Posts Tagged ‘daniel craig’

Intense Style – Afterschool & Love Is The Devil

Posted 09 Sep 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

Afterschool, USA, 2008

Written and Directed by Antonio Campos

Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon, UK / France / Japan, 1998

Written and Directed by John Maybury

Afterschool is a chilling look at the effect of media saturation in the modern world. Today’s entry in the old Movies I Didn’t Get pantheon looks at two films made a decade apart that share one major unifying similarity, which is an abundance of visual style. Antonio Campos’s Afterschool and John Maybury’s Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon have very little else in common other than a similarly dark vision and the fact that each is the work of a single, distinct writer-director, but seeing them within about a week of one another, I was struck by how each of them create fascinating worlds through the use of highly unconventional cinematic techniques. In both films, the viewer is consistently thrown off-kilter by camera angles and distortions that create an intentional emotional distance, and at times even make it difficult (and therefore all the more intriguing) to see what exactly is going on in the edges of the frame that is our only window in. Read More

Casino Royale – Takes The Fun Out Of The Bond Franchise

Posted 27 Aug 2010 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get
When I sit down to watch a Bond movie, my suspension of disbelief is expecting several constants:
1) Over the top stunts in which somehow Bond finds a way through unscathed
2) A cheesy arch-villian who has maniacal plans to take over the world
3) A beautiful woman who Bond is able to bed in record time without missing a beat
These are just expected elements of the Bond franchise. Now if any of you are Bond fans out there, you’ll all pick who your favorite Bond was (Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan) so let’s take a moment to see how the newest Bond, Daniel Craig does in inheriting the torch in “007: Casino Royale.”
As quoted by Wikipedia: “The film is a reboot, establishing a new timeline and narrative framework not meant to precede or succeed any previous Bond film. This allowed the film to show a less experienced and more vulnerable Bond. Casting the film involved a widespread search for a new actor to portray James Bond, and significant controversy around Craig when he was selected to succeed Pierce Brosnan in October 2005.”
Personally, if I’m going to take the time to watch a Bond, I tend to prefer the Connery/Moore era to the more current ventures. So I kind of surprised myself when I decided to rent “007: Casino Royale.” Expecting an over-the-top CG nightmare, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the franchise had maintained its standard of real explosions, cars flying and over-the-top real stunts. In the opening scene of the film alone they waste little time kicking ass with an incredible on-foot chase scene through a third-world country construction site. This opening scene sets the tone for the film but does also raise the bar for what’s to be expected.
So what happens for the next 2 and a half hours in the film?
NOTHING!
Okay, maybe I’m being unfair, but to be honest, when I watch an action film I expect the stakes in each action scene to be a little bit more intense and interesting than the previous. So after getting pumped by a great opening scene with the stakes being raised to unbelievable heights, the film sorts of sets itself up to be unable to meet the intensity and thrills of the opening scene. It does try to keep the audience’s attention with Bond preventing a terrorist attack at Miami airport, but then where does the next stage of action take place?
A poker table.
Yes, a poker table. But oh, let me apologize, a very high stakes poker table. Ohh hold me back! In all fairness, the stakes of the game are pretty high with Bond aiming to win so the organizer of the game cannot use the winnings for evil purposes, but it just sort of feels too novel-like instead of the stuff of cinema. Narratively speaking, with the sequel “Quantum Solace” set to follow “Casino Royale,” there is of course a larger arc at play that is being set up in the first of these two films. However, in watching “Royale” as a standalone Bond film, you’d hope for at least some sort of closure at the end.
Perhaps I need to watch “Quantum Solace” next and judge the films as one collective piece, but if you want my two cents on “Casino Royale,” it’s definitely one of the more skippable entries into the Bond archive.
To wrap this up and review, if you’re going to raise the stakes ever higher in an action film, you better not blow your proverbial load in the first 10 minutes if you’ll never be able to go higher later on in the story. Maybe the creators wanted to open with a bang to make the audience like and accept Daniel Craig as the newest Bond, but to me they used up their whole deck and just set the film up to be a boring series of lesser interesting action scenes and a boring denouement.

By Corey Birkhofer

Casino Royale, UK / Czech Republic / USA / Germany / Bahamas, 2006

Directed by Martin Campbell

daniel criag as 007Spoiler Alert

When I sit down to watch a James Bond movie, my suspension of disbelief is expecting several constants:

1) Over the top stunts, each progressively more complicated than the previous, in which Bond somehow finds a way through unscathed;

2) A cheesy arch-villain who has maniacal plans to take over the world and doesn’t stop until the very end;

3) A beautiful woman who Bond is able to bed in record time without missing a beat.

These are just expected elements of the Bond franchise for me. Now, if any of you are Bond fans out there, you’ll all pick who your favorite Bond was (Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan), so let’s take a moment to see how the newest Bond, Daniel Craig, does inheriting the torch in Casino Royale.

As quoted in Wikipedia: “The film is a reboot, establishing a new timeline and narrative framework not meant to precede or succeed any previous Bond film. This allowed the film to show a less experienced and more vulnerable Bond. Casting the film involved a widespread search for a new actor to portray James Bond, and significant controversy around Craig when he was selected to succeed Pierce Brosnan in October 2005.” Read More