DB5 for 007 James Bond (Casino Royale) « Aston Martins.com
Record Breaking Aston Car Flip James Bond 007
My Bond Ranking
Casino Royale- Origin story that didn’t feel like one. Craig plays Bond just like the book. He’s jacked. Him and Vespers chemistry. Bond felt like a real spy/assassin. He could be hurt emotionally and physically. Locations. Action. Entire cast. His wardrobe. Most realistic torture scene in a movie imo. Poker. Bond becoming cold hearted after Vesper dies and unattached (seen in later films). That iconic ending with the 3 piece suit and the classic intro and theme for the first time.
Goldfinger- Set the formula for what would follow. Goldfinger himself. Best pre title sequence to date. Rolex 6538. Golf scene. Aston Martin. Pussy.
Goldeneye- pre title sequence. Brosnan. Bean. 007 vs 006. Omega Seamaster looking cool and being used as a gadget. Natalia. Action packed up the wazoo.
Skyfall- Delving into Bonds past. Silva. Theme song. Shows Bonds mental and physical struggles. Battle at Skyfall. Judy Dench.
FRWL- Robert Shaw. Train Fight. Entire main cast.
Dr. No- First scene with Bond. Locations. You’ve have your 6 scene. glimpses of real spy work like hair on the door.
Thunderball- Domino. The Bahamas. Connery still got it.
Casino Royale has one of the best scripts ever written for a Bond film.
Spoilers ahead: Been a while since I have spoken on this subreddit. Last time I wrote about Dr. No; this time I will be looking at a film that surprisingly shares a lot of Bond DNA with Dr. No. Enjoy! I had recently heard on this subreddit that Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace were on Netflix but I had forgotten that fact. I wanted something to watch and of course the first thing to pop up was Casino Royale. I decided to give it a watch because I have not gotten to see it again in years. I remember loving it as a kid and considering it one of my favorite 007 movies. Now having rewatched it with fresh eyes - it's all I remembered and more. Casino Royale is many things but I think the main reason why it's so great is the script. It harkens back to the simplicity of Dr. No's more detective/espionage style of storytelling while having all the action setpieces of the later films. There are dozens of show-don't-tell moments throughout that give the audience the sense that James Bond is as crafty as he is said to be. There are small moments where MI6 will butt in to give short exposition updates to the audience; their length is so well paced that it does not detract from the forward momentum of the plot or insult the audiences' intelligence. One of the stand out moments for me was after James discovers that Vesper has betrayed him. In any weaker script there would have been an overdramatic scene when they reunited where James would be disappointed and angry at Vesper. Instead all we get is a look between them and Vesper utters, "I'm sorry". That is so much more powerful and the scene that ensues is of course very tragic. Another fantastic stand out was the entire sequence in Miami. 007 kills the man he is tailing (in the body exhibit) without the two uttering a word to eachother. That was another moment where corny dialogue like, "don't say a word", would have appeared in any other film but instead it's a silent exchange as the two men know what is at stake if they make a scene. The film's pacing is also perfect; every moment in the script to plays out with precision. It's never dull, allowing for the quieter scenes to match the pace of all the action heavy moments. The dialogue is also fantastic. There are so many details in the way each character speaks. I particularly enjoyed how they wrote James Bond. He primarily keeps to himself but gains confidence (his arrogance) in certain situations - revealing his inner self. It was so great to see all the sides of Bond while still feeling like he isn't the smooth talking tough guy of the Connery or Brosnan eras just yet. His more human elements all throughout really sell this interpretation as being much more real and less of a comic book action hero. Same goes for the main villain Le Chiffre, played brilliantly by Mads Mikkelson and Eva Green's great, intimate performance as Vesper. The callbacks to the older films are not too bombastic which gives the movie its own identity. We still get the exotic locals, Aston Martins, MI6, and Felix Leiter that we are all familiar with, but they don't feel shoehorned in or undercooked. I also enjoyed them throwing in a pun or two just to show that this wasn't the most straight faced Bond ever. Also, "would you like that shaken or stirred?" "Do I look like I give a damn?" Brilliant. There is a lot more to be said about this film in terms of direction, editing, cinematography, performances, music, action design, etc... but we all know it's just so, so great. The movie as a whole really comes together as the ultimate Bond package. Even if Daniel Craig never got to make any more Bond adventures, Casino Royale fulfills everything you could ever want from one (maybe minus the gadgets). It all comes down to the words on the pages of the script. The three writers who worked on it did a killer job. Here is hoping No Time To Die gives us a satisfying ending to the Craig era. This was definitely quite a way for it to begin.
[Bond film series] James Bond can't read, that's why he never bothers with paperwork. He's winging it pretty well. Good for him
I expect I have some explaining to do before this gets relegated to /ShittyFanTheories/ James Bond has been around for decades. His 25th film will be out in a few months. That's at least 25 high stakes missions facing of against the likes of international terrorists, criminal conspiracies, and rival intelligence agencies. You would expect this to entail a lot of paperwork. Bond doesn't seem to read much of it. Granted, this wouldn't make for action packed cinema. But even the more cerebral Bond films don't see 007 reading all that much. He'll get a verbal briefing, handed a folder, and he'll look through the pictures. It's more digestable for the audience, it's a more cinematically compatible way to deliver exposition... but it'd also make it easier for you hide the fact you can't read. Now, the various Bonds have different attitudes and different approaches to their missions. These attitudes even change between entries in the series. Some of the Bonds are more flippant (Brosnan destroying the manual for the invisible Aston Martin in Die Another Day). Some are laser focused on revenge and aren't stopping to gather intel (Dalton in License to Kill, Craig in Quantum of Solace). One is an absolute know-it-all who repeats non-sequitors on trivia he picked up somewhere (Moore). These are all justifications Bond would use to cover up for the fact that his peers never see him read. In the version of Bond we get in the novels we can follow his internal monologue. If he reads something, we read it with him. He also can't hide something from the audience. If he's pretending to do something we see the pretence. This isn't true of the cinematic version of Bond. We don't hear his thoughts. He can stare at a piece of paper for an entire scene but we've no way of certifying that he's absorbing any of it. The only proof we have is him repeating the information that was written down. In Casino Royale (2005) Vesper shows him her business card when they first meet. He repeats her name back to her. But for all we know he was given a verbal heads up on who he'd be working with on his mission. In the same scene he has a menu in front of him the whole time but we cut away before he has to recommened a dish or order one. He always orders the same cocktail. He has never once tried to read a cocktail menu. There is no guarantee that the bar he goes to serves a martini, but it's a popular drink, making it a safe bet. Tbh, if he can read he's just being needlessly flippant and reckless when approaching these high stakes missions. I'd rather believe this highly trained superspy is struggling to overcome/hide a disability, and succeeding against the odds, than he's arrogantly endangering the whole world because he wants to show off. More details in video form: https://youtu.be/9CeUOu4BuE4
This is more obvious with Brosnan's Bond, and Craig's to a lesser extent. Moore nearly sinks the whole theory
Edit: At the point where this post has been up for 7 hours and had over 100 comments (including numerous ones of my own) I'm noting that none of the counterpoints posted so far feature Brosnan's Bond, despite his 4 film run as the character. This lends credence to my suspicion that he is the least literate Bond.
Film Rankings with Explanations, Ratings, and Tiers
During quarantine, I've had the opportunity to rewatch every movie in relatively short succession. I've seen them all 2-10 times and have been a lifelong Bond fan. I enjoy every Bond film, even the "bad" ones, but I wanted to try and rank them. I used a scoring system to help me, but ultimately went with my gut (e.g. License to Kill MUST be better than The World is Not Enough). I thought a tier system of ranking was useful, because it really is splitting hairs to rank some of these. Feel free to critique my ratings, my ratings weightings, and opinions! You could say I have too much time on my hands Tier 7: The Worst
Die Another Day: Best Sword Fight
- Why it's not irredeemable: For being the lowest ranked film on this list, it's not without its moments. Bond getting caught, tortured, then escaping from MI6 was interesting and novel. The ice hotel was neat, as well as the chase scene. I'll even defend the much maligned invisible car, as the Aston Martin Vanquish is quite a car. - Why it's not higher: Personally, I think Halle Berry is a terrible Bond girl, alternating between damsel in distress and super woman as the plot demands it. Moreover, Graves and the plot in general is pretty cheesy and boring. Perhaps most damaging is the deadly serious tone of the movie, which doesn't even provide the fun and excitement Brosnan's films generally provide the viewer. - Most under-appreciated part: The fencing scene is the best action scene of the entire movie. It's surprising it took Bond this long to fence, but seeing them go at it across the club was a blast. Tier 6: Disappointing
Quantum of Solace: Best Car Chase
- Why it's this high: The action is quite good, likely meriting the distinction of the best car chase in the entire series (the pre-credits sequence). Mathis is a good ally and it is sad to see him go. - Why it's not higher: My biggest beef with Craig's Bond films is that they are too serious, so when the plot and script isn't top-notch, the movie watching experience is just kind of dull. Quantum of Solace takes a bold risk in making the first Bond sequel, but unfortunately it's just not that good. Greene seems like a rather pathetic Bond villain, and his henchman (the worst in the series?) ends up in a neck-brace after getting tripped by Camilla. Also, the shaky cam is distracting and exhausting. - Most under-appreciated part: I actually thing the theme song is pretty good! Maybe I'm just too much of a Jack White groupie, but I think it rocks.
Moonraker: Best Locales
- Why it's this high: I'm pleased to see Jaws making a return, as he is an amazing henchman. On that note, the pre-credits sequence with Bond and Jaws falling out of the plane is exhilarating. Holly Goodhead is a very good Bond girl, beautiful, smart, and competent. Roger Moore always does an excellent job playing the role with suavity and wit. - Why it's not higher: Gosh it's cheesy. Particularly egregious is Jaws' love story. The theme song is terrible and Bond doesn't have any solid allies besides Goodhead and Jaws. - Most under-appreciated part: They really go all out with the settings here. Obviously, space is pretty polarizing, but I think Bond clearly should go to space at SOME point during the series. In addition, Italy and Brazil were gorgeous views, while Drax's estate is magnificent.
Spectre: Best Shooting
- Why it's this high: Rewatching this for the second time, I realized Lea Seydoux does a good job as the Bond girl, and it's actually quite believable she and James could work out, as she is the daughter of an assassin and can understand him (as Blofeld points out). Seeing Bond show off his marksmanship was quite satisfying, especially that one long shot during the escape from Blofeld's compound. Bonus points for Bond's DB10 and resurrecting the DB5. - Why it's not higher: The fatal flaw of this film is making Blofeld Bond's adopted brother. How did Bond not recognize him? How is Blofeld able to keep himself secret from British intelligence yet every criminal worth his salt knows of him? The worst part is that it actually cheapens the plot of the other Craig movies. I believe the Bond franchise should stay clear from sequels from here on out. Yes, they can weave a great story if done correctly, but it's so much more difficult to make great sequels (e.g. Star Wars only made two worthy sequels in seven tries) than to do one-offs. As usual for a Craig film, Bond has little charisma (save for his surprisingly good rapport with Moneypenny) and little in the way of jokes to lighten the mood. - Most under-appreciated part: The train fight scene with Dave Bautista is great! Gosh it was awesome to see them go at it, break through walls, and a priceless expression on Bautista's face when he knows he's done. Bautista is the first decent henchman since the 90s, so glad to see the series go back to this staple.
The Man with the Golden Gun: Best Potential, Worst Execution
- Why it's this high: This Bond movie frustrates more than any other, as it has the potential to be an all-time great. Bond's debriefing starts off with promise, as it turns out the world's top assassin is gunning for Bond! For the first time in the series, Bond seems vulnerable! M makes a hilarious quip as to who would try to kill Bond ("jealous husbands ... the list is endless"). Furthermore, the legendary Christopher Lee is possible the best Bond villain, a rare peer of 007. - Why it's not higher: Unfortunately, the movie opts to change course so that it's just Maud Adams trying to get Bond to kill Scaramanga. Goodnight is beautiful, but maybe the most inept Bond girl of all-time. They used a SLIDE WHISTLE, ruining one of the coolest Bond stunts ever (the car jump). - Most under-appreciated part: Nick Nack is a splendid henchman, showing the role can be more than just a strongman.
Diamonds Are Forever: Great Beginning and Ending, but Bad Everywhere Else
- Why it's this high: Is there another Bond with such a great contrast between the beginning/ending and everything in between? Connery shows his tough side, as he muscles his way through the pre-credits scene. Particularly good was the part where he seduces the woman, then uses her bikini top to choke her. At the end, Bond expertly uses his wine knowledge to detect something is amiss, then dispatches Kidd and Wint in style. Other cool scenes include Bond scaling the building to reach Blofeld and Bond driving the Mustang through the alley. - Why it's not higher: This is one of the films that I find myself liking less and less over time. Vegas, and especially the space laboratory scene, just seem cheesy. Connery is officially too old at this point, and Jill St. John just isn't a very compelling Bond girl. I would've preferred to have seen more of Plenty O'Toole, but alas 'twas not meant to be. Leiter is uninspired as well. Having Bond go after Blofeld for the millionth time just seems tired at this point. - Most under-appreciated part: Mr. Kidd and Wint are the creepiest henchmen in the Bond universe, but I'd argue they are some of the best. Their banter and creative modes of execution are quite chilling and thrilling.
