We would have been happy with Casino Royale; we really, really would. Daniel Craig’s debut as James Bond was such a revelation – such an infusion of modern cool into 007’s timeless sensibilities – that he could have spent the remainder of his tenure doodling on a napkin and we still would have deemed him a success. So we accepted the flawed nature of Quantum of Solace without raising much fuss; enjoying its eccentricities and letting its middling status slide with the assumption that Craig’s ride would be more of the same. Little did we know that the best was yet to come: the inestimable Skyfall, which not only affirmed the character’s relevance for the 21st Century, but set a new standard for all future entries in the series. Best Bond ever? Goldfinger may edge it by the thinnest of margins, but even then, I’m inclined to give it a little space on the podium. Hit the jump for the review.
If the promos are any indication, we could be in for an entertaining Oscars ceremony with Seth MacFarlane as the show’s host. This year’s Academy Awards will feature a tribute to James Bond, and a new promo has MacFarlane mocking Bond’s famous and nonsensical drink order.
Hit the jump to check out the promo. In other Oscars news, a recent press release confirms an earlier story that Mark Wahlberg and Ted will co-present as this year’s ceremony. “I’m excited to present an Oscar with Mark Wahlberg,” says Ted. “I’m spending the next month learning to pronounce ‘Quvenzhané.’” The Ted spotlight will be even brighter with Norah Jones singing the Oscar-nominated song from the film, “Everybody Needs a Best Friend.”
Last year was James Bond’s 50th anniversary, but Hollywood isn’t quite finished celebrating 007. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that this year’s Oscar ceremony will pay tribute to the film franchise by including a “special sequence”. It would be very cool if producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron could get all six Bond actors onto the stage, but I get a feeling that Sean Connery would want no part of it.
I also wonder if this tribute dashes any hopes of Skyfall picking up a Best Picture nomination. Yes, genre movies are always a long shot, but the Academy can nominate up to films for Best Picture, and Skyfall was a critical and box office success. We’ll have to wait and see how much love Bond gets when nominations are announced on Thursday, January 10th at 5:30am PST. The Oscars will be held on Feburary 24th. Hit the jump for the press release.
Back in 2009, Quentin Tarantino seemed to be fairly up on the idea of Kill Bill Vol. 3. A possible premise involved Vernita Green’s (Vivica A. Fox) daughter growing up and coming after The Bride (Uma Thurman) for revenge. At one point, Tarantino said he wanted to wait until that actress was old enough to play the role, and nine years later, that time could be now…except Tarantino is no longer interested. Speaking to We Got This Covered, Tarantino says,
“I don’t know if there’s ever going to be a Kill Bill. Vol 3. We’ll see, probably not though.”
Hit the jump for more including why Tarantino will never make a James Bond movie.
Director Tom Hooper was riding high following the success of his 2010 film The King’s Speech, which walked away with a number of Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Picture. All eyes were on what the filmmaker would choose as his follow-up project, and he raised a few eyeballs by settling on an ambitious adaptation of the musical Les Miserables. Not only was Hooper mounting a film iteration of one of the most beloved musicals of all time, but he committed to recording all of the actors’ singing live on set; the filmmaker essentially made the opposite of an “easy choice” for his post-King’s Speech film.
Les Miserables recently screened to a passionately positive response, and Steve got the chance to interview Hooper at the film’s New York press junket. During the course of the conversation, Steve asked if Hooper would be willing to direct a James Bond movie and the possibility of him directing a comic book movie. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
If you’ve been waiting to buy the awesome new Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection Blu-ray box set, today’s the day you’re going to pull the trigger. That’s because today’s Amazon’s Gold Box Deal of the Day has the set on sale for the lowest price yet: $99.99 (which is 67% off!). The cheapest I’ve seen the set before today is $149.99. The collection includes all 22 James Bond feature films from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace and more than 130 hours of bonus features including never-before-seen content from the Bond archives, and more. Click here to buy it. In addition, if you missed all the other deals on Amazon today, here’s the full list. Includes $3.99 Blu-rays, TV box sets, and a ton of movies.
UPDATE: Amazon has sold out of the box set! I’ve never seen anything sell out that fast. To make up for it, Amazon is now offering The Forever Marilyn Blu-ray Collection for $26.99 for 73% off. The set includes Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, River of No Return, There’s No Business Like Show Business, The Seven Year Itch, Some Like it Hot, and The Misfits. Click here to buy.
Longtime James Bond screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have confirmed today that they will be departing the franchise. The duo is responsible for penning the screenplays for all the Daniel Craig Bond films as well as The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. They penned the latest entry, Skyfall, alongside John Logan, and in announcing their departure they revealed that Logan and director Sam Mendes have already dreamed up a scenario for Bond 24:
“We’re very happy to have done five Bond movies, I think we’ve gotten it to a good place. I know that John Logan and Sam Mendes have come up with a plot for another one, which takes the pressure off because these films take up a lot of time.”
Mendes has yet to commit to returning for a further Bond entry, but it’s reassuring to know that he and Logan have an idea of where the story could pick up following the killer ending to Skyfall. Hit the jump to read the full press release, and click here to watch Steve’s recent interview with Mendes about the film.
Much like just about everything else in Skyfall, the opening titles are great. Designer Daniel Kleinman did a terrific job in setting the tone and throwing in plenty of references to the movie without spoiling anything. Watching the opening titles, it almost felt like a hallucination/premonition/purgatory for Bond, which was just another way of how the movie pushed the boundaries of its self-awareness. The titles have always been the titles, but in Skyfall they could almost be part of the narrative.
Hit the jump to check out the titles.
