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The never-ending Bond 24 thread

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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:35 pm

I think that part of the reason why you changed your views on Brosnan was that he kept making Bond movies.  I would never have put him higher than middle of the pack any more than you would have, but after Goldeneye he definitely deserved a much higher place than Moore.  Unfortunately, after watching all of his movies back-to-back when I did my full Bond cycle before Skyfall came out, I would agree that he now deserves bottom place.  I will always consider Goldeneye one of the best of the whole series, but as far as the rest of his films go, I have a far easier time accepting Roger Moore as Bond despite all of his quirks.  

Henry Cavill was supposedly considered for the part before, but now after him taking the role of Superman, I doubt that he would ever be considered again.  But I really, really like Cavill, though he seems to get a boatload of hate from some Superman fanboys.  I thought that he was fantastic as Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., though I appear to be in the minority in that regard.  Never seen Damian Lewis in anything, but going by the pictures, he seems a bit off-putting.  So did Craig, of course, but boy was that wrong, so I could be wrong again.


Again, the word "street" seems to have different shades of meaning in the U.K., and maybe in Canada as well.  If you apply that word to a black man in the states, you will get the wrong kind of attention.    It is certainly not as bad as calling someone "ghetto," but it carries lighter shades (so to speak) of the same meaning.  But the thing that really makes the comment questionable is that it is simply wrong, even if you give him the benefit of the doubt in interpretation.  Ironically enough, when I started watching The Wire, I had a hard time accepting Elba as a Baltimore drug dealer, because I consider him too suave!  But Elba is a good enough actor to play anything, including "street," and he is fantastic in The Wire.  My first exposure to him was in the fantastic original BBC version of Ultraviolet, which if you have never seen, I demand that you do so immediately.  He fills out a suit quite nicely, and can play suave quite well.  Personally, I could easily buy Elba as Bond.  But I would rather that they go with someone younger who can believably play the part for years to come.  Yes, Moore played Bond at an older age, but I really do not consider that a good thing.  

As far as black actors go, the one who I always wanted to play the part was a fan favorite as well: Colin Salmon.  He can be suave but believably tough at the same time, and he is one strikingly good looking dude.  I suppose that the fact that he played a different part in the Brosnan films actually worked against him.

To me Bernie Casey already emphatically proved that the race of the characters as written in the books is completely irrelevant -- and he did it over thirty years ago.  "Unofficial" or not, his Felix Leiter in Never Say Never Again is hands-down my favorite Leiter out of any of the movies.  (That is especially interesting when you consider that Leiter in the books makes some of the most explicitly racist comments.)  Geoffrey Wright certainly has potential, but they seriously bungled his character in Quantum of Solace.  Leiter is not a brooding character.  Casey in NSNA is the only actor in any of the movies who captured the humor of Leiter's character, and he was clearly Bond's equal in the movie, as he should be -- not a buffoon, like Thunderball for example.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:30 pm

I think you're quite right about Bronson. Lewis is a decent actor and would probably do okay in the role. But it's tough after having Craig. At this point, I feel the next Bond needs to have a physical presence.

It's funny how words have different meaning in different regions, and especially when applied to an object or place versus a person. Stating that a house or car or whatever is ghetto might get a few laughs up here (under the right context); tell someone to their face that they're ghetto would likely get an entirely different reaction.

At any rate, have more to say, but running out of time today.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:31 pm

The fact that we have had such a physically tough performer as Craig playing Bond for four movies now has set a precedent that will be difficult to overcome.  If they do try to cast someone who is less physically imposing, he will look even worse in comparison to Craig than he might on his own.  So they either need someone who is truly physically tough, or at a bare minimum someone who can at least act tough.  I think of actors like James Coburn, who was lanky and not particularly muscular, but he could act like a believable tough guy.  Whoever follows Craig will have to be able to do that at a bare minimum, and preferably actually be that tough.

Thoughts on Sam Smith?  I know that I am never going to get my dream of Portishead doing a Bond song, and my secondary dream of Amy Winehouse certainly bit the dust.  Janell Monae, perhaps?  I am really not that familiar with Smith, but I listened to some of his stuff, and he certainly could do a pretty traditional Bond song, if they go that route (and picking him means that they are evidently doing just that.)


http://www.007.com/sam-smith-to-sing-title-song-for-spectre/
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:33 pm

Less than a month to go!

