So once again we have survived.

Vern Trades Punches With James Bond In QUANTUM OF SOLACE!

QUANTUM OF SOLACE
(a particular amount of consolation)

You and me we’re movie nerds. So when we go out to a movie we try to see it on the biggest, nicest screen. We see it in Imax if we can, or we have our favorite theaters where we hope it will be playing. But you gotta wonder why we keep doing that when more and more movies are not designed to be comprehensible on a large screen. Increasingly, action movies are designed to be viewed on your phone or wrist watch or whatever silly shit they invent next. Why do I wait out in the cold for two hours to see this movie on the giant Cinerama screen when it’s just gonna guarantee that I will have no idea if James Bond’s car is in front of or behind the other car, which one went off the cliff, what James Bond is doing to the guy he’s fighting and also which one is James Bond? At the very least they should rope off the front 2/3 of all these theaters since Marc Forster, the director of QUANTUM OF SOLACE, apparently was not told that people may sit within 250 feet of the screen.

There’s a whole lot of action in this movie. It hits for the cycle on different types of chases: foot, motorcycle, car, boat, plane. It’s got lots of quick, brutal (Golden Era Seagal style) fisticuffs, it’s got guns, some knives, I don’t think there were any swords or bow and arrows but I might’ve missed those. All the gunshots and crunching flesh, it sounds so exciting and it really made me wish I could’ve been there on the set to see what it looked like standing back where the camera should’ve been.

Quantum of SolaceI mean fuck, if you’re gonna shoot a thrilling car chase/shootout almost entirely in close-ups why not go all the way and just put a stationary camera on the dashboard showing Daniel Craig’s expressions for the whole scene? At least then it’s something new and nobody will waste their time darting their eyes back and forth trying to figure out what’s happening.

That needs to be said. But I still enjoyed this movie, including some of the action. I don’t mean to blow it out of proportion – it’s not Michael Bay-disorienting or even Paul Greengrass-dizzying. It’s just that there was a beautiful time not long ago when it fucking WENT WITHOUT SAYING that the goal of directing and filming a movie was to intentionally place the camera and edit the shots in such a way that you visually communicated what was happening. Alot of filmatists get it backwards these days, they keep thinking the composition and order of shots are NOT supposed to make sense to the audience. So this is their weekly reminder. Do I need to send you knuckleheads some flash cards or something? Would that help?

I cannot say this is a monumental sequel that hits the nail even more on the head and takes the material to unforeseen new plateaus, like say THE DARK KNIGHT or THE HUMAN TORNADO. And with it being Daniel Craig’s second go round at the character it doesn’t have that exciting brand-newness of the first one. But it’s a worthy installment. The underly-comprehensible action is my only major complaint. Craig gets several great badass moves – stabbing a guy and then holding his hand until he has no pulse, flipping a guy’s motorcycle out from underneath him, etc. He gets some good sarcastic humor but all pretty grim and never too corny. It’s got your usual bevy of gorgeous women, one of them apparently named Strawberry Fields but luckily I don’t think they mentioned her first name. It’s got a better theme song than last time. And I didn’t even notice any Paul Haggis lines where he has a character say something out loud that didn’t need to be said, like when Vesper Lynd was sitting in the shower with an expression worth a thousand words and then she had to add a couple more about how she felt cold inside or some shit like that.

I wish I had got a chance to watch CASINO ROYALE again, because there were a couple things I didn’t remember too well. But I like that there’s a continuing story in this new series. It’s not some new super villain with an evil scheme and James Bond has to stop it. Instead he’s following the trail left by his girl’s death last time around and any other villainy he encounters is incidental. In fact, he uncovers the existence of an evil organization we will surely learn more about in future installments. (do you guys think there will be another one? I’m keepin my fingers crossed!) I won’t say anything specific but the way they meet and the way Bond takes advantage of their meeting are the highlights of the movie in my opinion.

And now that I think about it they came up with their way to make Bond relevant without a cold war. Quantum (Q.U.A.N.T.U.M.?) aren’t religious fanatics or anything, but they are mysteriously organized and spread secretly around the world, mirroring the kind of terrorist threats we in the west worry about today. There’s alot of talk about the morality of MI-6 and CIA making deals with assholes, and fighting for oil rights even comes into play. This isn’t too real (it’s still James Bond) but it’s the modern world, not some throwback.

It’s fun to watch this guy barge into places and try to wing it when he has no idea what’s going on. He kills a guy, takes his briefcase and goes to meet with somebody not knowing who he’s supposed to be or what’s in the case. In the Pierce Brosnan Bonds he did those impossible stunts like driving a plane off a cliff or whatever, and that was fun. But with Craig it seems less superhuman, more like a guy who is secure in his own bad motherfuckerness. Brosnan seemed untouchable, but Craig is definitely touchable, he gets the shit beat out of him in these movies. Even on the poster he has blood on him. But he’s tough enough to walk away.

I’ve never really been much of a Bond guy, so sorry if this is an outrage, but I still think Craig is the best one. He’s a weird contradiction, a rugged tough face that still looks suave in a good suit. Not too many people can do it that good, even Steve McQueen I thought came off kind of phony playing a rich guy in THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR. Craig seems like a guy who could really kill you with his bare hands but also wears a tie better than you. In fact he’s so good at it that when he walks into a hotel for the super-rich covered in dirt and blood the staff still kisses his ass. You or I walk in there with blood on us, I guarantee you they’re gonna be rude about it.

I’m not sure what the deal is with Marc Forster, I don’t understand how the different movies he’s directed come from the same guy. But I guess nobody with a singular vision is gonna be hired by these producers, and other than having the camera too close and occasionally intercutting too much (do you really need to throw in random opera shots in an already muddled action sequence?) he does okay. I’ll tell you this, I never wanted to beat up the movie like I did FINDING NEVERLAND. It never condescended to me about the power of whimsy and imagination. That’s a plus. This is BY FAR the best of the two Marc Forster movie’s I’ve watched.

In conclusion, I will watch the next one.

