SPECTRE - Your reviews. NO SPOILERS.

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  • Posts: 484
    Having had 2 nights to sleep on it, by appreciation of the film has definitely grown. DC's performance is the absolute highlight of the film. He's quite simply superb. Seeing it again the week after next.

    For me the best thing about all the Craig Bond films is Daniel Craig himself. He's no rookie in SP, he seems to be a 00 agent at the top of his game. Cool and cocky, tough and resourceful.

    I quite liked the two Moore moments when Bond and Hinx squared up next to each other in their vehicles for the car chase and then the snow chase. Particularly the snow plane when he gives that look to Hinx before opening the window and starts shooting.

    Most fans don't seem to rate the car chase but it was nice to see Bond getting a kick out of the car's gadgets like Brosnan in TND and DAD.
  • 00Agent00Agent Any man who drinks Dom Perignon '52 can't be all bad.
    edited October 2015 Posts: 5,172
    Cowley wrote: »

    Most fans don't seem to rate the car chase but it was nice to see Bond getting a kick out of the car's gadgets like Brosnan in TND and DAD.

    Thats exactly what i've been thinking after reading some of the opinions here.

    How does the car chase compare to TND or better even DAD? From the trailers i had a feeling this will be very similar since its basically the same set up, only the location is very different
  • edited October 2015 Posts: 484
    Well it's not the best car chase as far as stunts, danger and suspense but it's an opportunity for the Daniel Craig Bond to have a bit of fun and it's gorgeously shot. When they reach the Tiber and there's an ariel shot it reminds me of the panoramic Lewis Gilbert action sequences.

    I quite like the intersections with Moneypenny which progress the plot and then it cuts back to the chase and the excitement and the score rev up again. Backfire has grown on me after the chase. The closest Newman has got to a decent action theme from his efforts.

    I don't care that the streets are empty for the most part as it showcases the cars and Rome.
  • How long is the car chase, would you say? I heard about 8 minutes? I realize that half of that is dialogue with MP but that still leaves us with four minutes of the good stuff.
  • Posts: 484
    It feels about six minutes or so to me. It is the 'prettiest' visual car chase we've ever had in the Bond series. I genuinely don't mind it. Yes it isn't in the style of Ronin or Bourne but so many Bond chases aren't as they always have that little 'twist' to them.

    I do think a lot of the car chases in the Bond films are underrated. The alternative angles to the Mustang chase in DAF with more shots from Bond's perspective would have made it feel a little grittier.

    Anyone catch the BBC4 programme before about Bond on the BBC. Derek Nimmo was just out of shot for the DAF car chase when the Mustang mounts the kerb!
  • Posts: 2,531
    Cowley wrote: »
    Having had 2 nights to sleep on it, by appreciation of the film has definitely grown. DC's performance is the absolute highlight of the film. He's quite simply superb. Seeing it again the week after next.

    For me the best thing about all the Craig Bond films is Daniel Craig himself. He's no rookie in SP, he seems to be a 00 agent at the top of his game. Cool and cocky, tough and resourceful.

    I quite liked the two Moore moments when Bond and Hinx squared up next to each other in their vehicles for the car chase and then the snow chase. Particularly the snow plane when he gives that look to Hinx before opening the window and starts shooting.


    Most fans don't seem to rate the car chase but it was nice to see Bond getting a kick out of the car's gadgets like Brosnan in TND and DAD.

    LOL. When Moore does this it cracks me up. Whether Craig pulls it off as well remains to be seen. I would still prefer Craig's Bond to take it more seriously like in QOS for example, but if he does it well then I'll sit back and enjoy the ride.
  • Thanks, Cowley. The chase is so divisive that it's becoming the part of the film I'm most curious to see. I wonder if it's a case of a good chase that was hyped to be great and so people are therefore disappointed.
  • Posts: 183
    Good film-need to watch it again to place it properly but at this stage I know it's not as good as CR, but solid. I was tired when I watched it so Friday's 9am viewing will be better for me.

