Quantum of Solace

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Postby Reza » Thu Dec 25, 2008 2:32 am

Aceisgreat wrote:The two Bond girls were fine

You have really got to be kidding!

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Postby Sabin » Thu Dec 25, 2008 12:46 am

It's not good. Badly directed. Badly edited. Badly conceived in thinking that we care directly about the sequence of events in Casino Royale when in fact we don't. But a somewhat honorable feat of failing to learn the lessons of Campbell's exceptional Casino Royale: they want to legitimize Bond to the point of serialization and not stand-alone. I'm all for that but can we have a plot that is cohesive w/out having memorized the previous film. I am barely clear as to what transpired in this film. But there is some interesting demythologizing of James Bond here and it does pick up a little steam.

Ultimately, James Bond can never simply be hip anymore. He is hip and square. We do not believe in the power of the human individual but rather the system or the superhuman individual. The closest union of the two is Jason Bourne but in addition to modernizing James Bond, they seem just as content to ape Jason Bourne and these moments ring out as false for one reason: we need to want to be James Bond. This guy sucks. His life sucks. Really sucks. Worse than the song sucks.
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Postby OscarGuy » Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:23 pm

Wesley Lovell
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Postby Penelope » Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:29 am

Aceisgreat wrote:Hated the placement of the gun barrel sequence.

Yes, I hated that, too.
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Postby Aceisgreat » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:50 am

The editor of this mess should be tarred and feathered...and then shot. The opening car chase, followed by the foot chase, and then later the boat chase are not action sequences; they're migraine headaches. It was a hell of a time trying to figure out which car collided with the truck, which car flew off the cliff, who got shot, who was who on the roof, how exactly the boat flipped over, etc.

Whoever greenlit "Another Way To Die," one of the worst pieces of shit I've ever heard, should share the same fate as the editor. "You Know My Name" almost sounds like Beethoven's "Symphony #7 in A Major" in comparison.

Judi Dench was the best thing about this, followed closely by a really neat opera sequence and a surprisingly tender Giancarlo Giannini. Jeffrey Wright deserved better. Mathieu Amalric, one of the weakest Bond villains ever, suddenly turned into Rambo with an axe during the climax. The two Bond girls were fine, although the second one felt tacked on for the sake of a homage murder (and the customary love scene).

Hated the placement of the gun barrel sequence.
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Postby Reza » Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:20 am

Penelope wrote:Oh, and (SPOILER) I do believe Kurylenko's Camille is the first primary Bond girl that 007 does not have sex with.

Well I don't blame Bond on this front.

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Postby kaytodd » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:22 am

I think OHMSS and From Russia With Love are both top notch spy thrillers, comparable to almost anything else in the genre.
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Postby Penelope » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:51 pm

Okri wrote:I thought I was the only one who thought On Her Majesty's Secret Service was the best. So glad I'm not alone.

Years ago, when I was a teenage Bond fan, and a member of the Official James Bond Fanclub, OHMSS always ranked #1 in the fanclub polls, despite the lack of Sean Connery. I don't know if OHMSS still is so highly regarded, but I think it's the most gorgeously photographed, brilliantly edited, perfectly scripted (it's one of the most faithful adaptations), tautly directed and even marvelously acted (even Lazenby is good, but Diana Rigg and Gabrielle Ferzetti are knockouts)--personally, I think that not only is OHMSS one of the great action thrillers, it's also one of the great romantic tearjerkers of all time.
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Postby Penelope » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:30 pm

Although both Olga Kurylenko and Gemma Atterton are likable enough in the film, both lack that certain something to rank them with the great "Bond Beauties."

Oh, and (SPOILER) I do believe Kurylenko's Camille is the first primary Bond girl that 007 does not have sex with.
"...it is the weak who are cruel, and...gentleness is only to be expected from the strong." - Leo Reston



"Cruelty might be very human, and it might be cultural, but it's not acceptable." - Jodie Foster

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Postby Reza » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:15 pm

Once upon a time the Bond films were known for the specie known as the ''Bond Beauty''. I guess that particular specie is now extinct....judging by the movie poster of Quantum.

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Postby Okri » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:43 pm

I thought I was the only one who thought On Her Majesty's Secret Service was the best. So glad I'm not alone.

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Postby Penelope » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:34 pm

Quantum of Solace isn't as dire as I feared, but it's also not very good. The great pleasures of the Bond series -- starting with the famous gun barrell logo at the start of the movie -- are missing here, and so there's no heart or soul to the project. The movie just bumps from location to location with no discernable reason, and the action setpieces, especially the opening car chase, are just loud blurs.

The plot is negligible when it isn't incomprehensible, and there's no sense of threat from the villains.

That said, there are some good moments--I liked Olga Kurylenko as Camille and Gemma Atterton as Strawberry Fields, and their interactions with Daniel Craig--again giving a strong performance--are the highlight of the film. The airplane duel and the climactic fire--though both are overedited--have a touch of excitement to them. And though I've railed against David Arnold's unfortunate influence on the theme songs ("Another Way to Die" is simply horrid), his score here is actually quite nice.

In many ways, Quantum of Solace reminded me of the worst Bond film, License to Kill: Bond out for revenge, hooking up with the mistress of the villain, etc. But Quantum is a bit more fun, brisker, lighter--but still not light enough.

