Which Bond film do you defend to the death?


#21

Dear lord, what were they thinking? I’d imagine it wasn’t in the script; just a hairbrianed idea in the edit suite at the end of a long day most likely.

What gets me is that they wrote into Skyfall a homage to such cringeworthy Bond moments with the elderly couple that comment on Bond being in a rush to get home when he leaps onto the back of a tube train.

For me SF was almost a masterpiece (lazy plot contrivances aside) mainly due to Deakins and Newman. But if SF was my Sistine Chapel of Bond movies, this gag was a steaming poo on the spark between God and Adam (the law of gravity temporarily suspended).


#22

I want someone to defend Spectre. I’ve watched it twice with lackadaisical attention and unfortunately the film never seems to click. Someone convince me please.


#23

Imo Spectre is a great Bond movie… right up to the final act in London, when the poor writing turns it into a (poor) episode of Spooks.

But up to then it’s a classy thriller with depth, nuance and really great set pieces. One of my favourite sequences in the canon is the Italian funeral and bonds mute, operatic dispatching of the two hit men sent to kill belucci.

Also the Spectre meeting was wonderfully written and realised. The sense of fear and menace was palpable as it all unfolded. From the reverence given to Blofeld - having someone else speak into the mic for him, to the grizzly death and finally the inexplicable and creepy reveal that Blofeld new Bond was there all along; Craig’s excellent reaction to his name being said really sold this moment.

I love waltz’s portrayal - I think, like telly sevalis he nails the omnipotence of the character and particularly enjoyed his creepy playfulness in the torture seen -his trouser legs risen up revealing his socks and wheeling back and forth like a dentist at work. Something very Rumplestiltskin about it. Flemings best villains are very Brothers Grimm, Just look at Flemings ‘Kiddy Catcher’ in his novel Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - to this day a chilling character. Waltz’s Blofeld had a little of the sinister playfulness of the Kiddy Catcher about him.

Right up to the destruction of Blofelds lair this is one of the truly great Bond movies (imo). Then it all goes horribly wrong on the London return. If they’d kept it simpler, like the epilogue of FRWL perhaps - the payoff with C and reveal that Blofeld survived via an attempt on bonds life - it would have worked.

But instead it tries too hard to be a miniature action movie all in one act, introducing a new jeopardy - the mission to rescue Swann. Then it undermines the menace and omnipotence of Blofeld by having superhero Bond shoot down his helicopter at distance with his final shot (he may as well said ‘Smile you son of a bitch’ before firing, since it owes such a blatant debt to the climax of Spielberg‘s Jaws).

Wow, to this day I can’t believe how much they screwed up that near perfect movie. Next time I hope the studio honcho keeps out of it, instead of demanding that the finale work harder. I’m certainly not defending that tw*t’s meddling email ruined movie to the death.


#24

Glad to see someone defending Spectre. Unfortunately, I cant lol. Spectre, to me, is the weakest of the Craig films. It seems that the writers and Mendes were trying way too hard to make certain story bits fit, mainly the twist that Bond and Blofeld are brothers. It does have some redeeming qualities: the fantastic PTS, the cinematography, the Rome and Austrian sequences (man does EON know how to use Austria brilliantly or what?), Lea Seydoux. Though, Morocco and the London finale are underwhelming, the awful twist, the terrible theme song, Newman’s lazy score (compared to his excellent Skyfall once). Christoph Waltz is great, but he is totally wasted. Mr. Hinx is great as is about 90% of the train sequence except for the part where, for the third or fourth time in the Craig era, a character is asking Bond why he became a spy.


#25

See, just goes to show;
Goldeneye is actually my least favorite of the canon Bond movies;
highly, highly flawed IMHO
(and your shortlist may be the first time I’ve seen someone not include GF in a list like that)


#26

This, especially LTK. Lots of people on this board defend QoS, but I think LTK needs it more. It’s the only Bond film I watch that feels like an Ian Fleming read (ironic since it was the first not to be a Fleming title). From the shark scene to the utter exhaustion Dalton feels after the end of the mission. It also features one of the best villain deaths. Franz Sanchez is truly a violent, chilling villain. Carey Lowell is great as Pam Bouvier and is perhaps the first to truly save Bond from death in the cocaine grinder (except maybe Tracy saving the day at the ice rink.) It also has symbolism–introducing Bond as the dark angel descending from the sky in the PTS, Pam with the painted sun “halo” behind her as she takes out Dario (who literally thinks she’s already dead.) It’s got great stunt work, not just the truck chase finale but the barefoot waterski escape from near drowning to making off with Sanchez’s money without a single gadget. And still Q has one of his best scenes in the Bond canon.

It’s hampered by a bad title song and insufficient score (save the “Licence Revoked” track), a horrible poster and ad campaign (TV spots featured rap music), poor cinematography and lack of locales. Talisa Soto is not a great actress, but a gorgeous Bond girl nonetheless. It was the last Bond to be released in the summer blockbuster competition (The Last Crusade, Batman, Lethal Weapon 2 all came out that year.) Its lack of box office is blamed for the six and a half year gap before GoldenEye. But it was a precursor to the gritty Daniel Craig era and what Diamonds Are Forever should have been. OHMSS (and QoS to a lesser extent) eventually found respect, but Licence to Kill is still the unloved child in the series.


#27

Around here, LTK needs no defense. To me, it’s excellent save for a few minor nit-picks (Dalton’s hair, Professor Joe, weak title track, Pam’s jealousy). Robert Davi is excellent as the charismatic and terrifying Sanchez. The locales are great and really play up the drug cartel. If I were directing, I would’ve given Dalton a better haircut, cut out Wayne Newton, and given Pam some better dialogue (she’s one of the best Bond girls, certainly better than the other Dalton era ladies (Lupe and Kara), and had the main theme be If You Asked Me Too. Just like k.d. lang’s Surrender, the song works incredibly well over the end credits, but I still would’ve liked it as the main theme. These are just not picks though, Licence to Kill is a fantastic film.


