‘Think on your Sins’
Skyfall is the latest in the series of official Bond films so far, based on the 14 tales told about a Secret Service agent by English author, journalist and former Naval Intelligence Officer Ian Fleming (1908 – 1964). Daniel Craig wears the Bond mantle well, with his brooding good looks, fabulously fit physique, convincing portrayal of internal pain, as well as a steely determination to overcome all obstacles. It is the longest continually running film series in history, having been in ongoing production from 1962 to the present day. 50 years of hero happening moments.
It was on his battered Royal portable typewriter that author Ian Fleming first wrote: ‘the scent and smoke and seat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. James Bond suddenly knew that he was tired’ the first words of the first Bond novel Casino Royale, which was published in 1953 the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. He went onto become a household name because he did not compromise on any aspect of his hero or subject in a world that had become so used to compromise. His attitude he himself described as ‘the business of getting intelligent, uninhibited adolescents of all ages, in trains, aeroplanes and beds, to turn over the page’.
James Bond 007 is the hero of Fleming’s taut, terrific, suave, and sensual saga of the Secret Service, although this story does not appear among the most famous of his James Bond page-turning novels. It has been written as a homage to the genius of the man who once said ‘in fiction, people used to have blood in their veins. Nowadays they have pond water’.
James Bond 007 brings about bloodshed and multiple deaths, in both sunshine and snow, while operating under cover in more ways than one. Together with England’s Dame Judy Dench as Bond’s controller M, and the youthful award winning actor Ben Wishaw as an enlightened Q for a new age, Skyfall 2012 is so good and such great entertainment it must now have a whole new generation of fans and followers.
Presumed dead early on in Skyfall, the new James Bond movie is incredibly cool. When he turns up again later like a bad penny, we are not surprised and amused as Bond tells his bemused captor ‘everyone needs a hobby’ and what he specializes in is ‘resurrection’.
And those who have enjoyed Mr Bond shaken and not stirred for a while know what that means!
It was a ‘Happy and Glorious” moment and the penultimate moment for 007 when Queen Elizabeth II actually said “Good Evening Mr Bond” as she welcomed the fictional Secret Service agent to her study at Buckingham Palace.
Her Majesty proved she was a ‘good sport’ by providing a classic movie moment with English actor Daniel Craig, who must have felt very chuffed to be involved as part of the Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Games at London, 2012.
She was also reminding us that Mr Bond is always ‘on Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Who would have thought such a thing probable, let alone possible a decade ago?
However Daniel Craig has surely elevated James Bond to new heights of greatness, in his brilliant incarnation as the MI6 hero, probably more than any other actor since the original crowd pleasure, Sean Connery. And she was probably as chuffed as he was.
Casting the youthful, acclaimed and very successful young actor Ben Wishaw (The Hour), as Q (Quartermaster) is a stroke of genius. Up until now all the former Q’s have been of that ‘certain age’. However, not only has this young man the acting skills to carry off the role, but he also has the looks and wherewithal to convince us that he is truly a genius on every level with the ability to customize James Bond’s new lethal weapon Walther PPKS 9 mm short by coding it to James’s palm print so that only he can fire it.
‘It’s a personal statement’, he tells Bond, who as ever is keen to try out all Q’s brilliant and innovative technological achievements.
Wishaw said his first day of shooting in the National Gallery at 3am in the morning felt ‘very weird’.
Having ever popular English actor Judy Dench continuing in the role of M for this new Bond is another stroke of genius.
She provides just the right tough-love mother figure from the past to help Daniel Craig’s Bond found the future of this favourite action hero and the direction the series will continue to take.
And we know that all mothers have to let their children go at some point.
MI6 itself is under heavy attack and so perhaps that may mean someone unexpected will die?
Skyfall marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Bond film series, which started with Dr No and it will be the first Bond film released in Imax venues.
