For such a successful franchise of movies, there is no denying that of the 23 James Bond installments, a handful of the movies are nothing special on their own. That is to say, strip away the Bond allure and you’re left with a lot of movies that probably resemble a 2014 Kevin Costner film (3 Days to Kill, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit… you get the picture). But the most recent entry Skyfall certainly does not fit into this category of Bond movies. In many ways, Sam Mendes’ first Bond movie is not a typical Bond film; making it not just a great James Bond movie, but a great movie in general.
Mendes gives the viewer this sense early when Q says to Bond — but really to the audience as a sort of aside — “what did you expect, an exploding pen?” It’s Mendes way of saying, “what did you expect, a typical Bond movie?” In the case of Q, what he gives Bond — a fingerprint encoded gun — is even better. And in the case of Mendes, what he gives the viewer is also far better.
Continue reading Skyfall (2012)
Transformers: Age of Extinction is simply awful. There is no use in saying it any other way. There’s hardly any use in reviewing the thing at all, really. By some sick twist of fate a recent transpacific flight held only a handful of movies in store, all of which I had seen with the exception of Age of Extinction. I read the safety instruction card first, and you know what? I’d rather review the f*cking safety instruction card.
As far as safety instruction cards go, I found this one (for a Boeing 777) to be colorful and well-mapped out. The characters fasten their seatbelts, make sure their seats recline and their tray tables go up and down, switch off their iPods. They take note as to whether they are seated in an exit row. Disaster strikes. They enter a variety of brace positions and assist small children with their oxygen masks before adjusting their own. What is this disaster? The safety instruction card leaves this ambiguous. This is the world we live in: anything could strike at any moment. We must be prepared.
Continue reading Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)