Tuesday, November 30, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 39
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A QUIET PLACE PART II
ANOTHER ROUND
BINGEABLE: 100 FOOT WAVE (2021-)
BINGEABLE: BARRY (2018-)
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG (2016-2019)
BINGEABLE: MAID (2021)
BINGEABLE: MIDNIGHT MASS (2021)
BINGEABLE: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (2021)
BINGEABLE: SQUID GAME (2021)
BINGEABLE: SWEET TOOTH
BINGEABLE: TELL ME YOUR SECRETS (2021)
BINGEABLE: THE WAY DOWN (2021)
BINGEABLE: Y: THE LAST MAN (2021)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX (1999)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
BOSS LEVEL
DUNE
ETERNALS
GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE
GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)
GUILTY PLEASURES: GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE
GUILTY PLEASURES: JOLT
GUILTY PLEASURES: TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016)
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM (1996)
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
LIMBO
NEW FLICKS: ARMY OF THIEVES
NEW FLICKS: CRUELLA
NEW FLICKS: FINCH
NEW FLICKS: HIGH GROUND
NEW FLICKS: LAND
NEW FLICKS: RED NOTICE
NEW FLICKS: RIDERS OF JUSTICE
NINE DAYS
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS (2021)
NO TIME TO DIE
PIG
SOUL
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (2019)
THE CARD COUNTER
THE FRENCH DISPATCH
THE LAST BLOCKBUSTER (2020)
THE LAST DUEL
THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS
THE NEW MUTANTS
THE PAPER TIGERS
THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
TV REVIEW: A WILDERNESS OF ERROR (2020)
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: EXTERMINATE ALL THE BRUTES (2021)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE
TV REVIEW: I MAY DESTROY YOU
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: MARE OF EASTTOWN
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TABOO
TV REVIEW: TED LASSO (2020-)
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL OF ALL (2020)
TV REVIEW: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: THE VOW
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WANDAVISION
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: THE KINGDOM (2007)

‘No Time to Die’ effectively ends Daniel Craig’s tenure as Bond

NO TIME TO DIE

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER AND UNIVERSAL PICTURES

NO TIME TO DIE


Where is it playing?: Regal Edwards RPX Santa Maria, Highway Drive-In, Movies Lompoc, Regal Edwards Arroyo Grande, Fair Oaks Arroyo Grande

What's it rated?: PG-13

What's it worth?: $Full price (Anna Starkey)

What's it worth?: $Full price (Glen Starkey)

User Rating: 999,999.99 (18 Votes)

Cary Joji Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre, Beasts of No Nation) directs the fifth and final James Bond film starring Daniel Craig. Now retired from active service, Bond is pulled back into the game when his friend and CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jeffery Wright) asks for help. Soon Bond is on the trail of a dangerous new weapon and the man who wields it, Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek). As Bond closes in on his target, his former paramour Madeleine (Léa Seydoux), who he believes betrayed him to Spectre, comes back into this life with a surprising revelation. (163 min.)

Glen: As a Bond film goes, this one is pretty formulaic. Arch villain? Check. Hidden lair where the final set piece will occur? Check. High tech gadgets? Check. A lot of beautiful Bond girls? Check, check, check. However, this Bond film ups the emotional ante in surprising ways and offers an audacious ending that no other Bond film has ever attempted. It’s a fitting closure for Craig’s final turn as the super-agent in a five-film run that—for me—rivals Sean Connery’s. When Casino Royale (2006) came out, what had become a somewhat tired franchise was reinvigorated and reinvented in a visceral way. Suddenly Bond was vulnerable. He bled when beaten. Craig turned in a whole different kind of character—brasher, more rebellious, and darker. Through Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015), and now this long-awaited conclusion, Craig has proven a worthy successor to Connery. The franchise is too popular to come to an end, and there’s been talk of casting a Black Bond for years, but in No Time to Die, we get a Black female 007 in Nomi (Lashana Lynch), who after Bond’s retirement ended up with his number. Their rivalry is the source of much of the film’s humor. It’s also worth mentioning Cuban actress Ana de Armas’ turn as Paloma, a new CIA agent who Bond briefly teams with in Cuba. She terrific as the newbie with innate talent, and apparently Craig picked her for the role after working with her in Knives Out (2019). At nearly three hours, No Time to Die takes its time reaching its final destination, but the story is populated by amazing action sequences and stunts, a gripping story with lots of moving parts to keep track of, and plenty of effective acting. Me likey!

Anna: Craig has managed to give the character his own unique spin—a man who while seemingly indestructible still feels love, loss, and almost continuously is sporting a split lip or a black eye. A lot of the time these over-the-top action films are all fluff and (if you’re lucky) fun. Getting a deeper dive into storyline or characters seems mostly secondary, but while this final chapter is formulaic, there’s enough meat on the bones of Bond and his relationships, not just with Madeleine but with the man he considers his brother, Felix, and the crew such as Q (Ben Whishaw) and Tanner (Rory Kinnear). There are definitely some laughs to be had, and I love a Bond film that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still delivers on the high-action stunts. I’ll miss Craig in this role, and while I’m all for a road toward some diversity in this franchise, whoever follows him has some big shoes to fill. Rami Malek pulls off the scarred super villain pretty well, and when we learn there’s much more of a backstory between him and Madeleine, it becomes clear that Bond is going to have to do some pretty fancy footwork to save both the girl and the world. It’s a long movie, but it’s plenty of fun. Grab some popcorn and settle in!

Glen: What really sets this film apart is its genuinely moving conclusion. Most Bond films are lighthearted at best and glib at worst, but this story humanizes Bond in significant new ways and is a nod back to Bond falling for Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale. Bond has closed himself off to love, which has always been part of the character’s shtick—bedding one woman after another without a care or a thought. But with Vesper and now Madeleine, Bond is made vulnerable. He’s let his emotional guard down. Instead of superhuman, he’s mortal. I’m going to miss Craig in the role. In my book, he’s tied with Connery as the best, but I look forward to seeing who next takes the role. After this five-film run, the franchise is alive and well, and I fully expect many more films to come. 

Anna: From what I’ve read, Craig has been ready to retire his Bond for a while now, but no doubt money talks and they got him to reprise the role one more time—which is great news for us! We actually get a conclusion to his story, and as someone who likes resolution in films, I appreciate that. I’m also looking forward to seeing what projects Craig takes on now that his arc as Bond is finished. He’s a busy actor, and he has plenty of work—a quick glance at his IMDB page shows many upcoming appearances, including Knives Out 2 and 3, both of which will hopefully be as fun as the first. I was excited to see Christoph Waltz play Bond’s villainous foe Blofeld again, even if only briefly. It may not be high art, but you have to admit these films are fun, especially this run featuring Craig. They spent a lot of money making this look awesome on the big screen, so see it there if you want to give yourself the full experience. Just make sure you go to a theater with comfy chairs. This is a long movie, but a fun one all the way through.

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Glen compiles streaming listings. Comment at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










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