James Bond will return in...
October 21, 2012 3:50 PM   Subscribe

Bond 50 - SFX Magazine has been recapping all 22 "official" Bond films, from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace in the run up to Skyfall (critical reation, trailer).
posted by Artw (84 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Excluded films.
posted by Artw at 3:50 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's also two Fleming biopics in production, including one by Duncan Jones. Possibly I am more excited by that than the prospect of more Craig Bonds.
posted by Artw at 4:05 PM on October 21, 2012


Dress comfortable.
posted by Mblue at 4:05 PM on October 21, 2012


The Sadist Who Loved Me
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM on October 21, 2012


The Living Daylights is thiiiiis close to not being a Bond movie.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:40 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Flemming was involved in the early stages of Secret Agent Man/Danger Man, and wanted it to be a show about a womanizing, morally ambiguous gun toting show (you know JAMES BOND) and to call it Lone Wolf. Fortunately Patrick McGoohan was an obstinate SOB and we ended up with something much better than Bond, imo. I know Bond has it's legions of admirers, but John Drake is my Gold Standard of the secret agent club.
posted by edgeways at 4:41 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I didn't realize critics didn't like Quantum of Solace. I liked it quite a bit (maybe I have terrible taste). It does help to watch the first two Craig films back-to-back, though.
posted by dismas at 4:48 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Artw: "Excluded films."

Huh, the original Bond, Barry Nelson, was later Stuart Ullman in The Shining.
posted by octothorpe at 4:54 PM on October 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Living Daylights is thiiiiis close to not being a Bond movie.

As in non-Eon? I hadn't heard that.

In terms of content a big chunk of it is directly out of a Fleming story.

/wonders if the shortage of titles will lead to a "007 in New York" film featuring Daniel Craig bitching about his breakfast.
posted by Artw at 4:56 PM on October 21, 2012


There's also two Fleming biopics in production, including one by Duncan Jones. Possibly I am more excited by that than the prospect of more Craig Bonds.

I'll just assume Toby Jones is starring in one of them.
posted by dumbland at 5:12 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Toby Jones is a legally required to be in 25% or more of all media products in a given year.
posted by The Whelk at 5:24 PM on October 21, 2012


Not as in non-Eon, but as in a far different Bond than audiences were used to.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:24 PM on October 21, 2012


I'm happily surprised to see SFX mount a fairly good case for Quantum of Solace. I always thought the Opera scene/action sequence was a nice, surreal summation of what is both unnerving and thoroughly entertaining about the series. It's a scene that makes violence slick and interesting while remaining emotionally detached and packaging it all in a way that is, well, operatic.

I think Quantum is worthwhile because if you think about many Bond flicks as really being another kind of movie merged with the Bond necessities ( Live and Let Die = Blacksploitation, Liscence to Kill = Scar Face-esque drug movie, Casino Royale = Romance) then Quantum is the strange Bond movie that has a tiny little art film at its center fighting in vain to get out.
posted by sendai sleep master at 5:27 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Someone was saying the other day that they'd decided Tomorrow Never Dies was their fave. That may be the first and only time they've said it.

I'll always be a Connery fanboy, but increasingly I'm seeing the case for On Her Majesty's Secret Service - that last scene really is something special, and something that the other guy could never have pulled off.
posted by Artw at 5:32 PM on October 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


from Artw's OHMSS link - best Bond direction note ever: Peter Hunt instructed Lazenby to “Stop that Australian swagger! Walk like Prince Phillip!”
posted by Bwithh at 5:43 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's the little bits like that which really make these worthwhile.
posted by Artw at 5:46 PM on October 21, 2012


The Living Daylights is thiiiiis close to not being a Bond movie.

Well, that's silly. It was the 12th film written (at least in part) by Maibaum, and would have been the 8th outing by Moore's 007. Imagine the whole thing with Roger sleepwalking his way through it and occasionally vanquishing a foe with a roundhouse kick and you'll see it. Had the magic carpet escape not been (thankfully) deleted it would be clearer. Even Brosnan would have had difficulty shaking off the established tone. Dalton was a breath of fresh air, but the script was already written when he came aboard. It's still one of my favorites -- the Gibraltar and cargo plane sequences especially.
posted by dhartung at 5:47 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I didn't realize critics didn't like Quantum of Solace.

