Spectre (2015)

An interruption in our normal scheduling of Netflix A-Z for another S selection but the one in the form of a newly released film in theatres called Spectre.  James Bond, 007, Daniel Craig, Action: Are you ready for it? I haven’t seen James Bond in theatres or anything else on opening day in forever, but with an overly enthusiastic friend, I did and also in the VIP cinema where we got to choose our seats and order food, plus, it cost me nothing because I managed to redeem it before the points system changed.  Perfect timing!

There’s been a ton of Spectre reviews and you’ve probably read a ton so I’m going to keep this short and sweet!

Spectre (2015)

Spectre

Director: Sam Mendes

Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, , Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Andrew Scott, Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci

A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE. –IMDB

What did I like:

  • Opening

There’s a lot to like about the opening.  I mean, not just the opening in Dia de los Muertos in Mexico because that was really fun and exciting. Plus, it did set the tone for what to expect for the rest of Spectre. But I mean like the opening with the song.  I’m not going to lie. When I first listened to Sam Smith’s song Writings on the Wall, I wasn’t that impressed. I like Sam Smith but something was off.  I didn’t even watch the video of it, just the music.  However, with the opening sequence, with the familiar faces of the last few Craig Bond films floating up in the background, it was done really well.

  • C played by Andrew Scott *a little spoiler territory*

I’m a huge Sherlock fan. I mean, who isn’t if you’ve seen it.  If you are that rare person who isn’t, just bear with me.  Andrew Scott is a phenomenon actor.  He just has this villainous or awkward vibe that flows from his body.  You know what’s the deal with him.  You watch your fair share of James Bond (and I’ve seen 50% of the 24 Bond movies) and you kind of get a good idea. Regardless, this guy is perfectly cast.

  • Bond Girls: Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux

spectre

We all know Bond girls are part of the highlights of a Bond movie.  They are a staple of beauty that stands out in the film. Monica Bellucci is a sexy lady and Lea Seydoux is much younger but also isn’t just pretty but her character helps Bond out a lot.  She’s not the usual damsel in distress. That makes her one of my favorite Bond girls right now. Plus, Bond girls work with the chemistry they have and man, were there some passionate scenes going on there.

  • Cars & Action &  Gadgets

spectre

 

James Bond is a man with gadgets.  He’s got the moves and the skills but he also has the perfect escape plan. Aston Martin versus the Jaguar (I think).  Sexy time watching awesome cars race through the city. That was an awesome sequence that was a ton of fun.

  • Villain

spectre

I haven’t watched anything with Christoph Waltz. Only little snippets of Inglorious Basterds and screenshots of Django Unchained. Don’t even know why but this man, just from screenshots looks like a fantastic villain. You know, that whole calm and collected villain which definitely is smart and has something meticulous and crazy swirling around his mind to unhatch the perfect plan. We get the back story of this man and just who he is.  We get to know what is this secret terrorist organization called Spectre. Brutal, intricate and smart all at the same time.  Christoph Waltz brings on a whole new angle of a subtle bad guy. He is toying with his prey in the most deadly ways.

  • JAMES BOND = DANIEL CRAIG

spectre

The biggest factor of why I love Spectre is that this one truly made me fall in love with Daniel Craig.  Sad that its his last one, right? Daniel Craig oozes with exactly what James Bond is to me.  Forget about how I said Pierce Brosnan is the appearance of James Bond.  Daniel Craig is the whole package.  He’s got the looks, chemistry, smarts, actions, skills and the story to match all of it.  This guy is an amazing James Bond, at least to me.

What did I not like:

  • The run-time

I always complain about this in Bond movies.  It is a chore sometimes to watch James Bond because it always has some resolution half way and then pan out into a second scenario.  Its obligation to have 2+ hours of run time always makes me feel like its working so hard to drag it out. I was pretty tired when I went to see this and while I enjoyed 90% of the movie and stayed away for 99% of the movie.  There were moments I managed to really feel like sleeping.  It was a matter of seconds in the length of the movie but Bond films do hold a certain formula.  While the Craig ones try to stray away from it and add a lot more substance and deeper back story and dive a little into who Bond is on a more personal (and emotional) level, it still does do step into that territory once in a while.

