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James Bond 23: Skyfall FILM Discussion


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I can hear that announced by the booming voice of Christopher Lee as Saruman.

I thought it was a great movie. On par with, or at least just a tiny sliver below Casino Royale.

It's not bad in any sense, but I fail to see anything special about it. After reading all of those glowing reviews I expected something a bit more coherent. Either a fun film or at least an ambitious one. It tries to be both, but it's impossible to marry the two the way this film tries to do. It just felt like two different films battling for supremacy.

But then again, I never really loved any Bond movie. Enjoyed? Sure. But none of them was ever anything special to me.

Karol

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It is fun when it starts, but in the second half gets much more serious. It has some funny moments sprinkled throughout its length, but it's not exactly what we'd expect (or want) as a whole. By its final sequence it looks nothing like James Bond film.

Karol

Is the film as serious as The American?

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That's too bad. I hope the next one is a FUN James Bond movie. They shouldn't ALL be serious

I disagree as strongly as I possibly can. We have waited almost 40 years until they finally found the way back to the Fleming character, which got lost somewhere between YOLT and DAF. We had exactly two serious Bond movies now, and before that five average action flicks, and before that, with exception of TLD, nonstop funny films way back to the 70s.With that record, please stay in tone of Skyfall until 2020.It is unlikely anyway that we will get anywhere near the Moore films as long as Craig is on board.

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Favorite scene: the museum.

Seriously, I think people here are confusing "depth and character development" with "darkness." This was a very fun movie.

Now granted, if your idea of fun is campy evil villain petting a white cat and James Bond pinching sumo wrestler ass...then no...this a dreadfully serious film.

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It is fun when it starts, but in the second half gets much more serious. It has some funny moments sprinkled throughout its length, but it's not exactly what we'd expect (or want) as a whole. By its final sequence it looks nothing like James Bond film.

Karol

Is the film as serious as The American?

The American isn't an action film.

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I don't mind serious side of Bond. I have always liked OHMSS and Dalton's movies more contrary to Moore's action-adventure comedies. I like how Brosnan era introduced various modern issues into the series. Last but not least, I love how Bond's character has been reinvented for Daniel Craig in two previous pictures. But with Skyfall I really have mixed feelings.

It's not because it lacks humour - quite the contrary, the humour is back in this one. It's mainly because with this movie for the first time Bond ceases to be an attractive character. With this one he has become an interesting character - a seriously flawed one, more real-life down-to-earth than ever. It's okay, but it's not necessarily what I want from this franchise. If I want to watch a serious spy thriller, I turn on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Bond movies of the past used to be sort of boy's fantasy. No matter if you were 6 or 66, you always wanted to be like Bond, live dangerous but exciting life, driving the best cars and dating the most beautiful girls. This time you don't. There is nothing exciting about it anymore. He doesn't enjoy his life anymore. There are still such cars, there are still such girls, but overall you find being James Bond a miserable and ungrateful experience. Digging in Bond's past was another thing I found unnecessary.

I also didn't like Bardem's Silva. They basically took Sean Bean's (kind of) character from GoldenEye and turned him into a Joker-wannabe mixed with Moriarty from Sherlock BBC series. Terrible and way over the top for this movie.

What I liked, was the teaser sequence, which felt like best parts of Casino Royale, and Shanghai/Macau scenes. Not only were they beautifully shot, but also felt like Bond picture, unlike the last reel.

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I'm not sure whether Silva is a good character or not (there is actually very little of him in the film), but he has a cool introductory shot and one absolutely hilarious moment.

I didn't really dislike the film. I just felt detatched from throughout its all running time.

Karol

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As for The Dark Bond Rises take on the main character, I agree. It is supposedly good, but do we really need that?

Was there a Deshi Deshi Bondara Bondara chant in the film?

No, but listening to the soundtrack made me wonder if they didn't use some Batman Begins/The Dark Knight cues as a temptrack.

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Favorite scene: the museum.

