007: What would you have done differently?

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  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    edited June 2017 Posts: 28,232
    Honey in that bikini is also well known, but yes. It probably has that celebrity status due to being the first.

    The sexual nature of it helps, no doubt. I think it's fair to say that Ursula guided more boys into manhood than puberty itself.
    bondjames wrote: »
    bondjames wrote: »
    They may not know what DN is about, but they certainly know that intro scene, just like they know that Connery first drove the gadet laden ejector seat Aston and Moore drove the underwater Lotus. The cheers in the theatre during SF were because people knew that car from Connery's time, rather than Craig's.

    These films had iconic moments that resonated beyond the film.

    They know the car (everyone knows the Aston, it's like the batmobile) and maybe some moments, but I feel like most don't know their true origin. That's what I'm saying. Like remembering a face of someone at a family reunion, but being unable to place the side of the relation or if they're an uncle, cousin, etc. In short, the important stuff.
    You're definitely right on that. Most wouldn't know that the car originated in the film GF, but they still know the car. The general audience doesn't get the details or linkages certainly. That's something left only for folks like us.

    I believe that's why Brosnan was quite popular and Dalton wasn't. It's because his era focused primarily on all those things that the general public subconsciously associate with Bond. 'Bond James Bond', 'Martini shaken not stirred', 'gadgets', fancy cars etc. etc.

    Absolutely, @bondjames. The damn public, why can't they be as obsessed as we are? Whenever I overhear anyone having Bond discussions and they get something wrong, I feel a reverberation inside of me that makes me desire to speak out, but I keep it piped.

    That's an interesting theory on Brosnan vs. Dalton, and the former's past flirtation with the role before the latter got it certainly helped I'm sure. There may've been many who felt Brosnan got cheated out of a good deal and so, when he finally got his chance, they were ecstatic. His films were certainly more slavish to the Bond iconography, so I agree there.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited June 2017 Posts: 23,883
    That's an interesting theory on Brosnan vs. Dalton, and the former's past flirtation with the role before the latter got it certainly helped I'm sure. There may've been many who felt Brosnan got cheated out of a good deal and so, when he finally got his chance, they were ecstatic. His films were certainly more slavish to the Bond iconography, so I agree there.
    There was certainly a proportion of the public that was waiting for Brosnan. I count myself one of them (although he let me down after GE).

    I think iconic films like GF & TSWLM did as much harm as good to the Bond franchise. Their massive global success may have solidified and firmly imprinted the brand in the public's consciousness, but I also feel that this success was a double edged sword because the public still associates Bond with all of that fancy iconic imagery, rather than the stories. The character got lost in it all. The Craig era was an attempt to cleanse that mindset and take it back to basics, as it were.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,192
    Iconography is one thing, but I think the definitive classics, like GF, go beyond that. My own personal experience of the 'publics' Bondian view, has LALD as an incredibly memorable film, largely because of it's blaxploitation aesthetic. Likewise a lot of people remember Mayday and Zorin, despite the film's general lack of traction, critically. For that reason I find it hard to accept GF is remembered only for its iconography. As a package it just resonated. That's why it's still a jewel in the crown despite efforts to downgrade it's impact and quality.
  • So it seems the conversation has seemed to slow down enough now. I think it's time to move onto THUNDERBALL.

    thunderball-poster.jpg

    Again, this is your chance to say whatever you would have differently wit the film, so things like; plot change, character additions or subtractions. Anything you like. People will be given the chance to give their responses within 7 DAYS from today (this may change so let me know if you want me to extend the time for longer) until the discussion moves on to the next James Bond film. This will run until we reach SKYFALL as a discussion for SPECTRE already exists.

    Looking forward to hearing what you guys think.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,857
    Not much really. Trim down some of the underwater scenes. Recast Largo or get a different actor to dub his voice. During the jetpack scene, have the closeups of Connery not wearing a helmet.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Ghost office
    Posts: 34,319
    The speeding boat at the end looks absolutely insane. As do Leiter s magic pants in the helicopter.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    edited June 2017 Posts: 3,467
    Hamilton could have used Linder, if he was alive, again in DAF, although I like Burton better. The '70s Leiters somehow play better.
    I think the only Bond films that can be said to be a part of our common cultural heritage are DN, GF and TSWLM.

