Skyfall – A Haphazard Review

Skyfall the HaphazardStuff Review

After a four-year wait a new Bond film arrives!

Skyfall.

Typically I’ll do those long-winded Bond video reviews in my 007 series. I just ventured into what I like to call ‘The Craig Reconstruction’ with my look at Casino Royale. Eventually a more extensive look at Skyfall will be covered, but for now I’m going to take more of a brief look at it and share some of my initial reactions. Besides I don’t really feel like doing a video review of it when I’m probably going to be doing a detailed one down the road at some point.

As some of my more devoted Bond followers know I abstained from any and all Skyfall-related news. Other than the film teaser and trailer I avoided reading or talking about Skyfall at all. It’s tempting to want to read about films in production you’re really geared up to see. It can be tough, but why spoil things for yourself? I’d rather go into a movie as cold as possible and keep some surprises waiting for me.

With that said if you haven’t seen Skyfall yet (although you probably have who am I kidding) let me preference this blog saying don’t read any further. The shorthand version is that I really liked it and recommend you go check it out. It would be better if you discover any of the following SPOILERS I’m about to talk about yourself. Besides this might not make much sense if you haven’t already watched Skyfall.

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

By the way most of this was written a few hours after my first and only viewing of Skyfall in IMAX (it’s worth it). I plan on going to see it again when I get a chance.

Judi Dench as M in Skyfall
Will M’s bulldog become a desired collectible or is it
just too ugly even for hardcore fans to put on their desks?

The Story:

This is the biggest thing about Skyfall. It’s kind of unusual for the story to actually come to the forefront of a 007 film. Usually it’s the ‘tried and true’ – villain trying to take over the world and Bond having to stop him.

And that’s kind of here. There’s a villain, his objectives are some high stake targets – not exactly world domination, but again with the Craig films they attempt to present the story in a more realistic fashion.

Other than this bad guy running around who has to be stopped, there’s plenty of stuff going on here than the simple synopsis of MI6 coming under attack and M’s life being in jeopardy.

There’s this whole ‘old vs new’ theme running through the story. Maybe Bond should of “stayed dead” and admit he may have “lost the stuff”. He likes shaving with an old fashioned razor, obviously a lot of the dialogue with the young Q with the wary 007 reinforces this theme. We also have M being ordered into a forced retirement. Bond ends up taking M “back in time” that will lead to the climax of the movie.

In the recent Craig films M has assumed more of mentor/parent role than ever before with 007. Here she is targeted and it’s much more effective and more convincing than when she needed saving in The World Is Not Enough.

At one point I really thought she was going to buy it during that hearing. I do think now after Skyfall they should take a break with M for awhile. Let the character sit back at the office for awhile and not have M be a major player in the next few films. Give the character a rest and allow him/her to just dish out the missions for awhile and focus on other characters.

Bond villains have typically been presented as the darker side of 007. They usually have all the sophistication, talents and intelligence as Bond. It’s just that they’re not using their abilities for Queen and country, instead they’re just doing a bunch of bad stuff.

Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem in Skyfall
Craig and Javier Bardem

Here there is a clear drawn connection between Bond and Silva. Both agents and both sacrificed by their surrogate mother from her strategic decisions. Silva wants her to pay for what she did to him, while Bond is struggling with trusting her again.

Silva is a much more threatening former agent villain than how 006 in GoldenEye was portrayed and ultimately there’s a more interesting dynamic between Silva and Bond – just in that first meeting between them.

Is Silva the first homosexual Bond villain, or bisexual or whatever? Honestly, I don’t really care whether he is or not. But his strange actions when he has Bond captured is a surprise and I suspect he’s purposely doing it to mess with Bond’s head.

It was a relief to see Craig’s Bond face off against an actual heavy villain than just the underling lackeys he’s dealt with since his Bond debut. Bardem gives a very creepy, intimidating performance. He’s very good. I still think he looks really weird, but I guess it works for his character.

This MI6 family feud comes to a head at Bond’s family home where he lost his real parents. Here he will try to protect his surrogate mother in a Home Alone-style defense. I was almost waiting for the bad guys to trip over Bond’s little Aston Martin matchbox car collection! Actually it’s a very well done sequence with some exciting action and stunning visuals.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall
Craig taking a moment in the can

There’s definitely a lot of stuff going on here – much more than a typical Bond film  – and fans should have a field day going through the film. Recurring use of mirrors, reflections, perhaps some religious symbolism – although I think if you look close enough at anything you could probably find that.

