James Bond


(John Welles) #461

My SPOILER FREE review of Skyfall:

If From Russia with Love is the apex of the Bond franchise, then I certainly think Skyfall has breached the outer walls of its defences. A perfectly crafted film that works both as an excellent thriller as well as a classic Bond movie, it seems the series has permanently left the squirm-inducing puns and tacky self-referentialism that completely destroyed Die Another Day ten years ago. Director Sam Mendes handles the action very, very well (no shaky cams or dizzying editing here) and he doesn’t let the set pieces take over the film. This is probably the most character-driven Bond ever made. Not only does Daniel Craig get plenty of screentime, but so does Judi Dench (superb), Javier Bardem (scarily intense and one of Bond’s best and most cunningly manipulative adversaries) and supporting cast Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finny and Ben Whilshaw.

In fact, this is the first film I have seen this year where I could genuinely not predict where it was going. The audience is left nicely off-centred throughout, even more so by the big changes that are brought forth, while reinstating some of the old traditions. Mendes balances both very well, never losing sight of the major themes which Bond more relevant now he has been since the fall of Communism. The cinematography by Roger Deakins is great as is the script; only one or two humorous asides feel out of place. Great in every department and more intelligent than all of Pierce Brosnan’s films combined, this is simply a really good movie that leaves its contemporaries in the shade. Goodbye Moonraker, A View to a Kill and Die Another Day. Their likes will not be seen again for an age.


(scherpschutter) #462

Okay, spoiler free, always an asset, but … what’s the film about?


(Stanton) #463

Was that ever important in a Bond? :wink:

Actually the Craig Bonds have a content.


(scherpschutter) #464

[quote=“Stanton, post:463, topic:544”]Was that ever important in a Bond? :wink:

Actually the Craig Bonds have a content.[/quote]

I don’t know if that’s important, but I always find it bizarre to read a review of a movie without learning what the movie is about. Bonds usually are about idiots who want to destroy or take over the world, or a large part of it, and probably this one won’t be different, but you can’t be sure until it’s confirmed.

By the way, has anybody ever denied that the Craig Bonds had a content?


(Phil H) #465

To be fair any detail will give away stuff which is better discovered as the film unfolds but the basic premise is that a complete list of embedded Nato agents is stolen from the British and M is held personally responsible. Meanwhile, Bond is damaged but, of course, it is he who M depends on to find the lost data before too many agents die and her career is ended in ignominy. There’s lots more besides but that’s the set up.


(chameleon) #466

The wife and I can’t wait to go see it. But we have to wait till it opens here in the east coast on 11/9/12 >:(


(Stanton) #467

You probably misunderstood me. I was only contradicting myself in that post. And the smiley meant that it wasn’t meant to be taken serious.


(scherpschutter) #468

The wife and I decided to go and see it tomorrow night, in the Mighty Multiplex Madness of our home town
They boast with a new DTS Sound System, so by this time tomorrow, I’ll probably be completely deaf.
Never mind, all movies are subtitled in Belgium (often even the Dutch ones)


(Mickey13) #469

Thank God! And thank you very much John. Excellent, spoiler free review. Now I know I must go to see this flick. I can rely on your taste and moreover if it’s more character driven film, I’m sure I’m going to like it.

Don’t worry, chameleon. You’re not the only one who has to wait, although I’ll wait just till Friday. :wink:
Nonetheless I am as angry as you. If John compares it to From Russia with Love, it has to be an exceptional movie.


(tomas) #470

in my country too - but that is a good thing for me (only kid stuff is dubbed in theatres), only time i watch a movie with dubbing is on tv and that is only because i have to - i even watch subtitled versions on dvds which have actually a dubbing

i would prefer subtitled originals also on tv, but it would probably cause riots in a streets


(Mickey13) #471

I simply hate dubbed versions. I have to hear real voices of actors.


(scherpschutter) #472

[quote=“Mickey13, post:471, topic:544”]I simply hate dubbed versions. I have to hear real voices of actors.[/quote][quote=“tomas, post:470, topic:544”]in my country too - but that is a good thing for me (only kid stuff is dubbed in theatres), only time i watch a movie with dubbing is on tv and that is only because i have to - i even watch subtitled versions on dvds which have actually a dubbing

i would prefer subtitled originals also on tv, but it would probably cause riots in a streets[/quote]

There’s a thing I forgot to mention: Belgium is officially a bilingual country, Flemish (Dutch) and French so all films are subtitled in both languages: French (top), Dutch (bottom). French movies are only subtitled in Dutch, but Dutch movies are often subtitled in both languages, because Flemish and Dutch have become so different over the years, that people from Flanders don’t understand Dutch very well anymore (especially when it’s spoken from people from northern regions). In Holland flemish movies are nearly always subtitled because most Flemish accents are so strong that people from Holland can’t decipher them. Overall accents and dialects are very strong in Belgium.

