No Time to Die review SPOILER FREE James Bond 10/8/15

Here we are, the final Daniel Craig James Bond film. What’s the verdict? Slow down, junior! You just can’t whip your dick out when you go to pick her up at her house for the first date. Let’s get re-establish a base theory: Every other Bond film is good for the last 25 years: Goldeneye, good. Tomorrow Never Dies, meh. The World is Not Enough, bad. Die Another Day, bad. Casino Royale, great. Quantum of Solace, bad. Skyfall, great. Spectre, awful. So the law (specifically Craig) dictates this one would be a good one. But to be honest, the previews didn’t excite me as they looked just standard and felt this would be mailed in for Craig’s final appearance. Mix that in with the rumors of this being a “woke” Bond film and I was really, really worried. So let’s start off with this: let’s give kudos to MGM studios. I can’t remember the last time a marketing department didn’t vomit the best lines/action scenes in a trailer. Because there is a TON of stuff that they kept under wraps, specifically characters and a couple story arcs. Usually, a studio would drop a MAJOR twist in the story (unless it was THE twist) in the trailer but thankfully, not in this case. Bond is retired and of course, gets roped back in to help stop a terrorist from releasing a targeted biochemical weapon. We’ve seen this before how many times but not in this fashion. Again, no spoilers.

First off, this has to be the most layered Bond film ever. There is a TON (in a good way) of character relationship and intertwining of past story lines that make you say, “oh shit!” Usually, we get the, “bad guy/girl gets a hold of a weapon and Bond has sex with a few ladies that may or may not help in stopping said terrorist while drinking a martini/Heineken and spouting off a few pithy quips.” We get that in this installment but again, they go much deeper with the story and it WORKS. And the opening action scene that leads into the film theme song, a Bond staple. No Time to Die has the longest opening action sequence of any Bond film and holy shit, it’s solid. You also get a major reveal in the first 5-10 minutes so just like a porno, you’re off the the races without the bullshit “can you help me get my titty out of the faucet?” Just mainlined action right to your neural synapses.

Rami Mallek (Freddie Mercury without the awful dentures) plays a solid villain. Not as great as Skyfall and Casino Royale’s villains but solid nonetheless. He’s the son of a murdered father who seeks revenge but this played out angle played great in this film. And wow, do they make some BALLSY choices in this film. The good news: those choices worked for me. The action is fantastic and maintains at a high pace throughout. But here’s a problem I had which may cause you to say, “Dude, that’s EVERY Bond film.” In this film, Bond has a bomb blow up 3 feet in front of him. And he’s dirtied up but not dead. Later on, he has a bunch of grenades dropped down a stairwell less than an arms length away from him. Minor damage. The aim of the bad guys in this film is worse than any Storm Trooper or soldier in Commando. I know, suspend disbelief but after awhile, it really smashes you in the face.

Let’s address the woke rumor now. There’s a scene where Bond is changing into a tux and Ana De Armas (Knives Out and former Ben Affleck fuck buddy) is transfixed with Bond as she’s a brand new agent. He asks her to turn around while he changes. People are saying, “old James Bond would’ve banged her and/or dropped a cutesy poo line, this is bullshit.” I would’ve agreed with you but when you see this in the context of the scene (they’re going to an enemy gathering so time is of the essence) and as the great Short Round from Temple of Doom would’ve said, “No time for love!” Other than that, no woke stuff here that I picked up on.

Obviously, they begin to integrate the new 007 throughout the film (remember, Bond retired) and the verdict is she’s….fine. She has some decent action scenes, doesn’t try too hard, and plays it well. Will I go see a Bond movie starring her? I don’t know, I’ll need to see a trailer or 2. But it’s going to take a LOT for me to make the shift from an iconic franchise character over 60 years old.