Plus, as a Craig Bond fan I was awaiting to see if he would return to his linoleum roots and get some bathroom time in Skyfall – and he does!

If you don’t understand that bathroom reference watch MY CASINO ROYALE REVIEW

The Cinematography.

We got the indication from the trailer that the visuals in Skyfall would look impressive – and they do. Director Sam Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins no doubt took great care to have each scene pack a visual wallop and their work pays off

Skyfall 2012 cinematography
The opening shot in Skyfall

In one of my Bond reviews I talked about the replacement of the old epic exaggerated Ken Adam sets and how they have gradually faded away. Because of that particular lack of visual impressiveness the films could compensate by trying to photograph the Bond films and make them as much of a visual feast as possible. Skyfall does it thanks to the cinematography. Could we be seeing Deakins at the Oscars for his work?

Action:

All top notch. Skyfall’s pre-credits sequence is the most thrilling one I’ve seen in a long time. The shootout, the motorcycle chase, the train fight and ultimately Bond getting shot. It’s exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat – even though we all knew how it would play out thanks to the trailer.

Daniel Craig as James Bond Skyfall stunts
Craig doing the action thing

The train/crane opening will be the way which fans will refer to it, but it might be hard to find a shorthand way to refer to the rest of the action during the film.

After the action in the pre-credits the film doesn’t get to unfold on such a grand stage. Most of the action consists of shootouts, chases, explosions and fights set in smaller areas – the streets of London, the conference hall, Bond’s home in Scotland. Other than the subway train crashing, there’s nothing that reaches the spectacle as the opening train sequence.

Fortunately, the film doesn’t need it, the stakes are high during most of the scenes, you’re emotionally invested in them, they are all put together very well and are gripping. Any skepticism that Mendes wouldn’t be able to deliver the action required in a Bond film was for nothing.

One thing that I’ve found refreshing yet again with the Craig films is the lack of – or it was probably used but just not distracting – CGI. Most of the action looks to be filmed old school and while watching Skyfall no clunky CGI became an intrusion for me. Oh maybe during that opening motorcycle chase. It looked like Craig’s face was pasted on the stunt rider or something, but that was it.

The Editing:

It’s a real turnaround from Quantum of Solace, which seemed to be the first thing that audiences were conscious of – or were trying to keep up with. The rapid-paced editing in the action scenes that dizzied audiences in Bond’s previous adventure is gone. Things are slowed down and I was never lost or confused about what was going on, where the characters were in relation to each other or any of that.

fight scene in Skyfall
Bond gets into a tussle in Shanghai

In fact, in several instances Mendes locks his camera down and allows scenes to play out for us uncut. The most notable is Bardem’s introduction in the film. It was like they were thinking, ‘Ok Javier we hired you to act, so go to it’. It’s just him walking towards us, doing his opening speech with a very slow zoom. It becomes one of the most memorable introductions to the Bond villain ever.

One other instance I noticed the lack of cuts was Bonds confrontation with the assassin in the office building. It’s just their silhouettes fighting backlit by all those bright Shanghai advertising signs. It started to remind me of a classic Binder title sequence.

Skyfall starring Daniel Craig as 007
Bond in the tube being helped by Q

Characters:

Craig once again shows that he was the right choice for James Bond. As with his previous Bond films there’s more meat on the 007 bone for him to work with. Bond is broken, perhaps past his due date. He’s suspicious of M at the moment. I also found it refreshing that Bond’s hiatus from MI6 was his own decision and not an order or part of his mission – something that I suspected when seeing the trailer.

Even with all this heavy drama going on, this time around Craig tries to lighten up his 007 a bit more than in his previous two outings. He has more of a sense of humor and casual attitude especially with his scenes with Q and Eve.

As we saw in the trailer Whishaw’s Q and Craig 007 have a fun back and forth exchange sizing each other up. In the end they settle into a mutual respect for each other. Whishaw was pretty good and this take on the character manages to emerge out of Desmond Llewelyn’s shadow and the stamp he put on his interpretation of Q – something that I thought was going to be quite a feat.

