Steven Soderbergh marks his return to feature filmmaking after his reported retirement with Logan Lucky, a heist film in the same stylistic vein as his Oceans films. Instead of the lavish cityscape and bright lights of Las Vegas, however, in Logan Lucky we are treated with rural North Carolina. The high security casino: replaced by a low security NASCAR race track.
The lead figure in this heist is Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum), who sees a crack in the system of pressure tubes that carry money from the race track to a nearby bank vault and decides to Continue reading Logan Lucky (2017) 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
With Spectre just around the corner, it is only appropriate to look back at the good and the bad, the camp and the grit, the martinis and the Aston Martins. Here is a ranking of the entire James Bond franchise, not including the forthcoming 24th installment.
Note: click on the titles to read full reviews of the films.
Continue reading Ranking the James Bond Filmography
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 opening to Licence to Kill, CIA agent Felix Leiter (David Hedison) is pulled away from his own wedding in order to hunt down drug kingpin Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi). With British secret agent 007 James Bond (Timothy Dalton) in tow, Leiter tracks down the criminal, but Sanchez escapes in a plane. Fearless Bond suspends himself from a helicopter in midair in order to literally rope in Sanchez’ vehicle. Upon successfully capturing Sanchez, Bond and Leiter parachute into Leiter’s wedding.
The aircraft stunt in this opening scene is marvelous to watch. The interplay with Bond and Leiter and the fact that Leiter is holding up his wedding for the sake of work is comical. This first scene sets up the film wonderfully.
Following this scene, Sanchez is in custody. He offers Continue reading Licence to Kill (1989) Movie Review