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James Bond

TM2YC

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Tried to avoid story spoilers...

No Time to Die (2021)
First off, I'd really recommend re-watching 'Spectre' (even though it's not very good) before watching 'No Time to Die'. You'll get more out of it as it heavily ties into the previous film and recreates past events we only heard about before. I've never been a big fan of the Daniel Craig era's decision to make these films a continuos narrative (rather than stand alone adventures) but if you are into all that, I'm sure you'll feel this has wrapped it up in style, with emotional impact. The action, especially the car chases are directed with real flair and excitement. My highlight was when Bond whipped the covers off his black Aston Martin V8 Vantage (my favourite Bond car, from my favourite Bond film 'The Living Daylights'). The plotting is quite complicated, so I admit I might have missed some bits of exposition but a couple of points didn't seem to add up:

Safin is pictured in the flashback with a weird face (hidden behind a kabuki mask) and appears to be hobbling on prosthetic legs, then magically comes back to life as if he's immortal. Years later when we see him again, none of that seems to still be true?? Safin keeps mentioning his father but that goes nowhere either. A big deal is made of the "Delectados" cigars (a call back to 'Die Another Day') that Bond gets for Felix (there are a few close-ups drawing your attention to their importance) but they don't appear again. I felt sure one of the last scenes would be Bond lighting it up but no. I wondered if they weren't allowed to feature smoking to get a 12A now, just as they seemed unable to show blood, despite many scenes having needed to show a lot of it and looking a little ridiculous as a consequence. Perhaps as the longest Bond film already, they had to cut some stuff and it's absence has left some holes?

Having just re-watched 'Spectre', one of the (few) best things about it was Ralph Fiennes' steely 'M' but he looks a bit bored here. Hans Zimmer's score does the job but nothing more, the most memorable moments in the score are when he does a full reprise of John Barry's music. New cast members Lashana Lynch and Rami Malek are top notch but the best was Ana de Armas. I'd happily watch a spin off movie about her bubbly, kickass CIA agent. This is a satisfying conclusion to a 15-year journey but next time can we just have some some outlandish fun, some mad gadgets, some sexy romance and not get bogged down in contemplating death all the time.

 

asterixsmeagol

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Die Another Day (2002)
Wow, the movie starts off with a terrible CGI bullet in the gun barrel sequence and then it's all downhill from there. A bland cold open, an uninspired credits sequence, and one of the worst theme songs. Lame action scenes, pointless slow-mo, and awful CGI plague the whole movie. Perhaps the worst is when Bond comes in kite-surfing on some wreckage. Beyond the bad effects that plague this film, it's biggest sin is that it's just boring. I wasn't quite as bored as I was in OHMSS, but that's not a great endorsement. Really the only two remotely good things I have to say are that it was fun to see some old Bond gadgets in the background of Q's lab, and that other than the theme song, the rest of score is alright, but still not outstanding. One particular bit I liked was the Latin style Bond theme used while in Cuba. It's a shame that Bronan went out on such a lame foot.

Here's an updated ranking up through the end of Brosnan's run
  1. GoldenEye
  2. Thunderball
  3. Goldfinger
  4. Dr. No
  5. From Russia with Love
  6. You Only Live Twice
  7. Diamonds Are Forever
  8. Never Say Never Again
  9. The Living Daylights
  10. License to Kill
  11. Tomorrow Never Dies
  12. Moonraker
  13. The Spy Who Loved Me
  14. For Your Eyes Only
  15. Octopussy
  16. A View to a Kill
  17. Casino Royale (1954)
  18. The World Is Not Enough
  19. Live and Let Die
  20. The Man with the Golden Gun
  21. Die Another Day
  22. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
  23. Casino Royale (1967)
 

LastSurvivor

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Here's an updated ranking up through the end of Brosnan's run
  1. GoldenEye
  2. Thunderball
  3. Goldfinger
  4. Dr. No
  5. From Russia with Love
  6. You Only Live Twice
  7. Diamonds Are Forever
  8. Never Say Never Again
  9. The Living Daylights
  10. License to Kill
  11. Tomorrow Never Dies
  12. Moonraker
  13. The Spy Who Loved Me
  14. For Your Eyes Only
  15. Octopussy
  16. A View to a Kill
  17. Casino Royale (1954)
  18. The World Is Not Enough
  19. Live and Let Die
  20. The Man with the Golden Gun
  21. Die Another Day
  22. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
  23. Casino Royale (1967)
I almost choked on my tea when I saw OHMSS so low in the ranking!
 