Naomi Harris Ben Whishaw in Skyfall It probably helped that we haven’t seen the character of Q since John Cleese played him in 2002’s Die Another Day. So there’s been that gap of time that built up anticipation for his welcomed return and more of an open mind for a reinvention of the character. At least it was that way for me.

For hardcore Bond fans we had Harris pegged as the new Moneypenny a long time ago. They also set her character up nicely. She’s one of the most believable ‘action Bond Girls’ the series has had. Eve comes off much more convincing than Jinx, who I never believed for a second was this tough agent.

Harris’ Eve is living with having made some tough decisions that will shape where her character goes. Bond and her have some fun verbal sparring and the film establishes an engaging relationship between the two of these characters that we get to see the genesis of. It should be fun to watch it play out in the future – even if it will be in the short traditional Moneypenny scenes.

But I don’t understand how could Bond be working with this chick and never know her name all that time? I understand it’s a payoff for the end of the movie when she reveals her name, but really no introduction ever before that?

Berenice Marlohe’s Severin – we all knew she was going to cash in her chips and not make it to the closing credits. She looked really, really good. Could she possibly be the best looking Bond girl that Craig has had……I have to think about that. She really wasn’t in the film as much as I was expecting though.

I did enjoy her death scene, the whole twisted William Tell thing around that strange statue ruin. It also allowed a subtle Bond anniversary reference in there.

Berenice Marlohe Daniel Craig in Skyfall
Learning more about Severin

However, my favorite scene with Severin was when Bond uses his ability to read people that we learned he has from Casino Royale and breaks down her character at the bar. Both of the actors were very good with Craig dissecting her and Marlohe reacting. This exchange turns her from being this hot mysterious lady to a sad hot lady. It was all very cool.

I wonder if this will be Marlohe’s career peak. Will we be seeing her again in any major film productions?

Lastly Judi Dench is great. I think it might be her best performance as M. Should we consider her the Bond Girl in Skyfall? Moneypenny I never really thought of as ‘Bond Girl’. Severin is the sacrificial lamb. M is really the leading lady in this.

It would be kind of boring if I just made this a Skyfall love-fest. There were a couple of things that I didn’t care for or felt confused by like:

What happened to the compter drive? It’s the thing that kicks the movie off. Bond has to get this drive back with all the agent identities on it and it just disappears halfway through the film. When Silva gets captured on his island was Bond able to retrieve it there? During M’s hearing did they refer to it saying they had it back? Did I miss something there?

James Bond Silva Skyfall 2012
Silva caged – now everything is ok right?

Silva wants himself to get captured. This was something that didn’t surprise me at all. This bad guy wanting to get captured twist has been used in two huge films in recent years. So after seeing Loki and the Joker do the same thing this curveball was somewhat lost on me.

Note to good guys: It doesn’t really pay to capture bad guys nowadays. Today they want you to catch them.

Silva’s capture was especially weird because, well with Loki and the Joker I understood why they wanted to be caught and how it helped further their plans. I didn’t understand why Silva wanted to be caught.

I’m not sure what the point was. Was it just to confront M and show her what happened to his choppers? Was that his goal of going through all that? The best answer I came up with was by allowing himself to be captured M will go to her hearing feeling safer. Silva escapes bringing MI6 down who are now unable to warn her making her easy prey for him to kill. I guess that’s it.

Daniel Craig Judi Dench in Skyfall 2012
The Aston Martin, Craig and Dench in Scotland

I didn’t think the musical score was anything special. I like Adele’s theme song, but nothing stood out to me from the actual score. Sitting here thinking about it I can’t really remember any of it, other than the Bond theme.

The big thing that I really didn’t like was how the Aston Martin was used. We all knew it was going to make an appearance. When Craig goes to the garage and pulls it out it was fun to see and it made sense that it was being used in the film. It didn’t feel like a forced fiftieth anniversary reference for the fans.

