FlixChatter Review: The Other Woman (2014)

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I went in to The Other Woman expecting next to nothing, but I came out with sore abs, cheekbones and wet cheeks. Simply put, this film was hilarious! I haven’t laughed this hard at a movie in a really long time. In my opinion, comedies are hard to review because whether or not it’s funny is all relative. I must’ve been in desperate need for a good laugh, because there were parts where I was crying from laughing so hard. If you see it, I think you’ll know exactly which scenes I’m referencing. Yes, it’s raunchy and has some slapstick humor, but it works. Its 40 Year Old Virgin meets Bridesmaids.

The film opens with what we’re lead to believe is the beginning of a normal RomCom. Carly (Cameron Diaz) and Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) have the typical meet cute and we see a montage of growing romance. Then the rug is pulled out from under our feet, as we learn Mark is actually married. However, Carly is unaware of his marital status and is just as upset over Mark’s betrayal as his wife, Kate (Leslie Mann). That’s not all! Just when we think we have Mark figured out, we learn he’s not only cheating on his wife but also his girlfriend. Duh, duh, duh.

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Meet Amber (Kate Upton), a twenty-something with a gorgeous body with not so much as a light bulb glowing upstairs. Amber is setup to play the typical dumb blonde; however, the film acknowledges this cliché and pokes fun at it. With that said, Amber is significantly downplayed (as you might’ve guessed Upton doesn’t really contribute much to the film). In fact, Vulture created a post listing the entirety of Upton’s lines. 

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After Kate awkwardly yet hilariously confronts Carly about her husband, the two begin the weirdest friendship ever (the tagline says it all), but you’ll love every minute of it! What I truly appreciated was instead of the women being petty towards one another they banded together and decided to get payback. Diaz does exceptionally well with physical comedy and Mann isn’t afraid of making herself look ridiculous for the sake of comedy. There were several scenes where Mann delivered perfect verbal diarrhea, which must’ve been completely impromptu. Nevertheless, I dare you to keep a straight face! Also, keep an eye out for some of Mann’s more ridiculous outfits.

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You know who did surprise me was Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Most notable for his portrayal of Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones, Nikolaj is not too shabby with comedy. His comedic timing was very natural and seemed unphased performing some self-deprecating scenes (comparable to the infamous Dumb & Dumber bathroom scene). Additionally, I was impressed by his American accent. Even though he slipped a few times, for a Danish actor it was pretty good!

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There were very few things that bothered me, but Nikki Minaj was one of them. Personally, I found Minaj (Lydia) to be very distracting and, like Upton, didn’t add much to this film. Luckily, she only has a small role and is featured only a handful of times. Additionally, there were a few cheesy scenes that tried to bring a serious note to the film, which I thought were entirely unnecessary. 

I purposely avoided watching the trailer and didn’t really know anything going into the film. However, I did watch it afterwards and was pleasantly surprised by how much they left out. So if you think you’ve seen all the comedic parts, there’s a lot more where that came from! Overall, I really enjoyed watching this film, and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t laugh as much as I did. Enjoy!

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Have you seen The Other Woman? What did you think of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau comedic debut?

Weekend Roundup & MSPIFF14 double reviews starring Juliette Binoche

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend.

I took a bit of a break from blogging this weekend, but this week has been pretty busy in terms of movie watching. It’s the last week of the MSPIFF 2014 and I saw three more films, one short of what I intended to see but fortunately there’ll be a press screening of Locke next Monday. As the film fest continues with Best of Fest screenings all week, there’ll be more reviews coming from both me and Josh 😉

Here are the three new movies I saw over the weekend:

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I’ve blogged about All Things To All Men quite a while ago and finally it’s available on Netflix streaming. Remember how I always say some movies are well worth seeing just for the cast. Well, in this case, the ONLY thing worth seeing is the three actors: Toby Stephens, Rufus Sewell and Gabriel Byrne in that order [I’m having a serious crush on Toby, didn’t you notice?] Alas, the film itself left so much to be desired, and leaves me scratching my head why these actors signed on to do such a project. Did they lose a bet or something? I’m not sure I could even review it, but let me just say that unless you’re absolutely in love with any of the cast, I can’t exactly recommend it.

These two from MSPIFF, on the other hand, is well worth a look.

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A Thousand Times Good Night

Rebecca is one of the world’s top war photographers. She must weather a major emotional storm when her husband refuses to put up with her dangerous life any longer. 

