Sunday, November 19, 2006

Movie roundup: Bond, Queen, Aviator, Prestige, Break-Up

*mild spoiler warning*

I caught the latest instalment of the Bond franchise yesterday (love the poster by the way). It had been getting a crazy high rating on rottentomatoes, so I was a little worried my expectations would be too high and the flick would be a disappointment.

It wasn't.

It was really entertaining, though I'm still trying to decide what I think of this new direction for the series. If I had a word of warning for people planning to see it, it'd be this: don't expect a Bond movie.

This movie was not end-to-end action, it didn't have the typical Bond cheese and Daniel Craig definitely attempts to actually act in this flick. This is a rookie Bond, making rookie mistakes and learning the tricks of his new trade.

Craig, however, gives Bond a quality he was lacking in the other incarnations, save perhaps Connery: he's a thug. With Craig, you actually believe his punches would hurt. The action sequences (though they may seem few) are great (except, unfortunately, the last one - but I'll avoid spoiling the rather odd final 20 minutes).

He doesn't need the designer watch that emits an EM pulse that can avert a nuclear threat; he's a bad mother f***er who likes to fight. Bring it on.

Goldeneye was on the boob tube when I got home and as I watched the first few minutes I was reminded of just how much of a departure Casino Royale is from its predecessors. This Bond is much more, dare I say, realistic than its gadget-wielding, one-liner-laden breatheren. I never want to see that stupid invisible car again.

But, in the end, is it...Bond? James Bond?


The Queen: a fine flick and it certainly has its charms, but more of a movie-of-the-week, I must say, without any grandeur or effects or subject matter that would make it required viewing at $10+ on the big screen. Wait for it to be aired on tv. It'll be worth it then.

The Aviator: I own this one, having bought it last Christmas during one of HMVs annual blow-outs (what will I pick up this year?). Figured it was about time I got to it, and seeing as I have a little more free time these days... Anyhow, this one is entertaining as well, so long as you find the characters appealing. I'm not a big Leo fan, and here it's more of the same emoting on his part. Been there, done that, won't buy the t-shirt. But the story of Howard Hughes was compelling enough for me. Thumbs up.

The Prestige: Good flick, thumbs up, but I gotta say I saw the ending coming about halfway through. The problem with movies that involve deceit and double-crosses, etc, is that you start to anticipate them. You look for the angles. Unfortunately, that means the surprise is lost and hence, the effect. But this movie is definitely different enough that it's worth a viewing.

The Break-Up: I ordered this via my new digital box, since I had an afternoon to kill and was curious to see how this system worked. It was ok. I enjoyed it, but it definitely could have had a few more laughs. I don't know if this movie was trying to be a little more mature, a little smarter, a little more like the relationship movies of the 70s, but it didn't quite get there for me. I appreciated the ending etc, but that doesn't cut it. In the end, it just wasn't enough of anything for me to rave about.

Does this mean Rogers' plan has worked and I'll be on the hook for bigger cable bills in the future? We'll see.

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