Ranking Bond: Skyfall (2012), Part V
In the 22 days leading up to this film’s release (which seems insane to me now. You’ll find out why soon. And also kinda with these articles), I did a series called Ranking Bond. I watched all the movies in the franchise, wrote them up and ranked how I liked them all. And since my buddy Colin (whose blog is TokyoRemix.com. Fuck yeah, promotion!) is a huge Bond fan, I enlisted his help in the articles, since he knows more trivia and such about the franchise (specifically about the cars) than I do.
So we went through and did the articles, and it was fun. (You’ll find out just how fun soon. Hint hint.) And the only real thought we had when it was over was, “We really need to do Skyfall when it comes out on DVD.”
And that’s exactly what we’re doing.
We’re four months removed from the rest of the articles, so we won’t rank specifically (though we will discuss where he think this falls within our lists at the end), but we will be doing the same thing we did for the other articles.
Today we finish Skyfall:
We begin Part V as I’m about to cum all over everyone and everything.
BECAUSE SERIOUSLY LOOK AT THIS GODDAMN SHOT.
This has been my Facebook cover photo for like, a month now, and will be until… well until an undisclosed period of time in the future where something else will happen. But we’ll explain that in due time.
Scotland looks nice. But I don’t even see a Starbucks. What the hell was Mel Gibson fighting for?
“Is this where you grew up?”
She asks how old he was when they died. “They” of course referring to Richie Valens and the Big Bopper.
He says she knows the answer to that. She knows the whole story.
(I guess M loves La Bamba.)
“Orphans always make the best recruits,” she says.
(Change recruits to a lot of things and it still works.)
Now it’s getting personal. I see why it’s important to the plot, but I don’t love Bond’s history coming out quite so much, or in such a sensitive way. If we think back to how this relationship started, it was with Bond breaking into M’s flat and using her computer back in Casino Royale. He knew where she lived, what her name was, what her secure username and password were – if anyone was having their privacy invaded, it was her. You assume that at the time, she had his dossier and would have known all of this stuff, but instead, the focus was on how he knew shit about her and just about everything else.
I’m remembering her in bed (yeah!), learning that Bond had hacked her account and her yelling, “How the hell does he know these things?!” That was cheeky, because it was Bond. Now it’s reversed, so it’s sad.
I don’t really see a problem with it. We aren’t told anything we don’t already know. I think they did it in the best possible way, since we know he’s an orphan, and all we ever really get told from this point out is that Bond has childhood trauma that he blocks out because he doesn’t want to deal with it. Which we were told in a playful(ish) way by Silva before. So really we’re just seeing that play out in a way. To me, the bad way to do this would be to tell you how his parents died and make the whole M/mother connection really obvious. Here, they really only leave the imagery there and play it straight as Bond and M. I thought it was a great way to go into the character’s backstory without making it overdone (since, after all, Bond is a creature of the surface, through and through). Besides, without something like this then the franchise stays as shallow as it was in the Brosnan years (post-GoldenEye, since at least that had some sort of depth to its relationships).
Oh dear god, look at this.
Scotland is 100 percent the place to be driving this car. It’s not much for handling, but Astons are supposed to be the ultimate in grand tourers. Long distances on reasonably straight roads at high speed. I can only imagine how great this must have been for them to shoot. That car is a treasure.
Also, I have to ask because I’m a car person that likes just about any era of car – don’t old people like older cars? Judi complained earlier that the DB5 wasn’t very comfortable, which was true about it when it was new, as well. But in real life, you’d think that a non-car person would be into the cars that were around when they were younger. The whole, “that brings me back” factor. Like how older people like watching older movies cause that’s what was around when they were young. I guess if you don’t care about cars, it’s like refrigerators…you may be interested in the aesthetic of the older ones, but functionality is your primary concern, so you’ll go with the new one every time. With cars, I just go for the classic nearly every time.