I honestly do not know enough about Sam Smith to comment.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Sun Oct 11, 2015 6:35 am

No need to know anything -- the full song is online. I keep reading a lot of negativity about it from the armchair internet critics, which is silly considering that you cannot judge a Bond song until you see it in context with the opening titles. I know that the first time that I heard "You Know My Name," I thought it was terrible, but after having seen it with Danny Kleinmann's smashing titles in Casino Royale, it is now one of my favorites. On the other hand, this music video does have some more footage from the film:




Justin Westbrook over at Jalopnik has been running down his ten favorite Bond films, one a week, building up to the release of SPECTRE. It has been kind of a fun series. Here is a link to a search page showing them -- it will be in reverse order, so start at the bottom with The Living Daylights and work up. If you scope out the comments, I have weighed in on some of them under my name over there, manomanihatethemfancylads. (The avatar should look familiar.)

http://jalopnik.com/search?q=westbrook+bond
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Sun Oct 11, 2015 6:47 am

Wow -- I just went back to look at those articles, and he updated the one about You Only Live Twice with my comments!
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:52 pm

Smith's song reminds me a lot of the earlier Bond songs performed during Connery's era. I have a feeling it will work quite well with the opening credits. It seems that they've really given Craig's Bond a gloomy and despondent feel. Ever since Vesper's death, Bond has been in a perpetual depressed state. That's something we've never seen in earlier installments. Of course, I could be completely wrong, and I suppose we'll know more when we see the next Bond.

I had a peak at the Jalopnik series, including some of your comments. A lot to read through, so I'll need to head back and spend some time. It is fun reading these kinds of things because there are so many different opinions. Some people love the whimsy and gadgets; some love Bond when he is closer to the character Fleming depicted in the books. A lot of time, I think the opinions are generational and highly influenced by what folks grew up with. And sometimes those opinions change and evolve over time (as has my opinion of Bronson!).

For the next Bond, I think Jack O'Connell would make a fine example. He's definitely hard enough to pull off a rough Bond (more so than Craig). He'd just need tidied up a little, but I think Jolie has been coaching him well in that regard. The only problem is that he might be too young for the role. But I think it'd be a excellent direction to take Bond after Craig.

And I did get around to checking out the Spectre Seamaster you mentioned. I wouldn't pay the premium for it, but as far as Bond-inspired watches go, this one isn't so bad. It's isn't splattered with usual tasteless markers screaming Bond and 007.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:56 am

Yes, taken objectively, I would say that "Writing on the Wall" is not a particularly great song, but I do agree that it will probably work very well over the credits. The reality is that you can say that of any Bond song, even the classics. "Goldfinger" is justifiably considered the ne plus ultra of Bond songs, but taken out of context, it is kind of stupid. Had it been released in the same era but not attached to a Bond movie, it would have been quickly forgotten. It is always the direct association with Bond that makes the songs so good.

Westbrook did ultimately agree with my top three, though in a different order. He went with From Russian with Love, OHMSS and finally Casino Royale, while I would at this point probably change that to putting OHMSS on top. Actually, I would swap around the other two as well, from three to one: CR, FRwL and OHMSS. But the articles are still fun, even though I wish that he had incorporated my explanation for the jump cut at the end of FRwL.


Personally, I would like to see Taron Egerton get a shot. Bit too young now as well, but if Craig does make one more. . .


I have Friday off, but frustratingly, my chosen theatre still has not posted showtimes for anything but the Thursday night showings. I will be checking multiple times a day all week to insure that I can nail those perfect seats. Meanwhile, they already posted times for the whole weekend for Star Wars, so I already have tickets for that and it is not coming out for a month and a half.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:30 pm

I'm not sure Madonna's "Die Another Day" worked with or without the credits! It's a terrible song and has to be the worst Bond song ever recorded.

My opinion of OHMSS has changed over the years, but I couldn't put it at top for two reasons:

1. Lazenby was a mediocre Bond at best. I know people say he might have grown into the role, but that doesn't change how he performed here, which is merely so-so. However, I have to give him credit for the final scene. He pulled that off admirably, and that's not a scene I could have seen Connery (of that era) doing believably. More likely, Connery would have just looked off into the distance and delivered something along the lines of, "Well, Chrisht, that'sh put a dampersh on thingsh." Lazenby added an element of humanity that leant so much to that scene and really pulled it off. And Moore wouldn't have done any better. So, Lazenby had his moments, but didn't perform well enough over the entire movie to catapult the movie to top spot, regardless of how strong the story is (which arguably has a rather ho-hum middle act). The love story is nice and the villain is excellent, but Lazenby isn't there.

