‘No Time to Die’: A Stunning Conclusion to the Daniel Craig Bond Era

No Time to Die wraps our current Bond era well enough as we say farewell to the films of Daniel Craig.

CREDIT: MGM Studios

It is finally here after several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We can finally say that we have watched the final Daniel Craig James Bond performance. Of course, I went to the movie theater for this one and watched it on Cinemark’s awesome XD format. I had my large Coke Zero Sugar along with my large popcorn and I sat on a comfy sat as I enjoyed a movie that I had lost investment in. Yes, that is right I had lost interest in this film because of these constant delays. A long time ago during a time called pre pandemic times this movie was on my most anticipated of 2020 film list. Of course, most of the movies found on the list did not release that year but unlike Dune that has held my interest this one did not keep me “hyped” through its multiple delays. I think that it helped that I was not over the roof excited for this film because this was a pleasant surprise.

This 25th installment of the Bond franchise is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Beasts of No Nation, True Detective) and written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, Killing Eve). The film stars an ensemble cast of Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, and Ralph Fiennes. Of course, we know that our road to this film has been bumpy. Originally, this film was set to be directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) from a script written by him and John Hodge then they left in August of 2018 because of creative differences. Production started in 2019 and Fukunaga replaced Boyle but then Daniel Craig was injured. Once production started again then in June of 2019 an explosion happened that damaged a soundstage damaged and left a crew member with minor injuries. Production wrapped in 2019 and then the pandemic hit in 2020 so we had multiple delays of the film until it finally released in the United States on October 8th. Was it worth the wait? I definitely think that it was.

I quite enjoyed No Time to Die from its stunning cinematographer by Linus Sandgren to the performances and story beats. Of course, Hans Zimmer always does a great job and this score is no different. The story is interesting enough to keep yourself locked in, but I felt there could have been edits made to its runtime of 163 minutes. The film does not need to be this long but I understand we want to soak in as much time we can with Daniel Craig’s final performance as James Bond. Seydoux does a great job reprising her character from Spectre and the chemistry with Craig is there through it all. Malek plays an interesting villain that really gets under the skin of Bond. I did not expect them to do as great as a job they did with his villain but I was surprised at how much his character was well developed. The performances from everyone else were good too but it was Lashana Lynch who truly surprised me and left me wanting more from her. I’m crossing my fingers that we get her back in some sort of role in the next films or as our next iteration of Bond. Ana De Armas’ presence is small but enjoyable, I just wish they would have done more with her.

Other than those minor gripes, No Time to Die beautifully wraps up this era of the Bond films. I love how we feel the presence and the unresolved trauma of the past films in this one. It feels like everything from Casino Royale to Spectre served a purpose to make this version of James Bond we see. It was tough to walk out of this one knowing it was Craig’s final Bond performance but the film does it justice. I am eager to see what this new era of Bond films will bring to the table.

Watch No Time to Die in theaters everywhere.

The Nerd Corps #453: ‘Possession’ Review

Raul and Brad continue on with their horror month here on The Nerd Corps podcast. This week they are taking it back to the early 80’s! They sit down and discuss the cult classic, Possession. These nerds definitely have a lot to say about this film so you want to listen to this one. What did they think? Check the episode out to find out!

IMDb Synopsis: “A woman starts exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior after asking her husband for a divorce. Suspicions of infidelity soon give way to something much more sinister.”

NashFilm52: ‘Clean Slate’ Review

Clean Slate is a brutally honest documentary film that presents the difficulties of being an addict and trying to make a film.

Courtesy of NashFilm

Art is a reflection of us as humans. It is a reflection of the human condition whatever that means to you. I believe that art needs to be honest and it needs to speak your truth. That is when, in my opinion, art works best and creates something that is extraordinary. These are all things I try to follow as I continue on my journey as a filmmaker. It is not easy though, all of this comes with a certain amount of vulnerability. Some people are not ready to pour themselves out to people and that is completely fine. Clean Slate does all of this well and creates a very personal documentary about recovery and the production process.

Clean Slate directed by Jared Callahan and starring Cassidy Detmer and Joshua Litton looks at these two Southern friends who are in a recovery program and trying to film their passion project, a short film called On The Fence. Their short film covers the pain they have caused their families through their long fight with substance abuse. We are presented to our filmmakers through their ups and downs. We examine their fight with their mental illnesses. All of this is done without being sugar coated and it is very personal. This film is a masterclass of the documentary filmmaking medium.

Clean Slate is incredible in every sense of the word. It is honest, patient, and not afraid to show the sides that we do not want to talk about. We care about our protagonists from the get go and want to see them succeed. That optimism is what also takes us through the rollercoaster of a journey, but there is a constant through it all. Film is our constant, the passion to want to continue making this short film even when things are at an all time low. That very passion is what keeps us moving forward and this film expresses the importance of having something to look forward to in life to fight our battles.

You are going to definitely want to watch this one when it eventually releases because I know that I already want to watch it again.

The Nerd Corps #452: Nashville Film Festival 2021 Recap

Luis and Raul are all wrapped up with their coverage of Nashville Film Festival. They get together to discuss what they watched and how it went at their first film festival. What was their top 5 they watched? What could have been improved? How tired are they? Find out on this episode!

NashFilm52: ‘The Good Traitor’ Review

The Good Traitor is an interesting look into the life of Henrik Kauffmann that falls apart because of its uneven storytelling choices.

I adore my historical dramas especially as someone who is a major history buff, I can thank my brother for teaching me that. This film caught my eye because this was always something about World War II that interested me. I never thought that I would see a biopic on Henrik Kauffmann ever be made. Also, it was being presented in conjecture with the upcoming Nashville Jewish Film Festival which caught my eye while watching the introduction before the film. This was my last film of the festival but I did not want to end my coverage on such a negative note so I still have much to discuss.

The film is directed by Christina Rosendahl and written by her along with Kristian Bang Foss and Dunja Gry Jensen. The film stars Ulrich Thomsen, Denise Gough, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, and Zoë Tapper. The Good Traitor looks at the life of Henrik Kauffmann who was the Danish ambassador to Washington DC during the beginning of the second world war. Kauffmann helped to sign the United States’ acquisition of Greenland in order to help his country of Denmark. Sadly, I cannot report back that The Good Traitor is anything other than a messy depiction of a flawed man.

This film is beautifully shot by the cinematographer, Louise McLaughlin. I actually do like Ulrich Thomsen’s quiet and patient performance. My main gripes with this film comes from its very clunky script. The film tries to juggle his personal affairs in his family life while also trying to remind the viewer that the nation of Denmark is occupied by the Nazis. Every time we somewhat get to the interesting fluff of the film it gets interrupted by having to go back to the lackluster depiction of his tumultuous relationship with his wife, Charlotte. A clunky script followed by an uneven pace that makes having to get through this film difficult. I also just could not get behind some of the performances other than Thomsen in the film. I did find the set design and overall production design of the film to be exquisite. You could tell that the team was dedicated to portraying the time period in Denmark accurately. Even though, I did not think highly of this film, I do recommend people watch it as it is discussing an important part of world history that easily helped the US’s involvement in World War II.

Watch The Good Traitor on Hulu and consider attending the hybrid Nashville Jewish Film Festival on October 14th.