I think the thing with old people and old movies is — it’s about the feeling they evoke. They evoke that feeling of Old Hollywood that’s just not there anymore. Plus, now, the movies skew younger, so it’s more about how the movies just evoke this shitty, younger, corporate mentality. I think that’s 100% (well, 90%. The noise, you know) what it is. When you think movies now, you don’t get those silver screen images of Edward G. Robinson chomping down on a cigar or a soft closeup on an actress. It’s just explosions and noise. And I think that’s why old people don’t like new movies. It’s not necessarily a recapturing the youth sort of thing as much as it is that feeling that old movies bring. Since I get it too. This is why I went apeshit when The Artist came out. This is why, if they ever make a Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musical nowadays (and believe me, I’ll be fucking trying to), I’d ejaculate for days. It’s just that feeling they have, as compared to computer generated superheroes doing boring shit.
This probably has nothing to do with your note, but pretty much any time I get to talk about how awesome old movies are and how much these superhero fucking movies suck, I’m gonna take it.
This is what Skyfall means, by the way.
Seriously though, you can take out any one of these images, and it’ll look better than most FILMS do.
He just fucking has this here. It’s his. You know what I have just “there” for me? A safety deposit box with some Canadian nickels and shit in it.
“James. James Bond.”
(No. That’s not how it goes. You mucked it all up, you old codger.)
“Good god. Are you still alive?”
This is Kincade. Gamekeeper.
I can’t wait until I get to that age when people’ll see me and say, “Good God, are you still alive?” But that won’t be until I’m at least 27.
People say that about me now.
Shall we talk about Kincade?
Note: Just before anyone says anything, I’m not bringing up the obvious piece of “trivia” that’s floating around the interwebs about this role. It’s 100% false, and I refuse to even mention it within the articles. If that’s your idea of trivia, go back to watching E! and stop reading these articles. You’re doing it wrong.
But Colin will bring it up.
Let’s talk about how INSANELY glad I was that this wasn’t Connery. That would have been purely on novelty, so that people could sound smart and say, “Yeah, that old guy? He was the first James Bond ever. Cameo. Easy to miss, I know.” Of course, for the rest of us, he’d stick out like a sore thumb, and for the next twenty minutes, we’d be constantly reminded that Sean Connery was in this film and thinking about THAT instead of getting along with the movie. Even Albert Finney took me out of the film a little bit, but Connery would have been way over the top. We want no explicit ties to the previous Bonds.
Connery gets to remain the way he was as we remember him. Diamonds Are Forever wasn’t the BEST film he could have gone out on – if you mention Never Say Never Again, I’ll cut you – but it wasn’t bad, either. We don’t want the best (or any) Bond making any cameo appearances.
That might be the tagline for all of these articles: “If you mention Never Say Never Again, I’ll cut you.”
You also gotta wonder how Kincade knows Bond by sight. It’s been years since he’s been back, and he hasn’t really been at the house since he was a little kid anyway. Maybe he looks a lot like his father. Or maybe he saw the photo on the obit. But I’m not sure about that, since Kincade is unclear about what Bond does for a living.
Kincade wants to know what they’re doing there. Bond says some men are coming to kill them. They’re gonna kill them first.
“Then we better get ready.”
Already I like him.
Only problem – no guns.
They sold them all when they thought he was dead.
Of course an American bought the guns. Goddamn Americans and their love of guns. I love how I’m not included in “Americans.”
Now you know how I feel when we talk about white people.
Only thing left is his father’s old hunting rifle.
We see Bond’s father’s initials, AB, on the gun. That stands for Andrew Bond, from Glencoe. His mother was Swiss, Monique Delacroix. Since his father worked for the weapons company Vickers, Bond spent a lot of time abroad as a kid, but his parents were killed in an accident while mountain climbing when he was 11. Some may have assumed that the AB initials were a callback to Bond’s original producer, Albert Broccoli. This is merely a coincidence, as Bond’s family is described by Ian Fleming in the novels.
Pretty sure you’d have to be an idiot to think that meant Albert Broccoli. Especially after the tombstone shot later.
Also, they’re be much more likely to call a place or something “Cubby” than they would be to use his initials.
That’s all they’ve got. Maybe a couple of sticks of dynamite.
I know you were in a bit of a hurry, but wouldn’t it have made sense to pick up some guns on the way?
He didn’t even really know if the house was gonna be there. He assumed Kincade was dead, so did he jut figure the house would sit there until he got back? He didn’t know what he was showing up to.
And Kincade’s ready to shank some bitches if necessary.
(Knives and lint.)
Kincade wants to know who they’re fighting. Bond says it’s not his fight.
(Where is the dog during all this?)
