All this week! 5 movies I’m psyched for in November — well, 3 movies I’m psyched for and 2 I’m not yet totally sure about but would like to be psyched for — and 5 reasons why. No. 3: Quantum of Solace [opens wide November 14].
1. Two years ago, Casino Royale blew me away with its thoroughly contemporary reboot of the James Bond franchise. That first film took a tired hero who’d lived way past his expiration date and made him fresh and vital and necessary again. I can’t wait to see how that continues here.
2. Director Marc Forster has what must be one of the most eclectic filmographies of recent years: his last four films have been the lovely and delicate The Kite Runner, the sweetly meta romance of Stranger Than Fiction, the twisty head trip Stay, and the fantastical ode to inspiration Finding Neverland. Surely he’ll do something amazing and unexpected with James Bond.
3. Daniel Craig. Just… Daniel Craig. There’s something supremely, simply masculine about him. And maybe there’s something divisive, in a gender sense, about this Bond. William Leith at the Guardian’s Film Blog, feels “sorry” for this Bond. There’s something about the “lonely outsider, an ordinary boy who didn’t fit in with the other boys at his posh school, a man with a permanent chip on his shoulder” that Leith “pities.” “He’s vulnerable, and it’s a little bit sad.” But that’s what makes him so appealing, in a masculine way: that he’s strong but knows he’s not impervious — he’s arrogant but not unrealistically so. Wouldn’t it be funny if this caricature of a man had something to teach real men… perhaps firstly that vulnerability is not something to be pitied?
4. Judi Dench as M. Note to Hollywood: more kickass portrayals of dangerous, exciting, sexy women who just happen to be over 35, please.
5. That title: Quantum of Solace. Somebody, somewhere trusts that audiences will be able to interpret this. Maybe there’s hope for us all yet.
I hate to say it, I really do, but Quantum isn’t a patch on Casino Royale, it feels more like an expensive knock off than a Bond film in parts. There’s one memorable action beat in a film that’s supposed to be filled with memorable action scenes.
Daniel Craig and Judi Dench are brilliant, the highlights of the film for me.
And the fact that Quantum is essentially the new Spectre makes me doubt that there was that much trust about the title.
But it is an apt title, because this is a revenge movie for a guy with a broken heart. At it’s heart (pun intended), this is what makes the movie shine, watching the wheels in Bond’s head turning as he’s trying to deal with dropping his defences and getting punished for it. Forget date movie, this is a break up movie.
I can’t believe I just saw a film before you reviewed it. Ever since I started reading your site that has never happened before…
Anyway, my thoughs are this: while both films manage to be both emotionally, intellectualy and viscerally enthraling, ultimately Casino Royale aims more for the heart, while this one aims more for the head. And I feel like I liked the first more. Which isn’t to say I didn’t love this one, which might just be the most sophisticated, thought provoking James Bond ever.
Vesper Lynd remains my favorite Bond girl, though.
#6 Watchmen trailer
I’d much rather watch this.
I love Casino Royale. I was pretty excited to see Quantum of Solace, and I just watched it and loved it. It’s definitely more of an action thriller than Casino Royale was, but I think they are both great. Quantum of Solace certainly makes for a satisfying sequel and blockbuster.
Oh, and for the record, Olga Kurylenko is probably the sexiest Bond girl I have seen in years. You can’t take her eyes off of her when she’s on screen.
Just noticed I made a typo… meant to say “you can’t take your eyes off of her when she’s on screen.”
I found Gemma Arterton to be the better Bond girl, but I think that’s just my love of red heads getting the better of me again.
One of Casino Royale’s great strengths was its novelty. Quantum of Solace is basically more of the same, with all of the pros and cons that that implies.