Friday, November 9, 2012

Guest (mini) Review: Brandon Peters reviews Skyfall (2012)

143 minutes
Rated PG-13

By Brandon Peters

Skyfall switches gears for Daniel Craig’s third dabbling in the role of 007.  The film is akin to GoldenEye’s answer to License to Kill if comparing to the series cannon.  While not going too far over the top, Skyfall does jump over the limits set by its two predecessors and enters into more familiar and common Bond territory.  This is going to be rather brief in terms of what I’ve been writing; Scott has covered a lot of ground I may have covered  as I didn’t read his review until after my viewing.  And for the most part I agree with all his points.  I’d rather not cover the same ground twice (editor's note: there's plenty new to chew on here). I don’t seem to mind the borrowing from other films especially when they are actually enhancing the themes and devices and making stronger renditions of them.  One theme not brought up which I felt was more front and center than the revised GoldenEye was trust and learning to deal with trying not to take judgment calls for the greater good personally.

The film is absolutely beautiful to look at.  This is likely the best looking Bond film ever.  I also was quite enamored with the opening titles and think they are already my favorite ever.  The action is quite fun and shot nicely and easy to follow, despite being able to see a CG Daniel Craig face on a stuntman’s body in some scenes (the modern day Roger Moore action tactic?).  From the gorgeous Shanghai to the outskirts of Godric’s Hollow (Scotland), the film is absolutely marvelous. And speaking of gorgeous, one of the biggest surprises I had from this film was Berenice Lim Marlohe’s turn as Sévérine.  Albeit lacking in screentime, I was rather taken with her character.  And she actually turns in a quite good performance with what little time she had.  She’s a much weightier and fuller version of Maude Adams in The Man With The Golden Gun (from which, yes, this movie borrows some a bit from).  It also helps that she wonderfully blends into two of the films very best locations.

Where does Bond go from here?  After three false starts, it looks as if we’re finally on the road to get a straight up and down plain old James Bond film with our next entry.  The stage is set to go absolutely big (but going small is still an option as well).  Is this where you want it to be?  I have a feeling we do.  As bookends, The Avengers and Skyfall are showing that audiences want to move away from the grim and gritty and into a little lighthearted and reasonable over the top influence in our grounded take for our big budget spectacles.  My big wonder is how Skyfall will hold up over time.  I had this odd feeling after that this one my be rocking our socks off right here right now, but will it be looked back on as fondly?  The film is very much a Pierce Brosnan vehicle, with the scale of Roger Moore, the romantic vibe of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and a Sean Connery Bond played by the modern day Timothy Dalton. 

It’s a wonderful weaving of 50 years of Bond history made into one fluid film (unlike the constant winking of Die Another Day). Skyfall is one of the best Bonds ever, not sure if it is THE best though (time is still always a judge).  I think a lot of the praise for it being the best is coming from non-Bond hardcores and extreme haters of Quantum of Solace.  But make no mistake, this is one of the best times you’ll have at the movies this year.  And for the record an August 9th Tweet/Facebook status update I posted showed I was on the money with a final scene reveal in the film (and I believe I mentioned it on one of the commentaries).  Kudos to myself.

Grade: B+

Did Brandon write about 24 movies or 25? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is Mendelson’s Memos, the most powerful punditry in the world, and would blow your Blog clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question about the next retrospective: "Do I feel lucky?" Well do ya, punk?

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1 comment:

Robert Hawks said...

It's fun, and forgettable. Decent Bond, but am I the only one getting sick of every film about my heroes being about my heroes being sick and over the hill on their last hurrah? Batman retired and Bond fails his physical, Jeezus, where are the laughs in kneecapping anyone anymore? I miss the tone of "Live And Let Die." So, yeah, sure, it's a fine Bond film, but fun ain't never been free, and it's still not on sale.


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