‘Spectre’ Review: A Dim Ghost of 007’s Past

5 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Spectre’ doesn’t reach heights of ‘Skyfall’.

A new James Bond’s film, Spectre, which premiered amid pomp at the Sliverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos on Wednesday, hits the cinema across the country on Friday, November 6. At one point in “Spectre,” James Bond—played for the fourth and maybe the last time by Daniel Craig—finds himself strapped into a torture machine that drills little holes in his skull. The superspy James Bond has embarked on adventures for more than 50 years and the upcoming Bond movie, “SPECTRE,” will be the twenty-fourth in the series, an extraordinary number.

And it’s not a good thing for the film that the machine resembles the goofy feeding contraption that goes berserk in Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times.” Perhaps some of the goofiness was intentional—you can’t always tell from this production’s wavering tone—but “Spectre” is full of not-good things, and some oppressively bad things that may come to feel like drill bits twirling in your skull. You must know – oh, he’s dead?” In Spectre, the 24th film in a 54-year-old franchise, James Bond certainly seems familiar with many of the killers in the cast. Gorgeous, nimble, and impeccably dressed, it’s the automotive embodiment of, say, super-spy James Bond, who gets to prowl around in this car’s successor, the DB10, in the latest Bond movie, Spectre. The director was Sam Mendes, whose previous Bond feature, “Skyfall,” set a new dramatic standard for the franchise, and three of the four writers who wrote “Spectre” did the screenplay for “Skyfall.” Whatever the cause, the new film might be called “Downfall”; that’s how much of a downer it proves to be after a sensational opening sequence, set in Mexico City, that tracks 007 through swarms of exuberant celebrants on the Day of the Dead. (Hoyte van Hoytema was the cinematographer.) Debilitating fatigue has set in. Many moments, starting with the slithery, Octopussyish main titles, refer to themes, scenes or characters in earlier James Bond films; they’re meant to be intricate elaborations of the Bond canon.

More often than not, though, they come off as clumsy acts of cannibalization in a new movie that recycles old concerns about secret service operatives like Bond becoming obsolete in a high-tech world. Bond only—so the $191,120 DB9 GT is as close as anyone is going to get, at least until the DB9’s long-awaited replacement, the DB11, arrives circa 2017. For Seydoux’s action scenes, 22-year-old professional stuntwoman Gemita Samarra was called upon to help flesh out what’s seen on-screen. “[Bond] is a job every stunt performer wants,” Samarra told the Journal recently from Mexico City. This time James takes on the threat of Spectre, the shadowy organization whose plans for global domination now turn on surveillance. “Information is all,” says the current archvillain, who calls himself Oberhauser and is played by Christoph Waltz. In fact, information is nowhere near enough to energize the turgid tale, with its odd echoes of plot lines from “Mission Impossible.” (That includes information about Oberhauser’s past, which holds more of a dramatic charge for James than it does for us.) If you remember how deliciously malicious Mr.

It might be a nice fantasy – that’s debatable – but the reality, after a couple of months… Hopefully, my Bond is not as sexist and misogynistic as [earlier depictions]. With the help of the reluctant Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), he’s determined to save the world from yet another egotistical madman (Christoph Waltz). “Skyfall” (2012) was so flat-out wonderful that expectations for “Spectre” were perhaps unreasonably high.

Here, she walks us through five things to know about the “Spectre” stunt life. “Some of the stuff was rehearsed, like the whole train-fight scene. The world has changed.” The title of “Bond girl,” used in the past to refer to an actress starring in a film about the spy, is one that “SPECTRE” director Sam Mendes avoided during promotion for the movie, introducing actresses Léa Seydoux and Monica Bellucci as “Bond ladies.” She says she asked Mendes, “Why do you call me? Unfortunately, despite its thrilling action and offhand wit, “Spectre” is overlong and often mind-bogglingly illogical — even by Bond-film standards. Léa Seydoux looks lovely and gets to act—fine actress that she is—in one fleeting soliloquy on a bed (by herself), then again toward the end; otherwise she behaves like the Bond girl she’s supposed to be. The concept is revolutionary.” Paul Levinson, author of such books as “The Plot to Save Socrates” and professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University, says he found the new “ladies” term a bit absurd. “Everyone knows, whether it’s [called] a ‘girl’ or a ‘woman,’ what that’s all about,” Levinson says. “It’s about showing how attractive Bond is to women.” But he believes that many of these female characters, such as those portrayed by Ursula Andress in “Dr.

