Tell us all about your BONDATHON

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  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 7,336
    Tomorrow Never Dies
    Looking at Bond rankings across the forum I have soon become aware that You Only Live Twice is something of a guilty pleasure for me. And the same can be said for TND.

    All the criticisms I've read about it somehow don't register with me. Forged from the wreckage of a writers strike and rushed through post production at a galloping pace the fact we have anything of note is nothing short of a miracle.
    The director has managed to inject some classic Bond moments and typical Bond tropes into the story, and combined with new boy David Arnold bringing some lush orchestral melodies back to the series, we have two hours of pretty good fun, and it really does feel like a proper Bond film.

    Pierce Brosnan is excellent throughout (sue me!) He looks great, and he has ditched those moments of Roger Moore smirking which crept into his GoldenEye performance. He is now comfortable as Bond.

    The plot is a little thin it has to be said, and the film relies heavily on some huge action set pieces. It would have been nice to have a couple more dialogue scenes at the expense of a minute or two from the long, albeit well crafted bike chase. But I refuse to nit pick.

    highlights:
    Great PTS driven by the urgency of the approaching missile.
    Bond brushing up on his Danish
    Bond/M scene in the car
    Bond drinking vodka, and subsequent scene with Paris
    Dr Kaufman
    Car chase
    HALO jump
    Escape via the canvas poster of Carver
    Bond and Wai Lin in their little boat finding mutual ground.
    The music and locations.

    It dawned on me that the other big release in December 1997 was Titanic and both films end with a ship/boat sinking and the stars floating around on the debris. Fancy that.

    And, I had forgotten about the dedication at the end to Cubby, so when it came up and my wife said 'Oh, look!', I was momentarily far too choked to explain.
  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 7,336
    The World Is Not Enough

    This film feels so muted. I'm not sure if its the flat action sequences or the use of muted colours - browns and dark blues - or the fact there are no Dr Kaufmans or Jack Wades to add a bit of zing. But, it lacks something.

    Pierce tries hard, the cast is actually very good, the plot is good, the music is good. Oh I dunno, something is definitely off.

    One moment always leaves me open mouthed and speechless.

    Renard - "She's worth fifty of me"
    M - "For once I agree with you".

    Say what? Electra has just massacred your MI6 team, murdered her father (one of your oldest friends), and supposedly murdered Bond. How can you still rate her so highly?

    Get a grip woman.

    I can see what Michael Apted was trying to achieve, but he really needed a better script to work with and a keener eye for action.

    A failure maybe, but a heroic failure. We certainly haven't hit an all time low..just yet.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,170
    Pretty realistic assessment.
  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 7,336
    Die Another Day

    Nearly 20 years on this one still somehow remains a bit of a missed opportunity. At times frustratingly excellent (Bond and Raoul, the sword battle, some of the Havana scenes, the Hong Kong hotel scenes, the opening surfing sequence) in a way TWINE could only dream of.

    But then it sinks to such astonishing depths one can hardly credit it. And I don't mean the usual targets -eg Madonna who isn't that bad, and would be overlooked if it had been any other half decent actress. And Halle Berry is no better or worse than the majority of Bond girls.

    I mean the dreadful, toe-curlingly bad double- entendres and general wordplay Bond indulges in with all three girls, and of course the overload of bad CGI in the last half an hour. All of this kills the film dead in its tracks and this is such a shame.

    There is a pretty good car chase where the cars bounce around with balletic beauty, and when it ends with Bond saving Jinx the film feels like it has reached a reasonably satisfying conclusion. But we then have another climax on the plane and this is where we all start to really lose interest.

    And of course the rubbish theme song. I don't mind Madonna's cameo at all, but I will never forgive her the techno shite song she presented to the world. Luckily David Arnold did a sterling job with the rest of the score.

    The cast is hit and miss but what a shame we didn't have more of Emilio Echevarria as Raoul. Apparently they cut out some of his scenes, perhaps so they could squeeze the para surfing/tsunami sequence in? I certainly hope this isn't the case otherwise Lee Tamahori will answer for his crimes. Because I will find him... and I will kill him.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,278
    Good points Nackers.

    Though Berry... Sometimes she's quite pleasant. Then other times, her dialogue, and delivery of said dialogue is so woeful.

    But I always have fun with DAD. It has such a self awareness to it. Only recently did I see that.