–Vern

Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/39105

View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 4:50 a.m. CST

    Damn You Michael Bay

    by MCMLXXVI

    Damn You Michael Bay

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 5:14 a.m. CST

    Saw this last night (couple of moderate spoilers)

    by CorpseRide

    Yeah, the boat chase especially was annoying. He ends it by throwing a grappling hook into their boat. What was the hooked moored to? I have no idea, and I was realy trying to pay attention.</P>

    The evil plot is not central either. Bond seems to stumble into it while looking for his GF’s “handlers”/blackmailers from the last movie. He doesn’t give much of sh*t, and neither does the audience, although they might want to. When you find out the main bad guy’s plot, it is deeply uninteresting. The only glimmer of hope is that he’s not the top of the food chain, but that is left unexplored for now.</P>And in the end, there’s a whole epilogue out of nowhere. The epilogue is good, but how did he get there? (SPOILER)He just suddenly knows where Vesper’s boyfriend is. No explantion.</P>The best bits are the bits of detective work, and the scene at the opera with QUANTUMN. </P>

    As for expositionary clunky dialogue, I vote for “nice HQ”/”yes, but it is powered by troublesome fuel cells”/”that sounds unstable”. Jeez. Within about 5 minutes, Bond as set the whole building exploding.</P>

    In conclusion, I actually enjoyed this, but they better develop QUANTUMN more in the next one. I want an actual explicit evil plot for Bond to stop, not him moping about killing people without really knowing who they are.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 5:27 a.m. CST

    Saw this last week. It’s pretty shitty. Bond franchise is DEAD.

    by ricarleite

    The plot is nonsensical, characters have no motivation at all. Dominic Green finds water, cool, he wants to control water. So why the FUCK he had Strawberry Fields or Penny Lane or whatever the fuck that 12 year old bond girl is called FILLED WITH OIL? Why? So it’s funny and over elaborated? How did he manage to get her into that room? What did the villain want? It was a cliche of a villain. And the ending was so anticlimatic – oh I found Versper’s fake boyfriend that made her DROWN HERSELF FOR NO REASON, I’ll just, you know, let him go. And why the fuck they still insist in messing with the gunbarrel? What was the point of that? And the LEAST said about the actin, the better. Casino Royale was tolerable, but this is bullshit, Quantum of Bullshit. Right, because SPECTRE is now QUANTUM, just reboot the WHOLE FUCKING SENSE of the franchise. Oh, forget it, Harry will love this piece of junk. We know it. I mean, there are two pop-up ads on this God damned website, he’ll love this piece of shit. And so will these stupid talkbackers who never saw a real Bond film witj Connery or Moore.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 5:38 a.m. CST

    The Cold War?

    by jazzdownunder

    WTF did the Cold War ever have to do with Bond? It was always Blofeld/SPECTRE (even “From Russia With Love” had SPECTRE wearing the bad-guy hat) or some crazy-ass psycho lone-wolf bent on World destruction/domination or some supposedly nefarious but upon considered reflection hopelessly pedestrian scheme.

    Sure, there were a couple of Moore outings in the Tux that put Bond up against the Reds, but even Moore’s Bond spent almost as much time having to work WITH, or at least alongside, the Reds as much as against them (Moonraker/The Spy Who Loved Me).

    I’m still looking forward to QoS though. And I don’t care what anyone says – it’s an awesome title. Boo-hoo if it needs more than a couple of brain cells to appreciate it.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 5:41 a.m. CST

    “motherfuckerness”

    by Jay Jay

    Great word, Vern. I shall be using it often from now on. As for the movie, it was okay. No Casino Royale by any means and they will need to make the next one a lot better or they will lose their audience…for good.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 5:43 a.m. CST

    yes ricarleite, Roger Moore made “real” bond films

    by IndustryKiller!

    Just like Joel Schumacher made “real” Batman films. Thanks but I’ll eschew the overly 70’s style cheesy crap and take the more cerebral adult Bond. And every criticism you have of this could be applied ten fold to any of the Moore Bonds and a few of the Connery’s. I mean calling a villain “cliche” in a Bond movie then touting Roger Moore? Jeeeeeezus.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 5:50 a.m. CST

    Off all the reviewers on AICN…

    by Grando

    .. I expected Vern to mention that the members of Quantum conveniently wear badges with the letter Q on them. Y’know, If I was part of a super secret organisation I reckon the best idea would be to have everyone were “Q” badges just so everyone knows who we are….. Aside from that I liked the film a lot.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 5:59 a.m. CST

    For the 1,000th time: Advertising ≠ Endorsement of the Film!

    by JumpinJehosaphat

    Get it through your thick skulls that the business of selling ad space on a website does not equate to the site’s controllers’ opinion of the final film. It’s revenue to keep the site going, plain and simple. I doubt they all go around town in Toyota Corollas because theirs an ad for one. You numb nuts. I swear….

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:04 a.m. CST

    IndustryKiller!

    by ricarleite

    Roger Moore Bond’s over the top, I agree, but if you are going this way, you go this way. Goldfinger also had the “kill the girl in a over elaborated way with something I want”, but it fits the mood of those films. Moonraker is a real Bond because it is not supposed to be taken seriously, Bond is a superhero on those, ergo the supervillains. On QoS, it never feels what is it supposed to be, Connery, Moore, or Dalton. If it’s going to be realistic, why the Minority Report screens and cliched exposition? Bond had no real motivation with the villain, neither had the villain with Bond, it was all unrelated, as if Bond was just there to screw his mind. Daniel Craig is NOT to blame, though, he does a pretty decent job and is an OK Bond, he should continue with the role.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:06 a.m. CST

    ricarleite, you’re entitled to your opinion, and…

    by irishraidersfan

    … you at least back up your points somewhat, but “The plot is nonsensical, characters have no motivation at all.” You do know it’s a direct sequel (i.e. really second half) to Casino Royale???

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:13 a.m. CST

    ebert is right 2 stars…this is not Bond…..

    by j2talk

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:15 a.m. CST

    Proofreading

    by rassmguy

    It’s essential.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:22 a.m. CST

    Oh shut the fuck up. This is Bond and it’s great.

    by My Mom Is A Whore

    All of you haters need to go back to the fucking Roger Moore years and enjoy living in your nostalgic bubble. Quantum Of Solace is a great movie, I loved it, everyone I know loved it, and people who don’t like it are whiny assholes who need to be locked up somewhere and kicked repeatedly in the head until the brain cell God gave them slots into place with a click.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:31 a.m. CST

    well said, sir

    by Fortunesfool

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Vern, I mean, not ‘shut the fuck up’ guy

    by Fortunesfool

    I don;t want to see this because all that badly shot and editied crap will just piss me off and give me a headache. It’s like the history of everything that we’ve learned about film craft has been thrown out of the window. This is what happens when TV directors get movie gigs, also see JJ Abrahms ans Paul Greengrass.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:36 a.m. CST

    MCMLXXVI I betcha you were really Excited to finally be First

    by DOGSOUP

    In other news this does not bode well for World War Z

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:37 a.m. CST

    No, Yack–Connery is still the best Bond

    by moondoggy2u

    I give you the hut scene in Dr. No as proof.
    “You’ve had your six.”

