MI6 Community Bondathon

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  • BondAficionadoBondAficionado Former IMDBer
    Posts: 1,885
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Those guys (JBR), likable as they are, have too much blind enthusiasm for my taste. But I do try to do that, yet, so far after at least 30 viewings, I haven't found a Hell of a lot to enjoy there.

    Those guys are a class act but I must agree that their enthusiasm for everything (okay, except Mayday) gets frustrating. They should have a bi-monthly "special" where they can complain. It would be quite refreshing. ;)
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,682
    What issues do they have with Stromberg's death? It's one of my favorite villain deaths in the series.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,682
    Birdleson wrote: »
    They think it's bland. That he should have uttered a quip that was sea related.

    Here I thought I nitpicked. It would've worked even better had they managed to use Blofeld, but even still, it's Moore in one of his more cold, brutal moments, and I love that scene everytime I watch it.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Birdleson wrote: »
    They think it's bland. That he should have uttered a quip that was sea related.

    Here I thought I nitpicked. It would've worked even better had they managed to use Blofeld, but even still, it's Moore in one of his more cold, brutal moments, and I love that scene everytime I watch it.

    That under-the-table-kill is awesome, and the coldness would've been ruined by a one-liner. Those guys are crazy.

    What did they want?

    "Now you're sleeping with the fishes, Stromberg."

    "You're six feet under...the sea."

    "Looks like I've done more than turn the table."
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,682
    I will say one quip they absolutely dropped the ball on is MR: were you the genius that suggested Bond quipping to Goodhead that Drax "needed some space"? It's too brilliant.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    I will say one quip they absolutely dropped the ball on is MR: were you the genius that suggested Bond quipping to Goodhead that Drax "needed some space"? It's too brilliant.

    @Creasy47, haha. I'd love to take credit, but I believe @Master_Dahark said that in that thread he created for us to post our own one-liners to Bond deaths.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,682
    It's so simplistic, yet it's absolute gold. I will forever be upset they missed that opportunity. Shame Bond didn't make a quip regarding a game of bridge with Zorin's death in AVTAK, but I think one of the Brosnan era games does.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    edited March 2017 Posts: 4,423
    Forgive me for being so tardy. I'll just squeeze this 'un in here...

    Daniel Craig's Performance in Quantum of Solace

    Mr White is looking out over Lake Como, when he gets a call.
    White - “Hello.”
    Bond - “Mr. White? We need to talk.”
    White - “Who is this?”
    A shot rings out, hitting Mr White in the knee.
    “The name's Bond.
    James Bond.”
    Cue music.

    Bond, then, has completed his journey. Then what was Quantum of Solace about? I thought Craig Bond has regressed.

    It took my a few views to understand that QoS, despite it's frenetic editing and hectic action, is a character study on Bond.

    True that Craig is not bombastic as his début outing – he doesn't have to be – the performance in QoS subtle evolution of the character presented to us at the end of CR.

    There's one directorial decision that I think is wrong for 007 – during the car chase, Marc Forster takes us inside 007's mind, depicting 007 as slightly frazzled. I always imagined that Bond's mind, especially if there is action involved, to be an oasis of calm – Bond is a man of action, after all.

    During the interrogation of White, Bond slips a picture of Vesper inside his pocket – hard man tipped over into sentimentality.

    M does see through Bond's bluff - “she's not important”. But she fails to realize that Bond is motivated by his duty, and not vengeance. And if his duty is getting closer to the person the manipulated Vesper, then so be it.

    Not helping matters is the fact that Bond kills his leads, Mitchell and Slate. But Bond was fighting for his life. He makes a joke of it to M, but it fuels the mistrust that she has of Bond.

    In CR, Bond surveys his face after the stairwell fight, and he's troubled. In QoS, however, after his fight with Slate, Bond hardly glances at his reflection. He's getting more comfortable as 007. After the events in CR, Bond vows to bring down the people that makes spy's spy.

    When he's in the hotel reception, in Haiti, Bond has an idea, and as quick as a flash, turns the charm on. From taciturn mask, to charming, at the drop of a hat.

    The only times we see through this “taciturn mask”, is when Bond is with his close male friends, Mathis and Leiter, or with his female companions.

    When Bond throws Haines' bodyguard of the roof, M mentions that he'd been shot. Although Bond was distracted by M's revelations about Haines, he should have said that he didn't shot him. Perhaps Bond doesn't like excuses. But M has no choice but to limit Bond's movements.

    This is after a great piece of intelligence by Bond, at the Tosca sequence, where by he photographs the members of Quantum – resourceful and quick thinking. This is also allied to another bit of quick thinking – Bond's uses his DC-3's engine to blind the pursing aircraft, then shepherd the plane into a mountain.

    Bond is a master deflector – every time M or Mathis mentions Vesper, he distracts them with an another question.

    Until, when Bond and Camille are resting in the sink-hole, when Camille opens up to Bond about her suffering. Then Bond feels comfortable with sharing his story. Maybe it's his way off saying “sorry” for denying Camille the chance to kill Medrano.

    Camille is an example of what Bond could become. Driven to vengeance, after Camille kills Medrano, her demons are not laid to rest. “What next?” she asks Bond. The only way the Bond can connect with a beautiful woman, is sex – hence the awkward scene between her and Bond in the Jeep. I felt sorry for Bond, in that particular moment; a rarity for me. (Apart from the physical ordeals that Bond goes through of course!)

    After seeing Camille, and how empty she is, the void that could not be filled by vengeance, Bond gives up any idea of vengeance that he may have had, in that Jeep scene.

    Before that Bond and Camille are trapped in the burning hotel room, Camille is paralyzed by fear. In a call back to Fleming's LALD, when Bond and Solitaire are being keel hauled, Bond is planning to kill both of them, until a fortuitous explosion reveals a gas canister.

    In another throwback to Fleming, we see Bond drunk on a plane, taking him and Mathis to Bolivia. In Fleming's novels, Bond used to repress all his unpleasant memoires, and bury them in a box, only to be excavated when Bond is quite drunk.

    After Fleming's Tracy was murdered, we see Bond broken at the start of YOLT. During his “rehab”, Bond sleeps with prostitutes, to see if that will help him get over Tracy. In QoS, Bond sleeps with Fields – callous at it may be, Bond is trying to get better; he has to see if his “what-not” is working.

    Despite Bond racking up a quite impressive list of dead conquests, he never seems to learn.

    In a nice piece of evolution, Bond discards Field's teacher cover, and instead books them into the finest hotel, just because he can. The growing appreciation of the finer things in life.

    In a breakthrough moment, M finally trusts Bond, after they discovers Field's body, and after Bond escapes MI6 custody. Bond is doing his duty, and M knows it. I think M always knew it, but was pressurized by the British and American governments. (With oil running out, who can blame them? A quick comment on the political overtones; I like ‘em. Helps make the film seem more plausible and credible. The speech from the Foreign Minister is a great little scene which explains the stance of the British and Americans. “Right and wrong doesn’t even come into it.” The world is not as black and white as Bond would like it.

