Cinematic Bond: which movies would you consider 'deadly serious'?

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Comments

  • edited July 17 Posts: 2,874

    You really believe SP is more serious and down-to-earth than FRWL? Wow, just wow!!

    Well, it's more serious insofar as it has characters who are somewhat well-rounded and seem to have concerns and interests beyond what is right in front of them. There are more human reactions to be seen. There seems to be more of an effort at having themes.

    Now, whether a crater base is sillier than Spectre island, or whether shooting down this or that helicopter or destroying x number of boats is more OTT, I have no idea. Is turning down a flirty figure skater less serious than having a threesome with a couple gypsy girIs? Don't know. Is opening a parachute low to the ground crazier than a criminal organization manufacturing rubber masks of James Bond's face? Tough call. I don't think these movies are particularly down to earth! You're the one characterizing a Bond film as "nothing OTT, outlandish or overly humorous," not me.

    You find Bond shooting down a helicopter or the speedboat chase more unrealistic than nanobots and bionic eyes?

    You find Bond sleeping with 2 gypsy girls more crazy than the whole plot involving Silvia? You find Silva's island more realistic than SPECTRE's?

    Come on mate. Get a grip on perspective...
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    edited July 17 Posts: 1,464

    Come on mate. Get a grip on perspective...

    I find all the stuff you mentioned to be about equally serious, which is to say not very.

  • Posts: 2,874

    Come on mate. Get a grip on perspective...

    I find all the stuff you mentioned to be about equally serious, which is to say not very.

    Yet you still find FRWL waaaay more outlandish and OTT than any of the Craig films? A Connery mask just tipped you over the edge did it, or was it the Steve Jobs glasses?
  • edited July 17 Posts: 419
    Never had an issue with the winking fish myself…and I think it was on this forum (possibly not), but I remember someone saying that Felix could’ve been doped up on pain medications and that’s why he’s acting the way he is lol


    Out of all of the films, I find QOS the most serious. When you break down the plot, it’s literally an organization/corporation exploiting a third world government and its country’s population. Bond himself also seems to be on a deeper emotional journey than he usually is, being tested by corruption running rampantly through the British and US governments, while still dealing with the fallout of the CR plot and Vesper.
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,464

    Yet you still find FRWL waaaay more outlandish and OTT than any of the Craig films?

    But I didn't say it was "waaay more outlandish and OTT than any of the Craig films". It's lighter in tone than the Craig films, has shallower characters, and no real themes. It's less serious.

  • edited July 17 Posts: 2,874

    Yet you still find FRWL waaaay more outlandish and OTT than any of the Craig films?

    But I didn't say it was "waaay more outlandish and OTT than any of the Craig films". It's lighter in tone than the Craig films, has shallower characters, and no real themes. It's less serious.

    Yes, FRWL is not meant to be taken seriously at all. Bond shooting down a helicopter is the most outrageous thing I have ever seen in a Bond film, whereas I know the Eyes Wide Shut SPECTRE party, with Blofeld's bionic eye was always going to be far more serious in comparison.

    Bond getting his head drilled and then being right as rain 2 seconds later, shooting up all the baddies, was always going to be far more serious than Bond killing Grant with a wire round his neck.

    Likewise, the Bond/Grant fight train scene fails in comparison to the Cuba fight scenes with Paloma, or the new black female 007. Way more depth in the Craig films.

    And Blofeld who is simply a villain with a sinister voice, in comparison to Blofeld being Bond's long lost brother adds real depth that was greatly missing in FRWL. Makes far more sense having Blofeld as Bond's long lost brother. Much more realistic. How shallow to have a villain that has no family connections to Bond.

    Beats me why FRWL rates higher than any Craig film on Rotten Tomatoes. Maybe the critics loved it for its silly, overt, outlandish OTT humour, and because it wasn't meant to be taken seriously at all. It's more like a light hearted comedy romp really. It makes DAD or MR look like a harrowing documentary in comparison.

    A Sean Connery mask created by SPECTRE, Bond beds 2 gypsy girls, AND he shoots down a helicopter. Outrageous! Give me Tarzan yells or double taking pigeons any day.
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,464
    CrzChris4 wrote: »
    Out of all of the films, I find QOS the most serious. When you break down the plot, it’s literally an organization/corporation exploiting a third world government and its country’s population. Bond himself also seems to be on a deeper emotional journey than he usually is, being tested by corruption running rampantly through the British and US governments, while still dealing with the fallout of the CR plot and Vesper.