“Try and stop me, you jumped up little shit.”
Still got it. Also, very Thunderball.
Okay, definitely fuck that marksmanship score. And Kincade just got served. Anytime you see someone you haven’t seen in like ten years, you always wanna show off the ways in which you are now a badass. For me, it’s like…using chopsticks? I just wait for people to be like, “We’re having dumplings, is that cool? I remember you being a little wobbly with the chopsticks.” “I’ll do my best.”
Mine’s mostly drinking. “I remember you couldn’t hold your liquor when you were twelve.” “Oh, don’t you worry, Grandpa…”
“What did you say you did for a living?”
Nice little moment.
Kincade shows M (whom he calls “Emma,” which is a nice little touch (Bond says “M,” and Kincade figures it’s a term of endearment and not a spy name)) a priest’s hole that’s in the place. It leads out into the moor.
Him calling her Emma is him being one of those old people who mishears you so often you just stop correcting them cause it’ll be a whole big thing.
Also… when talking about the house, he says that, “like all great ladies, she still has her secret ways.” And then the secret turns out to be a hole we didn’t know she had.
Don’t call me nasty, I’m just pointing out what literally just happened.
Kincade says the night he told Bond his parents died, he hid in there for two days. “When he did come out, he wasn’t a boy anymore.”
(That’s often what happens when you go into a priest hole.)
Oh yeah, Home Alone time!
Just like on Halloween.
But actually… this is Home Alone.
Yeah, Kincade’s got a sawed off!
And now, we wait.
(Jesus fucking christ.)
“I fucked this up, didn’t I?”
(Is that the first use of the word fuck in Bond? If so, they couldn’t have picked a better person to use it.)
(Well… maybe Desmond Llewelyn.)
(Or Lois Maxwell.)
(Or that little fucker who played Nick Nack.)
Bond says she did her job. He also says he read that obituary she wrote for him.
“Yeah, I knew you’d hate it. I did call you an exemplar of British fortitude.”
“That bit was all right.”
I love their relationship.
Oh, but here we go.
Kincade was ready before Bond was born.
But seriously… Home Alone.
The bad guys show up in Land Rover Defenders. So the bad guys are in them, too. I guess Silva’s getaway police car was a Land Rover Discovery, but that’s only cause that’s one of the vehicles the London police use.
Okay, we should have already noticed that the car is parked differently than it was. And if you haven’t, you don’t pay enough attention to awesome cars.
I love this shot of the bad guys reflected in the fairing of the passenger’s side mirror. Really any time you use part of a car to reflect something happening, I’m happy. Remember in the Quantum of Solace chase, when you see the Alfa Romeo reflected in the door of the DBS? Or in From Russia with Love when Bond’s coming out of the airport in Istanbul and you see Robert Shaw in the driver’s side mirror before he closes the door. This is my rear projection.
Look at these shots, though!
WHY ARE YOU SHOOTING THE CAR? LET IT KILL YOU!
“Welcome to Scotland.”
That line was a bit over the top. Although I honestly believe that if it was me, I’d be so caught up in the moment that I’d DMX bark at them.
I’m thinking they should have used the oil from the Aston’s defense mechanism to coat the front yard and then LIGHT IT UP. That’s pretty medieval.
How can you honestly tell me this isn’t Home Alone right now?
Judi flicks switches, and bustas bite it.
Flicking the gun up to his hand with his foot is one of the smoothest moves you’ve ever fucking seen, and I don’t care who you are.
My favorite thing about reading Colin’s notes is that everything he talks about, even if it’s the littlest thing, I already have a screenshot for it.
He’s white girl nervous.
“You’ve dropped something.”
Judi’s Got a Gun.
You see her get hit here, even if it isn’t totally obvious. It goes through the bookcase.
“Only my pride. I never was a good shot.”
Problem is – Silva’s not there.
He blares “Boom Boom” over a speaker, too. Which for a second I thought was tacky, then I went, “That’s exactly what this asshole would do, though,” and was okay with it.
(Fun fact: The song he plays on the island is a 30s version of the same song.)
This is a cool helicopter. It’s the AugustaWestland AW101, which is all-new and has yet to enter active service. This model is part of a product placement deal with AugustaWestland – the choppers that showed up to capture Silva on the island were AW159 Lynx Wildcats, which are also brand new and not yet in service. This is a bigger, multi-role helicopter. Pretty awesome.
