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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:24 pm 
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The N64 game for Goldeneye is great, and I was pleased that when I was able to play it again recently that it still holds up.

And HistoryProf, I echo Sausage but think that both of Dalton's outings are pretty good, with Licence to Kill his best one. Its dark edge rubbed me the wrong way the first time I saw it but it's grown on me and I would rank it pretty high as well. The story is solid and it has some great action pieces in it, particularly a rather incredible chase scene at the end involving a tanker, and Robert Davi makes for a great Bond villain. It also has Benecio del Toro as the henchman and the casting of Wayne Newton was particularly inspired.

Also, Sausage, I get the hate for Moore but you should try For Your Eyes Only. They really tried to ground Bond after the dreadful Moonraker and I think it's a solid entry allowing Moore to show a darker edge. It probably has one of Bond's coldest kills as well, which is odd since Moore was more tongue-in-cheek in his films. It's not perfect, but I think it's a good one.

And also, even if it's pretty bad overall, A View to a Kill is worth it just for Christopher Walken's take on a Bond villain.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:11 pm 
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HistoryProf wrote:
An acquaintance who works at an LA multiplex and fancies himself a cinephile declared Skyfall "the Best Bond since Goldeneye!" I could only ask "is that good?" He went on to present as his bonafides the following list of the top 5 Bond flicks:

From Russia With Love
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Skyfall
Goldeneye
Casino Royale

I can't get too excited about this...the last one was a mess. But Casino Royale was entertaining at least. People really do seem to be losing their minds over this for some reason though. I've seen sites declaring it the best Bond movie without peer. That seems silly to me. Nothing will ever top the Connery films and Moore entries like The Spy Who Loved Me - simply because they're destined to be entirely different animals from an entirely different cultural landscape.


I might be inclined to agree with your comment about it not being being able to top Connery films like Goldfinger and From Russia With Love and maybe even Moore's The Spy Who Loved Me, but only because of nostalgia. Those films meant a lot to me growing up as a kid; after falling in love with Goldeneye and the subsequent N64 game (greatest N64 game in my opinion), I became a huge bond fan; my Dad owned most of the films on VHS and we watched so many of them and I became totally hooked on Bond. Like you said though, those films were completely different animals from entirely different cultural landscapes; why I think Skyfall is being so applauded is because it is so modern and exists within the cultural realm we are currently living in, we don't look at it as film of history or as something of nostalgia; we look at is as something current and representative of the modern world and modern action films. Skyfall may never mean to me what Goldeneye did, or From Russia With Love, but I still think it was phenomenal and my favourite Craig film. I really loved Casino Royale and thought Quantum of Solace was at least tolerable, but Skyfall really feels like a high point for Bond films.

For me, Skyfall is the most emotionally engaging Bond film, once again continuing Craig's very humanistic portrayal of Bond. Craig was once again phenomenal, even in the scenes where he was trying to come off as cold and calculating, he felt so human, so emotionally charged. Bond didn't feel like some fictional, smooth and suave superman as he did with other Bond actors; he felt like a real person with real emotions and flaws. My most up-most kudos go out to the writing team behind Craig's bond films for the way they rewrote Bond in these new films. Javier was exactly what I was expecting, utterly amazing; he was the perfect Bond villain and in my opinion maybe the best Bond villain of all time. Dame Judi Dench was incredible as well, not that I expected any less from her :P

I found Mendes' direction phenomenal, he was the perfect choice for this film. While it didn't quite feel like a Mendes film, as he had to follow the typical style and motifs of Bond films, he still gave his own flavour to it, which I really enjoyed. Deakins cinematography was something to behold, this was the perfect film for Deak to shoot considering how much it allowed him to experiment and play around with style and he nailed it; gorgeously shot film. Even as someone who hates video, I must admit Deakins treatment of the Arri Alexa looked gorgeous; I could only noticeably tell in a few scenes
[Reveal] Spoiler:
(particularly the scene when they first arrive at Skyfall where they are in the house meeting Kincade and the light is shining through the windows; very video looking in this scene)
The rest of the shots looked incredible and very much like they were shot on 35mm.

If you are an action film fan, or a Bond film Skyfall is a must see; highly recommended.