    For sure. That movie isn't well written "for something made during a writer's strike", it's just a well-written film, period.

  • Posts: 2,874
    CrzChris4 wrote: »
    Out of all of the films, I find QOS the most serious. When you break down the plot, it’s literally an organization/corporation exploiting a third world government and its country’s population. Bond himself also seems to be on a deeper emotional journey than he usually is, being tested by corruption running rampantly through the British and US governments, while still dealing with the fallout of the CR plot and Vesper.

    For sure. That movie isn't well written "for something made during a writer's strike", it's just a well-written film, period.

    Such a shame the critics and fans alike didn't like it as much as the highly unrealistic FRWL.

    QoS on RT - 64%, audience 58%
    FRWL on RT - 97%, audience 84%



  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 7,218
    The wonderful world of opinions.
  • Posts: 2,874
    The wonderful world of opinions.

    Some are more bizarre than others.... ;)
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,464
    The wonderful world of opinions.

    :))
    CrzChris4 wrote: »
    Out of all of the films, I find QOS the most serious. When you break down the plot, it’s literally an organization/corporation exploiting a third world government and its country’s population. Bond himself also seems to be on a deeper emotional journey than he usually is, being tested by corruption running rampantly through the British and US governments, while still dealing with the fallout of the CR plot and Vesper.

    For sure. That movie isn't well written "for something made during a writer's strike", it's just a well-written film, period.

    Such a shame the critics and fans alike didn't like it as much as the highly unrealistic FRWL.

    QoS on RT - 64%, audience 58%
    FRWL on RT - 97%, audience 84%



    Aside from being irrelevant here, those RT scores are modern opinions of a very old film from a classic era. Wikipedia offers a collection of contemporary assessments of From Russia with Love:

    "The way the credits are done has the same self-mocking flamboyance as everything else in the picture."
    "the nonsense is all very amiable and tongue-in-cheek and will no doubt make a fortune for its devisers"
    "lurid adventure fiction and pseudo-realistic fantasy"
    "fictional exaggeration on a grand scale and in a dashing style, thoroughly illogical and improbable, but with tongue blithely wedged in cheek."
    "a preposterous, skillful slab of hardhitting, sexy hokum. After a slowish start, it is directed by Terence Young at zingy pace. The cast perform with an amusing combo of tongue-in-cheek and seriousness and the Istanbul location is an added bonus."

    Pretty much what I've been saying, then.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    edited July 17 Posts: 7,218
    There's no such thing as a realistic Bond film. They're exciting slabs of escapism. In a previous post, I used the word "tangible" to describe the best of them. They feel real while you watch them. What you're looking at makes sense while you're in your seats.

    The worst ones tip too far into cartoonish fantasy, while the best ones keep one foot in reality to keep the audience invested on a primal level while pushing things just far enough to satisfy the creative, imaginative side of your brain.

    With that in mind, I wouldn't consider any of them to be "deadly serious".
  • edited July 17 Posts: 2,874
    The wonderful world of opinions.

    :))
    CrzChris4 wrote: »
    Out of all of the films, I find QOS the most serious. When you break down the plot, it’s literally an organization/corporation exploiting a third world government and its country’s population. Bond himself also seems to be on a deeper emotional journey than he usually is, being tested by corruption running rampantly through the British and US governments, while still dealing with the fallout of the CR plot and Vesper.

    For sure. That movie isn't well written "for something made during a writer's strike", it's just a well-written film, period.

    Such a shame the critics and fans alike didn't like it as much as the highly unrealistic FRWL.

    QoS on RT - 64%, audience 58%
    FRWL on RT - 97%, audience 84%



    Aside from being irrelevant here, those RT scores are modern opinions of a very old film from a classic era. Wikipedia offers a collection of contemporary assessments of From Russia with Love:

    "The way the credits are done has the same self-mocking flamboyance as everything else in the picture."
    "the nonsense is all very amiable and tongue-in-cheek and will no doubt make a fortune for its devisers"
    "lurid adventure fiction and pseudo-realistic fantasy"
    "fictional exaggeration on a grand scale and in a dashing style, thoroughly illogical and improbable, but with tongue blithely wedged in cheek."
    "a preposterous, skillful slab of hardhitting, sexy hokum. After a slowish start, it is directed by Terence Young at zingy pace. The cast perform with an amusing combo of tongue-in-cheek and seriousness and the Istanbul location is an added bonus."

    Pretty much what I've been saying, then.