    PTS was over hyped IMO. Especially by journalists saying it was the best ever. In terms of enjoyment, getting my adrenaline pumping and making me proud to be a fan, I prefer the Skyfall PTS which I think is the most exciting ever. The Spectre PTS IS great, but suffered for me because, unlike the film as a whole, I had ridiculously high expectations for it! So it's my own fault!
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,447
    Getafix wrote: »
    Just read the Mark Kermode review on the Guardian website. Have to say I had exactly the same thought while watching SP. It felt very much like a Nolan movie in many places. I think SP perhaps makes it less likely that Nolan will direct a future Bond as we already have a Nolan style Bond movie.

    Like SF, I think SP is probably too long and could have lost around 20-30 minutes. Mendes proves again to have only a shaky grasp of action and suspense, although SP is an improvement on SF.

    Thought the title song and title sequence was pretty good. Smith's song may not be a classic but it's not as bad as some have made out.

    Nice tracking shot in the PTS although the sequence is strangely unexciting (echoes of the SF PTS). Overall I much prefer the SP PTS though for pure style. The main culprit is Newman's soporiphic score.

    Lots of nice moments and scenes. Q steals the show IMO.

    Moneypenny is less annoying than in SF and it's nice to see M basically on Bond's side for once and little in the way of tedious trust issues.

    Yes, I agree with a lot of this, especially the length. It doesn't feel like the sort of film that needs 150 minutes, and you can pick out the scenes that cry out to be edited down. However there is a lightness of touch, and sense of fun that recalls the late 70s. Also the globe hopping which rivals those Moore movies.
    I did quite like the silly visual jokes (especially the sofa gag - after all it had to be somewhere!) maybe because they reminded me of those less intense Bond movies of yesteryear. Nice to have some amusing patter, and of course M gets the killer line that everyone will remember.

    I will see it again next week in a proper cinema and I'm sure I will take much more from it. However, over the years I have realised that for me any Bond film is better than none at all, and each film adds to this unique historical tapestry. A sort of history of the action/adventure movie all in one franchise.
  • Posts: 11,175
    One thing that may divide some fans is that I got the impression I was largely watching a "film" Bond in action during Spectre as opposed to the more grounded yet well trained figure nearer to Fleming's Bond in Casino Royale. His suit certainly didn't seem to take the battering it did in that film.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,447
    Yes, but that's just fans BAIN. Eon can't rely on fans to help keep the series alive. They need to appeal to a global audience who only watch a Bond film once or maybe twice. They don't know or care who Ian Fleming is.

    So while we bicker about Bond's suits and lack of bruises after being pummelled in a fight, the audience in general is making Eon the money they need to make the next film.
  • Hey, remember me? I’m the guy who went to the press screening last week and wrote some disparaging things about Spectre here?

    Well, here’s the deal. I went to see it again last night, and now with a little distance and perspective, I have to say I really enjoyed it.

    It’s an interesting thing, watching a film you’re truly anticipating for the first time. You have such built-up expectations that you essentially have an preconceived idea in your head of what they film should be, opposed to what the film actually is. At initial blush, it seemed hollow and a little empty and I was left undernourished. However, going back in to see it, I was able to appreciate the film for what it is opposed to what I had wanted it to be.

    So what is the film: It’s a bloody entertaining ride of movie. The film is fun, fast and deftly handled by Mendes. It is so confidently directed by Mendes and the artistry on show is through the roof (I think you really come to appreciate photography and music on further viewings of a film). Even some of my minor issues seemed to get ironed out over the course of the film. Both Andrew Scott and Dave Bautisita who I found disappointing nonentities actually really worked this time out. Scott is a little one-note, despite this he still brings a slimy smugness to the role, while Baustista is really very memorable even if he is a little underutilised.

    On the whole, the film is a lot of fun and maybe a little richer than I initially appreciated. Aside from the obvious themes of modern espionage vs good old fashioned techniques, there is an interesting undercurrent running through the film about the ‘life of an assassin’ and the chance to be able to escape from that world. Through this we ar eintoruduced to the charming Lea Seydoux, who brings so much pathos and Gallic charm to the picture.

