Sunday, November 18, 2012

VLOG: 11-17-12 - Skyfall

Liz and Linkara look at the latest James Bond film! ‎


Caitlin R said...

I saw Skyfall last weekend. It was my first Bond movie, yet I found myself really loving this movie, and I love Daniel Craig. However, these movies aren't prequels. It's a reboot. Therefore, it's a whole new continuity. I really love this vlog.

Unknown said...

I don't think the Craig Bond movies are prequels at all. I personally subscribe to theory that "James Bond" is actually a code name (though Craig's Bond may well have been named that anyway), so the movies starting from Casino Royale (the Craig one) to Skyfall are the rise of a new 00 agent to take the codename.

To that end, Mallory is not "the original M" but the third M. Moneypenny is not the original one but rather the third(?) iteration. And when Craig's Bond is retired, a new Bond will rise out of the cream of the prospective 00 Agents like those before him.

In that, the central characters of James Bond are not unlike the Doctors of Doctor Who: different actors in the same role, but the role doesn't always feel the same.

(Also, as someone who watched Casino Royale? Yes, this version is pretty much a sociopath. Beginning with Casino Royale, the Bond series became more realistic and went away from the goofier roots. That being said, as evidenced in Skyfall, this James Bond does have his flaws that humanize him and make him sympathetic. If you went through the same things Craig's Bond went through, you might not be so nice, either.)

Unknown said...

Red Dawn comments first:
Just the concept of another country being able to amass a large enough force and then get them moving without another country knowing. How many satellites are in orbit?

I'm with Liz on how just redicious-ness of the plot and concept for the movie makes it so unnecessary.

Skyfall comments:
Yes, Asten Martin (sp) is his traditional car. For at least 1, possibly 2, Brosnan movies he was in something else and it was annoying.

I've seen Casino Royal and I agree completely that Craig just doesn't come off as smooth or wanting to be charmed by him. I've never enjoyed his delivery as Bond.

Not seeming to care was also something in Casino Royal I really, really didn't like.

I grew up watching Bond movies with my dad and it this just feels like something else entirely. (Favorites by the way are Tomorrow Never Dies & Goldfinger).

Parts of the plot make me think of the first Mission: Impossible movie.

Should have just given M her own movie from the sounds of it.

I think I'll be skipping this one in theaters, maybe rent it later.

Wackd said...

I'm gonna be honest, guys, what you did here was less "start with the last film in a trilogy" and more "letting The Five Doctors be your first episode of Doctor Who".

I loved it, but that's because I'm inclined to love the iconography and mythos of the series and be excited to see them recontextualized in a modern, less camp way. Someone who's not big on the franchise is gonna have less reason to care about that.

LucasChad said...

My advice for anyone who hasn't seen a James Bond movie other than Skyfall, I say get yourself the Bond 50 Blu-Ray boxset and enjoy these films. Most of them are a lot of fun, and each one plays well into the time they were made.

Nick Michalak said...

"Skyfall" was really damn good. I liked it, but it did have a lot of problems. I did heavily notice the tonal issues where they're trying to make a grim, dark dramatic thriller, but then, they throw in some goofy action or quirky humor which entirely disrupts that heavy, bleak tone. Many plot points are brought up, but never resolved such as Bond having "lost a step" or the political machinations of whether MI6's methods are obsolete or not.

I did like the movie, but all of the negatives keep weighing down on my mind. Usually, that only happens when it is a bad movie. So, it's been a very strange experience thinking back on "Skyfall" trying to remember that I did like it while dwelling on all the bad aspects of it.

I have seen all the Bond films from 1985 forward (starting with "A View To A Kill"), and "Casino Royale" is my favorite Bond film. I would definitely recommend that one. It has a solidly consistent tone which does have grit, but it's still a vibrant lively movie with emotional depth and high entertainment value. I was skeptical going into "Casino Royale" in 2006, but it won me over. It's also not a perfect film, but I do love it.

And the villain's name was Silva. It's mentioned when he's locked up in that transparent prison cell talking with M.

Wack'd said...

I also feel the point was missed a little bit--the movie claims to be about the place of human espionage in the technological world, but it's really a VERY thin metaphor for "where does James Bond fit now that no one's taking our usual fare seriously anymore, and his main adversary Russia is now a close ally? Is he still relevant anymore?" Now, if you can take the movie seriously, especially when it tries to hard to pull out all the old stops without being laughable, than the answer is yes. The movie certainly thinks thats the answer its eliciting.

I think I can guess how you guys answered it, and that's fair. I disagree.

arw1985 said...

I saw it last weekend and I liked it. I'm not a Bond enthusiast but I have seen just about all of the movies at one time or another. This one is definitely in the Top 10.

