Hey, y’all! This week on Cinemavino, we take another long look at an epic spy sequel: Mission Impossible III. MI3 came at an odd juncture in Tom Cruise’s career. He was at the peak of his box office power, and yet his reputation had taken an enormous hit from his recent outspokenness about Scientology, and his whirlwind romance of Katie Holmes. Cruise had long been a private superstar, but 2005-06 saw him jumping on Oprah’s couch, falling out with Steven Spielberg, squabbling with the creators of South Park, losing his production deal with Paramount, and trading barbs with Matt Lauer on The Today Show.
All that adds up to a publicity disaster, one from which Cruise may never fully recover. Thankfully, none of that seeps into the finished product of MI3. Director J.J. Abrams sidesteps the controversy by simply delivering a good movie–the best in the series up to then, in fact. It was lasting proof that, whatever flaws and eccentricities he may have, Cruise was still a movie star, and Ethan Hunt still had lots of movie life left in him.
On a side note, we recorded this episode on a Sunday, which–in an incredible twist of fate–rhymes with Funday. And a staple of any respectable Sunday Funday is bubbly, where it’s in a mimosa or all by its lonesome. We recorded multiple episodes this night (as we often do), and we kicked things off with a solid bottle of sparkling wine: The Brut from Roederer Estate, an offshoot winery from the fine folks who gave us Cristal Champagne. This particular bubbly is loaded with notes of anise, pear, and dry minerality. Think of this to pair with dessert, or an affordable ($25-30ish) sparkling to raise in a toast. Or, you can knock a little back with a pretty good spy flick!
As always, we may have a few mild spoilers here and there, so be advised. Enjoy!