NO TIME TO DIE (2021) - First Reactions vs. Current Reactions

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  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    edited October 2022 Posts: 16,340
    It's been about a year since my first viewing of No Time To Die. I hated it upon my first watch and I wasn't very objective in my initial viewing since I decided to spoil the plot for myself and confirming my worst fears about the movie.

    This time I went in with an open mind and objective attitude. On second viewing I enjoyed the first act quite a bit. Mirroring most people's opinions I found the Cuba sequence to be the best part of the movie. The opening DB5 chase was also a highlight.

    After the death of Felix the film goes downhill for me. I found it to be such as much as a slog, much like my first viewing. My criticisms of the film still stand though. I still dislike the death of Felix and Bond. The middle to last half is still a mess and Safin is such a weak villain. I'd still rank it on the bottom of my list.

    I accept the movie for what it is. I don't think it was a good movie or good Bond movie for that matter. I just hope Bond 26 will be to my liking.
  • Posts: 3,366
    echo wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    Venutius wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    I suspect it's something to do with the fact that it's actually quite difficult to make a long, drawn out gambling session come off as tense in a film. CR was quite effective at it, but even that had to resort to Mathis whispering what was going on to Vesper at times (rather loudly I might add).
    True - imagine the struggle if they made an authentic adaptation of MR!

    I suppose a loose version of it was done in OP with Khan cheating at the dice game. It's obviously shortened and the game is changed to make it easier to follow for the audience.

    But yes, it's tricky making those scenes work. I'm not a gambler myself and have no idea (and I must admit do not care) what's going on during the actual game in the casino scenes of GE and DN. What makes those scenes work are the interactions between Bond and the women across the table. Perhaps if gambling is included in the next film it'll simply be for the purpose of Bond interacting with important characters?

    Good point. OP does a really good job of showing Bond using the villain's cheating against him...and dice are a lot more cinematic than bridge.

    It's certainly something that Fleming would readily understand from his club days but it would be harder to make cinematic.

    If people were annoyed by Mathis' explaining of poker in CR, imagine what they would need to do with bridge in MR. "Dummy hand" and all that.

    Plus the recurring word "trump" would probably take a lot of people out of the movie.

    Honestly, I have a hard time seeing how they would have a bridge game in a Bond film.

    Gambling's not easy to make cinematic. Most of the time no one knows what's going on and unless it's about the dynamic between two characters it's a bit confusing anyway.

    The Mathis thing was rather funny in hindsight to be fair. Oh, I wonder why Le Chiffre knows what hands you've been playing, it's almost as if someone's been speaking outlaid during the poker game....
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 6,110
    Yes, that's a reason why, in a lot of the films (TB, GE, NTTD), the actual game seems almost incidental to other plots swirling around it (unlike Fleming's writing).

    Sometimes they "dumb the game down" for the audience (LTK, TWINE).

    OHMSS probably does the best job of showing the game without a lot of fuss and yet also using the game to further the larger plot. Of course, I credit that mostly to Diana Rigg.
  • Posts: 3,366
    echo wrote: »
    Yes, that's a reason why, in a lot of the films (TB, GE, NTTD), the actual game seems almost incidental to other plots swirling around it (unlike Fleming's writing).

    Sometimes they "dumb the game down" for the audience (LTK, TWINE).

    OHMSS probably does the best job of showing the game without a lot of fuss and yet also using the game to further the larger plot. Of course, I credit that mostly to Diana Rigg.

    Yes. I'd argue barring any sort of plot necessity (ie CR), card games in Bond films tend to work best when they're trying to convey something about the characters. Even if you don't understand the game they're playing, you get what's happening in the DN scene because of the way Bond/Trench interact with each other, and at the end of the day that's what it's about. GE, TB and OHMSS are similar in that sense.
  • Jordo007Jordo007 Merseyside
    Posts: 2,610
    Rewatching it the other night, I forgot how beautiful and colourful Jamaica looked in the film. I wish we spent more of the runtime there
  • edited October 2022 Posts: 784
    Jordo007 wrote: »
    Rewatching it the other night, I forgot how beautiful and colourful Jamaica looked in the film. I wish we spent more of the runtime there

    Agreed, overall pacing would have benefitted from it as well.
  • peterpeter Toronto
    Posts: 9,048
    Jordo007 wrote: »
    Rewatching it the other night, I forgot how beautiful and colourful Jamaica looked in the film. I wish we spent more of the runtime there

    Agreed, overall pacing would have benefitted from it as well.

