For his latest adventure, James Bond mixes the personal drama of Skyfall with the vintage globe-hopping action of the previous 23 movies. The result is an epic thriller packed with exhilarating set-pieces and dark surprises. Again directed by Sam Mendes, the film has a meaty tone from the astounding pre-titles sequence in Mexico City to the climax in North African. And it takes its time to build the suspense, mystery and drama in ways few blockbusters bother to do.
After the calamitous events at Skyfall, Bond (Daniel Craig) has gone rogue, following a videotaped message from his late boss (Judi Dench) to track a villain to Mexico, then continuing to Rome, where he woos the grieving widow (Monica Bellucci). Pursued by relentless goon Mr Hinx (Dave Bautista), he travels onward to Austria, he confronts an old nemesis (Jesper Christiansen), whose daughter Madeleine (Lea Seydoux) joins Bond to travel to Morocco to face the shady top boss Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) in his secret lair. Meanwhile in London, the new M (Ralph Fiennes) is fighting to to keep MI6 in operation as new boss C (Andrew Scott) works to restructure British security as part of a global conglomerate.
Mendes stages this on a massive scale, with huge action sequences that are never rushed or choppy, beautifully shot by ace cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema. And it's all underpinned by darker personal drama between the characters, so every sequence features thoughtful conversation, witty banter, more clues to the larger mystery and then thrilling action. And as 007 hops from location to location filling in the bigger picture, the film feels like all of the classic Bond movies rolled into one.
Continue reading: James Bond - Spectre Review
James Bond has never played by the rules, but this time he may have gone too far when he responds to a mysterious message by travelling to Mexico on an unauthorised mission to meet Lucia Sciarra, the widow of one of the world's most notorious criminal masterminds. She has information regarding a corrupt underground organisation known as SPECTRE, but he's still managed to seriously anger his boss M. Thus, Bond decides to continue his mission undercover, setting out to find a woman named Madeleine Swann who may be able to help him infiltrate the society, bring it down and save the world. Completion of the mission could also secure MI5's continued work, as the new boss of the Centre for National Security Max Denbigh becomes increasingly sceptical of its necessity. However, little does Bond know that he's also about to uncover some secrets about the SPECTRE head that he may rather have kept hidden.
Continue: Spectre Trailer
It seems James Bond's flighty career has all boiled down to this moment. He's in deep trouble when MI5 boss M finds out that he has set up his own secret mission to Mexico City, but it was a trip he couldn't afford to miss after discovering a message in regards to a top secret criminal organisation. With a new car and a new lover, now he just needs every trace of his existence erased as he sets out to Rome to uncover this sinister mystery, while on the way meeting the only person with inside knowledge of this group; Lucia Sciarra, the widow of a notorious crime boss who informs Bond about SPECTRE. It soon becomes clear that Bond has a new enemy to face off against, though with every member of SPECTRE having some sort of link to 007, maybe this time the enemy's not such a new face after all.
Continue: Spectre Trailer
Picking up after the climactic battle at his childhood home of Skyfall Lodge and the villainous attacks on MI6 headquarters, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is ready to face his greatest adversary. With MI6 discovering that he has a secret from his childhood, he is sent to on a mission to track down an old friend, now a high-ranking official in the villainous organisation. Suspecting the involvement of Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), a prominent member of the once-powerful Quantum, Bond soon discovers that he is about to go head-to-head with a more powerful, more dangerous group: SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion), and its illusive and mysterious leader (Christoph Waltz).
Continue: Spectre - Teaser Trailer
Veronika Gronnegaard was an eccentric artist whose wealth brought her a sprawling manor in which her four children grew up. Many years later, all family members are estranged from each other and lead very different lives, but they are forced to re-unite when it emerges that Veronica has died. There is much tension during funeral proceedings, with each of her offspring eager to know who has inherited the house, rather than mourning their dear old mother. However, the resulting last will and testament presents a request that none of them could've imagined: that she would leave her magnificent home to her biological daughter Signe, whom she had adopted as a child and who still lives locally with her partner. The Gronnegaard children will do anything to make sure the mansion is returned to one of them, but what can be done with such an unambiguous request?
Continue: The Legacy - Series 1 Trailer
As always, he creates a stunning visual film experience full of raw, wrenching performances. And he tackles themes that are so big that we're not quite sure what to make of it in the end.
Justine (Dunst) is feeling a bit detached on the day of her wedding to the doting Michael (Alexander Skarsgard), and her brother-in-law John (Sutherland) is annoyed that she's not enjoying the expensive party he's staging. Her sister Claire (Gainsbourg) is more understanding, even when events take a few strange turns. Later, the shattered Justine will become the voice of reason when the planet Melancholia, which has been hiding behind the sun, heads towards Earth in a dramatic fly-by. Now it's Claire who's overwhelmed with moodiness, fearing for her young son (Spurr).
Continue reading: Melancholia Review
In 1965, three young Mossad agents infiltrate East Berlin in search of escaped Nazi killer Vogel (Christensen). In their 20s, a romantic triangle develops between them as Rachel (Chastain) finds herself attracted to both David (Worthington) and their leader Stefan (Csokas). But the mission takes an unexpected turn. And 30 years later, Rachel, David and Stefan (now Mirren, Hinds and Wilkinson) are forced to face up to the truth of what happened, even if it might undermine the official story of their heroism.
Continue reading: The Debt Review
In a grand castle located in the beautiful countryside, Justine and Michael have married. They enter their reception to cheers and applause and everyone agrees that Justine has never looked happier or more beautiful. The newlyweds enjoy their new marital status and the company of their guests, which include Justine's sister Claire and her husband, John, who organised and paid for the entire wedding.
Continue: Melancholia Trailer
The contrived setup gives us Nic as one Silvia Broome, a long-time resident of Africa who now makes a living as an interpreter at the UN. The headlines have a hated president from her homeland by the name of Zuwanie who's accused of genocide coming to give a speech to the General Assembly; most observers assume that the speech will save him from being tried for crimes against humanity as he pledges democratic reforms, and so his enemies are -- possibly -- planning to murder him at the podium. Or at least that's what Silvia says, as she overhears a potential plot late one night in her talkin' booth when she returns to the UN to get her "flutes and stuff."
Continue reading: The Interpreter Review
The circumstances of her accidental eavesdropping are alittle suspect as well -- she just happened to be in a sound booth lateat night, where a microphone inexplicably left on just happened to pickup a conspiratorial conversation in a regional dialect she and only a handfulof others speak outside of the fictional African country of her birth.
Couple this with a covered-up past of rebel activity aimedat the dictator she claims will be targeted during an controversial upcomingaddress on the floor of the U.N., and it's no surprise that the SecretService agent assigned to investigate (Sean Penn) finds her revelationto be dubious at best.
Although the milieu is unusual, "The Interpreter"is largely a variation on a standard Hollywood template about a broodingcop assigned to protect a pretty witness. With a less talented cast anda less interesting director than Sydney Pollack ("Havana," "TheFirm"), it could have easily been dumbed down into an action moviecocktail with a romantic chaser.
Continue reading: The Interpreter Review
The Vault lets loose its first unreleased material.
Here's what he thinks about the veteran filmmaker.
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