Here's Every Aston Martin Car From the ‘James Bond’ Film
Here's Every Aston Martin Car From the ‘James Bond’ Film
Aston Martin DBS - Casino Royale | CAR Magazine
Aston Martin DBS V12 Casino Royale
Casino Royale - DBS for 007 - Aston Martin
The Aston Martin DBS behind the James Bond Casino Royale stunt
How James Bond's Aston Martin Accidentally Set A World
Aston Martin | Heritage | James Bond 007
DBS V12 for 007, Casino Royale « Aston Martins.com
Three Aston Martin DBS cars crashed for Casino Royale
DB5 for 007 James Bond (Casino Royale) « Aston Martins.com
Skyfall (Bond 23 Review)
https://preview.redd.it/imjwn5lpxzl51.png?width=1000&format=png&auto=webp&s=d142b0446d938d86b95c807c4b76604f72517240 Probably the best made Bond film, though it just misses the top five because of several factors. Skyfall feels different from Craig’s first two films. It made the wise decision of not referencing lingering plot threads from previous films, allowing it to stand on its own. Perhaps, this is why Quantum of Solace and Spectre are not well-regarded: they tried to build off previous installments and retroactively hurt the stories of their predecessors. Skyfall draws heavily from the past, returning to the style of earlier entries. Casino Royale is my favorite Bond film, but I do think it was heavy-handed in in its attempts to differentiate Craig from previous Bonds. Bond responding with “Do I look like I give a damn?” when asked if he wants his martini shaken or stirred feels less like a mythology gag and more of a dig against the tropes the franchise created. Shaking up the formula is fine, but changing too much runs the risk of losing what made the franchise what it was in the first place. I appreciated how Skyfall simultaneously deconstructed (an overused word today) and reconstructed the character. As jarring as it is to see Bond go from being a loose cannon novice to a veteran closer in characterization to the previous Bonds, Craig’s played out Bond addicted to alcohol is quite close to the novels, and nicely picks up where the Dalton films left off. Skyfall realized that Casino Royale was a one-time thing and returning to the formula while adding enough fresh elements was the right way to go. Licence To Kill and Skyfall proved that the films can still be fresh without stripping back almost every aspect of the films. The cast is great. Judi Dench gets an expanded role as M and it is nice to see her relationship with Bond become a strong focus. As sad as it was to see Dench go, I think her character had a fitting end. Skyfall repeats quite a few beats from previous films, but integrates them quite nicely. Javier Bardem’s Silva is similar to Christopher Walken’s Zorin due to both being major psychopaths. Bardem’s first scene was fantastic and I thought the concept of Bond facing off against a former MI6 agent was done much better than in GoldenEye, where Sean Bean’s Trevelyan was pretty much your typical Bond villain in the end. The mid-plot twist where Silva “wanted to get caught” was the worst aspect of the film for me though, and Q was quite idiotic for plugging in a known cyber-terrorist’s computer into MI6’s servers. Also, the train almost hitting Bond underground made no sense unless Silva had predicted that Bond would follow him. He definitely should have come up with a better plan for preventing Bond from stopping Silva’s assassination of M. Bond films are not the best written films, but they made up for their inconsistencies by not taking themselves seriously. A problem with the Craig films is that they take themselves seriously, but also fall prey to poor writing. This only makes their flaws more evident, which is why Spectre is a mess. Bérénice Marlohe has a small role as Severine. She is similar to Andrea Anders, another ill-fated Bond girl who wants to leave her life as mistress to the villain. The love scene with Bond is a bit off considering she was a child sex slave, but I would not go so as far as to call it rape. The late Albert Finney is nice as Kincade, though one can only imagine how it would have been if Sean Connery accepted the role as intended. After ten years, Q and Moneypenny return, portrayed by Ben Wishaw and Naomie Harris respectively. No one can ever beat Desmon Llewelyn, but Wishaw is a fine counterpart. Playing up Q’s computer skills to the point of having him design advanced security protocols was silly considering he then made the mistake of plugging Silva’s computer to the servers. Harris probably has the best chemistry of any young female in Craig’s era. I have heard some take issue with the implication of Moneypenny sleeping with Bond, but Lois Maxwell (forever the best Moneypenny) and Connery (tied with Dalton for my favorite) had conceived a backstory where Bond and Moneypenny had a romantic weekend and decided to stay apart, so it is not too far off from the originals. Ralph Fiennes makes his debut as the new M and I think he has done a fine job so far, playing one closer to Bernard Lee and Robert Brown while having a larger role. One area where Skyfall absolutely outclasses Casino Royale is in cinematography. Ignoring the subject of films of the past twenty years using color grading, this is the best-looking Bond film, superior to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, in my opinion. The Shanghai and Scotland scenes are breathtaking and it is nice to see some nice shots without a yellow palette. Skyfall is an artistic film, and Sam Mendes ran out of ideas quickly. Filmmaking has changed and using the same director for multiple films is not going to work like it used to. Martin Campbell had eleven years to refine his skills, but Mendes’s lack of originality between Skyfall and Spectre is very evident. The same can be said of Thomas Newman. I have a fond spot for Newman’s score, despite lacking the “Bond” feeling John Barry and David Arnold delivered. It is tied with The Spy Who Loved Me for my favorite non-Barry score. “Shanghai Drive” and “The Chimera” are two of my favorite tracks. The immersion when watching Spectre for the first time in theatres was broken when I kept hearing cues from Skyfall. Despite being a good film, Skyfall is a bit harder to watch again. It is slower than Craig’s first two films, but this also works to its advantage since this is the first time we have had a Bond film that does not throw constant or tacked-on action at your face since Licence To Kill. Pacing is subjective, but the middle does drag on with Silva’s nonsensical scheme. The opening and ending both provide great action scenes as a respite. Skyfall was the first Bond I saw in theatres and the pre-title sequence, which is a welcome return to the traditional style, still excites me. The climax at Skyfall is unparalleled by none but Licence To Kill. I felt that the Aston Martin DB5’s previous appearances in Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Casino Royale were blatant attempts at nostalgia, but there is some purpose to the DB5 here. Craig’s films were grounded in reality, but the return of the gadget-laden car brilliantly supported the film’s theme of returning to the old ways. The ending with the old MI6 crew back, and the wooden office with a leather door (a sight that brings tears to one’s eye) was a true return to where we left things off in 1989 and we could finally have Bond undertake traditional adventures while maintaining the originality Craig’s era brought (or so we thought). It may not surpass Casino Royale, but Skyfall deserves applause for respecting Bond’s past while moving forward.
Film Rankings with Explanations, Ratings, and Tiers
During quarantine, I've had the opportunity to rewatch every movie in relatively short succession. I've seen them all 2-10 times and have been a lifelong Bond fan. I enjoy every Bond film, even the "bad" ones, but I wanted to try and rank them. I used a scoring system to help me, but ultimately went with my gut (e.g. License to Kill MUST be better than The World is Not Enough). I thought a tier system of ranking was useful, because it really is splitting hairs to rank some of these. Feel free to critique my ratings, my ratings weightings, and opinions! You could say I have too much time on my hands Tier 7: The Worst
Die Another Day: Best Sword Fight
- Why it's not irredeemable: For being the lowest ranked film on this list, it's not without its moments. Bond getting caught, tortured, then escaping from MI6 was interesting and novel. The ice hotel was neat, as well as the chase scene. I'll even defend the much maligned invisible car, as the Aston Martin Vanquish is quite a car. - Why it's not higher: Personally, I think Halle Berry is a terrible Bond girl, alternating between damsel in distress and super woman as the plot demands it. Moreover, Graves and the plot in general is pretty cheesy and boring. Perhaps most damaging is the deadly serious tone of the movie, which doesn't even provide the fun and excitement Brosnan's films generally provide the viewer. - Most under-appreciated part: The fencing scene is the best action scene of the entire movie. It's surprising it took Bond this long to fence, but seeing them go at it across the club was a blast. Tier 6: Disappointing
Quantum of Solace: Best Car Chase
- Why it's this high: The action is quite good, likely meriting the distinction of the best car chase in the entire series (the pre-credits sequence). Mathis is a good ally and it is sad to see him go. - Why it's not higher: My biggest beef with Craig's Bond films is that they are too serious, so when the plot and script isn't top-notch, the movie watching experience is just kind of dull. Quantum of Solace takes a bold risk in making the first Bond sequel, but unfortunately it's just not that good. Greene seems like a rather pathetic Bond villain, and his henchman (the worst in the series?) ends up in a neck-brace after getting tripped by Camilla. Also, the shaky cam is distracting and exhausting. - Most under-appreciated part: I actually thing the theme song is pretty good! Maybe I'm just too much of a Jack White groupie, but I think it rocks.
Moonraker: Best Locales
- Why it's this high: I'm pleased to see Jaws making a return, as he is an amazing henchman. On that note, the pre-credits sequence with Bond and Jaws falling out of the plane is exhilarating. Holly Goodhead is a very good Bond girl, beautiful, smart, and competent. Roger Moore always does an excellent job playing the role with suavity and wit. - Why it's not higher: Gosh it's cheesy. Particularly egregious is Jaws' love story. The theme song is terrible and Bond doesn't have any solid allies besides Goodhead and Jaws. - Most under-appreciated part: They really go all out with the settings here. Obviously, space is pretty polarizing, but I think Bond clearly should go to space at SOME point during the series. In addition, Italy and Brazil were gorgeous views, while Drax's estate is magnificent.
Spectre: Best Shooting
- Why it's this high: Rewatching this for the second time, I realized Lea Seydoux does a good job as the Bond girl, and it's actually quite believable she and James could work out, as she is the daughter of an assassin and can understand him (as Blofeld points out). Seeing Bond show off his marksmanship was quite satisfying, especially that one long shot during the escape from Blofeld's compound. Bonus points for Bond's DB10 and resurrecting the DB5. - Why it's not higher: The fatal flaw of this film is making Blofeld Bond's adopted brother. How did Bond not recognize him? How is Blofeld able to keep himself secret from British intelligence yet every criminal worth his salt knows of him? The worst part is that it actually cheapens the plot of the other Craig movies. I believe the Bond franchise should stay clear from sequels from here on out. Yes, they can weave a great story if done correctly, but it's so much more difficult to make great sequels (e.g. Star Wars only made two worthy sequels in seven tries) than to do one-offs. As usual for a Craig film, Bond has little charisma (save for his surprisingly good rapport with Moneypenny) and little in the way of jokes to lighten the mood. - Most under-appreciated part: The train fight scene with Dave Bautista is great! Gosh it was awesome to see them go at it, break through walls, and a priceless expression on Bautista's face when he knows he's done. Bautista is the first decent henchman since the 90s, so glad to see the series go back to this staple.
The Man with the Golden Gun: Best Potential, Worst Execution
- Why it's this high: This Bond movie frustrates more than any other, as it has the potential to be an all-time great. Bond's debriefing starts off with promise, as it turns out the world's top assassin is gunning for Bond! For the first time in the series, Bond seems vulnerable! M makes a hilarious quip as to who would try to kill Bond ("jealous husbands ... the list is endless"). Furthermore, the legendary Christopher Lee is possible the best Bond villain, a rare peer of 007. - Why it's not higher: Unfortunately, the movie opts to change course so that it's just Maud Adams trying to get Bond to kill Scaramanga. Goodnight is beautiful, but maybe the most inept Bond girl of all-time. They used a SLIDE WHISTLE, ruining one of the coolest Bond stunts ever (the car jump). - Most under-appreciated part: Nick Nack is a splendid henchman, showing the role can be more than just a strongman.
Diamonds Are Forever: Great Beginning and Ending, but Bad Everywhere Else
- Why it's this high: Is there another Bond with such a great contrast between the beginning/ending and everything in between? Connery shows his tough side, as he muscles his way through the pre-credits scene. Particularly good was the part where he seduces the woman, then uses her bikini top to choke her. At the end, Bond expertly uses his wine knowledge to detect something is amiss, then dispatches Kidd and Wint in style. Other cool scenes include Bond scaling the building to reach Blofeld and Bond driving the Mustang through the alley. - Why it's not higher: This is one of the films that I find myself liking less and less over time. Vegas, and especially the space laboratory scene, just seem cheesy. Connery is officially too old at this point, and Jill St. John just isn't a very compelling Bond girl. I would've preferred to have seen more of Plenty O'Toole, but alas 'twas not meant to be. Leiter is uninspired as well. Having Bond go after Blofeld for the millionth time just seems tired at this point. - Most under-appreciated part: Mr. Kidd and Wint are the creepiest henchmen in the Bond universe, but I'd argue they are some of the best. Their banter and creative modes of execution are quite chilling and thrilling.
