SKYFALL: Is this the best Bond film?

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  • OctopussyOctopussy Piz Gloria, Schilthorn, Switzerland.
    Posts: 1,081


    Pretty much summaries my thoughts.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e il momento che verrà
    Posts: 5,980
    Octopussy wrote: »


    Pretty much summaries my thoughts.

    Mine as well, except I don't think it's better than QOS. On the contrary.
    I'd say it's ok, but it's nowhere near the top of my list. Three additional thoughts cross my mind concerning this film:

    1. Acta est fabula, plaudite.
    I always get the feeling that whenever this one is over, I'm expected to be amazed by how daringly it has made a different Bond film, even though it is actually not all that great. Either you go for unapologetic fun, or you go for something more, but do it without ostentatiously looking for acknowledgment. Revisit OHMSS, LTK, CR or QOS and see how it is done.
    As pointed out, there are plot holes all over the place. Now, you can say that about a lot of Bond films, but none of its predecessors ever pretended to be more than they were. This one is so desperate to be meaningful it spoon-feeds its audience exactly how wonderful it is. Oh, the fortunate soul that I am, I have been granted to gaze upon the greatness of Sam Mendes.

    2. Man Without Legacy?
    Try to be as un-Bondian as possible and illogically insert GF's DB5 to assure you've actually seen a Bond film. While OHMSS, LTK, CR and QOS also take their freedoms, for the better in those cases, this one goes out of its way to be so different it's hard to identify it as a Bond film.

    3. James Bond, Everyman?
    The character arc that started in CR and ended with QOS was fresh and rejuvenated the franchise. Bond had become the Bond we all know when QOS's gunbarrel kicks in. I'm still waiting for what should have been a good old-fashioned Bond film in the wake of that masterful duo, instead we suddenly get some washed-out Everyman that demystifies all that is Bond just because someone wanted to make his' own' Bond film. It is also very important to do something funny with the gunbarrel for no reason at all because otherwise people might think this isn't special enough. An author doesn't have to point out at any given moment that he's an author, you know. Well, at least this isn't the one where Blofeld turns out to be Bond's brother. I guess that's something, right?

    Just my two cents, of course. No harm intended to those who like it. I got carried away a bit.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 6,257
    GoldenGun wrote: »
    Octopussy wrote: »


    Pretty much summaries my thoughts.

    Mine as well, except I don't think it's better than QOS. On the contrary.
    I'd say it's ok, but it's nowhere near the top of my list. Three additional thoughts cross my mind concerning this film:

    1. Acta est fabula, plaudite.
    I always get the feeling that whenever this one is over, I'm expected to be amazed by how daringly it has made a different Bond film, even though it is actually not all that great. Either you go for unapologetic fun, or you go for something more, but do it without ostentatiously looking for acknowledgment. Revisit OHMSS, LTK, CR or QOS and see how it is done.
    As pointed out, there are plot holes all over the place. Now, you can say that about a lot of Bond films, but none of its predecessors ever pretended to be more than they were. This one is so desperate to be meaningful it spoon-feeds its audience exactly how wonderful it is. Oh, the fortunate soul that I am, I have been granted to gaze upon the greatness of Sam Mendes.

    2. Man Without Legacy?
    Try to be as un-Bondian as possible and illogically insert GF's DB5 to assure you've actually seen a Bond film. While OHMSS, LTK, CR and QOS also take their freedoms, for the better in those cases, this one goes out of its way to be so different it's hard to identify it as a Bond film.

    3. James Bond, Everyman?
    The character arc that started in CR and ended with QOS was fresh and rejuvenated the franchise. Bond had become the Bond we all know when QOS's gunbarrel kicks in. I'm still waiting for what should have been a good old-fashioned Bond film in the wake of that masterful duo, instead we suddenly get some washed-out Everyman that demystifies all that is Bond just because someone wanted to make his' own' Bond film. It is also very important to do something funny with the gunbarrel for no reason at all because otherwise people might think this isn't special enough. An author doesn't have to point out at any given moment that he's an author, you know. Well, at least this isn't the one where Blofeld turns out to be Bond's brother. I guess that's something, right?

    Just my two cents, of course. No harm intended to those who like it. I got carried away a bit.

    Excellent write up, and I was hooked to read your thoughts as soon as I saw you gave them headers. I like Skyfall but I can't argue with anything you've outlined here, and more and more I come away from it thinking it's a bit boring.

    Aside from that, the Dead Island scene with Silva is just incredible to me. The monologue and indoor scene, but moreso when they move outdoors and they have their shoot-off, right up until the choppers fly in. Even this scene isn't without it's issues (CHOPPER PILOT: And turn on helicopter sounds.... .... now.), but to me it overall just oozes Bondian style. What are your thoughts on this scene in particular?
  • edited February 2020 Posts: 5,065
    GoldenGun wrote: »
    Octopussy wrote: »


    Pretty much summaries my thoughts.