I like the music, too. I said before that Silva has a flair about him, and he really does. Bond makes a crack about him having to make an entrance, and it’s exactly right. This is cat and mouse, so why shouldn’t the cat be a bit of an asshole about it? I personally prefer John Lee Hooker’s original version of “Boom Boom,” but the cover probably works better here.
Bond sends M and Kincade through the priest’s hole to the chapel, and he waits for Silva, alone.
Judi being here to see this sort of puts things in perspective. Throughout the franchise, Bond’s always been a smartass in the office, and they’re always telling him to ‘grow up’ and stuff like that. But when push comes to shove, he’s dealing with shit like this. Once you witness this firsthand, you let him be a smartass whenever he wants. It’s like a kid complaining that Grandpa’s drunk again, and the mom explaining that it’s okay cause Grandpa spent three years in a POW camp and saw some shit.
What he’s saying is — I have no excuse.
And trying to GTA it. This is exactly how you handle five stars.
Shit… three stars.
(Getting off topic for a second, I remember days where Colin and I would hang out and just play San Andreas for hours between lunch and dinner (since, what the fuck else were we gonna do? Work?) and just deliberately get five stars and see how long we could go before getting taken out. We’d fly on top of that hangar we had out in the desert and just stay there, lobbing grenades down onto the tanks and military SUVs and taking out all the helicopters that showed up with RPGs. And the only real way to die there is if you got bored or one of the helicopters landed on you when you shot it down. And then we’d start having fun with it and be like, “Watch this — I’m gonna jump off the hangar, run over to where the jetpack is and fly the jetpack back onto the hangar before they kill me.” And it would be a game. That was fun.)
The best part was when people would walk in and say, “You’re STILL doing that? It’s been seven hours!”
But yeah — shit’s going down.
And here he is. Quite the entrance. This is how you enter a final battle when you’re the boss. You let the nameless fucks go first, then show up. Silva’s doing everything right here.
(Note: Colin wrote the same thing in his notes. The next step is one of us going, “I’m sure (the other one) wrote this in his notes,” and going from there and just responding to it.)
Do a barrel roll!
I love this scene. Silva’s just lobbing grenades into the house. You gotta love a guy who has no qualms about just tossing grenades all over the place.
Silva tells them not to touch M. She’s his.
The tell-tale cut.
So now we know Judi’s been hit, if you didn’t catch that earlier. Meanwhile, Silva keeps throwing grenades in the house at random places, as if he knew Judi wasn’t still in there. Didn’t he want her alive so he could kill her face to face?
It was at this point where I think we all went, “Oh no.”
And at the same time — it’s genius that he knows exactly what to do to break the stalemate.
LOOK AT THIS FUCKING LIGHTING!!!!
Then again, what would be the ultimate mark of evil in a Bond franchise? What are the two things that can get Bond to give up reason and be pissed? Waste of scotch, waste of a good car.
This is the moment Colin was looking at the car the way people look at mortal wounds in movies. “No, no, no, it’s all right. It’s not that bad,” and the person is laying in a pool of blood with their intestines dragged across the floor. “No, no, she’s fine. You can fix that.”
You were close. The actual thoughts going through my head at the time were more like this.
That was unforgivable. Thankfully, they used 1:3 scale 3D printed models to get the shots of the Aston blowing up. Even blowing up a full-scale mock-up of one of those is heinous. Bond’s pissed (rightly so), so we get a variation on the James Bond theme. This makes me wonder about the future of the DB5. It might not be back again after this, at least before the next reboot. He’s already had two different cars in three films, so maybe it’ll be back anyway. Who knows?
Oh, you done fucked up now. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Everybody stand back. I’m about to open some fucking windows.
“I always hated this place.”
First, don’t stop for a last look. Second, how about closing the door?
I love how the only times he’s ever really shocked in this movie are when Bond supercedes the amount of crazy he thinks would be possible. Whenever Bond does something deliberately reckless and borderline suicidal, that’s when Silva is like, “Jesus — I wasn’t expecting that.” That’s really the only way Bond is able to beat his schemes, by getting around reason. He just blew up his own house while (technically) inside it. You can’t plan for someone like that.
