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Topic: The brutality of QOS

Random thought but I wonder if the overt brutality exhibited so frequently in QOS is a conscious or subliminal even turnoff for some folks.  There's zero twinkle to the violence depicted and no real romance subplot to distract from it - the main female character's backstory itself is the grimmest in the series since Honey Ryder's, the resolution to it being a quite literal nightmare for Camille (those far-away dream-screams as the flames eat through room are chilling).  And has there been a colder kill for Bond in the series than Slate's death, Bond holding him in a wrist-lock until he bleeds out?  This is an unpleasant film to watch!  Then again, Fleming is one of the more unpleasant-to-read authors on my shelf, flinching from sadism just didn't seem to be in his makeup.  In CR, Bond has Vesper and gets to comfort her (and, vicariously, the audience) through all the violence; in QOS Forster leaves us and Bond on our own to deal with death after messy death.  And not just the bad guys die horribly, Fields and Mathis meet very cruel ends and in both cases Bond can do nothing in the immediate circumstances but keep moving forward towards what cannot possibly be a satisfying conclusion (it is in a way but a very internal one, no visible fireworks at all).

I guess it's why I'm such a fan of it: the barebones and forward-moving story, the dour tone and brutality, the simple and yes poetic ending all scream Fleming to me.  It's also one of the most Bond-centric films in the series, very little happens on-screen that Bond isn't somehow in on (one scene with M and the Foreign Minister, an early scene and a late scene depicting the arc between Greene and Medrano but that's about it for anything of importance).  It also drags Bond through a backwater pretty well, yeah there's a fancy dress ball and glimpses of the highlife in Italy and Vienna, but the fiery second half in the desert and slums of Bolivia hark back to the best of Fleming's adventures wherein he tests Bond's mettle against, say, an island (DN) or a less than posh setting (YOLT, and even the extended trek/escape down the mountain from Piz Gloria in OHMSS).

I've read complaints that QOS doesn't have the usual EON light touch about it, but it what it has instead is a much truer - and brutal - Bond and a world for Bond to move through that matches what Fleming wrote in his novels and short stories perhaps better than any other film in the canon.  Not what fans of the Bond films expect to get from EON, and doubt we see its like again.  Anyway, has anybody else observed or felt trampled on by all that ugly death in QOS?

(oops, just realized I meant to put this in the QOS forum, my bad ajb007/insane if there's a nice mod around who could relocate it, that'd be very cool ajb007/cool )

(thanks! ajb007/cheers )

Last edited by blueman (21st Jan 2011 21:07)

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Re: The brutality of QOS

I prefer the grittier Bond, my beef with Quantum (though im not a hater) is the pace of the film and maybe slightly better story.

Also he doesnt sleep wth the leading Bond lady ajb007/smile   Is this a first in Bond history?

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Re: The brutality of QOS

I do feel the Bond Movies used to fill a Pigeon Hole of "Family Violence" .An action Movie that was "Safe" to take any member of the Family to. But CR had some violent Moments,(the killing on the stairs ) Which I thought was pretty strong for a 12A Cert. And QOS more so.
  But Then Bond now is always looking over his shoulder at "What's Jason Bourne Doing ?" so as Bournes pretty violent so Bond has to Follow. I honestly don't know if I like the Rougher Bond, I do know I found the Rape scene in QOS totally distasteful.
  I often wondered if it takes Two Kills to be a 00, then up to that point as a Agent are you only allowed to knock people out,and in traing as a lower Agent is Giving a Dirty Look your only defence.

1, OHMSS.  2,CR.   3, LTK.  4, Goldfinger.  5, Skyfall.

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Re: The brutality of QOS

Thunderpussy wrote:

I do feel the Bond Movies used to fill a Pigeon Hole of "Family Violence" .An action Movie that was "Safe" to take any member of the Family to. But CR had some violent Moments,(the killing on the stairs ) Which I thought was pretty strong for a 12A Cert. And QOS more so.
  But Then Bond now is always looking over his shoulder at "What's Jason Bourne Doing ?" so as Bournes pretty violent so Bond has to Follow. I honestly don't know if I like the Rougher Bond, I do know I found the Rape scene in QOS totally distasteful.
  I often wondered if it takes Two Kills to be a 00, then up to that point as a Agent are you only allowed to knock people out,and in traing as a lower Agent is Giving a Dirty Look your only defence.