This week on The Collision, we’ll be talking about spy movies, how they function post-Cold War and now in relation to the War on Terror, their current status in the action movie marketplace, their place on television, and then we move into talking about the latest James Bond film, Skyfall. As always, we finish up with our recommendations.
Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Video Games and Wreck-It Ralph“), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg, @AdamChitwood, and @DrClawMD (Dave Trumbore). Hit the jump to check out the trailers for this week’s recommendations.
Last night I uncovered a gem from 2011 for the first time and my only regret is that I didn’t take the time to seek it out sooner. Writer/director Thomas McCarthy‘s dramedy Win Win is not only consistently funny but also chock full of both heartwarming and heartbreaking moments. The performances are terrific all-around, the script is strong albeit somewhat easy to telegraph, and the wrestling scenes are even surprisingly intense at times (I mean, it was nominated for a prestigious ESPY for “Best Sports Film” after all). Matt gave the film his full endorsement when he reviewed it at Sundance 2011 and I’m doing the same here today.
Movie recommendations aside, in what was yet another busy week around these parts, the five standouts include our Skyfall interviews with Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, director Sam Mendes and more, a Beautiful Creatures set visit recap, the first trailer for Brad Pitt‘s World War Z, even more set visit goodness from Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s The Last Stand, and ongoing development news for the next Star Wars trilogy. Keep reading for brief recaps and links to all of the above.
For weeks, we’ve known that Skyfall was going to be huge. After the 23rd film in the James Bond franchise rocketed through its initial international engagements two weeks ago, a giant US opening was all but guaranteed. Even so, Skyfall is now on track to be even more of a giant than we suspected. On Friday, Skyfall earned an estimated $30.8 million from its 3,503 locations, midnight screenings included. Add that to the $2.2 million 007 took in from his 463 IMAX premieres on Thursday and it looks like the secret agent could soar as high as $84 million by the end of the weekend. That would blow the previous Bond record of $67.8 million (set in 2008 by Quantum of Solace) out of the air. In fact, it’s possible that Skyfall could climb as high as $500 million worldwide by Monday. Given that Daniel Craig’s first two turns as 007 took weeks to reach that same mark, the achievement would be especially impressive. Big as it was, Skyfall wasn’t the only film making news at the box office. With its platform release in just eleven locations, Steven Spielberg’s critically-lauded Lincoln earned an estimated $268,000 on Friday, or an average of $24,376 per theatre. We’ll have full details on this weekend’s box office tomorrow.
The James Bond film franchise has stood for 50 years. It has lived, died, returned, died some more, returned again, and as the longest-running blockbuster franchise in history, it constantly walks the line between life and death regarding the series’ potency. There likely will always be another James Bond film, but the character’s relevancy is always in question. Can the modern audience accept Bond in a world where a grittier spy like Jason Bourne seemingly has more power to engage audiences? Isn’t James Bond a relic that can’t convincingly survive in a post-9/11 world? The latest Bond film, Skyfall, explores these question is a fascinating, compelling manner and does so within one of the series’ most exhilarating, perfectly crafted, and absolutely captivating entries to date.
At the recent New York press day for Skyfall, I was able to speak with Dame Judi Dench. We talked about what’s been the best part of playing M for almost two decades, when she first heard that M would be a big part of Skyfall, what it was like to work with cinematographer Roger Deakins, how she prepares for a role, her upcoming film with Stephen Frears, and a lot more.
I absolutely loved Skyfall. Director Sam Mendes has crafted one of the best James Bond movies ever made and it’s also one of my favorite films of the year. While the Bond franchise is now 50 years old, Mendes has shown the best might be yet to come. I really can’t recommend this film enough. For all our Skyfall coverage including clips, posters, my set visit and more, click here. Skyfall stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Helen McCrory, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Berenice Marlohe, and Naomie Harris. Hit the jump to watch the interview.
Bond is back with a bang in Skyfall, a smart, sexy, exciting action thriller that’s one of the best 007 films ever, ranking right up there with From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It’s certainly the best of the Daniel Craig Bond films with its thrilling chase and fight sequences and the visceral way it reveals the vulnerable man behind the myth who relies on primal instincts and physical prowess to combat 21st century techno-terrorism.
At the Los Angeles press day for the film, Daniel Craig, director Sam Mendes, and producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson discussed how Skyfall presented an opportunity to continue to regenerate the franchise and introduce new characters, how they wrote the role of the Bond villain specifically for Javier Bardem, why Mendes was drawn to directing the film, what inspired his decision to cast Bérénice Marlohe, how DP Roger Deakins contributed to the extraordinary look of the movie, and why after five decades Bond is still such a potent franchise. Craig also talked about what he’s learned from doing an action movie and working with Dame Judi Dench whom he considers an extraordinary woman and actress. Hit the jump for what they had to say.
At the recent New York press day for Skyfall, I was able to speak with Javier Bardem. We talked about what it was like to play the villain, why he wanted the role (he’s been very selective since No Country For Old Men), how this is a very grounded and realistic Bond, and more. In addition, with Bardem currently filming Ridley Scott‘s The Counselor, we talked about why he signed on to that project.
Let me be very clear: I absolutely loved Skyfall. Director Sam Mendes has crafted one of the best James Bond movies ever made and it’s also one of my favorite films of the year. While the Bond franchise is now 50 years old, Mendes has shown the best might be yet to come. I really can’t recommend this film enough. For all our Skyfall coverage including clips, posters, my set visit and more, click here. Skyfall stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Helen McCrory, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Berenice Marlohe, and Naomie Harris. Hit the jump to watch the interview.