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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Skyfall (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Skyfall
Stone_Wolf_
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So, I loved the first James Bond reboot, Casino Royal, and hated Quantum of Solace with a passion that burned, so when I heard that the third movie was being made, I wondered, which would it be like, the good first one or the second crap one?

I ran across this article (**foul language warning**).
quote:
(about QoS) 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.’
Well, that explains a lot! Here is hoping the new one is as great as the first one!
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aspectre
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I'd say the first thing to do when agreeing to direct a movie is to get a shootable script before spending a penny on anything else.
Admittedly the actors may have decent*ideas about how to say/play a particular scene. But even if the writers are then on strike, improv-ing through the scene several times oughtta tell the director whether it works or not.

* RutgerHauer improv-ed his final soliloqy in BladeRunner

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by aspectre:
I'd say the first thing to do when agreeing to direct a movie is to get a shootable script before spending a penny on anything else.

Why? A movie is successful based on how much revenue it generates. Both Quantum of Solace and the new Men in Black 3 filmed before a script was complete -- and they are both successful.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Successful ≠ enjoyable/a good movie. Transformers was successful.
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Szymon
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:


I ran across this article (**foul language warning**).
quote:
(about QoS) 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.’
Well, that explains a lot! Here is hoping the new one is as great as the first one!
I totally and utterly agree, I loved Casino Royale, I could even say it could easily find itself in Bond's top three. Great to hear they appreciate the disastrousness of this Quantum of S...
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Stone_Wolf_
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For me Casino Royal is #1...what are your all's top 5 Bond flicks?

Note anyone who lists a Pierce Brosnin movie will be banned from further discussion in this thread. (Although Austin Power's movies will not institute a ban.)

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Vadon
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No Brosnan? Hm, I think I can pull this off.

Casino Royale
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Goldfinger
Dr. No
And... Um...

Goldeneye.

I'll just... I'll just leave.

ETA: And I agree. Quantum of Solace didn't do it for me, but I'm looking forward to this.

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Dan_Frank
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Casino Royale was alright. And I don't think any Bond film warrants more praise than that.

If anyone should leave, Vadon, it's probably me.

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Jeff C.
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Psh, Goldeneye was a good movie. There wasn't another good one after that until Casino.

The best Bond so far is still the original, though. Sean Connery's take on the character was iconic and brilliant. Craig is, imo, the second best, but Brosnin is near the bottom. He isn't a bad actor, mind you, or even a horrible Bond, but he had the misfortune of being in the series when it hit a very low point and lost focus.

Hopefully this new one is good, but I don't like the direction they're taking it. The Brosnin films took the gadgets to an all time extreme (invisible car), but these newer films are going in the opposite direction. Bond needs his gadgets. That's part of the charm. I don't really recall any in Quantum of Solice and I don't know or remember if there were any in Casino. Maybe they're going for a more realistic approach, but I want to see some cool, whacky tech like in the old films. Remember the dart pen? How about the jet pack? There were so many that it became a staple, like every time you went to see a new movie people would wonder what kind of new gadgets he would get this time around. That was always part of the fun. I was very disappointed with how they handled that aspect in recent entries, so hopefully they get back into that again.

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umberhulk
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Quantum is serviceable for the photography and Craig's performance. The Mathis scene was just ruthless. The scene where he escapes the hotel was BADASS.

It can't hold a wineglass to CR though, and this should be better.

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Szymon
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And bottom three?


Octopussy
Moonraker
The living daylights


Oh, Moonraker was so, so bad.

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Speed
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No, the best/worst Bond movie ever made was A View to a Kill. I can't even begin to list everything that was wrong about that movie. It was truly a disaster of Star Trek V proportions. So bad, it's an absolute must-see. An MST3K movie that doesn't even require talking robots.
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Speed
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The best James Bond movie was On Her Majesty's Secret Service, followed by From Russia with Love, then Casino Royale. After that I suppose you have to go with Goldfinger, but anything beyond that is down to personal taste.

For example, Szymon, I've got a soft spot for two of the three movies on your "worst" list: The Living Daylights and Octopussy. But I won't try to defend them objectively.

