Skyfall (2012)

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edited November 2012 in Reviews Posts: 19,724
Please post all SF reviews here according to the good practice suggested here:
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Comments

  • edited October 2013 Posts: 12,377
    SF is brilliant and is definetly Craigs best. For my review I'm going to type what I thought was good, what I thought was bad and what I felt mixed on.

    Good

    Bond He's still no Timothy Dalton but Craig nails it. I've felt mixed on him for a while but he's really good in this. He's still great in the fight scenes, he's funny, and is still dark in some scenes. Great Bond and probably the best actor to play the character.

    Villian Camp, OTT, memorable and evil, Bardem stole the film. He's so camp on the surface, but then he shows a really evil dark side in some scenes, like when he tells M to say his real name. Best villain since Sanchez, a flamboyant psychopath that could've come straight out of a Fleming novel.

    Action The fight scenes aren't as great and brutal as CR, but they're still cool. The PTS is amazing and the finale is action packed. There are a few fights but there's only about 3 stand out action scenes in the film- the PTS, the shootout in the court room, and the finale. But you can actually tell what's going on and the action is really well directed.

    M For the first time ever I actually like Craig and M together. The stupid mum/son trust issue stuff is for the most part gone. There's some funny scenes with Bond and M too. Mallory is also cool and should make a great new M. She did come across as a bitch in some of it (at one point I was rooting for Silva), but I was sad when she died.

    Q He's funny and works well with Craig. So glad they bought him back and I hope he stays for a long, long time. I think they made him too much of a computer wizz though, I'm going to miss gadget man Q.

    Other good things are the comedy, the cinematography, the locations, the titles, the gadgets in the DB5, the ending finishing the reboot, Albert Finney, Severine.

    Mixed

    Girls Eve was decent enough and looked hot, but I'm not sure about her being Moneypenny and Harris seemed pretty wooden to me.. She's a secretary, I didn't want some big backstory about how she shot Bond. Severine is great but really underused. The greek girl doesn't even open her mouth. Bond doesn't get laid much either but that's not really a problem, as long as he gets one girl per film I'm happy.

    Music I'm not a huge Adele fan and the song feels generic. The score fits in well with the film but it feels a bit forgettable and I miss the full on Bond theme playing during the action scenes. Last time we really got that I think was TWINE, when he jumped out of the window. They should bring back Arnold.

    Characters underused Severine is the main example, she doesn't have much screentime. Silva deserved more screentime too, and we don't see much of Mallory either.

    Bad

    CGI There's not that much of it but when it is used it's obvious. Silvas teeth, the dragons and the helicopters arriving are the dodgy bits. Not on a DAD level but it's still not the best CGI and other films have shown they can do better.

    Gunbarrel It's crap. The design is bad, it's too quick and it's at the end. A bit better than the QOS one but that's not saying much and I don't think the opening shot wasn't good enough for it to be moved. Yes it's Bond walking down a corridor and it does look quite nice but you can't beat a proper gunbarrel especially for the 50th. Even if it's at the end again for the next one, please use the Brosnan design or the original Binder one.

    Plot The main focus of the film are the characters and the story suffers for it. It's not as bad as QOS, it's much clearer and more interesting, but the script seems lazily written at times, especially when it comes to Silva's plan. Like another member said, it's too linear and coincidental. In a more OTT flick it would be less of an issue but Skyfall is trying to be this "adult" Bond movie that's taken seriously by critics. So if I'm taking the film seriously then I'll have more of an issue with plot holes than I would with MR for example.

    FINAL VERDICT

    Skyfall is definetly in my top 10, maybe my top 5, and I'd give it 8.5 or 9 out of 10. Great Bond film, and after 3 films we've FINALLY come full circle and the reboot/Bond Begins arc (which I think was a bad idea in the first place) is over. Really can't wait for Bond 24 now.

    Best since Goldeneye.
  • edited November 2012 Posts: 3,035
    After my fifth viewing I think it's time to gather my notes and do a proper review. So here it is (excuse my english, it's not my 1st language):

    Verdict: *** out of *****

    There is a shot of James Bond walking on the beach "enjoying death." There's no dialogue, nothing really going on other than Bond walking towards a tent. This shot alone lasts half a minute and is a perfect example of how filmmakers are allowing a scene to breathe. Sadly it shows that the final cut of Skyfall was trimmed down in order for it not to extend the 2hr 30 min mark. As a result the movie is unevenly paced, focusing more on dialogue than action. Cramming a car chase, a shootout, a motorcycle chase on top and inside the bazaar plus a fight on top of a train into a six-minute segment, which is suppose to be the action highlight of the movie, is what you get when you hire a drama-director, I guess. In comparison the wonderful boatchase from Live and Let Die lasted 11 minutes.

    After the title-sequence we spent 20 minutes at MI6's new headquarter. Lots of extended dialogue here that could easily have been trimmed down. Then we have Bond's first encounter with the new Q. Some great dialogue here. Probably the funniest moment in the movie. But when Q says that they don't "do" exploding pens any more, one could wonder what's in store for the coming Bond-movies. Will Bond merely be using the latest smartphone from Sony?

    Skyfall then moves from plot point A to plot point B in a rather pedestrian way. First Shanghai, later Macao, and then we finally meet:

    Tiago Rodriguez/Silva:
    What an entrance. One of the best parts of Skyfall was the long shot, filmed in one take, where we first get to see and hear Silva. There's some clever dialogue and terrific acting here, and in his two major scenes (the second one in the holding chamber), Bardem really shines. Is he one of the best villains of the franchise? No! He needed more screentime to rank up there with let's say Zorin and Auric Goldfinger.

    Besides I'm not sure I fully understand his motives. He shows up at the enquiry to confront M and shoot her. He fails. Later he shows up in a helicopter carrying a huge canon to blow up the house where he thinks she is hiding. He fails. But then finally, at the chapel, we learn that he really just want M to help him commit suicide (!). So suddenly he has a death wish? This doesn't add up. I don't mind plot holes or some inconsistencies in the script, but this is insulting the viewer's intelligence!

    There's really no Bondgirl. Sévérine looks like she was just popped in for eye-candy. Even Tanner was in more scenes. And Bond doesn't care at all when she dies after he first takes advantage of her sexually and then uses her to get to Silva knowing it will seal her faith. Puzzling. Because didn't we learn from previous outings that Bond doesn't want innocent women getting too involved in fear of them getting hurt?

    Lack of action setpieces. From the 0.13 to the 1.55 mark there's not a single huge action setpiece. That's the entire runtime of QoS. In one of the early interviews Sam Mendes said that every Bond movie has to have at least three to four huge action setpieces. So what happened? How much did they scale back on the action? (I remember something about a London rooftopchase mentioned from someone who saw the storyboards and a chase on Silva's island.) But yes.. we get a couple of fistfights, a derailed train and a shootout. All in interior sets. But as a Bond fan I just expected more. Extended havoc in London involving Silva and/or his henchmen would probably suffice.

    Thomas Newman's score:
    On the plusside this is a musical score that will probably never sound dated, like Conti's and Serra's. It's just very generic. Nothing too fancy and to be honest: not very memorable. It clearly lacks the passion than both Barry and later Arnold brought into a movie, although there are snippets that I really like: The combo of 'Voluntary retirement' and 'Mother' and 'Komodo Dragon' which uses parts of Adele's title theme. I hope they bring David Arnold back for Bond 24.

    Underused locations. This could probably concidered nitpicking, but means a lot to me:
    One of the reasons I love Lewis Gilbert's Bond movies is that all the money is up there on the screen. He (and his cinematographers) knew how to take full advantage of the locations in which they were shooting, meaning a lot of wide shots with a full panoramic view.

    Now I've been following the Skyfall-production closely since November 2011. So I know where they have been filming. One example of an underused location is the market in Istanbul. We see Bond driving into Patrice's Audi so it crashes right into the marketsquare. But the shootout-scene following is filmed so closely from the ground so we hardly get to see neither most of those hundreds of extras that were cast or a full view of the market. So unless you know beforehand that this is in fact suppose to be a turkish market, it's hard to tell. Other underused locations are the scene inside the bazaar (which is HUGE), which only lasts five seconds, Shanghai airport (they redecorated much of Ascot Racecourse and cast hundreds of extras to give us some brief close-up clips of Bond standing there disguised as a chauffeur) and the misuse of Silva's island. Plenty of opportunities here.

    Overall I must say that the cinemaphotography is very good, though. Definitely two steps up compared to the shaky-cam mayhem in QoS.

    Daniel Craig IS James Bond. Although I think he looks 12 years older than in Casino Royale (even after he loses his stubble) I think he makes a very believable Bond. My favorite since good old Connery.

    But... sadly he has not become the self-assured hero I've come to love, yet. And I blame the scriptwriters for this who for three movies now are trying to go for a more 21st century and modern Bond. But reshuffling the template ditching elements who defined the brand, like the absent of gadgets and turning Jamed Bond into a flawed and unstable guy (like most other movieheroes these days), was a chapter which I thought they closed with the second reboot, four years ago. Why make the character-building redundant?

    I understand those who say it's necessary to move with the times. But does Bond have to be this multilayered and thoughtful? I just want to have fun seeing him self-reliant and besting the baddies, not share his pain or his history. Craig gets almost no opportunity, apart from a few scenes, to be Bond - competent, and resourceful in spite of the odds. Instead he is just incompetent: Silva wants to kill M, but Bond won't let that happen. It does. Bond won't let the agent list fall into enemy hands. It does. Bond won't let the suffering girl die. She does. Bond keeps shooting at the bad guy while he is climbing the latter to stop his escape. He misses every shot.

    It’s been three movies and six years and they are still playing the “This is the NEW Bond” card. Hence the JB theme is only played as a wink. Silva even asks Bond "Isn't there ANY of the old James Bond left"?

    So... James Bond, please come back! Show the world in 2014 that we can still depend on one man - you!

    Luckily the very last scene in SF gives us a lot of hope!
  • edited November 2012 Posts: 1,407
    Reposted from the Fan Review thread. Thought this would fit better here



    First thoughts as walking out. It was different like CR but I didn't automatically get the "Bond vibe" but in my opinion, that is a good thing. It means the Bond series has now matured to the point of it being above the rest again.

