(143mins, 2012, Action)
Beautiful both visually and story.
Lets just get this out and say, Skyfall is the most beautiful looking film I’ve seen this year and I might even say within a few years. Roger Deakins has made a stunning looking film that wowed me at the theater. Thanks Roger you made the best looking Bond film in years.
Why? Because it is a different side of Bond. To make films that span 50 years and each one touches a fan in its own way is a remarkable thing. You might remember the first Bond film you saw. You might have a favorite film and maybe you have a film that touches your life. Each Bond film has one of these toward a person who views a Bond film. But when you do the formula like what Bond has used so many times it will at one point get a bit tougher for new ideas. We can all pick a point where Bond films got weak but believe it or not there isn’t a bad Bond film. They’re all good in their own way.
Skyfall takes a completely different approach to the formula and I stand up and applaud it. Yet, it never goes off the formula that we all have come to love.
The star of Skyfall is M. I didn’t mind M being the star. I enjoyed it, but we also got Bond’s backstory. I always wanted to touch on Bonds family in a film, but I felt it was slightly wasted for Skyfall. But then again it was nice to see that finally. Daniel Craig gives his best performance as Bond. Q works well and I can see an awesome future with him. M shines and it was great to see that. Silva is Craig’s best Bond villain. That might of been the one weakest part of Craig’s Bond films. Sure CR and QOS had okay villains but we really got a great, classic Bond villain for Craig this time. We also have a new composer which was refreshing. Sam Mendes did a great job and I hope he comes back for another one. And I look forward to having Ralph Fiennes in the future Bond films. Always loved the guys acting.
I liked Skyfall’s Bond girls but for Sévérine I thought she was underused. I would of like to have seen more of her instead of making her a throwaway. Eve was good and I’m curious to see her evolve in the next few films.
When I reviewed The Dark Knight Rises I said this was made for Batman fans, well Skyfall was made for Bond fans. There are a ton of Bond references in this film that came off really badass.
A older couple was sitting to the right of me and they just kept telling me how they have seen all the Bond films at the theater since the start. They said Skyfall remind them of that early time period and they liked that about it.
Speaking of the ending as a fan, this is the ending we needed. We are now back to the classic formula. Moneypenny, a new M and Q is finally back. That scene at the end in the office gave me chills because we haven’t had that in such a long time. Even the set design with the dark wood and coat hanger just got me excited. I even kept hoping that Bond would throw a hat onto that hanger.
It felt so awesome.
Skyfall is a wonderful film. It’s fantastic film with a few issues, but hey almost all films have some nitpicks.
I didn’t like how the story of the film was about the lost drive and Bond was trying to track it down. Then half way into the film after making so much fuss about it not a word comes up on it again and it becomes protecting M. I understand why, but I just would of like a better transfer of the two parts.
I felt the komodo dragon scene was okay on till the eating. I know they went for that classic Bond death but it came off a bit odd.
And the last thing was all about Bond being old…Might be my most hated thing about this great film. Two films before it, it was the rage that he was all young and new. Now he just too damn old. And I like the old storyline but maybe in a few years when Craig is ready to say goodbye. Not now. Sorry I felt that was out of place and it got to me.
The Skyfall scene was fantastic. It felt so different but yet so Bond-ish. And I just can’t get over the beautiful look of this film. Really beautiful lighting and composition. The song by Adele was great, felt like the great classic Bond themes we all love!
All in all I thought it was a great film. It looks amazing in IMAX even taught it didn’t use IMAX cameras and even the Sony 4k viewing I saw in the small theater looked fantastic. (even though their audio sucked. Theater’s fault not the film.)
Go see Skyfall its a good time and a damn good Bond film.
Skyfall – Dysfunctional
I’ll set the record straight; in no way am I as big a fan of James Bond than my co-reviewers. I’ve seen the more well-known Bond films (Goldfinger, Thunderball, and the Pierce Brosnan flicks). I enjoyed the re-done “Casino Royale” and thought Daniel Craig did a great job as a young (and crazy) 007. However, watching “Skyfall” I found myself wondering; when did it become so cool to become a nihilist?
