007: What would you have done differently?

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Comments

  • Posts: 818
    First off, I disagree that QoS is the film everyone loves to hate as stated in the introduction. I've seen it gain momentum recently, evolving into one of the underrated films in the series by a lot of fans on these boards and polarizing would be a more fitting description at this point.

    As far as changes:

    -I'd take out or at least refocus both the boat chase and plane fight. Neither are memorable and a real mess. Neither adds to the excitement of the film for me and just seem a case of insert action scene here.

    -The freefall from the plane is one of the most egregious examples of Bond as indestructible superhero. Back in the Moore or Brosnan days it would be more forgivable. But given all the torturous physical experiences Craig Bond endures through in his tenure, this one should have been rethought or eliminated altogether as it's something Jaws would've walked away from and shouldn't be something Bond just survives like a cartoon character.

    -Personally, I hate and would lose the scene with the young woman at the hotel who gets assaulted by Medrano. We are already told of his sordid past and what he was responsible for with Camille's family, so we didn't need this to already want to see him done in.

    It's been a while since I've watched QoS, so these are the only ones that really stick with me for now.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 28,307
    Forgot the free fall. Lose that.
  • Posts: 3,768
    A lot is said about the editing being off, but I think it is generally fine. Maybe it seemed harder to watch on the big screen.

    The battle between Bond and Mitchell works well but the one part where it fails is Bond’s rooftop jump across the street. Craig actually does the jump, and it looks great in the BTS, but as presented it makes it look like a stuntman has done it. I’d rejig that bit.
  • LeonardPineLeonardPine The Bar on the Beach
    Posts: 2,865
    Wouldn't change much on QoS

    The obvious thing is that the gun barrel was sorely missed at the start. It's that one thing that starts a Bond film with a (literal) bang. Big mistake on the makers part.

    Wouldn't have minded a longer Mr. White interrogation scene. It's not long after the PTS and it's straight into another big action sequence.

    I like the length of the film. Its a lean mean Bond film that works in its favour. I like the editing myself, although the much talked about 'boat flip' looks like it needed an extra couple of frames to explain why the boat actually somersaults like it does.

    That about does it i think....

    It's the one Craig film i have watched the most and it sits nicely in my top ten Bond films.

  • Posts: 2,364
    Oh, I definitely wouldn't change much about QOS! Love it. The only part of the editing I'd fix is the early part of the Mitchell chase, in the sewers, it's far too jumbled there!
    I don't think I agree with Bond sleeping with Camille. Just don't think it would have worked in this context.
    More of Greg Beam character, he was a wonderful role.
    One minor thing that's always bugged me, I would have liked a better intro for Greene. I think it's too low key just sitting at a desk stamping!
    I don't even mind the skydive, and the plane chase I think is excellent! And the ending is superb! So very little I would change.
  • RemingtonRemington I'll do anything for a woman with a knife.
    Posts: 1,471
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    Oh, I definitely wouldn't change much about QOS! Love it. The only part of the editing I'd fix is the early part of the Mitchell chase, in the sewers, it's far too jumbled there!
    I don't think I agree with Bond sleeping with Camille. Just don't think it would have worked in this context.
    More of Greg Beam character, he was a wonderful role.
    One minor thing that's always bugged me, I would have liked a better intro for Greene. I think it's too low key just sitting at a desk stamping!
    I don't even mind the skydive, and the plane chase I think is excellent! And the ending is superb! So very little I would change.

    I wouldn't have minded if Greene's introduction was the interrogation/torture of the geologist who gives up Camille.
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 2,938
    Birdleson wrote: »
    - Gun Barrel at the start: pretty universal complaint, that one. And Craig needs to slow the Hell down.
    -Originally, I understand, Mathis was going to relate an abbreviated version of the story to Bond during their flight to South America. I would have love that.
    - Give us the damned "Bond, James Bond".

    Agreed about these.

    I would fix the shaky cam, especially during the car chase, and I would make the movie 15-20 minutes longer to let it breathe.

    Anything else about the movie is fine as far as I'm concerned.

  • echoecho 007 in New York
    edited January 2019 Posts: 3,532
    Birdleson wrote: »
    I care about the water storyline. It’s the Vesper angle that gets overplayed for me, if anything is.

    Did Vesper feel outplayed to you in 2008? I agree she did by the time we reached SP.

