Skyfall Review: Dreadfall

Blech.

The beginning of this movie is probably the best beginning of a Bond movie in the whole canon. For example, there's a motorcycle chase that winds up on the rooftops of buildings that is actually very cool. It's not CGI, it's guys actually driving motorcycles on rooftops (or, I should say, flat surfaces on the top of peaked roofs that look suspiciously like a stunt team placed them there), so you can't shout That's impossible! Guys are actually doing it, so it's not quite impossible.

The best sequence is probably when Bond first comes to Shanghai. It's one of the bests exploitations of a city I've seen in a movie. Bond movies are partly disguised travelogues, you know. Well, Bond books are that; the movies are a little bit that. The photography in Shanghai is just outstanding, and really what movie-making is all about. I did not know that Shanghai was this developed and modern looking, and I didn't know it had some kind of multilevel highway system with strange blue lights illuminating the cars on lower levels.

I can't say "I felt like I was really there!" or anything, but I did get a sense of a place I'd never been before.

And then the plot starts happening, which is a Bad Thing. The movie becomes pretty unimaginative as it strains to find a way to put Bond on Javier Bardum's trail. He sees a girl, realizes instantly she works for Bardum, and then turns her to his side in a brief bit of conversation which recalls the film The Man With the Golden Gun's Maud Adams. (Like Adams' character, the girl here is sexual prisoner of the elite covert operative and welcomes Bond's offer to kill him for her.) Then we have a random fight which involves, at some point, a Poisonous Creature of Some Type. (Here, Komodo dragons. One gets the sense from this -- and this is true of many Bond movies -- that these are plot bits that have been floating around as discarded story ideas from the time of You Only Live Twice.)

You know that Disguised Travelogue aspect I've mentioned about the Bond stories? Sometimes the writers/directors contrive reasons for a Hot New Setting, and people just go there because The Director Told Them To. The location doesn't seem to arise naturally, organically, because of events that are actually happening, but simply because The Director Wanted To Get This Place Into The Movie.

Well, apparently the Director was on the Internet a couple of years ago when Battleship Island started going around people's sidebars, and he shoehorned it into the movie. It's a good setting, but it's pretty random that the villain wants to meet Bond there, and they give the island an absurd backstory, something about the villain wanting to prove to the Chinese he was a Really Bad Guy and so creating some kind of poisonous gas release to drive everyone out.

As I knew something about Battleship Island -- well, not much, really, but I did know that Javier Bardum hadn't destroyed it in a bout of chemical gas terrorism in the past couple years -- it just took me out of the movie. I mean, just looking at the ruins you can see they're more than four or five years old.

If you're going to shoehorn it, why not just have the Villain say, "I wanted to meet you here, Bond, because you're as much of a ruined derelict as the city?" Just let the villain offer an off-hand reason as to why he's shoehorning it in. Don't claim a fairly famous ruin is Something the Villain Made So He Could Have His Secret Base. I mean, why not just go to Paris and claim Bardem created the Eiffel Tour on a bar bet?

Soon after, the Villain (mild spoiler in this sentence, and I call it mild because it's pretty obvious) permits himself to be captured in order to execute an baroquely complicated Scheme which seems to be much more easily accomplished without the whole Allowing-Yourself-To-Be-Captured part. And he reveals that he has a grotesque facial deformation involving the mouth, due to an old injury, which injury has deranged him and made him Chaotic Evil.

In other words, at this point the film becomes James Bond vs. Gay Joker.

The villain definitely is extremely Joker-like. But what works in a more fantastical universe doesn't work here, partly because the Daniel Craig Bond films are less (a little less, but still) fantastical than the Batman films, and also because We Just Saw This Movie Three Years Ago And It Was Better Before.

Before I get at the end-bits, which is where the film falls apart entirely, let me savage the dialogue. There is a tradition in Bond films of Witty Repartee. Or, I think, Ostensibly Witty Repartee. Now, the other Bond films were kind of corn-bag so that sort of thing flies.

"Witty" quips which aren't witty do not fly in the more Jason-Bourne-like New Bond Universe. In many cases these quips don't even make sense -- I could see in a couple of occasions where the dialogue that would have set up the quip was cut out of the film, but they adored the quip so much they kept it in-- even though the line no longer follows from the last one.

Finally, the end. The end of this movie would have almost saved it being, as you might have heard, a Straw Dogs type ending. Not a huge spectacle, but just a couple of people in an abandoned English (well, Scottish) country-house defending themselves with shotgun, hunting rifle, and improvised traps.

I loved those bits. The traps were great.

The problem is that none of the ending makes sense. Let me just explain a tiny bit of the plot (which is signaled in the first fifteen minutes of the movie, so it's no spoiler): Javier Bardem has a grudge against M and wants to kill her. It's what the whole movie is about. There's a MacGuffin involving (for the fifth time) a stolen NOC list (a list of the West's deep-cover agents), and everyone wants that back, but that was stolen in the first place to service Bardem's Revenge Plot.

Past the middle of the movie, this list -- which was sold as crucially important to the West -- is never mentioned again, despite not being recovered. I'll get back to that in a minute.

Now, to save M, Bond takes her to this abandoned country manor. Okay, no problem. The problem is that the British Secret Service knows he's taking her there, as does the whole of England's Army, Territorial Army, and police forces.

And yet Javier Bardem shows up anyway to attack the house. Which is in Scotland-- not exactly foreign territory to the UK (yet). And he shows up to attack it thinking that there won't be a bazillion police and troops waiting there to arrest him.

That's fine; I can accept the idea that Bond tricked Bardem.

The problem is, Bond didn't trick Badem. Despite Bardem being the World's Most Dangerous Criminal Outside of a Batman Movie, no one from England's police, intelligence services, or army intercedes to stop or kill Bardem.

Even though they all knew Bond's plan. Even though you would think they would understand "Now here's where we move in and kill these guys, finally."

The ending just doesn't make sense, and the movie just went off the rails for me here. Don't get me wrong, I think the idea of a very small-scale home defense would make a great, uncharacteristic (and therefore new-ish) ending for a Bond movie.

The problem is, as the plot in this movie is written, it doesn't make sense. It makes great dramatic sense, for the movie, that only Bond and M and a caretaker would be on the property to ward off all those heavily armed bad guys.

But it makes no sense in the reality of the situation, according to the movie's reality. It simply makes no sense that MI-6 (and the entire territorial army) just says "Eh, we'll let Bond handle this. For the dramatic possibilities of the situation."

Here's what I think happened: I think in the original script, and maybe the movie as originally shot, Bardem proposes an odious deal to the British government: Let me have M., and I'll return the NOC list that was first stolen by Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible. I think in the original story or originally-shot footage, the British government -- or at least some of the Bad Actors in it, who are in fact present in the film -- agreed to this odious deal.

This would explain why the NOC list was no longer mentioned in the movie (Bardem turned it over) and also why only Bond was available to defend M (because the rest of the government had been ordered to stand down in order to let Bardem have his prize).

But then they cut that stuff out (poor audience reaction? felt like no one pays attention to the plot anyway, so who cares?) and just re-shot some dialogue to cover the edit.

But then they left the basic situation in place -- Bond, absolutely alone, in defending the standing head of the British Secret Service, getting no help from a single cop on the beat in all of England, and the NOC list entirely forgotten as a plot device. Resulting in a movie that actually makes no sense, as it stands.

The actual ending, the epilogue, is a mixed bag. There is One Thing that will make Old Time Bond fans happy, and other thing that will make them howl in Fanboy Rage.

Overall: A terrific first half hour, and a great small-scale shootout at the end with lots of brutal boobytraps, but a plot which is greatly derivative of previous Bond movies -- and Batman movies -- often contrived, and which is ultimately absolutely senseless.

Where's the Payoff? Oh, one more thing. They do the whole Dark Knight Rises plotline by featuring a battered Bond who's lost a couple of steps in his game trying to get back into form. The film notes, explicitly, he failed his fitness test in virtually every way that matters -- gun accuracy, fitness, all of it.

So, you're thinking: Bond will struggle through most of the movie, then maybe somehow he'll dig down deep at the end and accomplish something important.

What actually happens is that Bond pretty much just starts shooting people with his characteristic near-perfect accuracy with a pistol immediately after missing 1 (one) single solitary shot. The film sets up this dramatic arc, then just decides "No one wants to see Bond miss" and just have him be An Ultimate Badass, as usual.

He missed one shot. Not exactly the travails of Hercules.


Posted by: Ace at 07:05 PM



Comments

1 Oh. Okay, thanks.

Posted by: Inspector Asshole at December 26, 2012 07:06 PM (IOSGZ)

2 First is a losers answer.

Posted by: Buzzsaw at December 26, 2012 07:07 PM (Y6HTt)

3 In short, worth $3 to rent in 6 months. Maybe. With Die Hard.

Posted by: Inspector Asshole at December 26, 2012 07:08 PM (IOSGZ)

4 I liked it but it was depressing and I slept through the middle

Posted by: phoenixgirl Merry 2nd day of Christmas at December 26, 2012 07:09 PM (oYi6/)

5 Half a review? C'mon Ace, you can do better.

Posted by: JDTAY at December 26, 2012 07:11 PM (a0nis)

6 I can always tell when someone writes a movie review while they are high on weed. And this one fits the bill. Too much attention to detail. Or, the age old battle between intelligence and dementia has melded with the umpteenth Bond movie. A love story someone should make into a film.

Posted by: David at December 26, 2012 07:12 PM (J9mCu)

7 Needed more comedic sidekick action... like, say, a Jar Jar Binks.

Posted by: George Lucas at December 26, 2012 07:12 PM (eHIJJ)

8 Even the villain in Star Trek is described as Hannibal Lecter-meets-the Joker. The Joker, of course, was based on Hannibal Lecter anyways. But these references to describe the new type of criminal mastermind is getting rather tedious.

Posted by: JohnJ at December 26, 2012 07:13 PM (Tt6ky)

9 Good review.

Too bad you're wrong. But good review.

Posted by: Actually at December 26, 2012 07:13 PM (Ys6PL)

10 Great review as always Ace. I'll see it when it comes out on video.

Posted by: Ben at December 26, 2012 07:13 PM (xTHBC)

11 I rewatched most of the Bond films (all the Connerys and the Lazenby) and they're mostly a lot of fun. Most people seem to dislike Diamonds are Forever, but I thought it was up there with the best of them. Goldfinger remains the gold standard, though.

Posted by: BeckoningChasm at December 26, 2012 07:13 PM (xjpRj)

12 The rooftop motorcycle chase is chock-full of CGI, Ace, you weren't paying attention. They superimposed the actors' faces on stuntmen, and even had some obvious green-screening.

Posted by: Rocko at December 26, 2012 07:14 PM (Ys6PL)

13 I still think that Seth Green's I have a gun. In my room. bit in Austin Powers is the perfect send up of all Bond movies. I say this as a huge Bond fan. Hell, one of the great joys of Hot Fuzz is watching Timothy Dalton playing what really is a Bond villain.


