Sunday, November 15, 2015


Friends and long-time readers of this blog know that I'm a stone fan of the James Bond films.  I've seen all the past ones, even the painfully bad entries, at least three times each.  Bill and I have closed our company for a few hours on the afternoon of the opening day of the first three Daniel Craig as Bond films, and we did so again this year.  (I went the night before in Saratoga Springs.)  So, I'm not even going to try to pretend to be an objective critic of films in this series.

I'm also not going to deny the many problems with these movies, problems that range from sexism to ridiculous plots.  I just enjoy them for what they are.

So, obviously, I entered Spectre prepared to be entertained and to like it, and I left feeling entertained and rather liking it.  The movie was classic Bond, with chases and fights and gadgets and gorgeous people in gorgeous locations.

The plot was also as ludicrous as usual, possibly more so than usual.

The cast did a reasonable job.  Craig plays Bond smoothly and well.  Christoph Waltz turned in a fine bad-guy performance; he was born to be creepy on screen.  Monica Bellucci oozed with sex appeal and actually did a good job acting.  It's a pity that the role of Bond's significant love interest in the movie went to Lea Seydoux, who was pretty but who never sizzled and never had any real chemistry with Craig.  All of them, though, were good enough in their roles to carry along the story.

Andrew Scott, who also played Moriarity on the recent Holmes' shows, rose above the rest and excelled in the role of creepy bureaucrat.  I would watch him again in anything.

Do I recommend Spectre?  If you like Bond movies, you bet.  If you just want a good action flick, absolutely.  If you want a complete film with emotional truth and great acting, think again.

Friends have reminded me that each new Bond movie from any given Bond actor demands a ranking of all of that actor's Bond films.  In this case, I think the ranking is easy:

  1. Casino Royale
  2. Skyfall
  3. Spectre
  4. Quantum of Solace
A final note:  if you're planning to catch this movie, definitely head to the largest screen you can find.  I'll watch it again at home, probably multiple times, but seeing it in the theater is important.

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