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RSVP / INTO THE NIGHT

No Impossible Mission to See Stars Here

May 22, 1996|BILL HIGGINS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Scene: Monday's Westwood premiere of Paramount's "Mission: Impossible" at the Bruin, Village and Regent theaters. The event will be remembered as a towering model of Hollywood hype, gloss and glitter. There were 2,500 guests, 44 film crews, 70 photographers, live broadcasts on "Entertainment Tonight," MTV and KIIS-FM. Sound effects came from adolescent girls pulling their fingers down on their eyes and screaming whenever they saw a star.

The Party: As reality-enhanced as the screening. Done by Along Came Mary and Corporate Entertainment Services, it had guests entering through a 125-foot-long, 30-foot-high smoke-spewing "Mission: Impossible" logo into a high-tech, quasi-European scene. This included a replica of London's Tower Bridge facade, a McDonnell Douglas Notar system helicopter (flown in Thursday with the party being built around it), projections of Prague on giant screens, a basketball court-sized, neon-lit dance floor, 17 buffets and TV banks playing U2's "Mission: Impossible" music video. Throw in a few slot machines and it would have made a perfect Vegas casino.

Who Was There: The film's star / co-producer, Tom Cruise with wife Nicole Kidman; co-producer Paula Wagner; guests included Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Steven Seagal, Jennifer Tilly, Sharon Stone, Kathy Bates, Martin Landau, Rita Wilson, Shirley MacLaine, Kurt Rambis, Gina Gershon, Tom Arnold, Gordon Getty, Lt. Gov. Gray Davis, Marvin and Barbara Davis, Rick Nicita, Al Ruddy, Brad Krevoy, Steve Tisch, plus studio execs Sumner Redstone, Sherry Lansing, Jonathan Dolgen, Barry London and John Goldwyn.

The Buzz: Is the plot too complex? One guest said he "hadn't concentrated this hard since I took my SATs." Another thought that if the story was difficult to follow, "Then we've dumbed people down to the intelligence of mollusks."

Pastimes: Among the diversions were 45 Apple computers that allowed guests to send e-mail postcards with images from the film, buy movie merchandise (Example: a $199 attache case engraved with "Expect the Impossible") and play an interactive Internet adventure. One product-placement savvy producer thought "the bite Paramount took out of Apple" was probably enough to pay for the party.

High Tech, Low Content: Printed on-screen in all its penetrating entirety is the audio interview between Cruise and Apple's Web site correspondent. Web site: "How tough was producing and starring?" Cruise: "I couldn't have done it without my partner." Web site: "See you inside, man. Thanks for stopping by."

Hollywood Wisdom: Said one wily agent, "The trailer and the party were both spectacular--and that's all that matters."

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