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Skyfall - Bond 23 - Oct 26 2012


Goose
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I do wonder if they're still sticking to the prequel idea.

We have the introduction of an M who, surely not a coincidence, is very reminiscent of Robert Brown. We have the introduction of Moneypenny and we've reverted to the wonderful, classic building with the leather clad, wooden study where Bond drinks scotch and gets missions. Quantum was clearly meant to be Spectre.

When you throw in the haunting opening sequence you have something really special. To me, it feels like they've taken all the great elements of the old Bond themes, but done one thing that no other Bond did. They made him a person. He's not just a suave, promiscuous spy any more, and I don't see how that can be a bad thing. Connery et al had their day, but I don't feel they stood the test of time all that well. Every Bond has been tailored to the time, I don't believe for a second that if you released a Moore Bond film tomorrow that it would do well at all.

Speaking of the opening sequence, what was the last one that even came close to it? Goldeneye is a solid contender, but this just did everything better. I tip-toe around the issue of it being the best, along with the film, purely because of how zealous people are over their 'favourite' Bond, but I really do think people need to re-evaluate what a Bond film is to them, and where they think this falls short.

It even had a grenade pen joke for crying out loud.

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Saw it last night, it's a brilliant film, beautifully shot, wonderful action sequences and a Bond you want to care about. As others have mentioned he is actually a person in this, he is complex and he is flawed.

The final act was what sealed this film as being one of the best Bond films ever made.

Oh and yeah when they get to Skyfall, it also reminded me of Home Alone. Loved it.

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Oh and yeah when they get to Skyfall, it also reminded me of Home Alone. Loved it.

Haha yeah, that's what my friend thought. I thought Straw Dogs, which says something about my mental reference library :unsure:

Favourite sequence in the whole thing was Shanghai, especially the

Silhouette fight.

The music, photography and pacing of that whole bit had me slightly less slumped down in my seat.

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I actually liked how the Skyfall mention in the trailer was deliberately misleading.

I can't be the only one who interpreted the "done." as in, Skyfall was some codeword for a mission that he was confirming had been done, as opposed to a "we're done".

Did anyone actually 'get' the Shanghai bit?

Guy is paid €4m to shoot someone, even though Severine or one of her guards could have just done the job. I mean, they still need to get rid of the body, what's the point in hiring the shooter? Also there was no blood from the gunshot, which just confused me.

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Oh, I don't know. It was a Showcase, and they're always tooting the 4K thing on their site. Regardless, it was digital projection and I wasn't impressed at all. An amazing, huge picture is pretty much the only reason to ever visit the cinema and this particular trip failed on that front.

We were in the front row in a Vue, which certainly has a giant screen and digital projection (many references to 4K).

The larger panning thematic shots (London, shanghai) were noticeably lower res (maybe 1080p - they were that bad), but the remainder of the film seemed to be fine.

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Might understand that if the twist was in any way exciting.

But it was interesting. It's probably been close to 10 years since I last picked up one of the books. This and Goldeneye are the only films in a very long time that actually told us a bit more about what made Bond.

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But it was interesting. It's probably been close to 10 years since I last picked up one of the books. This and Goldeneye are the only films in a very long time that actually told us a bit more about what made Bond.

The last time Bond made me feel it was worth the effort was when Pierce wandered into that hotel all disheveled and said fetch my tailor. Absolute fucking class, brilliant scene, worth more than this entire joyless dirge.

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I thought it was superb, up there with Casino for me, very different in 'vibe' / atmosphere though.

The cinematography was stunning, so many of shots would make great pictures / wall paper. Seeing it at the Waterloo IMAX maximised this. The many nods to Bonds history were great, the re-introduction of Q worked well, and there was some nice comedic lines in there to lift the mood occasionally.

Javier was amazing, sort of like a deranged Joker crossed with the crazy Bond villians of old. His opening one shot monologue was just superb. When I read Sam Mendes said he was heavily influenced by The Dark Knight, I could definitely see it at points throughout the film.

The fight scenes were way better the QOS. Well, everything was to be fair. I now hope the next two Bonds Craig does are superb too, and we can chalk up QOS to the writers strike. I'm a bit nervous about a 2 film story arch 'again', but if they can pull it off, maybe even wrapping up the new-age Spectre storyline (Read that it could happen somewhere), I'd be happy with that.

More thoughts hidden...

I had guessed M dies, but hadn't considered her replacement and the introduction of a Moneypenny again, both making the last screen give me an ear to ear smile. The new/old 'M' office was a great touch to.

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We were in the front row in a Vue, which certainly has a giant screen and digital projection (many references to 4K).

The larger panning thematic shots (London, shanghai) were noticeably lower res (maybe 1080p - they were that bad), but the remainder of the film seemed to be fine.

On my screen, the opening Bardem long shot was awful until he came close to the camera. He looked like a sprite from a C64 game. Annoying, cos it could have been an iconic entrance.

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I thought it was awesome and as many others have said, Bardem was terrific. It's great to see them playing with convention and subverting genre by making the primary antagonist an extremely camp and flamboyant hardman!

I enjoyed Casino Royale, but I thought this was much better and the cinematography was incredible throughout. This was a real showcase for Deakins and every shot looked amazing.

Still not convinced about Craig as Bond, despite finding him an engaging screen presence.

Couple of very small things bothered me:

Flashlight at the end. M is a trained agent and head of the MI6, yet she doesn't have the common sense to ask Finney to switch off the light!

Silver wants M to shoot a bullet through both of their heads. Instead Bond kills Silver and then M dies literally 2 seconds later. Slightly pointless really, she should have just pulled the trigger!

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So, I saw this last night, having not read any thing about it other than the 1-line synopsis and seeing only the first trailer.

And I was so, so disappointed by it. (I haven't read any of the views in this thread yet, so don't know what the consensus is).