Let me start from the beginning before I lay into “Skyfall,” the 23rd Bond film, and third to feature Craig as the MI6 agent. When I watch these new Bond movies I can’t help but realize that everyone wants to go the Christopher Nolan, Batman, route. If I had to rename this film I would probably call it “The Bond Knight Rises.” By the end of “Skyfall” James Bond has become Bruce Wayne in many ways, and I have a hard time understanding why they decided to go that route, oh wait, I know; it both makes money and is a sure-fire plot device.
When you think of iconic characters you could say Batman, Indiana Jones, John McClane, and James Bond. They are part of our pop culture DNA and while I do appreciate a darker, more anti-hero, aura around heroes, it comes to a point where the soul is sucked out from them and they become a hollow shell with few redeeming qualities. Apparently this is what our society has comes to. They crave blood, vengeance, and nihilism. For my money I might call “Skyfall” one of the most polarizing, and dysfunctional entries in Bond’s 50 year cinema history.
I don’t want to say too much bad about “Skyfall” because I know I’ll catch hell for it. But, I’m going to do it anyway. The plot, as paper thin as it is, includes a stolen hard drive containing important MI6 information, a former MI6 agent now terrorist, and a plot to kill M (Judi Dench). There is a lot of MI6 stuff in this film as you can tell. As we’ve come to know this new breed of Bond we know that he hates authority, hates women (sort of), but loves his country. If anything can be said, “Skyfall” can live by the monikers, “Britain Soldiers On,” or “Bond Kills a Lot of People Without Remorse.”
Another issue I have, and this comes right back to dysfunction, is the identity of “Skyfall.” The atmosphere is stark and everything seems critical and any wrong move can mean someone’s death. Then you have something ridiculous where a komodo dragon eats someone (you have to see it). This goes back to our review for “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” Either be serious or silly, you can’t be both, especially after how serious both “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace” were, it seems like the writers jumped into their DeLorean and decided to revive plot devices from “Die Another Day” one of the more ridiculous Bond films in recent memory.
To wrap up my gripes, I’d also like to bring up the third act of the film which devolves into two things. One, Bond’s past. This I really didn’t mind but it felt force fed and not necessary to the overall plot of the film. Like I said before, they tried to turn Bond into Batman, and it seems contrived. Two, the clear “Home Alone” rip-off. Yes, imagine James Bond, the most bad-ass spy of all time, taking cues from Macaulay Culkin. Again, this is something that you will have to see for yourself because you might think that I’m kidding, but unfortunately, I’m not. I was waiting for both Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern to slip down a staircase at some point.
The one saving grace is Javier Bardem, who plays the primary antagonist, Silva. He is clearly a bad-ass former spy with some serious sexual confusion and seems to hate women, just like Bond. Throw in some mommy issues, a bad soft palate, and you have the makings of a great villain, but just like “Skyfall” he falls short, with poor character development and not enough screen time. This is the film’s biggest mistake which usually prides itself on larger than life bad guys. Silva is by far the best villain the series has seen since maybe Sean Bean’s 006 or Christopher Lee in “The Man With the Golden Gun” and it feels like he is just window dressing.
With two Bond movies already under his belt, you have to wonder how many more films Daniel Craig will stick around for (he already is signed up for Bond 24 and 25). Yes, “Skyfall” is going to bank a bunch of cash just based on the 007 name. However, tread carefully, there are a lot of issues with this newest Bond installment; thin plot, fodder characters, lackluster action scenes (though I do appreciate how they used a lot of practical shots, in particular the opening scene), but worst of all, an identity crisis. Fanboys will love it, especially the end, but the casual fan; you might find yourself scratching your head.
Fun Fact: Before he was Bond, James Bond, Daniel Craig starred in the “Tales From the Crypt” episode, Smoke Wrings in 1996.