    One thing that has always been true for me, is that I tend too prefer Tamahori's muscular direction as opposed to Apted's staid approach.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,170
    I'm the opposite with Madonna. I don't mind the Title Song, but her cameo is the first real catastrophe in the film, so far as I'm concerned (unless meeting Jinx, and Jinx's CGI dive come before that; then those would be first).
  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 7,336
    Birdleson wrote: »
    I'm the opposite with Madonna. I don't mind the Title Song, but her cameo is the first real catastrophe in the film, so far as I'm concerned (unless meeting Jinx, and Jinx's CGI dive come before that; then those would be first).

    Oh yes, Jinx and Bond’s smutty pick up lines come first.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,278
    Have a bit of empathy lads. It was Bond's first conquest after prison. Of course he'll be rusty.
  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 7,336
    True enough :)
  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 7,336
    Casino Royale

    It's been a while but my Bondathon is back on track.

    Old Wives Tales, part 3
    Following on from my personal decision that some Bond opinions stick over the years and are blindly followed by everyone: So far I have mentioned...
    1. Connery looked bored in YOLT (No he didn't. Only the opinion is boring)
    2. No one was ready for a serious Bond in 1987 (absolute bullshit)
    And now, number 3.

    3. *cough* Timothy Dalton's performance paved the way for Craig's Bond.

    No! No it didn't. Dalton's Bond was edgy and sardonic. He probably didn't sleep well at night and hated his job (but he knew no one could do it better).
    Craig's Bond is more impulsive, cocky, egotistical. He uses people and suffers the consequences. He loves what he does and probably sleeps like a baby.

    Just because neither plays it for laughs doesn't mean they play it the same way. And when CR came along the general public had probably forgotten Dalton altogether.

    On to the film:
    The first thing that struck me is that Bond's pursuit of the bomb maker was well under control until Walker ballsed it up by getting himself clocked. So Bond had to improvise and as a result gets a right grilling from M. Didn't she realise that the fool was Walker, not Bond?

    Never mind. This film is a true epic in the 007 canon. Huge in scope and ambition and with a first rate cast it's hard not to be pulled in and thoroughly impressed by Martin Campbell's work.

    Craig is a revelation. If anything the impact of his performance has possibly lessened over time, and I feel the future may not be as kind to his interpretation of the role as, say, Connery's has been. But this can not detract from what was an astonishing debut.

    The scenery is gorgeous, the women beautiful and voluptuous, the sweeping score is wonderfully epic and the script intelligent.

    Does it have any down side?
    Well, yes it does. I don't think the love story was paced properly. They went from arguing and sniping over the buy in money, to declaring eternal love a day or so later. (side note: Leiter buys Bond back in and Vesper makes no comment about how or where Bond's $5 million came from. Was she not even slightly curious?) I think The Living Daylights was more convincing. Bond and Kara's story was paced beautifully and totally satisfying.

    Some moments were poorly explained during the film.
    i) I've never been happy with the moment Bond says 'Mathis' to himself in the restaurant. What triggered the realisation that Mathis was the villain? (even though ultimately he wasn't).
    ii) Who was the guy arrested for having two corpses in his car boot?
    iii) The arrest of the police chief ( played by MGW). Not explained very well through Mathis's dialogue.
    iv) Bond grabs a knife and pursues Le Chiffre. Why? What is he intending to do exactly?

    I'm not saying these moments are not explained at all. But on first viewing (and second) they remain quite ambiguous.

    But, Casino Royale continued the tradition of launching the new Bond actor with a right corker.


  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Defender of Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, Éric Serra & Bond '83!
    Posts: 5,259
    NicNac wrote: »
    Casino Royale
    Dalton's Bond was edgy and sardonic. He probably didn't sleep well at night and hated his job (but he knew no one could do it better).

    A good description why Tim is my favourite.

    Great review btw. I am enjoying these, even though we don't always agree.

  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 7,336
    Cheers @GoldenGun . It wouldn’t do though if we always did agree ;)
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,170
    Nice review @NicNac . My only real disagreement is with Connery in YOLT; looks bored to me.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 8,274
    NicNac wrote: »
    Casino Royale

    Some moments were poorly explained during the film.
    i) I've never been happy with the moment Bond says 'Mathis' to himself in the restaurant. What triggered the realisation that Mathis was the villain? (even though ultimately he wasn't).

