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MARINATING

Cruise movie sparks some ‘Impossible’ memories

Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 12:01 am

I finally watched “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” the most recent movie in the rebooted franchise.

Nothing against Tom Cruise, but I much prefer the old Martin Landau/Leonard Nimoy television series. (How many of you recall that “Mr. Spock” took over for a couple of years after “Rollin Hand” left the series? I guess he didn't want to get typecast as a green-skinned, pointy-eared alien.)

Maybe it was the music that made the show so enjoyable. Lalo Schifrin's melody has got to be the most recognizable (if not the best) theme song on the planet — next to, maybe, the music that plays while “Jeopardy!” contestants think.

Remember how each “Mission Impossible” episode started with team leader Jim Phelps learning of their latest task via a tape recorder cleverly hidden in a phone booth or the back seat of a taxi or the attendant's kiosk in the middle of a parking lot or the ball return in a bowling alley? (Watch your fingers!)

The assignment was always preceded by, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it ... .” Just once, I would have liked him to turn around and say to himself, “Nah, we'll pass on this one. That's impossible.”

The tape goes up in a puff of smoke. Fade out. The end. Shortest episode ever. Cinnamon, Barney, Willy and the rest of the gang get a week off.

Seriously, why does “the Secretary” even bother to ask? They never refuse.

Incidentally, Mr. Secretary, how about accepting responsibility for sending your team out on a dangerous mission? What's with the “we will disavow any knowledge of your actions” disclaimer? Suck it up, man. It's your mission. You're accountable. Don't force the IMF to unionize for better representation and working conditions.

Mike Marin is a cranky curmudgeon who, when he’s not yelling at kids to get off his lawn, likes to complain about the sad state of popular culture, especially as seen through a TV screen. His email address is marinating@tribune.com. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.