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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Christmas Tounes wrote:

Heres some thoughts from another forum I go on, which has nothing to do whith Bond or films...

'Anybody else find it mega confusing?

Nope.  Seemed pretty straightforward to me.  I just didn't get how the planes crashed, but then I don't fly.

What was with the ending? ? ? ?'

Don't understand the question

There's plenty of humour in it.  There are quips.  As for gadgets - well, the 'phone is pretty nifty.  So is M's wall and desk.  I'm really not getting the reasons behind some of this criticism. 

Now, maybe if Bond was more Baritone than Tenor....;)

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Barbel wrote:

Does anyone understand the reference to "Rene Mathis" being a code name? It certainly isn't acording to Fleming, but it seemed to have significance to Bond when Mathis dies.

I think it's meant to be a joke.  Bond asks if it's his code name; Mathis says it is, and Bond says it's not a very good one.  Because they obviously blew his cover.  So his cover wasn't very good, hence not a good code name.  That may be a bit simplistic, but that was my interpretation.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Ravenstone wrote:

Now, maybe if Bond was more Baritone than Tenor....;)

ajb007/lol I've always considered him a baritone, myself. Bass-baritone not impossible, tenor or higher out of the question, bass unlikely. (I do realise it wasn't meant totally musically, but couldn't resist)

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

The Voice wrote:

MI6 operatives DO NOT wake up in the morning clean shaven and wearing a Tux !
The Voice

Yes, but James Bond 'does'!

It's supposed to be a Bond movie, not an MI6 documentary.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Barbel wrote:

ajb007/lol I've always considered him a baritone, myself. Bass-baritone not impossible, tenor or higher out of the question, bass unlikely. (I do realise it wasn't meant totally musically, but couldn't resist)

Bass-baritone, I could go along with.  But I could also go for high baritone.  I've always had a weakness for baritone to tenors ajb007/wink

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

I haven't been on AJB in aaaages! But after seeing Quantum I wanted to come back and talk about it!

I went into the cinema with massive cynicism, after being severely disapointed with Casino Royale (that's another issue though).

I'm not good at writing reviews, so I'll just come out and say it, I thought it was awesome! Such a relief after CR and DAD (sorry, I didn't like either of those 2)!

Well paced, lots of action/excitement, some good Bond-style humour ("Can I offer an opinion" / the axe in the foot!).

My only criticisms are why did the place names come up in big fancy letters each time? It was as if they were saying "look at all the exotic locations"... And he didn't get with the girl at the end... which is kind of important in Bond films! And I found the plot and all the characters slightly confusing at times!

ajb007/bond ajb007/bond ajb007/bond ajb007/bond
4/5 James Bond smileys!

Last edited by Jedi Master (3rd Nov 2008 10:34)

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice and everyone dies.

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Ok, first things first, I saw the film on opening night but have held off on leaving a review on here. I wanted to distance myself from the first couple of silly reviews on here and take the film in a little, before jumping onto here and splurging a load of crap out, for example, "Bond noticeably drunk on 6 drinks" ra ra ra - To the person who wrote this, You're a Complete clown.

MOVING ON.

I've decided I’ll go and watch it again this week. Its one of those movies that you pick so little up first time around, that I imagine on the third/fourth time of watching you will appreciate little things that were originally missed.

There are a number of reasons for this. As has already been stated, it’s a film that doesn’t feel the need to explain itself more then once. It expects the audience will pick up on what’s been said and understand it - it’s not patronizing, and this is, in my eyes, a great compliment to the viewer.

Daniel Craig is marvellous. With what he is given he is easily in my top two Bonds of all time. There are moments of beautifully delivered dryness, an immaturity of a man yet to learn his trade, who is clearly still acting upon feelings felt in Casino Royal – hence the bloodshed. He delivers his lines with an honesty and subtlety of an actor at the top of his game but also someone who you know has spent the time to study Ian Flemings creation from the original novels – I love him as Bond and long may it continue.

I will fight (verbally of course!) with anyone who suggests the opening scene is “confusing” and a “let down”. It picks up straight after Bond has captured White, and makes perfect sense that his contacts of ‘Quantum’ are attempting to rescue him. The scene admittedly is very quick-moving, and I get the feeling it’ll be easier to appreciate on a further viewing.

