Posts Tagged ‘quantum of solace

17
Nov
08

Movie Review: Quantum of Solace

quantum_of_solace

 

 

Quantum of Disappointment.

 

Starring Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric and Gemma Arterton. Directed by Marc Forster.

 

I sat during the credits, waiting for others to leave before I did. A guy and his wife sat a few seats to my right. I turned to him and asked, “Is it me, or was this largely plotless?”

He turned to me and replied, “I think you’re right.”

“I mean, what the hell was this about?”

He shrugs and his wife looks at me as if I may have an answer to my own question.

 

“Quantum of Solace” picks up where “Casino Royale” leaves off. Jason Bourne James Bond (Craig) is tearing down a road, being chased by guys firing at him with machine guns. We later find that he has kidnapped a guy we recognize from “Casino Royale” who had something to do with Vesper’s death. What we don’t know is that he’s part of an organization more powerful than the CIA, FBI, MI6, and any other Intelligence Agency known, so much so that before Bond can interrogate him, double-agents within MI6 stop him and run at breakneck speed through the crowd, blindly firing at Bond and taking out a few spectators. This leads to one of the best fight/chase scenes in the movie.

 

With MI6 now being compromised (“He passed background checks 4 times. He was my personal bodyguard.” -M) Bond takes it upon himself to find out who these people are and if possible, get revenge on the death of Vesper. Tracking down a lead he meets and greets (read: kills) he impersonates a guy who is supposedly a geologist supposedly sent to kill Camille (Kurylenko). This altercation leads him to Dominic Greene (Almaric), an extreme environmentalist running a program called Greene Planet. Greene is buying up “useless” tracts of land in order to own all the freshwater in the world. Maybe it’s me but if I were heading-up an organization so secretive that the U.S. and Brits have no earthly clue about it, giving funding to an environmentalist who wants to control the freshwater of the world would not be in my budget. But hey, maybe they have other, better nefarious villains. One would hope.

 

Bond then finds information about other lower-level villains. They’re all working together! M strips Bond of his funds and passports, which forces him to gain help from Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini). Together they fly to Bolivia where Bond is met at the airport by Agent Strawberry Fields (Arterton). Dressed in an overcoat and boots, it’s easy to see how she’s following the cover story of her and Bond being “teachers on vacation.” Yea, right. They all attend Greene’s party where Camille shows back up. Apparently, she’s still on her mission of revenge to kill the General Medrano (Joaquín Cosio), a Bolivian dictator who killed her raped her mother and killed her family, making her watch and then setting their house on fire. More people are killed, Bond is blamed and Camille joins him as they go out to Greene’s lair. There the film’s climax takes place (which at that point is anticlimactic).

 

Camille has her revenge, but Bond has to finalize his. Finding the apartment of Vesper’s ex, he excuses the Canadian Intelligence woman who is with the boyfriend (Canadian Intelligence? Where have you guys been? What do you do?) and proceeds to deliver vengeance. M and others show and Bond is now back on duty, leaving the past behind him.

 

The action scenes were great in a lessened “Bourne Ultimatum” sort of way. I like having medium and wide-angle shots for my action scenes over constant shaky-cam, sped-up camera shots. But maybe that’s just me. While “Casino Royale” had segments that I thought I would need a defibrillator because they were that engrossing, this movie whisks you from shot to shot to shot until the scene is over and you feel like trying to find a “rewind button” to watch it again. I don’t mind being in the middle of everything going on but there is a point where if I feel more confused than the main character seems, something is amiss. And this “Bourne Ultimatum” action-shooting only happens during the action scenes; never before or after.

 

What hurt this movie moreso than that was the lack of story material. This was the first Bond movie NOT to be based on a novel and it shows. It’s not just that fact that revenge movies are hard to do; the story was weaker than the parts making it up. Sure, some of the action was good but by the middle you stopped caring. It’s like the screenwriters began with a few really cool concepts (unknown spy agency, revenge on Vesper) then let it unravel to a mess in which they were searching for ways to tie the ending up.

