Hypable Movie Review: ‘Skyfall’

12:45 pm EST, 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.

At a time when the divide between the generations has arguably never been greater, The 100 encapsulates the struggle of millennials more than any other current show.

This article was submitted by Hypable reader Stephanie Farnsworth.

The media churns out article after article about the laziness of millennials, and then complains about how we work too hard. Millennials are branded “snowflakes” even as we struggle to pay rent and bear the consequences of the economic fall-out that we didn’t cause.

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At a time when the divide between the generations has arguably never been greater, The 100 encapsulates the struggle of millennials more than any other current show.

This article was submitted by Hypable reader Stephanie Farnsworth.

The media churns out article after article about the laziness of millennials, and then complains about how we work too hard. Millennials are branded “snowflakes” even as we struggle to pay rent and bear the consequences of the economic fall-out that we didn’t cause.

The CW drama The 100, which is entering its fourth season in February, rather bluntly captures that sense of young people paying the price of previous generations; at the beginning of the series, a council of adult politicians literally sent teenagers to a radiation-soaked earth to try to save their own society.

The 100 season 1 Jaha

The pilot episode revealed the extent of the power imbalance between the generations that reflects our society today: Chancellor Jaha presented the project of ‘the hundred’ as a way for young delinquents to fulfil their duty and gain redemption, even if it cost them their lives. They were even expected to be grateful, because they’d been judged as criminals and would have been executed anyway, even for relatively petty crimes.

And as The 100 season 4 approaches, the adults’ attitudes towards the kids haven’t changed that much from the show’s premiere.

Related: Previewing The 100 season 4: What to expect when you’re expecting an apocalypse

Generational conflict and tension has remained at the heart of the show throughout the series. The generational focus has not been diluted even as the world has expanded to reveal far more of the culture of the Grounders; in fact, this has only given rise to more conflict as the older members of Skaikru have struggled to accept not only the Grounders’ belief system, but the young age of their Commanders.

As the figurehead for all of the delinquents, lead character Clarke has been undermined and derided at every turn. In season 2, her own mother scoffed at the idea that Clarke and Lexa could lead their people to safety, mocking the Grounder Commander’s age and commenting, “They’re being led by a child.” It was up to Kane to point out that Skaikru were, too, because none of the adults had managed to think of a solution, and it was up to Clarke to save them.

Both Abby and Kane’s attitudes play into the infantilising of the millennial generation. Neither Clarke nor Lexa were children. They were young adults, and they were working towards making a better society where all of their people could survive while the adults were focused on internal power plays. Jaha was ready to leave the young adults in Mount Weather to die, but that’s no surprise; he’d made that decision before.

Abby couldn’t bear losing power to her own daughter, to the extent that it culminated in a scene where she assaulted Raven. The young mechanic was cool and composed in her response, pointing out that Clarke stopped being a child when Abby signed off on her daughter being sent to Earth to die.

Raven’s positioning was clear: Although not condemned by any crimes (even if she had committed the crime that Finn was convicted of), she chose to align herself with the hundred and was the one who chose to come to Earth simply to help. The younger generation, in short, pulled together, and when the older generation landed they brought down their old rules and oppression.

The consequences were overwhelming for the younger characters. They were tasked with saving everyone at the expense of any peace to their own souls. Clarke demonstrated this more than any other character and she ended up fleeing her people, unable to carry the burden of expectation they all had for her. It’s something she wrestled with throughout season 3, and with Earth facing a nuclear apocalypse again, Clarke will have to make peace — not with herself, but with how everyone else sees her if she is to survive.

The 100 season 4 Bellamy

Bellamy, too, will have to find his own identity. Last season, he effectively turned his back on the hundred to win the praise of Pike, and Bellamy upheld and supported his bigotry.

His part in slaughtering the Ark survivors’ 300 Grounder allies will not be easily forgotten. Bellamy wanted to be the hero. He wanted to protect people (specifically the women in his life) who never asked for that, and he wanted to be a part of the establishment.

If The 100 presents a metaphor for the real-life relationship between millennials and Gen X, Bellamy is the one wearing the rose-tinted glasses that younger people are supposed to wear when viewing an establishment that has been willing to regularly criticise later generations.

He had longed to be part of the Guard since he was a boy, and he saw a way to fulfil that old dream and become part of an order that had caused his entire family so much suffering. Bellamy was never quite the hundred: He was older, and his sole concern initially had been protecting his sister. It was easier for him to flit between the different groups within Skaikru than it was for any of the rest of the hundred.

