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11 reviews in total 
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Yet another paradigm shift, and a great one at that, 18 November 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Part of the success of Bond films is not getting bogged down in dogma and being able to shift styles to freshen the franchise. This is a very successful reboot of the series. Action, plot, characters, acting, and style this one scores well on just about everything.

Daniel Craig pulls off the part well and makes the role his own. This is the grittiest interpretation of Bond yet, and while I've enjoyed the cartoonish interpretations such as Roger Moore's before, Casino Royale is much more visceral compared to previous efforts. There is humour in this one but for the most part it is subdued and subtle.

I've not seen it mentioned yet but I think kudos should go to Judy Dench as well. In previous outings, much like Pierce Brosnan's Bond, her performance seemed like it was being held back, as though the producers were afraid any time devoted to characterization would lose the audience. No more, this M is tough, tactical, and manipulative. This is easily the most fully realized version of M in any Bond movie. Makes me wonder what they could do with Q and Moneypenny should they reintroduce the characters in future movies.

A few minor quibbles, the theme song is forgettable, the opening credits seem completely out of character with the tone of the movie. It's not so much that the movie is too long as it takes awhile to reveal why the final section seems so drawn out. Be patient, it makes sense in the end.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Brosnan enjoyably breaks his mold, 7 February 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This will not likely be voted best comedy of the year, a few too many coincidences and plot holes. However we are talking about a movie where a hit-man and a white bread salesman become buddies so a few vagaries shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Brosnan is excellent in this role, gone is the wooden James Bond (a role he was wasted in). If he can maintain this kind of quality I hope he continues to make comedies. Greg Kinnear is also excellent as Brosnan's straight man. I've read a few negative comments in here about Hope Davis but I thought she was quite good as a mousy housewife with a dark side buried deep within. There are lots of good chuckles as Brosnan sleazes his way through and a few scenes where I nearly died laughing. My father (a consultant) nearly lost it when Julian describes himself as a "facilitator". Much like "Grosse Pointe Blank", another hit-man comedy, the humour can be very dark. If you are in to that be prepared to enjoy yourself.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
slap upside the head, 18 May 2002

This film fits my definition of a good film. I left the theatre (that I snuck in to, being underage) confused, dazed, and still thinking about it days later. It was a complex, well written, morally ambiguous, well acted, and paradigm breaking action movie. A gut wrenching car chase didn't hurt either. Good stuff for someone who hadn't seen much but typical PG to Mature action movie fare until that time. There are very few movies since that compare to it either. In retrospect the Restricted rating was very fair since the violence, sex, and language really were extreme. Since I was a Wang Chung fan at the time I don't recall the music being that bad but maybe time will change my opinion. I really must see it again.

29 out of 35 people found the following review useful:
Campy yet fun and original, 9 February 2002

Definitely 60's and it is obvious. Yet this is still one of the most fun shows ever made. John Steed is the epitome of British class, right down to the Bentley in British Racing Green (notwithstanding the Tara King years).

Then there is Emma Peel, mmmmm Emma Peel. Aside from Diana Rigg's obvious physical charms her real appeal is the strength of her character. Totally confident, cool, classy, and capable (driving a Lotus Elan was also a big plus) Diana Rigg created a female character (which was resisted by the producers tooth and nail I understand) that surprised me even though I first saw the show over 20 years after it went off the air. Emma Peel was devoid of the traditional female stereotypes that permeate the airwaves always in need of rescue and if not are total cartoons. She could kick ass and frequently saved Steed's butt in the process. Mass media still has a major allergy to original, tough female characters which is a testament to the originality of the character.

Something was lost after Tara King took over. It was a return to the stereotypes and the show lost something for me, that and I didn't like Steed's new car, just didn't have the same class as his former Bentley.

Still I highly recommend watching it, fun plots, wry humor, over the top villains, great characters, and an impossible lack of blood. How can you not have fun watching this?

7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Quirky, funny, classic kids show, 8 January 2002

To a modern audience "Frightenstein" is probably laughable but I was a religious viewer of it during the 70's. A quirky cast of characters and if you really payed attention you might even have learned something. Of course there was always Vincent Price's foreboding closing! Original, non-commercial, creative, funny, and for that matter fun. I still remember the show and still hear the music playing in my head. I still feel some shame in never realizing that one man (Billy Van) played most of the roles! A classic kid's show that never insulted our intelligence.

0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
What a surprise, 4 August 2001

When I first heard of this show I thought great another excuse for media and marketing weasels to try and sell us schlocky gawdawful 70's fashions by attempting to invoke manufactured sentiment. Well maybe they are but I still find it hilarious. Yeah it's a pretty sanitized version of the 70's but once you get beyond the props of dorky clothes (cringe), boogey vans, the music etc. it really works beyond the 70's jokes. Even when they dip to cliche' level they use them well and uniquely. Eric and Donna's relationship tribulations are a fairly decent portrayal, even mature compared to a lot of the crap that's on television.

