Covo’s take: “Skyfall”
Sam Mendes’ “Skyfall” is a fine film – it’s just not really a James Bond movie.
Some beautifully filmed scenes and stunning footage alone are worth the price of the movie ticket, but the hardcore 007 fan is bound to be disappointed by the modernization of the most debonair, stylish and utterly chauvinist character produced by Hollywood.
Daniel Craig is the perfect 2012 action hero: he sweats, he grunts, he bleeds (gasp!) and he’s human – he makes a mistake here and there. But simply put, the Bond created by Ian Fleming was absolutely charming, classy, a perfect shot and would never venture about with a five o’clock shadow. Most of the acting was indeed stellar and certainly helped the film along.
And the gadgets? Well, let’s just say that instead of a bounty of gadgets, the audience will have to be satisfied with some delightful references to some of the best Bond films from the last half-century and a good look at that lovely Aston Martin. There is a little radio transmitter that has some nostalgic panache, but it almost seems like a post-mortem reference to the real Bond.
The story is fine, and the movie does well at redefining the characters for this new James Bond of the 21st century (and of course, at setting up the future sequels) … but in my book, in spite of the truly amazing cinematography, there’s something missing in the two and half hour long film that did little to keep me on the edge of my seat.
Perhaps it’s because the Sam Mendes (“Revolutionary Road”), a legendary–level director is more accustomed to drama not sinew. Or perhaps it’s because I am resistant to change and simply hoped for a return to classic Bond. Either way, the movie was at times boring.
Some of the action sequences will get your heart racing – the opening scenes fly by at a frenetic pace, but overall, the highly anticipated film, measured as the next huge film in the 007 James Bond franchise just doesn’t quite make the grade. We give the movie three stars for gorgeous cinematography and some very clever references to past 007 films.
“Skyfall” opens Nov. 9 nationwide. The film is rated PG-13.
Ayotte’s take: : “Lincoln”
Steven Spielberg has that magical touch and all his films come to life like no other on the big screen—“Lincoln” is no exception.
The film’s imagery is hands down best of the year and transports you to a time in history when things were different from the society we live in today—our country was at war with each other and blacks were still under slavery.
Different than any other movie heavily based on slavery it’s almost all told from the perspective of President Abraham Lincoln, the man responsible for the abolishment of slavery, played by Daniel Day-Lewis.
They might as well hand over an Oscar nomination for best actor to Day-Lewis right now. His command and accuracy of the role was phenomenal. Day-Lewis’ interpretation as Lincoln will never be matched as he serenaded viewers with monologues of political tales only Lincoln himself could of told better. The striking, near perfect resemblance of our once president is eerily exact.
Alongside he, are a bevy of decorated actors including Sally Field (Mary Todd Lincoln), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Robert Lincoln), Jackie Earle Haley (Alexander Stephens), Tommy Lee Jones (Thaddeus Stevens) and John Hawkes (Robert Latham).
As the Civil War continues to rage Lincoln is hard-pressed to abolish slavery, uses his political power and connections to work out an intricate plan for it to pass in Congress. The fight within his own cabinet is electrifying at times and makes you wonder if that’s how things are for our current president as he tries to change our country for the better.
Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in DreamWorks Pictures' "Lincoln" - 2012
Spielberg is no doubt one of our era’s best storytellers behind the camera but tends to draw out the story in the process and water it down. This, unfortunately, is the case in “Lincoln.” Yes, the cinematography is superb, the acting is remarkable but the film drags on a bit too long.
At 120 minutes long the film feels more like 180 as the pacing is slow and lethargic at times.
It’s definitely a film you only need to watch once because there are no fancy plot twists or hidden messages.
“Lincoln” is basically 8th grade history class all over again acted out by some of the best actorsin the business.
Overall, it’s a relaxing movie that will take you back in time and give you a perspective of a time when our country was in dismay. If you have free time this weekend give it a shot, but if you don’t it’s not going to kill you wait for it to come out on DVD.