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SKYFALL Post-Release - Printable Version

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- doc phibes - 02-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by avian View Post

Bonds where the hero "saves kids from getting run over by buses."

Excuse me, which Bond movies are you referring to?  Which scenes?




- mr. stockslivevan - 02-25-2013

AThis is the closest thing I can think of with Bond interacting with a kid:

[Image: 151468]

Yeah, even Roger Moore's Bond could be a dick.


- avian - 02-25-2013

I'm actually legitimately interested in this. If President Obama gave a press conference and said "well, we sent some aerial drones into Pakistan and they blew up a school, but hey, we got a terrorist. Mission accomplished, the ends justify the means," people would be reading the Riot Act. But then we have this silly, fun, escapist adventure movie... which is espousing this weird, kinda fascistic viewpoint without any real social commentary or theme besides "Huh. Guess Bond's a bit of a bastard then. But he's still really cool and sexy. BUY TOM FORD SUNGLASSES, THEY'RE BOND-APPROVED." It just seems like a complete 180 to me; a two hundred million dollar, Oscar-winning movie that says a government-funded hitman without any real morality or honor is the epitome of class.

Maybe that's always been the case, but it stands out a bit more now. Like finding out that there're black jokes in The Muppet Babies or something.




- mr. stockslivevan - 02-25-2013

AWell, yeah. It's a movie.


- jhp1608 - 02-25-2013

It's also the character. "For Queen and country"...he'll do what it takes to complete the mission, which generally puts killing the bad guy and stopping his plans first, and well ahead of any interest in minimising collateral damage. The principal theme of Skyfall was to put him on the wrong side of the accounting treatment and explore that, and to humanise the cost (in contrast, say, to the unacknowledged collateral destruction typically caused during a Bond film). One of the disappointments I intiially felt about Skyfall was that, having set that up, I didn't think it really resolved it.

But, perhaps the resolution was in the fact that Bond realised sometimes you have to sacrifice others or put them in harm's way to achieve the objective - Severine, M herself. Or you could take the view that the primary protagonist of Skyfall was M, and her arc was the most important. I'm open to either, on reflection.

I was also originally not very impressed by the low stakes of this film. On consideration though, the theme of balancing the needs of the mission against expendability would probably not have been as interesting if the threat had been as material, overwhelming and global as previous films. Need to stop worldwide nuclear armageddon? Probably not going to worry too much if the body count is high on either side.

I won't disagree that it's a murky ethical perspective, though. But then, 99% of global action films are morally questionable - note, I'm not saying wrong, just debatable. At least this film makes an attempt to deal with the issue, rather than simply assuming it's a valid point of view.




- bailey - 02-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by avian View Post

I'm actually legitimately interested in this. If President Obama gave a press conference and said "well, we sent some aerial drones into Pakistan and they blew up a school, but hey, we got a terrorist. Mission accomplished, the ends justify the means," people would be reading the Riot Act. But then we have this silly, fun, escapist adventure movie... which is espousing this weird, kinda fascistic viewpoint without any real social commentary or theme besides "Huh. Guess Bond's a bit of a bastard then. But he's still really cool and sexy. BUY TOM FORD SUNGLASSES, THEY'RE BOND-APPROVED." It just seems like a complete 180 to me; a two hundred million dollar, Oscar-winning movie that says a government-funded hitman without any real morality or honor is the epitome of class.

Maybe that's always been the case, but it stands out a bit more now. Like finding out that there're black jokes in The Muppet Babies or something.

This movie was, in part, a commentary on that aspect of Bond.  If any Bond movies are going to be criticized for it, it should be the ones that gloss over that inescapable facet of the character, not the one that tries to shine a light on it.




- cylon baby - 02-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by avian View Post

I'm actually legitimately interested in this. If President Obama gave a press conference and said "well, we sent some aerial drones into Pakistan and they blew up a school, but hey, we got a terrorist. Mission accomplished, the ends justify the means," people would be reading the Riot Act. But then we have this silly, fun, escapist adventure movie... which is espousing this weird, kinda fascistic viewpoint without any real social commentary or theme besides "Huh. Guess Bond's a bit of a bastard then. But he's still really cool and sexy. BUY TOM FORD SUNGLASSES, THEY'RE BOND-APPROVED." It just seems like a complete 180 to me; a two hundred million dollar, Oscar-winning movie that says a government-funded hitman without any real morality or honor is the epitome of class.