    Mine as well, except I don't think it's better than QOS. On the contrary.
    I'd say it's ok, but it's nowhere near the top of my list. Three additional thoughts cross my mind concerning this film:

    1. Acta est fabula, plaudite.
    I always get the feeling that whenever this one is over, I'm expected to be amazed by how daringly it has made a different Bond film, even though it is actually not all that great. Either you go for unapologetic fun, or you go for something more, but do it without ostentatiously looking for acknowledgment. Revisit OHMSS, LTK, CR or QOS and see how it is done.
    As pointed out, there are plot holes all over the place. Now, you can say that about a lot of Bond films, but none of its predecessors ever pretended to be more than they were. This one is so desperate to be meaningful it spoon-feeds its audience exactly how wonderful it is. Oh, the fortunate soul that I am, I have been granted to gaze upon the greatness of Sam Mendes.

    2. Man Without Legacy?
    Try to be as un-Bondian as possible and illogically insert GF's DB5 to assure you've actually seen a Bond film. While OHMSS, LTK, CR and QOS also take their freedoms, for the better in those cases, this one goes out of its way to be so different it's hard to identify it as a Bond film.

    3. James Bond, Everyman?
    The character arc that started in CR and ended with QOS was fresh and rejuvenated the franchise. Bond had become the Bond we all know when QOS's gunbarrel kicks in. I'm still waiting for what should have been a good old-fashioned Bond film in the wake of that masterful duo, instead we suddenly get some washed-out Everyman that demystifies all that is Bond just because someone wanted to make his' own' Bond film. It is also very important to do something funny with the gunbarrel for no reason at all because otherwise people might think this isn't special enough. An author doesn't have to point out at any given moment that he's an author, you know. Well, at least this isn't the one where Blofeld turns out to be Bond's brother. I guess that's something, right?

    Just my two cents, of course. No harm intended to those who like it. I got carried away a bit.

    Excellent write up, and I was hooked to read your thoughts as soon as I saw you gave them headers. I like Skyfall but I can't argue with anything you've outlined here, and more and more I come away from it thinking it's a bit boring.

    Aside from that, the Dead Island scene with Silva is just incredible to me. The monologue and indoor scene, but moreso when they move outdoors and they have their shoot-off, right up until the choppers fly in. Even this scene isn't without it's issues (CHOPPER PILOT: And turn on helicopter sounds.... .... now.), but to me it overall just oozes Bondian style. What are your thoughts on this scene in particular?

    It's the best scene in the film, particularly when Bond finally turns the tables on his captors, the only point I felt I was watching a Bond movie!
    Apart from that I concur with GoldenGuns points!
    And Best Bond film?
    Not by a country mile!!
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Omaha, NE
    Posts: 6,535
    The best? No. But it is THIRD best.
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    edited February 2020 Posts: 4,480
    This stuff is all subjective. Right?

    Yes, I have SF ranked #1. There are a number of reasons for this, and I have covered them ad nauseum over the years, but to me this is the "richest" Bond film, in terms of theme and direction. It doesn't take long, in looking at how Mendes sets up shots, the way the camera moves, the use of color, that we are witnessing a master at work. The film succeeds on all levels. Music. Performances. Script. It all works to near perfection.
    GoldenGun wrote: »
    Octopussy wrote: »


    Pretty much summaries my thoughts.

    Mine as well, except I don't think it's better than QOS. On the contrary.
    I'd say it's ok, but it's nowhere near the top of my list. Three additional thoughts cross my mind concerning this film:

    1. Acta est fabula, plaudite.
    I always get the feeling that whenever this one is over, I'm expected to be amazed by how daringly it has made a different Bond film, even though it is actually not all that great. Either you go for unapologetic fun, or you go for something more, but do it without ostentatiously looking for acknowledgment. Revisit OHMSS, LTK, CR or QOS and see how it is done.
    As pointed out, there are plot holes all over the place. Now, you can say that about a lot of Bond films, but none of its predecessors ever pretended to be more than they were. This one is so desperate to be meaningful it spoon-feeds its audience exactly how wonderful it is. Oh, the fortunate soul that I am, I have been granted to gaze upon the greatness of Sam Mendes.

    2. Man Without Legacy?
    Try to be as un-Bondian as possible and illogically insert GF's DB5 to assure you've actually seen a Bond film. While OHMSS, LTK, CR and QOS also take their freedoms, for the better in those cases, this one goes out of its way to be so different it's hard to identify it as a Bond film.

    3. James Bond, Everyman?
    The character arc that started in CR and ended with QOS was fresh and rejuvenated the franchise. Bond had become the Bond we all know when QOS's gunbarrel kicks in. I'm still waiting for what should have been a good old-fashioned Bond film in the wake of that masterful duo, instead we suddenly get some washed-out Everyman that demystifies all that is Bond just because someone wanted to make his' own' Bond film. It is also very important to do something funny with the gunbarrel for no reason at all because otherwise people might think this isn't special enough. An author doesn't have to point out at any given moment that he's an author, you know. Well, at least this isn't the one where Blofeld turns out to be Bond's brother. I guess that's something, right?