It's funny that ya'll mentioned The Dark Knight because I really got that vibe from this movie. Bond being basically forced into retirement and dealing with not being at full force is kinda like Bruce's journey in the Dark Knight Rises. Silva's (the villain) escape really reminded me of the Joker's escape in TDK. It was so laid out and complex.

Anonymous said...

One nitpick - The villain wasn't Jonathan Pryce. It was Javier Bardem, who played Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men.

Other than that, good review!
(Just like Spoony, your opinions changed mid-review. Lol.)

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"One nitpick - The villain wasn't Jonathan Pryce. It was Javier Bardem, who played Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men."

Yeah, but I was referring to Tomorrow Never Dies' villain, who was Jonathan Pryce.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to see a common thread in video reviews of Skyfall. Regardless of the reviewers' opinions at the beginning, they seem to slowly become more negative towards the movie as the review goes on.

Anyway, I respectfully disagree with your opinions. I really liked Skyfall and felt that Javier Bardem's performance as the villain was the best part.

Anonymous said...

If either of you decide to try this one again I'd bone up on my Bond before doing so, as I did last week. As for myself, saw it Friday night and as far as Craig goes I've only bothered to watch Casino Royale. Skyfall felt like a Bond movie to me Royale didn't.

Fiery Little One

Santeri said...

Daniel Craig Bond's are not prequels, Casino Royale was a reboot.

ellindsey said...

Wreck-it Ralph was a lot of fun. Silly, and doesn't bear thinking too hard about, but it was a lot better than I expected it to be going in. I recommend it.

Miss Lila said...

I never subscribed to the "James Bond is a code name" theory or "it's a reboot" that the others have mentioned here. James Bond is clearly a Time Lord. ;)

I liked Skyfall, though I've seen a handful of the other Bond films. My mother, who's seen all the Bond films, has declared it her favorite. My only big issue with the movie was that the question it asked—how relevant espionage is in this day and age—was never truly answered. If anything, the movie pointed out several times that it was more harmful than helpful, and there wasn’t much real solid evidence to counter it.

With the flamboyant nature of the villain, it felt stupid at first, but I think it works in the long run as the villain begins breaking down and losing the persona as his plans begin to go south in the third act. I sort of wish that his character establishing introduction wasn’t a big gay stereotype, though. =/

We got the Red Dawn preview as well when we went to see Skyfall. I honestly don't think I've ever been so angry over movie previews before. Liz stated the problems with the new Red Dawn very well.

Anonymous said...

Er, Lou... the thumbnail makes it look like you're sneaking a peek at Liz's... er... drum set.

Anonymous said...

China invading US mainland? I too think that, that would be a bit of stretch as China is quite busy with their internal affairs. In case of NK BS, NK might bring heavy damage to Seoul area which is concentrated on economic and social functions of country but even with China's backing, the notion that NK taking over SK is quite ludicrous and US mainland more over. Come to think of it, Spoony's right, if the company rerelease the original, they'll have ton of money with same or better payout. WTH? In case of SKyfall, like others did, I like it. Villian is DK joker level scary (even though his computer skill is unbelievable...) story sounds good, and DC is O-some. So, yeah, I like it.

Movie-Brat said...

Technically Lewis, Skyfall is not continuing the story from the previous two films before it so you're in the clear.

Though concerning Skyfall itself, as someone who has seen it, it's not just my favorite Bond film but it's one of my all time favorite films, period. Oh yeah, I liked it that much.

"Moneypenny is not the original one but rather the third(?) iteration."

Fourth actually.

Fanbot said...

I've read one of the novels, and Daniel actually seems pretty close to Ian Fleming's characterisation of him. I think it was Goldfinger. But Bond in that book seemed very dark and grim, and a bit of a sociopath. He wasn't suave or flirty, he was actually quite ruthless.

boooratt said...

I'm not a huge Bond fan but I like the cheesier Bond stuff like the originals! Dr. No is a good start for Liz!
The fear in this movie's villain I'm told is he looks and acts sort of like the Joker with a bit of a rapist feel!

Anonymous said...

The move to a more realistic or books loyal Bond is partially due to the change in tastes when it comes to spy fiction following .B.B.C.'s Spooks, (highly recommended though only the first four series).
As part of this I'd recommend reading The Moneypenny Diaries which do a good job of being entertaining bu yet at the same time a bridge between the original Bond books and real life present day.

Rupert Murdoch taking over the world? He can't even bug people withou getting caught and tried, (See the Leverson Inquiry). You Tube: Have I Got News For You Murdoch

Anonymous said...