    From the first viewing and since, I see that as pretty much identical to the Fleming novel. And Bond didn't suspect Mathis to be a traitor in the restaurant.

    To that point Mathis isn't in question, the idea is introduced later by the villain Le Chiffre to serve his purposes. Also understanding it's unresolved within the film.


    Casino Royale, Ian Fleming, 1953.
    Chapter 14 - La Vie en Rose
    At four o'clock Bond was about to call for the bill when the maître d'hôtel appeared at their table and inquired for Miss Lynd. He handed her a note which she took and read hastily.

    'Oh, it's only Mathis,' she said. 'He says would I come to the entrance hall. He's got a message for you. Perhaps he's not in evening clothes or something. I won't be a minute. Then perhaps we could go home.'
    She gave him a strained smile. 'I'm afraid I don't feel very good company this evening. It's been rather a nerve-racking day. I'm so sorry.'

    Bond made a perfunctory reply and rose, pushing back the table. 'I'll get the bill,' he said, and watched her take the few steps to the entrance.

    He sat down and lit a cigarette. He felt flat. He suddenly realized that he was tired. The stuffiness of the room hit him as it had hit him in the Casino in the early hours of the previous day. Hecalled for the bill and took a last mouthful of champagne. It tasted bitter, as the first glass too many always does. He would have liked to have seen Mathis's cheerful face and heard his news, perhaps even a word of congratulation.

    Suddenly the note to Vesper seemed odd to him. It was not the way Mathis would do things. He would have asked them both to join him at the bar of the Casino or he would have joined them in the night-club, whatever his clothes. They would have laughed together and Mathis would have been excited. He had much to tell Bond, more than Bond had to tell him. The arrest of the Bulgarian, who had probably talked some more; the chase after the man with the stick; Le Chiffre's movements when he left the Casino.

    Bond shook himself. He hastily paid the bill, not waiting for the change. He pushed back his table and walked quickly through the entrance without acknowledging the good-nights of the maître d'hôtel and the doorman.

    He hurried through the gaming-room and looked carefully up and down the long entrance hall. He cursed and quickened his step. There were only one or two officials and two or three men and women in evening clothes getting their things at the vestiaire.

    No Vesper. No Mathis.

    He was almost running. He got to the entrance and looked along the steps to left and right down and amongst the few remaining cars.

    The commissionaire came towards him.

    'A taxi, monsieur?'

    Bond waved him aside and started down the steps, his eyes staring into the shadows, the night air cold on his sweating temples.

    He was half-way down when he heard a faint cry, then the slam of a door way to the right. With a harsh growl and stutter from the exhaust a beetle-browed Citroën shot out of the shadows into the light of the moon, its front wheel drive dry-skidding through the loose pebbles of the forecourt.

    Its tail rocked on its soft springs as if a violent struggle was taking place on the back seat.

    With a snarl it raced out to the wide entrance gate in a spray of gravel. A small black object shot out of an open rear window and thudded into a flower-bed. There was a scream of tortured rubber as the tyres caught the boulevard in a harsh left-handed turn, the deafening echo of a Citroën's exhaust in second gear, a crash into top, then a swiftly diminishing crackle as the car hared off between the shops on the main street towards the coast road.

    Bond knew he would find Vesper's evening bag among the flowers.

    He ran back with it across the gravel to the brightly-lit steps and scrabbled through its contents while the commissionaire hovered round him.

    The crumpled note was there amongst the usual feminine baggage.
    Can you come out to the entrance hall for a moment?
    I have news for your companion.

    RENÉ MATHIS

    Chapter 15 - Black Hare and the Grey Hound
    It was the crudest possible forgery.

    Bond leapt for the Bentley, blessing the impulse which had made him drive it over after dinner. With the choke full out, the engine answered at once to the starter and the roar drowned the faltering words of the commissionaire who jumped aside as the rear wheels whipped gravel at his piped trouser-legs.



  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Digitalia
    Posts: 40,101
    NicNac wrote: »
    Casino Royale

    Some moments were poorly explained during the film.
    i) I've never been happy with the moment Bond says 'Mathis' to himself in the restaurant. What triggered the realisation that Mathis was the villain? (even though ultimately he wasn't).

    From the first viewing and since, I see that as pretty much identical to the Fleming novel. And Bond didn't suspect Mathis to be a traitor in the restaurant.