    The Good:

    Bond: Daniel Craig gives the Bond performance of a lifetime in this film. He's funny, witty, dead serious when he needs to be, and for the first time in a long time, sentimental. Craig has cemented himself as the ultimate Bond for this generation, perhaps ever

    Silva: I remember the excitement I felt when I first heard that Bardem was being seriously considered for the villain in Bond 23. And boy does he not disappoint! Every second he's on screen he just has the viewers attention for every line and every movement he says. It's great to see some camp back in the villain. But also (especially near the end) he can be deathly frightening when he wants to be. Easily the best on screen villain since Ledger's Joker.

    M: Some people hate that Dench has had more of a role in Bond's life the last few films. I for one, think that it has been a great thing! And here, she really gets a chance to shine. A worthy sendoff to a beloved character. And yes, a tear was shed.

    Q/Eve/Mallory: Let's start with Q. I thought Ben's performance was brilliant. He and Craig have great chemistry with witty banter but by the end I think we felt a good mutual respect they had for each other. I look forward to seeing this relationship continue. On to Eve. I've heard she has great chemistry with Craig and that she has no chemistry with Craig. Some of it seems a little forced, but overall I was impressed. Loved their constant banter of how he feels safe if she's not in the field. The "Miss Moneypenny" line made me smile. Mallory had a good character arc in this film and I feel that Bond and the rest of MI6 gained legitimate respect for the character over the course of the film which makes his transition to his new job much easier.

    The Action/Roger Deakans: What more can be said of the great Roger Deakans. This film looks beautiful. The Skyfall finale was dark and moody, China was bright and neon. The action did not disappoint me either. Yes there are less action scenes but these scenes were longer and more entertaining than anything in Quantum of Solace. One thing that surprised me is I hardly find anyone talking about the London tube chase. I found this to be my favorite action scene in the film. Very well constructed and entertaining. The brief fight in the skyscraper was beautiful.

    The Mixed:

    The Music: It's not that Thomas Newman did a bad job. Far from it. It's just it wasn't very memorable. Now I really like what David Arnold did for the last two films and Newman didn't quite come up with the same level of things. But it still worked and is far from an Eric Serra disaster. The Bond theme was used in all the right places and most importantly, it was not overused

    Skyfall: I may be in the minority here, but I would of loved to see Bond's story explained more. That scene with M outside the car begged for more exposition (even if us Bond fans already know most things). And for some reason I wish the lodge was called Skyfall more. Petty thing I know

    The bad:

    The Gunbarrel: I don't care that it was at the end, in fact that worked. It's just that the design and Craig's pose didn't work for me at all. It wasn't terrible but it's the only negative I can say.

    Overall:

    After looking forward to this for 4 long years, I can say my expectations were met and then some. This is a movie that MUST be seen more than once. I know I didn't get everything out of it. This was a very personal story and a great "transition" Bond film. The "Bond vibe" has been reinvented my friends. And I'm looking forward to 50 more years!

    9.5/10

    EDIT: After seeing it 2 more times, I can say that the Bond vibe is there and I felt it. Just took me a couple of times to know what I was seeing. Still 9.5!
  • Here are my thoughts after seeing 'Skyfall' three times over opening weekend here in the US:

    It's instantly in my top 3 Bond films behind FRWL and CR.

    Daniel Craig has also reached the same level as Sean Connery as far as my favorite Bond actors go. Craig delivers so many different emotions and has a much wider range than any of the previous 007s. He's able to hit the one-liners in stride and also shed a tear when it's called for.

    Javier Bardem makes a fantastic villain, and his portrayal of Silva is also one of the best in franchise history. His words and actions make audiences laugh and squirm at the same time, which is a good thing.

    And then there's Dame Judi Dench, who gets plenty of screen time and makes the best use of it. While I tend to dislike having M get out from behind the desk, her eventual outside-the-office adventures in 'Skyfall' serve a purpose and Dench plays it beautifully.

    The callbacks to Bond history were done well, in my opinion. The use of the DB5 in 'Skyfall' made for the biggest laughs each time I watched it, and the return of Q and Moneypenny offer the perfect mix of tradition and modern influences.

    The film, as many have already said, is beautifully shot. Roger Deakins worked his magic and some of the visuals are stunning. The fight scene between Bond and Patrice in the bathed-in-blue skyscraper stands out to me.

    It's hard for me to find faults in 'Skyfall'. I suppose Severine could have been used more, and how Bond recovered from his wounds in the PTS is left for us to decipher, but this is one of the most complete Bond movies ever.

    With the final moments of the film again blending tradition with the contemporary, 'Skyfall' tips a cap to 50 years of history, while keeping a steady eye on continuing Bond into the next half century.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,447
    Bond films are memorable more for their iconic moments rather than for their plot development, or their respect for Fleming's material, or indeed for the all important lead actor.

    It's why people remember Dr No for Honey emerging from the sea, Goldfinger for OddJob's hat, The Spy Who Loved Me for the appearance of Jaws, You Only Live Twice for the volcano lair and Casino Royale for Craig's swimwear.

    It's also why some films that are loved amongst hardcore Bond fans (For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights) are generally forgotten by the public at large.

    So what about Skyfall? The film that is running riot through the box offices of the world has a long way to go before we can safely say that it's going to be remembered by the film going public. The cinematic graveyards are littered with box office smashes that no one can now remember.

    Skyfall is a curious one. The cinematography is wonderful, the direction thoughtful, the casting perfect, the lead actor both intense and impish in equal measures.

    But will we remember it in 20 years time? Or should I say, will our friends and family remember it? (we never forget Bond films in this place).

    The answer is a massive, unequivical, MAYBE.

    For a long film (over 140 minutes) with relatively few major action sequences Skyfall simply motors along, building the suspense, cracking the gags, killing the bad and the good guys off at decent intervals. It's a monumental and compulsive birthday present to the franchise. It succeeds in all the ways Die Another Day (40th anniversary film) failed. Where Skyfall is a bold take on the traditional Bond film with amusing and welcome nods to the Bond of old, Die Another Day was a re-heated greatest hits package with clumsy, endless jokes at the expense of the franchise's history. It had funny moments, and exciting moments, but it never for one second deserved to be the franchise's birthday biggie. Skyfall does.

    England and Scotland deservedly take centre stage (Bond's life is centred around London, his past belongs to Scotland), but brief jaunts to the Far East and Turkey break it all up beautifully. The scenery is simply stunning.

    The action is built around three major sequences with several enjoyable punch ups to fill the gaps. Mendes, like Michael Apted before him is not noted as an action director. But where Apted's short-comings were noticeable in the plodding The World Is Not Enough, Mendes takes it on like a veteran. And he does it superbly.

    The pacing of the film is perfect (as it should be for a long film), and the last 15 minutes does not seem like such a drag (in Casino Royale it feels tacked on to the end of an otherwise splendid film).

    The hardcore will be desperate for a traditional Bond movie, where 007 rolls up to M's office, flirts with Moneypenny, and receives his orders, before a quick 'hilareous' Q scene. Well it has in fact been a long time since all of that really worked properly. One only has to watch the otherwise excellent The Living Daylights to see how badly the Q and Moneypenny scenes can go wrong.

    So, will Skyfall be remembered for it's iconic moments? Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but there is a moment when Bond has dispatched of hitman Patrice in a Hong Kong sky scraper, and he glances across to the next skyscraper to see tragic Bond girl Severine looking back, her hair blowing in the wind. Not only is she stunningly beautiful, but that image was clearly designed to be memorable, and boy was it for me! A true Honey Rider moment.

    And if that isn't enough the villain Silva in one long, single brilliant shot offers enough with his opening speach to immortalise himself not only as a great Bond villain, but a great cinematic villain. It was my brother in law, a hard to please, non-Bond fan who said to me that Silva reminded him of Hannibal Lector, except he reckoned Silva was better!

    A Bond film for the 21 st Century.
  • Agent007391Agent007391 Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start
    Posts: 7,833
    First of all, my verdict: 5 out of 5

    Now the breakdown:

    Plot: The film starts out strong, with a chase through Istanbul (a classic Bond location). After that, it has some slow parts, getting the plot up to speed, and then once Bond gets to Silva's island, the plot never really slows again until Scotland comes into view (and it wouldn't surprise me if Slenderman was in those woods on the outskirts of Bond's Skyfall estate). Once the preparations for the final battle begin, however, the pace returns to its former speed and doesn't let up until the end of the film.

    Just like Casino Royale, the plot is serious, yet it allows for light moments. This is, by far, the Craig film with the most humor, and I loved how they used it. It was all dry humor that suits the Craig Bond, and I hope it continues through the following movies.

    Action: The film starts with a wonderful action sequence that ends with a fight on top of a train. After that, the fight scene with Patrice in the building wasn't exactly as good. The next sequence is a fight in a komodo dragon pen, but I didn't really think they needed to use CG komodo dragons. Maybe for when the dragon attacks the heavy, but certainly not when Bond first sees them and they're not moving.

    The next action scene is when Bond chases Silva through the subway tube. While I did like the humor of the scene where Bond's trying to open the locked door, I do think it was unnecessary. That door had to be at least three feet into the wall, and Bond could have easily just hugged the door to avoid the train. Again, I liked the humor.

    The final sequence is Silva's assault on Skyfall, which I loved. Silva's men being fooled by the traps, and then Silva attacking in the helicopter, it was amazing. The underwater fight under the frozen lake wasn't so good, but that's the only bad spot in the entire sequence.

    Visual Effects: The effects were done well, for the most part. Though there did seem to be more practical effects than CG, I wish that some of the CG didn't exist. Mainly, the komodo dragons and the helicopters above Silva's island. The helicopter shots, especially, could have been done practically, and didn't need to be CG.

    Music: Though David Arnold didn't return for Skyfall, I could barely tell. You could put Thomas Newman's score up against Arnold's scores for Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, and there'd be no difference in tone. The opening, in particular, sounded almost exactly like Arnold's Casino Royale score.

    Other: The title sequence was decent. The visuals were good, but the song lacked the power that You Know My Name, or even Another Way to Die had (I'm also a little disappointed that the song shared the film's title, I was hoping it would be a Craig Bond tradition to have songs that didn't share the film's title). It seems as thought it's going to be a Craig Bond tradition to have the gunbarrel at the end of the film, but I don't have a big problem with that.

