Skyfall

Picture1Columbia/MGM (2012) 143 min. PG-13

Director: Sam Mendes

Screenplay: John Logan, Neal Purvis & Robert Wade; based on characters created by Ian Fleming

Cinematography: Roger Deakins; Editing: Stewart Baird

Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock

Costumes: Jany Temime; Score: Thomas Newman

Stars: Daniel Craig (James Bond), Judi Dench (M), Javier Bardem (Raoul Silva), Naomie Harris (Eve), Ralph Fiennes (Gareth Mallory), Ben Whishaw (Q), Bérénice Lim Marlohe (Sévérine), Albert Finney (Kincade), Ola Rapace (Patrice)

Celebrating the silver anniversary of James Bond on screen, Skyfall is a watershed film that chops the myth into bits and reshuffles the pieces. Reintroducing Miss Moneypenny and Q, and changing the old guard by eliminating Judi Dench’s M character (this is the actress’ final appearance in the role after seven films), replacing her with the equally arch Gareth Mallory of Ralph Fiennes, who played a part akin to Bond in 1999’s big screen version of The Avengers. Dench and Fiennes were destined to Bond together at least on this one project, their clipped Englishness clinking off each other like matching China tea sets. Clearly, Skyfall is simultaneously attempting to re-access the Bond series and reboot it.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Wrath of the Titans

Warner Bros. (2012) 99 min. PG-13

Director: Jonathan Liebesman

Screenplay: Dan Mazeau and David Leslie Johnson; Story: Greg Berlanti, David Leslie Johnson and Dan Mazeau; based on Clash of the Titans (1981) by Beverley Cross 

Cinematography: Ben Davis; Editing: Martin Walsh

Production Design: Charles Wood; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

Costumes: Jany Temime; Score: Javier Navarrete

Stars: Sam Worthington (Perseus), Liam Neeson (Zeus), Ralph Fiennes (Hades), Rosamund Pike (Andromeda), Toby Kebell (Agenor), Édgar Ramírez (Ares), Bill Nighy (Hephaestus), Danny Huston (Poseidon)

This redundantly titled sequel to 2010’s Clash of the Titans opens with the narration of Zeus as he recaps events forgetful viewers need to be apprised of from the first film as if priming them for the latest installment of a chapter serial (Part 3 is currently in the works). For some reason all this is played out against images of cave paintings instead of the more age appropriate black silhouette figures that decorated Grecian urns and earthenware, and the confusing artistic choice associates the tale with an even earlier, Paleolithic time period than needs be.

Continue reading