    I noticed you missed out these comments -

    it's quite the tense cold war spy film, with some good foreshadowing and a few really good action set pieces.

    perfectly threads the needle between art and commerce, showing us everything that's allowed the series to keep on keeping on.


    The second Bond is one of the best in the series, due to the intriguing plot, sinister villains, and fabulously staged fight aboard the Orient Express.

    It has more in common spiritually with Le Carre than Fleming. Only after James Bond's vulnerabilities have been further exploited than in "Dr. No" does he succeed. "Russia" is about as far as it gets from the biggest Bond, but it's easily the best.


    One of the finest Bond outings, this flourished in the paranoia of the times before the franchise was devalued by an over-reliance on gadgets, camp quips and a skittish lack of focus or direction.

    This is probably the best Bond film made.

    A James Bond movie with the sensibilities of a classic Cold War thriller.



    Not that I can be bothered to trawl through them like you have, but I wonder what the general sentiment would be on SPECTRE. I'm guessing the collection of reviews for QoS wouldn't read too favourably either.

    I doubt the reviews would say `highly realistic, such depth. The drilling of Bond's head and how he recovers afterwards is one of the greatest things ever committed to celluloid. Blofeld being Bond's long lost brother - genius!'

    Again, if you think the plot to NTTD or SP is far more plausible and realistic (brother an' all) than the rather basic, straightforward storyline in FRWL, and that bionic eyes, nanobots and the drilling scene/recovery is far more plausible than a Connery mask, or Bond shooting down a helicopter, or a trainer wearing Steve Jobs glasses, then sorry pal. You are a lost cause, mate! ;)


  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,464
    I noticed you missed out these comments -

    Uh, no, I was making a point of quoting contemporary reviews, contrasting them with your RT score of mostly modern, retrospective reviews based on decades of reflection and other mitigating cultural factors. None of these scores are relevant at all, of course, I was merely pointing out that FRWL was widely considered to be light, over-the-top, ridiculous entertainment upon its release. You have now added quotes from such modern reviews to your original comment for some reason. I don't feel that you're understanding my comments any better than you understand the difference between "serious" and "realistic", or between "serious" and "more serious".

  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,283
    Even QOS has its crazy moments. They all do. But there's a world of difference between a winking pigeon and a winking water sculpture.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    edited July 17 Posts: 21,296
    I don't think we have to try hard to find something in every Bond film that defies the notion of seriousness. Most of this is semantics anyway.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,283
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I don't think we have to try hard to find something in every Bond film that defies the notion of seriousness. Most of this is semantics anyway.
    Semantics? No, it's about degrees of seriousness. A Tarzan yell vs. Felix doped up on pain meds talking about fishing....
  • MI6HQMI6HQ SIS Building, London, United Kingdom
    edited July 18 Posts: 1,244
    From Russia With Love was probably Fleming's answer to Le Carre, he puts Bond in a Cold War Spy Thriller, yes it's pulpy but it's realistic compared to others, and the Craig Era Bond films were not close.

    I can also safely say that even Brosnan's TND was more realistic than Craig's last three.
  • edited July 18 Posts: 2,874
    I noticed you missed out these comments -

    Uh, no, I was making a point of quoting contemporary reviews, contrasting them with your RT score of mostly modern, retrospective reviews based on decades of reflection and other mitigating cultural factors. None of these scores are relevant at all, of course, I was merely pointing out that FRWL was widely considered to be light, over-the-top, ridiculous entertainment upon its release. You have now added quotes from such modern reviews to your original comment for some reason. I don't feel that you're understanding my comments any better than you understand the difference between "serious" and "realistic", or between "serious" and "more serious".

    FRWL may well have been perceived differently on first release, with no real previous conceptions or expectations on what a Bond film should look and feel like . We are now comparing this to the likes of SF, SP and NTTD. A film made in 1963 with a very small budget, against a multi-million dollar franchise built up over 50 years, and whether it still stands up today by modern standards. The evidence suggests it does.

    I think you are struggling with a film being labelled `realistic' and `serious' if you think these terms apply accurately to Bond getting his head drilled and then being right as rain seconds later, nanobots, bionic eyes, `Brofeld', falling from massive heights into a river and surviving, breadcrumb trails to Scotland, tube trains crashing through tunnels at the precise moment that Silva `planned' it, freefalling and then opening a chute inches from the ground, etc.

