Release Date:Part I: ….ber ..th, 2012; Part II: ….ber ..th, 2012; Part III: ….ber ..th, 2013 Directed by: Toshiyuki Kubooka Written by: Ichiro Okouchi Based on:Berserk by Kentaro Miura Music by: Shiro Sagisu, Susumu Hirasawa Cast: Hiroaki Iwanaga, Takahiro Sakurai, Toa Yukinari, Marc Diraison, Kevin T. Collins, Carrie Keranen
“Heed my words, Struggler. Soon a rain of blood, the likes of which you cannot imagine, shall fall down upon you. It will be a storm of death. But take heed, Struggler. Struggle, endure, contend. For that alone is the sword of one who defies death. Do not forget these words.” – Skull Knight
Since I watched the anime television series that served as a sequel to this first, I had a very different perspective going into this trilogy of anime films.
Being that I knew where these characters would end up, actually made me a lot more interested in how they got there, which is a place very far from where they start at the beginning of the first movie in this trilogy.
I also now have all the context regarding the three main characters in these films and it’s made me want to go back and watch the anime series again, as I think it’ll have even more of an impact.
I guess whatever order you watch these in is up to you and you probably should watch the animated Berserk material in order. If you’d prefer to do it that way, you should start with the original animated series from the late ’90s, which I actually haven’t seen yet. But I’m going to watch it in the next week or two, coming off of the high of this.
As far as these three films go, they’re pretty fucking exceptional.
The story and the relationships of the three main characters is what made this so great. A lot happens in these three films and by the end of them, you’re left exhausted and emotionally overloaded. And to be honest, I didn’t expect this to end with such an emotional punch to the gut.
It’s fucked up, tragic and you find yourself pretty fucking angry over what a particular character ends up doing to those you assumed he loved. Especially, after everything they went through together over a pretty long passage of time.
The animation is also pretty damn stellar. Overall, this looks better than the show that followed it.
As these three films rolled on, I wasn’t sure how all of this would pan out and whether or not there’d be a grand, worthwhile payoff. This exceeded any expectations I could have had for it and from my perspective, I’d call the entire body of work a masterpiece.
Also known as: Silent Hill 2 (working title), Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (poster title) Release Date: October 25th, 2012 (Hong Kong, Russia, Ukraine) Directed by: Michael J. Bassett Written by: Michael J. Bassett Based on:Silent Hill 3 by Konami Music by: Jeff Danna, Akira Yamaoka Cast: Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington, Deborah Kara Unger, Martin Donovan, Malcolm McDowell, Carrie-Anne Moss, Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell, Heather Marks
“The darkness is coming. It’s safer to be inside.” – Dahlia
That’s what this movie is.
I don’t know if the six year hiatus is what caused this to be such an atrocious follow-up to the first Silent Hill movie but man, this was fucking terrible.
It tries to naturally follow the plot of the first movie, which loosely adapted the first two Silent Hill video games, by loosely adapting the third game. However, it gets a hell of a lot wrong and apparently the writer/director didn’t pay close attention to the first movie, as several things contradict and retcon it.
The story is garbage and frankly, it makes little to no sense if it actually exists in the same universe as the previous movie. That first film’s rules no longer apply and this is a sequel that just makes shit up as it goes along and does whatever it wants for plot convenience. It’s lazily crafted in every way and it derailed this from becoming a film franchise built on top of the video game franchise.
This movie also stars very capable actors but in this, they all give their worst performances.
Additionally, the special effects are CGI heavy and the movie looks a lot cheaper than the successful first one. Usually, this means that a studio will spend more money. However, this looks like a mediocre fan film made by first year film students.
I don’t know what else to say. There’s not a single good thing about this movie and everything that could’ve gone wrong, apparently did.
I’m sorry your agent talked you into this, Mr. McDowell.
Fuck this movie.
Rating: 3/10 Pairs well with: it’s far superior predecessor. But more importantly, the video game series. Specifically, the first three games.
Release Date: July 15th, 2012 Directed by: Phil Joanou Written by: Chad St. John Based on:The Punisher by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, John Romita Sr. Music by: Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard (The Dark Knight soundtrack) Cast: Thomas Jane, Ron Perlman, Shannon Collis, Jack Goldenberg, Sammi Rotibi, Brandee Steger, Karlin Walker
1984 Private Defense Contractors, RAW Studios, 10 Minutes
“Couple of years back, that was me standing right where you are now, looking out that door. The difference was, a little girl back there.” – Big Mike
For just a ten minute movie, this delivers the tension, suspense and incredibly badass payoff that is usually reserved for a regular feature length film. Dirty Laundry packs a solid f’n punch and it is hands down, one of the best fan films ever made.