Another reason the film seems to have received mixed reviews is because it’s attempted to distance itself from the old ‘clichés’ of a Bond film. Leaving out the line “Bond, James Bond” and not using the Bond theme (even though it was noticeable at various points on the Bass line of the score) was not an issue for me. I’ll have to admit by being a little confused with the gun barrel sequence being used at the end – it didn’t fit very well and DID look like it was thrown in there as if they’d forgotten. However, such a small detail didn’t stop the enjoyment of the film, and therefore can be considered largely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

Other points to pick up on are as follows –

•    I didn’t have an issue following the story, I suggest those who were confused by it either need to pay more attention or watch it again rather than slag it off as it didn’t feel the need to explain everything twice
•    The music/soundtrack was fine. I’m not a fan of Jack Whites theme tune but it fitted nicely and the opening credits were clever and (in my opinion) quite cool. Criticising a film because you didn’t like the ‘artwork’ whilst the theme tune played is a pretty flimsy argument!
•    The Bond girls played their characters well. I’m not bothered that Bond didn’t go around sleeping with everyone left right and centre. It would have betrayed his feeling towards Vesper and as we don’t find out that she didn’t actually love him until right at the end, this was the correct approach.
•    The next film has the potential to be awesome. It seems they have left just the right balance between suspense and knowledge for the next instalment. No one knows which way it will turn, but we have learnt a lot about Bond in this film and now it seems he is the ‘real-deal’ by the end of this.
•    The wit was there; look more carefully if you missed it. “James, she has handcuffs” – “Lets hope so”
•    Greene was a sleazy, slimy bad guy. He put in a good performance. I spose my one gripe was that we didn’t actually see Bond Kill him – although effectively he did. There’s something about the main bad guy being killed off screen that’s always riled me!

Anyway, those are a few of my thoughts. I’m sure some will agree, some will disagree. I know one thing for sure – I can’t wait for the next Bond already! 8/10 for me (I’d give CR 9/10), and I’m sure that’ll improve after I’ve seen it a few more times.

(I’ve just typed this out, I won’t re read it as I don’t want to edit it – these were thoughts that entered my head as I typed so I apologise in advance if it was a hard read!)
ajb007/cheers

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Saw it on Friday. In a word....brilliant!!!

I kept finding myself getting more and more angry as the film unfolded, not at the film itself, but all those bloody critics who were slagging this film off. Kermode and Rye in particular sprung to mind, when certain scenes cropped up I was thinking `b...b...but this was supposed to be crap! This wasn't supposed to make me feel an adrenalin rush, gripped on the edge of my seat. What went wrong?

It is a definite departure from the Bond series as we know, yet still strangely familiar at the same time. One of my mates thought it was better than CR, but didn't feel like a Bond film, another of my mates said this was more like a Bond film than CR....you can see why this is dividing the critics. I've never know a film to be able to divide audiences so much. For that, QOS is unique, not just for a Bond film, but for a film in general.

There was so much to take in, I need to see it again....ASAP! I thought the humour level was just right...the same amount that was used in CR (Dench had all the best lines for this). Although the action content was more than CR, there was still plenty of story and depth to the other scenes. In fact, the middle third has hardly any action at all, making me baffled as to why critics have stated otherwise.

Loved Dominic Greene, superbly slimy, and a much better villain than Le Chiffre. Likewise I thought the Bond girls were better in this than CR. And as for Craig himself?

It is official. He is now my favourite Bond. He has beaten Connery this time with this performance. Cold, ruthless, efficient, yet deep, brutal killing machine. He is much better in this than CR (if that is at all possible). Fleming's Bond is finally with us in the cinematic incarnation (it only took 40-odd years for him to fully arrive). Watching Craig's Bond, I started to get a real sense of character, of who he is.

There was so much to love about this film...the opening Aston chase (Bullitt on steroids is a very fitting description), the 70's retro title sequence, hell even White's song sounded good, the boat chase, the location captions, the plane scene, loved the fight in the apartment, the opera house scene, the way it was shot, the nods to retro John Barry (circa 1971) from Arnold's score, the battle with Greene at the end, the scene with Mathis and Bond on the plane, (with a unique insight into Bond being morose and drunk, reminding me very much of Fleming) and thought the very last scene to conclude the film was just superb!!

And it's not all just action. The subtler moments work best in this film. Bond cradling a dying Mathis (did Bond use him, or does he care about him) - the fact we are thinking about it, analysing it while watching means Forster has done a brillaint job here. It's an action film with real depth, something I'm suprised many of the critics haven't picked up on.

This is the film that has rebooted Bond, not CR, which now almost appears like a fairly normal, standard, run-of-the-mill Bond film in comparison to the shock departure that is QOS. The film unfolds like a Fleming novel. Action happens suddenly, without warning, just like the books.

I'm so blown away by what I've seen, I have to see it again just to make sure..... 

Probably better than CR (but I'll confirm this on 2nd viewing)....9/10

Last edited by glidrose (3rd Nov 2008 12:46)

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glidrose wrote:

...the nods to retro John Barry (circa 1971) from Arnold's score

My sentiments exactly. Works for me!

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Moonraker 5 wrote:

First of all, can I just say that I was one of those doubters back when Casino Royale was in pre-production.  I feared the reboot, I was skeptical of Craig, I shuddered at all the talk of it being stripped of all Bondian elements.  Boy, was I proved very, very, very wrong. Casino Royale blew me away.  Craig was nothing short of brilliant.  It was classy, exotic, had the women, the cars, a luscious Bond-lilted score, a creepy villian, a few dry one liners, a gun barrel (of sorts), the line.  What was there to fear??  It propelled itself into being one of my all time favourite Bond films and Craig cemented himself in the role.  So it was with some confidence I avoided ALL spoilers on the run up to Quantum of Solace.  I didn't even really read the reviews for fear of spoiling the film (I raged at myself for tripping over Agent Fields' real name by accident).  James Bond was back in Casino Royale. What was there to fear? 