Seriously, I think people here are confusing "depth and character development" with "darkness." This was a very fun movie.

Now granted, if your idea of fun is campy evil villain petting a white cat and James Bond pinching sumo wrestler ass...then no...this a dreadfully serious film.

That's exactly the idea I got from the trailers and video blogs. I didn't expect something like Live and Let Die. The white cat is a bit outdated anyway. Skyfall, as much as any other Bond, is a product of its time.

No, but listening to the soundtrack made me wonder if they didn't use some Batman Begins/The Dark Knight cues as a temptrack.

That's pretty likely, considering that the film already was an inspiration for Skyfall. Then the score was probably also inspired by that. The Nolan Batman films, especially The Dark Knight, also have a rather dark mood.

I don't mind serious side of Bond. I have always liked OHMSS and Dalton's movies more contrary to Moore's action-adventure comedies. I like how Brosnan era introduced various modern issues into the series. Last but not least, I love how Bond's character has been reinvented for Daniel Craig in two previous pictures. But with Skyfall I really have mixed feelings.

OHMSS is also a very fun movie - if not one of the funniest. It still has some British humour in it, opposed to the Moore 80s action era. Then the appeal was kind of lost - more average slapstick than cool humour.

With this one he has become an interesting character - a seriously flawed one, more real-life down-to-earth than ever. It's okay, but it's not necessarily what I want from this franchise. If I want to watch a serious spy thriller, I turn on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Bond movies of the past used to be sort of boy's fantasy. No matter if you were 6 or 66, you always wanted to be like Bond, live dangerous but exciting life, driving the best cars and dating the most beautiful girls.

I really wonder who actually ever wanted to be Bond. I never needed an action hero or a princess to enjoy a film. Or a Rose and Jack. But well, I guess I'm in the minority there. Never understood superheroes either. What's the point? Maybe to have a good laugh, but...

Anyway, you can't always get what you want. As long as it's not as clichéd as Avatar, I am fine with it.

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Just saw Skyfall. Ok, too lazy and tired (movie started at midnight) to write a full on review about it. Some thoughts though, that just came to me.

SPOILERS GALORE!

I'm not sure what this movie was about. I thought the plot for this film had more holes and was more unstable than a house of cards. First, we see Bond being shot twice, once hitting organs (as hinted at later), falling 500 meters to his demise, drowning on top of that. 10 minutes later, we see him banging a woman on some beach, conveniently focusing on the wound at his shoulder and forgetting the one that seems to have punctured his liver, and back in action. Gloss over much?

All of a sudden, the premise of Die Another Day, that Bond is captured because Colonel Moon's father can drive a cohort of trucks through a minefield even though it was established that this is only possible using hovercrafts, and Colonel Moon himself pulling himself out of a waterfall, walking back through the minefield, and collecting diamonds that were blown all over the place to pay for gene therapy that seems to make you a foot taller, suddenly sounds plausible.

Then back to MI6.

First, we need to recover a list, then, we forget about that rather quickly, when we meet Silva after a scene of a Komodo dragon biting a fat Chinese guy in the leg and eating him - something that would have been one of the silliest Roger Moore moments. Silva, mostly unexplained, wants some mayhem with the list, but more importantly, wants M. He gets captured. Deliberately. Then he escapes, also planned (let's forget for a minute that his escape seems to rely on the assumption that MI6 would hire exactly the guy who invented Silva's choice software for encryption), and I ask myself why he wants to get captured in the first place; apparently, to see M. But since he seems to know out of nowhere where and when she will have a semi-public hearing (that coincidentally happens when he gets captured), why would he bother?

Then Bond grabs M, hops into the old Aston Martin that seems to be parked randomly in the city (is it Bond's? Is it an MI6 emergency car? M certainly doesn't seem to know about it). They drive all the way to Scotland (with all the strange things happening I gues we're lucky there isn't a scene of Bond and M stopping for coffee) and play some Bond Home Alone, with Albert Finney playing the role of old man Marley.