The Bond movies ranked:

1. On Her Majesty's Secret Service - ****

2. Goldfinger - ****

3. From Russia With Love - ****

4. Casino Royale - ***1/2

5. For Your Eyes Only - ***1/2

6. Dr. No - ***1/2

7. Goldeneye - ***

8. Octopussy - ***

9. The Spy Who Loved Me - ***

10. The Living Daylights - ***

11. Live and Let Die - ***

12. Thunderball - ***

13. Diamonds are Forever - ***

14. The World is Not Enough - ***

15. Moonraker - **1/2

16. Quantum of Solace - **1/2

17. Tomorrow Never Dies - **1/2

18. The Man With The Golden Gun - **1/2

19. A View to a Kill - **

20. You Only Live Twice - **

21. Die Another Day - *1/2

22. License to Kill - *
"...it is the weak who are cruel, and...gentleness is only to be expected from the strong." - Leo Reston



"Cruelty might be very human, and it might be cultural, but it's not acceptable." - Jodie Foster

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Postby MovieWes » Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:53 am

Okay, well I saw it last night. All-in-all, a disappointment, but it wasn't all THAT bad. It's not Pierce Brosnan bad at least.

Anyway, it's that time again. Here's my updated rankings of the Bond movies, with Quantum of Solace added in.

01. From Russia With Love (1963) ****
02. Goldfinger (1964) ****
03. Casino Royale (2006) *** 1/2
04. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) *** 1/2
05. Dr. No (1962) *** 1/2
06. Thunderball (1965) *** 1/2
07. You Only Live Twice (1967) *** 1/2
08. For Your Eyes Only (1981) ***
09. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) ***
10. Goldeneye (1995) ***
11. Live and Let Die (1973) ** 1/2
12. Quantum of Solace (2008) ** 1/2
13. Diamonds Are Forever (1971) ** 1/2
14. License to Kill (1989) ** 1/2
15. Octopussy (1983) **
16. The Man With the Golden Gun (1974) **
17. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) **
18. The World is Not Enough (1999) * 1/2
19. Moonraker (1979) * 1/2
20. A View to a Kill (1985) * 1/2
21. The Living Daylights (1987) * 1/2
22. Die Another Day (2002) *
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Postby MovieWes » Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:50 pm

Slant Magazine gives it two stars...

Quantum of Solace
by Bill Weber
Posted: November 13, 2008


Well, that didn't last. Picking up in medias res minutes after the ending of the invigorating Casino Royale, this second James Bond installment to star Daniel Craig as a brutish, psychologically complex Agent 007 is a more typically uneven entry in the series, but disappoints in some odd and counterintuitive ways. Quantum of Solace plays almost like a feature-length epilogue to its predecessor, and the novelty of the franchise reboot hasn't so much worn off as been squandered on a scenario lacking in genuine thrills and long on ill-advised navel-gazing. The recent Spider-Man and Batman smashes set the dismal course; now the Bond fantasies have joined the trend of pulp gone pretentious.

Beginning with a collision-laced highway chase (edited by an atomizer into incoherence) that delivers a wounded baddie to an interrogation site, Bond's escalating ferocity is a symptom of his need for closure after the sacrificial death of his duplicitous paramour Vesper Lynd in Casino; fueled by guilt, rage or simple revenge, he's determined to smoke out the leaders of the phantom global crime web that ensnared her. Their plot this time is orchestrated by billionaire and environmental philanthropist Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric, Craig's Munich castmate), who's planning to return a Bolivian dictator to power—with the pragmatic blessings of the CIA—in exchange for rights to a swath of desert that's seemingly barren of oil or anything else of value. (The twist in Greene's scheme, like his slick method of disposing of a short-lived Bond conquest, is derivative of the infinitely more playful Sean Connery-era classic Goldfinger.) Teaming up with the villain's mysterious ex-lover, Camille (Olga Kurylenko), to pursue his quarry from Haiti to Austria while making bureaucratic hell for his MI6 boss (Judi Dench), Bond ends up hunted as a rogue by the Secret Service when the British government declines to reconsider Anglo-American support for the Greene-backed coup.

Marc Forster, perpetrator of Finding Neverland, among other holiday fruitcakes, was a maverick choice for this assignment, and may be the first Bond director who's handled the human factor semi-credibly while making near-total hash of the action sequences (an exception being a dual aerial freefall). Not content just to artily crosscut a double agent's mayhem with a festive horse race in Siena, he takes the same tack a few reels later by heavy-handedly matching an opera house gunfight with the climactic violence of Tosca. The emphasis on 007's grief-driven motivation is half-salvaged by Craig but still feels forced. "There's something horribly efficient about you," Camille sniffs at Bond, and if the adverb is a bit harsh to describe Craig's incarnation of the superspy, he sweats, leaps and scrambles in the role more naturally than he cradles a dying ally. (Coldly depositing the corpse in a dumpster is a piece of cake for him, but emblematic of the soft/hard seesaw to which the filmmakers have strapped their hero.) In support, Dench's mother-hen concern is becoming rote, and Jeffrey Wright actually has a wee bit more to do this time as Bond's dour CIA pal Felix Leiter, though not enough to wonder what an actor of his caliber is doing in a role that's as inconsequential as when it was filled by Jack Lord.

As for Amalric, his crocodile smile and slithery snark has an amusing Peter Lorre vibe but suffers from the lack of physical menace brought to Casino Royale by Mads Mikkelsen. In their last fiery faceoff, you expect Craig to toast him like a marshmallow. The writers put liberal objections to the realpolitik of working with scoundrels into intelligence pros' mouths, but as with Bond's high-octane grieving, it's not a good fit with the proficient stunt work and dopey exposition. Updating this anachronistic cash cow with the scrappy and sexy Craig still looks like a wise move, but it requires a greater quantum of style than Solace provides.




Edited By MovieWes on 1226613050
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Postby Zahveed » Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:27 pm

So Ebert doesn't like it because it's not a campy shitfest?
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