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Osato

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Going back from NTTD, the previous Bond movie was SPECTRE. I watched this one for the first time the day before I saw NTTD, and I've now watched most of it again. From my pov Spectre is a very strong Bond movie, and one of my favorites. Beautiful images by Swiss cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, who also filmed Tenet and Dunkirk for Christopher Nolan. The pacing in Spectre is maybe sometimes a bit off, and there are a few weird elements, including the revelation that Bond and Blofeld knew each other when they were young. Apparently after Bond was orphaned Blofeld's family adopted Bond for a time. Some Bond fans call this the "Brofeld" twist, and don't like it at all, with a few even putting Spectre dead last on their list of Bond movies largely because of this. To me that seems like an overreaction, but obviously everyone gets to pick their favorites and least favorites.

Spectre actually rises in my estimation because of how well it sets up NTTD. Austrian actor Christopher Walz, who I think is fine in Spectre, is hauntingly better in NTTD from my pov.

The opening Day of the Dead stuff in Spectre is spectacular, and has given rise to the question of whether some helicopters can roll upside down. Apparently it is possible for very short periods of time:

"The helicopter barrel roll is the most spectacular thing in the new Spectre trailer, and an aviation expert has confirmed it is perfectly possible. Mike Buckley, a helicopter pilot and spokesman for the British Airline Pilots Association, identified the helicopter as a BO105. “It is possible to fly a helicopter upside down for a short period of time,” Buckley said.



Anyone else have any thoughts on SPECTRE?

View attachment 116615

I like the pre credits on spectre and the car chase later on. That’s about all I remember for high points. The rest of it was ok at best for me.
 

benbess

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While I'm trying to watch the movies in reverse order, one of my favorite youtube movie watchers, Shan Watches Movies, has been going in release order. He's now up to The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and he gives a very enthusiastic review of it that was released just today. This was his first time watching the movie.
 

Mikael Soderholm

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Going back from NTTD, the previous Bond movie was SPECTRE. I watched this one for the first time the day before I saw NTTD, and I've now watched most of it again. From my pov Spectre is a very strong Bond movie, and one of my favorites. Beautiful images by Swiss cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, who also filmed Tenet and Dunkirk for Christopher Nolan. The pacing in Spectre is maybe sometimes a bit off, and there are a few weird elements, including the revelation that Bond and Blofeld knew each other when they were young. Apparently after Bond was orphaned Blofeld's family adopted Bond for a time. Some Bond fans call this the "Brofeld" twist, and don't like it at all, with a few even putting Spectre dead last on their list of Bond movies largely because of this. To me that seems like an overreaction, but obviously everyone gets to pick their favorites and least favorites.

Spectre actually rises in my estimation because of how well it sets up NTTD. Austrian actor Christopher Walz, who I think is fine in Spectre, is hauntingly better in NTTD from my pov.

The opening Day of the Dead stuff in Spectre is spectacular, and has given rise to the question of whether some helicopters can roll upside down. Apparently it is possible for very short periods of time:

"The helicopter barrel roll is the most spectacular thing in the new Spectre trailer, and an aviation expert has confirmed it is perfectly possible. Mike Buckley, a helicopter pilot and spokesman for the British Airline Pilots Association, identified the helicopter as a BO105. “It is possible to fly a helicopter upside down for a short period of time,” Buckley said.



Anyone else have any thoughts on SPECTRE?

View attachment 116615
Spectre, like Skyfall, has great cinematography, opens strong, but ultimately fails to keep the pace and my interest up to the end.
In Skyfall, once they actually get there, it drags and drags, although M's scenes are quite good. The opening and the stuff in Shanghai is beautiful.
And in Spectre, that Blofeld plot, cheez ... but also a great opening.

So they set the plot up for NTTD quite nicely, but are nowhere near as good, IMHO.
I'd rate the Craig films
NTTD
CR
QoS (I seem to be the only one who likes this)
Skyfall
Spectre

And while Hoyte van Hoytema was born in Switzerland, he is actually Dutch-Swedish. Quote from Wiki:
'Van Hoytema was born to Dutch parents in Horgen, Zürich, Switzerland. Of his nationality, Hoytema stated "I'm not really affiliated with Switzerland, I'm born there, that is all. My parents were there very briefly. They are both from Holland. I'm Dutch, but it has been over 20 years since I was in Holland. What has been important for my career has taken place in Sweden. I have a Swedish wife and a Swedish daughter, and I feel adopted by Sweden. I feel most connected to Sweden."'
 

