The Sherlock Holmes played by Benedict Cumberbatch is the most brilliant problem solver on television. The Sherlock Holmes played by Jonny Lee Miller in Elementary comes pretty close, but I give the edge to the “high functioning” sociopath with the “mind palace” in his head. (Now that’s some Intelligence.) The third and final installment of Sherlock’s third season challenged the master detective with a most vexing conundrum, a test of both imagination and morality, one that has become increasingly popular in our hero fiction of late: To kill or not to kill. READ FULL STORY
Tag: James Bond (1-10 of 91)
Entertainment Geekly is a weekly column that examines contemporary pop culture through a geek lens and simultaneously examines contemporary geek culture through a pop lens. So many lenses!
James Bond and the Doctor don’t have very much in common. Bond is a violent British superspy. The Doctor is a pacifist alien traveler. Bond jets around to exotic locations and uses expensive gadgets; the Doctor spends a curious amount of time in Wales and uses semi-abstract technology that makes funny noises. Weirdly, if the two characters ever met, they would probably be enemies. Bond is the kind of guns-blazing loose cannon the Doctor hates; in turn, the Doctor is practically a Bond villain, a stateless entity with a sci-fi lair that houses several weapons of mass destruction.
Bond is a hedonist with rampant sex drive, a figure of pure id. The Doctor is a vaguely ascetic intellectual, a figure of pure superego. Except when he’s not, which brings up a more important difference: Whereas the Platonic Ideal of James Bond was chiseled in granite from the word go, the Doctor is less a character than a series of variables. James Bond has always kind of looked the same; the Doctor can look like a scary philosopher hobo or the internet’s dream of combining every member of a British boy band into one perfect human. Both characters are essentially immortal, although in different ways. The Doctor frequently mentions his age, although he could be lying, or just forgetful. James Bond is always a man just old enough to have the athletic prowess of a peak Olympian and the refined taste of a retiree millionaire. READ FULL STORY
You hear that sound, PopWatchers? It’s the sound of doves crying over the breakup between “wait-they’re-dating-huh?” couple Henry Cavill and Kaley Cuoco. After news broke that the two were in “the beginning stages of a relationship,” the tabloids couldn’t get enough of them. Alas, true love between Kal-El and Penny was not meant to be, and the couple quietly called it quits, according to People. Thankfully, their careers seem to be doing just fine.
The tabloids only caught wind of the relationship on July 1st, so we’ll never really know how long they actually dated. But let’s celebrate the 12 days that we were aware of it, with a by the numbers look at Cavill and Cuoco. READ FULL STORY
It’s fair to say that Sam Mendes did a pretty good job with his James Bond film. Skyfall earned rave reviews, made $1 billion at the global box office, won two Oscars, featured the first actually-popular Bond song in forever, is generally credited with re-rescuing the Bond franchise from its most recent low point, and somehow managed to introduce all the old pre-Craig tropes (Moneypenny, Q, Monty Norman’s theme, M-as-a-Man) while still feeling fresh. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Bond producers wanted to bring Mendes back for another film — or possibly two more films, since Skyfall co-writer John Logan is reportedly working on a two-film saga. Alas, Sam Mendes announced today that he’s too busy working on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and King Lear to make a James Bond movie. (Read that sentence a couple times and tell me Sam Mendes isn’t the luckiest kid on the playground.)
Mendes’ departure means that one of the most surefire blockbusters of the next few years needs a new director. The past history of the Bond franchise — which, unique in moviemaking, has mostly been steered by a single family and not by a studio — offers us some hints. With the exception of Marc Forster, the Bond directors have all been British, if you fuzzily consider that New Zealand — home of Martin Campbell (Goldeneye and Casino Royale) and Lee Tamahori (Die Another Day) — used to be part of the British Empire. READ FULL STORY
Sullied by generic gun-play, substandard stealth mechanics, and an unconvincing narrative trick tying together six different Bond films, last month’s 007 Legends served as a lackluster lead-in to Daniel Craig’s third blockbuster turn as the British secret agent. This double-0 disappointment had a potential silver lining, however, in its sixth and final mission, based on Skyfall.
In an effort to avoid spoilers, Activision released the bonus Skyfall content on the PlayStation Network alongside the film (360 and PC versions land on Nov. 20.) The add-on mission is free-to-play for those who’ve already purchased Legends, but even that appealing price tag can’t overshadow the fact that it suffers from most of the same problems as the rest of the game. READ FULL STORY
For your consideration: Javier Bardem for Best Supporting Actor, Skyfall.
Silva, the latest Bond film’s sexually ambiguous cyberterrorist, would be a punchline in any other actor’s hands. Instead, Bardem brings an improbable blend of over-the-top flamboyance and restrained calculation to his character. It’s the sort of cinematic tour de force that we’ve seen before not only from Bardem himself (in his Oscar-winning 2007 role as No Country for Old Men‘s amoral assassin Anton Chigurh), but also in a select few actors who have managed to take commercial villainy all the way to Hollywood’s biggest night.