    Just my two cents, of course. No harm intended to those who like it. I got carried away a bit.

    1. The plot holes are not there. SF can hide its perceived plot holes because of Silva. When it is established that he is a "point and click" villain, we give in to the idea that anything is possible, even when it isn't. The brilliance of Silva is NOT his plan; it's making you, M, Bond, and Q think he has a plan. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. Fact is, Silva demonstrates that anything is possible with the right knowledge.
    2. Where do you get the idea that SF is an attempt at being different? It's not, from a plot or emotional standpoint. Where it is different is in its level of depth. And this is why the DB5 works so well. Yes, it is meant to tug at us, but its destruction cuts in two ways: as a symbol of the "old ways" and as a symbol of the legacy of the franchise. In a way, it breaks a fourth wall because it functions as a metafictional device.
    3. Bond is actually more of an everyman in CR and QoS than ever before. I am not sure how you see that as beginning in SF. If you didn't see Bond;'s vulnerability in CR, which really makes him relateable for the first time since OHMSS, then I do not know what to say. Regardless, this is not a bad thing.
    4. Funny thing about SF's meaningfulness is that it's so rich it takes a long time (much longer than can be put in a simple post) to unpack all of its meaning. What fans may see as spoonfed is the stuff on the surface. We haven't even gone into the Jungian issues of duality and consciousness that this film dives into and dives into expertly. No, make no mistake: the film is masterpiece, by spy genre standards.
  • Posts: 1,812
    I applaud GoldenGun's take, which is very similar to mine. Then TripAces follows it with some more food for thought on the opposite end. Such debate is why these boards are such a pleasure for this fan.

    Maybe I just need to watch SF again.
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited February 2020 Posts: 5,003
    This film has remained at the top of my list, and I could probably write an essay on why I think it's a staple James Bond adventure but I don't know if I have it in me haha :D

    But in the meantime I'd like to show my appreciation by resharing the style trailer I did for the film using the MI: Fallout trailer music. Sorry if anyones sick of seeing this lol

  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 10,634
    Always enjoy that, @Denbigh.

    Best Bond film? Like a lot of them, it is when I'm watching it.

  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited February 2020 Posts: 5,003
    Always enjoy that, @Denbigh.

    Best Bond film? Like a lot of them, it is when I'm watching it.
    Ah thanks man :D

    I remember at university, at a lecture about our disserations a woman gave an example of an essay she'd written about Skyfall talking about James Bond and the inherent celebration of Britain throughout the film. It was really interesting.
  • Posts: 11,425
    GoldenGun wrote: »
    Octopussy wrote: »


    Pretty much summaries my thoughts.

    Mine as well, except I don't think it's better than QOS. On the contrary.
    I'd say it's ok, but it's nowhere near the top of my list. Three additional thoughts cross my mind concerning this film:

    1. Acta est fabula, plaudite.
    I always get the feeling that whenever this one is over, I'm expected to be amazed by how daringly it has made a different Bond film, even though it is actually not all that great. Either you go for unapologetic fun, or you go for something more, but do it without ostentatiously looking for acknowledgment. Revisit OHMSS, LTK, CR or QOS and see how it is done.
    As pointed out, there are plot holes all over the place. Now, you can say that about a lot of Bond films, but none of its predecessors ever pretended to be more than they were. This one is so desperate to be meaningful it spoon-feeds its audience exactly how wonderful it is. Oh, the fortunate soul that I am, I have been granted to gaze upon the greatness of Sam Mendes.

    2. Man Without Legacy?
    Try to be as un-Bondian as possible and illogically insert GF's DB5 to assure you've actually seen a Bond film. While OHMSS, LTK, CR and QOS also take their freedoms, for the better in those cases, this one goes out of its way to be so different it's hard to identify it as a Bond film.

    3. James Bond, Everyman?
    The character arc that started in CR and ended with QOS was fresh and rejuvenated the franchise. Bond had become the Bond we all know when QOS's gunbarrel kicks in. I'm still waiting for what should have been a good old-fashioned Bond film in the wake of that masterful duo, instead we suddenly get some washed-out Everyman that demystifies all that is Bond just because someone wanted to make his' own' Bond film. It is also very important to do something funny with the gunbarrel for no reason at all because otherwise people might think this isn't special enough. An author doesn't have to point out at any given moment that he's an author, you know. Well, at least this isn't the one where Blofeld turns out to be Bond's brother. I guess that's something, right?

    Just my two cents, of course. No harm intended to those who like it. I got carried away a bit.

    Excellent write up, and I was hooked to read your thoughts as soon as I saw you gave them headers. I like Skyfall but I can't argue with anything you've outlined here, and more and more I come away from it thinking it's a bit boring.

    Aside from that, the Dead Island scene with Silva is just incredible to me. The monologue and indoor scene, but moreso when they move outdoors and they have their shoot-off, right up until the choppers fly in. Even this scene isn't without it's issues (CHOPPER PILOT: And turn on helicopter sounds.... .... now.), but to me it overall just oozes Bondian style. What are your thoughts on this scene in particular?