Anyway, I’ll always be able to follow a movie in a Belgian cinema, even when I would be stone deaf : I read both Dutch and French, and there will always be one of these two subs


(John Welles) #473

My answer is pretty much what Phil said: any plot detail gives away quite a lot (most plot points are major in this film and have an effect). Anyhow, I went into Skyfall only having seen two trailers (one of them a teaser at that), so I had very little idea of what to expect (I stayed away from IMDb because it’s a haven of people talking about spoilers and not labeling them as such). Anyhow, it is the best movie of 2012 I’ve seen so far; actaully that is rather damning with faint praise as The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises are hardly much competition (I’ll see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in December, so I will probably only have seen four new films in the cinema this year - the lowest for me in years. No wonder the box office has been very bad. So few decent movies have been released).

(Minor Spoilers Ahead)
In fact, one of the more bizarre criticisms I’ve read on the internet (which is full of strange, strange opinions), is that it isn’t very Bondian as it has too few action scenes, as if action has some type of positive corelation to how good a movie is.


(Phil H) #474

In fact it’s not only bizarre, it’s inaccurate, John. There are plenty of action scenes as I recall. Maybe the extra emphasis on story and character led those people to forget the excellent opening scene with car chase, train fight etc as well as all the fight scenes, explosions and other disasters I shan’t mention for sake of maintaining some surprises.


(scherpschutter) #475

[quote=“John Welles, post:473, topic:544”]My answer is pretty much what Phil said: any plot detail gives away quite a lot (most plot points are major in this film and have an effect). Anyhow, I went into Skyfall only having seen two trailers (one of them a teaser at that), so I had very little idea of what to expect (I stayed away from IMDb because it’s a haven of people talking about spoilers and not labeling them as such).

(Minor Spoilers Ahead)
In fact, one of the more bizarre criticisms I’ve read on the internet (which is full of strange, strange opinions), is that it isn’t very Bondian as it has too few action scenes, as if action has some type of positive corelation to how good a movie is.[/quote]

I know that IMspoilerDB effect.

I’ve had discussions in Belgium with a group of critics who somehow got the idea that the narrative is unimportant, a sort of bourgois-Hollywood-irrelevance (yes, they are neomarxist and anti-Hollywood), so they put as many spoilers in their reviews as possible, ruining many people’s pleasure.
So I don’t want to see spoilers in reviews, but in general I like to read, in a few words, what the film is about, and what kind of film it is, how it ‘feels’

The action: I don’t think that in general action has some kind of positive corrolation to how good a movie is, but in the case of a Bond the question if the entry has enough (good) action scenes, might be of interest. People expect (large and spectacular) action sequences in Bonds, so if they’re not there, it might turn some fans off. People expect action scenes in western too. One of my favorite westerns is Monte Walsh, a film with relatively few action moments. I’ve always mentioned this when I recommended it to western fans.


(Mickey13) #476

[quote=“John Welles, post:473, topic:544”](Minor Spoilers Ahead)
In fact, one of the more bizarre criticisms I’ve read on the internet (which is full of strange, strange opinions), is that it isn’t very Bondian as it has too few action scenes, as if action has some type of positive corelation to how good a movie is.[/quote]
I have a feeling it’ll be more similar to Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with it’s atmosphere than other Bond flicks (decidedly not that slow moving though). It all appears to be gloomy and dark espionage thriller. Should work fine for me.
I’m actually a big fun of Bond series (I’ve seen all of them) and I can say that action scenes are only one of ingredients that make this sort of films interesting. More important are characters IMO.
Anyway nothing will be as bad as Die Another Day (2002) which was one great CGI mess and my least favorite Bond ever.


(Yodlaf Peterson) #477

[quote=“Mickey13, post:476, topic:544”]Anyway nothing will be as bad as Die Another Day (2002) which was one great CGI mess and my least favorite Bond ever.[/quote]Same here.


(scherpschutter) #478

Just got home from the [size=12pt]Skyfall[/size] experience

Indeed one of the best Bonds in history, but I’m still slightly less enthusiastic than some other people here
The opening and the finale are brilliant, but there were a few minor problems en route. A bit odd: I thought the film was a bit overlong and yet some parts and transitions felt rushed.
Like John said, this is one of the most character-driven Bonds ever, and the relationship between Bond and M (a great Judy Dench) is handled magnificently. But dench can hardly be called a bond girl and in this department, we were left a little in the cold. And I didn’t like Bardem. Don’t know what it is with him. He was great in this Woody movie, Vicky, Christina, Barcelona, but otherwise he’s not my actor.

The new DTS sound system of the Multiplex was worth the acquisition. Sound was crystal clear, not too loud and I could understand every single word (previously the ambient sound was so loud that dialogue occasionally became incomprehensible). But then again, maybe this movie just had excellent sound.


(Mickey13) #479

IMO, he’s a superb actor, he was incredible in No Country For Old Men.


(Stanton) #480

Yeah, and in many other films, and I assume he will be fantastic here too.