Tag Archives: Sean Bean


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.

Black Death

Sean Bean stars in this historically rooted horror-thriller as Ulric, a church-appointed knight in the age of the Bubonic Plague’s first wave who’s tasked with investigating rumors of a woman (Carice van Houten) who can bring the dead back to life. A young monk (Eddie Redmayne) named Osmund is aiding Ulric on his quest to root out the necromancer — and to determine whether or not she has ties to Satan.

Rating: 9 out of 10

When I saw the trailer for “Black Death,” I thought there was no way they couldn’t screw it up. It looked promising but seemed to focus a lot on the medieval torture devices that the Christians used on who they believed were heretics. I was flat out wrong. “Black Death” not only makes almost zero missteps, but I’m proud to say it’s the first great film of 2011.

What makes “Black Death” truly stand out is showing the darkness of human nature. There are no heroes here. You have flawed men and women trying to survive during a period where the worst plague in human history is storming the land and the church is blaming it on demonic forces. So, not only are our characters fighting against a faceless enemy in the plague but an inner plague in the downfall of men supposedly serving God. The main characters, on orders from the bishop, are going to a land that has not been touched by the plague, and is flourishing despite the worldwide outbreak. They bring their torture devices and want to find the heretic and rid the demonic forces that have rejected God and used witchcraft to keep their town safe and healthy. Now, if that was actually all true, I would say it sounds boring. There are so many twists, surprises, and plot benders that it keeps the film moving in a very dark direction that is worthy of its title. Now, I wouldn’t dare give any of them away here but let’s say it brings up several question: What makes a person evil? Is God truly present, and if so, why does he make these people suffer? There are many others and they are all profound. Director Christopher Smith holds it all together and gives the film such a uniquely dark and bleak visual style that is a perfect complement to the story. Grays are very gray, blacks are very black, and colors are washed out and flat. The look feels as helpless as the characters. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Eddie Redmayne, who plays the young monk that volunteers to guide the holy crusaders to their destination. There is a real journey to his character and he is spellbinding in the role. I know it will be long forgotten by next year’s Oscars, but consideration for best supporting actor is not out of the question. So, for those with strong stomachs (it is very violent) and can handle dark stories (boy, is it ever) I highly recommend “Black Death.”