Spectre: The Blog Review

Spectre might be Daniel Craig’s last film as the enviable James Bond, but even if he returns, the film is part of an era of Bond that was transformative for the series. Films like Casino Royale and Skyfall were some of the better Bond films since the series inception in 1962. Sean Connery makes me giddy in a way none of the other Bond actors ever have, but goddamn if Craig didn’t come close to dethroning the king. Even if it Spectre isn’t as special as its predecessor Skyfall, it’s a bloody good Bond movie.

Even if you didn’t see Skyfall, you heard the eponymous track by Adele, which in my opinion, was one of the best songs of her career. How was the Bond series going to one-up the infallible Adele? With Sam Smith – duh. I’m not even that big a fan of the guy; I thought “Stay With Me” was un-inspired and boring.

But Spectre’s theme song, “Writing’s on the Wall” by Smith is a perfect balance of piercing falsetto mixed with epic operatics. The story hadn’t even started and this moving, tragic ballad had me tearing up.

Sam-Smith-Writings-On-The-Wall

Spectre is unapologetically sexy. Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux are both in peak form. Seydoux, who plays Bond girl Madeleine Swann, is breathtakingly beautiful; she’s reminiscent of Honor Blackman in Goldfinger or Marilyn Monroe in The Asphalt Jungle. She’s a total badass as well, saving Bond’s life at least twice. The two look ravishing together.

Plus, Bond is dressed to the nines in every scene. I want every outfit, even if I’m going to go into debt acquiring just one piece from his wardrobe. Fashionistas, check out a bunch of the looks from the film, neatly organized here.

After they kill Bond-baddie Mr. Hinx – played by former wrestler Dave Bautista – Bond and Swann lie panting on the floor of a moving train. Catching her breath, Swan asks innocently “What do we do now?” Cut to them ripping each other’s clothes off in their sleeper. The flirtation is minimal, the passion is raw.

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Now playing at Providence Place: Skyfall

007 was losing his edge. We all knew it, on some subconscious level, when the half-hearted effort that was Quantum of Solace came out back into 2008. Casino Royale’s brief infusion of glamor and excitement after the average Brosnan years couldn’t last forever, and it seemed inevitable that the Bond franchise would survive (if it could survive at all) only as a relic of an earlier time in which espionage was actually relevant. Bond, an adaptable symbol of British toughness throughout the Cold War years and those immediately following, couldn’t hack it in the 21st century.

And then came Skyfall, which – on the 50-year anniversary of the release of Dr. No – turns squarely on its heel, acknowledges the series’ age and increasing obsolescence, and in doing so creates arguably one of the greatest films in the entire franchise.

Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty), Skyfall opens with a classic 007 chase scene in which Bond (Daniel Craig) pursues a thief through Istanbul in order to recover a stolen hard drive containing sensitive NATO information. The scene culminates in a train-top fight, during which 007 is accidentally shot by fellow MI6 operative Eve (Naomi Harris). Bond is presumed dead, and MI6 Operations Head M (Judi Dench) writes his obituary in what’s apparently a nod to series creator Ian Fleming’s famous inclusion of Bond’s obituary in You Only Live Twice, the last 007 novel published in Fleming’s lifetime (which, coincidentally, also dealt with Britain’s decline on the world stage). Unbeknownst to MI6, however, Bond is still alive and grappling with conflicted feelings: whether to comfortably live out his existence as a dead man or rejoin MI6 in order to counter attacks led by cyber terrorist Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem).

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