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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

iommi wrote:

One thing I think the film makers need to take on board when it comes to 23 is the inject a sense of fun back into the film.
Perhaps not back to Moonraker standards! However, Bond in this film is at times quite dark, and in my view he occasionally came too close to becoming somewhat unlikable, and this is dangerous territory for the franchise.
He needs to be fun again, he needs to be a sexist, mysogonist dinosaur again, he needs to not look so battered and bruised again, he needs to drink great wine and sleep with more women and just be Bond as we know him cinematically. That is at least, in my view.

And it's a very valid view...it's just completely diametrical to mine.

I like DC's Bond...he's a cold bastard in this movie...and who wouldn't be after watching the woman they loved betray them (so they think) and then kill themselves...while they watched...

QoS has plenty of humourous moments...and a couple of laugh-out-loud ones too...and I think they have got the balance just right on this here...

..again...this is a 'grown-up' Bond movie...just like CR was...and I'm very happy with that..

YNWA: Justice For The 96

The Joy Of 6

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

(If you haven't watched then Don't bother reading any reviews!! Just wait to make your own judgement, but be prepared for a SHOCK even if you thought Casino Royale was different.)

+
Daniel Craig - great Bond
Car chase (best ever)
Lots of action
Theme tune and titles were great
M's character & her control room
Proper Fighting
Good looking girls
Opera sequence - mostly brilliant
Circus chase scene - very good & different
Nods to previous films
Sets up nicely for the next film which...
..no doubt I will really look forward to.

-
Marc Forster
Plot (If someone can explain everything to me I'll eat my laptop)
All other characters completely undeveloped
Rapid speed/Poor editing ala Die Another Day - i.e. instantly in another continent
No gadgets
No Q
No moneypenny
No gunbarrrel at start
No 'Bond, James Bond'
No glamourous locations
Moments of cringe worthy unrealism - out of place, e.g. motorbike jump was crap, we should have seen Bond set up a ramp and nearly bail.
Gruesome pictures/thoughts/ideas not necessary.. ..just not my idea of entertainment
Location titles were crap
Film felt very amateur in places

Bond & Camille would have burnt at the end if not for the most unrealistic escape route ever..how entertaining...not

IN ONE WORD: POOR
RATING: 5/10 (generous)

Last edited by Christmas Tounes (2nd Nov 2008 00:31)

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Hmmm...I can't quite work out how your minuses exceed your plus points, but fair enough!

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Still recovering from my first viewing, here are a few random thoughts-

Unlike many Bond movies, which tend to start out well and then fall apart/lose pace/lose the plot as the story progresses, this one just gets better and better as it goes along. From about the halfway mark it's superb, and then the closing scenes top the whole thing off. I'm implying that I didn't care for the start, basically because of the editing style- it's as if Forster feels he'd be fined if a shot lasts longer than 0.5 of a second. Thankfully that style relaxes later into the movie.

Much as I love and always have loved Judi Dench and her M, the tendency to give her more and more to do continues on its merry way:

Albert R. Broccoli's EON Productions present
JUDI DENCH
as Ian Fleming's M in
QUANTUM OF SOLACE
also starring
Daniel Craig as her employee.

Perhaps slightly overstating the case I know, and it isn't really Ian Fleming's M she's playing anyway, but she's certainly this film's leading lady (without being the love interest).

Mathis and Leiter were used well, especially the latter and his ambiguity over the CIA's role, but I was sorry to see Mathis depart. Kinnear's Tanner isn't much like Kitchen's.

And put me in the camp of preferring the gunbarrel at the beginning, rather than the end.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Much is made of how close Daniel Craig is to Fleming's bond - No he's not. Fleming's Bond was always that little bit larger than life, as were the villains, the girls, the plots. Sometimes Fleming's books even bordered on SF.

The last film to have the essence of Bond was Die Another Day, which may have been flawed but at least it was James Bond.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

6/10

To be honest I was disappointed. I wanted one of these-

a) A modern, sophisticated, realistic Bond. Very like Casino Royale. More suited to my generation but without being childish.

or

b) A traditional good old Connery film but without Connery.

What I got was neither. Too silly to be smart. Too smart to be silly.