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Szymon
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I've never watched A view to kill . Now I'll watch it, though. I like must see crappy movies [Smile]
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Stone_Wolf_
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I've never even heard of The Living Daylights...and I thought I had seen every Bond flick ever. Quick, to to Netflixmobile! Dunna nunna nunna nunna. **Thwack!!!**
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Carrie
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For the most part, I agree with Speed's general rankings; however, GoldenEye is easily in my top five Bond films, even though Brosnan didn't make another good one. I'd probably even put it top three - I like it that much.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I am officially declaring a sanction of Goldeneye. Not only a decent movie, but a great game.

Any mention of of any -other- Peirce Brosnin Bond flicks in a positive light will be met with harsh punishment. Like being strapped in a chair and made to watch Bag of Bones.

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Ginol_Enam
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I thought Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough were serviceable. Not great, for sure, and I wouldn't put them anywhere near the "best" Bond films, but they are better than most of the movies that Roger Moore did. I hate Roger Moore.

Also, I was really digging Die Another Day for the first half hour or 45 minutes or so. I liked the thought that Bond was captured for an extended period of time, and I liked how the opening sequence tied into the plot. Once the hiJinx really got going, though, I didn't enjoy it at all.

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Speed
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While we're on the topic of defending our own favorite Bond movies, I'll make my case for The Living Daylights. But these are mostly based on personal connections, so I don't expect anyone but myself to find them convincing.

  • It was the first movie I ever saw brand new in the theater. So to this day I still see it as the watershed that divides the old movies I'd see on TV reruns from "current" movies that sync up with my life.
  • It was the last movie until Casino Royale that was at least named after an Ian Fleming story. (Though arguably License to Kill had more to do with the novels than any movie since maybe On Her Majesty's Secret Service. But it didn't have the name.)
  • It was the last movie to have an original John Barry score. And it was a good score too. I like David Arnold a lot, but no one is ever going to replace Barry... that score was the end of an era.
  • It was a huge step up from the aforementioned A View to a Kill, which immediately preceded it.
  • I really like Timothy Dalton, and this was by far the better of the two movies he made.

I think it's sad how much crap Dalton takes, just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time in the series. But to be fair, he is kind of like the Jimmy Carter of Bond actors. He may not have been the best James Bond, but he is the best ex-James Bond. Every time I've seen him in a post-Bond role, it's been a thrill that none of the others can match.

(Although I must admit, Roger Moore's cameo in Spice World was pretty sweet.)

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Destineer
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The Living Daylights is one of the very best. I'm not sure what grounds anyone who liked Bond would have to dislike that movie. It has wit, charm, dark moments, awesome action. (License To Kill was not a success, though, IMO.)

But then, I don't understand why some people have a problem with The World Is Not Enough. I count that as Brosnan's best. Goldeneye is fine, but uninspired.

The worst Bond film is probably Die Another Day, although there are many bad ones and a good argument can be made for A View To A Kill, Quantum of Solace, Live And Let Die, Moonraker and Never Say Never Again (if you count that one).

My personal list (which is somewhat fluid):

Goldfinger
Casino Royale
Thunderball
The Living Daylights
The World is Not Enough
The Spy Who Loved Me
Dr. No
Octopussy
From Russia With Love
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Goldeneye
For Your Eyes Only
You Only Live Twice
Tomorrow Never Dies
Diamonds Are Forever
Never Say Never Again
Moonraker
Live And Let Die
License To Kill
The Man With The Golden Gun
Quantum of Solace
View To A Kill
Die Another Day

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Destineer
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Two notes about my list:

(1) I fully respect the view that On Her Majesty's Secret Service deserves a much higher place, but I find Lazenby so uncharismatic that it's hard to believe him as Bond.

ETA: In the alternate universe where Dalton played Bond in that movie, it would have been kick ass.

(2) I would place the cutoff between "good" and "bad" movies somewhere around Tomorrow Never Dies. The top ten or so are all among my favorite action/adventure movies.

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Speed
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Your list reminds me of something once read from one of the series producers. I can't find the exact quote, but later in the series when the films had begun to get a little silly, one of the producers said something to the effect of, "we begin every film intending to make another From Russia with Love, and in the end we find we've made another Thunderball."
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Destineer
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But Thunderball is awesome! One of the best plots in the series (the double of the bomber pilot is such a cool idea).

FRWL is another one that might deserve a higher place, though. I haven't seen it for years, so its luster has kind of worn off for me at the moment. Maybe if I saw it again it would beat out Octopussy and/or Dr. No.