    To that point Mathis isn't in question, the idea is introduced later by the villain Le Chiffre to serve his purposes. Also understanding it's unresolved within the film.


    Casino Royale, Ian Fleming, 1953.
    Chapter 14 - La Vie en Rose
    At four o'clock Bond was about to call for the bill when the maître d'hôtel appeared at their table and inquired for Miss Lynd. He handed her a note which she took and read hastily.

    'Oh, it's only Mathis,' she said. 'He says would I come to the entrance hall. He's got a message for you. Perhaps he's not in evening clothes or something. I won't be a minute. Then perhaps we could go home.'
    She gave him a strained smile. 'I'm afraid I don't feel very good company this evening. It's been rather a nerve-racking day. I'm so sorry.'

    Bond made a perfunctory reply and rose, pushing back the table. 'I'll get the bill,' he said, and watched her take the few steps to the entrance.

    He sat down and lit a cigarette. He felt flat. He suddenly realized that he was tired. The stuffiness of the room hit him as it had hit him in the Casino in the early hours of the previous day. Hecalled for the bill and took a last mouthful of champagne. It tasted bitter, as the first glass too many always does. He would have liked to have seen Mathis's cheerful face and heard his news, perhaps even a word of congratulation.

    Suddenly the note to Vesper seemed odd to him. It was not the way Mathis would do things. He would have asked them both to join him at the bar of the Casino or he would have joined them in the night-club, whatever his clothes. They would have laughed together and Mathis would have been excited. He had much to tell Bond, more than Bond had to tell him. The arrest of the Bulgarian, who had probably talked some more; the chase after the man with the stick; Le Chiffre's movements when he left the Casino.

    Bond shook himself. He hastily paid the bill, not waiting for the change. He pushed back his table and walked quickly through the entrance without acknowledging the good-nights of the maître d'hôtel and the doorman.

    He hurried through the gaming-room and looked carefully up and down the long entrance hall. He cursed and quickened his step. There were only one or two officials and two or three men and women in evening clothes getting their things at the vestiaire.

    No Vesper. No Mathis.

    He was almost running. He got to the entrance and looked along the steps to left and right down and amongst the few remaining cars.

    The commissionaire came towards him.

    'A taxi, monsieur?'

    Bond waved him aside and started down the steps, his eyes staring into the shadows, the night air cold on his sweating temples.

    He was half-way down when he heard a faint cry, then the slam of a door way to the right. With a harsh growl and stutter from the exhaust a beetle-browed Citroën shot out of the shadows into the light of the moon, its front wheel drive dry-skidding through the loose pebbles of the forecourt.

    Its tail rocked on its soft springs as if a violent struggle was taking place on the back seat.

    With a snarl it raced out to the wide entrance gate in a spray of gravel. A small black object shot out of an open rear window and thudded into a flower-bed. There was a scream of tortured rubber as the tyres caught the boulevard in a harsh left-handed turn, the deafening echo of a Citroën's exhaust in second gear, a crash into top, then a swiftly diminishing crackle as the car hared off between the shops on the main street towards the coast road.

    Bond knew he would find Vesper's evening bag among the flowers.

    He ran back with it across the gravel to the brightly-lit steps and scrabbled through its contents while the commissionaire hovered round him.

    The crumpled note was there amongst the usual feminine baggage.
    Can you come out to the entrance hall for a moment?
    I have news for your companion.

    RENÉ MATHIS

    Chapter 15 - Black Hare and the Grey Hound
    It was the crudest possible forgery.

    Bond leapt for the Bentley, blessing the impulse which had made him drive it over after dinner. With the choke full out, the engine answered at once to the starter and the roar drowned the faltering words of the commissionaire who jumped aside as the rear wheels whipped gravel at his piped trouser-legs.



    I remember seeing this scene in the cinema, and how I thought to myself that this was exactly how I had pictured it reading the book. It was a wonderful transfer from book to film.
  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 7,336
    NicNac wrote: »
    Casino Royale

    Some moments were poorly explained during the film.
    i) I've never been happy with the moment Bond says 'Mathis' to himself in the restaurant. What triggered the realisation that Mathis was the villain? (even though ultimately he wasn't).

    From the first viewing and since, I see that as pretty much identical to the Fleming novel. And Bond didn't suspect Mathis to be a traitor in the restaurant.

    To that point Mathis isn't in question, the idea is introduced later by the villain Le Chiffre to serve his purposes. Also understanding it's unresolved within the film.


