If box office numbers are to be believed, we’ve been suffering a severe case of Bond withdrawal. SKYFALL, the newest film featuring secret agent 007, had its best opening of any Bond film as the franchise celebrates its 50th anniversary. And critical consensus has so far fallen into line with that of ecstatic audiences, contending that the latest adventure — in which Bond, James Bond (Daniel Craig) battles a computer mastermind (Javier Bardem) determined to take down MI6’s M (Judi Dench) for painfully personal reasons – is among the franchise’s best.
But simple plaudits are not enough for the Spotlight gang, and so Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons delve deep into the details of this high-stakes attempt to revive and redefine the long-running series, debating where the film achieved its goals, where it exceeded expectations, and where it fell short. It’s one of our liveliest conversations, fitting for a film that demonstrates that it’s not too late for an old cold-warrior to undergo a rebirth.
Plus: What’s coming to theaters this Friday.
The actual Bourne legacy is that what was always intended to be a trilogy was so successful that it compelled Universal to find some way to continue the franchise without star Matt Damon (clearly the DOCTOR WHO fix wouldn’t work here). Their solution for THE BOURNE LEGACY, the movie: Bring in Jeremy Renner as another genetically-altered super-spy, Aaron Cross, who, in the aftermath of Bourne’s antics and with Ed Norton’s high-ranking operative tracking him with the intent of ending his service with extreme prejudice, begins his own struggle for survival and legitimacy (parallels between the scenario presented and the franchise itself are purely coincidental).
Come join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons as they explore this follow up to a unique and entertaining series of spy films. Does it promise the same gripping action and intriguing world as the Damon BOURNES? How does Tony Gilroy — who scripted the previous films and here steps into the director’s chair — fare in taking over the franchise? And is Cross going to catch hell from PETA for his capricious treatment of wolves?
Also: What’s coming to theaters next week. Quite a lot, actually. Production Note: A recording glitch caused some skipping in the audio for this episode. Noticeable, but not annoyingly so, and not an impediment to understanding the conversation. Our apologies.
The Christmas season is upon us, and as we have had occasion to mention, that means ghosts and spirits. And what greater Christmas ghost story is there than Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL? That is the subject of this week’s Cinefantastique Round Table Podcast: Dan Persons, guest John W. Morehead (of Theofantastique.com), and Steve Biodrowski take a look back at the original novel and the numerous film and television adaptations, both live action and animated, that have brought not only Scrooge but also Jacob Marley and the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future to life on the screen. Listen for fond remembrances of everything from the 1951 classic SCROOGE starring Alistair Sim to the 1970 musical starring Albert Finney, from George C. Scott to Patrick Stewart, not to mention Mr. Magoo, the Muppets, and Doctor Who!