Skyfall AJB reviews - SPOILERS!

PredatorPredator Posts: 790Chief of Staff
With the Premiere on the 21st and the film opening on 26th October, please post your full Skyfall reviews and thoughts here. Like with previous films, let's keep reviews here all in one place without interruption. Try not to directly discuss each others reviews here - please start a seperate topic or PM the member in question.

Don't forget to rate the film from 000 to 007 (being excellent).

This topic can contain spoilers, so if you don't want to know then I suggest you be very careful or visit the Skyfall....A Personal View topic.

In addition, try not to include possible spoilers in new thread titles from now on.
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Comments

  • PredatorPredator Posts: 790Chief of Staff
    Don't forget, this is the thread for full reviews that may contain spoilers.

    The no-spoiler thread is here: http://www.ajb007.co.uk/topic/39329/skyfalla-personal-view/
  • Moonraker 5Moonraker 5 Ayrshire, ScotlandPosts: 1,821MI6 Agent
    edited October 2012
    Ok, looks like I'm first up. SPOILER FREE.

    I'm not going to be long winded, or go into the highs and the...well, highs, of the film, and disect everything. Why? Because it doesn't bloody matter.

    6/5 - Exceptional.

    Skyfall is where we start.

    Yes it's Bond. Classic Bond. But not as we know it. And yet very much as we do know it.

    Out with the old, in with the new. Or is that out with the new and in with the old?

    This not making any sense? You'll see. :007)
    unitedkingdom.png
  • Moonraker 5Moonraker 5 Ayrshire, ScotlandPosts: 1,821MI6 Agent
    Oh, and biggest laugh of the night (and there were a good few)... From a parochial audience perspective "Welcome to Scotland!" :))
    unitedkingdom.png
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,408Chief of Staff
    Ok, looks like I'm first up. SPOILER FREE.

    There is a spoiler free thread going...with a few reviews in it already...although I think you are right to hold the spoliers back for another day -{
    YNWA 97
  • Max EMax E In the northPosts: 80MI6 Agent
    edited October 2012
    I am sorry to admit it, but I had so high expectations on Skyfall but it did not fully reach them. I do not think it was a bad Bond movie, but it did not turned out so good as I thougt it would. To start with the characters ironic punch lines every fifth minute is even to much for a Bond movie. Sure there must be some ironic lines in a Bond movie, but not all the time and it has to be in the right places in right conversations... Though there were some really good ones, and I specially liked the one you already mentioned: "Welcome to Scotland" :)) . That is a perfect example of a good line, in the proper scene.

    If we look to Skyfall's soundtrack I personally rank Adeles song to be top notch! It is the perfect Bond song, with all the emotion, feeling and special touch you want of a Bond song. In my opinion it is the best song after Goldeneye. BUT! The rest of the soundtrack, especially in the action scenes, made me headache! It was just like a broken record and to intense, even for a Bond movie. I can still hear the soundtrack in my head several hours after the show.

    Another opinion of mine is that the movie inclueded way to many nostalgic parts, some of them were good, other less good. But overall Mendes and Company handled it well! And I am very happy about that a bit of the classic Bond is mixed well (shaken, not stirred -{ ) with the new modern Bond.

    The best with the whole movie, was the whole bit about Bonds past and roots in Scotland. It was very nicely done indeed! Another positive side was Craigs performance which was splendid as always, he is a very talented actor and his role as Bond is very convicing. I can continue mention a lots of other great aspects of the film and the list is long. But I will let you see it yourselves and have your own opinions.

    Now, I know I'm sounding very negative and I can't help to being comparisive to Casino Royale (which is to me the perfect Bond movie.) After all Skyfall was a good movie and a great story and I am looking forward to the next one arrives at the cinema. Some things could just be better! My final score for Skyfall: 7 Martinis out of 10 possible
    You know in America it’s “bling, bling”, but out here it’s “bling, bang”.
  • minigeffminigeff EnglandPosts: 7,757MI6 Agent
    Max E wrote:
    I am sorry to admit it, but I had so high expectations on Skyfall but it did not fully reach them. I do not think it was a bad Bond movie, but it did not turned out so good as I thougt it would. To start with the characters ironic punch lines every fifth minute is even to much for a Bond movie. Sure there must be some ironic lines in a Bond movie, but not all the time and it has to be in the right places in right conversations... Though there were some really good ones, and I specially liked the one you already mentioned: "Welcome to Scotland" :)) . That is a perfect example of a good line, in the proper scene.

    If we look to Skyfall's soundtrack I personally rank Adeles song to be top notch! It is the perfect Bond song, with all the emotion, feeling and special touch you want of a Bond song. In my opinion it is the best song after Goldfinger. BUT! The rest of the soundtrack, especially in the action scenes, made me headache! It was just like a broking record and to intense, even for a Bond movie. I can still hear the soundtrack in my head several hours after the show.

    Another opinion of mine is that the movie inclueded way to many nostalgic parts, some of them were good, other less good. But overall Mendes and Company handled it well! And I am very happy about that a bit of the classic Bond is mixed well (shaken, not stirred -{ ) with the new modern Bond.

    The best with the whole movie, was the whole bit about Bonds past and roots in Scotland. It was very nicely done indeed! Another positive side was Craigs permorfance which was splendid as always, he is a very talented actor and his role as Bond is very convicing. I can continue mention a lots of other great aspects of the film and the list is long. But I will let you see it yourselves and have your own opinions.

    Now, I know I'm sounding very negative and I can't help to being comparisive to Casino Royale (which is to me the perfect Bond movie.) After all Skyfall was a good movie and a great story and I am looking forward to the next one arrives at the cinema. Some things could just be better! My final score for Skyfall: 7 Martinis out of 10 possible

    i'll give a full review when its out tonight, but i gotta agree about the soundtrack, except for one thing; it aint stuck in my head, in fact i hardly remember it. imo, there were way too many points where i was expecting the traditional bond tune to play (fiddling the cuffs on the train being one) and it just didnt happen.

    arnold did a much better job imo. apart from that, the best bond film i've seen in years.
    'Force feeding AJB humour and banter since 2009'
    Vive le droit à la libre expression! Je suis Charlie!
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk
    www.cancerresearchuk.org
  • Max EMax E In the northPosts: 80MI6 Agent
    minigeff wrote:
    Max E wrote:
    I am sorry to admit it, but I had so high expectations on Skyfall but it did not fully reach them. I do not think it was a bad Bond movie, but it did not turned out so good as I thougt it would. To start with the characters ironic punch lines every fifth minute is even to much for a Bond movie. Sure there must be some ironic lines in a Bond movie, but not all the time and it has to be in the right places in right conversations... Though there were some really good ones, and I specially liked the one you already mentioned: "Welcome to Scotland" :)) . That is a perfect example of a good line, in the proper scene.

    If we look to Skyfall's soundtrack I personally rank Adeles song to be top notch! It is the perfect Bond song, with all the emotion, feeling and special touch you want of a Bond song. In my opinion it is the best song after Goldfinger. BUT! The rest of the soundtrack, especially in the action scenes, made me headache! It was just like a broking record and to intense, even for a Bond movie. I can still hear the soundtrack in my head several hours after the show.

