Now Conspiring — Which Movie Criticisms Annoy You the Most?

spectre review

This week on the podcast, we talk about the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer and a ton of other entertainment news ripe for speculation. We review SpectreThe Peanuts Movie, and Room as well with a special guest appearance.

I’m joined on the show by digital illustrator, Kayla Savage; nostalgia expert, Adonis Gonzalez; and YouTube sensation, Maria Cineclub Garcia.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Which movie criticisms annoy you the most? It’s time to unleash your disdain for select film critics. Other question of the week: what do you think of Now Conspiring?

Go on…Now Conspiring — Which Movie Criticisms Annoy You the Most?


‘Spectre’ Review: It Might Be Time For Another Reboot

SPECTRE review

Spectre is the latest addition to the decade-spanning James Bond franchise. It was directed by Sam Mendes and written by John Logan, Neal Purvis, and Robert Wade.

For the fourth time, Daniel Craig reprises his role as the globe-trotting spy (well, assassin at this point) in yet another mission where he takes on a shadowy organization tied to the last three films and picks up a loosely related Bond girl in the process.

In Skyfall, we finally watched Bond’s full transformation into the suave 007 being built up since Casino Royale (still the best James Bond movie in decades). That’s why I find it strange that Mendes was chosen to direct the followup, considering the fact that Spectre should (by its franchise’s standards) be an evolution.

But Spectre is really just a very small step sideways. Granted, it’s beautiful and well-acted thanks to Mendes’s distinct, signature vision for these “origin” movies. And to the film’s credit, it merges much of what we know and love from the Connery films with this new iteration, effectively closing the loop on Craig’s story. The only problem is that this is executed to feel more like a needless homage, instead of a revival.

SPECTRE review

Perhaps Martin Campbell should have returned to direct, but he’s probably on retainer for the next actor’s take on the franchise. Though Mendes delivers much of what we want from Skyfall, his writers give us what amounts to a boring, overwritten script that could have used another rewrite.

Still, there are memorable set pieces throughout, including a long take early in the film that deserves to be seen on the big screen. The action scenes and editing are just as good as they were in Skyfall, and we have the best Bond girl since Vesper with Madeleine (Léa Seydoux), though her character somewhat falters throughout the last act.

So elements of Spectre work well, including the quips, choice of locations, and Craig’s performance. Like Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, our side characters, including Ben Wishaw’s Q, have more to do than ever, and it helps the film tremendously.

If you’re already invested in the James Bond universe, you’ll probably have a good time with Spectre. But the film doesn’t come together as well you’d expect, especially with Christoph Waltz’s Franz Oberhauser ultimately being relegated to a minor role for most of the film (similar to how Dr. No was structured).

SPECTRE review

Grade: B

Overall, Spectre is a good James Bond movie (and much better than Quantum of Solace). But its script and uneven story hold it back from being a good movie on its own.

For a more in-depth look at Spectre, come back this Sunday for the Now Conspiring podcast, where we’ll discuss this and other new releases.

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

Why is the New James Bond Movie Called ‘Spectre?’

spectre james bond

Ross Miller | The Verge:

This morning, director Sam Mendes announced the official name for the 24th Bond film (Spectre), the official Bond car (Aston Martin DB10), and key cast members. Five newcomers (Andrew Scott, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, and Monica Bellucci) will be joining the group established in 2012’s Skyfall: Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, and of course Daniel Craig himself as James Bond. 

Spectre begins filming tomorrow and is set for release November 6th, 2015.

I’m Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite James Bond movie in Hollywood (sorry, I had to do that).

In order, that’s Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and…Spectre. Anyone else feel like the title is lacking something?

Though to be fair, this movie won’t be lacking talent. Along with the stellar cast listed above, Spectre is thankfully gifted with the same writing and cinematography team as Skyfall.

As for the title, a rumored plot synopsis is that “Spectre” is the name of a new crime organization that Bond has to take down. So I guess we shouldn’t expect it to be tied to a third act revelation the same way Skyfall was. And that’s probably a good thing.

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