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Boring. Quantum of Solace is, I'm assuming, not a good Bond movie. I still have next to no experience with this series, but based off Casino Royale, this is an extremely poor showing for 007. It's not even a good action movie. It's poorly shot, poorly edited, poorly paced, emotionally detached, and dramatically inert.
The story is nonsense. I still really have no idea how it connects with Vesper. But basically, Bond's out to uncover the organization behind Vesper's murder. Along the way, a bunch of non sequiturs ensue.
Up until this point, I've had nothing but positive experiences with director Marc Forster. Finding Neverland is a charming and effective film. And World War Z is one of my favorite blockbusters of 2013. But this, this is a textbook example of a director who has no idea what he wants to do, and he has no idea how to do it. The writer's strike of 2007-2008 didn't help matters. But even given that, this is a shockingly inept film.
At only an hour and forty-five minutes, Quantum of Solace doesn't allow for a moment of reflection. We're thrown into the action with no situational bearing. The first 20 minutes of the movie consist of a laundry line of really choppy (and inconsequential) action scenes. From there, we get the plot running rings around itself for another hour and twenty minutes.
Fact is, this movie really couldn't have been less interesting. Bond in a make-or-break Poker game in a classy hotel? Interesting. Bond falling in love in Venice? Interesting. But Bond walking through the desert? Not so interesting. Putting 007 in these exotic but solitary locations takes the fun human interaction out of the character. Daniel Craig still gives it his all, but he is severely let down by the material.
As for the Bond girls, it feels like they picked the wrong one to focus on. Olga Kurylenko plays Camille, and there's absolutely no chemistry between her and Bond. She's not even really a love interest. She's just your run-of-the-mill, charisma-less heroine. On the other hand, Gemma Arterton plays Fields, another MI-6 agent. And had the movie kept Craig and Arterton together, I fully believe that the whole experience would have been a lot more fun.
One final note on the cast, Mathieu Amalric plays the villain, Dominic Greene. And he's awful. He lacks all of the qualities that make a villain convincing.
You don't have to be a enthusiast to know that music is very important to this series. Bond songs can and should be iconic. But Jack White's "Another Way to Die" is ... misguided, to put it nicely. The lyrics could work, but the production is a mess. David Arnold fares better. In what might be his final Bond score, Arnold provides everything we've come to expect from this franchise.
Quantum of Solace isn't entirely without merit (that Opera house scene is very impressive and well done), but on a whole, the thing that sticks with me the most is how this is a wit-less, senseless, and charm-less entry to the franchise. Better luck next time, I'm guessing.
"If you could avoid killing every possible lead, it would be deeply appreciated." 4/10
I have no point of reference with which to compare Casino Royale. I've never seen a Bond movie ... up until now. I can't really say anything authoritatively. I think Daniel Craig is fantastic as Bond, but I have no comparisons to draw from. I think Eva Green is probably one of the best Bond girls, but that's entirely conjecture on my part. Still, as a post-Bourne action movie, Casino Royale is a remarkably good time!
This rebooted Bond is one of those unattainably classy films, think Oceans 11 but without the occasionally goofy characters. And I like that! Action movies nowadays could use an extra dose of class every now and again.
The performances are exceptional. As I mentioned above, Craig and Green are terrific! Chemistry between actors is a tricky thing, but the two leads deliver it in spades! Mads Mikkelsen plays a chilling foil to Bond. Judi Dench is as reliable as always. And Jeffery Wright lends his talents in a smaller supporting role. The cast offers nothing in the way of flaws.
The action is surefooted and confident. There is an awesome free-running chase near the beginning. The scene offers little bearing on the rest of the movie, but it's still exhilarating to watch! There is a lengthy and impressive action scene in Miami International Airport. But I wouldn't say this is an action-centric movie.
The pacing could be problematic. And there's no denying that Casino Royale is a tad too long. Poker games take up the majority of the middle portion of the film. But it's incredible who tense director Martin Campbell keeps these scenes.
The main flaw present is the shifting villainy. At the beginning, there is a very clear villain. Then he's out of the picture, and character B becomes the main baddie. Then that washes out, and character C comes on the scene. A little definition would be nice.
Also of special note, the music is amazing! Chris Cornell's inspired Bond song sets the tone right from the get-go! And David Arnold's score never ceases to astound - in the action scenes and in the quieter, more introspective moments.
