bilge Ebiri asked stuntman Randy Butcher to review 10 of Cruise’s most famous stunts:

Mission: Impossible” (1996): Breaking into Langley, suspended on a wire. This is the wire gag that everybody copied forever. I’ve personally copied it myself. That’s Tom, hands down. It’s a pretty contrived scene, but I was on the edge of my seat. He’s in a harness, and they’re using some Spectra Rope, which is better than cable. Whether it’s 30 or 40 feet, Tom is absolutely in that harness, using his own stomach muscles and his own balance to maintain that position and that shot. They don’t cut away from it at all. The fact that we can always see that it’s Tom really helps make the scene. There’s a profile shot of him over the computer, and you can actually sense his struggle to maintain that balance, which really adds to it. I know it’s not cool to like Tom Cruise anymore, but I’m a fan of his. I think he’s an underrated actor. His physical mannerisms complement what’s happening inside his mind. I like watching him act. Read more.

2. Don’t Blame “Kimmy Schmidt.” 
Celebrity dermatologist Dr. Fredric Brandt was found dead of a suicide recently, and some have blamed the parody of him in “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Tyler Coates of Decider believes that’s a mistake:

“[T]he show was not the reason for his depression, and it was not the reason he would take his own life,” Brandt’s publicist Jacquie Trachtenberg told Page Six, but she also offered strong words about the Dr. Franff character. “The show definitely hurt him,” she said, “he was being made fun of because of the way he looks. It is mean, and it was bullying.” Mean? I can see how you’d think so. Bullying? Hardly. The fact of the matter is, Brandt looked the way he looked because he made himself look that way. Yes, his own obsession with his appearance most likely speaks to a deeper problem — but again, that’s all assumption on my part. I have no way of knowing what was going on in Brandt’s head, and neither did Fey and Carlock. Read more.

3. The Style of “Mad Men.” Bloggers Tom and Lorenzo file their latest installment of “Mad Style,” analyzing the fashion in the latest episode of “Mad Men.”

Yes, this episode was all about the man hair – and the fact that it exploded in this decade, to the point that even men in their fifties were growing out their sideburns and shag. Yet another of the show’s examples of how the counter culture styles trickled up and out to the mainstream. But these are all minor and low-key examples of the shagginess to come. Except for Stan, who’s had several years’ head start, most of these hairstyles don’t even come close to the full glory of the male mane in the seventies. For Ken, Roger, Pete and Ted, this is merely starter hair. By ’72, they’ll all look like pimps. Bear in mind, that this is spanning a period in which former First Lady Jackie Onassis was gallivanting all over the world in micro-minis and former President Lyndon Johnson was sporting Crosby, Stills and Nash hair. The old ways and old styles had completely broken down by this point. Read more.

The Films That Reinvented Trailers. Scott Mendelson of Forbes looks at the two 1995 films that helped reinvent movie trailers, “Goldeneye” and “Mission: Impossible.”

Yes, I  am aware that “GoldenEye” was actually the 18th 007 adventure. But for all intents-and-purposes, Pierce Brosnan’s entry into the franchise, which came six years after the box office failure of “License to Kill” left the franchise’s long term future in doubt, was something of a soft reboot back before Hollywood felt the need to retell the origin story every friggin time. Anyway, the initial teaser trailer announced that James Bond was back in movie theaters during the summer of 1995 (attached to “Species”) showed off Pierce Brosnan in a tuxedo, and then dove headfirst into a 50-second montage of nonstop action and excitement, offering nary a hint of voiceover, plot, or even much in the way of narrative coherence. It was arguably the first trailer to move so quickly that you could barely digest the images. Read more.

5. The Return of “Louie.” Sonia Saraiya of Salon praises the new season of “Louie”:

But as the show has matured, C.K. has devoted seasons to one or two topics he finds fascinating. Last season, it became a very personal, relationship-driven show; the season before that, C.K. was thinking more about his career, and spent several episodes contemplating a late-night TV gig. This season, it’s a bit less focused. Louie’s older; his kids are older; and he’s semi-involved with a woman he mostly loves, Pamela (Pamela Adlon, a producer on the show). “Louie” himself seems unchanged, though, and that’s the driving forward motion of the plot. He’s still apt to get sucked into a random stranger’s drama; he’s still a pushover until he abruptly decides he isn’t; he’s still rude in ways that Louis C.K. can see but Louie himself can’t, in the moment. Read more.

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