Greetings, readers! I realize that it has been awhile since my last review, and I apologize. Anyway, here are two Blurb reviews: one for the latest James Bond flick, Skyfall, and one for the Oscar-hyped film from David O. Russel, Silver Linings Playbook.
As entertaining as any summer blockbuster, Skyfall delivers on all fronts with beautiful cinematography, thrilling action, and solid performances. Daniel Craig delivers a spot-on performance as James Bond, this time painting a portrait of a damaged, rusty, and (gasp!) facial-haired agent. Judy Dench is also great as M, the head of MI6, but hands down the stand out performance here is given by Javier Bardem, who plays the villain, Silva. Bardem gets the best written, most chilling scenes in the film, and he is by far the best bond villain in years. Skyfall is gorgeous--the shots, the locations, the lighting, the staging of the action sequences-- it truly is one of the most visually striking films of the year, especially during the last 20 minutes or so. Your jaw will hit the floor more than a few times, this I can assure. The only problem I had with the film is that when it slows down, it really slows down. When the director, Sam Mendes, decides to take a break from the excitement, the movie begins to become a bit......stale. Nonetheless, Skyfall gets an 8.5/10.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012):
Silver Linings Playbook features one of the best casts and scripts of the year, but it also suffers from vast tonal shifts and poor pacing. I'm about to be pretty harsh on this film. Why? Because it's David O. Russel, the director who brought us the amazing underdog flick The Fighter (2010) and I Heart Huckabees (2004)-- and therefore my expectations were high. It's not that I was let down, per say, just a bit apathetic. I very much loved the dialogue and the performances in Silver Linings Playbook-- by far the best components of the film. Jennifer Lawrence once again proves that she is the next great young actress, playing an emotionally damaged woman who wrestles with love and trust issues. Bradley Cooper, an actor who's previous roles really only include playing "the cool hunky guy with long locks", has gotten a haircut for this role of a bipolar man who moves back in with his parents after being released from a rehab facility; Cooper is great, delivering a surprising performance in a role that is very different from what he usually takes. Like I stated before, however, Silver Linings is held back from greatness because of its shift in tone towards the second half of the film. It morphs from a great little drama/comedy into a pseudo-sports movie. The pacing is also off here; I became a bit restless at parts when I feel like O. Russel could have sped things up a bit. As for all the Oscar talk, I feel that Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper should both be nominated in their respective acting categories, and I suppose the film deserves a nomination for best adapted screenplay. I might get criticized for this rather inferior score, but I'll give Silver Linings Playbook an 8.3/10.