LastSurvivor

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No Time to Die (2021)
First off, I'd really recommend re-watching 'Spectre' (even though it's not very good) before watching 'No Time to Die'. You'll get more out of it as it heavily ties into the previous film and recreates past events we only heard about before. I've never been a big fan of the Daniel Craig era's decision to make these films a continuos narrative (rather than stand alone adventures) but if you are into all that, I'm sure you'll feel this has wrapped it up in style, with emotional impact. The action, especially the car chases are directed with real flair and excitement. My highlight was when Bond whipped the covers off his black Aston Martin V8 Vantage (my favourite Bond car, from my favourite Bond film 'The Living Daylights'). The plotting is quite complicated, so I admit I might have missed some bits of exposition but a couple of points didn't seem to add up:

Safin is pictured in the flashback with a weird face (hidden behind a kabuki mask) and appears to be hobbling on prosthetic legs, then magically comes back to life as if he's immortal. Years later when we see him again, none of that seems to still be true?? Safin keeps mentioning his father but that goes nowhere either. A big deal is made of the "Delectados" cigars (a call back to 'Die Another Day') that Bond gets for Felix (there are a few close-ups drawing your attention to their importance) but they don't appear again. I felt sure one of the last scenes would be Bond lighting it up but no. I wondered if they weren't allowed to feature smoking to get a 12A now, just as they seemed unable to show blood, despite many scenes having needed to show a lot of it and looking a little ridiculous as a consequence. Perhaps as the longest Bond film already, they had to cut some stuff and it's absence has left some holes?

Having just re-watched 'Spectre', one of the (few) best things about it was Ralph Fiennes' steely 'M' but he looks a bit bored here. Hans Zimmer's score does the job but nothing more, the most memorable moments in the score are when he does a full reprise of John Barry's music. New cast members Lashana Lynch and Rami Malek are top notch but the best was Ana de Armas. I'd happily watch a spin off movie about her bubbly, kickass CIA agent. This is a satisfying conclusion to a 15-year journey but next time can we just have some some outlandish fun, some mad gadgets, some sexy romance and not get bogged down in contemplating death all the time.

Well, as a Bond fan since as far back as I can remember (The Living Daylights was the first Bond film I saw at the cinema, but I'd seen most of the films on VHS by then), the Craig era has been an interesting ride for me. My emotions seem to change on how I feel about his tenure nearly every month, but now, after seeing No Time To Die, I am coming around to the fact that I am certainly more a fan of his time, than not. To be honest, I didn't have much hope for NTTD. I really didn't like Spectre very much, although admittedly I did enjoy the first hour or so when I rewatched it recently. However, to say the film blew my expectations out of the water is an understatement.

As a massive fan of OHMSS, I do like the more human emotional element of the Bond character, not to mention his fallibility. It's something Fleming tapped into with the novels, but is often left unexplored in the film series. Dalton did it extremely well in Licence to Kill, and Craig showed glimpses of it in his tenure - but not like NTTD. I was hooked by this film from the excellent pre-credits sequence to the very final shot. It's easily my favourite Bond film since Casino Royale..... never once did I look at my watch. For the longest Bond film ever, I never even noticed it. Everyone is on top form here... Lia Seydoux is so good as Madeline, and Lashana Lynch, Rami Malek are top notch too. Malek's performance has drawn some criticism but I loved it... nicely balanced in my eye, and quite unsettling at times.

Yep, Ana de Armas was superb in her very memorable sequence. But Craig.... Mr Daniel Craig - this is easily his best performance as Bond. It's by far his most rounded and for once I actually believed this could be Fleming's Bond who has literally lept from the written page onto the screen.

The callbacks to OHMSS are wonderfully executed, and fit very well when you consider the stakes here. I'm sure there's even a tribute to the Goldeneye N64 game in there.. honest. But, this is not just bad fan service. It all works surprisingly well...