“Wanna have a quickie?”
It’ll have to be.
I guess now Silva thinks Bond and Judi are both dead, and Judi thinks Bond’s dead. He figured out Judi’s whereabouts pretty quickly, which is why we don’t use flashlights, people. And I like that even after that gigantic blast, he still sends the guy to make sure Bond’s dead. How many villains have written him off too early, multiple times? Silva’s thorough.
Deakins is putting on a lighting clinic here.
I’m sure Mike has some things to say about how Deakins is awesome during this shot of Silva setting out from the house.
Hey, guys, remember what I just said like five minutes ago about the notes?
That was fucking great.
As someone who played a lot of wrestling games growing up, I’m a big fan when a movie busts out the Shining Wizard.
He just fucking runs up and kicks him in the face! This is the type of shit that makes me laugh like a child.
What if you didn’t take Viagra and it’s just cinematography that causes you to have an erection lasting longer than four hours?
This was another moment that made me go, “Huh?”
Because, I get it. Ice, fire — you wonder if it’ll hold. But on the other hand — where the fuck do you think Silva is right now? Do you think he found a quicker way across? Are your body weights that much different that it’ll make a difference? Something tells me you’ll be fine.
Not to mention, M and Kincade did it too. There should be no hesitation here. This was another editing choice that made me go, “Why are you doing that? You’re trying to impose tension, but you’re also imposing thoughts onto the character which don’t make sense.” Then again, maybe it’s just me. But I definitely had this thought in the theater too. It went away quickly enough, but it’s just weird that they did this, because it took me out of the movie for a second and had me questioning the logic.
And now he’s just fucking running.
Isn’t it better to just start like that? If it’s gonna break, it’s gonna break. At least at this point you’re already across (maybe) before the ice cracks enough to break through.
This is cool — he’s running, bullets, and he just skids to a stop without falling or anything.
I love how they give him these little touches that basically make him superhuman. Always lands on his feet, never falls on ice despite being at a dead sprint — perfect balance.
“You see what comes of all this running around, Mr. Bond?”
(I love that they included a few “Mr. Bond”s. That definitely feels like a Mendes throwback inclusion.)
It’s exhausting. Silva tells him he needs to relax.
(Also, where the fuck did that guy come from? When we see him appear, it’s from behind Bond. Which — the shots come from in front of him. So why is he coming from behind Bond? I thought that in theater — where the fuck did he come from? Was he behind him the whole time? How does this work? I even remember having that thought, so it must be really obvious when you watch it.)
Where the hell did that henchman come from? That was some David Blaine shit.
Now we’re just showing off.
That telescoppy’s workin’ regular now.
By this point in the movie, I don’t think there were any fluids left for me to give.
Look at this fucking shot.
Can we PLEASE just give this man his Oscar? After 2007… seriously. I mean, after all the other years he was nominated, but for shit’s sake. There Will Be Blood looked great, but I thought The Assassination of Jesse James looked better than that. And then there was No Country. Did they split votes? Is that how that worked? Give the man his Oscar already.
He lost for this and he lost for True Grit since then. (And I think he got nominated for The Reader too in between and lost for that. Either way, yes, give the man his Oscar.)
“This motherfucker’s crazy.”
(Which, again — the one way to get around Silva — out-crazy him.)
Bond strangles the guy, then, “Oh, wait, I need him.”
This reminds me of that scene in OSS 117 where he’s thrown underwater with the weight around his ankles, and he breaks free and has time to do other shit while he’s down there without ever once needing a breath of air. And it’s like a four minute scene.
Time for the showdown.
“Of course. It had to be here. It had to be this way.”
This was one of my favorite little moments in the film — Kincade comes in like, “I found some shit,” and Silva, without even looking, really, just lifts his gun up like, “Nuh uh uh, old timer. This ain’t your beef.” Which is great for a number of reasons. One, how he does it is awesome. He doesn’t even look. He just knows he’s got it under control. And also, it’s great that he has that sense of fair play. He’s only here for M, and this guy isn’t a threat, so no need to kill him. Which makes him a great villain because he has a sense of fair play, and it really makes his overall mission/story work even more, since he’s not doing anything outside of that. He has a singular purpose, and killing a random, while making him more “evil” in a way, would dilute that. So I like this moment for those reasons.
