Category: Film and TV Articles

With the final trailer for No Time To Die having been released, we’re finally on the cusp of Daniel Craig’s grand finale as James Bond. It’s been a long and mostly successful run for Craig, with the upcoming release set to be his fifth film in the franchise.

As the anticipation builds, now seems as good a time as any to look back on Craig’s work to date and rank his best films as 007.

4. SPECTRE (2015)

Spectre is a film that attempts to tied Craig’s previous three installments together and explain them in a way they perhaps don’t need to be explained. The plot is somewhat convoluted, but it essentially revolves around Bond discovering that his recent misfortunes and the villains that brought them to pass can all be traced back to the criminal organisation SPECTRE. SPECTRE is run by Ernst Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), and Bond ultimately teams up with one Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) to attempt to bring the organization down.

The film looks wonderful. The opening sequence in which Bond thwarts an attack at the Mexican Day Of The Dead festival (albeit with plenty of collateral damage) is breathtaking. Moreover, additional sets and action sequences meet that bar throughout the film. Unfortunately, plot cohesion and character development are lacking. SPECTRE’s involvement seems too convenient and its motivations are poorly explained. Waltz is more or less the same compelling eccentric he’s been in other films. And Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann is a pale imitation of Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd from Casino Royale. She’s built up as a deadly but alluring femme fatale, yet winds up neither as capable nor as sympathetic as Lynd.

The end result is a film that’s very easy on the eyes but is ultimately, as one review aptly labeled it, a forgettable journey, according to Movie Freak.

3. Quantum Of Solace (2008)

Quantum Of Solace is perhaps the strangest film from Craig’s run, in that it plays out almost like an add-on final act to Casino Royale. There’s a whole, bizarre plot concerning Bond’s takedown of the mysterious Quantum organisation. This begins with Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), whom Bond captured at the end of Casino Royale. And along the way it involves fresh villain Dominic Greene (Matheiu Amalric), new “Bond girl” Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko), and struggles over Bolivian leadership, water supplies, and oil stockpiling. But in the end, when all of that is taken care of, Bond goes off on a solo mission to find a criminal con artist who had been Vesper Lynd’s lover. At that point it feels as if the whole film existed to get Bond to a place of closure over Lynd’s demise.

It’s actually a fairly intricate film that’s better on a second or third watch. It’s certainly not bad. But it feels almost unnecessary in the grand scheme of things, and there’s something just a little stylistically off about it that’s always difficult to pinpoint.

2. Casino Royale (2006)

Casino Royale was Craig’s debut, and it’s a masterful one at that. The film depicts a new beginning for Bond as 007, and — after a few early detours in the form of stunning action sequences — sees him tracking a terrorist financier named Le Chiffre (Madds Mikkelsen) across the globe. Along the way, for what seems like possibly the first time in the whole franchise, Bond legitimately falls in love with one Vesper Lynd, who accompanies him on his missions. And delightfully, Bond’s pursuit of Le Chiffre largely boils down to an ultra-high-stakes poker game.

Said poker game takes place at the titular Casino Royale in Montenegro, and it’s really what sets the film apart. The game is organised by Le Chiffre, and Bond is staked by M16 (and eventually the CIA) in order to enter with other high rollers — the idea being to defeat Le Chiffre and force him to seek refuge from the powers to which he is indebted. The scene, however, draws out for a fairly large portion of the film and makes for some of the best poker action we’ve seen on screen. The game itself is sophisticated enough that an understanding of Texas Hold’em is legitimately useful. The film shows Hold’em as it’s really played, trusting audiences’ knowledge, whereas many poker movies take a less sophisticated approach. And the staging of the game (from the layout of the table to the attire of the characters) is oozing with the richness that makes us want to live in Bond films.

Surround a scene and plot point like this with terrific action, a shockingly compelling debut by Craig, and a real romance, and you have one of the truly great Bond films.

1. Skyfall (2012)

Finally we have Skyfall — Craig’s third effort, and more or less an undisputed masterpiece. This film focuses on the idea that Bond is slipping, framing him as an agent in decline, only for MI6 to be targeted by another former 00 in Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem). In what feels like the most personal conflict yet in the franchise, an ongoing duel between Silva and Bond (as well as Judi Dench’s M) plays out all the way to Bond’s remote childhood home.

The only real negative thing that can be said about Skyfall is that it borrows heavily from a few other films — namely, The Dark Knight and Heat. But given that these are terrific films (and that director Sam Mendes has been open about the connections to The Dark Knight), it’s hard to be bothered! In its performances, action sequences, and sense of story, as well as its ability to make Bond something deeper than we’ve been before, Skyfall is a triumph.

Article by Janisa Blaken.

1. FILM VS PIRATES

Film distribution companies will realise that launching blockbusters online at the same time as in cinemas is a bad idea when piracy goes through the roof.