    Closing: In closing, Skyfall is number 1, tied for me with Casino Royale. I want Bond 24 to top it, but it's going to be a damn tough film even to match.
  • SandySandy Somewhere in Europe
    Posts: 4,012
    This is basically an extended version of the review I wrote at the Fans' Review thread.

    I went into Skyfall knowing a lot about the story, I'm not one to shy away from spoilers. So I thought I was in for a good time but not for surprises. How was I wrong. The film surprised me on many levels from start to finish and I think that is the mark of a great film, for Skyfall is not only a great Bond but also a great film (the best of the year in my opinion).

    The opening shot is brilliant, I agree with those who said it is, in a way, a gunbarrel. The way Bond is slowly revealed, the white light in the background. That establishing shot sets the tone for the rest of the film, a contrast between light and dark, bright and shadow. Also between doing right and wrong. Bond wants to stay but M thinks otherwise and he chooses duty over his own conscience.
    Quickly we move to light, the crowded and vibrant colours of Istambul, and Bond (and the audience) meets field-agent Eve. I must say the way she grabs the wheel bothered me (since the first videos came out), that's not the best of even safest way to do it when one is driving fast, shows nervousness and lack of preparation. I wondered from that moment if that was Naomi Harris' fault or was it intentional. I prefer the latter, the kind of talent involved in preparing the stunts would have spotted it if it was not intentional. Here begins Eve's own character arc. The PTS is highly charged, with brilliant stunts (as usual) but also contains what is probably one of my least favourite part of the film, the rooftop chase. The fact that the CGI of the faces is very noticeable might justify it a little. But the end of the PTS is what matters here. The train sequence is one of the best in the series, Bond smashing Beetle like he would smash bugs under his shoes (I wonder if that is the idea), the first shot that got him albeit only partially, the jump to the train, and finally the fight on top of it. Perfect and then... I had watched the scene many times on the internet but it gets me every single time, the shock is immense when Bond is shot by Eve, a shot ordered by M, who is willing to risk her best agent for a list. Eve is also in shock, Bond falls apparently to his death as the title sequence begins.
    I know a lot of people loved Daniel Kleinman's work in here but for me it's the weakest part of the whole film. I simply didn't like it, I don't know if it's because it revealed so much. It's not that it is bad, far from it. There are parts of it I truly enjoyed but others not so much. I do love Adele's song and the hand pulling Bond at the beginning (the hand that saves Bond's life perhaps?).
    Happily my complaints are (mostly) over from this point onwards! The rest of the film is sheer brilliance. The story grabs you, the tension grows every minute, the work of the cast is amazing! Each one of them did a stunning job, and that shows.

    Craig gives us a perfect Bond, from the moment he appears again on screen, downbeat and damaged. He makes the character absolutely real, we can believe every look, every movement, every word. He has done a brilliant work, managed what I thought was difficult, improving on his already excellent portrayal of Bond. I am ashamed of having doubted him back when he was first announced, how wrong was I. His masterful and complete portrayal of Bond led me to a conclusion I never thought possible. Connery was always my favourite Bond, Craig was second almost tied with him, together with Dalton. Now Craig reigns alone as Number 1 in my list. The reason is that he is at ease with the darker moments as well as the lightest ones and nothing feels out of place! He manages to show exactly what goes on inside Bond without ever feeling forced, like it was simply flowing through him.

    Bardem is another acting powerhouse in this film. How amazing can he be? Silva is lunatic, villainous, campy, odd, tragic, and everything in between. A truly relevant and memorable villain, one who could have been penned by Fleming himself, and who is an instant classic. The villain for Bond 24 will have very big shoes to fill. His final moments with M in the chapel were emotional in a very twisted but brilliant way. The scene when he first appears on screen is single-handedly one of the best acting displays of the entire franchise. He is so mad that he leaves the audience in permanent discomfort (and Bond as well). The first example of how unpredictable he can be is when he shoots Severine (but more on that later).

    Dench is wonderful as M, from the ruthless moments when she is willing to sacrifice the lives of her agents (and we believe her) to her most vulnerable she shows why she's considered one of the greatest actresses of all times. Yes, her character makes mistakes but she stands and faces the consequences, no matter what might happen. One might love her or hate her but very difficultly is someone indifferent to her. I'm glad they found a powerful way to say goodbye to her tenure as M. Was she overused in previous films? If so they took the bull by the horns by putting her in the center of the story and it payed off.

    Fiennes has a short but powerful performance right from the moment when he is talking to M. His sudden change from bureaucrat politician to man of action comes in a believable way. This is man is more than meets the eye, this is a man we learn to respect and so does Bond. I truly look forward to watching him as M for many good films to come. I was rooting for him as M ever since his casting was announced and I'm so glad it turned out to be true.

    Whishaw is great as Q, if I ever had any doubts they were smashed into the ground. I love the way he talks, so serious. And the line about returning the equipment got everyone laughing in the room. An unusual but inspired piece of casting.

    Marlowe surprised me in a positive way as Severine. What a great presence and what a talent! I could feel her fear coming to surface, slowly, in her every move but never overacting. This brings me to a complaint, why did they kill her so fast? She deserved more screen time, because she truly mesmerizing. But her killing is so cruel that leaves perhaps a greater mark and warns us that Silva is not to be underestimated, his actions cannot be predicted, this is a truly dangerous mind.

    Kinnear is the ever faithful Tanner, I really like him and hope he sticks to the role for a long time. I'm glad even the small roles have a great deal of talent behind them, it makes the acting consistent.

    Harris left me with mixed feelings. I didn't really like her in the PTS, not believable (again, perhaps that was the idea). However I did like her witty exchanges with Bond, the shaving scene, and I understood her passage from field agent to Miss Moneypenny. Still she didn't completely convince me and I'm afraid that in such an amazing cast she is the weakest link. However I'm curious where she will go from here. The fact that there is a bit of a backstory between her and Bond is actually smart, Moneypenny always seems to know more about Bond than anyone else and their constant flirting may be more justified this way.

    Finney is lovable as Kincade, he gets some of the best lines in the film. There's nothing else I can say about him except he's amazing, even when he makes a stupid mistake.

    Rapace is OK as an assassin for hire, the scene with Bond at Shanghai is amazing but he's pretty forgettable I'm afraid.

    The photography is breathtaking, every single shot is magnificent! This is the reason why Deakins is one of the best directors of photography around. Editing is well done and does a good job in showing what's going on without distractions. Soundtrack is, in my opinion, 5 star quality. The first cues I heard from it left me a bit underwhelmed but I really warmed into it, it works very well with the film. Sound editing gets thumbs up. Locations as well. Attention to detail was impressive and it will take many viewings to get everything. Effects were quite good in my opinion except for the PTS I talked about before. Contrary to others I didn't think the helicopters or the Komodo dragons looked bad. Humour was handled well, not too much and not too little in my opinion.

    The finale at M's office is the cherry on top of the cake. It left me with a big smile on my face :D The classic set, the coat hanger, small talk with Moneypenny, enter the door (the door!), brief but brilliantly handled exchange of words between (new) M and Bond (respect both ways), a paper file marked top secret is handed, there is something that needs taken care of and take care Bond will, with pleasure!

    Gunbarrel sequence is not amazing but I liked Craig's walk, I just wished they hadn't freezed him, that felt odd.

    Sam Mendes is amazing and I can only hope he gets to do more Bond films. This is the kind of director the franchise needs and obviously he makes a dream team with Craig and the rest. I would say dream team but this film isn't a dream any more, it's reality.

    Best:
    - Cast and acting deserves 10/10, especially the 2 acting powerhouses Bardem and Craig;
    - Photography stunning;
    - Dialogue and script brilliant;
    - Soundtrack;
    - Directing.

    Worse:
    - CGI at PTS;
    - Marlowe underused;
    - Title sequence (for me the worst of the series).

    Final verdict: One of the best Bond films, my favourite film of the year so far. Only minor flaws to point. 9/10 from this very satisfied fan :-bd
  • edited November 2012 Posts: 300
    I've needed a few days to digest the film and I think I'm finally ready to write up a review.

    Instant Reactions:
    First off, I'm really glad Sam Mendes opted to take off the sound from the Columbia Pictures logo. A trend for Bond that started with Quantum of Solace and I'm glad it's continued here. The Columbia music is a big distraction in the opening of Casino Royale.

    The opening shot for this film is simply perfect and beautiful. The way 007 snaps onto screen at the end of that narrow hallway. Just brilliant. It really gave me a feeling that the 007 universe is a continuous entity and every once in a while we (the audience) are given a glimpse into it with each movie that's released.

    Right when Bond exits the darkness of the building and onto the bright streets and culture of Istanbul, I couldn't help but think of the Mombasa sequence from Christopher Nolan's Inception. That certainly isn't a bad thing though, if you're going to take ideas/inspiration from other films, take it from the great ones. Of course Mendes himself admitted that he took a lot of inspiration from one of Nolan's other blockbusters, The Dark Knight.

    I very much enjoy the way the story takes its time to reveal the main antagonist, Silva/Rodriguez. There was a certain point in the film where I thought to myself, "Boy, this is great! And I haven't even seen Bardem yet!" I think it's a great asset to the film and one I hope is used again.

    The other thing I loved right from the get-go is the Title Sequence. I just thought Daniel Kleinman really created something special yet again. Please Broccoli and Wilson, keep him on for future Bond films! He was definitely missed in the title sequence for QOS, my second favorite 007 outing by Craig.

    Story/Dialogue:
    Two words: John Logan. The moment I found out that Logan was going to be involved with Skyfall I got VERY excited. He's had a hand in some of my favorite films like The Last Samurai, Gladiator and Star Trek: Nemesis. I really think he's given us some of the most exciting and iconic sequences the Bond films have seen yet. His dialogue is smart and sophisticated, the way he describes his action sequences are clearly well detailed and thorough yet feel very organic, I really think he's the best thing to happen to the franchise since Daniel Craig. I am extremely eager to see what he has up his sleeve for Bond 24 and 25!

