Tag Archives: Sam Mendes

1917 (2019): The Things I Liked…

1917 (2019), George MacKay, Universal Pictures
1917 (2019), George MacKay, Universal Pictures

1917, the latest release from American Beauty (1999) and Skyfall (2012) director Sam Mendes is a memorable film that features all the great things we’ve come to know and love about Mendes’s work. 

Once again partnering with notable cinematographer Roger Deakins, a fair amount of the visuals and lighting in 1917 have stayed with me long after viewing. Especially in regards to at least two stand out scenes which involve running – and snippets of which you get to see in the film’s trailer

Dean Charles-Chapman and George MacKay who play two young British soldiers tasked with delivering a life or death message across enemy lines performed well. Anyone if not all with siblings can likely relate to the sense of urgency and arguably foolhardy determination displayed  by Charles-Chapman’s character, in his effort to get the message to his brother’s battalion. I for one started tearing up almost immediately, finding myself moved and often at the edge of my seat, wishing desperately for a successful message delivery. 

The brotherly bond, humour, beautiful friendship and stunning moments of great cinematography definitely make up several of my favourite moments in 1917. However, I’m not sure that all those combined had me more excited and happy to be experiencing Mendes’s movie more than the scenes featuring the more seasoned actors. 

I’m sure that having been a long time fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Scott, Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Richard Madden had something to do with it. Maybe it’s the fact that their dialogue plus the ways they were captured onscreen was just incredibly arresting. Perhaps it’s their gravitas, great voices and excellent dramatic timing, but… every scene featuring the above five actors were some of my absolute favourites. Especially Scott’s single scene and when we finally get to meet Cumberbatch’s Colonel MacKenzie.

In terms of what I wish were different about 1917, I’d say a bit more of an even pace and perhaps a slightly differently edited story because there were moments where I felt as though my surrender to the story teller was interrupted with small moments of recognition that my expectations of how seamlessly everything would flow were not fully met. To put it another way, in some moments I got lost in the story in a great way, whereas other moments had me wishing I was that little bit more satisfied with it all; you know, kind of the way Green Book (2018) had me feeling and led me through the story in a way that proved completely satisfying.

I wouldn’t say overall that 1917 is my favourite war movie. That ‘highly prestigious’ title still belongs to The Hurt Locker (2008) – but it does have a fair amount of highlights you’ll be glad to have experienced.

Happy Film Loving

G

1917 (2019): New Trailer From Sam Mendes, Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, Richard Madden, Mark Strong…

1917 (2019), Benedict Cumberbatch, Universal Pictures
1917 (2019), Benedict Cumberbatch, Universal Pictures

1917 is the latest drama from Oscar winning director Sam Mendes.

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, Richard Madden and Mark Strong, it’s a story set at the height of the First World War. Precisely when two young British soldiers are given an impossible mission in a life or death race against time…

Talk about a love story! What a thoroughly intense predicament.

Bring on the award nominations for one of my favourite directors who has been silent for a while but clearly very busy.

I wonder if my guess is correct in thinking that the brother racing to deliver the message doesn’t make it so his friend carries on instead. I’m sure that what ever the truth, this will still be a memorable audio visual experience.

Andrew Scott, Robert Maaser, Anson Boon, Gerran Howell, Daniel Mays, Adrian Scarborough, Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Teresa Mahoney, and Justin Edwards also star.

1917 Release Dates: December 25th, 2019 (US); January 10th, 2020 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

SPECTRE (2015): The Things I Loved Most…

Spectre (2015), Daniel Craig
Spectre (2015), Daniel Craig

I’ll start this post by saying that my favourite James Bond film of all time remains the massively thrilling Casino Royale (2006). How does this bode with the fact that this is a post about Spectre? Not exactly very well but not absolutely disastrous either.

As the second Bond film directed by Sam Mendes, Spectre succeeds in providing most, if not all of those wonderful thrills synonymous with Craig’s Bond. Thrills that include great action sequences, beautiful cinematography, style, a wonderful sense of Britishness, great musical score, camera work, dialogue, etc. The only downside is that Casino Royale and Skyfall both do all of those things, just and better.