    And yet by the same token you knock Bond shooting down a helicopter or bedding 2 gypsy women as being very unrealistic. You knock a relatively straightforward storyline which involves Bond being led into a trap by an organisation as outlandish and OTT, because the trainer wears Steve Jobs glasses, or because they designed a mask that looks like Bond, or because Blofeld (not Bond's long lost brother) has a sinister voice (does he really, in comparison to the way Safin speaks)?

    The storyline of FRWL is far more realistic than SF, SP and NTTD. I really thought this was obvious.

  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    edited July 18 Posts: 1,464

    blather

    Well, this started with you saying there's nothing outlandish or OTT about FRWL. I gave an example of something outlandish and OTT about FRWL (all of Spectre Island). You didn't explain why this wasn't outlandish, you just continued to assert that FRWL is a gritty, down-to-earth thriller, and asked what movies I thought were "more serious". I named some films that I explicitly said could be considered relatively more serious because they have themes and actual character arcs. You conflated the point of "seriousness" with that of "realism", and compared a bunch of individual scenes I'd already said weren't worth parsing out and of course moaned again about a "black female 007". It's all non sequiturs. I pointed out that a humorous threesome with gypsy girls is not a hallmark of a serious movie. You now seem to think I was saying it's "unrealistic" or "crazy"?

    You moved on to scores on movie review aggregate sites, which hardly seems relevant, and I took the opportunity to bring to your attention the fact that FRWL was widely considered over-the-top, unrealistic, fantasy, tongue-in-cheek nonsense (mostly in a good way) upon release. You counter with retrospective reviews for some reason, and suggest that it was perhaps difficult to detect over-the-top tongue-in-cheek nonsense in 1963.

    You're simply not comprehending anything you're reading. I'm not using academic language here or anything, so I don't know what the trouble is.
    MI6HQ wrote: »
    From Russia With Love was probably Fleming's answer to Le Carre, he puts Bond in a Cold War Spy Thriller, yes it's pulpy but it's realistic compared to others, and the Craig Era Bond films were not close.

    Well, then it was definitely a preemptive answer to Le Carre!
  • edited July 18 Posts: 2,874

    Well, this started with you saying there's nothing outlandish or OTT about FRWL. I gave an example of something outlandish and OTT about FRWL (all of Spectre Island). You didn't explain why this wasn't outlandish,
    It's a blink-an-you-miss-it moment. It hardly detracts from the story, or immediately takes you out of the film, like the drill scene recovery does in SP for example. And then you were clutching at desperate straws that the trainer looks like Steve Jobs, Blofeld has a sinister voice, and that they designed a Bond mask. You really believe these moments are that outlandish in comparison to the outlandish moments in the Craig films?
    you just continued to assert that FRWL is a gritty, down-to-earth thriller, and asked what movies I thought were "more serious". I named some films that I explicitly said could be considered relatively more serious because they have themes and actual character arcs.

    And I debunked them, because I don't find things like `Brofeld' as a strong character arc, or that any themes explored in SF, SP and NTTD make those films as a whole more realistic and serious than FRWL. There are too many moments which aren't plausible - far more moments than a brief pan across a Spectre training camp.
    I pointed out that a humorous threesome with gypsy girls is not a hallmark of a serious movie.
    again a blink-an-you miss-it moment. You are basing your overall perception of FRWL as a film not to be taken seriously because of this brief throwaway scene, yet you can't apply the same logic to Bond getting his head drilled and then immediately recover afterwards?
    You moved on to scores on movie review aggregate sites, which hardly seems relevant,
    they are when you start comparing one film against an other.
    and I took the opportunity to bring to your attention the fact that FRWL was widely considered over-the-top, unrealistic, fantasy, tongue-in-cheek nonsense (mostly in a good way) upon release.
    Fair enough, but again there were no expectations set back then as to just how tongue-in-cheek, unrealistic fantasy the films would eventually stray into. FRWL is pretty lame in comparison to what eventually would follow (including SP and NTTD).
    You're simply not comprehending anything you're reading. I'm not using academic language here or anything, so I don't know what the trouble is.
    I sincerely apologise for not understanding you.

  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,464
    No, RT scores are not relevant to how serious a movie is at all.

    You didn't "debunk" anything, either. I didn't present "Brofeld" as an example of a character arc in Spectre. That isn't really the crux of Bond's character arc, or the theme of the movie. It's another non sequitur.