After the events of last season, however, Bellamy now knows the pain he’s caused by his choices. And in season 4, he will have to choose exactly who to put his faith in: Clarke or the old order?

But maybe, in light of the external threat that now threatens humanity’s survival, the two generations will finally be able to pull together. There have been many hints that Clarke and Jaha will find some common ground this season due to the pressures they are facing, and Jaha knows well the cost of leading. Through Clarke, we will see whether lessons can be learned from the mistakes of the generation before.

Octavia once accused Clarke of being just like the council by deciding who was worthy of life. Clarke now must show whether she will follow that path or whether she can be better. The millennial dream of whether we can learn from the repression and conservatism of the past will be on trial in The 100 season 4, as we see just how Clarke plans to lead her friends into this new battle.

The 100‘ season 4 premieres February 1 at 9/8c on The CW

Teen Wolf season 6 will be its last — but for how long? In an age of revivals, reboots, and remakes, we really don’t know if this will be the end.

Thanks to Netflix, Gilmore Girls returned to add another chapter to its beloved story. And just this month alone, we got news that Charmed and Will & Grace will both be returning to our screens as well.

So, yes, this is the final season of Teen Wolf, but as fans, we can always hope to see more one day in the future.

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Teen Wolf season 6 will be its last — but for how long? In an age of revivals, reboots, and remakes, we really don’t know if this will be the end.

Thanks to Netflix, Gilmore Girls returned to add another chapter to its beloved story. And just this month alone, we got news that Charmed and Will & Grace will both be returning to our screens as well.

So, yes, this is the final season of Teen Wolf, but as fans, we can always hope to see more one day in the future.

And apparently Teen Wolf creator and showrunner Jeff Davis must keep that in mind as well.

Speaking to EW about how series finales have changed in the era of reboots, Davis says it’s smart to keep the series ending open enough to allow for the possibility of a revival down the line.

However, this certainly comes with some concerns as well. “One of the things it does is keep you from killing off a lot of characters,” he says. “So the series-ending episode where you blow up the entire world and kill off half your main characters isn’t the smartest thing to do anymore.”

Killing half your main characters would be a shock, but not necessarily a good one. Today’s media is consumed so intensely by its fans that a series finale like that has the potential to put an audience off the property for good.

So not only do you have to worry about the potential for a revival with half your players in the ground, but you have to worry about whether your original fans will even want to tune in for more. That could make or break the whole idea of a revival.

But what about on the other side of that? Creators want their stories to leave a lasting impression, and what better way to do that than to have one of your main characters sacrifice themselves for their friends?

“I do worry that it makes finales less impactful — you don’t want to give a half-assed ending,” Davis says of the need to keep a potential revival in mind. “You want a story to feel like it finishes.”

And that’s something fans of Teen Wolf have been worrying over since it was first announced season 6 would be the show’s last. Who will we lose in this final season, and what impact will that make on our overall feelings about the series?

We’ve come too far to lose someone we cared about from day one, but we’ve also invested too much time to see a mediocre ending. It’s a challenging balance that all fans of Teen Wolf are hoping Davis and his team are up for.

What do you think of the idea for an eventual ‘Teen Wolf‘ revival?

When the first rumors of a Charmed reboot came out a few years ago I started a mental list of what it has to have. Now that it’s officially happening here’s what I think a ’70s-era Charmed show can still pull off.

The mythology of Charmed runs deep. So deep, in fact, that they could have set this during the founding of America and we’d still be able to get a Charmed feeling thanks to the original show’s flashbacks. (But I’m happy it’s not set way back then.)

Given the show’s history, I’m not worried about it taking place in the ’70s; I’m actually excited about it. It’s an original take on how we can learn more about the Halliwell family before the Power of Three was old enough to realize they were the most powerful witches in the world, and I’m excited to see what they bring to it.

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When the first rumors of a Charmed reboot came out a few years ago I started a mental list of what it has to have. Now that it’s officially happening here’s what I think a ’70s-era Charmed show can still pull off.

The mythology of Charmed runs deep. So deep, in fact, that they could have set this during the founding of America and we’d still be able to get a Charmed feeling thanks to the original show’s flashbacks. (But I’m happy it’s not set way back then.)

