Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week. August is a time where you hope a movie comes along and becomes a critical surprise, and we have that this weekend in addition to the usual August dumping ground material.
Steven Soderbergh used to be one of the most interesting directors in Hollywood, producing thought-provoking, big dramas like Traffic or Syriana to turning that same style on its head for fun and mayhem in the Ocean’s 11 trilogy. Lately though, the same skill that once had him weaving huge casts and multiple plot threads together to perfect cohesion has fallen flat. Soderbergh has, on multiple occasions, said he’s retiring from directing following either a disappointment or an effort by a contemporary that he’s said makes his work seem inferior. So that all being said, guess who has a new movie opening on August 17th?
Logan Lucky is about a group of misfits attempting to pull off a heist during the middle of a NASCAR race. Starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Riley Keough, and Daniel Craig, it definitely seems to be channeling the Ocean’s spirit. After SPECTRE, Craig has some making up to do to me (yes, personally) and really all he needs to do…is just be whatever the heck this character in the trailer is for two hours and I’ll be happy.
It’s always fun when a director can insert a famous actor into their movie for a quick cameo in a way that doesn’t detract from the film. That’s a fine line to walk, but when you get it right, you usually find out about it afterward and it just makes you like a movie you already enjoyed all the more. The most famous recent example was the discovery that Daniel Craig was slipped into Star Wars Episode VII as a stormtrooper. It’s something that you can definitely notice if you’re listening for his vote, but I had no clue that James Bond was wandering around Starkiller Base until I found out after the fact. Screen Rant has put together a great video going over 10 similar instances in film history where famous stars or directors made a quick appearance in famous movies.
SPECTRE (or Bond 24 if you’re scoring at home) releases this Friday, the most anticipated movie release not involving a lightsaber for the rest of 2015. October we challenged KT readers to settle the question of, out of the six men who have played 007, which one IS BOND. The default answer used to be Sean Connery, but Daniel Craig decidedly skunked Connery amongst KT readers leading us to crown him Killing Time’s official 007.
Pierce Brosnan was third with a respectable showing, but what shocked me is that George Lazenby, who only appeared as Bond in one film, beat out Roger Moore and Timothy Dalon. No love for the Ginger Bond. Thank you to everyone who voted, syphilis upon all you who did not and we’ll be back with a new poll in a few days!
By the time of Daniel Craig’s third go-round as Bond, he had already owned the role, but he hadn’t been given a legendary villain. Sam Mendes fixed that when he cast Oscar-winner Javier Bardem as Silva, and gave us-arguably-the best Bond film of them all. Skyfall tells more about Bond’s boyhood and maturation than the previous 22 films combined without actually giving him an origin story. I know they’re going deeper down the rabbit hole in SPECTRE, but I always felt Wolverine lost a lot as a character when his whole origin was neatly laid out, and I think Bond would, as well.
This really is as much Judi Dench’s picture as it is Daniel Craig’s and after six films as M, she certainly earned a co-starring role as she and Bond hunt and are hunted by Silva. Bardem is certainly flashy and over-the-top in the Bond villain tradition, but unlike most, he’s every bit as good as James, and spends most of the film beating him quite handily. There’s so much good and done right in this film that it’s hard to nail a scene as my favorite, but I love a good entrance. When you get your villain making monologues from the get-go, you know you’ve got a good one. I’m going to cheat and also stick in Silva’s reunion scene with M, because I can’t decide between the two. Bardem should have at least gotten an Oscar nomination for this film. Just brilliant.