Well, it turns out, everything.

Quantum of Solace opens with no gun barrel sequence.  It launches straight into a car chase.  Which sort of quickly happens, then ends.  As the title sequence started, I sat there with my mouth open, aghast at what I just saw - a pre-titles sequence that, while technically impressive, left me somewhat cold.  The title sequence itself is, in my opinion, the worst in the series.  Is it neo-modern?  Is it retro?  Or is it just crap?  With weirdly stenciled letters that seem more at home on city street walls than a Bond film.  And don't get me started on that theme.  I loathed it before, but cut-and-shut to fit the titles...eek.

The film then lurches from action sequence, to action sequence.  The fight scenes are brutal, violent and cruel.  This isn't Bond.  This IS Jason Bourne.  When Bond killed in the past - and we're not talking about those huge commando-style endings, a one on one - it was so few and far between that it was shocking.  Here, it's just cold blooded.  The action sequences seem to rush the film along at a heightened pace, yet in the same time it doesn't seem to go anywhere.  By the end I was bored.

To be very fair to Daniel Craig, he does a good job with what he's been thrown to do.  Judi Dench as M has some terrific dialogue, Jesper Christensen steals his scene, and the rest of the cast are adequate, but there's not really much for them to do.  Mathis' appearance is more confusing than enlightening, and Felix Leiter is, well, there.  The dialogue at times is so quick that it's unintelligable, and at times peppered with too many subtitles to pay attention - I missed several points, including how M managed to escape the gun fight at the beginning.  This is supposed to be us seeing Bond's character being shaped, but other than stabbing people and throwing them off buildings, I'm not quite sure I see what that character is supposed to be.  And as for innocents - they used to climb out cars that had been flattened by tanks, unscathed.  Now we've got them being shot at horse races?  No... That's not what I took from this series as a kid.  Given that there's little to no humour, and sod all romance, there's nothing to really take the heat out of the gore.  One particular scene where Bond kills a lead in his hotel room, by holding the knife in till we see him stop breathing and his eyes glaze over, is bordering on being downright evil.  Oh, and Bond noticably drunk?  On 6 Martinis?  C'mon, even I can hold my drink better than that.

The plot I couldn't follow at all.  Suddenly Bond's on the trail of Dominic Greene.  He wants water in Bolivia and wants to reinstate a deposed General to get that water.  The CIA are involved.  Bond gets in tow with Camille who wants to get the General.  It's all just a macguffin really, a background annoyance and an excuse for Bond to tail him from location to location.

Mk12's location "announcements" are irritating, and muddy the waters, along with Marc Forster's sometimes beautiful, sometimes lightening quick direction (which lost me in the pre-titles, making it just bland) make this wall-to-wall action flick get confused at points.  Is it trying to be arty? Clever?  I'm not really quite sure.  It didn't work on me, anyway.

The score is instantly forgettable.  There's no punch in the air moments, nothing sticks out.  And to be honest, that could sum up the film as a whole.

The lack of gun barrel at the beginning is, for me, unforgivable here.  Bond was back at the end of Casino Royale, God only knows where he went for the duration of Quantum of Solace, but when he 'returns' at the oddly placed, inexplicable gun barrel at the end, it appears like an afterthought, and the gun barrel itself is underwhelming.  There's a tinny rendition of the Bond theme, not a thumping "hell yeah!" type, and it's over so quick.  He takes about 5 paces before he shoots and the gunbarrel surround (no doubt done by Mk12) looks a bit "oh yeah, forgot about that bit - I'll knock it up now."  With the PTS and title sequence, it is for me the worst effort of the series.

Oh dear.  I do sound as if I'm being very down on it.  But, to be honest, I went in there excited, with such high hopes, and I feel like I've been kicked in the balls. 

A good few sequences and characters on paper should work, but oddly just don't.  There are some nice touches, but there's also some homages to past Bonds that seem well out of place and, rather than be clever or a nudge-wink, just highlight how out of touch this film is with the rest of the series. 

I'm one dejected man tonight.

** out of 5.

I didn't want to post a long review because I can't be bothered for SUCH a movie, but Moonranker5 you expressed my sentiments perfectly. Said it better than I ever could. Except I give the movie a generous ONE * out of five. ajb007/lol Sorry, this really was Jason Bourne and not Bond. There's no trace of James Bond here, none whatsoever. And I'm not ok with it at all. If I want to see a random action movie I go see a random action movie, and not a Bond movie that's supposed to be BOND. Other than this, I found the script really poor, a lot of plot holes, and the Bond girls in this one were just laughable to me, because of how underdeveloped and insipid they were. I will wait a few years before going to see Bond again, sadly I don't think any of the movies of this particular "direction" will meet my taste at this point. Everything I feared they were going to do -- turning Bond into a random action movie, a bad copy of Bourne -- happened in this movie. This is not James Bond, and until James Bond is back, I'm not gonna bother going to the cinema. And I think that means I won't go until the new Bond comes along and the franchise is taken back into the actual Bond direction. We'll see with the next one, but after the disaster this one was, I'm not confident at all.