    Casino Royale, Ian Fleming, 1953.
    Chapter 14 - La Vie en Rose
    At four o'clock Bond was about to call for the bill when the maître d'hôtel appeared at their table and inquired for Miss Lynd. He handed her a note which she took and read hastily.

    'Oh, it's only Mathis,' she said. 'He says would I come to the entrance hall. He's got a message for you. Perhaps he's not in evening clothes or something. I won't be a minute. Then perhaps we could go home.'
    She gave him a strained smile. 'I'm afraid I don't feel very good company this evening. It's been rather a nerve-racking day. I'm so sorry.'

    Bond made a perfunctory reply and rose, pushing back the table. 'I'll get the bill,' he said, and watched her take the few steps to the entrance.

    He sat down and lit a cigarette. He felt flat. He suddenly realized that he was tired. The stuffiness of the room hit him as it had hit him in the Casino in the early hours of the previous day. Hecalled for the bill and took a last mouthful of champagne. It tasted bitter, as the first glass too many always does. He would have liked to have seen Mathis's cheerful face and heard his news, perhaps even a word of congratulation.

    Suddenly the note to Vesper seemed odd to him. It was not the way Mathis would do things. He would have asked them both to join him at the bar of the Casino or he would have joined them in the night-club, whatever his clothes. They would have laughed together and Mathis would have been excited. He had much to tell Bond, more than Bond had to tell him. The arrest of the Bulgarian, who had probably talked some more; the chase after the man with the stick; Le Chiffre's movements when he left the Casino.

    Bond shook himself. He hastily paid the bill, not waiting for the change. He pushed back his table and walked quickly through the entrance without acknowledging the good-nights of the maître d'hôtel and the doorman.

    He hurried through the gaming-room and looked carefully up and down the long entrance hall. He cursed and quickened his step. There were only one or two officials and two or three men and women in evening clothes getting their things at the vestiaire.

    No Vesper. No Mathis.

    He was almost running. He got to the entrance and looked along the steps to left and right down and amongst the few remaining cars.

    The commissionaire came towards him.

    'A taxi, monsieur?'

    Bond waved him aside and started down the steps, his eyes staring into the shadows, the night air cold on his sweating temples.

    He was half-way down when he heard a faint cry, then the slam of a door way to the right. With a harsh growl and stutter from the exhaust a beetle-browed Citroën shot out of the shadows into the light of the moon, its front wheel drive dry-skidding through the loose pebbles of the forecourt.

    Its tail rocked on its soft springs as if a violent struggle was taking place on the back seat.

    With a snarl it raced out to the wide entrance gate in a spray of gravel. A small black object shot out of an open rear window and thudded into a flower-bed. There was a scream of tortured rubber as the tyres caught the boulevard in a harsh left-handed turn, the deafening echo of a Citroën's exhaust in second gear, a crash into top, then a swiftly diminishing crackle as the car hared off between the shops on the main street towards the coast road.

    Bond knew he would find Vesper's evening bag among the flowers.

    He ran back with it across the gravel to the brightly-lit steps and scrabbled through its contents while the commissionaire hovered round him.

    The crumpled note was there amongst the usual feminine baggage.
    Can you come out to the entrance hall for a moment?
    I have news for your companion.

    RENÉ MATHIS

    Chapter 15 - Black Hare and the Grey Hound
    It was the crudest possible forgery.

    Bond leapt for the Bentley, blessing the impulse which had made him drive it over after dinner. With the choke full out, the engine answered at once to the starter and the roar drowned the faltering words of the commissionaire who jumped aside as the rear wheels whipped gravel at his piped trouser-legs.



    So, Bond considers the idea that Mathis sends a note as suspicious, and from there works out that Mathis probably tipped Le Chiffre off?

    I can buy that, but the film didn't exactly put it across very well. Does he mention his reasoning about the note later in the film? I can't recall it happening.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited April 21 Posts: 8,274
    NicNac wrote: »

    So, Bond considers the idea that Mathis sends a note as suspicious, and from there works out that Mathis probably tipped Le Chiffre off?

