Amph 007 Skyfall

Discussion in 'Community' started by DarthLowBudget, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    I think the real thing to say at this point is, yes, he had a legitimate beef. I mean, how could M send her agents into the field with faulty cyanide capsules? That's just bad business.
  2. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Dench's M is pretty wildly incompetent, though.

    "Helicopter poses no threat"
    "GoldenEye doesn't exist"
    The whole King fiasco
    Miranda Frost
    Vesper
    Mitchell
    Gives Bond free reign (when he goes nuts, you send Jerec after him, not Gemma Friggin' Arteton)
    Gallivants about all over the shop and endangers herself
    Associates with shady types like Michael Madsen and David Harbour

    And the stuff from Skyfall I don't know about, but even if it is across two continuities Bardem, Fiennes, and whoever have every reason to question her authority. Bernard Lee wouldn't have put up with this crap. Robert Brown certainly wouldn't have.

    I woulda put Michael Kitchen in charge of that joint about 40 minutes into GoldenEye. Also, Dench's M hits the sauce pretty quick in her office during while working. Poor form, wot.
  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    OK, so just saw it. It's not the best Bond film, as has been bandied about by people here, and in the media. It's immensely satisfying; it's layered; it's gorgeous to behold and it's also a love letter to both England and Ian Fleming. If you're one of the people who defends the un-Fleming-esque Bond films and who don't think Fleming should matter when discussing the film Bond - the producers took my side, not yours. Little details, like the folder M gives Bond at the end being black (in previous films, they were beige or blue. In the novels, black) or Bond's struggle against himself, are directly lifted from Fleming. I was overjoyed to see the names "Andrew Bond" and "Monique de la Croix Bond" in the film. It's not overt, but it's beautiful none the less.

    Craig was fantastic, especially as he's starting to age. He's in real danger of replacing Dalton as my favourite Bond.

    Honestly, I think I need to see it again to work out if it has the longevity of an On Her Majesty's Secret Service or a Casino Royale. But I walked out satisfied, and feeling respected by the film makers. The last milestone was Bond's 40th anniversary, and they gave us Die Another Day. Hence feeling respected at the 50th anniversary.
    JoinTheSchwarz likes this.
  4. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Now I can address this...

    Bond is an orphan. This is touched upon in the new continuity by Vesper in the train exchange, and comes from Fleming. I think it was You Only Live Twice that explained that Andrew Bond and Monique Delacroix died when Bond was 11 years old. Now...

    Show Spoiler
    There's both textual and subtextual reasons why Skyfall was shown. And no, in Fleming's world, that's not the Bond's estate.

    Firstly, Bond is good at his job precisely because he was orphaned. Taking Bond back to that is consistent with the film's theme of Bond going back to his roots. Like the Flemingesque black-coloured operations folder, or the naval warfare paintings adorning M's office).

    We learn that Bond went into the priest hole a boy, and came out a man.

    Finally; by making M a maternal figure to Bond, her past and Bond's past become intertwined and so Skyfall forms the perfect backdrop to that.

    Sometimes Wocky I wonder if there's anything in this life you like.
  5. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Just saw it myself.

    Rogue, my top 10 matches yours now, precisely.

    It's a great Bond film, it's a great Sam Mendes film, and it's just a great film, period. Complete with the daffyness that a Bond film sometimes requires. I'm now totally on board for Craig - not that I was resistant, I just needed a greater sample size from CR, and QOS brings nothing to the table. Now we're there. This guy is James Bond.
  6. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    I thought it was interesting that there wasn't really a Bond girl in this one. In fact, the argument could be made that M is the Bond girl. Very exciting to see where the next film goes. Hopefully Fiennes has more screen time in the next one.
  7. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    A few hours later and I'm still impressed by what I saw. The only week link I can think of was the score. I know Sam Mendes has a long standing relationship with Thomas Newman; and the American Beauty soundtrack contained some haunting and beautiful moments (not the least of which was the piano refrain which Jakkata sampled in "American Dream" 10 or more years ago). It's just not memorable or particularly well suited music that he composed for Skyfall. David Arnold's scores for CR and QoS were excellent (there was some criticism about the lack of Bond theme but that's probably a producer/director decision to emphasise "becoming Bond") and suited the film perfectly.

    I would have preferred he score it.
  8. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    I couldn't disagree more. Arnold's scores are bland and lack imagination, for my money. Far too much of trying to ape Barry and failing. I don't think there's truly a Bond "sound" beyond the main theme, in fact, I think title tunes are more beholden to lean heavily on brass, but I think Eric Serra, Bill Conti, Michael Kamen, Marvin Hamlisch and George Martin were all able to craft wonderful scores to Bond films that sound nothing like Barry. This slots in there too - it's atypical, but then so is the film.