#28

To the death (so long as resurrection is a possibility), probably Golden Gun. It is just such a sunny film irrespective of Britt’s efforts to damage that disposition with her line delivery.

As for what I wouldn’t defend on any day of the month. TWINE. Chuck it to the dogs.


#29

I hate to let you down, but i thought i had included GF!

I always screw something up when i type on a phone or ipad :frowning:


#30

This may sound trivial, but the movie is ruined (for me) by the TV’ish photography and the pastel costume choices.

I know, the latter is a pretty lame reason and i’m hardly a sartorial guru myself! But there’s something too pop-culture about the look of both the movie and the clothes. It’s a victim of it’s time - being set in Miami Eon obviously felt the need to fall into line with the fashions of the then trend setting Miami Vice.

Of course Bond always reflects it’s times, but there’s something far too obvious - too desperate to fit in - about the proliferation of ‘Vice’ in this movie.

Perhaps what i hate is that this look in no way suits Dalton; Moore or even Brossa could’ve gotten away with it, but Dalton’s classical Byronic look and moreover his serious, darker portrayal of Bond is not someone who dons baggy, or pastel suits because they’re trendy.

I know, i can’t believe i’m saying this - that i could care less about wardrobe, but i’m trying to figure out what it is about LTK that bugs me and frankly, however pedantic, i think this is it - the aesthetics.

Surely Dalton’s more Fleming’esque Bond should’ve engaged the literary figure’s snobbery and turned his nose up at the prospect of such attire (just as Brossa did when he saw the Hawaiian shirt that Wade was wearing in TND).

Oh why wasn’t there a scene in which Dalton was offered a pastel number, but declined, opting for blue sea-cotton instead?

Yep, this would seem a paper thin reason to dislike a Bond movie - and it is - but there it is…

As i said, the photography is also incredibly flat and uninspired (as was AVTAK). Now if Deakins had been around to shoot LTK maybe i could forgive ‘Baggy-Bond’ in his Sonny Crocket jacket trying to look ever so trendy as he fled M’s security sniper through the bushes.

A shame, because most other aspects of the movie are a vast improvement on TLD: A great villain, great henchman, plausible, yet thrilling plot. Best of all he was a rogue Bond, allowing Dalton to undo the damage he’d done in TLD in which he’d made Bond a politically correct, a-sexual softy; again, a victim of it’s times circa late '80s and the dawn of ‘PC’.

Why on earth Dalton and Eon thought it necessary or plausible that a government assassin would give a s**t about the objectification of the opposite sex is beyond me; these are important issues for the real world, not Bond’s world!

Sure there’s no single scene in which Dalton espouses such concerns, but it was intentionally inferred in TLD’s lack of sex and espoused by Dalton post casting that Bond should not sleep around (at least that’s how i remember it).

If they felt the need to be responsible filmmakers because Aids was hitting the headlines for the first time it would’ve been far more responsible, plausible and most importantly entertaining if Q had simply given Bond a pack of condoms…

INT. Q’s TESTING LAB, UNIVERSAL EXPORTS - DAY

Q hands Bond a 3 pack of condoms. Bond holds the pack delicately, examining it, incredulous in his assumtion that it must have a hidden Q-funtion…

Bond: “What do they do?”
Q: “Keep you alive, 007”
Bond: “How?”
Q: “You put one on before infiltration.”


#31

Y’see, how very much the world was that of action movies of the time added to it for me, it emphasised that this was a world Bond wouldn’t be in if it wasn’t for Felix. This is epitomised when Sanchez and Krest talk about Bond’s escape from earlier in the film - these very non-Bondian villains don’t believe what, for Bond, is a low key sequence.


#32

Yep, i like that angle, but the aesthetics still suck.

[Note: I don’t mean the aesthetics of Miami at that time - i love me some Miami Vice - just mean the lame, flat rendering of them in this movie.]

Having Dalton’s Bond be a fish out of water is just fine. But dressing him like Sonny Crockett only detracts from that theme. The reason Eon did that obviously had far more to do with trying to make the ailing franchise appear culturally relevant than anything relating to story.


#33

Hence why I hated his hair style.


#34

Thanks for that! :joy::rofl:


#35

I am going to give the film another try and want to highlight your points. However my criticism for the film is the murderous pacing. Did you feel that way?


#36

DN-DAD :stuck_out_tongue:


#37

The pace is neither fast nor slow and certainly not right.

It’s so uneven because it’s two completely different movies by two completely different directors stuck together. It’s a slow burn in the Apted’s scenes and wham-bam ka boom cutting in the Armstrong’s.

I know having someone like Vic direct 2nd unit action set-pieces was a long used, tried and tested formula. But here their 2 styles are so entirely desperate that it doesn’t holds together.

Campbell was adept at both the action and the drama so with 2 entries have an even pace. TWINE is about the furthest you get from that.


#38

These pacing issues are true in TWINE but I was talking about Spectre. :joy:


#39

Lol, oops, sorry I assumed it was to my last post.

I hope you enjoy re-viewing spectre. The pace is indeed slower than many Bond movies but in this case I find that a positive, since it’s taking its time creating that sense of foreboding to the reveal that Blofelds been wat hing and meddling from the shadows the whole time.


#40

Speaking of which, check out Spectre’s Honest Trailers on youtube. They cover the pacing in the midnight meeting serving as a microcosm of the whole film.