    Acting:
    Arguably the best acted Bond film in the history of the franchise. Everybody seems to be tailored perfectly for their character. Judi Dench gives us her best performance as M, and that's saying a lot because she ain't all that bad in CR and QOS. Albert Finney was such a treat to have in this film. Frankly, if his part really was intended for Sean Connery, I'm glad it didn't work out because there's no way Connery would come off with anywhere near the amount of charisma and heart that Finney's Kincade does. Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris and Ralph Fiennes are pitch perfect in Skyfall and I look forward to their presence in future Bond films. ;) Bérénice Marlohe is beautiful, absolutely gorgeous. And another plus, she happens to be a really great actress as well! I love her scene with Craig in the casino and her fear of Silva really feels real and I she made me feel it also every second she was on screen. Javier Bardem is just incredible as Silva. The amount of energy and fun and passion Bardem puts into this character is just out of this world and I do not envy the person who will follow in his footsteps come Bond 24. Daniel Craig never ceases to amaze me. Just when I think I'm familiar with his take on Bond, he goes and does something I wasn't expecting in a million years! Before Skyfall, Daniel Craig was one of my favorite Bonds. You know, a little Craig here, a little Dalton there, a little bit of Moore for good measure. Well, after Skyfall Craig is my absolute favorite Bond, bar none. His performance in Skyfall makes me more excited than ever to see what Craig does in his next 007 outing.

    Music:
    I know I'm in the minority, but in my book, Thomas Newman is welcome back to Bond as many times as he'd like. I thought his work in Skyfall was simply a masterstroke. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he already has a relationship and shorthand with Sam Mendes. It definitely comes through in the film, and that's a luxury David Arnold has never really had. A highlight sequence for me is the whole sequence between Bond and Patrice in Shanghai. And of course the work by Paul Epworth and Adele on the Skyfall song is just great! I can't picture the film having any other song, and I'm not the biggest Adele fan.

    Cinematography:
    I'm on the same page as practically everybody else when it comes to this category. Roger Deakins deserves an Oscar nomination for his work in Skyfall at the very least! Every frame of this film is a work of art, it's simply breathtaking! The whole film is a highlight for Deakins.

    Direction:
    Sam Mendes really has outdone himself here. His attention to detail is inspiring and I love the sense of fun and Bond he has brought back to the franchise. Mendes first caught my eye with American Beauty and I've had an eye on his work ever since. One thing I like about Mendes, and I wish Nolan would try this out also, is he rarely uses actors he's worked with before in his movies. I think as a director it only helps you grow as an artist to continually work with different actors that will help you see things in ways you may not have thought of before. Of course, Mendes is welcome back to Bond at any time. :D

  • My 2 cents:

    BRILLIANT FILM!

    What I love about Skyfall is that it is an amazing action/thriller film, but still holds up very well as a Bond film. Another film that attempted this was QOS. Thing is, it did not succeed as a Bond film, good action film though.

    SKYFALL:

    I believe that this film has most of the major elements needed in a good Bond film:

    BOND: Although this may seem obvious, it doesn't always happen. The problem I have with films such as QOS and TND is that Bond doesn't feel like, well, Bond. He seems more of and action "shoot-em-up" kind of hero. Bond is supposed to be suave, be sophisticated, have depth in his character, and still be dangerous. This is a hard aspect to get right. SF, I believe did. You have all of this even in one scene. The Macao casino. He is smooth, suave, and charming as he walks through the place, and talks with Severine. He shows emotion, and caring when talking with Severine, giving him depth as a person. As he is doing all this, he is still dangerous, as seen in the fight in komodo dragon pit.

    VILLAIN: This was one thing that SF really got right. Javier Bardem plays his character of Silva well, creating an amazing, striking villain. Silva comes off as a psycho and dangerous man. At the same time, he is a fan of old music, drinks, and has a sense of humor. This, I believe, makes this character really stand out. What I also found interesting, is that, technically, Silva achieves his goal (at least partially), M is dead. We have never seen this in a Bond film before.

    GOOD LOCATIONS: I think that this is definitely prevalent in SF. Right away, we get the beautiful Istanbul, then we get tossed into Shanghai and Macao, London, and, eventually, Scotland. Not much explaining needed here.

    Q/Gadgets: Q in the Bond films brings a lot of comic relief, and the scenes with him are very fun to watch. This time is no different. Even with Q reinvented for the modern day, we still got those classic moments and more realistic gadgets, not an invisible car.

    MUSIC: Unlike many, I absolutely love Newman’s score. Some highlights for me were the Grand Bazaar, She’s Mine, Komodo Dragon, and Tennyson. I think that a soundtrack is not really supposed to be memorable, but just fit the film perfectly, which I believe Newman accomplished here.



    Some things the film lacked:

    GIRLS: Severine had very little screen time, and Moneypenny was good, but did little in this film besides shooting Bond.

    That’s it

    Some other things I liked:

    Cinematography: Deakins does wonders. Nuff said.
    Many “BOND” moments.
    The New MI6.
    The sets in general.
    All action was very well done.


    Final score:

    9.7/10
  • edited November 2012 Posts: 534
    Here's my review I posted in the other thread. I've never been very good at writing reviews, but here goes.

    I saw it twice this opening weekend and I plan on seeing it at least 2 more times before it leaves the cinema.

    I don't know what to say other than I loved it. I have no idea where it ranks on my list yet, but I do know Daniel Craig is now solidly in 2nd place behind Connery. I liked it better than QoS, and I'm pretty sure I liked it better than CR. Is it better than Connery's worst? I don't know that yet.

    PTS- I loved it, especially the end. When Bond gets killed.

    Titles- Quite possibly my favorite moment of the entire damn film! I loved the song the second I heard it a month ago, and hearing it in surround sound just made it better. The song went so well with the visuals. It was such a beautiful sequence that almost brought a tear to my eye.
    (I lied. I did shed a tear.)

    London, Pt 1.- I liked the whole sequence where Bond returns to M's flat. It was funny. The explosion made me jump out of my seat even though I knew it was coming. Q was a nice chap, but I still can't get Desmond Llewelyn out of my head. Sorry, Ben.

    Shanghai- The whole sequence was beautifully shot, and I loved Adele's theme as performed by Thomas Neumann playing at Bond's arrival at Macau.

    Silva's Island- I loved the Dueling scene, but Silva groping Bond made me cringe beyond belief. I wish they would have left that on the cutting room floor.

    London, Pt. 2.- This is where I started falling in love with the film. M's monologue was bone chilling. God, I sure will miss her. The whole courtroom scene was one of my favorites of the film. The DB5's entrance was the best DB5 scene in the entire series by far.

    Scotland- It was a great climax, Home Alone style. I never thought I'd see M fire a gun. I loved the references to Bond's childhood, straight from Ian Fleming's typewriter to the silver screen.

    M and Penny are back- This is no doubt, the most Connery-esque scene of Craig's era.

    Gunbarrel- I was disappointed the first time that the music was out of sync. (Hello, David Arnold.) The second viewing made me realize that it wasn't too bad. The design was fine, although I was almost willing to bet that it was gonna be Brosnan style. It wasn't as fast as QoS, so it was good in that aspect. The blood though, was blink and you miss it. They're lucky I liked it as much as I did. Back at the beginning for 24, or else.

    1.) Goldfinger
    2.) Diamonds are Forever
    3.) You Only Live Twice
    4.) From Russia with Love
    5.) Dr. No
    6.) Thunderball
    7.) Casino Royale
    8.) Goldeneye
    ...and so on.

    Skyfall will go somewhere from 2nd to 7th. I'll make up my mind where later when I see it again.
  • JamesCraigJamesCraig Ancient Rome
    edited November 2012 Posts: 3,352
    Mine again:

    You folks have to realize that Casino Royale was in my all time movie top ten from 2006 'til about two weeks ago.

    I never expected "them" to top it, I did have high hopes that they were going to get away as far as possible from QOS' problems (editing, bad title sequence, forgettable villain, bad theme song), and boy, did they succeed...

    The PTS alone is worth seeing this film, it, actually the whole film, has some beautiful cinematography (for which SF deserves an oscar nom) and ends straight into the title sequence, which works perfectly with the title song. The knives & skulls indicate a compelling, maybe bloody, tale of revenge, almost looks like a horror film! The titles are much more classical than QOS, nice LALD reference btw.

    Bond enjoys his death, and gets back to work after an attack on MI6 which has great CGI btw. He needs to get back in the game, and M makes sure he does, she lies for him lol. Garreh Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) M's boss, wants the current M (Judi Dench) to resign, but she stays. For now.

    We get some very nice scenes at the Macau casino and the obvious CGI komodo dragons. Even if you don't pay attention, you see it, unfortunately. But meeting the hot Sévérine (Bérénice Marlohe) and her Beretta makes you forget that quickly.

    Of we go to Raoul Silva's (Javier Bardem) island (the long shots are Hashima Island in Japan), 70 minutes in the film. and his introduction is classic Fleming, as are his looks. The rats story is haunting, and the lil' gay touches, especially when Bond makes a "what makes you think this is my first time" remark, are very funny.

    Silva gets captured, Sévérine gets shot by him (I love the fact that Bond doesn't seem to care at all), and Silva escapes, on purpose. The whole shootout in London and the train crashing sequence are just brilliantly done, I especially like that you see Bond's soon to be boss in "action".

    Anyway, to cut a long story short, we have the best ending to a Bondfilm ever, and with the destruction of Skyfall lodge we bury Bond's past. He kills Silva with a knife, but alas, M dies from the injuries she received during the lodge fight.

    We see the new M, Mallory, and Bond in the classic office, together with another familiar character returning (we already got Q, played by Ben Whishaw, who's younger than Bond, a bit nerdy but has already some great banter with 007, luckily he's not a Desmond copy) and look forward with pleasure to seeing all of them again.

    Gripes? Yes, some CGI was weak (including the Shangai sequence, there's one shot in particular that looked so much better in the trailers), the secret agent list is too quickly forgotten & Sévérine is a bit wasted.

    Here's to another 50 years...
  • edited November 2012 Posts: 1,092
    My long overdue review...

