It’s not often that a movie franchise lasts fifty years, or survives so many cast changes, but this year marks the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film series and with that comes the 23rd instalment, Skyfall. Though technically it’s only the third film, Casino Royale was a reboot.
After an action packed opening sequence, in which Bond (Daniel Craig) fails to retrieve important M16 files, M’s ability to lead is called into question. Gareth Mallory, played by Ralph Fiennes, is sent in to pressure M into retirement, but she doesn’t want to ‘leave it (M16) in a worse state than she found it’. 007 must then go on a mission to track down the files, but to do this he must go deep into M’s past and face a ghost who has come back to haunt her.
The story is interesting and moves quickly so it never gets boring despite the long running time of two hours and 23 minutes. However, some aspects, like the Bond girl, felt like they were just thrown in because they had to or it wouldn’t be a James Bond film. Bérénice Marlohe plays Sévérine Skyfall’s version of a Bond girl. Though her performance was good she never really had anything to do and could easily be lifted out of the movie without it affecting the story.
M is very much at the centre of the plot and Judi Dench does an amazing job portraying M as both a heartless leader and a mother figure. She makes the tough calls and doesn’t apologise when one agent’s safety has to be sacrificed for the greater good, which is admirable but makes it hard to believe that anyone would actually be loyal to her. However, she does subtly give an explanation for this by pointing out that ‘orphans always make the best agents’. Bonds unquestionable loyalty to her adds to the depth of his character, which is explored further in this movie.
As far as villains go, I think it’s fair to say that Skyfall has one of the most interesting. Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem is a cyber-terrorist who prides himself on being able to take down organisations and people without ever having to leave his computer. Even though he’s the villain it’s hard not to like him because he’s a little crazy and that’s always interesting to watch. Plus, he very nearly became the first Bond boy, well that should get your imaginations going. There are a number of similarities between Raoul and Bond, which makes it so interesting to see how different they ended up.
Skyfall also sees the return of Q, though a much younger version. Ben Whishaw takes on the role offering up some comedic relief and creating an interesting dynamic with Bond who is now the older of the two. Naomie Harris plays a young field agent, called Eve, who ‘may not be cut out for field work’. Harris does a great job, but some of Eve’s choices, particularly one at the end, seem out of character. The relationship between her and Bond is actually much more compelling than the one he has with Bond girl Sévérine.
There are some really fun references to older Bond movies that fans of the franchise will love. Even if you’re not well educated in the world of Bond you’ll be able to pick up on a few and join in on the fun. Skyfall is a really clever, entertaining and interesting movie that has shown Bond films can have depth and character growth without sacrificing the action and excitement.
What do you think? Are you a James Bond Fan? Have you seen every Bond film? Do you plan on seeing Skyfall? Who was your favourite Bond? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe and, if you liked this review, click the like button.
On the 22nd of October 2010 I wrote my first post on a blog that I started as part of a HND course in journalism. Now, two years later, I’m studying for to get MA in journalism.
I’m really glad that I kept this blog going and I’d like to thank people for reading it and apologise for being so slow in writing lately. I will be better from now on, though I probably won’t be beating my record of six months consecutive posts anytime soon.
The role of Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has been cast, but will the new red head be able to compete with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy?
After some negotiating the part of MJ Watson was given to Shailene Woodley, who previously played one of George Clooney’s daughters in the Descendants and had a leading role in The Secret Life of an American Teenager.
It initially seemed that scheduling issues would force Woodley to choose between The Amazing Spider-man and, her upcoming film, Divergent, but this turned out not to be an issue as Mary Jane will not be a prominent part of the Spider-Man sequel. However, Woodley would play a bigger part in the third film, which is even more evidence that the death of Gwen Stacy will play out in the second instalment.
Oh Peter, if only you had listened to Gwen’s father instead of just pretending you were going to listen to avoid dealing with Gwen’s grief.
What do you think? Are you a Spider-Man fan? Do you think Woodley will be able to compete with Emma Stone (Wood versus Stone)? Which of Spidey’s love interests is your favourite, Gwen or MJ? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe and, if you liked this post, click the like button.
Paranormal Activity 4 is set to arrive in cinemas on the 19th of October, just in time for Halloween, but is there any scare left in the series?
If there’s one thing movie goers have learned from the first three Paranormal Activity movies it’s that demons only go after people who have a strange compulsion to videotape their entire lives, watch out Kardashians. This message is further hammered home in the fourth instalment.
Paranormal Activity 4 takes place in 2011 making it the first full sequel to the original film, with number two acting as both a prequel and a small sequel. It follows a new, unrelated, family who have some creepy new neighbour, a mother a her child. After the mother is taken to hospital her creepy six year old son is sent to live with the family and brings some paranormal activity along with him.
Each Paranormal Activity film has brought something new to the mix, whether it’s the multiple cameras of number two or the moving fan camera in number three, and the fourth is no different. This time we get hidden cameras. The family’s laptops are all set to record with the only one knowing about it being the teenage daughter. Though in reality this would probably lead to some emotional scarring, in the movie it creates an interesting situation were the daughter is unable to prove what is going on to her family.
Another additional feature is the use of the Xbox Kinect’s motion sensors, which give viewers, and the family, the opportunity to see some ghostly movement. While it was fun to try spot ghostly activity in the bright green dots projected by the Xbox the majority of the time it was pretty obvious and seemed underused as it mostly picked up the movements of the living.
The actors were really good, which audiences have come to expect from Paranormal Activity movies. It doesn’t feel like watching actors it’s more like an actual family recording themselves. Even the children were sufficiently creepy. Though bringing in creepy children is likely to inspire comparisons between this film and classics like The Omen and The Shining and I think the writers knew that so they had fun with it even having a scene that actually mirrors one from The Shining, don’t worry you’ll know it when you see it.
Though the series was never one that I personally found particularly scary, the plot is very clever and will keep you interested whether it scares you or not. There’s even subplots that make the family that much more believable. Also the characters are likeable so you’ll actually be rooting for them and may even be disappointed if they die.
What do you think? Are you a fan of the Paranormal Activity franchise? Do you think they should stop at number four? Will you be going to see this movie? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below. Also don’t forget to subscribe and, if you liked this post, click the like button.