8/10


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:01 am 
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Solid Bond film. First one I've seen in a theater. My Dad went with me. He's not a big Bond person but he thoroughly enjoyed it as did I. I like Craig's Bond. My Dad described as less debonair with a Humphrey Bogart haggard side to him. I haven't seen all the Bond films yet(Haven't seen a Dalton one or the Lazenby), but this one seems to have a lot more depth than what I've seen considering he's allowed to have some faults:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
I thought it was great that they touched on him having issues with drinking and after he came back from his hiatus, he was not a badass but really rusty and struggling.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:41 pm 
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Congrats to Huff Post for putting the words "SPOILER ALERT" on the same text line as the spoiler itself in this Oscar article-- what the fuck were they thinking?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:42 am 
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[Reveal] Spoiler:
I'm curious what you all thought of the "queer panic" moment when Bond is tied to a chair while the nefarious Silva begins to feel him up, telegraphing his evil through sexual "deviancy." There is no follow-up to this characterization, which to me means that it's merely filmic shorthand for ugliness, insanity, and danger, using the homo bogeyman as a quick and lazy means to threaten the audience. The only thing that mitigated it was Bond's cheeky response: "How do you know it would be my first time," or words to that effect. It didn't offend me, but I don't really understand why it was necessary to plot/character/genre conventions/what-have-you. I know Bardem views the scene more as a means by which Silva attempts to intimidate Bond, rather than an assertion of his own sexuality, but this would only seem to confirm my suspicion: it wasn't about a bisexual Bond at all, but rather a demonized homo. (I don't even know why I'm redacting this under the spoiler blot, but better safe than sorry, I guess.)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:25 am 
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Bit of a stretch, almost as if you're looking for offence. I thought it perfectly clear he was just playing on what he perceived would be Bond's insecurity as a well-known ladies man.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:25 am 
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Bond's response there absolutely changed the whole thing for me, particularly considering that

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Silva stopped immediately after Bond parried the attack (as it were.) That made it pretty clear that Silva had been trying to use sexuality as a weapon- as Bond so often does- in trying to provoke a kneejerk homophobic response on Bond's part, rather than acting on any particular sexual desire of his own. Both men are agents in the same manner, so both presumably have the near sociopathic disconnect between sex and interest that Bond consistently displays- and it absolutely makes sense that both would be quite as prepared to seduce or be seduced by a member of either gender.

That was actually one of my favorite moments in the movie, it updates a piece of the Bond mythos in a way that feels like it makes sense with the character we see, rather than trying to force modern views on a premodern character.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:41 am 
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The thing that explained everything for me was Silva's line: "there isn't anything in the MI6 training manual for this, is there?" That told me he was tormenting Bond with an interrogation method that a British government agency is unlikely to prepare its agents for. Bond's line just reveals that Bond knows this and, whatever his actual feelings, isn't planning to lose his control. Bond plain doesn't panic.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
matrixschmatrix wrote:
Both men are agents in the same manner, so both presumably have the near sociopathic disconnect between sex and interest that Bond consistently displays- and it absolutely makes sense that both would be quite as prepared to seduce or be seduced by a member of either gender.

Yeah. One of the things I liked about the moment was the feeling that while there was no reason to think that he had engaged in homosexual activity, there was no reason to think that he hadn't, either. I was prepared to believe him either way, and I think the film intends that. It was a great bit.



The one thing I like about these Craig Bonds is that they're not safe and sanitized like a lot of the Bonds. In Bond movies there are typically no consequences: no blood, no trauma, no regrets; even the death of his romantic interests tend to leave no scars. And by the next movie, the slate has been wiped clean. In the Craig Bonds, the bad events have a real physical and emotional effect on Bond. His near death leaves him depressed, disconnected (love the shot where the beautiful woman lies next to him stroking his chest and he just sits there, an empty look on his face), and chemically dependent, seeking cheap thrills in a dive bar. On top of that, the loss of Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale has clearly contributed to his nearly sociopathic attitude to sex that matrixschmatrix mentions. By Skyfall you see that he's no longer interested in making any personal connection with a Bond girl. The series actually explains the character's emotional disconnect from the death of the women around him. Bond's detached cool isn't just part of his charm anymore, it's part of his trauma. If the casual deaths of the women around him don't have an effect, it's because he's damaged and emotionally unhealthy (and therefore a good agent).

Indeed, the whole theme of the three films is to show us how Bond becomes the Bond that we know (culminating with all the elements being in their familiar place by the end of Skyfall). And the three films make clear that this involves the severing of all his emotional connections:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
the death of love (Vesper), the destruction of the remaining connection to his childhood (his home at Skyfall, things getting slightly more symbolic here), and the death of M, his surrogate parent.
One of the threads of the movie is the way agents are trained to think of their superiors as parents: Bond being repeatedly asked why he came back from 'death' for M, Silva's whole Oedipal thing, M's knowing comment that orphans make the best agents.