    Also, the music is the main component which made this feel like the true break from the Brosnan era. One of the problems with Craig's first two films is that the sound is still that of Brosnan. Barry was able to change his style a fair bit for Dalton, but I don't think Arnold did enough in that department.

    Honestly, I'd like each director to be able to bring their own composer on board. Their own DP as well - I think, though, with bringing back Baird (and his... daughter?), who is one of the few top-echelon below-the-line people on Skyfall who hadn't worked with Mendes before, the editor should be delegated by EON. Especially since I think you can attribute much of the success of earlier installments of the series to the really robust work done by Peter Hunt and John Glen in the editors' chair (so much so that both got rather dramatically promoted down the line).
    Merlin_Ambrosius69 likes this.
  9. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    You criticise Arnold but praise Serra?!

    Hell's wrong with you man?
    Last edited by Ender_Sai, Nov 22, 2012
  10. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    There are a few cues of Serra's that I don't like ("Ladies First" is horrid), but the score overall is hugely atmospheric and goes a long way to giving GoldenEye its unique atmosphere. Arnold wishes he could come up with a "GoldenEye Overture" or a "Run, Shoot, Jump".
  11. Darth_Kiryan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2009
    star 4
  12. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    But (open)
    It's fine that he was orphaned. They hinted way back in Casino Royale that although he was familiar with affluence, he never quite counted himself among that crowd. The most logical reason was always that some trauma set him apart, and being orphaned makes as much sense it anything. It works for Batman, anyway. My issue as that, as I've just said, we already had hints in this direction. How did the formal reveal benefit us? It just proved what we'd already suspected about James's past.

    Likewise the story about his parents' death. The priest hole was supposed to be a powerful character moment. I get that. But it was fundamentally more confirmatory than revelatory. What other response would have been appropriate for the kid that grows up to be James Bond? They were hardly suspected to say that he tried to hide in their but had carried on with such high-pitched, girly bawling that everyone knew exactly where he was from the outset. Or that it took three days to get him out only because he was slippery with snot and tears. The stoic transformation is what we would have first guessed about Bond based on his adult persona and its exactly what we were given. But why does a back story need telling if it is entirely predictable? No one needs to be reassured that they were right to judge a book by its cover. Especially in a series that already encourages this sort of thing through liberal use of shorthand signifiers.
  13. Darth_Kiryan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2009
    star 4
    Wasn't a bad move. I especially like the callbacks to previous films. The Goldfinger car, Q, even the Scottish heritage of the Bond Family (all given proudly by Sean Connery).I especially liked the conversation in the museum "what were you expecting, an exploding pen - we don't do those kind of things anymore" and the whole "please return everything in one piece."

    would have been cool if that gamekeeper was actually Sean Connery. :D Really nice tribute that would have been.

    Movie was long though.

    So Ralph fiennes has obviously committed himself to doing several films as M, perhaps even Naomie Harris as well doing Moneypenny.

    Not my favorite movie, IMO, but still good.
  14. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    If Connery played Kincaid, it'd have been distracting.

    But, you are correct that Bond's Scottish background is from Fleming after seeing Connery as Bond.
  15. GenAntilles Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2007
    star 4
    Show Spoiler
    Yeah Connery as Kincaid would've meant the audience would expect that when Bond arrived at the Church Kincaid would've already had killed Silva with a cigarette gadget gun and Bond would find him sleeping with M leading to Kincaid going 'Well it looks like I have some sins to confess'
    Last edited by GenAntilles, Nov 23, 2012
  16. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
    I think Newman's score is wonderful -- lush, instrumental, more melodic and pleasingly orchestral than Arnold's electronic rhythm synth. Just one fan's opinion.
  17. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 6
    Just got back from seeing it. General, spoiler and controversy free assessment: Great, loved it. Would recommend it to just about anyone.

    And now...

    Whoa Spoilers and Controversy! 3edgy5me. (open)
    I'd like to preface the following wholly unnecessary assessment with the following "confession," of sorts. I want stuff laid bare so if I seem like I'm coming at this from a biased perspective... well, I am.

    My favorite Bond is Connery. My favorite Bond film is Goldfinger, followed closely by You Only Live Twice. After that? The Man with the Golden Gun. Basically, I am exactly the kind of Bond fan this thread has made overwhelming clear it doesn't care for: I like stupid gadgets, ridiculous megalomaniacal plots, one-liners, and Roger Moore. I consider the horrible films in the franchise to be amusing forays into the enjoyably camp. I've kept quiet because I don't really want to argue about it, but it's pretty necessary to understand where I'll be coming from in about two paragraphs.

    Also up front: I didn't see QoS. I was not a big fan of Casino Royale (The new one. I actually kind of like the comedy film, warts and all.) and I heard QoS was basically more of the same except possibly worse depending on who you asked, so I skipped it outright. It's possible some of the things I'll say were done first there. If so, I apologize for nothing.

