7 posts categorized "Spy Thriller"

September 29, 2021

NO TIME TO DIE

No Time To Die, Except…

By Cole Smithey

007With “No Time To Die’s” plaintive theme song, Billie Eilish’s lush voice announces a young, female-led era for the longest running and most successful movie franchise in the history of Cinema. New rules for flirting should be forthcoming in upcoming installments to the Bond series considering Lashana Lynch’s bold incarnation here as the new 007, agent Nomi. Get back bitches. Baby got back.

James Bond No Time To Die review: Resurrection of the century | Evening  Standard

James Bond’s signature British wit, disarming charm, and deadly tactics play like an old-school symphony of ancient Cinema origins. Thrilling chase sequences and redundant gun battles lock you into the famous big-screen James Bond formula upon which the movies are built. Watching “No Time To Die” in any format other than an IMAX screen is sacrilege. Audiences in Leonberg, Germany can enjoy it on the recently-built largest IMAX in the world, measuring in at 70’ x 125.’ I had the pleasure of seeing “No Time To Die” on America’s largest IMAX screen, located at AMC Lincoln Center. Wow. What a delight.

Deal to sell James Bond film No Time to Die to streaming services for Rs  4400 crore was 'overtly' explored: report | Hollywood - Hindustan Times

At nearly three hours long, “No Time To Die” is a happy cinematic excursion, even a vacation, considering the Covid economics that kept “No Time To Die” on the shelf for well over a year. “No Time To Die” is a well-deserved welcome back to the Cinema for global audiences who have been in some form of lockdown since the inception of Covid19.

The Official James Bond 007 Website | No Time To Die

Sure the film could easily lose 20 minutes and no one would notice, but if you’re a Bond fan, more is more. Still, co-editors Elliot Graham and Tom Cross drop the ball on several many occasions when a sharp scalpel would have helped. Lacking tempo changes, especially during dialogue-heavy scenes, point to flaws in Cary Joji Fukunaga’s direction.

No Time to Die (2021)

Long awaited mano y mano sequences between Daniel Craig’s ever-tightly-wound spy and his unhinged advisories, disappoint. Even Christoph Waltz, playing returning madman Ernst Blofeld (see this film’s predecessor “Spectre” - 2015), fails to hit ostensible high notes during a prison visit with Bond that draws heavily on “Silence of the Lambs” for its claustrophobic atmosphere. Blame for this film’s meandering plot also goes to a by-committee script, doctored by none other than the ubiquitous Phoebe Waller-Bridge (see “Fleabag”).

Official James Bond Podcast Will Explore The Making of No Time to Die

The MacGuffin this time around involves a biowarfare plan gone awry. “Heracles” (or “Hercules” if you’re so inclined – thanks Rob Brydon) is the name given by Ralph Fiennes’s character M to a diabolical DNA weapon that has the potential to wipe out specific races, or even the Earth’s entire population if so aimed. Back-stabbing scientist Obruchev (David Dencik) is a textbook Bond villain that allows Dencik to steal scenes like pennies from heaven. The DNA infused MacGuffin proves a hydra-headed thing capable of filling comic book plot holes like so much spackling on a much-dented wall.

No Time To Die - The Send-Off For Daniel Craig As Bond We All Wanted  [Review] - That Hashtag Show

Daniel Craig allows his composed character’s guarded heartstrings to vibrate more than a little at Léa Seydoux’s feminine gaze and kiss (as Dr. Madeleine Swann), even if Cary Fukunaga fails to capture on film the intended simmering passion that Seydoux and Craig work too hard at convincing us is real. Oh but for human body adoration, or in this case a lack thereof.

Stunning images of Jamaica in James Bond flick 'No Time To Die' - Stabroek  News

“No Time To Die” squanders more than it preserves; Jeffrey Wright’s vibrant, returning Felix Leiter character could have juiced up the movie more than the screenwriters allow. For his role as Bond’s boss M, Ralph Fiennes gives the laziest portrayal of his estimable career. M is a guy who just wants to crawl into a bottle rather than take any responsibility for the global crisis he has instigated. Still, I suppose the character is true to form for most of the corridors of power all over the world.

