Tulsa TV Memories      

"Mission: Impossible" (1996)

The most expensive Scooby-Doo movie ever made


"Mission: Impossible 1" true story:

My wife recently expressed a desire to see this movie on Netflix. I claimed we had seen it at our local drive-in back when we were dating. She was shocked and said she hadn't seen it before...was that another girlfriend? (This joke is trotted out on the occasions when the jointness of a "joint memory" is in dispute.)

I'm not an especially big fan of either Tom Cruise or bloated Hollywood pictures, so I wasn't keen on sitting through it again, but I agreed to put it at the top of our Netflix list, swell husband that I am.

After we watched it, she still had no memory of having seen it before.

When I woke up the next morning, I realized that I hadn't seen it before, either, because Thandie Newton was in the one we did see, which was MI2.

I had superimposed my memory of the MI1 ads (Cruise hanging from the ceiling, Cruise hanging from a bullet train) over my meager memory of MI2. She had forgotten MI2 entirely.

It's an impressive series that possesses the eerie power to wipe itself from the minds of its viewers.

My hypothesis is that when a plot is arbitrary and unbelievable, the mind has more difficulty hanging onto its detail than Cruise did hanging onto that speeding train.

(I once rode in the cockpit of a 200 mph TGV in France. Even Gov. Schwarzenegger wouldn't have had a chance of hanging on.)

Now, lest you begin to insinuate that I may be a victim of early-onset Alzheimer's, not only did I like David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive" (a very convoluted movie), but in the lobby afterwards, I was able to reconstruct the true nature and time sequence of its events -- and it made sense.

8/15/2006: I can make no such claim about Shane Carruth's rigorous and mind-bending time travel movie, "Primer". Far more convoluted than "Mulholland Drive", its astoundingly low $7,000 budget probably wouldn't cover the Tylenol tab on an MI picture.

After watching Cruise's character pull a rubber head mask off a couple of times, I thought maybe at the end of the show, it would be revealed that Cruise himself was played by Scooby-Doo.

Which would have made MI1 the most expensive, but least sensible Scooby-Doo picture ever.

"Mission: Impossible" official site.
Copyright © 2004, M. Ransom. All rights reserved.

(Memo to self: Plan to not see MI3. But in five years, will I know for sure if I succeeded in my mission? Impossible to say.)

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