Sunday, November 16, 2008

Great Action + Good Design = Quantum of Solace

Two years ago, Casino Royale, the first installment of the Bond series reboot, ended with Daniel Craig’s rough and tumble Bond character capturing a mysterious man by the name of Mr. White. Fast forward to the now and we rejoin the action immediately thereafter within the opening moments of director Marc Forster’s follow-up—Quantum of Solace. It’s this very moment-to-moment, edge-of-your-seat mindset that makes this next flick in the new Bond series a winner.

Quantum is absolutely action packed. In fact, if I were to have any critique, it’s that there’s barely enough time to catch your breath. But I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Forster does a fantastic job of infusing drama and emotion into what otherwise could have been an adrenaline overload. Not to mention we finally get a proper car chase.

You may remember Marc Forster as the director of my 2006 Favorite Movie pick, Stranger Than Fiction. Well, he not only brought with him the same exceptional production value, he brought MK12 as well. MK12 is the motion graphics studio that executed all of the killer mograph in Stranger, they were also responsible for the gorgeous opening sequence in Quantum to the rad vocals of odd couple Alicia Keys and Jack White. You typophiles out there will totally dig the killer font choice and accompanying motion. You can see a music video of the Keys/White opening track, Another Way To Die, by clicking here. Though it's not the opening credits sequence, it's still a great little duet.

Speaking of typography, pay special attention to the location titles throughout the flick. Someone out there with some basic design sensibilities finally had the forethought to create some beautifully customized, superimposed typographic compositions for each of the locations in the movie. This simple, yet thoughtful detail adds volumes to the viewing experience.

Finally, what I love about this new Bond series is the genuine storytelling. What I mean is this. I have a friend who is a really good storyteller, mainly because he’s a top-notch exaggerator. When he repeats a series of events back to you, sure it’s very entertaining to listen to, but it becomes obvious that everything’s blown a bit out of proportion. I’d equate this to previous Bond series such as the Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan eras. With this new series on the other hand, it’s kind of like you’re hearing for the first time what really happened. And let’s face it there’s something intoxicating about hearing how it all actually went down.

PS: There's a killer new trailer for J.J. Abrams' new Star Trek movie, right before Quantum. Download it here.

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