I appreciate, too, that the films aren't critical of Bond like the later Brosnan's were with stuff like M's ridiculous speech about Bond being a dinosaur. The films are simply realistic about him. You don't get to be an agent like Bond through a series of happy incidents. Bond's typically self-destructive behaviour is allowed to be actually self-destructive without being any less entertaining.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:50 pm 
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Great responses, matrixschmatrix and Mr. Sausage. I'll leave it at that.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:25 pm 
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I didn't think there could be a Bond title sequence worse than Casino Royale's, but they really lowered the bar with Skyfall's. Thank goodness everything afterward was a vast improvement.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:40 pm 
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My immediate reaction is that it felt as uncluttered and straight ahead storytelling-wise than either The Dark Knight Rises or Prometheus and that Deakins' work on it was head above shoulders above any action film I've seen in quite awhile. It delved a little into the back story without being as enamored with it like some films do (which I don't mind at times), thus not pulling the veil entirely from the enigmatic side of Bond. And it felt even quicker than Casino Royale did (or as I remembered it anyway).

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I also liked that the film employed several on-the-nose references to other movies. Silva's island has pretty clear nods to Inception, not to mention his Hannibal Lecter-like jail cell. The whole sequence (and payoff) with the train (with that beautiful comedy moment of Bond asking to get on) nods to Die Hard With A Vengeance. The nod to Apocalypse Now when Silva arrives in the helicopter. And of course the booby-trapped home, which either plays as an homage to Straw Dogs or Home Alone.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:07 pm 
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Finally saw Skyfall last night (in IMAX which was definitely worth the extra bucks) and have been holding off on reading this thread here until I would see the film.
I really liked it and didn't necessarily expect to do so, since I still struggle with Craig as Bond - for some reason I can't get over the fact that he looks more like a common hoodlum than a "suave" superagent to me, but have to admit that both Skyfall and Casino Royale are Bonds that I consider above average, especially compared to some of the Moore and Brosnan silliness (although I have to give Brosnan kudos for the look, which after Connery is probably the second best for me and how I see the character).

Reading all the posts here I can't help but think that the main reason some people like one movie over the other is how they grew up and which Bonds they saw as teenagers. For me it was Connery and I was lucky to see all of them on the big screen when they got re-released in the 70s. From Russia with Love is hands down my favorite one. OHMSS is number two, even though it doesn't feature Connery, maybe because I didn't expect that much character depth from a Bond and the ending really elevated it for me. I wished Dalton would have continued as I liked his take on the character and I think Brosnan could have been good had he had better scripts.

In any case whether you are die-hard fan of the series like I am or just a casual viewer, I believe Skyfall provides enough entertainment for both. For the die-hards you just have to love the ending and the frequent references to previous outings throughout and for the casual viewer, I think it provides more than just explosions and has a little bit more character development or story development for that fact to it than most of the nonsense shown these days (and I freely admit that the terms character and story development are a stretch for a Bond film to begin with).

And if for no other reason, Deakins photography is worth the entrance fee alone.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:45 pm 
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I have to admit after hearing that this was a more serious Bond instantly being afraid that it would be in the same vein of deadly earnestness that Nolan has made so popular.

I was pleasantly surprised with what is probably one of the most overwrought Bonds I can think of (the silliness of the opening scene even topping that of The World is Not Enough).

And Craig far from giving a performance of grim heterosexuality is even more surprisingly camp as tits.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:49 am 
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Matt wrote:
I didn't think there could be a Bond title sequence worse than Casino Royale's, but they really lowered the bar with Skyfall's. Thank goodness everything afterward was a vast improvement.

Ugh! Yes, it was pretty awful, and it lacked naked ladies. I get this was supposed to be a more "reflective" Bond film and I guess the titles were attempting to capture that. But who doesn't have time to reflect on naked ladies?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:24 pm 

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Just got back from watching this. Honestly, I really am sick of overhyped, critically and commercially praised blockbuster films of late that are just incredible let downs. Was this a pretty decent Bond flick? Yes. But for me the fundamental issue lies with Daniel Craig as the title character, and no matter how many girlfriends and significant others keep proclaiming he's "a hottie," I still think he looks like Dopey from Snow White and thats putting it kindly. He has the expressive range of Matt Damon, and very little of the charm. Someone like Michael Fassbender should slip into Bond's shoes at this point, I think he could bring something fresh to the series which like the Batman films is becoming way too self important. A lot of other things with this film didn't work:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
THe ridiculous train scene in which we are supposed to accept that Silva timed an explosion in the middle of a foot chase scene to have a locomotive come rushing underground for the sole purpose of killing Bond, the VERY bland Bond Girls who have about 10 mins screentime, the incredibly stupid ending where Bond's plan ultimately leads to M's death (in his own arms no less), and the boring, generic villain played by Bardem (did we really need CGI enhancements of his cheek muscles and teeth when he removes the prosthetic while in jail?? Have practical effects effectively become so obselete at this point in the digital age??)