2. the fight scenes are terrible. I know I'm in the minority here, as I've read that some people feel the action is strong in this movie, but I cannot get over the fight scenes. Punches are horribly telegraphed and I'm convinced that Adam West's Batman wouldn't look out of place in the some of the scenes, complete with overlays of Pow and Kapow to boot. Considering Lazenby has training in martial arts, the fight scenes are pretty bad and disappointing. Granted, the fight choreographer and director are to blame here (not Lazenby), but they ought to have let him showcase his talent.

It is a good Bond movie and simply a good movie overall, but doesn't rank as my Number 1. At least not today.

Egerton would also be a good choice, particularly after how well he did in Kingsman. In some ways, he and O'Conner are alike, in that they're both young, physical actors. Egerton would certainly bring an extra level of suave; O'Conner would bring the grit necessary to make for a believable ex-SAS Bond.

I will see Bond in the theatre, but I doubt I'm making it this week. It'll probably be a week or two out for me. So, please, no spoilers, but do let me know if the movie is worth seeing.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:03 pm

Funny thing about "Die Another Day" is that while it is unquestionably one of the worst songs, it is one of the best title sequences in the entire series. I have mentioned many times before about how much I love Danny Kleinman's Bond titles, and DAD features his gift for working the themes of the movie into the credits -- to say nothing about being the only credit sequence which is actually expository. So while they do not make Madonna's song sound any better, they do make it at least tolerable at the time you are watching.

We have debated it before, but I simply will not give you the mediocre rating for Lazenby. He is now firmly in third place for me behind Craig & Connery. He struggles with some scenes due to his inexperience, but as you correctly noted, he performed that final scene better than any other Bond actor could have, save for Craig, of course. (Not sure if even Dalton would have done it quite so well.) And yes, you are in the minority on the fight scenes. My biggest objection to them is that director Peter Hunt (and his editor John Glen) overdid the drop-fame effect to speed the action up. Hunt innovated dropping frames to provide a kind of speeded up motion in the earlier Bond films that he edited, but by the time of OHMSS it was already a cliche, and looking at it with modern eyes it really looks cheesy. I still maintain that if that effect had been dropped, the fight scenes would not look quite as bad to you. Some of the punches are definitely telegraphed, but no worse than any other Bond film.

Funnily enough, the moment that Egerton won me over, and the one that made me think that he had Bond potential, was his beautifully underplayed reaction to the offer from the captive to let him do it in her ass. The look on his face, with a perfectly timed pause before simply saying, "I'll be right back," is at least as good (if not better) than Connery's reaction to hearing the name Pussy Galore.

Got my tickets for the 9:15am showing of SPECTRE on my preferred Marcus Ultrascreen. I have to love a theatre that fits my personal schedule!
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  ADOR on Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:35 am

I think I will be on the rig when it comes out, but I will be seeing it my first week in from work.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:45 pm

While the credit sequence for DAD is very good, it's even better when muted.

Lazenby only had about half of his lines dubbed by another actor. I suppose that is a sign of an actor on top of his game. Plus, if he places No. 3 out of six actors, that is very much mediocre. Quips aside, he did deliver some good scenes, but otherwise I still don't think he did a good job overall. I think the film turns out well because of a strong script, strong director and strong supporting actors (Rigg owned the scenes that she's in). Frankly, I think Lazenby was carried for a lot of the film, and while he may very well have developed in the role in subsequent Bond films, that never happened, so we have only one film to measure his performance as Bond. I consider OHMSS one of the top Bond films, but have trouble placing it squarely at the top when the lead actor is not at the same level. The fight and action sequences bug me for whatever reason. To be fair, it is probably the opening beach scene that bugs me most. The hotel fight scene is quite good, and up there with the train fight in FRWL.

For what it's worth, I put Lazenby at No. 4, with Dalton in No. 3.

It's really not until the end of Kingsman that Egerton comes into being a spy. Even his banter with Merlin when they first land the jet has a certain Bond feel. I'm not sure if you've seen anything that O'Connor has done, but I think he would pull off everything just as well. I would be well pleased if either got the role.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:25 pm

Now you know that you cannot hold the dubbing against Lazenby. Gabrielle Ferzetti was dubbed in the same film. Gert Frobe was dubbed in Goldfinger, and so were many other actors in the Bonds of that era. (Adolfo Celi, too.) That was common practice at the time. I certainly agree that his inexperience shows in some scenes, but in many others he acquits himself nicely.

