Manson Family Vacation opens on interview footage of notorious criminal Charles Manson addressing why he thinks he receives so many letters from teenagers each year. “I am those kids,” Manson says. “I never lived in your society.” He then engages in some interpretive dance, and the film takes off on that sentiment.
We see cross-cut events depicting very different lives. One, Conrad, a mangy tramp (Linas Phillips) sticking his thumb out on the highway for Continue reading Manson Family Vacation (2015) Movie Review
In the new outing for James Bond (Daniel Craig), we open on a gun barrel sequence. The classic gun barrel sequence, which we haven’t seen up front in a Daniel Craig Bond film until now. Signifying a return to classic Bond form, perhaps?
In Mexico City on Dia de Los Muertos, Bond stalks through a parade in a skeleton mask. He is on an off-book mission to assassinate a series of targets before they Continue reading Spectre (2015) Movie Review
Bridge of Spies is a Cold War espionage drama from Steven Spielberg. The FBI infiltrates a hotel room held by a man they address as Colonel. Calmly, the man, Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), continues about his business as the FBI agents strip his room looking for signs of espionage. All the while, the man destroys the signs of espionage.
James Donovan (Tom Hanks), an insurance lawyer with a history in the Nuremberg Trials, is assigned to defend Continue reading Bridge of Spies (2015) Movie Review
Skyfall opens on an extended foot and car chase, which is choreographed beautifully. It also ends with the apparent death of James Bond (Daniel Craig), shot and left for dead in the sea as Adele’s thunderous theme kicks in. Of course, Bond survives, but MI6 doesn’t know this. M (Judi Dench) must write his obituary. Her job is also threatened for her reckless actions with her agents in the field.
Following this, MI6’s computers are hacked and their headquarters are destroyed. Bond returns to help remedy the situation, but he’s Continue reading Skyfall (2012) Movie Review
The cold open to Quantum of Solace depicts shadowy shots of cars riding through the Italian countryside. Then, the scene kicks into gear and we get a brutal, tight-traffic car chase. Stunt choreography is intricate and editing is tight. It is the way a Bond film should start.
Secret agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) escapes his pursuers and rides into the city of Siena. Out of eyesight, he parks his heavily damaged Aston Martin and pops the trunk to reveal Continue reading Quantum of Solace (2008) Movie Review
The cold open to Casino Royale shows, in sleek black and white, James Bond (Daniel Craig, in his debut as the character) waiting in the shadows of an office for a corrupt MI6 agent. Bond explains to the man that he killed his contact. The scene is essentially a gritty fist fight cross-cut with a noir-style confrontation. It is also essentially MI6’s test to Bond, a mission that gives Bond his 00 status (because killing two people while working for MI6 makes you a 00-agent, arbitrarily). Albeit brief, it is a wonderful opening.
We then see a meeting of evil minds. Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), leader of global crime organization Quantum, is setting up private banker (for terrorists) Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) with a terrorist outfit. Later, Continue reading Casino Royale (2006) Movie Review
In the cold open to Die Another Day, James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) goes undercover in North Korea as an illegal arms dealer trading conflict diamonds for military-grade weaponry. His identity is discovered almost immediately, and an extended hovercraft chase ensues. You read that right. Hovercraft chase.
As is standard with these Brosnan films, the chase is littered with fiery explosions and ends with a flat one-liner. Following the chase, Bond is captured by Continue reading Die Another Day (2002) Movie Review