VIDEO: Skyfall (2012)

Mr. Mendo reviews Skyfall, the latest film in the James Bond franchise, starring Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem.

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  • John Wilson

    Nigga be keeping it hood. Also the movie was good(to most people) because it was pretty. That why mission impossible 4 was good. I though Skyfall was ok(mostly because these types of movies are not my thing). I did like M.I. 4. I thought that had better pacing. It was still a nice movie:).

    • MichaelANovelli

      You know it!

      The film’s visual design was a lot better than I was expecting it to be, to be honest.  The part with the lit-up dragon head just makes me smile every time I see it!  :-)

  • Yeah…no. Sorry, completely disagree with everything you just said. Well, I mean I agree with your overall summation, Skyfall is indeed all that and a box of cookies. But the fine details: night & day. First off Ben Winshaw a bad actor? Yeah, I’ll be in the theater watching Cloud Atlas snickering to myself. His chemistry with Craig was awesome and every scene he was in was a highlight. Secondly, your assertion that there is some “Age before beauty” theme going on, is just baffling. Yes there is something of an Age vs. Youth theme, but it’s not lopsided, it’s all about balance. M is praised for her strength of will and courage in the face of moral ambiguity, but also condemned for the immeasurable innocent blood on her hands. And Q & Bond: Q sees Bond as a grumpy old man & an unintelligent thug, Bond sees Q as and pampered, arrogant child without the guts to step into the field. And in a way they are BOTH right, and facing an enemy who has Bond’s brutality and experience combined with Q’s computer genius, they must both work together to take him down as neither one of them can do it alone. The story is all about reconciling old and modern. The whole film is handily summed up by Eve: “Old dog, new tricks”. (speaking of Eve, SPOILERS DUDE!!)

    Sorry if the tone of that was overly combative. Great review in any case, I too loved the brawl in front of the jellyfish. I LOVE silhouetted fight sequences.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Mr. Mendo respects no spoiler warnings!  ;-)  Can we at least agree that Eve is too fine?

      • Absolutely, Naomie Harris is quite a foxy lady. I particularly like how, in much the same way as Daniel Craig often seems to be channeling his inner Sean Connery, Harris’s performance is highly reminiscent of Lois Maxwell. Really hope she’s sticking with the franchise in the future.

        • MichaelANovelli

          And Gugu Mbatha-Raw?  That reminds me, I need to watch Bonekickers, again!  I like to pretend Magwilde’s not in it!  :-)

          •  Huh? Dude, I think you’re thinking of Bérénice Marlohe.

          • MichaelANovelli

            No no no, Gugu Mbatha-Raw is the actress that Naomie Harris looks like…

          •  *goes to google image search*

            Um, okay, I don’t really see it, but if you say so.

          • Muthsarah

            Good lord, but she’s good-looking. I don’t think she and Harris look alike, though, aside from both being very pretty.

          • MichaelANovelli

            Well, OK, maybe they don’t look EXACTLY alike, but I thought it was her at first, and that made me happy.  :-)

  • Muthsarah

    I kept hearing the Porn Critic whenever Q was talking.  Not a Brit, so all the fuck do I know for dialects, but there it is.  Kinda distracting, that.  But his voice was very soothing.  Q’s, that is.  Yes.  Q’s.

    Why is the franchise still given the excuse of “growing pains” in its third current outing?  Connery was already to Goldfinger by this point (a mere two years after Dr. No); though that isn’t even in my top five, it’s still good, and they already had the formula down…just in time to ruin it with Thunderball.  I was going somewhere with this.

    I thought Skyfall was pretty good, but mostly just when I focused on the visuals and the action and shut my brain off.  Which is disappointing, because I don’t think I should have to do that anymore.  These new Bonds aren’t remotely campy, aren’t thinly-veiled male sex and gun fantasies.  They’re supposed to be modern action movies.  Gritty, realistic, and SERIOUS BUSINESS.  I kept getting thrown whenever Bond did something just for plot convenience, or just to set up an over-the-top action scene.  If the series wants to do that, they should embrace the silliness and self-awareness whole hog, and not just with the laziest of sly winks (ooh, the PPK again, what a MAJOR plot point!).  As is, they seem to be afraid to both A) abandon anything or everything that old-school Bond fans know by playing it totally straight, and B) alienate new fans by not trying to be all dark and serious.  They’re walking that middle ground – probably that profitable middle ground – and while that makes sense from a business standpoint, it doesn’t satisfy me as either an old-school Bond fan or as a lover of all things depressing and grisly – the type who loves seeing popular characters die in horrible ways just to piss off the audience, and have well over have the cast in various states of decomposition by the end credits.  One or the other, heirs of Broccoli.