A View to a Kill: Best Theme
- Why it's this high: Is it a hot take to not have View in the bottom five? Let me explain. I contend Duran Duran's theme is the very best. The ending fight scene on the Golden Gate Bridge is actually one of the most iconic ending set pieces in the series. The plot is stellar on paper, as the horse racing part was a very Bondian side story, and the idea of an attack on Silicon Valley actually seems even more plausible today. - Why it's not higher: It's self-evident that Moore is way too old for the part. Some parts are just mind-blowingly ridiculous, such as the fire truck chase scene through San Francisco and the part where Stacey is caught unaware by a blimp behind her. Speaking of Stacey, she may be beautiful, but she spends most of the movie shrieking whenever something goes wrong. - Most under-appreciated part: The scene with Bond and Ivanova is cool (I always like it when he interacts with other spies) and quite entertaining how he fools her with the cassettes. Tier 5: Below Average
Octopussy: The Most Characteristically Roger Moore Bond Film
- Why it's this high: Maud Adams has great screen presence as Octopussy, and her Amazonian-like women are cool to watch fight. Bond's deft swipe of the egg was nicely done. On a related aside, I wish Bond films would emphasize Bond's intellect more, as it seems the 60s and 70s films would allow Bond to showcase his vast knowledge more frequently than he does today. Gobinda is a fierce henchman, while India in general is a cool location. The plot is realistic, yet grand (war-mongering Russian general tries to detonate a nuke to get NATO to turn on itself). - Why it's not higher: This is the first Moore film where he simply was too old and shouldn't have been cast. Yes, it's too cheesy at times, most infamously during the Tarzan yell. Bond also doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: People tend to focus too much on Bond dressing as a clown, but the scene where Bond furiously tries to get to the bomb in time to defuse it is one of the tensest moments in the series. Moore's "Dammit there's a bomb in there!" really demonstrated the gravity of the situation (I get goosebumps during that part).
Tomorrow Never Dies: Most Tasteful Humor
- Why it's this high: Brosnan really settles into the role well here. He gives the most charismatic Bond performance in 15 years or so. His quip "I'm just here at Oxford, brushing up on a little Danish" is an all-time great Bond line. Teri Hatcher is stunning as Paris Carver, delivering a memorable performance with her limited screen time. The plot is original and ages well, highlighting the potential downsides of media power, while Carver is an above average villain. - Why it's not higher: Wai Lin is good for action, but the chemistry between her and Bond is non-existent. By the end of the movie, Pryce just seem silly (especially the scene where he mocks Wai Lin's martial arts skills). There aren't any good Bond allies, as Jack Wade doesn't impress in his return to the franchise. In general though, the movie has few things terribly wrong with it, it just doesn't excel in many ways. - Most under-appreciated part: Dr. Kaufman is hysterical. At first, I thought "this is weird," but by the end of the scene I'm cracking up. I genuinely wish they found someway to bring him back for World, but c'est la vie.
The World Is Not Enough: Less than the Sum of its Parts
- Why it's this high: According to my spreadsheet, this is a top 10 Bond film, while on my first watch on this film I thought it was bottom five. I think the truth is that it's somewhere in between. I like the settings, everything from the temporary MI-6 headquarters to Azerbaijan. Elektra is an all-time great Bond girl, with a nice plot twist and character arc. The glasses where Bond sees through women's clothing are hilarious. The sense of danger is strong, with everyone from Bond to M being in danger. The return of Zukovsky is a nice plus. - Why it's not higher: I think two things really doom this film. First, Renard is totally wasted a henchman. The idea of him not feeling pain is a cool one, but he just seems boring and extraneous. I don't even think Carlyle acted poorly, he was just misused. Secondly, the ending (after Bond killing Elektra which is quite good) is rather terrible. The whole scene in the sub just isn't entertaining or engaging. - Most under-appreciated part: I'm going to defend Denise Richards as Christmas Jones. Although no Ursula Andress, Richards is absolutely gorgeous and did not actively make Bond's mission more difficult, which is more than some Bond girls can say *cough Britt Ekland. In particular, I found her introductory scene to be quite memorable and convincing. Also, the Christmas quip at the end is quite cheeky. Tier 4: Solid
The Living Daylights:
- Why it's this high: Dalton brings a breath of fresh air to the franchise here. His more serious take makes for interesting movies that seem more unique than most. I'm happy to see this subreddit appreciate Dalton more than the casual fun does, but I wouldn't go as far as the Dalton fanboys and say he's the best Bond or anything like that. I do wish he got the role sooner and did more films. Moving on to Daylights, it's got a good intro for Dalton and good plot in general. Surprisingly, Bond's fidelity doesn't bother me one bit, as it actually makes sense that Kara falls in love with James by the end, given all they've gone through. - Why it's not higher: The biggest reason is that the villain is just terrible. Whitaker seems silly and pathetic, a terrible contrast to Dalton's serious nature. I think Whitaker might be the worst in the series, and a Bond movie can't be great without a good villain. Also, Dalton doesn't have much charm and is abysmal at one-liners, which, in my opinion, IS a facet of the perfect James Bond. - Most under-appreciated part: The Aston Martin Vantage is a beautiful car, and the chase scene across the ice is great! It's both exciting and funny! Not sure why people don't talk about this chase scene and this car more; it's arguably the highlight of the movie for me.
Thunderball: The Most Beautiful
- Why it's this high: Thunderball used to be top five for me and here is why. The underwater scenes, the setting, the score, and the Bond girls are beautiful even to this day. Domino is excellent, while Volpe is a tour de force, oozing sexuality and danger. I think the underwater parts are interesting and novel, creating a staple of sorts for the franchise. The DB 5 is always welcome, and the jetpack use was quite cool for the time (and to some extent now). - Why it's not higher: Some would say it's boring, while I would more generously admit the plot is slow. Furthermore, the theme song is all-time bad (apparently they could have used Johnny Cash!!!), and there is no great henchman for Bond to dispatch. - Most under-appreciated part: Two plot ideas I liked a lot: Bond being injured and needing rehab, plus the part where all the 00s meet up and then are sent to the corners of the globe.
Never Say Never Again: Guilty Pleasure
- Why it's this high: Rewatching Never for the third time, I was struck by how fun this movie is. It's exciting, funny, and fast-paced. Basically, it's a more exciting version of Thunderball, with better pacing and better humor. I think Irvin Kershner did a great job managing this star studded cast. Carrera is a firecracker as Blush, Sydow is a convincing Blofeld, and Basinger is a classic Bond girl. Connery clearly has a blast returning to the role, doing a great job despite his advanced age. If anything, this one might not be ranked high enough. - Why it's not higher: The music is terrible. Normally I don't notice these things, but one can't help but notice how dreadful this one is. The theme is awful as well. I'd argue this is the worst music of any Bond film. - Most under-appreciated part: The humor! This is one of the funniest Bonds, as I found myself laughing out loud at various parts (e.g. Mr Bean!).
The Spy Who Loved Me: Best Intro
- Why it's this high: There's a lot to love about this one, so I get why this ranks highly for many. It is simply the best introduction, starting with Bond romancing a woman, followed by a skii chase, then jumping off the cliff and pulling the Union Jack parachute! The Lotus is a top 3 Bond car. Jaws is a superb henchman. Triple X was an excellent Bond girl, deadly, charming, and beautiful. Of course, Moore is charming and the locations are exotic (Egypt was a cool locale). If I had to pick one Moore movie for a newcomer to watch, it would be this one. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is bad, and Stromberg is a below average villain. I also think the last 45 minutes or so of the movie kind of drags. - Most under-appreciated part: The whole dynamic between Bond and Triple X is great. Whenever Bond movies show Bond squaring off against other spies (see View to a Kill, Goldeneye) it's just a pleasure to watch.
Live and Let Die: Most Suave
- Why it's this high: Roger Moore superbly carves out his own take on Bond in an excellent addition to the franchise. The boat chase is my favorite in the series, and Live and Let Die is my second favorite theme. Jane Seymour is a good Bond girl, while Tee Hee and Kananga are a solid villain/henchman duo. Unpopular opinion: I find J.W. Pepper to be hilarious. - Why it's not higher: The introduction isn't very good, as Bond isn't even included! The second climax with the voodoo isn't great. Bond blowing up Kananga has aged terribly. - Most under-appreciated part: When Bond is visited in his apartment by M and Moneypenny, Bond rushes to hide his girl from his coworkers. Finally, when they leave and he unzips the dress with his magnetic watch is one of the best uses of a Bond gadget in the series, showcasing why Moore might be the most charming Bond of them all.
You Only Live Twice: Best Blofeld
- Why it's this high: Just your classic, fun Sean Connery Bond movie. It was a great decision to send Bond to Japan for his first Asian visit, giving the movie a fresh feel. The ending set piece battle is potentially the best of this staple of 60s/70s Bonds. Tiger Tanaka is one of Bond's cooler allies. Pleasance killed it as Blofeld; when I think of Blofeld, I think of his take. In what could have been cheesy, he is actually somewhat frightening. - Why it's not higher: The whole "we need to make you look Japanese" part seems both unrealistic (who is he really fooling?) plus surprisingly impotent coming from Tiger Tanaka who seems to be a competent and connected man otherwise. Honestly though, this movie doesn't have a major weakness. - Most under-appreciated part: The fight scene with the guard in the executive's office is probably the best hand-to-hand fight in the series up until that point. Tier 3: Excellent
Dr. No: The Most Spy-Like
- Why it's this high: Nearly 60 years later, this film is still a blast to watch, due in no small part to its focus on the little things of being a spy. I adore the scenes where Bond does the little things spies (presumably) do, such as putting a hair across the door, or showing Bond playing solitaire while waiting to spring his trap on Prof. Dent. I also enjoy the suspense of Bond sleuthing around the island, while he and the viewer are completely unaware of whom the villain is until quite late in the film. It's easy to take for granted now, but this film established so many series traditions that were ingenious. My personal favorite is Bond's introduction at the card table: "Bond .... James Bond." - Why it's not higher: The film just doesn't have the payoff it deserves. Maybe it's just a result of the time and budget, but from the point Bond escapes on, it's just mediocre. Particularly egregious is the "fight" between Dr. No and Bond where No meets his demise. - Most under-appreciated part: Ursula Andress was a surprisingly well developed Bond girl, with a shockingly violent backstory (she was raped!). Obviously, she is beautiful and the beach scene is iconic, but I was pleasantly surprised to conclude she is more than just eye candy.
License to Kill: The Grittiest
- Why it's this high: On my first watch, this was my least favorite Bond film, as I thought it was too dark and violent to befit 007. By my third time watching, I've decided it's actually one of the best. Fortunately, I don't have to go on my "Ackshually, Dalton did a good job" rant with this subreddit. I liked the wedding intro and the concept of a revenge arc for Leiter (although come on he should've been killed by a freaking shark). Also, Lamora and (especially) Bouvier are great Bond girls. Bouvier is both competent and beautiful, and it's great to see Bond choose her at the end. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is atrocious, Dalton is so angry (dare I say charmless?) the whole time it's almost puzzling why Bouvier and Lamora fall for him, and Bond doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: Sanchez is actually a sneaky good Bond villain.
