Tag Archives: rome

SPECTRE (2015) – My rating: 8.3/10

SpectreSpectre is one of the most expensive movies ever made.  With a budget of $245M, it has brought in approximately $176M over the last 4 weekends here in the US and grossed $750M worldwide.  After all is said and done, Spectre needed to gross $640M to break even.  A reported $34M was spent just on the destruction of expensive cars during the making of this 24th James Bond movie.  Add Daniel’s salary of $24M, making him the highest paid Bond (which doesn’t include endorsements), in the history of the 007 franchise.  Now add  around $100M for promotions, plus with all the other staff, actors and employee salaries, one can see how the price tag escalated so high. 

So with that said, lets talk about the movie.  The plot features James Bond’s first encounter with the global criminal organization called Spectre.  Also, several characters, including M, Q and Eve Moneypenny return, with the new additions of Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann, Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx, Andrew Scott as Max Denbigh and Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra.   Spectre opens in Mexico City with 007 on an unofficial mission ordered by the former M (Judy Dench).  Eventually, Bond ends up in Rome where he learns about Spectre.  Things get pretty complicated and very dangerous as Bond finds himself without backup, as his division has been dissolved by the current M’s new boss, C, because he deems “00” section outdated.  In the meanwhile, Spectre turns out to be a sinister organization headed up by the ultimate villain, Ernst Stavro Brofeld, played by Christoph Waltz.  The story is complex, the action is intense and the cast is brilliant.  However, I found Spectre to be quite different from most of the Bond stories.  It seemed like something was missing.  Somehow I think the absence of Judy Dench and her nurturing personality made Bond seem noticeably alone and a little uncertain of himself — not the overall confident ladies man I’m use to seeing.  Pierce Brosnan expressed that this Bond film seemed weak and lack luster.  While I thought the story was solid, I have to agree with Pierces’ opinion.  Check it out, it’s an endless challenge of surprises, twist and turns.  It will keep you entertained all the way to the end. 

 [SPECTRE is nominated for Original Song]

 

MAGIC MIKE XXL (2015) – My rating: 8/10

MagicMikeXXLThere’s only one word to describe Magic Mike XXL, raunchy!  If you’re looking to see anything like the last Magic Mike, forget it.  This sequel has a new look and feel.  They’ve stepped it up by 10 times the fun and excitement of old.  Word of mouth is something else because I kept seeing large groups of ladies, especially the 50+ range flocking to see Magic Mike XXL.  The shy laughter and red faces were infectious.  I had no intentions of going to see it because I expected more of the same since I had seen the first Magic Mike.  I was surprised and my curiosity was well satisfied once I saw what the “brouhaha” was all about.  We all know about the outstanding bodies of Channing Tatum who plays Mike, Joe Mangoniello who plays Big Dick Richie, Matt Bomer who plays Ken and the rest of the group Adam Rodriguez who plays Tito, Juan Piedrahita who plays Salvador and Kevin Nash who plays Tazan.  Dancer, Stephen “tWitch” Boss joins the cast as Malik to make matters even better.  In this sequel, Mike returns to the team after failing at love and struggling with his furniture business.  Their journey to the stripper convention in Myrtle Beach makes for quite a story.  Jada Pinkett Smith plays Rome, a DJ and entrepreneur who is well known and old friends with Mike.  Andie MacDowell plays Nancy Davidson, a rich mother looking for love who helps out the team and develops a relationship with Big Dick Richie.  Over all, Magic Mike XXL is a ladies movie that is entertaining and not for the prudish.  I think it’s worth seeing.