It's funny that a guy at work (who has only seen the trailer) said that he liked the look of it and can't wait to see it (he's a real Bond-nut), but that it didn't look like a Bond film. And as soon as the friend I saw it with got out of the cinema she said it was really good, but it wasn't like any of the others (she isn't a Bond-nut). I felt it fell between those two camps - there were nods to previous films and the history of the character, but it seemed that Mendes was looking for a different direction again, which seemed when viewed against the previous 2 outings. As a result it felt a bit lost.

More specific thoughts (massive spoilers, obviously):

It started well - I loved the pre-credit sequence, but was left confused about where Bond had actually been shot by Eve?

From there we see Bond somewhere with no explanation of how he got there and, unless I missed something (which was likely, it was a very late showing), how long he'd been gone. The segue from Shanghai to Macau felt rather loose (and I'm not sure about Bond just allowing an assassination when he could have prevented it) and I thought the whole initial meeting with Severine was a bit odd - he guesses that she's been abused as part of the sex trade, then we next see him getting into the shower with her. Felt really misjudged as a Bond-type seduction (was felt like a continuance of her abuse).

Incidentally, I didn't even realise she'd been killed until I read a review in the paper this morning! Clearly I wasn't paying enough attention.

Now I know a number of people criticised Quantum of Solace for not really having a strong bad-guy, but I felt that Bardem (whilst brilliant in the role given the scant screen time he had) was just as powder-puff. The whole 'he let himself get captured' was an awful plot-contrivance, and his plans to get M never really felt like getting anywhere. We needed more interaction between him and Bond (or just more of him full-stop). The fact that his motivation was reduced to being relayed as a single-line spoken by M meant I never got a real sense of his pain over what happened and certainly never got to feel why he had to go to such elaborate methods to get his revenge. And whilst I understand that it was perfectly in-character for M to not be forthcoming with any info, the fact that nobody else had any questions about it was silly. Equally so with their retreat to Scotland, which was met with no questions and, worse, there was no craft behind the trail of breadcrumbs. It just felt rather lazy and a way to very quickly link the scenes.

And of course, the whole Scotland bit. Up until leaving London I had thought it was decent. Not great, but ok.

Then Bond retreated to Scotland to become MacGyver and I really started to worry. At first I was in denial that this was going to be the last act - then I slowly realised it was and I felt really disheartened. Bond isn't about setting traps, he's the one trying to work around them. He's the hunter, not the hunted, and I don't think that whole portion of the film worked at all - it just wasn't Bond. The fact that they actually went and got rid of M was sad, too - I can't actually remember the last time a major recurring good-guy was killed in a Bond film (has it ever happened?), though the set-up for Fiennes to take over was carefully laid out and not a bad replacement. Moneypenny's reveal was a fun twist for me, too, given that I hadn't known anything about her - but that was sadly ruined by the fact that I don't think she had any chemistry with Craig at all, which is required for that role.

The central theme of being old and disposable/needing to prove worth and the need to mix youth and experience to succeed was a bit ham-fisted at times and in-your-face, but Q's introduction was decent (though he had little to work with outside of that). There were some good lines, too - the reference to the pen was particularly good - though some lines were terrible ("I got into some deep water").

It certainly wasn't terrible (and I will see it again, probably when it's released on Blu-ray), but for me it just wasn't Bond and my overwhelming feeling on coming out was disappointment and the feeling that I'm missing something.

I do still hope it is hugely successful though because of my love of the franchise and I do really enjoy Craig's take, though he's really starting to age (wasn't he meant to have originally signed-on for 7 films? I hope we don't get into a Moore-situation with him...) but I wouldn't want to see this direction being the way forward.

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Gabe, I agree with you that the final act is poor compared to the first two, but for me it's still the best Bond film since Goldeneye. In answer to one of your issues:

If bond hadn't let the assassination go ahead, there's no guarantee he'd get out of the assassin whom he was working for. By letting it go ahead, despite not getting the info directly from the assassin, he can claim the payment, and find out out that way. I'll admit it's a touch contrived, but it works.

My opinion is probably null and void anyway (because I actually really like QoS).

As for your answer:

See, I just think none of that relied on him letting the assassination go ahead - the same sequence of events could have happened regardless. But it was one of many contrivances I guess which I wouldn't have minded, had I been enjoying the ride more.

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The friend I saw it with has just asked me this, and I don't have a suitable answer:

At the end of the film, Bond is in favour and being commended really. But hasn't he failed at the highest level for allowing M to get killed? Or am i missing the point?

She's got a point - it was Bond's idea to take M away and use her as bait, and he failed to protect her. Her death is entirely down to his choices.

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He also took out the people who kept attacking MI6 and (presumably) stopped more names on the list from being leaked, so on balance it all worked out for the best. Mallory was ultimately shown to be a pragmatist and accepted Bond and M's decision.

Also, it's James Bond.

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He also took out the people who kept attacking MI6 and (presumably) stopped more names on the list from being leaked, so on balance it all worked out for the best. Mallory was ultimately shown to be a pragmatist and accepted Bond and M's decision.

Also, it's James Bond.

Well that's not quite right, is it - Silva's gang just released the information, they weren't killing the operatives directly. Plus the disc is never recovered, nor is there any (good) reason to believe that the information isn't still out there for somebody else to use.

As for M, he spends much of the film trying to protect her, so I he has failed, clearly. There's no logical reason to even have her around as soon as the bad guys turn up - she should have been sent into the tunnel straight away. So again, he's failed to protect her.

As for your last point - that's actually totally the thing I disagree with - to me, it really wasn't Bond, in either his methods or the execution. You're right about the reversal of expectation, but for me that was a negative, for you a positive.

Bond (in general) is still fabulous though.

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