Review Roundup: QUANTUM OF SOLACE, CHRISTMAS TALE

By at November 15, 2008 | 11:51 pm | Print

There have been seven Star Wars films. Six Rockys. Even a bunch of those silly Ernest movies. But 22 entries for one film series? That can only be Bond. And with the Quantum of Solace release here in the US, we officially have the 2008 holiday movie season. (It opened in the UK on October 31.) You know those families who go apeshit for shopping the day after Thanksgiving? The primary concern for my wife’s family is seeing Bond.

:: QUANTUM OF SOLACE
Rotten Tomatoes: 66 / 100
Metacritic: 58 / 100

filmcritic.com: 2.5 / 5

Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace
How often does one man have to squint?

Here’s the only wide release in the US this weekend. And here’s my vote for Daniel Craig as the greatest of all James Bond actors. If I grew up in the ’60s, perhaps I’d feel differently, but I grew up just after… and Roger Moore just looks foolish now. Okay, that’s that.

Now for Quantum of Solace: The combined critical response for this second film in the rejuvenated series is decidedly so-so. If you want a nonstop action movie, you’ve got a winner. If you want a real chapter in the James Bond series — especially after the fantastic Casino Royale — you’ll be disappointed. Director Marc Forster (hate Monster’s Ball, love Stranger Than Fiction) goes wall-to-wall with the stunts, speed and getaways, diluting the cool spyishness of it all. Look, if you want to see it, poor reviews aren’t keeping you away anyway.

Some quick trivia: Quantum of Solace is not an original title. It was one of Bond author’s Ian Fleming’s short stories — one in which James Bond was a minor character.

Look for Daniel Craig next in Defiance, hitting US theaters in January 2009.  

:: A CHRISTMAS TALE
Rotten Tomatoes: 95 / 100
Metacritic: 85 / 100
filmcritic.com: 4.5 / 5

Catherine Deneuve in A Christmas Tale
“I’ve got the naughty list here, and you’re all screwed.”

Don’t let the simple title trick you into thinking this is some pansy family movie. Oh, it’s a family movie, but one about lymphoma, rotten siblings and a high order of dysfunction. And it’s easily one of the most highly acclaimed movies of the year.

French director Arnaud Desplechin’s follow-up to Kings & Queen stars the legendary Catherine Deneuve as the family matriarch, and scored a Palme d’Or nomination at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. If you enjoy using Rotten Tomatoes as an index, A Christmas Tale is the 11th highest scoring film of 2008 (for films with 40+ reviews).

:: Quick Hit:
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
The latest from Danny Boyle, a director of true diversity (Trainspotting, Millions, Sunshine), is scoring high marks. An Indian boy on the low end of the caste system wins big on a version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and his legtimacy comes into question.

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3 Comments


  1. Patrick, 6 years ago Reply

    it will be easy to make Quantum of Solace spoofs… every where this Bond goes he breaks glass, he can’t get a gallon of milk from the store without it turning into a chase scene, and every time he punches someone in the face, they die


  2. Norm Schrager, 6 years ago Reply

    @Patrick-

    Sounds like a Bond in a China shop. Heh heh, heh heh.


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