    Another opinion of mine is that the movie inclueded way to many nostalgic parts, some of them were good, other less good. But overall Mendes and Company handled it well! And I am very happy about that a bit of the classic Bond is mixed well (shaken, not stirred -{ ) with the new modern Bond.

    The best with the whole movie, was the whole bit about Bonds past and roots in Scotland. It was very nicely done indeed! Another positive side was Craigs permorfance which was splendid as always, he is a very talented actor and his role as Bond is very convicing. I can continue mention a lots of other great aspects of the film and the list is long. But I will let you see it yourselves and have your own opinions.

    Now, I know I'm sounding very negative and I can't help to being comparisive to Casino Royale (which is to me the perfect Bond movie.) After all Skyfall was a good movie and a great story and I am looking forward to the next one arrives at the cinema. Some things could just be better! My final score for Skyfall: 7 Martinis out of 10 possible

    i'll give a full review when its out tonight, but i gotta agree about the soundtrack, except for one thing; it aint stuck in my head, in fact i hardly remember it. imo, there were way too many points where i was expecting the traditional bond tune to play (fiddling the cuffs on the train being one) and it just didnt happen.

    arnold did a much better job imo. apart from that, the best bond film i've seen in years.

    Yes Arnold did a much better job indeed and once again I did not think it was a bad Bond movie. I just had so high expectations with Craig and the other actors and Mendes as a director, when Road to Perdition happens to be one of my fauvorite movies. Maybe I just had to high expectations and was believing that Skyfall would turn out to be the ultimate and best Bond movie forever. Perhaps it will grew on me and I will begin to like it more and more. But as far as I see it, Casino Royale is the one and it will take a lot of work to beat the crap out of it.
    You know in America it’s “bling, bling”, but out here it’s “bling, bang”.
  • PMNPMN LeicestershirePosts: 24MI6 Agent
    Just back from seeing Skyfall. I'm posting this here just in case I accidentally say
    the wrong thing.
    It's awesome. Best Bond film for years. Possibly the best villain ever. Wish it had
    been about an hour longer! The opening sequence is breathtaking and the ending is
    brilliant. I will certainly be going again ( and again ! ). A real treat. I think we can
    forgive the Bond producers for QOS, they were just limbering up for Skyfall !
  • A7ceA7ce Birmingham, EnglandPosts: 652MI6 Agent
    What PMN said + loved the last 3minutes!! You know what I mean. Done.
  • minigeffminigeff EnglandPosts: 7,757MI6 Agent
    Right, now it's out, I'll give a bit more in depth review on skyfall.

    This'll contain some spoilers, but no major ones as I personally believe it still spoils the surprise element.

    Anyway, on with the show.

    This is all from memory by the way, so bear with me, cos my memory is.... what's the word?..... erm.*

    The show opens with a hazy view down a corridor, a figure walks into focus, eyes illuminated by a letterbox of light. PPK raises into shot, our man is back.

    A racey PTS sets up the show and points out to us that pretty much everything is on the line, bond's reputation, Eve's marksman skills and a rather battered train. All doesn't go to plan. Agent down.

    The film follows Bond's resurrection, M's past, Eve's present, and Mallory's future. Patrice is a formidable foe, Q is the perfect allie to Bond and Silva, well crap....

    Silva is something we ain't ever seen before. Think 006 held a grudge? Thought Elliot Carver was a nutcase? Think Drax was cold? Silva is every villain you thought possible. He's perfect as a bad guy, but also brings other elements to the table. I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for him, but also hated the way he treated people. A very very well played character.

    So as you can assume, Silva's on a mission, he's out to hurt people and there's background and history to back up his actions. He's sadistic, but for an understandable reason.

    We see Bond's roots and meet an old friend from his past. Plenty of fun ensues, culminating in one hell of a fireball.

    Enough of the plot though.

    Action - plenty of it. Gun fights, knives, fists and a rather cool old skool twist during a fight that I found great and fitted the classic ideal perfectly. Stromberg's fish? Pah!

    Gadgets - yes, but not too many that Bond has to rely on them. It's good to see the toys back though.

    Girls - phwoah!! Severine is gorgeous, I honestly thought her looks would well outweigh the talent, but nope, talented in all areas. A nicely played part, I just wish it had been a bit more involving for her.

    Soundtrack - somewhat lacking for me if I'm honest. Whereas some of David Arnold's earlier offers had bond themes crammed in, but it's one extreme to another, SF's music has hardly any in there and there was more than one occasion where I was desperate to hear a twangy guitar or brass fanfare, but nope. Bit of a bummer. Won't stop me buying it when I've figured out which one to get.

    Theme - brilliant. I wanna give adele a great big hug for producing a quality classy sound with a song that lyrically fits the bill excellently.

    Gunbarrel - urgh. The sodding gunbarrel. It's where it is for a reason, it worked for me and there's no daft CGI bullet.

    Summary then, skyfall brings us Craig at his best. A classic bond film that explores and explains Bond's past, shows us that the bond universe has characters that aren't untouchable or invulnerable and shows us quite firmly the way things are now travelling. In a single phrase I'd say it'd be 'a brave new world'. It's almost as if CR was close to the bull, QoS was a bit of a flyer that went astray and SF is the shot that's right down the line, bang on target.

    I just can't wait for this to come out on DVD.

    Words of advice;

    Have a good pee before going into the cinema, get a db5 model if you haven't already, and buy a sodding bulldog before they sell out.


    * crap, that's the word!
    'Force feeding AJB humour and banter since 2009'
    Vive le droit à la libre expression! Je suis Charlie!
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk
    www.cancerresearchuk.org
  • B549 WUUB549 WUU Posts: 145MI6 Agent
    Just bought a bone china bulldog!
  • thesecretagentthesecretagent CornwallPosts: 2,151MI6 Agent
    Brilliant! Just brilliant. No doubt about it - best Bond ever! -{
    Amazon #1 Bestselling Author. If you enjoy crime, espionage, action and fast-moving thrillers follow this link:

    http://apbateman.com
  • jon_1ukjon_1uk Posts: 665MI6 Agent
    Just got back.... film is fantastic !!! seriously good "old skool" action.
    "some men are coming to kill us, we're going to kill them first"
  • Roger Mo'Roger Mo' Posts: 33MI6 Agent
    Just returned from the cinema. Wow! It has sated my appetite! Everything was on point. The opening sequence with the opening two bars of the Bond theme as we see just DCs eyes - brilliant. The chase in the Grand Bazaar -fantastic. Adele's theme with the Maurice Binder-style titles - magnificent. Javier Bardem's entrance on the hour lifts the film even further, but for me, Albert Finney's performance was wonderful. Berenice Marlohe was stunning - her playing nervous was excellent. I have to agree that the final 5 minutes have now got me even more excited! I suppose Ralph Fiennes needs a new franchise now Harry Potter has ended! My only complaint is that the incidental music sounded a bit like that from a TV movie at times. But this is the only complaint I can make. 007 out of 007!
  • Roger Mo'Roger Mo' Posts: 33MI6 Agent
    Oh - I forgot to add that Sam Mendes has done a tremendous job and has shown one Oscar winning director (Marc Forster) what another one can do with a Bond film. This is a man who is steeped in the history of Bond, and has helped explore the deeper character of the man - thank you! Finally, Daniel Craig was magnificent - I realised that he is a very good actor, but tonight, I have to acknowledge that he is up there with the best Bonds, if not the best. One happy man tonight - QoS can be banished to the back of my mind at last! :)
  • Smiert-SpionamSmiert-Spionam Posts: 310MI6 Agent
    Seeing as I'm still a relative newbee to the forums I'm not going to be the first person to throw all the spoilers out there. I'll let some more established members do that first.