A View to a Kill: Best Theme
- Why it's this high: Is it a hot take to not have View in the bottom five? Let me explain. I contend Duran Duran's theme is the very best. The ending fight scene on the Golden Gate Bridge is actually one of the most iconic ending set pieces in the series. The plot is stellar on paper, as the horse racing part was a very Bondian side story, and the idea of an attack on Silicon Valley actually seems even more plausible today. - Why it's not higher: It's self-evident that Moore is way too old for the part. Some parts are just mind-blowingly ridiculous, such as the fire truck chase scene through San Francisco and the part where Stacey is caught unaware by a blimp behind her. Speaking of Stacey, she may be beautiful, but she spends most of the movie shrieking whenever something goes wrong. - Most under-appreciated part: The scene with Bond and Ivanova is cool (I always like it when he interacts with other spies) and quite entertaining how he fools her with the cassettes. Tier 5: Below Average
Octopussy: The Most Characteristically Roger Moore Bond Film
- Why it's this high: Maud Adams has great screen presence as Octopussy, and her Amazonian-like women are cool to watch fight. Bond's deft swipe of the egg was nicely done. On a related aside, I wish Bond films would emphasize Bond's intellect more, as it seems the 60s and 70s films would allow Bond to showcase his vast knowledge more frequently than he does today. Gobinda is a fierce henchman, while India in general is a cool location. The plot is realistic, yet grand (war-mongering Russian general tries to detonate a nuke to get NATO to turn on itself). - Why it's not higher: This is the first Moore film where he simply was too old and shouldn't have been cast. Yes, it's too cheesy at times, most infamously during the Tarzan yell. Bond also doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: People tend to focus too much on Bond dressing as a clown, but the scene where Bond furiously tries to get to the bomb in time to defuse it is one of the tensest moments in the series. Moore's "Dammit there's a bomb in there!" really demonstrated the gravity of the situation (I get goosebumps during that part).
Tomorrow Never Dies: Most Tasteful Humor
- Why it's this high: Brosnan really settles into the role well here. He gives the most charismatic Bond performance in 15 years or so. His quip "I'm just here at Oxford, brushing up on a little Danish" is an all-time great Bond line. Teri Hatcher is stunning as Paris Carver, delivering a memorable performance with her limited screen time. The plot is original and ages well, highlighting the potential downsides of media power, while Carver is an above average villain. - Why it's not higher: Wai Lin is good for action, but the chemistry between her and Bond is non-existent. By the end of the movie, Pryce just seem silly (especially the scene where he mocks Wai Lin's martial arts skills). There aren't any good Bond allies, as Jack Wade doesn't impress in his return to the franchise. In general though, the movie has few things terribly wrong with it, it just doesn't excel in many ways. - Most under-appreciated part: Dr. Kaufman is hysterical. At first, I thought "this is weird," but by the end of the scene I'm cracking up. I genuinely wish they found someway to bring him back for World, but c'est la vie.
The World Is Not Enough: Less than the Sum of its Parts
- Why it's this high: According to my spreadsheet, this is a top 10 Bond film, while on my first watch on this film I thought it was bottom five. I think the truth is that it's somewhere in between. I like the settings, everything from the temporary MI-6 headquarters to Azerbaijan. Elektra is an all-time great Bond girl, with a nice plot twist and character arc. The glasses where Bond sees through women's clothing are hilarious. The sense of danger is strong, with everyone from Bond to M being in danger. The return of Zukovsky is a nice plus. - Why it's not higher: I think two things really doom this film. First, Renard is totally wasted a henchman. The idea of him not feeling pain is a cool one, but he just seems boring and extraneous. I don't even think Carlyle acted poorly, he was just misused. Secondly, the ending (after Bond killing Elektra which is quite good) is rather terrible. The whole scene in the sub just isn't entertaining or engaging. - Most under-appreciated part: I'm going to defend Denise Richards as Christmas Jones. Although no Ursula Andress, Richards is absolutely gorgeous and did not actively make Bond's mission more difficult, which is more than some Bond girls can say *cough Britt Ekland. In particular, I found her introductory scene to be quite memorable and convincing. Also, the Christmas quip at the end is quite cheeky. Tier 4: Solid
The Living Daylights:
- Why it's this high: Dalton brings a breath of fresh air to the franchise here. His more serious take makes for interesting movies that seem more unique than most. I'm happy to see this subreddit appreciate Dalton more than the casual fun does, but I wouldn't go as far as the Dalton fanboys and say he's the best Bond or anything like that. I do wish he got the role sooner and did more films. Moving on to Daylights, it's got a good intro for Dalton and good plot in general. Surprisingly, Bond's fidelity doesn't bother me one bit, as it actually makes sense that Kara falls in love with James by the end, given all they've gone through. - Why it's not higher: The biggest reason is that the villain is just terrible. Whitaker seems silly and pathetic, a terrible contrast to Dalton's serious nature. I think Whitaker might be the worst in the series, and a Bond movie can't be great without a good villain. Also, Dalton doesn't have much charm and is abysmal at one-liners, which, in my opinion, IS a facet of the perfect James Bond. - Most under-appreciated part: The Aston Martin Vantage is a beautiful car, and the chase scene across the ice is great! It's both exciting and funny! Not sure why people don't talk about this chase scene and this car more; it's arguably the highlight of the movie for me.
Thunderball: The Most Beautiful
- Why it's this high: Thunderball used to be top five for me and here is why. The underwater scenes, the setting, the score, and the Bond girls are beautiful even to this day. Domino is excellent, while Volpe is a tour de force, oozing sexuality and danger. I think the underwater parts are interesting and novel, creating a staple of sorts for the franchise. The DB 5 is always welcome, and the jetpack use was quite cool for the time (and to some extent now). - Why it's not higher: Some would say it's boring, while I would more generously admit the plot is slow. Furthermore, the theme song is all-time bad (apparently they could have used Johnny Cash!!!), and there is no great henchman for Bond to dispatch. - Most under-appreciated part: Two plot ideas I liked a lot: Bond being injured and needing rehab, plus the part where all the 00s meet up and then are sent to the corners of the globe.
Never Say Never Again: Guilty Pleasure
- Why it's this high: Rewatching Never for the third time, I was struck by how fun this movie is. It's exciting, funny, and fast-paced. Basically, it's a more exciting version of Thunderball, with better pacing and better humor. I think Irvin Kershner did a great job managing this star studded cast. Carrera is a firecracker as Blush, Sydow is a convincing Blofeld, and Basinger is a classic Bond girl. Connery clearly has a blast returning to the role, doing a great job despite his advanced age. If anything, this one might not be ranked high enough. - Why it's not higher: The music is terrible. Normally I don't notice these things, but one can't help but notice how dreadful this one is. The theme is awful as well. I'd argue this is the worst music of any Bond film. - Most under-appreciated part: The humor! This is one of the funniest Bonds, as I found myself laughing out loud at various parts (e.g. Mr Bean!).
The Spy Who Loved Me: Best Intro
- Why it's this high: There's a lot to love about this one, so I get why this ranks highly for many. It is simply the best introduction, starting with Bond romancing a woman, followed by a skii chase, then jumping off the cliff and pulling the Union Jack parachute! The Lotus is a top 3 Bond car. Jaws is a superb henchman. Triple X was an excellent Bond girl, deadly, charming, and beautiful. Of course, Moore is charming and the locations are exotic (Egypt was a cool locale). If I had to pick one Moore movie for a newcomer to watch, it would be this one. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is bad, and Stromberg is a below average villain. I also think the last 45 minutes or so of the movie kind of drags. - Most under-appreciated part: The whole dynamic between Bond and Triple X is great. Whenever Bond movies show Bond squaring off against other spies (see View to a Kill, Goldeneye) it's just a pleasure to watch.
Live and Let Die: Most Suave
- Why it's this high: Roger Moore superbly carves out his own take on Bond in an excellent addition to the franchise. The boat chase is my favorite in the series, and Live and Let Die is my second favorite theme. Jane Seymour is a good Bond girl, while Tee Hee and Kananga are a solid villain/henchman duo. Unpopular opinion: I find J.W. Pepper to be hilarious. - Why it's not higher: The introduction isn't very good, as Bond isn't even included! The second climax with the voodoo isn't great. Bond blowing up Kananga has aged terribly. - Most under-appreciated part: When Bond is visited in his apartment by M and Moneypenny, Bond rushes to hide his girl from his coworkers. Finally, when they leave and he unzips the dress with his magnetic watch is one of the best uses of a Bond gadget in the series, showcasing why Moore might be the most charming Bond of them all.
You Only Live Twice: Best Blofeld
- Why it's this high: Just your classic, fun Sean Connery Bond movie. It was a great decision to send Bond to Japan for his first Asian visit, giving the movie a fresh feel. The ending set piece battle is potentially the best of this staple of 60s/70s Bonds. Tiger Tanaka is one of Bond's cooler allies. Pleasance killed it as Blofeld; when I think of Blofeld, I think of his take. In what could have been cheesy, he is actually somewhat frightening. - Why it's not higher: The whole "we need to make you look Japanese" part seems both unrealistic (who is he really fooling?) plus surprisingly impotent coming from Tiger Tanaka who seems to be a competent and connected man otherwise. Honestly though, this movie doesn't have a major weakness. - Most under-appreciated part: The fight scene with the guard in the executive's office is probably the best hand-to-hand fight in the series up until that point. Tier 3: Excellent
Dr. No: The Most Spy-Like
- Why it's this high: Nearly 60 years later, this film is still a blast to watch, due in no small part to its focus on the little things of being a spy. I adore the scenes where Bond does the little things spies (presumably) do, such as putting a hair across the door, or showing Bond playing solitaire while waiting to spring his trap on Prof. Dent. I also enjoy the suspense of Bond sleuthing around the island, while he and the viewer are completely unaware of whom the villain is until quite late in the film. It's easy to take for granted now, but this film established so many series traditions that were ingenious. My personal favorite is Bond's introduction at the card table: "Bond .... James Bond." - Why it's not higher: The film just doesn't have the payoff it deserves. Maybe it's just a result of the time and budget, but from the point Bond escapes on, it's just mediocre. Particularly egregious is the "fight" between Dr. No and Bond where No meets his demise. - Most under-appreciated part: Ursula Andress was a surprisingly well developed Bond girl, with a shockingly violent backstory (she was raped!). Obviously, she is beautiful and the beach scene is iconic, but I was pleasantly surprised to conclude she is more than just eye candy.
License to Kill: The Grittiest
- Why it's this high: On my first watch, this was my least favorite Bond film, as I thought it was too dark and violent to befit 007. By my third time watching, I've decided it's actually one of the best. Fortunately, I don't have to go on my "Ackshually, Dalton did a good job" rant with this subreddit. I liked the wedding intro and the concept of a revenge arc for Leiter (although come on he should've been killed by a freaking shark). Also, Lamora and (especially) Bouvier are great Bond girls. Bouvier is both competent and beautiful, and it's great to see Bond choose her at the end. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is atrocious, Dalton is so angry (dare I say charmless?) the whole time it's almost puzzling why Bouvier and Lamora fall for him, and Bond doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: Sanchez is actually a sneaky good Bond villain.
For Your Eyes Only: The Most Underrated
- Why it's this high: I think Moore is a bit underrated as Bond. Yes, he was too old towards the end and yes, his movies were at times too campy, but he himself played the role admirably. He was the most charming and witty of all the Bonds, so by the time he got his first relatively serious plot to work with, he hit it out of the park. Anyhow, the climactic mountaintop assault is one of my favorite Bond action climaxes. Columbo is one of the best Bond allies, and the plot twist where he turns out to be good and Kristatos bad was well-done. - Why it's not higher: The intro is just silly. Bibi's romantic infatuation with Bond is just ...er... uncomfortable? - Most under-appreciated part: The theme song is a banger. What a chorus! Tier 2: Exceptional
Skyfall: The Sharpest Film (From Plot to Aesthetics)
- Why it's this high: One of the best plots of the entire series. The idea of an older Bond who had lost a step, along with making M the focus point of the movie, works very well. Seeing Bond's childhood home is also pretty cool. Bardem's take on Silva is delightful and a lot of fun to watch. Even the cinematography is a series peak, while Adele's them is excellent. - Why it's not higher: One thing most Craig Bond films suffer from is the lack of a Bond-worthy henchman. Skyfall is no exception. More importantly, Bond girls are mostly irrelevant to the film. Yes, Severine is both beautiful and interesting, but she's scarcely twenty minutes of the film. - Most under-appreciated part: Setting the new supporting characters up nicely. The Moneypenny backstory was well-done. Casting Ralph Fiennes as the new M is a great choice in of itself, but he also got a nice chuck of background story to help us going forward.
Casino Royale: The First Bond Film I'd Show a Series Newcomer
- Why it's this high: Craig's take on Bond feels like a breath of fresh air. In particular, his hand-to-hand combat scenes are so much better (and more believable) than any other Bond. The parkour chase scene is one of the best chase scenes in the series. Le Chifre is an excellent villain, but, more importantly, Vesper is an all-time great Bond girl. The conversation between Vesper and Bond on the train is probably the most interesting of any film. Bonus points for Jeffrey Wright as Leiter and the Aston Martin DBS. - Why it's not higher: There are hardly any humorous parts or much charm displayed by Bond in general. More importantly, the movie should have just ended when Bond wakes up in rehab. The rest of the movie feels confused and superfluous. - Most under-appreciated part: The decision to change from chemin de fer to poker makes for much better (and understandable!) cinema. The poker scenes are the best of Bond's many gambling scenes throughout the series.