Maybe that's always been the case, but it stands out a bit more now. Like finding out that there're black jokes in The Muppet Babies or something.

Bond films have always been escapist fantasies. We dream of being like James Bond, while in real life we would be appalled by the thought of actually acting like he does (also much of what he does defies the laws of Physics and defies common sense, so if we really tried some of Bond's stunts we'd be dead quick). Living a life of total consistency would be so fucking dull.




- sebastian ob - 02-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by avian View Post

I'm actually legitimately interested in this. If President Obama gave a press conference and said "well, we sent some aerial drones into Pakistan and they blew up a school, but hey, we got a terrorist. Mission accomplished, the ends justify the means," people would be reading the Riot Act. But then we have this silly, fun, escapist adventure movie... which is espousing this weird, kinda fascistic viewpoint without any real social commentary or theme besides "Huh. Guess Bond's a bit of a bastard then. But he's still really cool and sexy. BUY TOM FORD SUNGLASSES, THEY'RE BOND-APPROVED." It just seems like a complete 180 to me; a two hundred million dollar, Oscar-winning movie that says a government-funded hitman without any real morality or honor is the epitome of class.

Maybe that's always been the case, but it stands out a bit more now. Like finding out that there're black jokes in The Muppet Babies or something.

Movie characters aren't obligated to act out their morality to your personal satisfaction, not even "heroes" like Bond. They are obligated to behave in ways that are true to their characters and the themes of their films. Bond has NEVER been defined by a sense of altruism. To have him saving babies from burning buildings now would be antithetical to everything we know about his character. You have superheroes for that. Those aren't the sort of questions a character like Bond is there to explore.




- d.s. randlett - 02-25-2013

Watched this for the second time last night. I liked it a LOT more when I saw it in the theatre, but then I remember having a lot on my mind when I walked into the screening room and being able to really focus or enjoy the movie.

Anyway, it's interesting that the Severine death is being discussed currently, as that was something that I had trouble with when I first saw the movie. I think that there are two things that keep that scene from being entirely nihilistic or cold. One is Craig's reading of the "It's a waste of good scotch" line. He puts a lot of pain in there, and you know he's not really talking about the scotch. In the context of the scene you have Bond trying to not let Silva get past his armor, as it were, so I think that that line and that read are all the character is willing to express in that moment. That scene (with the weird sex stuff and the rat speech) are all about who has the power as they interact, which is what the snappy lines are about. It's how the characters in these films establish control over out of hand situations. The other thing is that it's calling back to when he misses the target at his physical evaluation. The whole point of that scene is to show how his indolence and indulgence have made him lose a step, and by the time he's in the situation with Severine, he still hasn't completely regained it. And he knows it, and that he can't make that shot. It's still a callous scene, but then their world is callous.




- phil - 02-25-2013

For what it's worth, Mendes says on the commentary that Bond misses on purpose and is feigning his shaky hand to, along with the line, get their guard down. *shrug*




- MichaelM - 02-25-2013

PHIL!




- d.s. randlett - 02-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil View Post

For what it's worth, Mendes says on the commentary that Bond misses on purpose and is feigning his shaky hand to, along with the line, get their guard down. *shrug*

Whhaaaat.

Not only is that boring, it's not supported by the arc of the story at all. There's really nothing in the film to suggest that he's faking it.




- phil - 02-25-2013

Don't shoot the messenger. Honestly I think the point of Severine dying in cold blood was this conversation. They were showing you the horrible, expendable nature of life in Bond's world (sort of the theme of the whole movie), and showing Craig go though those quippy motions that we'd seen for 50 years, and maybe for the first time you're thinking how it's kind of a harsh biz.

And yes to all the "he's not a hero" stuff - Bond's 007 code number - his  "licence to kill" - was his whole hook back in the original novels. It wasn't a variable little detail, where some spies had a licence to drive a tank, or a licence to have parties at Universal Exports, and Bond's just happened to be a licence to kill. You were reading the thrilling, sometimes unsavory adventures of a government assassin (who got to go on interesting jobs because he also was good at cards and such). That's why you read him.




- MichaelM - 02-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil View Post

...showing Craig go though those quippy motions that we'd seen for 50 years, and maybe for the first time you're thinking how it's kind of a harsh biz.

