Tag Archive: daniel craig


“In a race against time, a crew of art historians and museum curators unite to recover renown works of art stolen by Nazis before Hitler destroys it” – that is the true story synopsis of The Monuments Men, to be directed by George Clooney. Clooney will also be starring in the film alongside a rather impressive cast: Daniel Craig, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville and Bob Balaban. The latest big name actor to join the project is good friend and previous co-star of Clooney’s Matt Damon. Clooney is also co-writing the feature and it is set to start shooting in Europe at the beginning of 2013.

It has long been confirmed speculation, although not actually confirmed, that Jamie Foxx would be playing the main villain Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Well this week it has been announced that what everyone already knew IS true. Foxx seems very excited to be playing the role and he should make for a good villain. Another piece of casting news was announced this week regarding the sequel and that is that Dane DeHaan, of Chronicle fame, will indeed be playing Harry Osborn. Like Foxx, DeHaan has been linked with the role for a while now so it is good to get some solid confirmation about it.

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger has made a swift return to acting since leaving his post as the governor of California, starring in The Expendables 2 and having an incredible four films slated for release in 2013. However, he will also be returning to Conan for The Legend of Conan. The Legend of Conan will not be a reboot or a remake but a catch-up with the old character, a greater hero story apparently. It will completely ignore the Jason Momoa update that was released earlier this year and absolutely flopped. Sylvester Stallone, a good friend of Arnie’s, has relatively good success when he brought back his famous characters (Rocky and Rambo) to the big screen a few years ago and Schwarzenegger will be hoping to do the same with Conan.

 

And how could I ignore the two posters that were released this week for two of the most hyped movies of the next year: Star Trek Into Darkness and Man of Steel.

Superman Into Darkness

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Skyfall Review

The arrival of a new James Bond film is always treated as a special occasion because the Bond films hold such a high place of regard in the history of film. Never has that been more true than this year with the arrival of Bond 23: Skyfall. 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of James Bond on screen and with the amount of time fans have been waiting Skyfall has to be something exceptional… and it is.

Skyfall sees M come under review and her ability to head up the Secret Service in doubt. This is after the Secret Service’s intelligence is broken and a list of agents has been stolen and in attempt to retrieve that list Bond has gone missing, presumed dead. However, when the Service itself comes under attack at the hands of suspected terrorists Bond is drawn back to London only to find that the person behind the attacks, Raoul Silva, claims a personal connection to both Bond and M, which forces Bond to question his loyalty to M.

Director Sam Mendes’ take on the world’s most famous spy marks the first time that an academy award winning director has taken the helm of a James Bond flick. Citing Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight as one of the main influences on his take on the film you could tell that he was clearly going to make sure he put in a shift directing Skyfall. And he does not disappoint. Skyfall is shot superbly and combines a rare treat in Bond films of giving the characters equal billing with the action sequences, without one outweighing the other.

Right from the very first sequence, which includes a motorbike chase over rooftops as well as a shootout on a train, the bar is set very high. The set pieces are absolutely wonderful, explosions galore all the way through the film but this is not just action for the sake of it which is clear by the amount of emphasis put on characters throughout the film. Mendes manages to really add layers to Bond, M and the villain of the piece Raoul Silva and it is brilliant to watch these characters grow throughout the film.

Many fans of the James Bond series say that a Bond film is only as good as the villain and Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva delivers a villain not easily forgotten. As a rogue agent he is an equal match physically for Bond but his intellect is on a rather high level too and it seems as though his resources are endless. There is something incredibly creepy and sinister about the character and this performance is easily the best of the film. Although perhaps too much was put in to Bardem’s character because it seems as though the Bond girls were somewhat forgotten. After seeing all the promotional shots for the film I was expecting both Naomie Harris and Bérénice Marlohe to play a much larger part in Skyfall than they actually did and it seemed to render their characters almost irrelevant other than to have something nice to look at.

