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I agree, it is very sad to watch, because the potential was all there. The potential to be a brilliant and epic Bond. Possibly one of the best of the series. And it's hard to believe they dropped the ball so hard.
Like Bond's character in this i find the film all too smug and cocky. Mendes is seemingly so preoccupied with vapid gimmicks with his 'long take' and 'world's biggest movie explosion' that he failed to notice the scripts serious shortcomings.
I like the PTS and think the train fight is one of the best fights in the series. Beyond that there is little to admire. I really liked it on the first viewing but like many others, the more i watch it the worse it gets. In fact i rarely watch it anymore as it's so painful to sit through.
We, as in Bond fans, only know that because to paraphrase Sanchez "We know things" otherwise it's meh in a film full of meh moments.
Agreed. The aircraft hanger explosion in Octopussy was miles better. Now thats an explosion! And done in minature i believe!
SP's is mostly just a bunch of smoke. Bond and Swann just standing there looking at it doesn't help it appear more dangerous.
For years Dr. No was tops, because of the uncomplicated story, and probably also because it was the first of the Bond movies. For the opposite reasons SPECTRE has moved into that top spot. The many twists of the plot, the linking of all the previous Craig movies, and of course Bond the superhero. Bond is the penultimate super hero. He isn’t bullet proof, he has no belt of special gadgets, nor a cape, or masked disguise. He wears a simple business suit and carries a status that allows him to shoot people whenever and wherever he needs to. In the movie SPECTRE, Bond like every other superhero of the fiction world from Holmes to Spiderman meets the one enemy who knows him well. The man who has plagued him as he, himself has tracked and hunted his enemy, only to discover that his alter ego was his own step brother. The one person who could hate Bond so much, that he would relish the anguish that Bond would suffer at discovering the man who caused him so much emotional pain and loss. Superhero’s aren’t supposed to suffer emotional stress after all. Then there is Dr. Swann the frigid, and stoic daughter of Blofeld’s right hand man, Mr. White. She becomes Bond’s white queen to Bloefeld’s Black night Hinx and his Bishop “C” in this chess game.
With the unfortunate consequences of the enforced lock downs worldwide, the DVD’s here at the house have been put through the ringer and it’s a wonder that they are still playable, or even that the machines are still running.
Even with the groans of “oh not again”, SPECTRE still draws a crowd at movie time, and is loved by all. Well why not, it’s funny and tops my list over many other Bonds consistently.
Agree fully mate! Derek Meddings i think. Each of the tiles in the miniature hangar were stuck on separately so the explosion looked better. Love it, and one of my favourite pts
+1 Definitely one of the best PTS's. The effects are outstanding. Now i'd better shut up as i've gone way off topic! :D
It's such a beautiful shot in OP, though. SP's was not nearly as good.
No trucks, tanks, other buildings, anything to make it consistent with what the film has shown us up to that point.
It's still great and I still love that PTS, but it's a shame that they slipped up on those details.
As for my gripes:
I think my main reaction when thinking about SP is frustration - there such a sense of wasted potential, of what could have been.
You have more talent than ever, on both sides of the camera (seriously, the cast is just astonishing). You have a virtually unlimited budget. You have huge amounts of public goodwill after SF and the olympics. A deeply committed lead actor and the newly-secured rights to spectre. And the result is just . . .
I'd start with the script - virtually everything else is in place and can follow from there. Eliminate the 9-eyes subplot and nothing is lost. Eliminate the step brother angle and again, nothing is lost. Tighten up some of the exposition and give Bond and Madeline's relationship some time to breathe, and build a much bigger sense of menace and power around Blofeld.
Do that, and change nothing else, and I think you've already got a much better movie.
This is key to why I've fallen in love with it. It truly looks great.
The other thing for me is just how many individual scenes and moments I love.