Or perhaps a serious purseing of the lips to really scare the bad guys.

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Re: The brutality of QOS

Bond is a killer. Simple as that.

It simply reflects the way that society views these things that we are now shown violence for what it really is. Brutal, in your face and usually quite unpleasant.

In the same way, you could compare 'Band of Brothers' to 'The Longest Day'. Both depict some of the same occurences. But in a totally different way that reflects the way society looks at these things.

I like the new Bond, the same as I like Band of Brothers.

But I love classics like The Longest Day and Goldfinger as well, but in a different way, I suppose...

"Christ, I miss the Cold War."

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Re: The brutality of QOS

I found the scene where he lets the badguy bleed out in QoS a bit much for a Bond movie. It wasn't the fact they guy bled to death - it was the look of indifference/boredom/embarrassment on Bond's face, the fact that he was holding him, and the fact that he had either scissors or a knife stuck in the guy's leg to hold him still - it was a very violent scene. I've been unfortuanate enough to witness a soldier bleed to death, and the look of shock/bewilderment on the actor's face haunts me in its realism. The point is, I don't think these precise details are needed. If you watch an older Bond film, I don't find myself missing the bloodthirsty realism. As long as the Bond actor in question can hold a weapon correctly and fight like he's believable that's enough for me.

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Re: The brutality of QOS

There's something to your thesis, blue.  I think part of Forster's commitment to leaner, meaner Bond film---running time, shorter dramatic scenes, the 'bullet fired from a gun' narrative speed---included bringing his audience closer to Bond's state of mind.  The logical extension of this is bringing us closer to the violence; understandably controversial in a franchise whose primary currency has always been escapism  ajb007/bond  One of the many reasons I think QoS didn't quite 'hit the spot' for some.

As for the scene in question---the brief but brutal knife fight in the Port-au-Prince hotel room, which for me is a highlight of the film---this sequence crystalises the above idea.  Violent it was, and tsa's note on the shock and bewilderment of a man bleeding to death rings unpleasantly true.  It does step into the realm of the gratuitous.  But what I saw on Craig's face wasn't indifference, or boredom---it was, primarily, concern about getting it over with---and a hint of pity behind an outward mask of indifference, which speaks to the layers of Bond's evolving character.  Some might well say I'm all wet on this, and fair enough, but that's what I saw.  And the scene does also go to the heart of Bond's licence to kill.  All the same, I can see the point of those who'd rather get back to escapism   ajb007/martini

But all this deals with the nature of where Bond was after Vesper's death...and now that he's run this crucible, I think a bit of tie-straightening, a cocked eyebrow and some witty repartee has been earned---and will be like a fantastic cinematic feast when we get it.

Hope you ARE reading this, Eon   ajb007/shifty

"Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Ashes-Deb … amp;sr=8-1
"I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
"Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM

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Re: The brutality of QOS

I like how Bond adjusted his dinner jacket after that member of Special Branch lost his grip on him before falling off the roof!  There are certain "seeds' of the suave agent that I'm sure we'll be seeing more of! ajb007/cool

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Re: The brutality of QOS

blueman wrote:

Anyway, has anybody else observed or felt trampled on by all that ugly death in QOS?

I am not a fan of violent movies - in fact, I usually stay away from them. However, in QoS I don't see violence for violence sake - I see a character evolving - and after his 'rare' emotional vulnerability which he showed in CR - seeing him 'getting on' with the job was shown, in my eyes, in such a way as to show his distance from his emotions.... a great scene from both Bond and Slate.

