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Watched SPECTRE again over the weekend and I realize why I have such mixed feelings on the film.

First and foremost, it's all down to the script.  I can understand the desire to bring back Blofeld and SPECTRE to the series, but I thought this was a limp and unnecessary way to do it.  When Fleming had Blofeld killing off Tracy then had Bond strangling him to death in YOLT, it was a circle of life/death, personal story that Fleming entwined into Bond's professional life which he used in order to show his readers (in the way he tried in TSWLM) that he could write something more meaningful than just Bond being sent out on missions and slaying the world's nasties.  It seemed like he wanted to end the series having Bond leaving the soul eroding life of a spy by having him lose his memory of it and settling down to the simple life of a peasant and starting a family.  In a strange way, they did this in Craig's films after CR.  They used Vespers' death as a reason for him to avenge it by going after QUANTUM, then had his personal story continued in SF (using the end of YOLT and TMWTGG as a template) by bringing in his childhood and almost leaving his job, but this time return to kill the villain for causing the terrorizing and eventual death of M, his pseudo mother figure. 

Had they dropped that story arc then and there, everything would have been fine.  They could have introduced Waltz as Blofeld along with SPECTRE and explained that QUANTUM was taken over by Blofeld and replaced by his organization. With that, they could have ditched the whole backstory of him being Oberhauser and pulling the strings of the first three films and just had let this entry be a straight out mission. That way they also could have had the desert scene as the third act.  She and Bond are held prisoner, Blofeld shows that he is behind Nine Eyes and purged and swallowed up QUANTUM, compliments Bond on his giving QUANTUM a black eye, Craig tosses the watch at one of Blofeld's bodyguards during his speech and escapes, then ends it by showing Craig drive off with her at the closing credits.  This would have made more sense for me, with Bond having no personal interest in Blofeld other than being a threat to democracies and their intelligence services.  It's why I enjoyed the last two Mission Impossible films.  They were straight up "stop the bad guy" plots with great locations, stunts and characters, and yet they would still stick in a few quiet, revealing character moments without interfering with the main plot.  That's how the Bond films should run for me.  The first three Craig films introduced us to a new Bond and peeled away some of his personal life and how and why he became who he is.  They didn't need to stir that drink any more - I already tasted it and it was fine, but with the last film instead of a GF or LALD we get another smoothie (looks good and tastes just - ok) with left over ingredients from Fleming's last novels again.

Lastly, as much as I like Bond's supporting characters at MI6, for me they should not be involved in the film's action.  That's what the MI films are for.  It's fine if they show them communicating with him during the plot in or from London - in which it would give the actors plenty enough extra screen time, but not immersing them within the action with Bond.  Again, that just turns  them into a pseudo IMF team.  I don't need that and it certainly does not keep in line with how Fleming wrote his character and his plots.

As much as I enjoy certain aspects of SPECTRE - the action scenes, quality of production and acting, locations, etc., I'm afraid it's turned into to  another TND for me - an entry I will watch very seldom and then mostly only certain segments of it.

Last edited by CmdrAtticus (16th May 2016 18:22)

1,227

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

CmdrAtticus wrote:

Watched SPECTRE again over the weekend and I realize why I have such mixed feelings on the film.

First and foremost, it's all down to the script.  I can understand the desire to bring back Blofeld and SPECTRE to the series, but I thought this was a limp and unnecessary way to do it.  When Fleming had Blofeld killing off Tracy then had Bond strangling him to death in YOLT, it was a circle of life/death, personal story that Fleming entwined into Bond's professional life which he used in order to show his readers (in the way he tried in TSWLM) that he could write something more meaningful than just Bond being sent out on missions and slaying the world's nasties.  It seemed like he wanted to end the series having Bond leaving the soul eroding life of a spy by having him lose his memory of it and settling down to the simple life of a peasant and starting a family.  In a strange way, they did this in Craig's films after CR.  They used Vespers' death as a reason for him to avenge it by going after QUANTUM, then had his personal story continued in SF (using the end of YOLT and TMWTGG as a template) by bringing in his childhood and almost leaving his job, but this time return to kill the villain for causing the terrorizing and eventual death of M, his pseudo mother figure. 

