We don’t know much about Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the latest instalment of Tom Cruise’s globe-trotting action franchise, except that it involves a battle between the good guys of the IMF (among them series veterans Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner) and a nefarious dark-ops unit known only as the Syndicate. Oh, and also that Cruise’s Ethan Hunt will once again dangle from something really, really high: in this case, a freakin’ airplane. But the real question is whether audiences who’ve seen Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief can still accept Cruise as a super-cool man of action. But then Mission: Impossible III opened just a few weeks after the whole Oprah’s-couch incident, so maybe it won’t matter at all. July 31
Imagine for a moment that Samuel L. Jackson is president of the United States. Cool, right? The man exudes simmering authority. Now imagine that President Samuel L. Jackson’s plane is attacked by terrorists over Europe, forcing him to crash-land in the remote Finnish mountains with only a teenage boy (Onni Tommila) to help him. That’s the premise of Jalmari Helander’s Big Game, and it’s actually sillier and more involving than you might think – just ask anyone who caught it at TIFF last year. You can see it ahead of its theatrical release when NOW screens it at the Royal as this month’s Free Flick Monday. That’s cool, too.
Opens July 10 Free Flick Monday screening July 6
Batman Versus Batman
Are you a Keaton fan or a Bale booster? A Burton stalwart or a Nolan diehard? The two visions of the Caped Crusader square off in TIFF’s summer edition of Versus, which pits two Toronto film critics against each another in a battle to the aesthetic death. And this time it’s personal: I myself will be going to, um, bat for Tim Burton’s Batman Returns on July 28, while Twitch’s Jason Gorber stands up for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight on August 4. Host Anne T. Don-a-hue will do her best to keep us from lighting each other on fire the winner will be declared August 11 with a special screening of a Bat-film to be named later.