Tag Archives: foreign film


When a serious menace threatens MI6, James Bond is on the case — putting aside his own life and personal issues to hunt and obliterate the perpetrators. Meanwhile, secrets arise from M’s past that strain Bond’s loyalty to his longtime boss.

Rating: 10 out of 10

If I sound vague sometimes in the review, it’s only to keep it spoiler free.

It’s a great time to be a fan of James Bond.  Not only has the character evolved over the last 50 years of films, but they have also grown stronger and attracted a higher and higher level of talent both in front of and behind the camera.

Skyfall is a mixture of everything that makes James Bond special and yet reinvents the formula to create a compelling mixture of action and humanity within the Bond universe.  So much of what makes Skyfall stand out is the technical prowess behind the camera from both Director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition) and Cinematographer Roger Deakins (Shawshank Redemption, No Country For Old Men).  This is the prettiest Bond film to look at of all time. All of the locales each have their own distinct visual styles: Gold and natural light in Asia, deep blues and darkness in Britain, and deep washed out browns in Turkey.  But, you don’t want to hear about the visuals do you?  You want to know whether it has a good story?  Good characters?  Is Daniel Craig his usual ass kicking self?  Yes to all of the above.  Craig has brought so much more to the role than just being a martini sipping quip machine.  He has a past that is explored here including his loyalties to his M, where he comes from, who his parents were, and why he became an orphan.  It adds a humanity to his character that draws you in and Craig’s performance suits this modern Bond so well that I can’t see anyone else in the role.  Supporting work all around is also excellent.  Judi Dench is giving a lot more screen time in this one and she’s typically outstanding, newcomer to the series Naomie Harris is appealing and likable, Ralph Fiennes is great, and Javier Bardem is the best Bond villain ever.  You heard me right….ever.  Why?  The most interesting villains are the ones that aren’t completely single-minded.  He has a damn good reason for wanting revenge against the MI6 agency that Bond works for.  His methods are evil but his reasons are legitimate.  All of it is delivered in a captivating way by Oscar-winner Bardem, who’s ability to play fantastic villains may end up being what he’s best remembered for.

I could go on about all of the action scenes, the terrific dialogue, or the plot progression and pacing, but I’ll close the review with this:  Skyfall is the finest Bond film ever made. There goes our Top 5 Bond Films.

Top 5 Bond Films of All Time


Wth the release of the much-anticipated “Sky Fall” this weekend, we thought it would be the perfect time to break down our list of the Top 5 Bond movies of all time. It wasn’t easy, with so many styles, actors and quoteable lines that stretch generations… but here goes.

5.  License to Kill
Timothy Dalton only acted in two Bond films, but this was certainly his best effort.  This was the polar opposite of the quirky Roger Moore films like “Moonraker” and “A View To a Kill.” This rings truer to the spirit of the Ian Fleming novels.
4.  Goldeneye:
The first and strongest film featuring Pierce Brosnan in the title role.  The climatic ending with baddie Sean Bean 500 feet up in the air is fantastic and the one liners throughout are great.  One of the most fun entries in the series.
3.  For Your Eyes Only:
In my opinion, this is by far the best of the Roger Moore James Bond films.  All of the action throughout is excellent and the plot has some actual teeth to it as the cold war action permeates throughout leading to a cliffhanger at a mountaintop monastery.
2.  Goldfinger:
My favorite entry starring Sean Connery.  It contains the most iconic villain in the history of the 50 year series and was the first to tighten up the action scenes after the first two films, Dr. No and From Russia With Love, contained far more dialogue and superfluous scenes.  It turned Sean Connery into a household name and set the entire series up for its long and storied run.
1.  Casino Royale:
The quintessential Bond film in every way.  It has a terrific plot, fantastic supporting characters, non-stop action, and the best actor to ever play the iconic lead character.  It also has something that almost all of the Bonds film don’t…a heart.  the chemistry between Eva Green and Daniel Craig is palpable and there are emotional consequences for violent actions.  I never thought I’d see either in a Bond film and for it to work so well.


In this Oscar-nominated Greek drama, siblings who grow up cut off from the world — homeschooled and reliant on one another for entertainment — create their own idyllic alternative universe, which is shattered when their father lets in an outsider. Sex enters the picture when dad begins bringing home a female security officer to satisfy his son’s libido … and suddenly nothing is the same within the highly idiosyncratic family unit.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Disclaimer: I am by no means recommending this film as much as I’m grading it. Be warned that the film contains a lot of material that most people will be disgusted by, including animal cruelty, human cruelty, incest, and what appears to be actual sex.

Now that I got that out of the way, let’s move on to the review. I haven’t made up my mind whether Dogtooth is brilliant or brilliantly disgusting but it sure is an original piece of work. The camerawork, much like the characters in the film, is completely off and it’s done on purpose to great effect. Angles are sometimes shot where you can’t see people’s faces or it focuses on the inaction instead of the direct action of the characters. This approach works. These people live in their own world where up could be down, right could be left, or, as in the case of one character, a zombie can be a beautiful flower.

The challenging part as a viewer is trying to understand why the parents would choose to have their children grow up this way. We’re never really given a reason as to why they’ve isolated them. Is it because they fear the world’s influence over their kids? Is it because the father has an obsession with control? Or, is it that they fear their children will leave them behind? I do know that the decisions they make to keep them within the confines of their home is unbelievably upsetting. Early in the film, the father makes a decision that the son needs a sexual partner. I’m assuming he is concerned that his son’s desire for a mate will lead him to leave. So, what does he do? He hires a woman who works security to provide sex for cash. When her influence starts to create unrest among his three kids, he decides that no outsider can be brought in again. But, his son still needs a partner. You can fill in the blanks I’m sure (He has two daughters). At this point, you’re probably wondering what enjoyment can be found in experiencing a film that is this dark. Well, it asks a lot of questions about human beings that I found interesting. What kind of climate would this type of isolation create? When would one of them rebel against their parents and why? The storytelling is top notch despite the controversial material. I can also say the ending is satisfying and fitting. It’s just a tough 90 minutes to get there.