Tag Archives: Daniel Craig

“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.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Films, Geekery

Rachel Weisz is Metal.

Readers of this blog with sufficiently intact and functioning memories (or the inclination to search a while) will be doubtless familiar with my unabashed admiration and slight crush on British actress (and new American citizen) Rachel Weisz.

Man, that new Dimmu Borgir is the Shizz!

An admiration now bolstered quite a bit by the astonishing revelation that she’s a metal fan.

Yes, quite.  Describing herself as ‘an old mosher’, this news makes me wonder precisely who her favourite bands would be – given that she’s roughly two years older than me, I have to imagine that she’s a fan of the Big Four era of thrash, perhaps?  Maybe down for some “Appetite”-era G’N’R?  Or is she, Saint Diamond Dave preserve us, partial to a bit of Van Halen, Bon Jovi and Poison-vintage 80’s hard rock?

The mind boggles and the head?  It bangs.  \M/

Leave a comment

Filed under Films, Geekery, Music

New “Skyfall” trailer kills Bond, takes names.

Well, it’s one way to wrong-foot the audience…

OMG – SPOILERZ!

There’s a new “Skyfall” trailer, everyone – go lookit!

Not really – the bait-and-switch gambit of apparently sending James Bond to sleep with the fish community in the new trailer for “Skyfall” is quickly undone when it becomes clear that Bond’s mission this time around is to sleep with French starlets and destroy foreign locales recover an in-the-wild secret hard drive containing the details of every MI6 agent before it goes to the highest bidder.

New Bond girl, Berenice Marlohe, not long for this world if the on-screen fate of previous Bond girls is any indicator…

Where the previous teaser trailers, IMAX pimping and Olympic-piggybacking tv spots have played up the psychological drama aspect of the new, Sam Mendes directed Bond as if to indicate that this won’t be a glum shoot-em-up like the previous, unloved (but actually not that bad) “Quantum of Solace“, this trailer gets down to business by including some pretty major action and one classic prop with a biometric twist.

A tech guy who’s wearing a nerdy parka? The invention of these film makers! Where do they get their crazy ideas?!

New Q, Ben Whishaw shows up and we get our best look yet at the horror which is big bad Javier Bardem‘s blonde hairstyle.  I’m assuming that the sketchiness therein indicates that it forms some kind of secret weapon, perhaps for employment during the grand finale (perhaps it assumes some kind of sentient life and goes in for the kill when his owner is dispatched?).

The reassuring sight of James Bond effing up a vehicle and still finding time to sort his cuffs out. And all’s well with England anew…

“Skyfall” opens in the UK in October and the US in November.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Films, Geekery, Movie Trailer

Xtina, 007 and Judi Dench’s Foul Mouth

Image

You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry – ooh, the mouth Judi Dench has.

Yahoo in the UK (yes, it still exists) have run a story detailing the most absurd and inane complaints received by the British Board of Film Classification during the last few years – and Judi Dench getting all sweary is but one of the more sensible moans.

Bear in mind that the BBFC just give films a certificate and offer content advice to consumers and parents about films – they are not in a position to do much about, ooh, kids going to the toilet too often during Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest“.  I’ve had more than my fair share of annoyances during cinema visits – the shower of pond life who ruined my cinema viewing of “Juno” are a story for another day – but I’ve never felt the need to write to the BBFC about it.  Cinema managers might be your best shot when complaining about bladder-challenged infants whose nitwit parents feel an inexplicable need to take to films patently unsuitable for them.

Other glorious complaints from the terminally confused?  Daniel Craig is a crap 007 (and Sean Connery should be reinstated forthwith), Christina Aguilera is too sexy for a 12A rating and oblivious patrons of satirical crap-fest Disaster Movie complaining that their choice of film was dreadful and they should have been warned about it.

Less of that kind of thing, young lady, you'll only upset the old folk.

Aside from hoping against hope that the authors of these complaints haven’t felt the need to breed and pass on their idiocy to a new generation, it really does boggle the mind that I share the same air as people who seem to believe that the BBFC’s remit extends to vetting Aguilera’s “X-Factor” performance for saucy frugging and then signing off on her casting in movies.  It’s quite sweet, in a sense, that naive folk believe that the world functions in this kind of all-encompassing integration and somewhat worrying that these self-same people very possibly are allowed to vote.

And the UK has local elections this week – what larks!

Leave a comment

Filed under Films, Geekery

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?

Leave a comment

Filed under Films, Geekery

“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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Films

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Films