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Even Craig's scream felt off, again in a way I can't even really describe.
I also felt it could have been an opportunity to expand a little more on the Spectre connection with the previous films. Such as for example Blofeld making reference to Le Chiffre's torture or Silva's homoerotic torture of Bond, and how he (Blofeld) liked to do things differently. Minor quibbles though.
IMO it's a testament to the quality and standard of Bond films we are getting served up recently that many of the criticisms people have are often a result of digging a lot deeper into the films than ever used to happen.
Have you read my above comment? Regarding Craig's scream........sorry, it sounded perfect. Screams usually sound off and OTT.
Yes I did and all your points are excellent, but that doesn't mean I'm going to agree with them. Things like this are very personal, and suggesting someone doesn't like a scene because they don't "get it" is ridiculous.
On top of that, I didn't even say I don't like the scene, just that it was weakER, in a similar way one might say Andy Murray is a weakER player than Novak Djokovic-it doesn't mean Murray is not an amazing world class player!
I had so many orgasms during Spectre, but for me the torture scene just wasn't one of them. Fairly good but not great for my personal tastes even when taking into account all the points you raised.
IMO Fleming´s sadistic torture scenes in the books work quite well. And I kind of appreciate that the filmmakers apparently attempted to bring that into the films. However, seeing such a film so light-hearted I´m forced to change my expectation of a Craig Bond film, and then all of a sudden being confronted with the most brutal scene ever in any Bond film made me feel offended. Such a scene would fit well into a sinister film, or at least if there were a longer part of the film more sinister, but as it is I find it totally misplaced.
I would have welcomed it with open arms if it would have been just about creating tension, having the drill come close to Bond, but not entering him. In that case, I wouldn´t even think of it as a hommage to GF, no, it would have been an original application of the GF laser scene.
Having the drill hurt Bond immediately kills the tension.
Bond not showing any effects seconds later makes the whole thing ridiculous.
Well, I´m sure the scene will give psychologists a lot of fun looking for clues regarding Bond´s sexuality. First he had that borderline gay scene with Silva, now he gets physically penetrated by Blofeld´s cold, hard steel.
I myself don´t like masochism, hence I´m not too fond of that scene.
Perhaps I think masochism is something that especially Ian Fleming did so very well in the books, and that because of age certificates never really made it to the big screen.
And, this 'gory' torture scene isn't just a 'lone thing' in the film. We earlier saw how Hinx spoons out eyes with his steel thumbnails. Back in the old days you couldn't see how Jaws actually bit through the neck of Aziz Fekkesh.
Nowadays we live in 2015. And I welcome this slightly sinister feel to the film. It sets "SPECTRE" apart from many other Bond films. Perhaps now "SPECTRE" and "Licence To Kill" are the most 'gory' Bond films. But certainly not in a cheap way. They both enhance the deadliness of villains Sanchez and his Drugs Cartel and the villain Oberhauser/Blofeld and his syndicate S.P.E.C.T.R.E.
In a way, Hinx spooning out the poor man's eyes with his steel-capped thumbs and the torture scene....reminded me of a slightly more gory re-imagined take on Morzeny stabbing Kronsteen in his feet with his poisonous knife shoes (FRWL), Jaws biting in the necks of his victims with his steel jaws (TSWLM) or dragging Bond through the water on a rope (FYEO). Typical Bond-stuff, that you will NEVER see in a "Mission: Impossible"-film.
Bond films are very much about escapism for me, and abstract inspiration in the sense of the hero escaping all kinds of threats that all kinds of goons don´t survive.
The hero being drilled into such delicate places of the skull for sure doesn´t fit the category of escaping the biggest threats. Go to the dentist and let him drill into a tooth nerve without anesthetics, and you get about 10% of what can be expected from a drill in the nervus mandibularis where Bond gets it the first time. Not even a gorilla would stand after that, the nerve directly communicates with huge parts of the brain itself, so it´s not just about pain, it´s about the brain being disabled. Half the mandible would be deaf forever, all the teeth in that area would rot within months. Not exactly the scenario I would associate with the rest of the film SP.