This was definitely a step down from Casino Royale and while I enjoyed the Q character and throwback moments to the older Bonds, I'm honestly still dumbfounded that this is getting all the praise it deserves. OF course some of it makes sense, considering Sam Mendes has apparently said in numerous interviews that the major inspiration for his film was the Dark Knight.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:18 pm 
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flyonthewall2983 wrote:
Silva's island has pretty clear nods to Inception

I assumed it was a real place: Gunkanjima (as featured in Ben Rivers' brilliant Slow Action) -
Image


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:41 pm 

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flyonthewall2983 wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
I also liked that the film employed several on-the-nose references to other movies. Silva's island has pretty clear nods to Inception, not to mention his Hannibal Lecter-like jail cell. The whole sequence (and payoff) with the train (with that beautiful comedy moment of Bond asking to get on) nods to Die Hard With A Vengeance. The nod to Apocalypse Now when Silva arrives in the helicopter. And of course the booby-trapped home, which either plays as an homage to Straw Dogs or Home Alone.
Yes! I'm glad someone else played "guess the action movie reference" while they were watching this too. Let's not forget the hot/cold lighting of the climax reminiscent of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, or the "dead in the water" shot much like the end of The Bourne Ultimatum.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:11 pm 
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zedz wrote:
flyonthewall2983 wrote:
Silva's island has pretty clear nods to Inception

I assumed it was a real place: Gunkanjima (as featured in Ben Rivers' brilliant Slow Action) -
Image


I know Nolan used real locations as the inspiration for the sets for that particular part of the movie, so it might have come from the same source.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:40 pm 
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flyonthewall2983 wrote:
I also liked that the film employed several on-the-nose references to other movies.

Immediately after seeing this my wife and I both noticed a Stalker reference in the way the scene before the runaway tube train was set up. Bond walking through shallow water with flood lights on him... he might as well have been in the zone.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:31 pm 
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For those complaining about the opening credit sequences, which exactly were the best ones from the Bond canon?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:50 pm 
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I too wondered if Bardem's hideout wasn't the same eerie deserted island featured in Rivers' Slow Action, but I also couldn't tell if the location in Skyfall was a real place or not. It looked to me like a combination of sets and CGI, perhaps modeled after Slow Action's island. There was something about the edges of the hired thugs as they walked through that set off a greenscreen alarm.

Thought Skyfall overall was shoddy. The labored but empty psychologizing, borrowed from Nolan's similarly hollow Batman movies, didn't mix well with all of the cutesy, kitschy self-reflexiveness or the clumsy and ultimately uninteresting setpieces. Acting wasn't bad, though I hope Whishaw's career ends here, but the script is one of the worst in years, preposterous and laugh-free. Deakins is a good sport, but unnecessary and half-baked CGI doesn't play nice with fancy lighting. Hopefully now that the "origin story" is over with the franchise can return to the unpretentious craftmanship of Casino Royale.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:41 am 
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flyonthewall2983 wrote:
For those complaining about the opening credit sequences, which exactly were the best ones from the Bond canon?
I don't have a ranked list, but all of the title sequences Maurice Binder did (every Bond film from Dr. No through License to Kill except From Russia with Love and Goldfinger) are very good and iconically "Bond." Robert Brownjohn, who did the two early sequences that Binder didn't create, probably deserves the credit for eroticizing the Bond title sequences, but I think Binder took them to a new level. Of the recent few sequences, only Quantum of Solace was any good and was a clear homage to Binder's work.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:32 pm 
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Saw this tonight finally and it was the letdown I hoped it wouldn't be. It was a perfectly fine entry I guess...somewhere in the middle overall. But ultimately it just felt kind of bland, the worst issues having been voiced by Stroszek above (especially the train...that strained credulity well beyond my threshold). Bardem was the best part, and his introduction was the best scene in the film - it also took far too long to get there. At the same time, his masterplan never feels credible or if it wasn't a master plan then there was FAR too much on the fly stuff going on that it moves into cartoon land. I enjoyed it, but I can't understand the people declaring it a masterpiece or even near the top 5 of the canon.

The one real question I have is whether this is the first film to address Bond's childhood? I actually wish they would have done more with that thread...but much like the rest of the film, it was just another piece that was brought up but never fully realized. It almost feels like a 2.5 hour attempt to set up future films with a new cast of MI6 operatives...the ending was one of those frustrating "oh, so we're only here to explain why these people will be in the next 3 movies" kind of moments.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:20 pm 
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Knocked that vampire movie off the top spot in the B.O. this week.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:07 pm 
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If we're going to discuss the titles, we really should shriek about the Playstation-1 quality of the CGI. Abysmal. The song is too depressing and overwrought too, but then again the whole movie is overwrought and awful so I guess that kind of fits.


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