A straight-talking, lay-it-on-the-line Paramount publicist (there are always exceptions to any rule) says Mission: Impossible: 3 is crafty and crackerjack and totally delivers…despite Paramount’s policy of deciding not to invite print or online journalists to the L.A. junket later this month, and to not let critics see it until the all-media screening on Tuesday, May 2nd — three days before the May 5th opening. Tom Cruise always conrol-freaks his way through press junkets (he’s only talking to TV interviewers) but I’m being told that even a run-of-the-mill phoner with director- writer J.J. Abrams is something less than a slam-dunk. This would normally indicate a certain “hmmm” or even an “uh-oh” factor, but the big studios are elbowing the press out of the picture every which way these days, even, apparently, when the movie ain’t half bad. Welcome to 2006! For what it’s worth, a journalist pal is also hearing M:I:3 is “really good.” (I know, I know…stuff like this means nothing.) I guess the thing to do is to search for slightly earlier reviews from Europe and Asia since M:I:3 is opening on 5.3 in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as in Hong Kong, Sinagpore and the Phillipines.