Whether it's Forster or the editor, QOS changes camera way, way too often. Appearances from Mathis and Leiter for appearances sake. However this is not too say I didn't like them.  However as has been the case recently too many villains spoil the broth. Jesper Christensen was completely underused as a brilliant Mr White who could certainly have been the main villain. I also liked Greene as a character. He seemed as if he was trying to be a Blofeld-esque character but the producers (or whoever makes these decisions) would simply not have it hence the hints (mainly eyes) and oh-so-evil look at me I'm evil did I mention I'm evil Colonel Evil Medrano. Plus I did not like the portrayal of Bond as not a white knight, but a cold-blooded killer.

A main girl who we couldn't really care for. I did prefer the secondary one who was slightly more interesting. We also had our fair share of sacrificial lambs. I wasn't huge on the plot, but the organisation Quantum storyline shows a lot of potential.

I also loved the nods to previous films. Most notably the way Fields is killed (Goldfinger). A bit of LTK (God let's not go down that road again) in the sense that to me it seems like an American cop you-killed-my-favorite-second-cousin revenge story. And the brilliant scene at the end where Bond is thoughtful (for once in the film, by choosing not to kill the man) and Vesper is avenged.

In conclusion shows a lot of promise for the next film. I got sucked in by advertising to think this was the Bond film I was waiting for. And for this I shall make a list

Damn you:
Coca-cola
QOS adverts
Bond girl perfume
Omega
and
That computer company

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Son Of Barbel wrote:

Plus I did not like the portrayal of Bond as not a white knight, but a cold-blooded killer.

But that is EXACTLY what he is. That's what he gets PAID to do. Kill people, without emotion. Only, in this film, you get emotion.

YNWA: Justice For The 96

The Joy Of 6

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Disappointing- a missed opportunity and feels inconsequential; especially coming after Casino Royale.

A lot of the action scenes weren't thought out well enough either- he just ends the car chase by shooting? The boat chase is over because he chucks an anchor? Eh? And the plane chase ends because the other guy just blows up? What? Something to do with the DC3 being able to go slower? I dunno. And you traced Le Chiffre's money to... what?... hang on; say that again? Oh nevermind.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

David Arnold keeps saying that the Bond theme is hard to use because it tells you that Bond is about to win- and he's right. But the thing is, you need that with Bond every so often- that's what makes him Bond. Moments like his escape in the hotel- we need a few more of those; Bond being cool and outsmarting the baddies whilst making us smile. That's not to say that they shouldn't keep the often tense action sequences of a post-CR Bond where it looks like he really could lose, but we need a bit of celebration of how cool he is once in a while.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

authorwriting wrote:

The last film to have the essence of Bond was Die Another Day, which may have been flawed but at least it was James Bond.

Really?  Wow.  So not my idea of Bond.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Moonraker 5 wrote:

Oh, and Bond noticably drunk?  On 6 Martinis?  C'mon, even I can hold my drink better than that.

I don't disagree with your review at all, but this bit stuck out: there is an awful lot of alchohol in those: you really wouldn't be feeling it?

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Son Of Barbel wrote:

A bit of LTK (God let's not go down that road again)

Disclaimer: I would like to point out that not all opinions are shared between father and son... ajb007/biggrin

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Ravenstone wrote:
authorwriting wrote:

The last film to have the essence of Bond was Die Another Day, which may have been flawed but at least it was James Bond.

Really?  Wow.  So not my idea of Bond.

DAD was a bit ruubish, but at least it swept you along with the idea of everything being terribly important- I just didn't really care about anyone by the end of QoS: it was just three or four people in a hotel (built out of frozen petrol, presumably) very far away having a little fight over a bit of water. In CR I really felt for Bond at the end- in this I just didn't care all that much.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

emtiem wrote:

Something to do with the DC3 being able to go slower?

I had to ask my other half about this one, because I didn't catch it.  Bond banks the DC3, forcing the smaller plane closer and closer to the cliffs. The smaller plane then pulls up to avoid being pushed into the cliffs, but pulls up too late.  So blows up.

