Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Monday, January 6, 2014


So basically everyone in the United States is freezing their nuts off today. Many folks are in the negatives. Y'all have my sympathies. However, I am not cold at the moment because I am in my long-sleeved attire and wearing my London Fog jacket. Did I also mention that I am inside where it is nice and warm? Warm, I say! Warm! I am feeling nice and cozy right now. Eat your collective cold hearts out!

Anyway, I need to make a post today. I got off work an hour early (at noon because business was slow as shit) and realized that I haven't posted squat in a few days. 

I'm thinking it's time for a movie review. I've been very bad about not watching movies for a while. Perhaps it's the hundreds of dollars I've been dropping on anime. Twenty bucks a month on anime memberships, the fifty bucks-a-season blu-ray box sets, eighty bucks alone on the first season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya DVD set (after guilt-tripping myself because I got a bootleg version for much cheaper), the shirts, as well as various items like keychains and CD's. With all that I just don't have a lot of dough to buy a bunch of movies. And the list of movies I want to buy is really, really long. Thank God for Netflix, though. I don't watch it enough for the aforementioned reasons, but when I do I always make it something I've been wanting to see for awhile. 

Skyfall was at the top of my queue. Yeah, I technically bought The Bond 50 for my mom this Christmas and I could mooch off of her blu-ray, but I don't roll like that. So I was glad that Netflix came to my rescue. For the moment anyway because I do plan on buying it in the future now that I've seen it. 

Now I don't know about you, but I am a pretty big James Bond fan. By that I mean that I have seen every single one of the movies (as well as the unofficial Thunderball remake Never Say Never Again) multiple times with the exception of Quantum of Solace and Skyfall. I haven't read the novels, though. Not a single one. I've wanted to try at least one of them and I'm sure I will eventually, but for now I don't mind sticking with the movies.

While debates about which Bond is better or what the best Bond movie is are always fun they always end up with the same answers. And by always I mean usually. Sean Connery is generally considered to be the best and Goldfinger, From Russia with Love, Dr. No, and typically On Her Majesty's Secret Service (a movie that could have been the best Bond movie of all time had it actually featured Connery) are considered to be the best Bond movies. Of course, every now and then you'll run into "that guy" that prefers Roger Moore and claims that Octopussy is the best Bond movie ever made. Fuck you, "that guy." Fuck you. 

However, this Daniel Craig guy is a serious contender for the best Bond ever. Casino Royale (the Batman Begins of James Bond movies) and Quantum of Solace showed us a glimpse of serious Bond greatness (although Quantum of Solace was very much the inferior of the two), but Skyfall is really where we hit pay dirt greatness. Skyfall is one of the best James Bond movies of all time and in my opinion it is the best. I love Sean Connery (certainly the best non-Bond actor next to Craig) and Goldfinger, but Skyfall is The Dark Knight of James Bond movies and Daniel Craig is perfect for it.

Daniel Craig's Bond is a cold and hardened man on the surface, but that is often a disguise for the surprisingly emotionally imbalanced person he is beneath. This sort of characterization hasn't been done before in the Bond movies. In the past he was either a largely two dimensional cold-blooded killer with a cold sense of humor (Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton could both fit this category although more so Connery during the early movies) or a complete goof (Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan and eventually Sean Connery, too). Of course, Bond was meant to be a dull and two dimensional kind of person, nothing more than a slick shark in a suit. The reason Ian Fleming chose the name James Bond was because it was the dullest he could think of. 

Of course, Ian Fleming himself never intended for James Bond to have much of a sense of humor or Scottish roots, either. So in a way even Connery's performance in Dr. No wasn't quite the true James Bond. In fact, Connery's performance in Dr. No influenced how Fleming wrote You Only Live Twice.

Had Fleming lived a longer life (he died in 1964) then I would love to know what he thought about so many of the Bond movies made from his films. I would especially like to know his thoughts on Skyfall

Skyfall incorporates a bit of all things Bond past. Certainly there's the scene with a famous Bond car that everyone should recognize right off the bat. A Bond newbie would have no idea what it meant, but if you know your Bond movies than you definitely smiled when you saw the car. The fact that the car plays an important part in the movie is even better. It's like the old Spock playing an important role in the new Star Trek. It just works and feels right and God bless it. 

Daniel Craig also pulls off what I think is the best Bond performance to date. Why? Well, I suppose Judi Dench's M character has something to do with that. Those two are definitely the dynamic duo in this movie and I am very glad that Judi Dench got some real screen time in this movie as well as a real character to work with. In the past Dench's M was just an authoritative face in a long line of authoritative faces in the Bond universe and while I certainly liked Judi Dench in the Brosnan movies, I think she is much better utilised in the Craig movies. Dench and Craig worked well as foils for each other and the their respective characters made the other stronger. 

Of course, one might accuse this film of a being a bit too touchy-feely what with having an emotional Bond and a harsh but caring M as Bond's mother figure and all that. Yeah, I suppose that's a fair (if not a bit douchey) opinion. It's a matter of taste, I suppose. I can't really imagine many people disliking this film for that reason alone, but if you do dislike this film than the Connery movies are still there, left untouched by this film. You are more than welcome to re-watch them until your heart's content, but you'd be selling yourself a bit short. 

Javier Bardem is the baddie in this movie. At first I thought he was just kind of a wimpy creep, but he surprised me a bit and by the end I thought he was one bad dude. Not quite Heath Ledger Joker stuff, but still a very good performance for an actor playing a Bond villain. I wish more of the Bond villains would be big name actors who can actually act and bring some life to what is essentially yet another in a long line of cardboard cutout villains. 

We also have a new Q in this movie. Desmond Llewelyn will never be replaced. Having John Cleese become the new Q in Die Another Day didn't sit so well with me even though I like Cleese and on the whole I don't think Die Another Day was all that bad. What was wrong with Die Another Day can scarcely be laid at Cleese's feet (or even Brosnan's for that matter). 

This new Q is rather good, though. I liked him because he was just different enough and yet still retained a few of the classic Q quirks. The guy who plays Q, Ben Whishaw, is someone I've never heard of, but I will remember the name. 

I personally loved the scenery in this movie, too. Especially the setting of the climax. Loved it. I rarely notice many of the exotic locations in the Bond world because after a while they all blend together (except for Moonraker because that one took place in space), but Skyfall stuck out to me. 

That's all I really have to say about this movie. At two and a half hours it is a long one, but you've got nothing better to do at the moment, right? Watching Skyfall is much better than freezing to death. 


  1. Haven't seen it but will put it on top of my list now.

    Love the first 5 Connery movies and Secret Majesty the best. I've got the Connery ones on blu-ray and they really look fantastic considering their age. The restoration is incredible.

    Check out this link. Scroll down to the box office numbers and look at the Connery films. When you see the budget figures and the gross, follow that over to the 2005 adjusted for inflation figures and check out how much freaking money those movies made. My movie going life started in the Roger Moore era but when I was a teen, a Bond movie release was a really big deal. I asked my dad about the Connery ones and he said that they were a huge deal as you can tell by the adjusted box office figures.

  2. I think I forgot the link