Skyfall Is Bond Done Right

Courtesy: MGM/Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures

There’s an old adage that states something to the effect of the third time is the charm.  That adage has never been truer than in the case of Daniel Craig’s take on the revered Bond franchise.  When Casino Royale first debuted, it was met with mixed reviews.  That is because it came across more as a movie that was struggling to deal with the expectations placed on it by critics and the public.  In trying so hard, it lost its identity, and became more of a melodrama than a classic Bond flick.  Then came Quantum of Solace.  The second of Craig’s Bond films wasn’t bad.  It was just misunderstood.  Its problem was that it was more a sequel to Casino Royale than its own standalone movie.  Enter Skyfall.  This is the Bond flick that fans have wanted from the very beginning.

Skyfall is the movie that long-time Bond fans have waited for since the release of Casino Royale.  This movie is a throwback to the glory days of James Bond in every sense of the word.  Right from the beginning of the movie, audiences are taken back in time with a classic Bond style opening credit sequence complete with musical number.  This time the opening musical number is provided courtesy of pop star Adele.  And go figure, she sings in the song’s chorus, “This is the end.”  For those who haven’t seen Skyfall yet, this single line is far more prophetic than anyone could realize until the story’s surprise ending.  In between the classic opening and the surprise ending, the rest of the movie is entirely classic style Bond, complete with a wild opening chase scene, and nonstop action throughout the story’s first two acts.  The story’s final act is the only downside to the entire presentation.  The buildup to the final confrontation between Bond and Silva drags on more than it really should have.  But the story’s surprise epilogue makes that slow boil forgivable.

The meat and potatoes of Skyfall is classic James Bond in every sense of the phrase. The action is much the same as old school Bond flicks.  And fans will thrill at the inclusion of a certain classic Bond car complete with ejector seat and guns in the headlights.  Yes, that car.  And then of course there is the classic Bond attitude on the part of Daniel Craig.  Rather than being the finely trained killer/agent with emotional baggage that audiences came to know from the franchise’s previous efforts, what audiences get here is a mix of Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery and his own attitude, too complete with the occasional semi-cheesy one-liners.  Combined with the story’s non-stop action and the constant references to the Golden Days of Bond, Skyfall quickly becomes the first true definitive Bond film for this generation.  Keeping that in mind, it also has made its argument for consideration to be one of the year’s top movies.  With any luck, now that the people behind Skyfall have crafted a movie for ALL Bond fans, those same people will realize that “the end” is just the beginning for this Bond.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Modern Marvels Re-Issue Is Fun For Any Bond Buff

Courtesy: History Channel/A&E Entertainment

James Bond is returning to the big screen this Fall in the latest installment of the long running franchise.  Skyfall hits theaters November 9th.  In celebration and anticipation of the upcoming flick, History Channel and A&E Entertainment are re-releasing the 2007 special, “James Bond Gadgets.”  The newly re-issued DVD will be available September 18th

“James Bond Gadgets” takes viewers on a look at some of the most famous of the gadgets featured throughout the Bond franchise, proving just as with so much science fiction and fantasy that fact and fiction aren’t as far separated as some may think.  The special episode of the network’s show, “Modern Marvels” shows that many of the gadgets used in the Bond movies actually do work in real life, believe it or not.  It also shows that while some of Bond’s gadgets do actually work, some are still just science fiction.  That aside, it doesn’t tarnish the glimmer of the gadgets by any means.

 “James Bond Gadgets” opens with what is perhaps the greatest of all of the Bond gadgets.  It opens with a look at the Bell Rocket Belt used in the 1965 James Bond flick, Thunderball.  Audiences will learn in the special that believe it or not, the Bell Rocket Belt really does exist.  And it really does work, too.  The current owners of the rocket pack, Powerhouse Productions, Inc., put on a display for History Channel, showing that it still works to this day.

Another of the high flying gadgets used in the Bond franchise that really works is the “Little Nelly” autogyro.  This helicopter looking flying device was invented and flown by Ken Wallis.  Wallis actually flew the “Little Nelly” in the 1967 Bond flick, You Only Live Twice.  What’s even more amazing is that Wallis shows that the machine guns in the “Little Nelly” do indeed work.  Audiences will also learn in this segment that Wallis has built nineteen autogyros since 1961, only one of which apparently doesn’t work.  In the years since he built his first autogyro, Wallis has even been approached by British police and military to use his autogryos to help them.

Along with the Bell Rocket Belt and the augtogyro, audiences are treated to a demonstration of the Q-Boat and the cars that have been featured throughout the Bond franchise during their stay at the National Motor Museum in the United Kingdom.  The DVD also features a bonus segment featuring even more gadgets not included in the main segment as well as a bio on Bond author Ian Fleming.  Seeing all of these really amazing vehicles and gadgets is great for any James Bond fan.  But it’s not so much getting to see them actually put to use that makes “James Bond Gadgets” such fun to watch.  What makes the DVD so enjoyable is seeing them put to use in combination with the history behind each one.  Whether one is a movie buff, general James Bond fan or history lover, the stories behind the gadgets make seeing them come to life off the big screen that much more incredible.

Fans of the James Bond brand will get to check out this DVD next month.  It will be available Tuesday, September 18th.  It can be ordered online at http://shop.history.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/ 381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.