Monday, November 12, 2012
Monday Movie Mania - Skyfall
Seriously, there're surprises that you don't want ruined by reading any online reviews. Somehow, I managed to avoid online references for the last several months. I couldn't avoid all the TV commercials though. (For some reason, they showed a lot of them during Texans' games.) GK was too cute when we heard Adele's theme on the radio while in route to a dental appointment. ("Mom! That's the new James Bond song!)
Okay, I've stalled enough. If you haven't clicked away from this page by now, it's your own damn fault for ruining the movie...
The best Bond EVAH! And I don't give this stamp lightly.
Nothing against the other guys (because Pierce will always have a special place in my heart), but I thnk Daniel Craig has done the best job of capturing the literary character created by Ian Fleming over sixty years ago. (Yeah, yeah, I know the first book came out in 1953, but as a writer, I know you carry your characters around for a while before you commit them to media and the darn thing actual gets published.)
Javier Bardeem as Silva
If you haven't seen No Country for Old Men, watch it. I can't because Javier scares the piss out of me. Javier's former MI6 agent Silva beats Sean Bean's 006 hands down. He's as rentless as a Terminator because he must kill Mommy, aka M. Something was seriously bent in Silva, something that the head docs in MI6 obviously didn't catch befor he went into the field. And it didn't just break, it shattered when he was captured and tortured with no rescue coming. He resorted to taking his cyanide, only to have that fail him too. Javier makes you sympathize with Silva, and you'll hate yourself for doing so.
Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory
Ralph's Mallory walks the fine line between politician and realist as the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, i.e. M's boss. Maybe I've seen Ralph play bad guys too much. Let's face it, he's played Voldemort for how many years? I spent a good chunk of the movie expecting him to be the big bad behind Silva. But when he defends M from Silva, taking a bullet for her in the middle of Parliament, I was one of the ones cheering him in the audience.
Ben Whishaw as Q
Having a twenty-something computer geek as the new quartermaster of MI6 was a Stroke of Genius. Having Silva outsmart Q, even better. Having Bond lose the new Walther PPK Q just gave him within a day, priceless!
M's Speech before the Parliment Investigation Committee
Dame Judi Dench delivered a pitch perfect monologue (you hear it while on the screen, Bond races from the temporary MI6 HQ to Parliament to stop the escaped Silva). It outlines how much things have changed since Fleming wrote the books during the Cold War. In sum, our enemies are no longer the countries we see, but the individuals we can't until it's too late.
No minuses. Just a quibble.
I've loved Naomie Harris since she played Tia Dalma in PotC. And she was perfect as Eve Moneypenny. My quibble isn't with her, but how the producers, etc., tried to keep this a secret through the whole movie. Like I said, I managed to avoid the internet speculation about Skyfall, particularly that Naomie would play Moneypenny. And no one says her last name until the next to last scene of the movie.
Yet, I figured out who Eve was supposed to be in the f***ing opening sequence! Why? James didn't sleep with her!
This is one of those things where they should have just said she was Moneypenny up front. Her character arc shadowed James throughout the movie. Since Wilson and Broccoli said up front that the Craig movies are a reboot, i.e. showing how Bond became 007, then I would have preferred showing how everyone got to be where they were at the beginning of Dr. No. But that's just my personal pet peeve.
All-in-all, I'd give this movie 4.9 stars.