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Skyfall

This movie was a long time coming, in more than one sense of the term. First, the financial woes that plagued MGM held up production for a couple of years. The legendary studio was only a shell of it’s former self, little more than a logo and a name with echoes of Hollywood’s bygone era, but it was unclear if the venerable film series would have to go onto the auction block in order to settle a bankruptcy.

In another sense, Skyfall represents a visual return to the Bond movies of the Connery/Moore era. By the end of this movie, they have ditched the high tech look of M’s office and MI6 headquarters that started with the Brosnan era and brought things full circle.

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Casino Royale

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You can tell right from the start that Casino Royale is cut from a different mold than the previous twenty James Bond films. For one, the pre-credits sequence features a brutal, drawn-out fight scene that is very atypical for the film series, which usually prefers its violence more stylized and sanitized. The credit sequence also breaks with Bond custom, which usually emphasized the female nude in discreet silhouette, this time depicting violence against male figures without a single naked girl in sight.

Daniel Craig’s first outing as Ian Fleming’s classic super-spy feels like they tore down a Trump casino and built an army barracks in its place. Continue reading