Tom Cruise lifts Mission: Impossible — Fallout to a new series best

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The Mission: Impossible – Fallout is eyeing a North American debut between $50 million and $65 million. (Paramount Pictures)
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“Fallout” is by far the most expensive film in the Mission: Impossible series with a $178 million price tag. (Paramount Pictures)
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“Fallout” is by far the most expensive film in the Mission: Impossible series with a $178 million price tag. (Paramount Pictures)
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“Fallout” is by far the most expensive film in the Mission: Impossible series with a $178 million price tag. (Paramount Pictures)
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Tom Cruise, who performs all his own stunts, has described the Abu Dhabi skydive as “one of [my] most dangerous stunts yet.” (Paramount Pictures)
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The Mission: Impossible – Fallout is eyeing a North American debut between $50 million and $65 million. (Paramount Pictures)
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The Mission: Impossible – Fallout is eyeing a North American debut between $50 million and $65 million. (Paramount Pictures)
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“Fallout” is by far the most expensive film in the Mission: Impossible series with a $178 million price tag. (Paramount Pictures)
Updated 26 July 2018

Tom Cruise lifts Mission: Impossible — Fallout to a new series best

  • With the series, Tom Cruise was, as its producer, very consciously launching his own action franchise
  • This series is a set-piece delivery mechanism, and its stories and central character are only there to make those moments happen

Through 22 years and six entries, there is no question as to what the driving force of the Mission: Impossible film franchise is—it’s Tom Cruise. With the series, Cruise was, as its producer, very consciously launching his own action franchise, and each entry since has been guided first and foremost by what stunt he wanted to perform next.
Writers on the second entry in 2000 said that the script was mainly a matter of fitting together the action set pieces that Cruise had already mandated and planned for the film. Now, 18 years later, writer/director Christopher McQuarrie has stated that the latest entry, “Mission: Impossible - Fallout,” featuring a skydiving sequence filmed in Abu Dhabi, began with Cruise saying he would like to pilot a helicopter in a chase.
It’s no wonder that the plots of this series feel so incidental. American poet Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I’m near certain that she was talking about this film franchise. What you remember, as the story of each film self-destructs five seconds after you leave the cinema, is the moments—Cruise hanging from the ceiling, Cruise dangling off the Burj Khalifa, Cruise strapped to the side of a plane. This series is a set-piece delivery mechanism, and its stories and central character—the IMF agent Ethan Hunt—are only there to make those moments happen.


What is Fallout about? The previous installment’s terror group is back, they’ve got plutonium, and they plan to set off nuclear bombs. Ethan Hunt must pose as a terrorist and try to get the plutonium before they have the chance. That’s the plot, anyways. What this film is really about is Ethan Hunt, and how he goes about achieving his goals.

In Fallout, the name of the franchise is the key—each task that Hunt must complete starts off seeming difficult, and as it plays out, quickly seems truly impossible. Each sequence sets the stakes and then continues to raise them, giving this film a palpable tension unlike any action film has delivered in recent memory. But even as the odds get longer, and we the audience question how Hunt will manage to succeed, Hunt himself, even through all the punishment he takes, never loses faith—he will, simply, find a way.
This resonates because we believe it, too—not in the character, but in Cruise himself. In a series that has always relied on practical effects, we know, and are told over and over again, that this is really a 56-year-old Tom Cruise up there, risking his life, defying age, doing what no other person on Earth would dream of doing. Cruise is still the world’s best movie star, and best action star, because he decides he can be. It’s a faith that’s truly infectious. As stressful as this film is, it’s also, without a doubt, the year’s most uplifting, and life-affirming.