    So, to wit: Skyfall felt like an apology, or at least an olive branch. Q? Back. Gadgets? Back, if toned down. Bond theme? Back. People getting eaten by animals? Back. Villain lair? Back. Willingness to have fun? Back. Hell, even Moneypenny was back. The Craig edge was still there, but it was made palatable by a willingness to merge the old with the new, rather than throwing all of the old out like Casino did. The end result felt more like a modernization, rather than a deconstruction or abandonment. I could go into how I felt that was, like, stylistically represented by the return of the Aston Martin and Kinkaide's remarks about how sometimes the old ways work best, and how Bardem's character was killed by his own mad desire to scour the past clean, but that's snobby and always kind of reeks of nonsense, so outside of this sentence, I won't.

    Everyone was spot on, particularly the new Q, which was kind of like watching Desmond Llewyn reincarnated in a much younger body. The kid gets the character to an almost terrifying degree. Javier Bardem was arguably the best interpretation of Heath Ledger's Joker since Heath Ledger's Joker. Judi Dench's M felt more fully realized than that character has ever been. And I think I'm warming up to Craig Bond, which is also nice.

    I liked Sam Mendes' direction - especially, and I'm surprised I was paying as much attention to it as I was, the lighting, which was just amazing. It was flat when it should've been flat, which I always end up gawking at. I blame Barry Lyndon. But I noticed, nonetheless, and I really enjoyed seeing those kinds of techniques implemented in a mainstream blockbuster like this one. I'll count it as yet another blow against the Michael Bays of the world, not because it truly is, but because that'll help me sleep at night when they announce Transformers 5 or whatever the hell they're up to.

    Criticisms? A couple, and kind of minor, mostly relating to the fact that it all felt a lot like a Batman movie. In a good way, mind you, but I kept forgetting if I was watching Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, or Skyfall, especially after they got back to England. At one point Craig showed up, cloaked in shadows, and I half-expected him to inquire as to where the additional narcotics were being transported to. But again, this didn't really detract from viewing.

    In sum: Wow, that was ****ing great. I'm excited to see where the franchise heads next, which is definitely NOT the way I was feeling after the last few films (Including some of Brosnan's). Here's to the next 50.
    Last edited by Ramza, Nov 23, 2012
  18. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
    Incredible, the film pleases staunch Fleming purists, it pleases the camp gadget fans, it is truly a miracle. In fact it seems the only person it doesn't please is Wocky. And no one was surprised....
  19. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2007
    star 5
    It's an honest compromise between Goldfinger and Casino Royale.

    Which is awesome.
    SithLordDarthRichie likes this.
  20. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Finally saw it. The score, for the record, was fantastic.

    Show Spoiler
    I hate you, Ramza, for spoiling my observation. Whishaw really does a tremendous Q. It would have been easy to try for a poor man's Llewelyn, which is what they did with Cleese (I love Cleese, but he proved that EVERYONE is a poor man's Llewelyn). It would have been possible to go in a totally different direction. It would have even been possible to get a young guy to try to "do" Llewelyn to make the poor-man's nature less apparent. Instead, Whishaw gets the best possible result by doing Llewelyn without APPEARING to do Llewelyn, which is a great balancing act. It's not a broad imitation, but an embodiment of the key sense Llewelyn brought to the role. Perfect casting.

    As long as we're on casting for regulars, I was never entirely sold, in the run-up, on Fiennes's M. I was hoping for a different direction on M. When Mallory sprang into action (literally, leaping over that desk) at that hearing, I was IMMEDIATELY sold. I can get behind the sensibility they're giving this incarnation of the character. He feels like the traditional M, but in a younger, fresher version, appropriate for Craig's Bond. The final scene was just the icing on the cake.

    And, hell, I'll stick on the new old friends. I love that we've got Moneypenny back -- the old gang's together again, and that final scene was just absolutely perfect in giving us the sense that Bond is back. It did everything QOS should have in blending CR's new, still-learning Bond with the traditional Bond, showing us how Craig now fits into the familiar formula. I'm not exactly wild about Bond and Moneypenny having a sexual history, or Moneypenny having been a field agent, but it gives the character some freshness and potential, and I did really love the interplay between the two in the field. I look forward to seeing more of Harris.

    As to the rest, Craig's Bond was magnificent, his emotions extant but hidden under a layer of reserve. His Bond finally feels mature, the arrogance of his first year given way to confidence after years of service. He's tested personally, but it's more about undergoing an ordeal than taking the character on a journey somewhere new -- most of his growing is done, and we finally get the Bond of legend deployed on a mission. Craig gets the character perfectly.

