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Reviews for November 9th, 2012

The Return of Lecho

Directed by Mario Rosales

Number of times I checked my watch: 8
Released by Occularis Films.
Opens at the Quad Cinema.


Directed by Sam Mendes

      James Bond (Daniel Craig) goes on a mission with his colleague, Eve (Naomie Harris), to retrieve a stolen list of undercover NATO agents, and finds himself fighting an enemy on top of a moving train. M (Judi Dench), bond's boss, orders Eve to shoot the enemy from a distance even if it means putting Bond's life at risk, but she ends up accidentally shooting Bond after all. Presumed dead, Bond returns back to M16 headquarters where he undergoes a series of tests to in order to get back to work. He now goes on the hunt for Silva (Javier Bardem), the man who had not only had stolen the list of undercover NATO agents, but also has been hacking M's computer to seek revenge against her.

      Your enjoyment of Skyfall depends heavily on what you expect from a James Bond movie, how shallow you are, and how much you can forgive the lack of internal logic. The screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan turns Bond into a rather Freudian agent who suffers from mental scars from his past. While it's great that they try to humanize him, it just feels tacked-on and dull here, so all of the attempts to generate pathos fall flat. The same can be said for the attempt to humanize the villain, Silva. What happened to all the wit, inventiveness and fun found in the other bond movies? Or how about some nifty gidgets and gadgets at least? Instead, Skyfall merely moves from plot point A to plot point B in a rather pedestrian and witless fashion. Daniel Craig seems to be sleepwalking through his role, here, because he oozes none of the panache, charm or suaveness that previous Bond actors possessed.

      Director Sam Mendes probably needs more experience working on action thrillers because none of the action sequences in Skyfall are particularly exciting, inspired, suspenseful or thrilling for that matter. The cinematography, sound editing and special effects are all top-notch, though, so if you're a shallow, unsophisticated individual who's easily pleased by a film's purely aesthetic qualities, you might find yourself entertained. A modicum of suspense can be found in trying to figure out why the film is called Skyfall to begin with---the answer finally arrives after the 2-hour mark, but it won't be spoiled here. The other suspense comes briefly when Eve carefully shaves Bond's face with a very sharp razor as you're wondering to yourself whether or not she'll cut his throat. It wouldn't be the first time that she'd accidentally injure him. Of course, even if she would injure him again or if another character were to die, it wouldn't matter because none of them actually come to life.

      At a bloated running time of 2 hours and 23 minutes, Skyfall is a tedious, uninspired, sluggish and vapid bore that can only be enjoyed by very shallow, unctuous philistines.

Number of times I checked my watch: 6
Released by Columbia Pictures.
Opens nationwide.

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