Portraying the drug culture in such a humorous light unnerves me a little, but compared to what's out there today, Mary Jane doesn't seem so bad anymore. It isn't exactly that inaccurate either. I remember that if kids weren't doing it there were pretending to. I remember the films shown to us in school where the average kid gets hooked and then his whole life ends up going into the toilet (did anyone else see one staring Scott Baio?), of which they did a hilarious spoof of. Watch it with your kids I guess and fill them in on the REAL consequences of drug use.

"Dune" (2000)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
mixed bag (kinda sorta spoilers), 18 July 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't really think you could ever make a truly good movie out of Dune, at least not to satisfy those of us who love the book. It has too many complexities, nuances, and plot. However I was anxious to see this miniseries just because I thought the extra time might help.

It did, sorta, kinda, at least compared to the 1984 movie, which was lame. The biggest problem with this is that it was so uneven. I can put up with lame special effects but only if the story is done well. At least with this enough story was filled in so that even a nonreader could get involved and get a glimpse of what the fuss over the book is. My wife actually thought it was a good story!

However ... there seemed to be questionable choices made of what was shown and what was not. Certain liberties were taken with the script, some weren't too bad. Irulan's expanded role was OK but I would have rather had the time put back in the original story. I get the impression it was expanded to attract a female audience, after all Dune never really had a lot of strong female characters in the modern sense of the term. My biggest problems:

- Blew through the fall of House Atreides. No tension at all leading to the fall. Jessica and Leto's great love story? I can't even remember if Jessica and Leto were together for more than a few seconds? Paul never revealed Leto's ultimate trust in her. Gurney confronting her was one of the most tension filled parts of the book but here it seemed to be blown threw as a sidenote.

- Fremen: shoddy water discipline, kinda wimpy, sterile sietches, sietches that a blind Harkonnen should have been able to find, shoddy knife discipline, not very tanned for desert dwellers.

- what's with all the pyrotechnics?

- Certain things were taken out or cut short that added so much to the book, Liet's death and final "realization", Duncan Idaho's death was miserably portrayed given how important it became in every other novel.

- John Hurt walked through this as Leto. Paul was too whiny in the beginning but finished well. Jessica never quite gelled in the role but I think this was more the pace of her scenes than anything. Liet fit my image almost perfectly. Chani's accent kind of made her dialog seem flat even though I found her believable otherwise, her exotic looks were quite entrancing too, maybe it's a male thing. :-) The Reverend Mother was annoying. Alia fit the part perfectly. The Baron's role was much bigger here (good) but the actor seemed almost too comic for my taste.

Overall I just never really got wrapped up in this version of the Dune universe. This attempt to take on Dune seemed to have a checklist of things to get in regardless of how well they fit. Combine that with less than perfect special effects and you have a film that lacks the ability to wrap up the viewer and take them away. I pity whoever takes on Dune next time. I think it would be difficult to please true Dune fanatics like myself.

Awful yet memorable, 25 May 2001

I first saw the pilot in a theatre and couldn't understand why my parents didn't like it. What an ominous plot! The final annihilation of the lifeform known as man! Basically I think the plot idea and the universe that was created is what made this show so memorable for those of us who saw it then. I watched the pilot again a few years ago older, wiser, and more cynical and it was hard to watch. Baaaaaad dialogue, cheezy dated '70s outfits, endlessly repeated battle scenes (you got to love the viper turbo exhausts going sideways), the annoying kid and robot muppet dog, horrible plot devices (what kind of mother lets her kid go running around in the dark on an unexplored alien planet), etc. etc. Just the same I really hope they can remake it and this time do it right. Oh yes, Loren Jensen really was a total babe, hmmm, she might be old enough now to make a convincing Battlestation Commander ...

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Blew my mind!, 18 February 2001

I first saw the "Prisoner" at age 14. I stumbled on to an episode almost half way through on late night TV. I was hooked, it totally put my pablum fed TV mind into spasms. I had no clue what was going on and I had to see more which unfortunately didn't happen until many years later. It still jangles my brain and has left me with an abnormal attraction to multicolored Lotus and Caterham 7's. The only other show to affect me similarly is the animated series "Aeon Flux". The creator must be a "Prisoner" fan.

not perfect but worthwhile (subtle spoilers), 24 May 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was an enjoyable and, for me at least, eye opening movie. The acting was good (especially Peter Outerbridge) and I could empathize with the characters. The humor seemed to flow naturally from the situations, usually a sign of good writing. Unfortunately the ending came off as being cliche'd and tacked on. It seemed more of a quick way to resolve a bunch of plotlines than as a natural part of the theme, almost a cliche. At least I'm hoping it's a cliche.

For me though, the real strength of this movie seems to be it's light-hearted, without being sugary, nature. Without the burden of a heavy message it seemed more free to allow the characters to have a variety of nuances and quirks without relying too heavily on stereotypes. It was nice seeing a Canadian production actually set in Canada too.

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