Saturday, November 29, 2008
Julia Roberts and Clive Owen rekindle their Closer chemistry at the forefront of a star-studded cast (also including Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti) in this cool as hell looking thriller with an added romantic twist (a 21st Century Charade maybe?). The film is from writer/director Tony Gilroy whose Michael Clayton was one of the most lauded directorial debuts in recent history, so the creative pedigree is certainly in tact. Look for it in theaters March 20th, 2009.
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Image Credit: lapastelera @ Live Journal
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Craig continues to do great work as the stoic central figure of the films. Due to his efforts, Bond has been effectively and convincingly remolded as a handsome brute rather than a smooth talking sexaholic whose debauchery most often bordered on (and sometimes bled into) the category of masculinized camp. Still plucky as ever after all these years is Judi Dench whose matronly rabble rouser, M, makes for one of the most fun and easy to love authority figures around. Credit in this film also goes to Olga Kurylenko for her feisty performance as the atypical and surprisingly asexual Bond beauty, Camille, who despite expectations is actually a female character of some substance and independent motivation (i.e. she wants more than to sleep with James Bond). Mathieu Almaric, who caused a stir in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, also rises to the task of the token French-ish villain with plans for dastardly world domination (by odd Chinatown-esque means).
Though the ratio of action sequences to plot and drama is most assuredly unbalanced, Quantum of Solace still offers fun and easy entertainment with the faintest, much appreciated spark of authentic characterization. Its cryptic plot can be baffling at times, but what's present works well enough and what's absent can be mostly overlooked for those who simply want to enjoy the wild ride. Solace continues admirably in the style adapted by Casino Royale to help turn this once crap-tacular franchise into something more edgy, modern, and commercially viable.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The central story, which involves the diabolical efforts of a pale-faced ancient prince (Luke Goss) and his willowy sister (Anna Walton) is an engagingly weird effort to be sure, but narrative is only half the fun of this film (or maybe less than half) as del Toro and his team of visual masterminds (many reunited from their Oscar winning work on Pan's) piece together what has got to be the most stunningly weird and imaginative film to come out of commercial Hollywood in years. Del Toro is a gem of an innovator with the comic sensibilities of a toddler and the visual lyricism of a poet. He blends broad comedy and cheap sight gags with oddly affecting stunts and action sequences that can be as beautiful to behold as they are drenched in kooky excitement. Among his team's most unforgettable creations: a vividly costumed "angel of death" (also Doug Jones) and a plant monster 30 stories tall whose gooey death covers the city in a lovely coat of pollen that falls with the gentle beauty of snowflakes. This is a popcorn spectacle like no other that should be savored for its rare gifts.