Josh Steinberg

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QoS (I seem to be the only one who likes this)

Not the only one - I’ve liked each new Craig film a little less than the last (not due to anything he does wrong, just the writing choices), and so, Quantum of Solace is my second favorite Craig film.

It’s gritty, aggressive and violent in a way other Bond films aren’t, and the direction and editing have an almost art house aesthetic attached to a giant budget production. I love both the design of the title sequence and the song, which I feel is the best of the Craig songs - it has that electric guitar fuzz that sounds straight out of late 60s John Barry to me. The movie as a whole is like an alcohol soaked fever dream of heartbreak and despair, and Craig plays it beautifully. The amazing thing about the performance is that he’s able to play it like Bond actually believes that he’s actually not acting out of line, and the evolution of his character as he realizes endless rage isn’t a path forward is subtle and well done. He does a lot of the right things for the wrong reasons, but by the final, heartbreaking shot, his emotions and his intellect are back on the same page, and he’s finally ready to go out into the world as the secret agent we’ve long known.

Really, my big issue with the Craig series plotting is that the story arc between movies is missing a middle act. The first two films involve Bond being too young, inexperienced, and impulsive, and then the last three have him being told he’s too old, out of shape and obsolete. It’s like they forgot to make the movie where he’s the right age at the right time to go out in the world as a professional agent. I wanted at least one more film before Skyfall with him on a non-personal mission just getting the job done in a suave, effective manner. The movie where he’s at the top of his game from start to finish. And that’s the one they never saw fit to make.
 

Osato

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QoS was really CR part 2, they are my favourites of the Craig years. They also had a better villain, Eva, Caterina, Gemma, and Giancarlo Giannini. Perhaps Craig should have only made two (like Dalton), he seemed increasingly dissatisfied with the role as the movies progressed.

I like quantum. I don’t watch the Craig bond films very much though.

I kind of like checking Pluto every now and then to see which one they are showing on the 007 channel. Something about them being broadcast still can make me curious.

I have all of the films on iTunes.
 

Osato

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Tim

Osato

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I hope Goldfinger is released on 4k disc, there are about a half dozen I will upgrade.

Another reason I like QoS is it's mercifully short, possibly the shortest of all 25.

It appears that the Goldfinger steelbook release is not a 4K release after all.


With the 60th anniversary next year I think we will see some / most of the older films released on 4k disc then. The Amazon agreement should be finalized then too.
 

benbess

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....Really, my big issue with the Craig series plotting is that the story arc between movies is missing a middle act. The first two films involve Bond being too young, inexperienced, and impulsive, and then the last three have him being told he’s too old, out of shape and obsolete. It’s like they forgot to make the movie where he’s the right age at the right time to go out in the world as a professional agent. I wanted at least one more film before Skyfall with him on a non-personal mission just getting the job done in a suave, effective manner. The movie where he’s at the top of his game from start to finish. And that’s the one they never saw fit to make.
Good point.

Daniel Craig and the producers and writers seemed to go out of their way to avoid that kind of film, I imagine because they felt that almost all of the previous Bonds were of that type. They wanted to do something different.

But I do hope that they get back to that kind of movie for the next Bond.
 
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benbess

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One of the scenes I liked in Skywall was when Q surprises Bond with a meeting in the National Gallery. This is the painting they are in front of, and here's some information on it from wikipedia....

"The Fighting Temeraire, tugged to her last berth to be broken up, 1838 is an oil painting by the English artist Joseph Mallord William Turner, painted in 1838 and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1839.[1] The painting depicts the 98-gun HMS Temeraire, one of the last second-rate ships of the line to have played a role in the Battle of Trafalgar, being towed up the Thames by a paddle-wheel steam tug in 1838, towards its final berth in Rotherhithe to be broken up for scrap.
The painting hangs in the National Gallery, London, having been bequeathed to the nation by the artist in 1851. In a poll organised by BBC Radio 4's Today programme in 2005, it was voted the nation's favourite painting.[2] In 2020 it was included on the new £20 note."