I can understand the question raised though.... we have gone from 3pm Christmas day viewing, to 'once the kids have gone to bed' slot - BUT I like this evolution of Bond. I like the grown up version - the gritty, real, feel his pain/ feel the pain of his adversaries - the darker shade of Bond....but no doubt, it will be brought back to the more 'entertaining' genre... I'm just enjoying the 'rebel era' myself.

"Bond, I need you back....."
....."I never left"

“You get used to the rejection and you don't take it personally” ~ Daniel Craig
Coffee keeps me busy until it's acceptable to drink wine!

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Re: The brutality of QOS

I don't mind Bond being grown up, but for me it makes it harder to dismiss incongruties because the films are less charming. I am less forgiving about plot holes and there are a few in CR and QoS.

SecretAgent's sobering post about watching a soldier die explains why those old war films would gloss over that aspect; with so many having lived through it they don't want/need to be traumatised and reminded of it. Now it's a generation or two away from conscription, it's like, hey! Let's see the blood and guts hang out in Saving Private Ryan. It can be seen as depicting it how it really was, or a bit of a snuff movie for greenhorns.

Bond: Mr. Mathis, there's something that's been worrying me...
Mathis: Yes?
Bond: Well, you're a French police inspector, yet you speak with an Italian accent.
Mathis: Mamma mia, it worries me, too.

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Re: The brutality of QOS

"Bit of a Snuff Movie,For Greenhornes" ajb007/martini Brilliant Discription NP

1, OHMSS.  2,CR.   3, LTK.  4, Goldfinger.  5, Skyfall.

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Re: The brutality of QOS

Loeffelholz wrote:

There's something to your thesis, blue.  I think part of Forster's commitment to leaner, meaner Bond film---running time, shorter dramatic scenes, the 'bullet fired from a gun' narrative speed---included bringing his audience closer to Bond's state of mind.  The logical extension of this is bringing us closer to the violence; understandably controversial in a franchise whose primary currency has always been escapism  ajb007/bond  One of the many reasons I think QoS didn't quite 'hit the spot' for some.

As for the scene in question---the brief but brutal knife fight in the Port-au-Prince hotel room, which for me is a highlight of the film---this sequence crystalises the above idea.  Violent it was, and tsa's note on the shock and bewilderment of a man bleeding to death rings unpleasantly true.  It does step into the realm of the gratuitous.  But what I saw on Craig's face wasn't indifference, or boredom---it was, primarily, concern about getting it over with---and a hint of pity behind an outward mask of indifference, which speaks to the layers of Bond's evolving character.  Some might well say I'm all wet on this, and fair enough, but that's what I saw.  And the scene does also go to the heart of Bond's licence to kill.  All the same, I can see the point of those who'd rather get back to escapism   ajb007/martini

But all this deals with the nature of where Bond was after Vesper's death...and now that he's run this crucible, I think a bit of tie-straightening, a cocked eyebrow and some witty repartee has been earned---and will be like a fantastic cinematic feast when we get it.

Hope you ARE reading this, Eon   ajb007/shifty

Loeff, as usual, gives an excellent analysis of that scene from Quantum of Solace.  Craig's Bond is the closest we've had to the Fleming incarnation in years, and that scene speaks to it well.

I don't find the violence being the problem so much as Quantum's lack of counterbalancing scenes to get me truly involved with the characters.  I found the non-007 "emotional" scenes, especially with Camille, to be quite shallow, and I just didn't care enough about what was going on with the other characters, even with Mathis this time, to be invested in truly experiencing what they were supposed to be going through.  In that sense, the violence was flat except when it involved Bond.  Forster would have been wiser to invest in a stronger story than a slap-dash, breakneck-speed faster one.

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Re: The brutality of QOS

I have to say that like Loeff, I did not read indifference into Bond's face in that scene. Much more the realisation that not too long ago, if circumstances had been different, that could have been Bond himself bleeding to death.

"Christ, I miss the Cold War."