They fend off Danny DeVito, Bond blows up his home (something that could have improved Home Alone) and chases Silva, who for some unexplained reason not only wants to kill M, but also himself, and does not directly shoot Kincaid even though he killed an innocent girl for sports half an hour earlier.

Bond, after fighting a goon underwater and strangling this drowning man - no idea how this actually works and why you would do that - hits Silva with the dagger just as M is about to go to hell (I don't think anyone was surprised Bond would save in time) and not with a final payoff line - or a very lame one - and M is dying in his arms.

And he cries and kisses M on the forehead. Really.

No, really.

I mean, making Bond more emotional is one thing, turning him into a wimp another. This certainly isn't the man who threw Mathis' body into a garbage can. Which is amazing because it was just in the last movie.

At some point I was praying that Kincaid wouldn't lead M to Bond's room and show baby pictures or a photo of his parents dancing in falling leaves.

With the foot chase through the London Underground, Bond has finally turned into Bourne, only that Bourne did this stuff better.

It all goes very quickly at the end, and the movie not so much ends as it just stops. Awkward transition to the gunbarrel, also thanks to the music.

Ah, the music.

Simply put, I think this is the worst James Bond score of the past ... 25 years. Including License To Kill, which at least had some fun and cool action tracks.

The constant pounding of electronics and relentless chopping of strings goes way beyond the tolerance level. At some moments at the Skyfall lodge, I thought the music is bursting out into Zimmer's two note Batman theme any second.

There are some nice moments in the bike chase at the beginning, but from then on, it goes steadily downhill. And the spotting is all over the place, absolutely atrocious. When Bond goes out on deck to see Silva's island, and you hear Newman's blaring horns and the percussion ... I'm not exaggerating when I say that to me, this sounded embarassingly wrong in that scene.

Not to mention the omnipresent ethnic wailing, no matter if we are in Hong Kong, London or bloody Scotland.

I remember thinking during the pre-titles sequence "Good god, Newman, find a melody already!"

Funnily enough, in some moments, I thought of what Barry would have done for a certain scene, and played some Bond cues of his in my head.

For example the scene when Bond is following Patrice and sees him make the kill, I thought of how bad Newman's tension building is. I immediately thought about Gumbold's Safe Break and how something in the same vein would work perfectly with the scene. A score that sneaks into the film and doesn't annoy the hell out of you.

The following fist fight with the drums was like something straight out of The Matrix, only worse.

When people complain about David Arnold slipping into melodrama once in a while, I find Bond holding the dead M in his arms with something like "Mother" playing on top of it far worse. Would have been a good call not to use any music.

Ralph Fiennes as the new M is great, and Moneypenny being back as well. The new Q might work if he is given less screen time. I miss the days when Bond had a good pretitle sequence and then walked right into the office to learn his mission. Should be exactly that next time. That doesn't mean the movies can't be down to earth as they are now, and Bond sticking to Fleming's characterisation, but Bond being personally involved in everything is getting weary.

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Didn't read it yet.

Boiling everything down, I just found the story of this one as thin as the hair on Patrick Steward's head. Now, this isn't exactly a point against a Bond movie, many of them had simplistic storylines.

But where previous films managed to inject some pretence importance, Skyfall manages to portray that simple storyline not only as confusing but also manages to make large portions of it uninteresting.

I also don't see what should make Silva so special. Or why it should be special that M is the focus of some revenge act. The lady probably was head of MI6 for many years, she must have pissed of people, friends and foes alike, on a daily basis. I think it's fairly logical that one might eventually return the favour.

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I think that the film, while very well made, lacks... I don't know... certain balance. All the ingredients are there, but there's something missing. It's not even that it had to be more profound or anything, but for some reason I was detatched from it for the most part.

And Thomas Newman's score was actually one of the best elements of it.

Karol

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Certainly some good, some less good aspects to it (as most filmmakers will happily acknowledge), but the strait-jacket of big tentpole release/well-known franchise just limits the possibilities of making a movie that really stuns people the way the first saw MATRIX, PULP FICTION or RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK...to virtually nil.

