Tag Archives: 007

“Skyfall” movie review – Back to basics, Mr Bond…

Daniel Craig’s obsession with “Trials HD” had taken a disturbing real-life twist…

So, “Skyfall” it is, then?  The 50th anniversary James Bond adventure, the follow-up to the mostly unloved “Quantum of Solace” and a pivotal picture for the financially challenged studio MGM  – it’s fair to speculate that there’s a reasonable amount of pressure being brought to bear to ensure that this 23rd Bond movie delivers.

And, boy, does it ever.

The lingering ‘meh’ after taste of “Quantum” is erased pretty much entirely by the jaw-loosening action-packed pre-credits sequence which runs amok in Istanbul this time around and amply illustrates the deep jeopardy in which Bond finds himself throughout “Skyfall” (and that the British Government must settle a butt-load of liability claims whenever James Bond has to give chase to somebody – it’s carnage in this sequence, people – carnage, I tells ye!).

Sam Mendes, in his first and hopefully not last Bond film, manages somehow to strike an almost flawless balance between the massive stunt-packed sequences which the audience expects of Bond and the more internalized, adult drama which Mendes’ film career has become synonymous with – for the first time since Craig took on the role, we’ve got a Bond with grit and wit, realism and outlandish adventure, a character-driven drama with convincing thrills and spills.  I don’t really know how the team behind the film did it, but they’ve made perhaps the best Bond movie ever.

New Bond poster or Prada Fall 2012 poster? Magic Eight Ball says ‘Huh?’

The acting is impeccable – new additions Naomie Harris and Ralph Fiennes make intriguing introductions which promise further mileage in the franchise and villain Javier Bardem is a memorable, layered, gloriously eccentric maniac with a plausible revenge motive and an almost down-to-earth way of achieving his goal (he doesn’t have an underground base inside a volcano but he does have a metric eff-ton of server farms and Bot Nets at his disposal – how times have changed).  New Bond girl Berenice Marlohe is arguably least well served by the script – she’s a Femme Fatale straight from central casting, with smoky, exotic good looks and the requisite tragic back story but doesn’t really get to do much other than smoulder, shower and…I’ll let you find out the rest.

I was particularly fond of the way that the film finds way to set the action back in the UK – we jet off to Shanghai, Macau and the like, but always find ourselves being drawn inexorably back to Bond’s home in a way that the series hasn’t done in recent years.  It probably doesn’t mean that much to viewers outside this nominally United Kingdom, but the sense of our home being laid siege to by enemies from without whose ideology outweighs a flag or national identity is palpable and unusually affecting – this is a blockbuster action film which occasionally manages to get under your skin in a way that these films never really aim for.

By the time that the climax rolls around and sins of the mother are revisited on the surrogate son, all bets really are off and I was genuinely taken aback by one development in the story which I didn’t see coming – possibly because I’ve been fairly spoiler-averse on this film and perhaps because I didn’t want what happened to happen.  But happen it did, and it sets in motion a new direction for the series which certainly changes the dynamics which began to shift with “Goldeneye” – how’s that for being cryptic whilst actually alluding to what’s changed in the series?

If I gave ratings, this would get a very enthusiastic 9 out of 10 – it’s a great action adventure, a brilliant “Bond” movie and confirmation that the good people at Albert R. Brocolli’s EON knew what they were doing when they hired Daniel Craig – “Skyfall” is his best Bond yet.

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More “Skyfall” casting…

Well, the rumour about Naomie Harris playing Moneypenny seems to have been disproven, so it’s time for the makers of the next Bond film, “Skyfall”, to give another nod to the past.

Pic via Yet Another Ben Whishaw Tumblr

Yep, that’s disgracefully young and lanky Brit actor Ben Whishaw,  who’ll be playing Q in the film.

Talk about your huge shoes to fill.  If you’ve seen him in “Perfume – The Story of A Murderer”, you’ll know that he can do off-kilter and dangerous in his sleep, so it will be interesting to see the direction that Sam Mendes’ Bond is going to take. He’s obviously young, but it might be a bit twee to play up the nerdy whiz-kid angle too much – young fogey, a-la Matt Smith’s take on the Doctor?

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“Skyfall” – new cast additions, revelatory Twitpic revealed…

The new James Bond movie, “Skyfall”, began filming on Monday in the UK and the official Twitter account, @007 wasted no time in breaking some more casting news.

He's in the new Bond movie! Playing....somebody!

That’s Swedish actor Ola Rapace, who’s just been cast along with Draco Malfoy’s mum, the actress usually known as Helen McCrory, in the film, even now being shepherded into life by Sam Mendes.

C'mon, I had to use a "Doctor Who" screen grab, didn't I?

No news yet on who this duo are playing – details on their roles are not currently out in the wild, as was the case last week with the casting of Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney and Ben Whishaw (at least some of whom are playing characters whose names would be instantly known to the more hardcore members of the Bond fan community).

Empire Online also linked today to the official Bond Twitter account, which had a neat and appropriate shot of filming getting under way.

Roger Deakins is now shooting a Bond movie, it appears.  This can be only be good news.

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Bond 23 – “Skyfall” is official, due in November 2012

From left, French actress Bérénice Marlohe, some bloke and Naomie Harris

Oh, the excitement. A couple of weeks after Sony started to register domain names and tip the wink about “Skyfall” being the title of the next Bond movie, Eon productions formally announced the title and had a meet and greet with the press in London village.

Sam Mendes is the interesting choice behind the camera, regular Bond writers Neal Purvis, Robert Wade & John Logan are the writers and the cast is impressive to say the least. Daniel Craig returns, as does Judi Dench. Javier Bardem is the bad guy – an excellent choice, I hope you’ll agree – whilst Naomie Harris is playing a field agent – not the rumoured introduction of Moneypenny to the rebooted franchise. Albert Finney and Ralph Fiennes are also popping up, as though to emphasise that this is an 007 movie with serious acting cred. Bond’s presumed love interest is being played by Bérénice Marlohe, whose IMDB listing is here.

November 9th 2012 is when you can expect to see this in cinemas. Can’t wait.

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Bond 23 – “Skyfall”?

As production continues to advance on the next James Bond movie – it has a release date of October 26th 2012 in the UK – word reaches us that Sony Pictures have perhaps hit on a title for Daniel Craig’s next outing as 007 – how does “Skyfall” grab you?

Will it make any more sense this time around?

Empire reports today that Sony have been an internet domain-buying splurge, snapping up multiple versions of addresses with ‘Skyfall’ in the title.  Why is this significant?  The last time it happened, a similar array of internet addresses appeared online a matter of days before the announcement that “Quantum of Solace” was the title of Bond 22.

(Some wag on the NeoGaf off-topic forum noted that it sounds more like the title of an Activision Bond spin-off game and that’s a fair comment – I was a fan of the most recent “Blood Stone” outing up until this chuffing level, with its unkillable plane boss and missile-spamming shenanigans.

A digital James Bond at the office, yesterday...

Grrr….).

I can’t wait to see what Sam Mendes is going to do with this film – he’s not the most immediate choice to helm a Bond installment but I’m intrigued to see what he’s going to do (what say you about the possibility of the director of the last few “Harry Potter” films, David Yates, taking a turn behind the camera?  That I would love to see).

 

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