    What do you mean by this?
    The ones that are universally recognized, also by title, for their cultural impact and iconography.

    I think we have to include FRWL as a quintessential Bond title. It seems that not a week goes by without some play on this title in the media. JFK of course had a lot to do with it.

  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Ghost office
    Posts: 34,319
    Linder died in the 90s.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    edited June 2017 Posts: 3,467
    How to fix TB...where to begin? It just feels dour and lifeless from the beginning, including--I'm sorry to say--Barry's suddenly muted score. It feels as though the brassy momentum of GF is all gone, like the film should come before GF and not after.

    The Shrublands sequence is a confusing mess, including the doubles. See NSNA for a more exciting take on this.

    Bond punches Leiter. Again, why? He's such a lackey in this film: "What now, James?"

    Palluzzi is of course great but Auger's performance borders on the catatonic.
  • edited June 2017 Posts: 2,469
    I agree with Murdock about the jetpack helmet. Otherwise I struggle to find much fault. Interestingly enough, over the final 15 minutes or so (that's a guess) TB has virtually no dialogue. Whether that's a strength or a weakness or neither, I couldn't say.

    PS--Just thought of something. Fiona needs to lose that Mustang with which she picks up Bond. I understand they were all the rage in '65 and for some people, still are today. Personally, I think they look like toy cars. A '65 Corvette would have been much cooler.
  • BMW_with_missilesBMW_with_missiles All the usual refinements.
    edited June 2017 Posts: 2,877
    Take the story of NSNA, and apply it to the actors (including younger Connery), score, and locations of TB, while dropping the old Bond subplot of NSNA, and you've mostly fixed TB (and NSNA). Keep the PTS and "She's just dead" from TB though. Those scenes were excellent.
  • BondAficionadoBondAficionado Former IMDBer
    Posts: 1,627
    The editing in the PTS and finale are quite bad. They needed another guy to step in imho. It comes to no surprise that the editor left in the shot of the dog at the parade...

    Other than that, maybe they should've invested more of their budget into those background projection screens.

  • I will defend the chateau fight to the death, but the Volante fight is a shambles in terms of editing. And there is zero conflict because the detonator has already been thrown into the sea.

    TB is also the first Bond flick to experience severe pacing issues. Part of that is due to the construction of the plot; Bond is discovering things throughout the narrative that the viewer already knows. And the underwater scenes are excessive in length and frequency - the final battle shows you practically every possible way to kill someone underwater.

    Apart from these flaws, TB is a solid entry overall, with some good performances, so there is not much else I would change.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 3,467
    I will defend the chateau fight to the death, but the Volante fight is a shambles in terms of editing. And there is zero conflict because the detonator has already been thrown into the sea.

    TB is also the first Bond flick to experience severe pacing issues. Part of that is due to the construction of the plot; Bond is discovering things throughout the narrative that the viewer already knows. And the underwater scenes are excessive in length and frequency - the final battle shows you practically every possible way to kill someone underwater.

    Apart from these flaws, TB is a solid entry overall, with some good performances, so there is not much else I would change.

    Yes! Someone earlier brought up the endless scene of them camouflaging the fighter jet...I mean, it looks cool and the score is good but really it puts the viewer way ahead of Bond, and that should rarely happen, if ever.

    I'm trying to think of another example where the viewer is way ahead of Bond. Maybe Necros' kitchen fight in TLD?
  • RoadphillRoadphill United Kingdom
    Posts: 656
    To be honest, not a whole lot needs changing. Connery is at his swaggering best here, strutting round like he owns the world.

    I would certainly trim the underwater battle down, and give those extra minutes to make Largo a stronger character. He was visually striking, but felt fairly weak in comparison to a Goldfinger or even Dr.No.