Goldeneye: The Most Fun
- Why it's this high: Wow, rewatching Goldeneye I was struck by how entertaining the whole thing is. The opening jump is breath taking, the scene where Bond drives his evaluator around is hilarious, and Xenia Onatopp is a livewire. Sean Bean is a formidable villain as 006, and a great foil to James. Bond and Judi Dench's first scene together is amazing. Goldeneye feels like the first modern Bond, yet so true to the predecessors. Wade and especially Zukovsky are excellent allies. - Why it's not higher: Simonova is a forgettable Bond girl. She's not annoying, unattractive, or acted poorly, but is just below average in most regards (looks, back story, chemistry with Bond, plot). - Most under-appreciated part: the action is just so much better than any Bond before it
From Russia with Love: The Best Henchman (Red Grant)
- Why it's this high: Interesting settings, beautiful women, and an engaging story make this a classic. I'm not the first to point out that the scenes with Grant and Bond aboard the train are some of the best in the entire series. Grant is one of the few villains who feels like a match for 007. Furthermore, the addition of Desmond Llewyn as Q was crucial and Kerim Bey is one of the better Bond allies. - Why it's not higher: The helicopter scene should've just been omitted, especially when combined with the subsequent boat chase. It's just awkward to watch. - Most under-appreciated part: The gypsy scenes are quite exotic and entertaining.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Most Heartfelt
- Why it's this high: James and Tracy's love story is charming, and when she dies at the end, this is the one and only time in the entire series where the viewer feels genuinely sad. Diana Rigg did an excellent job convincing the audience Bond could finally fall in love with one girl. The skiing scenes were beautifully filmed, and the score was exemplary. Personally, I quite liked Lazenby's take; however, some of his lines and jokes fall flat. To his credit, he looks and acts like Bond more than any other actor. - Why it's not higher: Honestly, it does drag at times in the first half, plus there is no theme song! - Most under-appreciated part: Bond's Aston Martin DBS is a beautiful car, combining 60's sports-car beauty with Aston Martin's elegance. Tier 1: The Best
Goldfinger: The quintessential Bond
- Why it's this high: From the opening ("Positively shocking") to the seduction of Pussy Galore at the end, this film has it all. Goldfinger is an all time great villain, while Odd Job is an exceptional henchman. Connery delivers a master performance, and drives THE classic Bond Car, ejector seat included. The reason I put it #1 is not necessarily because it is the best film (although it is great), it checks all the boxes of what a perfect Bond film should do. - Why it's not higher: I cannot think of any notable imperfections. - Most under-appreciated part: The golf scene between Bond and Goldfinger is a delight to watch, demonstrating Bond's wits for the first and only time on the golf course.
The OTHER James Bond: 1973's Unofficial 007 Fully Explained
The bruised and rugged Bond at the end of Casino Royale’s gun barrel was a symbol for the forthcoming film’s unrefined aesthetic, and signaled a shift in the franchise’s direction for the foreseeable future. But Binder’s now-iconic 1962 design wasn’t out of the race just yet. 2008’s Quantum Of Solace stuck with the damaged Bond of Royale, but resurrected the classic white dot motif from erstwhile Bond films. Yet again, the gun barrel was redesigned, this time more closely mimicking Binder’s initial snapshot, while a business-suited 007 fires off a shot with one hand. But perhaps the most striking thing about this version of the sequence was that it appeared at the end of the film. Yes, Quantum Of Solace marks the first time in franchise history that the gun barrel opening isn’t an opening at all. This is a trend repeated in 2012 with Sam Mendes’ Skyfall. Once again, Bond’s gun barrel walk-on is reserved for the closing moments of the film, and this time there’s a few more subtle throwbacks to Bonds past: for the first time since the Roger Moore years, there’s no visible muzzle flash or gun smoke – just the sound of a shot going off. With Skyfall’s attempts to backtrack on the gritty character of the previous two films by reintroducing classic Bond tropes such as the Aston Martin and Q-Branch, it’s not surprising this film would see a return to a more traditional gun barrel sequence. This fondness for past Bond eras would come full circle with 2015’s Spectre. The gun barrel itself was once again redesigned for Mendes’ follow-up, and looks much closer to the original Binder barrel. This time, Craig’s Bond is silhouetted against a background with a slightly yellowish hue, recalling the off-white tone of the character’s early color sequences. After 24 Bond films, the franchise had returned to its roots in both tone and design, with Maurice Binder’s original vision still proving effective almost 60 years later.
https://preview.redd.it/tgy96ehit1551.png?width=2000&format=png&auto=webp&s=caa70278d3528a5f651c4f29e9bcf1a398eda9a4 Brief Synopsis: MI6 agent, James Bond, earns his 00 agent license to kill and becomes the infamous 007. Intention: Create a streamlined episodic presentation of the Daniel Craig 007 era films. Each film will be broken up into 40-45 minute episodes with a focus on the espionage action. Release Info: Available Now 6mbps 5.1 MP4 files https://reddit.com/link/fg97sw/video/luxuc9qnt1551/player ------------------------------- Episode 001 – Ellipsis +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Cold intro of Bond earning his 00 license (removed fade in, now hard open) +Created background and mask to remove the barrel effect when Bond shoots the informant -Cut to black removing the Casino Royale intro/song (this is my favorite Bond song and one of my favorite rock songs, but in this format it just doesn’t fit) +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card Open on boy running through the camp -Trimmed the over the top parkour scenes, now Bond is just chasing him on foot through the vegetation, worksite and road -Trimmed a little bit of M going off -Trimmed Bond & Solange to just focus on moving the narrative and plot forward -Trimmed M’s agitated cursing at Bond when he calls at the airport, is transfered to her then hangs up. The majority of her character is just bickering and I wanted to make her more than a disgruntled head of MI6. Hopefully it helps her natural transformation into the more supportive sympathetic role she will take in the third episode. -Cut Bond falling off the truck and then chasing it down and jumping back on. Now he never falls off Episode ends with close up of Bond’s face after Carlos activates the charge that Bond places on his belt +Custom credits (directed by, story by, actor names, studio credits, etc.) +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Color correction to increase saturation and lessen yellow hues Episode 002 – Casino Royale +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Opening sequence after M walks away from Bond after their conversation at Solange’s home +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Trimmed some of Vesper and James’ dialogue after sizing each other up on the train -Removed James’ line about Vesper being single, it now cuts away after he says she’s not his type End of episode after Bond returns and announces that last hand nearly killed him +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Color correction to increase saturation and lessen yellow hues Episode 003 – Vesper +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Open with final round +Added Bond opening after James tells Vesper he’s famished +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Cut Vesper and James talking about his little finger cringe -Cut Vesper and James horn dogging in the hospital -Cut Vesper and James in bed in Venice -Cut James calling Vesper a b**** when M asks if he needs time End of episode after Bond introduces himself to Mr. White +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Color correction to increase saturation and lessen yellow hues Episode 004 – Deception Point +Warning +FE Netflix bumper -Cut zoom in and artistic shots of Bond and car Cold open on Bond shifting into gear -Cut to opening credits after Bond opens the trunk to reveal Mr. White +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Trimmed M and Bond’s dialogue when they are reviewing the double Mitchell’s room Episode ends with Bond walking away from the flight attendant at the airport +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Episode 005 – Quantum of Solace +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Cold open on Bond arriving to see Mathis in Italy -Cut to opening credits after Mathis asks, “Come to apologize?” +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Cut bond sleeping with the Strawberry Fields -Removed kissing sound when Bond leaves Fields at the party so now it could just be him whispering to her -Cut Greene talking about Camille being spectacular when she’s on her back -Cut Camille cursing as they walk out of the club -Trimmed the poorly layered double mirage like shot of Bond and Camille walking through the desert -Cut some dialogue between the president and the general -Cut Greene’s reference of how the president would wake up if he didn’t sign -Cut the closeup of the the president aide’s upskirt when she’s on the bed -Cut Bond kissing Camille after she says she wishes she could set him free End with Bond walking off into the night +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Episode 006 – Phoenix Agent +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Open on Bond walking up hallway (no horn crescendos) +Added Istanbul title on screen -Removed Eve’s lines about VW Beatles -Cut to intro after Bond fades out into the water after being shot; Added underwater waterfall sfx smooth transition +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Cut Bond lover scene and his scorpion drinking game; now jumps to him at the bar during the day when he hears the broadcast -Cut M cursing on the bridge as she exits the car -Cut Bond responding b**** when psychologist says the name “M” -Cut references and Q’s explaining to Bond’about the palm recognizer on his Walther PPK -Cut shot of Bond testing the palm grip on the Walther PPK while in the car Cropped a shot of Bond hanging from the elevator to remove the CGI superimposed hands from the frame. The idea is to simply remove the focus from his hands not being in gloves. Cropped and shortened shots with gloves to take emphasis off of his hands -Removed scene of Bond disappearing after Severine sees him from the other skyscraper +Inserted the ending theme from Casino Royale to create a musical ending to the episode End episode after Bond retrieves the Macau token +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Color correction to increase saturation, remove excessive yellows, increase red in skin tones Episode 007 – Concomitant Factor +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Open on aerial shot of London; rebuilt surround track to make opener more seemless; added typing, glitch and slot machine sfx +Added intro after M completes her call -Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Removed Bond saying he didn’t order Eve (again, I want to make Bond less of a sex crazed agent) -Removed Bond trying to undress Eve -Removed Silva’s advances on Bond, again this is to help the characters stay focused on espionage -Removed Silva shooting Severine. It’s now implied that Bond saves her +Added Severine in the background when Silva backs away from Bon after he takes out his henchmen Cropped shot to remove visual of Severine dead from when Silva looks up at the helicopters -Removed the pan back down to eliminate the need to do a massive zoom -Removed some of Q’s cursing End of episode on Bond looking into the basement ladder way +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Color correction to increase saturation, remove excessive yellows, increase red in skin tones Episode 008 – Skyfall +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Open with Bond climbing down the ladder after Silva -Cut to intro after Q responds, “I told you” +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Removed the man’s line about Bond being keen to get home after he jumps onto the back of the train -Removed M’s cursing when they arrive at Skyfall -Removed Kincade calling Bond a little $4!7 End of episode at final scene of movie +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Color correction to increase saturation, remove excessive yellows, increase red in skin tones Episode 009 – Rogue Agent +Warning +FE Netflix bumper -Removed The Dead Are Alive intro Cold open with Bond on rooftop listening in on conversation +Added Mexico City title on screen +Added translation subtitles -Cut last shots of helicopter and Bond looking at the Spectre ring -Cut opening sequence +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Removed Q’s “oh sh*&” line -Cut Bond looking at the gadget panel in the Aston Martin +Added Roman cicadas to outside scenes when Lucia arrives home and when Spectre attempts to kill her Repurposed Lucia’s later lines about where Spectre is meeting as to have her deliver the lines while Bond is standing there. She now tells him, he says “time for a drink” and transition to him driving to the meeting -Cut Bond and Lucia’s sex scene +Added translation subtitles during Spectre meeting scene -Cut Hinx gouging out the man’s eyes -Cut James turning on the music on the gadgets -Cut Bond taking off the top of a car and Hinx following him down the alley -Trimmed car chase scene to remove the silly part where he gets stuck behind the driver and Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper +Extensive color correction of every scene Applied masks throughout to isolate colors to enhance or diminish their tones while retaining the intended color of the scene. Episode 010 – For King and Country +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Open with Money Penny reviewing files about Franz Oberhause -Cut Madeline and Bond’s sex scene after killing Hinx +Added dialogue to scene where Madeline and James get off the train +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper +Extensive color correction of every scene Applied masks throughout to isolate colors to enhance or diminish their tones while retaining the intended color of the scene. Episode 011 – Spectre +Warning +FE Netflix bumper -Cut the portrait scenes as James walks through the ruins of MI6 looking for Blofeld +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Extensive color correction of every scene Applied masks throughout to isolate colors to enhance or diminish their tones while retaining the intended color of the scene. https://preview.redd.it/1800yikgbsl41.jpg?width=694&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a64c724f3c5337b954afa67be3008d847dcd944d
The Clarkson Review: Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante (Oct. 13)