Given the show’s history, I’m not worried about it taking place in the ’70s; I’m actually excited about it. It’s an original take on how we can learn more about the Halliwell family before the Power of Three was old enough to realize they were the most powerful witches in the world, and I’m excited to see what they bring to it.

With that being said, it’s hard to think of anything Charmed related happening without its important mythology and history, so there are just a few things this reboot absolutely has to have.

Whitelighters

Whitelighters are the angels in the Charmed universe, and without them we wouldn’t have Leo or Paige and we wouldn’t have the almost never-ending source of wisdom and guidance we’re so used to seeing.

It scares me to think about this happening without the Halliwell family at all, but if that is the (horrible) route they choose to go, then they’re definitely going to need a Whitelighter to guide the characters and tell them what’s up. Without the Book of Shadows, a Whitelighter is going to be the only way the new witches will have any hope of figuring out what is going on.

And I will never get sick of seeing people orb everywhere — that’s one of the best parts of the original show, tbh.

Darklighters/Demons

On the opposite end of angels there are always demons, so it’d be a missed opportunity to not include them in this reboot. Darklighters are the only thing that could kill a Whitelighter, so it makes sense to bring them into the picture as well so we could get some d-d-d-drama.

The only hesitance I have about this new reboot bringing Darklighters and demons into the mix is that today’s audience seem enthralled with demons and fighting, and I worry there’s not going to be as much character growth in the newer episodes as there was with the original series.

I don’t want a Charmed reboot to be all about the demon fighting and not enough about the sisters and their relationship, but hopefully the fact that it’s helmed by women will help prevent that from happening.

Pre-bound Charmed ones

As any well-informed Charmed fan will tell you, the main girls (Prue, Piper, and Phoebe) had their powers bound/stripped when they were children so they could grow up without the threats of demons and death. If the show is about the Halliwell family, I’m hoping it begins at least a good six months or so before their powers get taken away from them.

There are so many questions I have about the pre-bound Charmed ones: Did they have powers in the womb like Wyatt, or was that just because Wyatt was the product of a Charmed one and a Whitelighter? Did the girls having powers bring so much evil that Grandma had no choice but to take them away? What was life like for Penny and Patty with the girls as youngsters? Sure, we saw glimpses of that briefly in the main series, but there’s still so much more to know!

I’m hoping that if the show does indeed take place around the Halliwell family in the ’70s, we’ll get to see what led up to Grandma Penny binding their powers. Hopefully it might be an even bigger surprise and twist than we all thought.

Kick-ass Penny

Speaking of Penny Halliwell, the grandmother to the Charmed Ones and mother of Patty Halliwell, she is one bad-ass bitch. We know this because of the several times she’s been summoned by the sisters for help (both supernatural and remedial).

There’s no way the show could revolve around the Halliwell family in the ’70s and not include one of the most bad-ass witches in the family line. Witnessing Penny kick some ass is something we all need to see, and I’m sure it would be one of the best parts of the whole series.

I know the show is still in its beginning stages and there are absolutely no cast members involved yet, but I would die to see Jennifer Rhodes reprise her role as Penny just to see that unfiltered sass come back to my screen.

Cameos galore!

Don’t get me started on how ticked I am that this is a prequel happening in the ’70s, if it even is that. When I think Charmed, I think Phoebe, Piper, Prue, Paige, Leo, etc. So naturally, to make up for this hideous decision in setting, the show has to make up for it by coming up with some excuse to bring back the original girls.

Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs and Rose McGowan have all said they’d be totally down to return for a Charmed reunion, so it hurts that whoever decided to put this reboot in the ’70s basically took that interest and threw it out the window. I’m hoping they work in a way to get the girls to show up in this series, and not just once.

Having the main girls appear just once in this reboot would basically be blasphemy, so hopefully the main characters figure out a way to find out about the existence of the Charmed Ones and use some sort of spell to contact them occasionally for help.

Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt to see Leo, Chris, Wyatt or all the other characters every one in a while, too.

Bonus: Reference the original theme song

This is way less likely than anything else, but I’m hoping that when the show starts up they utilize the show’s original theme song, How Soon Is Now by The Smiths.

It’s a damn shame that the entire series is on Netflix but with some rip-off theme song. You can’t have Charmed without The Smiths! Well, you can as evidenced by Netflix, but you really, really shouldn’t.

The music license to use the song expired, but please, will someone contact The Smiths and politely ask them to let us hear it with Charmed again? Here’s the original theme for those of you who miss it like I do.

What do you want in the ‘Charmed’ reboot?