    I have to say Moonraker 5 has summed it up perfectly. Sometimes it felt like I was watching an old Bond film. In fact it was very much a Connery/Moore/Brosnan era hybrid. However none of the film felt rehashed or outdated. It's a 21st century Bond for the fans of the older Bond films, something many of us have been crying out for for a very long time.

    Daniel Craig is in really fine form and anyone looking for more humour in his performace will breathe a huge sigh of relief. However it is never over the top and unneccesary. His action sequences are still top notch and he really seems to have grown into the role. Personally I'm delighted he's signed on for another 2 films after seeing this performance.

    The casting of Bardem as Silva was an absolute masterstroke. He comes across as a mixture of Alec Trevelyan, Scaramanga and Max Zorin with so many quirks and traits thrown in. He is by far the most complex villain Bond has faced yet!

    I don't think there was one bad performance from anyone in the whole film. This was by far and away Judi Dench's finest performance as M, Kincade was instantly likeable and very funny, Mallory was played brilliantly by Fiennes and Naomi Harris was top notch as Eve. Despite my initial reservations about Ben Wishaw playing Q, I felt he was the perfect fit as a 'behind the scenes' sidekick for Bond.

    I've never felt so many conflicting emotions at the end of a Bond film. I was nearly in tears at one point and then was nearly screaming like an excited fanboy the next minute. You'll see why ;)

    All in all an excellent Bond film, definately in my top 5! Thank you Sam Mendes for a Bond film all fans can be proud of!
    Smiert Spionam
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 32,023Chief of Staff
    Best Bond film in years, no question. Loved it. Just one thought, though- it felt like

    Albert R. Broccoli's EON Productions
    present
    JUDI DENCH as M
    in
    SKYFALL

    also starring Daniel Craig as Ian Fleming's James Bond 007

    Not a criticism (she is wonderful, of course). My son points out that the lack of a traditional Bond girl (since Eve clearly isn't, being who she is, and Severine is the sacrificial lamb) means that Dame J is the leading lady of the movie in both screen time and relevance.
  • Hugo DraxHugo Drax Leeds, United Kingdom.Posts: 210MI6 Agent
    Just been to see it, so thought I would use it as an opportunity to come back on here to discuss.

    I really enjoyed it.

    I would like to go back and see it again to refine my judgment maybe, as Bond premieres at the cinema always tend to impress me. But, on first impressions, it was a great Bond film. It had a very different feel to all other Bond films. Firstly, it is rare for a Bond to be mostly set in the UK. But, in this year of the London Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee, it was fitting. There was no world domination/larceny plot with exploding oil rig/hotel finale. A desolate house in the Scottish Highlands was it. This film has a degree of characterisation that we haven't seen in any other Bond film and the film is really all about M.

    I went to see it with a friend and he didn't like it much. He does like Bond, but he prefers the grittier Dalton Bonds. He said the first two Daniel Craig films were grittier to him and this was one cheesy. He made some points that I partly agree with. Javier Bardem's character is not that believable. There is no way this camp, effete man was once a British agent. To have Naomie Harris as a field agent who decided to become a secretary as Moneypenny is pushing it. I did like the homage to the old office at the end though, and it was great to see London in its rainy glory throughout the film. I am no prude, but I liked the lack of sex in the film and the implied sexual scenes worked much better. We all know what Bond is like with women, so we don't need to waste time seeing him in action, as it were.

    I didn't see the ending coming at all I have to say. I'd give it 8 out of 10 for now, but I might review that on second viewing.

    All in all, a thoroughly entertaining Friday evening.
  • JamesbondjrJamesbondjr Posts: 462MI6 Agent
    WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD


    Well I loved it.

    The change in tone from Craig's first two was a little strange to take at first but once I got used to it I didn't mind so much. The little nods back to the original series were done very well, this is how Die another Day should have been in fact. The one thing for me that felt out of place was the ejector seat reference.

    Bardem is fantastic as Silva, a real throwback to some villains of old yet he makes it feel fresh with his charismatic performance.

    As has been said, the star of the show really is Judi Dench. For some reason I knew she was going to die, call it a hunch but I had guessed it would happen so that scene lacked any surprise for me but I did find it very moving as it was fantastically played.

    Eve being revealed as Moneypenny had my jaw on the floor, I really didn't see it coming. I realised what was happening about 2 seconds before she introduced herself as Monepenny and it made me exclaim, quite loudly, 'Oh My God', much to the amusement of those in my immediate vicinity.

    Overall I would say it is a very good Bond film with some great moments. Not the best Bond film ever for me, but that may change as it all sinks in and I see it again.

    9/10
    1- On Her Majesty's Secret Service 2- Casino Royale 3- Licence To Kill 4- Goldeneye 5- From Russia With Love
  • Hugo DraxHugo Drax Leeds, United Kingdom.Posts: 210MI6 Agent
    Does anyone know why the gunbarrel is now at the end of the films? Is there any reason for this? Call me a traditionalist, but I like to hear the majestic Bond theme in all its glory at the start of the film.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,526MI6 Agent
    SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER
    SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER
    SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

    OK guys,
    anyone who knows me, knows I love review.
    This isn't my review, just a few quick reflections,
    I just got in from the 1700 at Leicster Sq - plus a meal at Cappuccetto's - having watched Skyfall
    I was so good at avoiding all the s*** in the preamble, and I so hoped to enjoy this movie.
    But
    Well, it's a good movie.
    I won't go into massive detail, but sometimes writers/directors/producers can try too hard and this looks a mite like that. SF is even more of a reboot than CR was. It also shares many similarities (scene-wise) with previous Bond flicks (fights on trains, elevators up towers, etc).
    I was most shocked by the prevalence given to Judi Dench's M. As Barbel suggests, this movie hardly seemed to be about 007 at all. So he 'dies' at the start, so what? We don't really learn anything about his rehabilitaion except that he drinks a hell of a lot. Fleming did it better in YOLT (the novel). During this stint, we learn more about M as she furtively taps away composing 007's obituary. Indeed we learn more about M full stop.
    So,
    There's some fey eroticism with Moneypenny - do we care?
    No.
    Javier Bardem is a good baddie, but after an excellent introduction he turns into a hybrid Hannibal Lector and becomes a one-note psycho. Yawn.
    The end was long winded and improbable.
    I appreciated the stuff about Bond's background, but it was very heavy handed. The Skyfall touch was cute, but while Albert Finney's gamekeepeer was amusing, he was also a comedic foil at a time when tension would have been better disposed.
    I noted a hell of a lot borrowed from films/novels/continuation novels and even (oh praise heaven!) Fan Fiction - shows Purvis and Wade do some research I guess.
    It was nice to see London in the movie - do I need to mention MI6 is the FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE service - I don't know if that's relevant, but should they be functioning so prevalently in the UK?
    Did I like Q?
    He's cool.
    Did I like the women?
    Not really. They don't hang around much and Bond f***s 'em and leaves 'em - just like he did in QOS and CR - Craig is the most unromantic, unemotional 007 ever.
    For all that, and that's a foretaste, I guess, of my revieww, it's a good movie - but is it a Bond movie?

