March 25, 2013

Movie Monday: Skyfall

Skyfall Confession: I have only seen the Daniel Craig James Bond movies.  I like them, and I keep intending to watch the other Bonds, I just never have.  I feel guilty for missing out on the history when I watch them.

Skyfall definitely has old-fashioned pacing.  After the dynamic train sequence at the beginning of the film, it's a slow burn to the explosive finale.  Oh, there are some little action sequences here and there, but director Sam Mendes keeps it simple until its time to break lose and let Bond, Silva (Javier Bardem), and M (Judi Dench) have it out.

I am enamored of the lighting and color in Skyfall.  There are several terrific uses of silhouette, but none better than when Bond grapples with a hitman in a skyscraper with an open window.  It's blue and beautiful and has lingered in my mind.  So many action films are utterly forgettable and interchangeable, so I'd love Skyfall for that sequence alone.

But Skyfall isn't overly arty.  It delivers everything a Bond film promises, what everyone expects whether they've seen a Bond movie before or not.  Chases, a cool car, beautiful women, inventive attempts at murder.  It's frequently funny, even the ruthless M providing plenty of humor.  There is some musing over whether the ends justify the means, but the heroes of the movie are still unquestionably the heroes.

Some elements of the story are weak.  One part of Silva's plan relies on Q, the genius of M1-6, to do something rather dumb.  Of course he does it.  But the characters aren't repeatedly stupid, so I can forgive a few missteps made for the sake of pushing the plot forward.

I really should watch the other Bond films, given how much I've enjoyed Craig's outings as the famous spy.  And I'll definitely keep watching his tenure, and probably that of his successor.

8 comments:

  1. My sister is addicted to Bond movies. I don't share er obsession though. I am not much of a fan of action movies, preferring the guilty pleasure romcom or psychological thrillers... or PIXAR! =))

    Still, I appreciate the visual appeal of movies. I'm glad to hear that Skyfall had spectacular lighting and color.

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    1. Oh man, I adore Pixar beyond all belief.

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  2. I didn't like it as much as some of the others (maybe I'm a bit too used to the predictable plots) but it was very good. Though I now feel I should watch it again as I was so focused on plot I missed the details you've written about here, even if I remember the scenes themselves. The lack of a "proper" (as in duration of the film) Bond girl made quite the difference, but I liked how it allowed more focus on Bond himself.

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    1. I dunno, I feel like the predictable plot is part of the whole thing.

      Moneypenny is in the whole film, but it's left up to the viewer whether they had sex . . . which is a change I liked. (And I like to think they didn't.)

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  3. I thought this movie was too long when I saw it in theaters but I think that was partly because I had just seen another (shorter) movie the night before. I'm hoping to enjoy this more when I watch it on DVD at some point.

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    1. I think that might partially be the old-fashioned pacing I mentioned. It's not a quick movie. I don't mind that sometimes, but it definitely would've felt long if I'd watched a comedy first or something.

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  4. I agree, some of the plot points were a bit contrived, but the tone was fantastic, and it was a fun ride. I never really thought about the use of silhouette but you're right, it was so well done in that tower scene. I love Craig as Bond personally and can't wait to see the next one. Great review!

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    1. Thanks! And who can't forgive a little contrivance?

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