Is it Sean Connery? Is it Roger Moore? The debate goes on and on among fan communities about who is the best Bond and with Skyfall Daniel Craig goes a long way to stamping out any doubt that would deny him of the accolade. Craig is a wonderful fit the Bond role, he’s a rough and ready guy with a charm to him; he delivers his one liners excellently and you can’t help but like his portrayal. Couple that with the fact that Craig actually is a very very good actor and you get a great combination of on screen presence. And I have to mention that Ben Whishaw certainly pulls off the Q role perfectly.

Skyfall is a Bond film that, for me, stands alone above the rest. It does a great deal in differentiating itself from the rest of the films and makes sure it is better than Quantum of Solace. The opening sequence, the soundtrack, the title sequence; everything is wonderful. And I deny anyone to at least get a smile on their face when the famous James Bond music kicks in the middle of a scene. Skyfall is full of twists, turns and huge explosions that comes to its conclusion with a fantastic, yet incredibly surprising, ending. Enjoy!

My Rating: 9/10.

“The name’s Bond, James Bond” is one of the most iconic lines in cinema history, almost as iconic as the man himself who says it so often. James Bond is a figure known all across the world, a British Secret Service agent that has saved the world and defeated villains countless times. The Ian Fleming creation has spawned twenty-three canon films and has been played by six different actors, all of whom have been white.

Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and today’s Daniel Craig have all donned the suit and the suave attitude to play the most famous spy that the world has ever seen. But once Daniel Craig steps aside is the path paved for a black actor to take on one of the most famous cinematic roles in history? It certainly looks as though this is now a real possibility where it has never really been given any thought before. Skyfall Bond girl Naomie Harris has let is slip that a black actor has been met by producers to talk about taking on the part, despite Daniel Craig having a contract for another two films. The actor in question is the phenomenal Idris Elba, who would certainly be an inspired choice as his stock continue to grow in Hollywood after roles in huge blockbuster films such as Thor and Prometheus.

Harris is quoted in The Huffington Post as saying “it does seem like there is a possibility in the future that there could very well be a black James Bond. And I would have to vote for Idris because I just finished working with him and he’s a great guy”. I thoroughly believe that the colour of his skin should not be an issue for the casting choice but let’s not forget all the uproar that was caused when Daniel Craig was cast just because he had BLONDE hair! But this is something that Idris Elba has mentioned and spoken about before, in October 2011 he stated “I don’t want to be the black James Bond. Sean Connery wasn’t the Scottish James Bond, and Daniel Craig wasn’t the blue-eyed James Bond, so if I played him, I don’t want to be called the black James Bond”. This makes complete sense; it should be his ability to act as the famous James Bond character that should see him either accepted or declined for the role.

Unfortunately I have been on a few fan forums and a lot of James Bond fans seem to be against this idea with some even saying that this would lead to a ‘gay, then female’ James Bond. Some fans say that making Bond black would go against the creation of Fleming but things are changing in the modern cultural climate and character’s do not stay the same forever. M was once a man in the films, now is a woman. Although I do believe that film fans can be fickle and in the end, if Elba played the part well enough there would be a lot of people backtracking on their previously held opinions.

Let’s not forget that it does appear to be a kind of underlying rule that a Hollywood hero must be either white or Will Smith. This would be a great opportunity for James Bond to not only take their own franchise and name forward but help pave way for better roles for black actors and a more equal chance for actors despite what their race may be.

It is unclear when in time the meetings took place between Elba and the Bond producers, it could even have been before they signed Daniel Craig on to two more films or it could have been after. It is also unclear whether Elba is the only person producers have met with or whether there have been others (black or white actors) who have been approached with a view to replacing Daniel Craig when he eventually steps down. Although, with critics already calling Skyfall the best Bond ever you have to think that fans will want to see plenty more of Craig before any considerations get under way as to who will be next in line.

Bond 23 ‘Skyfall‘ is in cinemas tomorrow (26/10/2012)

He’s just a guy that I really want to hang out with.