But then we find out it’s the souped up version of the car with the ejector seat and machine guns under the headlights and all that. That’s when it lost me. I was expecting it to just be the Aston Bond won off of Dimitrios in Casino Royale. That would make sense in the context of Craig’s Bond films. He still kept it after all this time and its just been sitting in storage.

action scenes in Skyfall
Home invasion

But why does it have the gadgets to it? Is this from back when they used to give double-0’s tricked out cars and Bond just happened to grab one at an employee auction or something? Was this specifically given to Bond on an earlier mission or was this his own Aston and they decided to give him some spy add-ons to it?

Q just told him they don’t do the shiny gadget things anymore, so what is this about? I know Skyfall isn’t meant to be a sequel of any kind, but this just felt like a jump in any kind of continuity with the recent films and felt out of place for Craig’s Bond for the sake of some fan service.

It’s inclusion especially seemed awkward during the makeshift home defense climax with all these trip wires and traps Bond uses in his house to fight the bad guys, meanwhile machine guns pop out of the Aston. I liked when Silva blew it up, Craig looked pissed and the Bond theme kicked in, but I could have done without it being the gadget version of the car.

Maybe I’m just being too nitpicky with its inclusion and it’s just me.

Daniel Craig in tuxedo in Skyfall
Craig in the Shanghai casino

For a nearly two and half hour movie it moves like a bullet. As with most Bond films you have to suspend some disbelief to enjoy it. I never got antsy or impatient with any of it. The overall pacing of the movie is very well done. It keeps up the momentum and it didn’t really slow down for me to worry about any plot holes while watching it. I’ll be curious what if anything they ended up cutting out of the film.

So yeah, I really liked it. It delivered on cool Bond action, was a more character-driven story, had some rich relationships that played out and introduced some tantalizing characters, along with keeping some of the elements from the traditional Bond Blueprint. I’m looking forward to watching it again.

It’s a relief to hear that Craig signed on for two more Bond films. It would be a shame with Skyfall’s open ending in place that we couldn’t expect it to be a jumping off point for another Craig Bond adventure.

And should we start referring to Craig’s gunbarrel shot as the ‘closing gun barrel’ from now on?

My James Bond poster collection
My Craig Bond Movie Poster Collection

 

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34 Responses

  1. Kieran says:

    I PERSONALLY think it's one of the best bonds since Goldeneye myself

  2. Anonymous says:

    HS, I look forward to your full Quantum and Skyfall reviews, but I think we have 2 very different definitions of the word brief.

  3. BlogDude says:

    I really enjoyed the movie as well. Daniel Craig has really made Bond his own and he seems perfect for the part. However, I don't think I will ever warm up to him as Bond. He is really a badass and not only can he kick-ass but he looks like he can kick your ass which hasn't really been the style for the previous Bonds. The Bonds of the past maintain that style of being a gentleman that when they have to, they can kick ass but they don't look like it. Craig certainly looks like it. But, I guess times have changed and so must James Bond 007. I really look forward to seeing this movie again, however! Great film and nice to finally see a new Bond on the big screen after four years!

    • i disagree with the assertion of all previous bonds being suave and not intimidating. Sean Connery was definitely big, just a lot of boyish charm and if you look at him closely in Goldfinger in his swimming trunks, you'll definitely appreciate his build. well, Pierce and Timothy dalton probably didnt look the part, but i think Brosnan seemed to just have the stroke of luck whenever he had a one on one close shave with death…as you'd probably recall Mr Stamper almost putting him out of his misery in Tomorrow never dies…he was just lucky there

  4. BlogDude says:

    Since the office is back to the way it was during the Connery through Dalton era, is MI6 no longer located in the Vauxall Cross building but rather back in the Old War Office Building in Westminster, London? I was just a bit confused about that. Seeing Moneypenny's office, I figured it could have been the same office as used by Samantha Bond at MI6, but M's office had that look of the past and it gave me a pause as to what building they were going to use.