I remember Quantum of Solace basically as one two-hour-long Bourne-movie parkour chase with people bouncing around like pinballs. Is that fair? I literally have no idea. I guess it's more than I remember of Goldeneye, which I think involved the Lexus guy having a satellite. Perhaps I should read the post and find out.

It's weird that there's a series of movies I'm now reduced to going to see like a lapsed Catholic that goes to mass at Christmas more out of force of habit than anything else.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:48 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have seen Quantum TWICE, both times perfectly sober, and I still could not recall a single scene. There was an opera number! Whaaaaa?

OHMSS is my head canon best Bond, I think it might be Diana Rigg radiation but for reason it really works for me in a way the others don't.
posted by The Whelk at 5:49 PM on October 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


Like every time I try to think of a scene from Quantum it turns out I'm thinking about a scene from Casio Royale, which I did like ( not in spite of, but because of the totally Super Mario brothers pakour BOND SMASH opening sequence )
posted by The Whelk at 5:51 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


See, I think of Casino Royale being an absolutely great adaptation of the book topped and tailed by boring forgettable pakour nonsense.

I was genuinely super suprised they left the carpet beater sequence in.
posted by Artw at 5:53 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The rest of the movie was played so straight and direct, you needed juuuust a little flourish of action movie crazy, thus, pakour bookends.
posted by The Whelk at 5:55 PM on October 21, 2012


I guess it's more than I remember of Goldeneye

Upon further review, that appears to have been Tomorrow Never Dies.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:56 PM on October 21, 2012


It does help to watch the first two Craig films back-to-back, though.

This is the key to why people generally don't like Quantum of Solace -- it really does not stand up well on its own. In my mind, Casino Royale should have ended about 15 minutes earlier (pretty much at the boat arriving in Venice), and Quantum of Solace should have picked up there. It would have made the former tighter (I still love it, but the ending drags a bit), and it would have made the latter make a lot more sense.

(I think QoS, in that scenario, could still do for some cutting though, to really make it work).
posted by tocts at 5:59 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Did we see the same Quantum of Solace? The one where the villian's grand evil plan, the one that took the entire film to unravel, the one that involved double agents and corruption at the highest levels of multiple western governments, is to become... the water utility of a small south american country?
posted by danny the boy at 6:08 PM on October 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


I guess it's more than I remember of Goldeneye, which I think involved the Lexus guy having a satellite.

Upon further review, that appears to have been Tomorrow Never Dies.


Three of the four Brosnan movies involved satellites, so it's not hard to mix them up.
posted by good in a vacuum at 6:27 PM on October 21, 2012


The amount of debate that Quantum generates is fascinating. I'm not a huge fan of it, but am kinda glad it came out anyway because of the amount of interesting debate it produced.

I think that on a macro level, it's unengaging. The story and non-recurring characters, including the villain, are quite forgettable. But it still contained a lot of lovely moments- perhaps even more than Casino Royale. In particular, the scenes with Mathis alone were enough to redeem the film in my eyes (the fact that the script kills him off instead of letting him be a recurring character is probably my biggest problem with the film).
posted by gsteff at 6:36 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


In particular, the scenes with Mathis alone were enough to redeem the film in my eyes (the fact that the script kills him off instead of letting him be a recurring character is probably my biggest problem with the film).

I couldn't agree more. In both Casino and Quantum, Mathis comes off as a knowing, old hand who jokes sadly about the Bond-verse. His quipping sense of humor combined with his accepting sense of fate always made me think of him as Bond decades down the line.
posted by sendai sleep master at 6:44 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


SFX should put these together into a Kindle mini-book. I'd definitely spend several bucks on it. In the meantime, here is the tag that takes you to all of them.
posted by louie at 6:50 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Did we see the same Quantum of Solace? The one where the villian's grand evil plan, the one that took the entire film to unravel, the one that involved double agents and corruption at the highest levels of multiple western governments, is to become... the water utility of a small south american country?

ha... anyone know whether that plot point was chosen as deliberately un-grandiose and therefore a break with traditional Bond storyetlling, in pursuit of a more realistic movie?
posted by Bwithh at 6:52 PM on October 21, 2012


Half-way through reading these reviews in order. I'd really forgotten how terrible the '70s Bonds were. Moore wasn't bad himself (until he got way too old) but the movies were pretty embarrassingly cartoonish
posted by octothorpe at 6:53 PM on October 21, 2012


I guess we can thank Die Another Day for sucking so bad they decided it was time for a reboot. It's the Batman & Robin of the Bond franchise.

