Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Agent Richard07, Oct 23, 2012.
Color me afraid. Color me very afraid...
The brig looks like a giant PSP.
Well, it does seem like the new formular to break the billion dollar barrier. TDK, Avengers, now (it seems) Skyfall. If this follows through, Into Darkness will be the first Trek movie to make a billion bucks.
Well Sky Fall hasn't quite broken the billion mark yet, though it should when it opens in China. Though the question is will China's taking be anywhere near the US$250 or so it has taken at the US box office or the US$155 it has taken at the UK box office.
C, because of good acting and directing, and the amazing opening credits (set to a great Adele song, which would work beautifully for a better story than this one), which are the best part of the movie by far. The story deserves an F.
I will never understand the critical adoration of Skyfall. I'm generally not a fan of the Bond franchise, but I did like Casino Royale and I had expectations of this one due to the great reviews. But the story is such a mess that it makes The Dark Knight Rises look like a deeply satisfying, well-written story with no contradictions or confused messages.
What I get from this story is that Bond doesn’t care about saving people other than his boss (and BTW, he doesn't actually manage to save anyone in the movie), MI6 is endangering the world more than it’s actually protecting it, and M, who would be completely unlikeable if she weren’t played by Judi Dench, puts MI6 above everything and is ready to sacrifice anyone’s life, except her own. One of my LJ friends goes into more detail about the problems with the movie's story here: http://local-max.livejournal.com/52540.html
Skyfall could work as a really dark story about an antihero spy, an orphan who doesn’t really have anyone or love anyone except his Mother Country, who kills without remorse, doesn’t care about saving people, uses women and treats them like shit and is ready to let them die, while the only person he’ll go out of his way to protect and that he’s willing to risk his life for is his mother-figure boss, the embodiment of MI5 and Mother England, who’s using him and treating him like shit and doesn’t care if he lives or die. And even when he has an out to be free and live a different life, he comes back to the fold to work for them again, like someone who keeps coming back to an abusive relationship.
The problem is that the film can’t commit to this dark interpretation despite offering so much in favor of it, but tries to make Bond, M and MI5 into heroes and the ending into Bond’s triumphant return to his life in her majesty’s service.
What exactly are the critics going crazy for? Is it just the tendency to adore stories about adult male "heroes" who use violence as their primary weapon, especially when they have the added "gritty, dark" overtone, regardless of the quality of the actual story?
^ I agree completely. I don't know why this film is so well-liked, save for the fact that people want to like it because it's James Bond.
My first problem was that I couldn't connect with Bond as a character. Everything I've ever seen Craig in, I never know what emotion he's supposed to have, he seems so detatched from everything. Here, this is compounded by the fact that, in many respects, as a spy, he's supposed to seem detatched. Did he really fail the tests because he's actually bad at target practice, or was he trying to make it seem like he was bad at them? I couldn't tell, even after seeing it twice. Craig lacks any kind of gleam in his eye to tell me (and not the other characters) what he is truly feeling.
The movie itself was also an excuse.. for itself. He had to chase down and beat up a bad guy in Shanghai. Why? Because Shanghai looked kewl. It would have made no differnce if he went down the block to beat up the bad guy, but never mind, we want to have publicity shots for the film with Bond in Shanghai. From there, nothing happens. He gets a casino piece that leads him to another exotic location for no reason than it looks exotic, and from there he takes a boat to go to the bad guy's island which looks like a leftover from Inception because it looks cool and that's it! Then they give Bardem a big speech but I'm convinced that this man cannot act, so the whole point of the speech was to prove that he could. I'm not convinced, even now. Then they played it like The Dark Knight from there, because they didn't know what else to do.
I can't say I ever "connected" to any of the James Bonds before Daniel Craig. He's actually acting instead of just behaving like Bronson and Moore did.
How odd given that both Bond and M make it clear that they go off on their own to Skyfall because too many other people are dying. They basically paint big targets on themselves then go off to a remote locatiion precisely in order to protect others.