The wonderful Ralph Feinnes in a proper M office
An honest-to-god Q lab scene with some great humor
The creepy Sciarra funeral, ending with Bond's little wave
Bond taking out the two assassins at the Sciarra home
The Spectre meeting
Bond using the ejector seat
The Mr White scene
The meeting with Dr Swann at the clinic
Q's escape from the perfectly goony-looking goons
The train conversation about how to fire a gun
The fight with Hinx
M having dinner alone at his club
The strange train station where they're picked up by the Rolls
The perfect drive up to Blofeld's base, with the lawn and sprinklers and bodyguard in butler clothes
The meteorite room
The Dr No callbacks in their reception
Blofeld's weirdness (no socks, "I can't hear you James")
Bond carefully one-shotting Spectre stooges as they escape
"Ernst Stavro Blofeld, one recently deceased head of Spectre"
Bond busting out of the ties and shooting his captors while blindfolded
"I've really put you through it, haven't I?"
Just about every couple minutes there's something I love. I agree that it could have been more than the sum of its parts, and it unfortunately isn't, but the sum of its parts is a very high number as far as I'm concerned.
I'm not bothered by the foster brother thing, but I can completely understand hating it, and I would have advised the filmmakers not to go that way. However, some complaints seem a little odd.
"Tying together four films is stupid"--this is simply not a valid point. Two of the films are already connected (CR and QOS of course). And this one is a sequel to those. It's totally fair to complain about SF being shoehorned in, I get that, but that's the extent of the sensible complaint that can be made here.
Funnily, enough years have passed that you could actually show the building in a movie now and just say it was rebuilt.
This complain ALWAYS perplexed me because for so many years there had been fans asking for a continuation of the thread we saw in CR and QOS. SF was the standalone much like GF, and SP would pick up like TB.
That said, I understand why SF was retconned. The writers wanted Blofeld to be involved in M's death somehow, so saying that Silva was under his employment makes Blofeld complicit in M's death. Personally, I have it in my head canon that Silva wasn't actually a member of SPECTRE, but was simply aided by Blofeld. At some point, Judi Dench gets wind of SPECTRE and Blofeld realizes this and needs to have her killed. Rather than having his organization do it, he gives Silva all the means to exact his revenge. Everyone would think Silva was nothing more than a lone wolf. That's why she sent that video to Bond last minute because she realized she was onto something bigger than Silva and couldn't trust anyone but Bond.
But like I said, that's all my head cannon.
Funny enough, the idea of Blofeld behind everything from CR onwards is not one of my gripes with SP. In fact, if anything this is the one thing I like about SP, in that it links everything up.
My main gripe is making a past family connection with Bond and Blofeld which was completely unnecessary. They didn't need to go as far as that, and it totally destroys the original concept of the villain Fleming wrote.
I agree with this. Also, the foster brother angle is kind of redundant, because Blofeld would already have a grudge against Bond just for the operations he foiled in the past that set back his organization. When Blofeld tortures Bond, it's didn't have to be because he had a childhood grudge, it was to finally get back at him for being a fly in the ointment. And when Blofeld plans an elaborate scenario for Bond in the ruins of MI6, it's basically revenge for blowing up his base earlier. Simple!
That's why it's easy for me to overlook the foster brother angle stuff because it's such a minimal aspect of SP that you wonder why they even bother including it. I wouldn't be surprised if NTTD actually avoids bringing that aspect up.
Oh, it won't be brought up again!
Well said, love all those scenes you mention. And i would add Bonds approach to Mr Whites cabin and also the final scene on the bridge with Blofeld is also excellent!
I think you read that wrong. What matters to her isn't that Blofeld gets shot dead, it's that Bond may do the shooting. Blofeld at that moment is defenseless, wounded, and very much defeated. He's no longer a threat. Despite what Blofeld has done, I don't think Madeleine is the type of person that wants to exact revenge by murder. By not killing Blofeld, Bond is making a statement: "I've got better things to do". Madeleine is happy for Bond at this moment because he decided to stop being an agent of death and live a more fulfilling life.