 

It didn’t feel like a “Bond” movie. Yes, we loved “Austin Powers” for skewering the “Bond” franchise, and we loved “Jason Bourne” because he was the gritty, American “non-Bond” spy. But if Bond can’t be Bond, then what is he? I’ll give “Casino Royale” it’s points for re-igniting the franchise and starting to build Bond from the ground up, but no “shaken, not stirred” quips. No Q/R gadgets. And a Bond villain that makes Elliott Carver (Pryce) from “Tomorrow Never Dies” hand down his “Worst Bond Villain Ever” crown. And when the Bond girls seem to be thrown in to serve the story (yeah, I know, but still) England, we have a problem. Maybe I’m being harsh because I had hoped that these signature Bond elements would’ve at least shown some incorporation, instead of the producers feeling like they should capitalize on what made “Bourne” a great series. Again this is James Bond, not Jason Bourne.

 

And I know it’s petty, but I wasn’t overly impressed with the “Another Way to Die,” the theme song to the movie. I like Jack White (the White Stripes) and Alicia Keys I appreciate, and they do work well together, but I wasn’t overly taken. I know that getting creative on a Bond theme song is getting more difficult to do (referencing death? Check. Referencing women? Check? He’s a spy and he may die at any given moment? Check) but still, this theme is only marginally better than Madonna’s “Die Another Day,” which wasn’t even as good as “Beautiful Stranger,” the song she did for “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.” Maybe Chris Cornell’s “You Know My Name” (the “Casino Royale” theme) is a hard act to follow.

 

One other small note: a theme in the movie was keeping tab on how many people were killed because of Bond. Was this necessary? M constantly nags about every single kill Bond makes. I don’t remember this happening in any other Bond film and it’s not so much a welcome addition. He’s a spy, there are bad guys who are shot and killed… was I the only one to get irritated by this? If you know that most of the ones getting killed were bad guys in the first place, why care? Maybe it’s me and movie logic, but injecting too much reality into a Bond movie turns it sour.

 

Here’s to my hopes that since vengeance has been dealt, Mr. Bond will find his way again.

 

My grade: C+/B-

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31
Oct
08

November Movie Release Schedule

 

 

 

“Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” – Formerly “The Crate Escape,” those crazy New York Zoo animals try leaving the island, only to end up in Africa. They may spend some time kissing the rains… Opens November 7, 2008.

 

“Role Models” – Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd are energy-drink reps who get in trouble and are sentenced to community service via “Big Brothers.” Opens November 7th, 2008

 

“Soul Men” – Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson are the surviving members of a 70’s soul group called The Real Deal. They take a road trip to the Apollo Theatre in honor of their late frontman (played by Isaac Hayes). Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes were working on this film before their passing. Opens November 7, 2008

 

“Slumdog Millionaire” – An 18-year-old kid from the slums of India goes on their version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” in order to find the girl of his dreams. Opens November 12, 2008

 

“Quantum of Solace” – Bond is back! Opens November 14, 2008

 

“Bolt” – The title character is a dog for a hit TV show that winds up –mistakenly- to New York City, where his adventure back to Hollywood begins. CG-feature with the voices of John Travolta and Susie Essman. Opens November 21, 2008

 

“Twilight” – A girl is sent to live with her father in the state of Washington. While there, she falls in love with a kid named Edward Cullen. Edward is a vampire. Opens November 21. 2008

 

“Australia” – Word War II period piece with Nicole Kidman inheriting a ranch the size of Maryland and Hugh Jackman as the guy she reluctantly gets to help her drive 2,000 head of cattle across the country. Hugh’s not the only one who would do that for her… Opens November 26, 2008

 

“Four Christmases” – Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon are an unhappily married couple who must go to four separate family Christmases. Let me know how that one ends… Opens November 26, 2008

 

“Milk” – Gus van Sant biopic on Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man voted into a public office. Opens November 26, 2008

 

“Transporter 3” – Jason Statham is back as the lead character. Opens November 26, 2008

 

18
Sep
08

New James Bond theme

 

 

Check it out! The new theme for the Bond movie, “Quantum of Solace,” as performed by Alicia Keyes and Jack White.

http://www.imeem.com/people/Gnuk1-O/music/PFQVHzx8/alicia_keys_another_way_to_die_feat_jack_white/

29
Jul
08

Movie News and Views July 29, 2008 Trailer Edition

 

 

 

“Fly Me To The Moon 3-D” – Three insects plan to hitch a ride to the moon on the Apollo 11 mission. Animated/CG. Featuring the voices of Christopher Lloyd, Kelly Ripa, Nicollette Sheridan, and Tim Curry. Opens August 15, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.moviefone.com/movie/fly-me-to-the-moon-3-d/31337/trailer?trailerId=2175044

 

“Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys” – Love, career, wealth, relationships, affairs… all between two families struggling to work together. Stars Jennifer Hudson, Kathy Bates, Cole Houser, Robin Givens, and Tyler Perry. Opens September 12, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1166&item=0

 

“The Duchess” – Keira Knightley plays 18th aristocrat Georgiana Devonshire. Opens September 19, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=813&item=2

 

“The Lucky Ones” – Tim Robbins, Rachel McAdams, and Micael Pena are all U.S. soldiers who return from Iraq to find life has gone on without them. Opens September 26, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1239&item=0

 

“How to Lose Friends and Alienate People” – Based on the magazine article, Simon Pegg is a British journalist who is hired by a New York magazine. Also stars Jeff Bridges, Megan Fox, and Kirtsen Dunst. Opens October 3, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://www.moviefone.com/movie/how-to-lose-friends-and-alienate-people/27150/trailer?trailerId=2164233

 

“Body of Lies” – Russell Crowe and Leo DiCaprio in a movie about trying to trap a dangerous Al Qaeda operative. Opens October 10, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1008&item=0

 

“W” – Oliver Stone presents a story of a man who knows how to party, how to gamble, how to have a good time. This man has some lows; notably, bad management over a sports team and oil company. However, he triumphs and becomes President of the United States. This piece of Americana opens October 17, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/review.php?id=1237

 

“The Brothers Bloom” – Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo are brothers pulling a con job on a wealthy woman (Rachel Weisz). Also stars Robbie Coltrane. Opens October 24, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=779&item=0

 

“Saw V” – More horror and carnage from the franchise that, like Jason, refuses to die. Opens October 24, 2008 View the teaser at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1128&item=0

 

“RocknRolla” – London. Underground. Gangsters. Guy Ritchie. What more do you need? Also stars Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, Ludacris, Jeremy Piven, and Tom Wilkinson. Opens October 31, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=972&item=3

 

“Quantum of Solace” – Bond is back! Opens November 7, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.moviefone.com/movie/quantum-of-solace/26922/trailer?trailerId=2150289

 

“Yes Man” – “Yes is the new ‘no’” as Jim Carrey is a guy who begins saying “yes” to everything, and eventually winds up with Zooey Deschanel. Opens December 19, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1076&item=0

 

“Watchmen” – Based on the graphic novel/comic book series, this follows an alternate 1985 where a superhero is killed and the investigation into his murder reveals a plot to discredit all superheroes. Opens March 6, 2009. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=590&item=0

 

“Terminator: Salvation” – Christian Bale takes the role of John Connor, lone savior of our future against the giant Cyberdine/Skynet cyborgs. Opens May 22, 2009. View the teaser at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=333&item=0

 

“Ghost Town” – “Office” and “Extras” creator Ricky Gervais is a jerk dentist who, after being dead for 7 minutes, is able to see ghosts. He’s imposed upon by Greg Kinnear to stop his former wife (Tea Leoni) from getting married to the wrong guy. Opens September 19, 2009. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=933&item=0

 

“Surfer, Dude” – Matthew McConaughey is a surfer with a problem: there’s a drought in the wave department. His manager (Woody Harrelson) gets him to try to endorse a “3-D” surfing game. Dude. Also stars Willie Nelson. Coming Soon! View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1139&item=0

 

 “Up” – Quoting the Official Plot Summary: Carl Fredricksen spent his entire life dreaming of exploring the globe and experiencing life to its fullest. But at age 78, life seems to have passed him by, until a twist of fate (and a persistent 8-year old Wilderness Explorer named Russell) gives him a new lease on life. “Up” takes audiences on a thrilling journey where the unlikely pair encounter wild terrain, unexpected villains and jungle creatures. Coming Soon! View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=9519&count=0

 

And, stuff from Comic Con:

 

 “Origins: Wolverine” – Here’s the bootleg of the new “Wolverine” movie; basically, a “prequel” of sorts. View the footage at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=143&item=0

 

“Tron 2” – More bootleg stuff from Comic Con. Disney Pictures has given the “go ahead” for “Tron 2” (or “2.0”) and it looks like Jeff Bridges is back as well. View the footage at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=9511&count=25

 

“Untitled Friday the 13th Sequel” – Let’s get this straight: you already know that a hockey-mask wearing psychopath named Jason Vorhees is out to kill teen/twenty-something campers as they’re about to have sex. You may proceed… View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=158&item=0