    I also really liked Ralph Fiennes in the film, his M is a slightly different characterisation then we’re seen in the past. He’s basically an overworked, exasperated bureaucrat who is having massive problems keeping his agents in line whilst watching his organisation fall apart. He’s a man losing his grip in a new world and Fiennes brings a tinge of pathos and considerable stoicism to the role. I felt oddly proud when he asks the policeman to step down and says “Mallory, 00-Section”; it was the most resolute he had been throughout the film and I really liked that aspect.

    However, this film belongs to Daniel Craig. Half the performance in any Bond film is posing, and damn, DC looks good. Beyond that, he’s slightly more cheeky and loose; there is a considerable degree of confidence in the way he approaches the film. He’s sexy, cool and classy. There’s a real understatement to proceedings, but he isn’t afraid to occasionally wink towards the camera, not in an overt way but in a slightly self-knowing manner which is rather new to his Bond (and maybe the reason many have made the occasional Roger Moore comment)

    The real champion behind proceedings here is Sam Mendes. SP really is a very different beast to SF, it’s a much larger and more sprawling film (albeit a tad messy) and Mendes juggles a number of different tones and in the most part is very successful. The film is constructed in a very different manner to SF and mostly relies on mystery and action to build a story opposed to develop a conventional narrative. Each location brings a new flavour to the piece and allows the film to evolve and change. In particular I loved the London finale, where you see the old Mi6 team take on C’s New World Order all whilst Bond is taking a psychological mind-fuck through the empty carcass of the once proud Mi6 building. There is a certain tinge of The Third Man to these segments with a certain touch of Le Carre, whilst keeping all the typical Bond bombast.

    I have to say that some of my quibbles do stand. The relationships aren’t as developed as I’d like and the narrative is a little weak, furthermore Spectre and Waltz aren’t given much to do (the dodgy torture scene also doesn’t work). However, it’s a great fun piece of popcorn cinema that will surely endure for the ages.

    Furthermore, it’s really got me excited for the follow-up. We have to get a Mendes and Craig reunion!

    4.5/5
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,447
    Nice one @Pierce2Daniel, a good read, and I don't think there are any spoilers ;)
    I agree, Lea Seydoux is excellent - I'm looking forward to watching her more carefully next week when I see the film again.
  • Posts: 1,158
    @Pierce2Daniel Im intrigued by this because thats exactly what i thought would happen if i see it again. The middle section which seems to go nowhere, once you're aware of the ending, might be less pedestrian.

    Surely, *Surely* its set up for Craig and Mendes final film in b25
  • Thanks guys, I felt the first time I watched it that many of the questions I personally had were left unanswered. I still feel a little upset about it (for instance; who are the modern Spectre/how did they get their name/why did Oberhauser create it/etc), however, parking that aside and just watching the film for what it is; I have to say it is very entertaining. And boy, does it move, for a 2hr 30min film it really has a marvellous rhythm to it.

    There is a certain playfulness to the film and a much broader and wider variety to the picture. Each location offers something new:
    Mexico – vibrant and exotic. Also I’ve never seen anything quite like the Day of the Dead as it is depicted in this film before in any motion picture. It’s a bloody great move.
    Rome – sexy, mysterious and forbidden. Very classically Bondian.
    Austria – Clean, crisp and modern (not to mention cold). I also got a big Christopher Nolan vibe from this segment.
    Morocco – Romantic and Classical. These segment feel like a riff not just on the classic Connery films but also Hitchcock. The whole segment on the train and the station exit is straight out of North by Northwest and I’m not complaining.
    London – Grim and dark. Probably the best cinematography of the film is in this segment. Like I said there is a certain Le Carre vibe to the proceedings and the final Mi6 chase is a brilliant macabre trip for Bond which really reminded me of the finale of The Third Man. It also features possibly the best scene of the film where Bond comes face to face with Oberhauser.