    I don't really like the PTS or the premise of Bond suddenly being over the hill after QOS. And I've always found the idea of M ordering rookie Moneypenny to take the "bloody shot" instead of trusting her best agent to get the job done both illogical and implausible. The previous film ended with her saying "we need you back" and then the next one begins with her having trust/confidence issues again. There also is a theme of everyone at MI6 being incompetent (Q letting Silva hack the MI6 systems) that runs through the film. I assume it's intentional but it just grates with me.


    Having said this, the film then improves and builds quite nicely to Silva's island. I think his entrance is the film's highlight. After that though it just loses its way IMO.
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    edited February 2020 Posts: 4,480
    So here is my basic analysis of Skyfall. Bits and pieces of this have floated around for years. I’ll place it here, for good measure. Make of it what you will. But what I know is that no Bond film has ever provided me this much material, in terms of theme. Enjoy (or not).

    Old and New
    By far, the most accessible theme in the film is that of old old/new, old/young. Throughout, the characters make references to this. Q and Bond, reflecting on Turner’s painting: “the inevitablity of time.” Bond thinking he’s been played out. Bond telling Moneypenny that he likes things the old-fashioned way. Kincaid mentioning that something the old ways are the best.

    The DB5 is an important symbol, in this respect. It represents those “old ways,” and thus serves a useful purpose, not just for Bond, attempting to return to a place where he has “the advantage” but also for the audience, as it returns to an earlier Bond era. The car is also metafictional. Like many Bond films (think of the Bond theme playing in Octopussy), it is self-relfective.

    When the DB5 gets blown to bits, we are heartbroken on two fronts: it is the symbolic destruction of the past, that “inevitability” of time coming and going. And it is a symbolic destruction of the old Bond, the one who could operate much more freely in the field.

    Science and Technology
    Related to the theme of old and new is the rise of science and technology. When Q meets with Bond, the painting behind them is Joseph Wright’s “Experiment on a Bird in an Air Pump.” The painting suggests the horror and fascination with scientific/technological advancement. In the painting, a scientist is showing what happens when a bird is deprived of air, in the air pump. Notice a girl turning away, an old man looking down, others looking on in fascination.

    n-0725-00-000024-hd.jpg?center=0.28529411764705881,0.44713656387665196&mode=crop&width=1920&height=1080&rnd=132086255100000000


    The painting, of course, serves as a perfect backdrop for the conversation Q has with Bond about technological advancement. This theme carries us through the rest of the film, particularly when we meet Silva. The key line is what Severine tells Bond, about the island: “It’s amazing the panic one can cause with a simple computer.” Indeed.
    Many speak of the film’s plot holes and that its impractical for Silva to “plan it all” as Q suggests. Certainly, what Silva has planned is still open to debate. Yes, he likely planned the bombing to move MI6 undergorund. And, yes, he likely planned to get caught and for his computer to be accessed. But when, where, and how is another matter.

    Remember, with Silva’s ability to manipulate any situation and know MI6’s next move, he wasn’t positioning MI6’s pieces as much as much as positioniong himself in response to they were doing. For that matter, like the panic caused at the island, Silva has Q and MI6 bewildered to the point of responding out of fear. One has to take Q’s assessment (he had it all planned) with a grain of salt. What does Q know, anyway? Not much, really, as he is a novice.

    The genius of John Logan’s script is that once we accept a simple truth (that Silva can hack into and see everything) then almost anything becomes possible. Paranoia sets in. MI6 seems to get played, and so does the audience. It’s brilliant.
    Note: many have criticized Silva’s ability to fly a military helicpter into Scotland without being detected. But, alas, it is possible to hack into and jam radar systems. It’s been done before. So this was not so far-fetched.

    Silva’s Obsessiveness
    The “hard drive” isn’t necessarily a MacGuffin. Rather, it is the means by which Silva can battle M on her turf. Remember, Silva is all about conducting his own missions, from behind a computer. Just “point and click.” He hates field work: “all that running around, so dull, so dull.”Yet, Silva knows that if he is going to truly humilate M, it has to be on her turf. The hard drive is the first step in to doing that.

    The interaction between Q and Bond in the museum demonstrates that killing is personal. Q admits that he can only do so much and that he needs Bond because “a trigger has to be pulled.” Bond agrees: “Or not pulled. It’s hard to know which in your pajamas.” This exchange underscores the difference between cold, technical kills, using drones, and the personal kill, eye to eye. Silva is well aware of this, and if he is going to make his hit on M personal, it has to be in the field, eye to eye.

    Ah, but this is also his downfall.

