11 April 2015

James Bond Skyfall

  • Director:  Sam Mendes
  • Based on the novels  by Ian Fleming
  • Cast: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Ola Rapace, Hrlrn McCrory
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Daniel Craig   Quantum of Solace, Casino Royale, Defiance, Flashbacks of a Fool, Infamous, Road to Perdition, Elizabeth, Hotel Splendide
    • Judi Dench –the other Bond films, Hotel Marigold, My Week with Marilyn, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jane Eyre, Cranford, Nine, Notes on a Scandal, Mrs Henderson Presents, Ladies in Lavender, The Shipping News, Chocolat, Tea with Mussolini, Shakespeare in Love, Mrs Brown, Hamlet, Henry V, A Handful of Dust, 84 Charing Cross Road, A Room with a View, Macbeth
    • Javier Bardem – No Country for Old Men, Before Night Falls
    • Ralph Fiennes - Harry Potter, Coriolanus, The Reader, In Bruges, The Constant Gardener, Maid in Manhattan, Sunshine, The English Patient,  Spider, Strange Days, The Quiz Show, Schindler’s List, Wuthering Heights
    • Naomi Harris – Pirates of the Caribbean, Tristram Shandy, Twenty-Eight Days Later, White Teeth
    • Albert Finney - The Bourne Ultimatum, Amazing Grace, A Good Year, Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Breakfast of Champions, Cold Lazarus, Miller’s Crossing, Tom Jones
    • Ben Whishaw – The Tempest, I’m Not There
    • Rory Kinnear – Quantum of Solace
    • Ola Rapace – Svinalängorna, Tusenbröder, Tillsammans
    • Helen McCrory - Hugo, Harry Potter, Becoming Jane, The Queen, Hotel Splendide
  • Why? Curious. Hal and I saw several Bond films in a Bond festival in the early 70’s and enjoyed them. Sean Connery is the only Bond we have ever seen.  Friends have said later actors have been good too. And with Judi Dench they can’t be all bad.  So we bought the box...
  • Seen:  April 5, 2015   

What a phenomenon this is. More than fifty years of the same character. Changing, evolving, developing with the times.  But always 007.
So now the last one to date.
How many more of these bizarre opening chases can they think up?  And how can each one be more exciting than the last?
I don’t suppose he can really be dead. Can he? He’s another film to appear in. They’re filming it as I write.
But there’s his obituary. And funeral.
And M is being retired. But she refuses to go.
‘Brave new world.’  Says Bond to young Q.
Indeed. Yes. Bond is alive but he’s regarded as past it. Obsolete. Old.  And Q – is young. And cheeky.
Humour has returned to the Bond films.  Grimness has not left but much of the exotic glitter is also back, mixed with the austerity.
It’s quite ingenious how they weave some of the old goodies into this Brave New World.
I hold my breath for the last half of the film.

4* of 5

PS The Bond saga is over for now. It has been fun. Though there were times when we were close to abandoning the project.  There are some very bad Bond films. But now I’m glad we stayed with it.

I have to admit that my stubborn insistence that Connery is the only Bond is wrong.  Best is clearly Daniel Craig. Pierce Brosnan is a strong second place. Sean Connery is an inglorious third, Roger Moore a suave but silly fourth, Timothy Dalton an unrememberable fifth and that poor George bloke is best forgotten.

An amazing ending. We might have to go and see Daniel Craig in Spectre at the cinema this summer. Can’t wait for the DVD.

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