As listeners of Hypable’s Cinema Hype have recently become aware, this writer has a deathly fear of heights and was advised therefore to not see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol on an IMAX screen. If I had heeded this advice, I would have been robbed of one of the most exhilarating film experiences of the year.

No one was sure what to expect when a fourth Mission Impossible film was greenlit, but as casting information was slowly revealed and Pixar directing guru Brad Bird was chosen to direct, it seemed that Ghost Protocol was shaping up to be better than its predecessors.

Well, the proof is in the pudding now. Ghost Protocol has proven that Ethan Hunt isn’t done yet, and director Brad Bird proves that an imagination that doesn’t confine itself to the rules of live-action film-making will produce the best result.

It would have been so easy to create a static action film around Ethan Hunt, the smoother than smooth action-spy extraordinaire, but Ghost Protocol went a different route completely and decided to not make this just any other mission.

A bombing at an international landmark leads to the disbanding of the Hunt’s organization, IMF. Because of this, a rogue team (featuring the beautiful Paula Patton [Precious, Hitch] rising star Jeremy Renner [The Hurt Locker, The Town] and funny-man Simon Pegg [Shaun of the Dead, Paul]) must assemble to stop the real terrorists before they can successfully steal a live missile launch code.

The stakes are (literally) sky-high in this feature that promises the beginning of the nuclear holocaust should Hunt and his team fail. Their mission takes them to a half a dozen unique locations, each with its own unexpected twist that forces the team to think on their feet.

Speaking of thinking on their feet, what an excellent idea it was to take Brad Bird (the director of The Incredibles and executive consultant of the first 180 episodes of The Simpsons) and put him into the Mission Impossible franchise. That amount of creativity and exquisite mastery of clever plot devices that makes the Pixar films so identifiable is ever-present in this installment of the Mission Impossible franchise. One can almost see the animated movie underneath, and this works to Bird’s advantage.

The movie begins with a larger than life and ostentatious opening credit sequence. It’s almost cartoon-y in its composition, but then again, so is the rest of the film. For most of Ghost Protocol, Cruise and his team are acting on the fly, relying on impulses and hunches to get them through their mission. In a film that takes itself too seriously, this would have seemed unrealistic and recklessly dangerous.

Under Bird’s supervision, the entire movie is dashed with humor, cool gadgets, risky plans, and more than a pinch of Pixar’s trademark cleverness. Who’s idea was it for an action set-piece that takes place in one of those ridiculous automated parking structures? How about a car-chase through a sand-storm? How about gecko-scaling the tallest building in the world?

Christopher Nolan once remarked that he wanted to bring the spectacle back to movie-making, and Brad Bird has absolutely done this. During the sweeping action scenes, I found myself on the edge of my seat, gripping the cup-holder on either side of me. This is not something that happens often. I found myself sucked into the experience, and I also found that when Brad Bird isn’t handling his audience with kid-gloves, he can have a pretty firm grip.

I was happy to spend my money on Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. It, like many films choosing to film using IMAX technology, has brought spectacle back into movie theaters where it belongs.

Grade: A

Rated: PG-13 (for sequences of intense action and violence )

Mission Impossible:Ghost Protocol opened in limited IMAX release on December 16; it opens nationwide December 21.

Uh oh — fans of Nick and Jess aren’t going to like this news! Megan Fox is returning to New Girl in season 6 for a major arc.

Last season, Megan Fox stepped in to fill in Jess’ place while Zooey Deschanel was on maternity leave. During that time, Fox’s character Regan grew quite close to Nick! They even ended up going to Cece and Schmidt’s wedding together and made plans for the summer. With awful timing too, since it seemed like Jess was just about ready to admit her feelings for Nick.

Now TV Line is reporting that Fox will be returning for a huge story arc in New Girl season 6. It’s believed that Nick will return home from his summer with Regan alone, but she will appear around the middle of the season. The timing of her appearance is due to Fox’s own pregnancy with her third child.