I would rank Dalton fourth, with Lazenby just slightly above him at third. My only real complaint about Dalton is his lack of charm at the time -- though to be fair, his performances have loosened up a bit since then. Lazenby did much better in scenes like the aforementioned banter with Rigg after their wedding.

By the way, it may be heresy, but I actually like Lazenby's wardrobe in the film, even the frilly shirt -- and yes, he manages to pull off the kilt. Lazenby was one of those people who could make nearly anything look good, and it was nice to see Bond's wardrobe get changed up a bit.

I just looked up Jack O'Connell's filmography, and I have not seen one blessed bit of it. Recommendations?


Fifteen hours to go. . .


And ADOR, get your butt off that rig and get 'er done!
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:39 am

I did say I was quipping.

Lazenby and Dalton are very close for me too. I like Dalton a little more because I think he's plays a closer Bond to what we're presented in the books.

Lazenby was a model, so yes he pulls off most things well. He's blessed in that regard. I can't say that I care for the frilly shirt, but that's not a Lazenby thing. I simply don't like frilly shirts, unless those shirts are on pirates. As for the wraparound skirt, I don't mind it at all, but I'm, of course, biased.

I think the low point for Bond's fashion was Moore's wardrobe. That, of course, is a sign of the times. The 70s weren't a good time for fashion. I'm sure Craig's wardrobe will also date quickly, once slim and tight-fitting suits are no longer the in thing. It'll be interesting to see what we think of Craig's wardrobe 10 years out.

I haven't read the details, as I didn't want to spoil anything, but I have not read good things about Spectre. Seems that it has not been well received by critics. That's a shame. But sometimes I don't agree with critics, so I'll reserve judgment until I see the film. Heck, I still don't think Quantum of Solace is as bad as some people make out.

I got to attend a special Omega-Bond event yesterday. I couldn't stay for long, as I had to head home, but I got to play with models of watches that Bond wears in Spectre. I know you don't care for watches, so I'll spare you the details, but I had fun. They even rolled in a couple of Astons for the event. The DB10, not surprisingly, was nowhere to be seen. As an aside, it was painful listening to a few people debate what came after Casino Royale. "It was Skyfall, right!" Um, no . . .

I think you're about an hour into the film. Hope you're enjoying.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:27 am

Well, hard to talk about it until you have seen it. All that I will say is that it was a bit of a mixed bag. I need to see it a second time to judge it more properly. Let me know when you have seen it.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:02 am

We're going to try and go this coming weekend, if we can find a quieter show. We need to be careful about the type of environment we hang out in for too long. Too many germs aren't a good thing right now.

I forgot to respond to your question about O'Connell. For movies, '71 and Unbroken are your best bets. Otherwise, he's probably best known for his roles in Skins and Starred Up, which are both serial dramas. Skins is a coming of age type series of 17 and 18 year olds as they work toward their A levels, so might not be your thing. Starred Up is a prison drama.

In Skins, O'Connell plays a troubled teen who is a hard case and fiercely loyal to his friends. What got my attention is that he is able to play that type of character so well, which is not easy. He also took a largely unlikable character and redeems him, making him likeable -- also not easy to do. If you think you will check out the series, don't watch the following clip. If you think you never will, here is an example of what I mean about the hard case and intensity he can pull off (ironically, his opposition in this clip is more aligned with the typical image of Bond):

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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:25 am

Well, we saw SPECTRE. Those who were clamoring for a return to the Bond of old got their wish, with the good and bad that brings. Many things to discuss . . .
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:34 pm

O'Connell does look interesting. A short clip does not establish very much, of course, but I think that I would likely still give the nod to Egerton. But while I am blissfully happy with Daniel Craig as Bond, there is no doubt that it would be in the best interests of the series for the producers to find a different interpretation of the character -- not just different than Craig, but ideally, a bit different than any of the others as well. Craig was a breath of fresh air, but they need a different breath of fresh air now.

SPECTRE is indeed a return to the Bond of old, and yes, for both good and ill. It started out beautifully for me; I actually grinned at finally having a true Daniel Craig gun barrel sequence, and the smile kept going during the pre-credit sequence, as well as during the credits themselves. I thought that Smith's much-maligned song worked just fine combined with the titles, and those titles were smashing. I especially loved the callback to OHMSS by including shots of characters from the previous films; outside of that movie, this is the only time that has happened in the entire movie.