The travelogue bit is why I liked MI:GP so much. Sure, it's we are going here Because Reasons but once at the location, Brad Bird works the peculiarities of that location for all it's worth. The car chase through the sand storm with all the electronics being cut out because of the sand storm is a great bit and really the reason why I love big stupid action movies.



Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD. Totes waiting until after March Madness. at December 26, 2012 07:15 PM (Gk3SS)

14 "Here, Komodo dragons. One gets the sense from this -- and this is true
of many Bond movies -- that these are plot bits that have been floating
around as discarded story ideas from the time of You Only Live Twice."

It was an homage, clearly stated by filmmaker interviews. 50th anniversary and all.

Posted by: Rocko at December 26, 2012 07:16 PM (Ys6PL)

15 >>>The rooftop motorcycle chase is chock-full of CGI, Ace, you weren't paying attention. They superimposed the actors' faces on stuntmen,

well I mean, obviously on that one!

As far as greenscreen in the background: I didn't notice it, so they at least kept it subtle.

Posted by: ace at December 26, 2012 07:16 PM (LCRYB)

16 Ace's reviews are a bit long for my taste.

Posted by: James Michener at December 26, 2012 07:16 PM (9F2c1)

17 >>>It was an homage, clearly stated by filmmaker interviews. 50th anniversary and all.

they just did the Homage-as-Recapitulation-of-Past-Glories things with the dreadful last Brosnan one, Never Say Die Tomorrow Dawn or whatever the hell it was called.

Posted by: ace at December 26, 2012 07:17 PM (LCRYB)

18 Bond is simply 'action porn'....you just have to enjoy it for what it is.

...and pizza delivery guys don't actually bang all the chics they deliver to.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 07:17 PM (9ScGj)

19 #3 is why I wont read it all today. I don't go to theaters and am afraid of spoilers. I love reading Ace's reviews of movies I did not plan on renting and have seen many on his recommendation. But this is Bond so I have to see it for myself.

Posted by: Buzzsaw at December 26, 2012 07:17 PM (Y6HTt)

20 ...and pizza delivery guys don't actually bang all the chics they deliver to.>>

Where did you deliver pizzas?

Posted by: Buzzsaw at December 26, 2012 07:20 PM (Y6HTt)

21 By Great Hillary's Hemorrhoids! This Ace fellow can really pack the fudge!

Posted by: The Gay Joker at December 26, 2012 07:20 PM (ufLRj)

22 #4 You talkin bout the movie or the review?

Posted by: t-dubyah-d at December 26, 2012 07:20 PM (WX65W)

23 Now, to save M, Bond takes her to this abandoned country manor. Okay,
no problem. The problem is that the British Secret Service knows he's
taking her there, as does the whole of England's Army, Territorial Army,
and police forces.

Bond "kidnaps" M and takes her "off the grid" so only Bardem can find them. No one else knows they're in Scotland. They say this in the movie.

Ace watches movies like he reads his own blog: he doesn't.

Posted by: Fred's Ascot at December 26, 2012 07:20 PM (Ys6PL)

24 Well, the idea is pretty ugly of the Brits giving some terrorist free rein if he gives up a list and stops at just killing one highly placed intelligence officer. On her estate. Just over the hill there, yup.
Wouldn't be surprised if the Queen got in someone's face since she appears in this movie voluntarily. Of course, that'd properly have to be tied to 19th century opium wars and San Francisco to properly be a great conspiracy theory, but give me time.

Might be able to tie in the Emperor of the USA, now that I think of it.

Posted by: Inspector Asshole at December 26, 2012 07:21 PM (IOSGZ)

25

You know Bond, getting tied to a chair by another man one time -- okay, bad luck.

Two times -- and I'm starting to think you're into that sort of thing.


Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at December 26, 2012 07:22 PM (kdS6q)

26 Ace is correct on lack of plot. Also I thought the girl could have been more glamorous as well. I have seen her on talk shows and she was very pretty, the movie markup and clothes were not very flattering. Not sure why she was killed either.

Still overall I liked the movie.

Posted by: Fredlike at December 26, 2012 07:23 PM (ztMxN)

27 Ace, did you actually watch The Hobbit before Skyfall, or did you just sit on the Skyfall review for a couple months??

Posted by: logprof at December 26, 2012 07:23 PM (r3Yh3)

28 Posted by: Buzzsaw at December 26, 2012 07:20 PM (Y6HTt)

Better question.....where did you deliver pizzas? May be time for me to make a career change.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 07:23 PM (9ScGj)

29 I needed two bags of microwave popcorn for the review alone.

I'm still boycotting most theater movies -- f*ck Hollywood. And to show how much my boycott is hurting them, they are reporting record ticket sales. Sigh.

Posted by: GnuBreed at December 26, 2012 07:24 PM (ccXZP)

30 Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at December 26, 2012 07:22 PM (kdS6q)

Which was the Subtext of the "done this before" joke which fell flat on its face...

I don't think it was supposed to be Gay, as much as a 'nod' to the earlier time he was tied in a chair and tortured...

but it fell REALLY flat...

Posted by: Romeo13 at December 26, 2012 07:25 PM (lZBBB)

31 >>>Bond "kidnaps" M and takes her "off the grid" so only Bardem can find them. No one else knows they're in Scotland. They say this in the movie.

Uh, yes they do. Q and Ralph Feines (who seems to be the Minister of Defense) are explicitly in on it and lead a trail of "bread crumbs" for Bardem to find, so they will find Bond there. They are in on the trap and the plan.

They just completely forget it's supposed to be a trap.

As far as saying "We'll keep this secret from everyone else" -- yes, that's one of those re-filmed bits of dialogue I mentioned to cover up the edit. But it makes no sense. Apparently it makes sense to you. That's fine. They're aiming, I guess, at an audience that just accepts whatever's said in a movie as Making Some Kind of Sense.

To me, given that the NOC list is still out there and bardem is trying to assassinate the current head of the British Secret service, I think they could scramble a harrier or two, and maybe mobilize a couple of SWAT teams to capture him (given that they led Bardem straight to Bond's estate, at his request).


Posted by: ace at December 26, 2012 07:25 PM (LCRYB)

32 Eh. The beginning was so predictable. Car chase, MC chase, train chase - etc. I also fd it weird that they were speeding through a market and never hurt anyone. It also took me a while to figure out where it was suppose to be b/c it was just an ugly market. It bugged me that he was breaking through ice, fighting under water and didn't even appear cold.

Casino Royale still rulz!

Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 07:26 PM (qBY6R)

33 >>> Ace, did you actually watch The Hobbit before Skyfall, or did you just sit on the Skyfall review for a couple months??

I saw Skyfall like five days before the Hobbit, like near the beginning of my time off. Maybe the Tuesday? Something like that.

Posted by: ace at December 26, 2012 07:27 PM (LCRYB)

34
I'm sorry you feel that way, Ace. Plot holes do abound, and one's taste for the villain will vary.
But, I was blown away overall. The characters, if not the plot and set-ups, all felt more real, tangible and human than anything ever before attempted by this franchise. Skyfall felt to Casino Royale as The Dark Knight felt to Batman Begins.
To each their own.Pity you didn't have a good time seeing this one. Valid points raised, regardless.

Posted by: Hawkins1701 at December 26, 2012 07:27 PM (zaN2y)

35 Better question.....where did you deliver pizzas? May be time for me to make a career change.>>

A gated "community" will give you the best chances if my experience means anything,

(penthouse)

Posted by: Buzzsaw at December 26, 2012 07:27 PM (Y6HTt)

36 I saw this last month and thought it was one of the better Bond movies I've seen. I think Daniel Craig is the best Bond; his take of Bond as a cold badass that still lets life batter him about is great, and his delivery of Bond's quips are perfect. I thought that Shanghai fight scene to be one of the best hand to hand combat scenes of the last couple of years, and the whole movie looked incredible.

Posted by: UGAdawg at December 26, 2012 07:27 PM (WYOrt)

37 OK, I saw the movie and I can't argue much with the review's content. Especially about the implausibility of Bond going off by himself in an old Aston Martin with M to an almost deserted estate to protect her. I mean WTF, Great Britain?

OTOH, I really enjoyed the movie for all the usual Bond reasons. Craig is the best Bond since Connery, and really has a bit of that same nasty edge that Connery brought to the role. He might be seducing the hot barmaid with the tight skirt with a couple of great, witty lines, but the next minute tossing someone out a 30 story window who pissed him off. Great special effects that I don't want to mention further here for those who choose to watch.

My only real critique once I suspended disbelief at the final scenario, was that it was about a half hour too long. Could easily have been edited down to a 2 hour movie without losing much.

My 2 cents.

Posted by: RM at December 26, 2012 07:27 PM (ixDYs)

38 >>>Not sure why she was killed either.

Bond films feature three types of Girls. Some films feature all three:

The Good One;

The Bad One;

and the Dead One.

Sometimes the same girl falls into two categories.

Posted by: ace at December 26, 2012 07:28 PM (LCRYB)

39
I thought the chinese woman looked hideous especially with those fingernails filed to a point. I looked her up on the internet and she was actually quite attractive.

Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 07:28 PM (qBY6R)

40
One definite point in the film's favor: No Bond girl. Not in the traditional sense.

The girl you think is the Bond Girl is wayyy more than a Bond Girl. I LOVED that.

Posted by: Hawkins1701 at December 26, 2012 07:28 PM (zaN2y)

41 Have to admit...the small gay bit alluded to in the dialogue was a strange decision. James Bond, a gay or bisexual past? Why?!

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 07:28 PM (9ScGj)

42 The last 2 movies i paid to see. The 300 andArmageddon.

Posted by: t-dubyah-d at December 26, 2012 07:29 PM (WX65W)

43 I've observed the positive hype for this laughably-plotted piece of crap movie with a mixture of bewilderment and concern. Have our standards really slipped so low? Can a writer really get an awesome bad guy like Bardem and utterly waste him? Is it really that hard to improve on a multimedia abortion like "Quantum of Solace"? Apparently. I was beginning to just start assuming that everyone except me is a retard.

Posted by: Ben at December 26, 2012 07:29 PM (FU029)

44 I compared it to Quantum of Solace, which plot I cannot even recall, not even a scene, and considered it a smashing success. I wish I'd known that caretaker was Finney beforehand, though. He was dreadfully sober in this. But: Finney.

Posted by: Velociman at December 26, 2012 07:30 PM (yy9MQ)

45 Skyfall... More like Skyfail, am I right? I was half-way interested in seeing this but I'll wait 'til it's on Netflix.

Posted by: Sandra Fluke's solid gold diaphragm at December 26, 2012 07:31 PM (T7gPe)

46 "James Bond, a gay or bisexual past? Why?!"

That was just Bond being unflappable and showing Bardem that he wasn't afraid of him. Let's not forget that Bond was nailing some random chick that he blew off to go get drunk at the beginning of the movie.