Do yourself a favor. If you haven’t seen The Living Daylights before or if you haven’t in a while, watch it again…and if you come away thinking it isn’t one of the most well made, WORTHY Bond films in the series…Please…PLEASE…tell me how on earth I’m wrong. I usually save my signature catchphrase for the end. However, after being recently blown away by this fifteenth installment of Bond, I wanted to put proper emphasis on how good it still is. For me, there is only one small flaw that I can find in it. And that flaw is Timothy Dalton.
Now, that is not to say Timothy Dalton is bad. He is actually quite good here. However, I just don’t look at him as James Bond. Dalton is considered to be the roughest of the seven Bonds. (Including David Niven) He was Daniel Craig before Daniel Craig. The difference between the two is that Craig, though rough and tumble as well, comes to us at Bond’s beginnings. Dalton’s Bond comes to us as an already established agent. Craig’s Bond is built up before our eyes, whereas Dalton is forced upon us. For two actors who were such big departures from their predecessors, Craig’s transition into the role is much smoother. Dalton, to me, always seemed like another agent aiding the real 007. Still, this is merely my personal preference. A digressive critique of the well constructed film surrounding him.
The plot of The Living Daylights is right in the wheelhouse for Bond. Russian defectors, megalomaniac arms dealers, governmental power plays, political assassinations, double-crosses, triple-crosses, CIA, MI6, KGB. All there. The first thing that really impressed me though, was the quality of the action. Everything from the set pieces to the execution. For a film made 25 years ago, the action is still WORTHY by today’s standards. Any fan of the franchise will be in heaven during the terrific, gadget filled Bond car chase sequence.
It can be argued that The Living Daylights is a tad light in the Bond girl department. The film revolves around the character of Kara Milovy, played by Maryam d’Abo. Her naiveté and easy manipulation by Bond and others does weaken her as a whole. And I do wish they would have played up her KGB sniper angle more. However, I do give her props for actually taking action to help Bond during the film’s climax. With a little more filling out of her character, she could have really been a great foil for Bond.
First, we’re going to replace the tried and true Sean Connery with relative unknown Roger Moore for Bond. Then we’re going to give him the first African American Bond girl. Then we’re going to give him the first African American Bond Villain. Then we’re going to base the story in Harlem, urban Louisiana and a fictional island nation. Finally, we’re going to throw in supernatural elements like legitimate fortune telling and voodoo. To say that Live And Let Die was a RISKY proposition would be an understatement. Though its most thought of as “Bond versus The Black People”, Albert Broccoli’s can take solace in the fact that they brought 007 into a world he’d never gone before.
(1993, 110mins, Comedy)
Originally I was reviewing 1995’s Nixon. I always thought it was a underrated film, one that was well acted and directed. But as I was watching it, I said it just the same old, same old. I wanted something I thought was unique. I then remembered the 1993 film, Dave. Here’s a film that has no historic importance and is made up completely from the ground up.
The story is simple, the U.S. President has a stroke. He’s now in a coma and the news is kept quiet. Why? Because this President was “getting around” and if this got out, it could be potentially a large scandal for the country. A temp agency owner who looks exactly like the President is now a part of this. He is put in the President’s place to keep the scandal at a stand still with no one noticing any issues.
This idea in the end becomes a big back up plain that works perfect for the former and new President. The original President isn’t a likable guy, in fact even the first lady doesn’t like him. The new President is a likable guy. When he comes into the Presidency, he also in turn restores the Presidency. But the real pleasure of this film is the little pieces that not to many people notice. I tried to think of another film that centered around a President and it didn’t even tell you his party. I think this might be the only one. This creates a generic President and the film doesn’t get wrapped up into the two parties. This is something that doesn’t happen much in films about politics, which make things even more enjoyable.
Perfect in casting I would have to say.
And the rest is awesome…
All in all this is a fun film to watch. It’s even family friendly and one I think everyone would get a kick out of watching where all one guy wants only to do good for the country.