SKYFALL

(2012)
With Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw
Directed by Sam Mendes
Reviewed by JB

      At the end of my review of QUANTUM OF SOLACE, I wrote this:

     "It's like the people behind the films are telling us that they have finished clearing the decks, have established Daniel Craig as the new guy, and the next film will be an actual, old-fashioned James Bond film."

    Four years later (four years - really?), I was proved right. SKYFALL is a traditional James Bond film, with nearly everything you would expect to find in one. Pre-credit chase? Check. Theme song that sounds like it could only be for a James Bond film? Check.(Nice job, Adele!) Wacky villain? Check. Q handing out gadgets to Bond? Cheeky quips from 007 himself? Several beautiful women? The "James Bond Theme" playing on the soundtrack at random action-filled moments? Check and double check! It's all been done before, but not so fully and proudly in the Daniel Craig era. Although I enjoyed the first two films (CASINO ROYALE much more than QUANTUM OF SOLACE) and have already formed the opinion that Craig makes an excellent James Bond despite his non-Bond looks, I still felt that the series needed to get back to basics, It has with SKYFALL, which, although it doesn't have the brute intensity of CASINO ROYALE, may still be my favorite film of the three. 

     Now the problem is, where do we go from here? Craig took over the role in 2006, and here we are eight years later, and he's only done three Bond films. Look at clips from CASINO ROYALE and you can already see how much Craig has aged since then, though not yet in a Roger Moore - A VIEW TO A KILL - "Please stop pestering that sweet old man" way. We've gone from the rebooted Bond on his first big mission to a Bond whom is now being warned that espionage is a game for the young. Just when Craig finally gets to be in a genuine James Bond movie, I begin to suspect they will be looking for another one soon. Oh, well - the series will survive. 3 - JB

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The Secret Vortex


HOW TO TALK LIKE A BOND VILLAIN

"Hello, James.  Welcome.  Do you like the island?"


THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A DAME 

Dame Judith Dench    When the Bond films returned in 1995 with Goldeneye after a 5-year hiatus, Judith Dench was cast as M, replacing Robert Brown. It proved to be a brilliant move. The head of MI6 was now a woman, and one with little patience for Bond's sexism (she calls Bond a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur" in Goldeneye). When the Bond series rebooted with 2006's Casino Royale, the producers kept Dench on, who would continue the role of M in Quantum of Solace and Skyfall before giving way to the new M, played by Ralph Fiennes.

     Few Bond actors have had the career to match Dame Judith's. She made her name on stage with the The National Theater and The Royal Shakespeare Company, starred in the popular television series A Fine Romance and As Time Goes By, won multiple BAFTA awards, received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in Shakespeare in Love (1998) and appeared in many notable non-Bond films including Chocolat (2000), Pride and Prejudice (2005), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, My Week With Marilyn and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (all 2011). She also provided the voice for Mrs. Calloway in the animated Disney feature Home on the Range (2004).