    The water storyline just feels very regional. Is this Quantum's test run to take over all of South America, and eventually the world? Then show us that. This would have been an opportunity to use Mathis and Fields (and Leiter?) more; I think many people agree that the film could have used more time for those characters.

    Let's talk about Camille.

    I agree that there is too much malevolent Medrano with other characters (a little of him goes a long way). But I like his final confrontation with Camille.

    The repartee between Bond and Camille throughout the film--and their chemistry--"Get in" comes to mind--is strong. More of this would be good.

    I think Camille's moments in the burning building are a bit too quick, as they are really important to understanding her character. Bond helps her get past her psychological trauma, and she helps him figure out the solace that he needs. Their relationship in the film could have used more time to breathe and develop.

    Which is all the more reason I think they should have slept together toward the end. That would bring the character in line with the character we know and love.

    I get that Forster was deconstructing the Bond formula: the four elements, the final confrontation with the villain where Bond doesn't immediately kill him, Bond not sleeping with the main love interest...

    And yet I think by the end, Bond has earned the formula. So now allow him a Bondian moment with Camille.

    QoS is a fascinating film in the Bond canon. Every time there is a misstep it then self-corrects, and vice versa. And the ending is one of the absolute best.
  • Posts: 2,364
    Remington wrote: »
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    Oh, I definitely wouldn't change much about QOS! Love it. The only part of the editing I'd fix is the early part of the Mitchell chase, in the sewers, it's far too jumbled there!
    I don't think I agree with Bond sleeping with Camille. Just don't think it would have worked in this context.
    More of Greg Beam character, he was a wonderful role.
    One minor thing that's always bugged me, I would have liked a better intro for Greene. I think it's too low key just sitting at a desk stamping!
    I don't even mind the skydive, and the plane chase I think is excellent! And the ending is superb! So very little I would change.

    I wouldn't have minded if Greene's introduction was the interrogation/torture of the geologist who gives up Camille.

    I was actually thinking the same thing. Would have been much better than what we got!
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited January 2019 Posts: 2,695
    Did anyone else feel that Eve was there chance to fix what they got wrong with Strawberry Fields? It just seemed like Eve was the Bond girl Fields should've been.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    edited January 2019 Posts: 28,307
    I thought Fields was perfect as she was. Both in portrayal and use. The fact that she left most of us wanting more is a positive in my view.
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 2,938
    echo wrote: »
    Which is all the more reason I think they should have slept together toward the end. That would bring the character in line with the character we know and love.

    I disagree, and I'm so glad he didn't sleep with Camille at the end. Even if they did, the scene would have no place in the movie.
    Denbigh wrote: »
    Did anyone else feel that Eve was there chance to fix what they got wrong with Strawberry Fields? It just seemed like Eve was the Bond girl Fields should've been.

    I'd take Fields over Eve any day.
  • Posts: 7,277
    It is the first time in the Craig movies where Bond falls from a height and survives, als the stunt in this movie are mostly edited to death, allow them some more breathing space and the footchase through Sienna was done already better in the Last of the Bourne trilogy.
    The plot made sense in these modern times when water as such can be used as a bargaining tool, this movie felt more like an assault on the power of the big companies that buy everything they want in order to better themselves over the head of the average citizen. I found that a more realistic story than the SF & SP story-lines we got next.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Merry Craigmas
    Posts: 3,589
    Remington wrote: »
    this version of the gun barrel sequence plays.
    Love it. Like in the video, I would've greatly preferred if they had placed the gunbarrel at the beginning and chose instead to play with the formula by not playing the Bond theme at all.

    Birdleson wrote: »
    I care about the water storyline.
    Me too.

    Birdleson wrote: »
    Originally, I understand, Mathis was going to relate an abbreviated version of the story to Bond during their flight to South America. I would have love that.
    Same here. And that would've encouraged them to the name of the organization or keep it unnamed.

    ---

    An observation on the editing of the action scenes: Cut as they are, I can understand what is happening in them. That doesn't mean I enjoy them, though. Not as much as I would with different editing, anyway.

