Tag Archives: Daniel Craig

Movie Review: Skyfall

My family has harassed me for a year and a half to watch this thing and when I heard that they hadn’t seen The Green Mile, we agreed if I watched Skyfall, they’d watch The Green Mile.

I had no interest in seeing this movie because the only Bond film I watched, Casino Royale, was a great movie and then the ending pissed me off so I figured I was done with Bond.

Skyfall gifts us with the presence of Daniel Craig and he’s a talented actor. Bond is a secret agent that doesn’t say much and doesn’t feel all that much either so you need someone who is good at expressing their characters physically through body language and casual glances and Craig has experience with that.

However, this cast has someone who is not so good with facial expressions and body language. Sorry Judi Dench, but you’re simply not cutting it. She has the same face the whole movie and she’s too good at the apathetic, cold and calculating scheme to pull off any empathy whatsoever.

Then we have Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva and the character is just really sketchy. It’s obvious he’s disturbed and demented but there are some other traits the film subtly alludes to that are off-putting. They enforce the point that this guy is loony but it’s kind of awkward. I don’t know, maybe it was just me, but it felt like the men behind the camera were trying to make a bad guy that had every psychopathic tendency in the book and instead of making the ultimate villain they made a disorganized bad guy that doesn’t engrave his character into our memories. Bardem does a thorough job of being as creepy and malignant as possible and there was some originality to Silva, but not enough that I’ll remember him.

There’s also nothing in this film that I haven’t seen before. Bond kills a couple of people, makes love to a few ladies, talks with that scruffy British demeanor and then shoots some stuff that explodes. It’s not a cookie cutter copy, but it’s not brimming with youthful imagination either. I acknowledge that it’s hard to make an unexampled spy story line. I know I’m asking for something that’s not easy to accomplish but we’re talking about James Bond here, 007, the MI6 agent who is seemingly impervious to death. I expect better and I’m not even a Bond fan. Imagine what Bond fans expect.

Skyfall isn’t an impulsive story either. It’s not predetermined material that you can see a mile away but it also has no twists or action slapping you in the face from the side. Nothing in this movie is going to make you jump and tap your friend on the shoulder and say, “That was cool” or “Woh, never saw that coming!” For an action movie, it has a very calm and relaxed pace that didn’t ever come close to convincing me that time was of the essence. Tranquil paces are good for some movies but I felt this movie’s pacing would have been more appropriate for a whole movie of Bond on the beach drinking Heineken then the film they gave us.

Where is the zap? Where are the stylistic touches? All of the things I’ve pointed out are things you can see if you just watch the movie and think about it for a little afterward. It doesn’t take an accomplished director or playwright to notice this stuff. I feel like I’m mentioning this constantly, but where’s the editing? Did they watch this film when they were finished before they released it? Didn’t they recognize some things that could have been better?

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Godzilla, SecretariatPrisonersMr. & Mrs. SmithCaptain America: The Winter Soldier)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Amazing Spider-Man 2Young GunsCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2Spider-Man 3Divergent)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs300FlyboysDawn of the DeadCaptain America: The First Avenger)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (SpeedGodzilla(1998)The Incredible HulkDisaster MovieDodgeball: A True Underdog Story)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Starving GamesYou’re NextThorFull Metal JacketAlien Resurrection)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (A Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and AliensSerendipityAlien)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (StonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice, The Contract)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (X-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Open GraveAlien 3Dark FuryMidnight Cowboy)

My score for Skyfall: 74.

Compared to Casino Royale, Skyfall is a far and distant second weighed down by a carefree pace. I sat through nearly an hour and a half of commercials to see all of Casino Royale because it was engaging and suspenseful. If I had never seen Skyfall and it was on TV, I’m not so sure I would have made the same sacrifice.

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Movie Review: Cowboys and Aliens

[ COWBOYS AND ALIENS POSTER ]This was on TV the other day and it was the only thing I could find. Couple that with the fact I was too lazy to get out of my bed to put in a movie of my own and that’s how you get a Cowboys and Aliens movie review.

Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) wakes up in the middle of the desert and doesn’t remember anything, not even his name. Adding insult to injury, he has a large metal object on his wrist and he can’t get it off.

I still remember seeing this film in theaters and I was moderately excited after the trailer. It was an interesting concept, putting aliens and cowboys together, although I wasn’t sure how that was going to become a fair fight, but isn’t that why we see movies, so we can see what happens?

Daniel Craig’s a solid actor and then you have the great Harrison Ford doing his rough ‘n ready charade which while clichéd at least he’s trying.

The action scenes are average as are the visuals and there’s not enough of either. I just don’t feel like this film is going beyond the basics here, which is unusual for a Jon Favreau film. Elf, the Iron Man films, and Zathura are all fun to watch and experience time and time again, (the first two more so than the latter) but this just isn’t. The plot struggles because once again, the main character doesn’t know who he is.

I don’t know who came up with the idea of having a main character who doesn’t know who he is, but it just doesn’t work. If the main character doesn’t know who he is, the audience’s time is wasted while the plot directs the character to all of his main attributes and helps the character figure out who he is, something the script should have been able to tell the actor portraying him when he signed up for the role. That’s what screenwriters are for, writing the characters. When you write characters, then you have the potential for, I don’t know, a story or an actual plot that goes somewhere relevant. This movie has the same problem that Total Recall had and the same problem that the Bourne films have, something I will be sure to note when I review them. If the main character doesn’t know himself, how can I get to know him?

