Skyfall Preview and 50 Years of Bond
weavers   fandango
Verdict: See It!     
David's Review
"It's the biggest, it's the best, 007" - that was the tagline for THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. Roger Moore at his best - menacing, deadly, sexy and funny. He hit his stride in this movie, and it had the best gadgets - how cool is the amphibicar? And this movie introduced us to my favorite bond villain, "Jaws". It also created the concept of detente in Bond movies as a Russian and America nuclear sub are captured, and Bond much work with a Soviet agent to retrieve the subs before a nuclear holocaust ensues. And speaking of Russian spies - it has the most beautiful and dangerous bond girl ever, Barbara Bach, who ended up marrying a Beatle! And to top it off, they got away from the bombastic, repetitive Bond themes and let Carly Simon sing a love song to James written by Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager, which is also my favorite Bond theme as well. I rest my case.
As for the new 007 thriller coming out in November, the franchise has to overcome the hurdle of having been away for four years - a lifetime in this business! The story is one we have heard before - specifically in "You Only Live Twice". James is "killed" in a mission that goes terribly wrong, only to resurface when "M" and all of MI-5 is threatened. And that is where I believe the story must focus - on the "Mother and Son" relationship between M and 007. The mother-son complex that he been so strongly set up between M and 007 gives this movie the emotional resonance that it needs to set it apart from all the other action thrillers.
Daniel Craig returns as Bond and he has always been the most physical of the Bonds, and he brings that physical dominance to play once again here. Javier Bardem is not so much the bad guy but the keeper of secrets, who appears to have a past and connection with both M and 007, which makes him a more complex and interesting character.
But the biggest surprise here is the new 'Q' - played by Ben Whishaw. He is young and as you would expect, super-smart - the kind of kid that could be an internet millionaire but prefers being a spy widget instead. And he can clearly hold his own with James - something that Q has always been able to do. Again the writers understood that James has been away for an eternity in the movie world - four years - so it's more important to re-introduce us to his world which means giving us characters over plot (not to say that this plot is not an interesting one). Giving M and Q such larger roles in this story grounds the action and plot because everything is new and yet familiar.


Sean's Review
Daniel Craig is back in his third James Bond film, Skyfall, which is a self-contained story rather than a direct follow up to Quantum of Solace. 007 is presumed dead after a disastrous mission in Istanbul, the names of all MI6 agents are leaked to the internet, and M (Judi Dench) is under review by the government for her handling of the situation. Bond reappears and M sends him after Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), who claims a personal connection to Bond and M. Bond finds his loyalty to M tested as he discovers secrets about her past. If the trailers are any indication, Bond 23 is sure to be exciting and action packed, as written by franchise regulars Neil Purvis and Robert Wade, as well as Gladiator and Hugo scribe John Logan. We have the return of Q as played by Ben Whishaw, and new character Mallory, played by "Voldemort" himself Ralph Fiennes. If Javier Bardem is half as creepy as he was in No Country for Old Men he'll be a classic Bond villain. Sam Mendes, who really isn't an action director, seems like an odd choice for a Bond film, but new blood to the franchise can always be a plus, and with a four year hiatus since the last Bond Quantum of Solace due to MGM's financial difficulties, there's no reason why Skyfall shouldn't be one of the most anticipated movies of the Fall season.


Leah's Review
Director Guy Hamilton and screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz were at the helm of my two favorite James Bond movies: Diamonds are Forever (1971) starring Sean Connery, Jill St. John, Charles Gray, the best Blofeld villain (although Donald Pleasance is a close runner up); and Live and Let Die (1973) starring Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto, and Jane Seymour. Diamonds and heroin smuggling are at the center of each respective film's plot, with fantastic contraptions, beautiful women, and great soundtracks. With Connery full of wit and charm, and Moore full of camp, these actors never fail to draw audiences into their respective worlds of espionage, womanizing, and foiling of evil deeds. Jill St. John as Tiffany Case is an atypical Bond Girl: while no Pussy Galore, she is brings an American sensibility to the Bond female canon, a spitfire who hides secret tapes in her itty bitty bikini and actively engages in assisting Bond in foiling Blofeld.
This year's Skyfall (2012) starring Daniel Craig promises to continue this tradition with explosive action and special effects this time with Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition) in the director's chair. Craig, already proven a worthy inheritor to the franchise with Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, replaces Connery's wit and charm with an edgy intensity with dashing good looks to boot! I am eagerly anticipating its release and its title song is already in airplay.