    One thing I would change in the film would be to somehow avoid having M showing up everywhere. Especially at the end. Yes, it makes dramatic sense for her to have that conversation with Bond, and it would be hard to alter the scene so that M wasn't there, but when I watch it I can't help but think "why did M need to travel to Russia?"
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 28,307
    mattjoes wrote: »
    One thing I would change in the film would be to somehow avoid having M showing up everywhere. Especially at the end. Yes, it makes dramatic sense for her to have that conversation with Bond, and it would be hard to alter the scene so that M wasn't there, but when I watch it I can't help but think "why did M need to travel to Russia?"


    This has been a problem for a few decades.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Merry Craigmas
    Posts: 3,589
    Birdleson wrote: »
    mattjoes wrote: »
    One thing I would change in the film would be to somehow avoid having M showing up everywhere. Especially at the end. Yes, it makes dramatic sense for her to have that conversation with Bond, and it would be hard to alter the scene so that M wasn't there, but when I watch it I can't help but think "why did M need to travel to Russia?"


    This has been a problem for a few decades.

    It has. Except in Moonraker. I don't mind it there.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 3,532
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Remington wrote: »
    this version of the gun barrel sequence plays.
    Love it. Like in the video, I would've greatly preferred if they had placed the gunbarrel at the beginning and chose instead to play with the formula by not playing the Bond theme at all.
    Birdleson wrote: »
    I care about the water storyline.
    Me too.
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Originally, I understand, Mathis was going to relate an abbreviated version of the story to Bond during their flight to South America. I would have love that.
    Same here. And that would've encouraged them to the name of the organization or keep it unnamed.
    ---

    An observation on the editing of the action scenes: Cut as they are, I can understand what is happening in them. That doesn't mean I enjoy them, though. Not as much as I would with different editing, anyway.

    One thing I would change in the film would be to somehow avoid having M showing up everywhere. Especially at the end. Yes, it makes dramatic sense for her to have that conversation with Bond, and it would be hard to alter the scene so that M wasn't there, but when I watch it I can't help but think "why did M need to travel to Russia?"

    I like M in the scene in Russia. M bopping around Bolivia is another story...
  • ShardlakeShardlake Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 3,794
    While I have come to love the way QOS begins, the way that camera whips across Lake Garda straight into the heart of the action right into the most visceral car chase the series has ever seen. I must concede that a GB at the start would have been preferable.

    Also, the way CR ends I think DC earns it and so do we the fans. Though the PTS while isn't top 5 it's certainly would reside in my top 10 PTS's. I've got use to that fast editing and in for me personally it works, though this is the last time that I will excuse it.

    The length of the PTS is brief but it certainly start the film with a bang and DC's only line of dialogue is one of the funniest of his time as Bond so far.

    Right the titles, first of all Kleinman should have been back. OK in an ideal world Amy Winehouse & Mark Ronson would have delivered a cracking theme for the film.

    Though we didn't get that and something that seems to get forgot in the I hate AWTD furore is that Jack White was given very little time to come up with his theme.

    Due to the Winehouse, Ronson situation where the likes of Adele & Sam Smith got plenty of time to come up with theirs, White got mere months. So if White had been given time from the evidence of his back catalogue he could have delivered something a lot better than AWTD, so either Winehouse & Ronson or Jack delivering the kind of theme I know he could have given the time.

    Slow that chase down in Sienna, as much as I've grown to like this film and it's in my top 10 I can't forgive it. The frenetic editing is just too much and at times it's just confusing from the moment Mitchell reveals his true intentions.

    Shame really from the moment the film starts after the titles this is cracking, great bit of dialogue between Bond and M then Jesper gets to shine, he's great for what we see of him in CR but QOS is his best moment, he's quite chilling. The idea of the chase is fine but it needs to slow down.

    Then onwards, all the bits in London, especially in Mitchell's flat great right up to the boat chase the film doesn't put a foot wrong. Then with the boat sequence the editing again makes it a blur and well not the best, I feel short-changed with it.

    Though the film again is fine after this, Greene on the plane with Beam and Leiter, all 3 are excellent here, especially Harbour as Felix's slimy boss.

    Bregenz is masterful, all of it Craig brilliantly deadpan eavesdropping on Quantum's meeting and also Jesper final scene of the film and his deadpan line of dialogue. The slowed down sequence is brilliant and really marks Forster out as not a mistake at all.

    Craig and Gianni back together, great chemistry between Bond and Mathis. I Really like it in QOS when it slows down and breathes. I did think that the film needed to be around 2 hours but maybe if some action sequences were edited and conceived better the length might not be such a problem.