Also, it’s pretty badass how he does it.
“What have they done to you?”
“Free both of us.”
“With the same bullet.”
“Do it. Only you can do it.”
As style-oriented as he is, he’s totally into this ending. And what an end for them. He wants to go out together with her? This is where you duck and pull the trigger, by the way. If you’re ever in this situation.
“Last rat standing.”
And that’s the end of Silva.
“007, what took you so long?”
“Well, I – got into some deep water.”
And here’s where I actually had that moment of, “Holy shit, I was actually right?” I was talking it up the whole time, but I didn’t actually think it would turn out this way.
He makes a pun, she collapses. Was it really THAT bad?
I guess you’re not gonna like me cutting to the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme right after she dies, then.
“I suppose it’s too late to make a run for it.”
“Well I’m game if you are.”
“I did get one thing right.”
I still would.
I’m sorry, did I ruin the mood? He’s all crying and shit.
By the way – note to Timothy Dalton: This is one of the instances in which it’s okay for Bond to cry. Does anyone even remember Agent Saunders?
We’re all in agreement, this is one of the only times that Bond is allowed to cry. I’m allowed, too.
Again, this was written before he knew what I wrote.
Then again, we had discussed this at length previously, so it’s not that incredible.
Either way — “What the fuck, Timothy Dalton?,” is really the ultimate point to be made here.
But yeah, it’s sad.
Oh, right… we have to take care of logistics now.
He thought she was going back out on active service.
She declined. Field work’s not for everyone.
“If it helps – I feel a lot safer.”
The will reading was today. As if he didn’t know that. Why the fuck else would he be standing on a roof, looking out into the distance, instead of fucking a bitch and drinking himself to death?
She left him that.
“Maybe it was her way of telling you to take a desk job.”
“Just the opposite.”
And now we can finally get the reveals that Mike and I have been waiting for
all my motherfuckin’ life!the whole film.
I promise I won’t say anything about this scene until it’s over.
(There will be some parentheticals, though.)
“You know, we’ve never been formally introduced.”
(Really? Because you worked together like, three times in this movie. That office was a bunker. Presumably you worked together before. I find this very hard to believe.)
“Oh? Well, my name’s Eve. Eve Moneypenny.”
“Well I look forward to our time together, Miss Moneypenny.”
“Me too. I’m sure we’ll have one or two close shaves.”
Okay, scene’s over.
What the fuck was THAT?
That was embarrassing. What a shoehorned in, poorly written exchange. That’s the Bond equivalent of Spielberg not ending Lincoln with the hallway shot and ending with the assassination because that’s what people expect. It’s not that they did it that’s the problem, it’s the way in which they did it. Tacky. Very tacky.
Close shaves… SHE’S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE AWARE OF THE DYNAMIC! What’s the fun of Bond and Moneypenny if they’re both aware it’s never going to happen and are flirting anyway? The joy of Moneypenny is the flirting and her actually being into him. That’s why this works. I like the character, and I like how they’re introducing her and everything, but you can’t have a Moneypenny who flirts with Bond and isn’t desperate to sleep with him. (Well, I guess you could, but… I just really don’t like how they did this.)
Close shaves… how fucking obvious can you get?
And now for Colin’s more rational take on the matter:
So she’s Moneypenny, which I’m excited about. We’re really establishing the franchise again with all the staples. And Moneypenny has always had her desk outside M’s office, which means…
Oh, but the door.
It’s like a more modern take on Bernard Lee’s old red door.
Just like old times.
“How’s the arm, sir?”
Oh you knew this shit was coming.
“All pretty shocking for someone unused to field work.”
“So, 007 – lots to be done.”
Mallory’s clearly set up as a cool guy now, so we like him. The line about not being used to field work pretty much lays it out that he’s respecting Bond as the operative and that he’s just going to run shit from behind the desk. He obviously trusts Bond now – any cracks about having lost a step are behind them.
And how great is it that Fiennes is gonna be M now? The more awesome actors are associated with Bond, the more the franchise’s image is rehabilitated with people who still think of it as Roger Moore mincing around.
“Are you ready to get back to work?”
“With pleasure, M.”
