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Deconstructing James: The Balcony Visits Skyfall!!!

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Skyfall 2012Robert Wade, Neal Purvis, John LoganSam MendesDaniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi DenchIan Fleming Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Skyfall(2012)
 

"Everybody needs a hobby” is the snide James Bond (Daniel Craig) remarks while tied to a chair by his nemesis Silva (Javier Bardem) as he attempts to convince 007 to join his extortionist army. Silva takes a moment to ponder a reply, and simply retorts “What’s yours?” to which Bond, in all his cocksure, unwavering glory states, “resurrection.” After a five decade reign as one of cinema’s enduring characters, this verbal confrontation between hero and villain is an introspective pause disguised as Silva’s grand entrance. “Skyfall,” Bond’s 23rd adventure, is one of the few Bond films that dwells into the panache of the debonair British agent’s motif, and exhumes a man who has been afflicted by tragedy and age. “Skyfall” is about James Bond’s resurrection, a deconstruction of a myth that travels back in time.

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Casino Royale - a great reinvention of an old favorite!

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Casino Royale 2006Neal Purvis,Robert WadeMartin CampbellDaniel Craig,Eva Green,Mads Mikkelsen,Jeffrey WrightIan Fleming Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Casino Royale(2006)
 

“Casino Royale” is something of a reinvention of James Bond. He’s still got the charm, still loves the ladies, but this Bond is more serious than the prior ones have been. This Bond is a killer. He’s earned his double-o status by eliminating his targets with extreme prejudice.

I’ll be the first to admit that when they announced that Daniel Craig was going to be the new Bond, I was full of hesitation. In my head he was that one asshole I hated, because they wrote him well, in “Road to Perdition”. When I saw the first trailer my opinion already started to change. When I was in the theater I got over it within the first minute. This is not the Bond we grew up with. There’s more of a controlled rage about him. Daniel Craig manages to bring a certain level of edge and sensitivity, sometimes simultaneously, that raises the implied complexity of this character’s inner-workings.

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The Un-Bonding of 007: Quantum of Solace.

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Quantum of Solace 2008Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert WadeMarc ForsterDaniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Quantum of Solace(2008)
 

Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arterton), a perky MI6 office clerk sent to help a brooding James Bond (Daniel Craig), is left dead on top of a bed of a five- star hotel room, her beautiful figure drenched in oil. This is the defining, and defying, shot in “Quantum of Solace.” It is hardly a surprise for Bond girls to get killed, but unlike the iconoclastic image of Shirley Eaton’s perfectly gold-coated corpse in “Goldfinger,” Arterton’s greased, black coated body stands for 007’s new morose reality. Meet James Bond, post 9/11: an emotionally scarred solider whose wounds run deeper than any tuxedo can ever occult. So goes “Quantum of Solace,” the angry, unloved companion piece to the modern classic Bond film “Casino Royale.”.

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Bitter Balcony Celebrates Bond, James Bond!!!

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review,    

In Celebration of James Bond's 50th Anniversary and Oscar's homage of one of the great film icons of all-time, Bitter Balcony will dedicate this week to England's Super Spy! We'll have reviews, antidotes, and just plain fun with Mr. Bond, so have your exploding pen in handy, bitterites!!!

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Yippie Ki, Meh! A Good Day to Die Hard.

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, A Good Day to Die Hard 2013Skip WoodsJohn MooreBruce Willis, Jai Courtney Bitter,Bitterometer,meter A Good Day to Die Hard(2013)
 

As I contemplated “A Good Day to Die Hard,” I came with two simple conclusions about this borderline Looney Tunes action buffet of a movie. First, I love John McClane (Bruce Willis). This wisecracking, ill-tempered, hairline receding anti-hero is still fun even after twenty five years since the first “Die Hard.” Willis channels McClane’s cold sore antagonism towards his rivals to perfection. His performance is the only reason to keep making these films (they should have stopped at “Die Hard: With a Vengeance”). Second, from now on, these movies should not have “Die” in the title. “Die” implies the plausibility, however remote, that McClane could actually, eh, die. Besides some minor flesh wounds to splash a little blood around Willis’s bald head, no real damaging injuries occur to a fifty-something year old driving a vehicle that flips five times in mid-air before a harrowing crash on top of other vehicles, gets shot at TWICE from a fully armed chopper helicopter, all while leaping, and surviving, outrageous distances from buildings. I realize suspension of disbelief left this series a long time ago.

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Ben Affleck Saves Americans, and His Career, in Argo!!!

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Argo 2012Chris TerrioBen AffleckBen Affleck, Bryan CranstonTony Mendez (book), Joshuah Bearman (article) Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Argo(2012)
 

“There are no second acts in American lives” quoted the legendary Jazz Age author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Perhaps, but when it comes to Hollywood, careers most certainly do. Case in point, Ben Affleck, who torched his “good will” after winning an Oscar for co-writing (some say proofreading)“Good Will Hunting” with best bro Matt Damon with frigid performances in a clutter of mediocre to worse films (“Reindeer Games,” “Forces of Nature,” “Bounce,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Paycheck,” “200 Cigarettes” and man, can this list go on!). Of course, the nail in the coffin of Ben Affleck’s first film life ended catastrophically in the hands (and many other body parts) of J.Lo in a disaster movie not even James Cameron could surmount in “Gigli.” For close to a decade, Affleck had lost credibility with audiences as a leading man, and while the occasional respectable showcase of his acting abilities (“Hollywoodland” and “Changing Lanes”) would surface, he was mostly seen, unfairly so, as a beneficiary of Damon’s coattails.

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Dredd... this movie not

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Dredd 2012Carlos Ezquerra,Alex GarlandPete TravisCarl Urban,Olivia Thirlby,Lena Headey Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Dredd(2012)
 

We all remember the mess that was the ’95 version of “Judge Dredd” with Stalone. The movie had some interesting ideas, but the execution was very bland and just not good. The comic relief character (Schnieder) felt unneeded and like he was holding Dredd back from being a badass. Let’s not spend too much time on those memories and enjoy the ones we now have with “Dredd”.

In a dystopian future, America quarantines off a large section of the northeast and call it Mega City One. The city is overburdened with crime, drugs and prostitution. To deal with the growing problem the Judges are created to serve as judge, jury and executioners. Hopelessly outnumbered they do the best they can to deliver swift justice. Among the best of them is Judge Dredd, an angry-faced force of nature, whose typical solution for a problem is to shoot it. Assigned to take a rookie on the streets and assess her ability to be a psychic Judge, yup there are mutants in this world, they run into the Ma-Ma clan and quickly go from investigating three murders to trying to stay alive and if at all possible dispense the justice they were sent there for in the first place.

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