    • CS says:

      I think they are back at the Old War Office Building.
      Great review HS. I agree with most of your observations apart from some: The Aston Martin, yeah having the Goldfinger gadgets on it did feel fan servicey but I still liked it. Bond's been gone awhile so I'd imagine that while he was MIA Q Branch changed a bit. He didn't even know the new Quartermaster and from a dialogue it appears that Bond is a little behind as Q says, "Were you expecting an exploding pen? We don't do that stuff anymore."
      There's a couple ways I look at the inclusions on the gadgets in the DBS. 1) this is the same DBS from CR that Bond brought over to the UK and had it converted to a right-side drive and had Q install a few gadgets for personal protection. 2) Q Branch was getting rid of its old gadgets from the Cold War era and Bond wanted the DBS for himself.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Silva wants to be captured so that he can see M one last time; he's insane and utterly obsessed with her. I think his whole Underground plan was the necessary escape route resulting from capture; otherwise he would have been incarcerated all these years and unable to wreak vengeance upon her.
    So despite the similarity with the Joker's plan, I think Silva's plan extends to 'torture M mentally (by exposing agents), get captured by whoever M sends after me (to get an audience with M), escape and kill M'. That's it. Everything else that happens is just his method of executing the plan.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Also, I agree entirely with you on the Aston Martin! Total continuity muck-up.

    Writers Purvis and Wade recently said in a podcast that they wrote it as the same car he won in Casino Royale, but Sam Mendes insisted on changing it to the Goldfinger car. So blame the director!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Silva did not intend to be kidnapped. His escape scenario was created from his knowing what they'd do with him when he worked with MI6. Going after M after he broke out was improvised. Also I do feel like a scene is missing because it was a bit strange but I think we are supposed to assume MI6 recovered the harddrive at Silva's hideout when they caught him. Silva just made no attempt to get it back after because it really meant nothing to him but a way of tormenting M.

  8. EKalez says:

    I certaintly think it's one of the best films in the series. I'd place it on my Top 5. It's that good.

    Nice review. I'll be looking forward to your future Quantum of Solace and Skyfall reviews.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think ever since Royale they have been slowly changing their definition of reboot. Compare to the batman reboot of Nolans and you get things in the bond series that normal reboots dont have. The Bond series keeps the Bond theme, gunbarrel, logo, the taglines, the trippy opening titles, the martinis, the choice of cars and suits…. They even package the films together in the new blu-ray sets and list the unnamed Bonds Bond 24 and 25 all of these are things other reboots do not do. It really is just them going back to the begining and I think more and more we are seeing them trying to intergrate Craig and his style to the old series more comfortably. People say Craigs gritty version is too different from other installments but considering how vastly different them films got from Connery to Moore and then becoming different again with Dalton, I think Craigs Bond isnt really that much of a leap by comparrison. They even brought M's red leather door back…. It's all the same Bond…

  10. Great write-up Haphazard! I always enjoy your thoughts on the Bond franchise!

    I personally really liked Skyfall. It doesn't reach the perfect bad-assery of Casino Royale but it's up there. The cinematography is the best in the series in my opinion and perhaps the best shot movie of the year! (What else can you expect from Roger Deakins)

    I think the Shanghai tower sequence was my favorite scene, mostly because i've never seen anything like it! The one-take silhouette fight reminded me of the Casino Royale title sequence but oh so much cooler because it was actually done for real!

    I'm glad Skyfall turned out this good, especially after Quantum of Solace nearly broke my heart… Looking forward to your review on that!

  11. It's a very good Bond movie, but I thought Quantum of Solace was a lot better, it had a lot more depth to it, better characters and a believable plot about Bond's inner demons. The things I disliked about Skyfall was the DB5 and the whole last act, I mean, did we really want to see Bond's childhood home? And the shootout wasn't nearly as entertaining as the pre-title sequence, it was actually a little boring. I also didn't like that Silva planned his own capture, not very Bond-like. That said I thought the first part, up to the point where Severin dies, was perfect, and I liked all performances.
    I can't wait for your video reviews of Quantum of Solace and Skyfall. Especially Quantum of Solace, since that is my second favorite Bond movie.

  12. AndyTGD says:

    First, to what Anonymous said, I really think it is implied that Silva intended to be captured. There were thugs waiting to hand him his police costume. The tube tunnel had been wired to blow and he seemed to be keeping to a schedule. (Another thing that puzzles me-why the tube explosion? Great scene, just not sure what point it served).

    Regarding the DB5, I did think its inclusion was a tad forced. There really is no logic to it being there. It can't even really be said to be the car from Casino Royals since it appears to be right hand drive too. Having said that' Bond in the novels is known to be a bit of a tinkerer when it comes to his personal cars. He has had numerous cars modified at his own expense, including his many Bentleys and the much later SAAB from the 80s. The SAAB even had some weapons fitted. So I could see this idea working perhaps. Without the ejector seat of course.