As they should, since Silva was targeting M specifically and was always going after MI6. But less people would have died if, say, M had alerted the Parliament immediately about Silva's incoming attack, the moment her assistant told her (which he must have, unless he's completely, dangerously and idiotically incompetent). Instead, she chooses to hold it back just in order to to give a speech about how MI6 is supposedly needed because of all the dangers out there and ask "Do you feel safe?" just before the attack, endangering the lives of Parliament members, just to make a point. Which is completely moronic and counterproductive if her idea is to show that MI6 is not an old-fashioned dinosaur that the country doesn't need anymore and that it's doing more harm than good.
Which is exactly what it seems to be in this movie. We are apparently supposed to think that the movie has refuted those claim and shown MI6 to be necessary for the protection of the world. But if that was the idea, the movie should have given us another villain, who is not a product of MI6 itself, and who's not furthermore specifically targeting MI6 and endangering others as collateral damage. The whole movie is about how to protect MI6 and M, not how to protect Britain or the world or other people (whom Bond shows no particular interest in saving - e.g. he doesn't try to stop the assassin before he kills his target).
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 gave this a A+, i really enjoyed this to bits, fantastic movie, and when the he rolled up the shutter to reveal the old AM i found myself grinning from ear to ear.
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."
Under the assumption that Parliament members have the maturity level of little kids and that M and the Minister are like two kids arguing in a high school rather than responsible adults. And that M both despises them and doesn't care about saving them, so she thinks "Those morons would never tell me I'm right unless they get hit by Silva themselves".
Actually, they attempted to first lead Javier Bardem astray (heedless of any possible collateral damage,) then direct Bardem to Skyfall only after they had succeeded in preparing a rather better ambush than the one they could only improvise. Q of course failed as he failed in everything, but that is what Bond and M asked for.
There is very little evidence that any intelligence service beyond diplomats collecting public information and private communications from host government officials has ever contributed to any nation's security. And all the known evidence indicates that covert operations of the Bond variety merely impair relations or create new enemies. Trying to take this movie seriously on any level is like hitting yourself in the head.
They would think it was rather conveniant that an attack was going to occur just when they were questioning M.
Even disregarding the extremely public and lethal attack on MI6 only days before, you cannot possibly be serious.
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.
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.
The question is how would the Select Committee would view her statement about a threat. They could view it as accurate or as a way of evading their qestions about her and her runing of MI6.
They are supposed to be suspect of any answers given, until evidence backs it up.
Which while sounding selfless, just comes off as stupid, like they've seen HIGH NOON and, even though the context is utterly & completely different, they need to step into Gary Cooper's boots. Avoiding innocents being killed is one thing, but how about SAS-types, where 'risk is their business' to paraphrase JTK? They could have done the same bread crumb trail thing to Scotland, and had SAS standing by out of range INDEFINITELY until Bardem moved in. You can keep claiming that his character has access to all information and data, but that kind of writing ploy used in excess becomes ridiculous - which is how ALL of SKYFALL played for me. You hide bad writing in an allegedly serious story, then run back and claim 'this is escapism' when people pick it out. But the rest of the time you claim better and more realistic, when your plot points are as arbitrary as the clues that led Roger Moore from Paris to South America in MR.
^ Quite. And weren't there any other field agents, maybe even 00s, who happened to also be in London at the time and could have gotten secure communications for where to go and help out?
(... Or would they not get back to Blighty until Tuesday?)
I wasn't nuts about Ghost Protocol, but the whole team aspect struck me as both more credible (even in-universe) and more engaging than Skyfall's absurd "even when he shoots worse than a drunk Navy SEAL, Bond's all we've got" mentality.
"Skyfall crossed a billion dollars. Can it win an Oscar?
FYI: For these "For Your Considerations" ads it's standard protocol to forward these ads for every major crew and cast members.
Cottilard even got one for "The Dark Knight Rises"!
a billion isn't that bad, and it's still to open in China.
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