Deathmatch 2024 - Sideswipes

But…but I don’t understand! How could the volcano OR the Liparus lose? They’re both impregnable!

In another win for the Marquis de Jim, I really struggled with this one until Orion’s response threw me a lifeline, something to hang my hat on. Of course we care more about the captive submarine crews than we do about a ninja army, so “Spy’s” battle is more engaging. In YOLT, as Orion notes, Tiger’s army acts as the cavalry, saving Bond’s hash thanks to Lassie – er, I mean Kissy – running home for help. In “Spy,” Bond – as ranking officer – fully takes charge: “Free the other crews and get your men to the armory.” As an Errol Flynn fan, it always reminded me a bit of the great scene in “Captain Blood” where he frees the galley slaves and leads the takeover of the Spanish ship. Of course an army of ex-prisoners is going to fight like hell against their captors. Always good stuff.

Besides, a couple of things always bugged me about the YOLT scene. One, when the ninja sets off the explosive to open a hole in the crater roof, the editor cuts on the flash, so the size of the hole is unclear. It looks huge, but then these giant ninjas appear and we realize we’ve zoomed in. The other thing is that after Bond escapes execution by Blofeld, he runs to Tiger barking that they have to find some kind of entrance to the control room, one that doesn’t have an army in the way. However, he’s just come from a secret entrance that would take him right into the control room. If he’d just picked up that fallen revolver and turned 180 degrees instead of running to Tiger, he’d have been on his way.

The volcano – magnificent as it is – stands impregnated.

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:+1: :+1: :+1:

My username should be a clear indicator for what fight I wish never happened :laughing:

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I love it! Stromberg throws Blofeld under the bus so the Liparus can sail on. Of course any man who would nuke world capitals would use his vote for evil.

I bow to your peerless perfidy, sir, since I know you prefer not to shake hands. But good luck finishing that salad.

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I’m with Orion here in that I’ve never been truly overwhelmed by the “Bond as part of an army” set pieces. For every TLD airfield battle, there’s the rather perfuntory space laser battle of MR or the helicopter attack of DAF. The smaller scale climax of OHMSS I prefer along with the dock fight of FYEO.

I’m pitching overboard like an out-of-control Mini Moke the tanker battle, as the tanker itself is a facsimile of the volcano - the appearance of which a mindblowing moment; what goes on inside both has alwys felt secondary to me.

Exempt from all of this is of course CR’67 where it appears anyone with a pulse or a contract has been called in to work……

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I think you’re pointing to an interesting question: is the “cavalry-shootout” in the finale a good idea or a bad one, thankfully dropped since DAD?

For me, growing up with that kind of finale, it was always the culmination of Bond´s fight against the main villain, a destruction of the grandiose plans, and naturally, Bond needed help for that - otherwise it would have been too small a threat for world peace.

I did enjoy it when LTK narrowed it down to Bond and Sanchez´ goons, and I didn’t miss it in TWINE either, nor in CR or QOS or NTTD. In SP I thought the finale would have benefitted from a huge scale immensely.

But is the big finish with a shootout between two armies really interesting anymore? The outcome is always the same, so it´s basically going through the motions, with the only variations being where and how (underwater/frogmen, volcano/ninjas etc.)

Also, a large scale battle for entertainment value might feel horrible in these times of war and destruction.

Then again, shouldn’t one rethink that idea anyway? The idea of having Bond enter the villain´s lair while being moved around per earpiece by Q in NTTD was quite the contemporary update. But on a more epic scale it would maybe be interesting to see how Bond´s allies and his opponents would use that technique, even enhanced by an AI-controlled fighting method - and only Bond, shutting off the “modern technique” and relying on his own irreverent instincts could find a way through?

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100% agree here. From a creative angle (forgetting budget etc), the notorious 3rd act of SP might well have been improved by someone in rewrites throwing around the idea of a “big” finish involving the rest of MI6 (beyond the M and C subplot), or even more so the pre-climax at brother Blo’s house.

Likewise too DAD - adding a whole load of personnel fighting within the melting hotel might have been a far better homage to 40 years of predecessors than the strangely small-scale face-off between Zao and Bond that begins with the car chase. And the need for ice-surfing may well have been avoided…

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There was a much bigger finale in a previous script draft - but then the budget was slashed.