Since it’s his birthday today (14/10/2012) this is the perfect opportunity for me to write about one of my favourite British actors, or actors in general, at the minute – Ben Whishaw. Now, I’ll openly admit I haven’t seen everything he has been in but once you see him for the first time in a main role, you will not forget him. Even if on screen for just a few minutes he brings great charisma, energy and unforgettable character to his roles and, being in quite a few big films this year, it becomes clear almost instantly that Whishaw is a master of the craft of acting.

At 32 years old, Whishaw has been acting now for 13 years. His career began all the way back in the twentieth century in 1999 and although he appeared in a few films and television series’ it would not be until 2011 that Ben Whishaw would finally get the recognition and attention that he so richly deserves. Whishaw has been quoted previously saying about his personal life “as an actor you have total rights to privacy and mystery, whatever your sexuality, whatever you do. I don’t see why that has to be something you discuss openly because you do something in the public eye. I have no understanding of why we turn actors into celebrities” perhaps showing a desire to stay out of the public eye and just to enjoy his work and let others enjoy his performances too without focussing too much on him as a person.

Ben Whishaw and Daniel Craig together for the first (but not the last) time on film.

As well as appearing on stage Whishaw first got recognition from the film world in 2001 when he was names Most Promising Newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards for his part in My Brother Tom. This led to appearances in Enduring Love, Layer Cake (where he would appear with Daniel Craig for the first time) and Stoned, a biopic about Brian Jones in which Ben Whishaw played Keith Richards. He then moved to television to appear in short lived Channel 4 comedy Nathan Barley. At the time I can remember watching this and thinking that it was indeed very funny, although upon a recent return to the series I think I over rated it quite a lot back then.

After this Whishaw appeared in Perfume playing a perfume make whose craft turns deadly and I’m Not There in which he is one of several people to portray Bob Dylan. After a BBC television series (Criminal Justice) and a couple more feature films: Brideshead Revisited, The International and The Tempest Ben Whishaw appeared in the role that would help get him into Hollywood. The role in question is that of Freddie Lyon in The Hour, a sort of British answer to Mad Men which I enjoyed greatly! Whishaw was absolutely brilliant in his role and this is where I first became the big fan of his that I am right now. After this Ben Whishaw played King Richard in the BBC adaptation of Richard II which thanks to his back catalogue of performing Shakespeare in the theatre Whishaw was perfect for.

My favourite Ben Whishaw role so far – The Hour.

And that brings us right up to speed with Ben Whishaw’s projects this year. The Americans get to see him this month in Cloud Atlas but we Brits have to wait until next February for our chance, but Cloud Atlas is a huge undertaking and has already done well critically in early screenings. Then we finally get to see Whishaw as a young Q in Bond flick Skyfall, which will see him reunite with Daniel Craig eight years after both appearing in Layer Cake. From what I have seen of Whishaw already he seems like he will make the ideal Q. And on top of that (as if that’s not enough) Whishaw is rumoured to be in the running for a role in Robopocalypse which, if you read my blog regularly, you will know is Steven Spielberg’s upcoming blockbuster.

One thing is certain: Ben Whishaw is a very talented young man. Whether he continues to ply his trade in theatre, television or film he will surely be enduring great success. I predict that if he continues to work in films he will one day be on the receiving end of an Oscar nomination, if not being a winner.

Hopefully we’ll see Whishaw in plenty more Bond films after Skyfall!

This week’s news is all about some of the biggest franchises in cinemas today.

A couple of months back the X-Men: First Class sequel was given an official name. X-Men: Days of Future Past. For anyone who doesn’t know, Days of Future Past is a hugely successful and incredibly popular storyline among comic book fans and it deals with an alternative future where all mutants have been killed but for Shadowcat and Wolverine. An older Kitty Pryde transfers her mind into the younger, present-day Kitty Pryde, who brings the X-Men to prevent a fatal moment in history which triggers anti-mutant hysteria. Anyway, that’s not news. The news is that The Wolverine (sequel to the dreadful X-Men Origins: Wolverine) which was originally thought to be a stand alone film may not be as stand alone as everyone assumed. Set pictures have been released that feature a logo for the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning which would suggest that the film takes place in the future and Logan has opened up a new school for mutants in memory of Jean Grey. This could bridge the two strands of the X-Men franchises together and if done well it could be absolutely incredible and would allow for actors and characters from the two strands could both appear in the new film. Although a big factor in the success of this happening would be how it is written. Nothing has been confirmed as of now but when asked how The Wolverine would fit in to the X-Men timeline director James Mangold said on twitter “I can’t answer you now nor could I answer you before, but after everything is over I can answer, and that, in itself may be an answer”. Cryptic much?