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Re: The brutality of QOS

Red Indian wrote:

I like how Bond adjusted his dinner jacket after that member of Special Branch lost his grip on him before falling off the roof!  There are certain "seeds' of the suave agent that I'm sure we'll be seeing more of! ajb007/cool

That's the thing, suave Bond was very much in evidence in QOS but the balance was tipped to an extreme unseen since DN.  Agree 23 will likely restore the status quo, to the happy huzzahs of Bond fans everywhere.  I'll miss "like a bullet shot from a gun" Bond, but oh well, very happy to have QOS (and its rampant, Fleming-like brutality) in the series.

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Re: The brutality of QOS

I must say that on repeated viewings of the "bleed out scene" and even on the first viewing I did not interpret this emotion as indifference in Craig's face.  What I was seeing was Fleming's Bond - a trained 00 who has killed and is trained to kill as efficiently as possible - being professional and unemotional as someone in his work would have to be.  The man tried to murder him in cold blood and Bond reacted in self defense with whatever was available as he is trained to do.  He was also trying to get the fight over with as quickly as possible to try to limit the attention from anyone who may have heard it (though he probably assumed that in the neighborhood he was in such sounds were probably not uncommon).  He looked to me as if he was listening and looking to see if there was anyone who might have witnessed the event (since they were outside on a balcony).  Satisfied that no one had, he quickly moved inside to clean up a quick as he could and get out.  The reason this whole scene seems real is because this is really how a pro would do it - in these situations, the trick to survive and escape is to get it over as fast as possible and to get out as quick as possible while try to maintain anonymity.  As far as the blood - I personally always hated seeing people getting shot or stabbed in films causing them to die instantly.  I knew it was always done because of the censors, but I think that is one of the causes of the modern lack of feelings or indifference towards suffering and killing in society.  Films and TV have made it look "adventurous" - even in a ten minute barfight everyone came out with not even a bruised knuckle!  They even did in in the "brutal" bath fight scene in CR.  It started out looking real, but then they show Craig drowning a man in matter of seconds.  In reality, it would have taken much longer and been even more brutal to see.  I know, I know.  They can't go that far in a Bond film.  Then they should have just showed Craig breaking the killers neck.  I personally think all film violence should be realistic and hard to watch.  It's time to stop showing "clean" fantasy killings. I don't want Bond to go back to fluff of the old days - we're grown up and have moved past it.  Leave the winking and one liners to the likes of Austin Powers.

Last edited by CmdrAtticus (31st Jan 2011 20:37)

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Re: The brutality of QOS

If it is one thing that I like on the new 007-movies it will be the brutality and the coolness of it's main character. After I saw QoS I wanted to look like him. So I've searched for good sunglasses ajb007/cool and a frozen facial expression.

Last edited by Vladimir (24th Mar 2011 17:37)

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Re: The brutality of QOS

Gassy Man wrote:
Loeffelholz wrote:

There's something to your thesis, blue.  I think part of Forster's commitment to leaner, meaner Bond film---running time, shorter dramatic scenes, the 'bullet fired from a gun' narrative speed---included bringing his audience closer to Bond's state of mind.  The logical extension of this is bringing us closer to the violence; understandably controversial in a franchise whose primary currency has always been escapism  ajb007/bond  One of the many reasons I think QoS didn't quite 'hit the spot' for some.

As for the scene in question---the brief but brutal knife fight in the Port-au-Prince hotel room, which for me is a highlight of the film---this sequence crystalises the above idea.  Violent it was, and tsa's note on the shock and bewilderment of a man bleeding to death rings unpleasantly true.  It does step into the realm of the gratuitous.  But what I saw on Craig's face wasn't indifference, or boredom---it was, primarily, concern about getting it over with---and a hint of pity behind an outward mask of indifference, which speaks to the layers of Bond's evolving character.  Some might well say I'm all wet on this, and fair enough, but that's what I saw.  And the scene does also go to the heart of Bond's licence to kill.  All the same, I can see the point of those who'd rather get back to escapism   ajb007/martini

But all this deals with the nature of where Bond was after Vesper's death...and now that he's run this crucible, I think a bit of tie-straightening, a cocked eyebrow and some witty repartee has been earned---and will be like a fantastic cinematic feast when we get it.