Posted by: UGAdawg at December 26, 2012 07:31 PM (WYOrt)

47 I don't think any of the script writers or the director knew anything about firearms and ballistics. I understand that you have to be able to suspend your sense of disbelief to enjoy an action movie, but all that magic bullet crap drives me nuts.

Posted by: Pupster at December 26, 2012 07:31 PM (Fwqtm)

48
I'm re-watching the series Rome again. It's still pretty good.

Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 07:32 PM (qBY6R)

49 Okay, here's the problem with this otherwise brilliant review. You were paying close attention. Nobody does that during Bond movies. I've seen most of 'em, and I couldn't recount the "plot" of any.

Posted by: Cricket at December 26, 2012 07:32 PM (DrC22)

50 I liked the movie, but I noticed that they seemed to make Bond old. It would have been OK except two movies ago he was suppose to be a rookie spy agent. I guess now that he's over Vesper they can drop the reboot angle.

Posted by: Shoot Me at December 26, 2012 07:33 PM (qiXMt)

51 My favorite part of the movie is this-- I will put it into code to avoid stealing a small pleasure from anyone who hasn't seen it yet. The film has meager pleasures, so... yeah, I don't want to ruin this.

The "code' is just me shifting one character to the left on the typewriter.

H FWRA GUA KW[CAPS LOCK]RGWE SIIE V[CAPS LOCK]XJ

Posted by: ace at December 26, 2012 07:33 PM (LCRYB)

52 The Moneypenny reboot sorta ruined the flavor early on. Why did Moneypenny shoot Bond, why? Why?

An the No Country For Old Gay Men pissy villain with the prosthetic was pathetic.

Posted by: The Negotiator-in-Chief at December 26, 2012 07:34 PM (w3+gB)

53 I screwed up my code.

The first character, H, should be N.

Posted by: ace at December 26, 2012 07:34 PM (LCRYB)

54 "I don't think any of the script writers or the director knew anything about firearms and ballistics."

No one who did would ever use a Walther PPK .380 as a combat pistol; it's a pea-shooting hunk of shit. I get that it's Bond's signature pistol, but still a piece of shit.

Posted by: UGAdawg at December 26, 2012 07:34 PM (WYOrt)

55 "I've seen most of 'em, and I couldn't recount the "plot" of any."

Wait, surely you remember the one where the bad guy was trying to destroy the world and Bond had to stop him?

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 07:35 PM (9ScGj)

56 H FWRA GUA KW[CAPS LOCK]RGWE SIIE V[CAPS LOCK]XJ>>

G DQE (Caps lock)

Fuck that code.

Posted by: Buzzsaw at December 26, 2012 07:36 PM (Y6HTt)

57 Okay, so, I was poking through the trailers on IMDB and here's the one for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone - http://youtu.be/QphnhqVXEek - this actually looks funny and Jim Carrey sending up Criss Angel is perfect. Silly fun movie that just wants to make people laugh.


Then there's this Deeply Deep Important Indie Movie With Ryan Gosling - The Place Beyond The Pines - http://youtu.be/G07pSbHLXgg.


To the extent that I can tell what the plot is, it's about a guy who decides that the best way to take care of his young son is to . . . rob banks? Seriously? That's the life choice? The best idea you can come up with is robbing banks instead of say being a mechanic or janitor or working at a grocery store or anything else. Because, you know, robbing banks is such a stable profession for a guy who claims to want to be around his son. Also there's obligatory Brothers On Opposite Sides and Father Drama. Yeah. That's never been done before.


Watch the two of those and tell me which one is actually more ridiculous.

Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD. Totes waiting until after March Madness. at December 26, 2012 07:36 PM (Gk3SS)

58 Wait, surely you remember the one where the bad guy was trying to destroy the world and Bond had to stop him?
Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 07:35 PM (9ScGj)

_________

LOL

Posted by: Cricket at December 26, 2012 07:36 PM (DrC22)

59 The "code' is just me shifting one character to the left on the typewriter.



You use a dvorak keyboard?

Posted by: WTF Do I Know at December 26, 2012 07:38 PM (2rucj)

60 Some good points but I enjoyed it when I watched it. Perhaps the few officials in on the end plan kept it secret because they had no idea how far the bad guys intel reached into everything and they knew at least Bond would survive because it's a movie

Posted by: Mark at December 26, 2012 07:38 PM (19o5w)

61 I largely agree with this review except in one regard...what plot?

Ace found a plot but I sure as hell didn't.

I agree with Ace that the Shanghai sequence was stunning. I think the chi-comms won't allow their country to be shot in any way that is anything less than fecking outstanding, but this was jaw dropping. But I digress...personally I think the whole movie *looked* great. Some of the shots in the climax were gorgeous. When they're on the frozen lake being backlit by the fire? Amazing. I think they were using natural light for this sequence (cause eventually you can barely tell what the hell is going one once the sun is down).

But...what plot? What were the motivations? What the fuck was going on? On top of that they kept teasing the identity of Moneypenny. Why? We know it's her from her constant blueballing of Bond but why drag out the reveal? Served no purpose whatsoever.

And as much as I enjoyed Javier Bardem he was basically just doing an over the top version of his character from No Country For Old Men. Gay Joker? No, gay Anton Chigur. But, hey, Javier Bardem is always welcome.

I wouldn't call it dreck, but there wasn't a whole lot of there there. Great looking film, some good moments sprinkled throughout, but not a whole lot else.

Given that, and not taking too much of a critical eye to it, I still enjoyed it well enough. I thought it was better than Quantum of Solace which I thought was bloated for such a short movie and it was definitely way better than The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day.

Posted by: Robert at December 26, 2012 07:39 PM (LUnTP)

62 Ace put some thought in to it all but the movie was just meh. I didn't even bother to comprehend all the plot problems with it. It was just like Batman Rises, a bloated stupid movie that went on forever. I think movie makers are trying to justify $10+ movie ticket prices by providing movies that last for ever, even if the actual movie sucks.

Posted by: joeindc44 thought the new bond movie sucked ass too at December 26, 2012 07:39 PM (3zQJl)

63 The NOC list is only dangerous because Bardem was releasing it on YouTube. Once he died it wasn't that big a deal. I mean its out there somewhere but who is ever going to find it. One thing you can say about Bardem's acting is that it is the first joker knock off that would have been compelling if it had come out before the Dark Knight.

Posted by: tennvols87 at December 26, 2012 07:39 PM (oEOlM)

64 Still enjoy the annual Bond weeks where they do the nonstop loops of the old Bond films. Does it get any better than car chases with 57 Ford sedans?

Posted by: RM at December 26, 2012 07:40 PM (ixDYs)

65 I'm seeing Django Unchained in a couple hours. Can't wait! Looking forward to Les Miserables as well.

Posted by: Jordan at December 26, 2012 07:40 PM (wGDey)

66 Ace, I think you missed what this movie was all about. You missed the irony and the substitutions of one Bond element with another.

It was a Bond movie and a movie about Bond movies.

In the end Bond emerges as a real human being and not simply an iconic movie prop.

Posted by: eman at December 26, 2012 07:40 PM (EWsrI)

67 Speaking of underlying homosexual themes, let's not forget that basketball was first played in a YMCA gym.

Posted by: Velociman at December 26, 2012 07:41 PM (yy9MQ)

68 I tried to do Ace's code but the Booker's won't let me

Posted by: Cricket at December 26, 2012 07:41 PM (DrC22)

69 Ace, you've GOT to see Les Miserables.

Saw it this morning and it was freakin' WONDERFUL!

If you hated Skyfall that much this one will help wash the taste out of your mouth.

Seriously, freakin' five star movie. Can't recommend it enough.

Make sure the theater you go to plays it LOUD. My theater is run by retards so during the first half of the movie the sound was low. Once they cranked the volume it was greeeeeaaaaat!!!!

Posted by: Robert at December 26, 2012 07:42 PM (LUnTP)

70 "It simply makes no sense that MI-6 (and the entire territorial army) just says "Eh, we'll let Bond handle this. For the dramatic possibilities of the situation.""
===============

I lol'ed.

Posted by: Kensington at December 26, 2012 07:42 PM (H84UO)

71 The most idiotic thing for me was the entire "im going to fake my own capture" idea stolen from Dark Knight. The villian gained nothing from it. He didnt even get to hack the list of spies from them, he already had it. It was absolutely retarded. His entire point of getting captured was so he could break out.....walk down the street dressed as a cop....and then just walk in a hearing and try to shoot the head agency chick. He could have done that without getting captured, it made no fucking sense.

Posted by: Mr. Pink at December 26, 2012 07:43 PM (++kZl)

72 Can we agree that this movie was at least edited properly, unlike the incomprehensible Quantum of Solace? I'm afraid to watch that one again.

Posted by: Shoot Me at December 26, 2012 07:43 PM (qiXMt)

73 I still like Moonraker....probably because it was the first movie I remember seeing at the theater without my parents and I actually understood the double entendre "attempting reentry" line at the end.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 07:44 PM (9ScGj)

74 Why the fuck are they making another Les Misrables flix? How many does that make now? The french just keep fucking up revolutions.

Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 07:44 PM (qBY6R)

75 Posted by: Jordan at December 26, 2012 07:40 PM (wGDey)

Hi Jordan. Is the Texas Legislature still in session?

Posted by: weft cut-loop at December 26, 2012 07:44 PM (KDq5l)

76 Why was Bond even in Shanghai in the first place? Whoever was being assassinated had no bearing on the story. This movie served one purpose only, and that was to give Rafe Fiennes a paycheck for the next 5 years while putting to bed the female M and John Cleese Q experiment. Oh, and to make the point that when trying to escape at night, leave the flashlight off.

Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 07:45 PM (5++zd)

77 "Hi Jordan. Is the Texas Legislature still in session?"

Nope, but Obama is still your president. Happy holidays!

Posted by: Jordan at December 26, 2012 07:46 PM (wGDey)

78 Also which came first the joker in DK or Chigarh in No Countrt for Old Men. Because maybe Bardem figured hell I already knock the joker off once and got an Oscar nod.

Posted by: tennvols87 at December 26, 2012 07:47 PM (oEOlM)

79 When it comes to sword play vs. gun play -- sword play wins hands down. Why don't they do a James Bond, circa 1542 or something?

Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 07:47 PM (qBY6R)

80 76 Why was Bond even in Shanghai in the first place?
Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 07:45 PM (5++zd)

______________

He was Shanghaied.

Posted by: Cricket at December 26, 2012 07:48 PM (DrC22)

81 >>>I actually understood the double entendre "attempting reentry" line at the end.

hey, do you remember the HBO guide? Each James Bond film had the content caution for "double entendre humor." That's where I learned that phrase from. All the bond films had that. Spy Who Loved Me even had "partial nudity."

The only other movie I can remember having that content caution was, oddly enough, Buck Rodgers.