    Another thing I enjoyed about the film was the depiction of Bond. He’s a more confident man in the film (which meshes with Craig’s great performance), he’s absolute and completely driven. It was great seeing a determined 007 really driving the film and moving the thing forward.
  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your familyModerator
    Posts: 10,544
    Really glad you enjoyed it the second time around, @Pierce2Daniel.
  • @Pierce2Daniel – I’m really glad you liked it better the second time around. You took my exact words when I responded to your initial posts, that it’s always so hard to judge a film for what it is rather than what we wanted it to be. The same goes to certain individual scenes, too. Hype is part of the problem. The Rome car chase, for example, has been so hyped that a lot of people are disappointed in it because it’s not “epic.” But maybe it’s just “good”? And good is fine. It just seems like a letdown when we’re expecting great.

    Anyway, I’m happy that you were able to go in fresh a second time and enjoyed it more. I find the second viewing (or the second listen, as this tends to happen with me for new albums) really give us the feel of a piece. Initial impressions, for me at least, can change a lot after repeat views.
  • Posts: 11,175
    I have a strange feeling SP will do the opposite to Skyfall and improve on further viewings.
  • Posts: 1,498
    B*gger, I'm itching to chime in here. First time since the 90's that a Bondflick has been released a week earlier in the UK than over here in Belgium.... lousy Sony distribution :!!
  • Attended a screening yesterday afternoon, however only just found the time to cast my opinion, which is probably a blessing, since sleeping on your thoughts is never harmful.

    Pre-Title Sequence
    Phenomenal. Best PTS since Casino Royale, and no doubt in my view, on par too. The opening shot, as already noted by many, is fantastic –- and as for Bond’s disguised choice of attire –- I’ve spent the past five minutes attempting to come up with a description that justifies just how f-ing cool he looks.

    Title Sequence/Sam Smith Song
    In the context of the movie, and like I expected, the song does work. It’s no classic, I appreciate that, but it works. Simple as that.

    Action
    Delivers accordingly, with the train sequence and Mr Hinx introductory scene, being the stand-outs. Car chase in Rome was underwhelming and forgetful –- doesn’t feel incredibly fast nor dangerous, which is the least you’d expect. Probably isn’t helped by being intercut with a stationary relaxed scene.

    Daniel Craig
    Solid performance, as usual. Bond’s back to his ruthless, peak best in terms of physicality. Despite being his fourth time portraying the character however, there’s a couple of odds moment early on where Craig is evidently still finding his feet, adapting to the re-introduced campiness.

    Christop Waltz
    Much like Silva in Skyfall, there’s a lack of screen time, even more less in Spectre, for the villain. Just when it feels like we’re getting a taster to the depth of Waltz’s character, the concluding action sequence approaches, and before we know it, everything is wrapped up. Waltz no doubt delivers in the role, which is high appraisal, given the small amount of time he has to portray the character.

    The Bond Girls
    Monica’s character, much like Severine in Skyfall, has around 10-15 minutes screen time, if that, rendering her character somewhat forgetful. Madeleine is no doubt the ‘Bond girl’ of Spectre, and to her credit, she delivers. Though with nothing that challenges the depth of Eva Green’s Vesper.

    Cinematography
    No doubt one of the positives. Two gripes though. Image is a little too soft at times, even for 35mm anamorphic, to a degree in which you find yourself squinting. Additionally, color pallet is a tad over muted for my liking aswell.

    Score
    I’m in the minority, so it would appear, but I actually rank the score as one of the highlights. It adds an extra layer of intensity to the action, which is partly it’s job, and although there’s re-used material from Skyfall, it works, on the whole.

    Tone
    It’s much different to recent entries, and I’m still undecided on whether the re-introduced, more camp tone, works with Craig’s Bond. There’s a couple of scenes, M’s first meeting with Bond as the stand out, where the tone of the scene is all over the place. Unnecessary one-liners are slung in, which just feel odd and forced. Even Craig seems uncomfortable at times with his delivery. There’s other times when it works too, however there was probably only two or three occasions when the audience I watched it with, laughed collectively, which surprised me.