    • The tube explosion i think was to prove to Bond, how much planning he (silvia) had put into his intention to kill M and that he would stop at nothing to get this done, this guy evacuated a whole island, the tube was probably plan A as far as I'm concerned, and with a bit of sarcasm, when he gave that radio line back to bond

  13. Anonymous says:

    Great review. I'm glad you followed through on your decision to whether or not you would hang up the Skyfall poster you had mentioned in one of your earlier videos.

  14. John Curcio says:

    A well written review as always Haphazzard, but I was curious as to your feelings on the new M in Gareth Mallory, as played by the impeccable Ralph Fiennes? I think his "save the cat" moment at the hearing, what with saving M's life and joining the firefight to help Bond solidified him as a terrific successor to Judi Dench.

  15. Well, i like haphazard a lot, and i really liked Skyfall, i have been looking forward to the movie for quite a while, its great the way they did something else from continuing the Quantum of Solace story…i guess the next movie might probably do that. its my 2nd best movie after Dark Knight rises, 3rd is John Carter. Em, i really liked Bardem's portrayal of Silvia and i agree its cooler than Sean Bean's portrayal in Golden eye, but that was good as well.i also liked him in No country for old men, so when i learnt he was playing villain, it really got my ticker going.The cast was generally quite good, great storyline and a justified intent to save the world, unlike the last movie, sorry.
    Nice to hear Craig will be doing 2 more films, hopefully they should be soon, please. There's so much to say, really, maybe i should just stick to replying comments from others.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I also found Skyfall to be really great. The characters, the action, cinematography, it all worked well. I will say though that I thought when Bond and M went to Skyfall, the film felt a bit off. I mean the battle at Bond's home was fun but as the climax for a Bond film, it felt like it was missing something. Plus I found the way Bond finally killed Silvia was way too simplistic and rushed. Still great film for all the reasons you pointed out 😉

  17. Andrew Morris says:

    Nice review Hap, I liked the fact Bond was not acting officially at the end, he was involved in a personal vendetta , had little in the way of gadgets (a palm print gun, some explosives), had to rely on friends. Oops wrong movie that was License To Kill!!

    Yep enjoyed this, I like seeing the Aston again and assumed Bond got it converted himself or acquired it from Q's storage facility. The drive was not important after it was stolen as no doubt multiple copies had been made in minutes after Silva got it and started posting it online (probably stored in various sites Mediafire etc). Once Silva got it and got past the encryption the genie was out of the bottle or maybe I missed something?

    Overall a good Bond movie , much better than QOS on a similar par to CR.

  18. Andrew Morris says:

    The only downsides of the movie for me where the lack of a really good soundtrack to enhance the action. A more powerful end to Silva's life perhaps may have detracted from M's death but I would of liked Bond to have stabbed him from behind through the heart . Perhaps Silva (after being stabbed )and Bond choking the life out of each other or perhaps M being able to pick up Silva's gun and 'take the bloody shot'. Just a few ideas for the end.

  19. Marshalsify says:

    Loved Daniel Craig as 007, but both Quantum of Solace and Skyfall ruined him and shame on those dumb critics are who too impatient to appreciate QoS for not spoon feeding them everything & praising sky-fall because of poorly scattered symbolism and metaphors to make them feel clever, Well done to the dreadful Sam Mendes and Co, it takes a certain amount of talent or the lack of it to single handedly destroy Bond. The hero in this movie was the final credits, the real baddie in this movie was the man behind the camera.

  20. Anonymous says:

    When Sam Mendes was announced as the director of Skyfall I was not at all happy, not only ever he does dramas but he'll be crap at action to direct after he already saw the disappointment of Quantum of Solace in theatres abs why do people think this is the best Bond movie ever will it's because the real fact Skyfall is totally ridiculous at its worst and a poor performance from Daniel Craig himself and the supporting cast were weak at its best for bad acting!