I will see it next week, but i don't think i even bother with a review in this case, due to my supreme indifference.

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your review is so different from Stefans

Don't trust a man who worries about Man & Cheese done in a slow cooker.

That's all I have to say about Gkgyver.

I would be very worried about Man & Cheese in a slow cooker ...That shook you up, didn't it?

Anyway, yes, like I said, simplistic and thin plots are not arguments against a Bond film, but Skyfall can't decide what it is about, and ends up being all over the place. Is it about Bond losing "it"? Is it about Silva's network of terrorism? Is it about Bond's past? Silva's revenge on M? It tries to be about everything, and ends up being about neither.

My complaints aren't at all depending on going outside the formula. Producing an unbalanced film with a crappy score has nothing to do with some sort of Bond formula.

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Why go and pay for a film you have no interest in?

I don't pay and it will be a nice diversion. Do you always feel the urge to write about entertainment films you see?

My complaints aren't at all depending on going outside the formula. Producing an unbalanced film with a crappy score has nothing to do with some sort of Bond formula.

The score isn't really crappy. Neither are a lot of Bond scores necessarily great. Given general critical reception to SKYFALL, it must be said that your review seems unbalanced.

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I never know what film to write about until I see it.

Usually i favour content which isn't discussed to death anyway. The new Bond seems to be a more or less (depending on person, of course) satisfying big budget spectacle with stellar production values. I doubt that i find much more in it.

Whereas when i see a little-seen film like FOR GREATER GLORY with its unrelenting christian propaganda, my natural impulse is to write a long essay on it...

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Why go and pay for a film you have no interest in?

I don't pay and it will be a nice diversion. Do you always feel the urge to write about entertainment films you see?

My complaints aren't at all depending on going outside the formula. Producing an unbalanced film with a crappy score has nothing to do with some sort of Bond formula.

The score isn't really crappy. Neither are a lot of Bond scores necessarily great. Given general critical reception to SKYFALL, it must be said that your review seems unbalanced.

So film critics liking it makes my opinion on it invalid?

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Why go and pay for a film you have no interest in?

I don't pay and it will be a nice diversion. Do you always feel the urge to write about entertainment films you see?

My complaints aren't at all depending on going outside the formula. Producing an unbalanced film with a crappy score has nothing to do with some sort of Bond formula.

The score isn't really crappy. Neither are a lot of Bond scores necessarily great. Given general critical reception to SKYFALL, it must be said that your review seems unbalanced.

So film critics liking it makes my opinion on it invalid?

not at all, your individual tastes are your own. It's not like Skyfall is at 100%, clearly it's not Jaws or Aliens
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I'm by no means a James Bond fanboy. That's preposterous.

There must be a reason why you open up normative criterias why this film sucks but hardly anyone else singles them out, at least not in such an extremely negative fashion. I didn't 'hate' QOS, either, but i didn't pay particular attention on TV, so i only saw that it was badly edited - everything else was just there, big production values, a bit of Bourne-zeitgeist and another not-too-interesting villain, but it wasn't bad considering how bad blockbuster films can be, nowadays.

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I do not open up any sort of criteria. I told you what I felt during the movie. I told you what I FELT the moment I left the theatre. I do not evaluate any sort of objective criteria. Quantum felt right to me, it captured me. Skyfall did not, or very rarely. The best sequence was in Macau, everything else felt incoherent, and not thought through.

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I do not open up any sort of criteria. I told you what I felt during the movie. I told you what I FELT the moment I left the theatre. I do not evaluate any sort of objective criteria. Quantum felt right to me, it captured me. Skyfall did not, or very rarely. The best sequence was in Macau, everything else felt incoherent, and not thought through.

Normative, not objective. SKYFALL fails because of supposedly huge narrative flaws you singled out which are so universal they would apply to any movie and recognized as such. So i just wonder why so few other people seem to acknowledge such basic faults.

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