If we had to guess, we’d say that the writers will definitely be throwing some angst into the script. It always seems like either Jess or Nick is pining for the other while they’re in a relationship. Will Jess try to get over her feelings for Nick with someone else? Or will she just try to show him why they should be together? Fans will have to wait and see when the show returns!

New Girl season 6 returns to Fox on September 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET!

Are you excited to see Megan Fox return to ‘New Girl’?

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Tyler Hoechlin as Superman! We have our first look at the Man of Steel on Supergirl.

Supergirl has released its first look at Teen Wolf alum Tyler Hoechlin as the Man of Steel. Hoechlin will appear in the first two episodes of Supergirl season 2, and he and Kara won’t be completely on the same page.

“Clark has a very different experience of what it means to have super powers on earth,” EP Sarah Schechter said at SDCC. “There’s some head-butting and philosophical approaches that are different. We’ll get into that.”

Check out the shot of the super-cousins below. The Superman suit was designed by Kiersten Ronning, the Supergirl costume designer.

Supergirl season 2 Superman

Clark Kent/Superman appeared in a mostly off-screen capacity in season 1 as Supergirl sought to keep the focus on Kara and establish her as the hero of her own story. With Kara’s story now established and the audience invested in her as a person, the show will be bringing in her famous cousin.

“In season 1, the show is about Kara and the show is about Supergirl. It would confuse matters to have Superman there,” Schechter explained. “This show is about family, the family you make as an adult and the family you came from. It makes sense for Kara to reconnect with him now.”

Hoechlin previously said of his approach to Clark/Superman:

“I don’t think that I’m going to try to take any inspiration from previous ones. For me it’s more about finding who he is in this story that we’re telling, and pulling that from the tradition of Superman as a whole, so I really want to be able to get through as many of the comics and things that I haven’t seen and really pull from things like that, and then within the story that we’re telling, find how that best serves that story.”

Supergirl season 2 premieres Monday, October 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET on The CW.

What do you think of Superman’s look for ‘Supergirl’?

Intellectual property law may prevent Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report from appearing on The Late Show, but it cannot stop his identical twin cousin.

Last week, Stephen Colbert brought a familiar face to visit The Late Show. Tucked away in the woods living happily ever after with Jon Stewart was Colbert’s character, host of The Colbert Report, champion of America, Her Excellency The Rev. Sir Doctor Stephen Tyrone Mos Def Colbert, D.F.A., Heavyweight Champion of the World** featuring Flo Rida La Premiere Dame De France. Or Stephen Colbert for short.

Colbert resisted bringing the character to The Late Show, choosing to introduce the world to the real Stephen Colbert. But the Republican National Convention selecting Donald Trump as their candidate for President demanded that Colbert dust off his Captain America shield and return to glory for one night only. And one night only is all we are going to see of that man.

Colbert late show colbert returns

Colbert announced on The Late Show that immediately after the live show on July 18, 2016, Viacom’s lawyers called up CBS and said that “the character Stephen Colbert is their intellectual property.” And so, Stephen Colbert revealed that Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report would never be seen again.

Luckily, Stephen Colbert had an identical twin cousin! How might that work, you ask? Well Colbert’s mother was an identical twin and she and her sister married identical twins and gave birth at the same time and both named their sons Stephen Colbert. Rest assured attorneys, the two men are very different people. The banned Colbert went to Dartmouth, the cousin Colbert only applied there. The banned Colbert wears smart fitting suits, the cousin Colbert prefers a breezy American flag button down. Night and day those two.

Colbert late show werd

Real Stephen Colbert (are you confused yet?) asked cousin Colbert if he’d be willing to make himself available for future appearances on The Late Show, a task cousin Colbert was more than willing to take on. Loopholes!

Another intellectual property to fall to the wayside was “The Word,” a segment Colbert revived from The Colbert Report to introduce the word, “Trumpiness.” There’s a way around this one too. Introducing, “The Werd.”

Watch all of the Stephen Colberts in action and get the lowdown on “The Lesser of Two Evils” in the full segment from July 27.

The Late Show continues its live coverage of the Democratic National Convention tonight at whatever time Hillary Clinton is done speaking on CBS.