Tag Archive: Daniel Craig

The late Stieg Larsson’s series of three mystery novels are huge hits, they have sold millions of copies. Those books were adapted into three wildly popular series of Swedish films, which made a star out of leading lady Noomi Rapace. So many were kind of confused seeing the films were going to be remade. For me I usually stand against remakes, I find most of them pointless. This film though with David Fincher behind the camera gives this film such a great atmosphere, also with the addition of Rooney Mara as the punk bad ass Salander makes this film not just good but possibly better than the original.

The plot follows disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist(Daniel Craig), career is crumbling all around him and is effecting his marriage. So when a rich reclusive Swedish industrialist Henrik Vanger(Christopher Plummer) to solve the disappearance of his niece that happened over forty years ago. As Mikael dives deep into his investigation and picks up Lisbeth Salander who is a young hacker. She has almost endless issues but stays on the mission. Together they are able to connect the young woman’s disappearance to a string of murders.

As a remake this film pushes past the original in many ways. First off Rooney Mara does a fantastic job as the lead. Her character continues to get underestimated and used in many ways. Yet she fights through it and is stronger than you might think. Daniel Craig here kind of takes a back seat, but it really works, his character is charming and well tempered. When the two are on screen the film really picks up because the two are great together.  The only real problem this film has is that as a remake, we sort of figure out who the villain is easily just by the actors chosen. Wish they would have tried a little harder to hide who the villain was.

The real star is David Fincher who gives this film such a dark vibe. Even knowing the story or seeing the original you’ll feel the tension. The film never blinks or turns away from violence or sex, which is a breath of fresh air. Two scenes focus on anal rape and it would be tempting to spin it or not show it so straight forward. Fincher doesn’t blink and even though it’s disturbing it does make it clear to the audience that anything can happen. Fincher has a true vision and most of his films stand in my mind as great films, like Seven and The Social Network. This film very much belongs to be named with those. I for one hope Fincher returns for the other two films. It would be a real let down if he doesn’t step back up to the plate.

Rating: 8/10

We follow reporter Tintin and his dog/partner Snowy who we understand have already had some outstanding adventures together. After inadvertently acquiring a model ship that seems to be sought by several different people, one of those include Sakharine(Daniel Craig) who wants the ship for a villainous reasons. As Tintin follows the story he and Snowy befriend a drunk sea captain named Haddock, played by the amazing mo-cap actor Andy Serkis. Together they try and put the pieces together and stop a man with a mission of revenge.

When I was younger I loved the Tintin comics made by Herge. I loved them so much that I even had some written in French, not being able to read the language I just made up my own dialogue for Tintin. I was a little uneasy about the mo-cap here. Recently the technology has come off as creepy and I was worried it would ruin Tintin. Thankfully it doesn’t ruin anything here. Spielberg used the technology to make Tintin’s world come alive. Using his Indiana Jones knowledge he brought a spirit to this film that is hard to explain. The fun of adventure is the life line in this film. I will tell you right now that Tintin is leagues better than the recent Indiana Jones film. Spielberg also uses the technology and has some fun with it, everything really flows together nicely in this film.

Jamie Bell is the voice of Tintin and is frankly amazing. His voice works perfectly. Tintin is also just a lot of fun, he looks like a boy, yet owns his own apartment and carries a gun. That is Tintin! The dog also is an actual character who has his own moments in the action. It’s not annoying or eye rolling, you find yourself cheering for the dog all the way through. One has to realize how impressive it is that this worked. Rarely animal characters in animated films become anything more than annoying. Haddock is a great character and looks amazing. You can always count on Serkis to bring it hard for these mo-cap films.

The action scenes move very well, one thing I was worried about, I shouldn’t have worried at all. The two best set pieces is one that mimics Indiana Jones. Tintin, Snowy and Haddock escape his own ship and the gun fight is very impressive. Towards the end of the film there is a motorcycle chase that is out of the world. It just keeps going and around every corner something else is being thrown at you, pretty amazing.

This movie works on pretty much every level, it has action, multiple funny moments. To me a film like this is a great family film. It’s a real movie, not some trash filled with pop culture references and easy fart jokes. This film is a real treat and if you have kids I would suggest taking them to it. Years from now they may thank you for it.

Rating: 8.5/10

I love James Bond. I love the old movies, from the great one’s to the corny one’s. Goldeneye is a movie close to my heart. Casino Royale I think is an action movie classic. When Quantum of Solace came out I frankly enjoyed the hell out of it. I didn’t enjoy the shaky cam and some choices made in the film, but overall it was a good ride and actually gave Bond an arch that started in the first film. Many have complained about the villain and plot. That stealing Bolivia’s water to sell it back to the country didn’t seem evil enough. To me it’s super realistic and very original. What would you rather have? A terror organization threatening world wide destruction again?

In a recent interview Craig claimed the writers strike seriously hurt the production of the movie. That he and director Marc Foster had to come up with stuff on the spot since legally they couldn’t hire any writers. So with that in mind you have to look at Quantum and marvel at it. The fact they put together an action film like that the way they did is very impressive. Craig then went on and said he truly believes “Skyfall” will be better than Casino Royale from the script and current production. I know most people would roll their eyes at that, but I think Craig is rather serious when it comes to these things. I for one am so ready for James Bond’s return.

A cowboy(Daniel Craig) wakes up in the desert. No memory of where he came from or what his name is. All he has is a picture of a women he knows is important to him and a large metal bracelet attached to his arm. From there he finds a small town where his past catches up to him. He meets a gun slingling woman(Olivia Wilde) and gets mixed in with a local rancher (Harrison Ford). He quickly finds out he is a wanted man. Before things can go down old west style, aliens show up, snatch up several people and leave. Everyone must band together and track down the aliens to rescue those who have been taken.

So you read the title and automatically roll your eyes, but once you get past that this movie is frankly something very special. It basically plays with an idea everyone always mentions: “Why didn’t aliens ever invade us in the past?”. Well they play with a lot of great ideas here. First off it is a great Western. Craig’s character is just an amazing bad ass and you can’t help but smile at how old school the movie feels. We get heroes who are tough guys, not afraid to shoot their way out of a bad spot. The movie tosses a lot of character at us and it kind of can get over whelming. Director Jon Favreau who brought us Iron Man 1 and 2 just has a very smooth style. The action feels old school but always keeps us on our toes. Every scene in this movie plays up what makes Westerns great but also making us miss the good old days of adventure films.

Now the aliens are kind of been there done that. They are giant reptilian things with ships that remind us of other ships. The cool thing here though since we’re dealing with the wild west is how the aliens work with it. The use high tech wires to snatch people up which is great. We also find out that simply the aliens are here for gold. This might give you pause but then you just realize that in the old west everyone is out there for gold… So why not the aliens?

The final battle is a little but of a mess, still there are some great moments mixed in and I dug the concept of how the Native Americans got involved. Usually in a film like this they would be throw away characters, here they are actually a key piece to facing off with the aliens. I’d go on with the review but I don’t want to ruin some of the fun. This movie amazingly avoids being campy which I think people should find a miracle. It’s a layered story that is a blast, most of the jokes work, the action is solid. To sum it up Cowboys and Aliens is everything a summer movie should be and you really shouldn’t miss it.

Rating: 8/10