The introduction of Owen Davian is ruthless and awesome.
Tension. We don’t need to see the shark to be terrified of what lies beneath the waves.
In true Tarantino fashion, Inglourious Basterds’ opening is full of amazing dialogue, suspense and action.
The Dark Knight
How could I leave out the introduction of one of the coolest villains we’ve ever seen on the big screen? Not to mention it’s an incredible bank heist.
The Social Network
When they first announced ‘The Facebook Movie’ I was skeptical but within 2 minutes I was hooked. This brilliant opening scene introduces us to a fascinating and flawed main character using nothing but well written dialogue.
You can’t talk about opening scenes without James Bond’s name coming up. With so many choices I had to go with Casino Royale for it’s quiet desaturated beauty.
Star Wars: A New Hope
Ignore the prequels. Our first glimpse of Darth Vader is just as bad ass today.
Tarantino again. I suppose you could put the opening scenes from all of his movies and they would feel right at home on this list. Obviously Pulp Fiction belongs but Reservoir Dogs is no slouch when it comes to openings. Only Tarantino can make something as ‘ordinary’ as tipping waitresses so unbelievably interesting.
… Look there’s a cop car… No big deal, I’ll just drive the speed limit because I’ve got nerves of steel…
Easily one of the best ‘getaway’ scenes you’ll ever see and an absolutely awesome beginning to a great movie.
Truly embodies the meaning of iconic. Goodfellas grabs you the second the gangsters open the trunk and never lets go.
This post is part of James Bond January. For reviews of every single James Bond film from various movie bloggers head over to Paragraph Film Reviews.
When it came time to decide which film I would be reviewing for my contribution to James Bond January, it was an easy decision. I adore Casino Royale. It’s my favorite Bond film and I LOVE James Bond movies.
Goldeneye and the accompanying Nintendo 64 game dominated my life for years. I thought Pierce Brosnan was an okay James Bond but by the time Die Another Day’s over the top action came along, I was over it. I think it was the giant Ice Castle.
I think that’s why Casino Royale is my favorite Bond film. Daniel Craig’s portrayal is a lot grittier and realistic. This is MY Bond. I don’t want to take anything away from the 007′s of the past but I was absolutely blown away by the film.
I’ve always been fascinated when new filmmakers breath new life into established franchises. Especially when it comes to arguably the biggest movie character of all time. I think it was brilliant how they reintroduced us to the famous spy in their own way while still retaining all the elements we expect in a Bond film.
The Incredible Opening Scene
The first scene in this movie is beautiful. What a fantastic way to establish a new James Bond and kick start one hell of a ride.
He is James Bond now. I wasn’t a massive fan of Quantum of Solace but his performance is outstanding in each of them. This version of Bond is vulnerable. He can be hurt and people get the best of him. That’s why it’s a more accessible way to portray the spy. You know James Bond will always come out on top but this is much more of a struggle and in my opinion, much more interesting.
A big part of the Bond world is the women. I think this element was another stroke of genius. Gone are the wacky (yet awesome) names for Bond’s beauties. They are replaced by complex and emotional characters that aren’t just there to boost James’, ahem… Stats.
Eva Green’s Vesper Lind is the perfect woman to grab a hold of James Bond’s heart. It adds a level to Bond that we have never seen before. A vulnerability that’s fascinating to witness.
What would a James Bond movie be without action? Casino Royale delivers a ton of tense moments including chases, fights, guns, explosions and more. The highlight here is the ‘free running’ (or Parkour) chase in the first act. It proves yet again that this is not a traditional Bond movie. Can you picture Sean Connery pulling off those moves as Bond?
… Actually, that would have been pretty sweet.
Regardless, Craig displays a high level of ability when it comes to stunts that rivals his considerable acting talent.
It’s Bond! I signed up for action and got exactly what I wanted.
I’m actually not a huge fan of Le Chiffre. He’s a decent villain I suppose but when there is a larger force at work, the smaller pawns get lost. I’ve always loved stories about criminal organizations. This isn’t anything new to the series but it shows a tremendous amount of confidence that the filmmakers simply hinted at the bigger picture here.
I can’t wait to learn more about Quantum in the newly announced “Bond 23″.
Batman and Robin achieved the impossible and made Batman lame. But then Christopher Nolan came along with a brand new approach that changed the way we looked at The Dark Knight forever. The caped crusader was cool again.
I’m not saying previous Bond films are comparable to Batman and Robin but I do think Casino Royale made James Bond cool again.
Martin Campbell’s film is an extremely entertaining adventure that inspired the action fan in me.
Still, I do want to go back and watch EVERY Bond film again. James Bond January definitely brought back fond memories of some of the best spy movies of all time.
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We’ve all enjoyed movie marathons from time to time. Matching two worthy movies together can be pretty challenging. Sometimes it’s tough to decide which two go together. Others are a little more obvious.
Some get inspired during the first movie and choose the next film accordingly. Others plan ahead. Some simply watch the same combos over and over again until they become cherished traditions.
Honestly, as I stared at my DVD collection, I could have easily named about 50 billion different combinations but I had to stop somewhere.
What are some of your favorite double features?
Feel free to contribute by commenting below!
Here are some of my favorites:
[Note] I’m aware this list doesn’t really have 10 films… I’m okay bending the rules every once in a while.