Skyfall


JackFetch
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Sad that David Arnold couldn't do this one, he's scored every Bond film since 1997. However I am excited about Thomas Newman replacing him, between his extensive Pixar work, American Beauty and Road to Perdition with Sam Mendes and the dozens of other scores he's done (Shawshank included) he should be great.

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I like the song.

I'm annoyed that I like the song.

Why are you annoyed you like it?

I don't like Adele, as a person. That being said, I can usually separate the product from the creator if I like the former and dislike the latter.

And I more than like the Skyfall track at this point.

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Okay this is going to be complicated. I really liked it, I did, but "BEST BOND EVAH" is a label that's being thrown around and I don't think it's quite that. I think in 5-10 years we'll have a much better perspective on where this ranks, probably top 5 but I'm unsure of more than that. I'd highly advise going in as spoiler free as possible. I will say one more thing about this outside of the tags- Bond traditionalists will find stuff that they both hate and love in this. I have a feeling Adham will hate it. It draws on the gadgets and action history of the films and the character work from Fleming's novels, and it's probably hit and miss as to which of those you prefer being included but they do clash a little in my opinion.

And here's why they clash. At the end Bond is fighting against an army trying to kill him and M, but somehow the moment he gets really fired up is OH NOES when they blow up his Aston Martin. Doesn't sound like much but this affection for property in the midst of something that we're being asked to take much more seriously than the normal Bond fight struck me as bizarrely discordant, especially punctuated with the blaring of the theme tune.

The titles were great if bizarre, they make more sense in hindsight really. Ian does have reason to pause and rewind though, there's definite nipplage.

Javier Bardem was awesome, but what was a very cool disfigurement conceptually was tempered somewhat by the fact that he looked like he'd come down with a bad case of CGItis. The bizarre sexual tension with him and Bond was brilliant though, an excellent way of getting the more traditionally-minded Bond fans to squirm. He does heavily suffer from what Chris referred to on our last podcast as the Batman Gambit, where his insane over-planning and willingness to be captured to achieve his ends actually reduces the visceral nature of his threat.

Moneypenny kicked ass, shame that in order for the end to work she's relegated to a desk. Although I like the idea that she's more of an facilitator than a secretary.

The return to the Bond homestead was a good idea, it reduced the climax to something not very Bondish but highly personal, and in it's own way one of the more unique settings in Bond history. It was an excellent counterpoint, finally allowing Bond to choose the place where the resolution of the film occurs rather than some mountain lair or some such.

The end, with the return of the oak-panel M offices, Moneypenny, the coat-stand and a highly traditional male M, it all could have seems so wrong but in the end I loved it. Much better than the use of the car, which was blantant fanboyism. Thematically it fit the film far better.

In the end though my one problem is this- It actually is all M's fault. She's responsible for what happens under MI6's watch and it's falling apart, she genuinely isn't doing a good job. Regardless of whether anyone else would do any better, the bodies piling up at her door do mark her as unfit for the role. The MP's questioning her have serious genuine points and concerns, it 's not enough to like her to be on her side, we have to believe she has ideas and solutions beyond a field agent who disappeared in a drunken haze for months. It's not Judi Dench's fault, she's excellent, but M's largely useless.

It really is a film with far more to recommend it than to let it down. The action is flawless, the cinematography phenomenal, the locations breathtaking and the performances as good as I've ever seen in a Bond film. There's more done with Bond himself, compare his rehabilitation here with his time in North Korea and it's night and day, it's going to take more than a shave and a shag to get him back to full strength (although I'm realising in the end that is exactly what happens). It really is a great film. Just possibly not the best ever.

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Okay this is going to be complicated. I really liked it, I did, but "BEST BOND EVAH" is a label that's being thrown around and I don't think it's quite that. I think in 5-10 years we'll have a much better perspective on where this ranks, probably top 5 but I'm unsure of more than that. I'd highly advise going in as spoiler free as possible. I will say one more thing about this outside of the tags- Bond traditionalists will find stuff that they both hate and love in this. I have a feeling Adham will hate it. It draws on the gadgets and action history of the films and the character work from Fleming's novels, and it's probably hit and miss as to which of those you prefer being included but they do clash a little in my opinion.

And here's why they clash. At the end Bond is fighting against an army trying to kill him and M, but somehow the moment he gets really fired up is OH NOES when they blow up his Aston Martin. Doesn't sound like much but this affection for property in the midst of something that we're being asked to take much more seriously than the normal Bond fight struck me as bizarrely discordant, especially punctuated with the blaring of the theme tune.

The titles were great if bizarre, they make more sense in hindsight really. Ian does have reason to pause and rewind though, there's definite nipplage.

Javier Bardem was awesome, but what was a very cool disfigurement conceptually was tempered somewhat by the fact that he looked like he'd come down with a bad case of CGItis. The bizarre sexual tension with him and Bond was brilliant though, an excellent way of getting the more traditionally-minded Bond fans to squirm. He does heavily suffer from what Chris referred to on our last podcast as the Batman Gambit, where his insane over-planning and willingness to be captured to achieve his ends actually reduces the visceral nature of his threat.

Moneypenny kicked ass, shame that in order for the end to work she's relegated to a desk. Although I like the idea that she's more of an facilitator than a secretary.

The return to the Bond homestead was a good idea, it reduced the climax to something not very Bondish but highly personal, and in it's own way one of the more unique settings in Bond history. It was an excellent counterpoint, finally allowing Bond to choose the place where the resolution of the film occurs rather than some mountain lair or some such.

