Casino Royale

Casino Royale

You’d think it would be self-evident that there’s no way to tell whether a movie is good or bad until actually seeing it, but it’s not always the case. Although it’s increasing in fervor lately, the anticipatory intensity leading up to a movie’s release has always swayed movie fans’ perception one way or the other. Sometimes the pre-conceived notions of a movie’s quality are accurate, sometimes things thought to be sure-thing masterpieces are anything but. Sometimes, things everyone spends months dreading turn out to be terrific; the stellar reviews for The LEGO Movie indicate that it may very well be one of them, and even the Robocop remake, getting some positive early notices, might be one as well. Here are five more movies we all covered our heads for before seeing the light.

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IntroInterrogation

Any psychotic can smash someone’s fingers or beat a head to a pulp until they get what they want – and thanks to the spree of bizarre torture porn movies like Saw and Hostel, seeing people get cut apart is almost standard at this point. Still, filmmakers do manage to get creative every now and then, and from it we get a scene of brutality the likes of nothing before it. Shall we celebrate that? Oh, and warning – this is going to be painful.

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Bond 50 Blu-ray

We continue our look at one of 2012’s biggest and most anticipated Blu-ray sets… Bond 50. The set celebrates fifty years of Bond with special feature-filled Blu-rays for each film, and while most have already seen HD releases the collection also includes Blu debuts of You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds are Forever, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies. The box-set breaks the 22 films into two halves, twelve from 1962-1981 and ten from 1983-2012, each in their own sturdy book. Due to the sheer volume of material this Disc Spotlight will be broken into two halves as well. Keep reading for a look at 1983’s Octopussy through 2008’s Quantum of Solace, and go here for part one covering 1962’s Dr. No through 1981’s For Your Eyes Only.

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The James Bond Files

After wading through the MGM bankruptcy hiatus, pre-production, principal photography, marketing and release anticipation, the latest James Bond adventure is finally upon us. (If you live outside of the U.S., there’s actually a good chance that this wait ended a week or two ago, but we’ll let that go.) Skyfall hits theaters early in IMAX on November 8 and then in wide theatrical release on November 9. Now you have a chance to finally see the brand new, completely original Bond. Sort of. One of the great things about Bond movies is they have a certain level of familiarity. If made well, you can expect some common elements that make it feel like a quintessential Bond film. Sure, we all like originality, but you can trust almost any James Bond film to cover familiar territory. Here’s a James Bond history lesson and how it relates to the upcoming film.

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There are now 23 official James Bond movies, so coming up with only six clips from the entire series for this week’s Scenes We Love was difficult. But where do you draw the line? One scene per film is too many, and if I picked all the scenes I truly love the most from the films, it would add up to even more. There would also be an imbalance, with multiple scenes from some films and no scenes from others. There’d be no focus. So, the best and simplest way to do this (in terms of clarity; I reiterate that choosing the clips was not simple) is to pick one scene I love from each of the six actors’ run as 007. In making the selections, I had to remind myself, and I should remind you, that these are not meant to be the best scenes or even necessarily my personal favorites. They’re simply some scenes that I love that I’d like to spotlight for your pleasure in viewing and discussing. Also, Bond fans are all so different, so it’s very likely that some of these scenes that I love might be scenes that you hate. Let me know your own favorite scene — or just a scene you love — from each Bond down below.

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Boiling Point

In a world with nothing much of interest happening (apparently), the internet got all aflutter when it was announced that James Bond would drink a Heineken in Skyfall. People everywhere were freaking the hell out while “news” outlets capitalized on the fact that they have no integrity by plastering misleading headlines everywhere. Just like this one: James Bond Will Swig a Heineken Instead of a Martini. That’s from Time Magazine’s online presence. People used to respect Time Magazine. I say used to assuming that there’s only so much bullshit one can suffer before you stop respecting something. Granted, this is “only” the on-line face of Time Magazine, but hey, it’s a slippery slope, right? Here’s what we know: Heineken has secured a product placement deal with Skyfall. In one scene, James Bond will drink a Heineken. I’m not sure how that translates into “Bond will no longer drink martinis and will instead only drink Heineken beer forever and ever.” I mean, unless you don’t give a shit about accurately reporting stories. Then you might as well headline “Skyfall to feature Heineken Advertising Everywhere and Bond Hates Vodka and Drinks Beer and Also He Might Be Gay Now.” Because why not? Granted – exaggeration. But so is saying Bond is drinking beer instead of martinis.

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as TheManFromWaco andTeenWlf2 in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the pair questions what separates the wheat from the shit when it comes to reboots, prequels and movies capitalizing on name recognition in order to get ahead in the marketing game. What makes a prequel great? How can a reboot really succeed?

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Every so often, a film emerges from the fray to prove its popularity and warrant a sequel. More and more, franchises are planned out in advance, but when one film turns into a franchise, a cash register sound goes off in the ears of the studio. Even though the kid stays in the picture, sometimes the director does not. Maybe the director is done working with the material. Maybe the producers want a more seasoned hand. Maybe a simple schedule conflict keeps him or her out of the chair for the next round up. But the show must go on, so the producers find another director to fill the slot – a director who ostensibly inherits all the strengths and weaknesses of a franchise birthed by someone else. Cinematic sloppy seconds that could have easily turned into sloppy sequels if it weren’t for a steady, talented director guiding the ship. Here’s a list of the ten best.

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It’s not the first time another author has filled in for Ian Fleming, but Jeffery Deaver is the latest to take on reviving Fleming’s popular spy.

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cultwarrior_decadeinreview

This week’s Culture Warrior gives an exhaustive review of the decade that you won’t find anywhere else on the Interwebs.

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DUNE

Since Peter Berg might possibly, maybe, could not be directing Dune, we’ve decided to throw a few hats into the ring. Who do you think could helm one of the hardest science fiction adaptations of all time?

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gibson-darkness

In Boston, the only city in America with corruption and crime, a policeman’s daughter is shot right in front of him, so he tracks down answers and sets to ass-kicking.

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cultwarrior-startrek1

This week Culture Warrior asks, just how ‘new’ is the new Star Trek, anyway?

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Robert Fure gets all hopped on too much free-running in films and vaults over a street and back flips into a puddle of rage.

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The Reject Report

How big was this Bond? Well, it was only the biggest domestic opening for an 007 movie in history. Quantum of Solace brought in $70 million in 3,451 theaters.

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Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace

It would appear that the 22nd installment of the James Bond franchise is having absolutely no trouble finding an audience this weekend, with many calculations pointing to Quantum of Solace being the biggest Bond opening in history.

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7 Days of 007: Bond Girls

The beauty of James Bond is that the women in his universe are more gorgeous than most of the girls we’ll meet in the real world. We take a look at the creme of that particular crop.

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Quantum of Solace

In his latest adventure, the world’s most famous secret agent chases down those responsible for the death of his love Vesper. What ensues is the most action-packed Bond adventure yet.

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On Movie Style Guy’s almost-two year anniversary, we return to what started it all: Bond and booze.

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Casino Royale Director Martin Campbell

Martin Campbell has resurrected James Bond from the dead. Twice. So why is he not the permanent James Bond director?

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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