    Watch this space.......
  • jetsetwillyjetsetwilly Liverpool, UKPosts: 1,048MI6 Agent
    I’m not very good a proper reviews. Especially when I just want to write AMAZING over and over in caps lock. So this is a rough rundown of what went through my head as I watched the film. Remember I’ve only seen it once so I may have some stuff in the wrong order or missed some fantastic bits.

    (HERE BE SPOILERS)

    (adverts)

    Jesus, does every product on Earth have a Bond tie in?

    (trailers)

    Les Miserable looks worthy but dull. Jack Reacher looks awful. The Hobbit looks awful. Actually, all these films look terrible.

    (the film)

    The new MGM logo’s ridiculously over-animated.

    No gun barrel? AGAIN?

    Oh, so the missing hard drive is right here in the film? Didn’t know that would happen.

    This is building up nicely.

    Liking Eve. Good bit of banter with the wing mirrors.

    A sadistic part of me wishes Bond had punched a bloke to get at that motorcycle.

    Motorbikes on the rooftops is good.

    Imagine one motorbike coming through the window, then, just when you’ve recovered, another one pops up.

    That’s a fair amount of carnage on that bridge. Did Eve cause all that?

    Why doesn’t Patrice just run away, instead of standing around on the back of a train shooting at Bond?

    Loving the carnage caused by the digger.

    “I think it was a VW Beetle.” Ha! Though a part of me suspects VW paid an enormous amount of money for that line.

    The cufflink adjustment? Amazing. Obviously.

    This train fight is bringing back happy memories of Octopussy. ”MISHKA!”

    Stop gassing and fire the bloody gun, woman.

    Ok, Danny Kleinman’s finally gone insane.

    Will have to see if the text of M’s obituary is the same as in You Only Live Twice, Would be nice if it was.

    Is there any need for a London MI6 caption? And shouldn’t it be MI6, London?

    Dame Judi meets the Sex Pistols.

    I think the whole cinema just bounced in the air about twelve feet when MI6 exploded.

    Is that the entire extent of that Greek girl’s part? Wow. Talk about bigging yourself up. She’ll be at an autograph festival in Milton Keynes within the month.

    I wonder if that scorpion is real or CGI.

    Is this meant to be in Turkey? The music seems sort of African.

    CNN. Thank God it’s not Sky.

    I wonder what happened to M’s nifty apartment from Casino Royale. And Mr M, for that matter.

    Dame Judi has such a potty mouth.

    I’ve been past that ramp in Spitalfields! I know where that is!

    Well, they managed to build all this very quickly, didn’t they? Can you fit the whole of MI6 in one room?

    Eve is here for the transition? Hmm. Maybe she is going to be Moneypenny after all.

    Has anyone actually mentioned her name yet?

    All this Tanner chatting to Bond while he works out is a bit homoerotic.

    Rory Kinnear has lost a bit of weight since Quantum of Solace. I definitely would. Though I would worry that halfway through sex with him the image of Roy Kinnear would enter my head and put me off my stride.

    Alright Q is funny and clever.

    No need to be rude about exploding pens.

    Is there any need for a Shanghai caption?

    That pool’s in Canary Wharf, you big cheats.

    I love all this neon.

    Didn’t expect the spring up onto the bottom of the lift. Brilliant.

    This must be the first stealth sequence in a room full of glass walls.

    Severine!

    This silhouetted fight is FANTASTIC.

    Really wanted to shout “PYRAMIDS!” when Patrice fell off the building then.

    Ah, an explanation for that 1 YouTube view.

    More banter with Eve. She’s very good at it. Definitely Moneypenny.

    I wonder if that barge has a seat on it. I don’t think I’d be able to stand up in case I fell in the water, no matter how dramatic it looked.

    Komodo Dragon’s a nice touch.

    Ah, I just realised what the chip is for. Makes sense now.

    Euros? Sticking with the Quantum of Solace idea that they’re better than dollars, are we?

    Severine is gorgeous.

    And she can act. I was worried she’d be the weak link but she’s great.

    Best girlfriend in distress since Andrea Anders.

    Like the raising of the glass to the men.

    Assault with a deadly briefcase.

    Do Komodo Dragons attack like that? I thought they bit you and then waited for you to die of poison or something?

    Maybe it’s not a Komodo Dragon.

    He’s just giving Eve all the money? I hope she donates it to the Blue Cross (GOLDFINGER GAG).

    If someone snuck up behind me in the shower, I doubt I’d be quite so calm.

    This is very pretty.

    Would people just clear off an island because the computer told them to? Wouldn’t they, you know, check? Send in men in hazmat suits or something?

    Love Silva’s introduction.

    Love Javier Bardem in general, actually.

    LOL GAY. Not a criticism.

    “What makes you think it’s my first time?” Clever avoidance of gay disgust issues there.

    Oh dear. Severine’s going to die, isn’t she?

    Poor girl. Though I did like the way Silva “won”.

    Gadget saves the day! Win!

    Wait: so in the emergency rebuild of MI6, they also built this fancy glass wall that turns opaque at the push of a button, and a glass Hannibal Lecter prison? I bet they prioritised that over some far more important things. I bet there’s only one cubicle in the ladies’ loo.

    Eww. Gums.

    How’s he going to get out of here?

    No such place as Gainsborough Road tube station.

    Ah, so that’s how he’s going to get out.

    That’s not Temple. That’s Charing Cross Jubilee Line.

    This stuff with the Tube driver’s very good. I like the additional humour in the film. Craig’s so much more relaxed.

    Ha! at the idea that you can just wander down the carriage of a rush hour Tube train. Those buggers wouldn’t let you past for anything.

    That’s not Embankment. That’s Charing Cross Jubilee Line again.

    It would have been funny if they’d left all those “please stand on the right” signs on the escalator as they slid down. “Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.”

    That crashing Tube train gave me a flashback to when they dropped a tram on Coronation Street.

    Is it sadistic of me that I would have preferred a train full of people to come smashing through? That Silva killed a couple of hundred people because he’s just that evil?

    Who are all these henchmen? Where are they coming from?

    “My late husband.” Poor Mr M.

    Hard to concentrate on a poem during a tense action sequence.

    Raging gun battles would certainly liven up BBC Parliament.

    Eve’s not going to turn out to be a baddie, is she?

    Shooting the fire extinguishers. Very FPS.

    I like Silva just going off in a huff.

    Poor Tanner. How do you get a cab to a top secret hideout?

    Nobody does sarcasm like Dame Judi.

    Ejector seat button! HA. Though wait: that means this is the Aston Martin from Goldfinger, not the one he won in Casino Royale. Which is the one that Q gave to Sean Connery, which hasn’t happened. Or has it? So where does Skyfall fit in the timeline? Are Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace set before Dr No, and now Skyfall’s after Die Another Day? QUESTIONS.

