Inspecting Spectre

Spectre Daniel Craig

Is it just me or does Daniel Craig, with each passing Bond film, look more and more like the William Shatner mask worn by Michael Myers in Halloween?  For me, the biggest problem with the Craig Bond Era has been Craig…he showed a promising range initially but was never quite right for the role.  But I digress.  He does fine here (I guess) in his fourth outing.  So apart from Craig saddled with being Craig and a snooze-inducing Sam Smith Bond theme (man, what a step down from Adele who knocked it out of the park with Skyfall!), let’s inspect all the good stuff in Spectre…because, boy, there’s a lot of it. (SPOILERS AHEAD)

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I Fall You Fall We All Fall for Skyfall

The third Daniel Craig headlining Bond flick, Skyfall, opens up like many Bond films of yore with a spectacular chase sequence that involves motorcycles atop Istanbul’s famous market and a fist-fight atop a moving train that ends with Bond getting accidentally shot by another agent trying to take out his combatant.  And as he falls into the river below, the traditional Bond credit sequence begins with Adele’s superb theme song recalling Shirley Bassey’s iconic Goldfinger.

It seems we were in for more of the same, but did they just kill Bond…even if only symbolically?  During the credits you are reminded of the masterstroke of hiring cinematographer Roger Deakins (arguably the best in the biz today) and his frequent cohort, Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes as their names come up in that comfortably familiar Bond credit sequence font.  Never before has a Bond film been given such behind-the-scenes pedigree, and armed with a sharper than normal script – the dynamic duo pay homage, deconstruct, and resurrect from one amazing set piece to the next the entire Bond oeuvre. Continue reading

A Review of “Quantum of Solace”

*Note to Readers:  Having seen this just one day after the amazingly depressing The Boy in the Striped PajamasQuantum of Solace probably came across as more of a feel-good escapist flick than it might actually be, which is ironic since it is probably the darkest Bond we’ve seen yet.  Like the film, I have tried to keep my review brief and on target.

Bond Back in Action Author: David H. Schleicher from New Jersey, USA

As one of the few people who thought that Casino Royale was just okay, I found its action-packed sequel Quantum of Solace to be genuinely entertaining. The film picks up exactly where the last one left off, but thankfully leaves its predecessor’s bloated sense of self-importance and run-time behind. Thanks to the tone set previously by Daniel Craig, this Bond maintains the darker hard edge. Directed with appropriate kinetic zeal by Marc Forster, the film never lets up and takes Bond away from that all that silly deep introspection and returns him to pure action while still playing a strong hand with its “this time its personal” theme.

There’s really not much more to say about such an indomitable franchise. Of course, in an attempt to appeal to audiences who have preferred Jason Bourne over James Bond in recent years, some of the action has a slap-dash over-edited feel, but never in a Bourne film would you find exploding planes and death-defying stunts involving every mode of transportation except by train.  Quantum of Solace also suffers from one of the worst Bond themes and opening credit sequences ever, but really, who cares about that?

The bottom line: Craig is as cold as ice and the action and the women are smoldering hot.  Quantum of Solace successfully serves up a healthy dose of Bond-fueled entertainment that will leave you shaken but not stirred.

Originally Published on the Internet Movie Database:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0830515/usercomments-478

Check out my original review of Casino Royale:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0381061/usercomments-703