007: Skyfall Review

007 is back and better than ever! If you haven’t seen the movie yet, make sure to go out and watch it before reading this. I’m not taking responsibility for spoiling the movie for you. You’ve been warned! So let’s get into the review. I’m going to take a look at three areas; the sound score, acting & VFX, and the story-line.

Sound Score

From the opening minutes, to the opening credits and the theme song of Skyfall, the sound score managed to place the viewers into James Bond’s universe. As always, the opening credit sequence was done masterfully, with the theme song coming from Adele & Paul Epworth. Thomas Newman was the sound composer for the movie and he did an amazing job of interweaving key elements of the Skyfall theme along with the classic 007 theme song.

Acting

With his latest performance as Bond, Daniel Craig managed to fully own 007. He is now Bond to a brand new generation of viewers, and in my opinion the only other Bond who is ahead of Craig is Sean Connery. Judi Dench again did an excellent job portraying the role of M and the supporting cast provided the perfect blend of things one expects from a Bond flick. Javier Bardem was cast as Raoul Silva, the former MI6 agent turned Bond villain. He was probably the most flamboyant Bond villain in the 50 years of the series.

In terms of visual effects, the movie was full of epic action sequences mixed into exotic locations along with the usual fight scenes and explosions that made it such a visual experience. The only issue I had with the VFX was in the scene where the Subway tube crashed through the roof into an underground location. This scene came off a bit too fake, and my main problem with it was the fact that there were no people inside the wagons other than the driver. But again, the overall package was such a joy to watch that unless you were watching with an eye to pick out problems with the VFX you wouldn’t have anything negative to say.

Story-line

As the franchise evolves into the 21st century, this rendition of Bond had a story based around cyber-crime and the damage terrorists can do with a few clicks of the mouse. I won’t give away too many details of the story because I want everyone to go out and form your own opinion. However, one thing that really stuck out to me was the fact that Silva developed such a dynamic plot for his attack without any explanation of where he got all the resources from. Maybe that was a subtlety that I missed and watching Skyfall a second time could clear it up. Overall the plot kept me on the edge of my seat throughout and I definitely recommend everyone to go watch it. Looking forward, the Bond franchise is in great hands and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

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Courageous Movie Review

I went out & watched Courageous this weekend, and I have to say it was one of the most moving movies I’ve seen in my life. I won’t give away the plot line because I HIGHLY recommend everyone go out and watch this film; however, I want to touch on some of the movie’s key topics as well as the business end of things.

Theme

Courageous is a Christian movie, and its key theme is that of men standing up and taking responsibility for themselves and their family. In today’s pop culture, this is a theme that’s rarely touched upon, so it was very refreshing to see a movie portray the subject so effectively. In a culture where men have been sissified to a point were all that’s expected of us is to sit in front of a TV watching sports & drinking beer, Courageous does an excellent job of showing what REALLY defines manhood.

I would love for all the sissified men to go out and watch this movie, but unfortunately they will be too busy sitting on their couch or my favorite excuse “this movie has no explosions.” Come on now, why don’t you watch something that will help improve who you are rather than wasting two hours on big explosions and loud noises. Courageous shows what men can become if they take God seriously, take their responsibilities seriously, and BE REAL MEN.

Business

From a industry perspective, again the movie’s opening weekend was a huge success. It came in 4th place at the box office with $8.9 million in ticket sales. Considering the movie was made on a $2 million budget this is already a big achievement.

Most big Hollywood releases today have average marketing expenses anywhere between 15%-25% on top of the movie’s production budget. Courageous on the other hand, had virtually no marketing costs and was only shown on about 1160 screen as opposed to the weekend’s other major releases which were shown on upwards of 2500 screens. Again, this shows what an amazing job Sherwood Pictures (production company) was able to do in getting the word about the movie.

Courageous also hit high marks with CinemaScore audiences rating the movie an A+! To put that in perspective, only 3 other films have gotten a perfect score this year; The Help, Soul Surfer, and Dolphin Tale. Again, this shows what an impactful message Courageous delivers. Not only was the audience engaged with the film throughout, but the message resonated with viewers.

Again, I highly recommend this movie to anyone. Especially all you guys out there!