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Scott Roberts
Skyfall
on Nov 13, 2012 at 5:22:31 pm

As a precursor to my review, let me just explain how the first 30 minutes of the movie were slightly ruined for me...

I went to go see Skyfall in the IMAX over the weekend. I don't know about the IMAX where you guys are located, but I only have one close by, and it is almost always an awful experience. It's very tiny in terms of the amount of seats (so it always sells out), yet they crammed as many seats as humanly possible into the theater, so there is almost no leg room. Especially for a someone who is 6'3" like myself. So I picked a seat on the aisle about four rows up, and the theater was pretty much filled up by the time the previews started, but there were still two seats to my left. A few families walked in during the previews, but they were groups of four or five, so I knew they wouldn't sit next to me. So the previews end (side note: Django Unchained looks better and better with every preview I see) and I'm thinking that I'm going to have all the space in the world for this movie because no one is going to sit next to me for a change...

Then as the movie starts, a couple and their (2 to 3 year old) son stroll into the theater. They look at me, I look back at them; and I hate every moment of them inching closer towards me. Finally, they get right up next to me and point at the seats because they'd like to sit there. "CRAP!" I think. Like I said earlier, there's no leg room, so I have to fully stand up to let these people in. And also like I said earlier, there were only two seats, but there were three of them... So the kid is now sitting on the dad's lap. In addition to that, they have brought a plastic bag full of what looks like drinks and medicine. I say medicine because the kid is coughing every two minutes and they keep making him take something out of a box. And every time they do this, they have to crinkle through their plastic bag. Loudly.

Of course, the kid doesn't understand the movie (also, maybe a little too violent for a kid this age? Hello?), so the kid starts to get restless and bored. He won't sit still in the dad's lap. He won't sit still in the mom's lap. He's uncomfortable. He stands in front of them for a little bit. He starts to put his head in between the seats in front of him, annoying the people sitting in front of us. He starts to climb all the way up his dad's body and just stares at the people sitting behind us head-on for honestly like a solid 2 minutes before the dad forces him back to sitting in his lap. I'm sure they loved watching the movie with a dopey kid staring right at them two feet in front of their face. I have severe ADD in movie theaters, which is sad because it's my preferred method of watching movies, but I'm pretty much focused on how annoyed I am with this kid more than I'm focusing on the movie. Finally, after the kid just starts loudly whining, the mom gets little frustrated and she forcefully put him on her lap and tells him to be quiet. THEN SHE GAVE HIM THE PLASTIC BAG TO HOLD...!

So this kid is just crinkling the bag. Crinkling the bag. CRINKLING THE BAG. He's playing with the plastic bag like it's a toy. While the movie is going on! I'm pretty much not even hearing dialogue at this point. It just looks like bag sounds are coming out of James Bond's mouth.

Bond - "KTSTSTHHSHSHHSTTSHSH"

M - "Ktsttststchhchctshcchch. Ktsch. Ktstchchch."

Bond - "That's why I KTSHSHCHSHTSHCH"

I'm normally not a guy to say anything to annoying jerks in movie theaters, because I'd rather just avoid the conflict. But these yokels were completely ruining the movie for me. Like more than usual. I paid $14 to see this thing in the IMAX. So I turn to the guy and I point at his kid and whisper "Can you make him stop doing that?" And the guy just smiles at me, probably because he didn't hear me, and thinks I'm just pointing out what a 'cute little rascal' his kid is. Seeing his smile does nothing but enrage me. Now I say at an audible enough level that the entire theater probably heard me "That bag sound is annoying!" The mom panics and rips the bag out of the kid's hand and looks embarrassed. After maybe four minutes of well-behaved silence, the kid starts to get restless again. He finds the bag under the seat, and at the first sound of KTCHCHSSHHCHCH noise, I turn towards them again and give a "Really?" look and shrug. The mom immediately sees this and picks the kid up and tries to exit the row. Both the dad and I have to stand up to let them out, and then they exit the theater into the lobby area. But the dad stays sitting next to me...!