Had they dropped that story arc then and there, everything would have been fine.  They could have introduced Waltz as Blofeld along with SPECTRE and explained that QUANTUM was taken over by Blofeld and replaced by his organization. With that, they could have ditched the whole backstory of him being Oberhauser and pulling the strings of the first three films and just had let this entry be a straight out mission. That way they also could have had the desert scene as the third act.  She and Bond are held prisoner, Blofeld shows that he is behind Nine Eyes and purged and swallowed up QUANTUM, compliments Bond on his giving QUANTUM a black eye, Craig tosses the watch at one of Blofeld's bodyguards during his speech and escapes, then ends it by showing Craig drive off with her at the closing credits.  This would have made more sense for me, with Bond having no personal interest in Blofeld other than being a threat to democracies and their intelligence services.  It's why I enjoyed the last two Mission Impossible films.  They were straight up "stop the bad guy" plots with great locations, stunts and characters, and yet they would still stick in a few quiet, revealing character moments without interfering with the main plot.  That's how the Bond films should run for me.  The first three Craig films introduced us to a new Bond and peeled away some of his personal life and how and why he became who he is.  They didn't need to stir that drink any more - I already tasted it and it was fine, but with the last film instead of a GF or LALD we get another smoothie (looks good and tastes just - ok) with left over ingredients from Fleming's last novels again.

Lastly, as much as I like Bond's supporting characters at MI6, for me they should not be involved in the film's action.  That's what the MI films are for.  It's fine if they show them communicating with him during the plot in or from London - in which it would give the actors plenty enough extra screen time, but not immersing them within the action with Bond.  Again, that just turns  them into a pseudo IMF team.  I don't need that and it certainly does not keep in line with how Fleming wrote his character and his plots.

As much as I enjoy certain aspects of SPECTRE - the action scenes, quality of production and acting, locations, etc., I'm afraid it's turned into to  another TND for me - an entry I will watch very seldom and then mostly only certain segments of it.

Excellent post  ajb007/cheers

"Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
"I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
"Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM

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Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

Yes, well-written post.  ajb007/cheers

1,229

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

CmdrAtticus wrote:

As much as I enjoy certain aspects of SPECTRE - the action scenes, quality of production and acting, locations, etc., I'm afraid it's turned into to  another TND for me

ME TOO!
Heh, but the thing is that I love TND.... ajb007/lol  ajb007/bond

Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool. Craig is too.
#1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.DN 5.GF/GE 6.SP 7.FRWL 8.TB/TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT

1,230

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

I agree too... except for the TND bit, of course!  ajb007/lol

1,231

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

Jag wrote:

I agree too... except for the TND bit, of course!  ajb007/lol

Your loss sir.  ajb007/wink

Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool. Craig is too.
#1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.DN 5.GF/GE 6.SP 7.FRWL 8.TB/TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT

1,232

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

CmdrAtticus wrote:

Watched SPECTRE again over the weekend and I realize why I have such mixed feelings on the film.

First and foremost, it's all down to the script.  I can understand the desire to bring back Blofeld and SPECTRE to the series, but I thought this was a limp and unnecessary way to do it.  When Fleming had Blofeld killing off Tracy then had Bond strangling him to death in YOLT, it was a circle of life/death, personal story that Fleming entwined into Bond's professional life which he used in order to show his readers (in the way he tried in TSWLM) that he could write something more meaningful than just Bond being sent out on missions and slaying the world's nasties.  It seemed like he wanted to end the series having Bond leaving the soul eroding life of a spy by having him lose his memory of it and settling down to the simple life of a peasant and starting a family.  In a strange way, they did this in Craig's films after CR.  They used Vespers' death as a reason for him to avenge it by going after QUANTUM, then had his personal story continued in SF (using the end of YOLT and TMWTGG as a template) by bringing in his childhood and almost leaving his job, but this time return to kill the villain for causing the terrorizing and eventual death of M, his pseudo mother figure. 