No, it doesn’t feature great amateur special effects or costumes like some of the other impressive comic book fan movies out there, it just features a solid actor that loves his role, a second solid actor that turned it up to eleven and a filmmaking crew that understood the source material and authentically tries to both build off of it and compliment it.
The Punisher: Dirty Laundry didn’t just succeed in what it set out to do, it exceeded it.
Tom Jane, once again, proved that he was the perfect Frank Castle. And if this film does anything, it proves that point pretty definitively. In fact, this made me want a proper sequel more than I ever thought I did.
There has been talks about another one of these fan films in the future but it’s been quite some time since this one came out. Still, it’s something I’d love to see and I hope that the right people can get involved and just give us a full-length film with Jane, front and center, bringing justice to more scumbags.
This was competently shot, fantastically written, perfectly acted and even if the gunshot effects weren’t perfect, it didn’t wreck the satisfying feeling you get in your gut seeing The Punisher turn vigilante, once again.
I’ve linked to the entire short film below.
Rating: 9/10 Pairs well with: the 2004 Punisher movie with Thomas Jane, as well as other Punisher movies and the Netflix television show.
Release Date: January 28th, 2012 (France – Gerardmer Fantasy Film Festival) Directed by: Josh Trank Written by: Josh Trank, Max Landis Cast: Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly, Ashley Hinshaw, Anna Wood
Davis Entertainment, Dune Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, 89 Minutes, 89 Minutes (Director’s Cut)
“Please believe me, Steve. Please, it’s just I-I don’t know what I did. I lost control, and I’m so sorry. This thing, it’s just becoming a part of me now and I don’t… I miss you, Steve.” – Andrew Detmer
I kind of wanted to see this back in 2012 when it came out but apparently not enough to actually get off of my ass and go to the theater. That was also a busy year for me, as I was at the height of writing political commentary and free time was a fantasy.
Years have now passed and I kind of lost interest after seeing how awful Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four movie was. However, this was available on Cinemax and I figured I’d finally give it a shot.
This isn’t a bad film but it’s not a particularly good one either. It’s fairly impressive for being made on a very small budget but it also takes advantage of the “found footage” style that was way too popular at the time.
Still, the big finale is superbly executed and pulled off really well. Everything leading up to that, however, is just okay.
The plot follows three teens who find a weird glowing star thing in a cave in the woods. This thing gives them telekinetic powers. Over time, they grow stronger but one of them is a tortured teen that comes from a terrible home life and is also picked on relentlessly by bullies at school. So, you probably know where this is going.
Anyway, angsty teen ends up hurting people and also accidentally kills one of his friends. The finale sees the angsty teen’s cousin try to stop him from hurting more people, as the police come out in full force to take him out.
For the most part, this is enjoyable and certainly worth checking out for those who like this genre. But it’s nothing special, which is probably why it’s fallen down the cultural memory hole.
The acting and direction are okay but nothing really stands out. Ultimately, it’s a bit better than meh but much better films have explored these concepts already.
Rating: 6/10 Pairs well with:Brightburn, Super 8 and Project Almanac.
Also known as: Arkham, Gotham, Batman 3 (working titles), Magnus Rex (fake working title), TDKR (informal short title) Release Date: July 16th, 2012 (New York City premiere) Directed by: Christopher Nolan Written by: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer Based on: characters by DC Comics Music by: Hans Zimmer Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Matthew Modine, Ben Mendelsohn, Burn Gorman, Juno Temple, Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson, Nestor Carbonell, Desmond Harrington, Thomas Lennon, William Devane
DC Entertainment, Legendary Entertainment, Warner Bros., 164 Minutes
“There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.” – Selina Kyle
Where I’ve seen the first two films in this trilogy at least a dozen times each, I’ve only seen this one once: in the theater. If I’m being honest, I didn’t have much urge to see it again after my initial experience. But I’ll explain why as I roll on and review it.
