Tuesday 31 July 2012

Movie Preview: Skyfall: 23rd Bond, 50th Anniversary, and 2nd Queen Elizabeth

Bated breath. I looked it up just to double check. It's not "baited", a common homonymous mistake, but "bated" and that's how I'm waiting, with bated breath, for November 9, 2012. The 23rd movie in one of the most popular movie series of all times, James Bond, has its world premier on October 26 in London, England with the movie being released across the planet soon after. (IMDb: release dates) The release of this movie coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first Bond movie Dr. No released in 1962.

Like every little boy, whether now grown or not, I have had a certain chauvinistic soft spot for the ladies man, high stakes gambler, world traveller and dangerous spy. Okay, this isn't your romantic family man taking the baby out in the stroller but I can dream of playing a part in the international intrigue and Machiavellian machinations which determine the fate of the free world, can't I? Ha ha.

Over the years, though, my interest in the character has waned. While Roger Moore was serviceable, I always thought the series had become more of a cartoon. Yes, it's a movie. Yes, it's a fantasy. But one of the important elements determining, for me at least, the success or failure of a film is the suspension of belief. Okay, Superman is impossible but if I can accept that Superman could be possible, the rest of the story comes together. Of course James Bond is totally unrealistic but if I get make the leap, if I can suspend my belief, everything else is going to be an entertaining two hours.

Daniel Craig has brought back to the franchise a more realistic look and feel. Okay, it's still unrealistic but it is less of a cartoon. The opening of the first Craig foray into the character in the 2006 movie Casino Royale was a novel and startling break with the previous films when our hero, instead of doing the standard high speed car chase, chases the bad guy on foot and we are all introduced to the decades old urban sport of parkour.

50th Anniversary
The James Bond film series is the longest running film series in history and the second highest grossing series behind Harry Potter. (Bond=$5 billion, Potter=$7 billion) Six actors have played Bond in 23 official films. (There 3 other Bond films from companies other than Eon films.) For those true aficionados bitten by the bug, I see that MGM is offering a Blu-ray box set of the first 22 films called "Bond 50".

Skyfall Trailer
I have watched the following trailer several times. It's great. The amount of excitement and anticipation developed in just this short clip is amazing. I'm sorry, am I salivating? As I previously said, Daniel Craig brings a touch of realism, a bit of dark to the character and as I'm watching this trailer, I couldn't help thinking that this Bond is a guy you don't want to mess with. He will rip your head off and hand it to you on a plate.

Final Word
Gee, here I was thinking it was the Terminator who kept saying, "I'll be back." 50 years and still going strong.

Casino Royale received a top rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 96% while Quantum of Solace only came in at 65%. What is this third outing with Daniel Craig as Bond going to give us? I'm sure expectations will be running high - I know mine are - and we'll all find out in three months.


Wikipedia: Skyfall
Skyfall is the upcoming twenty-third spy film in the James Bond series, produced by Eon Productions for MGM, Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Directed by Sam Mendes, it features Daniel Craig's third performance as James Bond and Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, the film's villain.

Wikipedia: Portal:James Bond
All things James Bond on Wikipedia

official movie web site: Skyfall

official web site: James Bond 007

Postscript: 2012 Summer Olympics
If you didn't see the opening ceremony, let me fill you in on a short bit of comedy starring none other than the Queen herself. Artistic director for the opening, Danny Boyle, was granted supposedly unprecedented access to Buckingham Palace by Queen Elizabeth to put together a short film shown in the stadium and on TV during BBC's coverage of the event. The actor Daniel Craig playing James Bond enters the palace to escort the Queen to the games. He arrives in a room with the Queen working at a desk. Most thought this would be an actress but apparently there were startled gasps from the audience as the woman in the film turns to face the camera and it is none other then the Queen herself. The two leave in a helicopter for the stadium then supposedly parachute into the stadium. Just after the descent, the Queen enters the stadium to officially open the games. It was a jolly good show.

Published on Jul 27, 2012 by olympic
YouTube: The Queen Sequence - Opening Ceremony - London 2012 Olympic Games
Highlights from the Olympic Stadium at the London 2012 Olympic Games. -- 27 July 2012


New Skyfall US domestic trailer (released just after I published)
This reveals more of the movie but I still think the first trailer above is a far more dramatic tease.


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