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:46 a.m. CST

    Connery is the 2ND best Bond

    by Laserhead

    Period. It’s not like the dude could ever actually act. His main contribution was being genuinely rugged and handsome.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:46 a.m. CST

    irishraidersfan

    by ricarleite

    Yes, I do, but that doesn’t justify the plot of QoS. CR was pretty faithful to the book, but this is like adding unnecessary and disconnected chapters to Ian Fleming’s book.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Yeah, Craig is a pretty damn good Bond

    by moondoggy2u

    and a throwback to the early Connery bond that we saw in Dr. No and From Russia With Love. Still, I wish the film makers had decided to make this Bond film seem more like Bond. I’m not asking for much–just the theme song and a gun-sight opening.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:56 a.m. CST

    By the way, Yack–how are you doing?

    by moondoggy2u

    It’s been quite a while since you and I posted together in the same thread. Mrs. Doggy and I have been busy.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:57 a.m. CST

    Oh, and I would also like to see, and this might be petty…

    by moondoggy2u

    THE GODDAMNED ACTION!!!!

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 7:07 a.m. CST

    Bond let’s his fists do the talking

    by Droid

    Why did they bother getting Forster, a director known for his dramatic chops, and not give him ANY decent dramatic scenes? Three obvious scenes for possible character development get botched. Bond gets drunk, doesn’t want to talk about it. Bond gets shot down, doesn’t want to talk about it. Bond finds Vespers boyfriend, doesn’t want to talk about it. Fuck, René Mathis gets developed more than Bond. And for a movie that’s wall to wall action, it takes itself incredibly seriously. If you think Casino Royale was devoid of humour (which I didn’t), then it’s fucking Airplane! in comparison to QoS. The problem is they started the film 20 minutes after Casino, so it’s just a continuation. They haven’t given Bond enough time to chill the fuck out. Sure, have the plot about his revenge, but give him less immediate rage and more cool detachment. Have him clinically taking down those responsible. And what the fuck is going on with the super-powered luxury hotel in the middle of a desert? Does that make any sense? Who stays there? Sure, it’d be great for people who happened to wander in from the desert, but if they’re wandering in a desert, they probably couldn’t afford a luxury hotel! And wouldn’t the hair-trigger, turbo-charged power cells seemingly situated in every (necessary) room get red-flagged by health and safety? I’m all for over the top, but it has to at least make sense (within reason). IMO, get Martin Campbell to direct ALL future Bond films. He’s the only active Bond director who seems to understand and achieve the right balance.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 7:08 a.m. CST

    I loved the opera scene

    by The Dark Shite

    For me, that scene summed the whole movie up. There’s never been a scene like that in a Bond movie.

    Up until Casino Royale, it was as if Eon just accepted that Bond movies were stupid & didn’t belong alongside proper films. It’s so refreshing to see a director actually making creative & artistic choices, rather than the “point & shoot” treatment that Bond movies usually have & that we forgive because the stunts are good or whatever.

    Under normal circumstances, scenes like the opera sequence would have been a big over-the-top, old fashioned action set piece, Bond scrambling around, using his amazingly convenient new gadgets & probably finished off with a cheesy line (another thing that I disagree with the complainers about. Let’s face it, the jokes & one liners have been dreadful for a long, long time. Even the early ones weren’t great. They were always the type of gag that made you laugh & groan at the same time, but they got worse & worse as time went on. Anyone who wishes for a return of the cheesy quips should watch Die Another Day, or any other Purvis & Wade flick & remember that there hasn’t been a laugh worthy joke for ages).

    This isn’t the best Bond ever. It doesn’t have the same classic feel as Casino Royale, but it was almost like a signal of intent, that it’s possible to make an inventive Bond movie & still keep to the formula, still keep the larger than life action that sets Bond apart from the Bourne franchise. Not that it needs to, because there’s far more of Bond in Bourne than there is Bourne in Bond.

    But little things like the opera scene, the opening chase (which I agree had some confusing moments, but I also think had some great elements; the sound, the pacing, little things like bullets hitting Bond’s car & actually looking & sounding real-pretty rare in this kind of movie), Bond shooting a guy & his car going off a cliff &..well..just going off a cliff.

    I can see see how these things can seem a little under-exciting in a series of films that were built on a larger than life premise & ridiculous action scenes, but that type of thing just doesn’t work in 2008. Let’s be honest, before Casino Royale, Bond was a joke. Even to the fans. The guys who say they prefer Brosnan, went to the films to see the stupid fucking invisible cars & “big bang theory” jokes. I went because in every movie, there was always one scene where he did something cool. One scene where he was allowed to be Bond. This movie is packed full of them. I’ve watched it twice, will probably watch it again & so far it just gets better.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 7:11 a.m. CST

    to continue to stir the hornet’s nest

    by Bloo

    I actually think Craig Bond movies are the best repreesentation of the Fleming’s books SO FAR, with Lazenby’s a close close close 2nd. The Bond most of us are used to, the film Bond, is not the eBond that was originally created. I remember at about age 11 or 12, already a Moore Bond fan, reeading Dr. No and beieng disappaionted because there were no submarine cars, no crazy chases down the ski slopes, etc. It was not the Bond i was used to or wanted. Years later, while on a trip, i purchased 3 Bond books on cd and listened to them in the car and was blown away by the simplicity of the books. it was Bond on his own not Bond with a bunch of toys. So when the critics say ‘this isn’t Bond’, they are wrong, this IS Bond, the others (specifically moore with his aversion to guns anad his love of the camp) was not Bond

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 7:18 a.m. CST

    Bloo’s thought’s (con’t)

    by Bloo

    why do I get the feeling that QoS will the Prisonere of Azkaban of the Bond movies, loved by some hated by a lot because it’s helmed by a directior who isn’t afraid to take risks