This is one of those dramas that at times play out like a thriller. Even from the first moments when the protagonist is witnessing a ceremonial custom of an Afghan suicide bomber being prepped for self sacrifice, it’s quite an emotional roller coaster all the way to the very last scene.

For Rebecca (Juliette Binoche), covering the war is not just a job, it’s her way of life. When she comes home injured from Afghanistan, it’s apparent that it’s just as tough for her family to deal with her dangerous job. It’s apparent that her husband Marcus is constantly worried sick for Rebecca and this incident puts him over the edge which compels him to give her an ultimatum. It’s her family or her job. At first I felt that it’s not fair of him to do so, but as the film progresses, we’re shown how her two young daughters are dealing with her absence whilst she’s away in a war zone. It’s a tricky dilemma that I find myself grappling with as I watched this film. I read that this film is semi-autobiographical as Norwegian director Erik Poppe was a war photographer himself. No doubt this story is quite a personal one for him.

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The main quibble I have with the film is the slow pace. I don’t mind quiet moments on film, but at times it felt a bit too indulgent that it threatens to grind the film to a halt. The metaphor of Rebecca drowning/suffocating by her life dilemma also grows repetitive. But the cinematography is simply stunning, nearly every shot is like a work of art. It’s also very atmospheric and the conflict felt genuine. The sense of authenticity comes from a committed performance from the always-reliable Binoche, as well as Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who plays her sensitive & caring husband. I’ve always been a big fan of Nikolaj from his short TV stint in New Amsterdam, long before he played Jamie Lannister in Game of Thrones, and he proves himself once again to be a capable and versatile actor. Lauryn Canny as Rebecca’s eldest daughter Steph is also quite good. When they’re in Africa, something happened that was quite traumatic for Steph. Some of the most emotional scenes in the film feature the two of them.

The heart of the film is no doubt Binoche. She conveys so much even in scenes where no words are spoken. This is the first of two films I saw her in and she’s absolutely excellent in both of these. There’s a certain aura of mystique about her that seems unreachable, and she’s very convincing as an fiercely idealistic woman. There is a fine line between bravery and recklessness and I think this film often blurs that line. There is a hint at the finale where Rebecca is back in Afghanistan that perhaps she’s a changed person after what happened between her and Steph, but the film lets us interpret that for ourselves.

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Words and Pictures

An art instructor and an English teacher form a rivalry that ends up with a competition at their school in which students decide whether words or pictures are more important.

Romance that’s sparked out of rivalry has been done many times before, but with the right cast, it can still feel fresh. The pairing of Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche is what intrigues me about this film and they’re still the reason to watch to movie.

Owen is Jack ‘Mr Mark’ Marcus, a gifted English teacher at an upscale prep school. His best days as a published author seems to be behind him and he’s got a drinking problem. Perhaps that’s a result of his disillusionment with his life, as he seems to have lost his mojo, as well as in danger of losing his job. Meanwhile, a renowned painter Dina Delsanto (Binoche) has just been hired at the school. Her nickname is icicle for obvious reasons, but her coldness seems to also stem from her disappointment that she can no longer paint as much as she did due to her server Rheumatoid arthritis.

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The two couldn’t be more different from each other, but as they say, opposites attracts. It’s fun to watch Owen in a softer role like this where he’s not firing a gun every two seconds, but his intensity is still there as he bud heads with the school principal and board members. He’s a deeply flawed character and in the most vulnerable moments, especially between him and his estranged son, is where I enjoyed his performance most. I wish the film would focus more on these two characters, as all the drama with the students are not as intriguing to me, and they don’t really add much to the story. The whole school competition of Words vs Pictures is more of a personal *war* for Marcus and Delsanto, and though it’s predictable that they’d end up together, it’s still fun to watch their banters. I personally like the pairing of Owen and Binoche more than him and Julia Roberts in Duplicity, which I find rather contrived. The only other actor I like in this movie is Bruce Davison as one of the more sympathetic faculty members.

