Our hope for Skyfall

So Skyfall is almost upon us. U.K. fans can see it the end of next week, U.S. fans two weeks after that. There have been press screenings in the U.K. and France. Fans ponder whether to read the resulting reviews or not.

We’ve followed months of hype, marketing and other developments. Now it’s time to see the final result.

Our main hope is Skyfall is entertaining. The number of positive reviews so far is intriguing. Bond movies historically don’t always get a lot of approval from critics. It doesn’t have to be the best James Bond movie ever, as some of the reviews say. If it is, that’s an extra bonus.

Skyfall had a 97 PERCENT RATING ON THE ROTTEN TOMATOES WEB SITE as of Oct. 17, with only one “rotten” review out of 31 to date. Even the ONE “ROTTEN” REVIEW had some kind words. (Be careful if you click on it; there’s a significant spoiler if you read between the lines).

Despite the lack of an Ian Fleming title, Skyfall appears to have more Fleming content than the most recent 007 movie, Quantum of Solace. (Fans of the novels picked up on clues in the trailers and television commercials.) We think that’s a good thing.

There’s a saying that you shouldn’t watch sausage being made. The same could be said of following a major production like Skyfall. There have been moments of contradictory statements like HERE, or HERE or HERE.

In the end, though, the final film is what matters. Even if a favorite fan icon continues to be played with, the big picture remains whether the movie tells a compelling tale.

So when it comes down to it, our biggest hope is that it all works. Over the past 11 months (going back to the November kick-off Skyfall press conference), it could be easy to not see the trees for the forest. It’s now time to see the big picture (for those seeing Skyfall at an Imax theater, that’s literal). We’re hoping for the best.

Intriguing hints about Skyfall in some early reviews

Daniel Craig, awaiting the Skyfall reviews

While we’ve done our best to keep this spoiler free, if you’re feint-hearted about this sort of thing, stop reading now.

We looked over some early Skyfall reviews after a press preview in the U.K. on Oct. 12. The writers generally tried to avoid just reciting the plot verbatim but it’s hard to review a movie without saying something about the plot. In any case, there were some intriguing snippets in the reviews. Some examples follow.


The review says the 23rd 007 film, directed by Sam Mendes, is like a Christopher Nolan-directed 007 film without Nolan.

Best of all is the bad guy. (Javier) Bardem was always a tantalizing choice to play a Bond villain, and his Silva is a terrific creation, and certainly the most memorable villain in the series in decades. There’s too many fun surprises to the character to give away here, but rest assured that Silva — who again, owes more than a little to a Nolan character, namely Heath Ledger’s Joker — hits the center of the funny/strange/scary Venn Diagram beautifully, with the actor making some bold choices that payed off with a huge reaction from the audience in London tonight. (emphasis added)

The reviewer says Mendes-Bond (or sort-of-Nolan Bond) is closer to classic 007 than other recent entries.

(T)here’s a real sense of mystery to the plot, giving the film a propulsive whodunnit-and-why momentum that lasts into the final act. But it’s also crucially never dour; the emo-Bond of “Quantum Of Solace” is nowhere to be found, with Mendes treating things with a light, playful touch throughout.

The review is less enthusiastic about Skyfall’s running time, which reaches nearly two-and-a-half hours. The review gives the film a B-Plus grade.


The writer, who had a number of scoops about Skyfall while it was in pre-production and production, fawns over the movie.

This Bond adventure directed by Sam Mendes is pure classic 007 fare , back on firm footing after the less than memorable Quantum of Solace.

Skyfall was a fantastic combination of 007 meets Bourne meets Spooks meets Home Alone.

Graham Rye who has published the Double-O-Seven Magazine for 30 years, hailed the film as ‘brilliant’ and said it’s ‘up there in the top five of all the 23 films made in the world’s most famous film franchise’.

When I asked how many stars he would give Skyfall out of five he said: ‘That’s not the right number.’

He waited a beat and declared: ‘It’s a 10 star Bond film. It’s up there with the best of them.’

The writer also spills the beans about Albert Finney and his character, gives away one of the meanings of the film’s title and boasts one of his still-unverified scoops (which references in a coy way) is proven to be true. Which scoop? It’s mentioned in THIS JULY 13 HMSS WEBLOG POST. Obviously, don’t click if you want to stay spoiler free.


The review tries to out-fawn the Daily Mail, with a headline, “The coolest James Bond film yet.”

This film is stylish, witty and a class above the competition. It’s also irreverent about its past.

Daniel Craig again proves himself to be a great Bond.


Joining Craig in Skyfall is the most impressive set of actors and actresses ever assembled in one Bond film


Another review saying Sam Mendes is channeling Christopher Nolan, director of the 2005-2012 Batman trilogy released by Warner Bros.

Sam Mendes’s frequently dazzling, utterly audacious entry in the franchise has less in common with its much-loved predecessors than Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. After its release in 2008 (when it left Quantum of Solace, the 22nd Bond film, trailing in its wake), Nolan’s pathbreaking superhero picture almost single-handedly reconfigured the modern blockbuster template. Like a wise old dog, 007 has studied it carefully, and learned some new tricks. (emphasis added)