Skyfall review and 007 Discussion.

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Post by Morgannwg on Sat 13 Oct 2012, 5:56 pm

First topic message reminder :

I found a review for the new James Bond flick. Very good article, will cut and paste for you all.

Release date: 26 October 2012
Starring: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Naomie Harris, Javier Bardem
Director: Sam Mendes

What's the story? When an operation in Istanbul goes wrong, Bond is shot and declared deceased. He is resurrected by M (Judi Dench) to fight an old enemy whose cyber terrorism threatens the existence of MI6.

What did we think? Bond returns to form in perhaps the most beautiful Bond movie of them all. Sam Mendes steers the world's biggest film franchise through an escalating sequence of astonishing action scenes if never delivering much real espionage. Craig is excellent, taking the character to the limit.

Remember when we first saw Daniel Craig in Casino Royale? He was brutal: bludgeoning bad guys, running through walls and jumping off cranes. He lost his way in Quantum Of Solace, a follow-up afflicted by a confusing script and the credit crunch.

This is the successful return of Bond. First and foremost, Sam Mendes has crafted one of the most stylish blockbusters you'll ever set eyes on. Skyfall is masterfully shot, lavishing screen time on its star as he deteriorates and is resurrected.

Bond has never lost his edge like this. There's a moment where he stands at an MI6 testing facility, struggling to steady his weapon as he stares down the gun range through bloodshot eyes. Of course he'll make it back. But it's an arresting moment. We genuinely fear for him.

"Sometimes the old ways are the best," coos Naomie Harris (a magnificent, steamy performance) as she shaves him with a cut-throat razor (one of a sequence of wonderfully sexy encounters). And Skyfall delivers on that promise, unabashedly throwing in retro Bond touches throughout with plenty of humour. Judi Dench, in her most extensive and challenging Bond role, is made to defend the existence of 007, his old-fashioned ways and his type from the pencil pushers. So it's a delight to see her hop in the Aston Martin alongside Bond and go to war.

That's the moment, about two hours in, when Skyfall becomes a battle, set in 007's old family home. For half an hour or so, we forget the plot twists and go at it with all guns blazing. There are revelations, yes, but it might have been nice to have seen Bond outsmart the terror threat of Javier Bardem's cyber-villain, which never really happens.

In fact that's the only criticism you can level at this brilliantly realised and enormously ambitious blockbuster. There are no real spy games in Skyfall. That's not a criticism of Javier Bardem, who brings a bucketful of humour and creepiness to his villain. But he simply magics villainy out of thin air through his computer, before losing his marbles and going full tilt at M ('Mommy') and 007.

But forget it, the joy of Skyfall is to sit back and let it land, majestically, on the back of your eyeballs.


http://movies.uk.msn.com/reviews/skyfall-review

What was your favourite 007 film starring Daniel Craig and why? Does the article give a fair assessment of Casino Royale and Quantam of Solace?

I tend to agree with the article myself.
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Post by Ent on Wed 07 Nov 2012, 8:12 pm

Spoiler:

The point is as a device to let us see Bonds descent, it was lazy and poor story writing.

There are lots of examples like this in the film, I see no reason to excuse them e.g.

The train coming through the tunnel roof, would be a huge set piece in other films and is essentially a throw away scene.

Returning to skyfall, gives us the info bond is an orphan and leads us into a ridiculous home alone 5 scene - where Bardem's character becomes even more of a mess, chain gunning and petrol bombing the house despite the fact he wants to do it 'himself' why not just launch a missle at the house from his laptop.

I just thought it was a mess from start to finish if I'm honest - with (ironically?) not a lot to redeem it.

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Post by Skydriver on Fri 09 Nov 2012, 11:56 am

Interesting that the comments here are mixed, compared with mostly positive (and quite a few extremely positive) reviews elsewhere.

For those of you who have seen the film, Empire have done a podcast with the 2 recurring writers - some interesting snippets for Bond fans:

http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=35726

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Fri 09 Nov 2012, 12:12 pm

I think it's a very good film and those accusing it of having a poor plot or ridiculous characters whilst not damning every other Bond ever either haven't watched any other Bond or are being horribly hypocritical. Whilst having an interesting idea of what makes a poor plot.

Those saying that it isn't as humorous or light hearted as other Bonds have a point. And that's why it's considerably better IMO. Both as a film and as a reflection of Fleming's Bond and how he might fit into a modern world.
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Post by Guest on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 8:26 am

I watched Skyfall last night.