The end, with the return of the oak-panel M offices, Moneypenny, the coat-stand and a highly traditional male M, it all could have seems so wrong but in the end I loved it. Much better than the use of the car, which was blantant fanboyism. Thematically it fit the film far better.

In the end though my one problem is this- It actually is all M's fault. She's responsible for what happens under MI6's watch and it's falling apart, she genuinely isn't doing a good job. Regardless of whether anyone else would do any better, the bodies piling up at her door do mark her as unfit for the role. The MP's questioning her have serious genuine points and concerns, it 's not enough to like her to be on her side, we have to believe she has ideas and solutions beyond a field agent who disappeared in a drunken haze for months. It's not Judi Dench's fault, she's excellent, but M's largely useless.

It really is a film with far more to recommend it than to let it down. The action is flawless, the cinematography phenomenal, the locations breathtaking and the performances as good as I've ever seen in a Bond film. There's more done with Bond himself, compare his rehabilitation here with his time in North Korea and it's night and day, it's going to take more than a shave and a shag to get him back to full strength (although I'm realising in the end that is exactly what happens). It really is a great film. Just possibly not the best ever.

I'm only an hour removed from leaving the screening, so I haven't had lots of mulling time, but I agree with a lot of what Stavros has said in the spoiler tags. For my part, I enjoyed it a lot, certain aspects more than others.

One thing though:

I think M was meant to be the way that you had a problem with. The story AND the character acknowledge that M's no longer personally good enough to handle the duties that the role demands. What she can do is put the case for the continued existence of MI6, given the unknown threat posed by Silva and presumably Quantum still being out there, even if she herself is no longer fit for the role. The story does harp on about obsolescence (I think that's a word) and whereas Bond can retrain himself sufficiently, M can't to the extent that her role changing to the Macguffin for the 3rd act makes sense. And the audience's growing acceptance of this reflects well on Ralph Fiennes' character, who we're steeled to hate out of loyalty to Dench but get to accept him as he grows more and more sympathetic and able. I was fully expecting a heel turn just because, well, the guy's Voldemort! As such, I think killing off Dench was the right call, although she couldn't die at Bardem's hand or Bond would have failed in his mission to stop him.

But overall, I doubt Adham's going to be overjoyed by this entry, even despite where one of the major filming locations is.

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I can see what you mean Ian but-

There's a difference between not seeing something like these attacks coming, which M doesn't at the start, and purposefully ignoring an assassination warning so you can quote poetry in a hearing and put everyone in that room in danger. She's not just incapable, she's wilfully negligent.

Good point about the end too, it really only counts as a win for Bond because Bardem kills M but doesn't have the satisfaction of knowing it. In reality he did fail, although the odds were so against him that the audience isn't really allowed to think of it that way.

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I saw it yesterday. I treated myself to an IMAX showing, because... well, just because.

I thought it was excellent for the most part.

At least till Bond and Dench's M went on the run. Then it stopped being a Bond movie for me. However, the DB5 almost made up for it. Ejector Seat! Headlight Machine Guns! Not just an Aston Martin DB5, the Goldfinger DB5!

It did rather feel as though they were announcing a complete change of everything. New M, new Moneypenny... the only thing that didn't have a new incarnation is Bond himself. I would not be at all surprised to learn that this is Daniel Craig's last outing as Bond.

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I saw it yesterday. I treated myself to an IMAX showing, because... well, just because.

I thought it was excellent for the most part.

At least till Bond and Dench's M went on the run. Then it stopped being a Bond movie for me. However, the DB5 almost made up for it. Ejector Seat! Headlight Machine Guns! Not just an Aston Martin DB5, the Goldfinger DB5!

It did rather feel as though they were announcing a complete change of everything. New M, new Moneypenny... the only thing that didn't have a new incarnation is Bond himself. I would not be at all surprised to learn that this is Daniel Craig's last outing as Bond.

Don't agree with most of what's in spoiler tags, but I'm going to keep schtumn on Skyfall from now on until the return of FYEO is underway.

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I saw it yesterday. I treated myself to an IMAX showing, because... well, just because.

I thought it was excellent for the most part.

At least till Bond and Dench's M went on the run. Then it stopped being a Bond movie for me. However, the DB5 almost made up for it. Ejector Seat! Headlight Machine Guns! Not just an Aston Martin DB5, the Goldfinger DB5!

It did rather feel as though they were announcing a complete change of everything. New M, new Moneypenny... the only thing that didn't have a new incarnation is Bond himself. I would not be at all surprised to learn that this is Daniel Craig's last outing as Bond.

Don't agree with most of what's in spoiler tags, but I'm going to keep schtumn on Skyfall from now on until the return of FYEO is underway.

One of these days, I will get around to listening what you have previously done for FYEO...

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I saw it yesterday. I treated myself to an IMAX showing, because... well, just because.

I thought it was excellent for the most part.

At least till Bond and Dench's M went on the run. Then it stopped being a Bond movie for me. However, the DB5 almost made up for it. Ejector Seat! Headlight Machine Guns! Not just an Aston Martin DB5, the Goldfinger DB5!

It did rather feel as though they were announcing a complete change of everything. New M, new Moneypenny... the only thing that didn't have a new incarnation is Bond himself. I would not be at all surprised to learn that this is Daniel Craig's last outing as Bond.

Don't agree with most of what's in spoiler tags, but I'm going to keep schtumn on Skyfall from now on until the return of FYEO is underway.

One of these days, I will get around to listening what you have previously done for FYEO...

By all means! The Connery era is done a slight disservice as we were still finding our feet, but once we hit Lazenby, it's all systems go! Well, if you enjoy sprawling, rambling nonsense from an alcoholic and a lunatic.

And Adham.

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