Skyfall (2012) – 8/10 Bond / M movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Sam Mendes
Writer (Characters’ Creator) James Bond 007: Ian Fleming
Daniel Craig: James Bond 007
Judi Dench: M
Javier Bardem: Silva
Writer: Neal Purvis
Writer: Robert Wade
Writer: John Logan
Ralph Fiennes: Gareth Mallory
Naomie Harris: Eve
Bérénice Marlohe: Sévérine
Albert Finney: Kincade
Producer: Barbara Broccoli
Producer: Michael G. Wilson

Skyfall (2012)

While attempting to retrieve a list containing the identities of every undercover agent in NATO territory, Bond is badly injured – at one point, he is presumed dead – but his irrepressible call of duty compels him to attempt a quick return to active duty. M wants him back too, as he is her man for fighting those in the shadows.

8/10

"Some men are coming to kill us. We’re gonna to kill them first." – James Bond
This is a less bombastic than usual, great-looking Bond which manages to deliver a myriad of welcome touches of humour and nods to the franchise including a better-than-expected cameo from Goldfinger. Sad to say, the action is not given enough clarity once more, not as shredded as Quantum of Solace thankfully, but generally the audience isn’t given quite enough information to comprehend the scene (leaving the opening crane sequence of Casino Royale the only iconic action of Daniel Craig’s Bond so far). The real goods in Skyfall is the cast. The movie truly captivates when Bardem’s bad guy eventually makes his classic entrance. He’s cool, insane and unsettling quite apart from his memorable physical appearance and ghoulish secret. Daniel Craig conveys Bond’s strut managing to withstand considerable onslaught from the moving times, his own aging, injured body and Bardem’s hand. But the absolute highlight of Skyfall is Judi Dench. She knocks one-liners out of the park (she’s much better at them than Craig), she has chemistry with absolutely everyone, she has charisma beyond her diminutive size, she conveys humanity and necessary hardness. It turns out that this isn’t just a Bond film, it’s a M film.

This movie contains a single sexual swear word, bad language, adult dialogue and violence and mild sexuality.

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

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007: Blood Stone (2010) – 6/10 third-person / driving action James Bond game review

Cast / crew
Daniel Craig: James Bond 007
Writer (Characters’ Creator): Ian Fleming
Joss Stone: Nicole Hunter
Judi Dench: M
Stunt Coordinator: Benjamin Cooke
Music: Richard Jacques
Writer: Bruce Feirstein

007: Blood Stone (2010)

Bond is assigned to rescue missing professor Malcolm Tedworth

6/10

This is a good-looking, generally smooth-playing action and driving game but, as with most Bond games (and the Uncharted games, interestingly), there are simply too many goons to take down. Each level goes on for too long because of it and the proliferation of henchmen to de-hench reduces the irresistible forward-momentum a Bond game should have. Nevertheless, Blood Stone does have it’s moments which generally come from getting yourself out of trouble with a melee takedown followed by a quick Focus Aim shot. I think the holders of the Bond license should produce a game with a lot less shooting in it; perhaps structured more like a Bioware-lite action adventure rather than a duck hunt where somebody else eats the succulent bird during a cut scene and tells you how tasty it was.

This game contains strong melee violence, some mild graphic violence, gun violence.

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

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Quantum of Solace (2008) – 7/10 Bond movie review

Cast / crew
Daniel Craig: James Bond 007
Writer (Characters’ Creator): Ian Fleming
Olga Kurylenko: Camille
Mathieu Amalric: Dominic Greene
Giancarlo Giannini: Mathis
Jeffrey Wright: Felix Leiter
Judi Dench: M
Writer: Paul Haggis
Writer: Neal Purvis
Writer: Robert Wade
Producer: Michael G. Wilson
Producer: Barbara Broccoli
Director: Marc Forster

Quantum of Solace (2008)

After capturing Mr White, Bond and M are introduced to a shadowy organisation whose existence they knew nothing about. As Bond chases down leads with his now-customary deadly efficiency, he finds himself being pushed outside the protection of the intelligence community by the unseen forces he is trying to learn more about and both the CIA and MI6 would consider it expedient if he were eliminated.

7/10

While this is certainly a good action adventure with an interesting story involving the illusion and abuse of international power-sharing and an action hero learning not to kill, what it’s not, really, is a Bond movie. There’s no sense of fun, style, joie de vive, if you will. Director Marc Forster also allows his editors to remove all sense of shape and elegance from the stunts and action (the coolest moment is Bond hopping over a hotel balcony; it’s not even in an action scene) making them largely indecipherable and indistinguishable from any other contemporary actioner. Perhaps now that Bond has got his re-education out of the way, next time franchise keepers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli will allow him and us to enjoy ourselves a bit more and instruct the editors to just calm down a bit.

This movie contains mild swear words and strong melee violence, gun violence and mild nudity, mild sensuality, brief sexual violence.

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

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