"Are we on coms?" (if you don't know where this is from... you've missed some really good stuff! ajb007/biggrin)

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Ravenstone wrote:

Bond throws the anchor into the boat, which has mounted the back of his boat.  He then pulls away violently, which catches the anchor in the chasing boat and yanks the nose down, forcing the back up and dislodging the crew.  Also, the chasing boat is inflatable, and the anchor appears to puncture it.

Someone on another forum has said that they thought Bond chucked the anchor of the other boat out; that would make more sense but I really didn't get the impression that that is what he did.

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emtiem wrote:
Ravenstone wrote:

Bond throws the anchor into the boat, which has mounted the back of his boat.  He then pulls away violently, which catches the anchor in the chasing boat and yanks the nose down, forcing the back up and dislodging the crew.  Also, the chasing boat is inflatable, and the anchor appears to puncture it.

Someone on another forum has said that they thought Bond chucked the anchor of the other boat out; that would make more sense but I really didn't get the impression that that is what he did.

I'm with emtiem on this one.. I didn't quite grasp the sense of the whole scene... or of much else in the movie either really ajb007/lol ajb007/lol But this one was pretty inexplicable and just badly executed overall IMO.

"Are we on coms?" (if you don't know where this is from... you've missed some really good stuff! ajb007/biggrin)

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Firstly, it appears to me that a lot of people saw this film 'brain-dead', or with the attention span of a 5 year old. I really don't understand how so many people couldn't follow the plot, or worse still claim it HAS NO plot!
I liked the film, it wasn't brilliant, but it was significantly good.
The PTS was thrilling and you really felt every crash and scrape, hit and near-miss. Now I do think this sequence needed some sort of grounding or introduction. However visually impressive the glide over the water was, it really was to slap-dash, go.
The title-sequence is awful. It's completely uninspiring and dull, it also had no relevance or connection to the film. The title song is dreadful, but thats nothing that hasn't been stated before.
The plot is well concieved and although the editing seems rather all over the place at times (it seems Forster needed more time to edit), there's a real sense of pace and energy.
Daniel Craig is superb, his Bond acts cold and deadly because that's Bond's mindset. And by the end of the film you really feel his character has developed and realised he needs to act dispassionately, and you understand the characters inner-struggle to not allow his job to get to him.
Mathis was great, though the explaination of what happened for him to be dismissed as an insider and actually on Bond's side was glazed over (I imagine its somewhere on the cutting room floor), and thats disappointing.
Unfortunately Almeric as Greene, and Olga as Camille are just not given the screentime to allow us to explore their characters, but theres enough to allow the film to develop co-herently.
There's a little too much action in this film. Whilst the action sequences are impressive and engaging, there is just too many for any of them to be stand-out moments in the film. I also think the fall out the plane sequence is almost too far-fetched for a Craig film, and more reminicent of a Moore outing.
Stylistically the film is lush and often beautifully shot. The loactions are visually stunning and used well. However the overly stylised location titles are often out of place and distract from the 'realism' of the film.
The film ends almost perfectly. Bond has become true to the character and his dismissal of Vesper's 'love-knot' into the snow is a pure Bond classic.
As for the gun-barrel. At first I saw no reason for it being at the end, almost like an after-thought. But once I read a members post on this thread (forgive me for forgetting who it was), the gun-barrel's position makes sense. At the beginning of the film, Bond does not deserve a fully-rounded gun barrel, he's still driven by revenge and not complete. He's a man so wrapped up in the mission, so full of hatred, confusion, the need to for some kind of solace, that he's not the same Bond as he becomes by the end of the film. At ease, fully-rounded, he's found solace and becomes the dishearted Bond we know. Only then does he deserve the 007 gun-barrel, signaling, this is James Bond.
QOS, is by no means a 'perfect' film, its pointless to 'compare' it to CR. These two films are different, but continue the curve the character of Bond must travel. It has its flaws (mainly due to editing), but its certainly not 'boring' or unworthy of the status of being a Bond film. It's a progression to the true identity of the James Bond long held in film and literary tradition, and for the franchise to do that I think shows superiority to any other franchise.

Last edited by SeanConnery007 (3rd Nov 2008 15:07)

Nobody Writes Threads Better.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Moores Left Eyebrow wrote:

To the person who wrote this, You're a Complete clown.

There's no call for discourteous behaviour. If you have issues with a review, use a more civil manner to reply, instead of prefacing yours with contemptuous rudeness.

Please keep personal comments on other people to yourself. Or in a pm.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Firstly, it appears to me that a lot of people saw this film 'brain-dead', or with the attention span of a 5 year old. I really don't understand how so many people couldn't follow the plot, or worse still claim it HAS NO plot!