The Clarkson Review: Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante (Oct. 13) Of course I will go and see the new James Bond film, but I almost certainly won't enjoy it. I haven't really enjoyed any of them since Daniel Craig took over. I know he wants his Bond to be fallible and weak, like the character in the books, but I don't want to see 007 swigging Heineken from a bottle that just happens to be label-side out, and I don't want to see him bleed, or fire his gun at something and miss. I want him to be Roger Moore, the cheeky chappie who could speak Latin, fly a space shuttle and lay anyone low with one of his signature karate chops. Craig's Bond can't do that. In fact, if you actually stop and think what he's done in the past, you'd have to conclude he's completely useless. In Casino Royale, he didn't notice that the woman he'd fallen in love with was spying for the other side, and then, despite his best efforts, he let her drown in a lift. The next woman he lurved, in Skyfall, got shot in the head by a former colleague. Oh, and then he took an old woman who needed to go into hiding to his own bloody house. Where she and 007's gamekeeper wandered about on a darkened moor, with a torch, just in case the baddies needed even more help locating her. Before that happened, though, Bond went to interview someone in Shanghai and ended up throwing him off a skyscraper. And in an earlier scene, he was shot by Miss Moneypenny. I'm telling you, Johnny English is better at espionage than this guy. So's Inspector Clouseau. But the worst bit in Skyfall came when the director Sam Mendes decided to blow up Bond's Aston Martin. So he pumped it full of bullets until it exploded. I'm sure, to the luvvie-in-chief, this was fine, because a car is just a collection of plastic and metal and glass. But a car is not just a collection of plastic and metal and glass. And Bond's Aston is more of a car than most. It has been a part of my life since I was four. I have owned many models, including one that would fire a small man under the sofa. And Mendes blew it up so he could get Craig to do some acting. I considered at the time filling Sam's dog with bullets until it exploded, just to show him how it felt. The car was put back together in the next Bond film, Spectre — and it appears in the new movie as well — but it was like making Ring of Bright Water 2 and trying to argue that someone had sewn the otter's head back on. I bet Aston Martin had a duck fit when it saw the DB5 reduced to a smouldering ruin, because Bond is its marketing department. He is its PR machine and its ad agency and its ambassador all rolled into one. So I bet it really did try to sew the DB5's head back on, because without 007, the company would have to maintain a public profile on its own. And it doesn't have the cash for that. I'm not sure it even had enough cash to develop the car you see before you today. It's called — deep breath — the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante, and sometimes you get the impression that you're tootling about in almost two tons of make-do and mend. With a bit of cast-off Mercedes tech to maintain a veneer of modernity. To create it, Aston had to chop the roof off a normal DBS, but this meant finding somewhere to put the electric roof mechanism. That meant rerouting the massive exhaust system and that meant turning the fuel tank round and redesigning every body panel aft of the doors. The company managed it, but sometimes the roof doesn't go down when you operate the switch, the boot is laughably tiny, and it gets so hot in there, owing to the exhaust system, you could roast a chicken. There's also a problem with the interior. Astonishingly, we got four adults in it, and that's impressive, but it is almost identical to the interior you get in a far cheaper DB11 Volante. And that's not good enough. The basic starting price of the DBS Superleggera Volante is £247,500 and, I'm sorry, but if I'm going to blow a quarter of a million on a car, I don't want it to have the same innards as a car that costs almost £90,000 less. The trouble is, of course, that when you've spent all that money turning the fuel tank round, there simply won't be enough left to do the air vents as well. Or fit a glovebox. It sounds like I have a real downer on this car, and I haven't finished yet, I'm afraid. Because superleggera is Italian for "superlight", and it just isn't. With a couple of people on board, it weighs more than two tons. Perhaps that's why it endlessly catches its chin-mounted skid plates on speed humps. And why its tyres are so thin you need to be very careful when you're parking, even against a dropped pavement, or you'll kerb the wheels. Perhaps Aston should have called it Supergrasso. You can feel this weight when you're driving, too. It doesn't come across as a feisty little whizz-bang; it's no water boatman. But that said, it's fast. Rocket-ship fast. It's almost too fast, because on wet roads you would be well advised to treat the throttle with extreme caution or you will have a crash. You even need to be careful sometimes on dry roads. And that raises a question. If you can't unleash all the volcanic fury without the back end having a few moments of panic, then why not save yourself the best part of £90,000 and get the DB11 Volante instead? Because you can exploit all the power in one of those, all of the time.And it has the same interior. And it's a little bit more civilised and comfortable. It's almost as though Aston bit off more than it could chew with the DBS. Think of its engineers as pianists. They're accomplished enough to impress their friends and colleagues, but they're not really able to put on a penguin suit, walk onto the stage at the Royal Albert Hall and attempt Liszt's La Campanella. If you attempt to build a 211mph car that costs £247,000, you need to make sure that you have the money to pull it off. Yes, the DBS Superleggera Volante is one of the best-looking cars ever made, and it's blisteringly fast and it makes some laugh-out-loud noises from the tailpipes, but as a package, it's flawed. Hopefully, the new Bond film will be a gem and will keep alive the aura that surrounds the man and the car he drives. But I wouldn't count on it. The way things are going, they'll replace Craig with Anthea Turner and give her a Nissan Leaf. And that, I fear, would bring the curtain down on Britain's best-loved car-maker. In the meantime, if you want an Aston because you, like me, grew up worshipping them, then don't despair because the DB11 Volante is brilliant. That sort of car at that sort of price? Nobody does it better. (Source [paywalled]): https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/clarkson-review-aston-marton-superleggera-volante-v0gz2qs0w)
Clarkson's Columns: In Memory of Ginger Baker & The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Review
Skyfall's villains can blow this one up too The Clarkson Review: Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante (Sunday Times, Oct. 13) Of course I will go and see the new James Bond film, but I almost certainly won't enjoy it. I haven't really enjoyed any of them since Daniel Craig took over. I know he wants his Bond to be fallible and weak, like the character in the books, but I don't want to see 007 swigging Heineken from a bottle that just happens to be label-side out, and I don't want to see him bleed, or fire his gun at something and miss. I want him to be Roger Moore, the cheeky chappie who could speak Latin, fly a space shuttle and lay anyone low with one of his signature karate chops. Craig's Bond can't do that. In fact, if you actually stop and think what he's done in the past, you'd have to conclude he's completely useless. In Casino Royale, he didn't notice that the woman he'd fallen in love with was spying for the other side, and then, despite his best efforts, he let her drown in a lift. The next woman he lurved, in Skyfall, got shot in the head by a former colleague. Oh, and then he took an old woman who needed to go into hiding to his own bloody house. Where she and 007's gamekeeper wandered about on a darkened moor, with a torch, just in case the baddies needed even more help locating her. Before that happened, though, Bond went to interview someone in Shanghai and ended up throwing him off a skyscraper. And in an earlier scene, he was shot by Miss Moneypenny. I'm telling you, Johnny English is better at espionage than this guy. So's Inspector Clouseau. But the worst bit in Skyfall came when the director Sam Mendes decided to blow up Bond's Aston Martin. So he pumped it full of bullets until it exploded. I'm sure, to the luvvie-in-chief, this was fine, because a car is just a collection of plastic and metal and glass. But a car is not just a collection of plastic and metal and glass. And Bond's Aston is more of a car than most. It has been a part of my life since I was four. I have owned many models, including one that would fire a small man under the sofa. And Mendes blew it up so he could get Craig to do some acting. I considered at the time filling Sam's dog with bullets until it exploded, just to show him how it felt. The car was put back together in the next Bond film, Spectre — and it appears in the new movie as well — but it was like making Ring of Bright Water 2 and trying to argue that someone had sewn the otter's head back on. I bet Aston Martin had a duck fit when it saw the DB5 reduced to a smouldering ruin, because Bond is its marketing department. He is its PR machine and its ad agency and its ambassador all rolled into one. So I bet it really did try to sew the DB5's head back on, because without 007, the company would have to maintain a public profile on its own. And it doesn't have the cash for that. I'm not sure it even had enough cash to develop the car you see before you today. It's called — deep breath — the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante, and sometimes you get the impression that you're tootling about in almost two tons of make-do and mend. With a bit of cast-off Mercedes tech to maintain a veneer of modernity. To create it, Aston had to chop the roof off a normal DBS, but this meant finding somewhere to put the electric roof mechanism. That meant rerouting the massive exhaust system and that meant turning the fuel tank round and redesigning every body panel aft of the doors. The company managed it, but sometimes the roof doesn't go down when you operate the switch, the boot is laughably tiny, and it gets so hot in there, owing to the exhaust system, you could roast a chicken. There's also a problem with the interior. Astonishingly, we got four adults in it, and that's impressive, but it is almost identical to the interior you get in a far cheaper DB11 Volante. And that's not good enough. The basic starting price of the DBS Superleggera Volante is £247,500 and, I'm sorry, but if I'm going to blow a quarter of a million on a car, I don't want it to have the same innards as a car that costs almost £90,000 less. The trouble is, of course, that when you've spent all that money turning the fuel tank round, there simply won't be enough left to do the air vents as well. Or fit a glovebox. It sounds like I have a real downer on this car, and I haven't finished yet, I'm afraid. Because superleggera is Italian for "superlight", and it just isn't. With a couple of people on board, it weighs more than two tons. Perhaps that's why it endlessly catches its chin-mounted skid plates on speed humps. And why its tyres are so thin you need to be very careful when you're parking, even against a dropped pavement, or you'll kerb the wheels. Perhaps Aston should have called it Supergrasso. You can feel this weight when you're driving, too. It doesn't come across as a feisty little whizz-bang; it's no water boatman. But that said, it's fast. Rocket-ship fast. It's almost too fast, because on wet roads you would be well advised to treat the throttle with extreme caution or you will have a crash. You even need to be careful sometimes on dry roads. And that raises a question. If you can't unleash all the volcanic fury without the back end having a few moments of panic, then why not save yourself the best part of £90,000 and get the DB11 Volante instead? Because you can exploit all the power in one of those, all of the time.And it has the same interior. And it's a little bit more civilised and comfortable. It's almost as though Aston bit off more than it could chew with the DBS. Think of its engineers as pianists. They're accomplished enough to impress their friends and colleagues, but they're not really able to put on a penguin suit, walk onto the stage at the Royal Albert Hall and attempt Liszt's La Campanella. If you attempt to build a 211mph car that costs £247,000, you need to make sure that you have the money to pull it off. Yes, the DBS Superleggera Volante is one of the best-looking cars ever made, and it's blisteringly fast and it makes some laugh-out-loud noises from the tailpipes, but as a package, it's flawed. Hopefully, the new Bond film will be a gem and will keep alive the aura that surrounds the man and the car he drives. But I wouldn't count on it. The way things are going, they'll replace Craig with Anthea Turner and give her a Nissan Leaf. And that, I fear, would bring the curtain down on Britain's best-loved car-maker. In the meantime, if you want an Aston because you, like me, grew up worshipping them, then don't despair because the DB11 Volante is brilliant. That sort of car at that sort of price? Nobody does it better ? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- He's not around to beat me, so I'll say it: Ginger was only the world's second-best drummer (Sunday Times, Oct. 13) The drummer Ginger Baker died last week and everyone was very surprised because we all assumed the drug-addled wild man from Cream and Blind Faith had shuffled off this mortal coil years ago. It's customary, of course, when someone dies to gloss over their shortcomings and concentrate instead on their work for charity and their heroics in the war. But this is nigh-on impossible with Baker, who was almost certainly the most unpleasant man ever to grace a stage. He pulled a knife on Cream's bass player, Jack Bruce. He used his fists to settle almost every dispute. He broke the nose of the director who made a documentary about him with his walking stick. Then, of course, there was the naked 11-year-old girl featured on the cover of Blind Faith's only album. That's such a difficult issue these days, none of the obituaries even mentioned it. Instead, everyone concentrated on Baker's skills as a musician — but even here people missed the point, because despite what he claimed, he wasn't the best drummer the world has ever seen. Thanks to Mitch Mitchell, who played with Jimi Hendrix, he was the second best. I'm on Twitter if you want to argue. Baker, however, could keep perfect time, even when he was full of heroin, which is quite an achievement. And he could maintain four different cross rhythms with each of his limbs. This is like rubbing your tummy, patting your head, pumping up a lilo and playing hopscotch all at the same time. I have a drum kit. It's an enormous Pictures of Lily limited edition replica. And after several years of weekly lessons, I developed a profound admiration for drummers, because they're doing something I can't do. We can't admire people who can do what we can do. I don't admire anyone who can drive fast while shouting, but when I watch a dry-stone-waller creating a natural barrier using nothing but experience and big, warty hands, I become a statue of wonderment held upright by nothing but the tingling in my hair. That's what happens when I hear a drum solo. A columnist last week said that words cannot begin to describe the "unstoppable misery" of the "nightmarish" drum solo. Plainly, he is the sort of man who thinks drummers are like houseflies. That they come, they make an annoying noise and then they die. And I literally could not agree less. A drum solo allows the audience to marvel at the technical wizardry of the drummer. It allows us to concentrate on his incredible ability to get a whole arm from one side of the kit to the other faster than it takes a Formula One car to change gear. And to do it in perfect time. It's been suggested that Ginger Baker invented the drum solo so his bandmates could have a moment to go backstage and top up whatever was missing at that moment from their lives. I doubt this, though. He didn't really like other musicians that much. It's been reported that he called Mick Jagger a "musical moron". But that's not true. What he actually said was that the Stones were like "a load of little kids trying to play black blues music and playing it very badly". It was George Harrison he called a musical moron. And he dismissed Paul McCartney too, because, unlike him, McCartney could not sight-read music. Led Zeppelin? If you even mentioned them in his presence, you'd get a thick lip. He only really liked people we've never heard of. Phil Seamen was a hero of his, for example. And Art Blakey. So no. Baker was on the stage doing his solos simply so we could hear how he'd fused the jazz music of his heroes with an altogether new and busy way of playing. He despised the 4/4 beat of rock and pop music, but it's possible that, because of what he did with Cream, he's partly responsible for it. His solos were often more than 10 minutes long and were mesmerising. And soon drummers everywhere were trying to outdo him. Led Zeppelin's John Bonham did a 17-minute epic on the track "Moby Dick", and then you got — whisper this, because I'm friendly with Nick Mason and Roger Taylor — my favourite drummer, Phil Collins, duetting with Chester Thompson. They started out hitting bar stools and then moved to their kits for a drumming shootout. It's the best thing on YouTube. And now? Well, there was the movie Whiplash, which everyone, apart from me, thought was weird — but on stage? In real life? There's nothing. The drum solo is dead. I find that odd. There are still bands and some still have drummers, so why don't these people want the audience to see and hear them doing their thing? Isn't that like being a goalkeeper who never wants to make a save? The only explanation is that they actively hide at the back behind the bass and the guitar and the flashy vocals because they're not that good. This sort of thing has happened before. Between 1750 and 1820, the world heard from Schubert, Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, but since then, apart from a couple of little spurts, there's been nothing of any great consequence. And today? There's a woman in Iceland who turns drawings of turnips into classical music and there's Ludovico Einaudi, who provided the soundtrack for many of the Top Gear films I made. But that's about it. Could it be that the same thing has happened with drumming? That we as a species were only ever any good at it between 1958 and 1978, and now we have lost the ability, in the same way that penguins have lost the ability to fly? Luckily, however, we still have the recordings from the days when drumming wasn't just an electronic nn tss nn tss nn tss nn tss and I've been listening to a lot of it all week. That's why I ended up revisiting "Can't Find My Way Home." You played on that one, Ginger. And now you have. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And here's the Sun column: "Extinction Rebellion forget dole money, tents and yoga mats all come from… oil" Clarkson is wrong by the way: Ginger Baker is only the world's fourth best drummer. The best and second best are Hal Blaine and Levon Helm. Anyway, I have now caught up on posting all the Clarkson columns that ran while I was on vacation. Normal weekly posting will resume on Monday.