So now I'm awkwardly sitting next to the guy whose wife I pretty much just made leave the theater. When I slightly chuckle at a joke in the movie, he just sits there silently. Which is now distracting me as well. Now I feel like a jerk for some reason, because I'm trying to have a good time, and I scolded this dude's son. These people have consumed my attention, even when they aren't actually doing anything. Then the mom and son reenter the theater, but they just go right to the front row. So now I know that this family is sitting far apart from each other, all split up and such, and I can't help but feel like it's my fault. So it's still distracting me. After like five more minutes of sitting next to me for some reason, the guy FINALLY decides to join his family in the front row, so I have to stand up again to let this guy out of the row. He walks with his head hung low. Defeated. And it makes me feel terrible. This guy is probably living some nightmarish life with a kid he didn't expect to be so annoying. His time sitting alone next to me was probably a brief vacation. But then I finally had all the space I wanted and could sit comfortably for the rest of the movie. Periodically throughout the film I would notice the kid in the front row running around the theater, darting up the stairs with the mom chasing him and bringing him back. It briefly distracted me every single time. At what point do you just call this movie trip a failure, and take your kid and go home?

We even had an awkward moment when we both got to the exit at the same time after the movie, and I made eye contact with them and gave them a gesture to go ahead of me. The kid started running down the hallway without them. They tiredly chased him. They looked broken. It was kind of sad. And that's the most likely pointless tale of how I picked the worst seat possible for Skyfall...



Aside from the tomfoolery I just mentioned, the movie was pretty enjoyable. I'm not the biggest Bond guy in the world, but I really like the Daniel Craig Bond movies. Well, by that I mean I like Casino Royale and Skyfall. Quantum of Solace was a bucket of garbage water. These new Bond films manage to capture the essence of the smarmy fashionista that the character embodies, while at the same time providing a gritty level of espionage and action that was lacking from a lot of the previous installments. I mean, I get it why the old Bond movies are so enjoyable. They are campy and fun. But they aren't necessarily good movies. Casino Royale in particular was actually a well-rounded movie, though. A full, rich experience with actual emotion. Skyfall; maybe not so much on the emotion side, but it least it still felt like a real movie. Like they were trying to make more than just a Bond movie. They may not have succeeded in that regard, but at least they tried.

This time around, a villain (Javier Bardem) has stolen a hard drive with all of the undercover MI6 agents' identities, and is threatening to release them slowly until he gets what he wants. The plot steals elements from a few places, such as The Dark Knight and Straw Dogs, but the story was actually pretty focused. For the life of me, I couldn't tell you what the villain's motive was in Quantum of Solace. Which is just another reason why that movie sucks. At least one great element about the Skyfall villain is that he isn't in it for the money or world destruction like most (if not all) other Bond villains. He just wants to cause chaos until he gets what he wants (won't spoil it). But yeah, it's just another reason why the guy is kind of a Joker ripoff. But at least he has a physical deformity, which I think should be a requirement of ALL Bond villains.

There are two things I would really tout this film for. First is the action. That's kind of expected. I think even Quantum of Solace has a few good action scenes. The second would be the cinematography. What a well-shot Bond movie. Sam Mendes really has an eye for this sort of thing, and there is a lot of striking imagery throughout the film. I read an article that he shot the movie in the IMAX ratio (but not with IMAX cameras), so you actually see more of the movie if you go see it in IMAX as opposed to regular screens. That's why I spent $14 to hear Bond compete with a plastic bag. But it was worth it once I could actually focus. As always, the sound system in the IMAX is like the greatest thing ever. Especially for loud, explosion-filled movies. And this film has some great explosions.

I would recommend this Skyfall to pretty much anyone who enjoys action movies. It's summer escapism in the middle of November. If you liked Casino Royale, you'll probably like this one too. I think real Bond fans got a kick out of it too, because several people in the theater actually clapped at the sight of a classic car. They clapped for a car! Skyfall isn't the greatest thing ever, but it's pretty entertaining. It skates by on the edge of its PG-13 rating; as it's quite violent and sexy. Hard PG-13 I guess they'd call it. Lastly, I'd like to note that I may be the only person in America to have never heard whatever song Adele is famous for. But her Bond theme was alright. Very Bondy.