James Cameron is currently busy preparing to make Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 which are being shot back to back, a brave move but considering how well the original film did back in 2009 you have to expect a success, especially with the time being taken on this project. However, this week Cameron has been talking about a fourth Avatar film. The director has said that after this original trilogy the fourth film and future ones would be prequels, in the same vein as Star Wars. There is obviously a long way to go before Avatar 4 even starts being written but if it does get made then hopefully it won’t be quite as bad as The Phantom Menace.

The rest of the news is pretty short, I must say that this week I have been rather excited about the X-Men news more than anything else. But anyway, the biggest other stories of the week involve future James Bond and Star Trek films. Daniel Craig has signed on to star in two more James Bond films which means he will be playing Bond probably into his 50s. And the new Star Trek sequel now has an official title: Star Trek Into Darkness. Yes, that’s really what it’s going to be called, and this is nothing but a major disappointment. I was expecting a much better title for what is one of the most highly anticipated movies of next year.

It is probably the most needless remake in the history of remakes: the novels that the film were based on were only released in 2005 and the novels were turned into films in Swedish (makes sense considering the author of the novels was Swedish and the film itself takes place in Sweden) in 2009 to very positive reviews. Apparently though it is deemed impossible for people to watch a film in a foreign language and so it was remade for a larger mainstream audience with studios hoping to cash in. So how good is the remake?

Daniel Craig is Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist who has just lost his reputation in a very public court hearing. Blomkvist is then hired because of his investigative talents to take on a case of a disappearing girl that happened over 40 years ago. He works with Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a very complicated girl with a dark past but is a skilled computer hacker, to delve deeper into the mystery. The pair bond as they work together to uncover hidden secrets in a dark past of the Vanger family.

Rooney Mara is brilliant as the title character; she has to put in a very very emotional performance and she goes through some very dark and brutal scenes. Mara’s dedication to the role was clear beforehand as she got several real piercings instead of opting for fake ones for her character and that dedication shows on screen. She has good chemistry with Daniel Craig who seems to be the only person in Sweden without a Swedish accent but that can be overlooked. Most people will know Daniel Craig as James Bond and playing such an iconic role it becomes difficult to distance yourself from that. It takes a really good film and a really good performance to move away from being thought of just as Bond and Craig accomplishes that here with a very assured and understated performance. Yorick van Wageningen, Christopher Plummer, Stellen Skarsgard and Joely Richardson make up part of the supporting cast in what is an all round wonderfully crafted cast.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo lasts for two and a half hours but moves at such a fast pace that this doesn’t drag at all. The opening twenty minutes as the film introduces it’s characters is a little sluggish and uninteresting but it is vital to gain backstory. Once Craig’s Mikael Blomkvist takes on this mysterious case though the film begins to roll and doesn’t waste a second to look back. There are lots of things happening at once and if you blink you may miss something important; you can’t take your eyes off the screen for a second. They mystery of who is responsible for the missing girl all them years ago is fantastic and keeps you guessing with revelation after revelation having lasting effects on the Vanger family at the centre of the film. There are parts of the film that are horrible realistic and will make you cringe at the sight of it but the sensitive issues are handled well and the brutal events are handled even better by director David Fincher. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a crime thriller deserving of the highest acclaim.