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Speed
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Since my last post, I re-watched a lot of the Bond movies. And after a Pierce Brosnan marathon, I've come to a conclusion that's sure to be controversial around here. Particularly after re-reading all your previous posts. Here it is:

Tomorrow Never Dies was Pierce Brosnan's best Bond film. Yes, better than Goldeneye.

Before I'm dogpiled, allow me to make my case.

1. TND had a dumber plot. But it was much better paced. Goldeneye had an interesting concept, and some great scenes. But they were bogged down with so much filler and exposition that getting to the good stuff took forever. TND, on the other hand, made every scene interesting. Even the dumb stuff wasn't boring, and it continually moved the plot without over-explaining it.

2. The main villain in Goldeneye was well written, and effectively played by Sean Bean. The villain in TND, on the other hand, was utterly ridiculous. But Jonathan Pryce is a great actor, and he committed to the stupidity so fully that he made it work. And Pryce had a much better henchman. So Goldeneye wins the villain contest, but it's closer than it should have been.

3. Teri Hatcher is incredibly annoying. But she dies half way through TND, and is replaced by Michelle Yeoh, who is probably the most kick-ass bond girl ever filmed. Xenia Onatopp was a fun character, if a little hammy. But Wai Lin could beat her ass blindfolded.

4. The real trump card for TND, though, is the score. Goldeneye had, I'm going to say, the worst score in the whole series. When it wasn't actively distracting from the action, it was just sitting in the background sucking all the fun out of every scene it was in. TND, on the other hand, had the best non-Barry score of any Bond film to date. Even the stupidest action scenes took on epic scope with David Arnold doing the heavy lifting. After hearing Eric Serra spend two hours actively sabotaging Goldeneye, the opening scene of TND gave me goose bumps. I hadn't seen it in a while, but right from the pre-credits sequence I knew that this film might warrant a re-evaluation.

In fact, that's one thing I'm a little nervous about with Skyfall. David Arnold did such an amazing job with TND that he's scored every film since. He's the only non-Barry composer to do more than one film, and the only one that has captured some of Barry's magic. One of the things that made John Barry's scores so classic is that he managed to modernize the orchestral score in a way that didn't sound almost instantly dated. David Arnold is the only other composer that has credibly pulled that off.

I like Thomas Newman, and I'm sure Arnold needs a break. But historically, even some great composers have come up a little short trying to fill this role, so I hope Newman is up for it.

That digression aside, I was surprised on this go-round to find myself enjoying the experience of Tomorrow Never Dies a little more than Goldeneye. Feel free to refute at your leisure.

But however we might argue on this particular premise, I think we can all agree that The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day sucked giant rocks. And isn't that really what it's all about?

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Stone_Wolf_
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The original Skyfall thread...bump
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Foust
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So, has anyone read any of the novels?

I just finished Goldfinger, and it's, um, interesting.

Oddjob, along with all of Goldfinger's other henchmen, are Korean. Goldfinger choses Koreans because they are "among the most savage of races," and are unable to learn proper language (so they cannot reveal his plans to anyone).

Pussy Galore is the leader of a lesbian gang.

Oh, but it gets better/worse.

She's a lesbian because, as she says, "she's never met a man before." Oh, and she was sexually abused by her uncle.

Seconds after she says this to Bond, he says that she just needs a little "TLC," and proceeds to cure her of her lesbianism and trauma with the power of his penis.

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Destineer
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Hmmm, looks like I missed an important post by Speed...

quote:

But however we might argue on this particular premise, I think we can all agree that The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day sucked giant rocks. And isn't that really what it's all about?

I certainly can't agree to that! Like I said above, I think TWINE is Brosnan's best, by a lot. I've never understood why people have a problem with this one. It's very similar to The Living Daylights, in my opinion.

ETA: I used to think Tomorrow Never Dies was better than Goldeneye too. Can't remember what changed my mind. Hope it wasn't just peer pressure.

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Dan_Frank
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Try to figure out the arguments for each film and recalculate your decision!
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Aros
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I've read the novels. They were excellent adventure yarns, but they are very dated. Live and Let Die, for example, has some pretty startling racism (by today's standards). It's interesting to see how much the world has changed. Like our views on Cuba before the communists took power.

