View Single Post
Old January 3 2013, 10:00 AM   #464
Starkers's Avatar
Location: Published!
Re: Skyfall - Grading & Discussion

Gaith wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
And do you know what the next sentance would likely be out of the questioner.

It would have been something along the lines, "Are you trying to get out of answering our questions?, by claiming that an attack on this room is imminant."
Even disregarding the extremely public and lethal attack on MI6 only days before, you cannot possibly be serious.

ElfEars wrote: View Post
Bond shows no particular interest in saving - e.g. he doesn't try to stop the assassin before he kills his target).
That was definitely weird. Sure, he was trying to sneak up on the guy for maximum self-protection, but that's no excuse when a possible innocent life is at stake.

ElfEars wrote: View Post
If the greatest thing Bond and M can do for the world at large and for the ordinary bystanders is not further endanger them/get them killed by having their confrontation with Silva out in the open - well, that still does nothing to answer the question that was posed in the movie itself, why the fuck is MI6 needed in the first place?
I guess the lesson they took from the fan backlash to Die Another Day, which also had a valedictory tone filled with callbacks to earlier movies, is that the worst the series can do is do outsize villains any more. And since political correctness drastically reduces other ethnic/nationalist options, rogue ex-agents are an easy and obvious alternative (see: the first three Mission: Impossibles). Another route is to reboot SPECTRE, which they tried with Quantum, but understandably let go of here, as that was also a pretty stupid idea. (Fact is, white spies just aren't very useful in a post-Cold War world.)

The result, as you observe, is narrative claustrophobia, covered in lots of shiny paint. Here's one of my favorite critics, Tom Shone:
The result is good-looking, dramatically inert, high-end filmmaking that invites its audience to feel superior to cheap thrills it doesn't have the faintest idea how to produce.

[...] Should Bond be this beautiful? The series always dreamed of sophistication, of course, with its martinis and jet travel and beautiful exotica — those complaining about product placement in the new film ought to remember that Fleming was dropping labels decades before Bret Easton Ellis was spitting out his pacifier — but it was the pseudo-sophistication of the business traveller, doomed to curdle into kitsch. That is what made Casino Royale such a blessed relief, for here was Bond played straight, with a new Bond who was blonde and tough and cool again. Given this, Mendes decision to revisit the theme of the Timothy Dalton Bonds — Bond as dinosaur, ribbed by his younger colleagues for being out-of-date — is all the more baffling, a self-inflicted defeat just inches from the end zone. What sense does it make to have M hauled in front of a government oversight committee and told that era of human intelligence is past, when what revivified the whole Bond franchise in the first place was the renewed threat of terrorism? The contemporary resonance is there on a plate.
I guess that for most, the shiny paint was enough.
I find it hard to take seriously any crtic who can't even get his basic facts right. Dalton's 007 ribbed as a dionosaur? I don't think so...

But as for relevance, surely in a time when more and more of a spotlight is being shone on the covert world, when organisations like wikileaks and anonymous exist, surely this was relevent?

Trouble is Casino Royale convinced people that Bond could work as a gritty realistic spy, but aside from From Russia with Love, and maybe For Your Eyes Only, the Bond films have never been about gritty realistic spy thrillers, and quite frankly I don't want them to be. When I want something approaching real spying I'll watch the awesomeness that is Tinker Tailor, what I want is slick action, wit and wish fulfillment I'll watch Bond. This was my argument over the Bournification too, when I want to watch Bourne (maybe if I need to sleep) I'll watch a Bourne film, when I want to watch Bond I'll watch a Bond film and, for me at any rate, Skyfall is the irst Craig film to truly 100% feel like a Bond film.

And I kinda like that Bond doesn't win (although you could argue he does to a certain extend given Silva is neutralised, and, perhaps more importantly, dies thinking he's failed) Skyfall is one of the films of 2012 that didn't quite go where you expected it to (along with Looper).

As for Oscars, I'll be surprised if Skyfall doesn't pick up a couple, if only for cinematography and maybe Dench as supporting actress, though I'll be surprised if Mendes doesn't at least get a nomination for best director.
Starkers is offline   Reply With Quote