Posted by: ace at December 26, 2012 07:48 PM (LCRYB)

82 I have a NOC list and you can't have it!

Posted by: Sandra Fluke at December 26, 2012 07:49 PM (tdaam)

83 I haven't seen any of the Daniel Craig Bond movies.In fact the last Bond movie I saw featured Pierce Brosnan.

Posted by: steevy at December 26, 2012 07:50 PM (9XBK2)

84 >>>Why don't they do a James Bond, circa 1542 or something?

not a bad idea. But the Three Musketeers are sort of that. The recent horrific remake made them explicitly super-spies (with high-tech gadgets!).

I liked in the Drake videogames when they referenced that old queen's (Elizabeth I's?) old spymaster. Was it Wren? Or the occultist, John Dee. Was he some kind of espionage advisor to her, too?

Posted by: ace at December 26, 2012 07:50 PM (LCRYB)

85 M is the Bond Girl.

The bad guy lair is already destroyed.

Bond fails to rescue the expected Bond Girl.

The good guys operate from an underground lair.

Sheesh. It is right there in front of you.

Posted by: eman at December 26, 2012 07:50 PM (EWsrI)

86 @Cricket post 80 -- lol

Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 07:51 PM (5++zd)

87

Dreadfall??

Dreadfall!!

hahaha, well done, Ace Shalit, well done

Posted by: soothsayer at December 26, 2012 07:51 PM (xIzGn)

88 The whole point was to illustrate how embedded Silva's organization was everywhere, and much like Sean Bean's Trevelyan, he has a deep seated hatred for the Brits. Also we're not sure how secure MI-6 is, hence Bond goes
to one of the most remote places available

Posted by: phillip fry at December 26, 2012 07:52 PM (Jsiw/)

89 >>>Why was Bond even in Shanghai in the first place? Whoever was being assassinated had no bearing on the story.

it was something like: They did a photo-scan on the guy bond tried to catch in the beginning and they found him entering Shanghai.

How Bond tracked him to a specific building I forget.

Posted by: ace at December 26, 2012 07:52 PM (LCRYB)

90 I cannot enjoy any movie in which the characters randomly break into song....I don't care how great the rest of the movie may be. I instantly want to jam icepicks into my ears. Guess I'm strange like that.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 07:52 PM (9ScGj)

91 The movie was boring. I agree with Ace, the villain was derivative of other bad guys and the whole "mommy" routine was idiotic. The whole movie was a hodge podge of other movies. The best part of the movie was what happened to Judy Dench. I never could stand her in that role.

Casino Royale was excellent but Craig's last 2 Bond's were very disappointing.

Posted by: TheQuietMan at December 26, 2012 07:53 PM (FeNVP)

92 Fuck Bond . I'm the ultimate badass .

Posted by: Bill D. Cat at December 26, 2012 07:53 PM (tZFXb)

93 How man times can they blow up the M15/Spy building? That thing takes a beating

Posted by: Electric banana Cat Stevens at December 26, 2012 07:55 PM (tdaam)

94 Posted by: Jordan at December 26, 2012 07:46 PM (wGDey)

Hi Jordan. Is the Texas Legislature still in session?

Posted by: weft cut-loop at December 26, 2012 07:55 PM (KDq5l)

95 Suffered thru Casino Royal, no more ghey Bond for me.

Posted by: Gordon undead Ramsay at December 26, 2012 07:55 PM (9HhTH)

96 I'm seeing Django Unchained in a couple hours. Can't wait! Looking forward to Les Miserables as well.

Posted by: Jordan at December 26, 2012 07:40 PM (wGDey)



Of course you would, you turd. BTW your hash is a bit Ghey

Posted by: TheQuietMan at December 26, 2012 07:55 PM (FeNVP)

97 @ace post 89

But that's just the point. If the assassin was so important, then his target should also be important. Instead, an opportunity to tighten up the plot was thrown away for placing Bond into an admittedly impressive hand-to-hand struggle. Loose shit.

Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 07:56 PM (5++zd)

98
GIVL PNS<S

Posted by: sherlock at December 26, 2012 07:56 PM (f29LO)

99 >>> M is the Bond Girl.

The bad guy lair is already destroyed.

Bond fails to rescue the expected Bond Girl.

The good guys operate from an underground lair.

Sheesh. It is right there in front of you.

...

interesting but that's geekstuff. Reference stuff is bullshit. I'm here to see a movie, not an homage.

I do think some of those are interesting but only on a trivia letter. One shouldn't make a movie primarily to be a good answer to a trivia question.

M has been the Bond Girl before, or at least has been in this role of needing his direct protection, in The World is Not Enough.

*Numerous* bond Girls die. Whence comes my quip that bond movies have three kinds of girls, Good, Bad, and Dead. It is part of the Bond format that Bond will have sex with the Secondary Love Interest early and she will be killed by the Villain by the Act II midpoint. That has been done in so many of the movies it would be easier to list the movies where it doesn't happen.

Posted by: ace at December 26, 2012 07:56 PM (LCRYB)

100
I just can't suspend disbelief far enough to believe a brit kicks ass anywhere but in a soccer melee.

The empire ain't what it once was. All the good med died in the Great War.

Posted by: Invictus at December 26, 2012 07:56 PM (OQpzc)

101 "83 I haven't seen any of the Daniel Craig Bond movies.In fact the last Bond movie I saw featured Pierce Brosnan."

Craig is, I think, better than Brosnan. I know Bond is supposed to be suave and debonair, but there's something positively feminine about Brosnan's portrayal. CraIg definitely plays it closer to the "manly" Bonds of Connery and Moore, as opposed to the slick, preening Bonds of Lazenby and Dalton.

Posted by: Jordan at December 26, 2012 07:57 PM (wGDey)

102 One thing I noticed from the trailer is that Bond's pea shooter now uses biometrics as a safety mechanism so that no one else may fire it.

Well, that shit was floated by the Clinton administration back in the 90's via threats of lawsuits against firearm manufacturers. While most firearm manufacturers told Clinton to shove it, Smith Wesson said, "Fuck yeah! Great idea!" They began RD in earnest thereby drawing the ire of the firearm community which nearly bankrupted them.

Anyway, I thought that was interesting.

Posted by: Sandra Fluke's solid gold diaphragm at December 26, 2012 07:57 PM (T7gPe)

103 And the new Q needs to get his ass booted back to the Harry Potter movies

Posted by: TheQuietMan at December 26, 2012 07:57 PM (FeNVP)

104 Ace, I always loved the double entendre...yeah, it's juvenile and cheap, but always fun. Guess that's why I always liked AC/DC....absolute kings of the double entendre.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 07:57 PM (9ScGj)

105 @Jordan post 101

Roger Moore manly? Only when his mascara isn't running. ;-)

Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 08:00 PM (5++zd)

106 >>>I liked in the Drake videogames when they referenced that old queen's (Elizabeth I's?) old spymaster. Was it Wren? Or the occultist, John Dee. Was he some kind of espionage advisor to her, too?
Posted by: ace

I don't remember. But I do know that they had spies all over the place and many were well known historical figures. Wasn't Christopher Marlowe a spy, too? They also had heads on spikes on all the bridges entering London. Personally, I think that would be a great idea for a gated community or even NYC.

Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 08:00 PM (qBY6R)

107 I want to make a movie about a CIA agent.A real badass who leaks national secrets to the NY Times when he disagrees with current policy.

Posted by: steevy at December 26, 2012 08:00 PM (9XBK2)

108 >>>CraIg definitely plays it closer to the "manly" Bonds of Connery and Moore, as opposed to the slick, preening Bonds of Lazenby and Dalton.

dalton wasn't preening. He was just way too emotional. He's the Bond where when he's with the girl at the end you actually expect him to STAY with her, because he fell in love in like five days and he's been looking for a girfriend for so long!

Lazenby didn't really preen in his performance, either. In reality, yes. In his performance, not so much.

Posted by: ace at December 26, 2012 08:01 PM (LCRYB)

109 As a follow-up to my 102 post which is lacking in ampersands, I neglected to mention that Taurus made the same deal with the devil.

Posted by: Sandra Fluke's solid gold diaphragm at December 26, 2012 08:02 PM (T7gPe)

110 My god, it's full of words!

Posted by: CDR. Dave Bowman at December 26, 2012 08:02 PM (0K4Xj)

111 Daniel Craig's Bond bores me. I want more stupid ridiculous stuff to happen.

Just bored with serious super spies.

Posted by: Flatbush Joe at December 26, 2012 08:03 PM (R+6Q+)

112 Wow ace, some of these reviews of your review is damn brutal. I refuse to spend a dime on hollywood so unless it is Christ himself that has returned to reinact seens from the bible, I don't give a crap.

However, when I was younger I did enjoy bond and your description of events follows most plotlines to the T. The beginning chase, the plot set-up including a reason for bond to be vunerable, a wacky prdictable plot twists, some ass kickings and it's time to go home. Nice work big guy.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet, aka Jack July author of Amy Lynn available on Amazon. at December 26, 2012 08:03 PM (l86i3)

113 I loved the Bond movie with Timothy Dalton and the cello player.

Yes, he was probably too emotional for guys, but it was a great romance movie, if not a great Bond movie.

Posted by: Miss Marple at December 26, 2012 08:03 PM (GoIUi)

114 The empire ain't what it once was. All the good men died in the Great War.
Posted by: Invictus at December 26, 2012 07:56 PM (OQpzc)


Be careful...I've only been in one flame war on this site, but it was for making this exact same point.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 08:04 PM (9ScGj)

115

when did Ishtar come out, 1982,3?

SNL did a skit of Good Morning America back then and they had a Gene Shalit do a movie review.

"Ishtar... ish tarrible!"

Posted by: soothsayer at December 26, 2012 08:04 PM (LVtr+)

116
I wouldn't mind a Harry Palmer sequel. God, I miss the cold war!

Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 08:04 PM (qBY6R)

117 107
I want to make a movie about a CIA agent.A real badass who leaks
national secrets to the NY Times when he disagrees with current policy.



Posted by: steevy at December 26, 2012 08:00 PM (9XBK2)

Redford wasn't a "badass" in it, but that otherwise describes "Three Days of the Condor."

Posted by: Sandra Fluke's solid gold diaphragm at December 26, 2012 08:04 PM (T7gPe)

118 Last Bond movie I really liked was ... GoldenEye. Just for the ridiculous opening.

Posted by: Flatbush Joe at December 26, 2012 08:04 PM (R+6Q+)

119 Glad to see you hated it as much as I did.

You didn't even mention the whole "M as mother-figure" stupidity that the director repeatedly beat you over the head with like a blunt instrument to make sure you noticed.

Fer chrissakes, Bond and some of the other characters even call her "mum". That wouldn't be so bad in and of itself, but it ignored the other 5 or however many movies Judi Dench was in where she was just plain "M".

Skyfail

Posted by: Andy at December 26, 2012 08:04 PM (ncSpx)

120 @Sandra Fluke's solid gold diaphragm post 102 109

I detect a thread hijacking gambit!

Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 08:05 PM (5++zd)

121 I'll wait until the DVD's show up in the cutout bins for a buck or two.

Posted by: @PurpAv at December 26, 2012 08:05 PM (TkFJS)

122 You let out the part where the ManBearPig shuts down global oil production to save the planet's temperature form plummeting.

Posted by: sTevo at December 26, 2012 08:05 PM (VMcEw)

123 I liked Octapussy and the spy who loved me. Or maybe I just liked Carly Simon on the second one.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet, aka Jack July author of Amy Lynn available on Amazon. at December 26, 2012 08:06 PM (l86i3)

124 Really like the first half of Ronin - a heist flick set in the world of super spies.

Posted by: Flatbush Joe at December 26, 2012 08:06 PM (R+6Q+)

125 >>>
Fer chrissakes, Bond and some of the other characters even call her "mum".

Hold on there, Cowboy. They're calling her "ma'am," which is frequently slurred in Britain as "mum."

Only Bardem calls her mommy. Other people are calling her ma'am (pronounced "mum").

Posted by: ace at December 26, 2012 08:06 PM (LCRYB)

126 >>The problem is, as the plot in this movie is written, it doesn't make sense.




I'm thinking that's a pretty significant problem

......for this movie

I actually read the whole review.
Thanks Ace you prolly saved me a couple of hours.

.......er, bucks

Posted by: ontherocks at December 26, 2012 08:06 PM (aZ6ew)

127 "dalton wasn't preening. He was just way too emotional. He's the Bond where when he's with the girl at the end you actually expect him to STAY with her, because he fell in love in like five days and he's been looking for a girfriend for so long! "

That blond cello player was smokin', though. Oddly enough, Pierce Brosnan and Sam Neil (wtf?) we're considered before the studio settled on Dalton.

Posted by: Jordan at December 26, 2012 08:07 PM (wGDey)

128
Someone should do a "Blackadder" type movie. A little more serious but still funny and tongue in cheek.

How come they never made a Flashman movie?

Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 08:08 PM (qBY6R)

129 tl;dr version:

It was still better than Quantum of Solace.

Posted by: Tears of John's Boehner at December 26, 2012 08:08 PM (BgIBZ)

130 How come they never made a Flashman movie?
Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 08:08 PM (qBY6R)

How about a Mack Bolan movie?

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet, aka Jack July author of Amy Lynn available on Amazon. at December 26, 2012 08:08 PM (l86i3)

131 120
@Sandra Fluke's solid gold diaphragm post 102 109

I detect a thread hijacking gambit!



Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 08:05 PM (5++zd)

Heh. Well, I was barely over the 100-post minimum for OT thread-jacking.

Posted by: Sandra Fluke's solid gold diaphragm at December 26, 2012 08:09 PM (T7gPe)

132 But, but... the DB5!

Posted by: Richard Hamster at December 26, 2012 08:09 PM (rzTDZ)

133 Speaking of BlackAdder, saw his Dr. Who spoof from 2011. Pretty funny, and I'm not into Dr. Who. Some funny Dalek, time travel, new Doctor body gags.

Posted by: Flatbush Joe at December 26, 2012 08:10 PM (R+6Q+)

134 Oh and by 2011 I meant 1999

Posted by: Flatbush Joe at December 26, 2012 08:11 PM (R+6Q+)

135 130 How come they never made a Flashman movie?
Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 08:08 PM (qBY6R)

They did, Royal Flash, starring Malcolm Mcdowell.

Posted by: Jordan at December 26, 2012 08:11 PM (wGDey)

136 Al Gore as Blofeld would be an instant classic.

Posted by: Fritz at December 26, 2012 08:11 PM (w3+gB)

137 the whole movie sucked. I thought the beginning was boring thy tune, till the fall, and it all went downhill from there.

Nice song

Posted by: gonzotx at December 26, 2012 08:12 PM (4CQjf)

138 Bring back the Sheriff character. J.W. Pepper.

"Secret agent??!!? On who's side????"

Posted by: Count de Monet at December 26, 2012 08:12 PM (BAS5M)

139 Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death

Posted by: Flatbush Joe at December 26, 2012 08:12 PM (R+6Q+)

140 >>>That blond cello player was smokin', though. Oddly enough, Pierce Brosnan and Sam Neil (wtf?) we're considered before the studio settled on Dalton.

they more than considered Brosnan-- they gave him the job. But then NBC heard about that and re-upped his contract for the cancelled Remington Steele, thinking that Brosnan getting the Bond gig would boost the ratings. Even though that mean he couldn't be Bond-- they thought the publicity might save the show.

So, by doing that, they blocked Brosnan from being bond, and searched again, and went with the Runner-Up, Dalton.

Of course Brosnan got his chance again years later.

As far as Sam Neill -- I think he's Australian. The Bond people usually have been very insistant that all Bonds and all bond-directors must be British (or at least from the Isles). I know Lazenby was Australian and Brosnan is Irish (I think) but they tend to be against non-brits for the title role and the director's seat.

Due to that, Bond films tend to be... second-rate, as far as direction.

Posted by: ace at December 26, 2012 08:13 PM (LCRYB)

141 I wouldn't mind a Harry Palmer sequel. God, I miss the cold war!

Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 08:04 PM (qBY6R)



The new FX series The Americans looks interesting.


Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD. Totes waiting until after March Madness. at December 26, 2012 08:13 PM (Gk3SS)

142
What do you see movies for? It is entertainment, escapism. You think too much. Second movie review here that is drivel. Stop going.

Posted by: LYNNDH at December 26, 2012 08:13 PM (mr9Ns)

143 Watched the remake of Total Recall the other day. If you don't blink, there's a quick shot of the JEF on the currency.

....at first, I was thinking "no fucking way!"....but then I imagined it was probably a $10,000,000 bill (would buy you a #3 at McDonald's), so probably accurate.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 08:14 PM (9ScGj)

144 @Sandra Fluke's solid gold diaphragm post 131

Just sayin'. And I got whacked by that ampersand issue as well. And I'm well under that 100-post minimum, since I usually only post for "its" vs "it's" idiocy. Hijack away, I say, as this thread is leaning toward rehash, as all threads eventually do.

Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 08:15 PM (5++zd)

145 It simply makes no sense that MI-6 (and the entire territorial army) just says "Eh, we'll let Bond handle this. For the dramatic possibilities of the situation."

Even after Benghazi, you think this is implausible? Maybe all of the UK military and politicians were busy blaming M's imminent demise on a YouTube video.

Posted by: red sweater at December 26, 2012 08:16 PM (CUi62)

146 Well if so, it was a double entendre for, you know, "mum" as in "mom".

I've seen Casino Royale and Quantum both in the last couple of weeks, and none of the dialogue with Dench is set up like that in either of those movies.

Posted by: Andy at December 26, 2012 08:16 PM (ncSpx)

147 Be careful...I've only been in one flame war on this site, but it was for making this exact same point.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 08:04 PM (9ScGj)I fight, therefore I am. Seriously, when was the last time the Brits won anything that wasn't a bunch of rifle carrying soccer hooligans shooting the shit out of some spear carrying wogs?

Posted by: Invictus at December 26, 2012 08:17 PM (OQpzc)

148 "Even after Benghazi, you think this is implausible? Maybe all of the UK military and politicians were busy blaming M's imminent demise on a YouTube video."

/Thread winner!

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 08:18 PM (9ScGj)

149
I just looked up The Americans. Don't know if I could have any sympathy for commie spies. I'd get pissed off every time they passed info or evaded detection.

Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 08:20 PM (qBY6R)

150 I liked the opening - seriously, I was squeeing during the opening credits, even though the opening to Casino Royae remains my all-time fave.


The villain (Javier Bardem?) didn't make me think so much of the Joker (tho I see the parallels *now*) as Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs. Or, an actor trying really really *really* hard to make sure you know Buffalo Bill has *MOMMY ISSUES* and don't you forget his *MOMMY ISSUES*


I wanted to Sith-choke the new Q - how smart can you really be, provoking a *trained assassin* and looking down on his skills like that?!? Bond coulda dropped him like a ton of bricks in that museum and walked off without anyone the wiser, the little shit-skid. And while I'm glad he got taken down a notch by the villain, it would have been better if he'd been beaten a little bit. More satisfying for me, at least.


That said, I *love* the new M (partly because I figured out who it was pretty early on) and the new Moneypenny.

Posted by: Where's my prezzy at December 26, 2012 08:21 PM (YHXUl)

151 Seriously, when was the last time the Brits Europeans won anything that wasn't a bunch of rifle carrying soccer hooligans shooting the shit out of some spear carrying wogs?

No need to single out our Limey brothers.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 08:22 PM (9ScGj)

152 64 Still enjoy the annual Bond weeks where they do the nonstop loops of the old Bond films. Does it get any better than car chases with 57 Ford sedans?

--------

Yes, it does. There's a Godzilla movie in which Our Hero is driving a VW Type 3 Fastback. He's being chased by Bad Guys in a Datsun. He looks in the rearview mirror, thinks "no problem," punches it and gets away.

Laughed my ass off.

Posted by: Citizen Anachronda at December 26, 2012 08:22 PM (1c58W)

153 OTOH, can I get some love that Rafe Fiennes can be a very good M? No disrespect to Dame Judi, but I never bought into her being M. The new Q, however, looks too much like a Windows 8 commercial.

Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 08:23 PM (5++zd)

154
I think Sam O'Neill is a kiwi. Don't forget Reillly, Ace of Spies. That still is pretty good.

Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 08:23 PM (qBY6R)

155 John Cleese made a good "Q". ...but I may be a bit biased.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 08:26 PM (9ScGj)

156 >>>The new Q, however, looks too much like a Windows 8 commercial.

Ben Whitlock is an excellent actor. The BBC filmed 4 Shakespeare plays. He was Richard I and I actually felt sorry for him.

Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 08:26 PM (qBY6R)

157 No need to single out our Limey brothers.
Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 08:22 PM (9ScGj)

No shit. The Italians using chemical weapons on the Ethiopians is never going to wash away. The Americans are fucking sinless compared with the bloody, evil Europeans. Which only make Europeans pretty normal as most civilization go. Crazy world.

Posted by: Invictus at December 26, 2012 08:26 PM (OQpzc)

158 Plot? Was ist plot?

Posted by: Aurium Goldfinger at December 26, 2012 08:31 PM (V70Uh)

159 I visit your page for the political commentary, not the movie reviews. There's a reason for that. Stick to political commentary. Your movie reviews are Dreadfall.

Posted by: Will at December 26, 2012 08:33 PM (KvTQs)

160 Posted by: Invictus at December 26, 2012 08:26 PM (OQpzc)

The unrealistic double standard applied to American military actions pisses me off to no end, and always results in numerous and needless deaths. ...and the fact our own fuckin media always leads the attacks is unforgivable.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 08:33 PM (9ScGj)

161 "No shit. The Italians using chemical weapons on the Ethiopians is never going to wash away. The Americans are fucking sinless compared with the bloody, evil Europeans."