    What? Overall pacing? In Jamaica? Is that what you’re saying, @ByRoyalDecree ?
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,527
    Maybe he's just saying that if the film was better paced in his opinion, that would have resulted in more time spent in Jamaica.

    For me the pacing was fine.
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    Posts: 3,012
    I'd've liked more time in Jamaica, too. A bit more of the noirish, solitary, brooding Bond.
  • Posts: 2,400
    Jesus Christ. Every time someone shares their enjoyment of this film, what it means to them, how they feel about it, the same three or four users don't hesitate to jump in, crap on their parade, and pat one another on the backs about it.

    Doesn't it ever get tired? Are there not sufficient other threads about how NTTD is something Daniel Craig should be thrown in prison for, or whatever, for you to haunt?

    Insufferable. Exactly why I haven't bothered to be in-depth about my feelings about this film.
  • Jordo007Jordo007 Merseyside
    edited October 2022 Posts: 2,610
    One thing I love about NTTD, is how ruthless Bond is in the action, he's a cold calculating assassin.

    The sequence in the forest when he's just gunning henchman down without hesitation, was great. It showed how capable and dangerous Bond is
  • CharmianBondCharmianBond Pett Bottom, Kent
    Posts: 553
    Jordo007 wrote: »
    One thing I love about NTTD, is how ruthless Bond is in the action, he's a cold calculating assassin.

    The sequence in the forest when he's just gunning henchman down without hesitation, was great. It showed how capable and dangerous Bond is

    Totally and it shows his ingenuity and resourcefulness. Even in Matera he immediately jumps back into action and his fight with Primo is so brutal.

    Also with Mathilde and Ash Bond is very much: pancake maker (affectionate) vs pancake maker (derogatory). Get a man who can do both. 😂
  • edited October 2022 Posts: 784
    I think the film, similarly to Skyfall, jumps locations too often and I think the story ultimately suffers for it, every conversation is very short as well. The action and drama was good though.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,527
    NTTD definitely jumps around a lot but I'm not sure I'd personally levy that complaint against Skyfall
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria
    edited October 2022 Posts: 1,615
    NTTD definitely jumps around a lot but I'm not sure I'd personally levy that complaint against Skyfall

    I agree. Skyfall takes its time. One could call NTTD a longer QoS, because it moves too quickly. But I prefer QoS to NTTD though.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython “Baja?!”
    Posts: 8,094
    QOS is grossly guilty of that.
  • edited October 2022 Posts: 784
    I don't know why, but QoS still feels more coherent. Bolivia is quite lengthy and the location ties in with the plot, and the only other locations are Italy and Switzerland. Whereas Skyfall goes from Turkey to London to Shanghai to Macau to Deserted Island back to London then to Scotland then back to London again.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,682
    QoS starts out with a blast and doesn't let up until the credits. One of the most unique installments out there when it comes to pacing and action.

    As for NTTD, the only bits that drag for me are the London sequences. Way too much exposition and downtime bookended by tremendous forward movement on either side.
  • edited October 2022 Posts: 784
    QoS pre-title is the best opening in the franchise IMO.
  • RyanRyan Canada
    Posts: 692
    NTTD definitely jumps around a lot but I'm not sure I'd personally levy that complaint against Skyfall

    If anything, I thought SPECTRE jumped around locations too much and rarely used any to its advantage.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,527
    I can see what you mean, but I thought Spectre used its locations to great effect (each of Mexico, Rome, Alteusse, Tangier, and Nowhere). Even London at the beginning of the film, as well as Rules, I enjoyed.
  • Posts: 3,291
    Jesus Christ. Every time someone shares their enjoyment of this film, what it means to them, how they feel about it, the same three or four users don't hesitate to jump in, crap on their parade, and pat one another on the backs about it.

    Doesn't it ever get tired? Are there not sufficient other threads about how NTTD is something Daniel Craig should be thrown in prison for, or whatever, for you to haunt?

    Insufferable. Exactly why I haven't bothered to be in-depth about my feelings about this film.

    Not sure why you think this from the recent posts. Its mostly people liking the film, and everyone else patting them on the backs for liking it too.

    As for this thread, it isn't a praise thread. It's a thread about what you think now, compared to what you thought then, which is open for anyone to add their thoughts on, not just people who like the film.

  • Posts: 1,043
    Not sure why you think this from the recent posts. Its mostly people liking the film, and everyone else patting them on the backs for liking it too.

