Admittedly, I do not go to the movies as much as I used to.  It’s attributed to somewhat having no time…somewhat it’s too expensive.  But, mostly it’s that there are not any “Theater Worthy” movies out there.  If I am going to spend $12 on a ticket and then $12 on concessions (I could leave this part out but what would be the fun in that), the movie better be worth it…meaning something which I have to see NOW and not just wait for the DVD…something I MUST see on the  big screen.  Finally, that something has arrived.

I have been waiting ALL YEAR for the 23rd (official) installment of the James Bond series: Skyfall.  So much so that I had midnight tickets (a first) for an IMAX theater (first time in 10+ years).  Boy, was I excited.
And Skyfall did not disappoint.  It is not the BEST Bond movie ever (even Daniel Craig’s first Bond outing as 007 in Casino Royale was slightly better) but it was extraordinarily entertaining and exceeded my high expectations.
Craig stars as the super-spy, the consummate British agent with the License to Kill and orders from Her Majesty’s government to do anything necessary to get the job done.  As in his two previous outings as Bond (should we even count Quantum of Solace?), Craig plays the MI6 agent very close to the chest.  He’s not particularly worried about being suave, as Sean Connery was.  He’s not anywhere near droll, which Roger Moore specialized in and which Pierce Brosnan also excelled in.  He’s not sex-less like Timothy Dalton.  He’s a man’s man.  He’s tough all the time, brutal when he needs to be, heartless at times, romantic at others, and sensitive when the situation calls for it (rarely, but it does happen).  There is no facade here…Craig’s Bond seems to stick to the adage: what you see if what you get.  And, after wise-cracking Moore and Brosnan, frigid Dalton and super-smooth Connery, we need a Bond who is all of those…and much more.
So, will it be two+  more long, cold, Bond-less years until I step into a theater again…desperately waiting for the 24th installment?  I hope not.  But, it will be a tall order to top this theater experience anytime soon!

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OK – I’m a James Bond fan. So, right off the bat I’ll say I was leery. Leery of a blonde Bond. Leery about a relatively unknown actor jumping into the timeless role. Leery of an actor who might be a little too “hard” looking to play the über spy. But, enough of my fears…since this film and Daniel Craig’s performance put them all to rest, I will no longer focus on my apprehensions. What I will focus on is that this is a strong film in a series that has been through some hard times in the past…especially concerning actor changes. I will also focus on the fact that Craig makes a strong, determined Bond…different than all the others but made for the 21st Century. Could Connery be Bond today? Probably not. He would slap the wrong woman’s bottom and she’d sue him. Would Roger Moore? Well, no, because his series of quips would also land him in court for one thing or another. Pierce Brosnan was the perfect end-of-the-20th-Century Bond…debonair, striking, yet with a soft side. In Casino Royale, the 21st installment of the official Bond films (not counting 1983’s Never Say Never Again and 1967’s Bond spoof also based and titled on Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, Casino Royale), Craig holds onto Bond’s soft side right up to the very end. His Bond is raw and harsh and more “action” and less “sophistication” than his predecessors. The plot is pretty simple, which is another departure from most of the recent Bond films that get mulled down with convoluted stories. Here, Bond needs to win a high-stakes poker game so a terrorist does not win money to finance his crimes. This film also goes back to the beginning of 007’s career…right after he has been granted his license to kill by Her Majesty’s Secret Service (this makes sense since this is the novel Fleming used to introduce the world to Bond). And, granted, the film could use a little editing (it is close to 2 ½ hours long) especially around the card game. But, what the film doesn’t need is another Bond search. The right actor has been found! And we can only hope that he sticks around for a while.

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A fast-paced and engaging thriller set in Russia involving a British historian and the legacy of Joseph Stalin. Based on a fictional novel by Robert Harris, Archangel is based on SOME actual events…there were things that came out in recent years about members of Stalin’s lineage but this story takes more than a little creative license. Moody and dark, the atmosphere of this film helps the suspense along. And Daniel Craig is convincing as the historian on the hunt for the truth. This is a solid thriller that also will appeal to history buffs for the amount of past events in the former Soviet Union have to do with the suspense.

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