I did not watch the movie brain-dead and neither do I have the attention span of a 5-year-old, I had a whole movie theater to myself to watch the movie since I saw it thanks to a friend who owns theaters (it hasn't been released here in Italy yet), and I STILL claim the plot is all over the place, full of holes, and my interest wasn't picked at all, ever, throughout the movie. I think there's little to no plot and what is there is full of flaws.

I have watched far more complicated movies than James Bond and actually Bond is the only "action" franchise I've ever been so much into, so it's not like I can't follow much more subtle and complicated plots.

If I can understand what goes on on "Heroes" (the TV show) I certainly have no problems understanding what goes on in a Bond movie. Except this one was horrific. Badly executed, badly edited and with a plot that was all-over the place. It's not that I can't understand, it's that I CAN understand and think of this as a seriously messed-up movie. And most of all, a completely and totally NON Bond movie, just a bad copy of a Bourne. No, thanks. I want James Bond, the actual James Bond with all his characteristics... not a random spy that rips off action scenes and tone not to mention character attitude from other random spy movies. And that's not because I can't follow or I don't understand. It's because what I see on the screen doesn't suit James Bond at all in my opinion.

Last edited by Alessandra (3rd Nov 2008 15:21)

"Are we on coms?" (if you don't know where this is from... you've missed some really good stuff! ajb007/biggrin)

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

One poor lady on my local radio said she had been looking forward to what was advertised as a fun entertaining film. She came away upset; she goes to the cinema to be entertained.

Amen. Who wants to watch rape, images of extreme torture, nearly burning to death, repeated & repeated fighting, stabbing and killing, and constant evil ideas, phrases and wording.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Christmas Tounes wrote:

One poor lady on my local radio said she had been looking forward to what was advertised as a fun entertaining film. She came away upset; she goes to the cinema to be entertained.

Amen. Who wants to watch rape, images of extreme torture, nearly burning to death, repeated & repeated fighting, stabbing and killing, and constant evil ideas, phrases and wording.

This is probably the simplest and yet wisest analysis I have read. Kudos.

"Are we on coms?" (if you don't know where this is from... you've missed some really good stuff! ajb007/biggrin)

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Christmas Tounes wrote:

One poor lady on my local radio said she had been looking forward to what was advertised as a fun entertaining film. She came away upset; she goes to the cinema to be entertained.

Amen. Who wants to watch rape, images of extreme torture, nearly burning to death, repeated & repeated fighting, stabbing and killing, and constant evil ideas, phrases and wording.

Yeah, that pretty much covers it! ajb007/martini

But the crowning turd in the water pipe,
is the moment where Bond dumps Mathis' body in the top of a skip, and nicks the money from his wallet - WTF???

CRUDEST-SCENE-EVER IN 22 FILMS!! ajb007/mad

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Danny-Boy wrote:

But the crowning turd in the water pipe,
is the moment where Bond dumps Mathis' body in the top of a skip, and nicks the money from his wallet - WTF???

CRUDEST-SCENE-EVER IN 22 FILMS!! ajb007/mad

Oh dear,

I really don't want to insult anyone's intelligence by trying to explain the complexities of the above mentioned scene.
But obviously its been lost on some!

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

I suppose Bond didn't have time to do anything else with the body...

And his card had been declined so he needed some dosh?

Still, it was a crap scene.

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

"complexities" my arse!, the scene is done with no taste whatsoever!

I hate to think what Craig's Bond would do with Kerim Bey's body (I'm sure he'd be looking for the nearest wheely-bin! ajb007/tongue )

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Moores Left Eyebrow wrote:

It would have betrayed his feeling towards Vesper and as we don’t find out that she didn’t actually love him until right at the end, this was the correct approach.
ajb007/cheers

Maybe I was too shell-shocked to notice, but where was the bit about Vesper not loving Bond?

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Oh dear,

I really don't want to insult anyone's intelligence by trying to explain the complexities of the above mentioned scene.
But obviously its been lost on some!

I don't think so. There are many much more classy and tasteful ways to convey the same concepts. It was just gross. As were other completely gratuitous scenes in the movie.

"Are we on coms?" (if you don't know where this is from... you've missed some really good stuff! ajb007/biggrin)

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Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

Guten Abend Loeffelholz! Jetzt ist es Zeit das Zimmer zu verlassen!
(Uebrigens stehen deine Hosensclhlitze unten!)  ajb007/lol

Buongiorno, Alessandra! Buon appetito!  ajb007/martini   


I suppose if I were looking for omens, the opening shot of QoS should have warned me - a sweeping overwater shot of Lake Como, not dissimilar to the opening of the much-maligned Never Say Never Again and regarded as a visual cliché. But that's to tell a lie; the shot is wonderful and ominous and the way it cuts to a real bone-cruncher of a car chase that out Bonds Bourne all the way is excellent, I loved the glimpses you got of the town as it descends into a quarry, then steering past the cranes reminscent of the car chase in Dr No, and watching one car smash sidesways of the cliff, superb. ajb007/cheers

I didn't enjoy it. Well, I was 14 rows from the front but I couldn't register the action, I just knew it was good and thought, well, for my second viewing I'll sit further back - a balcony. I knew to do that with the third Bourne film and enjoyed it all the more.