    Pacing
    I made a point upon leaving the screening, to the friends with whom I watched it with, that the movie as a whole felt suffocated. There’s no moment where the film takes a lengthy breath or really settles down in one particular location. I understand it’s a necessity of a Bond movie to switch from location to location, but there needs to be a counter-balance where, underneath all this madness and scope, the narrative relaxes and breathes a little. Much like Casino Royale did in Montenegro, and Skyfall in London.

    ---

    Verdict
    Spectre is a solid entertaining entry, which due to its tone, will no doubt sit better with long-time fans of the franchise, than the casual fan still dribbling over Skyfall. It is the victim of one too many ingredients, resulting in a feeling of suffocation and lack of screen time for particular characters. However, unlike Quantum of Solace, Spectre doesn’t follow up from a previous successful entry with a safe approach. It’s ballsy with its change in tone and direction, and for that alone, firstly deserves credit, and secondly, demands a second watch to appreciate the film for what it is.
  • mcdonbbmcdonbb deep in the Heart of Texas
    edited October 2015 Posts: 4,116
    Whether critic or fan almost everyone has very similar opinions.

    Doesn't seem as divisive as maybe a QoS or GE. May improve with more viewings and age well too.

    Very little out right hate like was aimed at QoS ...some elation, some love and forgiveness, some love and tolerance, some eh ok it was fun...but little anger. Nothing yet to scare me away...in fact I'm intrigued... I have to know for myself.
  • I've seen it, like I've said on the spoiler thread, it was entertaining enough but not the epic I'd hope given the scope of the premise, come on guys & girls at EON, this was SPECTRE, it does feel like a missed chance yet again.

    Taboo as this may be given this site, but maybe Bond really is done.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    I don't think Bond is done ( SF, most successful British film, ever) ;)
    but I do feel they missed a chance. Then again maybe they have big
    Plans for SPECTRE, in forthcoming movies ?
  • Posts: 1,498
    I've seen it, like I've said on the spoiler thread, it was entertaining enough but not the epic I'd hope given the scope of the premise, come on guys & girls at EON, this was SPECTRE, it does feel like a missed chance yet again.

    Taboo as this may be given this site, but maybe Bond really is done.

    But how 'epic' can James Bond be, really??
    Aren't we looking too much for Kubrick (epic to the point of being avant-garde) when what we really want is Ridley Scott - stylish, solid and well constructed action-thrillers?
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited October 2015 Posts: 23,883
    Taboo as this may be given this site, but maybe Bond really is done.

    This isn't likely.

    Bond is a victim of its own success, periodically.

    After SF blew the box office open, inevitably they would go bigger and perhaps less effective (presumably, because I've yet to see it).

    Depending on feedback and box office results/profitability, they will recalibrate again, almost undoubtedly.
  • Posts: 4,413
    I like reading all reviews so thanks for posting but, as with all works of art, you can look at the individual elements and find that most if not all work very well. But, ultimately, it has to be judged as a single cohesive piece of work and this is Spectre's weak point IMHO - cohesion.
    There may be other Bond movies where the cars are less expensive, the photography/lighting not as good , the explosions smaller,etc etc but overall, they are still better movies.
  • mcdonbbmcdonbb deep in the Heart of Texas
    Posts: 4,116
    @SpectreNumberTwo you really are a Spectre agent aren't you? Just kidding ...really just meant in jest.

    Bond is notorious for highs and lows but yet survived. SP didn't appeal to you and that's fine but many fans are enjoying the film even if not their favorite.

    If Bond can survive DAD and QoS then he can muster much more than a fun but flawed SF follow up.

    Besides the producers and team occasionally need to be knocked down a notch to come back full effort.
  • But how 'epic' can James Bond be, really??
    Aren't we looking too much for Kubrick (epic to the point of being avant-garde) when what we really want is Ridley Scott - stylish, solid and well constructed action-thrillers?[/quote]

    Maybe Epic is the wrong word I just wanted something more memorable.
  • edited October 2015 Posts: 1,498
    Maybe Epic is the wrong word I just wanted something more memorable.