    Silva is a solid villain -- Bardem actually could overplay the character much more, taking him to the heights of self-amusing playacting and theatrics that Ledger did for the Joker. Instead, wisely undercutting the Joker comparisons, Bardem plays him more restrained, deploying the occasional theatric and enjoying himself, but in a more personal way. It's a quieter and more deliberate kind of crazy, which makes for a character who feels very different, despite the surface similarities. He's menacing and unnerving, and Bardem is great. I only wish he'd had a better handled introduction, as all that super-menacing, somewhat generically gothic buildup of the character in that dark Macau casino doesn't quite feel like it lands. HE IS THE DARKEST EMBODIMENT OF FEAR . . . because he plays generic mind games in the sun, sends threatening messages with goofy graphics, and tries to push your gay-panic button. The buildup of a dark overlord doesn't quite fit the chummy-weirdo persona we get. A little more explanation of exactly what Severine's condition in his operation was could have cleared that up a little more and illuminated the darkness of working under Silva's thumb.

    The film was absolutely spectacular, though. Beautifully shot, with wonderfully exotic locations in Istanbul, Shanghai, Macau, and Silva's island balancing the war-at-home meat of the film, which made the UK feel like home, but never dull. The action setpieces were thrilling, spectacular, and for all that's been done on film, still fresh-feeling. I'm enormously happy with Mendes, who's made a truly classic Bond film utterly worthy of the fiftieth mark, and I would be more than happy to see him back at the helm again. Just a brilliant film -- it works as a straight thriller and as that most particular of genres, the Bond movie.

    Also, I want Kincade to be a recurring character. Just every time Bond's in the country, he shows up with some freshly shot game birds and a witty remark. Then maybe he shoots somebody, if they need it. You know, that kind of thing.
    Last edited by Havac, Nov 24, 2012
  21. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Do they or don't they?

    Show Spoiler
    "Close shaves" after all.
  22. TryWhistlingThis Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 3
    I just saw the movie today. Absolutely stunning. Honestly, i'd put it somewhere in my top five Bond films of all time because this film did for the 007 franchise what The Dark Knight did for Batman. That is, it took a familiar formula and rebuilt it from the ground by taking risks that the franchise never has before but without betraying what the films are about. It's very much a 007 film that on the one hand celebrates its 50 year legacy but is looking seriously to the future which is evident in all the nods in the lines such as Q's "exploding pen" jibe in the gallery. I also couldn't notice some very subtle but also noticeable parallel's to Silva and Heath Ledger's joker.

    Highlights:

    Show Spoiler


    - The Aston Martin with the ejector seat, M's line made me smile

    - "What, did you expect me to give you an exploding pen?"

    - The showdown at Skyfall. Never before has a Bond film had such a personal and emotionally driven setting

    - M's f-bomb. Totally unprecedented and I kept thinking to myself, "no, she said something like 'flubbed'"

    - Raoul Silva's scene in the MI6 chamber and that freaky moment when he removes his false teeth. He looked like jaws there

    - M's gift to Bond from her will



    I must also say that this was a 007 film that benefitted from having not only less intensity in the action but overall less action. It's clearly the most emotional and character driven of the movies. I also want to say...

    Show Spoiler
    Given how Moneypenny was introduced and how the batten was handed from Dench to Fiennes, I eagerly await how the change of Bond is handled. On the one hand, the tombstone of Bond's parents clearly states that "Bond" is not an agent title. But, at the end, the folder with Bond's next assignment is marked with "007". Could they handle Craig's closure like Bale's in Dark Knight Rises?
  23. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    I gave it a second run tonight. I was slightly less blown-away by earlier portions of the film, but the Tennyson scene is just magical.

    I think if I was to nestle it into my Bond rankings it'd look like this:

    1. OHMSS
    2. FRWL
    3. GF
    4. TLD
    5. SF
    6. TSWLM
    7. GE
    8. CR
    9. DN
    10. LTK
    11. FYEO
    12. LALD
    13. YOLT
    14. AVTAK
    15. MR
    16. OP
    17. DAF
    18. TB
    19. QOS
    20. TMWTGG
    21. TND
    22. TWINE
    23. DAD
    It's certainly my favourite Bond to be released since I've been a fan, although apart from CR the competition isn't exactly fierce.
  24. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    I simply don't understand a man who rates TMWTGG as anything less than worst or second worst Bond film; certainly not one who rates AVATK at 14th.

    Ian Fleming would be sad-faced.
  25. TryWhistlingThis Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 3
    I personally LOVED the Man With The Golden Gun. I know it's not the most popular of the Bond films but I really don't understand why it's so overlooked. There's some great character moments in this for Roger's 007 plus I lived Christopher Lee as the villain, one of my favourites.
    Ramza and GenAntilles like this.