‘Spectre’ is an excellent Bond film, but pales in comparison to ‘Skyfall’

One thing every movie sequel has in common with other sequels is that it will be compared to the film or films that came before it.  With the 24th film in the official James Bond line of films (ignoring the original farcical version of Casino Royale in 1967 and the non EON Production movie Never Say Never again in 1983), the problem is only magnified.  Especially since 2012’s Skyfall was one of the best Bond films in a long time.  If we evaluate Spectre solely by comparing it to Skyfall, it suffers greatly.  However, the proper way to critique Spectre is to evaluate it without such comparison.  On that level it is an excellent effort.

Read more‘Spectre’ is an excellent Bond film, but pales in comparison to ‘Skyfall’

‘Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom’ runs a bit long

Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela in 'Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom'
Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela in ‘Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom’

The problem with making a film about the life of Nelson Mandela is that unless you focus on a brief period, there’s just too much material to deal with.  Movies like Lincoln and Hitchcock worked so well because they focused on a narrow period of the subject’s life.  When you do what director Justin Chadwick does here, try to cover a large part of the life of someone who was in fact, larger than life, it is usually an overreach.

Read more‘Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom’ runs a bit long