8 out of 10


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Tim Wilson
Re: Skyfall
on Nov 13, 2012 at 5:49:11 pm

AWESOME review of the kid. Pretty good review of the movie. LOL

Just to make you feel old, I'm going to drop some Adele numbers on you. Best-selling album of 2011, and on track to do the same in 2012, by at least 2:1 over the next closest. (She's currently 3 times the sales of #2, but Taylor Swift has some upside.) The last person to spend 2 years as the top seller was Michael Jackson with Thriller in 83-84.

She's the best-selling artist of the 21st century on the planet, and in her native UK, home also to Sam Mendes and the Bond productions, her current record has passed up the all-time sales for Dark Side of the Moon.

So dude, it's not just "a song" she's famous for. :-)

That doesn't mean that her Bond song isn't pathetic. It is. But they mostly are, which is a shame. There have been some great artists chosen, but you have to go back to 1985's View To A Kill to get a great Bond SONG, a list that's shockingly short for as many turns as they've had at the plate.

Tim Wilson
Vice President, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW



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Kylee Peña
Re: Skyfall
on Nov 16, 2012 at 1:29:29 am

I so rarely post in this forum, but I'm breaking my lurk to disagree with you about Adele's bond song. I love it. It feels old. I also loved Chris Cornell's "You Know my Name" for Casino Royale. The one for Quantum of Solace was okaay I guess, I expected more out of that collaboration. Die Another Day was kinda weird.

And that's my very weak defense of every Bond song I'm familiar with.

@Scott You deserve a medal for not throttling that kid.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com


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Jeff Hinkle
Re: Skyfall
on Nov 13, 2012 at 6:42:04 pm

Apparently this was "Jerks Go to See James Bond in IMAX" weekend. My Sunday afternoon showing was ruined by a guy sitting a row behind me who, during the big chase/shootout scene at the end of Act Two, started a loud phone conversation on his cell phone. And would. Not. Stop.

Half the theater is shouting at this asshat to turn off his phone, go outside, die in a fire, etc. and he just jams a finger in his open ear and keeps shaking his head. Nope. Not gonna stop. Important stuff going on. He appears to have a party of maybe five along with him and they do nothing to point out that, you know, Bob, maybe you should turn off the phone before we're all killed.

And before anyone asks, nobody just hauled the guy outside because he had clearly visible medical issues (some sort of lit-up back brace and a cane) and no one wanted to be responsible for further injuring the crippled man, no matter how so very badly he deserved it.

Finally the manager came in and, after being ignored by the guy for several minutes, cleared his entire row out and threatened to call the cops. And Captain Cell Phone gets indignant. "What for? I'm not doing anything." Faced with threat of arrest he and his party finally leave, complaining the entire time. The manager backed the movie up by 20 minutes and gave us all free passes when we left (which was awesome of him) but the spell of the movie had pretty much been shattered by that point. Hard to get back into a movie after all that.

Still, I enjoyed the uninterrupted parts of the movie. Sure, there's plot holes aplenty, and the bad guy's ultimate plan is utterly ludicrous, relying on a series of meticulously timed events and locations that he has no control over. But it's a fun ride with plenty of winking nods at the classic Bond story elements.

---
It is easier to destroy than to create.
More fun, too.


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Mike Cohen
Re: Skyfall
on Nov 14, 2012 at 5:38:02 am

Much to my wife's dismay, I went to see a movie containing lots of shooting at an 8pm showing in Denver, CO on a Sunday night. Not that theater. I think it is still closed. But about 6 miles away. Close enough.

Anyway, we had a 4 hour wait until the red-eye flight back to CT, so after dinner, following a two-day video shoot, we went to see Skyfall.

I don't think it was a full IMAX, but we don't have screens this big in Waterbury. Massive theater and screen at the Northfield 18.

My colleague had not seen the previous two films, but it didn't matter because clearly the idea of Bond films being sequels didn't pan out.

I agree with Scott that the Casino Royale / Quantum of Solace arc was a bit weak. Spoilers ahead.

In Casino Royale, Bond has his first assignment after earning his 00 status. He enters a high stakes card game to help a damsel in distress win enough money to pay off her captors, or something. Typical Bond story line in that he gets numerous women to sleep with him in between car chases, fist fights, parkour hijinks and general mayhem.