Had they dropped that story arc then and there, everything would have been fine.  They could have introduced Waltz as Blofeld along with SPECTRE and explained that QUANTUM was taken over by Blofeld and replaced by his organization. With that, they could have ditched the whole backstory of him being Oberhauser and pulling the strings of the first three films and just had let this entry be a straight out mission. That way they also could have had the desert scene as the third act.  She and Bond are held prisoner, Blofeld shows that he is behind Nine Eyes and purged and swallowed up QUANTUM, compliments Bond on his giving QUANTUM a black eye, Craig tosses the watch at one of Blofeld's bodyguards during his speech and escapes, then ends it by showing Craig drive off with her at the closing credits.  This would have made more sense for me, with Bond having no personal interest in Blofeld other than being a threat to democracies and their intelligence services.  It's why I enjoyed the last two Mission Impossible films.  They were straight up "stop the bad guy" plots with great locations, stunts and characters, and yet they would still stick in a few quiet, revealing character moments without interfering with the main plot.  That's how the Bond films should run for me.  The first three Craig films introduced us to a new Bond and peeled away some of his personal life and how and why he became who he is.  They didn't need to stir that drink any more - I already tasted it and it was fine, but with the last film instead of a GF or LALD we get another smoothie (looks good and tastes just - ok) with left over ingredients from Fleming's last novels again.

Lastly, as much as I like Bond's supporting characters at MI6, for me they should not be involved in the film's action.  That's what the MI films are for.  It's fine if they show them communicating with him during the plot in or from London - in which it would give the actors plenty enough extra screen time, but not immersing them within the action with Bond.  Again, that just turns  them into a pseudo IMF team.  I don't need that and it certainly does not keep in line with how Fleming wrote his character and his plots.

As much as I enjoy certain aspects of SPECTRE - the action scenes, quality of production and acting, locations, etc., I'm afraid it's turned into to  another TND for me - an entry I will watch very seldom and then mostly only certain segments of it.

Great post! You've excellently summalised my thoughts on SPECTRE - except that TND will always be one of my favourites.

It's interesting you mention that an exploration into Blofeld poaching Quantum. I've stated elsewhere that it would have made perfect sense. I believe it's in the Thunderball novel that it digs into Blofeld's back story, and it mentions he worked in South America. The exact details escape me now, but it would have been in line with connecting Quantum (the organisation and the film) with SPECTRE.

Film: Tomorrow Never Dies | Girl: Teresa di Vicenzo | Villain: Max Zorin | Car: Aston Martin Volante | Novel: You Only Live Twice | Bond: Sir Sean Connery

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chrisisall wrote:
Jag wrote:

I agree too... except for the TND bit, of course!  ajb007/lol

Your loss sir.  ajb007/wink

Indeed. TND's first half is excellent. It exemplifies why Brosnan was a great choice for Bond. The second half, however, just isn't as satisfying.

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Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

Matt S wrote:
chrisisall wrote:
Jag wrote:

I agree too... except for the TND bit, of course!  ajb007/lol

Your loss sir.  ajb007/wink

Indeed. TND's first half is excellent. It exemplifies why Brosnan was a great choice for Bond. The second half, however, just isn't as satisfying.

When I equated SPECTRE with TND, I did so to emphasize it's importance to me on the level of script quality.  I also find some elements of TND to be compelling enough to watch some parts of it (as I do SPECTRE) - it's the weaker elements that disappoint me.

1,235

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

CmdrAtticus wrote:
Matt S wrote:
chrisisall wrote:

Your loss sir.  ajb007/wink

Indeed. TND's first half is excellent. It exemplifies why Brosnan was a great choice for Bond. The second half, however, just isn't as satisfying.

When I equated SPECTRE with TND, I did so to emphasize it's importance to me on the level of script quality.  I also find some elements of TND to be compelling enough to watch some parts of it (as I do SPECTRE) - it's the weaker elements that disappoint me.

I think that SP has more serious script problems than TND has. TND's second half just isn't compelling, but the film doesn't fall apart in the way that SP does.

1,236

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

As much as I admire Jonathan Pryce as an actor and have really enjoyed his work, I never bought him as Carver.  He just does not seem cold and nasty enough to me.  He plays a fine governor in the "Pirates" series and is also splendid in other roles, but in this one he just does not sell the part for me.  Now, strangely enough, Waltz is really good at playing the polite villains with a smile - and I believe it when he acts cruelly, so I would have preferred him as Carver.  They would have had to have found another actor for SPECTRE, but I'm certain they would have found someone suitable.

