Skyfall (Sam Mendes, 2012)

The new James bond film I think manages to surpass the first.  On top of a solid narrative, it also manages to use form effectively, especially with color and mise-en-scene, and impressive acting.  A depth of aesthetic form, even though not fully developed, is so rare in Hollywood.  Skyfall deconstructs and then reconstructs the James Bond mythos, shaping it into a new reality laced with pain and emptiness, but never dominated by it.  Daniel Craig, as always, gives us a darker, bleaker, but more driven Bond.  Judi Dench’s M is flawless, and Javier Bardem gives us a fantastic villain with teeth.  Naomi Harris’s Eve, Ben Wishaw’s Q, and Ralph Fiennes’s Mallory are all welcome additions.

Now shipping Bond/Q (I can’t resist the slash), and I am convinced Moneypenney is the eventual heir to MI6.  Moneypenney’s name starts with an M.  This is not a coincidence, folks.

Skyfall wins the Film and News Media Studies Master’s Student Seal of Approval.  And I don’t pass out my approval as easy as I used to.