Rami Malek Says James Bond Fans Will Be 'Shocked' by New Movie | PEOPLE.com

Most disappointing is Rami Malek as Bond villain du jour, Safin. Malek never lets the audience get a glimpse of his character’s insanity, so we never feel the fear or anxiety that Safin’s twisted mind should inspire.

No Time to Die': Film Review – The Hollywood Reporter

There are welcome exceptions. Ana de Armas (“Knives Out”) is a revelation as newly-minted Double 0, agent Paloma, whose outlandishly stylish scenes in Cuba spark with nerve, if not eye-popping, excitement. Indeed, the Cuban nightclub scene serves as the centerpiece of the movie that puts James Bond in a shocking spotlight. Sexy is as sexy does.

NO TIME TO DIE | Trailer Tomorrow - YouTube

“No Time To Die” may not be perfect, or as good as Daniel Craig’s other James Bond films. It nonetheless serves its purpose as a sly social cinematic barometer. Right or wrong, things change. Lashana Lynch has our attention. It’s already time.   

Rated PG-13. 243 mins.

3 Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This 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!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

February 26, 2019

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH

World_is_not_enoughPierce Brosnan (Golden Eye and Tomorrow Never Dies) can do no wrong. While leading actors like Harrison Ford and Nicholas Cage recede into mere shadows of their former selves, Pierce Brosnan gleams with all the requisite savoir-faire and charisma that the longest-running film franchise in cinema history demands. 

Brosnan's third installment as Her Majesty's top secret agent 007 lives up to the lofty expectations set down by Sean Connery's initial James Bond presence with an indispensable steely nerve and Bond's signature unquenchable libido. British director Michael Apted, best known for his fantastic 7 Up documentary film series and Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), makes a surprisingly impressive debut in the super-action genre of the Broccoli family dynasty.

World

By definition a James Bond film must provide various exotic locations (in this case Bilbao, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Instanbul), include mind-bending chase scenes through exceptional places, utilize slick gadgetry, have seduction scenes with audaciously beautiful women, and include an explosive ending that catapults Bond and his fille du jour into sequestered romantic bliss. The cinematic experience goes beyond guilty audience pleasure, because there's something in it for everyone. The feeling is akin to visiting characters who have become old friends in situations that continually add up to a life-affirming thrill ride. There is a deeply felt satisfaction in hearing that priceless James Bond theme music and digging into the latest spectacular pre-credit action sequence.

World-Is-Not-Enough

In The World Is Not Enough, James Bond is trying to track down an international terrorist, Renard (Robert Carlyle), who threatens to kill off lovely oil heiress Elektra King (Sophie Marceau). Elektra has already suffered as a former hostage of Renard but managed to escape before his hostage demands were met. Elektra is planning to open her own oil pipeline into Turkey after the explosive assassination of her wealthy father.

The World Is Not Enough – review | cast and crew, movie star rating and  where to watch film on TV and online

It's a theme right out of today's news as President Clinton has just approved a similar pipeline to deliver oil from Azerbaijan and Georgia into Turkey without going through Russia or Iran. The screenwriters could not have landed on a more topical idea, and although content is never the crux of a James Bond movie, it is an added bonus that the countries visited in The World Is Not Enough are currently very active in the news.

World

Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love) returns to nourish the series as Bond's strident boss "M," while Desmond Llewelyn returns for the 19th time as Bond's meticulous gadget guru "Q." Robert Carlyle (TrainspottingThe Full Monty) does a brilliant turn as the ruthless terrorist Renard. He's the nastiest villain to challenge Bond since Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) in A View to a Kill. Renard's character is first introduced in a meeting between Bond and M as a giant three-dimensional translucent head revealing the bullet lodged in his brain that makes it impossible for him to feel pain. It's an ingenious scene, because it makes us question whether or not this man is still alive and what kind of monster could survive such a state of being. Carlyle looks physically wrecked in his scenes while exuding an air of spontaneous combustion beneath his misshapen and sullen eyes.