    As for Greg Beam, he's an oily, slippery little bugger, isn’t he? David Beam excels as Beam. I wouldn't call Beam a proper villain, per se; he's just doing what's right for his country, which places him in the "grey" world; I find that QoS is a film, that is made more diverting because of it. People exist in this "grey" world, as Mathis (or Fleming said), "when one grows older the villains and hero get harder to tell apart".)

    M tells Tanner; “he's my agent, and I trust him. I don't give a shit about the CIA and their trumped up evidence”. Bond views the world as black and white, not sullied by the trappings of grey.

    When Mathis is cleared by MI6 of any wrong doing, Bond almost turns to Mathis by default. Still, their camaraderie is intact, and Bond asks Mathis to go to Bolivia with him, with tragic consequences. No wonder Bond is insistent that he works better alone after this.

    Bond controversially dumps Mathis body in a dumper, after they'd had a heart to heart. Personally, I thought Bond didn't want his friend to share the ground with his killers. One could tell that it hurt Bond deeply, despite his claim “he (Mathis) wouldn't care”, after Camille is shocked by Bond's apparent callousness with his friend's body.

    Through Mathis and Camille, Bond learnt some valuable lessons, in which he demonstrates in the final scene. M is shocked that Bond didn't kill Yusef. In this scene Bond is completely in control of his emotions. The similarity between Craig's Bond and Dalton's Bond, when he is interrogating Pushkin is uncanny. Bond had found his quantum of solace.

    I like the bleak ambience of the film; it makes it unique. Forster delivers a very slick film, where the drawbacks are the much maligned hyper-editing, and that's only prevalent in the first third-ish.

    Other than that, this is a very effective thriller. The cast is especially good, the cinematography is uniformly excellent – bright colours and crisp palettes - and the production design is top notch as well.

    The humour to QoS is contextual. "I don't have any friends", "Well, I missed", "Is that a compliment?" are some such examples.

    From being a monosyllabic, robotic performance by Craig, I've had a complete reversal on my opinion over Craig's portrayal in QoS. I find it now to be a beautifully nuanced performance, as Bond learnt to be 007. QoS features a subtly evolving Bond.

    When I first watched QoS in the cinema, I was underwhelmed. Two long years, for this? It was over as quick as a flash. Especially when one compares it to Casino Royale. The editing was confusing and quick, as well. I needed to see it again, maybe. I remember feeling disappointed when Bond and M are interrogating Mr. White. Good, I thought, a really meaty dialogue scene. But it was interrupted for another action scene. Like Craig’s Bond I wanted solace to Casino Royale!

    Instead of a balls-to-the wall revenge flick, we had a rather sombre, even thoughtful film, which moved with the pace of a bullet.

    A couple of weeks passed, and I was going for a job interview. When I got back to
    Bath, I had a couple of hours to kill. So, on the spur of the moment, I decided to see
    QoS again. Imagine the staff at Odeon, seeing a chap, all suited and booted, walking
    like Connery, seeing a Bond film on his own. Anyway, I enjoyed QoS the second
    time around. I was expecting the crash cutting editing this time. And underneath that
    crazy editing was buried a strong film. Nay a great film. Nay a beautiful film.

    Royale’s Ranking -

    1. From Russia With Love
    2. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
    3. Casino Royale
    4. Dr. No
    5. Goldfinger
    6. Licence To Kill
    7. Thunderball
    8. The Living Daylights
    9. The Spy Who Loved Me
    10. Quantum of Solace
    11. The World Is Not Enough
    12. Octopussy
    13. For Your Eyes Only
    14. Tomorrow Never Dies
    15. GoldenEye
    16. You Only Live Twice
    17. A View To A Kill
    18. Moonraker
    19. Live and Let Die
    20. Diamonds Are Forever
    21. The Man With The Golden Gun
    22. Die Another Day
  • It looks like this thread is awful eager to finish up with Skyfall & get on to Spectre. Let me just say: I love Skyfall and am only lukewarm re: Spectre. The visuals on Skyfall are just gorgeous and the storyline is quite interesting; this movie definitely has a “Bond feel” to it while the previous film did not. My one and only complaint with SF is that once again, computers are magic in the Bond universe. I thought MI-6 had moved into a WWII era HQ because it wouldn’t be so hackable – how then was Silva able to manage his escape? Oh, no big deal, really -- SF is a great Bond film and at this point, 2 out of the 3 Craig Bond films are top flight material. Extra points because our creators are trying to stretch the material into more than a standard Bond film. After more than 20 entries in the series, it’s about time topics like facing one’s own mortality and spiritual leanings in the Bond universe were considered on a deeper level. This film does just that and I appreciate the attempt.

    "What's your hobby, Mr. Bond?" "Resurrection."

    MY CURRENT STANDINGS
    1) Goldfinger
    2) From Russia With Love
    3) Casino Royale
    4) On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
    5) Skyfall
    6) Goldeneye
    7) The Spy Who Loved Me
    8) The Living Daylights
    9) Thunderball
    10) Dr. No
    11) For Your Eyes Only
    12) Tomorrow Never Dies
    13) You Only Live Twice
    14) Octopussy
    15) License to Kill
    16) Live and Let Die
    17) Quantum of Solace
    18) The World Is Not Enough
    19) A View to a Kill
    20) DiamondsAre Forever
    21) Moonraker
    22) The Man With the Golden Gun
    23) Die Another Day
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    edited March 2017 Posts: 28,694
    royale65 wrote: »
    Forgive me for being so tardy. I'll just squeeze this 'un in here...

    Daniel Craig's Performance in Quantum of Solace

    Mr White is looking out over Lake Como, when he gets a call.
    White - “Hello.”
    Bond - “Mr. White? We need to talk.”
    White - “Who is this?”
    A shot rings out, hitting Mr White in the knee.
    “The name's Bond.
    James Bond.”
    Cue music.

    Bond, then, has completed his journey. Then what was Quantum of Solace about? I thought Craig Bond has regressed.

    It took my a few views to understand that QoS, despite it's frenetic editing and hectic action, is a character study on Bond.

    True that Craig is not bombastic as his début outing – he doesn't have to be – the performance in QoS subtle evolution of the character presented to us at the end of CR.

    There's one directorial decision that I think is wrong for 007 – during the car chase, Marc Forster takes us inside 007's mind, depicting 007 as slightly frazzled. I always imagined that Bond's mind, especially if there is action involved, to be an oasis of calm – Bond is a man of action, after all.

    During the interrogation of White, Bond slips a picture of Vesper inside his pocket – hard man tipped over into sentimentality.

    M does see through Bond's bluff - “she's not important”. But she fails to realize that Bond is motivated by his duty, and not vengeance. And if his duty is getting closer to the person the manipulated Vesper, then so be it.

    Not helping matters is the fact that Bond kills his leads, Mitchell and Slate. But Bond was fighting for his life. He makes a joke of it to M, but it fuels the mistrust that she has of Bond.

    In CR, Bond surveys his face after the stairwell fight, and he's troubled. In QoS, however, after his fight with Slate, Bond hardly glances at his reflection. He's getting more comfortable as 007. After the events in CR, Bond vows to bring down the people that makes spy's spy.