While Skyfall's story and antagonist aren't heavily connected to Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, it's still shows Bond where he is past those two movies. It's less like Dark Knight Rises and more like Prisoner of Azkaban, and obviously you would want to start at the first installment there as well.

Craig's Bond is generally pretty faithful to the books' version of Bond (which is the original). I mean, I like the prior Bonds as well, but this version is interesting to watch, maybe not "fun" but something can be virtually always serious and still entertaining to watch as well.

At this point in the series, Bond only cares about serving London as a whole, and personally only about M. The villain is sorta the same way and the two clearly share some "mommy issues" over her (Craig's Bond even alluded to M thinking she was his mom in one of the earlier films). Now, when the woman was killed, I think Bond either didn't react because he's already been through the emotional wringer in the last two films and just feels detached to most people now, or just choose not to react to avoid giving the villain the satisfaction. Regardless, I felt the scene showed that despite his over-the-top nature the villain was legitimately dangerous. I suppose YMMV if it worked, but that scene and the fact he was being played by Javier Bardem made him a real threat for me.

The villain was focused on M, and for me that works. Since I've seen her character in plenty of the prior films, I have more of a connection with her and would find a plot that targets her as a potential victim far more suspenseful than, "oh noes, they're shooting nukes or trying to take over the world!" since the latter is virtually always guaranteed to end in failure for the villain thus it hurts the suspense somewhat. A single character who's not the protagonist being hunted though, THAT'S something for the viewer to legitimately worry about.

Will said...

If you want 60s spy movie watch "Our Man Flint"

Gareth said...

@ Liz - to be fair Jingoism as a concept in the days of the British Empire was a succcess. The poem went "the Russians shall not have constinople" and the Russians did not get Constinople

Anonymous said...

I confess I am surprised by the extent of the negative sentiment regarding Skyfall.
To Linkara (and Liz). I mean no insult when I say this, but when you indicated that you have not seen the previous Daniel Craig bond movies, I became much less interested in the rest of what you had to say. While Bond is a cultural icon of sorts, I do not think you "should" like the character or movies, but the most recent ones in particular are a trilogy. They are largely a character study, which is why they need a more realistic foundation with fewer gadgets and cheesy elements. The real story here is the three-movie character arc of Bond himself, with focus on his relationships with other people, women in particular, and the nature of trust in his line of work.

As a result, seeing Skyfall without seeing either Casino Royale or Quantum of Solace is the most unfortunate selection possible in terms of Bond movies, except perhaps for the truly awful ones which lack entertainment value.

I strongly recommend Casino Royale in particular; I found it quickly became my favorite bond movie (I'm going to avoid the discussion of "best" or "worst") and it is pretty much designed as a jumping-on point. Previous Bond movies didn't need to be, because they were defined by their tropes and didn't feature a true main character so much as the cinematic equivalent of a video game avatar in the form of a male empowerment fantasy.

At any rate, the key point regarding Skyfall is that it is just not possible to see a lot of its value without the foundation of the previous two movies. The pre-credits interactions between Bond and Moneypenny alone are much more fulfilling an entertainment experience with that bae to build on, despite the fact that she is a new character.

To anyone who has not seen Bond before, here's a tip: The movies with Daniel Craig are pretty much nothing like the idea most people have of Bond, except for Casino Royale, which is still a more serious take. Much as the Brosnan Bond movies reinvented Bond for their time (doing things like having him drive a tank down the streets of Moscow) and the Moore movies featured a less action-oriented Bond, the Craig movies broke away more fully still by making James Bond an actual person.

Anonymous said...

Skyfall, as a movie, is doing multiple things. Parts of it are a love letter to old-school Bond, despite the fact that the trilogy it concludes broke away from many of the conventions of the broader series. Part of it seems to be a heartfelt farewell to Dame Judi Dench, who has been M for quite a while now and deserves a real send-off.

As far as the realism of what the villain did with computers, keep in mind that we also see him using explosives, mercenaries and other means. Most importantly, he's been secretly seeking revenge for years; he's had time to set things up while no one was looking for him, so some of his achievements may not be as implausible as they seem at first glance. This guy is obsessed. He's also emotionally unstable, so it's not entirely odd if his actions are not always perfectly logical.

Finally, regarding Red Dawn...yeah, sounds like they blew it pretty completely. There's a line between willing suspension of disbelief and sheer madness, and the premise crosses it. Besides that, Liz is quite correct in her assessment of the many flaws, and I'll just add that this is among the least necessary remakes I can think of. Obviously the point is to make money without shelling out for a new IP or doing the creative work to make one, but it's just...not that hard. I mean, we could have had a standard romantic comedy starring carrot top, an animated picture about dinosaur-riding monkey ninja cyborgs, or a machine apocalypse film that crosses over terminator, transformers, battlestar galactica and the matrix instead. Really, any of those ideas sounds better (at least to me). And they're all irredeemably terrible.