Binoche is lovely here and it’s a testament to her versatility that she is also very convincing as a painter. I didn’t know that she’s an artist herself but in the credits I noticed that the Delsanto’s work is by Binoche, wow! I think out of the two films I saw last week, her dramatic chops perhaps suits something like A Thousand Times Good Night better. I like the idea of two broken people finding each other and to see a romantic film between people over the age of 40. Alas, I think the ending is almost as rough as Owen’s unkempt stubbles. Even the finale of the competition just didn’t have the oomph needed to make the story soar. Overall it’s an enjoyable dramedy though, eons better than a lot of the rom-coms are churning out these days. If you’re a fan of these two actors, this one is definitely worth a look.

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So what did you see this Easter weekend? Anything good?

Weekend Viewing Roundup – OBLIVION Review

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Photo courtesy of StarTribune.com

The weekend is coming to a close as I’m writing this, hope y’all had a nice one… especially in the weather department. It’s really the kind of “Spring” that does NOT add an extra spring in your step, unless you want to slip on ice and fall over into a puddle 😦

I mean, just look at this photo from a couple of days ago!! THAT’s the reason I couldn’t see Mud last Thursday! And this is the kind of stuff we could expect for this week, courtesy of our local meteorologist at the Star Tribune:

A rain/snow mix tomorrow evening – but temperatures boomerang to near 70F by Saturday afternoon, maybe even a few severe T-storms late Sunday? Something for the entire family.

[sigh]

Anyway, I did see quite a few new films this past week, five to be exact:

Disconnect, Unfinished Song (both reviews are up), Caesar Must Die, I, Anna and Oblivion. Stay tuned for the reviews of the other two, but now, here’s my thoughts on…

OBLIVION

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Post-apocalyptic science fiction films are a dime a dozen and there seems to be no shortage of it. Even before the start of this film, there are trailers for a couple of them (After Earth, Elysium) and the world we live in is almost always depicted in a state of doom, with humanity facing extinction with the rest of well, what’s left of our universe.

OBLIVION begins with a voice over exposition courtesy of Jack Harper (starring the virtually ageless mega star Tom Cruise) who now lives in a high tower above the earth, Tower 49, which looks like a very expensive high rise penthouse, complete with built-in swimming pool underneath. Not a bad living quarter for a ‘mop-up crew,’ that’s what Jack refers to himself and his partner Victoria (Andrea Riseborough). They’re only two weeks away on completing their mission of drones repair on earth before they could join the entire remaining human population in their new home in Titan. Now, you’d think he’d be excited for that but Jack still can’t let go of earth & his earthly house by the lake, and he’s also still haunted by his memory of a woman from 60 years ago as they walk up to the Empire State Building [is this like the only romantic rendezvous place for New Yorkers in the movies??].

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Well, what do you know. On a routine mission, Jack ended up meeting that very woman who was in one of the delta-sleep pods that crash landed on earth as Jack was relaxing by the lake. Now, the arrival of ‘Julia’ who claims to be his wife, and then later meeting a group of human survivors hiding underground, led by cigar-smokin’ Morgan Freeman, Jack’s life quickly begins to unravel as he discovers just who his true identity is. He starts to question the things we’ve also been curious about from the start, and the last half of the film follows Jack in that journey of self-discovery… and more.

Now, all of this is intriguing stuff and director Joseph Kosinski builds this film with so many beautiful vistas and cool-looking robots to mesmerize us, but the plot leaves way more questions than the film could even begin to answer. Now, I don’t want to discuss ’em here without revealing a bunch of spoilers, but let’s just say I have similar questions as this guy in Film School Rejects post. Well, I don’t really care about ‘why was Beech [Freeman’s character] is always wearing sunglasses’ but the rest are definitely valid plot holes issues. I feel that my beef with Kosinski’s first film, Tron Legacy, where it’s mostly style over substance, also applies to this one. The one advantage is that this one he has a far more charismatic protagonist than Garrett Hedlund (more on that latter). But similarly, Kosinski seems far more concerned with building cool looking stuff than he is about crafting a real ‘meaty’ story that goes beyond a mere ‘intriguing concept.’

That said, I still find this film entertaining and I’ve got to admit I was wowed by the visuals. Everything from the bluish-hued barren landscape of earth in ruins, to the ultra sleek sky tower and Jack’s collapsible Bubbleship [apparently the design was a hybrid of a jet fighter and a Bell 47 helicopter – per We Are Movie Geeks], there are visual eye candy aplenty for the sci-fi geek in all of us. I saw this in 2D which was perfectly fine, but I bet this film would look pretty stunning on IMAX.