1920px-The_Fighting_Temeraire,_JMW_Turner,_National_Gallery.jpeg

skyfall art.jpeg
 

benbess

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I've been enjoying reading the Making of NTTD book that recently came out. It's lavishly illustrated, and has lots of behind the scenes stories.

NTTD is still an A+ Bond movie for me. Spectre has some issues, but to me is still a very good A-. Skyfall is a great ride with that poignant ending that I'd rate an A.

Quantum of Solace has really gained a following, but still seems to have a mixed reception among Bond fans. In an interview I saw a while ago, Daniel Craig talked briefly about how the writer's strike that went on during the making of that movie was a challenge. There are some weird and dropped elements in QoS that seem to be the result of having an unfinished script:

"According to a December 2011 interview with Craig, "We had the bare bones of a script and then there was a writers' strike and there was nothing we could do. We couldn't employ a writer to finish it. I say to myself, 'Never again', but who knows? There was me trying to rewrite scenes—and a writer I am not".[6]


In spite of all that, I do think Quantum of Solace is a good sequel to Casino Royale, although at times it doesn't quite feel like a Bond movie to me. My overall personal rating of Quantum of Solace as of today is a B+.

I especially like the opera scenes, as well as all the scenes with Giancarlo Giannini as René Mathis, who plays Bond's ally who was mistakenly believed to be a traitor in Casino Royale. It's touching how Mathis chooses to help Bond again, and then dies in his arms suggesting forgiveness. Strong moments.
19756_3_large.jpeg
 
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Worth

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Josh Steinberg

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So I’ve actually been rewatching all of the Bond movies, which I started doing after seeing the latest one. The last time I cycled through the entire series was in 2014-2015 before the release of Spectre, as my wife hadn’t seen most of them and expressed interest in checking them all out. This time around it’s just me.

Meant to write as I went but time has been precious lately. I am going in order but also including the two non-Eon films and the TV version of Casino Royale in chronologically appropriate spots.

-Casino Royale (Climax! Live Broadcast from 1954) - As long as you accept going in that this isn’t some lost masterpiece but simply one of many one-off live productions so popular from the early 1950s, there’s a lot of fun to be had. I enjoy Barry Nelson as Jimmy Bond and Peter Lorre as Le Chiffre, and for me, that it all takes place in the casino and attached hotel is a plus. It’s simple and lean, but always holds my attention.

-Dr. No - This was the first Bond I ever saw and in many ways it’s still my favorite. Everyone is pitch perfect, from Connery and Jack Lord and Joseph Wiseman and Ursula Andress in the leads to all of the supporting and bit parts. Ken Adam’s production design is wholly convincing, and the location photography in Jamaica makes me feel like I’m genuinely somewhere else. The structure of the film is great and I love that it’s an important mission but not one of world ending importance. The way the layers are peeled back slowly is what makes it work so well - it’s clear there’s a genuine threat that Bond must investigate but the audience isn’t allowed to get too far ahead of what Bond knows at any given moment. Although it’s easy to miss because he’s not played by Desmond Llewelyn, Q actually does appear here, presenting Bond with a new service weapon. And Jack Lord is the best Felix Leiter, if not in all the films, certainly in Connery’s run. The film has plenty of style and more than a little humor, but nothing is played as a joke - there’s a seriousness here that’s appealing, and something I wish the producers would have stuck with longer. Even though the story is self contained, Dr. No himself hints at a larger world of espionage and villains that Bond will have to one day face off against. Not only is the movie exciting for what it is, it’s just as exciting for the possibilities it hints at for future installments. The producers would go on in later entries to try to make good on all of that promise, and while I think they go on to fall short as much as they succeed, there’s only promise to be found here.

No matter how many times I see it, I’m never bored by Dr. No. If I was only allowed to take one Bond movie with me to a desert island, its probably this one.
 

Josh Steinberg

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-From Russia With Love - It’s not my very favorite of the Connery films but I understand why it’s so highly regarded. For me, it’s not as cohesive as Dr. No, and I find I like the different parts more than the overall sum, but man, what great parts. The first pre-title sequence is a plus, establishing a format that continues to this date. Robert Brownjohn’s titles here are less interesting to me than Maurice Binder’s, but the visuals and music go well together. I love the Spectre stuff. Pedro Armendariz has such wonderful screen presence. Desmond Llewelyn’s first appearance. I love the briefcase. It’s a great gadget that’s plausible, practical and yet generic enough that it’s existence doesn’t telegraph it’s usage. The plotting is still refreshingly small scale - Spectre wants a decoding device and tries to play the Russians and the Brits off each other to get it. It’s a great scheme that makes for fun viewing - simple but ingenious. I wish more of the films had kept their plotting on this level.

