- Two more movie reviews for you, dear readers. One great and the other, depressing.
Skyfall [Rated PG-13]
When I say that I am a James Bond fan, please understand that I mean that in the “shrieking and feinting at the sight of Robert Pattison” sense. I have all of the movies. I have all of the books (yes, even the sorta crappy Jeff Deaver one that came out this year). I still need to score the new Bond BluRay box set, though, if any of you are thinking about gift ideas for the old Coug.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I made it a point to be at the midnight showing of “Skyfall” in IMAX. I was not disappointed. Sam Mendes did a tremendous job crafting what I think is a more refined, smarter Bond. Gone are the clowny villains of some of the older movies. Javier Bardem as Silva is … frankly, this guy scares the heck out of me. You don’t know what he is capable of and clearly he is willing to do whatever it takes. Gone are the crazy, unrealistic gadgets of the Pierce Brosnan era Bond (no invisible cars here). Mendes wants you to know who Bond is, not wow you with CGI (computer-generated imagery) though there are more CGI shots in this Bond than any previous movie in the series. In a sense, it is a bit like Matt Damon’s “Bourne” series. “Skyfall” is about learning who Bond is at his core. And it’s still exciting and fun to watch. It may not be your favorite Bond, but you have to admit, it is one of the best.
Some less important, yet astonishing facts: Would you believe the costumers made 85 different versions of Bond’s suit for the opening chase sequence alone? Eighty-five. They also weighted down his tie so that everything looked immaculate during the entirety of the chase / fight. Oh, and those were Tom Ford bespoke suits, by the by. Not cheap. Also astonishing, Craig is in his late 40s and was doing most of his own stunts. I don’t know what he is eating but sign me up for that diet.
Why you should see it: CGI Komodo dragons, folks.
8.5 out of 10 paws
The Expendables 2 [Rated R]
I know, this came out months ago, but I missed it at the theater.
At the urging of a friend whose taste I trust, I decided to give this a shot. I have to admit, I didn’t particularly like the first “Expendables”. And you would think I would. I love all of the actors involved. I love cheesy 80s action films. I love the idea of the movie. The old guys get together and make the mother of all 80s action movies. Only, they didn’t. Maybe if the jokes had been better …
Regardless, I was assured by my friend that “The Expendables 2” would be better than the first. And to that point, he was correct. It is better than “The Expendables”. But not by much. I know, I know. It is supposed to be bad. And I love bad movies. I promise you, the concept really appeals to me. It’s just that the execution is so bad!
Quick side note: When did action movies start relying on bad CGI for blood and gore? Can we please go back to blood packs and models? If you are going to blow something up, blow it up. That’s what the movie is about. Blowing stuff up. Why fake it with computers?
Back to the review. The thing is, if I say, “The plot has holes that could swallow the earth,” you will say, “Yeah, but it’s not about the story, it’s about the action.” Sure, but couldn’t it, at least, be a coherent story? If I say, “Oh, the dialogue was hideous,” you will respond, “Well, it’s supposed to be.” Yeah, I get that too. But it doesn’t have to be THAT bad, does it? Do we really need multiple “I’ll be back” jokes from Arnold? The first one was funny. The second time … not so much, dude. And maybe those last two sentences are the best way I can describe my feelings about this movie.
I was expecting it to be fun. I wanted it to be fun. Instead, I just kept focussing on how old everybody looked and how I felt slightly embarrassed for them as they turned their hard-earned tough-guy personas into poor excuses for comedians.
All that being said, Jean Claude Van-Damme is terrific in this. He’s the best actor in the whole thing and for him to be doing those kicks at 52 is pretty impressive.
Why you should see it: 6’2″ Arnold Schwarzenegger and 6″ Bruce Willis squeeze into Smart Car and cruise through an airport shooting people.
3.5 out of 10 paws