For Your Eyes Only: The Most Underrated
- Why it's this high: I think Moore is a bit underrated as Bond. Yes, he was too old towards the end and yes, his movies were at times too campy, but he himself played the role admirably. He was the most charming and witty of all the Bonds, so by the time he got his first relatively serious plot to work with, he hit it out of the park. Anyhow, the climactic mountaintop assault is one of my favorite Bond action climaxes. Columbo is one of the best Bond allies, and the plot twist where he turns out to be good and Kristatos bad was well-done. - Why it's not higher: The intro is just silly. Bibi's romantic infatuation with Bond is just ...er... uncomfortable? - Most under-appreciated part: The theme song is a banger. What a chorus! Tier 2: Exceptional
Skyfall: The Sharpest Film (From Plot to Aesthetics)
- Why it's this high: One of the best plots of the entire series. The idea of an older Bond who had lost a step, along with making M the focus point of the movie, works very well. Seeing Bond's childhood home is also pretty cool. Bardem's take on Silva is delightful and a lot of fun to watch. Even the cinematography is a series peak, while Adele's them is excellent. - Why it's not higher: One thing most Craig Bond films suffer from is the lack of a Bond-worthy henchman. Skyfall is no exception. More importantly, Bond girls are mostly irrelevant to the film. Yes, Severine is both beautiful and interesting, but she's scarcely twenty minutes of the film. - Most under-appreciated part: Setting the new supporting characters up nicely. The Moneypenny backstory was well-done. Casting Ralph Fiennes as the new M is a great choice in of itself, but he also got a nice chuck of background story to help us going forward.
Casino Royale: The First Bond Film I'd Show a Series Newcomer
- Why it's this high: Craig's take on Bond feels like a breath of fresh air. In particular, his hand-to-hand combat scenes are so much better (and more believable) than any other Bond. The parkour chase scene is one of the best chase scenes in the series. Le Chifre is an excellent villain, but, more importantly, Vesper is an all-time great Bond girl. The conversation between Vesper and Bond on the train is probably the most interesting of any film. Bonus points for Jeffrey Wright as Leiter and the Aston Martin DBS. - Why it's not higher: There are hardly any humorous parts or much charm displayed by Bond in general. More importantly, the movie should have just ended when Bond wakes up in rehab. The rest of the movie feels confused and superfluous. - Most under-appreciated part: The decision to change from chemin de fer to poker makes for much better (and understandable!) cinema. The poker scenes are the best of Bond's many gambling scenes throughout the series.
Goldeneye: The Most Fun
- Why it's this high: Wow, rewatching Goldeneye I was struck by how entertaining the whole thing is. The opening jump is breath taking, the scene where Bond drives his evaluator around is hilarious, and Xenia Onatopp is a livewire. Sean Bean is a formidable villain as 006, and a great foil to James. Bond and Judi Dench's first scene together is amazing. Goldeneye feels like the first modern Bond, yet so true to the predecessors. Wade and especially Zukovsky are excellent allies. - Why it's not higher: Simonova is a forgettable Bond girl. She's not annoying, unattractive, or acted poorly, but is just below average in most regards (looks, back story, chemistry with Bond, plot). - Most under-appreciated part: the action is just so much better than any Bond before it
From Russia with Love: The Best Henchman (Red Grant)
- Why it's this high: Interesting settings, beautiful women, and an engaging story make this a classic. I'm not the first to point out that the scenes with Grant and Bond aboard the train are some of the best in the entire series. Grant is one of the few villains who feels like a match for 007. Furthermore, the addition of Desmond Llewyn as Q was crucial and Kerim Bey is one of the better Bond allies. - Why it's not higher: The helicopter scene should've just been omitted, especially when combined with the subsequent boat chase. It's just awkward to watch. - Most under-appreciated part: The gypsy scenes are quite exotic and entertaining.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Most Heartfelt
- Why it's this high: James and Tracy's love story is charming, and when she dies at the end, this is the one and only time in the entire series where the viewer feels genuinely sad. Diana Rigg did an excellent job convincing the audience Bond could finally fall in love with one girl. The skiing scenes were beautifully filmed, and the score was exemplary. Personally, I quite liked Lazenby's take; however, some of his lines and jokes fall flat. To his credit, he looks and acts like Bond more than any other actor. - Why it's not higher: Honestly, it does drag at times in the first half, plus there is no theme song! - Most under-appreciated part: Bond's Aston Martin DBS is a beautiful car, combining 60's sports-car beauty with Aston Martin's elegance. Tier 1: The Best
Goldfinger: The quintessential Bond
- Why it's this high: From the opening ("Positively shocking") to the seduction of Pussy Galore at the end, this film has it all. Goldfinger is an all time great villain, while Odd Job is an exceptional henchman. Connery delivers a master performance, and drives THE classic Bond Car, ejector seat included. The reason I put it #1 is not necessarily because it is the best film (although it is great), it checks all the boxes of what a perfect Bond film should do. - Why it's not higher: I cannot think of any notable imperfections. - Most under-appreciated part: The golf scene between Bond and Goldfinger is a delight to watch, demonstrating Bond's wits for the first and only time on the golf course.
Clarkson's Columns: In Memory of Ginger Baker & The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Review
Skyfall's villains can blow this one up too The Clarkson Review: Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante (Sunday Times, Oct. 13) Of course I will go and see the new James Bond film, but I almost certainly won't enjoy it. I haven't really enjoyed any of them since Daniel Craig took over. I know he wants his Bond to be fallible and weak, like the character in the books, but I don't want to see 007 swigging Heineken from a bottle that just happens to be label-side out, and I don't want to see him bleed, or fire his gun at something and miss. I want him to be Roger Moore, the cheeky chappie who could speak Latin, fly a space shuttle and lay anyone low with one of his signature karate chops. Craig's Bond can't do that. In fact, if you actually stop and think what he's done in the past, you'd have to conclude he's completely useless. In Casino Royale, he didn't notice that the woman he'd fallen in love with was spying for the other side, and then, despite his best efforts, he let her drown in a lift. The next woman he lurved, in Skyfall, got shot in the head by a former colleague. Oh, and then he took an old woman who needed to go into hiding to his own bloody house. Where she and 007's gamekeeper wandered about on a darkened moor, with a torch, just in case the baddies needed even more help locating her. Before that happened, though, Bond went to interview someone in Shanghai and ended up throwing him off a skyscraper. And in an earlier scene, he was shot by Miss Moneypenny. I'm telling you, Johnny English is better at espionage than this guy. So's Inspector Clouseau. But the worst bit in Skyfall came when the director Sam Mendes decided to blow up Bond's Aston Martin. So he pumped it full of bullets until it exploded. I'm sure, to the luvvie-in-chief, this was fine, because a car is just a collection of plastic and metal and glass. But a car is not just a collection of plastic and metal and glass. And Bond's Aston is more of a car than most. It has been a part of my life since I was four. I have owned many models, including one that would fire a small man under the sofa. And Mendes blew it up so he could get Craig to do some acting. I considered at the time filling Sam's dog with bullets until it exploded, just to show him how it felt. The car was put back together in the next Bond film, Spectre — and it appears in the new movie as well — but it was like making Ring of Bright Water 2 and trying to argue that someone had sewn the otter's head back on. I bet Aston Martin had a duck fit when it saw the DB5 reduced to a smouldering ruin, because Bond is its marketing department. He is its PR machine and its ad agency and its ambassador all rolled into one. So I bet it really did try to sew the DB5's head back on, because without 007, the company would have to maintain a public profile on its own. And it doesn't have the cash for that. I'm not sure it even had enough cash to develop the car you see before you today. It's called — deep breath — the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante, and sometimes you get the impression that you're tootling about in almost two tons of make-do and mend. With a bit of cast-off Mercedes tech to maintain a veneer of modernity. To create it, Aston had to chop the roof off a normal DBS, but this meant finding somewhere to put the electric roof mechanism. That meant rerouting the massive exhaust system and that meant turning the fuel tank round and redesigning every body panel aft of the doors. The company managed it, but sometimes the roof doesn't go down when you operate the switch, the boot is laughably tiny, and it gets so hot in there, owing to the exhaust system, you could roast a chicken. There's also a problem with the interior. Astonishingly, we got four adults in it, and that's impressive, but it is almost identical to the interior you get in a far cheaper DB11 Volante. And that's not good enough. The basic starting price of the DBS Superleggera Volante is £247,500 and, I'm sorry, but if I'm going to blow a quarter of a million on a car, I don't want it to have the same innards as a car that costs almost £90,000 less. The trouble is, of course, that when you've spent all that money turning the fuel tank round, there simply won't be enough left to do the air vents as well. Or fit a glovebox. It sounds like I have a real downer on this car, and I haven't finished yet, I'm afraid. Because superleggera is Italian for "superlight", and it just isn't. With a couple of people on board, it weighs more than two tons. Perhaps that's why it endlessly catches its chin-mounted skid plates on speed humps. And why its tyres are so thin you need to be very careful when you're parking, even against a dropped pavement, or you'll kerb the wheels. Perhaps Aston should have called it Supergrasso. You can feel this weight when you're driving, too. It doesn't come across as a feisty little whizz-bang; it's no water boatman. But that said, it's fast. Rocket-ship fast. It's almost too fast, because on wet roads you would be well advised to treat the throttle with extreme caution or you will have a crash. You even need to be careful sometimes on dry roads. And that raises a question. If you can't unleash all the volcanic fury without the back end having a few moments of panic, then why not save yourself the best part of £90,000 and get the DB11 Volante instead? Because you can exploit all the power in one of those, all of the time.And it has the same interior. And it's a little bit more civilised and comfortable. It's almost as though Aston bit off more than it could chew with the DBS. Think of its engineers as pianists. They're accomplished enough to impress their friends and colleagues, but they're not really able to put on a penguin suit, walk onto the stage at the Royal Albert Hall and attempt Liszt's La Campanella. If you attempt to build a 211mph car that costs £247,000, you need to make sure that you have the money to pull it off. Yes, the DBS Superleggera Volante is one of the best-looking cars ever made, and it's blisteringly fast and it makes some laugh-out-loud noises from the tailpipes, but as a package, it's flawed. Hopefully, the new Bond film will be a gem and will keep alive the aura that surrounds the man and the car he drives. But I wouldn't count on it. The way things are going, they'll replace Craig with Anthea Turner and give her a Nissan Leaf. And that, I fear, would bring the curtain down on Britain's best-loved car-maker. In the meantime, if you want an Aston because you, like me, grew up worshipping them, then don't despair because the DB11 Volante is brilliant. That sort of car at that sort of price? Nobody does it better ? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- He's not around to beat me, so I'll say it: Ginger was only the world's second-best drummer (Sunday Times, Oct. 13) The drummer Ginger Baker died last week and everyone was very surprised because we all assumed the drug-addled wild man from Cream and Blind Faith had shuffled off this mortal coil years ago. It's customary, of course, when someone dies to gloss over their shortcomings and concentrate instead on their work for charity and their heroics in the war. But this is nigh-on impossible with Baker, who was almost certainly the most unpleasant man ever to grace a stage. He pulled a knife on Cream's bass player, Jack Bruce. He used his fists to settle almost every dispute. He broke the nose of the director who made a documentary about him with his walking stick. Then, of course, there was the naked 11-year-old girl featured on the cover of Blind Faith's only album. That's such a difficult issue these days, none of the obituaries even mentioned it. Instead, everyone concentrated on Baker's skills as a musician — but even here people missed the point, because despite what he claimed, he wasn't the best drummer the world has ever seen. Thanks to Mitch Mitchell, who played with Jimi Hendrix, he was the second best. I'm on Twitter if you want to argue. Baker, however, could keep perfect time, even when he was full of heroin, which is quite an achievement. And he could maintain four different cross rhythms with each of his limbs. This is like rubbing your tummy, patting your head, pumping up a lilo and playing hopscotch all at the same time. I have a drum kit. It's an enormous Pictures of Lily limited edition replica. And after several years of weekly lessons, I developed a profound admiration for drummers, because they're doing something I can't do. We can't admire people who can do what we can do. I don't admire anyone who can drive fast while shouting, but when I watch a dry-stone-waller creating a natural barrier using nothing but experience and big, warty hands, I become a statue of wonderment held upright by nothing but the tingling in my hair. That's what happens when I hear a drum solo. A columnist last week said that words cannot begin to describe the "unstoppable misery" of the "nightmarish" drum solo. Plainly, he is the sort of man who thinks drummers are like houseflies. That they come, they make an annoying noise and then they die. And I literally could not agree less. A drum solo allows the audience to marvel at the technical wizardry of the drummer. It allows us to concentrate on his incredible ability to get a whole arm from one side of the kit to the other faster than it takes a Formula One car to change gear. And to do it in perfect time. It's been suggested that Ginger Baker invented the drum solo so his bandmates could have a moment to go backstage and top up whatever was missing at that moment from their lives. I doubt this, though. He didn't really like other musicians that much. It's been reported that he called Mick Jagger a "musical moron". But that's not true. What he actually said was that the Stones were like "a load of little kids trying to play black blues music and playing it very badly". It was George Harrison he called a musical moron. And he dismissed Paul McCartney too, because, unlike him, McCartney could not sight-read music. Led Zeppelin? If you even mentioned them in his presence, you'd get a thick lip. He only really liked people we've never heard of. Phil Seamen was a hero of his, for example. And Art Blakey. So no. Baker was on the stage doing his solos simply so we could hear how he'd fused the jazz music of his heroes with an altogether new and busy way of playing. He despised the 4/4 beat of rock and pop music, but it's possible that, because of what he did with Cream, he's partly responsible for it. His solos were often more than 10 minutes long and were mesmerising. And soon drummers everywhere were trying to outdo him. Led Zeppelin's John Bonham did a 17-minute epic on the track "Moby Dick", and then you got — whisper this, because I'm friendly with Nick Mason and Roger Taylor — my favourite drummer, Phil Collins, duetting with Chester Thompson. They started out hitting bar stools and then moved to their kits for a drumming shootout. It's the best thing on YouTube. And now? Well, there was the movie Whiplash, which everyone, apart from me, thought was weird — but on stage? In real life? There's nothing. The drum solo is dead. I find that odd. There are still bands and some still have drummers, so why don't these people want the audience to see and hear them doing their thing? Isn't that like being a goalkeeper who never wants to make a save? The only explanation is that they actively hide at the back behind the bass and the guitar and the flashy vocals because they're not that good. This sort of thing has happened before. Between 1750 and 1820, the world heard from Schubert, Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, but since then, apart from a couple of little spurts, there's been nothing of any great consequence. And today? There's a woman in Iceland who turns drawings of turnips into classical music and there's Ludovico Einaudi, who provided the soundtrack for many of the Top Gear films I made. But that's about it. Could it be that the same thing has happened with drumming? That we as a species were only ever any good at it between 1958 and 1978, and now we have lost the ability, in the same way that penguins have lost the ability to fly? Luckily, however, we still have the recordings from the days when drumming wasn't just an electronic nn tss nn tss nn tss nn tss and I've been listening to a lot of it all week. That's why I ended up revisiting "Can't Find My Way Home." You played on that one, Ginger. And now you have. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And here's the Sun column: "Extinction Rebellion forget dole money, tents and yoga mats all come from… oil" Clarkson is wrong by the way: Ginger Baker is only the world's fourth best drummer. The best and second best are Hal Blaine and Levon Helm. Anyway, I have now caught up on posting all the Clarkson columns that ran while I was on vacation. Normal weekly posting will resume on Monday.