The pace is pretty good and I never find myself bored in the entire two hours. I also think there’s a balance of quiet moments and full-throttle action, which makes it more effective when it does happen. The aircraft chase with the drones in the narrow canyons remind me too much of so many other sci-fis, most notably The Phantom Menace. But then again, this film borrow a lot of sci-fi concepts from other films so I shouldn’t be surprised by that. Despite all the plot holes though, I’ve got to give props to the filmmaker for at least attempting to inject some humanity into the story.

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As I’ve alluded to earlier, Tom Cruise is still more than capable to carry this film. I don’t think Jack Harper would make my top 10 Tom Cruise roles, but still he’s very watchable. Some of the flying sequences made me think of this movie as Top Gun meets Minority Report, it’s amazing Cruise still looks pretty much the same as he was in Top Gun which was released 27 years ago!! One of Cruise strengths is that he is believable in the action as well as the more emotional scenes. Interestingly enough, the part of him reminiscing on earth—recalling his old days of watching baseball, playing sports in his back yard and listening to old records—are more effective than the ‘romantic’ scenes of him and his female co-stars however. I don’t exactly know why that is, though I give Cruise some credit for not looking creepy romancing actresses nearly half his age!

Speaking of the actresses, I was impressed with Andrea Riseborough once again (she was also in Disconnect), she’s truly a star on the rise [pardon the pun] with a chameleon-like ability. I don’t think Olga Kurylenko is as versatile, but she actually impresses me more here than she did in Quantum of Solace. She has an earthy and mysterious quality about her and though she is stunningly beautiful, she doesn’t come across as flighty. Morgan Freeman of course adds gravitas to his role, Beech is the kind of ‘cool but eternally wise’ character he’s played in so many films that it probably doesn’t require much effort on his part. Hunky Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau also has a small part as Freeman’s cohort, but I think he’s more capable than that.

Final Thoughts: I don’t think Oblivion will be a sci-fi classic. I appreciate it for what it is, which is popcorn entertainment, but not profound enough to be memorable. I don’t mind watching it again down the road though, even if it’s just to gawk at the marvelous visuals. It’s the kind of escapist entertainment that’s tailored to maximize Cruise’s massive star power. The film’s box office prowess will prove that Cruise’s certainly still got it.
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Three and a half stars out of Five

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Well, what did you think of this film? Did you enjoy this more than I did?

Weekend Roundup: Frequency and Headhunters reviews

Ahhh… Fall is in the air. I LOVE Autumn, it’s my favorite season. Growing up in a tropical country where it’s 80+ degrees all year long, I’ve come to appreciate the changing seasons and I’m really looking forward to the cool, crisp weather.

It’s another week where we opted for home cinema viewing once again. The only movie that opened wide was the fourth Resident Evil movie which I never had any interest in seeing, and The Master hasn’t opened yet where I live. Fortunately, the three movies I saw were both excellent, reviews below.

Sunday night I re-watched one of my all-time Disney favorites, Sleeping Beauty. The plot is pretty thin but the visuals are so gorgeous! I still need to see the documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty that explores the art of modern animation and the stormy days of Disney’s animation house. Even 53 years later, amongst a plethora of other animated features, I think that it still stands as the most strikingly beautiful. Princess Aurora remains one of my favorite Disney princesses!

Anyway, here are my reviews:

FREQUENCY (2000)

I don’t know why it took me so long to finally saw this. My friend at work raved about it and lent me her DVD nearly a year ago. The premise about a rare atmospheric activity marked by the appearance of Aurora Borealis that somehow allowed a NYC firefighter Frank Sullivan to communicate with his son John 30 years in the future via a ham radio. Frank supposedly died in a warehouse fire, so John used the opportunity to warn his dad of his impending death, which was to happen the day after the two talked on the radio. Frank survived the fire and they’re overjoyed, but what they didn’t realize is that the alternate history also meant that a new set of events are triggered, including a horrific serial murders that affect the fate of Frank’s wife. So the father/son must work together to somehow change history again and hopefully prevent the murders from happening.