    I like Bond meeting Fields and most of the dialogue here with Mathis involved, especially Bond displaying the snob in him with hotel sequence, the stationary line though is this films little finger, not quite as crass but I'd dump it.

    It's only when we get to the plane sequence and the dreadful sinkhole, I'd jettison this, shoot something more original when it comes to a dogfight and also something that isn't remotely like the sinkhole sequence to get them to this point of the plot.

    Then from here on the film is fine, some of the best dialogue of the era and I love the explosive climax in the desert, the plot is fine to me.

    Maybe something more for Almaric, he doesn't quite get a chance to shine, he's great when he appears and critics weren't kind but like Mads he plays it more subtle.

    Maybe some more quieter moments, more of Bond and Mathis possibly Felix and Beam could have featured more. Not so on the nose with the obvious Bourne influence, CR flirts with it but QOS definitely commits to it more.

    No Bond theme on the credits again, CR should have been the last time that happened. Maybe just that Four Tet, Arnold track expanded

    I think that is it for me, Arnold's best score so no complaints, maybe more instrumentals of JW's theme like in CR but little complaints in that department.

    While the film has its issues my frustration over the years has blunted over the years and I hold it up as quite damn good Bond film even as it stands without adjustments but it could have been even better but it's not the worst of the era and certainly not the worst of the series that it is sometimes classed as.

  • edited January 2019 Posts: 1,611
    QoS is one of those Bond films that tends to be underrated by the public and overrated by hardcore fans. The best way to have improved it would have been for the writers' strike to occur after the script was completed!

    That said, I agree with many of the already proposed fixes:

    * Gun barrel at the start and less rushed.

    * Break the fingers of whoever edited the opening chase scene.

    * Cut down on CGI--stunts that require major digital crutches aren't worth it. We go to Bond films to see stunt men perform honest-to-God stuntwork.

    Aside from the chase in Sienna, none of the action in the film is particularly memorable. Is this the fault of a lackluster second/third unit or the predictable result of hiring a director with no experience in or aptitude for action/adventure filmmaking? (Call it the Apted effect.)
    Birdleson wrote: »
    -Originally, I understand, Mathis was going to relate an abbreviated version of the story to Bond during their flight to South America. I would have love that.

    Agreed. It was a real missed opportunity. Quantum of Solace is a title that needs to be explained to make sense to an audience. Fleming did that splendidly. And since the film was so short a bit more dialogue wouldn't have hurt.
    echo wrote: »
    Go full in on the Bond/Mathis/dead Vesper storyline instead of it feeling like a subplot. That's what everyone wants to see. Make White/Greene more openly toying with Bond about Vesper. No one cares about the water storyline. Give Fields more to do.

    Apparently a couple people care about the water storyline, but I certainly don't. In real life I certainly would, but in a Bond film that sort of plot doesn't have high-sounding stakes or the eccentric interest of something like toppling rockets from a private island or robbing Fort Knox.
    Quantum's evil scheme--a heavy metaphor for neoliberal privatization via multinational corporations--is the sort of thing more suited to a Bourne film or LeCarre novel, and the same goes for the film's treatment of the CIA and the British and American governments. Bond films have almost always been politically centrist. QoS is the only left-wing Bond film, and though I vote left in real life, those sort of heightened politics tend to deaden a Bond movie.

    The Vesper storyline is what makes the film special--it's the only true sequel in the Bond series. It ties up the loose ends of CR, the ones Fleming forgot to deal with. Finding out who doomed Vesper is more important and emotionally gripping than a plot cornering water resources.

    I also agree about Fields. Give her more to do or cut her altogether. The dimwitted Bond girl who exists only to be bonked and killed is a lousy holdover from the old films. If this film wants to be serious about characterization, it needs to avoid resorting to ditz stereotypes.
    echo wrote: »
    For God's sake let him sleep with Camille at the end. Bond's earned it.