First impressions? Too many gaps in the story. Javier Bardem was a cross between the Roger Moore Bond and Hannibal Lector. An assured campness. It is hard to know whether this works or not. The hype midway through this film was that the villan was to be someone of horrendous and callous nature. I didn't feel that from the character. It was hard to take him serious at times. No it isn't me looking at his character in No Country For Old Men. This is just that someone driven by revenge hasn't demonstrated enough lust for carrying out sickening deeds.

The story. Well Quantum of Solace did well to follow on from Casino Royale despite being shorter in film length. The organisation which is behind some of the worlds planned atrocities made the future installments the more luring because despite the individual baddies and their own plans, the organisation had me intrigued because I wanted to see how much they really controlled operations in the 'shadows' I just think Skyfall seemed to be an individual film on it's own and I think it just think it ruined progress within the franchise. I found that Skyfall was doomed as a story from the beginning as I felt it was doing so much to try and catch up with the changes it wanted to make in terms of characters old and new and the purpose they serve.

Daniel Craig is an inspired choice for Bond. What I have enjoyed is that the focus is on the character. It is a journey. It is so far removed from the past Bonds. It isn't so much about the gadgets and Bond girls. Yes their is lure of curiousity surrounding the bad guys still, but how Craig has managed to grow the depth of the Bond character is amazing. A triumph. I do hope that future installments will keep in the theme of the story of Bond and deliver.

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 11:40 am

ChequeredJersey wrote:I think it's a very good film and those accusing it of having a poor plot or ridiculous characters whilst not damning every other Bond ever either haven't watched any other Bond or are being horribly hypocritical. Whilst having an interesting idea of what makes a poor plot.


The plot...well, you could say every - or certainly most - action movies since movies begun have relied on poor plots... you could even throw the insult at the allegedly sophisticated ones like the Bourne trilogy.
Who really cares about plot? Plot is the trip from A to B to C. I'd say it's never really the true issue. The issue and problems that revolve around plot is how well or how badly it's all executed. Where and how the plot twists develop - who and how are characters affected by them - how are plots communicated to us the audience (through dialogue or action or a seamless mix of both).
Chequered, I'd say it's not so much that people don't buy the 'plot' or the 'ridiculous characters' but rather how the plot is designed - how we get from A to B to C. For me, that wasn't a satisfying trip.

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Post by Ent on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 1:50 pm

Not sure what Craig has done to earn such plaudits (blue trunks?), he's much better in other films and I'd say there is minimal character development for Bond.

I also think people are confusing a great actor playing the villan and a great villan, he really wasn't that sinister or clever and just fell into the old cliched bond villan failures (oh but we don't do that sort of thing anymore Whistle )

Plot - so it's a modern/grown up/serious bond but we have an assassin who uses almost unique bullets that can be traced to him. Right.

It's just terrible.

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 2:25 pm

SecretFly wrote:
ChequeredJersey wrote:I think it's a very good film and those accusing it of having a poor plot or ridiculous characters whilst not damning every other Bond ever either haven't watched any other Bond or are being horribly hypocritical. Whilst having an interesting idea of what makes a poor plot.


The plot...well, you could say every - or certainly most - action movies since movies begun have relied on poor plots... you could even throw the insult at the allegedly sophisticated ones like the Bourne trilogy.
Who really cares about plot? Plot is the trip from A to B to C. I'd say it's never really the true issue. The issue and problems that revolve around plot is how well or how badly it's all executed. Where and how the plot twists develop - who and how are characters affected by them - how are plots communicated to us the audience (through dialogue or action or a seamless mix of both).
Chequered, I'd say it's not so much that people don't buy the 'plot' or the 'ridiculous characters' but rather how the plot is designed - how we get from A to B to C. For me, that wasn't a satisfying trip.

Fair enough, we are not going to agree on that
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Post by Skydriver on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 2:40 pm

I think I'm generally OK with watching the kind of films that I do in the way they are intended. This is a Bond movie - I don't require a water-tight plot which demands my brain to think about too much, and an escape from reality to a certain degree is absolutely fine with me (and actually a large part of the attraction). As a work of entertainment, I thought it was really good.

I'm certainly not criticising those who see things differently though, and I have found that there are definite limits to what I can accept at face value in the Bond context. Speaking of which, screenwriters Purvis and Wade have said that they never intended the car to be invisible in Die Another Day - they were thinking more along the lines of the Predator's camouflage but dialled down a bit (and amusingly cited that film when the interviewer suggested that they could, if they wanted to, re-make earlier Bond films in the wake of Skyfall).

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Post by Ent on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 3:03 pm

Skydriver wrote:I think I'm generally OK with watching the kind of films that I do in the way they are intended. This is a Bond movie - I don't require a water-tight plot which demands my brain to think about too much, and an escape from reality to a certain degree is absolutely fine with me (and actually a large part of the attraction). As a work of entertainment, I thought it was really good.