    SCOTLAND in big letters across the map. Alex Salmond will like that.

    Ah, Skyfall’s a house. I wonder if they came up with the Bondian title and then tried to find a way to shove it into the film.

    I forgot Albert Finney was even in this.

    It’s like the end of A Nightmare on Elm Street! Will they just turn their back on Silva and he’ll disappear?

    I WONDER IF THAT PRIEST HOLE WILL BE RELEVANT.

    Kincaid telling Bond about his parents dying is a bit Alfred/Bruce Wayne. Whither Aunt Charmian?

    Loving the use of the Aston Martin’s guns. LOVING IT.

    Dame Judi’s firing a gun! She’s not very good.

    I love the way the action sequences just grow out of the film; it builds up to the violence, rather than it just being “here’s a car chase”.

    When will people learn not to keep gas canisters in the house?

    Now THAT is a decent explosion. Bravo.

    Is Silva going to drown under an icy lake? That would be an interesting way for him to go.

    Apparently random henchman is going to drown under an icy lake. After being throttled with a leg. That’s a bit weird.

    Andrew Bond and Monique Delacroix Bond!!!

    M’s going to die. The only question is “how”.

    Two heads, one bullet. Actually tense.

    Should have realised that hunting knife would turn up.

    Kincaid should have died.

    Are those tears dripping off Bond’s nose, or icy drops of water? He must be freezing. And they’ve blown his car up. How’s he going to get back to civilisation?

    Standing on a rooftop looking moody. Very Captain Jack Harkness.

    It’s going to be that bulldog, isn’t it?

    He should have thrown it in the air and shot it.

    She IS Moneypenny! Damn you tabloids for ruining the surprise! And Kate Westbrook’s going to be annoyed they didn’t make Jane canon.

    PADDED DOOR! PADDED DOOR TO M’S OFFICE!

    M’S OFFICE! IT’S ALL WOOD PANELS AGAIN!

    NEW M! AND THIS TIME, HE’S VOLDEMORT!

    The gun barrel AT LAST. Though it’s that shiny one from Quantum of Solace. Where are those zig zaggy bits in the top left corner?

    50th anniversary logo. Awwwww.

    That was bloody marvellous. It was epic and intimate; it hit all the right notes; it was fun. Uniformly brilliant performances. And Daniel Craig is just amazing. Bring on Bond 24. Like, now.

    Can I see it again please?
    Founder of the Wint & Kidd Appreciation Society.

    @merseytart
  • lotuslotus englandPosts: 288MI6 Agent
    its is a mint film ,fantastic story ! I really cant fault it !
  • A7ceA7ce Birmingham, EnglandPosts: 652MI6 Agent
    Crikey Jetset did u actually sit bac k and enjoy the film or were u sat there with 100 sheets of loose A4 and a biro and putting ur hand up asking for more paper? Or u have avery good memeory in order of things!
  • scaramanga1scaramanga1 The English RivieraPosts: 845Chief of Staff
    Thanks Jetset I can't see it again until Wednesday -by reading your review It brings everything back so clearly - I will probably keep on rereading to fulfill my Bondian fix each day until Wednesday. -{
    Just a brilliant entry into the Bond canon. I guessed Eve was going to be Moneypenny and even realised that Mallory was going to be the new M whilst watching. But wow what a fantastic villain Silva was! Like you I felt the tube train Should've been full of passengers -somehow it would have been more realistic and of course accentuated Silva's evilness. The scene with 007 jumping onto the underneath of the lift was brilliant -a true Bondian moment. The combat sequences were brilliant and the action didn't seem formulaic and just like a set piece for a set pieces sake. They evolved with the tale. All I can say is I loved it and can't wait to see it again and then eventually have it on DVD. It feels like a classic movie already and one that I will remain very fond of. :007)
  • QuistQuist Posts: 61MI6 Agent
    Saw Skyfall last night and have to say it blew me away! the acting, the dialouge and the action scenes were all top notch! I wouldn't of ever thought it possible to make a Bond movie where the villains purpose was not world domination or extortion but something so basic and it worked. Javier Bardem is going to go down in history one of the most exceptional Bond villains ever. The komodo Dragon scene was great and the climax outstanding. Well done all the Bond team! 10/10
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,654MI6 Agent
    I saw Skyfall last night and here are my first impressions: I think it's very good, definately among the top ten and probably near the top. It's a more traditional Bond movie than the previous two, but still fitting for Craig. The PTS was perfect, particularely the moment were 007 jumps into the train carriage. The title sequence was also really good, both the song and the animation. The idea of a transitition from Bond's fall into a realm of the dead is a good one, but I found the image of a enormous hand grabbing 007 heel at the very start a bit strange and even silly. The song is a solid and traditional Bond song. Perhaps too much so, making it a bit undistinct.
    The story, characters and acting were very solid. There was no great twist to the story, if you don't count M's death. But does every action movie need a big twist? I don't think so - making one of his allies reveal himself/herself as a villan is in danger of becoming a clishe. Also liked the humour: broader than in CR and QoS, but funny and not over the top. With Bond movies there are often a quip or two were you cringe a bit, but I liked all the jokes this time.

    At the end of Skyfall we have a new M, Q and Moneypenny. I like them all three. Ralph Fiennes is old enough to be M, and I liked the way his personality and background was slightly changes and updated, but not too much. Dame Judi Dench has done a great job, but a male M with a old fashioned office is very welcome indeed! I also look forward to seeing more of Eve Moneypenny. There was flirting and an unspoken backstory were Bond and Moneypenny has had a fling in teh old movies, so that fits in great. Moneypenny also shoots Bond early in TMTGG, so there is a link to the books and it makes sence giving her a background as a field agent. I suggested Ben Whishaw as Q a few weeeks before his casting was made public, and i feel a bit proud of that now. A young Q-like character has become a bit standard in spy shows lately, but I think his acting, his involvment in the story and gadgets makes it work. It will be fun to see the whole MI6 family back together again in the next Bond movie!
    Javier Bardem as Silva deserves a special mention. One of the best Bond villans ever! Making him gay and flirt with Bond was daring, but I think it works. Severine is very beautiful and acts surprisingly well, considering her not so impressive acting background. She pulled of the mix of nervousness, seductiveness and arrogance the character needed.

    The direction was very good, as I expected from Mendes. The images were fantastic, so the DoP deserves appaluse. I also liked the music. It ws great to have the bond theme back!
    What didn't I like? first of all - why is the gunbarrel at the end? I think it would be perfect to place it at the begining where it's supposed to be, since Skyfall is the more traditional, true to the formula movie. It was also completely unrealistic to have Q hook up Silva's computer to the MI6 mainframe inside the firewall - a huge NO for anyone working with security. But I guess it works with the story.
    But were are the big, spectacular stunts? The scene with the excavator on the train was fantastic, but what of the rest of the movie? You could count the runaway tube train and the helicopter crashing into Skyfall House, but those were more money shots and less stunts. If they had filmed a scene were you can clearly see the train narrowly missing Bond in one shot it would more of a stunt in my book.
    The trailers gave away too much. They should have left out Bond's "death" and/or the bombing of MI6 HQ. Both sequences would have worked better if they came as a surprise to the general audience.

