A Real Leap of Faith

There are movies that transcend entertainment and invite audiences into an experience. This could mean a fantasy world like Star Wars, or a park filled with prehistoric dinosaurs.

Or, in rare cases, real-life moments in the purest sense.

The 15:17 to Paris is as close as you can get to a shot-for-shot remake of the literal heroism of the three American friends who faced down a terrorist with his small arsenal of guns and weapons on a foreign train in order to protect themselves and complete strangers. In many ways, this film could’ve only come from Clint Eastwood; the idea to use the real people and the initiative to tackle this specific story. And don’t forget that casting the real people (Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler) was a risky calculation by Mr. Eastwood. Regardless, watching these heroes leap toward the terrorist to save lives will be something special.

Everybody should see The 15:17 to Paris starting tomorrow not because it’s projected as a blockbuster hit at the box office or as brilliant cinema, but instead to see on the big screen what Clint Eastwood saw in these three American men who reacted to the worst kind of adversity in the best way imaginable.

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Looks Practically Impossible. And Yet…

If you thought Tom Cruise’s stunt scaling the Burj Khalifa in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol was insane…

I’m trying to find words, but this is one of those videos that speaks for itself.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout premieres July 27.

RIP John Mahoney

Famed actor John Mahoney died this past Sunday at 77.

Best known for his role as Frasier Crane’s dad, Mr. Mahoney entertained TV and movie audiences with his affable personality for more than three decades. Celebrated for his extensive acting career, perhaps it’s best that most connect him with the Martin Crane character. Inside the fictional high-society world of Frasier, old Marty Crane was a relatable reality to viewers. And he did so with humor and goodness.

If you ask me, that’s a pretty great legacy.

Next time you’re drinking a beer (especially if you can find a Ballantine), raise a glass to Martin Crane John Mahoney.  

Happy Monday!

Something very strange happened last night:

An NFL game was actually entertaining from start to finish.

Super Bowl 52 between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots was a virtual offensive free for all as both teams combined for more than 1,000 years of total offense. Damn! And despite the final two and a half minutes playing out all-too-perfectly for a Tom Brady-led comeback win, the unthinkable happened:

A Tom Brady fumble was called a fumble.

Even with an unbeatable 41-33 lead, Eagles fans held their breath on the final Hail Mary pass by Mr. Brady. Fortunately for fans in the city of brotherly love, that pass fell to the ground as an incompletion. However, what’s not incomplete is the Super Bowl trophy case in Philadelphia as the Eagles claimed their first Lombardi Trophy in Minneapolis last night.

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Now for the actual half of the Super Bowl:

Justin Timberlake.

Playing a medley of past hits (with new song “Filthy” to kick it off), it was more of a high-energy dancing blitz than anything else. Which, given the short nature of the Super Bowl halftime show, should have been expected. Having said that, the tribute to Minnesota’s favorite son Prince was special, as was the stroll into the crowd with the Super Bowl selfie kid who looked too busy googling who Justin Timberlake was instead of living in the moment.

Now for the other half of the Super Bowl:

The commercials.

The night kicked-off (not that kick-off) with the highly-anticipated second trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and it was incredible. It appears a more intimate and scarier sequel has been engineered for summer audiences to enjoy on the edge of their seats starting June 22.

(Clever nod to Spielberg’s BFG)

Movie trailers have evolved as verifiable commercials during the Super Bowl, somewhat replacing the previous showcase for Budweiser’s creative talents. There’s an art to producing a creative, engaging movie trailer.

Speaking of which…

The first Mission: Impossible – Fallout trailer premiered with Tom Cruise and Co. looking engaged in practical effect stunts that may have dropped the jaws of viewers.

(Was that Spectre in the beginning?)

Get ready for July 27.

Turning to TV, Westworld debuted a second season teaser with a premiere date of April 22 that will excite its fans for a definitive return to the mind-bending park of our dreams (and nightmares…).

There were a lot of clever ads last night (Pringles, Wendy’s, Mountain Dew, Budweiser and Stella Artois’ water ads, Tourism Australia), but there was one clear winner in my book.

And to think the Super Bowl life is just one giant Tide commercial.

Tide finds a way…

Have a Better Week Than Last Week.