Scene ends oddly, with a kind of freeze frame like something out of a 70s cop series, The Sweeney. It's as though someone tapped director Marc Forster on the shoulder and said, "Hang on mate, you do know we have to insert a song here don't you? It's in the contract."

I didn't mind the song as it happens - big, bold, brash, cinematic. I liked the credits too, though they're a bit like the cover of an Ibiza Chilled CD. Still, a new Bond film is always like when you've been on the Carling and the bartender gives you a Stella instead, you have to adjust your taste buds a bit, you're not quite sure... This is because you're always getting a new director, a new approach. Not sure about Craig silhouttes - why do that? Not  to return to a well-worn theme, but his charms don't lie with being an Adonis.

It's after the credits the rot sets in with some WTF moments... for newcomers, I should say that WTF does not apply to When Time Flies, the little-known George Lazenby follow-up to OHMSS, but What The Fu...?  ajb007/insane  ajb007/confused

Bond is to interrogate Mr White, and who should be there but M, Bond's boss. Now, to use M's oft-repeated phrase in CR, What the Hell is she doing out there? A bit risky to have her in the field, eh? Think of the fuss made in TWINE with her going out the office. Oh, but this is a different M, a different series, right? Of course, the reason M is there is because Dame Judi has become an international treasure since her debut in GE, and the team want to milk this for all its worth. So it seems M is to torture Mr White, yeah right, till he yields. I should point out that there's no mention of the Geneva Convention or that guff. Not that I sympathise with White but at least in 24 or Spooks there's some sense they're crossing a moral line with torture, like it's a necessary evil to stop thousands perishing. None of that here. It just goes to show what a nasty, vulgar little film this is going to be.

Perhaps M is our equivalent of Rosa Klebb of Fleming's novel, who insists on being present whenever a man is tortured, so she can 'inhale his screams like the finest perfume' or something. Who knows? Anyway, she's gonna get the info apparently. Recite Shakespeare to him perhaps.
But I must say that if M is out there, then MI6 is behind White's abduction - I imagined at the end of CR Bond was going rogue. I mean, going out to White's place all on his todd shows MI6 to be a bit understaffed, wouldn't you say?

Anyway, there's a traitor in their midst, and a shooting and this may be normal for an American cop drama like The Departed by Scorcese but here is shocking and unsettling - in a good way - for Bond. But what's this? Bond goes chasing after the traitor on foot - LEAVING M ALONE IN THE CARE OF MR WHITE! WHO PROBABLY HAS A GUN AND IS FAR FROM HELPLESS! Did M get shot? Did I miss it in the frantic editing? If not, why did traitor shoot neither 1) M or 2) Bond, the two most important people first?

The foot chase is all very Bourne. I didn't mind that, but did mind flash of CGI which Bourne never seemed to resort to, very much in a 'we couldn't figure out how to film this bit for real, so we'll cut and past this in later.' The intercut with the horses is ambitious even if it doesn't quite come off for me. All marred by my thinking, What is White doing with M? Watching Crawford reruns perhaps.

Praise for Jesper Christensen's Mr White though, whose blood-curdling, goading laugh chills, but again slight forewarnings of TWINE, where Renard promises Bond he's in way over his head, all a bit of a false promise. Again, it's a situation where the subsidiary villain is more memorable than the main one, like Dr Kaufman and Carver, or Dreyfus and Le Chiffre.

Cut to M's office, nothing happened to her though White escaped... okay. Not really explained. If M had been shown knocked out, explanation. Never mind. Tenuous link and off Bond jets to Panama like you do. Now the cinematography in this film is really sumptuous and superb, as good as Moonraker, a film I love. However, other aspects of QoS are similar to MR and not in a good way... Craig's Bond just goes off on his own, there never seem to be any other 00s on the case or seem to exist. He's a superman, substituting far-fetched brawn for far-fetched gadgets, it's just the same frankly. You know he can fight his way out of any situation, it happens time and again.

Bond fights another guy in an apartment, kills him. Then, get this, LEAVES WITHOUT DOING ANY SNOOPING OR SPYING! ajb007/amazed So he's just broken in to murder a guy, right! How does he know he's even got the right place!?! Okay, he remembers to ask for messages at reception and is gifted with a silver case. Leaving, he's mistaken for someone else, why I don't know, by Olga whatsit, in he gets in, as you do, okay it's a hunch and 'But you, Bondo-San, you will get into any car with any girl!' Just go with it, but at this point I began to feel that QoS was like a mid-70s Pink Panther movie. The plot is about getting the hero from one situation or locale to another, at certain points he will meet glamorous lady, never mind whether it makes any sense or not. This is just how it will be.

