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John Ary On SKYFALL!!

John Ary here with a look at the latest Bond flick from director Sam Mendes. 
Skyfall gives us a more emotional 007, complete with clinical depression, alcoholism and a self-confidence that seems as shaken as his signature martinis.  We also get a glimpse at Bond's childhood.  This new take on the character could have sent Skyfall off the rails if it hadn't been for its dazzling cinematography, brilliant performances and refreshing bits of nostalgia woven into the story.
Warning: There are some very very minor spoilers in the video...

Skyfall opens Friday here in the states.  For more video news, reviews and interviews subscribe to the AICN Youtube channel and follow me on Twitter.








Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 8, 2012, 4 p.m. CST

    I approve of Craig as Bond

    by Nick Friesen

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 4 p.m. CST

    why not

    by GulDucati

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 4:04 p.m. CST

    I do NOT approve of Craig, never did, never will

    by trevanian

    because Bond should not look like he lost an acid fight. But more than that, I don't approve of how they are making movies that have precious little to do with Bond and just slapping the monicker on. I've read and reread Fleming, and this is so far afield from Fleming it AIN'T funny. QUANTUM had a couple of moments, but most of the Craig era is its own thing ... the idea that they brought in a major historical element from a different set of films as a ringer to get the audience cheering is particularly infuriating ... it's like they knew the Craig deadly serious stuff needed a lift, so they just borrowed from what the franchise USED to be, to hell with the rebooted timeline.

  • Looking forward to this one.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Nice work, John.

    by JP

    Wonder when Harry will "Chime in".

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 4:14 p.m. CST

    I also approve of Craig as Bond.

    by davidwebb

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 4:16 p.m. CST

    I've enjoyed DC in everything I've seen him in...but...

    by thot

    ...just haven't been able to get into his Bond movies. I guess JB has simply become a different character from what most of us grew up with. Clearly, that has appealed to a lot of people. Just not to me. I'll probably rent Skyfall and see. *sigh*

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Great great Bond flick......and....

    by Jim


  • Nov. 8, 2012, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Skyfall is the best movie of 2012 by a country mile.

    by Shaun D Lyons

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 5:17 p.m. CST


    by dude_gimme_tabs

    Interested in your point of view, as I am a MASSIVE Bond fan with everything from Pearson's biography thru to all Higson's Young Bond novels and the small matter of (no later than second editions of) all of Fleming's novels on my shelves. Also have all the continuations and shelves of reference books on Bond.<p> And I feel Craig is spot on. <p> Interesting 2 questions.<p> 1) what do you think of Lazenby on OHMSS and most importantly; <p> 2) what did you think of Dalton?

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 5:29 p.m. CST

    2 out of 3 blokes approve Craig as Bond.

    by UltraTron

  • Craig is the fourth best Bond, followed by Dalton and Lazenby. And the movie is an anachronism, regarding M's appearance in this film... wait... since Casino Royale. And Quantum Of Solace broke a personal record: It was worse than License To Kill - that also means something... But: Skyfall is really a great movie - and feels like a James Bond movie. Fuck the Bond from the books. If want HIM, then READ him....

  • most overrated, most over-hyped Bond movies ever made. It really boggles my mind that the film critics and the fans have praised it as the best Bond movie in the series which revitalized the franchise. But i guess that's how marketing and promotion is working these days. Lesson learned: never trust noone. Only listen to your opinion and instinct. 2012 seems to be the year with the most disappointing, over-hyped blockbuster movies in the recent time. Prometheus, TDKR, Skyfall, all of them are mediocre movies which don't deserve at all the praise that they are getting. And for which, it clearly showcases that the intelligent,quality entertaining cinema in Hollywood, is down in the drain. Let's hope that Hobbit won't become another disastrous disappointment, i had it enough with all those so-called masterpieces this year.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 5:59 p.m. CST

    oh and Brad Bird >>> Sam Mendes

    by frank

    despite its flaws, Bird's MI4 is 10 levels above the mediocrity that is Mendes' Skyfall. I really really hope that Bird will get to direct Star Wars because the guy is one of the most talented,skilled and capable directors of pulling this enormous task off.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 6:53 p.m. CST

    ultratron i read that the Subway sandwiches

    by frank

    are not that good. is this true?