Hope you ARE reading this, Eon   ajb007/shifty

Loeff, as usual, gives an excellent analysis of that scene from Quantum of Solace.  Craig's Bond is the closest we've had to the Fleming incarnation in years, and that scene speaks to it well.

I don't find the violence being the problem so much as Quantum's lack of counterbalancing scenes to get me truly involved with the characters.  I found the non-007 "emotional" scenes, especially with Camille, to be quite shallow, and I just didn't care enough about what was going on with the other characters, even with Mathis this time, to be invested in truly experiencing what they were supposed to be going through.  In that sense, the violence was flat except when it involved Bond.  Forster would have been wiser to invest in a stronger story than a slap-dash, breakneck-speed faster one.

I agree wholeheartedly. It is not and should not be a crude choice betwen tough realism on one hand, or escapism/lighter tone on the other. Consequently it is possible to regard QOS as irredeemably flawed without nostalgia.
I am all for the toughness, and do not lament the passing of the golden agae of cheesey-ness at all, but I would like some counter -weight to stop Bonds life fom being as joyless as Bourne's, after all who would want to be be that guy ? So the odd bt of tie straightening, some uncomplicated sex without anyone dying either by way of cheap self parady ala Fields, and or Torture in CR plus some sense of suave coolness, and perhaps even the odd plausable toy...
What makes Bond Bond for me is this fascinating mixture and the apparent contradictions between 'blunt instrument' and gentleman playboy. Bond hates killing in cold blood, and this is often very nearly his undoing (think Scaramanga in THE Novel LALD whre failure to finish him off almost gets Bond killed)

I'm hoping that 23 will unite these elements and if it does I can perhaps regard QOS as an unwelcome, but neccessarry stage. I have no problem with the scene under discussion if it had taken place within the context of the kind of balance that I am arguing for. However as it stands, it's just an unpleasant scene in a joyless film.

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Re: The brutality of QOS

Some good points zaphod, I always though of Bond as a gentleman who could be brutal when needed, while I think the new version of Bond has him as a Brute with a veneer of being a gentlman.
  In an interview S Worthington said that was his take on playing Bond, a brutal violent man cloaked on the outside as a gentleman, And I believe Craig is playing it the same way.

Last edited by Thunderpussy (24th Mar 2011 15:19)

1, OHMSS.  2,CR.   3, LTK.  4, Goldfinger.  5, Skyfall.

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Re: The brutality of QOS

Thunderpussy wrote:

Some good points zaphod, I always though of Bond as a gentleman who could be brutal when needed, while I think the new version of Bond has him as a Brute with a veneer of being a gentlman.
  In an interview S Worthington said that was his take on playing Bond, a brutal violent man cloaked on the outside as a gentleman, And I believe Craig is playing it the same way.


Understood, but if it is that way around Bond moves from Hero to Anti-Hero. It is important that we at some level like or even approve of him. He sometimes has to do nasty things, but always with regret (" the Kiling of the Arab was messy" etc)
If the Gentlemen is the cloak, and the Brute is the 'real' Bond then he becomes impossible to root for, and essentialy no different to the thugs that he opposes. This fundamentaly changes the dynamic and is not at all Flemingesque, as the 'blunt instrument' has to be more than just that or why should we care about him?  A hero can of course have flaws, and Bond has plenty, but he must never stray towards just being another tough guy. He is and must be more than that. This is the real challenge, to fuse those elements into a coherent whole. Connerry did it on occasion, so did Dalton, and I'm sure that Daniel could do if given the chance. The 'rough Diamond' of CR was acceptable in that context, but now it is time for him to sparkle.