This has been bothering me for a while. Whenever people discuss the best James Bond movies of all time the usual suspects are Casino Royale, Goldfinger, Skyfall, From Russia with Love, OHMSS, and Goldeneye (if you’re young enough to have played the N64 game). But I want to add a serious contender that has been criminally overlooked. Conversations about Brosnan’s turn as 007 tend to agree that he was 1) a fantastic Bond who was 2) stuck with bad scripts. On the first point, yes, obviously. I’m convinced Pierce was genetically engineered in a laboratory to play Bond. On the second, I agree with one major exception. Tomorrow Never Dies. Let me start by saying I love Goldeneye. It’s the movie (and game) that began my love for the series and character. But, being totally honest, it’s a fairly average plot and script. And it has major pacing issues. And the 90s synth-y soundtrack is, at times, totally unbearable. The Ferrari/Aston Martin race music is the worst. The. Worst. I’d rank Goldeneye top 10. But not a real contender in the top 5 conversation. Tomorrow Never Dies, on the other hand, might be the second or third best film of the franchise. Here’s my case broken-down into broad topics: Plot. As is often the case with the spy genre, a lot of the Bond films have weaving twists-and-turns in plot. Lots of complication and misdirection. Through-lines can be muddled and hard to find sometimes. For example, I’ve watched Quantum of Solace three or four times and I’m still not 100% sure what happened. Something about water. Ya know. Complication. You find this in a lot of Bond films. TND, on the other hand, is very clear and fun to follow. A war between Britain and China is being orchestrated by a media mogul for rating/money. You can easily write a good log-line for this movie. In fact, that’s one of my tests for a Bond film: how hard is it to write a one sentence summary? And how interesting is that summary? TND passes that test for me. Realism. While Casino Royale will always be the most grounded in reality, I think Tomorrow Never Dies is right there too. Hear me out. You know the term yellow journalism? I hate to take you back to high school history, but it essentially started during the Spanish-American war. William Randolph Hearst was trying to crush competing newspapers. And his solution was to, essentially, manufacture a war because wars sell papers. Enough papers to kill the competition. In fact, the movie even references Hearst. The villain, Elliot Carver, wants exclusive broadcast rights in China. So not only does he sell newspapers and TV time for his insider-scoops (on the war he’s creating), he also gets a monopoly on an entire country’s consumption. Look, man. We live in a world with Rupert Murdoch and Comcast. The entire premise is pretty plausible to me. Bond film or not. Michelle Yeoh. For all the pre-release hype surrounding Die Another Day's Halle Berry being a strong, empowered female character in the Bond universe, she’s nothing compared to Yeoh’s Wai Lin. She’s just as capable as Bond, doesn’t need his help (except for that one time she does), and is generally kickass. She’s not some damsel in distress. And, most importantly, the movie doesn’t make a big deal about it. She’s a spy. Good at her job. And that’s it. They had talked about doing a Berry/Jinx spin-off series that no one would have watched. But I’d have loved more of Lin’s adventures. Cinematography. I feel like this one is completely overlooked. Robert Elswit is an Academy Award winner for his work on There Will Be Blood, nominated for Good Night, Good Luck, and he has an impressive body of work overall. And, in my opinion, this is the second prettiest Bond film after Skyfall. The man knows how to smoke a room, light it, and kiss us with a tasteful lens flare. Pacing. I don’t know how to discuss pacing intelligently. I suppose it’s entirely subjective. But every time I watch TND the movie flies by. If you ask me, it’s the best paced Bond film hands down. Nothing feels excessive or superfluous. And no scene overstays its welcome or fails to serve a story purpose. Soundtrack. It’s classic. No fashionable frills. Doesn’t fall victim to the stylistic interpretations of the day (I’m looking at you Goldeneye and everything in the 70s). The theme by Sheryl Crow is pretty average but serviceable. Given a choice, I’d take an okay theme in exchange for the classic instrumentation of the John Barry theme every time. And the non-theme OST work by David Arnold is great. Everything else. There are dozens of other things I love. The humor is spot on. Decent gadget - the touchpad smart phone was cool; I find movie car chases pretty boring, but the BMW garage scene really worked for me. Random Ricky Jay as a hacker. Vincent Schiavelli 30 seconds as the torture doctor. Teri Hatcher in a garter belt. Anyway. Those are the broad strokes on why I think TND is much, MUCH better than it’s reputation. Or lack thereof. I’m not sure what happened here. Maybe everyone was too distracted by Titanic to notice. Or maybe I’m completely off the mark. But this will always be a top 4 Bond film to me. edit: formatting.
The name’s Bond… James Bond. A deeper look at Casino Royale (2006)
Hey folks! I'm planning on watching all 23 of the James Bond films between now and the release of Spectre in November. 007 films have always been my guilty pleasure and I thought it might be worth trying to have a more analytical discussion about them. If you all are interested, I'll be posting one of these discussions/reviews every 2 weeks. So here goes!
Story It’s often said that Bond films are made and broken by their villains. I say that this is a fine metric for all pre-Craig entries. Don’t get me wrong. Le Chiffre is perhaps one of my favorite Bond villains and I’ll get into that shortly, however this film isn’t dictated by the quality of the villain as he is overshadowed by a far more fulfilling character. We finally have our first film that is truly about James Bond. For the first time in the illustrious 44 year history of the franchise, we get a film that honors James Bond as a three-dimensional character. The role is juicy and Craig delivers spectacularly. The film dives deep, deep into the psyche of a spy — of a killer. I revel in the pointed exchanges between Bond and M. It is a pleasure to watch Bond arrogantly defend his actions. He is smug, self-righteous, and (to his superiors and peers) frustratingly correct more often than not. The caustic sparing between Bond and Vesper Lynd in their first meeting on the train even takes the title of greatest dialogue sequence away from Pierce’s Bond vs. Dench’s M in GoldenEye. It’s intelligent, it’s hysterical, and it’s real. It’s everything that a conversation between a top-tier, egotistical field agent and an aggressively ambitious agency accountant would be. And speaking of Vesper, there is no doubt that she is the greatest of all of Bond’s female cohorts. Obviously with 20 films to choose from, there are no shortage of female characters to consider. Pussy Galore is first competent female character who isn’t being played by forces out of her control. She’s completely dismissed for being a lesbian and taken advantage of in a terribly unsexy love scene. Tracy Bond is a fiercely independent and upstanding young woman. But ultimately she is restricted by her role as the obedient daughter. Anya Amasova is the first truly self-reliant, professional female. Even her character's integrity is completely undone as the writers go for a cheap sex scene at the end of the film. None of this applies to Vesper. She is self-sufficient. She is clever. She is human. The scene in which Bond comforts her in the shower following his visceral killing of a couple of thugs is one of the most striking and easily the most touching scenes in the entire series. Finally, as I mentioned before, Le Chiffre is one of my favorite villains. He is a welcome breath of fresh air in a series that had clumsily escalated to the point of villains wearing cheap Ironman knock off suits shooting lasers from the moon. Le Chiffre is a mathematical wizard who enjoys embezzling the money of his criminal clientele. Best of all, the entire plot of Casino revolves around Le Chiffre’s necessity to recollect $100 million of his clients’ funds that he lost betting the wrong way on a stock shortage. This sets up a fantastic dynamic between hero and villain. Unlike Everything that Le Chiffre does, he does out of fear and desperation. As the veil thins and the stakes raise, his actions become increasingly wretched, eventually concluding in a skin-crawling torture scene. Look and Sound Plain and simple, Casino Royale is the sexiest looking Bond film yet. Even the stylized scenes (the cold open and it’s accompanying flashback) are positively stunning. Daniel Craig’s introduction isn’t one of flash and spectacle. He doesn’t get a big Hollywood close up. His first lines are as dry in content as they are in delivery. The first time we see him, he is sitting in the far corner of a dark office. All we see is his face, unmoving and small in the film’s frame, his body obscured in noir-like darkness. Mads Mikkelsen's already superb performance is also greatly enhanced by top tier lighting. When the frame moves, the direction is just as immaculate as when it is still. The camera motion invokes a high level of energy during a series of perfectly choreographed, photographed, and executed action scenes. The stunt work and effect work is above and beyond any heretofore seen 007 footage. The parkour chase scene and airport chase scene are two of the most exhilarating sequences the franchise has to offer. David Arnold’s score is above average, though ultimately it doesn’t stand out too far from its contemporary film scores. That said, my absolute favorite music decision is that of the delayed gratification of the James Bond theme. It is absent throughout the entire score until the final seconds in which the familiar tune slowly and smirkingly edges in as our protagonist saunters into frame to utter the ever-iconic line, “Bond… James Bond.” Chris Cornell’s “You Know My Name” is solid though I wouldn’t rank it terribly high in the annals of Bond Song history. The accompanying credit sequence on the other hand is quite possibly my favorite. Title designer Daniel Kleinman dispenses with the standard 3D abstractions in favor of flat colors and 2D design. Casino marks the final Bond film in which Peter Lamont acted as Production Designer. His mark on the series is as notable as his predecessor, Ken Adam. Where Adam emphasized the stylized mid-century modern world of Connery's Bond, Lamont took the world in a decidedly new direction. Beginning in 1981 on the production of For Your Eyes Only, Lamont aimed to produce a world that felt tangible, modern, and realistic. In this final film, his efforts reach their zenith. When paired with the positively stunning lighting from cinematographer, Phil Méheux, the combination is a world that requires no suspension of disbelief. Callbacks, Recurrences, and Tropes From the first frame, things have changed. Immediately following the MGM lion’s roar, we find ourselves at the snowy exterior of a foreign government building. No gun barrel sequence here. The scene plays out with Bond discussing his first ever kill as a government agent. During the conversation, we flashback to the fight. It climaxes with Bond’s nemesis springing back to life and aiming a gun at 007. The POV snaps into the barrel of the gun as Bond reacts, shooting the would-be killer in the familiar manner of the traditional gun barrel shot. Casino Royale is the first film of the series not to include either Moneypenny or a Quartermaster. While Dr. No didn’t include a character by the name of Q, it did have Major Boothroyd, MI6’s armorer. Incidentally, Q is referred to as Major Boothroyd in The Spy Who Loved Me. It's a bit confusing but the moral of the story is that there is no gadget master in Casino Royale. With that is the absence of the traditional gadgetry as we’ve come to expect. One of the few prop callbacks is the return of the iconic 1964 Aston Martin DB5. The DB5 makes its fifth showing in the series, following appearances in Goldfinger, Thunderball, GoldenEye, and a brief cameo in Tomorrow Never Dies. In one of the wiser casting decisions, Judy Dench was asked to return as M. She provides a pleasant bridge in the casting change between Brosnan and Craig. Casino also marks the return of CIA Agent Felix Leiter — this time portrayed by Jeffrey Wright. It shouldn’t come as a surprise by this point that Wright’s portrayal of Leiter is also undoubtedly the best of the series. Gone is the portrayal of Americans as cowboys and the rednecks. That’s not to say that the character isn’t without his Americanisms. I do get a chuckle every time Bond asks Leiter what will become of the poker game winnings if Bond beats Le Chiffre. Leiter response with a toothy grin, “does it look like we need the money?” Casino even handles one of the more preposterous 007 traditions in spectacular fashion. It would seem entirely out of place for a character to have a name like Pussy Galore or Xenia Onatopp. The gag still makes an appearance, however. When briefing Vesper on their upcoming mission, Bond playfully informs her that her undercover alias is Stephanie Broadchest (and that she’s just going to have to trust him on this one). Finally, even Bond’s signature drink order is adjusted to reflect the new character’s coarse nature. After being denied reentry into the poker tournament, Bond orders a drink while he stews over his course of action. He then responds to the bartender’s “shaken or stirred” inquiry by snapping, “does it look like I give a damn?” Overall Impression Spectacular. Visually stunning. Emotionally gripping. Engaging, exhilarating, electrifying. The strongest and most unique entry thus far. Technically proficient in every way with writing that is entirely without equal. Every facet from the cinematography to the costuming appears to be fully thought out and executed in with the utmost care and proficiency. I suppose it’s a bit of a faux pas to refer to another review in your own review but Roger Ebert said it best when he explained that as the years went on, he was becoming less convinced that he would ever need to see another James Bond film until he saw Casino Royale. Quick Hits
Top notch. Sharp, smart, funny.
