Happy Valentine's Day and welcome to an early edition of the Movie Hive. This weekend there's literally something for everyone. Action, romance and amination all get dropped off at the theater this weekend. Plus James Bond celebrates 50 years with his best film yet, Skyfall, and you can read my review below.
New Movies Opening
Opening Valentine's Day
A Good Day to Die Hard - Rated R - Starring Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney and Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Bruce Willis returns to his most famous role as wise-cracking New York cop John McClane and proves once again that he dies hard. McClane travels to Russia to help out his semmingly wayward son, Jack, only to discover that Jack is a CIA operative working to prevent a nuclear-weapons heist, causing the father and son to team up against Russian terrorists.
Safe Haven - Rated PG-13 - Starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel
Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook) Safe Haven follows a young woman with a mysterious past who lands in Southport, North Carolina where her bond with a widower forces her to confront the dark secret that haunts her.
Beautiful Creatures - Rated PG-13 - Starring Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum and Emma Thompson
Ethan longs to escape his small Southern town. He meets a mysterious new girl, Lena. Together they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.
Escape from Planet Earth - Rated PG - Starring the Voice Talents of Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Ricky Gervais, Jessica Alba, Sofia Vergara and Sarah Jessica Parker
Astronaut Scorch Supernova finds himself caught in a trap when he responds to an SOS from a notoriously dangerous alien planet, Earth.
Blu-ray/DVD Pick of the Week - Skyfall
After the stellar Casino Royale, we got the less than stellar Quantum of Solace. Now while that film was a solid action movie it lacked the substance of Casino Royale and was really just hanging by its coat tails. I was really ready to accept that Craig's tenure as Bond was going to be much like his fellow counterparts. We would get a good to mediocre Bond film every three to four years until Craig had had enough. Boy was I wrong. Casino Royale may have brought Bond into the modern world, but Skyfall takes it bit further and shows what makes Bond relevant even after 50 years. One of the popular arguments amongst Bond enthusiasts is which Bond film is the best? Many will say Goldfinger and I would have said From Russia with Love, but I now believe the best is Skyfall without a hint of hesitation. It has everything you could ever want, not just in a Bond film, but in a great movie. Not only does Skyfall take our super spy to new heights, the cast and crew have made a film that honors and respects all that has come before it. There is no better way to celebrate the 50 year legacy of such an iconic character than Skyfall has done.
Skyfall picks up with Bond (Craig) in the midst of trying to recover a stolen disk drive containing the names of all government agents embedded in terrorist organizations across the globe. The mission goes bad and Bond finds himself at the mercy of a bullet. He returns to MI6 to track down the person who now has the drive, Silva (Javier Bardem) who has begun to leak many of the names on the list, and to stop his ultimate plan which is to kill M (Judi Dench).
While everyone is in top form in this latest installment one in particular must be pointed out. Bond is a character who is defined by the great villains he has faced: Dr. No, Goldfinger, Blofeld, and now you can add Silva to that list. In fact, Silva played by the extraordinary actor Javier Bardem creates another landmark villain not only for the Bond franchise, but movies in general. Just like his turn in No Country for Old Men (which landed him an Oscar) Bardem handles this material with sheer brilliance. Silva is hands down the scariest villain Bond has ever faced and the nuances that Bardem brings to the role, it's really a shame that the academy did not recognize his work this year.
Skyfall is also gorgeously shot of course with Roger Deakins behind the camera that's an automatic. Seriously though the look and feel of Skyfall puts every single Bond film in the last 50 years to shame. The colors are so vibrant, yet dark and have an organic feel that gives the picture that much more weight. If it were up to me Mr. Deakins would should every Bond film from here on out.
It's amazing how the familiar elements that are present in every Bond film can feel so fresh and new. Bond may be 5 decades old now, but this film proves more than ever that our hero is more relevant now than he has ever been. Skyfall may be the closing of one chapter but it's also the beginning of a new one. When the picture ended and Bond was handed his next assignment I didn't want it to end. I was ready and couldn't be more excited to go on his next adventure. If Skyfall is just a taste of what is to come then there is no better time to be a Bond fan and I say bring on the next 50 years.