    Silva’s weaknesses are his arrogance and his obsessiveness. As a result, Silva doesn’t just seek to kill M, he seeks to do so while humilating her. But fieldwork is not Silva’s strength. Not at all. And it’s the reason he looks so lost, at the hearing, when it comes time to pull that “trigger.” He hesitates and ultimately looks like a fool, compared to Bond. This weakness also comes to the fore at Skyfall, when he urgently tells his henchman not to touch her, that she’s his. It is important to note that all of the technology Silva used was to expose and humilate M to the rest of the world. But the kill, the actual kill, had to happen in a solitary place. This part was not about huimiliation, it was about Silva’s own attempt to deal with trauma, and he’s so hesitant in it that it gets him killed.

    As brilliant as Silva is, we see why he actually isn't the "agent" he thinks he is. He does not have a command of his emotions, at least not in the field. And all that he amassed, in terms of technology, in terms of creating his own "secrety missions," ultimately goes to waste, because he has an OCD issue with M. It's pathetic. And it's what makes Silva such a fascinating villain.

    Jung and Duality
    Ian Fleming once wrote to Carl Jung and asked to translate one of his lectures, on Paracelsus, an alchemyst. The importance of this is two-fold: that Fleming took an interest in Jung (at least to some degree) and that he also took and interest in alchemy. Why is this important to Skyfall? First off, to the best of my mind, it’s the first film to overtly deal with Jungian psychology. During his fitness tests, Bond undergoes a word association test. Film critics mistook this as Freudian. It’s not. It’s Jungian: https://exploringyourmind.com/carl-jung-word-association-test/.

    Furthermore, the idea of alchemy (finding ways to improve metals, through refinement) was how Jung viewed one’s own refinement and striving toward individuation. As Jung saw it, each of us as at odds with our “shadow” self: the dark side (Star Wars made good use of this, but M also alludes to it in her speech at the hearing). This is our duality: our two sides.

    The Bond films of Craig’s era have latched onto the most important symbol in Junagian duality: the mirror. This is especially true in SF. Think of all the mirrors: in the titles, in Bond’s beach hut, Bond’s reflection in the beach bar, Bond looking at himself while extracting the bullet, the numerous reflections in the Shanghai skyrise, Bond shaving in the mirror in Macau, the rearview mirror when he “kidnaps” M, the floor length mirror at Skyfall. None of this is an accident. Mendes knew this symbol. Q asks, as they look at the paintning: “What do you see?” It’s a question that probes more than just the painting…but actually as one peeks into the soul.

    As a person becomes refined, he is continuously reborn…resurrected. Bond’s statement about resurrection fits nicely with another important Jungian symbol: water. Again, if we think of the alchemyst, it is liquid that forms the new. We know that water is a symbol of baptism and life: but in this case it is the symbolf of rebirth/resurrection. Where did Bond symbolically die? In the river. Where is he symbolically reborn? In the frozen lake. It makes sense that one occurs at the film’s outset, the other in its conclusion. Furthermore, where did he symbolically cross over from being “played out” to being back on the prowl? (the swimming pool).

    It would be simple for us to compare Bond with Bruce Wayne as orphans who end up in dark places, figuratively and literally. But Bond went into the priest’s hole, by choice. This was Bond’s first encounter with the darkness of his own soul, his shadow. It is a trauma he has still not escaped, making it diffcult for him to heal and become refined. (alchemy).

    Many Bond fans may dislike all of this depth. An action hero, they suggest, is supposed to be just that. Bond has been described as a blunt instrument, and some see him as nothing more. But the shift to a deeper Bond, one dealing with Jungian psychology, is a good strategic step, in separating Bond from Bourne and Hunt. As I see it, DC’s Bond is the first one in whom a large portion of the audience can identify, truly.

    I enjoy almost all Bond films. But no other Bond is this rich in material. And I have not even dived into the quality of the filmmaking itself.

    So when I am asked whether or not Skyfall is the best Bond, I simply say, "Yes. Yes, it is."
  • RemingtonRemington I'll do anything for a woman with a knife.
    Posts: 1,517
    I enjoy it but I don't think it's anywhere close to being the best Bond film. The cinematography is amazing though.
  • Posts: 11,275
    Best-looking to me are TB, YOLT, OHMSS, TSWLM, MR, CR, and SF. I feel good about NTTD joining that list based on what we’ve seen so far.
  • Posts: 5,065
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Yes, it is one of the best looking Bond films. I’d add YOLT, TND and CR to that list.

    I think QOS gets overlooked when talking about this area. Think it has style all the way through!
    SF has its moments, but it's not consistent imo.
    TND???
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 11,119
    I don’t really draw up lists, but this is up there with TSWLM, FRWL, Gf, TLD and CR for me. At any time I may well think it’s better than any of them, yes. And that’s despite having a plot that makes no sense, which I think makes it more impressive! :)
    So nice to get a potential best of the series 50 years in.
  • edited February 2020 Posts: 2,875
    Perdogg wrote: »
    I thought SF was Mendes' ode to his own pompous and pretentious ego. I think you are reading waaay too much into this movie. I think it is clear what Mendes thought of Fleming's creation.

    Exactly what I was thinking. I think SF is just ok as a Bond film, not particularly bad, but not that great either. Craig looks the worst actor to play Bond in this film too, looking haggard with his stubble beard and grey skinhead shaved head - nothing remotely Bondian at all.