 

Spectre (2015), Lea Seydoux
Spectre (2015), Lea Seydoux

Overall, I enjoyed Spectre, even though it did feel a little odd without Judi Dench as M.  I won’t be forgetting the very raw and intense fight sequence on the moving train any time soon

There’s also the moment in the beginning where Bond is walking across the rooftop in Mexico City. I just love the music used here and the way it builds up with every step Bond takes towards his target. This is  the moment the famous ‘Bond is back!’ feeling took over; resulting in a prolonged, joyous and silent scream – much to the relief of my fellow cinema goers.

I do wonder though, whether I’d love the rooftop scene as much as I do if Daniel Craig’s physique, especially the way he moves and holds a gun wasn’t so arrestingly appealing? Probably not – and thankfully I know that I never have to find out.

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G

SPECTRE (2015): A Thrilling Piece Of Trailer Perfection

Spectre (2015), Daniel Craig
Spectre (2015), Daniel Craig

The final Spectre trailer has landed and to be honest I feared that it might show far more than I care to see before the movie. I’m delighted  to confirm that it doesn’t…

I’m beyond ready for October 16th (UK release date). Available in the US November 6th, 2015.

Happy Spectre 🙂

G

SPECTRE (2015): New James Bond Trailer, From Sam Mendes Straight To My Heart

Spectre (2015), Daniel Craig
Spectre (2015), Daniel Craig

At last, the full Spectre trailer lands and it’s perfectly thrilling.

Perhaps it’s a generational thing, but Daniel Craig is without a doubt  my favourite Bond of all time.

Never has October felt so far away.

Happy Spectre 🙂

G

SPECTRE (2015): Welcome James. It’s Been A Long Time…

Spectre (2015), Daniel Craig
Spectre (2015), Daniel Craig

Sam Mendes, the Director of my favourite film, American Beauty (1999) said yes to making his second James Bond movie – and the first teaser trailer for Spectre (2015) has now arrived.

It looks like we’ll be getting more of the signature breathtaking cinematography, musical score, action sequences and the super dialogue typical of recent Bond films.

With some of Europe’s finest film making talent at the helm – Sam Mendes, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Monica Bellucci and of course, Daniel Craig, all we have left to do now is look forward to the final product and hope that the next trailer or two don’t reveal too much of the plot.

Happy Spectre 🙂

G

AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999): Forever Brilliant

American Beauty (1999), Kevin Spacey
American Beauty (1999), Kevin Spacey

For every film lover, there’s at least one or two – perhaps even three films that come immediately to mind whenever they‘re asked that inevitable question. ‘What’s your favourite film?’

My answer is always without hesitation, Director Sam Mendes’ 1999 Oscar winning film debut, American Beauty.

American Beauty (1999), Annette Bening
American Beauty (1999), Annette Bening

I’m yet to watch another film more perfect. Such a beautifully crafted story with excellent dialogue, symbolism and a healthy dose of truth and black humour.

It’s a brilliant commentary on suburbia and life in the classic American small town. American Beauty offers plenty of potentially useful information about the human condition.

There’s a strong theme on the difference between what people work hard to project versus the actual truth. The most interesting version of this is the exterior proclamations of the person who internally actually hates themselves.

As a result of this film, Annette Bening, Kevin Spacey, Chris Cooper, Writer Alan Ball, Director Sam Mendes and more, including the great Cinematographer Conrad L. Hall are forever in my mind, synonymous with brilliance.

American Beauty (1999), Kevin Spacey, Chris Cooper
American Beauty (1999), Kevin Spacey, Chris Cooper

I know one person who called American Beauty boring. Not quite sure what to say to that. Except maybe that it’s unlikely they actually really watched it.

Happy American Beauty, my favourite film. 🙂

G

SKYFALL (2012) Cinematography: Feast Your Eyes Cinephiles!

A few of my favourite cinematographically stunning moments from SKYFALL (2012). All thanks to brilliant Cinematographer Roger Deakins, of course. What’s not to love?

The pursuit, Silva, Skyfall (2012)
The pursuit, Silva, Skyfall (2012)

‘…To strive, to seek, and not to yield’, Skyfall (2012)
‘…To strive, to seek, and not to yield’, Skyfall (2012)

The pursuit, Silva, Skyfall (2012)
The pursuit, Silva, Skyfall (2012)

‘…That which we are, we are…’, SkyFall (2012)
‘…That which we are, we are…’, SkyFall (2012)

Back in time, Skyfall (2012)
Back in time, Skyfall (2012)

Film, a perfect marriage of the arts. Who could disagree?

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G