Ben Whishaw (as the ingenious Q) and Naomie Harris (as the pragmatic Moneypenny) make the most of their bolstered roles, and Fiennes brings quiet authority to M. The good news is that if such a car design turns this many heads now, more than 10 years after it first appeared, it’s safe to say it will always turn heads. I’d have to get up at three or four in the morning and I’d be working until six or seven at night and be driving back.” “We would warm up when we’re doing anything because you don’t want to get injured. Kelvin Orifa, Experienced Market Segment Manager, MTN, star actress, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Ms Mo Abudu, MD/CEO, EbonyLife, Ms Rosana George-Hart, GM, Silverbird Film Distribution, and actor Joseph Benjamin. And Seydoux made more of an impression, with less screen time, in “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol.” What “Spectre” • Three stars out of four • Run time 2:28 • Rating PG-13 • Content Intense action and violence, disturbing images, sensuality, language

No surprise that the credits list four writers, from new-guy Jez Butterworth through John Logan (Skyfall) to Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, whose Bond credentials go all the way back to 1999’s The World Is Not Enough. In total in the six released territories, the film raked in $80.4 million, including $67.7 million from SPRI territories and $12.7 million from territories in which MGM is distributing. With the familiar characters – James himself, M, Q, Miss Moneypenny – the film series no doubt appeals to some moviegoers as a comfortable narrative where they know what they’re getting. Our tester came with carbon fiber trim bits and a set of 20-inch diamond-turned wheels, but otherwise, it looks pretty much like every DB9 that has come before it.

In the UK, the film opened to an estimated £41.7 million ($63.8 million USD) in its first seven days of release, securing new records for the biggest opening of all time in UK box office history. And yes, it’s still available as a convertible for the extroverts among you (or just anyone who wants to hear the exhaust note with supreme clarity…more on that in a moment).

The film narrates how James Bond (Daniel Craig) stumbles on a cryptic message from the past that sends him on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. It’s possible to go overboard with it – the “Die Another Day” invisible car has been maligned in years since – but audiences seem to expect to see at least one fascinating new tool in each film. “They have been an important bedrock of the story,” Levinson says.

Take for instance the scene in which Bond and Swann travel to Oberhauser’s meteor-crater desert lair, first by taking a train to the middle of nowhere, then a car to the edge of it. The interior remains the same decadent, lovingly crafted, and intimate space it’s always been, only now it has been blessed with the vastly improved dashboard controls from the Vanquish. One of the best of the Bonds, “Skyfall” starts on the streets and rooftops of Istanbul, ends with a certified shocker and earns instant admission to the pantheon of classic chases. These include better-organized, capacitive touch buttons and gorgeous knurled knobs in place of the DB9’s haphazardly arranged, Tic-Tac-sized buttons marked by the automotive equivalent of hieroglyphics.

Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). The transmission remains pushbutton-style with a row of large crystal buttons, and the centermost spot is reserved for the crystal-capped key—er, “Emotion Control Unit,” in Aston-speak—which lights up in red beneath your finger when you fire up the engine. Odd in that people who never seem to carry luggage have so many outfits; odder still, given that the only reason they have for putting on something new is to get it off again. Aston has perfected the seats, too—the ones in front, anyway—not only visually but in the areas of comfort, support, and driving position as well.

It was a good couple of months for rehearsals, to get us prepared, to train the actors and actresses, and get us comfortable.” “I see the gym more as a re-shaping thing. Unlike early Bond villains and their dreams of global domination, Oberhauser’s plans are personally directed at 007 – though if he can also manage to corner the market on criminal information, he’ll do that too. Alas, there are a few oversights in the form of cheap components, such as switchgear and air vents some folks might recognize from lesser brands that were Aston Martin’s siblings back when owned by Ford Motor Company, as well as a navigation screen that has an awkward downward angle.

Written by John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth, and directed by Sam Mendes as his second James Bond film following Skyfall, Spectre is the second most expensive film ever made, with a budget of over $300 million. Coincidentally, information gathering is also the goal back home, where M’s boss (Andrew Scott) is overseeing construction of a new combined headquarters for MI5 and MI6. The steering wheel is downright ugly, the “plus two” rear seats are unfit for humans (though make for lavish shelves for brief cases, purses, and gym bags) and the cup holders are a not-too-funny joke. Glassy and modern, its chief architectural flourish resembles a giant double helix from the outside, although from the inside it just means you’d spend half your day climbing stairs. An injection of 30 more horsepower brings the glorious 5.9-liter V-12 to 540-hp, with a torque rating of 457 lb.-ft., just 28-hp and 10 lb.-ft. shy of Aston’s much pricier Vanquish, and it drives with a nearly identical level of engagement.

Later, Q (Ben Whishaw) gets embroiled in a foot chase in the Alps, but not before doing a little computer-aided sleuthing while riding a cable car. (Nice to see Q and M showing off their chops in the field, by the way.) Speaking of fieldwork, Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) makes a nice appearance as a burly henchman, although I have to question why an organization with as many tentacles as Spectre (seven, according to their line of jewellery) fails to supply him with backup. At the end of our time with the DB9 GT, we came to the conclusion that while it looks almost identical to the DB9 that’s been sold for the last decade (and of which there are many cheaper examples on the pre-owned car market), its performance and ergonomics makes a strong case for the new model among folks with $200 large to blow on a sports car. Thinking longer term, those chaps may also consider that the GT is likely to be considered among the best and most collectible models of the entire DB9 line.

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