Fincher is easily one of the best directors of the past twenty years churning out Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network and now this; I would say The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is second only to Fight Club and even gives that a run for its money. The suspense created throughout the feature is wonderful and the beautiful editing is what makes this such an invigorating watch. Once the mystery is solved things revert back to how they did at the beginning and the film unwinds slowly but we are too invested and curious about the characters to mind that any more.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a masterpiece.

My Rating: 9/10.

This week the first trailer for Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel was released. In the starring role is British actor Henry Cavill. The role of Clark Kent and Superman is always going to be a huge one as he is one of the most famous and iconic characters ever created; the fact that the film is being produced by Christopher Nolan perhaps adds even more pressure onto the film itself too after his success with Batman. This film could make or break Cavill’s career: if it goes well Cavill will be leading a worldwide franchise and will have work set for the next few years, but if it goes wrong he could easily be thrown back into the pool of obscurity.

Henry Cavill is relatively new to this acting lark having really only made a name for himself in 2007. He starred in the films Tristan & Isolde and Stardust in this year but he was far from the leading man. It was in fact on television where Cavill got his big break, in British television drama The Tudors. Cavill starred in The Tudors up until 2010 and then went back to the world of movies full time. Last year he starred in Immortals which was deemed pretty average on all floors and this year he appeared in The Cold Light of Day alongside Bruce Willis so his career certainly seemed to be on the up before he was plucked from nowhere and chosen to don the tights and cape of Superman. It is a huge, very quick leap to the top that Cavill has made but this has not come without his fair share of bad luck and near misses that could have seen his career pan out very very differently.

Back in 2004 the Superman franchise saw an unsuccessful return to the big screen with Superman Returns. The film was eventually directed by Bryan Singer who dropped out of a third X-Men film in favour of the job. However, originally Superman was to be rebooted with Supernatural producer McG at the helm and when that was the case Henry Cavill was set to star as Superman, but when Singer dropped out so did Cavill and Brandon Routh replaced him. This was probably a lucky escape for Cavill because, well, where is Brandon Routh now?

Henry Cavill and his following probably aren’t huge fans of Robert Pattinson because of what happened next. In 2005, Cavill was the subject of a write-in effort made by Harry Potter fans in an attempt to get their man Cavill cast in the fourth instalment of the franchise Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as Cedric Diggory. As Potter fans will know Diggory has a huge part to play in Goblet of Fire and the success of these films surely would have helped boost Cavill’s profile. In 2008, Twilight was released. The author of these vampire romance books, Stephanie Meyer, claimed that Henry Cavill would be the “perfect Edward [Cullen]” and showed her preference to Cavill being cast in the lead male role. By the time production of the film began Cavill was deemed too old to play the part and lost out to Robert Pattinson once again who has gone on to become a world famous actor (despite his acting skills not being that good).

Cavill still has his eyes on the James Bond role once Daniel Craig leaves.

In 2005 MGM were looking for the man who was going to become the next James Bond for 2006’s Casino Royale. There was reportedly a list of 200 possible people to replace the outoging Pierce Brosnan. The man who eventually landed the life changing role was Daniel Craig, who actually turned down the job after the first offer but upon reading the script decided to change his mind. It was later revealed by Martin Campbell, director of Casino Royale, that the only other actor in serious contention was Henry Cavill, however he was only 22 years old and this time was deemed too young for the role!

Despite all of this bad luck for Henry Cavill it could have been even worse. There are rumours that Cavill auditioned for and almost got the job of Batman before Christian Bale won it but Cavill himself has debunked this rumour and said there was absolutely no truth behind it. With all of those near misses in his career it is really good to see that Cavill has now landed what is sure to be the most iconic role of his career. Man of Steel is in the safe hands of Snyder and Nolan and will surely springboard Cavill’s film career into action making his first option for so many more films in the future!

UK Release Date: 26th October 2012.

Plagued with difficulties throughout its production we have now been treated to the first glimpse of James Bond’s next outing.

