CATEGORIES MoviesFifty years after "Dr. No" first made him a movie star, James Bond returns to the big screen for the 23rd time with "Skyfall."
Daniel Craig's third film as the British super spy is already a massive hit in the UK, and it's been generating rave reviews from critics for everything from Sam Mendes' direction to Javier Bardem's latest villainous wig.
This time, Bond is tasked with tracking down a stolen file containing the names of undercover NATO operatives -- names that former MI6 agent-gone-rogue, Raoul Silva (Bardem), is threatening to reveal as a way to get revenge on the agency, and in particular, M (Judi Dench).
And to ensure you're properly prepped for one of the year's most hyped releases, here are 23 more things to know about 007's latest adventure.
1. It's been four years since the last Bond movie. Or, just long enough for people to forget about "Quantum of Solace."
2. Bond has apparently lost a step during the layoff. This affects his marksmanship, but not his ability to drink without upsetting a scorpion perched on his hand.
3. Drinking games are way more fun in Turkey.
4. "Skyfall" doesn't follow the storyline of the first two Daniel Craig movies. Instead, it's a stand-alone story.
5. Expect all the requisite Bond trademarks (the martini, the famous introduction, the campy villain), and a few nostalgic touches. But no exploding pen.
6. "Skyfall" reintroduces Q and Moneypenny to the franchise. One's done elegantly. The other, not so much.
7. At 143 minutes, "Skyfall" is the second-longest Bond movie of all-time. Plan accordingly.
8. Adele's title theme song will be stuck in your head for much longer than that. Again, plan accordingly.
9. A third of the movie's budget reportedly came from promotional tie-ins. Of all the product placement, expect the straight-razor industry to be the biggest beneficiary.
10. Speaking of product placement, Bond is shown drinking a beer for the first time, a Heineken. This almost set off an international incident.
11. Bond is also heard making a joke about his sexuality. This, too, almost set off an international incident.
12. "Skyfall" is the first Bond movie to be shot in digital, as opposed to film. This went largely unopposed, thanks mainly to cinematographer Roger Deakins.
13. It's traditional to give gold for a 50th anniversary, and Deakins is still looking for his first statue. Hint hint, Oscar voters.
14. Speaking of Oscars, "Skyfall" is the first time Bond has had an Oscar-winning director behind the camera in Sam Mendes.
15. Mendes was clearly heavily influenced by "The Dark Knight" -- and "Home Alone," apparently.
16. French actress Berenice Marlohe plays one of the movie's Bond girls. She's not to be confused for French actress Berenice Bejo from "The Artist," despite having about the same amount of dialogue.
17. "Skyfall" focuses so strongly on Bond and M's relationship, Judi Dench could be considered the movie's third Bond girl.
18. The villain in "Skyfall" has serious mommy issues. For that matter, so does Bond.
19. Bardem's Silva doesn't show up until almost an hour in, but he certainly knows how to make an entrance. And an exit.
20. When it comes to playing a villain with a terrible haircut, Javier Bardem has still got it.
21. Despite their obvious on-screen chemistry during the Olympics' opening ceremony, the Queen doesn't make a cameo in "Skyfall."
22. James Bond will return. He always does.
23. "Casino Royale" was still just a little bit better.