Our short history certainly contains fewer atrocities, but chattel slavery and the decimation of Native American tribes will always stain our reputation. Rightly so, IMO.

Posted by: Jordan at December 26, 2012 08:33 PM (wGDey)

162 Posted by: Jordan at December 26, 2012 08:33 PM (wGDey)

Jordan, read "The Real History of Slavery" by Dr. Thomas Sowell and your conscience will be greatly relieved.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 08:37 PM (9ScGj)

163 Wow, I couldn't disagree more. Casino Royale is a better Craig Bond film, but Skyfall is a terrific entry nonetheless. Really more of a character study at times than an action flick, but I didn't mind the change of pace. It's remarkable that a 50 year-old franchise can still surprise me.

I loved how they delved into Bond's past with the escape to Scotland at the end. And for fans like myself who think the 60's era was when the series was at its best, the final scene with the old Universal Exports set was a great moment. It's a shame Quantum of Solace was such a weak movie, otherwise this would've completed a great trilogy.

Posted by: Adam_ME at December 26, 2012 08:39 PM (sWKI3)

164 >>>Only Bardem calls her mommy. Other people are calling her ma'am (pronounced "mum").

Huh. In thought it was "mum" as in mom, since her code name is M and it is easier to say over the radio -- like agent B would be called Bob or something. Plus, it will lead to silly humor in the next movie, with everyone referring to Fiennes as mom.

"M, as in mancy" -- Archer

Posted by: wooga at December 26, 2012 08:40 PM (iWNzj)

165
Well, the posters moved the meter on me. My wife and I were going to see it this weekend but I think waiting for the download is best. Thanks guys.

Posted by: Marknlutz at December 26, 2012 08:41 PM (7XGVr)

166 Jordan, I also highly recommend his book, "Conquests and Cultures: An International History".

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 08:42 PM (9ScGj)

167 Well here I am in the ER where the doc is telling me that my cardiologist sent me here simply as a defensive measure because of our fucked up legal system

Believe it or not, I even had enough time sitting on my ass here to read Ace's review

Posted by: Albie Damned at December 26, 2012 08:42 PM (D2wZD)

168 interesting point, they've gone through the books. This is all someone else's vision of 007. And that someone is the widow of Broccolli. So, for me, the whole thing felt useless and generic. It's like a band searching to perform songs that someone else wrote.

Posted by: joeindc44 thought the new bond movie sucked ass too at December 26, 2012 08:42 PM (3zQJl)

169 "Oddly enough, Pierce Brosnan and Sam Neil (wtf?) we're considered before the studio settled on Dalton.
Posted by: Jordan at December 26, 2012 08:07 PM (wGDey)"

In 1992 Sam Neil was in a vaguely Bondish movie called *Hostage*. It sucked.

Posted by: jic at December 26, 2012 08:42 PM (cyqHM)

170 @Icedog post 155

I like John Cleese, and thought he was a serviceable Q, but when they replaced him in this movie it made me think about why they would choose to do that. None of this analysis incorporates scheduling, health, or other issues that actually go into movie making--it merely addresses characterization.

Cleese is a comedic talent. Desmond Llewelyn was an actor. He owned the Q persona, just as Connery owned the Bond persona. Llewelyn's Q was amusing, but not over-the-top, as so much of Cleese's comedy is based upon.

I liked Cleese as Q, but it was never really his role. He was fulfilling it to mark time, IMO. A younger Q was what was needed, but I think the producers missed the mark.

BTW, I saw the SNL remake of the iconic "Dead Parrot" routine Cleese and Palin did. It was an unfunny shade of their past glory. This memory haunts my impression of all Cleese and Palin comedic performances, to include Cleese as Q.

Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 08:43 PM (5++zd)

171 IMHO, Daniel Craig isn't handsome enough to be James Bond.

Posted by: Aurium Goldfinger at December 26, 2012 08:43 PM (V70Uh)

172 sock off

Posted by: Al at December 26, 2012 08:44 PM (V70Uh)

173 Our short history certainly contains fewer atrocities, but chattel slavery and the decimation of Native American tribes will always stain our reputation. Rightly so, IMO.
Posted by: Jordan at December 26, 2012 08:33 PM (wGDey)

Um, giving germ infected blanket to native americans happened under Brit commanders.

But even that is bullshit. That happened before the germ theory of disease gained any traction. Those blankets were not burned, even inside the fort.

Leftys are not honest. If you can toss off your programmig, you will see the US really is special. If you help kill it, you doom mankind.

Posted by: Invictus at December 26, 2012 08:47 PM (OQpzc)

174 Brennan, can't disagree with any of your post.

...and it was a mistake for Palin and Cleese to agree to perform their famous skit for SNL. Extremely few magic or comedy routines should ever be repeated.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 08:50 PM (9ScGj)

175 Point of order: "decimate" means to kill one in ten. On purpose. Against their will. As a punishment. The word has nothing to do with the effects of war or invasion. Put yourselves some learning.

Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 08:52 PM (5++zd)

176 I often hear or read someone use the word "decimate" when "annihilate" is closer.

Posted by: Al at December 26, 2012 08:53 PM (V70Uh)

177
In my opinion, the whole Bond universe has lost its meaning.

Originally, Bond fought SMERSH, which was a Soviet organization. The whole purpose of Bond's existence was as a Cold War spy/assasin. License to kill was about being allowed to rub out the other guys, the way the real SMERSH went around the world killing the enemies of the Soviet Union in a clandestine manner. Then they started to get too politically correct, and were afrain of annoying the Reds (not the baseball team in Cincinnati either) and had Bond fighting SPECTRE. And other assorted bad guys like ErnstBlofeld and Dr. No. Funny stuff, and really the original Ian Fleming books were really campy.

But now with no Russkis or super villains like SPECTRE to fight, they have to invent silly psychopaths to fight off and kill. The point of the movies is really lost now, as who really knows who or why the bad guys exist.


They COULD have Bond fighting Al Qaeda or some reasonable facsimile, but that might annoy the millions of towel heads in the UK and the rest of Europeand cause a bit of a ruckus, so that isright out, as the Brits might say. Only PC villains allowed these days.

Posted by: Reader C.J. Burch writes..... at December 26, 2012 08:54 PM (Md8Uo)

178 @Icedog post 174

I remember watching that SNL episode, and being so excited to see the masters at work again--and then being so disappointed that they were unable to re-capture the magic of the moment. The saddest part? Halfway through, they knew it too.

Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 08:55 PM (5++zd)

179 During the French Indian war, one Brit officer sent a letter to another Brit officer, mentioning infecting blankets. That was it. There has been no evidence that this was ever done. In fact, after the AR, our army vaccinated Indians.

Before Cortez hit shore, a couple of other spanish ships arrived with small pox. It killed at least a quarter of the Indian population. Since the meseo american tribes traded with the gulf coast tribes which traded with other american tribes, the disease spread.

Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 08:55 PM (qBY6R)

180 @Al post 176

Thank you. Spot on.

Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 08:56 PM (5++zd)

181 Virtually (if not all) the Native American Indians had Type O blood, which gave them virtually no natural immunity to small pox.

Posted by: Reader C.J. Burch writes..... at December 26, 2012 08:57 PM (Md8Uo)

182

The Roger Moore moves actually made more sense than this monotone mess.

The deal with the special gun, all that setup up for that? A fat guy stealing it and not being able to shoot it? Just a dumb gun?

I just get a feeling everyone in them is oblivious to everything watching these movies. How does one end up the head cop in charge being so stupid?

They're still good things to go see though.


Posted by: Rev Dr. E Buzz Yannoglanchie at December 26, 2012 08:57 PM (ApGOC)

183 I liked it more than Ace did but I do agree with the criticisms also. The ending was overlong IMO and somewhat anticlimactic in that the villain basically accomplishes his objective because M dies. He dies also but whatever.

Ralph Fiennes being installed as the new M is cool as is the new, younger "Q". As good as Dench is, I never really bought her as "M". She came off like and old English granny or schoolmarm trying to talk tough. They even gave her some action scenes which were pretty much a joke. She wouldn't be hard to kill at all, given her propensity to be standing out in the open throughout most of the film.

The problem with Bond films is they build up the villains to be these brilliant evil geniuses but then they all have to do things that a crook with an IQ of 70 wouldn't do in order to get themselves killed in the end. There is no realism at all so they might as well not worry about it.

Posted by: Ken Royall at December 26, 2012 08:58 PM (x0g8a)

184 Posted by: Reader C.J. Burch writes..... at December 26, 2012 08:54 PM (Md8Uo)

If aliens one day only find our old movies, they'll determine we were all wiped out by old white guys from Eastern Europe and South Africa.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 08:59 PM (9ScGj)

185 I cannot enjoy any movie in which the characters randomly break into song....I don't care how great the rest of the movie may be. I instantly want to jam icepicks into my ears. Guess I'm strange like that.
Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 07:52 PM (9ScGj)

Then I have good news! In Les Miserables there are no random song breaks because it's an opera. Every last line of dialogue in the film is sung instead of spoken.

Posted by: Robert at December 26, 2012 09:00 PM (LUnTP)

186 Im not sure if ive agreed with a single ace movie review. He recommends the watch, which was a total disaster, and the. Poo-poos this movie? Anyone who didnt like bardem n this movie is probably someone who i will never agree with theatrical taste

Posted by: Rich at December 26, 2012 09:01 PM (4TBK2)

187 "As good as Dench is, I never really bought her as "M". She came off like and old English granny or schoolmarm trying to talk tough.
Posted by: Ken Royall at December 26, 2012 08:58 PM (x0g8a)"

Her character was based on Stella Rimington, the first female Director General of MI5 (and the first DG to be publicly recognized by the UK government), who pretty much came over the same way.

Posted by: jic at December 26, 2012 09:04 PM (cyqHM)

188 "Every last line of dialogue in the film is sung instead of spoken."

...sorry, I read that the same as, "No need to fret, we've removed all the icky sex scenes from your porn movie and left you with just the finely acted scenes."

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 09:08 PM (9ScGj)

189 @Icedog post 174

Well said, sir! Although I admit to occasionally YouTubing Abbot and Costello's "Who's on First?" Funny is as funny does....

Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 09:09 PM (5++zd)

190 @Icedog post 188

That's a short movie.

Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 09:11 PM (5++zd)

191 Wow. Sounds exactly like Benghazi. Is Hillary our M?

Posted by: Leitbart at December 26, 2012 09:13 PM (oTXfa)

192 In many cases it was trade goods or even charity(ie giving blankets to cold Indians) that gave them small pox,it wasn't intentional.

Posted by: steevy at December 26, 2012 09:15 PM (9XBK2)

193 Well said, sir! Although I admit to occasionally YouTubing Abbot and Costello's "Who's on First?" Funny is as funny does....
Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 09:09 PM (5++zd)


Funny you should say that! I originally typed "should never be repeated"...but the "Who's on First" routine popped into my head so I had to change my mind.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 09:16 PM (9ScGj)

194 186 All movie reviews are useless,unless you share similar tastes with the reviewer.It's subjective.

