Thursday, November 8, 2012

When the Sky Falls

Last night, CT and I were able to attend a free sneak preview of the new James Bond film Skyfall.  I enjoy James Bond films (and books and video game) quite a bit, but I wouldn't categorize myself as a fanatic.  I'll watch the movies when they are on TV but rarely do I just suddenly feel in the Bond mood and need to seek out a DVD (although I do own a few).  In fact, most people think my favorite Bond film is an odd choice...On Her Majesty's Secret Service (with the oft forgotten George Lazenby as Bond...thank you Marge Simpson for remembering George).  It's just such a unique and interesting Bond story.

I did want to see Skyfall in the theater when it came out, but it wasn't something that needed to be done on opening fact, on our weekly movie night for next week I would have put it in about the fifth position after Argo, Flight, Cloud Atlas, Man with the Iron Fists...and possibly even Wreck-It Ralph.  Part of that has to do with fact that it is a new movie and I knew that it would be in the theater for a while, but part of it was also that I find it difficult to get super excited about a new (and the 23rd) Bond movie.  Eventually, it feels routine.  I know I will see it, and I know it will be good but the urgency just isn't there.  But I received free passes to a sneak that changes the movie priority list some...and once that change happened, I did start to get excited.  Plus it was at Jordan Creek Cinema and they have the best lineup in town of pinball machines.  When I walked the arcade before the show 3 pinball machines (out of 3) were being played, 0 video games (out of 20ish) were being played (hint, hint bars, restaurants  arcades, etc...when you keep your pinball machines in nice condition they will make you money).

You do pay a small price in convenience for these sneak previews...mainly, they give out more passes than seats or tickets because they want a full theater.  So you have to get there early and stand in some lines for a bit...but hey, I am hanging with friends so it is all good.  Sometimes you will even have to surrender your phone or leave it in your car because they are afraid of piracy (I guess)...we had to do that for Looper.  At Looper, Cam telling the rent-a-cop security checking people's phones "Well, I'm certainly not leaving it with you..." was so dripping with disdain that it still makes me giggle to think about.  At Bond, there was not a phone surrender (thankfully because that was a slow process) but the security guards were watching the people in the theater to make sure no one was filming...of course, they could use their phones and cause the annoying glow in the peripheral of your vision several times throughout the show.

Skyfall was good.  Really good.  At the time, I thought a few parts dragged a little; but I think that more had to do with me being incredibly tired from barely sleeping the night before.  Skyfall is gritty and action packed like all the Daniel Craig Bond movies have been.  If you like Casino Royale or Quantum of Solace, you should love Skyfall.  Skyfall did have a few things that I found interesting and somewhat unique for a Bond movie.

  1. Skyfall doesn't really have many gadgets.  All the Daniel Craig movies have tended to have fewer Gadgets than the movies of 70's, 80's, and 90's (which were getting a little ridiculous at times)...but this takes it to even another level.  Bond's gadgets consists of a radio transmitter (with a single button to turn it on and off) and a Walther PPK pistol (which is coded to James Bond's palm print so that only he can fire it).  That is pretty much it for gadgets.  Bond (and his cohorts) have to make due with their surrounding and Macgyver-izer their surroundings for their defenses.
  2. Skyfall tells more about James Bond's past than I think the the previous 22 films have ever told.  Truthfully, I am not one hundred percent sure how I feel about this.  I mean Bond was always kind of an "every man" in my mind precisely because I didn't know anything about his past before joining MI-6.  It did make the movie interesting though, so I guess my judgement will probably have to wait to see how this plays out in the future.
Skyfall has a lot of classic Bond in it too.  Bond being cool under pressure; crazy, creepy villains   Bond doing whatever it takes; amazing locations; Bond butting heads with M, lovely ladies who want to get on James; and Bond just being a total badass.  Skyfall did a good job of expanding the Bond timeline to the past while setting it up for a bright future.  However, I think my favorite part of the movie was the theme song/credit sequence in the was just totally epic and awesome.  Really well done and interesting...and I even appreciated the Adele song (which I had avoided up to that point).

You may have seen this Heineken/James Bond commercial...CT and I were pleasantly surprised to find out that Heineken was not only a Bond sponsor, but was also having a premiere after party at the local Champps restaurant.  Everyone who attended got a free Heineken and then had special pricing after.   I didn't even have to ask to have my Heineken given to Cam when I ordered a Pepsi, the waitress/bartender did it automatically.  It was nice to sit and chat for a bit after the movie, a nice end to a good evening.

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