I suppose I see a different world than you do, and the truth is that what I see frightens me. A deeper look at Skyfall (2012)
Hey folks! This has been my review series of the existing Bond films, beginning with Dr. No waaay back in February. I will also do a lighter version of this style of review for Spectre, which I will be seeing Thursday evening. I will also be posting a series recap in the near future that will include some fun stuff like my subjective ranking of the films (as opposed to these which I have tried to keep relatively objective), the Bond actors, the villains, and the Bond girls. Until then, please enjoy my review of Skyfall!
Story I spoke in my last review about how Quantum of Solace had moved its gaze slightly more in favor of 007's female companion, Camille. If that was a slight shift in gaze, Skyfall offers a full-on spotlight view of a character (who is not James Bond) with whom we have been familiar for nearly 20 years. Judi Dench's M took over as head of MI6 in 1995. From the first interaction she had with James Bond (then, Pierce Brosnan), she instantly became one of my favorite characters. Both the actress and the character carry themselves with a dignified poise and grandeur that solidify their legacies in the annals of James Bond history. I love much of what the film tackles. James Bond going rogue or questioning M/MI6's orders is a plot line that has been used countless times in this series however this is the first instance in which I feel that it is truly pulled off well. Between Bond's huffiness over being shot at during a particularly high-intensity field mission (such a diva…), the dodgy bureaucratic actions that M takes to ensure that Bond is returned to active duty, and the unnerving history behind her actions involving an insane ex-agent, Raoul Silva, the audience is finally given ammunition to honestly doubt the integrity of M's character. More than this, I love what she deals with on the home front while Bond is off attempting to ward off her demons. Skyfall brings to light an issue that has plagued the series for several years now. How relevant are the MI6? Does modern day UK need an organization of sleuths and spies to save the world? To answer this, M is brought into a public hearing to defend her departments necessity. She does so with a brilliantly moving speech about the identity (or rather the lack of identity) of enemies in today's world. Now I do have a number of issues with the film. First, it's always bothered me that we're three films into Daniel Craig's tenure as Agent 007 -- one that began with the initiation of Bond as a 007 agent. Now, only three films later and we are to believe that he has become a worn and weary old man. I love Skyfall. I just wish it had come out two, three, or four films later into Craig's stint. Additionally, for every eloquent monologue on the nature of MI6's relevancy, there are half a dozen instances of hokey dialogue, typically in the form of tech-speak. I like the decision to reboot Q as a baby-faced geek and I dig that the writers give him an uppity nature that compliments the playfully combative relationship between past 007-Q iterations but much of Ben Whishaw's dialogue sounds like something straight out of a 1993 hacker film. Using such classics as smugly the confident "we're in" following an attempt to gain access to some hidden file or other and the incredulous "he hacked us…" upon realizing that the cyberterrorist did what all cyberterrorists do in this type of movie. Ultimately Skyfall suffers from one particular issue that trumps all others. The film rocks and rolls for nearly two hours before 007 finally decides to take the initiative and abscond with M to the countryside in an effort to draw Silva to them. I appreciate the variety. It's a unique twist to the Bond formula but unfortunately it just doesn't work as well as it could have. Or perhaps if it had happened 30 minutes sooner into the film, it wouldn't have been quite so bad. But at the hour and 45 minute mark, the film slows to a grinding halt. Bond, M, and their new friend Kincaid (who apparently just hangs around a derelict manor for a living) spend 15 minutes Home-Alone-ing the Skyfall residence in preparation for another 15 minute action sequence that is fun but ultimately just feels like a formality. We watch patiently as all of the minions dutifully fall into each of the traps that we just saw prepared, waiting for the inevitable showdown between Bond and Silva. Look and Sound There is absolutely no doubt that Skyfall is the most gorgeous 007 film of them all. Hell… Skyfall was arguably the most beautiful movie of 2012, period (nice try, Life of Pi). Roger Deakins is undoubtedly among the best to have ever held the title of cinematographer and he brings every drop of his technical proficiency to the series and produces some of the most stunning images to ever grace a James Bond film. If Skyfall lacks anything in story, it is all made up for by its sheer beauty. The film doesn't just have visual beauty either. Thomas Newman took over for long-time composer David Arnold on account of Newman's working history with new director Sam Mendes. Newman crafts an engaging score that makes excellent use of unique scores and traditional Bond themes. Perhaps one of my favorite elements of the film is the opening theme. For my money, "Skyfall" is the second greatest theme song of the series, following the immortal "Goldfinger." Adele's soulful performance and extraordinary vocals are as beautiful as the booming band behind her. Accompanying this marvelous performance is another opening title sequence from designer Daniel Kleinman. It's brooding visuals match the somber nature of the film perfectly. Callbacks, Recurrences, and Tropes As discussed above, Judi Dench makes her final reappearance as M. Skyfall offers the return of two notably absent characters. Naomi Harris brings new life to the long-lost Moneypenny and Ben Whishaw was tapped to reintroduce us to Q. Other than that, the only recurring character or actor is Rory Kinnear reprising his role as M's aid, Chief of Staff Bill Tanner. Being the 50th anniversary of the series' first release (with Dr. No in 1962), the film pays homage in more ways than one. After abandoning the long-preferred Walther PPK in 1999's The World is Not Enough (for the Walther P99), Bond was reintroduced with his PPK here in Skyfall. There is an explicit conversation between Q and Bond as they discuss gadgets. It's been no secret that Craig's tenure has been light on the gadgetry and Q quips that there will be no exploding pens in this series. Q branch doesn't really "go for that anymore." He does, however provide Bond with a small radio for tracking purposes. Astute viewers may notice that it is essentially a replica of the radio provided to Bond in Goldfinger. And the connections to the third film don't stop there. Bond unabashedly busts his Aston Martin DB5 out of storage for their escape to Skyfall manor. This is the precise model (complete with ejector seat) that Connery utilized in several of his outings as Bond. Finally, the scotch that Silva offers to Bond is a 1962 Macallan -- a reference to the release date of Dr. No. While the gun and car throwbacks were fun and all, there is one particular callback that tickled me more than any other. In the final 5 minutes of the film, Bond and Eve retreat back into MI6 after mourning the loss of M. They head into a small room with a nondescript room with a coatrack, a desk, and some filing cabinets. It didn't mean much to me at first but the moment Eve introduced herself as Eve Moneypenny, I began to take notice. The room was set up much in the style of the old Moneypenny offices of Bond film's past. Then sure enough, when Tanner emerges from behind a large door and says, "he'll see you now," I began to get excited. Sure enough, we cut to the interior of a wood paneled room with a large door that is covered in leather. The door in particular was nearly enough to give me chills. As Bond enters this room that is a near replica to Bernard Lee's old office and approaches the newly christened M (Ralph Fiennes), I couldn't help but smile as I knew that it was the film's way of announcing that we are going back to basics. I very much look forward to all of the upcoming train fights, ski chases, card games, martinis, and villains. Bring it on. Overall Impression Skyfall is not a perfect film. It has plenty of plot issues, pacing issues, etc. However as far as Bond films go (and hell, as far as most films go), it is the most masterfully crafted films you're going to find. Music, imagery, acting, and so on… they all come together to create an engaging and entertaining entry. The action is riveting, the stunts top many of those from earlier entries, and the general motif of relevance and usefulness in the modern era is an appropriate one for where the 007 franchise stands today. Quick Hits
A fairly strong story with some fantastic moments for M.
It's not flashy, but Mendes does a very respectable job driving the narrative.
I'm actually not an enormous fan of the direction Bardem took as Silva, but everyone else is top notch.
Bonus Category! So for each movie my wife and I will be enjoying a spirit or cocktail that relates to the film. We sort of did our own thing for Skyfall. Knowing that it was our last film in the series, we elected to send 007 off with another martini. We essentially made Vesper Martinis except we added a little plum wine as a way to jazz it up a bit in honor of Mr. Bond's trip to Singapore. • 3 measures Gordon's Gin • 1 measure vodka • 1/2 measure Cocchi Americano vermouth • 1/2 measure plum wine Shake over ice.
So what do you folks think? How does Skyfall fare in your opinion?
In 2002, Queen Elizabeth II attended the premiere of the 20th James Bond film. I'm sure she never gave it a public review. But I sure will. A deeper look at Die Another Day (2002)
Hey folks! I'm planning on watching all 23 of the James Bond films between now and the release of Spectre in November. 007 films have always been my guilty pleasure and I thought it might be worth trying to have a more analytical discussion about them. If you all are interested, I'll be posting one of these discussions/reviews every 2 weeks. So here goes!
