Written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, & John Logan
Directed by Sam Mendes

Tron, nooooooo!

The formula for a successful James Bond film is tricky. Too serious, too lighthearted, too romantic, too distant, too many people dressed as clowns: all problems the franchise has faced before.

Now we may have run into a new one: too artsy. Sam Mendes, the Academy Award winning director of American Beauty and a half dozen other explorations of the horror of American life, helms the latest Bond excursion, Skyfall. Getting the opportunity to play with a British icon, Mendes delves immediately into doing what he enjoys doing: peeling away the paint to find the rot underneath.

With the cliches of the franchise firmly in place, Mendes decides to throw the accumulated mess against each other and find where the pieces fall when push comes to shove.

Skyfall Daniel Craig James Jimmy Bond James “007” Bond (Daniel Craig) – Still smarting from all the other dumb crap he’s gone through in the last two films, Bond is brooding and upset. He also gets shot and presumed dead in the pre-title sequence, something that would put a damper on anyone’s mood.
Skyfall Judi Dench M (Dame Judy Dench) – The head of British Intelligence’s MI6, she’s getting up there in years, having advised James Bond way back in the day when he was still Pierce Brosnan. She’s a big focus of the plot this time around, as apparently the entire island of Britain has a good old case of the Oedipus complex when it comes to her.
Skyfall Q impish being creature thing Q (Ben Whishaw)– Impish little man with a foppish hairdo that puts Bond on trial for the crimes of humanity…I bet no one’s ever made that joke before! Anyway, this little twerp is Dr. Who, Jr. for the most part, except his extreme overconfidence gets the better of him more than a few times.
Skyfall Voldemort Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) – Yes, Voldemort is in this movie. This time he’s M’s superior, so we have someone threatening to take her badge away after one more reckless act. Layers upon layers.
Skyfall Two Bits Eve (Naomie Harris) – Another British spy who hangs out with James during some down time. Also knows the correct response to the ages old riddle of “Shave and a haircut.”
Skyfall Pain Fear You Know Not These Things Severine (Berenice Marlohe) – The villain’s sex slave girlfriend, with all the joy and fun that that entails.
Diego Silva (Javier Bardem) – One of the greatest computer hackers the world has apparently ever known, he also has questionable fashion taste and social skills. Completely different than me, I assure you. Well, at least the hacker part.

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Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Review)

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Peter Sallis as Wallace
Ralph Fiennes as Victor Quartermaine
Helena Bonham Carter as Lady Campanula Tottington
Directed by Steve Box and Nick Park

The year 2005 gave us Son of the Mask, The Honeymooners, Alone in the Dark, XXX 2, Stealth, Elektra, House Of Wax, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, The Perfect Man, Kingdom of Heaven, The Cave, Into the Blue, Fantasic Four, War of the Worlds, Alexander, The Island, Bewitched, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Man of the House, and Cry_Wolf. More horrors are undoubtedly on the way, such as Bloodrayne. There were a few bright spots, but out of the darkness comes a beacon so bright it blinds all competition. Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is too good of a movie to have come out of this year. It is a miracle. A beacon of hope. A sign of things to come. Wallace and Gromit are the first in a wave of decent films that are due out, and they are a sight for sore eyes. Hollywood has been complaining all summer about their being in a box office slump, then they release another weekend of garbage. Deservedly, people are staying home and staying away. Sure, Episode III, Sin City, Batman Begins, all decent, but not enough to keep people going to the lesser fare. Smaller productions such as Broken Flowers entertained but didn’t get much exposure, nor would they appeal to the masses as they weren’t designed to. Mot of the best films I saw this year were foreign films from 2004 or earlier, such as Kung Fu Hustle, Kontroll, Oldboy, and The Warrior. W&G is a great film. Everyone will love it, unless you are dead inside.

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