    Maybe a bit less Shrublands and get the action to the Bahamas quicker too.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    edited June 2017 Posts: 3,949
    The Chateau fight and the scrap on board the Disco Volante are fine, and edited superbly - quite visceral! Why they had the speed up/back projection in the latters fight, is beyond me, however.

    Peter Hunt trimmed down the underwater footage, but Harry and Cubby made him put it back in. Why spent all that money on underwater photography, if one doesn't show the audience, I can imagine the producers saying. (I think that piece of info is in the mighty tome, The James Bond Archives)

    As dear @Thunderfinger alluded to a couple of pages back, the usual high production values are starting to get swamped in the spectacle, with regards to continuity - a'la Leiter's magical trousers.

    Other than that Thunderball is an epic feast - "top flight entertainment filled with eye popping locales, exotic women and exceptional photography, music and special effects" The Essential James Bond, Pfeiffer and Worrall.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 3,467
    royale65 wrote: »
    Peter Hunt trimmed down the underwater footage, but Harry and Cubby made him put it back in. Why spent all that money on underwater photography, if one doesn't show the audience, I can imagine the producers saying. (I think that piece of info is in the mighty tome, The James Bond Archives)

    That does make sense, especially for Cubby. Plus, we are looking at the film in hindsight. In 1965, all that underwater footage might have been novel and exciting.

    Still, almost all of the Bond films could stand to lose at least 5-10 minutes, and often entire sequences (the Mujahidden in TLD) could be cut for story purposes.
  • Posts: 688
    I can't advocate cutting anything from what the filmmakers originally intended. They can't foresee the future and cutting such things in retrospect is basically censorship. The mistakes and intentions of the time are part of what make rewatching these interesting in new ways after not seeing some in a while.

    Then you'd also need to cut the early films like Bond's treatment of women, fetch my shoes, an American playing an Asian, etc. and other things today's PC standards.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Ghost office
    Posts: 34,319
    I see this more as " What would you change if you were the director back then?"
  • Posts: 11,578
    Thunderball is one of my personal favourites, and I wouldn't dream to change much at all. As mentioned above though, the boat sequence at the end could do with some better editing. Other than that, I can't think of anything really.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Ghost office
    Posts: 34,319
    The eye-patch on the other eye perhaps?
  • Posts: 595
    A few thoughts from my side:

    -the underwater scenes drag, as has been mentioned

    -Fiona Volpe wears far too much clothing throughout

    -Bond comes across as a sleazy quasi-rapist with that woman at the spa. I'm not reading that with 'PC' 2017 lenses, as I understand times have changed. I just mean that Bond shouldn't have to take his women by force or by blackmail, his looks and charm should suffice.

    -The projection is terrible.

    -I absolutely bloody hate the water cannon on the Aston. To me, it's where the Moore-esque bloat starts to creep into the series. Having the bullet screen on the window is fine - a cool, useful addition to a spy car. But twin water guns? That the attackers could avoid by literally moving 6 inches either side? And why not just drive away? They're on foot. Here the action gets pressed into the service of 'gadget' (or the 'gag') and it feels cheesy.

    -The jetpack is fine, but as with YOLT, any time Connery puts on a helmet, he looks foolish.


    Lastly, this video is a bit tongue in cheek but I think it gets some things right:
    Though maybe it's verboten here?
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited July 2017 Posts: 9,117
    TB's (fatal in IMO) mistake is letting the viewer know everything about SPECTRE's plan from the start. Yes its quite interesting to watch all the nuts and bolts of the plan as they hijack the plane etc but after that we're just waiting for Bond to catch up with us. You might say the same thing happens in FRWL but there we just know theres a plan to stitch Bond up but we dont know how it will play out. And at least that builds the tension to a shattering climax. TB has less tension than Darren Anderton's hamstring.