Posted by: steevy at December 26, 2012 09:16 PM (9XBK2)

195
Bardem is very good in the Dancer Upstairs, directed by a Hwd conservative, John Malcovitch.

Posted by: red at December 26, 2012 09:21 PM (qBY6R)

196 All movie reviews are useless,unless you share similar tastes with the reviewer.It's subjective.
Posted by: steevy


For the most part, indeed.

Posted by: weft cut-loop at December 26, 2012 09:24 PM (KDq5l)

197 @Icedog post 193

I laffed!

Posted by: Brennan at December 26, 2012 09:25 PM (5++zd)

198 Hollywood is a cesspool of Marxist propaganda and a bottomless pool of funding for the progressive industrial complex. I wish that every libtard actor would spontaneously combust all at once. Thus putting an end to their endless ignorant drivel. And Hollywood itself. Is that too much to ask?

Posted by: Guido at December 26, 2012 09:44 PM (XLuH2)

199 The Europeans gave the Indians Smallpox, just to keep up their end, the Indians gave the Europeans Syphilis right back. Bit of a trade-off , wot?

Posted by: bigmike at December 26, 2012 10:09 PM (kjh+Q)

200 My advice is "don't be too analytical watching a movie. very few can pass that kind of scrutiny. As the New York Times TV listings used to say many long years ago "Buy the premise, buy the flick".

Posted by: ed at December 26, 2012 10:50 PM (F0pZ0)

201 "Now, the other Bond films were kind of corn-bag so that sort of thing flies."
---

Are you dissing me?

Posted by: Corn-bag Brother at December 26, 2012 11:19 PM (Y5I9o)

202 On the plus side, maybe this will keep Bardem out of English language films.

Posted by: somebody else, not me at December 26, 2012 11:20 PM (nZvGM)

203 I really loved it but, full disclosure, my favorite Bond movie was Live and Let Die which appalls my better half who hates the roger Moore bond series. Bardem was excellent as a diabolical latterday Dr. No.

And Daniel Craig is the hawtest Bond evah!
I'd hit that in a second.

Posted by: Keena at December 26, 2012 11:50 PM (FUo3j)

204 Opening sequence of Skyfall -- FAILS for me the moment Bond is in one of those tractors on the train, pancaking cars, so he can move a couple of feet to get closer to his target.

FAILS for me when -- Bond can't shoot the apple off hot Tera Patrick looking chick's head (because he's lost his shooting skill), but then after gay-Joker kills Tera Patrick (WTF?!?!?), Bond gets his shooting touch back. AND MI-5 or the British army or whatever shows up. Just AFTER a nick of time.

Bond seduces Tera Patrick chick and they know each other for about 2.5 minutes. And then she's dead. That's freakin' horrible, dude. I mean, that chick looks like Tera Patrick, man. You gotta' keep her around for a little while. She's been a sex slave half her life. Give her a chance.

Bardem -- horrid. Why'd they have to fuck it up with the gay vibe and the Joker cheeziness? They may as well have just had Anton Chigurgh (which is kind of what I wanted to see anyhoos). Dude gets caught intentionally, so that he can travel to an MI-5 committee hearing 10 minutes away, dressed in a police outfit. And he's a better hacker than Q?? Like, when did gay-Joker became such a talented hacker?? Did he take classes? Did he read books? Why doesn't he just hack into Judi Dench's pacemaker and just fuck with her heart rhythm over and over?

This Bond movie was so bad, I did something I've never done in all my years of cinema viewing. I actually walked out of the movie. Walked out with half an hour left. As Ace said, the movie kept taking me out of the story, over and over, until I had to physically remove myself from the story. Literally. I didn't want to have to slow walk down the aisle with all the chucklheads, with the Bond song playing, listening to all these people kibitzing about how awesome that movie was. I hate the slow-walk out of a bad movie.

Posted by: sunny black at December 27, 2012 12:32 AM (aDo9o)

205 184
Posted by: Reader C.J. Burch writes..... at December 26, 2012 08:54 PM (Md8Uo)



If aliens one day only find our old movies, they'll determine we
were all wiped out by old white guys from Eastern Europe and South
Africa.

Posted by: Icedog at December 26, 2012 08:59 PM (9ScGj)
>>>>>>>>Or, if they ever find Law Order (or any other crime procedural TV shows of the early 21st century), they'll think New York and DC were wiped out by Extreme Right Wing Christian Militias tm, or shell-shocked 'Nam and WOT vets.

Posted by: Damn Sockpuppet at December 27, 2012 12:36 AM (yJYwC)

206
Skyfall was dreadfully dull andJavier Bardem's character was perhaps one of the most forgettable Bondvillains ever.
The problem with James Bond movies is this: The whole concept of a British super agent killing for Queen and country simply doesn't work anymore.Great Britain is no longer an empire or even a great power. A film series concerning a Belgiansuper agentwould make about as much sense at this point. Furthermorethere are no interesting existential threats to buildcompelling stories around. Well at least none that the pussified, politically correctwriters of the film serieswish to utilize.
Oh and Daniel Craig flat out sucks as James Bond.

Posted by: Ernie McCracken at December 27, 2012 12:54 AM (ZETiK)

207 I was disappoint.

Bond should be a force of nature, physical and cruel. In this film the first was questioned and the second undermined.

Bond is supposedly old? WTF? Who thinks this of Bond? The film answers a question no one asks.

Old? He just biked over rooftops and fought above a moving train! (Playing with a scorpion proof he recovered from being shot, I assumed.) And later he leaps to the undercarriage of an elevator, etc.

(And made fun of for being a throwback/caveman for being out of tech touch? Bond has always had tech toys!)

And I don't want a backstory beyond guttersnipe with a veneer of polish.

Now he's young Bruce Wayne.

Fuck, fuck, fuck.


Posted by: taba at December 27, 2012 01:04 AM (INjNI)

208 78 Also which came first the joker in DK or Chigarh in No Countrt for Old Men. Because maybe Bardem figured hell I already knock the joker off once and got an Oscar nod.
-
No Country for Old Men (2007)
The Dark Knight (200

Javier Bardem was first.

Posted by: The Lightworker at December 27, 2012 01:07 AM (cMuUA)

209 @206 -- I agree.

Best thing about Skyfall was the song by the fat chick.

It's true England is no longer a superpower. That doesn't mean they can't come up with intriguing tales of espionage, but it does mean that those stories have smaller significance in the grand scheme of things. And I think the Bond franchise desires to be bigger than life. All my friends from England see Bond as a larger than life presence and the story has to be big and have big significance. It can't be some local story about a renegade branch of black on black CIA killers (i.e. Treadstone/Bourne), and yet somehow Bourne worked to some extent with that smaller scale.

I saw some of the Indiana Jones movies this week and thought it might be fun to see them set the Bond films back in the 1950s. Maybe have a Mad Men angle with a touch of Tinker Tailor (which was 1970s).

Personally, I'd enjoy watching movies about the craft of spying.

Posted by: sunny black at December 27, 2012 01:08 AM (aDo9o)

210 140 As far as Sam Neill -- I think he's Australian.
-
From his IMDb bio:- Born in Northern Ireland to army parents, his family returned to the South Island of New Zealand in 1954. He went to boarding schools and then attended the universities at Canterbury and Victoria.

Posted by: The Lightworker at December 27, 2012 01:12 AM (cMuUA)

211 >Old? He just biked over rooftops and fought above a moving train!
(Playing with >a scorpion proof he recovered from being shot, I assumed.)
And later he leaps to >the undercarriage of an elevator, etc.


That's my other issue. How can he be old already?? It's only been three moview?!

I want to clarify my earlier point about Bond driving his tractor on the train over those VW Beatles. I see that scene and the first thing I'm thinking is, "Who the fuck is going to pay for all that?! Why'd you have to ruin all those cars?" That just pisses me off destroying all those cars.

You're just some dumb British spy. Bourne wouldn't have needed to destroy all those cars. He would have done some Parkour, jumped through a window, and then beat the bad guy with an original hard cover of Great Expectations. I don't care for Matt Damon, but I respect the efficiency and working within a budget.

Posted by: sunny black at December 27, 2012 01:14 AM (aDo9o)

212 sunny black said: FAILS for me when -- ... Bond gets his shooting
touch back. AND MI-5 or the British army or whatever shows up. Just
AFTER a nick of time.


Uhm, so, the British showing up 'just in the nick of time' after Bond activated the radio beacon: that is classic Bond.

It's the stylistic flair of the Bond series, it's always had a unique idiosyncratic campy-ness to it that was... cool. As an example that's on TV right now, you're the kind of guy who would bitch about Escape from NY/LA without understanding that's the point of Pliskin's aura.

Perhaps you should watch the Bourne series again...

Posted by: Uriah Heep at December 27, 2012 01:18 AM (jhI6f)

213 198 Hollywood is a cesspool of Marxist propaganda and a bottomless pool of funding for the progressive industrial complex. I wish that every libtard actor would spontaneously combust all at once. Thus putting an end to their endless ignorant drivel. And Hollywood itself. Is that too much to ask?
-
No.

Also, repeal the Hollywood tax cuts.

Posted by: The Lightworker at December 27, 2012 01:19 AM (cMuUA)

214 My brief review of Skyfall: I liked everything about it, except the plot. Unfortunately, plot is important to me.

If you have any love for Bond movies, you should go. Just expect the plot to be dumb and not make sense, and enjoy the big dumb spectacle.

Multiple spoilers below. Since the plot is dumb, I don't think these will detract from enjoying the movie, but You Have Been Warned.

I was trying to make the movie make sense, and I thought the big question was: who is the inside man? The villain managed to get into M's computer, to blow up MI6 headquarters, and to know about a highly secret NOC list. The plot's answer to all of those: the villain is a magical computer hacker. How could he access M's computer? He's a hacker, duh (handwave). How did he blow up MI6? He hacked the computers that control the natural gas plumbing!

Even the existence of the NOC list seemed like a puzzle, but it went nowhere. M said "that list was never even supposed to exist" and I wondered whether it was part of an elaborate scheme to make her look bad (a scheme that would still have been more plausible than the actual plot). In the end, the list was never explained; it was just there.

The Joker in Dark Knight played out a complicated scheme that was just barely plausible to escape. This villain played out a scheme that is beyond complicated. He knew that Q would plug an unknown computer into the secure network, inside the secure firewall, at just the right time to... have some sort of computer worm hack the automated motors in the long-abandoned Underground station? What automated motors? Since when do even currently-in-use Underground stations have motorized hatches under computer control? And how did this get him out of a high-tech Plexiglas jail cell... did it also have computer-controlled remote-operated doors? (Again I was looking for the inside man, and again there wasn't one.) The low-tech solution of chaining his ankle to a cast-iron pipe would have foiled all his plans!