Camille thinks Bond is to kill her, so ditches him. Then, WTF, goes straight to Dominic Greene's place to pull a strop with him for trying to kill her. Riiiiiiiight.... I mean, am I right here or is it some nightmare I watched last night? She just shows up unarmed to have a go at him, rather than run in the opposite direction... And Greene turns all 'Octopussy... Octopooooosy' like Louis Jordan, using his charm supposedly to win her over. "Yes, I love you, that's why I was so sorry to have you killed!" I swear I saw a look of fear in Amalric's eyes here at such nonsense, like he was thinking, 'Blimey, the kids can go without this Christmas for making me star in this tosh... Marc Forster be damned.'

Meanwhile, our hero is watching outside, posing on a bike like Steve McQueen, no attempt to hide from the armed goons or anything, still it's a lovely, well-composed shot Marc, well done, and doesn't Craig look handsome... ajb007/rolleyes Some expositional guff here about what Greene is up to, dodgy unconvincing looking South American generals from central casting.

We're only 20 minutes in.

Naff boat chase, superman Bond outgunning loads of heavies on water. Too fast to see how it's done. Let it go.

Next scene is in Austria - do you know, I'm cribbing this from Graham Rye's review, I honestly had no idea where the hell it was, talk about globehopping. Now this opera set piece is superb. When I realised what the ear piece was for, and all the people in the audience, the hairs went up on the back of my neck. And Craig's interjection is pure Bond, it's a bit like the disruption in TND of Carver's meeting but better. Good joke from Mr White, too, as they get up to leave. Someone gets beaten up here again, and gets dropped off a building a la The Spy Who Loved Me 'Where's Fekish?' Nods to the series, not bad though. Great shoot out in silence as Bond flees, just again really fast and too hard for eye to register. Sumptuous visuals.  ajb007/martini

Off to see Mathis. Nice location, funny dialogue, smart stuff. But, Oh, Mathis got tortured did he? Well you can't expect MI6 to just ask pointed questions can you? Bit of torture, lovely. ajb007/frown And of course, that's always the best way to get at the truth out of a suspect, don't you find? Mathis very forgiving, because it says he should be in the script.

Lovely, lovely cinemtography in the bar, looks great. Drink in the visuals, cos what's next? They send a girl guide on work experience out to bring Bond home! Right... Shouldn't be a problem.  ajb007/amazed

Next set piece, a Gustav Graves-Hugo Drax type address by Greene. Now Greene looks like Roman Polanski, maybe a nod to his cameo in Chinatown, which is sort of like this plotwise, but let's face it, John Huston was the big villain of that and that's how it should be - a larger than life hulk of a man. You may as well have a movie with Oddjob the henchman as the main villain! But Greene just doesn't bear any resemblance to Blair, as Amalric claimed. Blair was a really cunning talker, he never got cornered on anything or owned up to anything, inbued with a holy sense of self-rightousenss. 'A little bit of politics...' ajb007/lol A much more complex character, but you can say this about all real-life 'characters' around: Mugabe, bin Laden, and so on... not equating them all morally by any means, but recent Bond villains are just watered down stereotypes.

Anyway. I now give you the two worst scenes in the film.

1) Death of Mathis Okay, having him in the boot is a clever reference to Mathis' framing of a henchman in CR, it passed me by at the time I admit, I just thought, oh it's another throwback to a past Bond movie. And there are clever things like this here: M removing her makeup like Vesper, not sure what it implies really, or Bond comforting Camille in the flames as with Vesper, or Bond in wait for Vesper's boyfriend at the end, just like with Dreyfus at the opening of CR, a perfect symmetry when the films are bookended.  ajb007/cool

But here I'm past caring by now. Mathis dies, comforted by Bond so we can have a nice close-up of the Omega watch yet again, right in the middle of the screen. ajb007/shifty Vulgar, vulgar, vulgar... Bond leaves him in the trash "He wouldn't have cared..." Really? A life-long friendship was it then? This isn't Fleming's Bond, despite what they say about Craig. You can't imagine Bond of the novels doing that to anyone. Then Bond nicks his cash. Classy! Guess you don't want to take money off the cops lying there.

2) The plane scene. WTF? ajb007/amazed How come novice Bond can fly a plane? It doesn't fit in with his persona in CR at all. By now that's gone out the window, this just any old generic Bond, he can do this, do that. It's Die Another Day all over again, with Camille standing in for Jinx. With Connery it took five movies to get him to fly Little Nellie, and by that time you figured okay, he's had some years under his belt. Ditto Brosnan and TND, it was implied this is an older, more experienced agent. So suddenly we have Bond the expert pilot... it's typical of Marc Forster's direction. He shows us a lovely old plane, all Art Deco, looks great in the promo shots. That's all that counts, it looks good. Forget logic. Then rubbish CGI incredible action as plane ascends, freefall better suited to Shoot Em Up or Crank.