    Old Dog, New Tricks: A Review of Skyfall
    by BattleshipGreyGT
    In Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig introduced a younger, arrogant, inexperienced version of Bond at the beginning of his career as a 00 agent. In Skyfall, we appear to find Bond later on in his career, older, wiser, and more experienced, in the middle of a mission gone horribly wrong. We open to a blast of the signature James Bond blast of brass with Bond's silhouette walking down a dark corridor towards the camera stepping out of the shadows into a slim ray of light illuminating his eyes. Straight from the get go, we can see that the imagery is more poetic than one would be accustomed to in a Bond film, and all time great cinematographer Roger Deakins makes his presence known. The pre-titles sequence quickly erases any doubts about Academy Award winning director Sam Mendes' ability to direct action. As Bond must recover a stolen drive containing the list of all NATO agents embedded undercover in terrorist organizations across the globe, he is thrust into a car chase which turns into a bike chase, which turns into a rooftop bike chase, and finally turns into a fistfight on top of a moving train. The sequence is colorful, invigorating, and kinetic, while offering tension through the juxtaposition of M (Dame Judi Dench) calling the shots in her office back in rainy London and Field Agent Eve (Naomie Harris) following alongside Bond in a Land Rover. The tension builds to a boiling point as M is forced to make the decision of her career. Order Eve to fire at the mercenary, Patrice (Ola Rapace), and risk hitting Bond or leave Bond to fight Patrice on the moving train and recover the drive. With a flinty toughness, M orders Eve to take the shot, which she reluctantly does, and misses as we watch Bond plummet from a 300 foot bridge into a river and Patrice disappear into the tunnel with the drive. We sit in agonizing silence, as M, Tanner, and MI6 staff await the outcome of the decision... "Agent down." The sky is falling. James Bond is dead.

    Daniel Kleinman's title sequence is his best work yet. His nightmarish title sequence is eerie, elegant, and haunting with the best modern Bond theme and possibly the best Bond theme of all, Adele's Skyfall, poetically dancing with the images on screen. We see Bond's arm floating underwater being grabbed by a woman's hand pulling him into the realm of the dead. The morbid images of knives, graves, skulls, and blood are shown through the sequence, and during the first chorus we see a crumbling manor house, slowly revealing the quivering eyes of an adolescent Bond, hidden behind the stone walls. Bond continues exploring the cavernous depths of the underworld as Kleinman incorporates much of the film's symbolic imagery of shadows, graves, and mirrors, as Bond shoots at his reflection in a hall of mirrors.

    While the plot synopsis and the opening of the film do suggest that the film is about recovering the stolen drive, the true story of the film arises when Gareth Mallory, the new chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee (Ralph Finnes) is introduced into the story. M is under scrutiny from Mallory for her questionable handling the Istanbul mission and the loss of a drive containing sensitive information which should not have been on record in the first place. M is told she will "voluntarily retire" and recieve the GCMG with full honours, but she's not having any of it. Now with her best agent dead, and with the lives of her other agents in danger, M must now fight to defend MI6 and her "out dated" way of doing things. Meanwhile, Bond is living in a beach side hut in Turkey looking haggard, disheveled, and unshaved, getting drunk, having sex and feeling sorry for himself after M's decision to risk sacrificing him for the good of the mission. Rarely ever do we get to see Bond off duty, and here we see the bored, depressed, and somewhat miserable Bond Fleming often wrote of. After MI6 is attacked by a shadowy figure from M's past, several agents are killed and Bond returns to England from his early retirement. Upon returning home, Bond finds his world has been turned upside down. His flat is sold, MI6 is in a new place, with new staff, and now he and M are a thing of the past. Bond is once again put through physical and psychological examinations, all of which he fails, but M lies to him, telling him he barely passed and proceeding to put him on active duty. The idea of a Bond who is aging and seems to have lost a step is an interesting concept, as we now have doubts about Bond's ability to perform in the field and operate at the level which he needs to survive. For once we actually fear that Bond may not be able to pull something off. Unlike his shoulder injury in TWINE that only popped up when it wanted to, we see Bond missing the target in his marksmanship test, collapsing after doing pull ups, struggling to hold on to the bottom of the elevator in Shanghai, panting after swimming laps in the pool, and his hand shakes when he takes aim with his pistol. It seems that Bond is not only rusty, but may even be a bit of a liability in the field. Awaiting the meeting with his new Quartermaster in the National Gallery, Bond stares at "The Fighting Temaraire", a painting depicting a grand old warship being hauled away to be used for scrap. The painting serves as an interesting parallel towards Bond and M's dilemma as they have become relics, now being phased out in favor for a new breed of Intelligence, such as Q (Ben Whishaw), who is a young computer expert who gives Bond a simple palm reading gun and a palm reader. Q Branch is no longer in the business of exploding pens, because in a world where every 16 year old has GPS, and all sorts of technology available to them on their cell phone or iPod, what practical gadget is there to give?

    The Shanghai sequence may be the most visually striking action scenes in a Bond film or even in any film at all. In a maze of neon, shadows, and reflections, Bond's fistfight with Patrice is a hypnotic as it is one lingering shot as the two men beat and batter each other in silhouette, with only flashes of gunfire illuminating their faces for milliseconds. In Macau, a playful little scene once again reminds us of the theme of the old and the new, with Eve shaving Bond with a cutthroat razor, filled sexual tension that could be cut with a butter knife. The following scene is pure cinematic Bond glory. Bond is once again shaved, donning the tuxedo, triumphantly gliding through fiery dragon heads against a firework lit sky, with Komodo Dragon, Newman's instrumental take on Adele's theme, in the background. James Bond is back from the dead. The casino sequence feels like a deliberate nod to the James Bond of old. We are introduced to Severine (Berenice Marlohe), a haunted, vulnerable femme fatale working for Silva. As inexperienced as Marlohe is as an actress, she absolutely shines as Severine given her minimal screen time, masking fear with a false sense of confidence. Mendes throws in a slightly cheeky fight in a Komodo Dragon sequence towards the end of the casino sequence, giving a fun, playful nod to Live and Let Die but still managing to maintain the signature brutality of Craig-era fight sequences. In classic Bond fashion, Bond drops a one liner to Eve, and strides out of the casino with panache. Any doubts about Daniel Craig's ability to portray the classic elements of Bond's character are put to rest. Meanwhile, agents are being exposed on YouTube, and she and MI6 publicly come under scrutiny. Mallory informs M that the Prime Minister has ordered an inquiry which she must attend later in the week.

    The franchise was lucky to have an actor as talented as Javier Bardem to play the villain of Skyfall, and I can confidently say that those talents are not put to waste. Silva's introduction is among some of the most memorable villain introductions in history. In one long take, Silva slowly walks from the back of the room towards the camera while telling a chilling story about cannibalistic rats, referring to he and Bond as the last two rats. Silva is about as over the top and flamboyant as any villain in the series. With bleached blond hair, blue eyes, strange facial features, and an outfit straight out of the 1970's, Silva's appearance is absolutely alien. Silva is quirky, with a bizarre onomatopoeial way of speaking and slightly goofy mannerisms, but manages to drip with charisma and come across as strangely likable. Silva and Bond engage in a homo-erotically charged mental chess game, where Silva begins to feel up Bond's face, body, and thighs, which will go down as one of the franchise's finest scenes. Speculations about Silva's sexuality are debatable, but one thing that is certain is that he uses sexuality (one of the many weapons in Bond's arsenal), against Bond in order to get in his head, but after suggesting that it is Bond's first homosexual encounter, Bond plays right along asking Silva what makes him think it's first time. Silva's otherness is once again reaffirmed by his playing of Charles Trenet's "Boum!" over the loudspeakers during a William Tell duel involving a shot glass on Severine's head. While the use of CGI is apparent, the production team did a great job creating "The Dead Island", an abandoned island modeled after Hashima Island in Japan.

    When Silva is captured and sent to London we, along with Bond, hear Silva's backstory for the first time. A former MI6 agent working under M during the handover, was caught hacking by the Chinese, and M hands him over to the Chinese for six agents and a peaceful handover. Silva is tortured for months by the Chinese and is left only with his cyanide capsule in his molar. Silva bites the capsule, only to find it has become defective and the hydrogen cyanide ends up burning away all his teeth, the left side of his mouth and his left cheekbone. His grotesque and heartbreaking deformity is revealed when he removes his prosthetic mouth and cheekbone in front of Bond and M, once again, superbly done by the VFX team. What is truly fascinating about Silva is that he is a distorted fun-house mirror image of Bond. He and Bond were both top notch agents who were sacrificed for the greater good by M, who appears to both as a maternal figure. While M is a legitimate mother figure to Bond, Silva has a warped infatuation with her which deepens his plan past a simple revenge with he, Bond, and M entangled in a complex relationship between two rival siblings and their mother. With the information he had, he likely could have killed M long ago, but deliberately made sure to spare her during the MI6 explosion. It is his perverse love for her that gives him a new purpose to his life, rather than simple rage and thirst for revenge. Silva's being sent to London wasn't an accident, he wanted to be brought to her. He effectively uses the stolen drive as bait for MI6 to pursue and apprehend him, ironically using himself as a Trojan horse, bringing him into the heart of MI6 and reuiniting him once again with "mommy." Silva's plan isn't about exposing agents on YouTube, and neither is the film as a whole; it's about his suffering as he sees himself as a suffering son left to die by his own mother, and his desire to not only kill her but to hold her and look into her eyes before they both die together.

    Silva uses his technological resources to hack MI6's computer system, after Q shows his youth by carelessly connecting Silva's laptop to their system via ethernet cable. After opening all the doors and escaping into the underground, with his embedded associates giving him a police outfit for disguise. Bond and Silva embark on a cat and mouse chase through the tube system into the catacombs of underground London. Mendes effectively uses juxtaposition and parallel action as Bond's pursuit of Silva is intercut with M's Board of Inquiry hearing, where she is grilled by the "bitchy politician", Clair Dowar (Helen McCrory). In a world of internet surveillance, predator drones, heightened transparency, and skilled computer hackers like Q, what use is there for clandestine men with guns going out into the field and risking their lives gathering intelligence? A case could be made that Bond, M, and their ideologies are a thing of the past and that there isn't a place for them in the new age of espionage. Perhaps the world no longer needs James Bond. In a speech that encapsulates the very essence of Skyfall, M takes her stand expressing that the world is no longer transparent, enemies are no longer easily identifiable, and do not have loyalties to nations. The new danger is in fact in the shadows, the places where most people do not and cannot see, and the place where Bond exists to protect the world from the enemies that are not known to us. In the most poetic scene in Bond's history (literally and figuratively), M quotes the ending of Lord Alfred Tennyson's "Ulysses" to the members of the hearing, while the poem is intercut with Silva and his men approaching the hearing, and Bond sprinting through the chaotic London streets to rescue her.