It's interesting to see how different they were from the movies. I think the Craig flicks are FAR more faithful to the spirit of the books than the originals were.

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Sa'eed
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Adel's "Skyfall" song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HKoqNJtMTQ

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Speed
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Has anyone seen this? I'm surprised there aren't any reviews or discussions yet.

I saw it yesterday, and I absolutely loved it. Bond movies are usually guilty pleasures for me, but this one was legit. I really want to see it again immediately, and I don't think I've ever seen a movie twice in the theater. If it doesn't at least get nominated for a cinematography Oscar, it'll be a crime.

Without giving too much away, I'll set some continuity with my previous rankings by saying that this is easily the best Bond movie that isn't a reasonably faithful adaptation of an Ian Fleming novel. It's right up there with From Russia With Love, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Casino Royale. Better even than Goldfinger. And of course nothing Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton or Pierce Brosnan ever did is even in the same league.

Even the wave of stellar reviews did nothing to prepare me for how good this movie was going to be. There was very little about it I didn't like. I still missed David Arnold's score, and some of the high-speed action sequences got a little sluggish now and then. But these are very minor complaints, overwhelmingly made up for by all the brilliant things the movie pulled off.

I won't go any further for fear of spoiling the movie. This is one of the few Bond movies that actually has a couple plot twists you don't want to know before you see it. So go see it.

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Dr Strangelove
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I thought it was a bit long, but definitely very good.
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Bella Bee
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I saw it a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. It had a good balance of humour, action and the kind of silliness that you expect from a James Bond movie, but obviously toned down from previous versions - no cars that turned into hovercraft, thank goodness.
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Orincoro
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The Dark Bond Identity was one of my favorite Bonds to date. Didn't have the freshness of CR, but the action set pieces were great and a lot of other things worked well.

Some weaknesses in pacing: the setup to the final showdown, and the showdown, lag considerably. There is also some weakness in the writing concerning motivation. Revenge is very nice, but overused as a driver for nefarious super-villains- particularly in this case.

Also, Bond is a spy, right? He rarely acts like one anymore. ASIs true in maybe 50-60% of spy movies, the driver of the plot is internal to the organization. Why does it always have to be so? Don't spies do constructive things besides fix messes their own organizations create? Like, ever? I wouldn't mind Bond getting a chance to actually save the world once or twice, and fight someone who has an angle other than- "I'm pissed, and horny".

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Lyrhawn
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I'm going to see it shortly. I liked Casino Royale, but I really didn't care at all for QoS. I wasn't going to see this one at all, but the projector died when I went to see Lincoln so we got a free pass. Skyfall will be the beneficiary.

I'm really not a fan of the new Bond, there's just something missing in Craig's performance. It's TOO serious, TOO gritty. I know everyone loves these new serious dark takes on classic figures, but I love sassy, cocky, funny Bond.

I'll let you all know what a Craig-skeptic thinks when I get back later.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I'm going to see it shortly. I liked Casino Royale, but I really didn't care at all for QoS. I wasn't going to see this one at all, but the projector died when I went to see Lincoln so we got a free pass. Skyfall will be the beneficiary.

I'm really not a fan of the new Bond, there's just something missing in Craig's performance. It's TOO serious, TOO gritty. I know everyone loves these new serious dark takes on classic figures, but I love sassy, cocky, funny Bond.

I'll let you all know what a Craig-skeptic thinks when I get back later.

How did you like Lincoln. Pretty awesome neh?
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Lyrhawn
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I very much liked it.

It did an excellent job of humanizing Lincoln, showing him as a real person, and also showing just how beaten down he was by the stress of the Civil War. I think it also redefined portrayals of him as some huge railsplitting deep-throated badass. Historians agree his voice was actually high-pitched and softer spoken, which Lewis portrayed well.

It was also appropriately funny. James Spader (in addition to a couple dozen other nice performances from a group of all-stars), was a delightful surprise.

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umberhulk
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If I thought the trailers made it look vanilla and boring, should I still watch it?
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Lyrhawn
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Excellent movie. I liked it very, very much.

They really got back to basics in a number of ways. There were a couple things I didn't like about it that I won't detail for the sake of spoilers, because all the things I dislike involve major spoilers.