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Writing is so hard for John Ary.

    by Fries Against

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Dude_Gimme _Tabs

    by trevanian

    Despite a fine Maibaum script on OHMSS, I think Lazenby was playing somebody who just happened to be named James Bond, but it was at a total remove from what I saw as the character, WAY too happy. Also, I think he punched like a girl, especially in the PTS with those wild swings. He isn't quite the black hole around which tons of wasted talent swirl (which is how I think of Kyle McLachlan in DUNE), but that's largely because the last scene WORKS. I think the world of Dalton, who supplanted Connery in my mind while rereading the novels (though occasionally I think of Eric Braeden in his prime or Clive Owen.) I see Dalton's Bond as being the Bond of the later books (and the Bond of the 'nature of evil' exchange between Bond and Mathis in the CR novel), which is what folks are saying is Craig's Bond in this. But pretty much everything they've said about Craig is what I thought about Dalton. TD messed up a bit on the sexual angle (which is funny, because it isn't evident in his other roles), but other than that he absolutely nailed it, in spite of direction from John Glen that ranged from nonexistent to counterproductive (Bond can't put his hands in his pockets because he is ex-navy? HUHHHH!) But for all the gushing over Craig's physicality, if you watch the scene where he picks up Solange in CR, he is just godawful, with this 'please pick me' look on his face, about as far from Bond as I can imagine. Superimpose that closeup over Connery at the gypsy camp in FRWL and you'll see what I mean. I'll be seeing SF tomorrow (wrote an article about it for HD VIDEO PRO -- -- that went up online recently), but I have great trepidation based on what I know of act 3 and some of the other exchanges. But I'm guessing it won't be the overwhelming mess I found CR to be (that's one where I'd need PAGES to address everything I found wrong with it, and probably a book to fend off all the verbal abuse said pages would inspire on a site like this) ... I'm HOPING that, at least. If you're really into Bond AND are aware of other art/political issues in the world, you oughta visit ... pretty smart bunch for the most part, not geeky as you might expect. I imagine they'd be interested in hearing more from you (I would!)

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Closest thing we've ever gotten to the Bond in the books...

    by joel007

    even though this didn't come from anything Fleming wrote. This is like the Bond of You Only Live Twice. Skyfall feels like a book Fleming would have written. Plus THE DOOR is back!!! Never thought I'd be so excited to see a door...

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 10:41 p.m. CST

    the third act was thrilling...

    by joel007

    not for the action. For the peek inside. The curtain is pulled back. There are large, breathtaking moments there.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Licence to Kill the worst Bond?

    by Keith

    In your dreams. The World Is Not Enough is the worst Bond. It is absolute gash...completely inept action sequences and a hopelessly miscast and ineffective villain (Robert Carlyle, whom I like in many other things, but who is total rubbish in TWINE). I guess you can argue that LTK is not a very Bondish Bond movie. But it ain't bad at all.

  • Nov. 9, 2012, 3:06 a.m. CST


    by David Gregson

    Terrible movie... thought it was boring as hell.. but each to their own... though it is NOT the best bond of all time..

  • Nov. 9, 2012, 3:34 a.m. CST

    Spoiler free Review? Really?

    by scott callison

    This is the most astoundingly spoiler-rific review I've seen about Skyfall yet. There are major plot points that are just blurted out in this review that should only be revealed by watching the actual movie. Somehow I managed to avoid all trailers, all “spoiler-free” reviews and all of the ridiculous behind the scenes marketing BS in the lead up to Skyfall’s premier today. Yes, I know, big wup. But after seeing the damn thing for myself, I have to say that I was relieved, thrilled, and frankly surprised (yep, surprised) by what a solid piece of filmmaking it is. If you are a Bond fan, see it. Nuf said.

  • Nov. 9, 2012, 8:09 a.m. CST


    by John Ary

    I haven't given away anything that folks haven't already seen in the trailers or promotional photos. Also, it clearly states just before the video "Warning: There are some very very minor spoilers in the video..."

  • Nov. 9, 2012, 8:12 a.m. CST


    by John Ary

    You sir are correct. My proofreading skills kind of suck and my writing style is simply better suited for scripts rather than articles. That's why I prefer making videos.

  • Nov. 9, 2012, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Video reviews

    by KDog629

    I'm simply not going to watch video reviews. I can't be the only one who makes this site part of my day in a multi-tasking environment. Video reviews take three times as long to get through, and say absolutely nothing you can't say in print. Which make video reviews better than Harry's "TV Show" which says absolutely nothing.

  • Nov. 9, 2012, 9:17 a.m. CST


    by John Ary

    I get why some people won't watch videos posted on AICN. It does take longer and more attention to ingest the information. I do disagree though with the notion that videos "say absolutely nothing you can't say in print." I'm able to back up my points with video clips and more visual information than a standard article. In my humble opinion, video reviews are not necessarily better than a written review, just different. To each their own.

  • Nov. 9, 2012, 10:55 a.m. CST

    For those who say that Bond has changed from the character they knew before...

    by TheBigFuckinLebowski

    You're right! He's becoming the character HE WAS in the Ian Fleming novels! This movie feels very much like "The Man with the Golden Gun" novel, in which James Bond came back to England after being MIA (at the end of "You Only Live Twice") and having being brainwashed by the russians into killing "M". Following his botched assassination attempt and "debrainwashing", "M" sends him after Scaramanga, one of the most efficient killer on Earth, tu punish him and get him killed. The "Skyfall" plot borrows elements from that novel, twists them around and reuses them in a very clever way that never seems forced. The inclusion of cinematic elements from Bond's past (the Aston Martin BD5 plated BMT 216A equipped with machine guns and ejector seat, "M" 's office, at the end, etc...) are nice touches that link all of James Bond history together. In a way, "Skyfall" is truly a rebirth for the Bond character, on his 50th cinematic anniversary! BRAVO!!!

