Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cinema Babble:ba-da daDa, duh daDa! Bond, back.

The Flick: Skyfall

The Peeps: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Albert Finney, Naomie Harris, etc, etc.

The Dealio: Craig's Bond is back, and so are a raft of nods to Bond's 50 years in Her Majesty's Secret Service. From the intro, complete with Adele's soaring song, the pyrotechnics-laden opening shot,  trad touches abound. This time out, Bond is killed before we even get through the credits. No spoiler here, you know that would make a heckuva short movie. Besides, it's in all the trailers. When his country and MI-5 need him the most, there ya go, he is back in the game- not shaken, but definitely stirred to action. In a cat-and-mouse game of terrorism on the home turf, M and Bond are not sure who-if anyone-can be trusted. Public outcry demands M step down and her boss (Fiennes' Mallory) is willing to give in to the demands. Of course, you just know she ain't gonna just go quietly. Reluctant though she is to pin all her hopes on the recently resurrected agent, you know that, in the end, M will call on Bond to take a quiet hand  in sorting this mess out. Into the mix comes the uneasy feeling that the perp (or perps) either have extensive insider knowledge and expertise- or actually are insiders at MI-5. Well? Which is it? The next two-thirds of the flick spool out spinning us back and forth, around the globe, with barely a moment to catch our breath(s). Car chases, bike chases, foot chases and, natch, a plethora of uniquely choreographed devises, plots and plans (No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die...slowly and tortuously, over the next 48 hours) have us alternately rolling our eyes and hitching forward in our seats. And what's up with Bardem's Silva's weird hair. Does Bardem have a fierce attraction to roles requiring  odd-ball rugs?  We also get a glimpse of Bond's back story and finally figure out the meaning of this film's title. Not bad for a single day's viewing.

The Grading Session: 4.87 pengies out of 5. The pic did go on a taddy bit too long. So, again, editing is king. But the casting remains spot-on, the ol' 007 we have come to know and love is back and, even though the spy world is rife with change, as many would say: change is good. Here, it is jolly good, indeed. Already looking forward to more Bond gigs.

Lessons Learned: The bad guys, despite all the advanced weaponry at their disposal, still shoot like Imperial Storm Troopers. When will they ever learn that the firing range is free and open seven days a week? Practice, dudes. Practice.
Also this: Reason #5,004 why I would make a lousy secret agent: I simply can not countenance having a gun battle slash chase across the 2000th floor of a Hong Kong high rise. Or any other 2000th floor highrise, for that matter. Can't these folks ever just duke it out at street level?
Lastly this: it is damned near impossible to keep a great 007 down. There. I've said it. Your mileage may vary.

Notable Quotables: Gareth Mallory to M: Eleanor, be sensible. Retire with dignity...

M: Dignity! To Hell with dignity! I'll retire when my goddamn job is finally done.

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