Nº 9 – Skyfall (2012)

(Sam Mendes)

First of all, I must tell you the reason as to why this movie is being reviewed in this Oscar instance. Well, as last year, there were 9 films nominated to best picture and to maintain the name of the feature (10 Days of Oscar) I had to review one extra movie, and I decided to go ahead with the movie that got most nominations overall and that wasn’t a best picture nominee, so this year with 5 nominations we have the latest film in the Bond franchise to be reviewed, it’s position has to do with the alphabetical order in which the movies have been reviewed up until now. A lot of buzz was going on with this film when it came out and as the time went by it garnered even more and more praise for its cinematography, action and structure, naming it among the best Bond films in its history of 50 years… but now, I must confess that I’ve never seen a full Bond film, not because I don’t want to, but because I’ve never sat down to do it, as a small kid I remember watching the Pierce Brosnan films on VHS and they all blend in my memory, they are specially bad memories where I don’t think anything that memorable happened, but I’ve been wanting to have the time to see all of them from start to finish, and I already started… kinda, sorta… with the parody that was ‘Casino Royale’ (1967), one of the goofiest and disjointed comedies that I’ve had the lukewarm disgust to see, but that’s an issue for another time, right now we have this latest Bond film and it has a great critical hit, now, what did I think?

Well. I think the movie is good, but it’s not the mana from heaven that everyone’s been glamouring and claiming as the best thing since sliced bread, and I’m just speaking from my perspective, and I think most of the people here are talking from the standpoint of having watched most of the Bond films prior to this, and I haven’t, so keep that in mind, I’m comparing this to the bulk of films in general that I see every day, and while I think that it’s one of the best action movies that I’ve seen in the past few years, it’s still not among the best films I saw in 2012, and it’s not because I don’t care about the action genre, I love me some ‘Die Hard’ (1988) and I think it’s a masterpiece, but I have certain affinity with certain action films, it’s just that this kind of films don’t connect with me in a 100%, you know how much I had to fight with people to convince them that ‘Transformers’ (2007) isn’t actually a good movie? Well, anyway, here the action was top notch, there were fight scenes that really put me thrilled, but at the end as I was watching I felt that I was rather… calm during the whole endeavour, of course there are certain moments that were just amazing in a visual sense and also in terms of plot with the twists and all, but I was never at the edge of my seat, which was what the movie was aiming for, I think, it didn’t have the same effect as the unlauded ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ (2012) that kept me on the edge the full length of the feature.

I don’t know what it was. I count the calmer scenes and the most visually virbant ones among the best of the year, but the film as a whole is just… not well paced, it seems to me, I think the cinematography is the greatest thing I’ve seen in a lot of time, with all those shades, colours, framing and all, it was impressive to see how much you can do with a Bond film, it really looked like an art film more than an action at times, but then it comes down when it tries to pull you in. Surely, the opening credits and the song sung by Adéle are great (the only song by her I can really stand) but the pre-credit scene is forgettable once the main events of the film start happening, and it’s also the dullest moments of the film in terms of cinematography (except for the opening shot) as well as being the most influenced by the product placement, with the cars and the cranes and all, then comes the whole ‘action’ with Bond outside of England as the whole world goes onto M (Judi Dench does a fine job here) is boring and unnecesary. Then, it picks up, and the rest of the movie still stumbles here and there with the plot elements that it tries to introduce, and it just takes too damn long to introduce one of the best villains (and greatest villain presentations) of all time. The film can also be a bit predictable at times, but when the ending comes, it’s impressive the way that it manages to put the theme of ‘Skyfall’ into motion.

I know I’ve been a bit negative in this review, but I think this one has a lot of praise, and I think that it deserves some of it, but it’s also a movie that has some problems with the pacing of it, it feels long at the end, and while I was entertained I wasn’t thrilled. It’s still a beautiful picture and among the best action movies I’ve seen in a long time, I think this film will surely win best song for Adéle, and sadly won’t win anything else, even though it truly deserves the cinematography award.

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