Story This film has so many issues, it is difficult to decide where to start. As much as I want to just start ripping into the actors, the proper place to begin would be the script. I am positively baffled. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade return again to pen the script for Die Another Day. I don't know if the script was rushed or whether there were some sort of studio politics that drastically altered it for one reason or another but this humongous turd feels so unlike anything the pair had put out before or have put out since. From start to finish, the entire script feels hokey. It is empty, inauthentic, and overly stylized. It feels as though the characters should high five each other and say, "F**k yeah, action movie!" after every single line of dialogue. When the script isn't serving up contrived action-speak, it's full of pointless, banal dialogue. Entire conversations (e.g. the introductory conversation between Bond and Jinx) do virtually nothing to develop character or plot. Gags are thrown in, completely at random, without any regard to the flow of the story or relevance to the plot (e.g. the Moneypenny fantasy scene at the end). The entire film tries so agonizingly hard to be cool, funny, and smart and fails so miserably. Apart from Rosamund Pike, every single actor and actress in this film falls flat on their face. Halle Berry and Toby Stephens turn in two of the worst performances I've ever seen. Stephens overacts every scene he's in and Berry's performance is on par with a 1980s after school special. Seriously, just pick a line and it'll be a perfect example. I mean she makes a "yo mama" joke for god's sake. Jinx unequivocally belongs among the absolute worst of 007's companions -- worse even than some of my previous least favorites: Rosie Carver (Live and Let Die), Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever), and Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun). As for the plot, my criticism is the same as everyone else's. DAD suffers from the inevitable trap of escalation. Any time you have a franchise like this, the plots need to continually have higher stakes in order to bring audiences back. Unless you're rebooting the series, what reason do people have to come back unless things are going to be bigger, badder, and more perilous than ever, right? Well that's what the studio figured, anyway. This leaves us with a space laser attacking invisible cars, melting ice palaces, and creating tidal waves for our protagonist to surf upon. The film becomes hyperbolized without being intentionally satirical -- a bad combination. Look and Sound From the very get-go, the film starts off on the wrong foot. A crummy electronica remix of the Bond theme paired with a terrible CGI bullet flying at the screen during the gun barrel sequence establishes that this film is going to do everything possible to seem as contemporary as it can -- at whatever cost. After watching some puzzlingly bad green screen effects (I thought we had finally fixed this...) during the cold open, we are thrust into one of the worst intro songs of the series. Madonna's auto-tuned bubblegum pop is spared the title of Worst Song thanks only in part to the equally terrible '80s love ballads during the Roger Moore era. It's rare that the editing of a film is so bad as to be noticeable. This is one of those instances. This particular scene is the perfect example of how much of a technical trainwreck this film is. It gets everything wrong. In addition to the terrible dialogue and acting, the editor, Christian Wagner, made a mess of the scene. The framing continually jumps back and forth between close ups and medium shots with erratic and awkward timing. And if that’s not jarring enough, Wagner continually cuts between sentences. Editing 101 will teach you that to properly cut a conversation between two people, you execute what is called an L cut. The L cut will often play out in such a way that the person not facing screen will begin talking first. At an appropriate time, the shot will cut (mid-sentence or, if there is an action performed by the speaker, mid-action) to show the speaker speaking. This is because we, as humans, don’t always look at someone before they speak. Our eyes may be fixated on something else and their speech will draw our eyes to them. Wagner fails miserably at this throughout the entire film. Director Lee Tamahori fails at every aspect of directorial duties. Not only did he fail to pull an iota of decent acting material from his cast, but the visual decisions he made are ludicrous. To explain what I mean, I would like to formally nominate this little sequence for the Single Worst Scene in James Bond's Entire 53 Year History award. It is so bafflingly terrible, I struggle with where to start. From a narrative standpoint, we are meant to believe that Bond, using the… power of… his traumatic past (…?) was able to fake a heart attack by willing his heart down to 14 bps before assaulting multiple doctors, using six words to sexually arouse the third (who, while the other doctors were being assaulted, stood by with a look that can only be described as mild inconvenience), and sneaking into a 5-star hotel located conveniently just across the bay from the hospital — all while in his pajamas. From a stylistic point of view, it's even worse. In fact, I can use this specific scene to address just about every issue I have with the overall aesthetic of DAD. The low shutter speed slow-mo (seen in the previous clip and used frequently throughout the film), ultra high contrast color, speed ramps (seen in the previous clip as well as in this scene), and multiple instances of superimposed montages are horrible. I mean just downright… asinine. This is a multimillion dollar Hollywood film — not a 1998 anti-piracy commercial. Finally, the issue that most folks have with the film: the CGI. This scene always comes to mind when people discuss their grievances with DAD. Rightfully so. The damn thing is nearly 100% CGI and it doesn't look remotely realistic. The lack of practical stunts completely ruins any sense of tension for a given situation. Callbacks, Recurrences, and Tropes DAD is frequently criticized for its vast collection of shoehorned callbacks to previous Bond films on account of this being the 40th anniversary of the franchise. Some are more obvious than others. The following is a list of the props that appear during the briefing sequence:
• Col. Klebb's poison-tipped shoe and Bond's briefcase from From Russia With Love • Snorkel with a bird on it from Goldfinger • The jetpack from Thunderball • Little Nellie from You Only Live Twice • The grappling gun from the elevator scene in Diamonds Are Forever • The Acrostar jet and the crocodile submarine from Octopussy
Additional references throughout the film:
• When Bond is in Cuba, he picks up a book called Bird Watching in the West Indies. This is a reference to the fact that Ian Fleming was reading a similar book and liked the name of the author, James Bond, and decided to use it as the name of his protagonist in his first book, Casino Royale. • When Q first introduces Bond to the Vanisher, Bond sees the invisible car appear and says, "you must be joking." Q responds with, "as I learned from my predecessor, I never joke about my work, 007." This is almost the verbatim discussion between Bond and Q in Goldfinger when Q mentions that the Aston Martin DB5 has an ejector seat. • Q also assigns Bond a new gadget-clad watch. He remarks that it's Bond's 20th. This refers to DAD being the 20th film in the franchise. • Finally, during an underwater sequence, Bond uses a rebreather. It is the same one as Connery used in Thunderball. • Bonus reference: When Bond is talking to Q (John Cleese, mind you) he refers to another character's injury as a "flesh wound," a reference to a line spoken by Cleese in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The roster of returning characters contains no surprises. Judy Dench reprises her role as M, Samantha Bond returns as Moneypenny, Colin Salmon returns as MI6 staff member Charles Robinson (reprising the role from Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough). The only major change is John Cleese officially taking over the role of Q from Desmond Llewelyn. DAD contains many of the typical tropes but with a little added spin. The gun barrel sequence is present but has been updated to include a (terribly unnecessarily) CGI bullet that flies toward the screen. The title sequence and theme song are also present. This title sequence is one of only two (the other being On Her Majesty's Secret Service) that covers plot. In DAD, we watch as Bond is tortured in North Korea. Bond delivers his iconic name introduction and makes a reference to his preference to shaken martinis while encountering turbulence on a flight, however aside from there, there aren't many more of the typical Bond Tropes. No provocative character names, no card games, no train fights, etc. Overall Impression This movie just plain ol' sucks. The only thing that remains left to be said is that this film just simply doesn’t feel like a James Bond film. It feels like a bad late-‘90s/early-2000s superhero film. Tell me this guy doesn’t look like he belongs in the 2005 Fantastic Four movie. Quick Hits
God awful. Dull dialogue, campy plot.
Every single decision was a terrible one. From camerawork to stylistic decisions with the overall look, Tamahori is a complete disaster.
All three of these points come solely from Pike's performance. Berry and Stephens are two of the worst actors in the entire series and that includes this guy.
I can't say it any more succinctly. The whole film feels like a "You Wouldn't Download a Car" ad.
Lamont's usual top-notch work is undone by the requirement to use such outlandish sets and props
Techno-y, pop-y, lousy.
Not only are these abominations bad in context of prior Bond films, but for 2002 these effects are/were an absolute disgrace.
Bond, Jinx, and Frost all look good for the most part. Graves' robo-suit looks stupid.
Bonus Category! So for each movie my wife and I will be enjoying a spirit or cocktail that relates to the film. Die Another Day is credited for reviving the general public's interest in mojitos. In honor of such an accomplishment, we couldn't help but enjoy a couple ourselves. • 1 measure white rum • 1 tsp sugar (or simple syrup) • mint leaves • lime juice • club soda Combine rum, sugasyrup, and lime in a shaker. Shake over ice. Pour over ice into a highball glass and top off with club soda. Garnish with mint leaves (crush them up a bit to release extra minty goodness).
So what do you folks think? How does Die Another Day fare in your opinion?
Two theories have really been irritating me lately on this sub just need to stop being mentioned as possibilities. The first is that James Bond is a code name given to whoever happens to be agent 007. This has been disproven many times before. Here is some proof.
Connery avenges Tracy’s death in DAF
Anya mentioning Tracy in TSWLM
Moore putting flowers on Tracy’s grave in FYEO
Felix saying James was married once in LTK
Brosnan getting upset when Elektra asks if he has lost someone he loves in TWINE
Lazenby has Connery’s gadgets in OHMSS
Brosnan recognizes gadgets that previous “agents” used in DAD
James Bond is recognized by Felix Leiter as James Bond. This means that either Felix Leiter knows who he is despite changing appearance, or the CIA also has this silly idea.
Of course, the biggest proof is in Skyfall when he literally goes to his parents’ graves and their name is Bond. Also his old friend addresses him as James.
This leads to the second silly theory. This one is the Craig era movies are prequels to the Connery movies allowing a continual path to the original 20. No one seems to be able to explain what will happen after Craig leaves. I would assume the movies will then jump post-Brosnan, but who really cares? There is plenty of evidence on how this just can’t be true.
James just achieved 00 status in CR and is a seasoned agent by Skyfall. In Dr. No, it is implied Bond is a relatively new agent. He is threatened with going back to standard intelligence duties, something not even considered in Skyfall.
He would have recognized Felix Leiter in Dr. No after meeting him in Casino Royale. Felix also goes from black to white.
He would have gotten the Aston Martin DB5 in Casino Royale, then traded it for his Bentley in Dr. No and FRWL, then gotten it back in Goldfinger.
He is given his Walther PPK in Dr. No because he has been using a Beretta that jammed on him earlier. Unless he plans on switching from the Walther back to a Beretta before Dr. No, this seems impossible.
Since we know the current M is Gareth Mallory in Skyfall, he will need to retire or die so Miles Messervy can come into the position.
Moneypenny is now black in Skyfall so she will need to retire or die so the Lois Maxwell character can come in. Apparently, Moneypenny must be a code name for M’s secretary as well since she has the same name.
Although we don’t know if the Skyfall Q is Major Boothroyd, it would seem to that he is not a Major. Therefore, he will need to retire or die so Major Boothroyd can come in.
The only evidence that is pointed to that “proves” the argument is that the Aston Martin has the ejector seat and other gadgets from Goldfinger. So either CR and QoS take place before Dr. No, then Dr. No, FRWL and Goldfinger happens then Skyfall happens, this is just not possible. What is happening is the creators are making homage to the previous Bond timeline. Another example of this is in Batman Forever, when Robin says, “Holy rusted metal, Batman!” This is spoofing/referencing the tendency of Robin to say “Holy something something, Batman!” in the 1960s Batman series; it didn’t mean that they were the same character. It’s homage by the creators. I think it’s time we put these “theories” to bed.
So was Bond's legendary Ashton Martin won in a hand of poker in Casino Royale?