All in all, NTTD is a wonderful way to end the Craig era. It looks amazing (the colour timing here is beautiful), the score whilst not vintage Bond is far better than Skyfall or Spectre, and it's the kind of Bond film we don't get very much. I can easily see this creeping into my Top 5 Bond films ever.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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I almost choked on my tea when I saw OHMSS so low in the ranking!
I like OHMSS more than most in its original form, but your edit really makes it shine. Yes, it still has flaws and Connery would’ve made it better. But I like its more serious tone (once the stupid fourth wall breaking quips are removed). It’s still fun but takes itself seriously enough to make it a genuine drama rather than the self-parody if many of Moore’s entries.
 

asterixsmeagol

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I maybe am too harsh on OHMSS. Had Lazenby come after Moore instead of mid-Connery, I probably would have liked his take on the character more (though I agree the 4th wall stuff needs to go).
 

Moe_Syzlak

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I maybe am too harsh on OHMSS. Had Lazenby come after Moore instead of mid-Connery, I probably would have liked his take on the character more (though I agree the 4th wall stuff needs to go).

Give it another shot but watch LS’s edit. It still contains some of the more problematic things from any Bond movies for modern audiences and it definitely suffers from having Rigg off screen for so long, but I think a lot of it’s bad reputation is due to it not being Connery. TBH I don’t think Lazenby was bad, but he just wasn’t Connery.
 

TM2YC

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never once did I look at my watch. For the longest Bond film ever, I never even noticed it.

Yeah that's right, it did not drag (unlike Spectre which felt like 4 or 5 hours long).

I'm sure there's even a tribute to the Goldeneye N64 game in there.. honest.

I got flashbacks to the glass box labs from the 2nd level, or do you mean something more specific?

Image4.jpg
 

LastSurvivor

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I got flashbacks to the glass box labs from the 2nd level, or do you mean something more specific?

Image4.jpg

For me, the scene during the finale when Bond is facing lots of bad guys as he goes up many stairs, appears to be almost one shot and literally felt like I was playing Goldeneye. It could be just me of course, but that's what I took from it ;)
 

asterixsmeagol

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Casino Royale (2006)
I wasn't sold on Daniel Craig when he was first announced, but I was blown away by this movie when it came out in theaters, especially considering he was inheriting a franchise as down in the dumps as it was left at the end of Brosnan's run. I don't really love the cold open resetting the timeline and making Bond a new agent, especially since they carried over Judi Dench as M (not that I have a problem with her performance, it was just a weid choice in casting to carry over only one actor). I also don't love the theme song, but it's fine I guess. The opening credits, however, are one of the best in the franchise. At nearly 2½ hours, this version of the story doesn't move at the same quick pace that Barry Nelson's did in 1954, but I still wasn't bored at any point, although I did wish a few of the action scenes and the torture scene were a little shorter.

Quantum of Solace (2008)
Picking right up where Casino Royale left off, Quantum of Solace doesn't really stand on its own. The story is pretty weak, and the fact that it was filmed in the middle of the 2008 writier's strike made matters even worse. Keeping all of this in mind, I think the film is greatly improved by watching in quick succession after Casino Royale. It still doesn't make it a great movie, but at least it feels more like a part of a cohesive whole.
 

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QoS is my second favorite Bond movie (after CR). 8/10 easily, maybe even 9/10. And I appreciate it even more when trying to compare it to those two pitiful trainwrecks that arrived later.

I also don't love the theme song
"You know my name" is my favourite Bond song , the only one I listen on a regular basis outside of the movie.
But hey, I'm Chris Cornell fan for almost 20 years.
 

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Skyfall? A trainwreck? My eyes must be going blind. Well I appreciate your honesty (and your pfp, LOTR is my fav) if nothing else of your hot take. Also yeah, You Know My name is a banger (so is Skyfall). Well, Thursday I am seeing NTTD, so tonight is revisiting Skyfall, tomorrow Spectre, and then after Thursday I will post my ranking.
 

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Skyfall is one of the most stupid movies I've ever watched (among those I remember I mean). And terribly boring, by the way. Whole plot makes no sense, most of characters do idiotic things, Silva plan is plain stupid, and the flashlight scene at the end make me facepalm so hard that I've almost broke my nose, also, it trying too hard to be next TDK and fails miserably. Deakins photography, the opening song and Craig are the only things I like there, maybe opening scene too, but not that much.

I've revisited all Craig's movies last week, and can't decide if Spectre is worse trainwreck than Skyfall or the other way around. Maybe Spectre is worse after all, because Skyfall looks better and happens to be funny sometimes in it's extreme idiocy, while it's follow up is plain boring,lifeless and bland-looking (even if a little less stupid). Whoever is responsible for that pathethic finale, should not work on any action movie ever again.