I don’t like his last line. The delivery of the ‘M’ part is way too deliberate. Did we really need that? We know who he is now and what his job is going to be. I’d have rather they just had Tanner say, “M will see you now,” and then have the reveal that it’s Mallory. This felt clumsy.
That was my problem with it. We see it’s him, but they go out of their way to point out that he’s M. Not to mention they did the SAME EXACT THING with Q before, only that one worked because it seemed like “Q” was a joke title that’s gonna stick. Here it’s just blatant and annoying. Especially coming on the heels of that Moneypenny exchange, which is another one that’s only there because we all know it and we have to go through the motions.
I think it’s the pause before the second “with pleasure” that makes it so annoying. I can even allow the two of them if they were said close together. It’s just the way they did it that I don’t like. I can live with it being there because I understand them doing it. Just — not like that.
I guess this is the new norm, the gun barrel at the end. (Though I can see them bringing it back for the next one, maybe. Since now he “is” Bond.)
What a perfect way to end the movie, though.
Final Thoughts on Skyfall:
Wow, do I have to sum this up? After everything that’s just been covered? I’ll try to keep it simple.
I’m a pretty strict traditionalist. Bond is, to me, as he was for the first four films. By those standards, Skyfall can barely even be called a Bond film because of the direction they took. In length, tone, appearance and in plot, it’s vastly different from every Bond film I’ve wholly enjoyed. And yet, I loved this movie. After all this time, I’m not afraid of some change. Some is as yet questionable (i.e. Ben Whishaw), some is sad but inevitable (losing Judi), and some is most welcome (i.e. Ralph Fiennes).
This is how they’ve taken a fifty year old franchise and gotten five Oscar nominations — with two wins — as well as the seventh highest box office gross of all time. Bond’s back in the big leagues, and could be headed up even further. Here’s hoping they go more straight Bond next time. I think he’s pretty much out of people that can die and make him sad — sorry, Tanner, but we don’t care about you all that much.
It’s not quite what I expected, but I put it at number six on my list. The viewing for this write-up was number eight in the the three months since I first say it in theaters, which should tell you how into it I am.
My Final Thoughts:
I was pretty in awe of this movie when it came out, because I didn’t think it would be as good as it was. My expectations were impossibly high for this movie, and it met them. I do have some minor issues — there were some close shaves, if you will — but overall, I think it’s a nice end to this little Craig “introduction trilogy.” I call it that because — these three films are going to establish the next ten for this franchise. You’re setting up this character of Bond. And what’s gonna happen now is that Craig is gonna do three more Bond movies, they’re gonna be mostly straight Bond movies, we’re gonna feel how we will about them, and then the character will be completely there. That’s what’s most exciting about this. We started fresh and we started with a modern foundation for this character. We now know why he is the way he is (for the most part), why he drinks, and why he is who he is.
Now all we need is a “shaken, not stirred” line for posterity’s sake, a gun barrel at the beginning of the film (just once, again for posterity’s sake), and for him to fuck some women who live. Just give me a Bond girl who makes it through a film.
Other than that — excited to see what they do with Moneypenny (not too worried. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt until (if until even happens) they fuck it up), way about Q but again am willing to wait and see for a movie or two before I pass complete judgment, and I love Ralph Fiennes as M. I think, of all the people they could have picked, he’s a damn fine choice and right now, if it’s not Judi, I wouldn’t rather have anyone else in the role. (Though I do hope they keep his action scenes to a minimum, the way they’ve kept Judi’s. Maybe give him a badass moment to be clever if captured or something, but keep him out of the gun battles.) Tanner, I think is a great inclusion to the series. We never really got enough of him previously, so that’s nice. I also hope we get some Felix in steady order (when it makes sense, of course. But I do hope it makes sense more often than not, because I do like seeing Jeffrey Wright in my movies), since his scenes are always a joy. I feel like Broccoli and Wilson know the way to keep this franchise successful now, so I won’t even need to hope that they’ll keep the action realistic and keep it grounded in story, since I feel that’ll happen organically. And, while this last one is very tough to pull off successfully, I will mention it, because if they can pull it off, it would be awesome — I’d kinda like to see Craig have his own Blofeld. You know what I mean? Not if it’s gonna be hokey or anything, but I just like the idea of a Blofeld being out there. But it would be too hard to pull off, so it’s not really anything more of a fantasy than anything. Keep going the way you’re going. I’ve loved all of these Craig movies so far, more than I’ve loved just about every Bond movie since Connery left (literally. My top ten is two Craig, one Lazenby, six Connerys and a Moore. And another Craig is #11).