    With TB we know who has the bombs and how they did it. Bond doesnt and watching him flounce around in a snorkel doesnt scream high stakes like it should. Added to that we have the Shrublands sequence which, whilst admittedly fun, goes on for ages and is only linked to the plot via a contrived coincidence. Could easily axe all this (tragic to lose it as it has some hilarious lines) and just use the reason from the book to send Bond to Nassau rather than him stumbling across Mr Angelo and it all plays out the same. Once the action moves to Nassau I find myself getting bored every time Fiona is off screen. In the book (which is far from my favourite) this problem is somewhat lessened by the relationship with Domino. The film concentrates on gadget and spectacle over this relationship and, worse, casts an actress with absolutely zero charisma in the role. She's gorgeous to look at and all but has the personality of a mannequin.

    Cant help feeling the film would be a lot better if we trimmed (or binned altogether) the Shrublands scene and put back scenes like Bond and Leiter visiting the Disco (which was filmed) and Domino's story about the cigarette packet (but obviously you'd need a much better actress). Build up the Bond/Domino/Largo love triangle because thats the real story given we already know everything about SPECTRE's plan.

    Or the other option if you want to keep it as a thriller; give us some thrills. On paper a criminal gang hijacking nuclear warheads and holding the world to ransom sounds incredibly exciting and its difficult to understand how dull TB manages to make it.

    Basic rule of filmmaking number 74: If youre going to have a nuclear bomb as the main threat in your film then at some point it has to start counting down.

    The Peacemaker and Broken Arrow for example are pretty average films but by not flouting this rule they at least manage to generate some moderate thrills. With TB its embarrassing just so how far away SPECTRE come from detonating either of the bombs. The world being held to ransom? Err not that we see on screen. One bomb easily defused off screen (that was thrilling wasnt it folks) and the other never even gets armed because the detonator has been lobbed in the sea.

    If you want to watch a Bond film on the edge of your seat as a nuclear bomb counts down put OP on instead.
  • edited July 2017 Posts: 3,646
    I think Darren Anderton's hamstring was too tense.
  • ForYourEyesOnlyForYourEyesOnly In the untained cradle of the heavens
    edited July 2017 Posts: 1,984
    The underwater scenes do drag somewhat, but I don't find it making nearly as much of an impression on me anymore. I do agree with @octofinger that the end of the PTS is rather on the cheesy side (and they could have at least had oil sprays instead of water ones), but I'm considerably more lenient on that because it was just there to lead into the title sequence which is set against a water-themed backdrop.

    I didn't mind the plot being known to us already. We still feel like it's a race against time. The atmosphere doesn't feel as desperate as, say, Octopussy, but that owes more do the overall pacing of the film (TB's one of the slower ones). I do think Octopussy is a superior film, but only slightly (two places above for me), and at least we're spared the cliche of the villain listing out his plan to Bond in TB.
  • edited December 2017 Posts: 591
    So I'm sorry to everyone to have let this discussion go on a hiatus, but been quite busy, but I'm glad to say we can now carry on and now it's time to move onto YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE.

    1967-You-Only-Live-Twice.jpg

    Again, this is your chance to say whatever you would have done differently with the film, so things like; plot changes, character additions or subtractions. Anything you like. People will be given the chance to give their responses within 7 DAYS from today (this may change so let me know if you want me to extend the time for longer) until the discussion moves on to the next James Bond film. This will run until we reach SKYFALL as a discussion for SPECTRE already exists.

    Looking forward to hearing what you guys think.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Ghost office
    Posts: 34,319
    Stick to Fleming, and make it after OHMSS. Also another Blofeld.
  • Stick to Fleming, and make it after OHMSS. Also another Blofeld.

    Two Blofelds in the same film?? Are you mad?!
  • The fleshed out version of Kissy from the book. Also, Thunderball's only flaw as far as I'm concerned is the actual on-screen killing of sharks. The overly long underwater battles are iconic at this point so I think they should be endured and enjoyed for that reason.
  • Posts: 394
    I saw YOLT again recently and enjoyed it much more than I have in the past.

    That being said, I would remove the sequence in which Connery is made up to look like a Japanese man. It's ridiculous and ultimately serves no purpose.
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