CR - 10/10, QoS 8-9/10, Skyfall & Spectre - 4/10
 
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Darth Kermit

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Man, I just rewatched Skyfall right now as it was next on my marathon leading up to NTTD Thursday. It’s my favorite Bond. I love the story, I think the character work is magnificent, and of course the photography is to die for. The score is also very good, and from start to finish I was extremely engaged, something a decent amount of the older Bond films failed to do (cough Roger Moore cough). In almost every way except for the Bond girl (who isn’t bad, just there have been better) I think this is the best Bond film, and Casino Royale is certainly second.

I just don’t get how you can like QOS more than this. The editing, the villain, and the villains plot are all so dumb in that film. At least Silva was captivating and had a good revenge arc (and he won). But oh well, we all have our tastes.
 

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I really can't see what is dumb in QoS. Maybe there is something but when the movie doesn't let me be bored for a second, I dont have time to analyse everything and just enjoy the ride. It was that way in theater back in 2008, and with every subsequent viewing (and thre were at least ten of them). The Dark Knight has some problems similar to Skyfall's, but I just don't care because I am highly entertained watching it. In the case of Skyfall, I am constantly tired so I every problem is noticed and disturbs me. I tried to like this movie, watched it four times (theater, then tried to rewatch on Blu-ray, then before Spectre and now before NTTD). Still not impressed at all.

Whole Silva's plan is absurd. He knows everything what will happen, while he just can't know that.
He blew up MI6 headquarters, but he knows anyway where they will lock him up and that they will lock him up in computer locked cell, but if they've had lock him up in normal cell his plan would fail instantly.
He knows exactly when the idiot Q will do the most idiotic thing he could do - let Silva's laptop be plugged in to MI6 system instead work on isolated system with it), he knows at what time exactly Bond will be going after him, so he can make the (EMPTY, in rush hour, LOL) subway train to fall on him.
He knows that at the M's hearing the security would be so low, he can get in with two other guys without much problem.
This is all absurd.

Then, Bond has even stupider plan, to take M to Skyfall and fight with Silva without any additional help (and not taking any weapons with him, because, you know, there should be some weapons, cause they wer there years ago).
There, Silva say to his people that they leave M to him, because he need to take care of her personally. But despite this he order to shoot the house from the helicopter and run around it, throwing grenades in. Absurd.

Then, Kincade and M run throuh the underground tunnel, and where they came out what they do? Turn on friggin' flashlight. If they didn';t do that, there's no way Silva would see them. But they did. Even when they were in the chapel, they're still using the flashlght. This is so dumb, I dont even know what to say.
So Silva see them and goes after them. Bond is chasing him - during the chase he neutralizes one of Silva's armed henchmen but DID NOT, take his weapon, because that;s how dumb he is.

Then we have the most unsatisfying final confrontation (Spectre will beat that though) - no fight whatsoever, he just threw the knife in Silva's back. And that's it. He got much better fight with Greene in QoS but here, he just throws the knife. And Silva wins anyway, so everything what Bond did, was in vain , he could do nothing, and outcome would be the same. New M should have fired him immediately for causing death of previous M with his absurd plan.

And that's only few examples of how moronic that script is.

Also there is no proper Bond girl in this one (I suppose M is Bond girl here) only the usual secondary one. Character played by Berenice Marlohe is involved in one more weird situation on the boat (which I consider nonsensical even after five viewings) with all those bodyguards (she has good death scene though, but Bond in this movie seems to enjoy watching people being killed, and neutralizes the assassins just after the killings even if he could do it earlier).

The scene with motorcycle jumping is done the way Bond knows he's in the movie and invincible (something like plane scene in Expendables 2 - hate that kind of lazy writing)
Action scenes are boring in lifeless compared to two previous movies. So is the music.

I consider Skyfall to be one of the most overrated movies ever, along with The Force Awakns, Black Panther (bottom of the MCU), Inception or The Dark Knight Rises (which I still consider to be better even if it is almost equally silly).
 
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I really can't see what is dumb in QoS. Maybe there is something but when the movie doesn't let me be bored for a second, I dont have time to analyse everything and just enjoy the ride. It was that way in theater back in 2008, and with every subsequent viewing (and thre were at least ten of them). The Dark Knight has some problems, but I just don't care because I am highly ntertained watching it. In the case of Skyfall, I am constantly tired so I every problem is noticed and disturbs me. I tried to like this movie, watched in four times (theater, then tried to rewatch on Blu-ray, then before Spectre and now before NTTD). Still not impressed at all.

