Neil Fox on film: Skyfall, Hallowe’en
He’s back, which of course you know, unless you have been living on Mars, although I reckon even Curiosity will have downloaded the teaser trailer by now. Yep. James Bond returns for the 23rd time, four years on from the mauled outing that was Quantum of Solace.
And in the hands of Sam Mendes, all thoughts of how un-Bond that film was – though I think it’s criminally underrated – are blown to smithereens.
However, this is no run of the mill Bond adventure. Mendes and the screenwriters have more interesting questions in mind for the iconic character.
They play with the history of the franchise and also try and get to the core of this complex creation – while also ensuring there is a return to the sex, violence and coolness we have come to expect.
Daniel Craig, for one, seems to have blossomed under Mendes’ tutelage – the director worked with Craig before on the superb Road To Perdition – and he takes to the dark side of the role with almost sociopathic glee.
Bond is on the way out, it seems, the character much like the franchise, spending a large part of the story struggling to keep up, looking out of touch and out of shape, until he is forced back into the centre of the ring when a nasty, brilliant baddie, fixes on his boss, M, brilliantly played again by Dame Judi, who persuades (manipulates) Bond to protect her, giving him purpose again, and reminding him of his cruel calling.
It’s bold, intelligent, entertaining, classic filmmaking. It rounds off the first three Craig Bonds beautifully, and cements the idea that finally, the world may have a true rival to Connery for the most popular and greatest 007 title. More like this please.
With all the rubbish horror movies around, it’s a welcome sight to see a real classic back gracing the big screens. Park Circus have done another wonderful job of restoration here, and the digital version of John Carpenter’s shocker looks as good as the film is scary. And it’s still, really scary.
It’s easy to forget how groundbreaking this film was in the slasher genre, and also easy to blame it for the poor cycle of films it spawned, but that’s to miss what is an absolutely supreme piece of genre filmmaking. Peerless.
Believe that Kubrick’s The Shining is actually about the holocaust? Or that it’s Kubrick’s apology for his role in faking the moon landing footage? Then this is the film for you. It’s a brilliantly bonkers doc about the power of cinema and the curse of having too much time on your hands.