I want to connect to the characters but it’s really hard to when Craig doesn’t know the difference between up and down and Ford’s fighting to create anything original with an unoriginal character, literally an impossible task. The screenwriters barely scratch the surface of the characters and if Ford can’t make the character come alive then it’s probably because there is nothing there to liven in the first place. Try as he might, there’s just no substance there. As for Craig’s character, Jake Lonergan, I can’t tell you much more about the character at the end of the movie that I didn’t already know in the first 15 minutes. There’s no dynamic change here, nor does the film ever cite a reasonable reason for why Jake made a volatile shift in character and morality.

Olivia Wilde’s succeeding as eye candy and not much else because the dialogue that goes through her is corny. Speaking of which, this whole film is corny, only taking away from a film that’s trying to be serious but just can’t pull it off.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (The Secret Life of Walter MittyThe Green MileThe Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Mission Impossible)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Iron ManLone SurvivorThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingThe Next Three DaysBasic)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (21 Jump StreetEscape PlanCaptain America: The First AvengerDawn of the DeadFlyboys)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pacific RimThe Long Kiss GoodnightDisaster Movie)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (AliensAlien ResurrectionFull Metal JacketThorYou’re Next)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Patriot GamesThe Great GatsbyPitch BlackAlienSerendipity)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The ContractPride and PrejudiceRedemption)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Sum of All FearsThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight CowboyDark FuryAlien 3Open Grave)

My score for Cowboys and Aliens: 49.

An intriguing premise, Cowboys and Aliens falters in its execution. The action is over-hyped, the dialogue lacking, and the plot is stretched thin over a movie that outlasts its welcome with its 135-minute running time.

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Movie Review: Road to Perdition

We have a bookshelf next to our front door and every time I walk out the door this movie catches my peripherals. I’ve always wanted to see it and I decided today was the day. A gangster film starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, and Daniel Craig was not what I was expecting. You can see the trailer here.

Cover of

Cover of Road to Perdition (Widescreen Edition)

Tom Hanks plays Michael Sullivan, a father during the early 1930’s who’s trying to provide for his family by whatever means necessary. His sons aren’t sure what he does and when the oldest son starts snooping around, he discovers the truth: his dad is in some shady stuff. Some events play out as a result of Michael’s son, Michael Jr., witnessing some mafia murders, and shortly after Sullivan and his son are on the run. While on the run, Sullivan and his son form a stronger father-son bond and you get to see more of their characters. The son, played by Tyler Hoechlin, does a good job of displaying his emotions as a twelve-year-old, someone who is forced to become a man but is still a kid at the same time.

Tom Hanks did the best he could with what he was given and at points I smiled, but this was not the movie I was expecting it to be. The story was slow. It is a drama and I understand that dramas can be slow-moving, but at times it was like the filmmakers didn’t know where they wanted to go with this one.

Once again, this is a drama so there weren’t a lot of action scenes. This isn’t a bad thing, but don’t think of this as a gangster movie. Think of this as a father-son bonding road trip that gets dangerous. A great cast was put together in Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, and a young Daniel Craig and Jude Law, but none are able to demonstrate their acting ability to the fullest in this movie. The script writing was just lacking and what was originally a good idea kinda fizzled out by the end. The bonding between Sullivan and his son is what keeps the movie going but you only get short glimpses of that relationship at some points, making the movie drag. With the cast they had, I was expecting more than this.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Iron Man 3)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Star Trek Into DarknessNow You See Me, Man of Steel)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Oblivion)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one.

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The HobbitAfter Earth)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this.

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The Contract)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow.

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.”

My score for Road to Perdition: 55.

The performances by Tom Hanks and Tyler Hoechlin kept this movie going. They made me care about the relationship and the characters. Newman, Craig, and Law’s roles were too small to make a significant impact, so half-decent actors probably could have played their roles and done as good a job. At the end of the day, it kept me watching, but there’s no doubt this movie was over-hyped by the cover.

*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!

*SPOILER’S EDITION*

The ending to this movie made me very unhappy. They go to Michael Jr.’s aunt’s house and Michael Jr. sees a dog on the beach and runs to it as Sullivan walks behind, his face expressing the euphoric feeling of “I did it”(you’ll have to find out “what he did” by watching the movie). He walks into the house as Michael Jr. continues playing with the dog. He gets to the second floor and looks out the window at the sun’s reflection on the water and then gets shot in the back two or three times by Jude Law’s character, who was sent to kill Sullivan earlier in the movie and failed to do so twice. Michael comes up the stairs with a gun and gets the drop on Law (I don’t even know what Law’s character’s name is in this movie so for now on, he’s Law). He starts telling Michael to give him the gun and right when Law’s about to take the gun out of his hands, Sullivan shoots him in the back and kills him. Michael runs over to his dad and holds him in his arms as he dies.

To say I was peeved when this happened was an understatement. I know that life isn’t always a fairy-tale ending and I have seen plenty of movies with sad endings that I liked. However, this didn’t fly with me. This is partly because the relationship between the two that I have watched develop for the last two hours of my life is now over. The other reason is because Sullivan’s twelve-year-old son is now by himself with a dog and a car. They can’t end the movie like that, right?

Well surprise, they don’t. It gets worse. Earlier in the movie, Law shoots Sullivan in the arm and Michael drives away. Sullivan passes out and Michael stops the car on a road that appears to be in the middle of nowhere except for one house. Michael starts screaming for help and the elderly couple residing there takes them in, fixes up Sullivan, and let’s him rest and recuperate there. Apparently, they ask no questions about anything because there is nothing in the movie that hints at that. Well, Michael decides he’ll go back to that place and live there.

Wow. Really? He’s going to live with the only people in the whole movie with more than a minute of screen time that don’t die? Talk about tying up loose ends.

It’s an interesting watch, but don’t expect to finish this and be like “that was a Tom Hanks classic to add to the collection”, because it’s not.

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