I'm still not a really big fan of stoic, emotionless Bond, but if that's the new thing, Craig does it in a way that makes it more than tolerable. They still have an over reliance on garish over-the-top chase scenes that defy all manner of skepticism, to the point of actually being a bit tedious, but those were pleasantly kept to a minimum this time around.

I feel like they actually told a story this time. And that story actually meant something. It's been awhile. It's the first time they've done a story like this since Goldeneye, but this was much heavier.

Special shout out to Adele for the opening title sequence and song. That's going to go down in history as classic Bond. They nailed the feel.

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umberhulk
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Casino Royale, and even to a lesser extent, Quantum of Solace, meant something in terms of character development. It's a story of concequence that explains how James becomes a remorseless killer, with no chance of ever having another life separated from his profession. The ending scene in CR is amazing.
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Lyrhawn
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Meh.
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umberhulk
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Well, I think it's better than Goldeneye (which rules)

[ November 18, 2012, 09:18 PM: Message edited by: umberhulk ]

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I very much liked it.

It did an excellent job of humanizing Lincoln, showing him as a real person, and also showing just how beaten down he was by the stress of the Civil War. I think it also redefined portrayals of him as some huge railsplitting deep-throated badass. Historians agree his voice was actually high-pitched and softer spoken, which Lewis portrayed well.

It was also appropriately funny. James Spader (in addition to a couple dozen other nice performances from a group of all-stars), was a delightful surprise.

Agreed on all points. I've had to tell a few people who've asked that they probably wouldn't enjoy it.

Spoilers for Lincoln* (YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED)

There just isn't any action, it's all political drama. Nobody lays a hand on another person. But that hardly matters, it's what's being said. The rhetoric and delivery. There were a few subtle nods to today's affairs I laughed at,

"When was the last time the Republican party all voted for anything?"

I was the only one who laughed in the theater at that part.

I did sense a bit of "dirty spineless Democrats, nothing's changed since then!" in the movie theater when Stevens plucks his Democrat opponents.

James Spader was definitely a fun surprise. Day-Lewis is basically the standard by which Lincolns from now on must be measured. His voice and manner were just perfect. His delivery, especially during telling yet another story, or when using imagery was just so great. I think my favorite exchange was between Lincoln and Seward,

Lincoln: Time is the thickener of all things.

Seward: Well I suppose so....wait no I don't. I don't even know what you mean by that.

Hilarious!

When they took the movie to the theater I was like, "Oh God no, this is just wrong! (Not to mention inaccurate, there's no scene like that in Our American Cousin) You can't expect us to watch this. It's been done too many times!"

They didn't fortunately, but I still didn't like the portrayal of the news. I wished they'd found another way. BTW was the son in a theater at the same time, just a more kid friendly show?

I liked the scene at the beginning with the black soldiers and Lincoln, but when the way they recited the entire Gettysberg Address felt a little off, it pulled me out of the movie. Especially when the one soldier smirks and finishes the speech while walking away. I can certainly believe the speech was a powerful one, and people were in the habit of committing speeches, poems, etc to memory. But I feel like if you were telling the president his own speech, you'd deliver the whole thing, give a respectful nod, then walk off. But whatever, were I directing it, I wouldn't have dared to tell Daniel Day-Lewis anything he was doing was wrong. And thus created a Lincoln who made everybody else seem like idiots.

[ November 19, 2012, 12:24 AM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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Lyrhawn
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I also thought the opening was a bit off...but I also feel like maybe an audience less well versed in Lincoln and history might have appreciated a bit more. For me, it felt a little off, but I also got the impression from Lewis' portrayal that Lincoln actually got that sort of hero worship and quoting all the time and was actually quite tired of it.

As a side note, I thought the two main actors portraying the Democrats, Lee Pace as the young provocateur and the older guy did an absolutely excellent job in their roles. I continue to find Lee Pace's range very impressive.

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Aros
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Can't you make a thread for Lincoln? Jeeze.
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umberhulk
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Get your boring movie out of our James Bond thread.
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Lyrhawn
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Lincoln would have kicked James Bonds' butt in his prime.
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umberhulk
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Too bad James Bond shot him in a theater.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Booth, John Wilkes Booth.
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Lyrhawn
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Killing Lincoln was like taking candy from a baby. Trying taking him out during his railsplitting/log cabin days.
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