    I can buy that, but the film didn't exactly put it across very well. Does he mention his reasoning about the note later in the film? I can't recall it happening.
    Not exactly. To me Rene Mathis is as pure as newfallen snow, there's no questioning his loyalty. (Bond simply realizes it's not how Mathis would react to events--he would celebrate the victory with them. His absence is out of character, something is up. )

    Only later Le Chiffre introduces doubt with his "I'm afraid your friend Mathis..." comment, that's allowed to linger and is not resolved until QOS. Before that moment, nothing suggests Mathis is on the bad side.

    It seems the filmmakers decided some elements/items would heighten the drama plus link and continue in future missions. Plus it plays out as a distraction from the real traitor. Here's more film dialog to assist memory.


    CR
    Mathis needs me.
    Good night.
    Congratulations again.

    Mathis.
    I'm afraid your friend Mathis
    is really...
    ...my friend Mathis.
    No.
    Not him.
    Not Mathis.
    No.
    I suppose M won't miss me
    for a couple of days.
    She'll be too busy sweating Mathis.

    Mathis?

    Remember I told you
    about Le Chiffre's tell?
    Well, Mathis told Le Chiffre.
    That's how he wiped me out.
    Same goes for the implant. Can't say
    I'm too sorry about losing that.

    I can't believe it.

    No, neither could I.
    I thought he had my back.
    But there you go, lesson learned.
    She left her cell phone.
    She must have known I'd check it.

    She knew you were you.
    Well, at least this clears Mathis.

    No.

    No?

    No.
    We just proved that she's guilty,
    not that he's innocent.
    It could've been a double blind.
    Keep sweating him.

    You don't trust anyone,
    do you, James?


    QOS
    Mathis.

    What do you want?
    Come to apologize?
    [Italian]
    This man had me imprisoned and tortured
    and you want to serve him fine wine?

    You only buy cheap wine.
    And since you were innocent,
    they bought you this villa.
    So, really, you owe him, don't you?


  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,278
    @NicNac, I've enjoyed reading your ruminations old boy. So far.

    Re. Mathis' note. I always interpreted that a note from Mathis was out of character for him. Surely he would join in the celebrations? And with Bond on high alert over Le Chriffre's last gambit, it made sense for Bond to smell a rat.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,170
    It's explained a bit more clearly in the novel, but @NicNac 's point seems to be that the film should not rely on any outside factors to tell a clear tale.
  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    edited May 4 Posts: 7,336
    Quantum Of Solace

    I mainly intend to concentrate on the positives as the negatives go without saying.

    Over the years we have acknowledged the debt owed to John Barry for often lifting a less than great Bond film with a wonderful score. Maybe here we should offer the same courtesy to David Arnold.
    The film itself - short and punchy - feels quite frantic, and its hard to say which action scene is the best, because if I'm honest they all seem a little similar (with the honorable exception of the great Tosca sequence) thanks to the editing. So when the film quietens down and we have moments of calm Arnold's score floats around with an almost dream-like resonance. It helps accentuate these quiet, reflective moments. They act as punctuation marks to the frenetic activity which has gone before.

    There are other moments of excellence, like the whole Tosca sequence from Bond entering the building to the execution of Haines's bodyguard. For a few minutes the film doesn't put a foot wrong.

    Elsewhere we are either completely won over by an individual scene, like Bond's recruitment of Mathis, or signing into the Haiti hotel to a scene stealing performance from David Harbour as the odious Greg Beam. He is a terrific actor and here creates a complete, three dimensional character in roughly three or four short scenes. And he gets the best line in the film

    Leiter: You know who Greene is and you want to put us in bed with him.

    Beam : Yeah, you're right. We should just deal with nice people


    So good in fact a version of the same line crops up later when M is hauled in front of a Government official.

    Judi Dench gives her sixth outstanding Bond performance in a row, and we haven't even arrived at her greatest piece de resistance - Skyfall.

    We have two sacrificial lambs. Both are so moving for different reasons. Mathis because we have grown to know him over two films, and Fields because when M explains to Bond that she was just a filing clerk you feel his pang of regret and sorrow, because he simply didn't know. In one simple line M filled in some background to Fields and gave us a reason to mourn her. It was a jarring moment.

    Best of all is the closing confrontation between Bond, Yusef and Corrine. Every emotion is there on the faces of one character or the other. And when Bond dismisses Corrine and the realisation that everything she thought or believed in at that moment in time, was a lie, (but she also realises she is going to live), her heart breaking 'thank you' to Bond as she leaves is a quietly remarkable moment.