Worldisnt

The World Is Not Enough keeps the stakes high for the James Bond franchise by paying closer attention to character development and interaction than recent films in the series. M proves herself to not be a perfect judge of character, and the beautiful Princess Elektra has a little "Stockholm Syndrome" stuck in the front of her mind to give the plot some artful double-crossing. Denise Richards may not be the most believable nuclear weapons expert as Dr. Christmas Jones, but she is the most comely.

The-world-is-not-enough

Michael Apted more than hits his directorial marks, and at two hours eight minutes, The World Is Not Enough is, pound for explosion pound, a great return on your entertainment dollar.

The World Is Not Enough (1999) | Motion State Review

Rated PG-13. 128 mins.Four Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This 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!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

February 25, 2019

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2

Mission_impossible_twoDirector John Woo's (Broken ArrowFace/Off) hyper-boiled rendering of screenwriter Robert Towne's (Chinatown) razor-sharp script in Mission: Impossible 2 makes the Mission Impossible logo a potentially worthy rival to the James Bond cinema franchise.

Woo keeps similarities to director Brian De Palma's 1996 Mission Impossible to a minimum in this very dissimilar sequel by incorporating his signature slow motion, ballet-of-bullets action sequences against the taut resolve of Tom Cruise's most ambitious action performance to date.

Mi2.cole.smithey

Cruise's current performance as undercover agent Ethan Hunt is virtually unrecognizable from the excessively smiling American emissary in De Palma's film. Where Cruise's former character resembled more of a clean-cut action stick figure going through a series of disconnected motions, the chiseled-faced actor emerges here as a hot-blooded, libido-fueled street fighter with a mind like a steel trap.

Mission-impossible-2-tom-cruise-thandie-newton

Hunt's bristling physicality is articulated in every scene of the film as daredevil rock climber, bedroom seducer and hand-to-hand combat master. Much has been written about Cruise's insistence on performing many of his own stunts to the chagrin of Paramount studio execs and their insurance officers for good reason.

24 On a Mission.... ideas | mission impossible, mission, tom cruise

The film's realism of danger allows it to operate on a higher level of believability and determination. There's no question that Cruise was born to have his unavoidably handsome aspect blown up to fantastic proportions on giant movie screens, but here Adonis meets Bruce Lee meets Steve McQueen. Like McQueen in The Great Escape, Cruise enjoys a thrilling chase sequence on a black Triumph motorcycle which Woo captures to exquisite effect.

Mission-Impossible-2

Mission: Impossible 2's plot purposefully aligns itself closer to a James Bond film than to an extended version of the '60s television show as De Palma's film did. Rogue IMF agent Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott) steals an extremely volatile German-made virus (called Chimera) to sell, along with its antidote, to a bio corporation for a huge sum of money and stock options so he can release the virus on the world and make even more money selling the antidote. Ambrose's big weakness is an uncontrollable lust for his comely ex-girlfriend and professional thief Nyah (Thandie Newton, Beloved). Ethan, too, falls for Nyah's charms before sending her back into the belly of the beast to live with Ambrose and help recover the Chimera virus.

Mission-Impossible-II-Motorcycle

Mission: Impossible 2 is a movie that revels in the seductiveness of masculine super action with all the bells and whistles of techno-gadgets, fast cars and explosions attached. It's more romantic than anything in a James Bond movie and boasts better Kung Fu scenes than The Matrix. As a sequel, M:I-2 links itself to the original with Ving Rhames (Out of Sight) returning as IMF agent Luther Strickell. Although Luther is stuck behind a laptop computer for most of the movie, Rhames graces the film with touches of humor underlying every line of his dialogue.

Mission2

But the strongest aspect of the movie is Woo's love of the duel. Ethan and Nyah fall in love while racing on a winding mountain road in an Audi convertible for the lady and a Porsche for Cruise. The two soon-to-be-lovers smash into one another and spin around in a slow motion pas de deux that exposes their mutual need for extreme danger as the only prerequisite for love. Likewise, when Hunt and Ambrose collide in a mano a mano motorcycle collision that gives way to an all-out fist fight, flesh and bones are the final solution to global threat and personal freedom. John Woo's summer blockbuster is surely the most elegant and graceful example of cinema's technology advanced comeuppance so far.

Mi2

Rated PG-13. 123 mins. Five Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This 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!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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