This film is LONG for a Bond film, 2 hrs and 40 minutes. It does drag a bit at the end, they could’ve shaved 10-15 minutes off this puppy. But the action and storyline make this film MOVE for the first 2 hrs plus, really top notch storyline and twists. I just saw a review that said this film is too much James Bond. Well you dumb dildo, it’s a JAMES BOND FILM. Did this queefy bag of wind see an Indiana Jones film and said, “you know…too much Indy for my taste, thumbs down.” Here’s why you should never stop hating these blowhard critics. And it’s Craig’s last film, for Chrissakes! OF COURSE HE’S GOING TO GET MORE SCREENTIME THAN ANYONE ELSE. And Craig brings it in the action department as well as sides you rarely saw out of his Bond: pathos, attachment, and regret. And this film gets you with a ton of different emotions but the ones that hit me the hardest: awe for what a great job Craig did as Bond and sadness as this is the end of his Bond. NTTD FIRMLY entrenches Craig as the 2nd best Bond of all time, Connery obviously #1. This film is amazing and you better see it before the key spoilers get into the ether. This ranks in my top 10 Bond films, list below:

7.5/10

Top 10 Bond films for KG (in no order)

  1. 1. Thunderball
  2. 2. Dr. No
  3. 3. Goldfinger
  4. 4. Casino Royale
  5. 5. Skyfall
  6. 6. No Time to Die
  7. 7. Goldeneye
  8. 8. From Russia with Love
  9. 9. The Man with the Golden Gun
  10. 10. Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Films that need to be removed from AFI’s top film list and films that should be added.

So here are the films I think that should be removed on the AFI top 100. I’ve seen 54/100. Either they’re not good or don’t hold up. The link to the list I’m referring to is in the comments.

Keep in mind that some of these films may be very good, just not amazing in my eyes. Some just don’t hold the test of time. And just because some of them have social issues doesn’t mean they’re great. Also, you may have enjoyed some as a child/teenager and it doesn’t mean you still have to hold it in high regard now. Lastly, I’ll define something as great if you have seen the film at LEAST 3 times and/or own it.

Here are the ones that should be removed:
1. Casablanca-solid but doesn’t hold up.
3. Citizen Kane- see above.
8. Schindler’s List- It’s very good but c’mon, you’re not re-watching this film. 
15. 2001-Hated it. Never saw this on drugs and if you need to be high to see this, it’s not good.
17. The Graduate-Good but again, do any of you own it or have seen this multiple times?
31. Maltese Falcon-solid but does it hold up? No.
34. Snow White-definitely doesn’t hold up. Not in my Disney top 20 and this has nothing to do with the animation.
35. Annie Hall-I know I’m in the minority but I hate this film. Just not funny whatsoever.
36. Bridge over the River Kwai- Good but not top 100
39. Dr Strangelove-Ambien, Aziz Ansari, or this. You decide.
42. Bonnie and Clyde-Mediocre at best.
50. Lord of the Rings-enjoyed it but definitely not top 100.
51. West Side Story-nope, nope, and nope.
53. Deer Hunter-it’s fine and I think the Russian roulette scene is what put this film on the list. Otherwise, it’s nothing remarkable.
62. American Grafitti- absolutely boring, couldn’t finish this film. Put Diner in this same category except I finished Diner…begrudgingly.
64. Network-fine but not top 100. Social issue film
68. Unforgiven-very good but not top 100.
70. A Clockwork Orange-Just because it was off the wall for the time doesn’t mean it should remain on the list. It’s fine but not list worthy.
76. Forrest Gump-I’m just bitter that this film beat Shawshank and Pulp Fiction in 94. But this film is also fine, not list worthy.
81. Spartacus-Definitely doesn’t hold up, couldn’t finish during a recent rewatch.
83. Titanic-Get the fuck out of here.
84. Easy Rider-Insanely boring. Great soundtrack but a big collection of nothing. Social issue film.
89. 6th Sense-Please. I called this ending out in the theater when I saw it. You’re not rewatching this except one time after you want to see how he never directly talks to Willis. Overrated.
92. Goodfellas-Just kidding, this film is flawless.
96. Do the Right Thing-Very good but not top 100. Definitely a social issue film.
97. Blade Runner-The Emperor’s New Clothes, I just don’t see it.
100. Ben Hur-Also doesn’t hold up.