    When he's in the hotel reception, in Haiti, Bond has an idea, and as quick as a flash, turns the charm on. From taciturn mask, to charming, at the drop of a hat.

    The only times we see through this “taciturn mask”, is when Bond is with his close male friends, Mathis and Leiter, or with his female companions.

    When Bond throws Haines' bodyguard of the roof, M mentions that he'd been shot. Although Bond was distracted by M's revelations about Haines, he should have said that he didn't shot him. Perhaps Bond doesn't like excuses. But M has no choice but to limit Bond's movements.

    This is after a great piece of intelligence by Bond, at the Tosca sequence, where by he photographs the members of Quantum – resourceful and quick thinking. This is also allied to another bit of quick thinking – Bond's uses his DC-3's engine to blind the pursing aircraft, then shepherd the plane into a mountain.

    Bond is a master deflector – every time M or Mathis mentions Vesper, he distracts them with an another question.

    Until, when Bond and Camille are resting in the sink-hole, when Camille opens up to Bond about her suffering. Then Bond feels comfortable with sharing his story. Maybe it's his way off saying “sorry” for denying Camille the chance to kill Medrano.

    Camille is an example of what Bond could become. Driven to vengeance, after Camille kills Medrano, her demons are not laid to rest. “What next?” she asks Bond. The only way the Bond can connect with a beautiful woman, is sex – hence the awkward scene between her and Bond in the Jeep. I felt sorry for Bond, in that particular moment; a rarity for me. (Apart from the physical ordeals that Bond goes through of course!)

    After seeing Camille, and how empty she is, the void that could not be filled by vengeance, Bond gives up any idea of vengeance that he may have had, in that Jeep scene.

    Before that Bond and Camille are trapped in the burning hotel room, Camille is paralyzed by fear. In a call back to Fleming's LALD, when Bond and Solitaire are being keel hauled, Bond is planning to kill both of them, until a fortuitous explosion reveals a gas canister.

    In another throwback to Fleming, we see Bond drunk on a plane, taking him and Mathis to Bolivia. In Fleming's novels, Bond used to repress all his unpleasant memoires, and bury them in a box, only to be excavated when Bond is quite drunk.

    After Fleming's Tracy was murdered, we see Bond broken at the start of YOLT. During his “rehab”, Bond sleeps with prostitutes, to see if that will help him get over Tracy. In QoS, Bond sleeps with Fields – callous at it may be, Bond is trying to get better; he has to see if his “what-not” is working.

    Despite Bond racking up a quite impressive list of dead conquests, he never seems to learn.

    In a nice piece of evolution, Bond discards Field's teacher cover, and instead books them into the finest hotel, just because he can. The growing appreciation of the finer things in life.

    In a breakthrough moment, M finally trusts Bond, after they discovers Field's body, and after Bond escapes MI6 custody. Bond is doing his duty, and M knows it. I think M always knew it, but was pressurized by the British and American governments. (With oil running out, who can blame them? A quick comment on the political overtones; I like ‘em. Helps make the film seem more plausible and credible. The speech from the Foreign Minister is a great little scene which explains the stance of the British and Americans. “Right and wrong doesn’t even come into it.” The world is not as black and white as Bond would like it.

    As for Greg Beam, he's an oily, slippery little bugger, isn’t he? David Beam excels as Beam. I wouldn't call Beam a proper villain, per se; he's just doing what's right for his country, which places him in the "grey" world; I find that QoS is a film, that is made more diverting because of it. People exist in this "grey" world, as Mathis (or Fleming said), "when one grows older the villains and hero get harder to tell apart".)

    M tells Tanner; “he's my agent, and I trust him. I don't give a shit about the CIA and their trumped up evidence”. Bond views the world as black and white, not sullied by the trappings of grey.

    When Mathis is cleared by MI6 of any wrong doing, Bond almost turns to Mathis by default. Still, their camaraderie is intact, and Bond asks Mathis to go to Bolivia with him, with tragic consequences. No wonder Bond is insistent that he works better alone after this.

    Bond controversially dumps Mathis body in a dumper, after they'd had a heart to heart. Personally, I thought Bond didn't want his friend to share the ground with his killers. One could tell that it hurt Bond deeply, despite his claim “he (Mathis) wouldn't care”, after Camille is shocked by Bond's apparent callousness with his friend's body.

    Through Mathis and Camille, Bond learnt some valuable lessons, in which he demonstrates in the final scene. M is shocked that Bond didn't kill Yusef. In this scene Bond is completely in control of his emotions. The similarity between Craig's Bond and Dalton's Bond, when he is interrogating Pushkin is uncanny. Bond had found his quantum of solace.

    I like the bleak ambience of the film; it makes it unique. Forster delivers a very slick film, where the drawbacks are the much maligned hyper-editing, and that's only prevalent in the first third-ish.

    Other than that, this is a very effective thriller. The cast is especially good, the cinematography is uniformly excellent – bright colours and crisp palettes - and the production design is top notch as well.

    The humour to QoS is contextual. "I don't have any friends", "Well, I missed", "Is that a compliment?" are some such examples.

    From being a monosyllabic, robotic performance by Craig, I've had a complete reversal on my opinion over Craig's portrayal in QoS. I find it now to be a beautifully nuanced performance, as Bond learnt to be 007. QoS features a subtly evolving Bond.

    When I first watched QoS in the cinema, I was underwhelmed. Two long years, for this? It was over as quick as a flash. Especially when one compares it to Casino Royale. The editing was confusing and quick, as well. I needed to see it again, maybe. I remember feeling disappointed when Bond and M are interrogating Mr. White. Good, I thought, a really meaty dialogue scene. But it was interrupted for another action scene. Like Craig’s Bond I wanted solace to Casino Royale!

    Instead of a balls-to-the wall revenge flick, we had a rather sombre, even thoughtful film, which moved with the pace of a bullet.

    A couple of weeks passed, and I was going for a job interview. When I got back to
    Bath, I had a couple of hours to kill. So, on the spur of the moment, I decided to see
    QoS again. Imagine the staff at Odeon, seeing a chap, all suited and booted, walking
    like Connery, seeing a Bond film on his own. Anyway, I enjoyed QoS the second
    time around. I was expecting the crash cutting editing this time. And underneath that
    crazy editing was buried a strong film. Nay a great film. Nay a beautiful film.

    @royale65, I have to take a minute to applaud you. This is easily one of my favorite posts I've ever read on this forum, and you hit so many nails on the head as to why I think QoS is so special.

    I particularly loved your criticism of the opening car chase, and how to you Bond's mind is an "oasis of calm" when faced with danger. A beautifully expressive line, that, and I was quite moved by it. I'm sure that when you say Bond was a bit shaken by what was happening you meant the sharp metal shard that smashes through his door and nearly cuts into his left knee? I can't blame him for being stirred, either way. ;)

    You did a really good job hitting on the three big strengths I find with this film that you could miss completely if you're not fully engaged. Those are first and foremost Dan's performance, how Bond operates in the film and the moral grays of the world the spy exists in.