I'm certainly not criticising those who see things differently though, and I have found that there are definite limits to what I can accept at face value in the Bond context. Speaking of which, screenwriters Purvis and Wade have said that they never intended the car to be invisible in Die Another Day - they were thinking more along the lines of the Predator's camouflage but dialled down a bit (and amusingly cited that film when the interviewer suggested that they could, if they wanted to, re-make earlier Bond films in the wake of Skyfall).

It's caught half way between being a bond movie and a modern action movie and was also an attempt at a tribute to 50 years of bond and in the end was none of the 3 - hence the problems I, for one, certainly had.

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 3:12 pm

Ent wrote:Not sure what Craig has done to earn such plaudits.

I'd throw that back at you, Ent. What exactly hasn't he done to justify the plaudits you don't think he's earned?

I can subtract his characterisation of Bond from the movies he's been in, and it's easy enough for me to say he's one of the better Bonds (very close to Connery in my eyes) and yet I can also easily say the present movies are not using him to the extent they could. I blame current writers and directors...and probably storyboarders too! They just don't have a feel for the cinematic scope of the character. They drag him back to kitchen-sink soap (M's bloody house!) chats whenever they loose faith in their ability to handle the scope. They pander to other 'big' actors and actresses that might be in the cast, giving them much too much time on screen, and wasting Bond time in the process.

But Craig himself as Bond. He's every bit as ruthless as Connery, Dalton and certainly way past Moore and Brosnan on that score. He has the perfect pitch in voice - deep and cool. He looks like a guy who can handle himself, and has the face, and the glassy almost blood shot eyes, of a man who has spent a lifetime doing so. He has an easy charm when his script writers give him the time and lines to be so (he and Vesper Lynd on the train in Casino Royale - the very best Bond/Bond girl encounter of them all). I don't know where exactly he fails as Bond if any of the rest of them could be considered achievers?

My running order would be Connery, Craig, Lazenby, Dalton, Brosnan and Moore.

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Post by Skydriver on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 3:20 pm

To mix film quotes -

"You had me at 'I'm the money'..."

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Post by Ent on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 3:28 pm

I think he has been pretty boring in 1 average and 2 below average bond films.

It's all about the blue trunks Wink

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 3:33 pm

So which was your favourite? This'ill tell me lots. it usually does Wink People certainly do have their favourites when it comes to Bond.

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Post by guildfordbat on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 6:54 pm

SecretFly wrote:

My running order would be Connery, Craig, Lazenby, Dalton, Brosnan and Moore.

SecretFly - I would largely agree with that although feel you're being massively generous towards Lazenby. Totally wooden. I would have him battling for last place with Moore.

Although Lazenby was dreadful, I thought there was a lot to commend OHMSS, his only Bond film, - well scripted, fast paced and a dramatic ending. I've said before that would be well worth remaking with a decent lead actor.

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 7:16 pm

I know that's a controversal choice, or at least one not many agree with, but I think Lazenby was anything but wooden. I think he showed a natural easy charm and I think the more emotional moments in what was quite a good Bond movie, he carries off quite well.

I think the movie was resisted in the past and a kind of resistence to the idea of anyone but Connery probably carried on in folk memory to this day - and Lazenby suffers because of it.

Craig has mannerisms I find affected and perhaps could be denounced as wooden by some...the overly clenched determined pout when engaged in action as an example. But I wouldn't down his characterisation because of those little irritants.

No, I felt Lazenby brought a lovely smooth humanity to Bond, something even Connery had difficulty doing. Had he been given a few more, I think people would have come round. I still think he's more Bond than Dalton who I regarded highly enough.

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Post by guildfordbat on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 7:31 pm

SecretFly wrote:

I think the movie was resisted in the past and a kind of resistence to the idea of anyone but Connery probably carried on in folk memory to this day - and Lazenby suffers because of it.


That's an interesting comment and definitely has more than a touch of truth in it. At the time OHMSS was releasead, there were some patronising put downs of Lazenby having gone from Milk Tray tv adverts straight to the Bond film set. For me though, Lazenby still didn't help himself or OHMSS. All different. thumbsup

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Post by Ent on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 8:10 pm

SecretFly wrote:So which was your favourite? This'ill tell me lots. it usually does Wink People certainly do have their favourites when it comes to Bond.

Dr No, Goldfinger, Golden gun, Goldeneye.

Don't really like the new direction, don't think they would last as standalone (non bond franchise) films, mind you not many would! Quantam of Solace must be a rival for the worst "bond" film?

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 9:02 pm

Ent wrote:
SecretFly wrote:So which was your favourite? This'ill tell me lots. it usually does Wink People certainly do have their favourites when it comes to Bond.

Dr No, Goldfinger, Golden gun, Goldeneye.

Don't really like the new direction, don't think they would last as standalone (non bond franchise) films, mind you not many would! Quantam of Solace must be a rival for the worst "bond" film?

This at least I agree with. I hate golden gun, mostly because I literally cannot stand Moore's Bond, not even for 10 minutes
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Post by Mike Selig on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 10:39 pm

I thought it was good but not great. Like a few, I think once the hype has died down a bit all the talk of "best Bond yet" may die down with it.

Some random things I liked about it:
- I liked the way M got a bit more screen-time, and her relation to Bond was nicely done I thought. One particular scene analogous to a similar one in CR showed its evolution since that film.
- As many have said, the film was beautifully shot. In particular I really enjoyed how the two main fist-fights were shown - made a nice change from recent Bourne-style shaky camerawork.
- I quite liked all the winks to previous Bonds and other films.
- I like the Craig Bond and the way his story arc is being told.
- Ralph Fiennes was excellent, and his character was a good addition.
- credit sequence was ace I thought. Decent song as well, fitted in well.

Some things which I didn't enjoy so much:
- home alone in Scotland. Sorry, but that grated. It was silly.
- The way Bond killed the bad guy didn't bother me, but the set-up was soooo obvious, which was a shame. Next time they may as well run a banner under the screen reading "important plot line being mentioned - this is the means of the final kill, please pay attention". It would be about as subtle.
- talking of subtle, did we really need to be introduced to our favourite secretary in such a cumbersome way.
- Bond girl. May as well not have existed. Didn't really add anything to the film, and quickly forgotten.
- Personally parts of the opening sequence (the motorbikes!) were too close to Bourne and too soon afterwards.

Overall though those are minor quibbles. I do think it's a good film. The things which don't particular bother me are:
- plot holes or ridiculous plot devices. Whilst I understand this is meant to be a more realistic Bond, there were things in CR or QoS which were just as ridiculous. Meh.
- the grittier tone. I think people are guilty of judging films based on what they want them to be, rather than what they are. Craig is a grittier Bond. Not saying you have to like that, but it's what he is, so don't complain about the film not being light-hearted enough for you.
- the gun sequence at the end rather than the start. Really I couldn't care less. It has absolutely no bearing on the movie.
- James Bond being blond. So what.

As regards previous films, I agree with guildford that OHMSS is potentially a very good film spoilt by a complete miscast (not that Lazenby is a bad actor overall). I liked Goldfinger and FRWL from the Connery era best, but I think they'd look faintly ridiculous now. Goldeneye was good, and I also enjoyed Tomorrow Never Dies. For your Eyes only is my favourite Moore. Tim Dalton was unlucky that he played Bond 20 years too early - he'd fit in a lot better with current vibes.

I actually thought QoS got a lot more stick than it deserved. I actually think it's got a few good things going for it: the Opera scene I like, and the idea behind Quantum is awesome.

A view to a kill and Die another day would be my least two favourites, with Moonraker just behind.

Really though I have nothing against anybody's interpretation of Bond: they are all to some extent products of their times, and put their own stamp on the character. Whether you agree with that stamp is upto you, but I don't think it's fair to criticise the films based on what you want the interpretation to be.

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Post by Ent on Fri 16 Nov 2012, 12:48 pm

Genuine question re the timeline of the Craig bonds:

Cr is his first mission, in skyfall they make suggestions he is past it.

Is this an oversight by the makers or do they mean bond/the field agent is obsolete rather than old.

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Fri 16 Nov 2012, 12:53 pm

Ent wrote:Genuine question re the timeline of the Craig bonds:

Cr is his first mission, in skyfall they make suggestions he is past it.

Is this an oversight by the makers or do they mean bond/the field agent is obsolete rather than old.

I asked this question too. The possible answers:

a) there is just one Bond and the films are not in order
b) there is no continuity, like the Zelda games, each film (apart from QoS which is the only true sequel and was poorly received) exists in its own right in a general universe but is not reliant on the previous films
c) Bond has had lots of adventures between CR and SF, such as sorting out Quantum
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Post by Ent on Fri 16 Nov 2012, 4:26 pm

Not great answers are they- I presume there's an order per actor, as the supporting cast tends to have some continuity e.g. The new m and q will be in the next Craig bond as will moneypenny.

I just don't think they are a well made/ thought out series, which I can't deal with personally when it's trying to be more serious/gritty.

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