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 7:22 a.m. CST

    Quantum of Solace = Casino Royale Annex B

    by PTSDPete

    The film was quite alright, but it really existed for the sole purpose of resolving, or bringing closure, to a single plot point from the first one. Meaning, it wasn’t really a ‘ sequel ‘ in a classic sense; and barely an epilogue. Which I guess is what my main complaint with this movie was. It tries to single-mindedly fixate itself on Vesper’s death, and the dire isolation it’s left Bond ( that’s what the desert thing – and the wierd title sequence – was leading us to believe ). But thing was, it doesn’t even really dwell on this either. The film evidently glazes over this, despite the fact it was suppose to be the crux of its existence, just as it glazes over much of all aspects of the entire film. It goes real fleeting with each and every one of them ( the action, the villian, the green tech conceit, even the ladies, and the Camille character’s mission ), lightly going over these across a string of admittedly awesome action pieces, and brutal edge. Of course I wouldn’t rather have this done like those past abortions, and it’s weaved even more tightly to this new direction Paul Haggis et al has definitely ascertained wasn’t a fluke ( the only one I ever bothered buying into ), and it’s got better, more problematic politics ( than the first one, which was bleeding kinda post-911 rah rah warmongering, ‘ French are terrorist pussies for dissenting, but still superior )- yet this would have benefited from more traction, and greater emphasis on the big bad Quantum org. people that have come to destroy us. I mean, it should have at least tried to tie its themes and implied motifs more tightly, by gravitating and at least elaborating more on that afforementioned death vis a vis teh walking aimlessly into the desert and how its slowly crushing the guy’s psyche. ‘ Coz, you know, that initial synopsis, and Marc Foster’s stated intentions really had a potential , you know. THAT would have been an undeniably different thing, w/c may have transformed this format and moved this franchise and genre forward across uncharted directions and approach, while still maintaining the fundamentals of the material ( a.k.a. The Dark Knight ). Perhaps, he could have spent a lot more time trekking the desert, and just get completely drained out by his single-minded contempt and piling inward-spiralling anger at his personal loss. You know that’s what Mark Foster et al were trying to get at, the motifs were sort of suppose to align into this state, but you don’t really feel any of it in your gut; it’s almost a missed opportunity. There’s no immediacy enough to tell you this guy was actually tortured the entire fricking time, seeing how the movie went by-the-numbers in its cross-trekking and missions and expositions, anyway. But I’d presume that the moment they dropped the ball on this intent was when they did not give his going renegade enough of a latitude. It’s almost a forgettable interlude when he gets into the desert, amidst all the events crammed in, and rather inconsequential. The sort of flick the trailers and even that opening sequence has been leading us towards was approximately 1/5ths of the entire movie. And YET that’s where the ending was hinged to, and in a flat, telegraphed manner at that. Maybe, in the end, it’s because of the fact they were not really gonna give enough leeway for that sort of ‘ meditation ‘, and they were desperately beating a summer action movie spectacle out of the damn thing, that the various elements end up being incidental to each other. Including the supposed underlying point of its existence, vis a vis everything else. So I don’t know how to feel about this, other than it was awesome thing to watch. I’m not sure either if I’d rather watch the really art film take this director of ‘ Kite Runner ‘ was egging on, but that would have been something.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Bloo…

    by Droid

    I consider PoA the best Potter film. I consider QoS a huge disappointment after Casino Royale.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Connery

    by cgccomics

    Sean Connery is still number 1.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 7:40 a.m. CST

    My Mom Is A Whore

    by cgccomics

    Does your mom know about this name.

    Connery is still the best Bond. Give me 60’s and 70’s Bond any day of the week.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 7:43 a.m. CST

    I figure :

    by PTSDPete

    It’s almost like what Incredible Hulk was to the franchise; only better constructed, more engaging ( thank god ), and with a predecessor that DOESN’T SUCK. A buncha attention-grabbing sequences strewn together , yet still feeling threadbare and somewhat bland, like it just happened. Perhaps the truncated running time ? ‘ The Incredible Hulk ‘ only had a far superior, awesome ending ( which was a movie milestone ), and an actual closure. This one started with a excellent classic intro sequence – and went nowhere. ( Seriously, this movie would have been improved with him just straight-forwardly going on missions in an extended period, and becoming more lost and mechanical, cold, workman-like murderous bastard as he went along, instead of just looking like that’s where he’s at ). Wasn’t this suppose to be about the Quantum organization ?

    Plus, better villians. Dominic Greene was ASS.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Films and books are not the same

    by cgccomics

    The early Bond films will always be the best. Better theme songs, better gadgets, better looking women. Enough Said.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Still :

    by PTSDPete

    Daniel Craig is the only Bond worthy of genuine, un-ironic respect. And it’s a good direction they’re indeed at, to boot. Starting with Casino Royale.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 7:50 a.m. CST

    what’s with all this Cold War talk in every Bond reveiw?

    by Spandau Belly

    Bond never fought the USSR. It was almost always some third party terrorist group trying to play the West against the USSR for their own gain.

    You’ve got the odd movie like For Your Eyes Only where Bond is in a race against the USSR to get that submarine controller first. But the Soviets were more like an oponent than a villain. Bond even worked in a joint venture with the KGB in The Spy Who Loved Me.

    Whenever I read this stuff about how people find post-Cold War Bond some sort of contradiction I just figure they don’t know the movies. It’s like trying to make Rocky 4 or something now. BTW they recently made a sequel to Rocky 4 called Rocky Balboa and they were also able to make Rocky a good post-Cold War hero too.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 7:55 a.m. CST

    I think it’s funny that I dislike Casino Royale…

    by DerLanghaarige

    …for pretty much the same reasons that many people here seem to hate QOS for (minus the shaky action).

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Bond is Bond. They could have Shia Ladouche as JB

    by Stuntcock Mike

    and I’d still watch it. Well….perhaps not.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Two Craig “Bond” films down and counting….

    by thot

    I am a patient man. Hopefully I won’t have to wait more than a few more years for the return of the real James Bond.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 9:43 a.m. CST

    This film is a fucking mess

    by DannyOcean01

    Anyone who can’t see that is a bloody moron. Once again the producers have stuck their chubby little fingers up Bonds ass and fucked him good and proper.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 9:51 a.m. CST

    JumpinJehosaphat

    by mynemaborat

    naieve much??

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 10:07 a.m. CST

    mynemaborat

    by JumpinJehosaphat

    Been in business much? It’s actually pretty standard stuff in the good old world of online advertising sales. Now, if you have some sort of proof to the contrary, I’ll gladly throw the venom where it is due. I doubt you do, however, so it’s right back to the mind-numbing task of shouting at other TBers. I know, I know… Arguing on the internet is like winning a gold at the Special Olympics, yadda yadda yadda….

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 10:32 a.m. CST

    shouting at other tbers?

    by mynemaborat

    umm no not me… and ofcourse i don’t have proof that harry’s not on the payroll… i don’t have proof that santa clause doesn’t exist either. but what i do know is that its laughable to think that harry’s not influenced by the sources that generate revenue for this site, namely the films he reviews… no thats not a conflict of interest at all. but yeah this site is a blog after all so i don’t really mind, if this was the work of a respected and professional film critic then that would be a different matter

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 10:34 a.m. CST

    basically

    by mynemaborat

    its very hard for someone to find fault with something if their job depends on not finding such faults

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 10:38 a.m. CST

    jumpinjehosaphat

    by mynemaborat

    and wtf is with the shit about arguing on the internet is like winning a gold the special olympics? anyone can do it? i’m not trying to be politically correct for the sake of it, but have u actually watched the special olympics? does someone u care about have a disability? dismissing the achievements of the winners of the special olympics is fucking low, and no not anyone can do it

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 12:05 p.m. CST

    This review is on the money.

    by Reelheed

    Spot on review I feel. The editing during the all the action scenes is terrible. Just awful. I can’t tell you how much I hate those scenes. For me the worst is the roof top chase at the beginning which should’ve been a piece of cake to get right but here is just a mess.

    Sometimes it was also a bit stupid.

    The whole plane scene and convienient ‘landing’ which reveals the villians scheme is just totally ridiculous. If only they hadn’t shot him down they woulda got away with it! Doh!