    CR p!sses all over SF, as does quite a few other films in the series do too. It takes itself too seriously (nothing wrong with that), but then fails when it has glaring plot holes and things that just don't sit right in terms of plausibility. It's all fine and well in the context of an outlandish Bond film, but when it pretends to be something else, it needs to deliver on that too.

    It's also rather jarring that we have just gone through 2 films of how Bond becomes Bond from being a rookie Bond, to being a washed up has-been agent by the third instalment. The character arc is just silly. This is like reading Fleming's CR for the very first time, then straight after it reading YOLT and TMWTGG as direct follows on, with no character arc in-between.

    SF would have worked better had it been Craig's last outing of his reign, because then the washed up angle, Bond losing his mojo, etc. would have fitted the new reboot Bond era storyline in a more believable way.

    What amazes me about SF is how its often lauded as `going back to Fleming' when there is very little of Fleming in the movie. Arguably the PTS and Bond reporting back for duty after being missing loosely reflects YOLT and TMWTGG, but nowhere near as good. If you are going to go back to Fleming, then go back to Fleming. Show conviction, not some half-assed lame attempt at `Fleming re-imagined.'

    The film also hangs on to the coat tails of Nolan and TDK way too much. Silva feels more like The Joker, not just in appearance and behaviour, but also in how he is held captive and escapes. SF house itself feels like Wayne manor, even having its own Batcave type hidden passage, accompanied by Newman suddenly impersonating a poor mans Hans Zimmer Batman sound (also heard earlier when Bond hangs off the elevator in Shanghai).

    I find more irritations in this film than I find in most others, including Bond films with their glaringly obvious faults (DAF, MR) - the pretentious poem read by M, whispering sweet nothings between Bond and Moneypenny while she shaves him, the way Craig looks in this film with his skinhead, the arty fight sequence in Shanghai, Bond surviving a ridiculous fall in the PTS, the Home Alone angle in SF, the pointlessness of Kincaid, knowing that part was only ever written to shoehorn Connery back in for the anniversary.

    CR is easily Craig's best outing, followed by QoS. SF and SP are 2 films I would rather forget about, and almost want to lump them back in the discarded, horrendous Brozza era.
  • Posts: 7,416
    Octopussy wrote: »


    Pretty much summaries my thoughts.

    It is a fun video for sure, but if you post it to make some kind of point, it falls quite flat. 90% of this is nitpicking and as amusing it is you can make similar videos about pretty much any film in the world regardless of quality. Just as even the most revered and generaly admired people in the world can be parodied and made fun of on comedy shows, the same applies to iconic and respected film classics.
  • ResurrectionResurrection Kolkata, India
    Posts: 2,541
    jobo wrote: »
    Octopussy wrote: »


    Pretty much summaries my thoughts.

    It is a fun video for sure, but if you post it to make some kind of point, it falls quite flat. 90% of this is nitpicking and as amusing it is you can make similar videos about pretty much any film in the world regardless of quality. Just as even the most revered and generaly admired people in the world can be parodied and made fun of on comedy shows, the same applies to iconic and respected film classics.

    We have those videos for every single film even SP/M I/ John Wick. Now I know why folks use to make fun of it by saying home alone.
  • Posts: 5,065
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Yes, it is one of the best looking Bond films. I’d add YOLT, TND and CR to that list.

    I think QOS gets overlooked when talking about this area. Think it has style all the way through!
    SF has its moments, but it's not consistent imo.
    TND???

    I almost added QOS, so I agree. Yes, TND (which barely makes my Top Twenty). The beautiful reds and blacks, the deep shadows, the action scenes, all gloriously photographed. It’s probably my favorite aspect of the film, and it makes me regret missing it on the big screen (the first, and the last, for me to have done so with since OHMSS).

    Saw TND on the big screen. Cant honestly say it impressed me visually at all! Actually not impressed with much of it! Apart from Vincent Schiavellis amusing appearance or the Halo jump, it doesn't register on any other level.
    Regarding SF, yes, the scenes where Bond tails Patrice before the assassination and the Shanghai sequences are stunning, but the rest is rather flat,
    And washed out looking!
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 11,119
    I'd say TND is one of the few 20th century Bonds to have a colour palette.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e il momento che verrà
    Posts: 5,980
    @NickTwentyTwo Thanks for the compliment, for a second there I thought I was the only living soul with these opinions. I did like that helicopter scene too. I also like the early scenes in Shanghai and Macau.

    To the defenders, I never thought this film was terrible by any means. It is well-acted, it has fine dialogue and as pointed out before this one has some great cinematography.

    Nevertheless, and I can only speak for myself, I don't think Bond should be an Everyman. Perhaps, as a non-native speaker, I am using the term wrongly but I don't think him being an Everyman has anything to do with Bond being more human than before. I find Bond rather human in OHMSS, LTK, CR and QOS and I have always liked these films for doing that.