Directed by Sam Mendes this is Bond’s twenty-third official film. In Skyfall Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

Daniel Craig and Judi Dench are joined by Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem as they try to get the Bond franchise back up top after the disappointing release of Quantam of Solace. One of the criticisms of Craig’s first two films as James Bond were that they didn’t really feel like Bond films with no gadgets that the agent is famous for. With the brilliant Ben Whishaw cast as a young Q this should change in Skyfall yet the trailer shows no signs of this.

The trailer will surely get fans of the franchise excited to see their favourite secret agent back in action and this first glimpse at Skyfall will definitely wet their appetites although I think that non Bond fans will not be convinced by this trailer. Not much of the plot is given away and that’s to be expected since this is just a teaser trailer but the explosions, the girls, Bond’s fractured psyche and the visual locations of the film all look very good and anything with Bond’s name on it is a sure fire hit either way.

Most of all though fans want this to feel like the old Bond films and, although overall it looks decent, I’m not sure Skyfall does feel like Bond so far.

Whilst there is no news that Daniel Craig has any intention of stepping down as the English special agent, there are always rumours flying around about who will be next to portray James Bond. Skyfall is released later this year and will be Craig’s third Bond film; although he is contracted for another five outings it seems unlikely that Craig will make it this far as he is already 44 years old and these blockbusters take a while to make, especially if there are delays to future films as there have been to Skyfall. So who will be next to don the suit and become James Bond? Here are my five nominations:

  

Henry Cavill

Having had bit parts in a few films during his career, Cavill was then cast as a main character in the BBC’s hit drama The Tudors where he stayed up until 2010 before deciding to try his hands at films once more and, last year, starred in Immortals. Coming up very soon Cavill stars in The Cold Light of Day which will see him put his action skills to the test. Cavill auditioned for James Bond before Daniel Craig was given the nod as producers felt Cavill was too young. But being that extra few years older now could see him as the favourite for the role. This must be a long shot now, however, as since then Cavill has gone on to win the role of Clark Kent (or Superman, as you might know him) in the upcoming superhero reboot.

 

Benedict Cumberbatch

Here is a British actor taking Hollywood by storm. Best known to audiences for portraying Sherlock Holmes in the BBC’s modern adaptation of the famous detective, he is now moving into films. He has recently starred in two critical successes War Horse and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and has a role in the sequel to JJ Abrams Star Trek and has two roles Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit. His name has been banded about by fans of Sherlock as a possible successor to Daniel Craig and having already portrayed Sherlock Holmes, Cumberbatch knows the pressures of playing an iconic character.

 

Tom Hardy

Hardy is without a doubt one of the best British actors of the moment. He has starred in hit after hit with Bronson, RocknRolla, Warrior, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Inception and will soon be playing the villain in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. There is no doubting this man’s talents; he has past experience of playing a spy, showing his serious side in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and his charming and funny side in the less serious This Means War. Hardy always throws his all into any acting role and has expressed an interest in playing Bond, although that relies on Christopher Nolan directing, which does not seem very probable at all.

 

Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender is fast becoming a wanted man in Hollywood with his performances gaining praise whatever he does. After bursting onto the scene, the half-Irish, half-German actor has become a favourite of mainstream audiences. When X-Men First Class was released there were many comments about the similarities between James Bond and Fassbender’s Magneto at the beginning of the film. There is no doubt that Fassbender has the ability to carry off the part if he was given it but with his commitments to the X-Men it may be hard to find time within his schedule.

 

Dominic Cooper

Okay, so this suggestion is a bit out there but Dominic Cooper is a fine British talent and deserves more recognition across mainstream audiences than he gets at the minute. I think that he definitely looks like a guy who could play James Bond and despite having a career more geared towards drama and romance he is stepping into action films; he was in Captain America and will soon be seen in Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. He may not have the full set yet, but who knows, when the time comes Cooper might be in with a shout.

 

I think that the next James Bond definitely has to be British. Bond is an English spy and so an English actor is necessary, although with the recent influx of British actors taking over American icons such as Batman, Superman and Spider-man film makers may feel that the nationality of the actor is no longer important. Daniel Craig still has the suit at the minute though and this is purely speculation, but my choice would definitely be Tom Hardy.