1,237

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

CmdrAtticus wrote:

As much as I admire Jonathan Pryce as an actor and have really enjoyed his work, I never bought him as Carver.  He just does not seem cold and nasty enough to me.  He plays a fine governor in the "Pirates" series and is also splendid in other roles, but in this one he just does not sell the part for me.  Now, strangely enough, Waltz is really good at playing the polite villains with a smile - and I believe it when he acts cruelly, so I would have preferred him as Carver.  They would have had to have found another actor for SPECTRE, but I'm certain they would have found someone suitable.

I enjoyed Pryce's Carver more than you did, despite the scenery-chewing...but I agree 100% on Waltz' ability to deliver polite menace, and I hope we will see more of his Blofeld, regardless of who plays Bond.

"Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
"I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
"Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM

1,238

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

Spectre's details get better with every viewing...it's certainly a 'greatest hits' type Bond film and as such it does a fantastic job.

1,239

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

Halcon wrote:

Spectre's details get better with every viewing...it's certainly a 'greatest hits' type Bond film and as such it does a fantastic job.

The details are one of the great things about the film. I like that there's a lot to look at.

1,240

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

Halcon wrote:

Spectre's details get better with every viewing...it's certainly a 'greatest hits' type Bond film and as such it does a fantastic job.

Agreed.
I like that Craig did different kinds of movies each time.
CR- melodrama.
QOS- growth.
SF- loss (& rebirth).
SP- OTT.
Like the series in general, one for every mood! ajb007/martini

Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool. Craig is too.
#1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.DN 5.GF/GE 6.SP 7.FRWL 8.TB/TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT

1,241

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

Matt S wrote:
CmdrAtticus wrote:
Matt S wrote:

Indeed. TND's first half is excellent. It exemplifies why Brosnan was a great choice for Bond. The second half, however, just isn't as satisfying.

When I equated SPECTRE with TND, I did so to emphasize it's importance to me on the level of script quality.  I also find some elements of TND to be compelling enough to watch some parts of it (as I do SPECTRE) - it's the weaker elements that disappoint me.

I think that SP has more serious script problems than TND has. TND's second half just isn't compelling, but the film doesn't fall apart in the way that SP does.

This is true.  With SP is seems like the wanted to do too much in the story and it just muddled it up for me, whereas even though TND's second half may seem not as powerful as the first, it at least keeps the story simple and straight forward and together as a Bond film should be.

1,242

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

Matt S wrote:
Halcon wrote:

Spectre's details get better with every viewing...it's certainly a 'greatest hits' type Bond film and as such it does a fantastic job.

The details are one of the great things about the film. I like that there's a lot to look at.

Your reference to the details is true for me as well.  Even though I find fault with the weaker points of Bond films, there are always enjoyable details worth rewatching.  The interaction between Bond and the HQ staff are fun and engaging (I really enjoy all the actors in these roles) and the atmosphere in key scenes is handled well.

1,243

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

CmdrAtticus wrote:
Matt S wrote:
Halcon wrote:

Spectre's details get better with every viewing...it's certainly a 'greatest hits' type Bond film and as such it does a fantastic job.

The details are one of the great things about the film. I like that there's a lot to look at.

Your reference to the details is true for me as well.  Even though I find fault with the weaker points of Bond films, there are always enjoyable details worth rewatching.  The interaction between Bond and the HQ staff are fun and engaging (I really enjoy all the actors in these roles) and the atmosphere in key scenes is handled well.

I should clarify that there are a lot of great details in SP, and some that are terrible. If Blofeld's personal connection to Bond is a "detail", that would be a bad one. But I have to say that there is a lot of attention to detail in the PTS, and that makes it so wonderful.

1,244

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

In the Craig rebooted era, Bond has become more of a pawn of MI6 and less the lone wolf instrument in previous times. In SF he is used and used rather badly right in the PTS. By the end of SP it rather makes sense when he does not kill Blofeld, performs a 'field resign' by tossing his PPK, and drives off with his new love.  ajb007/martini

Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool. Craig is too.
#1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.DN 5.GF/GE 6.SP 7.FRWL 8.TB/TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT

1,245

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

Excellent initial post. I found sp totally flat. Since fyeo I've gone to the flicks to see Bond in high anticipation and each time left totally disappointed. After viewing trailers  for sp...the first time in decades I didn't bother going to the flicks at all and waited for the DVD. For all the money EON MGM Sony etc throw at Bond and the time they have to produce it we got a dismall script and a forget able music score.  No stunning sets. Unimaginative action and a short ageing blond Bond. The problem I think is Wilson and Barbara. Despite being involved with Bond since almost the beginning they have no respect or idea of how to use the money they have available. Look at TB. not everyone's favourite but 50 years ago there was incredible underwater ballets. Crazy jet packs. Boats that split in two. Sparkling script and music. GF. A lazar..shimmering fort Knox set and a nuclear bomb and of cpurse the Aston. YOLT. Space ships volcanoes girocopters and again beautiful music. All this done half a century ago and relatively small budgets. Sp gave us a long opening shot that added nothing to the story. An old Austrian shack. A plane with wings that came off...not seen that before and the secret lair was a room with computers...wow. a final in London. He shoots the helicopter with his pistol. That's the best idea all those millions could buy? At least there was a gunbarrel at the start. I think Saltzman and Brocolli would be turning in their graves. RIP those two guys with their amazing vision and imagination.

1,246

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

Given the huge box office success Craig's films have had, SF ( even adjusted for inflation ) the
most profitable  Bond film and the most successful  British film of all time.  ajb007/martini  I'm guessing the
producers and crew may feel they're  doing something  right !  ajb007/wink keeping the cinema going public
happy, if not all the fans.

“God has given you one face, and you make yourself another"

1,247

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

bomd is not back wrote:

Excellent initial post. I found sp totally flat. Since fyeo I've gone to the flicks to see Bond in high anticipation and each time left totally disappointed. After viewing trailers  for sp...the first time in decades I didn't bother going to the flicks at all and waited for the DVD. For all the money EON MGM Sony etc throw at Bond and the time they have to produce it we got a dismall script and a forget able music score.  No stunning sets. Unimaginative action and a short ageing blond Bond. The problem I think is Wilson and Barbara. Despite being involved with Bond since almost the beginning they have no respect or idea of how to use the money they have available. Look at TB. not everyone's favourite but 50 years ago there was incredible underwater ballets. Crazy jet packs. Boats that split in two. Sparkling script and music. GF. A lazar..shimmering fort Knox set and a nuclear bomb and of cpurse the Aston. YOLT. Space ships volcanoes girocopters and again beautiful music. All this done half a century ago and relatively small budgets. Sp gave us a long opening shot that added nothing to the story. An old Austrian shack. A plane with wings that came off...not seen that before and the secret lair was a room with computers...wow. a final in London. He shoots the helicopter with his pistol. That's the best idea all those millions could buy? At least there was a gunbarrel at the start. I think Saltzman and Brocolli would be turning in their graves. RIP those two guys with their amazing vision and imagination.

couldnt agree more ajb007/martini

1,248

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

chrisisall wrote:
SilentSpy wrote:

People who like Quantum of Solace and Skyfall will most likely not like Spectre.

I love both QOS & SP.
So, what does that mean? ajb007/confused

No clue. Quantum of Solace is one of the worst Bond films to me. Completely different from Spectre.

chrisisall wrote:

In the Craig rebooted era, Bond has become more of a pawn of MI6 and less the lone wolf instrument in previous times. In SF he is used and used rather badly right in the PTS. By the end of SP it rather makes sense when he does not kill Blofeld, performs a 'field resign' by tossing his PPK, and drives off with his new love.  ajb007/martini

I thought Bond not killing Blofeld had more to do with M's words in Casino Royale about knowing when not to kill and Daniel Craig being finished with the series.

"Better late than never."

1,249

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

I have a question (Not sure if this is the right thread or not but....)

In the SPECTRE title sequence, we see Silva, Le Chiffre and Vesper - but not Dominic Greene. Now given that Mr White, the Pale King, links Quantum to SPECTRE, - how come Greene is omitted?

"How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."

1,250

Re: SPECTRE reviews - *SPOILERS*

Charmed & Dangerous wrote:

I have a question (Not sure if this is the right thread or not but....)

In the SPECTRE title sequence, we see Silva, Le Chiffre and Vesper - but not Dominic Greene. Now given that Mr White, the Pale King, links Quantum to SPECTRE, - how come Greene is omitted?

Yeah this bugged me also, they really should of had Silva out of the SPECTRE equation in my opinion.  A step too far to link them all

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