    What I mean by Bond being Everyman in SF I have the feeling he is distinctively more, let's say blue-collar, by the lack of a better word. The man has a very sturdy and brutish vibe troughout the film, while he has always been different from other well-known "action heroes" because of his sophisticated tastes.

    Even as recent as QOS he chuckles at Mathis' girlfriend's remark about the good man's wine. I find that missing in Mendes' contributions and worringly so, I feel that has been done on purpose. Make him more relatable to the man on the street. Hey Joe, have a beer, do a lot of workouts and buy suits that are too small but show that you're a beefcake: now you're James Bond as well.

    If you don't read that much into these things, that's fine. If SF is your number 1, that's fine too. To each his/her own. I just prefer my Bond to know that Royal Beluga is North of the Caspian, that's all.
  • edited February 2020 Posts: 4,527
    I was reading a script writing blog yesterday about how to write a good villain (we all know they are a key part of any great film). One of the factors is that it's good to have some form of perspective or understanding with the villain (driven by human emotion) rather than just a mad man and then portray that via great acting and dialogue. SF was a rare Bond movie as it actually had this within the script and is a key contributor IMHO to what makes it a success. It's hard to have a great movie without a great villain and this does apply to Bond movies.
  • Posts: 7,416
    patb wrote: »
    I was reading a script writing blog yesterday about how to write a good villain (we all know they are a key part of any great film). One of the factors is that it's good to have some form of perspective or understanding with the villain (driven by human emotion) rather than just a mad man and then portray that via great acting and dialogue. SF was a rare Bond movie as it actually had this within the script and is a key contributor IMHO to what makes it a success. It's hard to have a great movie without a great villain and this does apply to Bond movies.

    I think Silva is very underrated on these boards. He deserves a place on the pantheon with the most classic Bond villains. At least top five, maybe top three even for me.
  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    Posts: 2,243
    GoldenGun wrote: »
    @NickTwentyTwo Thanks for the compliment, for a second there I thought I was the only living soul with these opinions. I did like that helicopter scene too. I also like the early scenes in Shanghai and Macau.

    To the defenders, I never thought this film was terrible by any means. It is well-acted, it has fine dialogue and as pointed out before this one has some great cinematography.

    Nevertheless, and I can only speak for myself, I don't think Bond should be an Everyman. Perhaps, as a non-native speaker, I am using the term wrongly but I don't think him being an Everyman has anything to do with Bond being more human than before. I find Bond rather human in OHMSS, LTK, CR and QOS and I have always liked these films for doing that.

    What I mean by Bond being Everyman in SF I have the feeling he is distinctively more, let's say blue-collar, by the lack of a better word. The man has a very sturdy and brutish vibe troughout the film, while he has always been different from other well-known "action heroes" because of his sophisticated tastes.

    Even as recent as QOS he chuckles at Mathis' girlfriend's remark about the good man's wine. I find that missing in Mendes' contributions and worringly so, I feel that has been done on purpose. Make him more relatable to the man on the street. Hey Joe, have a beer, do a lot of workouts and buy suits that are too small but show that you're a beefcake: now you're James Bond as well.

    If you don't read that much into these things, that's fine. If SF is your number 1, that's fine too. To each his/her own. I just prefer my Bond to know that Royal Beluga is North of the Caspian, that's all.

    I know what you're getting at. Bond needs to have a personality, or character touches. I find it in spades in Terence Young, Peter Hunt and Martin Campbell entries and lacking Lewis Gilbert and now that you mention it Sam Mendes, films.

    In the films where some people say the actor is 'comfortable in the role', such as YOLT, TSWLM, SF, I feel that the director has given the actor too much liberty and the actor isn't 'playing Bond' and is instead playing himself, or playing it however he feels on the day (see DAF).
  • Posts: 5,065
    jobo wrote: »
    patb wrote: »
    I was reading a script writing blog yesterday about how to write a good villain (we all know they are a key part of any great film). One of the factors is that it's good to have some form of perspective or understanding with the villain (driven by human emotion) rather than just a mad man and then portray that via great acting and dialogue. SF was a rare Bond movie as it actually had this within the script and is a key contributor IMHO to what makes it a success. It's hard to have a great movie without a great villain and this does apply to Bond movies.

    I think Silva is very underrated on these boards. He deserves a place on the pantheon with the most classic Bond villains. At least top five, maybe top three even for me.

    Silva was good, but there were a lot better villains in the series, Goldfinget, Grant, Blofeld (Savalas), Kananga, Scaramanga, Zorin, Sanchez, and LeChiffre would all be ahead of him for me!
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited February 2020 Posts: 5,003
    I always remember the similarities to TMWTGG. The film's still my favourite, but the comparisons are quite funny to me :) Anyone remember this discussion?

    https://www.mi6community.com/discussion/5653/remarkable-similarities-between-skyfall-and-the-man-with-the-golden-gun
  • edited February 2020 Posts: 7,416
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    jobo wrote: »
    patb wrote: »
    I was reading a script writing blog yesterday about how to write a good villain (we all know they are a key part of any great film). One of the factors is that it's good to have some form of perspective or understanding with the villain (driven by human emotion) rather than just a mad man and then portray that via great acting and dialogue. SF was a rare Bond movie as it actually had this within the script and is a key contributor IMHO to what makes it a success. It's hard to have a great movie without a great villain and this does apply to Bond movies.