Then, then... get this. They land, after a massive plane journey and chase, Bond a veritable expert at the controls, they just happen to land right in the cave where Green's reservoir is. Utter, utter tosh. ajb007/lol This is Moonraker all over again, when he hanglides into Drax's base, but worse. It has NOTHING to do with Casino Royale. The producers just thought, great, we got away with it and Craig is Bond. Back to the usual fare. More rubbish exposition: "Gee, Greene is hording water!" Cut to paupers all thirsty and dripping taps. It's easily as bad as anything out of Indy IV.  ajb007/crap

So... Solace are a sinister organisation, right? But can be undermined by one bloke with a pistol and a woman who's never used a gun in her life nor any experience in a fight taking them on. I'd find it harder to break into the offices where I work frankly. I shan't be losing sleep over this lot, frankly. Guess if Forster had made OHMSS he wouldn't need Draco and his helicopters, Bond could just break in and do it all singlehandedly, bring Moneypenny along for the craic...  ajb007/biggrin

I had reservations about Forster but really, his hiring is like getting Sebastian Faulk in for Devil May Care. ajb007/rolleyes No experience of the genre and it shows. I began to realise that despite the change of personnel, it's the writers and producers who sink it every time for me. I can't say I was too disappointed with the film this time, I've been here so often before, and this most resembled DAD frankly.

Craig? He looks more like Fleming's Bond here, esp that of Live And Let Die, the novel. But there we had great characters: Leiter back, Solitaire, Mr Big, a whole new voodoo theme etc. Even CR fans will admit that the best part of that film: the bankrupt Le Chiffre at cards thing, gaining the 00, the relationship with Vesper and her death, are all Fleming. Had that not been in the novel, the producers would never have had the nerve/imagination to do all that stuff for the reboot. Take those elements out and you get a series of action scenes in Madagascar, Miami Airport and Venice. Which is sort of QoS to a tee.

Craig is an anti-hero, not a hero. Such types get respect but no love or affection. I don't want to be him. Why should I? I don't sympathise with him much, don't really hate the villains either. It's a valid interpretation I suppose, but not to my taste. There are some  jokes in the film, sure, but they're of My Family quality. Handcuffs, wow, how amusing.

Otherwise, in place of any rapport or relationships (he and Greene don't share much screen time at all, and Camille is hardly a charmer, her backstory an emotionally manipulative storyline I kind of resent getting into), it's all about Bond himself, a one-note performance matched only by Judi Dench's one-note turn. It's all pseudo political babble: "Sometimes the heroes are much the same as the villains" blah blah we've heard it in, wait for it, DAD "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" by much the same character and it wasn't original then, but these are the same writers after all. At last Tom Mankiewicz had the decency to quit after three films; "I felt I was writing the same scene over again," but Wade and Purvis aren't going anywhere fast, they're not dumb. And frankly, I never felt too much about Vesper first time round, yes it 's sad, but I never got the larger ramifications of her death as a tragedy, if you see what I mean. I suppose she represented Bond's one chance of a go at a real, normal loving life. But to me that never comes across.

It's amazing how you can tune into Spooks every week, and it's great stuff that I can nitpick slightly I admit, but generally I get along with. The villains are great, you hate them, you root for the heroes who sometimes cross the line, some great touches; "Being happy isn't about getting what you want, it's about appreciating what you've got" last week. But the producers of Bond are bereft of any nouse at all. What is this film? A tribute to past Bond movies, to the franchise, a merchandising opportunity, a chance to be patriotic? A marketing exercise?

Sorry to be a downer, I really thought I would chalk this up as the best action film of the year even if not my thing as a Bond flick - better than TDK, easily Indy IV and possibly Iron Man, while not edging In Bruges or Atonement, non-action flicks I rated highly. For me, Jack White and Alicia Keys should have called it Another Die Another Day.


Quantum of Solace? Quantum of B......cks more like!  ajb007/biggrin

Last edited by Napoleon Plural (3rd Nov 2008 19:55)

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

100

Re: Quantum of Solace Reviews

SeanConnery007 wrote:

Mathis was great, though the explaination of what happened for him to be dismissed as an insider and actually on Bond's side was glazed over (I imagine its somewhere on the cutting room floor), and thats disappointing.

Actually- you make me think of how long it's been since Bond had Mathis arrested: how long was he away with Vesper? A month or so? And in that time they've found Mathis to be innocent and sorted him out with a villa and a girlfriend? They move quickly!

Alessandra wrote:

Oh dear,

I really don't want to insult anyone's intelligence by trying to explain the complexities of the above mentioned scene.
But obviously its been lost on some!

I don't think so. There are many much more classy and tasteful ways to convey the same concepts. It was just gross. As were other completely gratuitous scenes in the movie.

I rather liked that scene- it's sort of oddly touching the way Craig delivers the 'he wouldn't care' line- the inference being that Bond really did care for Mathis when he was alive. I think it's one of the better scenes in the movie.

I was disappointed by the thing as a whole as it's not up to the job of being CR's sequel, but unlike Alessandra I don't despise every single moment on the screen. No film is that bad, let alone Quantum of Solace.