Is it a huge criticism? Actually no, because Skyfall and Spectre both rank relatively high in the Bond movies. I’ve taken a few days since Friday night to work out which I like more. While Skyfall is like an adrenaline rush of emotions and I love it exactly for that.  Its serious and is through and through an action thriller that has lots to offer but Spectre is deeper.  We get more personal with James Bond and his love, mindset and just that ending… I love it!

 Have you seen Spectre? Are you planning to? Are you a James Bond fan?

TMI Podcast: David and Kim’s Random Chat about 28 Days Later (2002)

Welcome to this week’s Random Chat over at That Moment In with David! We’re talking about the popular zombie apocalypse movie 28 Days Later directed by Danny Boyle.

Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Also, on a side note! For some of the fellow video gamers and readers, That Moment In will be starting to branch out into the video game and book reviews/moments, etc and is calling out to whoever is interested in contributing.  If you are interested, head over  to contact David HERE!  You will find more info at that link.

Happy Saturday!! 🙂

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

Moving along with the marathon, we arrive at the 3rd instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean with At World’s End.  If you haven’t read my reviews on the first two, you can check it out HERE and HERE! I saw this one in theatres with my mom in Hong Kong back in 2007 when I was in Asia for the entire summer.  Hong Kong had made its main promotion with Chow Yun-Fat‘s role as Sao Feng so my mom was interested as he was popular in her generation.

poc 3 posterDirector: Gore Verbinski

Cast: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Tom Hollander, Chow Yun-Fat, Bill Nighy, Geoffrey Rush, Naomie Harris

Dead Man’s Chest left us with a cliffhanger ending and this one picks up pretty much right after it.  Out comes Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) leading the crew along with Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Tia Dalma (Naomie Harris) in search of a new ship and help from Captain Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat), a ruthless Chinese pirate, in order to save Captain Jack Sparrow (each for their own reasons) from Davy Jones Locker. With the “song” being sung, Sao Feng and Barbossa has to find Jack Sparrow in order to have their meeting for the Brethren Court at Shipwreck Cove, and at the same time, not fall for another game of deceit/betrayal set up or manipulated by others controlled by East India Company and Lord Beckett (Tom Hollander) and as well as not fall prey to Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and his Flying Dutchman.

poc 3 final showdown

At World’s End is somewhat hard to pinpoint as to whether I like it or not.  For one, the movie itself is very long and the plot keeps switching and switching from one betrayal, to another deceit to something else.  It seems like they wanted to wrap up the series desperately (but then they came out with On Stranger Tides which I will watch tonight probably). The plot becomes  a bit more serious with a few scenes of more dumbed down humor compared to before. Jack Sparrow’s appearance is kept to be the same craziness but it has less wit than before.  However, some characters did rise up to a better development.

(L-R) ORLANDO BLOOM, KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

For one, Orlando Bloom is always charming but before, his goal was just always Elizabeth and Elizabeth and even more Elizabeth.  This time, he’s got a brain of his own and his own agenda.  This makes him have a totally and completely renewed (and attractive) vibe to his character making him the one I loved seeing on screen.  Then, we have this whole fresh vibe between him and Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth.  On that same note, Elizabeth Swann really developed as well. She now has to tough up and face her choices with how things ended in Dead Man’s Chest and how to deal with the events to come in this one.  Both of them was a joy to watch on screen 🙂

poc 3 sao feng barbossa sparrow

Now lets look at the other tidbits! Chow Yun-Fat wasn’t on screen a whole lot (so much for the Hong Kong promotion, my mom felt cheated).  He was alright though as he usually is. That little part didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.  This movie had a lot of not very useful parts.  Maybe because the plot was all over the place and sometimes I wasn’t really sure where everything or anything was going.  On a side note, Davy Jones was still pretty awesome plus we saw more of Naomie Harris as Tia Dalma who is mysterious and dark so she adds a bit of darkness.  Hmm…and the whole thing was very CGI, good or bad depends on the person 😉 I found it fitting, fun, thrilling.

At World’s End is still quite a thrilling adventure to watch however, what makes it lose its steam a bit is the mass amount of plot with so many characters brought back or added in with more screen time.  What does help is that there are characters that develop and they bring on a different vibe to the whole story along with some darkness.  Overall, its a decent movie for the Pirates series.  I loved the first two and this one I occasionally watch as well, just because of the length I usually split it in various parts throughout the day or maybe two days. Not the best in the series but still enjoyable!