    I often hear that many found Dan's performance very robotic and barren before finally connecting the context of the past film to it and seeing it instead for what it is: Bond growing even more as a man and agent. In CR the script gave Dan a lot of overt times to really express Bond's different levels of emotion and personality, but QoS was quite brave in its stance to keep true to how Bond had developed after Vesper's death, repressing his character instead of unleashing it. It would've felt wrong to have him acting as recklessly and with such abandon as in the early sections of the previous film, just as it would for him to crack devilish lines with a smile. In QoS we find Bond sucking himself in and putting that guard up he trusted Vesper to respect, and how he acts here-always lying about Vesper's effect on him and avoiding any mention of her-is a direct result of the pain he experienced in the last film. I love how QoS bridges the gap in this way, and how Bond's development feels right on the nose and absolutely true to how someone in his situation facing that grief and feeling that anger would react.

    How Bond operates is also interesting, because as you point out, the consequences of his actions lead to a distrust forming between him and his government. His superiors don't trust Bond to simply do his job after Vesper's betrayal, and because of that he's on his own in more ways than one. When he acts in defense of himself, as with Slate and Mitchell, all his superiors see is him killing leads. Over time he's got a hit on his head and both the Brits and Americans want him dead to rights for different reasons. This is very much a film about Bond being forced to bust through so much red tape and sabotage from his own allies, just so he can do what is right. I find him so heavily sympathetic in this film for that reason, as he gets hardly any aid at all and always has to explain himself to people who are corrupted or blind to the truth.

    And of course the very gray dynamics expressed by the dealings between the British, Americans and Greene add a whole other layer of deceit to a film full of it. I love how like Bond, Felix was used similarly to show audiences a good man who was in with wolves, trying his best to do his job and survive throughout. We gain respect for Felix for keeping his honor, and helping Bond when he knew he needed to. They join together as two men sick of the corruption and bureaucratic nonsense dividing them.

    I applaud you again for the post, and I think I'll bookmark it for a future re-read. I hope that many more have your relationship with QoS, and grow from seeing it as a loud and quick action film to uncovering its true heart as a very introspective, gray and brave look at Bond in the midst of grief, learning his greatest lessons about trust and vengeance and loyalty through it all.

    Major kudos, my Bond brother!
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,574

    Good work @royale65, although I would say, that your observation

    During the interrogation of White, Bond slips a picture of Vesper inside his pocket – hard man tipped over into sentimentality.
    Is more about him slipping a picture of Yusef into his pocket.


    Skyfall _Production Notes

    The main titles are full of symbolic references to the film. In fact swamped in them, possibly to its detriment?
    Where GoldenEye's titles were heavilly symbolic and Casino Royale was classically arty they both worked well because they gave us the chance to adapt and engage our minds to what we were looking at. We could embrace the artistry almost at our leisure, like looking at a great painting.

    Here it's a busy torrent of rapid movement, ideas tumbling out on top of each other. After I while I simply lose interest.

    The film proper looks amazing, from the simple interiors of boardrooms and offices (and of course M's home. Did she sell the apartment from Casino Royale one wonders?) to the more elaborate sets including Silva's island, the Macau casino, the new underground MI6 hidey hole, and of course Skyfall itself.

    None of the grandeur of those 60s and 70s sets which showed Spectre's futuristic, clinical interior décor or the opulent splendour of Dr No and Hugo Drax's living quarters. This all looks much more real world, but it's not a bad thing for all of that.

    What to say about the script? In it's own way Skyfall is witty and classy, with the now famous Silva speech about Grandma's island. But it also has Bond finally delivering a few classic and more typical Bond lines.

    When he says ”Only a certain kind of woman wears a strapless dress with a Beretta 37 strapped to her thigh.” it actually sounds like something Sean Connery may have said in Thunderball

    Of course the plot is full of holes, but looking beyond that we have a tight, pacey film with Bond moving quickly and freely from location to location.

    The cinematography gives Skyfall a true sense of it's intended epic proportions. Even in simple scenes when the action slows, such as the scene where Bond sits at the bar waiting for Patrice's flight details to arrive, it all looks so damned luxurious.

    The contrasts of London with Macau, Scotland's Highlands with Shanghai, Turkey with anywhere, it all looks simply superb.

    Thomas Newman's score seems to be about pulsating rhythms with little melody, yet it does seem to suit the scale of the film, and the sense of the race against time to capture Silva.

    In truth the film doesn't have as much action as other Bonds, especially when we consider the overall length of the film. Yet for me it never feels slow moving or ponderous. It cracks along, and when there are no scenes designed to establish characters or move the plot forward it still remains gorgeous to look at (Bond swimming in the rooftop pool for example).

    Bond's suits have received some criticism, and the tight Tom Ford suit doesn't look good on the train-top fight (a simpler, more casual look would have suited this better). But his dark blue pin stripe suit with a shirt pin and blue tie, during M's meeting with Silva, looks terrific.

    I like this film a lot, possibly my favourite of the Craig era. A lot of care and attention has gone into it and every penny is up there on the screen.

    It isn't the archetypal James Bond film, it slips quietly away from the known formula, but it's a Bond film that tries to establish the Bond we know and love. Sam Mendes clearly loves and respects the series, and wants to give us a film which is exciting to watch and incredible to look at. At the same time he wants to get Bond back to basics.
    So, M is back in his office of wood and leather, all signs of the high tech offices frequented by Judi Dench, gone.

    Moneypenny returns to her desk, Q is back. By the end of the film the comfortable glow of familiarity is nicely restored.

    We've been expecting you, Mr Bond.






  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,574
    Back in October when we launched this Bondathon I said that by the time we got to the end we should have some official news on Bond 25.

    Still a week to go - plenty of time. 8-}
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,682
    It makes more sense that he'd be snagging a picture of Yusef, but the way he looks at it during the plane ride to Bolivia, I see it as he actually took it to have one final image of Vesper - it's why he folds the picture back to hide his face.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,574
    I would think he grabbed the picture to identify Yusef, but with Vesper being in it he also found time to have his quiet moment of reflection as well.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,682
    NicNac wrote: »
    I would think he grabbed the picture to identify Yusef, but with Vesper being in it he also found time to have his quiet moment of reflection as well.

    That makes the most sense. Surely Bond would've had another way to get an image of Vesper, too, if he really cared. I've just always seen it as a sentimental moment of Bond's, but it makes much more sense to take it so he can identify Yusef (good thing he didn't grab the image of the fish-nibbled corpse!)
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    edited March 2017 Posts: 28,694
    Birdleson wrote: »
    I'm home sick for the second day running. I'm debating giving SKYFALL one more go. I've been watching nothing but politics for two days.

    Well, that explains how you got sick.
    NicNac wrote: »
    I would think he grabbed the picture to identify Yusef, but with Vesper being in it he also found time to have his quiet moment of reflection as well.

    He was definitely able to do those two big things with the photo, yes. During his ride with Greene in the desert I like to think he pulled the photo from his pocket and said, "Where is that man?"
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    edited March 2017 Posts: 15,696
    @Birdleson

    71881266.jpg

    Thank you for another of your super interesting reviews and for managing to make that top 10.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,682
    I got up to the torture sequence last night and fell asleep. Didn't go any better for me, either: the bountiful issues I have still exist, with a few miscellaneous highlights sprinkled throughout the bloated running time.
  • Posts: 4,030
    I just want to jump in at this point to say that although I haven't joined in with this Bondathon, I have read most of the comments on here.