    But despite all of these positives this is still a Bond film in search of an identity. However surely Bond films already have an identity and shouldn't need to be scratting around for a different one? Casino Royale reminded us how opulent, and exotic and thrilling a Bond film should be, so for QOS to chicken out and look for inspiration elsewhere is something of an insult to the glorious film that went before it.

    And yet, the director got so much right, and showed us a few moments that suggested a different film, a better film, was somewhere in there. Somewhere amidst the mad, brain numbing action scenes with all the hand held camera work and crazy editing there is a really decent Bond movie trying to get out.

  • Posts: 4,079
    Fine observations there NicNac, and the exercise of looking at the positives in our least favorite films (I gather this is the case for you) is a good one.

    NicNac wrote: »
    So when the film quietens down and we have moments of calm Arnold's score floats around with an almost dream-like resonance. It helps accentuate these quiet, reflective moments. They act as punctuation marks to the frenetic activity which has gone before.
    I especially like this insight. In fact, the film creates quite an atmosphere, through both sounds and sights. It's ethereal, perhaps the most ethereal of all the films. Also, I enjoy its starkness when placed in contrast to CR's opulence.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    edited May 4 Posts: 4,278
    NicNac wrote: »
    Quantum Of Solace

    I mainly intend to concentrate on the positives as the negatives go without saying.

    Over the years we have acknowledged the debt owed to John Barry for often lifting a less than great Bond film with a wonderful score. Maybe here we should offer the same courtesy to David Arnold.
    The film itself - short and punchy - feels quite frantic, and its hard to say which action scene is the best, because if I'm honest they all seem a little similar (with the honorable exception of the great Tosca sequence) thanks to the editing. So when the film quietens down and we have moments of calm Arnold's score floats around with an almost dream-like resonance. It helps accentuate these quiet, reflective moments. They act as punctuation marks to the frenetic activity which has gone before.

    There are other moments of excellence, like the whole Tosca sequence from Bond entering the building to the execution of Haines's bodyguard. For a few minutes the film doesn't put a foot wrong.

    Elsewhere we are either completely won over by an individual scene, like Bond's recruitment of Mathis, or signing into the Haiti hotel to a scene stealing performance from David Harbour as the odious Greg Beam. He is a terrific actor and here creates a complete, three dimensional character in roughly three or four short scenes. And he gets the best line in the film

    Leiter: You know who Greene is and you want to put us in bed with him.

    Beam : Yeah, you're right. We should just deal with nice people


    So good in fact a version of the same line crops up later when M is hauled in front of a Government official.

    Judi Dench gives her sixth outstanding Bond performance in a row, and we haven't even arrived at her greatest piece de resistance - Skyfall.

    We have two sacrificial lambs. Both are so moving for different reasons. Mathis because we have grown to know him over two films, and Fields because when M explains to Bond that she was just a filing clerk you feel his pang of regret and sorrow, because he simply didn't know. In one simple line M filled in some background to Fields and gave us a reason to mourn her. It was a jarring moment.

    Best of all is the closing confrontation between Bond, Yusef and Corrine. Every emotion is there on the faces of one character or the other. And when Bond dismisses Corrine and the realisation that everything she thought or believed in at that moment in time, was a lie, (but she also realises she is going to live), her heart breaking 'thank you' to Bond as she leaves is a quietly remarkable moment.

    But despite all of these positives this is still a Bond film in search of an identity. However surely Bond films already have an identity and shouldn't need to be scratting around for a different one? Casino Royale reminded us how opulent, and exotic and thrilling a Bond film should be, so for QOS to chicken out and look for inspiration elsewhere is something of an insult to the glorious film that went before it.

    And yet, the director got so much right, and showed us a few moments that suggested a different film, a better film, was somewhere in there. Somewhere amidst the mad, brain numbing action scenes with all the hand held camera work and crazy editing there is a really decent Bond movie trying to get out.

    Re. the final confrontation with Yusef. I do believe that Bond was on the fence about killing Yusef - he saw that vengeance did not fulfil Camille - the quiet and sincere "thank you" from Corrine, tipped Bond over into handing Yusef to MI6.

