Bond film no. 23, Daniel Craig’s third. I watched this in the theaters back in 2012, so this is the last rewatch of my James Bond run. Back then my main complaint was that Bond’s plan in the last thirty minutes of the movie was terrible. The same complaint stands even now, especially given the eventual outcome of that plan. Make no mistake: the entire defending the house sequence is one of the best things about the movie from an action standpoint, but tactically it was terrible.
The whole film is basically a swan song for Judi Dench’s M, exploring the extremes of her relationship with Bond and how fond they are of each other in spite of everything. Ben Whishaw appears as the new Q, who starts his run appropriately, by letting MI6 get hacked. The film still calls out the old Bond film tropes, with Q telling Bond they’re not really into exploding pens anymore. Bardem gives a good performance as the villain Silva, but the character felt a bit underdeveloped as we didn’t get his background until an info drop around two-thirds through.
The theme song here by Adele won the Oscar for best song; it’s not my cup of tea, but I can see how it could win.
This film also brings cyberterrorism into the modern Bond era, and the usefulness of MI6’s focus on human intelligence during the modern era is called into question. It will be interesting to see how technology further changes the Bond films moving forward.
The film ends with basically the Connery status quo - Bond answering to a male M, flirting with his assistant Moneypenny, and assisted by Q. It’s something I wouldn’t have appreciated back when I first saw the film in 2012, given that this was only the 4th Bond film I’ve seen at that point, and none of them had that Connery setup.
Next up is Spectre, which I haven’t seen before and is the last one of the run before No Time To Die comes out in September!
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
I watched this even if I hadn’t seen the old first movie. I didn’t have a high opinion of The Rock, er… Dwayne Johnson’s acting skills, because I’ve previously seen him only in silly sports films like The Game Plan or The Tooth Fairy, but he does a good enough job here, portraying a nerdy high schooler trapped in a buff, macho, adventurer hero type. Same goes for Jack Black portraying a teenage girl in… well, Jack Black’s body. I like how the Jumanji game evolved from a board game to a video game for more modern times. The movie overall is a pretty good popcorn movie and has a few funny bits.
Police Story (1985)
This one was just something that I saw was on Netflix and was like “Why not?” Had to watch with Cantonese voice and English subs, the only alternative was Japanese voice. Pretty good, for its time. As you’d expect from Jacky Chan, all the action/fight sequences are great; I especially like the bus chase sequence and the ending fights in the mall were great. Apparently that sliding down the pole stunt is considered one of the best action film stunts of all time. The film glorifies police excesses though.