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Quantum of Solace

Starts with a bang, and reminiscent of The Bourne Ultimatum
This movie takes place minutes after Casino Royal ends. It starts with a wild car chase on windy roads along a cliff and nearly jumps from one action set piece to another during the first hour. Conspiracies are unveiled and some riddles are solved. And the body-count is high.

The acting is just as intense as Casino Royal and Daniel Craig continues to make his James Bond a more human hero to the extent that this guy actually doesn't come out of a fight unscathed. Unlike Bonds of the past, this guy still gets hurt, but because he's a killing machine, he just keeps on going. Olga Kurylenko does a very convincing Bolivian accent, and her emotional obsession for revenge mimics that of Bond's, though her character isn't the trained killer that he is. Gemma Arterton's Ms Fields provides a giddy counterpoint to Kurylenko's character. And Judi Dench is always impressive as M.

I think where the film suffers though is in its final hour, which really isn't an hour, but 45 minutes. The action gives way to plot points that could have been seeded in between the action in the first hour. It makes the movie feel lopsided, and yet it doesn't take away from the suspension of disbelief. Mind you, the movie does end with a massive display of wild action and pyrotechnics.

But the one saving grace is that this movie ends much like The Bourne Ultimatum ended. Like Bourne, Bond has released the demons of his past and knows who he truly is. Judging by how many people clapped after the final shot of the movie played, a third Bond film is definitely expected.


Nice concept, but technical aspects could be better
This show hearkens back to a few of the shows from the 90s like "Poltergeist: The Legacy" and even the first six seasons of "The X-Files".

The potential for future story lines is very good, and the acting is decent too, specifically by Amanda Tapping. While her Helen Magnus character retains a little bit of the scientist heart of her Stargate character, there's a much more mysterious and darker side to Magnus. In fact, Magnus is what Samantha Carter could have been in another time and place. It's a refreshing change. The other principles do an okay job. Emilie Ullerup's character starts out as a little too Buffy The Vampire Slayer-ish, with too much of a cautious-less teenage attitude at the beginning -- her character was established as being over 18, which doesn't jive with how she's portrayed -- but she showed a little more maturity at the end of the pilot. Having seen Ullerup in a bit part in Battlestar Galactica, she's more than capable of pushing her character to more grittier areas, which would provide a nice counterpoint to the other characters. Robin Dunne reminds me a little too much of Daniel Radcliffe. I'm half-expecting him to start reciting Hogwart incantations. At the end of the pilot, his character still seems to be a bit 2 dimensional.

The special effects were quite good for work that was done in front of a green screen. But ... I thought that the pilot episode suffered in one particular area: pacing. I'm not sure if it has to do with the editing or directing, or both, but the two hour premiere could have almost been cut down to an hour and a half. Some of the cuts were too slow, lingering on exposition scenes. Tighter pacing and quicker cuts would have made the pilot episode a lot better.

Minor nitpicking... There are two things I wish they would have taken care of. The first was the scene in the train tunnels where Ullerup's character was following the boy. Honestly, if I was wandering through a train tunnel, I'd immediately realize that someone was following me, especially someone with a flashlight. And also, it's kinda weird that two folks could just slip by a crime scene in the same tunnel without even being noticed. (Unless, of course, they used some Jedi mind tricks...) The second was the little side story regarding the police's prime suspect to the murders. For me, this was unresolved and I would have liked to have a resolution to it. I found it disappointing that the main characters would actually let an innocent man take the fall for something that was done by some of the "monsters". Perhaps this was part of the original script? I don't know, but it's unresolved. And considering the task that the main characters are facing, you'd think they'd at least have some sort of moral compass.

Overall, the show has a nice concept, but could benefit from better editing and directing. I'm going to keep watching the show for a few more episodes before I decide if I'm going to be watching this show after Stargate Atlantis.

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