Of course Blofeld´s explanations regarding the various points are in reality utter nonsense, so there is a huge window for me to sooner or later get over it and enjoy the scene in a less sinister light :-).
After all, I already find it badass and romantic when Bond tells Madeline that he would recognize her anywhere :-).
Well I guess all that made sense in your head.
You may not have liked it for whatever reason but that's no excuse to make spurious claims about Fleming only writing one torture scene (CR) to back up your failing hypothesis.
Presumably someone must have drilled into your skull and made you forget the following:
LALD - Bond has his little finger bent until it is snapped.
MR - Wily Krebs sets about Bond with the persuader.
DAF - Given a Brooklyn stomping (although I would class this more as just a kicking than actual torture).
DN - The good doctor sets up an entire assault course of torture to specifically test Bond's pain threshold.
(I'm not counting the circular saw in GF and the pressure room in YOLT which are more psychological)
In all of the above Bond gets quite damaged which goes to show that cruel and sadistic torture is a creation and indeed staple of Fleming.
And in all of the above Bond manages to escape on his own (or with the assistance of the girl) despite being in varying states of injury making a mockery of your statement: 'And even Fleming didn't allow Bond the fantasy of escape from such plight.'
It you're going to use an author as a source when making a point it helps if you've ever read some of his work.
As for the notion of deleting the CR torture scene entirely? That's not even worth commenting on.
As for the SP scene itself, as a stand alone scene it's quite possibly the best single scene in a Bond film we've had since CR.
However it is undermined by three things:
1. We really would've benefitted from a dinner scene first where Blofeld goes into a bit more detail about his scheme.
2. Similarly we really needed more scenes with Bond and Madeline so that the 'I love you' moment doesn't come across as forced.
3. Bond needed to at least feel groggy. What would have been far better would have been Madeline actually helping Bond out of there and shooting some of the guards herself until Bond manages to pull himself together.
Nonetheless my heart jumped for joy when I realised we were actually going to get the CS torture scene, and with a fair chunk of the dialogue intact.
I love the clinical setting, the lighting, the cat and all the little details such as Ernst wearing no socks (surely the mark of a cad?). I think Lea plays it very well also and it's her reactions that sell it for me.
God alone knows how they managed to get it past the censor for a 12A but I'm extremely glad they did and even if it was tagged on I'm much happier with this than an uninspiring game of cards.
Now that they've opened up the continuation books for the plundering what scenes would we like to see adapted next? Although that's probably a thread in itself.
In terms of tortute though certainly the ice water scene in Icebreaker would be fairly cinematic and keep us on the right side of the 12A cert.
Personally I find the Brokenclaw one a bit too much as Bond is so badly mutilated he would be unlikely to be able to return to active duty.
Nothing threatening and worrisome about having somebody drill into your skull? Pfffft. Let's see how you react when strapped in a chair with a whirring bit nearing the side of your head.
We all have fears, but that one would be mighty low on my list. Heading into a crowded room full of strangers would give me greater pause.
Stellar post, @TheWizardOfIce. You supplied a very nice insight into the 007 literature in relation to Bond's experiences with physical and mental torture. While I also disagree with some of @timmer's thoughts as well, I would love to take him back in time to the 50s so that he could have that conversation with Ian, just to see the his reaction when he gets told his horrific and charged torture scene should be thrown out. Do you think Ian would give @timmer the backhand or the front?
Like many of you, I liked the cold, clinical setting, and the similarities between this scene and the recovery scene in CR.
