Revisiting  my high school dating days with a 007 flick has me meditating on why Daniel Craig is my favorite James Bond. Could it be only his blue-eyed mystery or has Director Sam Mendes added depth of soul ? I like this older James  with his less cocky asides and less -fraught womanizing. His sexual encounters are steamier, more intimate. He is less of a show-off and more of a man. Add to this a travelogue of world cities and action involving every mode of transportation and the rather long film moves fast.

I have noticed how films are starting the sound-track earlier and earlier. Bond music soars even before the creative fragmenting of images gives us the stance,the gun,the danger and the women. A ten minute rush during  “Dias de  los Muertos” or “Day Of The Dead” initiates us to a mad-cap chase amongst skeleton suits and bone faces. A Mexican beauty swivels her hips in stride with Craig’s ossified pelvis and we are mesmerized like kids viewing  wind-up dolls.

Amid the skulls and swagger, Bond leaves the girl, steps over the balcony and buildings topple. He lands on a velvet sofa and face to face with the enemy. The first chase begins. Both board the same helicopter and an air fight ensues with The Mexican Square  panoramic and  All Saints and All Souls celebrating below. An octopus ring in jerked from the enemy’s finger and we know a deadly organization must be checked. An inky ballet of boardroom and  a tentacled iris symbolize British MI-5 mergers and a grounded 007 program. Max, the new boss, has a crisp exchange with Bond’s old boss Ralph Finnes. “It’s the future,and you are not.” ” Tarty little bastard, aren’t you!”

With the agency is flux, James is where he shines best, solo- on his own.  Q, played by Ben Whishaw, helps him out with more cool devices and a gadgeted-car. Naomi Harris as “Penny” is his mole. But they are moral support,more then power buddies. With remnants of “SkyFall” tossed about, the plot is rather weak with its “New World” order dossiers, nano-tech  smart-blood tracking, and widow-seducing lip acrobatics. Bond is in constant movement until he meets Dr. Madeleine Swan. The young beauty Lea Seydoux slows him down from his  “kite dancing in a hurricane” cauldron. Leaving Austrian snow caps for Tangiers, the couple search for papers and satellite coordinates on “Spectre”, the  global intelligence organization plotted by Madeleine’s now dead father.

If seems like after every dirty martini toast, all hell breaks out. This hand to hand is on a train, and Seydoux gets a chance to show off a gray charmuese gown to die for. Enjoy the desert wind,the 1948 Rolls Royce and the James getting the car and the girl with Big Ben in the background. Put up with the Bond brother backstory and the needle torture scenes. ” I am the author of all your pain.” is a tad dramatic for any villain. This James Bond film is painless and rather enjoyable.

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Christine Muller

Carrying a torch for film is what I have done for over forty years, thus the flambleau flamed when I was urged to start a blog. Saving suitcase loads of ticket stubs was no longer relevent so I had to change the game. Film has been important for me in the classroom and a respite for me outside of it. No other art form seems to edge the frayed seams of life as neatly as when a film is done well. I am happy that over one-hundred countries have citizens viewing my thoughts on Word Press, and a few leaving their own with me. Over eight- hundred comments to date, and over two-hundred films reviewed.

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