    I also had a trawl through the posts previous to StirredNotShaken's heartfelt message and couldn't find any people moaning about the film.
    Perhaps it was posted on the wrong thread?
    I've not moaned about the disaster of NTTD for months now, so at least I know I'm not one of the 'same three or four users' being accused. Phew, eh?
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    edited October 2022 Posts: 7,527
    I dream of the day where everybody just gets over it. Including the two of you; I don't think he was even responding to either of you was he?

    These days when I watch NTTD I still enjoy it, although this one feels it's runtime more than SP, for example, does for me. I agree with some of the above posts that the second half feels a little bloated (once you realize they're going to kill him it feels like it takes forever to just do it, but they're still good scenes), and Safin is a very weak villain. Malek is fantastically creepy in the role, but he sort of overcomplicates the plot (in that if they just figured out a way to use Blofeld, the plot could have been a lot more streamlined. But it makes sense they wouldn't just want to remarket Waltz as the villain again after Spectre. Should have just pulled a Bryan Cranston in Godzilla and used Rami Malek to market the film, and then killed him in the first act).

    I've said it a million times now but in my version of NTTD, Blofeld escapes and kills Safin and takes over for the latter half.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 6,110
    Apparently Waltz was only available for two days of shooting.
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    edited October 2022 Posts: 3,449
    I've said it a million times now but in my version of NTTD, Blofeld escapes and kills Safin and takes over for the latter half.

    To be honest, I would rather have this as the faithful adaptation of Fleming's YOLT.

    1. I would still keep the Bond-Madeleine break up in the PTS, no children (means no Mathilde) and no Bond having a family angle!
    2. Have Safin introduced as the villain in the first act (yes, even in the PTS, it's him who would manipulate the break up between Bond and Madeleine, Safin is the reason for the Bond and Madeleine break up, because he wants revenge against Madeleine for Mr. White killing Safin's family).
    Then once Blofeld had escaped (by the help of Primo), he would kill Safin and would take over as the villain for the rest of the film, then have him revived SPECTRE by creating up Nanobots.
    3. Have Blofeld in that Poison Garden, going crazy but still pretending to be serious like Shatterhand in the YOLT novel, it would also be revealed that Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci) became Blofeld's mistress akin to Irma Bunt.
    4. Have Bond fought Blofeld in the final act.
    5. Blofeld would inject Bond with the virus that could kill "every people that he touches".
    6. Bond would still do his suicide mission to keep himself away from mankind.
    7. But in the end, there would be a Plot Twist, that he's still alive and been picked up by Madeleine, and it would also be revealed that he has amnesia/he's amnesiac, he has no memories and couldn't remember anything. It also means that Madeleine would only appear at the PTS and ending of the film, she wouldn't appear for the rest of the film.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    edited October 2022 Posts: 7,527
    Maybe the massive blast from the missiles nearly killed Bond but also counteracted the nanobots somehow… not impossible in the world of Bond??

    A return of Lucia would also be awesome… maybe she could say at some point she sent Bond into the lair of Spectre to have him killed. They should have put us in charge of Spectre, the fools!
  • Posts: 1,043
    I dream of the day where everybody just gets over it. Including the two of you; I don't think he was even responding to either of you was he?

    Charming! I've not been here for months and I get a 'shut up and get over it' straight away.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    edited October 2022 Posts: 7,527
    No one said shut up, I took your reply to a post that had nothing to do with you to be whiny and off-topic and responded to it. And it wasn't even directed solely at you. The lengths people will go to be a victim these days.

    I even think the post you were referring to to be a little over-the-top, and I agree, there doesn't seem to me to be too much preceding it to warrant that response. That's what I meant by "everybody", not just you.
  • edited October 2022 Posts: 3,366
    MI6HQ wrote: »
    I've said it a million times now but in my version of NTTD, Blofeld escapes and kills Safin and takes over for the latter half.

    To be honest, I would rather have this as the faithful adaptation of Fleming's YOLT.