    Talking of Yusef, do you believe that Vesper would fall for this slimy hipster?
  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 7,336
    @royale65 I must admit it did cross my mind that Vesper would surely never have been taken in by him, for the reason you suggest. He's a slimy hipster. :)
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,278
    NicNac wrote: »
    @royale65 I must admit it did cross my mind that Vesper would surely never have been taken in by him, for the reason you suggest. He's a slimy hipster. :)

    Yeah, Vesper would have seen through all his BS and left him crying into his perfectly dishevelled beard.
  • Vesper is obviously a bit of a basket case, so I don't see any reason she wouldn't fall for a douchebag like Yusuf. And in any case, I'm sure he can tailor his persona as needed.
  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 7,336
    Skyfall

    Firstly, there are those who dislike Skyfall intensly for various reasons. One of the odder reasons is that it was so successful because it caught the imagination of a Nation during the Queen's Jubilee year. Plus the goodwill of a people looking towards a great Summer Olympics in London.
    However, the UK is not the whole world and the domestic takings could never drive any film to a $1 billion. Skyfall caught the imagination of the world.

    Skyfall is not everyone's cup of tea but certainly a personal favourite of mine. I won't dwell on plot holes, motivations, or the fact that Silva actually completes his mission successfully albeit in a very convoluted manner.

    I will however give a shout out for one of the series most impressive casts. Any film advertised to feature Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Albert Finney, Ben Wishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem, Naomi Harris & Helen McCrory would get a nod of approval from any cinema goer, I'm sure.
    But, this is Dench's film and despite Craig and Bardem giving it their all she literally steals the show with a performance of such depth and restrained emotion that one does have to question why she was grossly overlooked during awards season.

    Skyfall, like CR before it should maintain its reputation in years to come, and rightly so.
    Despite that I was amazed at the vitriol from so many people on Twitter over the weekend following a TV showing. Some of the criticism was justified but I did get the sense of Craig's bubble bursting and a desire for the less complicated Bond films of the 20th century.

    Only time will tell.
  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 7,336
    Spectre

    Only my son's insistence made me give up my Saturday evening to watch Spectre.

    When it came out Spectre seemed a pretty good Bond film, but with subsequent viewings it sunk further and further in the rankings. And this is something I hear and read across the whole of Bond fandom. Its almost a universal truth. Spectre simply doesn't have legs!

    However, once you reach rock bottom and live with the assumption that the next viewing will be worse than the one before its amazing how you can suddenly find a little value, a glimmer of worth within this generally soulless and empty piece of work.

    I do love the PTS once I get over the shock of the yellow tint.
    And Craig looks good for most of the film, even if he handles the comic moments clumsily. Having said that Bond's dead pan reaction to Qs simple delight at his own joke ("I believe I said bring it back in one piece, not bring back one piece") is very amusing.
    Ralph Fiennes is fantastic as you would expect.
    The train scenes are great.

    One thing I couldn't attune myself to was the incessant, drum-led, pounding rhythm (let's not go so far as to call it music) that accompanied most of the chase scenes. Newman seemed intent on convincing us that the plane chase and the car chase were more exciting than they really were.

    Blofeld!
    Well, Eon has never really given the character due respect apart from the early days when they kept him in the shadows. So, we have had the toad like Blofeld of YOLT with the cracked head and accent of no fixed abode, followed by New York gangster Blofeld and finally upper crust Englishman Blofeld. To top it all in FYEO we had a Blofeld caricature which mixed them all together and dumped him down a factory chimney.

    So, when people complain about Blofeld in Spectre its worth remembering that its just another insult to literature Bond's greatest nemesis.

    Finally the running time is so undeserved. Skyfall was an anniversary Bond film and earned its length. Spectre is nothing of the sort and should have been wrapped up with a big two army battle out in the desert. The punchline could have had C getting his comeuppance with a bullet to the brain. End.

    And thats my Bondathon done and dusted. Maybe I will live long enough to do another. But right now, I'd rather slash my wrists....



  • Posts: 476
    I won't bore people with another defense of my favorite Bond film, Spectre, so I'll just say I love the Skyfall writeup! I too find some of the more negative sentiment about it baffling. As far as deconstructing Bond goes, that film does it better than any other.

    Maybe people who don't love it just feel annoyed with the level of mainstream praise it gets. I'm this way with CR: I don't really love it, and find it's reputation irritating as a result. It's silly and immature, of course.
  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 7,336
    @ProfJoeButcher . Good man. I love it when people go out on a limb and aren't afraid to defend a much derided Bond film. I honestly think I can get back on good terms with it in the future.
  • Posts: 11,486
    Loving your reviews, @NicNac!
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