In defense of 'Die Another Day': Thirteen reasons why Pierce Brosnan's last Bond film is better, weirder, and more wonderful than you remember
Ten years after Pierce Brosnan’s final turn as 007, the reputation of his whole James Bond era has suffered considerably. Conventional wisdom holds that Brosnan came out the gate strongly (Goldeneye, Xenia Onatopp, “For England, James?”) but then went off the rails. His films trended silly (Tomorrow Never Dies, Evil Rupert Murdoch, “You always were a cunning linguist”) and sillier (The World Is Not Enough, the guy from Full Monty playing an invincible Russian, “I thought Christmas only comes once a year.”) When Casino Royale hit theaters in 2006, it was praised for its realism, its serious tone, its resolute unwillingness to fall victim to Bond cliché. It was a complete refutation of what had come before. And what it was refuting, nominally, was Die Another Day. An exercise in pure blockbuster decadence, Die Another Day has become synonymous with a certain kind of overstuffed travesty. It features an invisible car, an ice palace, a sun laser, and a cameo from Madonna; it’s hard to know which of those things is more ridiculous.
But I don’t think Die Another Day deserves its toxic reputation. Viewed today, it looks almost ancient in some ways; and yet, in other ways, it seems to anticipate a whole host of action movie tropes that would come to define the ensuing decade. In hindsight, it looks a little bit like the franchise’s attempt at a superhero movie, in the same sense that Moonraker was an attempt at science-fiction and Licence to Kill was a stealth Miami Vice adaptation. It is an insane, helplessly silly movie; and yet, in its own way, it forms an essential companion piece to this weekend’s Skyfall. Forthwith, some important points to consider when we talk about Die Another Day: READ FULL STORY
Whenever a new James Bond movie hits theaters, it’s an opportunity to bring up one of the greatest questions in the history of popular cinema: Which film about the dapper British superspy is the very best film. Which leads to a natural follow-up question: Which one is the worst? I grew up in a solidly pro-Connery household, and my personal favorite is the film that initially ended Connery’s run with the character: You Only Live Twice. After starting off with one of the series’ best openings (Bond gets killed!) and my personal favorite Bond theme song (sung by Nancy Sinatra and recently sampled to great effect on Mad Men), Twice turns into the adventure every 12-year-old boy dreams of taking. There’s the fake-lake missile silo, and a helicopter fight, and freaking ninjas. Even more than most of Connery’s films, Twice is ludicrously un-PC, but it does feature one of Bond’s best sidekicks: Tiger Tanaka. Conversely, my pick for worst would be The World is Not Enough. (Denise Richards is the best thing about that movie. And she’s terrible.) READ FULL STORY
Daniel Craig on playing 007: 'I've been trying to get out of this from the very moment I got into it'
Skyfall, the 23rd official James Bond adventure that opens today, has already been crowned one of the best Bonds ever, recapturing the critical goodwill that Daniel Craig helped establish in 2006’s Casino Royale. The new film has opened in several countries already and earned more than $320 million, a pace that should eventually help it become the franchise’s highest-grosser ever. Yet after three undeniably successful films — Quantum of Solace grossed $586 million worldwide — Craig seems to have entered that phase that all-Bond actors eventually discover: ambivalence.
The 44-year-old actor told Rolling Stone magazine in its November cover story that the thrill that comes with a license to kill is gone. Or never was there to begin with. “I’ve been trying to get out of this from the very moment I got into it,” Craig said, “but they won’t let me go, and I’ve agreed to do a couple more, but let’s see how this one does, because business is business and if the sh– goes down, I’ve got a contract that somebody will happily wipe their ass with.” READ FULL STORY
So much for getting any work done today.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise, not to mention the release of Skyfall tomorrow, the folks at Eon Productions have stitched together all 22 movies featuring Agent 007 into one single omnibus James Bond movie. (Sorry Never Say Never Again fans, wherever you are — it didn’t make the cut.) More intriguing still, this super-Bond film was constructed in chronological order, with the opening sequence from 1962’s Dr. No, followed by roughly the fifth through tenth minutes of 1963’s From Russia With Love, the tenth through fifteenth minutes of 1964’s Goldfinger, and so on up through the final five minutes from 2008’s Quantum of Solace.
It makes for a remarkably cohesive storytelling experience; Carey Lowell wondering where she’s going to get a small prop plane in 1989’s License to Kill, for example, segues perfectly into Pierce Brosnan flying a small prop plane in 1995’s GoldenEye. Whether that’s an indictment of the Bond formula, or a testimony to its resilience, I leave to you to decide.
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