As for where I’d rank this one specifically — I agree with Colin. #6. Our 1-5 is pretty similar — we both have From Russia with Love, Goldfinger and Casino Royale as 1-3 (I’m like 90% sure on that), then I have On Her Majesty’s Secret Service at 4 and Dr. No at 5 and Colin has those reversed. And then we both have this at 6. Then, having thought about the rest, I’d probably go GoldenEye #7, Thunderball #8, You Only Live Twice #9, and The Spy Who Loved Me at #10, with Quantum of Solace at #11. I’m pretty sure, aside from some switching, those are Colin’s exact same 11 movies. We basically agree on those same 11.
But yeah, I’d put this at #6. I wouldn’t put it above those top five, but I would put it above GoldenEye despite my personal love of that movie. It’s tough, ranking this one, because I don’t want to overrate it, the way most casual Bond fans are, but I don’t want to underrate it either. It is a really fucking good movie, and Deakins singlehandedly bumps this shit up to #1 in terms of the best looking Bond movie ever. Honestly, this plot could have been only as good as a #9 and his cinematography would have bumped it up at least one or two spots by itself.
So I guess the one last thing for me to say — We are not now that strength…
I’m really excited for the next one. That’s what I wanted to say.
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Official Bond Number: #23
Release Date: October 26, 201 (U.K.)
November 9, 2012 (U.S.)
Run Time: 143 minutes
Budget: $200 million
Box Office: $304.2 million domestically ($1.1 billion worldwide)
Title Song: ”Skyfall” by Adele
Music By: Thomas Newman
Based On: Just Bond.
Director: Sam Mendes
Writer: Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and John Logan
First Lines: “Ronson’s down.”
Last Lines: “So, 007… lots of work to be done. Are you ready to get back to work.” “With pleasure, M. With pleasure.”
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- Raoul Silva/Tiago Rodriguez
Secondary Bond Girl:
Bond Villain Chick:
Other Important Characters:
- Gareth Mallory
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- Aston Martin DB5
- Audi A5
- Land Rover Defendor
- Jaguar XJ
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- Walther PPK/S 9mm short
- Radio transmitter
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- The film won the Oscars for Best Sound Editing (in a tie. One of only three ties in Oscar history) and Best Original Song. (That makes four total for the franchise, after a Sound Editing win for Goldfinger and a Visual Effects win for Thunderball.)
- Production for the film was supposed to begin in 2010, but was delayed due to MGM’s bankruptcy.
- They announced the cast for the film exactly fifty years to the day when Sean Connery was announced as Bond.
- Adele’s song for the film was released on October 5, 2012, at 0:07, British time, which is fifty years to the day from when Dr. No was released. (They really knew how to market this one.)
- In fifty years of Bond, this film features only the second time he’s ever been shot. (The other time is in the leg in Thunderball while running away from Fiona Volpe and her men.)
- This is also only the second time we see Bond with a beard, and the first time that beard has nothing to do with being in a North Korean prison for fourteen months.
- This is (technically) the first Bond film to feature two action sequences involving a train (though I don’t know how much I want to count the second one. It’s not really a train action sequence. That’s part of a chase that happens on a train, and then a train comes crashing down. That’s not really the same as the first one).
- This is the first Bond movie to use the MGM logo at the beginning since Octopussy.
- I feel like we might have mentioned this in Part I, but I’m too lazy to go and check — the house M lives in at the beginning is actually one that John Barry owned.
- Judi Dench’s ringtone is the “James Bond Theme.” Let’s pause to appreciate that.
- Javier Bardem is now the second Oscar winner to play a Bond villain, after Christopher Walken.
- This is the first Bond film to be shot entirely digitally. (When Roger Deakins tells you to shoot digital, you fucking shoot digital.)
- This is the first time since Licence to Kill where we see the classic “M’s office” set.
- Apparently Judi Dench has more screen time in this film alone than Desmond Llewelyn had in all his appearance as Q put together.
- This is the first Bond film in which the villain ends up successful in his primary objective.
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See the other parts here: