Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

*** Official QUANTUM OF SOLACE Discussion Thread


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
130 replies to this topic

#121 of 131 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

Chris Atkins

    Producer



  • 3,887 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2002

Posted March 28 2009 - 02:47 PM

I will say this about the editing: for a film with as many quick cuts as QoS has, it's amazing how LONG the film feels, and it only clocks in at 1 hour 46 minutes.

#122 of 131 OFFLINE   Ray H

Ray H

    Producer



  • 3,481 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 13 2002
  • Real Name:Ray
  • LocationNJ

Posted March 28 2009 - 03:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Cooper
His real name is Renee Mathis, as said by M in the movie.
Thanks. I must have missed this. When does she say this?
"Here's looking at you, kid."

 


#123 of 131 OFFLINE   Richard--W

Richard--W

    Producer



  • 3,527 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 20 2004

Posted March 28 2009 - 04:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray H
And back the Mathis, personally I took the code name thing to be a joke. The character's an Italian going by the name Mathis.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Cooper
His real name is Renee Mathis, as said by M in the movie.
Quantum of Solace forgets to drop the other shoe and we're left waiting for the sound of it. If you are confused about Mathis in the films that's probably because nobody seems to have a definite idea who the character is and what he's doing.

In the novel Casino Royale, Renee Mathis is a Frenchman sent by the Deuxieme Bureau (French Intelligence) to assist Bond. They are already warm friends from working on previous cases. The novel is set in France, on the coast, so it follows that Bond's mission is supported by the French authorities as well by the American CIA which sends a new man, Felix Leiter. The mission to beat Le Chiffre at cards was cooked up in London by S. and submitted by Bill Tanner to M. who approves it along with two other intelligence services. The mission is not Bond's idea. He is selected as the best man for the job, but before accepting it, Bond warns his superiors that such an undertaking risks losing the Treasury's money.

The film changes the locations, jumbles the characters and motivations so that nothing makes any sense. Instead of being a friend and an ally, Mathis is changed to a stranger and a possible double agent. This change impacts the entire film and necessitates changing other plot elements and characters so that the pieces fit in a different -- tortured -- way. Nothing is gained by these changes, but the film perverts all the novel's characters in subtle ways; especially Bond, whose reckless stupidity in the film is a poor substitute for his down-to-earth pragmatism in the novel. Bond's character development is emotional and romantic in the novel and does not involve spying which he knows how to do. The film Casino Royale falls to pieces if you examine it too closely.

Giancarlo Giannini is an Italian, so his Renee Mathis is changed to an Italian operative of MI.6. He's not wrong for the part, exactly, although he doesn't resemble the hardboiled intelligence man described by Fleming. Giannini doesn't seem to have a clear idea how to play this undefined version of Mathis. If the novel's version of Le Chiffre had been maintained, Giannini would be more appropriately cast as the villain. If you've seen Giannini's Italian films, he is a strong actor with a powerful presence who could mine Le Chiffre for everything the character is worth.

It looks to me as if the writers kept changing their minds about Mathis in the two films, as if their plans for him were tried out and then discarded somewhere along the rewrites and then left unresolved. If you were to ask Giannini "is Mathis supposed to be a double agent or a mole?" I bet he would answer "I don't know." It is a failure of both films that this question is raised and left unresolved. Don't look for clarity because it isn't there.

#124 of 131 OFFLINE   Richard--W

Richard--W

    Producer



  • 3,527 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 20 2004

Posted March 28 2009 - 05:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyD
I thought that Bond took Mathis' money out of his wallet then threw him and his wallet in the dumpster to make it look like a mugging, don't know what the need for that would be though.
Bond threw Mathis's body in the dumpster first, then took the folded money from his wallet. If it were meant to look like a mugging, wouldn't he be left in the street? and wouldn't Bond take the credit cards as well? The need for throwing Mathis in the dumpster is to tell us something significant about Bond as a character. What do you suppose that might be?

#125 of 131 OFFLINE   Jeff Cooper

Jeff Cooper

    Screenwriter



  • 1,268 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 06 2000

Posted March 28 2009 - 05:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray H
Thanks. I must have missed this. When does she say this?

I think it is when Bond goes back to the hotel and Strawberry Fields is dead on the bed covered in oil and M is there waiting for him. She says something like "Renee Mathis was found dead in a dumpster with two bullets in his back".
-Jeff Cooper

"Curse you inspector Dim! You are too clever for us naughty people."

#126 of 131 OFFLINE   Richard--W

Richard--W

    Producer



  • 3,527 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 20 2004

Posted March 28 2009 - 06:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Atkins
I will say this about the editing: for a film with as many quick cuts as QoS has, it's amazing how LONG the film feels, and it only clocks in at 1 hour 46 minutes.
Are you complimenting the film? I hear most people complain it's too short. Personally I think the timing is off-kilter, and I don't mean the action sequences. We're not given enough time to feel the moment. The action sequences are cut so tight there isn't enough time for the images to pass through the retina and travel up the optic nerves to register on the brain(!)

#127 of 131 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

Chris Atkins

    Producer



  • 3,887 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2002

Posted March 29 2009 - 04:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard--W
Are you complimenting the film? I hear most people complain it's too short. Personally I think the timing is off-kilter, and I don't mean the action sequences. We're not given enough time to feel the moment. The action sequences are cut so tight there isn't enough time for the images to pass through the retina and travel up the optic nerves to register on the brain(!)

No, it's not a compliment. It drags--even at it's shorter run time--precisely because the editing is so choppy and quick, some times so much so that we don't get enough info to process a scene and we feel like we are playing catch up with the plot.

#128 of 131 OFFLINE   Ray H

Ray H

    Producer



  • 3,481 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 13 2002
  • Real Name:Ray
  • LocationNJ

Posted March 29 2009 - 09:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Cooper
I think it is when Bond goes back to the hotel and Strawberry Fields is dead on the bed covered in oil and M is there waiting for him. She says something like "Renee Mathis was found dead in a dumpster with two bullets in his back".
That doesn't necessarily mean it's his real name.

The implication that I got from Mathis's death scene was that agents are given cover names ("Renee Mathis" being an assigned name) when they join the agency and the reason Bond asks is because he's comforting a man about to die and doesn't even know his real name. This would add a bit more to the dumpster business, adding to the anonymity that comes with the profession. When you die, you die without connections and the agency disavows any knowledge of you. But this could very well not be the case. It's never really been mentioned before in the other films. It's just that the Mathis using his own name business and thus Bond learning a lesson sounds too far fetched and is never even brought up.
"Here's looking at you, kid."

My DVD/Blu-ray Collection
My Letterboxd Page

 


#129 of 131 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

Nelson Au

    Executive Producer



  • 11,537 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 1999

Posted March 29 2009 - 02:49 PM

I watched the QoS blu-ray last night, so it was the first time since I saw it in the theater. It made more sense this time. Especially with the advantage of being able to rewind segments and turning on subtitles.

I found that the dialogue in this film tended to be difficult to understand. Particularly Judi Dench when she's angry. And Daniel Craig as well wasn't very clear.

And the ending coda was clearer to me too. Prior, it wasn't clear to me that the couple Bond is waiting for to arrive home is actually the man who was Vesper's boyfriend who was really a member of Quantum and used her to get to Bond. I liked how Bond surmised the girl is a Canadian agent who would be set up just like Vesper was.

I really like the idea of Quantum as a secret organization that MI6 and the CIA now have to watch out for. It is now the new enemy to take the place of SMERSH and SPECTRE.

I won't get into the nitty gritty stuff. I realize that it was a disappointment that Casino Royale and this film following on is not being totally true to the novel. I read it and I really liked the book a lot and how the characters are fleshed out there. But I see this film series is EON's Bond. So I look upon it as such and evaluate it on those merits. Plus I see how they have to make certain changes in order for the film to resonate better to a modern audience.

The uncertainty of Mathis loyalties was still unclear to me as well. I would have preferred it stay true to the book, but there must have been a reason for them to make it so unclear. I didn't know Field's first name was Strawberry!

I actually want to see this and Casino Royale again back to back just to see if I can get better clarity. And in BD for the first time! Another instance brought up in this thread is the growth of the Bond character. if it's there, it was lost to me.

Another thing I noticed Bond do during this second viewing of QoS is his drinking. That was something that somewhat went to the background. In the novels, he drinks a lot. In these recent films, he appears to be drinking more then past film versions. Though they've always drank in the films, Craig's Bond seems to be a harder drinker.

