Spectre: Movie Review

Nov 17, 2015 | 2015 Articles, Laura Sidsworth, Movies

by Laura Sidsworth

Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.

1. A visible incorporeal spirit, especially one of a terrifying nature; ghost; phantom; apparition.
2. Some object or source of terror, or dread: the specter of disease or famine. Also, especially British, spectre. (dictionary.referance.com)

Sam Mendes (American Beauty), who also directed 2012’s Skyfall, does a wonderful job with the opening scene. The Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) parade through the City of Mexico is nothing short of dazzling. The energy and palpable power that Daniel Craig exudes is exactly as a Bond movie should be. Even the opening credits, replete with the Octopus’ smoky dark ink swirling about as the feminine forms’ hair, are ingenious cinematic art.

But then, much as Craig’s character Bond leads his lady friend on, through the crowds, ultimately I lost a sense of being one with the film, and became merely a watcher, left to hopelessly muddle along. Craig comes across as tired, even if totally in charge this time. His devil may care attitude feels half-hearted most of the time, and the lack-luster evidence he shows to prove his case seems a non-event.movie

Monica Bellucci, as Lucia Sciarra, Bond’s first dalliance, is cast well as a sexy older woman, and it was nice to see Bond’s altruism extended to a mafia boss’s widow, even if the non-judgementalness was just all about the conquest.

He of course ends up with, shocker, the penultimate lover – the younger woman, a daughter no less of an old friend of his, at least twenty years younger than Bond.

The character, Madelaine Swann, played by Lea Seydoux, nevertheless was quite fetching, with a look of fresh innocence and hint of fragility. Her helpfulness to Bond: just the right touch of feministic heroism – especially as she tells him she can not abide by his career choice.

The antagonist’s henchman, Mr. Hinx, played by actor David Bautista, who casts himself as such in the movie in quite a ballsy way, nevertheless does not come across as that scary or unique a character. The true bad guy, Christoph Waltz, a favorite of mine – who oozes with major bad-guy charisma was kept in the dark, (in one scene literally) shadowy depths of the story till much later in the story. Also, keeping him in the back story that much did not seem to have added to the overall suspense.

Naomi Harris plays a perfect Moneypenny – also while holding true to her updated mores.

Ralph Fiennes, as M, comes across much like Craig’s character: tired – and in need of retirement. And even though Andrew Scott, as Denbigh, is pretty convinced that is why the Secret Service needs a clean-sweep – his actions just further paints the British government as unrealistically stupid, and behind the times.

Because of the convoluted way that the plot line evolves, jumping from one locale to the next, the mysteriousness of it all is seriously diluted. And taken out of being in the moment, that’s when I think of who the writers are: in this case, John Logan and Neal Purvis, who also wrote 2012’s Skyfall, and who, on this movie, also share the writing credits with no less than five other writers! For a total of seven writers! At a screenwriting seminar conducted by legendary Robert McKee, I recall him once saying that if there are more than one to two writers on any given project -beware! It is because the story keeps getting away from them!

I also notice when boredom hits as I’m watching a movie by how often I shift in my chair, turning this way and that to get comfortable; nothing holding my attention long enough to not notice I’m not home on my couch…this seemed like an inordinately long movie.

At the end, it seems as if Bond is ready to walk away from his job as 007; and so, if only to bid a fond farewell to Daniel Craig as James Bond, who also seems more than ready to walk away from this lifetime role – would I recommend this movie as a must-see in a movie theater.

Spectre is currently playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website. Platinum Theaters Dinuba 6 now proudly presents digital quality films in 2-D and 3-D with 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound to maximize your movie experience.

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Laura Sidsworth has published two children’s picture books, Spoiled Pink, & The Treehouse Treasury; both of which can be found in the Fresno Library system, and are available for direct purchase at www.thetreehousetreasury.com / www.thespoiledpinkbook.com.


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