    Congratulations to all of you who have made it this far, and I appreciate the effort in putting your thoughts down on computer.

    It slightly pains me to see the SP reviews. I don't like to see seasoned Bond fans with a Bond movie which they can find next to nothing to enjoy. Going to the movies multiple times trying to get into it, or falling asleep at the torture sequence, probably sum things up round here.

    For me if I thought of say DAD as one of the weakest entries, I might have to grit my teeth at the CGI or the dumb one-liners, but otherwise there is plenty in there to entertain me.

    Anyway, hopefully the next one will be better for you - not long now.

  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,682
    I find consistent entertainment and rewatchability in all of the films but the most recent two. I just can't get into them, no matter how hard I may true. Like you said, though, there's always the next one, and it really is disappointing having any amount I don't like; wish it wasn't the case.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,682
    Indeed it is. Next year will mark a decade since I've been genuinely happy with a Bond movie, so I really hope this next one can do it for me.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,144
    Getting my Skyfall on tonight, belatedly. I was planning to watch it last Wednesday but in light of London events I didn't quite fancy it.

    I am also looking forward to my first viewing of Spectre since I saw it in the cinema, gosh.
  • I found Spectre to be much along the lines of DAD or TWINE: a significant fraction of a really good Bond film with a smaller fraction in the realm of "Why the Hell Did They Do THAT???"

    The Mexico City PTS is just great, the funeral and Bond's scenes with the Sciarra widow likewise. Things are generally fine by me until we get to the familial nonsense. I find it ludicrous that Bond should suffer such terrible torture by drill the the skull, only to pick up a gun and blast his way out of Spectre HQ.

    I give this one a C- when judged on an A to F scale. I was hoping for better...
  • JohnHammond73JohnHammond73 Lancashire, UK
    Posts: 4,151
    Please excuse my tardiness in watching Spectre. As I've said before, we are in the process of moving house and now have a date on 3rd April. Therefore, it's all hands on deck, lots to sort and arrange etc. I will try to get it watched and my thoughts typed up before the end of the week.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,144
    I loathe moving - you have my sympathy, and I hope the new place is great!
  • JohnHammond73JohnHammond73 Lancashire, UK
    edited March 2017 Posts: 4,151
    Agent_99 wrote: »
    I loathe moving - you have my sympathy, and I hope the new place is great!

    Haha, not keen myself, but with happenings here, a move is a must and a fresh new start, fully needed by us all. Plus, we have great movers who come in and just do it a And thank you, the new place should be great.

    As for Spectre, I have found some time to watch it tonight and I'll type notes up tomorrow. Cheers.

  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,574
    Spectre - Actor Notes Part One


    There's a curious issue that fans have with the Craig era. It's the fact that Bond goes from being a young, newly promoted 00 to a seasoned old veteran in the blink of an eye (or within 3 films anyway).

    But we have to accept that 1) Bond isn't a young man when he is promoted. He is already in his late 30s with (one assumes) a navy career behind him. And 2) If Bond's assessment is correct, that 00s have a very short life expectancy, then we have every reason to assume that in real time Bond really is close to the end by the time we reach the events of Skyfall. He is now in his mid 40s, and no one can do this kind of job indefinitely.

    But as we reach Spectre Bond is looking in better shape than he did before. Maybe a little ragged in a couple of scenes, but on the whole Craig looks terrific.

    The cocky over confident Bond of Casino Royale is gone, but thankfully so is the bitter, monosyllabic Bond of Quantum Of Solace. He isn't above some irrational decisions (killing the helicopter pilot without any consideration for the crowds below) but that is how Bond gets things done. He is a 'blunt instrument' after all.

    Timothy Dalton has gone on record as saying he prefers his first film The Living Daylights to Licence To Kill because it has more humour and he feels it's more in line with what we expect from a Bond film. Yet that is contrary to his original attitude when he wanted to explore Fleming's creation and toughen up his approach to the role.

    Craig now has made similar noises about making Bond real, yet by the time of his fourth film he wants to bring back the slightly extreme humour we all loved so much in the 70s.

    So why did the two most actor-ish of the Bond stars contradict themselves? And what was the result of Craig's decision to lighten Bond up in 2015?

    Like Dalton Craig isn't a natural comic, he can't milk a bad line to maximum effect (unlike Connery and Moore) although he is better than Dalton at maximising a good line ("Every penny of it"). But here his delivery is cynical and slightly smarmy ("Cut out the middle man" )

    When he says "You're right sir. You have got a tricky day ahead" with an expression of smug satisfaction I honestly wouldn't have blamed M had he smacked Bond on the nose there and then.

    So on the whole I think this is Craig's least effective performance. He delivers his lines quietly (as do several actors if I'm honest) in an attempt to suggest Bond is world weary and untrusting of all those around him. But it comes across as the most slimy interpretation of Bond since the sexist and smug Bond of Moonraker. Lucia succumbs to his advances, but the scene suggests she dare not do any other. This is a man who may kill her if she resists. Tantamount to rape? The saving grace is the final scene between the pair where Bond shows sympathy and compassion, ultimately - I assume - saving her from Spectre's hit squad.

    Bond, who has a history of showing contempt for Q's gadgets here (as in Skyfall) is disappointed at the gadgets he is given. He wants the mighty gadget laden Aston Martin and is clearly put out when Q tells him 009 is having it. To the extent that he steals it anyway.
    So the man who in the past treated Qs gadgets with mildly disguised contempt (even thought hey always saved his life) now gets petulant when he is given nothing more than an exploding writwatch. Make up your mind 007.

    This is a good performance by Craig, but not a great one. And I must say, I'm used to great performances from the man.

    So 'good' simply isn't good enough.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,144
    Skyfall

    Easily my favourite Craig Bond film, and the one I've watched most often - once, memorably, at an open-air screening on the south bank of the Thames, when it poured with rain throughout and we all sat under our umbrellas being resolutely British about things. Skyfall, of course, contains a lot of footage of London getting rained on, and the audience cheered every time.

    A serious start to the PTS, turning to fun as soon as Bond gets in the car. I like his crack about the wing mirrors; it reminds me of my late father, who would always say "That's what they're for!" if he knocked a mirror.

    Yes. James Bond made a Dad Joke.

    I don't like MI6 knowing everything that's going on out in the field, and issuing Bond second-by-second instructions. He needs to be self-reliant and deniable. (I'm going to say the rot set in at that arms bazaar in TND.)

    I'm never sure about putting Bond on a bike. Obviously I am a big fan of motorbikes in general, but Bond looks sort of wrong on one; cars are more his natural habitat. Nevertheless, the rooftop chase is a fantastic sequence, leading into the comedy-drama that is the train fight (exemplified by Bond and Patrice both throwing themselves flat as the tunnel approaches).

    The end of the PTS, the start of the titles and that theme song...man what a downer. It's effective but it's not Bond's usual moment of triumph. Then the music swells and the titles get more Bond-y, moving away from the gravestones (not keen on those; I keep expecting Scooby-Doo to turn up), and maybe this film is going to be a triumph after all?