A very well thought-out list. Nice to see the arrival at Blofeld’s base mentioned, people hardly ever talk about it but it’s a perfect bit of film-making. And I love Blofeld’s butler.
“Goony looking goons” is great, I must steal that :))
Ok, you got me, I might've gone back to watch key scenes, lol... But watching the film all the way through? I simply can't.
I still maintain though that Spectre should've ended in Morocco - the need to go back to London was unnecessary and, not to mention, the ending drags. Also, having the whole MI6 team involved in the climax... Just no.
But there was so much potential with Morocco, had it just ended there, and that's what still frustrates me; you had this wonderful buildup to the retro Bond films with the Silver Wraith, the white-gloved servants, a conversation around an asteroid in a freaking crater base! Classic Bond with a modern twist; had Sam Mendes made the climax of Spectre here, we could’ve been treated to some character development, Blofeld hashing out more of his nefarious Nine Eyes surveillance program, what he intends to do, etc.
I think one of my main issues with Spectre is that there are zero stakes and everything feels inconsequential: where's the threat? It would've helped if, for example, we saw SPECTRE carry out a provocative action that kickstarts the plot; we see Bond witnessing the aftermath of an bombing in South Africa on the television in Austria but "so what?" On the whole, SPECTRE is suppoed to be this imposing and menacing organization, but their actions seem to be discussed about, not seen: show, not tell.
DN - The villain's lair providing 5 star hospitality with all the chauffeurs, butlers, clothing FRWL - A Rosa Klebb lookalike and a CQC train fight.
GF - Bond driving a gadget equipped car, including an ejector seat.
TB - SPECTRE meeting with Blofeld's face shrouded, as well as an execution taking place.
YOLT - A base of operations built inside a crater, much like Blofeld's base built in a volcano.
OHMSS - The klinik built on top of a snowy mountain that Bond visits, followed by an action set piece out on those mountains.
DAF - This I'm not sure, it feels like a lot of the Connery era tropes were used up by then. Craig would have had to go to Vegas or something.
Well the obvious DAF theme carryover is brothers ... once he arrives in Vegas Bond is continually pretending that the corpse in the coffin is his brother. “We were inseparable, you know.” But Franks isn’t really his brother, of course. And Blofeld isn’t really Bond’s actual brother. He’s adopted.
Bit of a stretch I know. But hey, I got a brudder.
I applaud your reach brudder.
"Small world..." *smirk*
I like the butler, but I REALLY like his nerdy assistant. I don't know what it is, but he's really loveable somehow.
I think people discount the importance of little moments, or minor characters, or interesting sets in appraising Spectre. "I gotta brudda" from DAF, "Double sixes, fancy that" from OP, these little moments are highlights of their films. The design of the room where Dent gets the tarantula raises the quality of Dr No substantially. Locque in FYEO does very little, but is a treat to watch. And Spectre is full to the brim with great minor characters, beautiful set design, and fun, original moments (Q's escape from the goons is so overlooked).
I feel a lot of people are letting their burned hatred of the Brofeld angle or the retconning make them miss loads of great stuff in this film.
(As for me, I've come to enjoy Brofeld for what it is...)
Much like TWINE and TMWTGG, I think that there are a lot of great moments and ideas that are never really allowed to truly grow/develop. Indeed, I often wonder what they all might have been like with even just a few month's worth of extra pre-production.
However, the criticism that SP's look is the result of some kind of horrific post-production colour grading mistake, is objectively wrong. You don't have to like the orange and hazy visuals, but it does look exactly the way it was always intended to.
The camera lenses, set designs, lighting, makeup, and film stock were all chosen with that look in mind; the colour grading was merely the final step. That's why I'm unimpressed by all those "I fixed the SP colour grading" videos out there.
In order to remove the orange look and hazy lighting, they have to artificially boost the colours and sharpen the image and it all ends up looking like an episode of the Tellytubbies.