    Otherwise it was a good film.
    Craig was good, the mood was good, the music was good and the ladies were… inversely as attractive as they were capable actors. Nothing was redefined and no worlds were rocked but at the end there was a screenful of happy viewers.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Minority Report screens were also a bad idea

    by Reelheed

    and not just because they looked shit. If you are turning bond into some really gritty modern thriller then why would you sprinkle in totally unrealisitic scifi nonsense? Why would you huh? Its because you’re an idiot. Thats why.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Cold War

    by Vern

    Well like I said I’ve never really been a Bond fan so I’m sure you guys are right. But I seem to remember one of the first couple ones being called FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, and I know for sure the last time they restarted it with Pierce Brosnan the main concern of the movie was how to make him relevant post-Cold War (their answer was to just start the Cold War again).

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 12:39 p.m. CST

    The BOOK was Bond vs. Russians. The movie added Spectre.

    by NoDiggity

    So that’s where the confusion lies.

    But the movie was still a “cold war” book, because even though they added Specter, Bond was still going up against the Russians, just as he did in the book.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Vern…have you seen From Russia With Love?

    by moondoggy2u

    Judging by that post…I guess not. They were still fighting spectre in FRWL.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 12:52 p.m. CST

    I liked the film a lot!

    by Zardoz

    I thought it was a great action film, even if the action was hard to follow at times. I liked the plot and characters, and felt that it was definitely a great middle film for a trilogy. (fingers crossed!) I especially liked the ending, where after travelling the world and killing everyone in sight, Bond finds Vesper’s true “murderer” with relative ease. It was a very dark and appropriately bittersweet ending. What I didn’t like: the end battle. Too much of a throwback to the old “blow up the evil genius’ master lair” from the old films, which is really a cliche in itself. (plus the SFX models looked like crap!) All in all, I thought it was kick-ass and a worthy follow-up to Casino Royale. I can’t wait for part three!

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Amy Asparagus & hubby must leave Bond

    by darthliquidator

    What a brilliant concept these

    so-called “producers” have…strip Bond of anything and everything that people love about Bond, turn him into a made-in-taiwan knock-off Bourne, and spend

    150 million dollars slavishly imitating another studio’s franchise, complete with ADD editing. Wow, that’s creativity for ya……

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 1:03 p.m. CST

    by Alec.Eiffel

    In the books Spector is called SMERSH and it is specifically soviet. James Bond was very much a cold war character, and it’s amazing with this new series that they have been able to get so close to the tone of the books without having Bond be a hardened WW2 vet who hate russians underneath his suave face. One thing I wish these movies had is more of Bond eating nice meals, that, for whatever reason, is a major part of the books.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 1:05 p.m. CST

    From Turkey With Love

    by Spandau Belly

    From Russia With Love actually took place in Turkey, and once again, it was a third party group trying to play the West and the USSR against each other to kill James Bond out of personal vendetta for him killing their operative, Dr. No, in the film ‘Dr. No’ and to make a few bucks.

    As for Goldeneye “restarting the Cold War”, it actually wasn’t, it was just about a weapon designed by the Russians during the Cold War falling into the hands of once again, a rogue wingnut who was actually an ex-MI6 agent but who represented no government or country.

    I think the closest Bond has come to fighting an actual country was Die Another Day, where the bad guy was acting in North Korea’s interests.

    And what I mean to say earlier was that Rocky Balboa fought the Cold War more explicity in Rocky 4 than Bond ever did. I kinda mistyped some of those sentences.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 1:48 p.m. CST

    QUANTUM OF SOLACE sucks

    by Second Try

    Quantum of Bourne Supremacy

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 2:56 p.m. CST

    mynemaborat, three things:

    by JumpinJehosaphat

    1) “I don’t have proof that santa clause doesn’t exist either.” Don’t be an idiot. The burden of proof is on you, as you have asserted that a state of something exists, not that a state of something does not exist, i.e.: You believe Harry and company is on the take by advertisers in exchange for glowing reviews. Prove it, and don’t wuss out hiding behind hypotheticals. 2) You state, “its very hard for someone to find fault with something if their job depends on not finding such faults”. You again assert that AICN is programmed to like what is advertised and vice versa, despite years of evidence to the contrary. 3) Special olympics…. I don’t believe you’ve heard that particular internet meme. Do a GIS for “Arguing on the internet” and it’ll catch you up. Is it in poor taste? Guilty as charged. However, if you’re easily offended, I’d stay off of internet message boards.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 2:57 p.m. CST

    The cinema Bond’s relationship with the USSR.

    by Royston Lodge

    The USSR played an important role in For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, and The Living Daylights. The Living Daylights even features the only time SMERSH was ever mentioned in a Bond movie (unless I’m mistaken), when the Soviet general says it was one of Stalin’s insane projects that had been dismantled after the old dictator’s death.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Aw, fuck it :

    by PTSDPete

    NO SQUID IN WATCHMEN ! ZACH SNYDER IS A NEO-CON PUSSY !!!!!

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Vern

    by captaincosmos

    Ya know, I don’t think I’d ever look to you for in-depth film criticism, but I do always get the sense that I can gauge a flick pretty well based on your reviews — whether I think I’ll agree with you or not. But all that’s beside the point, because the entertainment value of your write ups far exceeds the analysis (and I don’t mean that in a negative way at all.) You’re a funny motherfucker, man. Keep ’em comin’.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 4:27 p.m. CST

    From Russia Cold War

    by Prossor

    in the Book the enemy was wholly the Russians with SMERSH and lesser so the Turk vs. pro-Sov Bulgars. In the movie they turned SMERSH into SPECTRE but still kept the fact of the soviet bulgars bombing shit left and right and Bond helping the turks out against them so there was still a Soviet enemy just not the main one.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 5:18 p.m. CST

    I’m with you 100% VERN!!

    by Maniaq

    anyone who’s ever played a fighting video game like, say, Street Fighter knows that you pull the camera BACK for a fight sequence and have BOTH fighters in the same frame AT THE SAME TIME!

    I’m not sure if the director is at fault, or if he should have fired his editor – I’m kinda leaning towards the latter because I know with these sort of producer-driven properties the director is often LOCKED OUT of the editing room…

    As for the Russians in the Bond stories, allow me to clear up some confusion. The very first book – Casino Royale – featured a unit of the KGB called SMERSH (Death to Spies or something like that) – WHO WERE RUSSIAN. SMERSH were the bad guys for a number of installments, including From Russia With Love. Eventually, by the time BLOFELD makes an appearance, SMERSH has disbanded – and he gathers up some ex-members (as well as some other nasties) and forms SPECTRE – one essentially turns into the other.

    Now, as far as the movies are concerned, SMERSH only gets a mention one time (as previously stated) and instead they replace SMERSH with SPECTRE for basically every movie.