    Amen! It's criminal for a woman that beautiful to not get bedtime. I would have had her and Bond do it in the sinkhole. Camille's character and backstory are schematic and predictable, so her sexless parting with Bond feels unsatisfying. I know someone will bring up Gala in Moonraker, but she has a much different reason for not sleeping Bond, something more than a psychological hangup and more like a cultural prohibition. And if we look at Fleming's other heroines, we will see that many of them have backgrounds of sexual trauma and psychological hang-ups like Camille. Meeting Bond, and having a positive sexual experience with him, helps heal their trauma and put them back on the road to better mental mental and sexual health. So Camille was shortchanged in comparison with Tiffany Case, Honey Ryder, or Vivienne Michel.
  • Loving what I'm hearing so far. Thought I'd give the discussion a boost because I'm sure there are many more opinions on this film.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    edited January 2019 Posts: 3,532
    I also would have preferred that QoS be less political and more escapist, even though I basically agree with its politics. The best Bond films don't pick a side.
  • I quite like QOS, though I think most of us agree that it could have used a just a bit more time and care. Anyway, some things I'd change:

    -There are a few moments of 'illogic' that frustrate me. For instance, why doesn't Bond even try to correct M when she says he killed Greene's bodyguard in Bregenz? These moments pull me out of the film a bit.

    -The introduction to Greene is weird. What is he doing in that warehouse? Stamping an old roll of receipts? Almaric is a great actor but Greene doesn't come across as a memorable villain.

    -Elvis is a damp squib as a henchman. Figure out what he's supposed to be and get on with it.

    -I'm generally OK with the quick-cut editing; it works well enough and is a product of its time. But in both the car and the boat chases, pull back and go wide, even just once or twice, to give us a sense of the scene.

    -Killing Mathis might have been 'necessary' for the plot here, but selfishly, I wish they hadn't. The Mathis of the novels is so great, and he's played here absolutely brilliantly but Giannini, that it's a real shame to lose him.

    -The freefall scene is odd. The greenscreening/CGI don't quite work, and it does strain our disbelief too much. Fix or remove, please.

    -Overall the terse dialogue generally works, but having a bit more exposition from Mathis (as suggested above) would be great. We have enough spare run time!

    And as always, a few things I wouldn't change:
    -Generally great casting, once again. Olga really gets the job done, and almost everyone else hits their marks and has solid chemistry.

    -Foster inserts a handful of tiny grace notes that really work for me in establishing location. For instance, the dog on the roof and the woman looking out the window in Haiti. Just a split-second thing, but it helps convey some local flavour and I'd love more of this in future.

    -This film, generally, is "intense Bond" done right. I'm a fan of the more intense takes, and rate Dalton (and am a fan of Moore's less campy efforts, too). But for future directors looking for the 'serious Bond' tone, look no further than QOS.
  • Last_Rat_StandingLast_Rat_Standing South Florida
    Posts: 3,305
    Open with the gunbarrel
    Lose the location cards

    Other than that, I don't really mind it. To me, its the epilogue to CR and that's it
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 28,307
    I'm probably the only one who likes the location cards.
  • edited January 2019 Posts: 301
    I would take out the fast cutting, tight shot bs completely and redo the whole film using classical shot composition and editing.

    Recent years, with films like Fury Road and the recent Mission Impossible movies really exposed the dull shaky cam/fast cutting trend from the last decade. It enhances nothing. It does nothing better. It only obfuscates and confuses. There is nothing immersive or grounded about that style of filming and I am glad it has seen its final days. A clean, wide shot of actors doing their own stunts is much more realistic then that epileptic buffoonery.

    Otherwise, I would take out the starting two seconds after Casino Royale thing, and the story arc with Vesper's lover. It only served to makd Quantum a small movie. A coda to Casino Royale, r ther than a sequel that stands on its own. Set it after two years, the Vesper crap long done with. Move on.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 3,532
    A clean, wide shot of actors doing their own stunts is much more realistic then that epileptic buffoonery.

    Agreed. The overhead shot of Bond in the CR PTS is one of the most exciting shots in the movie.
  • Posts: 364
    A pretty decent film.

    With a better song and more lifestyle porn, it could’ve been a real contender.

    Then again, the way Craig tosses his room key away in disgust, perhaps Bond wasn’t in the right mindset for champagne, casinos and caviar.
  • RemingtonRemington I'll do anything for a woman with a knife.
    Posts: 1,471
    Birdleson wrote: »
    I'm probably the only one who likes the location cards.

    I used to hate them. Now I think they add to the film.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 28,307
    A lot of things in QOS seem to evolve in one's mind like that.
  • Posts: 2,364
    Birdleson wrote: »
    I'm probably the only one who likes the location cards.

    You're not alone. I liked them too, particularly the Siena pts one, and the London card was cleverly done.
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