As with any time travel/alternate history movies, the logic behind the story is tough to grasp. I mean the film never really explained how the Aurora Borealis caused the radio reception to function in such a way, enabling the Father/Son to communicate 30 years apart. But hey, obviously the sci-fi fantasy element asks the viewer to simply accept that fact, so I was willing to go with it. The movie starts out being more of a drama, but the last third it becomes more of a thriller as the father/son worked together to catch the Nightingale killer, named for his penchant for killing nurses. The fact that John’s mother is a nurse—which ironically saves the killer at the hospital in the alternate universe—obviously made her a target. At times it felt like a procedural suspense drama, like an episode of Criminal Minds or CSI, but the father/son bond is what makes the whole thing intriguing. Shawn Doyle as the psychopath is undeniably creepy, relentlessly terrorizing both father/son in parallel timelines.

Frequency‘s strength definitely lies in the emotional bond between the father/son roles. Dennis Quaid as Frank and Jim Caviezel as John palpably displayed a heartfelt bond despite not sharing the screen together pretty much the entire movie. The first time they realized the identity on the other side of the radio, you immediately connect with these two characters and the love they have for each other. I love how the movie depicts such a loving family life, not just between father and son but also between Frank and his wife Jules (Elizabeth Mitchell). Andre Braugher as John’s partner in the force who’s been trying to solve the Nightingale murder case also gives a memorable performance.

It’s not a perfect movie by any means, in fact, there’s perhaps overly sentimental at times, down to the unbelievably happy ending. But overall, the performances of the leads are what made the movie work so well. It’s a sci-fi thriller that’s full or heart, and one that confirms me even more how underrated both Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel are. Caviezel in particular has this charismatic presence and that ‘quiet hero’ sensibilities about him that would make him a perfect candidate to portray Superman. I think he was considered by Bryan Singer at one point and I think he could pull off such a role [at times his looks and mannerism actually reminds me a bit of Christopher Reeve]. Obviously he has convincingly played humanity’s hero in The Passion of the Christ, a role that in a fair world should’ve nabbed him at least an Oscar nomination.

Frequency is definitely worth a watch for fans of time travel movies, or anyone who appreciates a heartfelt family drama with a twist. Fans of baseball might get a kick out of all the World Series facts used throughout the movie, at times it becomes a plot significance as well.

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Headhunters (2011)

This independent Norwegian movie has definitely shot up to be one of my favorites of the year! I’m so glad I gave it a shot despite it being more violent and gory than I’m usually comfortable with.

Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) is one of Norway’s most powerful headhunters. You’d think he makes pretty good money to live a good life, but if you want to live like a prince, then certainly one must pay for it. Roger lives an incredibly extravagant lifestyle: multi-million dollar house, top of the line Lexus and he could buy his beautiful wife Diana a 98,000 Krone (about $17K) earrings! The secret? Well he’s also an art thief, which is ironic since his wife is a gallery owner. With the help of his security guard friend Ove, Roger’s perfected his heist method, replacing the originals with forgeries which often goes undetected for years and the trails have gone cold.

It’s an interesting character study and Roger is definitely an intriguing individual. By self admittance, he realizes that he overcompensates his relatively short stature (5’6″) with an outward panache and marrying a tall, beautiful blond (Heidi-Klum lookalike Synnøve Macody Lund). He’s more in love with what the Diana represents than the woman herself, which explains why he hesitates to have a baby with her. He also has a mistress who’s much less glamorous than Diana, perhaps because internally, Roger feels inferior to his own wife.

Early in the film, the VO during one of Roger’s heist says that everything is fine until one gets caught. Well, unbeknownst to Roger, there’s apparently an even bigger danger lurking. The movie quickly gains momentum the moment Diana introduces her husband to a powerful man in the name of Clas Greve (Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). A former elite soldier and former CEO of a surveillance company HOTE. It turns out Clas wants to be the CEO of HOTE’s competition, Pathfinder, which is a position that Roger happens to be recruiting. Clas soon becomes the target of Roger’s thieving plan, as Clas apparently inherits a rare Rubens painting worth close to a hundred million, along with his grandmother’s apartment.

What happens next propels this movie into a relentless cat and mouse game beyond anything Roger could’ve imagined. It’s full throttle action that involves a brutal shootout, dog attack, car/tractor chase and a breathtaking accident involving a truck going in full speed! The action is quite vicious and relentless but none of it feels gratuitous to me as it moves the plot along. One particularly disgusting scene rivals the one in the Slumdog Millionaire (you’ll know which one it is when you watch it). Roger is in deep sh**, and I don’t just mean that figuratively speaking. Yet beneath all that bloody action sequences, the film is not without heart. There’s a conversation between Roger and his wife that’s particularly striking for its emotional honesty.