2. NOT JUST HOLLYWOOD

After a year of local cinema doing well each country will realise that Hollywood is not ALL cinema has to offer.

3. JUSTICE LEAGUE SNYDER CUT

Zach Snyder’s Justice League cut to be a gem.

4. THE DRY AACTA CLEAN SWEEP

The Dry to sweep next year’s AACTA Awards.

5. TOP GUN: MAVERICK

Top Gun: Maverick to visually stun us all.

Well the Best list is out, now let’s take a look at ten films that were real spuds in 2020.

10. THE EMPTY MAN

The horror film that went nowhere. A promising start but then the film is just confusing an ultimately over stayed its welcome.

9. DOLITTLE

Even Robert Downey Jnr couldn’t stop this remake from making a snooze-fest. It also featured one of the most under-whelming action sequences ever.

8. THE HUNT

I expected something amazing and ended up with a film that I had to force myself to sit through.

7. LIKE A BOSS

Predictable from start to finish.

6. INVASION PLANET EARTH

Some low budget sci-fis work and some don’t. This one certainly didn’t.

5. AFTER WE COLLIDED

They tried to spice up the franchise with more sex… now there was more sex and nothing else.

4. LINE OF DUTY

A great idea but failed miserably due to some bad filmmaking – including an exhaust on an electric car.

3. STRANGERS TO THE WORLD

Dull and boring from start to finish.

2. SIBERIA

I don’t mind an artistic film but this got so artistic that in the end it didn’t make sense.

1. GEMINI MAN

This was one of my most eagerly anticipated films of 2020, but boy did it disappoint me. One of the worst films I have ever seen.

1. JAMES BOND

Will No Time To Die’s James Bond still be James Bond or has “all mouth and no trousers” political correctness damaged another franchise?

2. THE FRENCH DISPATCH

Will it be as good as I expect???

3. MARVEL PHASE FOUR

Will the MCU survive post Thanos Saga sequel fatigue combined with the year long cooldown between phases 3 & 4?

4. TOP GUN: MAVERICK

How good will it be?

5. GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE

Dave Griffiths keeps counting down is top 30 films of the year. Today we look at the Top 10.

10. THE GENTLEMEN

After the year that we have had it is hard to believe that the brilliant Guy Ritchie film was a 2020 film – but it was it landed on January 1st. Ritchie at his pure best!!!

9. A WHITE, WHITE DAY

Brutal and unrelenting this drama simply reminded me why I love Scandinavian cinema so much.

8. WAVES

Waves is simply one of those films that will stay with you a long time after you have watched the film. Brilliant acting and a film with a twist that you will never see coming.

7. UNDERGROUND INC: THE RISE AND FALL OF ALTERNATIVE ROCK

A brilliant documentary that not only celebrated the rise of alternative rock but also revealed the dark side of the music industry that forced a lot of bands to give up.

6. THE DRY

Harshly beautiful The Dry is the perfect crime thriller. Eric Bana is sensational and we are all reminded just how good Robert Connolly is as a filmmaker.

5. THE INVISIBLE MAN

Horror re-boots are not supposed to be this good, right? Somehow though Leigh Whannell managed to take an old concept and turn it into something so, so terrifying.

4. MONOS

Beautiful yet brutal at the same time. This foreign language film about child soldiers is destined to become a cult classic.

3. THE COMEBACK TRAIL

It is rare for a comedy to ever get this high on my Best Of lists but The Comeback Trail was something special. Funny, an all-star cast that brought their A-Game and a look back at Hollywood’s past – what wasn’t there to like?

2. THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON

Few films stuck with me in 2020 like The Peanut Butter Falcon. A touching story that also showed why Shia LaBeouf is never an actor that we should forget about.

1. ABOUT AN AGE

The perfect coming-of-age film. This Aussie film came out of nowhere and reminded us all just how great a film can be with perfect casting and screenplay that is full of natural dialogue. An Aussie classic!

Dave Griffiths’ list of the best films of 2020 continues today with numbers 20 through to 11.

20. ON THE ROCKS

Bill Murray was at his absolute best in this comedy-drama that also one of the best dialogue driven scripts of the year.

19. BOMBSHELL

One of the most thought provoking movies of the year also led to a tour de force of performances from Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie.

18. THE ASSISTANT

Slow-moving but with the intensity level driven to the max, this was a slow-burner that really stuck with you. If Julia Garner doesn’t win awards for this film then there is something seriously wrong.

17. UNHINGED

The film itself was a reminder at how suspenseful cinema can be, while Russell Crowe relished the opportunity to play the bad guy.

16. RICHARD JEWELL

Once again Clint Eastwood reminded us why he is one of the best filmmakers of this generation. Truly amazing drama.

15. RAMS

This film is destined to become an Aussie classic alongside films like The Castle. Just the right amount of drama, comedy and Aussie heart to make it the perfect film.

14. PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Hard hitting film that after a slow opening then doesn’t let up. Carey Mulligan is in Oscar form – this is a film that all film lovers must see.

13. DEERSKIN

One of the strangest films of the year but it also is one of the most intriguing and interesting.

12. LET HIM GO

Intense! That is really the only way to describe this crime thriller that also manages to throw in a strong Western feel.

11. 1917

Powerfully epic war film that contained some of the best visuals of 2020.

30. RESISTANCE

Jesse Eisenberg reminded everybody about just what he good actor he can be with his World War II drama Resistance in which he played mime Marcel Marceau.

29. 23 WALKS

While it could have easily become just another ‘oldie romance’ 23 Walks went that step further and explored how many families and the Government cast aside the elderly.

28. WORDS ON BATHROOM WALLS

You don’t normally expect to see a young adult film make a best films of the year list but Words On Bathroom Walls is not your typical young adult film – great visuals mean this film will stick in the mind of its audience for a long time to come.

27. JUST MERCY

Hard-hitting and dramatic Just Mercy had the same impact on me as movies such as Mississippi Burning.

26. HONEY BOY

Shia LaBeouf not only reminded the world what a good actor he can be but also revealed his skills as a filmmaker with the hard-hitting Honey Boy.

25. ANTEBELLUM

I loved this movie for all the reasons that others hated it. It drew its audience in and then turned the world right upside down with a twist that nobody saw coming.

24. KNIVES OUT

An all star cast and even more important – a whodunnit that actually worked. Yep Rian Johnson’s films have made by Best Of Lists before… and he has done it again.

23. DARK WATERS

Mark Ruffalo was a standout in this courtroom drama that delivered a message that all should hear.

22. MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN

An all star cast delivered in this under-rated crime thriller. This was a piece of Edward Norton brilliance.

21. USE ME

Part drama, part mockumentary Use Me is a film that deserved a lot more recognition than it ever received.

 

It has been a huge week of news for fans of DC’s most famous Caped Crusader – Batman. While the Covid pandemic has all but stalled the world of comic book movies in cinemas this week DC decided it was time to shine the Bat signal into the night sky in order to shed a little light on what fans of Batman may have in store for them over the next couple of years… and there was some very special news for Thailand as well.

First the worldwide news and something that came completely out of left-field – Michael Keaton is returning to the role of Bruce Wayne. Take note that we said Bruce Wayne and not Batman because despite what some headlines have led people to believe Keaton is not likely to be pulling on the Bat-suit on one more time.

Keaton, now aged 68, previously played Batman in the highly regarded Batman and Batman Returns way back in 1989 and 1992. This week it was announced he was returning to the role in the brand new DC film The Flash. But it is here where a little bit of explaining needs to be done. DC plan on using a comic book arc titled Flashpoint to tell the story of Barry Allen the man behind The Flash. In doing so he will cross paths with Gotham City’s favourite son – Bruce Wayne. And it is here that DC have decided Keaton would be the perfect fit. The only question left to answer is whether he will playing the same Bruce Wayne he played in the Tim Burton films and whether it will be purely a tongue-in-cheek nod to them.

Of course hearing the news about Michael Keaton returning to the Batman universe while Robert Pattinson is currently the man driving the batmobile in the eagerly anticipated new film The Bat has once again got fans of the comic book hero once again debating which actor has played the best version of the loved character over the years – the good news is that any fan in Thailand will this week get a refresher course of Christian Bale’s time in the suit with SF Cinema announcing that they are bringing Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy back to the big screen.

What Nolan did with his entries into the Batman universe were completely unprecedented. Many scoffed when he announced Christian Bale would play Batman. At the time Bale was more known for edgy roles like that off Patrick Bateman in American Psycho or for appearing in heavily criticised films like Reign Of Fire. When Bale first appeared on the screen in Batman Begins many were ready to write him off. What they saw change their minds though, Nolan took the Batman character into the darkness that the comics relished on but Burton had only briefly touched on in his films. In a dark new world and playing a more aggressive and mentally-scarred Batman Christian Bale was in his absolute element.

Of course other actors also relished their chance to appear in Nolan’s Batman universe as well. Australian actor Heath Ledger embraced the opportunity to play one of cinema’s darkest roles – The Joker. Under the expert hand of Nolan Ledger took the role of the laughing psychopath to all new levels of darkness in a performance that wowed Hollywood to the point that it earned him an Oscar only months after his untimely death.

And while The Dark Knight Returns is often referred to as the weakest of the Nolan trilogy films it did give the audience a change to see Tom Hardy deliver a break-out performance as he brought tough-man Bane to the big screen. And of course as far as closures go The Dark Knight Returns does work, although I think all Batman fans wished they could have seen where Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character ended up.

For Batman fans in Thailand this is a rare opportunity to see one of the finest movie franchises ever created return to the big screen – yes this is an event that no comic book fan should miss this week.