This is why I love the Craig version of the character, and the others bore me. Even within the required conventions and set pieces the series demands, he gives Bond a humanity and a level of nuance previously missing from most of the films.




- MichaelM - 02-25-2013

Also: I know this is chronological snobbery (and perhaps belongs more in the Bond franchise thread), but having recently watched DR NO and then SKYFALL, I couldn't help notice the huge differences not just in sets but in cinematography. I can't really speak for the Brosnan era, but I love that the Craig films use not only gorgeous composition and lighting, but we get a much better establishing of the reality of this world. I don't know how to really pin it down, but during the establishing shot of Bond being taken to MI6's new lair, underground, where it shows the vehicle in context of a rainy, crowded London block (as it's descending past the gated entrance) it felt unlike anything in the old Bond films. I know a lot of that is simply how movies were made back in the day (especially movies on a budget), but that kind of limitation and cheapness take me right out of the film. DR NO felt very stagey and soundstagey, whereas SKYFALL, for the most part, feels expansive and real; I have no trouble believing the world we're viewing continues on past the edges of the screen.




- d.s. randlett - 02-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil View Post

Don't shoot the messenger.

I'm not! Thanks for informing me of Mendes' perspective. Which I don't agree with, or at least don't think is completely supported by the text of the film. From the rest of your post, I think you have the right take on it. I was more responding in my initial post to the idea that Bond was himself wholly callous in that situation, which I don't think he really is. The impression I get from Craig's Bond is that he's ruthless when it comes to achieving his goals, but he still hates to see life wasted (like scotch, see). I think the main thing that I disagree with Mendes about in that scene are Bond's motivations for missing the shot or letting Severine die, whereas I agree with the meta-analysis of the themes there of these being people in a callous world. I'm quibbling about character, I guess.




- carnotaur3 - 02-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by D.S. Randlett View Post

I'm not! Thanks for informing me of Mendes' perspective. Which I don't agree with, or at least don't think is completely supported by the text of the film.

It might textually not be supported by the film, but Bond's facial expressions indicate he's not wanting to hit her.




- d.s. randlett - 02-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post

It might textually not be supported by the film, but Bond's facial expressions indicate he's not wanting to hit her.

I don't know how clear I'm being, but my reading of that moment is that Bond knows he can't hit the shot glass (remember his evaluation, where he is also shaky). So does he go for the miss or shoot her in the face?




- jhp1608 - 02-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelM View Post

Also: I know this is chronological snobbery (and perhaps belongs more in the Bond franchise thread), but having recently watched DR NO and then SKYFALL, I couldn't help notice the huge differences not just in sets but in cinematography. I can't really speak for the Brosnan era, but I love that the Craig films use not only gorgeous composition and lighting, but we get a much better establishing of the reality of this world. I don't know how to really pin it down, but during the establishing shot of Bond being taken to MI6's new lair, underground, where it shows the vehicle in context of a rainy, crowded London block (as it's descending past the gated entrance) it felt unlike anything in the old Bond films. I know a lot of that is simply how movies were made back in the day (especially movies on a budget), but that kind of limitation and cheapness take me right out of the film. DR NO felt very stagey and soundstagey, whereas SKYFALL, for the most part, feels expansive and real; I have no trouble believing the world we're viewing continues on past the edges of the screen.

You know, I get what you mean, but I think it's best to look at the early Bonds as establishinga glamorous fantasy world, just close enough to what people imagined the reality to be of knocking around Istanbul or Jamaica as a spy to be convincing.

Dr No in particular was also very cost constrained, not just relative to today's budgets, but relative to the cost of things generally (Wikipedia estimates the production budget at c.£300,000 all in at today's prices). There was a huge step up for the next few films, and I think it showed.




- MichaelM - 02-25-2013

Yeah, I need to give FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE a spin.




- chaz - 02-25-2013

The budget of Dr No was the same as the cost of the volcano lair in YOLT.