Regular writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade along with John Logan have written the script, which keep everyone engaged from start to finish as well as intrigued about the name ‘Skyfall’ and where it derives from until all is finally revealed.
The irony that the theme of this movie is resurrection, which will not be lost on loyal Bond fans, as MGM rises like a phoenix from the ashes of its financial troubles in 2010 to produce this new offering in the ongoing and now very famous saga.
The film is part of year-long celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Dr. No and the Bond film series. Producer Michael G. Wilson has had a documentary crew follow production to record this important social history event.
Daniel Craig has already received the Britannia Award in Los Angeles, an award given in Hollywood for the British artist of the year.
From Westminster in London to the Haghia Sophia and the rooftops of the Market Place in Istanbul, Daniel Craig as James Bond 007 is awesome in the 23rd movie of the series Skyfall, which is escapist entertainment at its very best.
Now that I have seen it and was caught up in its web of intrigue, mighty chases through the London underground and across the bleak lonely moors of Scotland, I don’t want to spoil what happens for all the 007 fans.
Needless to say that the cast is impeccable.
Javier Bardem as the villain Silva is very worthy, the blonde locks make him seem far more malicious and exceedingly creepy.
Ralph Fiennes is just right and perfect as always as was Judi Dench and it was great to see Albert Finney pop up in a cameo role, which is always highlighted by the strength and richness of his superb Shakespearean trained voice.
The girls were both beautiful, very decorative in superb frocks, Bérénice Marlohe just looks sensational here in red and in her black and lace in the film, although I must admit to liking Naomie Harris as Eve’s character best. She enjoys a great moment near the end of the movie yah!
Suffice to say that the whole concept takes us full circle, back to Bond days of yore, when the location of MI6 was not known and it was the red leather padded and studded door that led into M’s study and ‘Moneypenny’ was always firmly ensconced behind her desk to taunt Bond every time he rocked by while down in the lab Q was busy using his skills and knowledge to make the gadgets work.
Even Sean Connery’s Aston Martin DB5 with its BMT 216A number plate makes a classy comeback, proving it is surely the most iconic of all the Bond cars when Craig once again uses its helpful gadgets to full effect. It is the car that will always be tied to the Bond name, despite the cavalcade of other vehicles before and since, it just screams that James Bond is a classy secret agent.
Interesting to see what the writers and producers all come up with next now the Ian Fleming stories are deplete, unless they re-make some of them. This was the first non-Fleming, but I do feel sure that he would have not only approved but also loved it.
I agreed with Dickie (Richard Wilkins) on the Today show who gave it 4.5 out of 5! Can’t wait to see it again.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle 2012
*Message to M on a Computer in Skyfall
Watch the Official Trailer of Skyfall
Directed by Sam Mendes
Ian Fleming – characters
John Logan – screenplay
Patrick Marber – script
Neal Purvis – screenplay
Robert Wade – screenplay
Daniel Craig as James Bond 007
Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory
Judi Dench as M
Ben Wishaw as Q
Helen McCrory as Clair Dowar
Albert Finney as Kincade
Ola Rapace as Patrice
Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner,
Javier Barden as Silva
Naomie Harrris as Eve
Bérénice Marlohe as Sévérine
|1. Casino Royale||1953||1967 and 2006|
|2. Live and Let Die||1954||1973|
|4. Diamonds Are Forever||1956||1971|
|5. From Russia With Love||1957||1963|
|6. Doctor No||1958||1962|
|8. For Your Eyes Only (short stories)||1960|
|From A View To A Kill||1985|
|For Your Eyes Only||1981|
|Quantum of Solace||2008|
|The Hildebrand Rarity|
|10. The Spy Who Loved Me||1962||1977|
|11. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service||1963||1969|
|12. You Only Live Twice||1964||1967|
|13. The Man With The Golden Gun||1965||1974|
|14. Octopussy & The Living Daylights (short stories)||1966|
|The Living Daylights||1987|
|The Property Of A Lady|