36-year-old Aksel Hennie carries the movie with aplomb. Initially he’s not a sympathetic character but he grows on you as the film progresses. The only actor I’m familiar with, Coster-Waldau, definitely fits the role of a charming but deadly former military guy who’ll do whatever it takes to get ahead. I picked the tall, gorgeous Danish as one of the actors I’d love to see as James Bond, and I stand by that pick after seeing him here.

This is easily the smartest, most gripping thrillers I’ve seen in years. The acting is understated and the script, based on Norwegian author Jo Nesbø’s novel Hodejegerne (The Headhunters), is taut and unpredictable. I was at the edge of my seat the whole time and a few times I thought I knew where the story was going, but fortunately the movie still managed to surprise me. I’m not very familiar with Scandinavian cinema, but the stark minimalism packed with maximum efficiency is definitely a breath of fresh air.

There’s apparently a US remake in the works (surprise, surprise) as Mark Wahlberg was reportedly so impressed by this movie that he already bought the remake rights. Meh, I doubt it’ll ever live up to the original. So I advise you to watch this one instead before the US one comes out. Kudos to director Morten Tyldum who’s only made less than a half dozen feature films. This is what every thriller movie should be as it really was a thrill ride in more ways than one.

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Thoughts on either one of these movies? Did you see anything good this weekend?

007 Chatter: Seven actors we think could play the next James Bond

In anticipation for Bond 23, a.k.a. Skyfall coming on November 9th, 2012, Ted and I are starting a new monthly series called 007 CHATTER… look for it sometime in the first week of each month.

I’ve also added a new category for this, so click on 007 Chatter on the category drop-down menu for all Bond-related posts.

A few weeks ago Daniel Craig said in an interview that he would love to keep playing Bond until the producers tells him he couldn’t anymore. Now I personally think  Craig at 44 is already showing his age, I mean he looked like he’s already in his mid 50s in most of the photos from Skyfall [like this one]. I honestly can’t imagine how old he’d look five years from now!

Anyway, regardless of when Craig will hang up his Bond mantel, we thought it couldn’t hurt to come up with a list of actors we believe would be great as the next 007. Btw, although we’ve seen some people suggesting that non-Caucasian actors should also be consider playing Bond, we actually won’t be doing that here and here’s Ted’s reasoning why [which I agree]:

Let’s be real here as much as I like to see a non-white actor playing the part, there’s no way the studio or the producers would consider it. I don’t want to sound like a jackass or anything but some of  you probably remember the uproar when Craig was cast as Bond in Casino Royale back in the mid 2000s. The media and fans alike were all over him, they called him ugly, too short, he’s blond and can’t drive stick gear and he’s white! Imagine the backlash the producers will get if they cast a non-white actor for the role. I’m being realistic here so I don’t believe we’ll ever see a non Caucasian actor as 007, well, not in my life time anyway.

So again, it’s not like we’re opposed of the idea of a black Bond, the opposite is true, but we’re just being realistic in that we don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon.

Anyway, with without further ado, here are the actors Ted and I believe should be considered for the next James Bond, starting with the two we both absolutely in agreement with.

RUTH’s & TED’s PICKS:

Luke Evans

TED:
He’s not a household name yet but that will change when The Hobbit opens this December. He’s playing Bard in the movie and for those who’ve read the novel, you know how vital his character is to the story. Apparently Peter Jackson has expanded the role, in the novel he didn’t appear until half through the book.

I believe people will think of him as the next Bond once they see him in action, actually if you saw him in Immortals then you know he can definitely play an action hero. I think Evans has the look and acting chops to play Bond. He’s young enough and by the time Craig’s done with the role, he’ll be in a perfect age to play Bond. I say he’s a mix of Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton, two of my favorite Bond actors.

RUTH:
Aside from Immortals, which is the first film I saw Luke in, I also saw a few interviews with him and he certainly oozes charisma. Bond should be handsome but not a pretty boy that’s why I think Luke is perfect. He’s tough-looking with that manly square-jawed face, but still has that elegant quality, not thuggish the way some people criticize Craig for. Oh, I’ve also seen him in person at Comic-con (not personally, though I had a pretty good seat at Hall H during The Raven panel). Mr. Evans looked appropriately rugged 😉
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Richard Armitage 

TED:
Another actor who I think will be a household name after The Hobbit came out. He’s playing Thorin, and again for those who read the book, you know he’s pretty much the second lead in the story. I first saw Armitage in the excellent British TV series MI-5 and thought to myself this guy will be great as 007. I think he’s the combinations of Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery, but I believe he’ll be a much better Bond than Brosnan. With his deep voice and piercing blue eyes, I think he’ll be quite popular with the female Bond fans.