Casino Royale: one of the most classy, flashy, and engaging action movies yielded from mid-2000's. The other Daniel Craig movies in this series are now, most definitely, on my want-to-see-list! Mr. Bond, it was a pleasure meeting you.
"I won't consider myself to be in trouble until I start weeping blood." 8.5/10
Yes, it took me until 2013 to watch Doctor Who. But better late than never! This first season of the Dr. Who revival has its bumps and bruises along the way. It serves as a very solid introduction to my novice eyes. Sure there are aliens and monsters and danger and thrills, but that's not what makes Doctor Who so entertaining. People love it (myself included, at this point) because it succeeds on the most basic of levels: we care deeply about the two main characters (thanks to two truly excellent performances by Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper). The relationship between The Doctor and Rose, not the aliens and science fiction, is what kept me watching. Other than a few really goofy moments ("Moisturize Me!" the Slitheens, etc.) this was an endearing introduction! 8/10
A new Doctor, but the same old fun entertainment! This season levels out after some of the more raw ideas were explored in the first season. David Tennant takes on the role of The Doctor, and crushes it at every turn! He's just as good as Eccleston, plus he actually stayed with the show long enough to become truly endearing. Billie Piper is, once again, fantastic as Rose! I could easily have watched at least 3 seasons of Rose and the 10th Doctor. The chemistry between Tennant and Piper is what makes the series great, once again. The story-lines are better than those of season 1, but their biggest drawback is the inconsistency of the villains. Sometimes they work very well, and sometimes "Love and Monsters" happens. With only one flat-out bad episode (the aforementioned "Love and Monsters.") and a host of excellent moments, Doctor Who Season 2 improves slightly on its already excellent predecessor. Oh, and the final scene of the finale was unbelievably well-done ... it might even bring a man to tears. *cough cough* 8/10
Series 4 is a lot of many good things! I didn't much care for Donna as a companion in the Christmas Special, but here she is fantastic! Catherine Tate is definitely better at this whole companion thing than Freema Agyeman (who was still pretty good). On that note, it's great to have old characters return, like Martha, Captain Jack, and Sarah Jane. And best of all, Billie Piper returns as Rose! Rose is, without question, my favorite companion. The way they tie up her relationship with the 10th Doctor is a bit "fan-fiction-y," but I really don't care! Along the way of this season, there are some outstanding episodes, like "Planet of Ood," "Silence in the Library/Forrest of the Dead," "Midnight," and the entire three part finale. Sure the finale goes way over-the-top, but I'm forgiving.
The subsequent 5, hour-long specials are a decent send-off to David Tennant. Still, I can't help but wish he had gotten a better goodbye. Tennant was simply brilliant as The Doctor, and as I haven't yet started in on Matt Smith's tenure, I'm missing Tennant very much. But on a whole, Series 4 (plus all those specials) is extremely satisfying, and at times, downright epic! Goodbye David Tennant and Russell T Davies, you were marvelous! 8/10
"Bow ties are cool!" Yes they are, and so is Steven Moffat's Doctor Who revitalization! A new showrunner, a new Doctor, a new TARDIS, a new Sonic Screwdriver, and not one, but two new companions. Series 5 was, without a doubt, a bridge year for Doctor Who. But just because it's a bridge year, doesn't mean that this season is subpar (looking at you, Series 3). Sure some of it is filler, like "Victory of the Daleks" and the two part "The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood." That said, there are some major highlights throughout the season as well, like "The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone," "Amy's Choice," and "The Lodger."
The new cast is just brilliant! Matt Smith establishes himself as The Doctor right from the first episode. He really is more of a mature Doctor than Tennant's, but he is equally fun! Both of those guys could really play the Doctor to the hilt. The companions, Amy and Rory, are also fresh and fun. Karen Gillan marks the best companion since Rose. And Arthur Darvill provides a genuinely original aspect for the show. Lastly, Alex Kingston is so intriguing as River Song! The character really splits fans down the middle, but I'm personally a big fan.
One rather large thing I didn't like about this season was the finale. I don't know, the majority of the finales to Doctor Who are just too extravagant, and a lot of fun is lost in the process. The same goes for this one, which isn't "bad," it's just not as great as one would hope. Oh well... Flaws aside, this season was great fun! The transition from Russell T. Davies to Steven Moffat is a success. 8/10