    I guess I'll post one or two more times about Skyfall, but this is it for now :D
  • 007JBDCMWR007JBDCMWR Posts: 2,206MI6 Agent
    OK, I am a man of feqw words, and I think some contributors have said it all !

    Went twice yesterday and just back from Imax this morning

    I loved CR and DC is already my fave Bond

    But Skyfall challenges CR iMHO. It shot brilliantly, Script is serious and funny, DC acts amazingly, prob one of the villains of all time (Congrats Javier), sad end but then re-lifts you as we see a return for Moneypenny and M.....

    Will make the most of the next few weeks and then wait excitedly for the BluRay release....

    Congratulations to everyone involved

    Same team for No 24 ???


    Mark
    Skewered, one sympathises...

    1. CR. 2. TSWLM. 3. LTK. 4. GF. 5. SF.
  • Shady TreeShady Tree London, UKPosts: 2,406MI6 Agent
    edited November 2012
    SPOILERS

    In this post I review the role of M and her relationship with Bond in 'Skyfall', in the light of some of my 2008/09 posts. (It's tempting to imagine that the film's creators glanced at some previous discussions on this site when making certain decisions, given how closely 'Skyfall' negotiates some of the issues we've discussed here in the past; though it's probably all just coincidence.) I also have notes on the film's villain, the Jaws allusion, Moneypenny, Severine, Q and Adele's title song.


    M, Bond, Continuities and Gender Politics
    Shady Tree wrote:
    2nd Dec 2008 23:09

    Is the M of CR/QOS intended to be the same person as the M of GE, TND, TWINE and DAD? I think that she can't be, as the franchise has been 'rebooted' with the origins of a new Bond. But the ambiguous stance of Dench's M towards Bond remains the same as before, as do her other personal traits and attitudes: so to all intents and purposes, she is the same character.[Edit]


    In ‘Skyfall’, Ralph Fiennes’ character, Mallory, congratulates M on having had “a great run” in the job, suggesting that it's time for her to go. It’s as though he’s simultaneously addressing:

    (a) Dame Judi Dench as an actor (she's appeared in seven consecutive Bond films);

    (b) the 'rebooted' M of the three Daniel Craig films (who we know from her dialogue in CR has been in post at least since the Cold War);

    and

    (c) a popular memory of Dench's character, which ranges across all of her previous Bond movies and thus merges together (i) the M of the Craig films, and (ii) the 'pre-reboot' M of the Pierce Brosnan films (a successor to Bernard Lee's M, whose portrait hangs in the background of an MI6 venue in TWINE. When, in 'Skyfall', M makes a knowing reference to the vintage Aston Martin DB5's ejector seat, it's almost as if the film has realigned her with 'pre-reboot' continuity. Come to think of it: is the DB5 in 'Skyfall' meant to be the same one that the newly promoted 007 of CR won from Alex Dimitrios, with a few modifications added? Or is it, by a sleight of merged continuities, meant to be the same vehicle in which the earlier Bond raced around during TB and GE, preserved in MI6 storage?)


    By the end of ‘Skyfall’, Fiennes himself has taken up the mantle of M. The final moments of the film make it clear that Fiennes' lineage in the role extends back through the whole fifty years of the franchise: we see him as the new M in a version of M's office dressed as it used to be in the early Bond films featuring Bernard Lee, complete with leather padded door and hard copy dockets marked 'Top Secret'. One point niggling me, though, is that I thought that Mallory started out in the film as a government minister - which would make him an elected politician - rather than as a senior civil servant / retired officer, of the sort who might indeed be eligible for appointment to M's executive role. (I'll have to check on Mallory's status during a second viewing; I may be mistaken.)

    Shady Tree wrote:
    7th Jun 2009 14:15

    Judi Dench was great casting as M and, as an actor, she's done excellent work with whatever has been written for her. The way she was set up in GE and TND - as a notional "evil queen of numbers" who actually had much more to her than an accountant's mind-set - was very well conceived. A problem with the writing since then - most evident in DAD and QOS - is that M's continual lurching between her attitude of, "Call Bond off - he's a liability," and her other attitude of, "I'll trust him and back him up, because he's my agent and, at the end of the day, I privately respect his instincts," has become rather jarring and cliched.

    2nd Dec 2008 21:36

    An aspect of continuity between CR/QOS and DAD is the stale and wearisome dilemma afflicting Judi Dench's M - i.e., whether to trust Bond or whether to write him off as a liability ("Restrict Bond's movements!" Yawn!) M's wavering, two-sided handling of Bond seems to be an element carried over to the re-boot.[Edit]


    In ‘Skyfall’, mutual understanding between Bond and Dame Judi's M is by far the more prominent element. If M has cause to doubt whether the resurrected Bond is fit for service, questions about her own fitness to continue in her role are asked by her government superiors, including Mallory. Following the loss of the confidential file and the attack on MI6 headquarters, a belligerent government enquiry into M’s running of the Secret Service puts her judgment in question (as she might have been questioned in TWINE over her compromising personal interest in/past handling of Elektra King). M is clear that she’s done her duty – and events prove her right - but she harbours regrets over the deaths she thinks she's caused. The fact that in 'Skyfall' both Bond and M stare into the abyss draws them closer together, and Bond ultimately has faith in her. When he observes “you did your job” he’s supporting her not only in having stood her ground against her government critics but also, perhaps, in the decision she made to order Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) to ‘take the bloody shot’ which accidentally took him out. He's loyal to M despite his initial argument with her over that decision - and despite the residue tension expressed during his psychological assessment when he makes a comic association of the letter “M” with the word “bitch”.


    Shady Tree wrote:
    2nd Dec 2008 23:25

    The M of GE calls Bond a "dinosaur" (implying that Brosnan's Bond is the same guy as the Bond in all the earlier movies), whereas the M of CR/QOS is testing out her Bond, a new Bond, as an agent only recently promoted to Double-0 status.

    It's interesting that in QOS, during a conversation between Bond and Camille, Bond refers to M as a "friend" who'd like to think of herself as his "mother" - and he smiles as he says this. It’s a moment which implies that there's a lot of water under the bridge between these two characters, even though we know that Craig's Bond has only recently obtained his license to kill.

    As for Dame Judi, I admire her as an actress, but I think that M is limited as a character and that there is only so much that can be done with her. (TWINE stretched the character's potential about as far as it can go, giving Dame Judi her best material in the part.)[Edit]


    I can now take back that last comment. In the final act of ‘Skyfall’, Judi Dench’s and Albert Finney’s characters virtually become surrogate parents for the orphaned Bond, helping him fight off the villain’s assault in his eponymous childhood home. During the gunfight, M sustains an injury which will soon prove fatal. As Bond mourns M, his heartfelt sorrow implies more strongly than in previous films that she's essentially a maternal figure to him. By contrast, in an almost Shakespearean twist, Javier Bardem's villain, Silva, is like M’s ‘bastard son’, a malcontent assimilating to himself the antipathy towards 'mommy' which Bond may have occasionally felt in the past - and amplifying it to grotesque, villainous proportions.