On another note, one thing that I found interesting in this film is the level of brutality in the hand to hand combat. No doubt a lot of the fighting and chase is very Bourne like. But I like to go back to Goldeneye. I thought the fights in that film were pretty brutal too. Though tamer. I particularly thought the fight at the end between Bond and Alec Trevelyan was quite well done. And Fleming had often described the brutality of the fighting in the novels.

#130 of 131 OFFLINE   Richard--W

Richard--W

    Producer



  • 3,527 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 20 2004

Posted April 01 2009 - 02:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson Au
I realize that it was a disappointment that Casino Royale and this film following on is not being totally true to the novel. I read it and I really liked the book a lot and how the characters are fleshed out there. But I see this film series is EON's Bond. So I look upon it as such and evaluate it on those merits. Plus I see how they have to make certain changes in order for the film to resonate better to a modern audience.
It was certainly necessary to shuck the baggage imposed on previous films, but it was not necessary to change the very concept of Bond to make him relevant to today's audience. He's already relevant. Yes, he is. Instead of changing the James Bond concept, the producers might do better to learn what that original concept is. This new definition of Bond seems to be addressing errors in characterization from previous films rather than the character in the novels. I forget which Woody Allen film it's in, where Woody says "You mean my whole fallacy is wrong?!" The producer's idea of Bond is confused and utterly misguided.

Nobody wants or expects a film to be exactly like the novel. Of course changes have to be made. But the changes have to be germane to the concept of James Bond. He is a definite and specific entity. I draw your attention to Dr. No (1962) and From Russia With Love (1963), two faithful adaptations that improve on the novels by simultaneously exploring new directions suggested in the novels. In the case of Casino Royale, we have an adaptation that repudiates the internal makeup, the very building blocks, of the concept of James Bond. It was not necessary to deconstruct the concept and substitute a new concept to make Bond relevant to today's audiences. Bond is redefined, dumbed down, and monkeyed up to make a Politically Correct example out of him. Craig was cast not because he's right for the part, but because his personality and appearance serves the Politically Correct statement (they think).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson Au
Another instance brought up in this thread is the growth of the Bond character. if it's there, it was lost to me.
For example, in Casino Royale, Bond breaks his own cover at the hotel desk "Bond traveling as Somerset" he tells the clerk, and then an argument with Vesper ensues in which she has to explain to him why that was a stupid thing to do. In QoS, he accepts the cover and adds a caveat of his own "We're teachers traveling on sabbatical, and we just won the lottery." He's learned to go with the cover. This is a paint-it-by-the-numbers idea of character development. But there is considerable growth in Daniel Craig's performance. He is more refined and reserved, more aware of decorum and style, more consistent in the tone of his performance. He's more like James Bond, less like an English version of Alfred E. Newman. He is an excellent actor and perhaps less unwilling to be made a fool of the second time around.

As an aside, this whole business about cover names was handled more intelligently in the novel Casino Royale. Bond and his support team go in knowing that a cover is only temporary. They expect it to last a short time, perhaps just long enough to get the job done or long enough until it is too late for the opposition to do anything about it, and are surprised that it gets blown as quickly as it does. There is an opportunity to build cinematic suspense on the question of how long the cover will last, instead the producers use this element to make a monkey out of Bond at the hotel desk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson Au
On another note, one thing that I found interesting in this film is the level of brutality in the hand to hand combat. No doubt a lot of the fighting and chase is very Bourne like. But I like to go back to Goldeneye. I thought the fights in that film were pretty brutal too. Though tamer. I particularly thought the fight at the end between Bond and Alec Trevelyan was quite well done. And Fleming had often described the brutality of the fighting in the novels.
The toughening up is a good thing.
Symbolically, James Bond is Death in QoS.

#131 of 131 OFFLINE   JonZ

JonZ

    Lead Actor



  • 7,793 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 28 1998

Posted April 02 2009 - 04:58 PM

I enjoyed QoS, prob becuase my expectations were so low reading some of the bad things that have been said about it.

I agree the editing in the beginning was out of control. I also agree we need more Bondisms in these films. We dont have to see cars that turn into submarines, but throw us a few things so we know we're watching James Bond.

Watching Nolans Batman films - we can still have cool gadgets in a real world setting.


And the blonde hair still bothers me.


Back to Movies (Theatrical)



Forum Nav Content I Follow