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Re: The brutality of QOS

For my money, Bond sparkles enough the way he is now.  He's sparkled waaaay too much in the past, to revert back to a Bond of decades past would likely lose the audience EON has built up with CR/QOS.  Both 60s and 70s Bond made sense in context, but the further we move away from those decades the less valid such a Bond becomes IMHO.  Brosnan struggled with this in each of his films, it's like with Craig EON has said, "Aw heck with it! Them days are gone, this is what it takes to be Bond today and folks will just have to deal."  The tux isn't gone, but is definitely in a diminished capacity.  Seems to be working for them, 23 won't likely feature a revenge-driven plot like QOS but I still expect something akin to what they've been doing (plus Mendes would seem to be more in line with Forster than Campbell, resume-wise).  Of course if 23 is "The Property Of A Lady" and starts out with Quantum's assassination of M, all bets are off!

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Re: The brutality of QOS

I realise a lot of Members Loved QOS, I've yet to find anyone in the real world who does. But that's just me Being bitchy again. For all the talk of re-inventing Bond I feel he's now just a British Jason Bourne, Eon Panicked and just copied The Bourne Movies even taking on most of their crew to make QOS. If Bourne hadn't come along I doubt Eon would of changed the Character too much.
     I honestly don't have a problem with a tougher Bond, even a more Human Bond showing his feelings. I just want BETTER Villains, Bigger plot lines. and an occasional Henchman who would scare an eastend Gangster.  ajb007/lol
    I'd love a few Big sets with a little of the Ken Adam Flare. Once again I know some loved the sets in QOS, But I thought the stark Black & White colours of the Hotel Boring, Mixed with the Plain Greys of M's london office and Home. The Desert Hotel with it's metal stairs Reminded me of a storage warehouse I used to work in.
   So by all means Make Bond more of a Killing machine, Just throw in a Few Big sets with a Larger than Life Villain ( you always judge a Hero by the Villains he has to defeat ) an Occasional Big or odd henchman ( Elvis just didn't do it for Me ) and go back to doing a few Big Stunts, and I'd be happy. Because after all Eon make the Bond movies for ME and no one else. ajb007/lol

1, OHMSS.  2,CR.   3, LTK.  4, Goldfinger.  5, Skyfall.

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Re: The brutality of QOS

Well they won't have the same Bourne guy second unit director again so that will de-Bourne the next film in one stroke.

Otherwise, let's face it, a lot of how the next film will fare is simply down to the location. If they set it somewhere unappealing (like last section of QoS, large chunks of DAD) then it won't be great. Would GF be as good, or OHMSS, if it were set in different locations (actually I'd prefer OHMSS if it went with book's south of France rather than Portugal).

Bond: Mr. Mathis, there's something that's been worrying me...
Mathis: Yes?
Bond: Well, you're a French police inspector, yet you speak with an Italian accent.
Mathis: Mamma mia, it worries me, too.

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Re: The brutality of QOS

Please god let them get a steady cam for 23 ajb007/lol

1, OHMSS.  2,CR.   3, LTK.  4, Goldfinger.  5, Skyfall.

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Re: The brutality of QOS

Thunderpussy wrote:

I realise a lot of Members Loved QOS, I've yet to find anyone in the real world who does.

I have the same reaction to/query about CR.  FWIW, I talked up QOS to a co-worker of mine who hadn't seen it, he watched it and loved it as a Bond film and as an action film, specifically the visceral action and the lean, to-the-point plot not having any fat on it.  So there's one average-Joe dude. ajb007/tongue

I'm actually expecting a bit of a letdown coming with 23 production design-wise, at least for me, I doubt we get such a striking visual palate as QOS's.  But you know if Q's in it quipping about exploding bullets, then that's a fair trade. ajb007/cool

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Re: The brutality of QOS

Thunderpussy wrote:

I realise a lot of Members Loved QOS, I've yet to find anyone in the real world who does.

I find it pretty much the opposite to you ajb007/insane

It would seem to me that more Bond fans disliked QoS than liked it....but I have yet to hear one bad review, comment from the 'general public'. Everyone at work LOVED it - some more than CR - and several went back to watch it again...which did surprise me ! Even friends all liked it... ajb007/martini

Aevo rarissima nostro simplicitas
The higher the monkey climbs the more you can see its arse

YNWA: Justice For The 96