After that, it started getting to be much more of a mixed bag. More later, but Justin Westbrook reviewed it as part of his Bond series, and he loved it far more than I did. If you scroll down a bit with the comments, you will see my remarks to him about where we disagree:

http://jalopnik.com/spectre-the-classic-bond-movie-i-was-definitely-not-ex-1741078954
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:11 pm

I think both Egerton and O'Connell would make good picks. Check out some of the movies I mentioned. Keep in mind too that O'Connell is now 25. He was 17 or 18 in the clip I embedded.

While I have enjoyed Craig in the role, I think it is time for him to retire from the Bond scene. He is still in decent shape, but he is looking a bit old for the role. It doesn't help when he is put alongside young actresses. Why they passed up on the opportunity with Monica Bellucci is beyond me. I get that it wouldn't have fit within the context of the story they were telling, but that is a love affair I could believe in. What we got wasn't very believable, but I suppose that's true of many Bond films. Still, that's not an excuse to keep making the same mistake.

The credit sequence was quite effective and Smith's song worked as well as I imagined it would when I listened to the YouTube version you linked. While the titles were clearly a callback to OHMSS, the entire SPECTRE film was a callback to previous Bonds. I think each and every Bond film to date had a callback in some way.

Overall, I still enjoyed SPECTRE. One of my biggest gripes, however, was the forced attempt to tie everything together, which I don't think was needed. Having Blofeld as the head of everything Bond had endured actually weakened some of the previous entries and villains. Because we didn't go on opening night, I had the opportunity to watch the previous Craig Bonds, so the overall story was easy enough to follow. I appreciated the intent of an overarching story, but I don't know that it helped the reboot which started 10 years ago. Mr. White was first introduced to us as a sinister mastermind and he was reduced to a pawn, who is being manipulated by a dude with daddy issues. I liked it more when Mr. White was more sinister.

I was also disappointed to see that Bautista was used exactly as I expected: A practically mute henchman. Even worse was the telegraphed and clichéd way in which he died, which was a shame since the fight leading up to that moment had been quite brutal and intense.

Taking the film for what it was, it was enjoyable. I'll watch it again, and I'm overall happy with the reboot. But I agree that it's time for a new direction.

I'll look at Westbrook's review a little later. I got a bit bored with his countdown reviews, much of which simply summarized the movies and offered little in the way of actual review.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Fri Nov 27, 2015 3:38 am

Yes, O'Connell was distractingly young in that clip. I will check out your recommendations.

I did enjoy SPECTRE as well, my complaints notwithstanding. And I do want to see it a second time, of course. You never know what will happen with the second viewing of a film. Sometimes, when you are distracted by the weaknesses on a first viewing, the second one allows you to pay less attention to them and focus on the strengths instead. Other times, the strengths become less valuable and the problems really start to stand out more. Here's to SPECTRE falling in the former category.

My single biggest complaint on a first viewing, other than the meandering nature of the narrative, was the retconned back story for Blofeld. It just diminishes the character to have him be a petulant child out for revenge. And trying to keep the whole "twist" a secret was the biggest waste of time in the whole series. Everyone knew it was coming, like the whole stupid Khan "twist" in Star Trek into Darkness. It makes all of the material with him prior to the "revelation" seem unnecessary.

I was O.K. with Bautista largely being a wordless henchman. There is plenty of history of doing that in the series. What I did not like was the silly car chase with him, which was a waste of two good cars, and I agree that his exit was a problem, not so much for me due to it being telegraphed as due to it being tonally off with the rest of the fight. And that fight was as good as anything else in the series, so it was a definite letdown.

To be fair to Westbrook and the countdown reviews, remember that not everyone is like the two of us who have watched all of the rest of the films dozens of times each. Westbrook is writing to a wider audience, and on a car blog too, so there is no guarantee that his readers will be fans. Summaries like that are a necessary evil. I just skimmed them and went straight to the analyses. But his SPECTRE review really surprised me; while on the one hand he clearly does love the more classic Bond elements, on the other hand he did pick Casino Royale as his favorite, and the other two of his top three are in my own top three as well -- From Russia with Love & On Her Majesty's Secret Service. None of those three films are in the same mold as SPECTRE. But he really loved it. If you do not have time to get to it, I can copy my comments from that article here.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:46 pm

I haven't seen any of the rebooted Star Trek movies, so I actually have no idea what people are talking about when they mention the Khan reveal. Nevertheless, in SPECTRE's case, the reveal was way too obvious and pointless.

