jump to navigation

Quantum of Solace November 10, 2008

Posted by Shujath in English, Movies, Reviews.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
2 comments

The final frame of Casino Royale hinted that Bond would return to his more traditional ways after a much welcome “reboot”. I was a bit apprehensive about that happening for I never was a fan of James Bond….my kind of agent is more of a Bourne or Hunt. Quantum of Solace has Bond turn starker and darker and that’s reason number one why it appealed to me instantly. But the same reason seems to have further alienated old time fans who despite being forced to acknowledge the awesomeness of Daniel Craig have nevertheless expressed their displeasure towards this flick.

QOS is (almost) a sequel to Casino Royale for Bond is still unable to get over the betrayal and subsequent death of Vesper (Eva Green). His current mission is to nab Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) – who heads a big business called Greene Planet and is part of a shady organization named Quantum – currently involved in staging a military coup in Bolivia with the objective of taking over the country’s natural resources. Since everything to do with Vesper was linked to this organization, Bond’s motivations are different than what his boss M (Judi Dench) wants them to be. There is also Camille (Olga Kurylenko) who has her own axe to grind with the leader of the coup.

In the midst of all this Bond gets to do practically every kind of action sequence you’d expect to find in a film (and not to forget – he ain’t taking any prisoners). There are car chases, bike chases, boat chases, plane chases, foot chases and some cool hand-to-hand combat thrown in. The building-to-building foot chase was the pick of the lot – it seems to have been inspired a bit from The Bourne Ultimatum. But here the shaky camera moves took away some of the zing. I had a tough time trying to figure out what was happening during the action scenes. Still, it won’t make you fail to notice the brilliant and elaborate stunt work (a majority of them CGI free). There isn’t much happening plot-wise so it is mostly the action which drives this one.

Marc Forster – who has handled diverse genres before tries his hand at his first full-fledged all out actioner. Though as a sequel it isn’t as engaging compared to its predecessor, this one’s still a treat for action junkies. The climax action piece and the title sequence are the only things which I found below my expectations. Daniel Craig floored everyone with his previous outing as Bond and here he takes the character to a new level. Just go and watch him set the screen on fire. Olga Kurylenko is quite good too but the same can’t be said about the other lady (Gemma Aterton). Mathieu Amalric’s plays the typical French villain you might have seen umpteen times.

The franchise seems to be poised really well at this juncture leaving everyone speculating in which direction it’ll be headed next. But as long as I get to see Craig as Bond (and maybe Paul Haggis writing it) it doesn’t really matter.

Advertisements

Burn After Reading September 15, 2008

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
2 comments

The Coen Brothers’ latest offering is a fun film. Except for the fact that this is the follow-up to an Oscar winning attempt from the directors, this film has a lot going for it.

While the plot is a bit too complex to describe, the characters should give you an idea about this film. Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand) is a Hardbodies Gym employee who, in her words, has gone “as far as I can with this body” and wants to renew herself with four different cosmetic surgeries, none of which she actually needs. Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt) plays her enthusiastic colleague who is looking to help her make money for the surgeries when they find a CD with some classified information from an ex-CIA operative. The CIA operative, Osborne Cox (John Malkovich), is a drunk who has been recently fired. His wife, Katie (Tilda Swinton), is sleeping with Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney), who is something of a sex maniac. What follows is a bunch of events with the CIA keeping a close watch.

All the characters in this film have their quirk factor raised up a notch. These aren’t the sort of people you’d meet everyday nor are they the sort that you can like or empathize with. The Coens put them together in some crazy situations, add witty dialogue all around and throw in a couple of shocks to make up this film.

The delightful cast is reason enough to watch this film. Pitt as a fitness instructor is very different from what we’ve seen before. Malkovich (Being John Malkovich, Colour Me Kubrick) repeatedly calls him an idiot and he really makes a good one. McDormand (Fargo) is just wonderful once again in probably the best performance of the film. Clooney is superb as well. J K Simmons (Juno, Spider-Man 3) somehow manages to put a smile on my face even when he isn’t doing much and he gets the two most hilarious scenes in this film. Another amusing cameo comes courtesy of J R Horne, who plays a divorce lawyer.

Burn After Reading is a goofy spy film, sort of, but it isn’t about anything really. It is a dark comedic thriller about a bunch of idiots interlinked in crazy situations culminating in a climax where no one except the audience is really sure what happened. It is quite funny, briskly paced and ends just when you get the feeling that it might start to drag. Don’t expect a masterpiece here but if you are looking to laugh, this film should deliver.