Hypable Movie Review: ‘Skyfall’

12:45 pm EDT, November 9, 2012

While Skyfall marks the 23rd installment in the James Bond franchise, it also happens to be one of the best. Thrilling, gorgeously shot, expertly acted, and with the return of the classic Bond humor missing from the past few outings, Skyfall is a major step in the right direction, one that can stand on its own, while promising the best is yet to come from the franchise.

Coming off a bit of a swing-and-a-miss with Quantum of Solace, Skyfall gets off on the right track fast with an elaborate chase sequence to start things off. While it works as a thrilling piece of entertainment, it also sets into motion and intriguing plot. But perhaps best of all, it reintroduces humor and fun into James Bond. It doesn’t hit you over the head with it as other films have, but adds just the right amount to make things interesting.

The film opens up with MI6 in shambles at the hands of a mysterious and evil power, Silva (Javier Bardem). M (Judi Dench) is fighting to keep her job with a new overseer Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) keeping a close watch on everything, including 007. With the help of fellow agents Eve (Naomie Harris) and Tanner (Rory Kinnear), a young Q (Ben Whishaw), and a gorgeous mystery woman, Severine (Bérénice Marlohe), Bond attempts to track down Silva to protect M and the rest of MI6. The issues in the story are there, but Mendes and company never really give them much room to distract the film from moving forward at an impressive rate.

Skyfall

The three major newcomers to the franchise all make an immediate impact, with cinematographer Roger Deakins and director Sam Mendes crafting a gorgeous, exhilarating film from the onset. Javier Bardem, meanwhile, is as terrific as any Bond villain we’ve seen, as he channels a sort of Christoph Waltz-like performance from Inglorious Basterds to create a terrifying, yet entertaining villain that deserves attention.

As the film crosses the globe, Deakins proves why he’s been nominated for 9 Oscars, as he gorgeously crafts each scene with a different palate. Credit must also go to Mendes, who’s clearly one of the most talented directors the James Bond franchise has had. Skyfall is simply an expertly made film on top of the entertainment value that comes along with these films.

While his previous installments were more of revenge films, Daniel Craig is given a little room to breathe here. There’s still a much darker tone throughout the film, and Bond goes through some serious personal struggles, but he is still able to explore that which makes Bond such a fun character: the little things. Where past James Bond entries have gone overboard on the camp and silliness, Skyfall is subtle about it, which makes each barely-noticeable joke and hat-tip to past Bond traits that much more enjoyable.

Skyfall

While underutilized, Marlohe is terrific as the femme fatale of the film. Where past Bond films would have simply utilized such a character for sexual chemistry, Severine has some layers to her character that really makes her one of the better Bond girls of late. It’s a shame the chemistry between Bond and Eve wasn’t as strong, given the film gives more attention to that relationship. Harris is a strong presence on screen, but the way the story chooses to explore this relationship doesn’t always work.

In fact, this really leads to the major issue with the film: Bond’s character development. Not to say that it’s all bad, because a large portion of the film is given to exploring the character of James Bond, but there is stuff here that is problematic. Skyfall in essence reinvents the character a bit by introducing the problem of Bond aging, becoming a bit behind the curve. Because of that his relationships with those in MI6 and the British government are given a brand new element. This does give a fresh feel to Bond as a character, and there’s plenty of potential going forward, it’s just that not all of it works here.

With some developmental issues, and moments where the plot struggles in moving forward, Skyfall is nevertheless a success. Immensely entertaining, brilliantly acted, and with absolutely gorgeous visuals from Sam Mendes and Roger Deakins, this is not only a return to form for the Bond franchise, but one of the best Bond films period.

Grade: A-

Rated: PG-13 (for intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language and smoking)

Skyfall opens in theaters on November 9, 2012.

Arrested Development‘s fourth season aired three years ago today. To celebrate its legacy (and to try to forget how much we’re missing it right now), let’s rank the best recurring Arrested Development jokes!

It’s really no secret that Arrested Development has some of the best recurring jokes and gags of all time. Even people who don’t watch the show are familiar with things like “There’s always money in the banana stand” and “I’ve made a huge mistake.” The jokes in this show are just so understated and catchy that it would’ve been crazy had they not have caught on. Thanks to Arrested Development‘s recurring jokes, pop culture has never been quite the same.

To celebrate our undying love for Arrested Development, we decided to forgo the banner (sorry, everyone) and instead put together a list of all of the gags and jokes that we think are the best ones the show’s ever done. Not only that, but we’re leaving it up to you to rank them!