- mr. stockslivevan - 02-25-2013

ADespite a smaller budget I think Dr. No had some very good cinematography that made it seem more rich than you'd expect. Prime examples are the introduction of Bond and making the best use of on location shooting with the Jamaican vistas, all thanks to Ted Moore's work and of course Ken Adam's sets. After the 60s the films never looked as good with the exception of Moonraker and GoldenEye. But where you had Moore and Adam define the world of Bond for the 60s, I think Roger Deakins and Dennis Gassner managed to perfectly define the look of Bond for the 21st century. It's very classy like the 60s films but with a different energy and style for a new era. I really wish for Deakins to continue with the franchise as long as EON give him new locations and stories to get him interested. Or if Sam Mendes comes back, which would alone be enough to bring back Deakins.


- cylon baby - 02-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil View Post

Don't shoot the messenger. Honestly I think the point of Severine dying in cold blood was this conversation. They were showing you the horrible, expendable nature of life in Bond's world (sort of the theme of the whole movie), and showing Craig go though those quippy motions that we'd seen for 50 years, and maybe for the first time you're thinking how it's kind of a harsh biz.

And yes to all the "he's not a hero" stuff - Bond's 007 code number - his  "licence to kill" - was his whole hook back in the original novels. It wasn't a variable little detail, where some spies had a licence to drive a tank, or a licence to have parties at Universal Exports, and Bond's just happened to be a licence to kill. You were reading the thrilling, sometimes unsavory adventures of a government assassin (who got to go on interesting jobs because he also was good at cards and such). That's why you read him.

Another very important aspect of the Bond novels is that they take place during the Cold War. The conflict between the West and Russia is in the fore or back ground of every Bond novel, even when SPECTRE is involved. Bond's License to Kill is justified by the Cold War. In the Craig films the necessity of having full time paid assassins on payroll is constantly questioned, as it should be, and forms a great counterpoint and continuation of the Ian Fleming stories.




- phil - 02-26-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelM View Post

Yeah, I need to give FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE a spin.

I was sad to read you say on FB that you were done with old Bond. I think they just need to be approached the right way. You can't watch them back to back with contemporary films and expect a similar experience. They're, as I think McCartney once said here, hangout films - not whiz bang thrill a minute numbers, but films made for an audience that wants to languish in locations they'll never go to, hanging out with attractive people they'll never get to screw, all wrapped in a 1960s censor-board approved modification of Ian Fleming kink.




- Nooj - 02-26-2013

Having grown up during the Brosnan years, I have a very hard time doing what Phil describes with the older Bond movies.  VERY DIFFICULTZZZZZZZZZZ...




- cylon baby - 02-26-2013

I'd liken the Connery Bonds to the films of John Carpenter (the good ones). They are billed as action films, but the experience of watching them is this kind of hypnotic experience where one set piece of scene kind of blends into the next, with the music forming the background and connective tissue.




- schwartz - 02-26-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

Having grown up during the Brosnan years, I have a very hard time doing what Phil describes with the older Bond movies.  VERY DIFFICULTZZZZZZZZZZ...

I'm much the same, except I don't even like the Brosnan movies much (Goldeneye's decent).




- Nooj - 02-26-2013

I enjoy Goldeneye and the silliness (and Yeohness!) of Tomorrow Never Dies.  But I haven't watched any of his others more than once.




- chaz - 02-26-2013

I enjoy all the Brosnan Bonds. Just put me down as the only chewer who likes Die Another Day. Denise Richards is horrible in TWINE. I just added that to show I can be objective.




- mr. stockslivevan - 02-26-2013

ADie Another Day is Brosnan's second best Bond mainly because of the first half being pretty good and that unlike Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough it actually has style and flair, which are as crucial to Bond films as the stories.


- swahili - 02-26-2013

AIt was my third time seeing this before I noticed Craig answering the door in Macau with the PPK pointed dressed only in a towel. Awesome little FRWL wink. And am I nuts or during the title sequence, did his eye flash 'gold' when the camera pushed through it in the extreme closeup?


- Fat Elvis - 02-26-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

Having grown up during the Brosnan years, I have a very hard time doing what Phil describes with the older Bond movies.  VERY DIFFICULTZZZZZZZZZZ...

I feel sorry for all of y'all that get bored watching older movies, especially movies as fun as the 60's Bond films. And I get slightly depressed reading that there's such a disconnect with these films with your generation. (Damn you, Brosnan years!)