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I believe the “much bigger finale” they had in mind involved getting full color copies of the head shots of Le Chiffre, Vesper, M, and so on rather than having to scale back and only get the black and white copies instead.

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10 June

One has to take a tumble and fall out of the series - which?

  • Casino Royale fight down the stairwell
  • No Time to Die fight up the stairwell
0 voters
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NTTD is cinema-as-computer-game.

CR is cinema heightened.

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Up, up and away with it.

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Can we dispose of the whole NTTD, just so we don’t have to acknowledge that Bond‘s end might very well be the end of these films, as it appears these days?

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This.

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NTTD’s fight is clever, choreographed and a technical achievement, not quite on a par with Inception’s rotating corridor, but clearly a “director’s moment.” The one-take is a brave piece of action cinema executed as well as anything in a John Wick film. But alas, strangely un-engaging in an emotive way, not least as the climax of the film. At this stage it shouldn’t be about the construction, it should be about the “punch” it delivers. Arguably it’s a set-piece that should have come somewhere earlier in the film, when you have a moment to quickly reflect with a “great piece of film-making, that.”

For being in the wrong place at the wrong time, going up the stairwell is thrown over the bannister.

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That points exactly to what I dislike about the film: it appears to have been constructed with many different setpieces which highlight different approaches to Bond.

Which seems interesting but makes the whole film fall apart into episodes which disengaged me instead of pulling me through towards the emotional climax.

The biggest stunt (again) came first - the motorcycle jump - but was not connected to escaping or capturing the villain. Instead it strangely was employed as a shortcut to Madeleine. StuntBond with misplaced purpose.

The Cuba sequence, probably the most enjoyable of the whole film, was placed in the middle, connected with the overcomplicated plot. FunBond thrown in.

And the car chase through the woods was - dare I say it - rather unremarkable. AutomaticBond.

Finally, the finale gave us RoboBond mixed with tragic selfdestructing Bond.

But I digress once again. Sorry.

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It is lackluster, but the one from Spectre makes it look like it belongs among the ranks of the chases from Bullitt or Ronin by comparison.

I’d also argue that the whole idea of No Time to Die being constructed around its set pieces is hardly a new phenomenon for Bond. It’s been almost the MO for EON since the current leadership took over with GoldenEye. The franchise hasn’t had a truly original thought in a long time.

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Constructed around setpieces - true, that is the template for some time now. But rarely, if ever has the mood of these setpieces been so all over the place.

Of course, that is due to the story for NTTD which wants to be everything, too.

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This setpieces-first approach is actually deeply ingrained in Eon’s DNA for some time already. Steve Rubin’s book repeatedly mentions how stunt ideas are pondered, developed, then shelved and dusted off time and again over the years. Richard Maibaum tended to focus his scripts along a guiding thread to connect the stunts and action towards a resemblance of a storyline. But much of it always depended on which stunt or set piece the available talent and budget allowed.

It seems with time this more or less arbitrary hit-and-miss developed into a recipe that’s now hard to overcome, and where results often seem to be less than the sum of their parts. Alas, I see no easy way to fix this in an environment that’s less and less open to innovation.

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That is indeed a huge challenge.

I would love Bond films to go back to the thriller template of FRWL, concentrating on a tight spy story in one or two interesting locations, with smaller and less action. But then EON/Amazon could not compete anymore with the action extravaganzas blockbuster cinema might still be blown up to event size with, enough to lure people in for a first box office weekend which does not get stamped as FLOP.

The question remains: is cinema still a viable way to invest huge budgets for even bigger returns? Or will EON stop insisting on the big screen and aim at more reasonable budgets for a streaming product?

Right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if BB, still waiting for the next production for a couple of years, will finally decide to sell the rights anyway. And the next production entity might rather go where it is feasible.

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I very much doubt that Amazon has purchased MGM just to take the company’s one cash cow and put him exclusively on a streaming platform after the last three films made a combined $2+ billion at the box office.

As far as I’m concerned, EON is doing exactly what they should be doing with the Bond franchise right now. They killed off the character, so they’re letting that sit for a while. This gives them a chance to take stock of where they are and how to move forward, hopefully fixing the major problems that have plagued the last couple of entries.

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