    "We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."


    While they may be old fashioned and aging, they are not obsolete. It is through perseverance and power of will that Bond and M continue to fight in the shadows, defending the realm against the new threats posed against us. In the ensuing shootout, Bond must now defend MI6 in a more literal sense as Silva opens fire on the Inquiry, and all hell breaks lose. In this scene, we see Mallory's true colors show. In a act of heroism, he jumps in front of M, taking a bullet to the shoulder to protect her, and showing us that perhaps he isn't a pesky, spineless, bureaucrat, and that behind his charm and courtesy, lies a man of steel. Bond gets M off to safety and whisks her off in a company car. They have been playing catch up from the day this started and it's time the ball was in their court. Bond tells Q make an off-the-books plan to create an unauthorized false tracking signal that only Silva can see, but small enough where he does not smell a rat. In the process of this Q and Tanner are unexpectedly interrupted by Mallory, who recognizes what they are doing and commends them for it, telling them to carry on with their business, behind the Prime Minister's back. We're left thinking that maybe Mallory isn't so bad after all. Bond makes a stop to change vehicles since the company cars have trackers installed, so he switches to his personal car. The DB5 has a symbolic value in this film representing the Bond of old, and it's reveal is a true fist pumping moment for Bond fans, with the classic Bond theme and the roar of the DB5 in the background. Bond's car appears to have been upgraded by the old quartermaster since we last saw the DB5 in Casino Royale, with the usual gadgets, machine guns, and the ejector seat offering a nice bit of self referential humor.

    The final act of the film is the most polarizing among fans, where the film departs from the conventional Bond structure and becomes a thing of his own. Bond and M set off to Skyfall lodge, an old manor house in the moors of Scotland, in which Bond grew up. One may wonder why Bond would take M to a such place, but because Silva's niche is the use and manipulation of computers and technology, the only way he can gain an advantage is dueling Silva in a familiar place, which is completely off the grid, and thus giving Silva no tactical advantage. In a brief scene Bond and M gaze out into the moors and M asks him about the death of his parents. Predictably, he's unwilling to talk, and silently prepares himself as he will be forced to relive with the childhood traumas he had pushed under the the table for most of his life. When we arrive at Skyfall lodge, Bond slowly walks through the empty rooms of his childhood home, and appearing to have memories of his childhood coming back to life. We then meet Kincade (Albert Finney), an old gamekeeper of Skyfall lodge, who became somewhat of a paternal figure after Jame's father, Andrew Bond, had passed. He shows M a priest hole on the property in which James hid after hearing of his parents passing. When he reemerged two days later, he was no longer a boy. For a moment, we and M hear about a side of Bond that not many know of: Bond the orphan boy, rather than Bond the international superspy. In their dialogue, we see glimpses of the humorous, warm relationship between Bond and Kincade which feels organic and wouldn't be hard to imagine a saucy young Bond verbally sparring with his old gamekeeper. Bond discovers that the lodge has been sold, and along with most of the guns in the gun room, severely diminishing the advantage of coming to Skyfall. They are only left with Andrew Bond's old hunting rifle, and a few sticks of dynamite and a knife, with Kincade once again expressing the films theme that, "Sometimes the old ways are the best." There is a bit of a Home Alone type vibe as we see the three of them rigging the house with improvised bombs and booby traps for the coming battle. Once the attack begins, they manage to hold off the first wave of attackers but M is left wounded. Silva then arrives in true over the top fashion, in a helicopter, blaring The Animals' "Boom Boom" with the fitting lyrics;

    "Boom, boom, boom, boom,
    Gonna shoot you right down,
    Take you in my arms,
    I'm in love with you..."


    One moment that brought a tear to the eye of many men in the cinema was Silva's blowing up of the DB5, setting Bond over the edge and leading him to rig the mansion into a gigantic bomb, and running into the priest hole for safety. Although it may not seem to significant, this sequence holds a lot of symbolic value. By destroying the DB5, the film says "We recognize the past of the franchise, and while it was great, it's time to move forward into a new age of Bond." Similarly, Bond is forced to go back into that priest hole and conquer his demons, completely destroying Skyfall and everything it represented. The final showdown in the Skyfall chapel ranks up with Tracy's death as one of the most moving scenes in Bond's 50 year history. As Silva approaches the chapel he stops to look at Bond's parents' grave, signifying a family reunion of sorts. Silva finally reaches the moment he's lived for since his failed suicide. He can hold "mommy" in his arms, look into her eyes, and finish the task by killing them both with the same bullet. Bond intervenes before Silva reaches his goal by throwing a knife into his back and saying telling him "Last rat standing." before Silva collapses and dies. Unfortunately, Bond is too late, M falls into his arms as she bleeds out from her gunshot wound. Poetically, Bond will now lose his mother for the second time, just steps away from where his parents are burried. M says, "Well I got one thing right." expressing that through all the mistakes she'd made throughout her career, she got one thing right in the arrogant, "blunt instrument" she promoted in Casino Royale. In the most touching moment of the series, Bond closes her eyelids after she fades away, and kisses her on her forehead as he weeps. The film then cuts from the dark, firelit chapel to the bright rooftops of London where Bond stands heroically overlooking the empire which he defends.

    It is a new day, not only for Bond, but for MI6... the "new" or rather the "old" MI6. Eve tells Bond she declined her offer to go back into the field, and decided to take a desk job after she realized she wasn't cut out for field work. When Bond mentions that they'd never had a formal introduction, Eve introduces herself as Eve Moneypenny, and the Bond theme begins to play as she sits down in a familiar looking office with a desk and a coat rack by the door. As Tanner emerges from behind the large padded leather door, a feeling that could not be described in words arises. Bond enters the room into the classic M's office with Gareth Mallory sitting behind the desk and a drawing of the former MI6 building behind him. After a long battle with proving his place in a modern world, Bond comes up victorious but only after his world was completely torn down, and been rebuilt and re-proven with himself back at the center, but surrounded by a new team with elements of the old and the new, headed by his new M, Mallory. Bond's journey in Skyfall also mirrors the journey of the series as a whole. After the franchise had lost it's way, and the disappointment of Quantum of Solace coupled with MGM's financial struggles, many Bond fans and moviegoers alike felt that maybe James Bond was a thing of the past, and that his best days are behind him. Skyfall proves that not only is James Bond relevant, but he's needed now more than ever, and while respect must be paid to the old guard, it is necessary to adapt and evolve in order to survive. On the wall of the new M's office is a painting of old warships, like in "The Fighting Temeraire" but this one rather, a new fleet lined up in the waters, ready and able to protect and defend.

    All in all, Sam Mendes has made the best Bond film to date, combining the fun, beloved elements of classic Bond, with a new contemporary edge and at the same time integrating a thematic depth, and solidarity not yet seen in the Bond franchise. The team has once again raised the bar, this time making it evident that it is possible to not only make a great Bond film, but a great film in it's own right. With great performances, stunning cinematography, and an emotionally charged story, Skyfall will go down as one of the classics.

    MI6 and James Bond will prevail.
    9.5/10
  • 2012 marks the 50th Anniversary of “Dr. No”, the movie that kicked off the James Bond film franchise. It was a relatively low-key spy thriller compared to what was to come. By the time the 40th Anniversary rolled around with “Die Another Day”, most fans agreed that the gadgets, stunts, special effects, and even plots had become too over the top for their own good.

    “Casino Royale” ditched the clichés and started from scratch, introducing Daniel Craig as a young James Bond just licensed to kill. The movie took a fresh, character-based approach to the series. This approach was continued in “Quantum of Solace”, which saw Bond developing more class and becoming less emotionally attached to his work.
    “Skyfall” is the best of Daniel Craig’s Bond movies so far. Just like Sean Connery and Roger Moore (arguably) hit their strides with their third Bond movies (“Goldfinger” and “The Spy Who Loved Me”, respectively), Daniel Craig has now made it past the two-movie learning curve and really settled comfortably into the role.

    While six years ago he was playing a young and brash 007, in “Skyfall” Craig plays a more mature and experienced 007. While the more mature Bond still has the rough-around-the-edges qualities that distinguish Craig’s take on the role, and while he’s still able to show angst and pathos in the movie’s dramatic moments, he also knows the perfect time to channel the actors who have played the role before him. He has that wry half-smile while taking out enemies and that satisfied smirk while seducing beautiful women that Sean Connery's Bond had, and is finally comfortable enough to toss out a few quips worthy of Roger Moore's Agent 007. Though his delivery is so wonderfully dry that you might not even realize there puns.

    The movie starts with one of the best PTS's in decades, an action-packed chase scene involving guns, Range Rovers, motorcycles, and speeding trains through Turkey. This climaxes in Bond’s supposed death when his backup accidentally hits him while trying to snipe the enemy, knocking him off the tracks into the water. After the main titles, one of the most bizarre credit sequences in Bond history, but also one of the moodiest and most effective, it turns out Bond is taking advantage of being presumed dead to try and get out of the spy game. Until he learns someone is targeting the organization he worked for.

    Javier Bardem’s villain, a flamboyant bleach blonde, will probably go down in Bond history as the most memorable since the classic days of Dr. No and Auric Goldfinger. He’s introduced with one of the best evil monologues ever, filmed in a fantastic single shot that comes as a relief after the quick editing of "Quantum of Solace", and every scene he’s in after that is totally chilling. Berenice Lem Marlohe and Naomie Harris are this movie’s Bond girls, and while Marlohe’s Severine is one of the most stunning and intriguing Bond girls in ages and Harris’ Eve is one of Bond’s savviest sidekicks, their roles are both inconsequential compared to the true female lead. That would be Judi Dench as M. While the relationship between Bond and his supervisor has been explored more in Daniel Craig’s Bond movies than any before, here it’s pushed front and center, forming the movie’s emotional core, driving most of the plot, and making M a major player rather than just a character to provide exposition.