    This means that in the MOVIES, he is never up against the Russians per se, whereas in the BOOKS, he is battling a specifically RUSSIAN enemy – essentially the KGB…

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Haggis

    by AdmiralNeck

    Vern, great review as always, but when saying Haggis never did his trademark move of banging a point into the ground, you forgot Mathis’ speech about forgiveness. “Forgive Vesper, and me, and I forgive you, and you should forgive Vesper again, and know that she forgave you, and also you need to forgive Dominic “Polanski” Greene and Felix and me and Vesper and that guy with the bowlcut wig and Vesper, and then YOU HAVE TO FORGIVE YOURSELF!”

    This Bond movie was brought to you by the concept, “forgiveness”.

    Liked it, didn’t love it. The biggest problem with the action scenes were that they weren’t long enough. In most Bond movies there’s at least one long setpiece, like the free running scene and the airport scene in Royale, or the tank chase in Goldeneye, or the long bit in Octopussy where Bond chases a nuke while dressed as a Russian clown. Quantum of Solace has a number of action scenes, but the longest, the Siena roof chase, still doesn’t last that long. It needed a signature action piece and didn’t have one. Disappointing.

    Still, Daniel Craig was amazing. I think I’m in the same place a lot of people are, liking it a lot and grateful that the ball hasn’t been dropped, but not blown away. Liking it a lot is good enough, though, I reckon.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Restraint at work: Seagal not mentioned

    by kabong

    till second paragraph.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 10:31 p.m. CST

    JumpinJehosaphat

    by mynemaborat

    not that i want to continue this argument or discussion or whatever because it might be headed into trolling territory, but i couldn’t resist one more comment. i don’t understand how u can say theres years to the contrary about aicn being on the take. i’d say theres years of evidence SUPPORTING this notion, all the way back to 96 and the godzilla review… just go through the endless list of terrible movies that have been given good reviews on this site. and yes i know movies are subjective but there really are some movies that are undefendable and just plain crap on all levels yet somehow harry and co like them

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 11:27 p.m. CST

    Say what you want about Bay…

    by Wes_Reviews_

    But even at Transformers shakiest, you could tell what the fuck was going on in a particular action sequence. This film’s action scenes were a waste. Why spend millions filming an action scene that nobody can decipher unless they’re pausing their DVD frame-by-frame? Because, that’s what happens when you hire a non-action director to direct a film in the king of action movie franchises. LAZY FILMMAKING.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 11:43 p.m. CST

    mynemaborat

    by AdmiralNeck

    Regrettably there’s no way to ask this without coming across like a big troll asshole, so apologies in advance, but mnborat, could you name a few from that list, and whether they were being advertised on this site at the time?

    I agree that sometimes there are some headscratcher reviews on this site, but it’s not alone in that respect. I can think of one major online critic who has a huge recurring bias in her reviews that has made me take her recommendations and critiques with a huge pinch of salt. Harry has praised some real shit in his time (Mummy 2, for example), but I suspect it’s because he’s too enthusiastic about films. I’m the same way. I’ve seen about fifty films this year and I only hated about seven of them. The rest I loved or apologised for even though they were not so great. I even found a couple of things to like about Babylon A.D., for God’s sake, and that film’s a piece of shit.

    Either that or he just has terrible taste. Which is not a crime, and can be quite endearing at times.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 11:48 p.m. CST

    Again to mynemaborat

    by AdmiralNeck

    The reason I ask about that list is not to be a dick, but because I suspect that no matter how many movies you name, there will be some here who would be willing to defend pretty much all of them, even if you think they’re terrible. Someone might even defend Mummy 2! Though I would fear for their sanity.

    One of the things I like about this site is that the reviewers will often praise a movie that is treated like a soiled diaper everywhere else. Quick examples off the top of my head: Speed Racer got its best reviews here, as did Silent Hill. I like the former much much more than the latter, but both had something to offer the viewer, especially the nerd viewer, that you can’t find elsewhere. Most critics didn’t care about that and had written them off before seeing them. Even if you disagree with the writers here, which is inevitable, it’s rare that praise for a controversial movie will be given without a strong reason for it. Some on AICN were able to name the things they liked without shame, and I’m grateful for that.

  • Nov. 15, 2008, 12:37 a.m. CST

    Quantum of a movie

    by Jawa 007

    Horribly disappointing. Vern nailed all the shittiness about it (what’s up with crappy action? We open with a car chase IN WHICH WE CAN DECIPHER NOTHING!!!! Please – watch Ronin for some tips). This was just squandered nonsense. Anger. Sorrow. Disappointment. Open letter to Martin Campbell: Come back.

  • Nov. 15, 2008, 1:54 a.m. CST

    admiralneck

    by mynemaborat

    yeah i know what your saying but honestly i couldn’t be bothered going back through the archives because obviously i can’t remember what was being advertised on the site or what freebies were given etc. i’d suggest just look from this date onwards at that sort of stuff. but yeah the ones already been mentioned, like speed racer was an all out love fest, potc3 (couldn’t stand the way he said people didn’t get it because the plot was good but complicated… it was just convoluted nonsense), lady in the water (wasn’t a love fest but still couldn’t talk bad about it and when pressured had to say he did like it and tried to defend it), star wars ep 1, the black dahlia… godzilla pretty much sums up what i’m talking about. he called it the perfect movie… and i don’t buy that backtracking he did later on after the movie came out.

  • Nov. 15, 2008, 2:52 a.m. CST

    BRAVO!!!

    by Wheel99

    Way to go Vern. The action scenes were so quickly edited that you couldn’t make out what the hell was going on in the slightest. Put this carchase against the one under the EL in the French Connection. Despite the quick pace of the editing in that scene you could still tell everything that was going on. The opening carchace and then footchase were so disorenting I found myself a bit bored at times because they were shot so incoherantly.

  • Nov. 15, 2008, 2:55 a.m. CST

    Vern I’m disappointed

    by Guy Who Got A Headache And Accidentally Saves The World

    I thought this was the worst modern action film in terms of editing yet, I literally could not tell what was going on in any of the action scenes. You got into that in your review but then you made it sound as if that was just a rant about these modern editing techniques in general and that this one actually wasn’t quite as bad as previous ones. But I thought this completely blew any Michael Bay film right out of the water in terms of incoherence. It was almost like it was a parody it was so bad. I could imagine somebody with no knowledge of Bond going in and thinking this was some kind of Naked Gun take on Bourne, just don’t ask me how they know about Naked Gun but not James Bond.

  • Nov. 15, 2008, 3:12 a.m. CST

    Horrible editing, even more terrible camera work.

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    Why did nobody mention this? The action scenes were atrocious! Fuck those shaky cam Bourne movie images to hell! What the frack happened to SteadyCam operators?