    I do love the theme, don't get me wrong; shades of Shirley Bassey, but brought up to date. It's the only one I've really taken to since TND. I was greatly touched when my cool friend who works for Adele's record label sent me the 45rpm single (who knew they still made those?).

    Craig's Bond turns in a great performance, going from bitter and burned out to utterly loyal and dedicated when he's tested. His last scene with M is just as magnificent as you'd expect from two superb actors playing off each other. Not so hot on the eye candy front, this time, especially on his return to London. Have a shave, man, you look like somebody's creepy uncle.

    Speaking of shaves, Moneypenny shaving Bond is my favourite scene of the film - no, of all Craig's Bond films. I fall hard for this kind of non-sexual intimacy (see also Bond and Vesper in the shower, and Brady's comment about Bond and platonic relationships). The only reason I'm not naming the scene as the most flat-out...sensual thing to happen in the entire canon is that it doesn't involve Timothy Dalton, and I am a mass of violent and unreasonable prejudice in this matter.

    The villain is a towering slimeball, if slimeballs can tower. So creepy and so barmy, master of the Evil Monologue, and always several jumps ahead of the good guys. How dare he lay so much as a finger on M!? Death is too good for him.

    Still, there's always an excuse. It was the capture and torture that done it. See, that's how Brosnan's Bond could have ended up if he'd lacked in moral fibre.

    Severine is another damaged-with-a-bad-boyfriend Bond girl, who makes an indelible impression despite not much screen time. It's a big shock when Bond misses the glass during his game - but a bigger one when Silva simply kills her.

    Meanwhile, back at MI6:

    Eve Moneypenny is a wonderful foil for Bond, and I wish they'd had more scenes together. The surname reveal was a huge surprise first time round, and works well.

    I spent most of the movie wanting to thump Q for being a patronising brat, so I must be getting old. But he redeems himself by helping out during the escape to Scotland.

    As for M, well, this is her finest hour. I make no secret of my infatuation with Dame Judi Dench, and she absolutely kills it here: fallible, vulnerable, struggling, but indomitable. She might quote Tennyson, but she reminds me more of Invictus. I'm sorry she's gone, but glad she got a proper farewell rather than disappearing with no explanation, and her final scene with Bond has just the right mix of emotion and humour. Well played, Ma'am.

    Ralph Fiennes as New M seems a safe pair of hands, although it's unlikely he will ever match up to JD in my affections. Gravitas, humour and the ability to put Bond in his place - tick, tick, tick.

    Other cast: I was as surprised as Bond to find out that Albert Finney is still alive. Normally I like a bit of light relief but he's slightly too comic to suit the overall mood.

    The whole film is beautifully shot, with stunning locations. The establishing shots of both Shanghai and Macau are just gorgeous (I'm easily impressed by pretty lights), then there's the abandoned island, and Scotland. SCOTLAND. The reflection in the Aston's mirrors. The golden light. The fire and the darkness. The claustrophobic underwater stuff.

    I also love the dramatic fight in Shanghai with the giant jellyfish backdrop, even though the silhouettes make it look a bit Dick Tracy. (Sorry. I have mentioned my deep affection for Dick Tracy.)

    I am so bad at recognising London locations, it's shameful. Which bridge is that? Which square is that? I have lived here since 1999 for goodness' sake.

    All the stuff in the Underground is fun. Sliding down the middle of the escalators is a lifelong fantasy of mine, so it's nice to see Bond getting to live it out.

    As a child visiting London, I had an irrational fear that a Tube train would somehow take a wrong turning and chase me through the pedestrian tunnels. Seeing one come after Bond like that genuinely scared me in the cinema, thirty-something years later.

    Outdated technology watch: The takeover of M's computer looks pretty '90s to me. Dude is not a designer, whatever his other skillz.

    Vehicle watch: The filmmakers must have got some kind of bulk discount deal on helicopters, which are at their most menacing for the attack on Skyfall. Most important vehicle, though, has to be the DB5. I will never forget the cinema audience's reaction when it appears, and I love M's "go ahead, eject me" line. (It all makes perfect sense to me, but then I've always thought that Bond is Bond is Bond, to hell with this 'reboot' malarkey.)

    And finally: I can't imagine Bond will hang on to that bulldog for very long. The man hasn't a sentimental bone in his body; look at the way he chucks Vesper's necklace once it's served its purpose.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,574
    Spectre - Actor Notes Part Two

    Lea Seydoux is Madeleine the daughter of Mr White. She is another sad female character (like Vesper, Solange, Camille and Severine she has an overt sadness caused by her relationship history ). Bond seems to collect them. Usually it ends in their early deaths, but that seems to be the price they must pay for taking to Bond's bed.
    Seydoux is very good. Like Craig she speaks quietly, reflectively, and at times I have to strain to hear what she is saying. But it's an engaging performance nonetheless.

    Monica Bellucci is Lucia. A brief appearance, but she does a lot with it. Her acceptance of her fate is nicely captured as the hitmen approach.

    Christoph Waltz, usually a scene stealing actor in lead or support ( only John C Reilly can compete) seems very low key here. Maybe he was under prepared, maybe it was deliberate, but Blofeld is a larger than life character whose ambitions are never short of world domination. In Spectre his mind always appears to be elsewhere. Waltz, like Javier Bardem before him is an absolute coup for the Bond people. Unlike Bardem he doesn't appear to approach the role in the correct frame of mind.

    Dave Bautista is Hinx a mostly silent killer. Like Grant in From Russia With Love he lurks in the background, until finally getting his moment in the spot light (ironically a train fight, as in the earlier film). I prefer this approach to the Jaws scenario of squeezing him in at every opportunity. The impact of the fight is all the better for it. Bautista can't really be judged as an actor here, but as a sheer presence he is excellent.

    Jesper Christensen as Mr White has a couple of scenes and his impact is exceptional. It's good to see him in the film.

    Andrew Scott, Moriarty in the BBC TV series Sherlock, is secondary villain Max Denbigh. Unfortunately, his approach is similar to Waltz ie a quiet, understated presence, but his villainy is telegraphed from scene one. I do like Scott, he is a fine actor in villain roles, but here it is slightly at odds with the rest of the film.

    On to the nice people. Ralph Fiennes is a commanding, calm under pressure M. He doesn't pull up trees, but he doesn't need to. He is an M in control. You can trust this man. Sometimes Judi Dench's M flapped a little, felt the pressure of the situation. None of this here. Fiennes is a fine actor.

    I love Naomi Harris as Moneypenny in this film. She is the bridge between Bond and M, stepping in when needed. Harris is nicely settled, and after Lois Maxwell she is arguably the most effective Moneypenny we have had.

    Ben Wishaw is also excellent. He gets the second biggest laugh in the film thanks to his appreciation of his own joke! (Fiennes of course gets the biggest laugh "Now we know what C stands for")

    Rory Kinnear's bemused and befuddled Tanner never seems quite up to speed, but Kinnear is very good, lurking in the background, a Company man and a sort of flip side to the rule breaking Bond.
  • JohnHammond73JohnHammond73 Lancashire, UK
    edited March 2017 Posts: 4,151
    Before I start here, may I please say that it has been a pleasure taking part in this Bondathon with all you guys that have taken part. It has been great to read all your comments and I hope that you have enjoyed my own contribution, although I am not as eloquent as you all.

