October 27, 2012

pax britannica

James Bond and M in Scotland. I would have paid actual money to make Bond turn to his boss at this point and say It is now that time of day that I have set apart for Debussy.”

I reviewed Skyfall for Critic’s Notebook. It is a handsome film, shot and scored by master craftsmen; there’s no limit to the fun of seeing James Bond breathing the musical air of Thomas Newman’s fabulous Gil Evans deep chords, for those scant few seconds where that happens.

On the other hand, the film does nothing — can do nothing — to solve the dilemma of what Bond is supposed to be like in an era where a thousand other armed orphans have crowded in on his act, and opts to throw up its hands in surrender. It pretends not to care, and perhaps genuinely doesn’t; but the result seems more like an extension of 007′s eternal screen identity crisis rather than a solution. It’s been a few years since I remembered that Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor was routinely derided as a Bond villain, and I rather wish it hadn’t been Skyfall that reminded me. Plus the statute of limitations on further misuse of John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom is never.

The review was picked by David Hudson at Fandor too.


Films


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eyes wide ditko Sam Smith poster for Eyes Wide Shut, 2012. Marie Severin art from Strange Tales 158, 1967.