CORE STORY: Jamie Bell has met to discuss playing 007

Photo: Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Photo: Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Chris Luckett

While Daniel Craig has been saying for years how much he hates playing James Bond, recent comments about preferring to “slash [his] wrists” rather than don the tux a fifth time seem to point to him not fulfilling the last film in his five-movie contract.

Oddsmakers have been placing bets on everyone from Idris Elba to Tom Hiddleson as Craig’s successor, but it’s quite possible now that Luther and Loki could lose the role to Billy Elliot. Continue reading

REVIEW: Spectre

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Chris Luckett

A friend once theorized to me that it takes every James Bond actor three movies to “become” Bond, which is largely why Goldfinger, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Skyfall were the respective best of Connery’s, Moore’s, and Craig’s (so far) turns in the tux. (Brosnan was the only one to hit it out of the park his very first time with GoldenEye, but then he’d already spent five seasons practicing on Remington Steele.)

Of course, as strong as those entries in the series were, they were each followed by movies that tried so hard to be bigger and better they ultimately took on too much. Thunderball was at least a half-hour too long, Moonraker remains a low-point of the 53-year-old franchise, and even the above-average Tomorrow Never Dies remains the most forgettable entry of the Brosnan years.

The question was never whether Spectre would be worse than 2012’s Skyfall, arguably the very best in the everlasting series; it was how close to those same lofty heights Spectre could reach. Thanks to the return of director Sam Mendes, some gripping action sequences, and a perfectly pitched performance from Christoph Waltz, the answer is: pretty damned close. Continue reading

OSCARS 2013: Final Predictions (Updated with Winners)

Photo: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Photo: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Chris Luckett

(UPDATE: Well, I beat last year’s of 16 but failed to meet my goal of 18. There’s always next year! I’ve noted where I was accurate in my predictions with an asterisk. Any category I got wrong I follow with its winner.)

Well, with the biggest awards show of the year beginning in an hour and a half, it’s about time for me to post my predictions. Last year, I got 16 of the 24 right. This year, I’m aiming for at least 18. If you’re looking for an educated guess for some categories, here’s what I’m putting my money on. Continue reading