    Ok. Do you mean you found it formulaic, sort of unremarkable..? (Careful though, I and others reading this haven't seen it yet)
  • mcdonbbmcdonbb deep in the Heart of Texas
    Posts: 4,116
    y
    Hey, remember me? I’m the guy who went to the press screening last week and wrote some disparaging things about Spectre here?

    Well, here’s the deal. I went to see it again last night, and now with a little distance and perspective, I have to say I really enjoyed it.

    It’s an interesting thing, watching a film you’re truly anticipating for the first time. You have such built-up expectations that you essentially have an preconceived idea in your head of what they film should be, opposed to what the film actually is. At initial blush, it seemed hollow and a little empty and I was left undernourished. However, going back in to see it, I was able to appreciate the film for what it is opposed to what I had wanted it to be.

    So what is the film: It’s a bloody entertaining ride of movie. The film is fun, fast and deftly handled by Mendes. It is so confidently directed by Mendes and the artistry on show is through the roof (I think you really come to appreciate photography and music on further viewings of a film). Even some of my minor issues seemed to get ironed out over the course of the film. Both Andrew Scott and Dave Bautisita who I found disappointing nonentities actually really worked this time out. Scott is a little one-note, despite this he still brings a slimy smugness to the role, while Baustista is really very memorable even if he is a little underutilised.

    On the whole, the film is a lot of fun and maybe a little richer than I initially appreciated. Aside from the obvious themes of modern espionage vs good old fashioned techniques, there is an interesting undercurrent running through the film about the ‘life of an assassin’ and the chance to be able to escape from that world. Through this we ar eintoruduced to the charming Lea Seydoux, who brings so much pathos and Gallic charm to the picture.

    I also really liked Ralph Fiennes in the film, his M is a slightly different characterisation then we’re seen in the past. He’s basically an overworked, exasperated bureaucrat who is having massive problems keeping his agents in line whilst watching his organisation fall apart. He’s a man losing his grip in a new world and Fiennes brings a tinge of pathos and considerable stoicism to the role. I felt oddly proud when he asks the policeman to step down and says “Mallory, 00-Section”; it was the most resolute he had been throughout the film and I really liked that aspect.

    However, this film belongs to Daniel Craig. Half the performance in any Bond film is posing, and damn, DC looks good. Beyond that, he’s slightly more cheeky and loose; there is a considerable degree of confidence in the way he approaches the film. He’s sexy, cool and classy. There’s a real understatement to proceedings, but he isn’t afraid to occasionally wink towards the camera, not in an overt way but in a slightly self-knowing manner which is rather new to his Bond (and maybe the reason many have made the occasional Roger Moore comment)

    The real champion behind proceedings here is Sam Mendes. SP really is a very different beast to SF, it’s a much larger and more sprawling film (albeit a tad messy) and Mendes juggles a number of different tones and in the most part is very successful. The film is constructed in a very different manner to SF and mostly relies on mystery and action to build a story opposed to develop a conventional narrative. Each location brings a new flavour to the piece and allows the film to evolve and change. In particular I loved the London finale, where you see the old Mi6 team take on C’s New World Order all whilst Bond is taking a psychological mind-fuck through the empty carcass of the once proud Mi6 building. There is a certain tinge of The Third Man to these segments with a certain touch of Le Carre, whilst keeping all the typical Bond bombast.

    I have to say that some of my quibbles do stand. The relationships aren’t as developed as I’d like and the narrative is a little weak, furthermore Spectre and Waltz aren’t given much to do (the dodgy torture scene also doesn’t work). However, it’s a great fun piece of popcorn cinema that will surely endure for the ages.

    Furthermore, it’s really got me excited for the follow-up. We have to get a Mendes and Craig reunion!

    4.5/5

    Glad you enjoyed second time around. You know the one advantage to having to wait until November 6th here in North America is that we (me) already know what to expect if we've followed the reviews.

    My first viewing then will be with the same expectations as your second viewing.

    Still no guarantee I'll enjoy but I strongly suspect now I will.
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