    Shady Tree wrote:
    7th Jun 2009 14:15

    Yes, I think it's time for an assassination of M... an episode which, if Quantum were responsible, would give them real clout, and which would give Dame Judi the honour of a memorable exit from the series. Two films from now, with a new M (I think it should be a man again), we could maybe get a new Moneypenny and a new Q (bring back John Cleese?) as a bonus to keep the nondescript Tanner company.


    Well, it wasn’t exactly an assassination – that would have given the villain too much satisfaction ahead of his own demise - but Dame Judi does get to perform M’s death, cradled by a distraught Bond. As an acclaimed thespian it was only right that she was given the opportunity to perform a tragic ending for her character. In Britain, at least, audience reception of the upbeat 007 sketch for the London Olympics Opening Ceremony, in which Craig's Bond meets HM Queen Elizabeth II and escorts her to the festivities, has the collateral effect in 'Skyfall' of imbuing Dame Judi's M with something akin to national heritage status: her own matriarchy parallels the Queen's and is in service to it. It's true that the implied link between M and Her Majesty is mocked in the graphics which Silva sends to M's hacked computer, obliquely recalling The Sex Pistols' 'God Save The Queen' punk imagery, but overall the year of the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics forms a context which helps explain why M's decline and demise in 'Skyfall' seem so poignant. It also ties in with a greater use than in previous Bonds of British locations, i.e. London and the Scottish Highlands.

    Dame Judi's heir is a man: Fiennes is perfect casting as M. I suppose I should be pleased that some of my wishes as I outlined them in my post of 2009 have been fulfilled: but maybe it’s a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’. Stella Rimington, the real-world former Head of MI6 (on whom the Judi Dench M was partly based in the 1990s), is reported to have said how sad she felt that ‘Skyfall’ ends as it does. She could be forgiven for asking whether decades of improved workplace equality are being negated in the fantasy world of Bond by the film's deliberate reversion at the end to a patriarchal Secret Service set-up, circa the 1960s. Sure, the closing references to vintage Bond tick all my fanboy boxes, but when the capable, action-oriented Eve Moneypenny leaves ‘the field’ to retreat to the role of a 60s-style secretary for the new male M (literally occupying the position of Lois Maxwell’s original Miss Moneypenny) this seems disturbingly regressive in terms of gender politics. It's a piece of retro business which has the gloss of Matthew Weiner's 'Mad Men' but without the same sense of critical irony.

    That said, director Sam Mendes, the movie's writers and actress Bérénice Marlohe make a challenging and interesting decision to deconstruct another Bondian archetype - the villain's glamorous 'kept woman' - through their unsettling depiction of the character of Severine, showing her as a fatalistic, damaged victim of sex-trafficking; shot in cold blood without a sense from anybody on screen (not even Bond) that her death particularly matters. Severine is an edgier, nervy take on what an abused woman like Andrea in TMWTGG or Lupe in LTK might have looked like in sordid reality. Her very name is an allusion to De Sade. With her French accent and dusky looks Severine also recalls the dark side of Vesper, broken and neurotic. 'Skyfall' lacks a traditional Bond heroine, but its representations of women are thus divided interestingly - and problematically - between Severine and the new angles on Moneypenny and Judi Dench's M.


    The Villain
    Shady Tree wrote:
    30th Sep 2008 23:02

    It's easy to overlook the potential for creepiness and scariness that Jaws had in 'The Spy Who Loved Me' - especially in the earlier scenes set in Egypt - because our collective memory of the character tends to be filtered through the broad comedy of his later appearance in 'Moonraker'.

    In the right hands, a rebooted Kiel-Jaws could become a credible adversary of Craig's Bond - similar to what the Dark Night's Joker is to the Joker of the 60s TV version of Batman. In fact, I could just hear Craig, if asked whether he knows this larger-than-life assassin, deliver an old line of Roger Moore's in his own steely, wry style: "Not socially. His name's Jaws. He kills people."


    Javier Bardem has said in interviews that ‘Moonraker’ was the first Bond film he saw, and he’s spoken of his admiration for Richard Kiel’s classic henchman, Jaws. In 'Skyfall', Silva's face is held intact only by a steel plate inserted in his mouth; when he removes the plate his face collapses. This creepy allusion to Jaws is one of many rewarding moments in Bardem's performance. He gives us more than a hint of 'The Dark Knight''s Joker, too (as with his self-indulgent push-button precipitation of the tube train crash); and there are shades of other Bond villains such as Trevelyan (a former operative of the Secret Service turned bad and vengeful), Renard (physically maimed), LeChiffre (having Bond tied to a chair), Scaramanga (his apparent enjoyment of Bond's company when he has him at an advantage), Charles Gray's Blofeld (camp), Greene (sleazy), Grant (bleached blonde hair), Largo and Drax (shooting as sport: from clay pigeons to pheasants to Severine) and Kristatos (killed by a knife thrown into his back). Silva's chilling tale about rats conditioned to eat their own kind is not only highly Flemingesque but also reminiscent of the cinematic Blofeld's observations about his Siamese Fighting Fish in FRWL. Yet Silva is at his creepiest when he's coming on to Bond. Bond rebuffs him with a throwaway suggestion that succumbing to his sexual advances wouldn't necessarily be the "first time" that he, Bond, has had an homosexual experience. This isn't really an attempt by the writers to subvert the heteronormative values of the Bond world: the ironic humour of the line merely reflects Craig's Bond's implacable confidence in his own red-blooded heterosexuality. Still, it's an amusing response which lightly recalls the homoerotic tension in CR's torture sequence.


    Q, Austerity, Excess and Spectacle

    Ever since Alec McCowen's entertaining performance as Q in NSNA - complaining in his cockney accent about the impact on his work of budgetary "cutbacks" - there's been humorous potential in introducing a Q purposely unlike the much-loved Desmond Llewelyn's version. (One problem with John Cleese's short-lived turn, in TWINE and DAD, is that he is in some ways too much of the same stock as Llewelyn.) I'm therefore quite happy that the new Q is personally unprepossessing and remarkably young, conforming to a modern stereotype of the genius techno kid but without being too much of a caricature. In a way which again puts me in mind of Alec McCowen's gripes against "cutbacks", 'Skyfall' reflects, indirectly, the economic 'austerity measures' which in the real world are putting the brakes on consumerism in large parts of Europe - including the UK and Spain (Bardem's/Silva's country of origin). The jokey lines in 'Skyfall' that one of Q branch's life-saving gadgets is simply a radio, and that 'we don't do exploding pens anymore' (a reference to GE), indicate a new minimalism. This isn't the first time that the Bond series has eschewed gadgetry as a reaction against past excesses (cf. FYEO after MR), but the current real-world climate of 'austerity' gives it all an extra resonance. The crumbling desolation of Silva's island, the daily grind of rainwashed London life, the barren surroundings of Skyfall and the return, at the end, to the Secret Service's small-scale, lo-tech/no-tech office spaces of vintage Bond films all resonate, too, with notions of 'austerity'.

    If the world's emerging centres of economic growth are in the Far East, it's significant that 'Skyfall''s most glitzy, escapist locations are Shanghai and Macau. For Bond's final scrape with Patrice, spectacularly silhouetted against Shanghai's skyscaper lights, all that's missing is some lavish John Barry-style music - and no, I don't just mean the James Bond Theme. (Here, as elsewhere in the movie, Thomas Newman's generic action score is seviceable but repetitive and insufficiently Bondian.)