  21. jimmy B. says:

    You see, nothing to worry about. Like I thought Mendes would do Bond justice by being subtle and giving it class. So, pretty much Skyfall uses the same ideas from "The World is Not Enough" and "Die another Day". Only this time it work. I love how they brought back Maurice Binder title troupes back like the flying, jump women. Felt old school. There are some weakness with parts of the film. That whole M sending your when your not ready, was very weak. I don't get how in Bond trials show’s him break down at the shooting range, then FOOLS himself into thinking, I'm ready. Seems that was more of a Brosnan thing. Also, some of the jokes you could see coming miles away. The whole it's a radio was not that "OH, WOW.HA.HA" monument. What's funny to me is the whole setup to Skyfall plan sounds great, but I'm wish Bond could have brought some more 00's to the place to even up the odds. Having a old man and 77 year old woman and only one fit agent against great odds was weak. Bond could have ask some 00's that are loyal to M to join him at Skyfall just to see a team of 00's at work. That something we have never seen in the series. I don't understand the whole it's like "Home Alone" criticism at the end. I see A LOT of action movies like Steven Seagal where he sets up traps for the bad guys in buildings. But I'm tried of seeing this cliche of the Hero's thing get destroyed by the bad guy that means so much to him or her. I seen the extract same thing in Fast 5 where The Rock destroys Vin Diesel muscle car. A great thing about Skyfall is how the action was film. They didn't use the whole shaking cam and adding effects to keep the action visual. In a podcast Sam did for Apple.com he said who he wanted to film action back like it was in the 80's and 70's. Even the movie Looper, director said he follow the templete from "Radiers of the lost Ark", then any of the modern action films of today. Here's a link to the podcast director Sam Mendes talk about film Skyfall and the action.
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sam-mendes-meet-the-filmmaker/id301899522?i=123471467
    Notice something funny about Craig Bond is the woman he falls in love with end up dead. Trend? Some compare it to the Nolan effect where none of the women seem to survival at the end in his movies. The ending felt like I was kid again with the return of the old office, the door, made me feel nostalgic. Which is strange since I recently saw some of the old Bond movies back on the big screen. Well, Skyfall is over and already crazy rumors for the next Bond are going into hyperdrive. Nolan or Hooper as directors. They got rid of the two writers which is about time. Villains are being cast mostly from fanboys dream list. It's almost like 007 is getting a renaissance. Maybe a Black James Bond. I also was disappointed by the score. I really thought T. Newman could pull a John Barry, but didn't. It's not bad, just subtel. I hope they get Michael Giacchino next. If you listen to the score of The Incredibles it's the most John Barry Bond score ever. I’m playing 007 Legends the video game. Not a great game unfortunately. But one thing I notice. They got the character of Blofeld back. So, could the Bond producers use Blofeld in later movies. Also, I been getting mad with the nerd press and podcasts that review the movie. They all like the movie ,but none them knows about Bond history. They talk about whole spy films grene is dead. That Bond without foreign superpowers is dated. It's all about spying on middle terrorist. Funny cause I don't hear this complaint about the Bourne series. They really didn't understand how the series repeated itself before. Also, no love for any of the older Bonds. I guess most of these nerds reviewers are too young and find any older movie not made in the CG age boring. Just a sign of time. One thing I wish that they do is watch your series, just so they get and idea about Bond history. Cheers

  22. chesterjim227 says:

    I did enjoy your “brief” review of Skyfall. You hit on all the points of interest and gave a little insight into why they had Sean’s Aston Martin. It was a cool little thing that I’m sure the casual fans loved and the hard core pissed and moaned about due to continuity issues. I just giggled and moved on. The thing I found most interesting is that you could adjust the timeline and make all the other Bond movies adventures that happened after this. (Kind of neat.) I guess that is the reason for that 007 Legends game where Craig is Bond in a bunch of classic Bond adventures.
    All in all I enjoyed this movie but there are some that are going a little crazy with this best ever business. It’s a great installment into the series I can’t wait for his next two. Man I’m so happy Bond is back and bad ass.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Just wanted to post a big "Thank you!" from Germany. I love your video reviews on the Bond series and I'm looking forward to QOS and SF. Do you have a timetable for those?
    Great job, mate! Cheers

  24. Anonymous says:

    I just came from seeing Skyfall. James Bond has been a part of my "movie life" for a very, very long time. Probably a lot longer than you (no offense – I am just older).