I was pretty excited for this film but I also knew that it would be damn hard to top The Dark Knight or to try and replicate its greatness. Well, I wasn’t wrong. And while this isn’t a bad movie, it’s certainly the weakest of the trilogy and just falls flat when compared to the other two pictures.
To start, I was a bit perplexed when I first heard that Bane was going to be the big bad of the movie. I don’t necessarily have a problem with Bane but after following The Joker and Two-Face, I felt like the third film should’ve featured more of the old school villains, as opposed to bringing in a more modern one that is kind of boring by comparison. I mean, a Christopher Nolan movie featuring The Riddler, The Penguin or hell, even The Mad Hatter, could’ve been really intriguing.
What we got instead was pretty much a rehash of the threat and the plot of the first movie: Batman Begins. In fact, in this film, Bane is even tied to the same villainous organization of that film. We also get a curveball where we find out he really isn’t the big bad but that just kind of makes the overall story even more redundant.
I guess I understand why Nolan chose Bane, as he wanted to try and keep his Batman films grounded in reality as much as one can with a comic book property but seeing a secret Illuminati-type group descend upon Gotham City with the hopes of using a superweapon to destroy it is derivative of the director’s own work.
Now we do get Catwoman in the film but she is written to be the most sterile and boring version of the character I’ve ever seen. Sure, Anne Hathaway is stunning but for whatever reason, Catwoman just doesn’t feel sexy or believable as someone that can ensnare Bruce Wayne/Batman. She just isn’t interesting and it’s hard to imagine her as someone that could pull Bruce’s heart out of the pain it still feels, eight years after the death of Rachel.
Hell, Bruce’s little romantic moments with Miranda/Talia seem more genuine and their relationship isn’t supposed to be the one the audience is pulling for even before the big plot twist reveals itself.
The film’s overall story is trying to be as good of a thriller as the previous two. It just isn’t and that’s the real issue with it. While I do want to see the heroes beat the baddies and win out in the end, the film just comes off as repetitive and dull. It feels like a weak copy of the first two pictures with a much slower pace and a broken back side quest that slows the movie to a halt. I just can’t get as into it as I did the other movies.
Now I get that “breaking the Bat” and dropping him into a hole was about building him back up to make him stronger and that we needed to get him out of Gotham so that Bane could grow his power but it’s a half-assed recreation of the Knightfall plot. This story also only seems to borrow from it because it was Bane’s most iconic moment and biggest temporary victory in the comics. And with Batman overcoming his incredible injury and then climbing out of a hole deemed “impossible” to escape, it all kind of wrecks Nolan’s strive for realism. You can’t simply punch a popped disc back into someone’s spine.
I also hated the film’s ending but I think I’m done harping on the negatives, as I probably sound like I dislike this quite a bit, when I actually don’t.
The film is well-acted and that’s what really makes this work where it does.
I really dug Tom Hardy as Bane, even if his voice has become a social meme. I also just loved seeing the regular cast get back together for one more adventure. Bale, Caine, Freeman and Oldman are all so great in these roles and I loved the final act of the film where we get to see Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon get very involved. My only complaint about Caine’s Alfred is I didn’t like how Bruce pushed him away and left him without much to do in the second half of the film.
Additionally, I really enjoyed Marion Cotillard as the character who would reveal herself as Talia al Ghul. I only wish that we would have gotten to see her be more of a badass but her big reveal comes at the end of the movie and she’s not around much longer after that. Not having a Talia versus Selina fight was a missed opportunity.
The film also boasts great cinematography but why would anyone expect any less from Nolan at this point? I liked the brighter look of the town, especially in the third act, and how a lot of the film happens in daylight.
The final act, which sees Batman and the GCPD bring the fight to the League of Shadows in the streets was superb and chilling. Watching Batman and the cops take it to the villainous terrorists head-on was incredible and the best moment in the film. Watching Batman and Bane fight in a sea of people was also damn spectacular.
All in all, this is still one of the greatest superhero movies ever made. It just happens to be the worst of its trilogy and if I’m being honest, it felt like Christopher Nolan and the writers were just tired and wanted to move on to the next phase of their lives.
However, even if someone else would have to step in and do it, I’d rather see this film series continue, as opposed to seeing Warner Bros. keep trying to reboot Batman. Just let Nolan produce and pick the best creative team to help build off of his vision. I mean, a Joseph Gordon-Levitt Nightwing movie in this cinematic universe would certainly get my money.