  • Nov. 9, 2012, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Blouse, James Blouse

    by Mr Kite

  • Nov. 9, 2012, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Skyfall is Epic

    by lonestaricon

    Skyfall encapsulates 50 years of film and provides fertile ground for further development of the characters and stories. Mendes, Fiennes, Dench, Bardem, Harris, Kinnear, Marlohe, Phinney, Whishaw and Craig did a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life and fleshing out the history. The dialogue was referential and reverential at times, which fans will undoubtably appreciate. The action was unpredictable, gripping and of equal measure to Bardem's character, who is one of the most dangerous and scariest villains in Bond history. As Jeremy Jahn's would say, "This film is AWESOME-TACULAR!"

  • Nov. 9, 2012, 5:05 p.m. CST

    It's up there in my top three Bonds.

    by davidwebb

    And it's the first time I've come away from a Bond film desperate to see where it goes next. A lot of clever inversions on the standard Bond tropes, and I'm glad the third act was staged the way they did - none of the usual Bond blows up the building/Bond amasses a small army to battle the villains small army to be found here. There's stuff in there that messes a little with the continuity, but if you look at it as a bookend to the series - with CR and QoS at the beginning, it makes a bit more sense. And forget what they're saying about Bardem - yes, he's really good - but Judi Dench really steals the show here. Hard to talk about it without giving away anything of substance!

  • Nov. 9, 2012, 7:12 p.m. CST

    But Bond does blow up a building which

    by frank

    coincidentally destroys a helicopter which flies 100 meters away and also kills a dozen of mercenaries. smart inversion of the Bond tropes indeed...

  • Nov. 9, 2012, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Well, he does, yeah.

    by davidwebb

    But what I mean is, it's not done in the usual manner - ie. Bond blows up factory/submarine/hidden enemy base.

  • Nov. 9, 2012, 8:33 p.m. CST

    no, it is done in the Bourne manner.

    by frank


  • Nov. 9, 2012, 8:38 p.m. CST

    I stand corrected John Ary, you did warn about minor spoilers.

    by scott callison

    It's just that for me, knowing what Skyfall actually is, is not a minor spoiler. That revelation came as a complete surprise which added to my appreciation for the movie's inventiveness. I guess my over reaction to your review has more to do with the spoiler-ish nature of the way movies are marketed and often reviewed today in general. The following is a review that expresses the writer's opinion without giving away any plot points:

  • and I gotta say, MUCH worse than I had expected, and I had fer-shit expectations going in. One great skyscraper fight (due to Gassner & Deakins' visual innovations), some nice models blowing up and good physical effects work, and a whole lot of hooey. Anti-character development for Bond and a villain who despite much despicable behavior generated more sympathy than Bond's boss (kind of Roy Batty-like in that way.) And this makes 2 movies out of 3 for Craig where he fails (manages to lose all the money in CASINO ROYALE and fails to save ... er, soMebody in SKYFALL.) It's no exaggeration to call this guy Loser - James Loser.

  • Nov. 11, 2012, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Skyfall is a great Bond film

    by Keith Small

    Not the best (not even the Best Craig Bond, which to me is Casino Royale, but great nonetheless). Brilliant performances, an intriguing plot, and big smile-inducing nods to Bond's cinematic past. And before I get lectured by so-called experts who will chastise me for enjoying the movie and dismiss me as not really understanding Fleming's Bond, I have read every Fleming Bond novel except one, and I have seen every film at least a dozen times. This movie stacks up well with the top tier Bond films (Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Casino Royale and The Living Daylights), and I look forward to seeing it again.

  • It was gorgeous on the eyes. The dialogue was rich. The story went down smoothly. It wasn't in a hurry and had the confidence to drink in the smaller moments, like Bond quietly toasting to the bodyguards he knew would be trying to kill him shortly. It seemed that every piece of action served the story, and at times actually had metaphorical purpose. As an audience member I felt that my intelligence was not being insulted and at the same time the movie was not pretending to be smarter than me, as many movies seem to do. I must say that I savored every bit of Javier Bardem's performance as Silva. Easily one of my favorite villains of all time, if not for who the character was, then for how well he was portrayed. As flamboyent and playful Silva was, his vulnerability still came across. You saw his pain and you could feel what was driving him. With many villains you don't get to see that, they maintain their swagger until the end and even then they're only after the usual world domination or money or a nuclear device. Silva's motivations and his backstory were very unique and served as an important contrast in defining who and what Bond is on an intimate level. The opening song/music video was also exceptional and VERY BOND.

  • Nov. 15, 2012, 7:28 a.m. CST

    luved it but (possible spoiler)...

    by dreckleburg

    But was Bardem's character gay? The way he sorta felt up JB in the deserted city scene was... different.