  • Nov. 15, 2008, 4:48 a.m. CST

    Wes/Guy with Headache

    by Vern

    Wes, I think we’re on the same side here about modern action, but I gotta disagree about being able to tell what’s going on in TRANSFORMERS. For me Michael Bay still takes the top prize in the confusing action category. I think this one suffers from the same symptoms, and that Bay is most responible for setting the low standards that made this one possible, but his are way harder for me to follow, and especially TRANSFORMERS. The editing and camerawork are somewhat restrained by his standards, but it broke new ground by creating the brand new problem of having characters that are confusing to look at even in still photos. It’s like he’s intentionally trying to make movies worse, he literally had to invent a new way for movies to suck that had never been done before. At least with James Bond I know which part is his head and that he is standing right side up.

    For QUANTUM I think the opening car chase and whatever the fuck was going on when they were swinging around on ropes or something would go in the Michael Bay category, the rest are more in the Greengrass/Nolan category of sometimes effective but needlessly confusing. And then every once in a while you get a nice clean move like when he flips the guy’s motorcycle.

  • Nov. 15, 2008, 9:27 a.m. CST

    An impasse, mynemaborat and admiralneck

    by JumpinJehosaphat

    Well, the only two ways to solve the quandary, “Does AICN staff positively review movies it advertises and is also the reverse true?” are: 1) Independently research from now moving forward (going back in time would admittedly be challenging at best) or 2) have AICN cough up an independently certifiable report listing it’s advertising history. Neither will happen any time soon, so we’re left with our opinions on the case. It does seem to me, however, that it’s the greater stretch in logic to assume they’re on the take than it is to assume that the business of advertising and revenue generation on this site is a separate animal from the business of reviewing and previewing movies. Maybe it boils down to if you’re the sort of person who tends to lean towards the more conspiratorial angles of any given topic.

  • Nov. 15, 2008, 2:07 p.m. CST

    i’m with you vern.

    by frankenfickle

    craig is the best bond. connery is a classic but craig is a perfect balance. and these are the best bond movies. i remember going to see casino royalle, being blown away, coming home and catching the end of “James Bond and Helle Berry Take over the World” or whatever it was called. giant airplane with a super laser flying along coming to pieces (slowly) in mid-flight. bond on the flight deck in a face off with the bad guy who is the guy with the reconstructed face and who is wearing electro-super-zap body armor and looking like robocop. halle berry goes to fight the bad guy lady in the ninja school dojo room of the giant laser airplane, and the bad guy lady is wearing a jog bra, and they get into a karate fight. while the plane is coming apart. and i thought, “holy crap, they sure made a giant leap in quality when it comes to new james bond movies.”

  • Nov. 15, 2008, 6:54 p.m. CST

    JumpinJehosaphat and mynemaborat

    by AdmiralNeck

    Plus, any commercial review site or TV programme could face charges of being biased when featuring film advertising, which is surely an untenable position that leads you to only trust the opinion of reviewers who are not funded by advertising of any kind. That’s fine up to a point, but what do you do when they praise something off the wall? You can assume it’s a quirk in their taste or merely a difference of opinion, but, as you say, I’m perfectly fine with assuming it’s the same everywhere, especially on a site fuelled by giddy enthusiasm.

    It’s totally understandable. I remember seeing an early screening of Tomorrow Never Dies (just to keep this chatter Bond-related) and being surveyed by a marketer afterwards. I still cringe to remember saying it was amazing, perhaps even better than Goldeneye. A second viewing showed me it was only sporadically entertaining (i.e. whenever Michelle Yeoh turns up) but mostly misjudged, and that I had been a huge jackass for going overboard on it.

    It was much better than Die Another Day though. That piece of shit was Brosnan’s Moonraker.

  • Nov. 15, 2008, 9:04 p.m. CST

    lol @ craig being best bond

    by Prossor

    he’s not even bond to begin with, he’s mcclane crossed with bourne.

  • Nov. 15, 2008, 11:21 p.m. CST

    haha, loved the Dolemite reference Vern

    by wash

    R.I.P. Rudy Ray Moore.

  • Nov. 15, 2008, 11:34 p.m. CST

    haha, loved the Dolemite reference Vern

    by wash

    R.I.P. Rudy Ray Moore.

  • Nov. 16, 2008, 1:09 a.m. CST

    Maybe try reading the books Prossor

    by Guy Who Got A Headache And Accidentally Saves The World

    Crack open a book before you open your god damn stupid mouth.

  • Nov. 16, 2008, 1:47 a.m. CST

    read them

    by Prossor

    i dont remember bond being an impulsive trashy hothead in those Guy Who Should Shut the Fuck Up.

  • Nov. 16, 2008, 8:25 a.m. CST

    “standing back where the camera should have been”

    by FleshMachine

    EXACTLY!!!!

  • Nov. 16, 2008, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Well done Vern (mild spoiler)

    by Mr Kite

    You are the only one on AICN who is being honest about this movie. If you read Moriarty’s and Harry’s reviews you will see what I mean. Quite simply the camera work/editing stinks and ruined what could otherwise have been enjoyable as an action flick if not a stand out bond movie. Tell me something Vern. Is Harry wearing a brand new Omega Seamaster watch? Is Moriarty using a brand new Sony laptop/phone? Their reviews are so out of touch with the popular opinion on this film that I (and others) are becoming suspicious. The vast majority of talkbackers and reviewers agree that the action scenes in this movie were very badly presented yet it is getting glowing reviews from members of AICN staff (yourself excluded). How can we trust them in the future.Coincidentally, one of the main themes of QoS is that Bond doesn’t know who he can trust. Even key MI6 staff appear to be working for Quantum and Bond has to eliminate them. Vern, eliminate Harry and Moriarty. you’ll and get your double ‘o’ license and we will hopefully get a quantum of solace…

  • Nov. 16, 2008, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Sounds like you actually watched QoS unlike…

    by hollywoodsummers

    Harry and Mori who obviously had the studios had on their cocks. Good job and good review.

  • Nov. 16, 2008, 9:08 p.m. CST

    change is good?

    by a rolling stone

    I never thought I’d love a Bond more than Connery. Then again, I never thought I’d love a Joker more than Jack, so there you go.

  • Nov. 16, 2008, 9:52 p.m. CST

    once again I regret coming in here…

    by thecheesegrommit

    Don’t waste your time typing “then don’t come in” I just wished to say this IS a great Bond film and a great movie period. The villain’s plan could have been explored more but this movie was more about a man’s quest for Vengeance/solace. I for one enjoyed the ride! As far as the “Shaky cam” argument, all I can say is it has merit, in so far as violent fights or violent car chases would look like that in real life. They are not all pretty and choreographed shiny. You can’t get your bearings. “Cold war”: I’m not sure who keeps screaming about the cold war not having to do with bond but your dead wrong Ian Fleming’s bond is a spy originally created during the cold war. The spy’s may be fighting a villain de jour but they are often working against the other spy to further their own nation’s agenda and reap the benefit over their opponents nation. Craig is the closest representation to Flemings Bond. Period! Craig is amazing. I would have loved Pierce to have had this material. I hope Craig does many more!!! Peace.