Then, the villain had a man in place to hand him a police officer uniform, complete with a gimmicked radio that could set off a ridiculous pre-planned trap. How could he know the timing would work for that trap? This is Xanatos Roulette at its most unbelievable.

There is a trope from Bond movies we haven't seen in this reboot: a bunch of Marines arrive at the end and there is a big battle. Seen in Thunderball, sort of seen in The Spy Who Loved Me, even seen in Moonraker. When the bad guy arrived he had about two dozen gunmen. And Bond's plan was just to be awesome and kill them all alone. (He didn't plan on the groundskeeper being there, unless he was bluffing when he tried to get the groundskeeper to leave.)

I work with computers, so I like semi-plausible computer stuff. All the computer stuff in Skyfall was just over-the-top silly. "There are only five men in the world capable of writing this sort of code... oh by the way I invented this style of code." This from a man who plugged an unknown computer into his secure network.

I could pick holes in the plot for hours.

Other notes:

I don't think the bad guy was necessarily gay. He had a gorgeous woman working for him... he could have just been trying to mess with Bond's head. Bond's cool response could just have been Bond refusing to be messed with. Nothing conclusive here on any side. And note that after the bantering dialog that whole subthread was just dropped. He didn't actually do anything to Bond, and if he had spent ten minutes pawing at Bond that one woman could have lived.

It seems clear that Bond and Eve had sex right after she shaved him. He was opening the buttons over her cleavage and she was okay with it... no way he just stopped after that! (She just said "I need to finish shaving you first", not "stop that" or even a playful variation on "stop that".) And later they had dialog (with who knows how many other MI6 agents listening!), something about putting hands to good use or similar.

I expected the thing with the ceramic dog at the end. Checkhov's Gun and all that.

Ace: as usual, I don't seem to be smart enough to figure out your cryptic hints. What are the two things you alluded to from the ending? The thing the fanboys will like and the thing the fanboys will hate?

Was the "like" thing the bit you put in a cipher? Was the "hate" thing the "we've never been formally introduced"?

Personally I liked Judi Dench as M. But you have to figure she's kind of old at this point... she's 78! I'm pretty sure they wrote the exit for Desmond Llewelyn the way they did because he was just too old and needed to retire. (And in fact he died of old age before the next movie.)

Posted by: mr_jack at December 27, 2012 01:27 AM (P0N+7)

215 Ace said: "Finally, the end. The end of this movie would have almost saved it
being, as you might have heard, a Straw Dogs type ending. Not a huge
spectacle, but just a couple of people in an abandoned English (well,
Scottish) country-house defending themselves with shotgun, hunting
rifle, and improvised traps.

I loved those bits. The traps were great.

Interesting as I went the other way: To me the ending was Home Alone. Same old bullshit, was waiting for the sticky bandits to photo-bomb the frame. I mean, really, explosive lighting sockets and broken lightbulbs... if only he had micromachines for under the windows.

I thought of Straw Dogs initially as well, but in SD's the ending stand-off had a larger significance given the earlier vulgarities and raping of not just the girl, but the main guys social and hierarchical roles in all the relationships. It brought a finality to the question of who and what it means to be a man and role of dominance, etc. This felt more like a cheap ending tacked on to bring Bond and the Gay together for a 1v1, while also killing everyone else off.

Not to correct you, but think the movie was explicit that everyone didn't know where M went. Bond kidnapped her, they swapped cars to one sans GPS and had the quartermaster alone set up a false trail. So, the movie tries to cover this up by saying they're keeping it little as the gay would intercept any communication when they passed word through the usual channels. I'd agree with you this is pretty f-in stupid when the quartermaster could pass a word-of-mouth thing and get an SAS or whatever their SFOD-Delta equivalent unit is out there.

Posted by: Uriah Heep at December 27, 2012 01:30 AM (jhI6f)

216 177 They COULD have Bond fighting Al Qaeda or some reasonable facsimile, but that might annoy the millions of towel heads in the UK and the rest of Europeand cause a bit of a ruckus, so that isright out, as the Brits might say. Only PC villains allowed these days.
-
That's what gets me: finally there was a real life villain who was perfect for Bond in every way, a modern "old man of the mountain" with an army of terrorists and murderers, making grandiose speeches from exotic hideouts and pulling off terrifying plots with spectacular payoffs - and Bond would not fight him, nor anybody like him.

It made Bond shrink, in my eyes, like a braggart who always says be wants to fight an XYZ, until an XYZ cruises into the bar, and then the braggart falls silent and slinks away.

Bond will not fight anything that is a genuine threat, even symbolically, because if it is a genuine threat the anti-White and anti-Western heart of Hell that is Hollywood will embrace it as a hopeful challenger to all the things it hates and wants destroyed (like us), and then it will be politically incorrect to fight it, and far be it from Bond to be so daring.

Bond needs specially picked opponents that he can fight, preferably White males from South Africa or Eastern Europe. Maybe a White from Zimbabwe too. (Or if Asian then North Korean, in line with the new Red Dawn).

It's so cowardly, so footling and morally puny and useless.

Posted by: The Lightworker at December 27, 2012 01:43 AM (cMuUA)

217 The ending would have been saved had M shot herself, tired of making difficult choices (not because she feels guilt for having made them wrong).

Would have served to explain Bond's deliberate cruelness (it's a tough job).

Posted by: taba at December 27, 2012 01:43 AM (INjNI)

218 I think that this kind of thing is more fun than pure politics, and Ace is better at it.

Posted by: The Lightworker at December 27, 2012 01:50 AM (cMuUA)

219 They've got a problem, because Quantum, the world conspiracy of opera-going White males out to jack up the water rates in uninteresting places, was a bust.

As of Skyfall, the solution is: mentally disturbed White males, considered purely as individuals, with no organization behind them. (That doesn't exclude them hiring goons, like the assault troops that cared so little for their own or each others' lives in the house fight. But it does mean that when the villain goes down the job is done without remainder.)

These lack the infrastructure that the Communists or SPECTRE provided. The solution is for the bad guy to be a super-genius along the lines of Die Hard 4; he doesn't need anything but his hacking magic.

I think they're limping along from picture to picture now, with no good solution to the villain problem.

If Javier Bardem can't make your villain work, the flaw is in you and your script, not him.

Posted by: The Lightworker at December 27, 2012 02:03 AM (cMuUA)

220 Since the Cold War is over, Bond really needs something like SPECTRE.

Eon Productions will never call it SPECTRE because they would have to pay royalties on that name. (Thunderball had a co-author and the co-author was ruled to have some rights; that was the only way a non-Eon Bond film was ever made, Never Say Never Again was actually a remake of Thunderball.)

The one part of Quantum of Solace that I really liked: M's rant toward the beginning. "Prisoners are always ranting about how they have someone planted in your organization... one never expects it actually to be true!" It made me think "Just how entrenched is this shadowy organization?" But the rest of the movie lost that sense of veiled danger. I guess QUANTUM just had the one mole in MI6. Well okay then.

It would have been a far better movie if QUANTUM's plans had been never explained, just a mystery.

Posted by: mr_jack at December 27, 2012 03:52 AM (P0N+7)

221 You made one BIG mistake. The MoD/MI6/Police didn't know Bond was taking 'M' to Skyfall Ranch. Bond simply 'kidnapped' M to take her away from the Government 'nets' because there were too many insider threats. He trusted 'Q' to create a breadcrumb trail of cell tower hits leading to whatever location he ended up at because he knew the bad guys would hack the system and track them there.
There would not have been police or military forces waiting because they couldn't trust anyone. Bond simply wanted to change the rules and shape where the next fight would take place rather than be at the mercy of this guy who constantly controlled the playing field.
I'm also surprised you missed the obvious move that the franchise owners and director successfully made in bringing Bond back to the golden age of the series. They backed away from the unrealistic high-tech, snobby, Pierce Brosnen-esq annoying one-liner crapand returned to the classy, Gum-Shoe type of spy Bond once was. It breathed new live into the dying franchise, and hopefully the next few movies will continue that same path.
One of the best Bond movies of all time.

Posted by: Tony at December 27, 2012 03:59 AM (B+qrE)

222 "I'm pretty sure they wrote the exit for Desmond Llewelyn the way they did because he was just too old and needed to retire. (And in fact he died of old age before the next movie.)
Posted by: mr_jack at December 27, 2012 01:27 AM (P0N+7)"

No he didn't. He died in a car crash on the way home from a book signing.

Posted by: jic at December 27, 2012 05:26 AM (cyqHM)

223 Oh, c'mon, Ace. It was lots of fun. Plot? Who needs a stinkin' plot? Just dance for me, you Hollywood morons!

Posted by: OutspokenRed at December 27, 2012 08:41 AM (lzwBD)

224 you made one BIG mistake. valerie plame was in sole possession of the entire NOC list.

Posted by: matt foley at December 27, 2012 11:04 AM (ES9kw)

225 >>>Was the "hate" thing the "we've never been formally introduced"?

the hate thing was everything to do with the "darker, edgier, sexier" Moneypenny.

Posted by: ace at December 27, 2012 11:42 AM (LCRYB)

226 @222 Thank you for the correction. My apologies for the mistake.

Posted by: mr_jack at December 27, 2012 12:41 PM (OK3ED)

227 "The most idiotic thing for me was the entire "im going to fake my own
capture" idea stolen from Dark Knight. The villian gained nothing from
it."


Actually it makes perfect sense - from the framework of a Bond villain. It's the same urge to explain your scheme to Bond when you have him captive, fill in the little details he doesn't have yet and gloat at your own cleverness and Bond's inescapable doom. Bardem doesn't just want M dead, she has to know who does it and why, and so does the entire organization, and given the hit takes place at a government hearing, so does the entire government.

Posted by: Steve Skubinna at December 27, 2012 01:00 PM (HoGA+)

228 Ace,
I think you've got a point about the government giving up M for the NOC list. It would be a good ironic twist that the guy that M gave up for "the good of the country" would come back and make the country give her up for "the good of the country" ...
Would have worked too ... those jerks on that comittee would easily have agreed to that deal ...

Posted by: JeffC at December 27, 2012 01:11 PM (A3tpD)

229

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Yeah, I won’t say that this movie was clever by any means
but it was a pretty good action movie. I
miss some of the cheesy aspects of the old Bond, but thought they could have
found a happy medium between “classic Bond” and “Bourne Bond.” As far as no one from MI6 being with them at
the house, “M” was kidnapped by 007, so they didn’t have a choice. My DISH coworker and I decided to see the
previous two Craig movies before seeing Skyfall and so we rented them with my
Blockbuster @Home account. I remembered
how much I hated having to go out at 8:30 PM to return the movie because I put
off going until the last minute. I just
popped the movies in my mailbox on the porch and wait for the mailman to pick
them up and drop off the new ones. I
save time, gas and aggravation, which makes my wife happy since I used to come
home in a bad mood.

Posted by: JimmyMackey at January 03, 2013 11:41 AM (f54s2)






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