 

And now, films I believe should be on the AFI top 100. If you disagree with a selection, don’t be a queef and just say the pick sucks. Offer another film instead of the one.

1. Aladdin-Next to the Pixar films (toy story 1 is currently on the AFI list), this is the best Disney film, ever.
2. Alien/Aliens-I prefer Aliens but fully acknowledge the first was groundbreaking.
3. Back to the Future-Go ahead, find me ONE person that hates this film. Good luck.


4. Good Will Hunting-Won multiple awards and hits a ton of emotional points throughout the film.


5. Heat-First film with DeNiro and Pacino doing scenes together and it doesn’t disappoint. One of the best gun battle scenes in film history.


6. JFK-Plenty of awards and noms. And it also made America restart their curiosity of the JFK conspiracy.


7. LA Confidential-One of the best crime dramas and also scooped up a bunch of awards, including Basinger and screenplay.


8. Naked Gun/Airplane-I prefer Naked Gun ever so slightly and there needs to be comedies on this list. Those films have non stop LOL moments and these films are daily quoted.


9. Terminator 2-one of the few times the sequels is better than the first. Groundbreaking technology at the time and this story is fantastic. Again, find someone who hates this film. And if you don’t get a little teary eyed when he lowers himself into the molten steel, you’re not alive.


10. Usual Suspects-See LA Confidential and one of the best endings I’ve ever seen. Spacey and best screenplay winners


11. Untouchables-Connery wins best supporting in the tale of Al Capone. DeNiro as Capone, brilliant.


12. Bronx Tale-And for those of you that want social issues in films, here you go.


13. The Dark Knight-This film is an 7 by itself, Ledger makes it a 10. Even the biggest anti-superhero people admit this is the one which is the exception.


14. The Matrix-More revolutionary technology and what an insanely original story. This one sure makes you think..


15. Halloween-Best horror film ever that isn’t shock-centric and what a score. I daresay this is better than the Exorcist.


16. Whiplash-I think this the BEST film in the last 10 years. JK Simmons destroys as an asshole jazz teacher and he won for doing so. This script is magnificent and EASILY should’ve beaten Birdman.

Honorable mentions that I could make an argument for but I’m sure would get shot down:

1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade- my favorite of the trio. And Raiders is on the AFI list so this isn’t a stretch.
2. Glengarry Glen Ross- If you like acting tour de forces, this film is for you. Take the names out of this film and you have a decent script. But Pacino, Lemmon, and obviously Baldwin chew up the scenery and make this fantastic.
3. Commando-Just kidding but goddamn, I love this film and have a huge soft spot for 80s/90s action films with a hint of cheesiness.
4. Die Hard- Find me someone who hates this film. Best Xmas film of all time!

5. Caddyshack- My favorite film and it is one of the most quoted films of all time.  Still holds up and is fucking hilarious.

 

Favorite sports films, let’s hear ’em!

Football – Any Given Sunday. Fuck you, this film is solid.
Basketball – Teen Wolf. I know everyone is supposed to put Hoosiers but I didn’t like it. Hell, I could even put in Space Jam here.
Baseball -Major League or Field of Dreams. Flip a coin
Hockey – Miracle. 2nd place: Goon. Slap Shot is overrated.
Boxing – Rocky 1-3. Cinderella Man is HORRIBLY underrated.
Gaming – Tron Legacy
Racing – Rush. Forgot about this one, good call JA and NC.
Martial Arts – Bloodsport. Any other answer is wrong.
Golf – Caddyshack!!!! Tin Cup is boring, don’t even think about it.
Murderball – Murderball
Professional Wrestling – The Wrestler
Horse Racing – Seabiscuit
Documentaries-King of Kong
Poker-Rounders
Pool-The Hustler and Poolhall Junkies