    Again, the movie was a fun ride, it looked great, but I was left disappointed by both constant nods to earlier movies (who did all those noddables better), and by the movie’s rather strange final act, which was unique, I’ll grant, but which felt more like if Home Alone and L.A. Confidential had a lemon-faced baby.

    Bardem was fantastic, though, I thought his character made the whole movie.  I don’t buy the gay thing (sorry, Mendo), I think he was just messing with James.  Deception, misdirection, mind games, all his bread and butter.  Prolly shoulda thought Bond would be above all that, but you never want to lead with your best moves.  A little gentle foreplay is best.

    I’m happy to see the franchise finally move off from Dench’s M.  She’s a great actress, obviously, but having played the same supporting character in seven mostly-bad movies, I think it’s long-past time to move on.  Her M was never the type of character that cried for the same actor in different iterations, like J.K. Simmons’ Jameson.  I did see that plot reveal (both the death and replacement) coming from Fiennes’ first appearance here, though, and I usually suck at picking up on those things.  I didn’t even see the Moneypenny thing until she showed up on the roof.

    Overall, it’s a good movie, but not Casino Royale good.  Though that movie had the advantage of the most shocking transition in tone the series has yet known, I still think it worked better by telling a simpler story with less tonal inconsistencies.  This movie’s highs are higher, but it has more quibble-worthy moments as well, and ultimately, is less satisfying.  A worthy effort, nonetheless.

    And still better than Goldfinger.

  • Tim Terrell

    I agree about Brad Jone’s ignorance. You don’t have to like a genre of music, or have any desire to listen to it. But to scream that “all [state music genre here] is shit” even though you haven’t heard more than whats playing in the mall or some pablum on a movie soundtrack then yeah, that’s willfull ignorance. The most anyone can say is “I don’t care for that style of music”.  

    • MichaelANovelli

      And besides, he confused Ol’ Dirty for RZA, and tried to cite it as proof that RZA can’t rap!

      • I never once said RZA couldn’t rap.  I said he couldn’t act.  Also, I was a radio DJ for a number of years, have plenty of friends who listen to the music, I know what fucking rap music sounds like, and I know that I don’t like it.  Sue me.  I’ll never take your music away from you, I just don’t like it, excuse me.

        • MichaelANovelli

          I know, I know, but, you have to understand, among those of us in the hip-hop community, the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard is kind of a tender subject.  He just had so much still to offer to the world, but now he’s dead…

          • Tim Terrell

             Novelli, you’re great but I won’t go so  far as to say that ODB had “so much to offer the world” other than more unintentional comedy.

          • MichaelANovelli

            Is not “joy” the most wonderful thing you can give?

          • $36060516

             You’re in the hip-hop community?  I haven’t seen you at the potluck dinners.

          • MichaelANovelli

            That’s because I got hooked on that shit!  The Mickey D’s!

    • Uh huh.  Not liking a particular type of music makes me ignorant?  Ok.  Am I also ignorant for hating other types of music, or maybe a certain type of movie?  Or am I just ignorant because I hate something that you like?

      • Tim Terrell

        It’s like you didn’t even read my comment. I never said you were ignorant solely because you can’t stand rap.  I can’t stand R&B, but I’ve heard too much of it through to dismiss it as “All R&B is shit”. I haven’t heard a good Ranchero song ever, but I know there must be something salvageable is decades worh of the music. I would never go and search it out, but I won’t sit there and say it is all shit and irredeemable, because I’ve only heard the shitty Ranchero that the asshat in the neighboring apartment plays.

