Wednesday 5 December 2012

Movie Review: Skyfall

I realise this comes a little after the fact as the film was released on November 9 but I was a tad preoccupied last month and didn't get around to penning my thoughts about it. (see my blog: NaNoWriMo 2012: 50 in 26. Now what?) Now, almost a month later, here are my oh so profound insights.

If you haven't seen the film, tch, tch. Rotten Tomatoes classifies anything over 60% as being good and this twenty-third installment of the Bond franchise comes in with an amazing 93%. What are you waiting for? Get out there and get out there now!

It is a bit different, an amalgam of what's old and what's new and with a little stretch of the imagination we can come up with borrowed and blue. As with the change of pace brought about with the arrival of Daniel Craig in the lead role, this film continues with a darker, grittier vision of our man of the world slash hired killer. Spy sounds exotic but this is less cloak and dagger and more action as in codeword for violence. Compare this with the 2011 film Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (my review) based on the eponymous John le Carré novel where the life of a more realistic spy seems almost boring as hell.

Old, New, Borrowed, Blue
Okay, here's where I issue a spoiler alert. Well, maybe not so much of a spoiler but only a few tidbits from the movie.

What's old? Bond; the dark hero of the first films.

What's new? We get a new Q but this Q is a snot-nosed computer geek and when Q and Bond meet for the first time, the contrast between the young and the old makes for quite the comedic effect.

What's borrowed? For nostalgia's sake, after all this is the 50th anniversary of the first Bond film, we get the original Aston Martin. Yes, the original. The bad guys blow the hell out of it but at least we get a glimpse of this oldie but goodie from the sixties.

What's blue? I am afraid to announce, and this is a spoiler, Dame Judi Dench had previously said she was bowing out of the series. We get to see the transition from the old to the new. Out with the old M, in with the new. And in with Miss Moneypenny. And in with this Q. It's the changing of the guard?

Related Stuff
Below in the references section, I have included two other columns I wrote about James Bond just so you Bond-philes can have the pleasure of diving into the amusing and more obscure. What do you get? The full video of the Bond and the Queen opening the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England. The James Bond theme being played in some amusing arrangements: flying robots, and you-have-to-see-this-to-believe-it eight floppy disc drives. Yes, you are reading that correctly.

Skyfall Trailer
There are several trailers floating around, some of them longer than the following. But this one, oh yes this one I think is the best. The amount of excitement and anticipation developed in just this short clip is amazing. Even though I have seen the film, I have re-watched this trailer several times because it is, well, awesome! (Wait! Did I just use the word awesome? OMG, I'm turning into a Valley girl. Ha ha.) 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
Skyfall is still in theatres. I would recommend seeing it in IMAX if you can. I enjoyed it. It's not perfect (93% is damn close) but it is a good ride. Of course, if you are a fan of Bond there is no way you cannot go see it so why even discuss this? Get out there now!

I greatly enjoyed the arrival of Daniel Craig and the return to a darker Bond. This film continues in that vein and in that regard the film more than lives up to expectations. The story has some meat so it's a thrill ride with a little profundity.

FYI: I went on the opening day and saw the film in IMAX. As I exited the theatre, I received a free poster which I am showing above. Very cool. Licence to thrill indeed.


Rotten Tomatoes: Skyfall: 93%
Sam Mendes brings Bond surging back with a smart, sexy, riveting action thriller that qualifies as one of the best 007 films to date.

Box Office Mojo: Skyfall
Production budget = $200 million
Worldwide box office = $869 million

Box Office Mojo: 'Casino Royale' Vs. 'Quantum of Solace' Vs. 'Skyfall'
a comparison of the three Bond films starring Daniel Craig

Wikipedia: Skyfall
Skyfall is the twenty-third spy film in the James Bond series, produced by Eon Productions and distributed by MGM and Sony Pictures Entertainment. It features Daniel Craig's third performance as James Bond, and Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, the film's villain. The film was directed by Sam Mendes and written by John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.

Rotten Tomatoes: Quantum of Solace: 65%
Brutal and breathless, Quantum Of Solace delivers tender emotions along with frenetic action. Not as good as franchise reboot Casino Royale, but still an impressive entry to the Bond canon.

Rotten Tomatoes: Casino Royale (2006): 95%
Casino Royale disposes of the silliness and gadgetry that plagued recent James Bond outings, and Daniel Craig delivers what fans and critics have been waiting for: a caustic, haunted, intense reinvention of 007.

my blog: Preview: Skyfall: 23rd Bond, 50th Anniversary, and 2nd Queen Elizabeth
My original preview, a bit about the 50th anniversay of the James Bond films, and the dynamic duo of Bond and the Queen introducing the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England. (Note: I found an official clip published by the Olympic committee)

my blog: James Bond stuff: the serious and not so serious
Videos of the James Bond theme played by orchestra, played by robot quadrotors (What?), played on eight floppy disk drives (you heard me), and played on solo guitar. Plus 2 clips of some great action sequences.


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