MMT ‘SPECTRE’ Review: Shaken Not Stirred (by guest contributor Darryl King)

Spectre (Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Fiction often mirrors reality and the latest installment of the James Bond franchise – SPECTRE – is totally self-aware of the pending predicament that surrounds it. Since the distribution rights to the Bond franchise by Sony Pictures has run out, the franchise finds itself in a quasi-limbo situation as a bidding war for the rights loom over Bond films like storm clouds taking over a sunny day. And as the sun sets over the life of this latest incarnation of Bond led by the dynamic Daniel Craig, this leaves us with the questions… when will the rain fall? Is this the end for Daniel Craig? Is this the finale of this style of James Bond? And is this the end for this type of spy thriller as we embark upon a changing society which is fed by technology?

When we go to a Bond film, we expect to see an extravagant opening action scene and set piece, incredible fights and impossible battles, beautiful women who fall for the charms of James Bond and his signature phraseology… “Shaken Not Stirred.” For Daniel Craig’s portrayal of Bond, shaken not stirred is the best way to describe him. Unlike other Bonds’, Craig has been a more physical and tough…”shaken”, which was very different from his predecessors who were more style, smooth… “stirred.”

Because the film understands the uncertainty of the future, the movie panders and relies more upon paying homage to the other Bond films and abandons what made Daniel Craig’s version special. Spectre rehashes old plot points and themes as an all-knowing, all-seeing, clandestine organization is behind ruling governments and countries and has also been behind all “the pain” that Bond/Craig has endured in his other 3 Bond films, Casino Royal, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall. Spectre strives to pull together those 3 stories into one major plot, to bring about a finale to this Bond.

Spectre is a much slower paced movie compared to the other three in this series because it has to address every beat from the other Daniel Craig Bond films. And while this movie is beautifully shot and has some wonderful set pieces to tell the story, the movie lacks in motivation. Outside of the obvious rule the world desires, the bad guy, played by Christoph Waltz, is sparingly used and wasted in this film, as is henchman Dave Bautista. As a stand alone action film, Spectre is pretty good but when it gets compared to other Bond films and the last Daniel Craig film, Skyfall… this movie becomes a let down.

Now that we live in a technological society, the need for spies with a “license to kill” is no longer a priority and this film addresses this reality as MI6 must deal with a new world view and the fallout from “Skyfall.” With one computer keystroke, someone can change the destinies of countries and organizations and the barbaric ways of the old spy organizations may have been rendered useless, and the people who thrive from it, none more than Daniel Craig/Bond.

Spectre seeks to send Daniel Craig/Bond riding out into the sunset with a girl on his arm, a severance package and his “license to kill” just in case they need him. Spectre is a worthwhile movie to spend your time and money on and many a Bond fan won’t be utterly disappointed but they may find themselves in the inevitable position that Daniel Craig/James Bond now finds himself… not knowing whether to have your drink “Shaken or Stirred.”

Darryl King (photo courtesy of Darryl King)

Darryl King is a video director, film writer and avid Marvel comic book/movie lover. Check out his reviews of Fantastic FourAvengers: Age of Ultron and ANT-MAN right here on MMT!

GIVEAWAY: advance screening for “When The Game Stands Tall” August 20 (Philly, PA)

When The Game Stands Tall (photo: Sony Pictures)

Happy Thursday MMT Family!  I’ve got a great giveaway for you this evening, but you have to be quick!  MMT has partnered with Sony Pictures to give away advanced screening passes for When The Game Stands Tall. Inspired by a true story, the film tells the remarkable journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel), who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport.

To print passes, click here and enter code MMTWTGST if needed.  All passes and screening seating are on a first come-first served basis. You can view the trailer below and get additional information about the film at the official website here.

Good luck family!  Until next thought, Thomasena

MMT Quick Review of ‘Pompeii’ with guest contributor Carolee Houser Dunn

Pompeii opens February 21 (photo: Sony Pictures)

What’s happening MMT Family?  Hope everyone who’s in one of the snowstorm prone areas is safely thawing out! Despite the bad weather, back in January I had the pleasure of doing a red-carpet interview with Kit Harington and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who were in town promoting their new film Pompeii which opens tomorrow, February 21.  Now I wasn’t able to stay and view the movie, however MMT family member, fellow music movie lover, and Pompeii screening pass winner Carolee Houser Dunn graciously agreed to give her take on the film, and let you guys know whether she deemed it “see it in theater” worthy.  So what did Carolee think? Here are her thoughts:

“I had the privilege of going to a pre-screening of “Pompeii” the evening that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Atticus) and Kit Harington (Milo) were here in Philly.  As a whole, I really enjoyed the film.  There are 3 stories within one here but each has relevance.  The story of Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii’s destruction is there throughout. In addition, there are 2 love stories: 1) the love between the young imprisoned gladiator Milo and the daughter of a wealthy merchant Cassia; and 2) the love between brothers-in-arms gladiators Milo and Atticus in their personal quest to survive. 

The acting was well done, fight scenes were well choreographed (you could tell the training for that was there), musical composition was spot on and I found the second half of the movie just riveting.  Once the real action started, I was enthralled with what was happening.  The only thing that I did not love was the CGI and 3D effects which were far from seamless.  It did not detract from the story itself but stood out, at least to me.  I would recommend seeing the film, just maybe not spending the extra money on 3D. 
Thank you MusicMoviesThoughts for the opportunity to see this film.”
Well MMT family, I think Carolee gave a great synopsis of what to expect from the film, how about you?  I will have to go check this one out this weekend in theaters!  Thanks Carolee for the quick review, and for the cool pics you took on the red-carpet! For those who missed the examiner article, with Carolee’s shot of Kit and Adewale, please check it out here.  And you can get additional info about the film, and view the trailer, by clicking here.
That’s it for now family.  Stop back and leave a comment or two if you see the film and leave a shout-out for Carolee to let her know if she was on-point.  You can leave a comment by hovering your pointer over “Leave a Comment” above (under the article title & at the end of tags). 🙂
Until next thought family, Thomasena

GIVEAWAY – Win Passes to Screen “Sparkle” Wednesday August 15th (Philly, PA)

Photo 1

What’s new Music Movie Lovers!  I am very excited to announce that MusicMoviesThoughts has partnered with Allied-THA to offer you a chance to win a pair of passes to see Sony Pictures Sparkle starring Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, and Derek Luke.  The film also stars the very talented Mike Epps, and features Tika Sumpter, Carmen Ojogo, Omari Hardwick and Cee-Lo Green.  For a chance to win, make sure you’ve signed up to follow this blog (and look for the confirmation email to complete the sign up process).  You can increase your chances by also following me on Twitter @ledfarr.  I will randomly select and post names of winners on Friday, August 10th to receive passes to attend the Philadelphia (PA) screening on Wednesday August 15th.

I will post a review after the movie’s national release date (August 17th); but those who follow me know that the original 1976 version of Sparkle is my ALL TIME favorite movie, so you can check out my initial thoughts (from last October) about the remake at this link Sparkle Remake Ready To Start Production. You can also check out the official website for a synopsis and to view the new movie trailer at http://www.sparkle-movie.com/site/.  Good luck family! 🙂

Until next thought, Thomasena