Tag Archives: Skyfall

On Her Majesty’s Secret Serviceable

by Ricky Young

On the first day of filming the new series of Lewis, Kevin Whately smiles for the camera.

SPOILER WARNING: If worried about Skyfall spoilers, then either go to the cinema and see Skyfall, or sit down and take a long, hard look at your priorities in life.


There’s a moment in Skyfall where the villain unhooks half his face. The remaining rotten bridgework peers out and half his cheek falls away, skin stretching in a cadaverous fashion. At that point I found myself thinking – this film needs to stop messing around and have him go full-zombie, right now.

He didn’t, of course, and therein lies much of the problem with the new James Bond film. Nobody does much of anything exciting, and what they do end up doing is so low-wattage and for such low stakes that by the time it becomes clear that we’re witnessing a half-arsed series reboot, two movies after the last half-arsed series reboot, it makes you wonder that if they can’t be bothered, why on earth should we?

Oh, it’s not a disaster, by any means. Skyfall is put together competently, hits the majority of the beats it aims for without boring your tits off, and nothing jumps out of the screen shrieking ‘GAZE NOT UPON THIS TURKEY!’ like, say, Avengers Assemble. However, it’s defiantly not the return to form that preview audiences breathlessly rushed to their computers to praise to the heavens.

But if you start thinking about that question of form, then you’re left reflecting that in a 50-year, 23-film series, there’s only actually ever been five good ones. So, was anyone really expecting otherwise? Or is the prospect of a genuinely copper-bottomed feel-good Bond success so seductive that people are willing to kid themselves that they just saw something brilliant, when it’s clear that they didn’t?

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Preview of 2012 – Blockbusters

by Ron Swanson

Any preview of 2012, (or at least one that wants to rouse the collective interest of ‘the Internet’, should probably start with Christopher Nolan’s the Dark Knight Rises. The UK’s cinematic summer slate will be more crowded than ever, with studios running away from two sporting events – the European Football Championships and London 2012. We’ll see a lot of movies congested into a squeezed window of opportunity.

The Dark Knight Rises, released on 20 July, is the only major release to have committed to going head-to-head with the Olympics, and given the franchise’s strength, you can understand the confidence (the Dark Knight took three times the money in the UK as Batman Begins, and is far and away the biggest comic book movie of all time, while the trailer for the Dark Knight Rises received more attention than most full releases).

Nolan’s films are hugely popular, and there’s no denying that he has managed to carve out a niche and be perceived as the director of intelligent blockbusters (Inception took £35m in a very competitive market). The Dark Knight Rises sees Nolan include three of his Inception cast in key roles – Tom Hardy plays brutish villain Bane, Joseph Gordon Levitt as a young Gotham beat cop and Marion Cotillard (swoon) as a possible romantic interest for Batman (played once more as the growliest of dangerous, psychopathic vigilantes by Christian Bale). It will, undoubtedly, be one of the event movies of 2012, but not, by any means, the only one…
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