Rating: 8.25/10 Pairs well with: the other two films in The Dark Knight Trilogy.
Release Date: June 13th, 2012 (Tokyo premiere) Directed by: Marc Webb Written by: James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent, Steve Kloves Based on:The Amazing Spider-Man by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko Music by: James Horner Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Sally Field, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, Martin Sheen, C. Thomas Howell
Marvel Entertainment, Arad Production Inc., Matt Tolmach Productions, Laura Ziskin Productions, Inc., Columbia Pictures, 136 Minutes
“Peter? I know things have been difficult lately and I’m sorry about that. I think I know what you’re feeling. Ever since you were a little boy, you’ve been living with so many unresolved things. Well, take it from an old man. Those things send us down a road… they make us who we are. And if anyone’s destined for greatness, it’s you, son. You owe the world your gifts. You just have to figure out how to use them and know that wherever they take you, we’ll always be here. So, come on home, Peter. You’re my hero… and I love you!” – Ben Parker
I never had much urge to re-watch this. However, I hadn’t yet reviewed it and a lot of time had passed. So I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try to revisit it with somewhat fresh eyes and little memory of it, other than I didn’t particularly like it.
Almost from the get go, though, I realized that this would be a real slog to get through.
I was immediately reminded of how much I don’t like Andrew Garfield. While I’ve only really seen him in these Spider-Man movies and The Social Network, he does smarmy, self-impressed douchebag so well, I can’t see him as anything but that. His Spider-Man is terrible and his Peter Parker is even worse. Granted, he probably looks the part better than anyone else.
This film is also wrecked by atrocious, cookie cutter dialogue, the overabundance of superhero movie tropes and not actually understanding its source material and characters. All the Flash Thompson stuff is garbage and that’s not the actor’s fault, it’s the way the character is written and presented. He’s not a lowest common denominator asshole bully from an ’80s movie with a hip-hop makeover. He’s actually a guy that didn’t like Peter Parker looking at his girl but actually used to try and include him despite that friction. He was a complex character that often times showed that he wasn’t some jack off meathead.
The film also alters some of the key parts of Spider-Man’s origin and pales in comparison to the 2002 Spider-Man film’s ability to adapt those elements. Also, this film, for some reason, just makes up a bunch of random shit and has to make Peter’s dad some special somebody tied to all the villain shit.
Beyond that, even the action is crap. The CGI is shit and the look of The Lizard is so underwhelming and disappointing that fans of that character will feel immensely cheated.
The villain’s plot is dumb, run of the mill schlock that just made me scratch my head and audibly say, “Really?” even though I was alone in my room.
The only high point in this film is Emma Stone but she’s Emma fucking Stone. She has a beauty and natural charm that other modern actresses just can’t compete with. Well, except for a select few. She’s just likable in everything and she, at least, brightens up the film when she’s in it.
I also mostly liked Denis Leary, Sally Field and Martin Sheen in this but the bad script didn’t do them any favors.
Ultimately, this is a dud. I like it better than its deplorable sequel but even then, this picture was a huge misstep in just about every way.
Release Date: August, 2012 Directed by: Michael Elliot Cast: Bill Behrens, Jason Caley, Dory Funk Jr., Terry Funk, Rob Kellum, Adam Pearce, Chance Prophet, Harley Race, Damien Wayne, various
Ellbow Productions, Highspots, … Minutes
I was kind of excited to watch History & Tradition: The Story of the National Wrestling Alliance because I’ve been a fan of the NWA my entire life and because I really enjoyed the recent documentaries I watched on Championship Wrestling From Florida and the one about Memphis wrestling called Memphis Heat.
Both of those other two documentaries were top notch but this one felt like it was a step down.
The main reason for that is due to this mostly being comprised of clips from various shoot interviews that were cut up and re-edited into this. Now many of the documentaries offered at Highspots are done in the same way but for whatever reason, this one felt more sporadic in how it told its stories and it just didn’t have enough material with the people that were there.
Granted, they had to work with what they had but I feel like this could’ve been a much better film had they got interviews that were specifically shot for this feature. Sometimes this spliced together stuff works and sometimes it misses its mark.
Now I can’t say that it entirely misses its mark, as there is still a lot here to take in and digest. It also delves into all the eras of the NWA that predate the current one.
Rating: 6.75/10 Pairs well with: other wrestling documentaries by Ellbow Productions and put out by Highspots.
