Friday, November 09, 2012

Escape to The Movies: "Skyfall"

As good as you've heard.

Know what else is good? "Lincoln."

10 comments:

David (The Pants) said...

I saw it with friends when it opened in IMAX on Wednesday. I was blown away (it wasn't *real* IMAX). It looked and felt and was written so amazing. The nods to the 50 years of Bond we all know were GREAT and the character-building this series has attempted is executed perfectly.

Cyrus said...

Saw it yesterday and had a blast! Bob's not exaggerating the quality of the action scenes one bit, the cinematography is amazing, especially the use of light and color in certain scenes and is it just me or does Craig's age contribute to him moving and sounding more and more like Connery?

Still, while the suspension of disbelief holds up pretty well throughout the movie, do yourself a favor and stop thinking about it immediately after it's over. There are plot holes one could drive a subway train through and the franchise's habitual sexism is complemented by a "hey, let's freak out the audience by making the guy-villain come on to Bond" moment. Really, Skyfall? Diamonds Are Forever came out forty years ago, what's your excuse?

Oh and the technobabble. Oh boy, was it painful! If you're an IT guy and a few days from now you have to explain to your boss why "security through obscurity" is not clever, but really fucking stupid, you have my deepest condolences.

Sam Baker said...

I enjoyed it overall and thought it to be a pretty damn solid action flick. However the "Waste of good scotch" line/scene really upset me at the time and has been on my mind since.

I've seen little to no discussion on the topic, which has left me wondering did I miss something? I saw it as a needless, brutal murder that didn't tell me anything about the villain I didn't already know (We already know he's brutal and willing to murder at that point)

The fact that it was then swept under the carpet so callously and never mentioned again really didn't sit right.

I've been told it was a reference to the bond quips of old such as the helicopter scene in 'The Spy Who Loved Me' but it just left me feeling nauseous rather than chuckling like the rest of the audience.

Fallen Angel said...

"And we're back".

That was my first thought after seeing Skyfall. A welcome return to form for Bond. Bob's on the money about the third act, which I wish I could talk about, but don't wanna spoil it for everyone. Let's just that it reminded me of a certain Sam Peckinpah movie. Either way, it's fabulous.

@Sam Baker

Good point. My thoughts exactly. If there's one thing that didn't work for me, it was that line. The quip just seemed out of character, or at least in that particular situation. Nevertheless, if one can pick out that little misstep, it just goes to show how good the rest of the film is, IMHO.

Kyle said...

Barbarian vs Destroyer, my favorite Destroyer. Yes, it is because of the wizard and the thief.

Andrew said...

WARNING: Spoilers. Mild spoilers.

I just got back from this, and I have mixed feelings on it. It was a fun movie - Bardem was sooooooo delightful - but I felt like it didn't do enough to remove itself from the campy Bond of yore. One of the Bond Girls feels like she was inserted into the story JUST so that Bond had someone to have sex with (not unlike the girl on the beach from Casino Royale), which would have been par for the course for the old films, but which was really quite pointless in this one. It didn't fit the theme at all. The old films were about babes, drinking, fights, babes, exotic locales, over-the-top villains and babes. These movies are supposed to be gritty and borderline realistic, and it doesn't work when they try to be fun. If they want to be fun, fine, then be fun. But in that case, don't be so dark and brooding. Pick an atmosphere, you can't have everything.

Casino Royale handled this balance a bit better, and that plus the general shock of seeing such a totally different take makes me feel like that movie is still the better one (stupid poker scene notwithstanding). The fight scenes here were good, as was the big chase at the end, but the opening scene was so tired; between the Brosnan films and the Parkour scene in CR, this had been done (and Istanbul had already been done far better in From Russia With Love, so that just brought up unfavorable comparisons).

I could go on, but I don't think it's worth bringing up all the little things that didn't sit right with me, but which are ultimately trifles. Eh, I'll do it anyway.

REST OF COMMENT HAS SPOILERS

- How did Bond break into M's apartment without tripping security? You think she'd have a tight system in place. All it accomplished was set up a "shocking reveal" that anyone could see coming, because they've already seen it in a hundred other movies.

- Why did Bond allow the assassin to get on the elevator? After passing the dead guards, he should have had his gun already. He had 2-3 seconds and a short-range clear shot. This was just clumsy, as if Bond himself was hoping to have a fistfight with him later, so he let him live and finish off his target.

- The timing of Bond's rescue was too convenient if the goal was to save just Bond and no one else. Predictable storytelling, the kind Galaxy Quest lampooned a decade ago.

All of these three would have been just fine in a movie that was trying to be in on the joke and play right into genre tropes. But as the movie was clearly going for modern and gritty, and leaving the campy stuff behind, these bits were all pretty jarring, and took me right out of the movie.

Overall, it's still good. Nice fight scenes, good performances, nice use of locations, editing non-nauseating. Three stars, 7/10, that kinda thing. But the film still lacked a consistent tone.

Casino Royale was still better.

Uncle Tim said...

@Andrew

Mild SPOILERS:

1: We've already seen he's good at getting past M's security in Casino Royale. Bond is good at his job, which often involves sneaking into secure places. If he wasn't, he wouldn't be a 00.

2: Remember his mission was to find the assassin and find who was employing him. It made sense that he wouldn't simply shoot him immediately but would see where he led first on the chance it would bring him to his real target.

3: I'm not sure which scene this refers to but if it's the one I think it is, Bond hardly seemed to need much rescuing in that moment and later plot developments suggest there were other factors involved in the apparent rescue.

Andrew said...

@Uncle Tim

1. Sure, that happens all the time in movies, but it's still forced for one that's going for realism. Bond's supposed to be a genius, but drunk, and without equipment, he still broke into the head of MI6's home, without tripping an alarm, motion sensor cameras, or even disturbing a dog? That suggests that Silva should have chosen the direct route and taken a moderately-heavy stick to M's front door. He's a 00 too, after all (wasn't he?). Then again, I could have killed M if she was leaving herself THAT vulnerable.

2. He coulda shot him in the leg or arm. I do understand why he let him hang around long enough to figure out who his target was, once he got to the upstairs office, since he's supposed to be a remorseless killer and not care about some random guy, but he's also supposed to be smart. It should have been clear from the dead security guards that the assassin was not about to meet up with his employer.

At the elevator, Bond had the advantage of surprise, he had his gun ready (or should have), and his target had already beaten him once in one hand-to-hand fight, so Bond shouldn't have underestimated him. Had Bond come around the corner just in time to see the elevator doors close and been forced to make a spur-of-the-moment decision to just grab the elevator (setting up a nice reveal once he realized just how long a ride he was in for), it wouldn't have been a problem. As is, it just seems like Bond was being unnecessary cocky. Bond, this Bond at least, isn't the type to do that. Moore, sure, but he probably would have enjoyed a cigarette during the ride up.

3. Eh, my last critique is the most petty. Narrow escapes, cavalry arriving just in time but no sooner, taking a lot for granted, plot conveniences uber alles. I get it. Again, it was clear that Silva didn't need to go to such lengths. Just walk up to M's front door and blow her brains out.

Scott Evil would approve.

Breakingdawn said...

The best james bond movie so far. (for me) :)

Aiddon said...

Best Craig Bond by far, but I find the comment about the melee choreography to be bs. It would be valid if it weren't for the fact that the two most prominent melee scenes are suspiciously obscured by tree cover and silhouettes respectively