        • Again.  I will never take your music away from you.  I do not like rap music.  I never liked rap music.  I will never ever like rap music.  It is not my taste, it is not for me.  People have differences in taste, let it fucking go.  Oh and for the record. The phrase “all rap music is shit” never once came out of my mouth.  Nor did I ever say that there is nothing salvageable in the genre. Everything I was saying was simply a statement of my own opinion.  I can probably think of a few songs that I would consider “not bad.”  That doesn’t take away from the fact that I overall do not like that type of music.  And by the way, I totally believe you, or anyone else who has been bitching at me the past week, would give someone this much shit if they said something like “I don’t like comedies,” or “I don’t like horror films.”

          Gee, it’s like you didn’t even WATCH my video.  

          • MichaelANovelli

            I certainly concede your larger point, but, by way of explanation, hip-hop, to its fans, is more than just a genre of music.  It’s an entire culture that, on occasion, borders on a religion.  So, members of said community are often more than a little protective of it.  Not any different from the punk scene, really.  :-)

          • I’ve had to put up with a lot of shit the past week, between people putting words in my mouth, calling me racist, or just making up shit that I said.  It’s getting really fucking old.  People need realize that not everyone likes that type of music, and there is not anything wrong with that.  Just like there’s nothing wrong with people who do like it.

          • MichaelANovelli

            Well, aside from some ball-busting, I certainly meant no harm.  Hell, most of the review has me talking about cookies!  If I really hurt your feelings that much, then I sincerely apologize.

          • It’s ok, my feelings weren’t hurt, I was just annoyed.  I hate people putting words in my mouth.  I never ONCE said “rappers are not allowed to like kung fu movies.”  I don’t know where you got that, or what made you think I said anything close to that, and so yeah, that really pisses me off, because someone’s going to watch this and think I actually did say something that stupid and borderline racist.  I perfectly explained in my video that my issue was the soundtrack being out of place.  And yes, I said I didn’t like rap music, but I ALSO said that I would have had the same issue if they stuck in a new wave soundtrack (a type of music I love).  I don’t mean to keep going on, but I want people to know exactly what I said.

          • I think he did take you a but outta context but Mike’s not trying to be as condescending as he sounds.

            He’s one of the few people on the internet who actually DOES care about people’s feelings. I dunno, it’s like his conscience just refuses to scab over and turn him into the evil bastards the rest of us have become.

          • MichaelANovelli

            Which is ironic, considering that people have this impression of me as being Randy Savage during his “Macho King” phase.  LOL  Also, thank you!  :-)  I guess I never really let go of LDRSHIP: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage.  Words to live by.  :-)

          • Tim Terrell

             I don’t care what you don’t like, and I am not offended that you don’t like rap. I didn’t even say I liked rap, but you did rant and scream because a rapper put rap music in directorial debut. I was dumbfounded.

          • I did not scream and rant because a rapper put rap music in his movie.  I like plenty of movies that have rap in the soundtrack, I even said that in the video.  I criticized it in the film because it was wildly out of place in an homage to chop socky action films.  I even said in the video that I would still criticize even it if it had a type of music I liked and was still out of place.

  • MephLord

    Does Morgan Meryl have a DeviantArt page?  You should include it in future episodes if possible, to give her credit every time.

      • MephLord

        Thanks Renegado.  Have to admit, she is pretty talented as an illustrator.

        • MichaelANovelli

          And I hear she’s one hell of a canasta player, as well!  LOL

          • MephLord

            Mendo, no one plays canasta except country music artists…who go from Barney Jeykll into Bubba Hyde (if you get that reference I’ll be shocked).  There is also no one way our foreign friends will have any idea who was big in country music back in the 90s either…

  • Cameron Vale

    I guess I’m sold at “transitional,” all the best Bond movies are described that way, the more so the better.

    • MichaelANovelli

      That description would fit Live And Let Die, so I agree!  :-)

  • TheScottCSmith

    Looks pretty good.  I’ve never seen a James Bond film, so maybe this will be my first.  Now I want cookies.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Cookies for everybody!

  • Do I have different taste in music than you?  How dare I!  I also don’t like country music either, or metal.  And I’m sorry I’m not an expert on a type of music that I hate.  

    • MichaelANovelli

      OK, we’ll forgive you, but only because we respect you so much, otherwise.  :-)

    • MephLord

      I applaud you for actually posting here, since you are more well known on another competing site.  I guess if a reputation gets tarnished it has to be vindicated.  I only like songs, not genres of music so I’m not much of a virtuoso in that regard, but I always gravitate towards piano pieces, so metal and rap don’t often fall into what I enjoy either.  And I have no idea who RZA or Ol’ Dirty Bastard even are…

    • Carlos Rivas

      you dont like country music? cool! it’s gets pretty silly! Yeah, Rock, its your decision!

  • LindaMinda

    Good review and I agreed with many of the points you made, but you sure fucked up with talking about Brad didn’t you? :D
    I’m sure this will not hurt the site in the long run ;)

  • Muthsarah

    I just noticed a clever little musical joke they put in the movie.  When Bond is being taken into the courtyard by Silva, he puts on “Boum”, a Maurice Chevalier song (or Charles Trenet, one of them), and when Silva shows up much later with the helicopter, the song he’s blaring is “Boom Boom” by The Animals.  I’d like to think that’s no co-incidence.

  • Well this is a response to off hand remark, but I have not seen this movie and I am bored so… To be honest No Country for Old Men is not one of my favorite Coen Brothers movies, that honor belongs to Miller’s Crossing. But I have to admit it was refreshing to watch a thriller that actually kept you on your toes, and to also get to see a movie that could be shocking without having to become torture porn. Sure it was long, slow, and one of the preachiest of the Coen Brothers films, if you sit down and pay attention to all of the subtext. It still is nice to know that a movie that takes its time, can still become popular.

    And when you think about it, if that movie didn’t happen, Bardem wouldn’t have been in this movie, and    probably wouldn’t have been as awesome as it appeared to be. So yeah…

  • Cyvaris

    See I really like Moneypenny….BUT I hate what they did to her in the end. We finally have a strong woman out in the field with Bond and then they dump her behind a desk. It just annoyed me to no end.

    • MichaelANovelli

      At the very least, she didn’t get herself captured and need to be rescued.  That’s progress, of a sort…

      • Cyvaris

        No…but the other woman did….and then she dies. I guess it comes with the territory of Bond to have misogynist themes, but this just really stood out to me. Its the one thing that bugs me about the movie and I can’t help harping on it. 

        The one thing I really like about Eve was how she actually had good romantic tension with Bond. For once it didn’t seem like a foregone conclusion that Bond would sleep with her.

        • MichaelANovelli

          Baby steps, I guess…

  • Carlos Rivas

    you are kind of harsh on Q and Brad jones, Brad doesnt like or no much about rap so his judgement is imapired, i will watch the movie soon so i reserve judgement.
    I have seen Skyfall and loved it, it wasnt perfect but it kept you at the edge of your seat and made me forget about it’s nearly two hour running time!

  • Radical Raccoon

    But what kind of cookies?  Chocolate Chip? Oatmeal Raisen? Snickerdoodle? Gingerbread (Tis the Season)?  THIS REVIEW IS MEANINGLESS WITHOUT SPECIFICS!!

    • MichaelANovelli

      Actually, in the review I specifically said Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup!  :-)

  • Premonition_45

    The brawl in front of the Jellyfish remind me of Blade Runner. What with the dark neon lights and all the glass panes.

  • CaptainCalvinCat

    I gotta admit – I bought the DVD on monday, popped it into my player, and was nearly expecting the usual Daniel Craig Bond. Boring, uninspired, unfunny and all in all painful to watch.And I am glad to report, that I was never so glad to be wrong.

    I liked the movie – it was actually pretty good and even had something, that I was missing in the first two Daniel Craig Bonds…. Humour. It actually had HUMOUR in it. Remember, when Bond-Movies were funny? Back in the day, when Bond was played by Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan?

    I mean – come to think of it, it is interesting, that this Bond-Movie in itself does not have a plot of its own, besides the ultimate ending. You had the whole “Bond needs to get back into shape” from “The world is not enough”(again hurt his shoulder), you had the whole “Bond went away from MI6” from “Die another day” and “Licence to kill”, and you had the whole “Evil!Bond lets himself capture”-plot, where even the Joker said hello.

    But all in all, the movie was – just great.