I'm a fan of the latest series of Bond films. Of course the character was always known to drive an Aston Martin. In Skyfall, Bond pulls the A.M. out if the garage for Bond and Mum once the my ditch the Jag. Bond comes from money so I always assumed he just bought his A.M. and always owned it. However, I'm watching the first Bond film of the Daniel Craig era, Casino Royale, and I just noticed that he actually wins an A.M. in a hand of poker. So does that explain away how the Bond character was able to afford an A.M.? Is that suppose to be the same A.M. the character uses throughout the entire Bond series? What do you all think?
http://screenhooked.com/2015/11/22/spectre/ SPOILER WARNING Alright, it’s been two weeks. I’ve had the same “spoiler-free” discussion with about 15 people now, and I’m ready to put out my thoughts after finally seeing it. I’m already sick of talking about this movie, so this thesis will be filled with SPOILERS. I guess I should start at the beginning. The long take at the opening is probably the most impressive I’ve ever seen. It tops every shot in Birdman, Rope or Star Trek. The rest of the sequence, however, fell flat. It doesn’t appear to me that in Spectre, Daniel Craig doesn’t want to do Bond anymore (though he doesn’t, and I accept that), more than he’s very comfortable in the role of 007, but his stiff walking through crowds doesn’t convey a real sense of urgency no matter how many quick cuts, nervous camera shakes, or intense music Sam Mendes throws in. Classic Bond films typically opened towards the end of a mission completely irrelevant to the plot that gets you in the mood to see Bond, and sets the tone for the rest of the film. Spectre fulfills almost all of that, especially the last part, because the tone they were going for was “long, drawn out, and a little goofy.” The chase through the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City wasn’t interesting. I’m not talking about Bond’s little rogue mission, but the chase itself. I can leave the building blowing up randomly alone, and I thought the couch landing was a nice nod to the Roger Moore films (I would later find more and more), but how many times do we have to watch Bond take down a helicopter in these movies? I know there’s a finite amount of ideas one can do, but there’s no suspense in this opening sequence because this thing is 150 minutes long, and Bond has to live through it, and this guy hasn’t been in a hospital since he was born, so shorten the action sequence to where the helicopter only does ONE barrel roll, and let us move on to the title sequence. Now, I find the opening sequence absolutely gorgeous, but most people have complained about the song by Sam Smith, which I’m okay with, it’s not the worst Bond theme, and you’re not going to top Skyfall, so I can let that go. I’m going to skip over the obvious tentacle porn joke, because I really like how they integrated the S.P.E.C.T.R.E. logo. Unlike most Bond title sequences, this didn’t bore the shit out of me, so I’ll give them props for that. But there’s still no constant theme running through (besides the tentacles), which is part of what made Casino Royale‘s title sequence so great. Still, this is probably the last thing I would complain about. Now, what I like about how they open the first act is how they handle the other characters of MI6 in addition to Bond. We see Bond’s barely decorated London apartment, which we’ve never seen before, an interesting, if unsurprising look into the private life of 007. M (Ralph Fiennes) used to just be a guy who gave Bond his missions from behind a desk, but we now actually see what he has to put up with, especially since now the 00 program is getting ready to be replaced by a mass surveillance system called “Nine Eyes.” Ben Whishaw’s skittish Q is still fitting nicely into Desmond Llewelyn’s shoes, and the “will they, won’t they” set up for Bond and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) feels natural. Bond reveals to Moneypenny that Judi Dench’s M posthumously sent him on a mission to kill his target in Mexico and “don’t miss the funeral.” So after M grounds Bond, he enlists Q and Moneypenny to help him carry out this personal mission that doesn’t really make any sense looking at it from M’s perspective. Shouldn’t this guy have already been a priority if Judi Dench was telling Bond about him from the dead right as he was planning to blow up a stadium? Anyway, Q puts microbot tracking things in Bond’s bloodstream, which proves useless for the rest of the movie, because it’s supposed to add tension to the Bond disobeying M plot, but Q just lies to M over the phone anyway. It’s just one more thing we have to think about that doesn’t affect the overall story at all. Q could have contacted Bond in one way or another without approaching him in person at a ski resort psychiatrist’s office (seriously, what even is that place?). I’ll get more into Lea Seydoux’s Dr. Madeleine Swann later. Bond goes to Rome for the funeral against M’s orders to attend the funeral of the guy he kicked out of a helicopter. The attendees are mostly made up of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. employees and the woman Bond made a widow. We get our first look at Christoph Waltz, who I thought was in the right amount of the movie (more on that later) but we don’t see his face, and he leaves as soon as Bond is in his peripheral vision. After saving the widow in a very Roger Moore-esque exchange, he begins seducing the widow with some of the most awkward kissing I’ve ever seen on film, before giving him the location of a S.P.E.C.T.R.E. meeting. We never see this woman again, checking the box for “The Bond girl nobody cares about.” This is where it gets interesting. Bond attending the S.P.E.C.T.R.E. meeting was in all of the teasers, so the impact was most certainly lost. Christoph Waltz controls the room without saying a word or showing his face, which is all thanks to the cinematography and Mendes’ direction. I guess I’ll refer to him as Blofeld because it’s easier to type (and we all knew he was going to be Blofeld anyway). Blofeld addresses the events in Mexico, and Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista) takes the place of the man at the other end of the table by gouging his eyes out with what appear to be metal fingernails. We don’t exactly get a good look at Hinx, for most of the time he’s on screen. It’s clear that he’s a near-indestructible monster, but… he’s Jaws. He’s just a bigger version of Jaws. I understand it’s difficult to create new villains in a time where everybody nitpicks the logic, but you moved the steel from one part of the body to another, and you made sure he didn’t talk until his last appearance. They even killed him the way Brody, Quint and Hooper tried to kill Jaws! After Blofeld addresses Bond directly, he runs and we get a boring car chase (though humorous in that half the car’s gadgets hadn’t been installed yet) capped off by Bond ejecting from the car. Meanwhile, we’re getting exposition from Moneypenny, and so we don’t groan at the idea of returning to Quantum of Solace, we’re given something almost as boring to look at. Anyway, Bond goes to Austria to find Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) dying of thallium poisoning and eventually convinces him to lead him to S.P.E.C.T.R.E. through his daughter, Madeleine, who as all Bond girls do, rebuffs James at first before eventually succumbing to his charm after he saves her life. This is where I might go on a bit of a rant, because her addition to this cast and the plot drags out this movie and extra thirty minutes at least. Instead of White telling Bond about the hotel in Morocco, we have to wait until Bond gets it out of Swann, all because Bond had to be a man of his word. I guess they just wanted a chase sequence in the snow instead of Morocco because they already had Mexico as their “hot and arid climate” chase setting. I don’t hate Seydoux. She’s serviceable in her role, but she’s added in to up the stakes for Bond as a love-interest, which he shouldn’t have, because Eva Green’s Vesper was supposed to be the last woman Bond would ever love (or trust for that matter). This was just some bullshit added in so that Bond (by which I mean Daniel Craig) could have a reason to “leave” at the end. We now have to endure a long train conversation about guns and self-defense before Hinx interrupts and other shoehorned character development. Not to mention just waiting for stuff to happen like when they’re picked up in an old-fashioned Rolls Royce. But back to Austria, it is revealed that all of the villains we’ve seen Craig’s Bond defeat (yes even in Quantum) is connected through S.P.E.C.T.R.E. and I’m fine with it. Is it forced? Sure, but what did we expect? This is one of several things in the movie meant to give it a finale vibe for both Craig and Mendes, a privilege no other Bond actor was ever given. Q is utilized well here, but like I said before, he doesn’t need to be there for anything other than the screen-time his agent probably fought for. Swann reveals the name White gave Bond is the hotel in Morocco, in which Bond drunkenly points a gun at a rat which leads him to S.P.E.C.T.R.E. That sounds ridiculous, and it is, but at this point, I don’t care, because we’re already deep into Roger Moore territory, so this already can’t be taken that seriously anymore. I don’t know how White accessed that room without tearing up the dry wall, but I’m letting that go, because we’ve got coordinates to a crater in the desert! I almost forgot about the car chase with the plane and the car after Madeleine is taken by Hinx, because nothing happens in it. Craig follows the car with the plane, they exchange bullets, and then Bond crashes the plane into the cars so he can get Madeleine. It’s a boring sequence that lasts way too long, but it’s okay, because we got the girl who refuses to talk to Bond that he will eventually have sex with. So now we’re finally meeting Blofeld for real this time. The introductory sequence with the meteorite is beautifully shot, as is most of this movie. Aside from maybe Skyfall, this has the best cinematography of any Bond movie. Anyway, Blofeld reveals that he created Nine Eyes which will give S.P.E.C.T.R.E. unlimited access to the entire intelligence community (though it looks as if they already have it?) and monologues about his evil plan as Blofeld is prone to do. What follows is one of the best torture scenes in 007 canon, second only to Casino Royale‘s medieval vasectomy. Blofeld reveals his personal connection to James, as well as his full name “Ernst Stavros Blofeld” which he adopted from his mother’s side of the family. And this is something that I had mixed feelings about. I do think Blofeld should have some kind of personal beef with Bond. Bond messes with his operations, he killed Bond’s wife. That’s as simple as it should be. I think it’s too much of a stretch to say that Blofeld is essentially his step-brother with daddy issues. We’re supposed to think of Blofeld as a scoiopathic criminal mastermind, but here he’s just a child jealous of his father’s attention. And we get to think “Oh, well he’s crazy, so it all makes sense.” But Bond would probably remember Franz Oberhauser, and he doesn’t reveal that to anyone, not even the audience. I get that he’s not supposed to trust anyone, but he trusts everyone in this movie to do their jobs. I guess it wouldn’t do anyone any good if they knew Bond’s connection to him. This whole backstory just feels to convenient for me, and it feels dumb that these just happen to be the paths that both characters took. The whole “author of all your pain” thing feels like a desperate attempt at making Blofeld appear even more villainous, when all we need is him in the chair. Granted, this scene with the watch giving Blofeld his eye wound was a nice addition. Bond handily escapes the facility killing S.P.E.C.T.R.E. soldiers one shot at a time while accidentally blowing up the entire station with one fire. He and Madeleine rendezvous in London with the now defunct 00 section of MI6 which only consists of M, Q, and Moneypenny (wouldn’t it be great to meet other 00 agents again?). I almost forgot Tanner (Rory Kinnear) but that’s just because he doesn’t do anything in this movie. On their way to arrest Max Denbigh, aka “C” (Andrew Scott [aka Moriarty from Sherlock]), Bond, M, and Q t-boned by a pick-up truck, which I didn’t think existed in England, and kidnap Bond. M has his final confrontation with C, and ends up killing him as Q disables Nine Eyes. I don’t really have any problems with the scene except I couldn’t discern the punchline to M’s “What does C stand for?” joke. I now know he said “careless” which feels like a wasted opportunity at a better punchline. During the entire movie, M has basically only monologued about the importance of the 00-section and being able to pull the trigger, something that has probably been said in at least once during every actor’s stint as 007. I understand this subplot needed to be fleshed out more for the final act of the movie, and it works, but the whole surveillance and drone approach is clearly more effective in some ways than 9 agents who can seemingly do whatever they want without real consequence. But the rest of the English government is even more idiotic for thinking surveillance and drones can fully replace humans in terms of crime-prevention. There’s nothing more I can really say about that, but I didn’t really find it necessary that C die, especially the way he did. Moving on to the final showdown between Bond and Blofeld in the ruins of the old MI6 headquarters. Bond’s name painted in red on the memorial wall would have been a nice touch had they not shown it in the trailer, and the whole firing range walk-through is a little too reminiscent of The Man with the Golden Gun for me to praise anyone for it. Bond finds Blofeld standing in a bulletproof cage that only exits one direction. As cool as so much of this was, it was a little over theatrical for my taste. Blofeld wasn’t ever one for painting directions on the walls and putting up pictures of deceased friends and enemies, he was just a bad guy who wanted Bond out of his hair. Anyway, Blofeld gives Bond three minutes before he blows up what’s left of the building so that he can either escape or die trying to save Madeleine. This is where Bond should have just escaped and stopped Blofeld on his own, but he has to save the girl he has very little chemistry with so that the audience likes him. Connery used to pull women in front of bullets after having sex with them. I’m just saying it’s uncharacteristic of Bond, especially at this point in Craig’s run, to give up a chance at saving the world to save a girl with whom he spent a few days. Of all the deus ex machinas this movie throws at us, this one has to be the worst. Bond eventually finds Madeleine with less than a minute to get out of the building. We get the cliche “Do you trust me?” which has been said at least a hundred different times in similar scenarios, including Bond movies. They jump off the building, in full view of Blofeld and henchmen, and they land safely in a giant net. What was a net even doing there? Why would that have been at MI6 headquarters? How was it still set up? I don’t know, but we needed them to escape, so we got it. Then what follows is yet another fucking helicopter chase, this time with a boat, because we can’t seem to have a Bond movie without helicopters and boats. Bond takes down the chopper just by shooting at it with his pistol. At first, I was okay with him being desperate enough as to not let Blofeld escape. I would have preferred Blofeld escape and Bond deal with the fact that he failed despite saving an innocent life. But no, this is once again a finale for Mendes and for Craig, so that chopper has to go down with a shot to the engine in the dark from hundreds of feet away. Bond chooses not to kill Blofeld with the excuse of not having any bullets and M arrests him. It’s just stupid. It’s Pierce Brosnan-era stupid. We can’t leave any glaring loose ends before switching actors, which has only happened in Diamonds are Forever which had Connery continuing Lazenby’s story from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The film ends with Bond driving off in the original Aston Martin with Madeleine, and thus concludes the story of the blonde blue-eyed Bond. Again, I have problems with this. The Aston Martin was a great reveal in Skyfall you can’t just do it again because you showed Q working to repair it early in the movie. That nostalgic hole was already filled. Also, as I’ve said earlier, Madeleine and Craig have terrible chemistry, and if anyone should be in the passenger seat of that car, it’s Moneypenny, but we needed a longer plot with more boring action sequences and a new Bond girl people care about, so Moneypenny is old news I guess. I’m sure there’s more I could discuss, but that more or less concludes my review of Spectre. Craig’s Bond career has become a metaphor for the franchise as a whole, and instead of watching all 24 films now, you can just watch these four, and you’ll get the gist of it. The performances are all great, though I think the expectations for Christoph Waltz are unreasonably high, because everyone expects Hans Landa out of him. Craig’s Bond career has become a metaphor for the franchise as a whole, and instead of watching all 24 films now, you can just watch these four, and you’ll get the gist of it. Overall, Spectre is a solid entry in the Bond franchise. Yes, I said solid. Because what Bond fans have failed to realize, especially in recent years, is that very few of them are considered great films. The campy nature of most of these movies is a part of the Bond iconography, and Spectre exhibits some of the best and worst qualities of every era of the franchise. To reiterate some of the main points. It’s too long, the romance is contrived, pointless and unbelievable, the cinematography is off the charts, a lot of the action is lazily done, and while it does a good job of tying the rest of the Craig era together, it botched the relationship between the primary antagonist and the protagonist. Most of the people I know have already seen this, but in case you’ve read this detailed rant, I might still recommend it, because in spite of everything I’ve said, you can probably still enjoy it, and your opinion matters just as much as mine. 007: B Average: C+ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2379713/
TIL That Snoopy is NASA's official safety mascot. Every astronaut since 1968 has worn a silver Snoopy pin into space; upon return, the astronauts present the pin as a special recognition to a civilian team member who helped keep them safe.