Gorgeous framing, excellent camera moves, pulled some fantastic acting from his cast.
As true to real witnessing real life as you’re going to get in a Bond film.
Bonus Category! So for each movie my wife and I will be enjoying a spirit or cocktail that relates to the film. This was the easiest cocktail choice yet. Bond hands us the drink on a silver platter by actually listing out the exact ingredients and measurements for the Vesper Martini. It is as follows • 3 measures Gordon's Gin • 1 measure vodka • 1/2 measure Cocchi Americano vermouth (Bond asks for Kina Lillet which has been discontinued so the internet suggested Cocchi as a "perfect substitute") • garnish with a slice of lemon Shake well over ice until cold. Garnish with a thin slice of lemon rind.
So what do you folks think? How does Casino Royale fare in your opinion?
I suppose I see a different world than you do, and the truth is that what I see frightens me. A deeper look at Skyfall (2012)
Hey folks! This has been my review series of the existing Bond films, beginning with Dr. No waaay back in February. I will also do a lighter version of this style of review for Spectre, which I will be seeing Thursday evening. I will also be posting a series recap in the near future that will include some fun stuff like my subjective ranking of the films (as opposed to these which I have tried to keep relatively objective), the Bond actors, the villains, and the Bond girls. Until then, please enjoy my review of Skyfall!
Story I spoke in my last review about how Quantum of Solace had moved its gaze slightly more in favor of 007's female companion, Camille. If that was a slight shift in gaze, Skyfall offers a full-on spotlight view of a character (who is not James Bond) with whom we have been familiar for nearly 20 years. Judi Dench's M took over as head of MI6 in 1995. From the first interaction she had with James Bond (then, Pierce Brosnan), she instantly became one of my favorite characters. Both the actress and the character carry themselves with a dignified poise and grandeur that solidify their legacies in the annals of James Bond history. I love much of what the film tackles. James Bond going rogue or questioning M/MI6's orders is a plot line that has been used countless times in this series however this is the first instance in which I feel that it is truly pulled off well. Between Bond's huffiness over being shot at during a particularly high-intensity field mission (such a diva…), the dodgy bureaucratic actions that M takes to ensure that Bond is returned to active duty, and the unnerving history behind her actions involving an insane ex-agent, Raoul Silva, the audience is finally given ammunition to honestly doubt the integrity of M's character. More than this, I love what she deals with on the home front while Bond is off attempting to ward off her demons. Skyfall brings to light an issue that has plagued the series for several years now. How relevant are the MI6? Does modern day UK need an organization of sleuths and spies to save the world? To answer this, M is brought into a public hearing to defend her departments necessity. She does so with a brilliantly moving speech about the identity (or rather the lack of identity) of enemies in today's world. Now I do have a number of issues with the film. First, it's always bothered me that we're three films into Daniel Craig's tenure as Agent 007 -- one that began with the initiation of Bond as a 007 agent. Now, only three films later and we are to believe that he has become a worn and weary old man. I love Skyfall. I just wish it had come out two, three, or four films later into Craig's stint. Additionally, for every eloquent monologue on the nature of MI6's relevancy, there are half a dozen instances of hokey dialogue, typically in the form of tech-speak. I like the decision to reboot Q as a baby-faced geek and I dig that the writers give him an uppity nature that compliments the playfully combative relationship between past 007-Q iterations but much of Ben Whishaw's dialogue sounds like something straight out of a 1993 hacker film. Using such classics as smugly the confident "we're in" following an attempt to gain access to some hidden file or other and the incredulous "he hacked us…" upon realizing that the cyberterrorist did what all cyberterrorists do in this type of movie. Ultimately Skyfall suffers from one particular issue that trumps all others. The film rocks and rolls for nearly two hours before 007 finally decides to take the initiative and abscond with M to the countryside in an effort to draw Silva to them. I appreciate the variety. It's a unique twist to the Bond formula but unfortunately it just doesn't work as well as it could have. Or perhaps if it had happened 30 minutes sooner into the film, it wouldn't have been quite so bad. But at the hour and 45 minute mark, the film slows to a grinding halt. Bond, M, and their new friend Kincaid (who apparently just hangs around a derelict manor for a living) spend 15 minutes Home-Alone-ing the Skyfall residence in preparation for another 15 minute action sequence that is fun but ultimately just feels like a formality. We watch patiently as all of the minions dutifully fall into each of the traps that we just saw prepared, waiting for the inevitable showdown between Bond and Silva. Look and Sound There is absolutely no doubt that Skyfall is the most gorgeous 007 film of them all. Hell… Skyfall was arguably the most beautiful movie of 2012, period (nice try, Life of Pi). Roger Deakins is undoubtedly among the best to have ever held the title of cinematographer and he brings every drop of his technical proficiency to the series and produces some of the most stunning images to ever grace a James Bond film. If Skyfall lacks anything in story, it is all made up for by its sheer beauty. The film doesn't just have visual beauty either. Thomas Newman took over for long-time composer David Arnold on account of Newman's working history with new director Sam Mendes. Newman crafts an engaging score that makes excellent use of unique scores and traditional Bond themes. Perhaps one of my favorite elements of the film is the opening theme. For my money, "Skyfall" is the second greatest theme song of the series, following the immortal "Goldfinger." Adele's soulful performance and extraordinary vocals are as beautiful as the booming band behind her. Accompanying this marvelous performance is another opening title sequence from designer Daniel Kleinman. It's brooding visuals match the somber nature of the film perfectly. Callbacks, Recurrences, and Tropes As discussed above, Judi Dench makes her final reappearance as M. Skyfall offers the return of two notably absent characters. Naomi Harris brings new life to the long-lost Moneypenny and Ben Whishaw was tapped to reintroduce us to Q. Other than that, the only recurring character or actor is Rory Kinnear reprising his role as M's aid, Chief of Staff Bill Tanner. Being the 50th anniversary of the series' first release (with Dr. No in 1962), the film pays homage in more ways than one. After abandoning the long-preferred Walther PPK in 1999's The World is Not Enough (for the Walther P99), Bond was reintroduced with his PPK here in Skyfall. There is an explicit conversation between Q and Bond as they discuss gadgets. It's been no secret that Craig's tenure has been light on the gadgetry and Q quips that there will be no exploding pens in this series. Q branch doesn't really "go for that anymore." He does, however provide Bond with a small radio for tracking purposes. Astute viewers may notice that it is essentially a replica of the radio provided to Bond in Goldfinger. And the connections to the third film don't stop there. Bond unabashedly busts his Aston Martin DB5 out of storage for their escape to Skyfall manor. This is the precise model (complete with ejector seat) that Connery utilized in several of his outings as Bond. Finally, the scotch that Silva offers to Bond is a 1962 Macallan -- a reference to the release date of Dr. No. While the gun and car throwbacks were fun and all, there is one particular callback that tickled me more than any other. In the final 5 minutes of the film, Bond and Eve retreat back into MI6 after mourning the loss of M. They head into a small room with a nondescript room with a coatrack, a desk, and some filing cabinets. It didn't mean much to me at first but the moment Eve introduced herself as Eve Moneypenny, I began to take notice. The room was set up much in the style of the old Moneypenny offices of Bond film's past. Then sure enough, when Tanner emerges from behind a large door and says, "he'll see you now," I began to get excited. Sure enough, we cut to the interior of a wood paneled room with a large door that is covered in leather. The door in particular was nearly enough to give me chills. As Bond enters this room that is a near replica to Bernard Lee's old office and approaches the newly christened M (Ralph Fiennes), I couldn't help but smile as I knew that it was the film's way of announcing that we are going back to basics. I very much look forward to all of the upcoming train fights, ski chases, card games, martinis, and villains. Bring it on. Overall Impression Skyfall is not a perfect film. It has plenty of plot issues, pacing issues, etc. However as far as Bond films go (and hell, as far as most films go), it is the most masterfully crafted films you're going to find. Music, imagery, acting, and so on… they all come together to create an engaging and entertaining entry. The action is riveting, the stunts top many of those from earlier entries, and the general motif of relevance and usefulness in the modern era is an appropriate one for where the 007 franchise stands today. Quick Hits
A fairly strong story with some fantastic moments for M.
It's not flashy, but Mendes does a very respectable job driving the narrative.
I'm actually not an enormous fan of the direction Bardem took as Silva, but everyone else is top notch.
Bonus Category! So for each movie my wife and I will be enjoying a spirit or cocktail that relates to the film. We sort of did our own thing for Skyfall. Knowing that it was our last film in the series, we elected to send 007 off with another martini. We essentially made Vesper Martinis except we added a little plum wine as a way to jazz it up a bit in honor of Mr. Bond's trip to Singapore. • 3 measures Gordon's Gin • 1 measure vodka • 1/2 measure Cocchi Americano vermouth • 1/2 measure plum wine Shake over ice.
So what do you folks think? How does Skyfall fare in your opinion?
The phenomenon of 007 is something that can't be ignored when observing the development of the Action genre, and despite the recent trend of franchises and sequels, James Bond is still arguably the most popular movie charactebrand in the world. While Hitchcock's influence over the beginning entries of the franchise is undeniable, North by Northwest is not actually the only Hitchcock entry linked to Bond; The 1st screen appearance of 007 came in 1954 as a 1hr TV adaptation of Casino Royale, written by Charles Bennett who also wrote a number of Hitchcock scripts, including spy thrillers like The 39 Steps (1935) and Sabotage (1936). The episode was forgotten almost immediately, and it would take the success of NxNW for 007 to get his second shot in Hollywood. After producers Albert "Cubby" Broccoli and Harry Saltzman established Eon Productions in 1961 their 1st ploy was to try to recreate the Hitchcock-Grant partnership; when that didn't pan out, they set their sights lower hoping to create a stable crew which would help the development of a series. The result was Terence Young and Sean Connery, and while the Bond franchise is typically seen as governed by the producers rather than directors, this is a notable exception; Much like John Wayne's adoption of Yakima Canutt's cowboy persona, Connery's 007 is very much an imitation of Young's demeanor, the result of the director taking it upon himself to introduce the young actor to the social circles Bond frequently finds himself navigating. Dr. No and From Russia With Love both achieved financial success, mainly in Europe. With an eye towards the American market, Goldfinger began production in 1963.
Hitchcock once said to me, ‘If I have 13 “bumps” I know I have a picture.’ By ‘bumps’, he meant, of course, shocks, highpoints, thrills, whatever you choose to call them. From the beginning...Mr Broccoli and Mr Saltzman, the producers, and myself have not been content with 13 ‘bumps’. We aim for 39. Our objective has been to make every foot of film pay off in terms of exciting entertainment. - Richard Maibaum
These 'bumps' had became much easier to achieve with the gradual loosening of censorship restrictions, to the point where Goldfinger has perhaps the most transparently sexually named female character in film history (not that they've stopped trying to top it). While several elements of the Bond formula were already present beforehand, Goldfinger is perhaps the distillation of it: The high-class villain, eccentric henchmen, the gadgets, elaborate sets and exotic locations, sacrificial women, and of course...
You'll be using this Aston Martin DB5 with modifications. Now, pay attention please. - Q
The Bond car is perhaps the most satisfying film embodiment of Chekov's Gun principle, and none more iconically so than the 1964 DB5. Despite Bond's now famous association with Aston Martin, it wasn't a certain deal at the beginning. Bond's original vehicle in the books was a Bentley Blower, and Ian Fleming was persuaded to upgrade him to the DB3 while writing Goldfinger. So, how do you obtain a car to film? Buy it? Hell no, producers hate spending money. In typical fashion, they asked Aston Martin for a free DB5, and in equally typical fashion Aston responded that the car was available...for full retail price. At this point, other brands were considered...Jaguar, Jensen...Chevrolet (really?!). Eventually, for the benefit of Western Civilization, the producers were able to procure a test mule DB5 and proceeded to spend £25,000 installing all the gadgetry, 5 times the asking price of the car. A worthwhile investment then, because the blowout success of Goldfinger ensured Bond's survival, and despite the many imitators through the decades, the iconic teaming of Aston Martin and 007 remains the one to beat.
Goldfinger, d. by Guy Hamilton, written by Richard Maibaum, Paul Dehn Sean Connery, Gert Fröbe, Honor Blackman, Shirley Eaton, Harold Sakata 1964, IMDb James Bond saves World, gets Pussy.
The 1st Bond to win an Academy Award, and the fasting grossing film of its time. The Goldfinger formula has since been adopted by the subsequent Bond films, as well as a host of other action films. The famous laser effect was achieved optically in post-production. However, that didn't make filming the scene any easier for Connery, as the cutting effect was the result of a crewmember holding a blowtorch underneath the metal table, inching slowly towards his manhood...