    Anyway, I must sadly report that I was underwhelmed, to say the least. After so much positive buzz surrounding this film, I was expecting much more. I understand that one goes into the theater to see Bond (I saw Thunderball in a movie theater as a kid) prepared to suspend disbelief to a certain degree. But the plot and structure of Skyfall (along with dialogue) was just awful.

    I really felt like I was watching parts of other movies. It's been written before, but much of this film was recycled Goldeneye and The Dark Knight.

    I am going to come back at some point and write more.

    I do like your site and have enjoyed watching your reviews.

    Best,

    Jack

  25. Anonymous says:

    There were a lot of references to previous Bond films in this movie. Did you notice at the end when M dies Bond is holding her exactly like he held his wife in On her Majesty's Secret Service when she was murdered? At least that's how I remembered it.

  26. Hyojoo Song says:

    Are you going to do a video review of quantum and skyfall anytime soon?
    Looking forward to seeing that alot.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Is it me or did Bond hold M at the end of the movie like he held his dead wife at the end of On Her Majesty's Secret Service? As a type of homage is what I was thinking. But I could just be seeing things.

  28. Mark Hazzard says:

    HS, thanks again for an elaborate review. No need to excuse yourself about not being brief, this is how it should be done.

    Personally I felt you've nailed it with the part about Thomas Newman's contribution to the film. However Adele's song gave me goosebumps and I would've been great if its theme would have recurred more often during the soundtrack. But that's probably due to the fact that it was recorded only months before post-production was finished. Alas Newman barely had time to include the Skyfall theme. Whenever he did, the track when Bond arrives at the Macau casino, it was pure magic but that was mainly a contribution by Adele and her songwriter IMO.

    Newman's take on the Bond theme was rather disappointing. Sometimes composers other than the regulars, being Barry and Arnold, they bring something new to the table. Especially Karmen's score from Licence to Kill stands out for me. Unfortunately this time it was a straight copy from Arnold composition for the Craig era.

    Storywise I'm afraid I can't agree with you. Mastermind Silva is able to blow up MI6 using mere hacking and the building's gas-infrastructure, but escapes, knows exactly where M is and hastily tries to shoot her? Moreover, he misses after proving to be an excellent shot with poor Severine.

    Also Bond's attitude during Silva's chase bothered me. Especially after the 07/07 tragedy I felt that Craig's Bond could have been more aggressive in the chase. At least it seemed to me that Connery and Brosnan would have shouted everybody to get down and reach for their gun once they got on the tube. Craig's quip about 'Health and Safety. Carry on.' felt a bit forced like Dalton's were, but that's a minor detail.

    The DB5 being loaded with the classic gadgetry gave me mixed feelings. I welcomed the return of some believable gadgets, always love the DB5, but disliked the continuity mess-up, got over the mess-up quickly, only to get my heart broken to see it was finally destroyed.

    Then there's the Home-Alone issue… Sure, make Bond realistic again. But then don't just rely on the low-tech and let trained terrorists loose the guerilla-fight just because of a few booby-traps. Once again whereas the first half of the film and plot had a lot of potential, the finished storyline was disappointing as it has been since TWINE with the exception of CR.

    On last thing about the film's themes. Plot twists involving 'betrayal' are becoming far too common. Elektra, Miranda Frost, Vesper (although justified due to the origin story), Mitchell and the CIA in QoS. It seems to happen in every Bond nowadays, making it hardly a surprise that Silva was an ex-00. Get some folks from the bloody outside already. It makes MI6 hardly look like an actual 'intelligence' service. One might as well ask Mr. Bean to do the background checks.

    Finally Bond's background story. I thought it was far too emotional and sentimental. Besides Bond's parents died during a climbing accident, him growing up to be having a lack of authority, dropping out of Eton and so on only to become the somewhat blunt instrument we got to know. Nothing rubbish like an attack on his parent's house, losing them and hiding in a basement only to get out after a few days being 'a boy no more'. Although I really appreciate Craig work of giving the character more depth, I do not think this is the way to go. I'd prefer Craig colder performance in CR and really hope to see that back at some point.

    I realise I got carried away a little. Beg you pardon. Apparently we do share the same definition of 'brief'. Thinking about Skyfall really unleashes a few demons inside of me.

    Keep up the good work and I look forward to your review of the new Fleming mini-series.

    Cheers

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