When the stunt team tried to flip James Bond’s Aston Martin DBS in ‘Casino Royale,’ they found the car too stable to be overturned by an 18” ramp. In their last attempt they fitted the DBS with a gas cannon and ended up rolling the car a total of 7 times, accidentally setting a new world record.
According to a new study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, homeless women who use medical cannabis are less likely to use lethal hard drugs such as crack, cocaine, crystal, speed, crank, glass, and ice.
I finally saw SPECTRE...then went ahead and wrote a better version of the script.
*SOME SPOILERS AHEAD** Well, I was traveling for a few months and FINALLY saw SPECTRE. I was so damn disappointed in the movie I decided I should rewrite it (in summary form) and make it better. Honestly, SPECTRE is the Bond movie I've been waiting for for decades, and now that it's out, it missed basically every important theme that movies about the SPECTRE organization are known for. Here’s another way Spectre should have gone: INTRODUCTION We open with a recap sequence of James Bond trying to break Vesper out of the submerged elevator in Venice. She stares at him as she gulps water. James Bond wakes up submerged in water. He is disoriented for a split second, then sits up and splashes all over. Looking around…he is in his bathtub at home in London. He had fallen asleep in the tub. Cut to James wearing a bathrobe and shaving. He hasn’t dreamt about Vesper in a long time, but something is nagging at him. Voices play in his head: Vesper: “Does everyone have a tell?” Bond: “Yes, everyone…except you.” M (Judie Dench): “She was blackmailed by the organization behind Le Chiffre. Sometimes we’re so focused on our enemies, we forget to watch our friends…” M (Judie Dench): “Well I suppose it’s…too late to make a run for it…” Bond: “I’m game if you are.” M (Judie Dench): “Well I did get one thing right….” Bell at his door. He wipes his face. Answering the door, it’s a delivery man with certified mail. Bond signs for it and takes it. It’s a package addressed to him directly from the former M who had died in his arms a few weeks earlier. Opening the package, it’s a thumbdrive. On the thumb drive, Bond finds a video message. It’s from M herself. M (Judie Dench): “Bond, if you’re watching this, Silver has gotten the best of me. I don’t have much time so I’ll cut to the chase. There is no one else I trust with this information. There is something deeply wrong in the world. So many unanswered questions. How did Silver hack into our systems so easily? Who was bankrolling Le Chiffre? Unexplained bribery of otherwise trustworthy agents. Assassinations with no trace. Bond, you have, until now, been a precise instrument of the British government, focused on one person. Now, I need you to look at the bigger picture with me. There is a common thread. Someone named the Pale King. Find this man, and go deeper. I say again. Trust no one. Not even the new M. Good day, Bond. Good luck.” Bond opens the first file. As he looks, he hears the rotary of a helicopter in the background. Within a few seconds, a spotlight shines at him through his window. Almost instantly, Bond throws himself to the floor as the windows erupt in machine-gun fire. Queue action sequence where Bond barely gets out alive. Somehow, he survives the Helicopter gatling gun, but a monster of a henchman swings into the apartment to verify his death. Bond tries to fight him in nothing but his bathrobe, but is quickly outclassed. Somehow, he manages to barricade himself in his bathroom, but not before seeing a symbol on the ring of the hand of his attacker. He’s trying to put together a plan, when the pounding on his bathroom door stops. The man has gotten back onto the Helicopter and is flying away. Suddenly, police and special agents are swarming his Condo. He watches as the helicopter disappears into the sunrise. Quickly, he finds a piece of paper and pencil, and draws the symbol he saw. It is an octopus. The octopus melts into the intro. ROLL INTRO SONG Bond is sitting in M’s office. M tells him that the Helicopter somehow disappeared shortly after the encounter at his apartment. He is flabbergasted. M is frustrated that the previous M left him very little information to go on regarding Bond’s previous missions. Why would someone go directly after him? Bond answers coyly. He will not reveal the previous M’s video request. M responds to Bond’s vagueness with an ultimatum: “007, you and I are going to have to trust one another if we are to continue this relationship. I have seen what you can do, but I still don’t know what kind of man you are.” M then segues into revealing the latest co-effort between the British Government and its allies: a joint intelligence network between over a hundred countries all over the world. Bond is loudly (and uncharacteristically) skeptical. M defends the merits of the program to Bond, talking about the modernization of the times. Bond takes it personally. He liked the previous M better. M interprets Bond’s brashness as shock from the helicopter attack. The conversation results in M suspending Bond until he recovers from the attack. Bond has no intention of any such thing. Bond doesn’t trust M. M clearly doesn’t trust Bond. (It’s clear now that the movie is based on trust. Who can trust whom? How do you know if someone is lying? BOOM. Clear setup for battling an organization that is based on inserting influential people into high positions of power.) Bond leaves M’s office and asks Money Penny about the new intelligence system. Money Penny directs Bond to visit Q. At Q’s, Bond convinces Q to take a look at the new system. Q is there with his new assistant who is an expert on the system. The expert talks about all the latest AI tech behind it, and how it has access to nodes all over the world. Q knows about it and has access to it, but hasn’t taken a close look yet. As they investigate together, Q is surprised and dismayed by how detailed and unsecured the system is. The system is inappropriate for proper intelligence. Q’s assistant defends the systems integrity and cites his own credentials to back it up. Q hums and haws over it while Bond scans the octopus symbol into the search. No results appear. Then he runs a search on “the Pale King”. The term turns up only one name: “L’Americain, Tunisia.” Q gives Bond a watch, and denies him the car due to his recent suspension. Q reminds Bond that if he leaves, he will have no backup, no support from MI-6. Bond leaves. Cut to Tunisia. Bond finds L’Americain—it is a hotel. He tries to rent a room, but the concierge will not rent him one. They keep saying the hotel is full, but he can clearly see that there are many available keys in the room boxes behind him. Before long, Bond figures out that the concierge is not actually the real concierge. He quickly fights and knocks the guy out. The real concierge is dead on the floor behind the counter at the spy’s feet. In looking at the room key boxes, there is only one key missing. The room on the top floor. Reaching the top floor, he steps out of the elevator and nearly runs into the maid, pushing a cart into the elevator. As the doors close again, he sees one room at the end of the hall with the door ajar. Bond creeps up on the door and looks inside. The room is ransacked. He walks inside carefully with his gun drawn. There appears to be no-one there. Looking around, he notices a mouse running along a wall. The mouse disappears into a hole. He breaks open the wall to reveal a hidden room. Inside the room is a bunch of evidence of surveillance of him and Vesper during the events of Casino Royale. He finds a bunch of pictures of a young girl. One of the pictures has someone he recognizes in it. It is Mr. White, standing with the young girl, holding fish. The label on the picture says “At the cabin, 1989. Lake Weiss, AUS”. The maid shows up behind Bond. She tries to kill him but misses. He grabs her and asks her who she works for. She bites a cyanide pill and dies. He hears cars and shouting outside. More enemy agents. How are they finding him so fast? Where are they all coming from? The man-monster is there, looking up at him. Queue a second fight scene with the big man. Bond is again outclassed, but slightly less this time. At least he’s not in a bathrobe. Bond is clear that he has no backup. The hotel gets set on fire and explodes (no more evidence of what Bond found for the bad guys). He runs from the big man and hijacks a motorcycle. Bond calls Money Penny and asks for the location of a safe house. She gives him one, but not before berating him for breaking his orders (again.) He barely escapes notice and holes up in the safe house for a few days. Upon leaving the safe house, he begins to suspect that he can’t go anywhere without his movements being tracked. Somehow, people are following him. He hops aboard a boat headed for Europe. Cut to Lake Weiss in Austria. Bond finds a cabin with Mr. White in it. Mr. White tells him he’s dying due to exposure, and reveals the true nature of the Octopus symbol to Bond. It is SPECTRE, a powerful organization. Tells him he’s a “kite flying in a hurricane.” Bond gets Mr. White to reveal a way to get into the organization–through his ex-wife, who is an accountant for the organization. Bond finds Mr. White’s Ex-Wife in Geneva, who is a smart accountant. Madeleine (Monica Bellucci) indeed does work for SPECTRE, but is a mid-level employee. She tells him it’s a charity organization. She pulls him into the shower unexpectedly and turns it on. Bond shows her video of her father and tries to convinces her that SPECTRE is not a charity organization, but a terrorist one. Before he’s able to go further, she hushes him and pulls him into the shower. She turns it on. As they are getting wet, she reveals that she already knows this, and is well versed in the spy world. But, she is trying to figure out how to bring down the organization from the inside. Bond and her are clearly aligned in motivation (we think…but she might not! Remember we’re dealing with a theme of Distrust here!) She’s wearing a white see-through blouse (soaked from the water). Bond makes a remark about it before getting slapped. She smiles, however, and gives him a sexist zinger back. Madeleine gives him a location of where the big meetings of SPECTRE are held, but says that he’ll have to figure out his own way in. Queue really awesome heist/break-in sequence, showing the elaborate way that SPECTRE members have to go through to get into the secret meeting hall. Everyone has to wear a mask. No real identities are given. Bond finally gets into the SPECTRE meeting where he overhears a discussion on an intelligence network that they are exploiting. He knows it is the one that M referred to. Now he thinks that M is working with SPECTRE. At the head of the table is a man who is clearly in charge. He is shrouded in complete darkness and nobody can make the person out. After a while, the person interrupts the meeting to have a guy executed, no sweat, because that’s the kind of power he wields. The guy in charge also passes along a message that there is a spy in their midst. Everyone looks at Bond. This scene is an homage to the “Eyes Wide Shut” scene with Tom Cruise where he gets outed at the sex club. IMPORTANT: We never hear the voice of the guy in charge in this scene. He is an enigma. A ghost. An undetermined power. Bond is no match for him. Bond makes his escape from the meeting room by throwing his watch bomb down. Another action sequence with Bond fighting a bunch of dudes, getting back to Madeleine’s place, and getting her out of Geneva. She is nervous that they will track her down and kill her. Bond swears to her that it will never happen on his watch. He’s made this promise once before, but this time he means it. They find another safe house and have sex. Hot, steamy, sex. With lots of sweat and great lighting. She’s an older woman. She knows what she wants and how to get it from him. Back in London, Bond takes Madeleine with him to headquarters and both are immediately arrested. She’s taken away, and he is detained in a cell. M visits him and gives him a lecture on trust again, threatening to not only take away his license to kill, but to lock him up where nobody would ever find him again. Bond convinces M to trust him one more time, and examine the “Intelligence Network” more closely. They both go to Q’s office. M, Q, and Bond finally discover the extent to which SPECTRE’s reach really is. They have access to the entire intelligence mainframe of all the major NATO countries. Q wonders where his assistant is. The assistant is gone. Q proceeds to work on shutting down the system. He finds that he needs a security key that changes every 30 seconds. There must be an organization member with access? Bond remembers that Madeleine is in the building. They all rush to find Madeleine, but find that she’s just been taken out of the building. M is furious. Bond takes the Aston Martin from Q’s garage and rushes down the streets of London. He catches up to the limousine carrying Madeleine to Heathrow’s private airplane section. There is a helicopter waiting to take off with her. Bond rushes in, switches on his car sidewinders and blows the shit out of the helicopter. Madeleine, Q’s assistant, and the Man Monster are all there. Queue the Bond action music. Man monster has a gatling gun and sprays the Aston Martin. Bond doesn’t give a fuck any more and drives the AM into him, crushing him against the wall of the hangar. (queue applause) Q’s assistant uses Madeleine as a human shield, claiming that there is no way to stop what is happening. SPECTER is everywhere. The world is theirs. As he talks, he points the gun at Bond to kill him. Madeleine bumps his arm and ducks. Bond shoots him in the head. Bond rushes over and grabs Madeleine. He asks her if she has the verification codes he needs. She hands him a digital readout from Q’s assistant’s coat. Bond makes a call to Q and gives him the current code. Q puts it in and starts to work. Soon, Q starts talking Q: “Deployment halted. I’m deleting the network piggyback algorithms. Good work, Bond. This will take a few days, but I believe we have it.” Bond stands there with his hand on his phone. He turns to look at Madeleine. As he turns, he says Bond: “Looks like the organization is….being disorganized.” She is gone. There’s no trace of her. Bond looks around, confused. Cut to Madeleine. She is on her phone. Madeleine: “Did you get what you needed before it went down?” …. Madeleine: “Well, it will have to do, won’t it?” …. Madeleine: “Yes, tell him…I will take care of Bond.” Pan the camera around her until it shows the back of her neck. Her hair has always been worn down until now. On the back of her neck is a tattoo…of the SPECTRE OCTOPUS. DUN DUN DUN. Well this was fun. Totally not official and probably full of plot holes, but I think it’s way better than the totally bland version on screen right now. Some key notes that I think should have been visited: - The guy in charge of SPECTRE should not have been revealed. - Trust issues are super important in this movie. - Less exposition and show how pervasive SPECTRE actually is. - James Bond does NOT defeat SPECTRE in one movie. They are an organization. We need at LEAST 2 movies to find out who the head of it is. My 2 cents. :/
“Three men were found dead on the Orient Express train at Trieste. One of them was Grant. What have you got to say about that, Number Five?”