    I hope that this can be done again in the future as I'm sure that opinions can easily change.

    Spectre

    After the success of Skyfall, in 2015, I was really looking forward to the release of Spectre. I was also chuffed to see that Sam Mendes was back as director as, for me anyway, he gave us a brilliant movie in SF.

    So, release day, I've pre-booked my tickets and even taken the step of upgrading to VIP seating. It was new Bond, why the hell shouldn't I? I watched it so closely, no snacks, no drink, nothing. I just sat in my seat, oblivious to anyone or anything else in the cinema.

    Initially, I came out of the cinema bloody loving Spectre, I really did. I was so chuffed with it, I went back again for another watch (the first time I'd ever done that). I enjoyed it so much, it immediately too a place in my ranking at number 5. I'm always like that after a Bond movie, it's always brilliant the first time I watch it. I guess with the excitement of a new Bond I find it very easy to place high. Always euphoric.

    Anyway, fast forward 1 months and it's quite amazing how things change. From euphoria to a sense of slight disappointment. Some things I really do enjoy very much, the pts for a start. I do really like it, the "single take" as we are introduced to Bond etc (I know there are cuts in there but they seem pretty seamless to me) and the helicopter fight and stunt after. Very exciting I think.

    There are other things I like as well, that I know most others don't but, that's the beauty of this forum, everyone has a different opinion.

    However, I didn't find myself enjoying it as much as I have before. I think it is a movie that tries too hard to pay homage to all Bond's of the past and tries to pay tribute in ways that don't work today, unfortunately. Therefore, my ranking comes in as follows:

    New Final Ranking

    1. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    2. Casino Royale
    3. The Spy Who Loved Me
    4. Goldfinger
    5. From Russia With Love
    6. Skyfall
    7. Octopussy
    8. Goldeneye
    9. Licence To Kill
    10. Quantum Of Solace
    11. Dr No
    12. The Living Daylights
    13. Live And Let Die
    14. A View To A Kill
    15. For Your Eyes Only
    16. Moonraker
    17. Tomorrow Never Dies
    18. Spectre
    19. Thunderball
    20. You Only Live Twice
    21. The Man With The Golden Gun
    22. The World Is Not Enough
    23. Diamonds Are Forever
    24. Die Another Day

    Previous Ranking

    1. The Spy Who Loved Me
    2. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
    3. Casino Royale
    4. From Russia With Love
    5. Skyfall
    6. Goldfinger
    7. Octopussy
    8. Spectre
    9. Dr No
    10. The Living Daylights
    11. Goldeneye
    12. Live And Let Die
    13. Licence To Kill
    14. A View To A Kill
    15. For Your Eyes Only
    16. Moonraker
    17. Thunderball
    18. Quantum Of Solace
    19. Diamonds Are Forever
    20. Tomorrow Never Dies
    21. You Only Live Twice
    22. The Man With The Golden Gun
    23. Die Another Day
    24. The World Is Not Enough

    That's quite a drop but I can't place it any higher just yet. That may change in any future rankings, but for now, it will have ti go there. Ouch!

    So, on to my notes.

    Cast

    Daniel Craig returns once more. Again, he is very good and I always enjoy his performance. However, as this movie seems to be more about paying respect to the past, Craig has to pay his own tribute to the Bond actors from the past with the lines etc. he is given. Some of the one-liners he is given would have fit very nicely with the Moore era and Moore would do them justice, unfortunately, I don't think Craig does. He is not that sort of actor, much more serious. His first meeting with C I did like though, straight away, he has an idea that Denbigh is a wrong 'un. But, apart from Moore, I think he tries to fit in something from all the Bond's of before. I certainly see some Connery, Brozzer etc. in there. Ok, so it's nice to see tribute paid to our heroes of the past, however, I'd much rather see Craig being his Bond (which we pretty much have until now). However, he is still great in a fight and his "Bond, James Bond", while with Lucia, is excellent.

    Christophe Waltz is an actor I haven't seen in anything apart from this. I have read about him and always noted that he is a great actor. Here, he is ok, but I don't think he has the menace that I would expect from Blofeld. I know we have the torture scene but, I don't know what it was, but I didn't feel that Bond should be threatened by him, himself, but those around him. Now, Greene from QOS, I felt was more threatening because of those around him, but I don't feel it with ESB. Maybe that's just me but it is what I think (he is also very soft spoken so that could be a reason, I don't know). I loved to see him with the scar, nice touch. Not such a nice touch, for me, "Cuckoo". Don't know why but on this watch, that cuckoo thing was something that irritated me. Anyway, he looked the part, with a serious Dr No vibe, the suit and shoes - a nod to the past I really did like.

    Lea Seydoux as Madeleine Swann. A beautiful woman, no doubt, those eyes make her more so. She's ok, I guess, I don't think that she'll be remembered along the lines of Honey, Pussy, Solitaire etc. I don't think she has the chemistry that Craig has had with other leading ladies, Eva Green in particular. I think that Bellucci had more chemistry with Craig that our main Bond girl. The scene on the train is ok, but we've seen Bond have something similar with Vesper and done better. Back to her eyes and I will say that they tell you a lot about her character, the sadness re: her father but then they light up when she smiles. Her initial meeting with Bond is a good scene and one of her highlights. The scene at L'Americain, where she is drunk, is a little poor and comes across as very forced.

    Speaking of her father, it's always a pleasure to see Jesper Christiansen in a Bond movie. He steals every scene he is in and this is no different in Spectre. He has a great chemistry with Craig and his death scene is quite powerful. I did like how there was trust between the 2 characters during this scene, after everything that has gone on before (although it could be seen as being very far fetched also).

    Dave Bautista as Hinx, I think is good but I feel that we could have seen a lot more from him. I loved the idea of the silent killer (Jaws etc.). His is a big sod, but also he is very quick (I've seen a lot of him in WWE and, despite his size, he is quick). I like his intro, the fight on the train is another tribute I like and is very good, with only the Bond vs Grant train fight ahead of it, but I think his "supposed" death is a little weak. I'd like to think that he is still alive out there somewhere, just getting up and dusting himself off, a la Jaws. I'd like to see a return for him. I like Bautista as an actor, I thought he was a standout in Guardians Of The Galaxy. He shouldn't have been made to utter the "Shiit" line, should have kept him silent, just like Jaws back in MR.

    Next up, Andrew Scott as Denbigh. A slimy, backstabbing pain in the arse, is what I always think of him. Therefore, I guess he does a good job as that is exactly what he is, nothing but one of Blofeld's cronies nicely placed within the security services. I say he does a good job but, in reality, I guess I have the same impression that Bond has on first meeting him. I, probably, have the same idea on what the "C" stand for as M.

    Therefore, on to M and Ralph Fiennes. A great actor, no doubt, but I do feel we see too much of him in this movie. I enjoy his first scene with 007, although he does seem to always talk through gritted teeth, as if he's always angry (which with Bond could generally be the case).