How to play: Love a certain joke and think that it should be at the top of the list? Upvote it. Really hate another joke and don’t understand how it got on the list in the first place? Hit that little downward-facing arrow. Don’t care either way for some of these gags? Then you can just leave them untouched. It’s all good! We just want to know what YOU think! With everyone participating we’ll be able to build a definitive list of the best Arrested Development jokes!

So, grab your denim cut-offs and hot ham water, and maybe even do a little chicken dance to get yourself pumped up (but not with the hot ham water in your hand, please). If you’re an Arrested Development fan, you’re sure to love ranking these jokes.

(Just be careful about which arrow you hit. You don’t want to hit the wrong one and find yourself saying “I’ve made a huge mistake.”)

Are there any ‘Arrested Development’ jokes missing from the list? Add them below!

 
Related: Arrested Development season 4 drinking game

Marvel fans aren’t pleased with the twist in Captain America: Steve Rogers #1.

By now you know that Steve Rogers is revealed to be a Hydra agent in the first issue of the new Captain America: Steve Rogers series (Read our in-depth analysis of the new issue here). Naturally this news — that ultimate do-gooder Cap would be so evil — has not sat well with fans.

The general consensus is that this shit is unacceptable…

http://cairistiona7.tumblr.com/post/144914269536/we-may-not-agree-on-stucky-we-may-not-agree-on

… And the only thing to do is ignore it:

http://contradictoryfrankie.tumblr.com/post/144924573033/marvel-seriously

http://antis0cial1diot.tumblr.com/post/144916043048/basically-how-the-scene-went-down

Others think Marvel need a taste of their own medicine:

http://demigod-who-crashed-the-impala.tumblr.com/post/144916277135/marvel-needs-to-sign-its-own-sokovia-accords

And/or need to fire their lame-o writers:

http://scarlett-ice.tumblr.com/post/144923588829/if-you-ever-think-your-writing-is-bad-just

Then there are beautiful Photoshops like this one of Chris Evans’ Captain America ripping up a tree the comic:

http://epicgeekdom.tumblr.com/post/144924279502/after-hearing-captain-america-has-always-been

Some people are Photoshopping the comic to make him say things that are just as outrageous as him being a HYDRA agent:


http://codyjohnston.tumblr.com/post/144920242899/marvel-how-could-you

While others are giving him a different revelation — one concerning Bucky. This is the twist that SHOULD be in the new Captain America series

http://fukinweeeb.tumblr.com/post/144923721446/guys-i-found-the-real-version-calm-down

http://saltikitti.tumblr.com/post/144918179067/here-i-fixed-it

Marvel, please write yourself out of this one as quickly as possible.

http://robinthephoenix.tumblr.com/post/144917851788/not-to-pleased-with-caps-new-alliance-p

… Before you start coming up with other outrageous revelations

http://pk-wheeze.tumblr.com/post/144916205184

Emilia Clarke proves there is more to Dothraki than death threats in a recent appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers.

Clarke, who plays the indomitable Daenerys Targaryen on HBO’s Game of Thrones, sets Meyers straight on the fact that Dothraki is, in fact, a real language created for the show. Linguist David J. Peterson crafted Dothraki, and all of the other fictional languages used on Game of Thrones — but even after six seasons, his words present Clarke with a continual challenge.

“You get it in English, at the top in the first script, it’s like, ‘This will be in Dothraki,'” Clarke recounts of her learning process. Following English is the Dothraki speech, followed by a literal translation, and then finally the dialogue in spoken English.

“And then I get an MP3, and then my kitchen hears it for weeks and weeks and weeks on end, until I sound convincing,” Clarke says.

But given the opacity (and complete invention) of the Dothraki language, Emilia Clarke admits that there have been times when she replaced her lines with something a little more… interesting.

“With the latest marvelous actors we’ve had doing Dothraki with us, it was a long day,” Clarke admits, giggling. Not realizing that the camera was on her, Clarke allowed a moment of silliness to take over.

“I thought it would be funny if I did ‘MMMBop’ in Dothraki,” she says. “And that didn’t help him at all! And then I think some of that was definitely my take.”

Ever game, Clarke dives in to her rendition of the Hanson hit, translated into the language of the brutal horse lords.

“I can’t stress how much less catchy that is!” Meyers laughs.

Game of Thrones 6×06, “Blood of My Blood,” airs Sunday, May 29 at 9:00 p.m. on HBO.