Goldfinger - I know that it’s often ranked the best of them all. I know it’s the favorite for many. And yet, for me, this is the one where all the trouble begins. Lots of people try to pinpoint when the Bond series got silly. Roger Moore’s era is a frequent candidate. Diamonds Are Forever is often part of that conversation. You Only Live Twice is worth mentioning. But it really starts here. The cartoonish villain with the blindingly obvious name and the larger than life scheme to reshape the world. The over abundance of gadgets. And here’s the thing: had this been a one-off approach, it would have been grand fun. But from this point on, whenever the Bond producers get stuck or lose their way, they return to Goldfinger and try to duplicate its sillier contrivances. Guy Hamilton doesn’t take Bond or his world nearly as seriously as Terence Young did, and while that approach works for this specific film, it became a hallmark of many of the other films that followed. I like Goldfinger but it’s hard to take seriously, and the Bond movies that work best for me are the ones I can take seriously. For better and for worse, the franchise was never the same again after this.
 

benbess

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I think this is a very interesting 6-minute mini-documentary about the car stunts in the early part of NTTD. Very little of it is cgi.

And in other NTTD news, the film has now crossed over $600 million worldwide at the boxoffice, which seems good given the pandemic.
 
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Nelson Au

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Hey guys, cool thread. Like many of you, been a very long time Bond fan!

I came across a YouTube channel and video a few weeks ago that reviews and discusses the era when the true cinematic Bond ended. The video is an interesting thesis by a kid who can’t be older then 22. I found it interesting and his point of view is refreshing. Not everyone may agree with it. His thesis is about On Her Majesty’s Secret Service being the turning point as the last Bond film of the 1960’s and the last true Bond film. I can’t say much about the channel or the guy who makes them as I only watched this video and another where he ranks each film. I thought it was worth sharing but didn’t see a good thread it would best fit in:

 

benbess

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....-Dr. No - This was the first Bond I ever saw and in many ways it’s still my favorite....The film has plenty of style and more than a little humor, but nothing is played as a joke - there’s a seriousness here that’s appealing, and something I wish the producers would have stuck with longer....No matter how many times I see it, I’m never bored by Dr. No. If I was only allowed to take one Bond movie with me to a desert island, its probably this one.
I agree that there's appealing quality throughout this first Bond movie. It's amazing how much of the template of the future movies they already created here—the music, the camera in the gun barrel, "Bond, James Bond," the fabulous set by Ken Adams at the end, and so on. I sometimes find the casting and the character of Dr. No to be a bit weird. I like that he's an over-the-top villain, and Joseph Wiseman gives a solid performance, but—just to state the obvious—having someone who isn't Chinese play someone who is supposed to be part Chinese is not something that would work well today. But, as we know, in the 1960s this kind of thing was still going on sometimes in Hollywood.

Ken Adams later talked about the impressive things he was able to do in Dr. No even with the low budget...

"The budget for Dr No was under $1m for the whole picture. My budget was £14,500. I filled three stages at Pinewood full of sets while they were filming in Jamaica. It wasn't a real aquarium in Dr. No's apartment. It was a disaster to tell you the truth because we had so little money. We decided to use a rear-projection screen and get some stock footage of fish. What we didn't realise was because we didn't have much money the only stock footage they could buy was of goldfish-sized fish, so we had to blow up the size and put a line in the dialogue with Bond talking about the magnification. I didn't see any reason why Dr. No shouldn't have good taste so we mixed contemporary furniture and antiques. We thought it would be fun for him to have some stolen art so we used Goya's Portrait of the Duke of Wellington, which was still missing at the time. I got hold of a slide from the National Gallery - this was on the Friday, shooting began on the Monday - and I painted a Goya over the weekend. It was pretty good so they used it for publicity purposes but, just like the real one, it got stolen while it was on display.[21]"


I haven't watched Dr. No for at least 15 years, but now that I have it on blu-ray I hope to get to it at some point. EON's 007 page on youtube released this clip from Dr. No about a year ago....

 
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