  • Nov. 29, 2008, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Vern

    by Knuckleduster

    Go watch The Kite Runner, Stranger Than Fiction and Monster’s Ball. Then come back here and apologise to the great Mister Marc Forster.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Friday, November 14th, 2008 at 5:44 am and is filed under Action, AICN, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

19 Responses to “Vern Trades Punches With James Bond In QUANTUM OF SOLACE!”

  1. We’re totally on the same page about that shaky handheld style that’s ruining action movies. However, I actually thought Forster had a handle on the style. I had no trouble following the action. I just thought he took all the air out of each scene. Not saying it’s better or worse than other styles, but for what he was trying to do, he conveyed a swiftness to the violence that made visual sense. Still, I’m sure Daniel Craig being Bond had a lot to do with why I still like this one.

  2. After that great free running chase scene in Casino Royale, it still pains me that the only I can remember about the action in Quantum of Solace was how confused I was. It was as bad as Transformers in terms of coherence. Worst Bond movie ever. I’d rather watch a View to a Kill.

  3. New Trailer:
    http://youtu.be/vgr2syY_OU4
    action looks far more coherent, possibly. I like that there seems to be this “resurrection” thing being used to re-introduce more of the classic elements of the franchise (Q, Gadgets, More Silly Looking Villains, Bond Being Really Nonchalant About Lifethreatening Situations, Obligatory Catchphrase) while keeping the increased focus on character development and serious personal stakes that the Craig films have emphasised.

  4. Excellent review, Vern. Thanks for sharing your perspective. I’m looking forward to what you have to say about “Skyfall” come November.

    Congrats on the Village Voice gig.

    Your bud,
    Tom

  5. Hey, good to hear from you, Tom! The new one looks great, I look forward to it too.

  6. With all the unanimous praise for SKYFALL I’ve been hearing some of the old QUANTUM OF SOLACE arguments again, one being that people actually thought they were watching Bond’s car go over the cliff in the beginning. Now I’ve said my piece about this movie and I don’t begrudge anyone speaking out against the style (I wish they’d sick it on BOURNE SUPREMACY instead though.)

    The comment made me think of one worthwhile point though. If you really believed Forster killed Bond in the pretitle sequence, I think you can use the process of elimination to figure out that he didn’t. I’m not saying its necessary the best style, but there is a form of respect for the viewer here. Forster can try some things with the editing and count on you to rule out Bond as the victim. It’s a little more participatory, whether it works or not.

  7. Well I made that argument because it was true, that shootout/chase sounded really exciting, but I had no idea who was where and receiving which bullets and/or crashes, and that was a terrible artistic choice for that type of scene. Luckily this is not a problem in any of the other Bond movies I’ve seen.

  8. Have you seen LIVE AND LET DIE, Vern? It’s got all the ludicrous type of things you appreciated in the THUNDERBALL review, plus it puts Bond into a blaxploitation setting and has not problem making him look totally out of his depth and get casually dismissed by the villain within seconds of meeting him.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTCZNSll3GI

  9. But is there something to a stylistic choice that asks the viewer to participate, that says “Ok, assume Bond is safe because he always is. Now make sense of the rest of the shots.” That’s at least more thought than I’ve ever heard Paul Greengrass put into defending his shaky cam.

  10. Do you really think that’s what it was supposed to be? More of a puzzle or quiz than an action scene? I’ve only seen it the one time, but it just seemed to me like an action scene that was ruined by the usual modern stylistic crutches, as inspired by the BOURNE movies. In fact, I heard the reason why it’s like that is because it was the same second unit that did those. According to IMDb, second unit director Dan Bradley did the two Greengrass BOURNEs and GREEN ZONE, but no other Bond movies.

  11. I don’t want to sound too mannish here, guys, but you did notice that there are three very different kind of cars in that scene? When the Alfa goes over the edge no shaky cam in the world can hide that its not Bond’s Aston. But you are of course right, Bradley almost ruined what would have been a really good car chase.

  12. Whether intentional or not it occurred to me as a possible interpretation. I thought QUANTUM was a good version of the modern style, showing Bond could do it to and do it right, then never has to do it again. I didn’t mean any offense by it. I don’t begrudge anybody who didn’t like it. I was just wondering if a director like Forster might have evolved it in some way.

  13. I did some more research on this and found this article:

    http://commanderbond.net/5844/a-different-approach-to-action-in-quantum-of-solace.html

    where Bradley has a quote that’s similar to what you’re saying, Fred:

    “We have to see it but if it is too easy to see then, to me, it feels staged. I don’t want the audience to have a passive viewing experience. I’ll do anything I can to subversively provoke them into active participation.”

    And here’s one that makes it clear that I won’t like most of the action he shoots:

    “One of the things I really believe is that we shouldn’t try and make everything feel perfectly staged. I’m always saying to my crew, I want to feel like we were lucky to catch a glimpse of some crazy piece of action. I don’t want it to feel like a movie, where everything is perfectly presented to the audience.”

    Incidentally, I just realized that Bradley is the director (not just 2nd unit) of the RED DAWN remake, which come to think of it I’ve heard does not, uh, feel like a movie where everything is perfectly presented to the audience. Guess I’ll wait for video on that one.

  14. Great quotes. I certainly disagree with him that it “looks staged” if you can see it. I was going for a more theoretical angle.

    Funny about the new RED DAWN, the invasion sequence is amazing, then the rest is all shaky cam.

  15. Also I’ve mentioned Franchise Fred in two interviews and a podcast now. I’m gonna make it a real thing.

  16. I almost want to see RED DAWN just to see what pretzels the plot bends itself in to try to justify a North Korean invasion and how stupid and “America, FUCK YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH” it’s going to be

    but I’ll probably wait for video too

  17. Sounds like Bradley wants to be the Salvador Dali of action

  18. I still think filmmaking should be intentional, not accidentally capturing a glimpse of the image. I like the idea of challenging the viewer, but not haphazardly.

    RED DAWN is dumb fun. Too bad, there is some good action you can’t see very well.

  19. The first time I saw this I thought it was just okay. The ultra-fast editing in the action was a bit annoying. Forsters choice to make the action crazy so we participate was probly not the best way to do it. I found my attention getting drawn to the style of the movie more than the story itself. But after seeing it again tonight I think I like it more.

    The opening car chase, for all it’s filmatism faults, is still like a jolt of electricity. And Bond’s one-liner when he opens the boot – “You can get out now”, was actually really funny, and reminded me of dialogue you would hear in a Guy Ritchie joint.

    Yeah, this is cool Vendetta Bond, cold and cruel. I don’t think Craig smiled once in this, or even smirked. It really suits him.

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