Ghost in the Machine: Daniel Craig’s James Bond Hunts Sam Mendes’s Spectre

James Bond (Daniel Craig) pursues almost invisible enemies.
James Bond (Daniel Craig) pursues almost invisible enemies.

‘James Bond will return…’ Barring a short period in the early 1990s, when the future of the series was up in the air thanks to legal issues, this statement has been as sure as death and taxes for more than five solid decades. Three years after the gargantuan success of Skyfall, the British super spy graces the silver screen of the blue planet with his presence once more. In the midst of some controversy about whether he still enjoys the role, Daniel Craig returns for his fourth outing as 007. Can Spectre, which is again directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes, ‘deliver the goods’ in the face of enormous expectations?

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The Spy Who Came in from the Cold: James Bond’s Impressive Comeback in Sam Mendes’s Skyfall

Skyfall
James Bond (Daniel Craig) and his legendary Aston Martin DB5

To the sounds of energetic percussive music, James Bond tracks down a villain on the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. All of a sudden, a Jeep manned by a female British agent picks him up. Mere moments later, 007 has already become involved in a motorbike chase over the rooftops along the marketplace. He lands on top of a train and tries to retrieve a very important stolen list from the baddie. ‘M,’ listening in over the radio, has qualms that her super spy might fail her. While he is in a fistfight with the enemy, she orders the female agent to shoot at Bond from a distance. The woman hits 007. He falls off a bridge and down a waterfall.

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The Analytical Mind: Comparing Sherlock Holmes, Then and Now

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey jr., left) and Doctor Watson (Jude Law, right) on the hunt for criminals.

Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective, Sherlock Holmes, is one of English literature’s most recognizable and enduring characters. As such, he has made more than 200 movies appearances since the inception of cinema. The master snoop had been portrayed by such luminaries as Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Christopher Plummer, Patrick Macnee, Jonathan Pryce, Christopher Lee and Charlton Heston. When Madonna’s former husband, British director Guy Ritchie, announced his plans to create a new version of Sherlock Holmes for the big screen, his choice for the part seemed rather curious to a lot of people. The filmmaker went with American actor Robert Downey jr. in the eponym’s role. The oft-troubled performer from ‘the other side of the pond,’ although talented, was a much-criticized selection due to the fact that he was battling drug addiction and legal problems for the better part of the 1990s and, more importantly, because he is no Englishman. Would he be capable of a convincing performance worthy of the legendary mantle?

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