Then at the end of the movie he goes to avenge the death of a key character.

Quantum of Solace begins where Royale left off, and it is all about getting to the villain at the top of the heap, ending in a big explosion, and along the way helping a fellow agent avenge her own past.

Come to think of it, Skyfall is partially about sleeping his way to the villain at the top of the heap, although that is Bond's primary MO (or at least it was for Connery and Moore, not so much for Dalton as he was just weird looking, and Brosnan got his share of women but I'm not sure because nobody actually saw the movies following GoldenEye)

Solace ended with a boring non-action scene in which bond finds the op bad guy who is just some shlump watching tv, he makes up with M, and says he has always been loyal, and was just pretending to go rogue.

So Skyfall opens with a quick intro to the plot. Why hard drives are still used to store top secret information I do not know. They have all this high tech computer gadgetry, yet MI6 is still using Sony VAIO laptops to store sensitive data. Q was reimagined as a young tech geek, who surely has heard of the SSD. Whatever. The McGuffin need not ever be seen.

So Bond engages in a spectacular bike chase through Istanbul with some implausible stunts. I have never been on a motorcycle unless you count the scooter I rented in Key West, so perhaps someone can tell me if you really can ride one up a flight of stairs. Then a really clever sequence that I shall not ruin for you. All before the opening credits.

The opening credits with the Adele song really reminded me of the 60's Bond openings and seemed pretty classy.

At about this point a group of about 6 middle-school aged kids entered the theater and were generally causing a ruckuss for the rest of the movie. At one point one of the kiddies was on the floor. Behind me to my right was a 20-something couple who were whispering for about the first 20 minutes. As most people know, whispering actually makes your voice louder. There was a guy further to my left who had his phone on for important texting much of the movie.

The giant screen made it easier to stay focused. Very little bag rustling or other audio issues thankfully.

So Skyfall was full of action, plot twists, a memorable villain, interesting locations (you'll see) and paid homage to the Bond films of yore.

I look forward to the next installment.

I did not care for the new Q, who seemed like they could not get Cillian Murphy so they hired someone similar looking for an unremarkable role. Although generally Q has a cameo at the start of the film and that's it. In this one he was an integral part of the plot. Although generic computer usage and noisy typing has become de rigueur in modern thrillers as a way to avoid lots of boring exposition. But in 2012 fancy computer displays have become less impressive.

I wish the villain had a more impressive lair. The choice was an intriguing one however, but could have been pushed a bit further in my opinion.

If you go to see Skyfall after say 8pm, I suggest a cup of coffee or two ahead of time. While action packed, there is a lull in the middle with lots of talking and no shooting.

Overall Skyfall was a satisfying experience. It is being called a reboot in the press. I don't think you can reboot a franchise if the actors do not all change. But I agree that the Bond franchise has gotten shaken and stirred, and as long as Daniel Craig's hip replacements are successful, he should be able to give us a couple of more before the next guy gets a chance.

Mike Cohen


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Scott Roberts
Re: Skyfall
on Nov 14, 2012 at 3:54:08 pm

[Mike Cohen] "I wish the villain had a more impressive lair. The choice was an intriguing one however, but could have been pushed a bit further in my opinion."

/Film wrote up an interesting post on the actual island that the villain's lair was based on. It's a pretty cool, quick Japanese history lesson.

http://www.slashfilm.com/see-the-real-version-of-the-deserted-urban-island-...


[Mike Cohen] "Although generic computer usage and noisy typing has become de rigueur in modern thrillers as a way to avoid lots of boring exposition. But in 2012 fancy computer displays have become less impressive."

Agreed. Some of the Q parts reminded me of Justin Long in Live Free or Die Hard. "Q, put these codes together" "Ok, Bond" (RANDOM LOUD FERVENT TYPING) (a million things change on the screen)


[Jeff Hinkle] "Apparently this was "Jerks Go to See James Bond in IMAX" weekend."

It was probably a Groupon. "54% off Skyfall Tickets If You're Loud and Annoying."