“It was Klebb's choice. Her people failed.”
“It was your plan they followed implicitly.”
“Impossible. It was perfect.”
“Except for one thing: they were dealing with Bond.”
Featuring a loose cannon MI6 operative with the skills, gadgets, and good looks to charm, deceive, and fight his way past megalomaniacal supervillains hell-bent on world domination, Ian Fleming’s James Bond character has transformed over the years from an espionage flight of fancy into a legend of storytelling and an institution of cinema, with 24 films to date produced by Eon Productions, beginning with the legendary Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. James Bond isn’t just a character, he’s his own archetype- the suave, seductive but deadly secret agent, every bit as capable of effortlessly navigating the world’s high-class elite as he is single-handedly storming a military compound. His gadgets, his weapons, his suits, his cars, his opening themes, his leading actors, his main antagonists, his women, everything the James Bond franchise has created over fifty years has transformed the series and main character into one of the most beloved fictional characters of the United Kingdom and a juggernaut of worldwide entertainment. For this RT, we’ll be focusing on the films only, and separating them by actor to allow for varied prompts or an overall composite approach. This RT will be updated when and if new Bond films become legally available for purchase. Note: This RT does not include feats for the 1967 version of Casino Royale starring David Niven or the 1983 remake of Thunderball titled Never Say Never Again starring Sean Connery, as both films are non-canon.
“My dear girl, there are some things that just aren’t done, such as drinking Dom Perignon ‘53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs.”
(Knowledge)Over the course of a conversation with Goldfinger, Bond shows he knows what Delta-9 nerve gas does (despite Goldfinger lying to others), shows a grasp of the statistics and logistics of a robbery, uses a hint from Goldfinger to piece together his plan, knows the name and occupation of a man he noticed Goldfinger working with once, knows the type of bomb Goldfinger plans to use, and can closely estimate the damage it will cause
3 out of 5 stars There we were again, a couple of years since the eventful 50th anniversary of 007 have passed and it was time for another run in the franchise. To get myself and (mostly) my wife in the mood for this week's movie adventure, we rewatched Skyfall - which in hindsight may have been a mistake. In sum, I thought this 007 installment was merely ok and I think we can take a few lessons from this movie. Lesson # 1 : Daniel Craig is not a funny Bond In 2006 after the departure of Pierce Brosnan it was decided to take the franchise into a new direction and make Bond more contemporary and give him a more serious touch. The (at that point) rather unknown Daniel Craig was given the task to redefine the character and move him away from the Pierce Brosnan's and Roger Moore's; at first I was skeptical, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions the franchise could have made. They made Bond a more realistic, more vulnerable and more serious character. And Daniel Craig perfectly fit that role, he was grim yet charming and rough around the edges - over the past few Bond movies, I have gotten very accustomed to this new type of Bond. And for some inexplicable reason somebody must have felt the need to give Craig a more goofy Bond who cracks wiseass comments, sleeps with the women before actually asking for their names and is being sent into retirement while still kicking major ass (well that was actually kind of cool). During the movie, I had way too many moments when I made that "pfff"-noise because it was more ridiculous than it was funny. Lesson # 2: Don't use the same director twice in a row I do still remember seeing Skyfall in the theater a couple of years back in the good ol' Somerville theater - it was a movie which literally did everything right (except getting Sean Connery out of his retirement for a cameo role). Sam Mendes - up until that point not known as an action expert - hit all the right tones. It had great action, a meaningful and amazing villain with Javier Bardem and the right amount of nostalgia towards the Bond classics (SPOILER FOR SKYFALL: think of the purely professional relationship with Moneypenny, his Aston Martin and the appropriate score as well as getting back to the roots with M) - and it became even more evident to me when rewatching it the other day. Sam Mendes basically had an impossible mission and he accepted it - he needed to make a better than perfect James Bond movie to follow up his unbelievable success and unfortunately I have to report that he failed. Spectre has all the ingredients of a good action movie; it is loud, it is big, it is beautiful and it has a good amount of humor (sometimes borderline ridiculous). But to stay with the cooking metaphor - lots of good spices do not automatically make a good sauce. Lesson # 3: Script, Script, Script daniel-craig-in-spectre-1940x1293In a Bond movie, the main investments will typically go into great cinematography, loud action, perfect style and good suits. But even a Bond movie needs a script at least at baseline quality. And during the movie, I mostly felt that the script was just thrown together to make the different big action scenes have a connection. The dialogue was borderline ridiculous at times (something you would expect in a Naked Gun movie) and especially in the context of the recent Bond movies, this just felt out of place. From a storytelling perspective, this movie really reminded me of the 80s and 90s Bond movies where 007 always followed the exact same formula
Massive opening with crazy shootout and/or chase
Bond getting his ass handed to him by his superior and/or given a really dangerous mission
On the beginning of his mission he meets Bond girl No.1 and has sex with her right away
Bond getting in trouble and/or being captured
Meanwhile he meets Bond girl No.2 - who he really wants to be serious with (and well ...) ...
There is nothing wrong per se with this particular formula, it has worked for merely 50 years now. And this is probably coming back to Lesson #1 - but in some of the 007 movies, he at least had to do something and/or be charming to get Bond girl No.1 into the sack. His first conquest in this movie was just so darn ridiculous that all I could do was to "pfff" as loud as humanly possible in the theater - you will probably know what I mean once you see it. Having said all that, it is possible that the team wanted to give hommage to the very Bond movies in the 80s which made the franchise the success it still is - meaning making it somewhat intentionally ridiculous. Lesson # 4: Christoph Waltz's waste of time To start this lesson off - Christoph Waltz is awesome. I love him, Hollywood loves him and because he is so darn successful, I will claim him to be kind of German (despite him actually being Austrian, but potato - patata). After Tarantino has basically made him his new Samuel L. Jackson, the academy has praised him with two golden boys - and he is doing what every smart actor would do: capitalize. When I learned that he will be the villain in the new Bond movie, I was super excited; he will be evil, he will be psychotic and he will give 007 a run for his money - if he would actually show up. Waltz's performance is actually pretty good in the few minutes of airtime he gets in Spectre - and that Ladies and Gentlemen is just a bummer. Having said that, his appearance has a great twist (which I now can proudly claim to have known right from the get-go). So as THE Bond villain of all villains, I felt that his presence was completely underutilized. Instead, the biggest villain airtime was given to us by a hybrid version Jaws (without iron teeth) and the Mountain from Game of Thrones. Now all this reads as if I absolutely hated the movie, but that is not necessarily the case. Spectre was an entertaining, loud and funny action spectacle which kept me mostly entertained - however when a Bond movie of that massive scale hits the theaters, I don't want to see something which kind of entertains me and makes me chuckle - I want to be wow'ed the same as I was with Casino Royale and Skyfall. And the movie did not even come close to these two - so maybe it is good that with Bond 25 we are pumping some fresh blood into the franchise (PS: my vote goes to Idris Elba). find more of my reviews on http://erwinreviews.com
the ultimate KNOWLEDGE BASE for everything ASTON MARTIN. DB5 for 007 James Bond (Casino Royale) Home > DB4 to AM Vantage > DB5 for 007 James Bond (Casino Royale) DB5 for 007 James Bond (Casino Royale) (1963 - 2006) By now, you will have no doubt seen the 19th Bond Film, Casino Royale, staring Daniel Craig. Basically, the film chronicles the very beginning of the 007 James Bond story and Aston Martin have retained one of the hero cars and also the second DBS that achieved the world record for barrel rolls. They were both shown at the Kensington Palace Centenary Celebration during July 2013. The colour of the Bond cars was called ‘Casino Royale’ and became a standard DBS colour once production began later in 2007. as of 2017, the world record breaking car is on display as The car: Aston Martin DBS. Why it’s special: Casino Royale relaunched the 007 franchise, going back to the beginning of Bond’s licence to kill career. Best bit: Not Daniel Craig frolicking in Crew of the new James Bond movie Casino Royale smashed up Â£500,000 worth of 007 cars in one afternoon - reports The Sun. Three identical Aston Martin DBSs were flipped on their roofs during shots for a high-speed Alpine chase. And within hours of the start of filming, the special edition V12 Astons created for the movie were wrecks. The British car maker created the DBS for new 007 Daniel Casino Royale. Bond's Aston Martin DBS featured in one of the most memorable moments of the film as a high speed accident leads the car to flip and roll seven times, a new world record. The sequence was filmed on the Millbrook Proving ground with a modified DB9 due to filming taking place before the DBS was finished. James Bond & Aston Martin - DBS Quantum of Solace. Following on from the high Fun Facts: Aston Martin debuted the DBS as part of Daniel Craig’s first appearance as Bond in Casino Royale, which also featured the DB5. That film marked the first time two different Aston Casino Royale - DBS for 007. Aston Martin DBS On the 16th of January 2006, Aston Martin released very limited details of a new top of the range sportscar. Very little was said about the new DBS at that time except that it will be driven by James Bond 007 in the forthcoming film Casino Royale scheduled for release in the November of the same year. The new James Bond actor, Daniel Craig, had The choice of hero car for Casino Royale was made in late 2005 when Aston boss Dr Ulrich Bez invited Bond producer Barbara Broccoli up to Gaydon to look at a new DB9-based model under development in the design studio. Broccoli loved the car and immediately cast it as the perfect transport for Daniel Craig’s leaner, meaner, slightly blonder Bond. Looking back on Casino Royale, in many ways the Aston Martin DBS - which Bond took spectacularly poor care of - might have been the best supporting character in the film (with apologies to Mads Aston Martin DBS On the 16th of January 2006, Aston Martin released very limited details of a new top of the range sportscar. Very little was said about the new DBS at that time except that it will be driven by James Bond 007 in the forthcoming film Casino Royale scheduled for release in the Nove..