I liked that everything was mentioned once, then moved on.  I hate it when films explain everything, then explain it again for the cheap seats, then go over it again, preferably with diagrams, for those who went out to make a cup of tea, and then just once more just in case someone coughed the last time.  Sometimes, they lay the plot on far too thick.  I felt this time was just right.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Have you ever had a medium dry martini? It's basically a glass of liquor. 6 of them and you would be on the floor.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

emtiem wrote:

DAD was a bit ruubish, but at least it swept you along with the idea of everything being terribly important-

I'm at a loss to even remember the whole point of DAD.  I liked it as a kind of 'Where's Waldo?' version of the Bond films - y'know, spotting all the references and stuff.  But I felt it was all very inconsequential fluff.  Nothing important.

I like the efficiency shown in CR and QOS.  It's less the gung-ho Boys' Own adventure type, and more a civil servant doing a job that isn't pleasant but necessary.  But then, as a civil servant, I'm bound to feel that way! ajb007/biggrin

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

double0seven7 wrote:

Have you ever had a medium dry martini? It's basically a glass of liquor. 6 of them and you would be on the floor.

It's not something I'm particularly proud of, but I can hold my liquor.  I've drunk a whole bottle of Baileys in one night on more than one occasion.  I'm no passing out, throwing up, maudlin drunk either.  I just fall asleep, but only when I get home.  On an evening out, I will usually get through around 7-8 Jack Daniels. 

Three vodka martinis is the most I've ever managed.  And that was probably one of the drunkest occasions of my life.  I may have managed one more.  So let's guestimate at 4 martinis being my limit.  Six of them would  be suicidal.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Ravenstone wrote:

It's not something I'm particularly proud of, but I can hold my liquor.  I've drunk a whole bottle of Baileys in one night on more than one occasion.  I'm no passing out, throwing up, maudlin drunk either.  I just fall asleep, but only when I get home.  On an evening out, I will usually get through around 7-8 Jack Daniels.

No Scottish blood, by any chance, Ravenstone...? ajb007/cheers

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Barbel wrote:

No Scottish blood, by any chance, Ravenstone...? ajb007/cheers

A true British mongrel, Barbel ajb007/biggrin  Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English grandparents. ajb007/cheers

45

Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Ah, that explains the drinking capacity then!

46

Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

And the - shall we say - interesting family get-togethers! ajb007/wink

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

I'll post a fuller review when I've seen it a second time. Why? Well, it was a pretty confusing, jumpy plot of immense promise but little consistency.

Initial thoughts were that the action sections were edited very poorly indeed. I spent the entire PTS wondering how it would be improved sitting 8 feet from my lovely new HD TV set and Bluray player, but regretting that the cinema experience was very poor indeed.

Unsteady cam is great when used sparingly, but in QoS you know when an action sequence is just around the corner as the camera angles change and the camera shake strikes. The PTS was particularly bad - I simply couldn't make out what was happening sitting in my usual spot, 4 rows from the front.

Be warned, on the big screen, try to get a seat close to the back.

Much has been said of the title song and I will agree that it certainly isn't the most popular of the series by a long shot. However, I like it.

The actual title sequence is dire though. Boring, terrible typography, poor editing of the audio track and substandard editing to picture.

A title sequence doesn't make or break a Bond film, so I'm willing to let this go.

Into the meat of the film and it was certainly promising early on. But for the unsteady cam action sequences, the Siena segment was strong with good performances all round. The action was good although the Palio itself was really just window dressing.

My concern is that we have another foot chase a la CR. To my mind, the CR free running chase was a classic cinema moment. Why try to replicate it? It just ended up inferior in QoS.

Now, to one of the weakest moments of the film. While I know that touchscreen technology is in use, the Q scene (for want of a better description) was far too flashy. If I wanted to see how cool computer UIs are, I'd watch an Apple or Microsoft promo video. This will seem terribly dated in just a few years.

Plot wise, there were some wild leaps in this section too ... wild leaps that I don't believe were well enough explained for the average cinema goer. In any event, the story moved on and gave Bond another unsteady cam fist fight in a Hispanic country.

Camille. Another attractive Bond girl, but I'm afraid this one came off as 2 dimensional at very best. Her back story was well hidden early on, but I would say that it was difficult for the audience to feel anything other than apathy towards her in the first half of the film given how little they fleshed out her character and then how well she was left out of the middle of the film ...

The boat chase again suffered from confusing unsteady cam, which was a great shame as it looks like it could have been superb.

I want to stop picking at QoS's negatives now and praise the Austrian opera scenes, which are really some of the best of the film. Even the action is less unsteady in Austria.