In 2002, Queen Elizabeth II attended the premiere of the 20th James Bond film. I'm sure she never gave it a public review. But I sure will. A deeper look at Die Another Day (2002)
Hey folks! I'm planning on watching all 23 of the James Bond films between now and the release of Spectre in November. 007 films have always been my guilty pleasure and I thought it might be worth trying to have a more analytical discussion about them. If you all are interested, I'll be posting one of these discussions/reviews every 2 weeks. So here goes!
Story This film has so many issues, it is difficult to decide where to start. As much as I want to just start ripping into the actors, the proper place to begin would be the script. I am positively baffled. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade return again to pen the script for Die Another Day. I don't know if the script was rushed or whether there were some sort of studio politics that drastically altered it for one reason or another but this humongous turd feels so unlike anything the pair had put out before or have put out since. From start to finish, the entire script feels hokey. It is empty, inauthentic, and overly stylized. It feels as though the characters should high five each other and say, "F**k yeah, action movie!" after every single line of dialogue. When the script isn't serving up contrived action-speak, it's full of pointless, banal dialogue. Entire conversations (e.g. the introductory conversation between Bond and Jinx) do virtually nothing to develop character or plot. Gags are thrown in, completely at random, without any regard to the flow of the story or relevance to the plot (e.g. the Moneypenny fantasy scene at the end). The entire film tries so agonizingly hard to be cool, funny, and smart and fails so miserably. Apart from Rosamund Pike, every single actor and actress in this film falls flat on their face. Halle Berry and Toby Stephens turn in two of the worst performances I've ever seen. Stephens overacts every scene he's in and Berry's performance is on par with a 1980s after school special. Seriously, just pick a line and it'll be a perfect example. I mean she makes a "yo mama" joke for god's sake. Jinx unequivocally belongs among the absolute worst of 007's companions -- worse even than some of my previous least favorites: Rosie Carver (Live and Let Die), Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever), and Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun). As for the plot, my criticism is the same as everyone else's. DAD suffers from the inevitable trap of escalation. Any time you have a franchise like this, the plots need to continually have higher stakes in order to bring audiences back. Unless you're rebooting the series, what reason do people have to come back unless things are going to be bigger, badder, and more perilous than ever, right? Well that's what the studio figured, anyway. This leaves us with a space laser attacking invisible cars, melting ice palaces, and creating tidal waves for our protagonist to surf upon. The film becomes hyperbolized without being intentionally satirical -- a bad combination. Look and Sound From the very get-go, the film starts off on the wrong foot. A crummy electronica remix of the Bond theme paired with a terrible CGI bullet flying at the screen during the gun barrel sequence establishes that this film is going to do everything possible to seem as contemporary as it can -- at whatever cost. After watching some puzzlingly bad green screen effects (I thought we had finally fixed this...) during the cold open, we are thrust into one of the worst intro songs of the series. Madonna's auto-tuned bubblegum pop is spared the title of Worst Song thanks only in part to the equally terrible '80s love ballads during the Roger Moore era. It's rare that the editing of a film is so bad as to be noticeable. This is one of those instances. This particular scene is the perfect example of how much of a technical trainwreck this film is. It gets everything wrong. In addition to the terrible dialogue and acting, the editor, Christian Wagner, made a mess of the scene. The framing continually jumps back and forth between close ups and medium shots with erratic and awkward timing. And if that’s not jarring enough, Wagner continually cuts between sentences. Editing 101 will teach you that to properly cut a conversation between two people, you execute what is called an L cut. The L cut will often play out in such a way that the person not facing screen will begin talking first. At an appropriate time, the shot will cut (mid-sentence or, if there is an action performed by the speaker, mid-action) to show the speaker speaking. This is because we, as humans, don’t always look at someone before they speak. Our eyes may be fixated on something else and their speech will draw our eyes to them. Wagner fails miserably at this throughout the entire film. Director Lee Tamahori fails at every aspect of directorial duties. Not only did he fail to pull an iota of decent acting material from his cast, but the visual decisions he made are ludicrous. To explain what I mean, I would like to formally nominate this little sequence for the Single Worst Scene in James Bond's Entire 53 Year History award. It is so bafflingly terrible, I struggle with where to start. From a narrative standpoint, we are meant to believe that Bond, using the… power of… his traumatic past (…?) was able to fake a heart attack by willing his heart down to 14 bps before assaulting multiple doctors, using six words to sexually arouse the third (who, while the other doctors were being assaulted, stood by with a look that can only be described as mild inconvenience), and sneaking into a 5-star hotel located conveniently just across the bay from the hospital — all while in his pajamas. From a stylistic point of view, it's even worse. In fact, I can use this specific scene to address just about every issue I have with the overall aesthetic of DAD. The low shutter speed slow-mo (seen in the previous clip and used frequently throughout the film), ultra high contrast color, speed ramps (seen in the previous clip as well as in this scene), and multiple instances of superimposed montages are horrible. I mean just downright… asinine. This is a multimillion dollar Hollywood film — not a 1998 anti-piracy commercial. Finally, the issue that most folks have with the film: the CGI. This scene always comes to mind when people discuss their grievances with DAD. Rightfully so. The damn thing is nearly 100% CGI and it doesn't look remotely realistic. The lack of practical stunts completely ruins any sense of tension for a given situation. Callbacks, Recurrences, and Tropes DAD is frequently criticized for its vast collection of shoehorned callbacks to previous Bond films on account of this being the 40th anniversary of the franchise. Some are more obvious than others. The following is a list of the props that appear during the briefing sequence:
• Col. Klebb's poison-tipped shoe and Bond's briefcase from From Russia With Love • Snorkel with a bird on it from Goldfinger • The jetpack from Thunderball • Little Nellie from You Only Live Twice • The grappling gun from the elevator scene in Diamonds Are Forever • The Acrostar jet and the crocodile submarine from Octopussy
Additional references throughout the film:
• When Bond is in Cuba, he picks up a book called Bird Watching in the West Indies. This is a reference to the fact that Ian Fleming was reading a similar book and liked the name of the author, James Bond, and decided to use it as the name of his protagonist in his first book, Casino Royale. • When Q first introduces Bond to the Vanisher, Bond sees the invisible car appear and says, "you must be joking." Q responds with, "as I learned from my predecessor, I never joke about my work, 007." This is almost the verbatim discussion between Bond and Q in Goldfinger when Q mentions that the Aston Martin DB5 has an ejector seat. • Q also assigns Bond a new gadget-clad watch. He remarks that it's Bond's 20th. This refers to DAD being the 20th film in the franchise. • Finally, during an underwater sequence, Bond uses a rebreather. It is the same one as Connery used in Thunderball. • Bonus reference: When Bond is talking to Q (John Cleese, mind you) he refers to another character's injury as a "flesh wound," a reference to a line spoken by Cleese in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The roster of returning characters contains no surprises. Judy Dench reprises her role as M, Samantha Bond returns as Moneypenny, Colin Salmon returns as MI6 staff member Charles Robinson (reprising the role from Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough). The only major change is John Cleese officially taking over the role of Q from Desmond Llewelyn. DAD contains many of the typical tropes but with a little added spin. The gun barrel sequence is present but has been updated to include a (terribly unnecessarily) CGI bullet that flies toward the screen. The title sequence and theme song are also present. This title sequence is one of only two (the other being On Her Majesty's Secret Service) that covers plot. In DAD, we watch as Bond is tortured in North Korea. Bond delivers his iconic name introduction and makes a reference to his preference to shaken martinis while encountering turbulence on a flight, however aside from there, there aren't many more of the typical Bond Tropes. No provocative character names, no card games, no train fights, etc. Overall Impression This movie just plain ol' sucks. The only thing that remains left to be said is that this film just simply doesn’t feel like a James Bond film. It feels like a bad late-‘90s/early-2000s superhero film. Tell me this guy doesn’t look like he belongs in the 2005 Fantastic Four movie. Quick Hits
God awful. Dull dialogue, campy plot.
Every single decision was a terrible one. From camerawork to stylistic decisions with the overall look, Tamahori is a complete disaster.
All three of these points come solely from Pike's performance. Berry and Stephens are two of the worst actors in the entire series and that includes this guy.
I can't say it any more succinctly. The whole film feels like a "You Wouldn't Download a Car" ad.
Lamont's usual top-notch work is undone by the requirement to use such outlandish sets and props
Techno-y, pop-y, lousy.
Not only are these abominations bad in context of prior Bond films, but for 2002 these effects are/were an absolute disgrace.
Bond, Jinx, and Frost all look good for the most part. Graves' robo-suit looks stupid.
Bonus Category! So for each movie my wife and I will be enjoying a spirit or cocktail that relates to the film. Die Another Day is credited for reviving the general public's interest in mojitos. In honor of such an accomplishment, we couldn't help but enjoy a couple ourselves. • 1 measure white rum • 1 tsp sugar (or simple syrup) • mint leaves • lime juice • club soda Combine rum, sugasyrup, and lime in a shaker. Shake over ice. Pour over ice into a highball glass and top off with club soda. Garnish with mint leaves (crush them up a bit to release extra minty goodness).
So what do you folks think? How does Die Another Day fare in your opinion?
Two theories have really been irritating me lately on this sub just need to stop being mentioned as possibilities. The first is that James Bond is a code name given to whoever happens to be agent 007. This has been disproven many times before. Here is some proof.
Connery avenges Tracy’s death in DAF
Anya mentioning Tracy in TSWLM
Moore putting flowers on Tracy’s grave in FYEO
Felix saying James was married once in LTK
Brosnan getting upset when Elektra asks if he has lost someone he loves in TWINE
Lazenby has Connery’s gadgets in OHMSS
Brosnan recognizes gadgets that previous “agents” used in DAD
James Bond is recognized by Felix Leiter as James Bond. This means that either Felix Leiter knows who he is despite changing appearance, or the CIA also has this silly idea.
Of course, the biggest proof is in Skyfall when he literally goes to his parents’ graves and their name is Bond. Also his old friend addresses him as James.
This leads to the second silly theory. This one is the Craig era movies are prequels to the Connery movies allowing a continual path to the original 20. No one seems to be able to explain what will happen after Craig leaves. I would assume the movies will then jump post-Brosnan, but who really cares? There is plenty of evidence on how this just can’t be true.
James just achieved 00 status in CR and is a seasoned agent by Skyfall. In Dr. No, it is implied Bond is a relatively new agent. He is threatened with going back to standard intelligence duties, something not even considered in Skyfall.
He would have recognized Felix Leiter in Dr. No after meeting him in Casino Royale. Felix also goes from black to white.
He would have gotten the Aston Martin DB5 in Casino Royale, then traded it for his Bentley in Dr. No and FRWL, then gotten it back in Goldfinger.
He is given his Walther PPK in Dr. No because he has been using a Beretta that jammed on him earlier. Unless he plans on switching from the Walther back to a Beretta before Dr. No, this seems impossible.
Since we know the current M is Gareth Mallory in Skyfall, he will need to retire or die so Miles Messervy can come into the position.
Moneypenny is now black in Skyfall so she will need to retire or die so the Lois Maxwell character can come in. Apparently, Moneypenny must be a code name for M’s secretary as well since she has the same name.
Although we don’t know if the Skyfall Q is Major Boothroyd, it would seem to that he is not a Major. Therefore, he will need to retire or die so Major Boothroyd can come in.
The only evidence that is pointed to that “proves” the argument is that the Aston Martin has the ejector seat and other gadgets from Goldfinger. So either CR and QoS take place before Dr. No, then Dr. No, FRWL and Goldfinger happens then Skyfall happens, this is just not possible. What is happening is the creators are making homage to the previous Bond timeline. Another example of this is in Batman Forever, when Robin says, “Holy rusted metal, Batman!” This is spoofing/referencing the tendency of Robin to say “Holy something something, Batman!” in the 1960s Batman series; it didn’t mean that they were the same character. It’s homage by the creators. I think it’s time we put these “theories” to bed.
I finally saw SPECTRE...then went ahead and wrote a better version of the script.