[Tim Wilson] "That doesn't mean that her Bond song isn't pathetic. It is. But they mostly are, which is a shame."

This is the only thing that came to my head in the form of a response:







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Mark Suszko
Re: Skyfall
on Nov 14, 2012 at 8:13:38 pm

Saw it last weekend on a regular screen. Really liked the little call-backs and nods to previous films. Found it unrealistic that Q should make a very obvious mistake about security, but otherwise, enjoyed the whole thing.

As far as distracting kids, some movie places have rules about no kids after a certain hour, regardless of rating, so adults can watch in peace. Don't blame yourself as being a kid hater: the parents are bad parents to bring a kid to an inappropriate film with no regard for fellow patrons or the kid. You should have confronted them as irresponsible. They were being selfish and/or cheap, in that they couldn't wait for the DVD to come out, or they couldn't afford a sitter for the kid so they could attend as a couple. And to bring a sick child to a theater, come ON.... It is, after all, jut a movie, you should have stayed home and been a competent parent first. These are not movies you bring little kids to, in any case. Really, a good moviehouse manager would have his ticket sellers screen these folks out at the ticket desk:" Skyfall? I'm sorry, sir, but that movie is not suitable for children." But movie house management is in a very poor state these days, and they just don;t give a damn until everything has gotten way out of hand.


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Skyfall
on Nov 15, 2012 at 5:19:15 am

[Mark Suszko] "Don't blame yourself as being a kid hater: the parents are bad parents to bring a kid to an inappropriate film with no regard for fellow patrons or the kid. You should have confronted them as irresponsible. They were being selfish and/or cheap, in that they couldn't wait for the DVD to come out, or they couldn't afford a sitter for the kid so they could attend as a couple. And to bring a sick child to a theater, come ON.... It is, after all, jut a movie, you should have stayed home and been a competent parent first. These are not movies you bring little kids to, in any case."

As a parent of 4 1/2 kids, I totally agree. When you have kids you give up your lifestyle of being able to run out and do whatever you want, whenever you want. That's just the way it is. So hire a sitter or put junior to bed and do Netflix.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Jeff Breuer
Re: Skyfall
on Dec 4, 2012 at 5:20:04 pm

Scott, sorry about your kidd-o experience. I say sorry because I know it interrupted your experience, but gave the rest of us a fun story! I always go to a theater chain here in Phoenix called Harkins. I've bragged about them before. One of their features is having a babysitting center for kids. So the parents can buy a special ticket for the annoying kids and leave them their while they go watch the movie. Harkins has been doing it for years, so hopefully other places are catching on.

Now here is my new improved idea on that concept. You know those things and Renaissance fairs where they shackle a guys head and arms and let passer-bys mock him, dump water on his head, etc. We should be able sentence annoying people in the movie theater to that thing for the remainder of the show if they are acting up!


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Skyfall
on Dec 4, 2012 at 5:53:24 pm

[Jeff Breuer] " You know those things and Renaissance fairs where they shackle a guys head and arms and let passer-bys mock him, dump water on his head, etc."

They are called 'pillory' or 'stocks'.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Skyfall
on Dec 10, 2012 at 9:06:10 pm

I really enjoyed Skyfall on the iMax and was happy that the theater was pretty much empty. The action was fantastic. This movie is worth seeing in the theater and watching again.

---------Spoiler Alert----------
James Bond dies. :-)

Anyways, I thought it was cool how they set up Miss Moneypenny and that romantic tension that was in all of the older Bond films that Moneypenny appeared in.

I thought it was cool how they re-booted the franchise with Casino Royale and that is where Bond became Bond and in Skyfall they fast-forwarded to the "end" of his career and it became a story of does Bond still have it. Can he still make it in a new modern world where much has changed since a lot of the older films.

I thought it was cool that the bad guy was just crazy out of his mind. I'm tired of bad guys like Dr. Evil on Austin Powers. Enough with bleeding tears and golden guns.

As for Quantum of Solace: It had one of the best action sequences in the opening and one of the worst at the end. It was so cool when they where running on the roof tops and the tile shingles where falling off as they where running on them. And then they jump into the glass window as seen in the trailer.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

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