The only thing that I can find thought with it, was the lack of repercussions for Bond and the reveal of Oberhauser being Blofeld. (Not sure where I stand on it)
Perhaps this is just a tangent, but I love how Bond and Blohauser go head to head in this scene. It's as if the damaged agent who is used to putting walls up and armour to protect himself is fully exposed here. In hindsight SP did a great job of wrapping up the arc of Craig Bond dating back to CR. He escapes after a brutal torture and is able to continue on as Bond as if nothing had happened. Unrealistic, sure, but what movie is? It's as great representation of cinematic Bond.
In Fleming´s novels it did feel much more fitting with the context.
@Gustav_Graves, I sure did. :-bd
Depends how much you loved it.
Personally the moment I realised they were actually going to do the CS torture scene I was nursing a semi.
I loved it - the first continuation Bond novel (especially my favourite of the lot, Colonel Sun) referenced as a source for a Bond film puts Spectre at No. 3 on my list after OHMSS and SF. And I love my torture scenes in Bond.
And you were right about the Tamil Rahani NLF reference, @TheWizardOfIce! A little bit of Gardner thrown in was just the icing on the cake for me!
I was happy I was in a chair also. A deep comfy cinema chair :-P.
The Wizard really tells it like it is. I respect him for that. :D
Yepp, cannot listen to Enyas "Orinocco Flow" without this scene in my head. And I actually insist on getting pain relief, before the good doctors puts his drill in my mouth. I know, that makes people think of crazy things.
And it had slightlyyy more 'effective gore' as compared to previous Bond films :-). The perfect amount of gore, like I read in the Fleming novels. Sam Mendes & co. were shitting on these age certification labels. Like Timothy Dalton once said: These are books for adult audiences...so should the movies be :-).
Well I omitted the bit where I also had a small trouser accident!!
For me that scene was worth the entrance fee alone.
Now that we have started pilfering scenes from the continuation novels Draggers how do you feel about B25 being an adaptation of NLF?
It would tick a lot of boxes that EON and Dan like: personal plot for Bond, MI6 regulars involved plus a resolution to the Blofeld storyline by replacing Rahani with Bofeld.
The first half of the film could be Bond and Madeline getting engaged intercut with Bofeld escaping (perhaps with the introduction of Tilda Swinton as Bunt).
Then Madeline gets kidnapped along with Moneypenny who is visiting her for some spurious reason (trying wedding dresses) and we are into full on NLF territory.
Finale of either:
If Dan is not returning: Blofeld dead and Bond marries Madeline. Madeline killed by Bunt in the PTS of the next film.
If Dan is returning: Blofeld survives, Madeline killed on the wedding day and then a full on YOLT finale with Blofeld showdown as Dan's last film.
Lighthearted? This film fits right in for me with the tone of CR, QoS and SF, no more and no less. Does it have comedic moments? Yes, but so did all the others without taking it full Moore. There's plenty of darkness in this one; the personal hidden histories of the characters, Hinx's methods of termination, the literal ruination of MI6, the drone like control Blofeld has over his agents, and of course, the very torture scene we're now discussing.
And even when humor is used, it feels far less jarring than it was in SF. There were many times in SF where somebody would deliver a one-liner and I thought, "that doesn't sound right." The speech was off, the line was wonky, something didn't fit. This time around, I didn't have a single moment where I felt we were nearing the sometimes iffy deliveries of SF. At the start there were a few lines that felt forced, mostly with Moneypenny, but no words out of Bond's mouth the entire time felt off to me. It's part of why I think Dan owns this movie 100%. And because he handled the humor so seamlessly, it didn't seem so strange a thing to have in an otherwise dark and uncomfortable adventure as it did in SF, where some deliveries made that humor stick out in all the wrong ways.
It doesn't matter if that tidal wave from DAD was real or CGI. It's simply a scene that doesn't belong in a Bond film. I held my hands in front of my eyes when I saw Pierce bungling from that fake cliff. 20.000 worse than a tightly edited helicopter chase in a Bond film. And green screen?
By the way, I always found the humour between Connery and Moore a fine line.