    1. I would still keep the Bond-Madeleine break up in the PTS, no children (means no Mathilde) and no Bond having a family angle!
    2. Have Safin introduced as the villain in the first act (yes, even in the PTS, it's him who would manipulate the break up between Bond and Madeleine, Safin is the reason for the Bond and Madeleine break up, because he wants revenge against Madeleine for Mr. White killing Safin's family).
    Then once Blofeld had escaped (by the help of Primo), he would kill Safin and would take over as the villain for the rest of the film, then have him revived SPECTRE by creating up Nanobots.
    3. Have Blofeld in that Poison Garden, going crazy but still pretending to be serious like Shatterhand in the YOLT novel, it would also be revealed that Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci) became Blofeld's mistress akin to Irma Bunt.
    4. Have Bond fought Blofeld in the final act.
    5. Blofeld would inject Bond with the virus that could kill "every people that he touches".
    6. Bond would still do his suicide mission to keep himself away from mankind.
    7. But in the end, there would be a Plot Twist, that he's still alive and been picked up by Madeleine, and it would also be revealed that he has amnesia/he's amnesiac, he has no memories and couldn't remember anything. It also means that Madeleine would only appear at the PTS and ending of the film, she wouldn't appear for the rest of the film.

    I think the issue with having Blofeld kill Safin and essentially take over as the film's main villain is that Waltz's Blofeld is... well, pretty naff, not to mention it's just one subplot/twist too many in a film that has a lot packed into it. Safin for all his faults in the second half of the film is a villain with an understandable motive and has quite a bit of menace to him early in the film. Also, the amnesiac plot is one that I think really demands a follow up, and can't be an ending for an actor's tenure. Even if they followed it up with a new actor in the next one, the shock of Bond being brainwashed isn't quite there because we haven't been introduced to this new Bond.

    I always say NTTD is an annoying film because it seems like it was a couple of drafts away from being better. Just simple changes would have made it stronger and more engaging. ie.

    - Blofeld tricking Bond into thinking Madeline is a SPECTRE agent makes no sense. Just have SPECTRE try to assassinate Bond in the PTS, fail, and then have Bond break off his relationship with Madeline for their protection. Bond's exile would be more self-imposed, and there'd be more dramatic meat to him and Madeline reconciling by the end. Less contrivances, more natural drama.

    - Safin needed to be the one to steal the nanobots at the beginning, not simply hijack SPECTRE's theft. Oburchev still works for him at the end of the day, so he'd still be going to the SPECTRE meeting. The CIA would still naturally assume the organisation is responsible for the theft due to Oburchev being sighted near the meeting, still giving Bond/Felix a reason to get involved. Bond would still infiltrate the SPECTRE party, be discovered, and before they'd be about to kill him Primo and Oburchev would release the nanobots. Same outcome, just the plot is more streamlined.

    - Maybe to make M a bit more sympathetic it could be made clear that he was in the process of shutting down the project before the theft, and that Safin has in some way modified the nanobots. Maybe it was originally just meant to be a poison, unable to be passed from person to person, but just a weapon specifically modified to kill a specific target when programmed/injected into them. Maybe make up a fake plant that passes from animal to animal before poisoning specific ones that Safin could have been inspired by, and make clear that this feature is his/Oburchev's modification.

    - Safin's motive of revenge and destroying SPECTRE needed to be sustained into the third act. As it is, he seems to randomly go mad, and it's never clear whether he's selling the nanobots or planning something with them himself as this 'invisible God'. Just specify that not all the SPECTRE agents were at the meeting, and some are still active around the world. Safin gains intel of their identity, programmes the nanobots, and his plan is to release them on the population. Of course, this would mean all these SPECTRE agent's family dying too. And there'd be this horrific weapon unleashed onto the population. So Bond and Nomi would still have to infiltrate Safin's lair by the end, just without the 'ticking clock' of buyer ships (which, to be honest, adds confusion to the plot and doesn't add as much tension as it seems to want to).

    - Safin's obsession with Madeline needed to be emphasised more. I dunno, maybe the fact that he lived after Madeline shot him set off this new lease on life, and in his own twisted mind he sees her as being the one who 'inspired' him to destroy SPECTRE. It's a bit hamfisted, but should the writing make clear that Safin is going mad it could work, and of course we need Madeline to get captured/be in the lair by the end.

    - Safin and Bond's dialogue needed to be changed. No invisible God rubbish, just Safin pointing out that SPECTRE wronged Bond too, and that he'd doing the world a service by destroying them, even if it means a few casualties in the process. The whole 'you and I are not so different' schtick is less about Bond and Safin both killing people, but about how they have a common enemy, which is much more interesting and appropriate.

    While there are things about NTTD I don't like - Mathilde's inclusion, the way Bond dies, Felix's death - even an alternative script with these changes alone could have made the film more engaging and arguably simpler for viewers.
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