 

 


Saudi streamers seek gaming glory during COVID-19 crisis

Twitch’s top channels during April included Saudi Arabia’s ixxYjYxxi, which recorded 210,257 views in 44 hours of streaming during the month. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 13 July 2020

Saudi streamers seek gaming glory during COVID-19 crisis

  • Saudi streamers in particular have also enjoyed great success on Twitch

RIYADH: As the Arab world emerges from lockdown, the data obtained from the period of forced confinement shows what the region’s gaming community has been up to, most notably on one streaming website that has gamers in the region “doing the Twitch.”
The coronavirus lockdown in the Middle East sparked a significant increase in the platform’s Arabic-language content, with Arabic streams more than doubling during March and April.
Twitch allows users to broadcast their gameplay live to fans around the world, and the website announced a total of 62,582 active streams as countries across the region followed strict social distancing rules.
Saudi streamers in particular have also enjoyed great success on Twitch. The platform’s top channels during April included Saudi Arabia’s ixxYjYxxi, which recorded 210,257 views in 44 hours of streaming during the month, and RakanooLive, with more than 561,000 hours of watch time.
Whether it is for attention, to show off their skills or even as a way to make money, Saudi streamers spoke to Arab News about why they choose to broadcast their gameplay, and why viewers find it appealing.
Fahad Alshiha, a member of Saudi gaming news website TrueGaming, also streams on an independent Twitch channel where he has garnered over 16,000 views.
He has been streaming for over 5 years as a way to share his gaming skills while being able to interact with his viewers.
“Streaming is popular because viewers find it entertaining,” he told Arab News. “It’s like watching a famous TV show, where people tune in to see the new episode. It’s popular with the streamers themselves because they get attention, and sometimes even money. But I think the majority are doing it to just have fun.”
Erum Alnafjan, a financial collector, said that she enjoyed watching streamers for a variety of reasons, playing games she was familiar with and games she was not.
“Some games I wouldn’t play myself, but I’m interested enough to see what they’re about,” she told Arab News. “Some streamers make it entertaining. And sometimes I watch games I’ve already played just to see how they would go about it.”
Ahmad   Suliman, a  senior   manager and a “father of three gamers,” enjoyed watching streams, but had specific criteria regarding what sort of streams he would or would not watch.

It’s like watching a famous TV show, where people tune in to see the new episode.

Fahd Alshiha

“The only two values I watch streams for are the funny reactions, such as rage or trash talking, or information about the gaming world and industry. If they don’t engage me in the first 10 to 15 minutes, it’ll be a hard pass,” he told Arab News.
However, the surge in streamer popularity is unlikely to remain sustainable, as people begin to move forward post-lockdown and many beginner streamers realize that streaming is not quite for them.
Fajr Bantan, a former gaming streamer, said that he stopped streaming partly due to real-life reasons and also because it was not what he thought it would be.
“To be honest, I thought it was just about gaming and showing my skills, but it appears it is more than that,” he told Arab News. “You have to engage with your audience and entertain them, whether it’s by chatting, doing their challenges, responding to their requests, and so on.”
It is undeniable that Arabic-language streams have made a mark on the Twitch ecosystem, and official statistics from Twitch back that up. According to Twitch, the number of streams in Arabic increased by 95.3 percent in March — compared to numbers from the previous year using a year-over-year analysis — and 109.9 percent in April.
The figures also pinpoint the surge’s hotspots as the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
The MENA region has the world’s most active gaming community and, at 25 percent year-on-year growth, the fastest growing online gaming population in the world.
A recent white paper from internet company Tencent, creators of one of the region’s most popular mobile games PUBG Mobile, the MENA gaming market will be worth some $6 billion by 2021, up from $4.8 billion in 2019.
But, as the demand for Arabic content on Twitch grows, Arab streamers hope that the platform will be just as willing to accommodate their feedback as they did their language.
Alshiha said there was a huge Arabic Twitch community, but Twitch needed to work on meeting their needs in order to keep them engaged, such as easing some of the restrictions on their Twitch Partner program, which allows streamers to monetize their content, among other benefits.
“They need to relax some of their criteria in order to make their ‘partner’ program more accessible. We would also love if Twitch opened dedicated servers in the region to accommodate the influx of streamers,” he said.