    I think Silva is very underrated on these boards. He deserves a place on the pantheon with the most classic Bond villains. At least top five, maybe top three even for me.

    Silva was good, but there were a lot better villains in the series, Goldfinget, Grant, Blofeld (Savalas), Kananga, Scaramanga, Zorin, Sanchez, and LeChiffre would all be ahead of him for me!

    Kananga? Really? I agree with the other names, but I think it is in this bracket Silva belongs. Where exactly I'm not sure. I have never constructed a villain ranking and I don't feel the need to either.
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    edited February 2020 Posts: 4,480
    Perdogg wrote: »
    I thought SF was Mendes' ode to his own pompous and pretentious ego. I think you are reading waaay too much into this movie. I think it is clear what Mendes thought of Fleming's creation.

    Exactly what I was thinking. I think SF is just ok as a Bond film, not particularly bad, but not that great either. Craig looks the worst actor to play Bond in this film too, looking haggard with his stubble beard and grey skinhead shaved head - nothing remotely Bondian at all.

    CR p!sses all over SF, as does quite a few other films in the series do too. It takes itself too seriously (nothing wrong with that), but then fails when it has glaring plot holes and things that just don't sit right in terms of plausibility. It's all fine and well in the context of an outlandish Bond film, but when it pretends to be something else, it needs to deliver on that too.

    It's also rather jarring that we have just gone through 2 films of how Bond becomes Bond from being a rookie Bond, to being a washed up has-been agent by the third instalment. The character arc is just silly. This is like reading Fleming's CR for the very first time, then straight after it reading YOLT and TMWTGG as direct follows on, with no character arc in-between.

    SF would have worked better had it been Craig's last outing of his reign, because then the washed up angle, Bond losing his mojo, etc. would have fitted the new reboot Bond era storyline in a more believable way.

    What amazes me about SF is how its often lauded as `going back to Fleming' when there is very little of Fleming in the movie. Arguably the PTS and Bond reporting back for duty after being missing loosely reflects YOLT and TMWTGG, but nowhere near as good. If you are going to go back to Fleming, then go back to Fleming. Show conviction, not some half-assed lame attempt at `Fleming re-imagined.'

    The film also hangs on to the coat tails of Nolan and TDK way too much. Silva feels more like The Joker, not just in appearance and behaviour, but also in how he is held captive and escapes. SF house itself feels like Wayne manor, even having its own Batcave type hidden passage, accompanied by Newman suddenly impersonating a poor mans Hans Zimmer Batman sound (also heard earlier when Bond hangs off the elevator in Shanghai).

    I find more irritations in this film than I find in most others, including Bond films with their glaringly obvious faults (DAF, MR) - the pretentious poem read by M, whispering sweet nothings between Bond and Moneypenny while she shaves him, the way Craig looks in this film with his skinhead, the arty fight sequence in Shanghai, Bond surviving a ridiculous fall in the PTS, the Home Alone angle in SF, the pointlessness of Kincaid, knowing that part was only ever written to shoehorn Connery back in for the anniversary.

    CR is easily Craig's best outing, followed by QoS. SF and SP are 2 films I would rather forget about, and almost want to lump them back in the discarded, horrendous Brozza era.

    CR is DC's best performance, and the film benefits from the source material. However, parts of it have not aged well. The embassy sequence, in particular, looks like something out of an an 80s made-for-TV movie of the week. Campbell has a penchant for close-ups of faces and objects of no importance; by comparison, Mendes uses close-ups sparingly and purposefully. While Campbell gives us a close-up of a fire alarm or a sprinkler head, Mendes provides a close-up of a Royal Doulton bulldog.

    And while all of the films dabble in product placement, nothing sinks as low as the Ford commercial in the Bahamas. And never has Arnold's music felt cornier than in that moment. Good gawd, it's bloody awful.

    Campbell also made two other crucial mistakes: 1. Trying to pass Prague off as Miami; 2. Letting the airport action sequence go on far too long.

    But all of those mistakes are prior to the train to Montenegro. From that point forward, the film gains its legs, even though Campbell still likes to give us a fair share of ridiculous close-ups.

    So, no, I would not agree that CR pisses all over SF.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Omaha, NE
    Posts: 6,535
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Yes, it is one of the best looking Bond films. I’d add YOLT, TND and CR to that list.

    I think QOS gets overlooked when talking about this area. Think it has style all the way through!
    SF has its moments, but it's not consistent imo.
    TND???

    When it’s set on pause or presented in a collage of screencaps QOS looks great. But with the aggressive editing it’s hard to satiate the photography like one would with some of the other titles.
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