RUTH:
I was thrilled when Ted suggested him as I’ve been a fan of his since I saw him in BBC’s North & South. Interestingly, both him and Evans will be in The Hobbit [man, what I’d give to work for just a day on the set of that film!!] The tall, lean actor has since done mostly TV works, most notably as the baddie Guy of Gisbourne in BBC’s Robin Hood and most recently the MI-5 series where he’s very much Bond-like! Not sure if the Bond producers have seen him on that show or not, but can’t imagine they’d have to look to far for their next candidate! Oh and btw, I think he’s the most like Dalton to me: both are the same height at 6’2″ (which was the tallest Bond so far), intense with piercing eyes, AND has that irresistibly deep, raspy voice to boot!

TED’s PICKS

Joshua Bowman

I don’t think many people know this guy unless you’re a fan of the TV show Revenge. I started watching the show last year and noticed him and I thought he could be a good James Bond. He’s quite young so hopefully he’ll grow as an actor and maybe when he’s old enough, the producers of Bond films will give him a call.

Christian Bale 

Yes I know he already played another iconic character but how cool would it be if Nolan decides he wants to do a Bond flick and demands that the producers cast Bale as the next Bond? Come on now my fellow Nolan fan boys and girls, you know you’ll be jumping up and down with excitement. I don’t think I need to say anything more about why Bale will be great as the next 007, we all know he can act and also be an action hero.

RUTH’s note:
I actually suggested Bale as Bond in this post I did back in 2010. Check out the awesome fan-made video of Bale as the suave super spy!

RUTH’s PICKS

Karl Urban

RUTH:
If you’ve read my review of RED from 2010, then you know that I’ve been pushing for Urban as Bond. I first saw him in the Lord of the Rings movie, and even amongst such a massive cast, he was quite memorable. He’s also great as Kiril in the second Bourne movie and also in JJ Abram’s Star Trek. What I love about Urban — well other than the fact that he’s devastatingly handsome — is that he’s got that quiet intensity. He barely talked as the Bourne villain but he’s got such a strong screen presence that he really didn’t need to. He can also be funny as he displayed in Star Trek. But seeing him in RED makes me think he’d be perfect as Bond! Yes I know that the last Bond actor from Down Under wasn’t successful but hey, let bygones be bygones okay? I’d say give this one at least a screen test!

TED’s Note:
I like Urban but I think he’s still somehow looks too young for Bond and he needs to beef up a bit. Maybe his role in Judge Dredd will get him notice even more.

Jason O’Mara

The first time I saw O’Mara was in the ABC series Life on Mars. Though he’s playing American, right away I thought he’s a Brit. I was close, he’s Irish. Most recently he starred in the recently-canceled dinosaur sci-fi Terranova and seeing him do some of the action scenes make me think he’d be good as Bond. He’s tall and lean [ALWAYS a plus, in my book Bond should be at least 6 feet tall], rugged, but can also clean up well. I also think he’s got that effortless swagger without being cocky. If he got the job, he’d be the second Irish James Bond since Pierce Brosnan.

TED’s Note:
Good choice here since he already played a secret agent in the underrated TV show called The Agency a few years back. He might already be on the producer’s short list of actors to take over the role of Bond.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Ok, this is kind of an off-the-beaten-path choice as he’s neither British/Irish nor Australian, but hey, if he could pull off a convincing British accent, why not? Most of you know him as the king’s slayer in Game of Thrones, but I first saw him in the prematurely-canceled New Amsterdam on CBS and took immediate liking to him. Yes, he’s a blond but then again, so is Craig. I think seeing him in the Danish crime thriller Headhunters trailer recently makes me think he’s got that edge about him that’d work as Bond. I think I’d rather see Nikolaj rising out of the water in a Speedo than Daniel [ooops, did I just say that out loud?] 😉

If you select ‘Other,’ please let us know in the comments who it is.


Ok, so these are our picks. Time to discuss amongst yourself. I’m sure you all have an opinion [or two] about Bond casting 😀