    Sam Mendes manages to keep a personal, dramatic atmosphere through the entire movie, but still work in jaw-dropping action sequences. Unlike “Quantum of Solace”, they're thankfully filmed in a steadier, more traditional manner. The movie’s also very well paced: this is one of the longest movies in the series, but it weaves together different plot threads to keep the story deftly moving. And Mendes and the rest of the “Skyfall” crew manage to avoid the clichés while breathing new life into some of Bond’s most cherished traditions. There’s a new Q, in the form of the young Ben Whishaw, in a fresh new take on the character that reverses the generation gap of the Desmond Llewelyn days. When Bond seems disappointed by how practical the gadgets are, he responds, “Expecting exploding pens? We don’t really go in for that sort of thing anymore.” The gadgets bring to mind the earliest Bond movies, where the equipment was so practical it came as a surprise when Bond used it, unlike the later movies, in which the situations that called for the gadgets were so specific you could make a checklist of all the gadgets Q introduced and then check them off as Bond went through them. There are one or two other familiar characters that pop up as well, in ways that manage to be both classic and fresh. And Ralph Fiennes brings charisma and gravitas to his role as M’s new handler.

    Like the 40th Anniversary, “Skyfall” is filled with references to what’s come before. Unlike “Die Another Day”, where the plot seemed like a flimsy line to hang inside jokes on, in “Skyfall” the references are much more sly and subtle, and the story’s actually sharp enough to support them, so long-time fans can smile while there’s still plenty for newcomers to enjoy, even as the throwbacks go over their heads. The movie's not without flaws. After the action-packed first half, the climax seems to be taking a page from a different playbook than the rest of the film, and some of the character's motivations and actions don't hold up to careful scrutiny. But overall, "Skyfall" is the best James Bond movie since the early Sean Connery days. It skillfully ushers in what’s sure to be another new beginning for the series, and, back in fine form, I’m excited that “James Bond will return.”

  • edited May 2013 Posts: 4,341
    I just watched SF again in the cinema the first time on Friday since having seen it on the opening day. I thought it would be such a waste not to go see the latest Bond effort on the big screen before it bows out in a few weeks. After all we all only have such a short timeframe to see these movies in the way they were intended to be shown (which I find rather sinful, I’d love to see a Connery film on the big screen).

    Anyway, it’s safe to say that the film doesn’t disappoint and stands up extremely well on repeat viewings. I have a theory as to why – the movie is essentially a very well-crafted, full-blooded thriller packed with rich thematic threads.

    The opening is stunning; Mendes himself said he wanted to create a Russian doll of a sequence out of the Turkey segment of the movie by piling on the elements and raising the stake. “It’s a car chase, no it’s a bike chase...but on rooftops, no wait it’s actually a fight on top of a train”. The segment is constantly topping itself and does so well, while interweaving both Eve and M’s story into the action. It’s a brilliant storytelling device by Mendes to have all three storylines – Bond’s, Eve’s and M’s – come together in one moment at the end and is a perfect example of using action to tell a story, this isn’t just unnecessary spectacle. If anything this moment encapsulates what SF does so well – focus on character.

    The Bond formula is essentially ditched; in its place Mendes has instead created a pure thriller story, instead letting the trappings find their way organically into the story. There are girls, crazy villains, cars and exotic locations but the way they figure into the film is important to Bond and the story and they are not there to satisfy the necessary ‘box-ticking’ that has to be done in order for SF to be considered a ‘Bond film’. It’s less of an action movie than we may be used to, especially coming off the back of the Brosnan movies and QOS, but instead the story sticks to Bond’s thriller roots. I’m quite happy that the copious action segments were done away with; instead the film has two large set pieces both heading and tailing the movie with a smaller tighter chase sequence in London at the end of the second act. It’s a brave move and one that pays off, as instead the story allows for the quieter little moments to really come to life. For instance the hall of mirrors in Shanghai or the William Tell sequence really pack a punch, these aren’t particularly big moments in terms of grandeur but they feel huge because they all move towards catering to the thriller aspect of the story and in turn contribute to develop the thematic motifs and the characters.

    Thematically the film is rich; SF is the thinking man’s Bond, an intellectual piece if you will. Centrally you have the dilemma between the old and the new – is Bond washed up? Has M caused more harm than good during her run at the top? The idea after all of ‘the man with the gun’ travelling around the world and protecting the realm is a rather antiquated and old-fashioned motif – surely Bond as a character is part of our past? SF’s main goal is to answer that question. The real masterstroke that Mendes pulls is essentially answering that question in the affirmative saying “yes Bond and his world are unnecessary”. Mendes destroys mi6 showing them to be inept and redundant and even going as far as ‘killing’ 007 – essentially pushing the whole of Bond’s world to the edge of destruction as it is only here that the character can rise from the ashes and be reborn. I feel that is why the ending at Skyfall Lodge is so important, Bond has to go back to the beginning, (not of the franchise by incorporating tedious nods to the previous movies), but to his own beginning – as it is at Skyfall Lodge where the character will either die or be reborn, right where it all started. The seminal moment of the film arrives when Bond runs through London to M’s quote from Tennyson where the film answers the question as to whether we need 007. The scene powerfully evokes that while mi6 may not be the power or force that they once where there is still a need for a hero, proving that it may be too early to resign Bond to the past yet as he is still a very important part of the future.

    Furthermore the severe mother issues on display in the film are extremely interesting, Bond and Silva have both been left for dead by M and both have come out of the affair very differently. The idea that M is a figure who has rotten these men’s lives with her presence and therefore has to die is a very exciting and interesting prospect which is explored satisfactorily in the film. Silva’s parable on the island’s ‘rats’ really cements this – M has changed the nature of these seemingly normal men and forced them to become the vulgar creatures they are today. What also really struck a chord is the influence M has in her role by making important judgement calls on people’s lives, Bond seems genuinely concerned by the death of Ronson. Bond returns to London nonetheless to protect M and stand by her and their country. The twisted mother relationship is an interesting and strange central dynamic for the film to take and really rather unusual for a Bond movie but it works in favour of really mining the relationship between Bond and M which really comes to a head in the artful third act of the story.
    Moreover, the movie also goes as fair as completely subverting the iconography of the lead character, leaving him broken and vulnerable. By deconstructing Bond, Mendes has gone back to the beginning and really been allowed to not only rebuild the character but also inject some danger into the story- this is a Bond who may not be physically the man we are used to seeing, there’s a huge chance he could fail as the odds seem staked against him. But this is all integral to Bond’s rebirth, as 007 had to die in order to come back.

    There are some odd plot holes which effect the movie, Silva’s escape from mi6 is a little contrived as is the logistics of his whole plot. However, the actual plotting of the story isn’t the film’s main focus and the story moves too quickly for us to notice the inconsistencies it presents as it is the thematic elements that the film clutches on to and focuses on to great success. Furthermore technically the film is a stunning achievement, aside from Newman’s score which I found jarring on occasion. The acting being particularly standout, Craig sure-footed turn as he slips into the Bond skin with ease while still mining at the character’s vulnerabilities. Dench and Bardem are particularly stand-out, and Marlohe is great in a small turn.

    There you have it – Bond is most definitely back – providing a tale that is not only thrilling and pulse-pounding but also rich and opulent, a Bond flick for fans and cinephiles alike.
  • edited July 2014 Posts: 10
    SKYFALL: A film for MATURE 007 fans OR The symbolic & minimalist James Bond

    I went to the movie theater to watch SKYFALL (obviously, some years ago), the 23rd James Bond film. I must say that perhaps it's neither the best, nor the worst 007 movie that I have seen in my life, but it's the best movie from the series, which I could see in the most opportune moment of my life. When I was 12 years old, I saw my first 007 movie, From Russia With Love, differing from the movies from Pierce Brosnan as Bond that the people watched in more accessible way during those years. That experience gave me the enough openness to know other 007 movies including the Ian Fleming's novels. Until today, I have seen all the 22 James Bond movies (more than 10 times each one) and, with the SKYFALL premiere, I had never felt prouder of being a 007 fan.

    I must say that I had never wanted to express my feelings on the James Bond series (not when Die Another Day, Casino Royale or Quantum of Solace came out) before, but SKYFALL thrilled me too much that raised new deep thoughts on me about why I love the occurrences of this character.

    I don't want to discuss if SKYFALL is good or bad movie, I want only to express the topics found in SKYFALL and remember the series of thoughts that it caused to me, while I watched it. I have observed, in the last years, that when a new 007 movie come out with changes in its formula, the fanatics of the series separate even more up to the point of wondering which James Bond actor is the best and which is the worst, as well as to decide if the series must end completely or continue up to the end of the world. This situation makes me feel like the only 007 fan who appreciates the 6 Bond actors equally and waits for a new Bond movie with or without the classic elements from the series; I have always thought that a real James Bond fan (not a fanboy) must appreciate the whole series without despising its small mistakes.

    It's deplorable to me that the conservative James Bond fanatics are so critical and slightly flexible about the changes on the series through the years with regard to its gimmicks (megalomaniac villain, Bond girls, gadgets, exotic settings, henchmen, gunbarrel, cars, etc.), not only the main actor. The lovers of the classic 007 must understand that a new generation of more strict young spectators came and it's used to appreciating a cinematographic quality more similar to the movies from the last years; the producers of the series were conscious on that, therefore they allowed James Bond to have a new change of direction with the arrival of Daniel Craig. Unfortunately, any of these new spectators, whose consider themselves fanatics of the series barely, do not appreciate so much the others 20 James Bond movies (without counting those from Daniel Craig) or they don't see much of them for considering them to be different, obsolete or with low quality (even goofy).

    In effect, SKYFALL is about nostalgia, adaptation to the modern tools and aging, which I felt identified with even being a young man myself. The movie itself is an adaptation test to the changes done on a formula, which has worked in the series for many years. If there is something good that I have to say about SKYFALL would be the fact that it possesses an exceptional cinematography, an inspiring soundtrack and valuable action scenes; also, it brings back classic elements from the 007 series, even if they aren't perfect or are in small scale. There isn't much to say about the story, other than it has a more symbolic sense than realistic; after all, the James Bond series was never characterized for telling believable stories. In fact, it's worth admiring how James Bond fights his adversities using only his ingenuity, which made great the agents of the Cold War, when the technology that we know today was in development process.