Apparently Craig cracked Bautista in the nose during that fight scene and caused Bautista a bloody nose. Craig said he ran for cover, but Bautista shrugged it off, said it happens, wiped away the blood and was ready to carry on. There's an article about it in this month's M&F. He seems a genuinely cool guy.

I did check out Westbrook's review, so no need to copy and paste.

Incidentally, another cringe moment in SPECTRE was Bonds romantic interaction with Lucia Sciarra. That was on par with Bond and Pussy in the shed. In fact, maybe worse, since is was following the funeral of Mr. Sciarra and this is 2015. Rather tasteless.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:25 pm

A lot of people had the same reaction to how Bond treated Severine in Skyfall -- some people said that his seduction of her in the shower was more like rape. I do not see that one myself, but I can see the objection to what happens with Bellucci in SPECTRE. Regardless of that, you can make an equally big argument that she is completely wasted in the movie. After all these years, they finally get her into a Bond movie, and it is little more than a cameo. Just not a good play all around.

I cannot recall from earlier -- did you ever make it to see The Man from U.N.C.L.E.? One problem with SPECTRE is that it was preceded by two movies which more successfully accomplished some of the things that they were trying to do with Bond. U.N.C.L.E. did a better job of handing the retro elements and the humor, and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation just plain had better action scenes, a better villain and much better pacing. And a better female lead than all of the women in SPECTRE put together -- seriously, Rebecca Ferguson is simply smashing, both literally and figuratively. But I have seen both of those movies twice now, so I do need to give SPECTRE its second chance.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Dec 18, 2015 3:57 pm

Oh, she was definitely wasted. She should have been Bond's love interest, had the story have been written differently. Instead, she was nothing more than a throwaway device to transition from one plot element to the next. What a shame.

I have still to see The Man from U.N.C.L.E., but I did see Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Aghast, MI does appear to be the better movie than SPECTRE, which is ironic since the MI series tends to rehash the same elements in each film. But it typically works.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Fri Dec 25, 2015 3:34 am

It does not help that Rogue Nation came out first and stole some of SPECTRE's thunder. But regardless of how I rank the latter among the Bond canon after I have had the chance to watch it multiple times, there is little doubt that Rogue Nation will always be a superior film. It is better in nearly every respect. Not the least of which was Rebecca Ferguson, who kicked ass both literally and figuratively. It would be wonderful to have a "Bond girl" like that. Olga Kuryenko was out for revenge in Quantum, but she was a neophyte and had to have Bond's hand-holding (to say nothing of having to have a fear-based "Achilles' heel.") The less said about Halle Berry, the better. Michelle Yeoh fared better in Tomorrow Never Dies, but even she was wasted, and not as independent as she should have been. The whole thing about handcuffing them together was a way of deliberately preventing that. Cary Lowell was decent in Licence to Kill, but even there they could not leave her character well enough alone and had to include the cringe-worthy scene at the end where she sheds a tear over being potentially rejected by Bond. The only real ass-kicking females in the Bond series have been among the villains, and that is a shame. Apparently they feel that "good girls don't kick ass."

By the way, Ferguson has apparently signed on to appear in the next one as well. . .

But really, the Mission Impossible series has maintained a surprising level of quality over five films. I even like the John Woo-directed second film, which is the most divisive film in the series. If you think of it as a John Woo movie rather than a Mission Impossible movie, it works like gangbusters. To me, the third film is the weakest, as it suffers from lazy shakey cam direction from J.J. Abrams, and not particularly interesting McGuffin. (Off the top of my head, I cannot even remember what it was.) And yet, it has Phillip Seymour Hoffman stealing every second of screen time. So there is always something to keep you watching.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:41 pm

I thought Diana Rigg to be fairly strong, both emotionally and even physically (I'm thinking of the scene toward the end where she gets into it with one of the lackeys and knocks him out, if I'm not mistaken). Unfortunately, her character is undermined by her father, who feels the need to settle her down and marry her off as a way to save her. But she's still a fairly strong Bond girl. Incidentally, I now recall that she also saves Bond at the ice rink. In that scene, Bond is frozen by fear, and she rescues him -- almost a parallel to the Kuryenko scene you described. Granted, this doesn't compare with a character like Ferguson (at least physically), and it is sad that we haven't seen as strong a good Bond girl since 1969.

I don't mind MI:II either. One of the interesting things about the Mission Impossible series is the choice in directors. In some regards, it's each director's take on a largely similar story. But it works.
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