    The pre-credits chase sequence in Turkey combines, oddly, the high standard of stuntwork established for the Craig films by the parkour sequence in CR, with moments of partial throwback to a comic exoticisation of foreign cultures last served up (in more cartoonish forms) in late 70s/mid 80s chase scenes such as Bond's and Vijay's escape through the colourful Indian bazaar in OPY. Yet 'Skyfall''s pre-credits sequence, culminating in the fight between Bond and Patrice atop the train, remains the action highlight of the film - a breathtaking set piece which is arguably positioned too early in the film (as was the problem in TWINE, with its 'Follow that!' pre-credits boat chase).


    The Title Song

    Adele's song is a success. As someone who prefers a respectable pastiche of John Barry's classics to more experimental tracks, I welcome this one as the most Bondian of Bond songs since David Arnold's 'Surrender' and 'The World Is Not Enough', though it's not as complex as either of those. (Having said that, 'You Know My Name' nailed it as CR's opener, and I've recently grown to appreciate Jack White's 'Another Way To Die' in a way I wouldn't have thought possible when I first heard it, dismayed.)
    In the tradition of Bondian vocalists, Adele is an appropriate choice - though musically there's perhaps an overdependence on a piano arrangement of The James Bond Theme bass line as the spine of the first minute and 20 seconds of the track. I'm not too sold, either, on the choral echoes which come in later (they're a little too cheesy, in a light entertainment, sing-along, 'X Factor'-ish sort of a way). The final note of mounting menace provides a bridge back into the film and puts me in mind of similar effects in 'Scaramanga's Fun House'.

    Adele gives more than a nod to Shirley Bassey - as at 0.40/0.41, where she races to and draws out the consonant "n" in the "count" of "and count to ten". But also, perhaps, her affectation of a catch in her voice at 1.13/1.14, as she enunciates the 'e' vowel sound of "them" in "So overdue I owe them", is a passing homage to Amy Winehouse's trademark vocal style. Adele's performance and the essential melancholy of the song make me think, actually, how unlucky we are that Amy Winehouse never did perform a Bond ballad, as at one point was the intention. I'm moved by the gothic, funereal elements in Danny Kleinman's main title sequence to wonder again about the Bond song contribution-that-never-was from the late 'Back to Black' singer. But it's great that we've got Adele for this one.



    Footnote
    Shady Tree wrote:
    By the end of ‘Skyfall’, Fiennes himself has taken up the mantle of M. The final moments of the film make it clear that Fiennes' lineage in the role extends back through the whole fifty years of the franchise: we see him as the new M in a version of M's office dressed as it used to be in the early Bond films featuring Bernard Lee, complete with leather padded door and hard copy dockets marked 'Top Secret'. One point niggling me, though, is that I thought that Mallory started out in the film as a government minister - which would make him an elected politician - rather than as a senior civil servant / retired officer, of the sort who might indeed be eligible for appointment to M's executive role. (I'll have to check on Mallory's status during a second viewing; I may be mistaken.)

    I've now seen the film again. Early on, Tanner mentions that Mallory is "Chair of the Committee on Intelligence and Security". This sounds like it could be a parliamentary committee - and parliamentary committees are chaired by and composed of Members of Parliament. Mallory also sits on the same side of the table as the woman MP leading the 'board of enquiry' into M's running of the Secret Service. This is why my first assumption was that he's a politician; I thought that maybe he has a role similar to Frederick Grey, the Minister of Defence as played in previous Bond films by Geoffery Keen (who had an exceptionally long term in his Cabinet post through TSWLM, MR, FYEO, OPY, AVTAK and TLD!) Mallory's references to comments by the PM (The Prime Minister) reminded me of Grey. He certainly acts like he has ministerial authority over Judi Dench's M.

    However, the weight of evidence is that Mallory is a senior public servant rather than a senior politician in government. Before Mallory proves his worth, Bond desribes him pejoratively as "a bureaucrat". Also, we're told that in the army Mallory reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, which suggests a career pathway other than politics - a military parallel with Fleming's Sir Miles Messervy, perhaps, who was a retired Admiral. (Then again, some real-world MPs have regimental backgrounds: Paddy Ashdown, for instance, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats). The clincher, which I didn't notice until my second viewing of the film today, is that whereas Clare Dowar (I think that's her name) has 'MP' inscribed on her name plate at the board of enquiry, Gareth Mallory's name plate does not have this inscription. Thus it's safe to conclude that Mallory has an executive role rather than a political one, and that he is indeed eligible to take on the role of M - as, in fact, he does; and even if it is a demotion!

    'Skyfall' plays to an international audience, so if there is a degree of uncertainty about Mallory's precise position within the British establishment prior to his becoming M, this is hardly going to exercise viewers of other nationalities (and probably not casual Brit viewers either!)


    After a repeated viewing I still rate the film highly.
    Critics and material I don't need. I haven't changed my act in 50 years.
  • JarvioJarvio EnglandPosts: 4,232MI6 Agent
    Oh my god. Oh my actual god.

    This was the best bond film I have seen in a long time.

    This film had everything - a detailed story, lots of character development, fine action, great locations, a wonderful villain. This is the first time in a long time that I have been speechless after seeing a bond film.

    This film is so bond yet so different. It's the most epic bond film of them all, and is the ONLY bond film that emotionally made me feel bloody sad at the end. I cannot believe M died. I knew there were rumours. But I didn't know they'd turn out to be true. And is this the first time bond has cried since OHMSS? Powerful stuff.

    We finally get to hear about bond's parents in the EON films too, and the whole skyfall lodge sequence was outstanding.

    And now we are all set up, with Q, Moneypenny, and a new M. Looks like the bond we know is truly back.

    Silva was just brilliant. The most convincing villain in a long time, and in a way, if you think about it - he won. He got what he wanted even though he was killed. Silva is one of the best villains of all time, and even rivals my favourite, Max Zorin.

    There wasn't really a bond girl in this film though was there? Yes there was the girl who silva balanced the drink on, but her screen time wasn't really enough. But then I suppose you could say that Eve was the bond girl, too. The huge eve revelation at the end of the film shocked me, much like M's death, and the now new M. Three huge changes/revelations at the end of this film, and it just makes it even more epic.

    What a bond film. Does it deserve the hype it's getting? Yes, yes it does. And they are gonna have a really hard time topping this one now.
    1 - LALD, 2 - OP, 3 - AVTAK, 4 - LTK, 5 - FYEO, 6 - NTTD, 7 - DN, 8 - TSWLM, 9 - SF, 10 - DAF, 11 - GE, 12 - OHMSS, 13 - MR, 14 - TMWTGG, 15 - YOLT, 16 - TLD, 17 - GF, 18 - DAD, 19 - TWINE, 20 - TND, 21 - SP, 22 - FRWL, 23 - TB, 24 - CR, 25 - QOS

    1 - Moore, 2 - Dalton, 3 - Craig, 4 - Connery, 5 - Brosnan, 6 - Lazenby
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