Skyfall Review

Skyfall is quite the film. I loved Casino Royale, it was just this perfect telling of James Bond’s first mission and I couldn’t help but think I’d never see a better Bond film. It was that good. I’m also one of the few who loved Quantum of Solace. Was it Casino Royale? No, and it wasn’t trying to be. It was Quantum of Solace, a fast-paced and precisely devised action film that continued the real and raw drama that began in Casino Royale. Skyfall was something completely new and not only is it the greatest 007 movie I’ve seen, it’s one of the greatest films ever made.

The film opens with a black and blurry silhouette of a man. The man walks towards us eventually having his eyes illuminated revealing the pearly blues of the greatest James Bond in 50 years and 23 films. The film jumps right into it with a thrilling chase sequence, the kind of action you have to expect from the Daniel Craig versions of the character. The scene is a better action sequence than any of the previous Craig movies and there were even better action sequences still to come. If one were to look at the film for its action elements it’s one of the best ever crafted, but action plays second tear in this epic of characters, emotion and the ways of old and new.

While no Bond film has ever cut deeper with such powerful themes, the true center of this film is James Bond. It’s his show and in this perfect 007 movie James Bond may go on his most spectacular mission yet, but that’s not all. Director Sam Mendes actually takes his time and asks questions about this character who has been going on missions for the past 50 years. For example, what makes James Bond James Bond? But more importantly he asks, how much longer can this man be doing this? In Skyfall, the greatest secret agent of all time must prove himself against the most formidable and sinister adversary he’ll ever face.

Raoul Silva (formerly Tiago Rodriguez) is a malevolent mastermind not bent on world domination mind you. No, he’s much more concerned with revenge against the person who means most to Bond in this world. A good villain usually makes for a good movie and Silva is one of the greatest villains in film. In the beginning, there is a mystery that is the villain of Skyfall, with only whispers of some evil menace plotting in the backdrop. Then Silva makes his grand entrance almost halfway through the film, his audience being a captive 007. Silva is a theatrical and confident man with a single agenda, he’s a former MI6 agent and now he’s a betrayer dedicated and bent on vengeance against M. James Bond is dedicated to his duty and in this case it’s very personal; the protection of M.

Judi Dench is given much more territory with M this time around and she excels with it. Bérénice Marlohe and Naomie Harris are great. Ben Whishaw is a real delight to watch as Q, a new school tech guy who juxtaposes extraordinarily with Daniel Craig’s seasoned veteran. The Skyfall interpretation of James Bond and Raoul Silva are simply two of the greatest characters in film. Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem have their unique characters realized down to a “T” both giving tremendous performances.

Skyfall is a film that is very derivative of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Legend (or The Dark Knight Trilogy if that tastes better going down). Sam Mendes has openly stated that he was inspired by Nolan’s work with Batman. I can’t fault Mendes for being inspired by the best. Skyfall is a different film and it was made to perfection. It utilized an icon to delve into broader motifs and darker territory. This is a James Bond film made by people and for people who appreciate the beautiful art form that is film.

Skyfall is one of the greatest films I’ve ever had the pleasure to see. It’s a film that looks and feels beautiful. It emotes so much depth and artistry, while masquerading as a simple action piece. This is just an example of a film getting every single finite detail perfectly, whether that be a character arc, the film’s extraordinary structure or even something as simple as a one-liner. Skyfall is nothing short of a masterpiece of the highest caliber.

Grade: A+

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Nine Review

This is a review that is long overdue, but that’s for the most part because it took me a while to actually see this film. Originally, when I heard about it a year ago I was very excited. It was a film about a film maker starring my favorite actor of all time, Daniel Day-Lewis. I was planning to see it the day it came out and not a second later. Then a week before its release, reviews started to poor in.

Almost every single one of them expressed that the movie was a waste of time or a movie that could’ve been great and unfortunately failed epically. I also read a minority of reviews saying that the movie was ok or sub-par, but not the great film it should’ve been. Needless to say, after reading these reviews I was quite saddened and much less excited to see Nine. No, I did not see it on its release date as I originally planned and as a result I kept putting off seeing it in order to see movies I thought I’d enjoy more. I eventually realized, a couple weeks ago actually, that this is a movie starring the one and only Daniel Day-Lewis. I can’t not see this movie.

So I finally sat in a theater and watched Nine expecting nothing more than to be disappointed. My expectations were surprisingly and fortunately exceeded. My opinion on this film actually matched my original expectations so I think the fact that I went in there not expecting much made the move that much better. I loved every moment of Nine.

The sound and style made every part interesting and appealing. The songs were catchy and memorable and the acting by all was fantastic. The real stand outs were Judi Dench, in a subtle, but great performance. Penelope was chirpy and fun in the role of the mistress. Cotillard was amazing as the wife. And of course Day-Lewis was doing what he does better than anyone else. Its impossible for him to let me down.

I got a huge amount of enjoyment out of Nine. It was fast-paced, light hearted and fun. It was the tale of a film director attempting to work on his ninth project, while juggling the many women in his life. I really can’t see what so many didn’t enjoy about this film. I seriously loved it and can’t wait to own it on DVD. Nine is a beautiful piece of entertainment complete with great performers and fun.

Grade: A