Pop culture and other perspectives with an artistic P.O.V. By Mike Pascale.
All contents ©2012 Mike Pascale. Visual content ©2012 their respective owner(s).
Hard to believe it’s been four years since the last James Bond flick! Every article made a big deal out of that but it didn’t seem any longer than usual to me. And I think there’s been even larger gaps before. Thankfully, this is the 50th anniversary of the film franchise (yes, the movie Bond is as old as Spider-Man and The Hulk) and the timing of the film couldn’t have been better.
Anyway, here’re the pros and cons:
–Wonderful nods to classic Bond: car, character names, martinis (this time it’s visual; watch for it), opening action sequence, opening titles with wonky visuals and sexy nude woman, evil psychotic “Mr. Bond”-addressing villain, some much-missed humor.
–The visuals! The kind of film I want to watch with a sketchbook (and a pause button). Some of the cinematography, shot setups/compositions, movements and such were brilliant. Props to director Sam Mendes and crew. Storyboards by Jim Cornish and Martin Asbury (whom comic fans will recognize from a host of superhero films), Jane Clark and one more I can’t recall. (Not listed on imdb.com. If you know, please add in the “comments” section!)
–Similarly, there were some new twists on fight scenes (silhouettes) and chases (the train sequence) that were quite welcome. After five decades, it must be getting harder and harder to come up with new versions of fights and chases, which are essential parts of any 007 flick.
–Speaking of same, this new, younger incarnation (played by Ben Whishaw from CLOUD ATLAS), was better than I expected.
–Same goes for Javier Bardem as the villain. A very different type of Bond baddie in terms of motivation and history. Refreshing.
–A new drinking game for those who live dangerously.
–Big insights into Bond’s “origin”, namely his childhood, parents and home.
–Ralph Fiennes proves himself versatile, moving from Voldemort to Parliament.
–Daniel Craig is his usual stoic, restrained, emotionless self (though he does cry at one point—nice touch). I know the ladies love him (and yes, he shows off his impressive pecs more than once), but I prefer the wittier, more charming versions played by Connery, Brosnan and Moore. Though this 007 had the most wit and humor of all the Craig films (and was the least dark), he still has a way to go.
–The usual product placements. Hate it when they’re obvious. Thankfully, I didn’t see Bond drinking a Heineken. [He did, I noticed it -Craig] –When it comes to water, Bond is apparently related to Aquaman or Sub-Mariner (with some Wolverine thrown in). Suspension of disbelief is stretched for a couple scenes.
–I suspect there are some deleted scenes that might have helped clear up a few things.
Overall, this to me was the best, most entertaining and most true-to-character of the Craig Bond films. I rate it a firm “see it” and when the DVD comes out, “own it”, depending on the extras.
One note for moviegoers: When did people forget how to WHISPER? It’s a wonderful way to communicate in quiet places, without distracting or annoying those around you. If you have to say something to the person next to you, TURN YOUR HEAD AND WHISPER. Its easy. And a lot better than having annoyed patrons like me pelt you with ice cubes. Thanks.
So…what did YOU think? What’s your favorite of the Craig films? Or of all Bond films? Let me know below.
Enjoy your week,
P.S.: Dig double-oh-seven? Want a commissioned piece of art of your favorite Bond? How about a Bond car? I’ll do that or any character. Quickly and for a reasonable price. (Also makes a great gift!) Ask Craig here.