Also known as: Alien 0 (working title) Release Date: April 11th, 2012 (Paris premiere) Directed by: Ridely Scott Written by: Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof Music by: Marc Streitenfeld Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron, Benedict Wong, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Kate Dickie, Emun Elliot, Patrick Wilson, Ian Whyte, Daniel James
Dune Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, 20th Century Fox, 124 Minutes
“Big things have small beginnings.” – David
I remember initially liking this when it came out but the more I thought about it, processed everything that happened and then applied it all to my knowledge of the long running Alien franchise, it all started to fall apart.
I think what happened was that I was effected by the film in the same way that J. J. Abrams movies effect me, initially. I’m overloaded by a rapid pace, random shit happening so fast I can’t process it, constant information dumps and then a big, over the top, action-filled finale that serves to be a gargantuan exclamation point on a big smorgasbord of “what the fuck?”
Ultimately, this movie doesn’t make any fucking sense. And that really fucking sucks because it has some really good things working for it that lose their effect because the human brain isn’t made to process bullshit, especially at the pace that the Micro Machines commercial dude could spout off a run-on sentence like this one.
Prometheus was probably my most anticipated film of 2012. I was ecstatic for it and I was sold on the trailers. But upon seeing it, something didn’t feel right, it’s like my brain was pre-programmed to love it and I didn’t want to feel what I was really feeling underneath it all: disappointment and confusion.
It’s a disjointed clusterfuck of a movie, poorly written with contrivances, conveniences, random weirdness and some horrendously bad dialogue that made me feel bad for the superbly talented cast that had to stumble throughout this picture.
For instance, the scene where Charlize Theron reveals that Guy Pearce is her father was absolute fucking cringe. How does that happen in a scene with just Charlize Theron and Guy Pearce? They’re fucking legends at this point!
Every development in this movie was nonsensical and contradictory to the personalities that were established for its characters. All the weird alien twists and turns didn’t add up and just created more questions than this film tried to answer.
In fact, even though this movie does clue you in to the origin of the alien xenomorph species (and the human race), it creates more questions, builds more mystery and turns what should have been a really simple and cool plot into something so damn messy that a team of mental hospital janitors on cocaine couldn’t keep up with the diarrhea spilling out on the floor from the writers’ asses.
What’s with the black goo? What’s with the alien cobras? What’s with the squid that turned massive in an hour? What’s with the weird looking xenomorph? Why did the Engineers on the holographic replay run into the room with the dangerous shit? How did David know what to do with any of this shit? Why did we need the Weyland side plot? Hell, why didn’t they just cast an old guy instead of forcing Guy Pearce into an old man mask from Spencer’s? What’s with the ginger chickenshit turning into a space zombie with a ballooned out head? Why did the Engineer ignore Elizabeth but then go way out of his way to track her down to kill her later? Why did the women run in the path of the giant ship rolling towards them and not cut left or right? After the ship took off, crashed and then rolled like a renegade tire, why was David laying in the same spot where he got his head ripped off? How did his head not pinball around the ship? Why the fuck did I watch this a second time?
Prometheus is incompetent. It’s so incompetent that it hurts and frankly, I don’t think I was initially suppressing these feelings and observations, I think that I was just overwhelmed by how much bullshit was forced down my throat that I couldn’t make sense out of any of it. I was hit in the brain with a sledgehammer nearly every five minutes for two hours straight. Frankly, it took seven years for me to collect my thoughts and give this picture a second viewing.
I thought that maybe I was overreacting and that maybe I missed some glue that held it all together. Nope, it’s still shit. And it absolutely fucking sucks because this shouldn’t have been a clusterfuck of biblical proportions. It should’ve set some things up easily and then followed the framework established by the original film. Hell, it could’ve followed the second film or even combined the two. This isn’t rocket surgery!
Anyway, when I saw Alien: Covenant, I initially thought that it was worse than this but it’s not. That’s still a shitty film for the most part but this thing takes the cake.
Prometheus is insulting. It believes that it is some great mystery and highly intelligent film. It isn’t. In fact, it actually feels like my fifteen year-old cousin’s fan fiction work for his blog that has seven followers after two years. I try and give the kid advice but he just goes, “Fuck off, boomer!” Whatever, I’m Gen-X, bitch and your shipping of Hicks and Bishop is just weird.
