'Skyfall,' James Bond film No. 23, blessed by Vatican in newspaper review
A Vatican newspaper says "Skyfall" is one of the best James Bond movies among the 23 in the hit spy film series that have been produced in the past 50 years.
L'Osservatore Romano, the Italian-language print and online outlet of the Catholic Church's Holy See, or government, said in a review published on October 31 that today's 007 agent, played by returning star Daniel Craig, is "less cliche," and "less attracted by the pleasures of life, much darker and more introspective, less invulnerable physically and psychologically, and therefore more human, capable of being moved and even cry - in a word, more real."
"Skyfall does not disappoint - the 23rd chapter is one of the most successful in the longest-running movie franchise in history," the review states.
"Skyfall" was released in the United Kingdom, where Bond is based, on October 23 and also received rave reviews from top movie critics, according to Rottentomatoes.com, which gave it a 100 percent approval rating, as of Wednesday.
The outlet also calls Javier Bardem, who sports a blond wig while playing the villain Silva, "amazing," and praises the film for its "adrenaline-fueled action," "exotic locations" and "beautiful Bond girls," played by Bérénice Marlohe and Naomie Harris.
"Skyfall," also features Bond's boss M, played by Judi Dench, who is put in danger when the British Secret Intelligence Service headquarters is attacked. Ralph Fiennes plays her boss, Gareth Mallory. The movie also sees the return of tech whiz Q, who had been missing from the two previous Bond films that starred Craig as 007 - "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace." Q is played by Ben Whishaw.
"Skyfall" is directed by Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes. Filming took place in Turkey as well as Scotland, England and Shanghai, China. It is the third franchise film for Craig, who played James Bond in the films "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace."
The new Bond film is set to hit theaters in the United States on November 9, almost 50 years after the release of the first James Bond film, "Dr. No," which was released in 1962 and starred Sean Connery.
L'Osservatore Romano sometimes features reviews and commentary about entertainment and pop culture. It once dubbed Homer Simpson a "true Catholic" and also praised the Beatles in what was seen as a peace offering" following John Lennon's controversial 1966 remark, in which he said the group was more popular than Jesus.
"Skyfall" has already made $96.6 million. The first film starring Craig as Bond, "Casino Royale," has made $594 million since its 2006 release, while the second, "Quantum of Solace," earned $586 million since it hit theaters in 2008, making it the highest-grossing Bond movie.
However, according to Boxofficemojo.com, following an adjustment of average ticket prices due to inflation, the title goes to the 1965 movie "Thunderball," which starred Sean Connery as 007. The film made $63.5 million, which would be worth almost $600 million today.