    The same goes for Q and Moneypenny, both very good actors in Whishaw and Harris but, again, too much of them in the movie. Teaming up with M, they become Team Bond, which is not something I enjoyed during this viewing. They all have a very good scene in there with Craig's Bond, but just too much as the movie goes on.

    Finally, Monica Bellucci finally makes an appearance as a Bond girl. An actress I have waited and waited for, to appear in a Bond movie finally does just that. A serious crush of mine for years I was so chuffed to find out that she was gonna be in this. I think she does a superb job as the, initially thought to be for me anyway, doomed wife of Marco Sciarra. On first seeing the scene where she walks out into her garden area, waiting for her killing, I was gutted that she seemed to be this Bond movie's sacrificial lamb. How happy was I when Bond did his thing and saved her. I actually really like that moment. Bellucci does a great of showing that she is resigned to what is going to happen. After that, yes, Bond does what he used to do best back in earlier movies, and makes his move to get information from her. It's a great scene between them both and Craig's "Bond...............James.....Bond" is very well done. I like that she wasn't killed off, a return could well happen for her and I certainly would have no problem with that. How good does she look for her age, a beautiful woman.

    Most of the minor characters do a good job during their scenes.

    Bond Elements

    The gun barrel - probably not as good as the one at the end of SF, but it's at the beginning so I don't really care. Great to see it back where it belongs.

    I really like the pts. The single shot that takes us up to Bond listening in to Sciarra I really like. From there, it's fully action packed, although the building collapsing left a little to be desired. The helicopter fight is superb and is followed through with some super stunt work. Also, nicely goes in to the titles. Some nice colours through the pts.

    Some nice locations here, Mexico looked wonderful, Rome at night looked very nice, London again and Morocco, where we find Spectre HQ. For me though, Austria was my favorite location and nice to see a snowy scene in a Craig Bond movie. Beautiful location, with a Piz Gloria kind of feel to it.

    Bond is given the exploding watch by Q, that, as always, comes in very useful, during the torture scene here. He also steals the Aston Martin (meant for 009). However, he finds that most of the stuff during the car chase is set for 009 as opposed to himself and, therefore, not all of it is of use. However, it does have it's moments and the ejection/parachute thing is ok.

    Plenty of action, the best being during the pts for me, which is excellent. The plane/car chase in the snow is ok but I would have rather seen Bond put on the ski's. Other action is pretty so-so and stuff we've seen before in other movies, not Bond. Fair play to the guys who set up the explosion of Spectre HQ and getting themselves in the record books. I know the car chase is a bit of a let down but, being set at after midnight, the streets are probably not gonna be as busy as they may be earlier. Takes a little of the excitement away as there is no sense of danger.

    Humour - some of it is ok ("taking some overdue holiday") but some of it was too much of a homage to the Moore era and, as such, isn't pulled off as well as it was during his era. Craig isn't as good as that sort of comedy and I don't think it fits within this era. Again, I feel that this is trying too hard to pay tribute to those older movies and being, what may be thought of, as a classic Bond movie. Not a fan of the bit during the Rome car chase, seeing Bond shove a car as he does, didn't really give me a laugh.

    The plot seems to have a lot going on and is connected to all three Bond movies that Craig has starred in before. It's great that we have Spectre back as an organisation that wishes to cause chaos in the world for them to take over, but linking everything seemed a bit too easy. The brother thing as well, I'm not a fan of. I rather liked that we knew very little about Bond's childhood in the movies. I always think it gave him an air of mystery. Now, thanks to Oberhauser we know a lot more. (I know there are people who know these things from the books, however, I have't read them so am unable to offer any opinion on them yet). Oberhauser being ESB is all a bit naff. The scheme of getting the Nine Eyes initiative activated and, therefore, Spectre having access to security services all over the world is a little weak. I want to see full on world domination from Spectre, holding the world to ransom. Maybe next time.

    Production

    As I said earlier, I was chuffed when Mendes was confirmed as coming back, I loved Skyfall so surely this was gonna be a hit. This time, I think there is too much going on and the movie is half hour or so too long. Just when you think you may be getting to the end, there's more. Like Mendes wasn't sure about how to finish the movie so we got the stuff with Blofeld at the MI6 building etc. I don't know, i guess he only directs what he is given, but he has last say on everything. After Craig's comments about slashing his wrists, I guess this was one slog of a movie. Still, could have been so much better. Also, why did he see the need to dismiss QOS so?

    I really quite like the opening titles. The octopus imagery is very good and, obviously, fits with the movie nicely. One low point was seeing the faces of foes that have been before in the Craig movies, so it gives away a plot point in the movie. I clocked that immediately on seeing it. Also, don't think it needed a topless Daniel Craig in there, although the wife would tell me different.

    The script, as I have said about this movie already, tries too hard to bring back many of the elements that have made Bond movies from different eras loved for a variety of reasons. However, it doesn't fit in with the Craig movies and more akin to those of Moore and Brosnan. I can see plenty of tributes to all the actors who have played the part and it seems rather forced. The dialogues as well, at some points reminiscent of the Moore era. It fit in well then and with the actor, just not here.

    Some nice shots within this movie but, one of my favourite bits of filming is seeing Bond sailing across the water to where he finds Mr White. A stunning piece of work I thought.

    The score I thought was a little poor. There was some nice uses of the Bond theme but, other than that, I thought it very weak and nothing really stood out.

    Now, here is where i could get controversial, haha. I have to say that I do like the title track from Sam Smith. I think it is a good track, not up to the high standards set before, but I think it fits in nicely with the titles.

    Regarding the editing, I think the pts gives us some seamless work during the initial single shot. As I mentioned with Skyfall, I am not a massive fan of seeing an actors face in cgi on a stuntman and I was another who noticed the look of Bautista's face during the car chase.

    The actors all look great. Blofeld's look is reminiscent of Dr No, which is a nice touch, Madeleine looks great in that clinging dress as well. Craig looks good but, and it's probably just me, I kind of though that some of his suits were a little too tight and ill fitting, especially when he did a button up. As I said, probably me but that's what I thought.

    The Spectre meeting room was nice. It didn't have the effect that the meeting room from TB but it was nice to see it in the movie. The best set was the Spectre HQ in Morocco. Set inside the crater (YOLT nod), it was a decent looking and massive set and definitely the best of the Craig era so far. Again, credit to those blowing it up for the record books.

    Final notes

    I usually like a nod to previous actors/movies but this was too much and I didn't think they were well executed.

    "You're a kite, dancing in a hurricane, Mr Bond"

    C has a face, during this movie only, that you want to smack very hard.

    Not a fan of the new hi-tech looking security services building.

    The "Double O Program" - since when was it a program? What a crock, don't like the idea of that.

    I don't think there is a need to bring Madeleine back. During many movies, Bond has gone off with many women for them not to return. I know this can be seen as different but I think it was an ending that just leaves it open for Craig to come back or a suitable ending for him to leave the series.

    Why did we need to see Bond surprised, almost that Madeleine knows how to use a gun. A lot of movies use this nowadays and there is no originality to it.


    I think that's all. Cheers guys.






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