    Anyway, I don't know if you mean to suggest that a film could be tongue-in-cheek in 1963, but serious now (surely any change would go the other direction?!), or what. It's very peculiar. The entire premise of FRWL is OTT. Rosa Klebb is OTT. Blofeld's vampire voice is OTT. The PTS is OTT. Bond taking out a helicopter and a bunch of boats while injured and exhausted in FRWL is just as OTT as Bond taking out a helicopter a bunch of gunmen while injured and exhausted in SP.
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    Posts: 1,459
    I dunno, I still reckon that 'deadly serious' = 'least humorous', not 'most realistic'.
  • Posts: 2,874
    Venutius wrote: »
    I dunno, I still reckon that 'deadly serious' = 'least humorous', not 'most realistic'.

    Again, that would tick the box for FRWL. Other than `she's had her kicks' and `she should have kept her mouth shut', I can't think of many hilarious, rib-tickling moments that were meant to be funny.
  • edited July 18 Posts: 2,874
    No, RT scores are not relevant to how serious a movie is at all.

    You didn't "debunk" anything, either. I didn't present "Brofeld" as an example of a character arc in Spectre. That isn't really the crux of Bond's character arc, or the theme of the movie. It's another non sequitur.

    Anyway, I don't know if you mean to suggest that a film could be tongue-in-cheek in 1963, but serious now (surely any change would go the other direction?!), or what. It's very peculiar. The entire premise of FRWL is OTT. Rosa Klebb is OTT. Blofeld's vampire voice is OTT. The PTS is OTT. Bond taking out a helicopter and a bunch of boats while injured and exhausted in FRWL is just as OTT as Bond taking out a helicopter a bunch of gunmen while injured and exhausted in SP.

    Again, you cannot see any similar OTT moments in SP? You don't think Hinx is OTT? You don't think Bond's torture and recovery is OTT? You don't think the PTS of SP is OTT?

    And NTTD - you don't find Safin's voice OTT? You don't find Bond's death OTT? You don't find nanobots and bionic eyes OTT?

    In SF - you don't find Silva OTT? You don't find the plot OTT? You don't find the tube crashing through the tunnel at just the right second OTT?

    Critics are now hardened over 50 years to know what to expect from a Bond film, which in retrospect FRWL is now seen as one of the more gritty entries in the series, when compared to what came after it. Critics back then had no such knowledge. Nothing peculiar.

  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    edited July 18 Posts: 1,464
    Sure, all of the Bond movies are full of OTT elements, from Dr No to NTTD. I've said that all along. You're the one saying otherwise.

    For a movie to be regarded as light and silly in the 1960s and later be regarded as "gritty" and containing no OTT elements is peculiar. Fanboys taking their favorite franchises too seriously on the internet is absolutely normal.
  • Posts: 2,874
    Sure, all of the Bond movies are full of OTT elements, from Dr No to NTTD. I've said that all along. You're the one saying otherwise.

    For a movie to be regarded as light and silly in the 1960s and later be regarded as "gritty" and containing no OTT elements is peculiar. Fanboys taking their favorite franchises too seriously on the internet is absolutely normal.

    Back in 1963, when compared to other films at that time, I guess Bond was spectacular and OTT. Nothing much had been seen like that before, but in comparison to todays standards, FRWL looks lame.

    I guess that does indeed make me an internet fanboy, if I am on a Bond forum debating at length about the merits and weaknesses of Bond films with another online member.

    But I take it you are not an internet fanboy, Professor...?
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    edited July 18 Posts: 1,464
    Oh, I'm a fanboy, but I don't take the series very seriously, because they're not serious films.

    Adding to the peculiarity of your theory that things viewed as light and silly in the past rightly come to be considered "gritty" and "serious" with time (utterly bizarre), it's interesting that modern critics, when reviewing the modern films, treat them more as serious films when compared to past critics and past films. Imagine how serious QOS and NTTD will be in 50 years time!
  • Posts: 2,874
    Oh, I'm a fanboy, but I don't take the series very seriously, because they're not serious films.

    Adding to the peculiarity of your theory that things viewed as light and silly in the past rightly come to be considered "gritty" and "serious" with time (utterly bizarre), it's interesting that modern critics, when reviewing the modern films, treat them more as serious films when compared to past critics and past films. Imagine how serious QOS and NTTD will be in 50 years time!

    Not my theory at all. Take one look at the modern day critics of FRWL and this will confirm this.
  • MI6HQMI6HQ SIS Building, London, United Kingdom
    Posts: 1,244
    @ProfJoeButcher I'm curious at your view about North by Northwest?
    That's the film where FRWL heavily inspired from.
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