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Aye, you've said it all. First watch was thrilling, but after the initial delight of a new Bond film you see everything the film isn't. It's near the end of my rankings as well.
But I am very excited for NTTD, and I do hope that, if NTTD is a marvelous Bond film, that my appreciation will increase for SP. We shall see!
Good post, this. I don't know how, but my sense is that the Madeleine character would have worked a lot better had we seen her in a scene with her father. Perhaps she needed to be in the chalet with Bond and White.
edit: Also the Moore films rarely if ever presented the relationship with the leading lady as something substantial.
I completely agree on the M part. It is just so out of character and disrespectful to both of them really. M should be respected, and Bond has always respected him, even if he hasnt always agreed with M. If I was M, I'd have fired him on the spot.
Apart from that, it’s ok, but still Craig’s worse by far.
My experience, to a tee. Moreover, 2015 was a though year for me and I felt I couldn't appreciate it. Someone I loved was in the hospital, and she died just a month later. So I can never return to that film with a smile, never. Not the film's fault, of course. But it has so many flaws, that I can't really give it an excuse either.
Blofeld wasn't a step brother, he was a foster brother. Those are very different things, but I too often see fandom mix those terms as if they're interchangeable.
Step brothers, forster brothers, school mate, playground mates, neighbours, the root of the problem is that I can't buy the unlikely, contrived coincidence that the best secret agent and the worst criminal in the world are old acquaintances as if Bond was some sort of chosen one and they were fated to fight each other simply because Blofeld's daddy took care of Bond when he was young.
The rest is simply semantics.
- Get rid of C and his subplot, not needed.
- Put more extras/vehicles in Rome to give the much publicised chase some jeopardy and drama.
- Blofeld and Bond would have no prior personal relationship, foster brother or otherwise, it's such a tacky trope. I realise any continuity stretching back to Dr No and into the CR 're-boot' is stretching credulity beyond breaking point but lets at least pretend the old films exist...
YOLT script: Blofeld "let me introduce myself, I am Ernst Stavro Blofeld"
Bond "yeah I know mate, we grew up together for a while!!"
- If the torture chair has no stakes at all just don't bloody bother.
- Make the escape from Blofeld's base more difficult, or just difficult! As it is they almost stroll out. I would have put Hinx in there to spice things up a bit.
- there are other little niggles but they are the main ones.
That pretty much nails my gripes with the film too.
The car chase feels more like an episode of Top Gear, the personal angle with Blofeld is utterly pathetic, amateurish and childish, and the aftermath of the torture scene makes a mockery of everything Craig's Bond stood for before SP. When Bond got tortured in CR he passed out and recovered in hospital, when he gets into a fight in QoS he bleeds, when he gets shot in SF he loses his mojo physically.
Yet in SP he gets tortured in his brain, and then functions 100% perfectly immediately afterwards. Whatever credibility SP carried up until that point vanished completely for me after that horrendous scene. To me this was Craig's CGI surfing moment.
Mendes manages to make another action sequence (that on paper should be incredible!) boring with the depressingly dull Rome chase. And then there’s the Solden one! Zzzzzz... the action scenes (apart from the train fight ,which I love) are just so monotonous. Add that to the piss filter and stupid step- bro angle and awful C character and it really starts to wind me up this film.
The Mr White scene is a highlight for me and I really enjoy Madeline and I’m delighted she’s back for NTTD but the rest leaves me feeling what could’ve been. it’s such a shame they wasted Waltz in SP and made it such a chore to watch.
Just wanna make sure I’m not alone on this...
I love it.
- Dump the C plot
- Flesh out, build up Bond and Madeline’s relationship (the train scene dinner could have been the perfect time to beef up romantic dialogue a la CR)
- Add cars, traffic, barriers to the Rome chase
- Dump foster brother plot
- Do an actual torture scene (even a line would have saved it - “this drill has a 90% chance of erasing your ______ “
- Skip going back to London... End the film with a proper Blofeld lair escape, fight, villain capture (yes in Morocco)
I do enjoy it myself, partially because of the reading I laid out earlier. I can't deny the common complaints about the Blofeld angle, the C stuff and the mishandling of SPECTRE as an organization (author of all your pain BS). But I think up until the Blofeld meeting at the villain base SP is a pretty classy, stoic Bond film in a good way. A lot of what I get out of it is surface pleasures like the costume and set design. I don't love the color grading (although the 4k UHD Dolby Vision disc helps the warm tint not feel as oppressive as the other home video formats) but I think van Hoytema's cinematography is quite gorgeous, some of the best of the series. It's unpopular I know but I quite enjoy Newman's score as well, Madeline's theme, Donna Luccia and Safe House being my favorite tracks. Hinx is great, this is kinda the first time I feel like we got some classic Bond-y tropes into a Craig film like a menacing henchman and I love that. Agree about the torture sequence lacking any stakes and the lair escape not really existing, but hey we got a classic villain lair and got to see it explode in grand fashion, right?
And yeah, I think if you view it as a movie about Bond "un-learning" what he did in CR, finding some solace in life as a human being and not just being a blunt instrument, there is some emotional pathos to the story. Again, I think it's somewhat flubbed in execution but enough is there for me to latch onto.
Depending on the day, SP might be my 2nd fav of the Craig era (I like all of them, adore CR) and is always hovering around top 10-12 of the entire series.
I love it too!
Would much rather watch it than SF, which i struggle to enjoy! (Though am a little more tolerant of it than I was!)
Many of the issues have been raised here and I agree with them, so instead will focus on what I do like.
- A more releaxed and confident James Bond, I dont view Craig’s performance as bored.
- A great PTS in Mexico, piss filter aside.
- I do like the score by Newman and some of the cues are just lovely, especially the romantic cues.
- The DB10 is gorgeous, I wish it wasnt destroyed and became the ongoing replacement to the DB5.
- Some nice visuals, especially the Morocco set sequences.
- The Rome set sequence is great, aside from the snooze inducing car chase. Everything up to that point is, well, on point.
We'll tell you from experience, we tried it, I had some what I thought were great ideas, obviously nixing the Brothergate plot, getting rid of C, beefing up the Rome chase.
It all sounded great when I handed it to Peter and then we got into it. Peter is the proper scriptwriter, I'm just someone who hated the film and came up with ideas to change it.
Peter granted initially thought the changes were good, then we tried to incorporate them in but the issues with SPECTRE are much more deeper than a few tweaks. Peter can explain better than me.
Consequently the 2nd draft in process has dumped the whole sorry thing and started again almost from scratch with possibly a character or 2 that appeared in the film.