28 posts categorized "Franchise"

March 25, 2022



Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.


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ColeSmithey.comA dishwater war narrative masquerading as sci-fi.


Oh the battles fought in a desert.

Sound familiar Americans?

So much sand.

So much capitalism. 

"It Begins."

However there is no reason to believe that the filmmakers will finish what they started with this first installment in an ostensible "Dune" series of films.

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As is Hollywood's way, they always promise something they never intend to deliver.

Some people are fooled into believing that because Denis Villeneuve is French, he must be some great director. 

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Look at "Blade Runner 2049." 

What a joke.


"Dune" is a fine thing to have projected on your wall (without sound) to add atmosphere to a party, but you couldn't call it much of a movie. 

Rated PG-13. 155 mins.

1 Star

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

July 23, 2016



Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on Patreon to pledge your monthly support.

Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity helps keep the reviews coming!


The big thing that this movie is farthest away from (as its title promises) is authentic storytelling. All the fancy-schmancy sci-fi spectacle and charismatic actors in the film can’t make up for some of the clunkiest screenwriting in recent memory.

Like a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces don’t fit, “Star Trek Beyond” jumps between giant action set pieces lacking in context, nuance, and expositional background.

The narrative is a sloppy mess.


I veer away from Hollywood films more and more these days. When I do come around to take its latest temperature I’m more disgusted than ever.

Critics and fanboys can blow all of the hot air they want about this film’s supposed connection to the original Gene Roddenberry television series, but boy, they are wrong.

A sad example arrives via the late Anton Yelchin’s underdeveloped role as Chekov. The essential Star Trek character is squandered beyond belief. He’s reduced to a few overheard, throwaway, one-liners.


Idris Elba is also terribly wasted in the villainous roll of Krall. By the time the movie gets around to Elba’s big scene, it’s too little too late. What a waste of awesome talent.

Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Sofia Boutella, and Anton Yelchin all give inspired performances that get shoved under the rug of a movie lacking a developed narrative arc.

With its five contributing scriptwriters, “Star Trek” feels exactly like the by-committee screenplay you’d expect from so many chefs in the kitchen.

Rated PG-13. 122 mins.

2 Stars

Cozy Cole

October 21, 2014



Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon



GoldfingerIt took until the third installment of the Ian Fleming-based James Bond spy movie franchise for its identity to crystallize.

Following on the successful heels of “Dr. No” (1962) and “From Russia with Love” (1963) — both directed by Terence Young, Sean Connery’s early mentor for the urbane leading role — “Goldfinger” marked a significant upgrade in production values that would make everything about the franchise iconic. Female characters would be sexier and more dangerous, yet also more likely to die.

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“Goldfinger’s” introduction of Pussy Galore (played by Honor Blackman) sent a powerful signal. Exotic set pieces would be epic in scale. The series’ signature nuanced tone, straddling dualities such as dry humor and outrageous danger, would be more pronounced.

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John Barry’s unforgettable theme, sung by the incomparable Shirley Bassey, created a longstanding tradition of James Bond theme songs becoming chart-topping hits.

Budgeted at more than the cost of the first two films combined, “Goldfinger” launched the ritual of beginning each subsequent Bond film with a stand-alone mission sequence for the fictional British MI6 agent, known by his code number 007, to show off his stuff.

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Other customs followed. An assignment meeting with British Secret Service head M allows for the otherwise autonomous Mr. Bond to have his feathers clipped while being informed of his latest mission. A little office flirtation with M’s secretary Ms. Moneypenny segues into a meeting with resident gadget master Q, who gets Bond up to speed on the state-of-the-art devices that the audience can expect to see employed throughout the movie.

It’s not every spy that can arrive on an island in a wet suit, blow up a South American drug lab, strip down to a white tux, and seduce a villainess who must be sacrificed to save his own skin — all without breaking a sweat, as Bond does in “Goldfinger.”

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Yet every man wants to be James Bond, and every woman wants to be with a guy as capable, confident, and handsome as Sean Connery. The Scottish actor made such an indelible impression in the role that most audiences still consider Connery’s portrayal to be the truest filmic embodiment of the James Bond character to command the big screen.

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A pay dispute between Terrence Young and the franchise’s notoriously selfish producers (Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman) opened the door for French-born English director Guy Hamilton to helm “Goldfinger,” a story based on Ian Flemming’s seventh novel in his 16-story James Bond series.

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007’s mission is to foil international gold smuggler Auric Goldfinger (‪Gert Fröbe‬). The treacherous villain uses a trafficking technique later employed by the real-life heroin smugglers represented in William Friedkin’s “The French Connection” (whereby illicit goods are stashed in the body of a large car).

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Goldfinger’s plan to rob the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox arrives at Bond’s eavesdropping ear in an outrageous set piece of exposition wherein the German mastermind enlightens the heads of America’s regional Mafias before killing them via poison gas. The not-so-subtle nod to Hitler was not lost on audiences at the time.

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“Goldfinger” set in stone the formula for what would become cinema’s longest running and most reliably entertaining franchise. Regardless of how many installments have come since, “Goldfinger” retains its reputation as the best of the bunch.

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Rated PG. 110 mins.


Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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