Rating: 4/10 Pairs well with: it’s direct sequel Alien: Covenant and the other Alien films other than the first two, which are far superior to anything else the franchise has done since.
Original Run: October 12th, 2012 – current Created by: Koji Yamamoto, George Wada, Kenji Tobori, Wakana Okamura Directed by: Naoyoshi Shiotani, Katsuyuki Motohiro Written by: Gen Urobuchi Based on:Saiko Pasu by Hikaru Miyoshi Music by: Yugo Kanno
Production I.G., Madman Entertainment, Funimation, Manga Entertainment, Fuji TV, 22 Episodes (so far), 25 Minutes (per episode)
I’ve been meaning to check out Psycho-Pass for awhile based off of a friend’s suggestion. Seeing that it was on Hulu, I figured I’d binge through it.
Now this show is highly regarded and it has a strong cyberpunk and neo-noir style to it but it just didn’t keep my attention. I’m not sure why, it’s visually alluring, the plot is interesting and I really liked the music.
I guess I just couldn’t get invested in any of the characters and everyone just sort of felt generic. Maybe’s it’s that they all dress the same or that each character has weak traits and are pre-loaded with overused tropes.
Honestly, this felt like someone had a trial version of some “build your own anime” software without any add-ons or premium content to work with.
I really wanted to like this, as it taps into a lot of things I’m into narratively and aesthetically but I couldn’t get past a dozen or so episodes before checking out. Granted, I’ll say that the first episode hooked me but then it all slipped away rather quickly.
This is all just my opinion, as again, this is pretty highly regarded and loved by a lot of people. Strangely, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
But it does look and sound great.
Rating: 6/10 Pairs well with: other cyberpunk anime: Ghost In the Shell movies and shows, Parasyte: The Maxim, etc.
Release Date: October 23rd, 2012 (London premiere) Directed by: Sam Mendes Written by: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade Based on: the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming Music by: Thomas Newman Cast: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Bérénice Lim Marlohe, Albert Finney, Judi Dench, Rory Kinnear
B23 Ltd., Eon Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures, 143 Minutes
“What is this if not betrayal? She sent you off to me, knowing you’re not ready, knowing you’re likely die. Mommy was very bad.” – Raoul Silva
Everyone seems to think that Casino Royale is the best of the lot when it comes to Daniel Craig’s James Bond films. Well, those people are wrong, as Skyfall is pretty close to perfection with a lot more action and meat than the mostly boring Casino Royale.
While the plot of this movie borrows a lot from the plot of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, I don’t really care, as it all works well within the film’s story and the payoff at the end is one of the best in James Bond movie history.
This film, at the sake of spoiling some plot details, brings a character arc to an end. That character is Judi Dench’s incarnation of M. It gives her a fitting and truly memorable exit from the series while examining the wreckage and collateral damage that someone in her position could cause by making the toughest decisions. A ghost from her past comes back to haunt her and even though he ultimately succeeds, this isn’t a film consumed by nihilism, so much as it is a reflection of a person’s life and having to come to terms with past actions.
What really made this work for me was the performance by Javier Bardem as the villainous Raoul Silva. The guy was just creepy as hell and legitimately scary in a way that modern Bond villains aren’t. Honestly, other than Christoph Waltz’s Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Spectre, does anyone remember any of the other Craig era baddies? And honestly, Silva blows Blofeld right out of the f’n water!
The plot had lots of layers and a good three act structure that actually had a very different aesthetic from act to act. The big finale in this looked breathtaking and is one of the best shot James Bond sequences of all-time. Plus, it added in Albert Finney and had him trying to get M to safety while Bond took on a small army, a military helicopter and a madman starving for revenge.
I also like that the film finally fleshed out MI6 with the inclusion of Moneypenny, Q and a new M. I had hoped that this would mean more going forward but since 2012, we’ve only gotten one other Bond movie and this new team has sort of lost its momentum. But I hope they get their time to shine some more in the upcoming Bond film, which looks to be Craig’s last.
Anyway, Skyfall, as far as the Craig movies go, is the bees f’n knees. It’s not bogged down by a three hour poker game or a writers’ strike like the two before it. It’s just action packed, classic Bond but retrofitted for modern audiences that want less camp and more gunfire.
Rating: 9.5/10 Pairs well with: the other Daniel Craig James Bond movies.
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