    SKYFALL represents the culmination of changes that the series (as we know) suffered, as well as the last chapter of a trilogy or requiem, which sums up the events for which James Bond could suffer before turning into the classic agent who we all know. I want to remember that not all changes from the series are negative; some of them add qualities to 007 that are accumulating up to turning him in an entertaining character with many positive qualities, which any 007 fanatic or casual spectator can enjoy. I admit that the best actor of Bond is Sean Connery personally, but not for that I disrespect or despise the other actors or movies that have marked the different personalities for James Bond, as well as his stories. Here is a sample of the positive aspects, which I see in the different eras of the series.

    • I like the 007 movies with Sean Connery for their literary authenticity and for establishing the first gimmicks of the series (and even memorable until today).
    • I like the only 007 movie with George Lazenby for telling the first greatest story ever told about the personal life of 007 (with what Connery accumulated until this point): his only marriage.
    • I like the 007 movies with Roger Moore for their awkward humor and their colorful and exotic / peculiar characters.
    • I like the 007 movies with Timothy Dalton for the intensity / adrenaline imposed by 007 (close to the Ian Fleming's interpretation about James Bond) on the plots and their slight approach on dark / adult elements.
    • I like the 007 movies with Pierce Brosnan for their abundant action and their abundant modern gadgets in sophisticated brand products (All that improved in videogames oddly enough).
    • I like the 007 movies with Daniel Craig for their evolution in cinematographic quality (Return of the Oscars), hyperrealism and character development (humanization).


    In other words, I appreciate James Bond in general because for me it's fun or a hobby, which I can enjoy (in movies, books or even videogames) to laugh, to raise my adrenaline or even to cry.

    Give a chance to SKYFALL; I believe that it's a movie that makes to think about change and adaptation and I think that it's one of the best 2012 movies. The only dilemma I have is what might occur with this series in the future during its following movie. Will classic James Bond return? Will there be another change of direction on the classic formula of 007? Will the series end permanently? The only answer is within us, since our actions will define the era, which James Bond might face with or without help of his classic elements; also, it will be decided by the new generations of spectators, who will observe James Bond and will decide if to keep on improving or not the character based on how we have led 007 to where he is today. It's time for the MATURE fans (like me) of James Bond to know what place its idol deserves to have in these times.
  • edited December 2016 Posts: 264
    Skyfall

    Analyzing the plot to this film is about as necessary as analyzing the lyrics to Come Together. Just roll with it. In the vein of Batman's Dark Knight, it continues the dark heavy grungy anti-hero superhero atmosphere. Craig's first 2 films added a level of human storytelling not seen in Bond before, dispelling criticism that the series was a cliche, but many felt like Quantum of Solace was perhaps a little too serious. Skyfall adds a lot of that cartoonish fantasy back to Bond (some cliches), but also keeps the overall mood and tone. It's not a literal story. It's more of a symbolic tale.

    Much like FRWL, SF spends its last half hour in one area (Bond's old abandoned former house) where M and Bond both fight off numerous attackers with their wits alone. Gadgets are kept to a minimum in this movie. Bond survives on his wits. Since Skyfall is a modern movie, it also shows a younger Q and takes on issues such as cyberterrorism. Skyfall was a mega-success in sales and critical acclaim, thanks to amazing performances from Dench, Craig and Bardem alike.

    Theme Song: You can thank Adele for part of this movie's massive success. It's a mix of subtlety and energy. It's soothing but still a theme song of an epic.
    Bond Girls: Moneypenny was a good character at first but "promoting" her to a secretary was sexist. And Bond sexually pursuing a sex slave was just plain wrong.
    Villain: (Raoul Silva) He's a cross between The Joker and Hannibal Lecter, even reprising some of their scenes, but his performance is so insane and bombastic, it's truly something special.
    One-Liners: M's speech at the committee was great.

    Overall Rating: 8/10 (Great)
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    edited January 2017 Posts: 9,021
    .
  • Daniel316Daniel316 United States
    Posts: 210
    That was Skyfall overall..I really didn't care for it

    I suppose I'll start with the positives first. For starters I liked Ralph Fineases As Mallory, there was some cool action scenes, the shanghai bit was actually quite good, I thought severine was ok, the cinematography was alright, Silva roasting Bond imo was pretty great, and Kincade was just awesome.

    Now..onto the bad stuff and boi is there a lot of it. To start off with I just have to say 1 thing: Thomas Newman's music sucks so hard, it's literally a bunch of random noises or just generic action movie music which is insulting to the great art that is Bond music. The film also I feel was way to slow for it's own good, it felt like the whole movie was over 3 hours which no movie should ever feel like that. I feel that Both Naomi Harris and Ben Wishaw were awfully miscast in their roles, granted they are not bad actors but they simply shouldn't be Moneypenny and Q (Wishaw should be the tech guy). The characters also make dumb decisions quite often such as leaving Silva barely guarded, M telling Eve to take the shot and of course the ever so bad Moment of Wishaw sticking a sketchy flashdrive obtained from Silva into his laptop and them being hacked, do I even need to go into why that's so bad?

    Now Silva himself is someone who I just..feel had lots of potential but he ended up being just a bad Alec Trevelyan/Joker/Jaws/Random Stalker type character which is pretty bad for your main villain but I will say the actor did try his best to make it work but it just fell flat. The gunbarrel not being at the start is an awful way to start the movie and when we finally see it at the end of the film it's probably the worst gunbarrel ever. Now the absolute worst part of Skyfall is the ending of the PTS, Bond should not have survived the fall with just a shoulder injury. given the high caliber rifle hitting him, the whiplash received from being shot, the height of the fall, how hard he hit the water, him being washed away down a waterfall and the fact that he has a gunshot wound, all that combined would pretty much mean death upon impact and if you'd be lucky enough to survive then you'd more than likely be crippled beyond belief but here Bond just magically heals and he shows no real sign of injury which is just inexcusable.

    So in the end Skyfall is a completely watchable film with some good things in it. However in the end it really is just a half baked generic action film that has a bond skin over top of it. It really doesn't add anything at all to the Bond franchise and I still feel it is the worst Bond film but it's far from unviewable or the worst movie I've seen

    My final rating would be a 3/10
  • edited July 2019 Posts: 11,425
    Daniel316 wrote: »
    That was Skyfall overall..I really didn't care for it

    I suppose I'll start with the positives first. For starters I liked Ralph Fineases As Mallory, there was some cool action scenes, the shanghai bit was actually quite good, I thought severine was ok, the cinematography was alright, Silva roasting Bond imo was pretty great, and Kincade was just awesome.

    Now..onto the bad stuff and boi is there a lot of it. To start off with I just have to say 1 thing: Thomas Newman's music sucks so hard, it's literally a bunch of random noises or just generic action movie music which is insulting to the great art that is Bond music. The film also I feel was way to slow for it's own good, it felt like the whole movie was over 3 hours which no movie should ever feel like that. I feel that Both Naomi Harris and Ben Wishaw were awfully miscast in their roles, granted they are not bad actors but they simply shouldn't be Moneypenny and Q (Wishaw should be the tech guy). The characters also make dumb decisions quite often such as leaving Silva barely guarded, M telling Eve to take the shot and of course the ever so bad Moment of Wishaw sticking a sketchy flashdrive obtained from Silva into his laptop and them being hacked, do I even need to go into why that's so bad?

    Now Silva himself is someone who I just..feel had lots of potential but he ended up being just a bad Alec Trevelyan/Joker/Jaws/Random Stalker type character which is pretty bad for your main villain but I will say the actor did try his best to make it work but it just fell flat. The gunbarrel not being at the start is an awful way to start the movie and when we finally see it at the end of the film it's probably the worst gunbarrel ever. Now the absolute worst part of Skyfall is the ending of the PTS, Bond should not have survived the fall with just a shoulder injury. given the high caliber rifle hitting him, the whiplash received from being shot, the height of the fall, how hard he hit the water, him being washed away down a waterfall and the fact that he has a gunshot wound, all that combined would pretty much mean death upon impact and if you'd be lucky enough to survive then you'd more than likely be crippled beyond belief but here Bond just magically heals and he shows no real sign of injury which is just inexcusable.

    So in the end Skyfall is a completely watchable film with some good things in it. However in the end it really is just a half baked generic action film that has a bond skin over top of it. It really doesn't add anything at all to the Bond franchise and I still feel it is the worst Bond film but it's far from unviewable or the worst movie I've seen

    My final rating would be a 3/10

    Agree with a fair amount of this. While I find Whishaw very annoying in SF I feel he redeemed himself in SP. It takes a while for these characters to bed in. Moneypenny's character was also annoying in SF (not Harris's fault) and she also redeemed herself in SP. Not such a fan of Fiennes as M. Feels too close in age to Bond IMO.

    Totally agree that there is an infuriating amount of MI6 incompetence in SP. I was never sure if this was one of Mendes' profound thematic motifs but it certainly made an impression on me. From M down everyone at MI6 is pretty much clueless throughout the film. Why? Collective stupidity is not what makes a film thrilling.

    Definitely overlong. Cut half an hour.

    Also totally agree that Silva starts off brilliantly (his appearance is perhaps the film's best scene) and then just becomes a generic rentabaddy.

    Totally agree that Bond getting shot (twice), falling 300m and drowning is all just a bit much for him to survive. Maybe one of those and it couldhave been vaguely plausible. As it's handled it just leaves a sense of implausibility running thru the film.

    I disagree its the worst film. I'd have it somewhere above most of the Brosnan films but perhaps tied with TND, which I'd frankly prefer to rewatch. Although don't worry neither are getting a rewatch anytime soon. For me definitely the worst of the Craig era tho. A bit like GE for me - really don't understand how people can put this on the level of a "classic" alongside the early Connery films.

    I know it's sacrilege to say it but the visuals dont make a particularly big impact on me either. Not when the plot is this weak anyway.

    Having said this, SF is full of great ideas. I like the idea of the showdown in the Highlands with Kincade and backs to the wall but as done I'm a bit non -plussed by the final act. A bit explosion heavy without much wit or visceral excitement (Mendes is pretty awful at action). I just don't feel the good ideas were well executed.

    Great to see M's old office back at the end though. That was Mendes' best legacy IMO.
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