I'm afraid most of the middle of the film blurred for me. Mathis' return seemed pointless to me. A drunken transatlantic flight, a somewhat assuming interlude with taxi driver and teacher convention.

Gemma Arterton was rather wasted as Agent Fields. We now have a replacement for Thunderball's Paula as the most expendable Bond girl. What a waste.

I note that some have criticised Leiter's role, but I thought his appearance one bright spot in a fairly flat middle section of the film. In many respects, his is the most interesting story in this as he is caught between duty and loyalty to his friend.

Mathieu Amalric is great as the mad-stare villain of the piece. Trouble is that his posse of sidekicks and henchmen are completely anonymous or - worse - forgetable.

I am rather upset that they chose to prevent Mathis reappearing in future films. A mistake in my opinion. Although, Bond really should know by now that if he leaves anyone to fend for themselves, they will come to a sticky end within about 10 screen minutes.

There are too may wild leaps of plot and the whole film feels like it should have had an extra 20 minutes of scene-setting. Would that have spoiled the flow? Not in my opinion as it was fairly inconsistent at best and downright random at others. Bond films need to start with a bang, and then drop off before building up to the climax. Again, we have a film (not unlike DAD) that can't keep the pace evolving, as it bounces backwards and forwards with little thought for the enjoyment of a general cinema going audience.

Lastly before I summarise, the main climax in the (bizarrely thought out) hydrogen-cell-powered luxury hotel in the middle of a desert (one assumes that this is simply a tax loss for whoever built it) was fine. A little nauseating was the held shot on the crotch of the woman being raped by the army general, but I'll let that pass.

Explosions? Check

Bond in danger? Check

Change for Bond to rescue damsel in distress? Check

Location? Ugly as sin.

Green's comeupance was lame and the strange jump to the final scenes in Russia were far too hasty and ill thought out.


So ...

While it certainly is a worthy addition to the Bond canon, it's not one of my favourites by any stretch. Craig is good if not great and there are certain other very good performances that improve the whole.

The story showed promise, but the script is nowhere near as tight as CR. The direction seemed inconsistent and a little naive at times, but the editing was poor on all counts. Would that we had a Peter Hunt for Craig's Bonds.

6/10

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Ravenstone wrote:

And the - shall we say - interesting family get-togethers! ajb007/wink

ajb007/lol I can just picture those! (I'm a Scot through and through- basically Ayrshire/Glasgow with a dash of Skye- but am married to a German. Our family get-togethers are also interesting...)

Ahem, back on-topic. QoS isn't a contender for best-Bond-film-ever, as CR was. It's destined to polarise opinion just as LTK, perhaps its closest relative after CR, did. That film was criticised for the serious tone and portrayal of Bond, seeking revenge in a Central American location, its lack of humour and Bondian moments- can you see where I'm going with this? LTK was also a film on which Michael G. Wilson had unprecedented input- he did most of the writing with Richard Maibaum restricted by a writers' strike, and his producer role was greater with his stepfather's aging. I can't help but feel that QoS is Wilson revisiting LTK with a bigger budget, coming off the back of a big success.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

emtiem wrote:
Moonraker 5 wrote:

Oh, and Bond noticably drunk?  On 6 Martinis?  C'mon, even I can hold my drink better than that.

I don't disagree with your review at all, but this bit stuck out: there is an awful lot of alchohol in those: you really wouldn't be feeling it?

Ignoring the Kina Lillet, a Vesper has  four measures of spirits ... 6 Martinis is equivalent to 12 doubles.

Sorry, but that is a lot - even for 007.

(Interestingly though since they were flying east to west, why was it all dark in first class with no one else around? Credit crunch on Virgin Atlantic? Or just bad scriptwriting on a flight that would be in daylight throughout?)

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

emtiem wrote:

DAD was a bit ruubish, but at least it swept you along with the idea of everything being terribly important- I just didn't really care about anyone by the end of QoS: it was just three or four people in a hotel (built out of frozen petrol, presumably) very far away having a little fight over a bit of water. In CR I really felt for Bond at the end- in this I just didn't care all that much.

Wow!! ajb007/amazed ajb007/amazed  I was waiting for your review em.   Now I am really worried!!