- MichaelM - 02-26-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil View Post

I was sad to read you say on FB that you were done with old Bond. I think they just need to be approached the right way. You can't watch them back to back with contemporary films and expect a similar experience. They're, as I think McCartney once said here, hangout films - not whiz bang thrill a minute numbers, but films made for an audience that wants to languish in locations they'll never go to, hanging out with attractive people they'll never get to screw, all wrapped in a 1960s censor-board approved modification of Ian Fleming kink.

You might be right. For me, though, it's not so much comparing the old Bond to the newest (though that's inevitable); it's just seeing if I like the film at all. TO CATCH A THIEF, while dated in some ways, still holds up beautifully despite some awful visual effects, horrible day-for-night shots, and the fact that the entire film appears to be ADRed. It's simply a good film, solidly built, always entertaining, and its strengths most definitely cover the limitations of the budget and day. DR NO, admittedly a very different kind of film, to me just doesn't hold up that well. Connery is good; the more I've thought about it, the more I like him in the role. The movie itself....eh.

While I was a Bond fan as a kid, once I hit my 20s, I pretty much lost interest. Watching DR NO...hasn't done much for sparking a strong desire to watch more (or Moore). I'm going to give FRWL a spin, simply to be fair to the franchise and because it seems like it's the overwhelming choice for best Connery Bond film. But the franchise as a whole just...bores me. Same film, over and over.

As with all artistic endeavors, YMMV. I simply never viewed the Bond films as action-y travelogues or any kind of wish fulfillment (not saying you do, either, Phil).

Maybe this is an analog of folks who like their comic-based movies all light and colorful and Silver Age-y versus those who prefer a darker, more serious take on the genre? Maybe that's not  good analogy.




- carnotaur3 - 02-26-2013

A[quote name="D.S. Randlett" url="/community/t/145354/skyfall-post-release/1110#post_3473912"]I don't know how clear I'm being, but my reading of that moment is that Bond knows he can't hit the shot glass (remember his evaluation, where he is also shaky). So does he go for the miss or shoot her in the face?
[/quote]

Guess I needed a reminder on the setup. Forgot bout the shot glass. I really need to see this movie again.


- jhp1608 - 02-26-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelM View Post

You might be right. For me, though, it's not so much comparing the old Bond to the newest (though that's inevitable); it's just seeing if I like the film at all. TO CATCH A THIEF, while dated in some ways, still holds up beautifully despite some awful visual effects, horrible day-for-night shots, and the fact that the entire film appears to be ADRed. It's simply a good film, solidly built, always entertaining, and its strengths most definitely cover the limitations of the budget and day. DR NO, admittedly a very different kind of film, to me just doesn't hold up that well. Connery is good; the more I've thought about it, the more I like him in the role. The movie itself....eh.

While I was a Bond fan as a kid, once I hit my 20s, I pretty much lost interest. Watching DR NO...hasn't done much for sparking a strong desire to watch more (or Moore). I'm going to give FRWL a spin, simply to be fair to the franchise and because it seems like it's the overwhelming choice for best Connery Bond film. But the franchise as a whole just...bores me. Same film, over and over.

As with all artistic endeavors, YMMV. I simply never viewed the Bond films as action-y travelogues or any kind of wish fulfillment (not saying you do, either, Phil).

Maybe this is an analog of folks who like their comic-based movies all light and colorful and Silver Age-y versus those who prefer a darker, more serious take on the genre? Maybe that's not  good analogy.

FRWL and Goldfinger are legitimately well made films. Some creaky FX and rear projection aside, they hold pretty well even by modern standards. The differences between films (and hence marginal value in watching them) are still quite pronounced I'd say until you hit Diamonds Are Forever. By that point, until probably Licence to Kill and then Casino Royale, they'd kind of done everything they were going to do, if the series tropes themselves aren't grabbing you.

I can see where you're coming from on Dr. No - but the introduction of Connery, the briefing of Prof. Dent, Honey's entrance, and the banter with Dr. No himself will always put it ahead of a number of later entries on any objective level, Connery's performance aside. Also, it and FRWL are clearly the closest to the post-colonial adventure tone of the books, and since I'm a huge fan of the books, they both get a big pass from me because of that.

As an aside, the pricing of the Blu Ray over in the UK is weird. For £12.99 you can buy the DVD. Or for £2.00 more you can buy a double pack DVD and Blu Ray, and a download that will work with iTunes and Android. The price compression on the two physical media formats is getting silly.