.......
I´ve to digest your comment first, but perhaps you shattered my world here (in some points) :D
 

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I'd certainly like to know why QoS is dumb, because I was unable to notice that for all those years I've been enjoying that movie more and more with every single viewing :) It feels more like a CR sequel than standalone movie, is a little too short (but doesn't feel that way because of how much is happening on screen) and the editing is a little crazy at times (which bothered me during my first viewing but not so much with the repeats), but beside that, I dont have any problems with it.
 

SIUse

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I mean, QoS doesn´t get better for me overall, but due to your statemant skyfall maybe decrease a lot in my personal rating. But, i´ll will come back to that at the weekend or tomorrow (have to rewatch skyfall now).
 

asterixsmeagol

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"You know my name" is my favourite Bond song , the only one I listen on a regular basis outside of the movie.
But hey, I'm Chris Cornell fan for almost 20 years.

Correction: I do like the theme to CR. That's the problem with the back-to-back viewing: I mixed up the themes to CR and QOS! And also to further clarify, I don't particularly dislike the QOS theme either, I just don't love it. It is kind of reminiscent of Live and Let Die, but with a more 2000s feel than the '70s Wings song, but maybe that comparison is what makes me think less of it. I believe DigModiFicaTion used it for his series edit, and while I can see the use of the backgrounds for it (they're the most generic), I would probably have used "You Know My Name" over them if I were doing it. (Note: I haven't actually watched his edits yet.
 

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Whole Silva's plan is absurd. He knows everything what will happen, while he just can't know that.
He blew up MI6 headquarters, but he knows anyway where they will lock him up and that they will lock him up in computer locked cell, but if they've had lock him up in normal cell his plan would fail instantly.
He knows exactly when the idiot Q will do the most idiotic thing he could do - let Silva's laptop be plugged in to MI6 system instead work on isolated system with it), he knows at what time exactly Bond will be going after him, so he can make the (EMPTY, in rush hour, LOL) subway train to fall on him.
He knows that at the M's hearing the security would be so low, he can get in with two other guys without much problem.
This is all absurd.

Then, Bond has even stupider plan, to take M to Skyfall and fight with Silva without any additional help (and not taking any weapons with him, because, you know, there should be some weapons, cause they wer there years ago).
There, Silva say to his people that they leave M to him, because he need to take care of her personally. But despite this he order to shoot the house from the helicopter and run around it, throwing grenades in. Absurd.

Then, Kincade and M run throuh the underground tunnel, and where they came out what they do? Turn on friggin' flashlight. If they didn';t do that, there's no way Silva would see them. But they did. Even when they were in the chapel, they're still using the flashlght. This is so dumb, I dont even know what to say.
So Silva see them and goes after them. Bond is chasing him - during the chase he neutralizes one of Silva's armed henchmen but DID NOT, take his weapon, because that;s how dumb he is.

Then we have the most unsatisfying final confrontation (Spectre will beat that though) - no fight whatsoever, he just threw the knife in Silva's back. And that's it. He got much better fight with Greene in QoS but here, he just throws the knife. And Silva wins anyway, so everything what Bond did, was in vain , he could do nothing, and outcome would be the same. New M should have fired him immediately for causing death of previous M with his absurd plan.

Something that I see a lot is that people seem to misinterpret the train sequence. The point of crashing the train was not to attack Bond, though clearly Silva seems amused he can take out two birds with one stone. The whole point of crashing the train, as we see when Bond is running in the streets, is to draw the police and emergency services away from the meeting with M so there is less resistance. He's basically creating chaos to make his pathway clear.

As for going to Skyfall, they were trying to draw him to a remote location so anymore bystanders wouldn't be hurt like with the train attack. Bond fully expected a full arsenal of guns there when he arrived as was noted. Yeah, the flashlight bit may have been a bit too much, but they are two elderly people, one of whom is shot, and trying to navigate a dark moor, so a little suspension of disbelief is expected.

As for taking out Silva with a knife, I guess that just comes down to taste. I think after all that, having Silva being done in like that worked well and as you said, he already succeeded so it didn't really matter. The scene with Bond and M is great, and as someone who lost a parent right around this time, it definitely felt very real.

Sorry you don't seem to enjoy the film, but its pretty fairly regarded as one of the best in the series.
 
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