Holy shit, it was directed by the guy who did Once Were Warriors???
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:45 PM on October 21, 2012


As I recall, the production of Quantum was hobbled by the writers' strike; the producers were unable to refine their working script and had to either start production with what they had or miss their chance.

As for the Moore films, I would argue that For Your Eyes Only and The Spy Who Loved Me hold up pretty well. The others, not so much.
posted by Rangeboy at 7:54 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Die Another Day

I remember an excellent fencing scene and then , uh....

invisible car?

I liked the fencing scene.
posted by The Whelk at 8:09 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I remember it due to sheer terribleness. On the Other hand I entirely forgot The World is Not Enough existed and could have sworn there were only 3 Brosnan Bonds. I guess Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist and Robbie Coltrane's great supporting character from Goldeneye getting pointessly killed were not enough.
posted by Artw at 8:25 PM on October 21, 2012


So happy to see the critical reaction link. When do you ever see a positive review of a new movie like James Bond? Very good sign, and I'm very excited to see it now.
posted by Buckt at 8:34 PM on October 21, 2012


Yeah, the Brosnan Bonds chart a consist downwards course from the beginning, passing the point of watchability right after Tomorrow Never Dies.
posted by Rangeboy at 8:35 PM on October 21, 2012


The movie was originally titled Tomorrow Never Lies – a reference to Carver’s newspaper of that name – but a miscommunicated fax apparently rechristened the movie.

Ha. Bond titles always sound like Mad Libs. I guess they really are that random.

A friend of mine once graded an undergraduate ethics paper that contained the line "Evil is only a verb." Clearly we need to start mining bad college papers for Bond titles.
posted by painquale at 9:05 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


QoS didn't have quite the strength that Casino Royale did, but I loved the scene (spoiler alert!) where Bond left the villain alone in the desert with a quart of motor oil and nothing else, telling him he'd eventually get thirsty enough that he'd drink it. The Craig version of Bond has brought a truly cold-blooded character out.

The ending of Royale was fine with me... simply because it set up an awesome "Bond, James Bond" moment. It was an excellent film all around and that was the icing on the cake.
posted by azpenguin at 9:11 PM on October 21, 2012


It's weird that there's a series of movies I'm now reduced to going to see like a lapsed Catholic that goes to mass at Christmas more out of force of habit than anything else.

That is a fairly brilliant description.

As far as I know, I have seen all of the Bond films (save possibly On Her Majesty's Secret Service -- it's possible I saw it on TV once in my childhood but I cannot call up a clear image of Lazenby in the role). I never really saw myself as a Bond fan: it just that when a new Bond movie comes out, You Go To See It because of course you do. However, they merge and blur together. I saw Dr. No on the big screen at a revival house a year or two ago and it was startling how relatively prosaic the story was. I grew up in the Roger Moore era of bombast and quips, so it may as well have been a different character. Although the Brosnan years are not that far behind us, they all meld into one big story about satellites and . I recall some loopy invisible car (Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist behind the wheel) driving off with my suspension of disbelief somewhere in there, and Goldeneye's story plays out in my mind in Nintendo 64 graphics.

Still, this piece brought back some buried memories. In reading this, I am startled to find that Robert Brown had totally vanished from my mind: he was the M between Bernard Lee and Judi Dench, but his five appearances in Bond flicks have clearly left a very delible impression on me. Sorry about that, Rob.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:14 PM on October 21, 2012


There's a fun bit in the Casino Royale one:

So just how many James Bonds make six? For all that this reboot sets out to scorch the past, Casino Royale proves the most persuasive argument yet for one of the wilder theories in Bond fandom – James Bond is simply a codename, a title to be earned, a nom de espionnage bestowed upon the best and deadliest operative on the MI6 payroll. Sure, Casino wants to be a clean slate, but even director Martin Campbell admits “If you think about the timeline, it makes no sense”. Judi Dench’s M is a clear holdover from the Brosnan era, after all (unless she’s playing some subtly different alternate reality version of the secret service matriarch). The idea of the government wielding Bond as some indestructible, weaponised concept rather than a single mortal man has a certain appeal. If it’s true, it’s small wonder diabolical masterminds shudder when he announces his name – he may as well suavely declare “I’m warfare… Bio-chemical warfare!”. And if you squint the theory makes a kind of sense when applied to the history of the franchise. Perhaps Lazenby’s young, sensitive Bond was broken by the death of his wife, leading to the recall of Connery, whose despatch of Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever always feels more a callous piece of business than the culmination of some fiery vendetta. You can easily imagine Roger Moore’s surprisingly long-lived incarnation finally retiring to charm the blue-blooded beauties of Monaco. And perhaps Dalton’s Bond got a taste for the life of a freelance “problem eliminator” after going rogue in Licence To Kill. There are glitches in this theory, of course – Brosnan’s introduction in GoldenEye takes place in 1986, exactly midway between Moore and Dalton in the true-life timeline (though a nice nod to the fact that Brosnan so nearly won the role that year). And why would each new Bond acknowledge the death of Tracy, even to the extent of placing flowers on her grave? Perhaps she’s an eternal symbol of everything they must sacrifice to be this man. Die Another Day helmer Lee Tamahori fought to bring the multiple Bonds theory to the screen – “You either believe that it’s the same guy all along, and he just keeps being played by different actors, or you ascribe to the view that I have which is that Connery and all the others were actually different guys with the 007 prefix” – but he was overruled. How many James Bonds make six? Ultimately, there’s only one answer. There are six James Bonds. And only one Bond… James Bond.

But of course that doesn't make sense - it's not just the character that's different from film to film, it's the entire world and how it works. Like Batman it's a character that's been splintered and refracted into many different versions of itself, and like Batman they're all valid aspects, the weird campy ones just as much as the "serious" ones.
posted by Artw at 9:39 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


he may as well suavely declare “I’m warfare… Bio-chemical warfare!”.

I AM THE DOCTOR.
posted by The Whelk at 9:48 PM on October 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


My favourite Bond film
posted by Artw at 10:11 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Bond I'd actually want to see is period set peice with a Portishead soundtrack something like a feature length version of To Kill A Dead Man.
posted by Artw at 10:24 PM on October 21, 2012


I don't know if the plot-heavy machinations of television shows like Battlestar Galactica and Lost have ruined me, but Casino Royale disappointed me because of the twist that never happened—namely, that everything after the torture scene wasn't, in fact, a whole bunch of mind games inside mind games.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

It seemed completely ridiculous that after a few days of gambling, Bond should suddenly decide he loves Vesper so much that he's willing to throw away his license to kill for her on a whim. It felt like it had to be a counter-plot on Bond's part against Vesper's obvious plot to secure the winnings for herself or some shadowy organization. It turned out that the latter was somewhat correct—Vesper took the cash but actually loved Bond, sort of—and the former was completely wrong: the idiot actually WAS in love with Vesper and actually DID resign. I suppose that's the risk you take of doing a prequel with an extremely well-established character; it just seemed completely out of character, given all the prior movies, and even the excuse of "he was a younger, more naive agent" may have worked technically, but not emotionally. Not for me, anyway.

That said, even the fact that Casino Royale managed to offend me in ways The World Is Not Enough couldn't is a testament to its power, and I think I still like the movie in the end. Maybe Quantum of Solace helps make some more sense out of Casino Royale's ending, even if it is barely coherent on its own.
posted by chrominance at 10:27 PM on October 21, 2012



ha... anyone know whether that plot point was chosen as deliberately un-grandiose and therefore a break with traditional Bond storyetlling, in pursuit of a more realistic movie?


except then you've got action sequences that are pure fantasy, lifted from video games really. I found Quantum an enormously disappointing movie following as it did in the wake of Casino Royale which, to my adult eyes, was the best Bond movie of all. No question, even with the gratuitous parkour stuff, which at least had a smidgen of believability in that it was parkour. Stuntmen were actually doing that stuff (most of it anyway).




necessary footnote: any adult discussion of the inherent quality of James Bond movies should, by law, exclude those Bond movies one saw between the ages of 12-14. Those will always be the BEST.
posted by philip-random at 10:34 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


My favourite Bond film

Favourite + Best being two different things.

As I already suggested, my fave Bond movies would have to be Diamonds Are Forever + Live and Let Die, because I was that age when I saw them.

Best? I'd argue something like:

Casino Royale ... and then maybe Goldfinger (because it's the best of the Connery Bonds - even got nominated for a Best Movie Oscar, I believe). Beyond that, it gets hard. There's all kinds pop-zeitgeist genius in Thunderball and You Only Live Twice, but both do drag at times. And Diamonds Are Forever has quite the tight script, but early 70s Bond is starting to feel a bit square. For all its pluses, On Her Majesty's Secret Service has a big hole in the middle of it named Lazenby. I love the gritty cold war feel of From Russian With Love, but again, it lags badly at times.

Roger Moore onward just doesn't cut it for me at all. This is just Bond as cartoon character ... with one exception, which is The Man With The Golden Gun. That's a good, dark spy movie, lots of cool atmosphere and, short of one silly car chase with Sheriff whatzizname, it never really blows its wad. Damned good movie.
posted by philip-random at 10:45 PM on October 21, 2012


Die Another Day

I remember an excellent fencing scene and then


Hale Berry in a bikini stepping out of the sea in a homage to Dr No.

Good enough for me.

It also had Bond being held prisoner and tortured in North Korea and a lot of modern action movie nonsense.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:48 PM on October 21, 2012


philip-random, I was unfortunate enough to grow up without any Bonds in the theater at the age of 12-14. The only ones I saw were the 70s Bonds on TV in that time period. OUCH.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:02 PM on October 21, 2012


Die Another Day

I actually kinda liked the Madonna song.
the only other thing which sticks out for me is the really weird and awkward "jokey" one-liner 2 second scene by a Rasta hotel porter. I think it was this movie anyway.
posted by Bwithh at 11:02 PM on October 21, 2012


from the View to a Kill entry: "An early version of the plot had Zorin attempting to alter the course of Halley’s Comet."

why???
posted by Bwithh at 11:07 PM on October 21, 2012


Everything after Connery is dead to me. I AM OLD OK
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:41 PM on October 21, 2012


I recently rewatched Casino Royale back-to-back with Quantum of Solace and the latter does indeed work far better when seen that way, because its plot follows on so directly from (and is set up to such an extent by) the former.

However, it made me realise that there's a big plot hole in Casino Royale. By making the card game into Le Chiffre's emergency plan to recover the money he lost due to Bond's foiling of the airliner plot, it makes the whole Vesper Lynd plan unbelievably prescient. It's clear that she was suborned well in advance, but how would Mr White not only know that Quantum would need an agent in HM Treasury but arrange for her to be assigned to a short-notice MI6 mission? If Quantum had that many agents within the UK government, it would already have won.

I complained about this to a friend who pointed out that Quantum of Solace sets up the answer: Mitchell, M's bodyguard, turns out to be a Quantum agent. As such, his job is to feed Mr White intelligence and to prompt M into courses of action that best use such assets as Quantum has.
posted by Major Clanger at 11:51 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


From the QoS review:
While it’s a welcome touch of genuine Fleming in a film whose theme song inflicts the lyric “Another blinger with a slick trigger finger for Her Majesty”, Quantum Of Solace...

It always takes me a few seconds to remember what the actual QoS theme tune was, since this immediately pops in to my head instead (amazing chorus).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:35 AM on October 22, 2012


Man with the Golden Gun - Alice Cooper

wasn't used in the film - catches the generally sleaziness of 1974-75 all too well
posted by philip-random at 8:34 AM on October 22, 2012


even with the gratuitous parkour stuff,

The gratuitous parkour stuff was among the better points of the movie, I thought, and totally in line with the back-to-basics approach. Bond movies had grown ever more absurd chase sequences (in a progression sadly familiar to anyone who played Car Wars in the eighties): it had moved away from car chases and we had hovercraft chasing dune buggies or Formula 1 cars chasing autogyros or dirigibles chasing landsails or whatever abstruse combo got drawn from the deck this time out. When was the last time you saw a James Bond flick with a foot chase?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:52 AM on October 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


By the way, I find it slightly fascinating that SFX doesn't mention Felix Leiter until the movie where he dies. Granted that he isn't a major character but as the only non-villain, non-MI6 recurring character, you'd think he'd warrant a mention somewhere.
posted by louie at 9:04 AM on October 22, 2012


When was the last time you saw a James Bond flick with a foot chase?

Parkour is the dune buggy of foot chases.
posted by Artw at 9:06 AM on October 22, 2012


I loved the parkour sequence. I liked how the bad guy had all these elegant athletic moves and Bond just ran like a bulldozer through everything. I thought that it really established the character as a blunt object of an operator.
posted by octothorpe at 10:47 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


TBH I didn't object to the nonsense at the start nearly so much as that at the end.
posted by Artw at 10:50 AM on October 22, 2012


the problem with the parkour in Casino Royale (which is fun while it's happening) is that it's fantasy (almost anyway); actual humans can't do that stuff ... and so on. Which makes it not out of place in any number of the latter day Bond flicks which had, as I've noted, become basically cartoons. But Casino Royale was a return to hard, solid, brutal basics. Casino Royale was almost believable the whole way through ... except for the parkour and some of the stuff at the climax in Venice.

But I accepted it on the level of, well, it's a James Bond movie -- it's not really for me, it's for all the 12-14 year olds.
posted by philip-random at 10:56 AM on October 22, 2012


I didn't realize the parkour bit was reviled... I loved it. And Casino Royale has one of the best opening title sequences too. (With no sexy ladies, strangely enough. Is it the only title sequence not to have any?)
posted by painquale at 11:35 AM on October 22, 2012


Did we see the same Quantum of Solace?

The one where the hotel was made up of exploding fuel cells?
posted by kirkaracha at 1:11 PM on October 22, 2012


Hitfix's James Bond Declassified is a similar series of recaps (although they ran out of time and are going to be doing combined reviews of some of the later movies in the series). They're reviewing the movies and the books and how the movies compare.

When they started the latest reboot with Casino Royale I hoped that they'd make the movies based on the original order of the books. The movies and books diverged pretty quickly and there are some interesting things in the books that would've been cool in the movies.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:19 PM on October 22, 2012


They should have done From Russia with Love and killed him. :-)
posted by Artw at 1:21 PM on October 22, 2012


Artw: "something that the other guy could never have pulled off."

This never happened to the other fellow.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:39 PM on October 22, 2012


If it did he would have made a shitty pun about it or something. Love Connery-Bond as I do displays of Genuineemotion in response to loss were pretty much beyond him.
posted by Artw at 2:00 PM on October 22, 2012


The opening of the first Craig movie is still...well, a killer. The back and forth between the two kills and of course the "they say the second one is.." "considerably". Then cut back to the first kill. That was where I thought, this new guy is one on stone-cold badass Bond.
posted by Ber at 10:07 PM on October 22, 2012


Artw: "Parkour is the dune buggy of foot chases."

Reminding me of the Red Letter Media evisceration of Star Trek: Nemesis.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:05 PM on October 24, 2012


James Bond: The Nymphographic
posted by Artw at 7:01 AM on October 26, 2012


Skyfall is definitely the best film of all the Bond films, though that might be a different thing from the best Bond film. Am on the bus home from seeing it. Not the tube. No.
posted by Grangousier at 7:05 AM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


The 007 Approach to Continuity - Ignore continuity. Enjoy your life
posted by Artw at 5:25 PM on October 26, 2012


Bond vs. Bond deathmatch
posted by fuse theorem at 6:49 PM on October 29, 2012


James Bond: why 007 games have almost never worked - grudgingly admits the existence of Goldeneye then goes off on its own theory that ignores it.
posted by Artw at 5:49 AM on November 4, 2012


After wildly varying reviews from friends ("Best Bond ever" vs "Beginning was good, then incredibly dull, with an ending ripped off from Home Alone*") I saw the film with no idea how good it would be... and it actually turned out to be pretty enjoyable. Much more of a modern spy thriller than previous Bonds (i.e. darker, with fewer ridiculous over-the-top set-pieces), and the heavy use of the UK setting reminded me a lot of Spooks. The direct references to old Q gadgets are interesting as well, in terms of the on-going Bond continuity.

It's been a while since I saw Casino Royale but I wonder if you could pretend that Skyfall is the sequel to CR and Quantum Of Solace never existed. Would it work if you pretend that the Skyfall bad guy was Mr White's boss in Casino Royale and the Quantum organisation never existed? The idea of Quantum having a bunch of agents in the UK government/MI6 can be turned into super-hacker bad guy just having hacked the entire UK gov/MI6 network.

(*although I had no issues with the end part of the film this comparison did make me laugh when I realised what he was on about)
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:24 AM on November 5, 2012


They should let Greg Rucka have a crack at it.
posted by Artw at 9:21 AM on November 5, 2012


Man it was boring. If you plan to see it, bring a good book.

Why on earth did they choose Mendes to direct? He's so consistently awful. I couldn't count how many times his choices made me roll my eyes and think, "WTF? Give me a break."
posted by dobbs at 9:18 PM on November 9, 2012


dobbs, Mendes is the only reason I'm on the fence about Skyfall.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:58 PM on November 10, 2012


Dobbs' comment had me expecting a dull film, but I didn't think it was dull at all.

Great villain. Only memorable villain in recent Bond films. Awesome opening song, but terrible opening visual sequence. It lacked a real thematic hook and used a lot of tired video arts tricks. I think it's harder for Bond openings to stand out now. A visually striking opening sequence has become standard, largely because of Bond's influence. Casino Royale managed to be innovative and unique.

I don't think I like the "James Bond is old" trope that has been introduced. That's going to be hard to dial back on for a good long while, and scenes where Bond is too creaky to be a badass are no fun to watch. It's too metatextual: just because the James Bond aesthetic is kind of old-fashioned and weathered doesn't mean that James Bond being weathered should be written into the plot.

There's a major plot point in this movie that has also been a major plot point in at least two recent superhero movies... don't want to spoil it, but it's a trope that I expect will be ripped off in many action movies to come.
posted by painquale at 2:14 PM on November 10, 2012


Although, the Bond girl in this one is suuuuper problematic. Who thought that shower scene was a good idea?! It isn't just retrograde, it's worse than anything I can think of from previous Bond movies, and basically turns Bond into a rapist. I've seen articles about how this is a less sexist Bond film, like this one, but they seem crazy to me.
posted by painquale at 3:08 PM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jesus. The more I think about that scene, the more pissed I get. I hope the media picks up on it.

SPOILER: Bond rapes a sex slave.
posted by painquale at 3:44 PM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I say this as someone who loved Casino Royale for because it seemed to return to a more traditional blockbuster a la Casablanca by focusing on engaging, witty dialogue instead of action scenes. It proved that you could make an event movie (let alone a Bond movie) while making the focus on screen chemistry between people. It managed this and simultaneously dragged the gender politics and mannerisms of Bond into the 21st century while preserving everything key about the character.

Skyfall, on the other-hand, was a soulless collection of references to past films and problematic messages about gender. It insists on focusing on a hackneyed theme about "the old things being best" which, according to Mendes, was his attempt to refer to things like "honor". Every character spends the entire film pontificating about the films themes instead of actually demonstrating the themes through character interactions and conflict. It is perhaps understandable that the filmmakers had a lot of trouble creating such interaction/conflict because most dialogue in the movie takes place over ear pieces and cellphones with almost no time being given to characters who are actually...you know...in the same room.

This is all capped by *SPOILERS* ---------------------

the fact that while the stated goal of the film's villain is to keep possession of a hardrive AND to kill Judy Dench's M nothing is put forth in the closing scenes of the film that seems to recognize that the bad guy ACHIEVED all of these goals despite his use of not "the old ways" methods. Instead, the film ends with a bunch of triumphant return to form posturing with the "triumphant" return of a set that resembles the padded door and homey office of the M from the initial Connery films.

-------END SPOILERS---------------------

The movie ignores any real conclusion to its plot in order to pat the viewer on the back and assure them that tradition is its own victory. It's the Bond movie equivalent of those fad stores espousing mustache wax and those blogs about "How to be a classic man".

Skyfall isn't a defense of tradition it's a pathetic, illogical attempt to grasp onto them and, yeah, as painquale said, it has a scene that is just plain rapey.

Casino Royale rebooted Bond and showed that a blockbuster could thrill and entertain with scenes as simple as two hyperbolically charming, British, globetrotters having absolutely engaging conversation over a meal.

Skyfall dashes that potential in favor of nostalgic self congratulations and arbitrary explosions.
posted by sendai sleep master at 1:45 PM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think for me something changed with Casino Royale. I watched the opening scene of Sebastian Foucan running away (freerunning!) from Bond, and I just couldn't sympathize with Bond anymore. I remember actually rooting for Foucan's character to escape.
posted by wuwei at 6:30 PM on November 11, 2012


James Bond: Four writers carry forward Ian Fleming’s spy legacy
posted by Artw at 11:55 AM on November 12, 2012


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