Anonymous said...

Red Dawn's been a disaster since they started filming it. Their production company took over the building I used to work at and I nearly ran over Suri Cruise with my car one day by accident. It soured my entire "Filming stuff in Michigan" experience and made me hate the movie even before seeing the trailers.

Also...a pity you didn't see the new Arnold movie preview. That Corvette looks gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Forget "Red Dawn," even the people who had to film it didn't care about it - hence why it sat on a shelf for so long. They filmed it over here a couple of years ago and the production company was such a bunch of jerks to us who had to share an office building with them that I hoped it would never be shown. Oh, well. (Almost ran over Suri Cruise with my car by accident...but that's another story)

Also...did you see the preview for the new Arnold movie? That Corvette took my breath away. I was hoping it was the same model they used for Sideswipe in "Revenge of the Fallen."

coolman229 said...

I must agree that I didn't like this movie. Lewis, you're not missing anything by not seeing the other Craig movies. They will, however, probably make you like Skyfall less. Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace are good movies. They also are much more closely connected than Skyfall is to either. This isn't the third entry of a trilogy, this is a movie that takes place after two other movies. Skyfall is rather random. It's a switch up of a Two Part Trilogy. Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace have some links and Skyfall just kinda stands there on it's own twiddling its thumbs.

There were a number of random things that didn't make sense. A lot of the plot just seemed really arbitrary. Mostly just to move Bond from one fight scene to the next. Though I did enjoy the fight scenes. Those were awesome.

I hated the villain in all ways. He reminded too much of Ledger's Joker. I believe the name of the villain was Mr. Silver, but he was just obnoxious.

Jonn Wood said...

Also, Anon (November 21, 2012 12:38 PM), Silva clearly likes plans that are more complex than necessary, like assassinating a man who is already surrounded by his men whom they could kill easily. And it's not like he gets away with it all the time. Bond was basically a step behind him from when he escaped until he got to the hearing, then he actually got out in front, forcing Silva to resort to ye olde "having your friends show up with a lot of guns".

When you consider that the old Q was probably killed in the initial bombing, and Silva had access to Spots' psychological profile, it would be very easy to make some kind of Trojan Horse that Q wouldn't be able to resist.

soundout12 said...

As a huge James Bond fan, I say that Skyfall was a better movie for someone who watched the previous 22 films and were attached to MI6 and M so that a villain attacking the agency was threatening. My advice to anyone who saw this film and wants to give up on the franchise is to watch Goldfinger before you completely give up.

BBally81 said...

"I must agree that I didn't like this movie. Lewis, you're not missing anything by not seeing the other Craig movies. They will, however, probably make you like Skyfall less. Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace are good movies."

I agree with you about Casino Royale but not Quantum of Solace, which was an inferior follow up to Casino Royale in my opinion. I highly recommend Casino Royale (the Daniel Craig version not the David Niven, Woody Allen parody)

Jay said...

Saying that you only know Bond films by cultural osmosis, and then saying that the film didn't meet your expectations for a Bond film is as if I watched an episode of the current Doctor Who, and then complained that he didn't have his scarf or robot dog.

I was however interested is seeing the opinion of someone else who hadn't seen Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men first. I didn't think he was shit-your-pants scary as some people seem to imply, but he was good.

It's just that in order to understand what his motivations are, you have to actually pay attention. You commented that you liked the film for not spoon feeding you, and then you don't point out how Silva becomes driven and murderous after he's spoken to M face to face and barely gets so much as a sorry glance.

Or the parallels between Silva's growing obsession with M which culminates in an attempt at murder-suicide and Bond's deep-seated trust, respect, and even caring for M.

(Oh, and actually Moore's Bond is more definitively Sociopathic, whatwith throwing someone off a building to their death, and then responding with a smirk and a one-liner. In fact, all of the Bonds are like that with varying degrees of seriousness or flippancy.)

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Saying that you only know Bond films by cultural osmosis, and then saying that the film didn't meet your expectations for a Bond film is as if I watched an episode of the current Doctor Who, and then complained that he didn't have his scarf or robot dog."

LIZ was the one who hadn't seen a Bond movie before. I've seen several. I just hadn't seen a Daniel Craig Bond movie before.

Jay said...

Actually, all of my comments were addressing Liz's comments. I should have specified. I apologize.

William H said...

I say that Skyfall is a good film. I like they bring the Asten Martin that is from Goldfinger film.

If you want to learn more about James Bond, check for a review on James Bond. It is kind of like your version of "History of Power Rangers" but on James bond. He does really good reviews on the Bond series.