*SOME SPOILERS AHEAD** Well, I was traveling for a few months and FINALLY saw SPECTRE. I was so damn disappointed in the movie I decided I should rewrite it (in summary form) and make it better. Honestly, SPECTRE is the Bond movie I've been waiting for for decades, and now that it's out, it missed basically every important theme that movies about the SPECTRE organization are known for. Here’s another way Spectre should have gone: INTRODUCTION We open with a recap sequence of James Bond trying to break Vesper out of the submerged elevator in Venice. She stares at him as she gulps water. James Bond wakes up submerged in water. He is disoriented for a split second, then sits up and splashes all over. Looking around…he is in his bathtub at home in London. He had fallen asleep in the tub. Cut to James wearing a bathrobe and shaving. He hasn’t dreamt about Vesper in a long time, but something is nagging at him. Voices play in his head: Vesper: “Does everyone have a tell?” Bond: “Yes, everyone…except you.” M (Judie Dench): “She was blackmailed by the organization behind Le Chiffre. Sometimes we’re so focused on our enemies, we forget to watch our friends…” M (Judie Dench): “Well I suppose it’s…too late to make a run for it…” Bond: “I’m game if you are.” M (Judie Dench): “Well I did get one thing right….” Bell at his door. He wipes his face. Answering the door, it’s a delivery man with certified mail. Bond signs for it and takes it. It’s a package addressed to him directly from the former M who had died in his arms a few weeks earlier. Opening the package, it’s a thumbdrive. On the thumb drive, Bond finds a video message. It’s from M herself. M (Judie Dench): “Bond, if you’re watching this, Silver has gotten the best of me. I don’t have much time so I’ll cut to the chase. There is no one else I trust with this information. There is something deeply wrong in the world. So many unanswered questions. How did Silver hack into our systems so easily? Who was bankrolling Le Chiffre? Unexplained bribery of otherwise trustworthy agents. Assassinations with no trace. Bond, you have, until now, been a precise instrument of the British government, focused on one person. Now, I need you to look at the bigger picture with me. There is a common thread. Someone named the Pale King. Find this man, and go deeper. I say again. Trust no one. Not even the new M. Good day, Bond. Good luck.” Bond opens the first file. As he looks, he hears the rotary of a helicopter in the background. Within a few seconds, a spotlight shines at him through his window. Almost instantly, Bond throws himself to the floor as the windows erupt in machine-gun fire. Queue action sequence where Bond barely gets out alive. Somehow, he survives the Helicopter gatling gun, but a monster of a henchman swings into the apartment to verify his death. Bond tries to fight him in nothing but his bathrobe, but is quickly outclassed. Somehow, he manages to barricade himself in his bathroom, but not before seeing a symbol on the ring of the hand of his attacker. He’s trying to put together a plan, when the pounding on his bathroom door stops. The man has gotten back onto the Helicopter and is flying away. Suddenly, police and special agents are swarming his Condo. He watches as the helicopter disappears into the sunrise. Quickly, he finds a piece of paper and pencil, and draws the symbol he saw. It is an octopus. The octopus melts into the intro. ROLL INTRO SONG Bond is sitting in M’s office. M tells him that the Helicopter somehow disappeared shortly after the encounter at his apartment. He is flabbergasted. M is frustrated that the previous M left him very little information to go on regarding Bond’s previous missions. Why would someone go directly after him? Bond answers coyly. He will not reveal the previous M’s video request. M responds to Bond’s vagueness with an ultimatum: “007, you and I are going to have to trust one another if we are to continue this relationship. I have seen what you can do, but I still don’t know what kind of man you are.” M then segues into revealing the latest co-effort between the British Government and its allies: a joint intelligence network between over a hundred countries all over the world. Bond is loudly (and uncharacteristically) skeptical. M defends the merits of the program to Bond, talking about the modernization of the times. Bond takes it personally. He liked the previous M better. M interprets Bond’s brashness as shock from the helicopter attack. The conversation results in M suspending Bond until he recovers from the attack. Bond has no intention of any such thing. Bond doesn’t trust M. M clearly doesn’t trust Bond. (It’s clear now that the movie is based on trust. Who can trust whom? How do you know if someone is lying? BOOM. Clear setup for battling an organization that is based on inserting influential people into high positions of power.) Bond leaves M’s office and asks Money Penny about the new intelligence system. Money Penny directs Bond to visit Q. At Q’s, Bond convinces Q to take a look at the new system. Q is there with his new assistant who is an expert on the system. The expert talks about all the latest AI tech behind it, and how it has access to nodes all over the world. Q knows about it and has access to it, but hasn’t taken a close look yet. As they investigate together, Q is surprised and dismayed by how detailed and unsecured the system is. The system is inappropriate for proper intelligence. Q’s assistant defends the systems integrity and cites his own credentials to back it up. Q hums and haws over it while Bond scans the octopus symbol into the search. No results appear. Then he runs a search on “the Pale King”. The term turns up only one name: “L’Americain, Tunisia.” Q gives Bond a watch, and denies him the car due to his recent suspension. Q reminds Bond that if he leaves, he will have no backup, no support from MI-6. Bond leaves. Cut to Tunisia. Bond finds L’Americain—it is a hotel. He tries to rent a room, but the concierge will not rent him one. They keep saying the hotel is full, but he can clearly see that there are many available keys in the room boxes behind him. Before long, Bond figures out that the concierge is not actually the real concierge. He quickly fights and knocks the guy out. The real concierge is dead on the floor behind the counter at the spy’s feet. In looking at the room key boxes, there is only one key missing. The room on the top floor. Reaching the top floor, he steps out of the elevator and nearly runs into the maid, pushing a cart into the elevator. As the doors close again, he sees one room at the end of the hall with the door ajar. Bond creeps up on the door and looks inside. The room is ransacked. He walks inside carefully with his gun drawn. There appears to be no-one there. Looking around, he notices a mouse running along a wall. The mouse disappears into a hole. He breaks open the wall to reveal a hidden room. Inside the room is a bunch of evidence of surveillance of him and Vesper during the events of Casino Royale. He finds a bunch of pictures of a young girl. One of the pictures has someone he recognizes in it. It is Mr. White, standing with the young girl, holding fish. The label on the picture says “At the cabin, 1989. Lake Weiss, AUS”. The maid shows up behind Bond. She tries to kill him but misses. He grabs her and asks her who she works for. She bites a cyanide pill and dies. He hears cars and shouting outside. More enemy agents. How are they finding him so fast? Where are they all coming from? The man-monster is there, looking up at him. Queue a second fight scene with the big man. Bond is again outclassed, but slightly less this time. At least he’s not in a bathrobe. Bond is clear that he has no backup. The hotel gets set on fire and explodes (no more evidence of what Bond found for the bad guys). He runs from the big man and hijacks a motorcycle. Bond calls Money Penny and asks for the location of a safe house. She gives him one, but not before berating him for breaking his orders (again.) He barely escapes notice and holes up in the safe house for a few days. Upon leaving the safe house, he begins to suspect that he can’t go anywhere without his movements being tracked. Somehow, people are following him. He hops aboard a boat headed for Europe. Cut to Lake Weiss in Austria. Bond finds a cabin with Mr. White in it. Mr. White tells him he’s dying due to exposure, and reveals the true nature of the Octopus symbol to Bond. It is SPECTRE, a powerful organization. Tells him he’s a “kite flying in a hurricane.” Bond gets Mr. White to reveal a way to get into the organization–through his ex-wife, who is an accountant for the organization. Bond finds Mr. White’s Ex-Wife in Geneva, who is a smart accountant. Madeleine (Monica Bellucci) indeed does work for SPECTRE, but is a mid-level employee. She tells him it’s a charity organization. She pulls him into the shower unexpectedly and turns it on. Bond shows her video of her father and tries to convinces her that SPECTRE is not a charity organization, but a terrorist one. Before he’s able to go further, she hushes him and pulls him into the shower. She turns it on. As they are getting wet, she reveals that she already knows this, and is well versed in the spy world. But, she is trying to figure out how to bring down the organization from the inside. Bond and her are clearly aligned in motivation (we think…but she might not! Remember we’re dealing with a theme of Distrust here!) She’s wearing a white see-through blouse (soaked from the water). Bond makes a remark about it before getting slapped. She smiles, however, and gives him a sexist zinger back. Madeleine gives him a location of where the big meetings of SPECTRE are held, but says that he’ll have to figure out his own way in. Queue really awesome heist/break-in sequence, showing the elaborate way that SPECTRE members have to go through to get into the secret meeting hall. Everyone has to wear a mask. No real identities are given. Bond finally gets into the SPECTRE meeting where he overhears a discussion on an intelligence network that they are exploiting. He knows it is the one that M referred to. Now he thinks that M is working with SPECTRE. At the head of the table is a man who is clearly in charge. He is shrouded in complete darkness and nobody can make the person out. After a while, the person interrupts the meeting to have a guy executed, no sweat, because that’s the kind of power he wields. The guy in charge also passes along a message that there is a spy in their midst. Everyone looks at Bond. This scene is an homage to the “Eyes Wide Shut” scene with Tom Cruise where he gets outed at the sex club. IMPORTANT: We never hear the voice of the guy in charge in this scene. He is an enigma. A ghost. An undetermined power. Bond is no match for him. Bond makes his escape from the meeting room by throwing his watch bomb down. Another action sequence with Bond fighting a bunch of dudes, getting back to Madeleine’s place, and getting her out of Geneva. She is nervous that they will track her down and kill her. Bond swears to her that it will never happen on his watch. He’s made this promise once before, but this time he means it. They find another safe house and have sex. Hot, steamy, sex. With lots of sweat and great lighting. She’s an older woman. She knows what she wants and how to get it from him. Back in London, Bond takes Madeleine with him to headquarters and both are immediately arrested. She’s taken away, and he is detained in a cell. M visits him and gives him a lecture on trust again, threatening to not only take away his license to kill, but to lock him up where nobody would ever find him again. Bond convinces M to trust him one more time, and examine the “Intelligence Network” more closely. They both go to Q’s office. M, Q, and Bond finally discover the extent to which SPECTRE’s reach really is. They have access to the entire intelligence mainframe of all the major NATO countries. Q wonders where his assistant is. The assistant is gone. Q proceeds to work on shutting down the system. He finds that he needs a security key that changes every 30 seconds. There must be an organization member with access? Bond remembers that Madeleine is in the building. They all rush to find Madeleine, but find that she’s just been taken out of the building. M is furious. Bond takes the Aston Martin from Q’s garage and rushes down the streets of London. He catches up to the limousine carrying Madeleine to Heathrow’s private airplane section. There is a helicopter waiting to take off with her. Bond rushes in, switches on his car sidewinders and blows the shit out of the helicopter. Madeleine, Q’s assistant, and the Man Monster are all there. Queue the Bond action music. Man monster has a gatling gun and sprays the Aston Martin. Bond doesn’t give a fuck any more and drives the AM into him, crushing him against the wall of the hangar. (queue applause) Q’s assistant uses Madeleine as a human shield, claiming that there is no way to stop what is happening. SPECTER is everywhere. The world is theirs. As he talks, he points the gun at Bond to kill him. Madeleine bumps his arm and ducks. Bond shoots him in the head. Bond rushes over and grabs Madeleine. He asks her if she has the verification codes he needs. She hands him a digital readout from Q’s assistant’s coat. Bond makes a call to Q and gives him the current code. Q puts it in and starts to work. Soon, Q starts talking Q: “Deployment halted. I’m deleting the network piggyback algorithms. Good work, Bond. This will take a few days, but I believe we have it.” Bond stands there with his hand on his phone. He turns to look at Madeleine. As he turns, he says Bond: “Looks like the organization is….being disorganized.” She is gone. There’s no trace of her. Bond looks around, confused. Cut to Madeleine. She is on her phone. Madeleine: “Did you get what you needed before it went down?” …. Madeleine: “Well, it will have to do, won’t it?” …. Madeleine: “Yes, tell him…I will take care of Bond.” Pan the camera around her until it shows the back of her neck. Her hair has always been worn down until now. On the back of her neck is a tattoo…of the SPECTRE OCTOPUS. DUN DUN DUN. Well this was fun. Totally not official and probably full of plot holes, but I think it’s way better than the totally bland version on screen right now. Some key notes that I think should have been visited: - The guy in charge of SPECTRE should not have been revealed. - Trust issues are super important in this movie. - Less exposition and show how pervasive SPECTRE actually is. - James Bond does NOT defeat SPECTRE in one movie. They are an organization. We need at LEAST 2 movies to find out who the head of it is. My 2 cents. :/
Record Breaking Aston Car Flip Today's clip is a Guinness World Record breaker. This scene from Casino Royale includes the Aston Martin DBS car flip, which set a Guinness World Record for the most barrel rolls in a car (it’s seven!). “We were going to be happy with a couple of rolls, maybe three at a push,” says stunt driver Adam Kirley. Casino Royale. Bond's Aston Martin DBS featured in one of the most memorable moments of the film as a high speed accident leads the car to flip and roll seven times, a new world record. The sequence was filmed on the Millbrook Proving ground with a modified DB9 due to filming taking place before the DBS was finished. James Bond & Aston Martin - DBS Quantum of Solace. Following on from the high ... Aston Martin DBS On the 16th of January 2006, Aston Martin released very limited details of a new top of the range sportscar. Very little was said about the new DBS at that time except that it will be driven by James Bond 007 in the forthcoming film Casino Royale scheduled for release in the Nove.. aston martin & james bond casino royale. bond’s aston martin dbs ist in einer eindrÜcklichen szene des films zu sehen, als er sich bei einem spektakulÄren unfall sieben mal ÜberschlÄgt – ein neuer weltrekord. die sequenz wurde auf der millbrook teststrecke mit einem modifizierten db9 gefilmt, da der dreh stattfand, bevor der dbs ... Offizielle Präsentation des neuen Bondcars ASTON MARTIN DBS: Offizielle Filmfotos von CASINO ROYALE: JamesBond.de meint: Viele wussten bereits bei seiner offiziellen Vorstellung im Oktober 2005, dass den Bondproduzenten mit dem außerhalb Englands unbekannten (Charakter-)Darsteller Daniel Craig ein großen Fang gelang. Dass aber Craig ... the ultimate KNOWLEDGE BASE for everything ASTON MARTIN. DB5 for 007 James Bond (Casino Royale) Home > DB4 to AM Vantage > DB5 for 007 James Bond (Casino Royale) DB5 for 007 James Bond (Casino Royale) (1963 - 2006) By now, you will have no doubt seen the 19th Bond Film, Casino Royale, staring Daniel Craig. Basically, the film chronicles the very beginning of the 007 James Bond story and ...