Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Craig’

This week’s releases include: an alternative to The Hunger Games; a cloud of mutated insects; a parental dispute; a narrative art film; a hasty remake; a return of old friends; and a disastrous night on the job. (more…)

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This week’s releases include: a bird watching adventure; a Canadian hockey movie; a quality prison drama; a spy thriller; an exceptional haunted house story; a look at crime in L.A., a fantastic sci-fi narrative; a grown-up bully; a cold war documentary; an extraordinary biopic; a mischievous monkey finds a new way to make trouble; a baseball movie; and a band of misfits. (more…)

A scene from David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon TattooIt feels like I just watched the Swedish adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s trilogy in theatre. Since the first film was released only two years ago, that’s not that far from the truth. Director David Fincher’s attraction to the material isn’t surprising, but a remake of such an acclaimed, recent picture is unnecessary. Nonetheless, the film is well-done and just different enough to make an individual mark. (more…)

Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in a scene from Cowboys & AliensIf extraterrestrials do exist, there’s no reason to believe their explorations of our planet would only begin in the twentieth century. Thus, the melding of the western and alien sci-fi genres was inevitable. However, the quality of the picture could not be so easily predicted. Thankfully, an excellent cast and crew came together to make Cowboys & Aliens an enjoyable movie experience. (more…)


Quantum of Solace marked the 22nd film that featured the infamous Agent 007 on the big screen but it’s not up to typical standards.

In his second Bond picture, Daniel Craig (Bond) travels to Austria, Italy and South America. Despite his nonchalance in the last instalment, Bond is still set to avenge the death of his beloved betrayer, Vesper. In addition, he and M (Judi Dench) uncover a complex and dangerous organization with their fingers in many pies. His mission leads him to Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a ruthless businessman conspiring to gain control of one of the world’s most important natural resources. Bond’s path is also crossed by Camille (Olga Kurylenko), a woman with a vendetta of her own.

The newest chapter in this decades old epic shifts the focus from Bond’s suave, clever demeanour to fast-paced action sequences. It’s a highly noticeable and unwelcome change. The first 20 minutes of the film speeds through three different breakneck scenes: a car chase, foot chase, and hand-to-hand fight. Furthermore, filmmakers are very fond of using parallel editing when cutting the action sequences, creating analogies with a horse race and an operatic performance. It’s somewhat grating. Finally, even the CGI in some of the scenes is perceptible.

The dynamic between Bond and M is as energetic as ever. M is too attached and forever protective. Bond reciprocates entirely despite his recklessness. They exchange quips and provide the very minimal comedic relief throughout the movie. On the other hand, Bond’s consistent and isolated solemnity is understandable but much less entertaining.

The Bond girls are uniformly beautiful but less forceful than their predecessors. Strawberry Fields’ (Gemma Arterton) role is minimal and Bond’s seduction is even less conspicuous, denying audiences a thorough display of his charm. Conversely, Camille is much more his equal, which is a gratifying trait in a Bond girl.

The two-disc DVD locates most of the special features on the second disc but the “Another Way to Die” music video pairing Jack White and Alicia Keys is on the first. Featurettes running about 3 minutes each explore the start of shooting, the location, the boat chase, director Marc Forster and the music of the film. There’s also a 25-minute featurette showing the various locations at which the film was shot. Finally, 60-second profiles of 34 of the crew members round out the bonus features.

“Bond. James Bond.” Those infamous words will be said in theatres across the world as the 22nd film featuring Agent 007 hits the big screen.

In his second Bond picture, Daniel Craig (Bond) travels to Austria, Italy and South America. Despite his nonchalance in the last installment, Bond is still set to avenge the death of his beloved betrayer, Vesper. In addition, he and M (Judi Dench) uncover a complex and dangerous organization with their fingers in many pies. His mission leads him to Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a ruthless businessman conspiring to gain control of one of the world’s most important natural resources. Bond’s path is also crossed by Camille (Olga Kurylenko), a woman with a vendetta of her own.

The newest chapter in this decades old epic shifts the focus from Bond’s suave, clever demeanor to fast-paced action sequences. It’s a highly noticeable and unwelcome change. The first 20 minutes of the film speeds through three different breakneck scenes: a car chase, foot chase, and hand-to-hand fight. Furthermore, filmmakers are very fond of using parallel editing when cutting the action sequences, using a horse race and an operatic performance. It’s somewhat grating. Finally, even the CGI in some of the scenes is perceptible.

The dynamic between Bond and M is as energetic as ever. M is too attached and forever protective. Bond reciprocates entirely despite his recklessness. They exchange quips and provide the very minimal comedic relief throughout the movie. On the other hand, Bond’s consistent solemnity is understandable but much less entertaining.

The Bond girls are uniformly beautiful but less forceful than their predecessors. Strawberry Fields’ (Gemma Arterton) role is minimal and Bond’s seduction is even less conspicuous, denying audiences a thorough display of his charm. Conversely, Camille is much more his equal, which is a gratifying trait in a Bond girl.

Overall, even though Craig is an acceptable 007, this episode is not up to typical standards.

The Golden CompassThe Golden Compass has been dubbed a children’s story but the film’s ability to truly charm the heart of anyone may be limited by his or her familiarity with the written version.

In a charming parallel world, witches soar, Ice Bears rule the north and your soul is a daemon that lives by your side in the shape of a representative animal. Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards) is a mischievous child who is given the responsibility of keeping a mystical truth-telling device. During her journey, Lyra uncovers the evil plans of Mrs. Coulter (Nicole Kidman) and discovers the fate of the universe rests in her young hands. With the help of Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig), Lee Scoresby (Sam Elliott) and a group of other unlikely allies, Lyra embarks on an extraordinary quest.

The original story by Philip Pullman is quite intricate and filmmaker Chris Weitz’s need to pare it down to simple, comprehensible essentials leads certain aspects to be omitted or reordered while other elements remain unclear until they are explained in the commentary or one of the many featurettes (like why do we have to separate children from their daemons?). Of course, this confusion only applies to those who have not read the source material.

It’s recommended only very serious fans of the film or the really curious pickup the two-disc edition, as the second disc is more than two-and-a-half hours of detailed, short documentaries exploring the original material, the adaptation, and the incredibly hard work put in to creating such a visually elaborate film.