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Topic: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

Couldn't find a thread on this one.

Pros:
.Craig's performance. He reminds me of TB era Connery.
.The gunbarrel is FINALLY at the beginning. It still screwed up though.
.The PTS.
.The theme song has grown on me.
.The title sequence.
.The MI6 crew. Apart from Tanner.
.We get to see Bond's flat.
.The Rome scenes. Especially with Lucia.
.Christoph Waltz.
.Hinx.
.SNOW!
.The train fight.
.The crater base.
.The meteorite scene.
.The scene in the data room. Silly but kind of intense.
.The cat and scar.
.The final scene.

Cons:
.The Dead Are Alive.
.Thomas Newman's score, apart from the rooftop music during the PTS.
.The yellow filter. It ruins the Mexico and Austria scenes.
.Andrew Scott and Lea Seydoux. They're both either wooden or overacting.
.Unexciting action throughout apart from the PTS and train fight.
.Too large roles for the MI6 crew. Still can't stand Tanner.
.Retconning the previous three films. It almost tarnishes them.
.Mr. White's demise. He needed to go out with some flair. I do like the hurricane line.
.The Oberhauser subplot. Just have Blofeld be Blofeld for God's sake. Damn Mendes.
.To liars and killers.
.Pretty much every scene with Madeleine.
.The torture scene, apart from the Colonel Sun dialogue.
.The whole Nine Eyes plot and Bond being irrelevant is just boring. Surveillance is a problem but it doesn't make for entertaining viewing.
.Madeleine leaving Bond at the Hildebrand.
.The finale is lame. I still hate that now we can't reuse the real MI6 and the fact that that EON has pushed themselves into a corner for Bond 25.

Gets worse each time I watch it. But it ain't terrible.

5.5/10
ajb007/martini

Last edited by Remington (9th May 2017 06:33)

1. Connery 2. Moore 3. Dalton 4. Brosnan 5. Craig 6. Lazenby

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

Pros

The scene with Mr. White

The fight with Mr. Hinx

The PTS (although it doesn't make much sense and could have been handled in a more suspenseful manner)

The ending where Bond and Madeline drive off together

The Q/Bond byplay

The premise of Bond being an assassin who has gotten tired of his work (not terribly original, but original for Bond).



Cons

The last third (everything after Bond and Madeline arrive at Blofeld's "secret" base in the middle of the desert where it could easily be observed by any spy satellite).

The car chase

The Blofeld/Bond foster brothers nonsense

Not enough Monica Bellucci

Didn't develop the Bond/Madeline relationship very well (compared to CR)

Attempt to inject Moore-era humor after establishing the "gritty" Bond

Shooting down Blofeld's helicopter with a single shot from a Walther PPK

Wasted Waltz

That all the other Craig-era villains and plots were related for the sole purpose of  causing Bond grief because Blofeld felt slighted by daddy. This was a bad idea for multiple reasons.

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

Gala Brand wrote:

That all the other Craig-era villains and plots were related for the sole purpose of  causing Bond grief because Blofeld felt slighted by daddy. This was a bad idea for multiple reasons.

I don't remember seeing Dominic Greene on the list during that scene.
That could be considered a Pro of this Con though? (Does that make sense? It does in my head).

Drawn Out Dad.
Independent, one-shot comic books from the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia.
twitter.com/DrawnOutDad

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

asio wrote:
Gala Brand wrote:

That all the other Craig-era villains and plots were related for the sole purpose of  causing Bond grief because Blofeld felt slighted by daddy. This was a bad idea for multiple reasons.

I don't remember seeing Dominic Greene on the list during that scene.
That could be considered a Pro of this Con though? (Does that make sense? It does in my head).

He was:

Fate
Quantum of Solace - Greene abandoned in the desert
Bond strands Greene in the middle of the Atacama desert.
Bond captures Greene, who reveals everything he knows about Quantum. In exchange, Bond doesn't kill him. He leaves him in the middle of the desert that Greene had just bought, and gives him a can of motor oil, betting that he'll make it twenty miles before he's tempted to drink it. Later, M tells Bond that Greene was found dead in the desert, with two bullets in the base of his skull and motor oil in his stomach; implying his execution by Quantum for leaking information. The character was later mentioned in the 2015 film Spectre, his photograph included amongst other members of the SPECTRE organization.

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

Watched SP on TV last night. I think that Daniel's performance was strong. Liked some of the early dialogue, particularly with M. Thought this captured the barely contained insolence with sly humour (yes you have a tough day ahead) Also with Q it was nicely judged and we'll played. Stealing 009's car and leaving the  Champagne was a nice touch. All down hill from here on in of course,  but reaffirmed for me that Craig was not the problem.

It also supports my contention (for me at least) that Daniel can still develop in the role and fulfil the early promise of giving us much of the Bond we recognise while staying true to his interpretation.

All to play for in 25, but I'm optimistic.

Of that of which we cannot speak we must pass over in silence- Ludwig Wittgenstein.

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

I thought the film went downhill when the big SPECTRE desert base was sabotaged/self-destructed too easily - SPECTRE is an easier watch than the last two Brosnan films and feels more complete than Quantum, but despite being a solid product, had action scenes and story let down by such lazy, contrived writing.

EDIT: I really liked the weird desert base and Waltz Blofeld giving a guided tour; the Blofeld lair being known to the Western governments without being acted on showed how far the corruption and infiltration by Quantum/SPECTRE had spread over the years (though it likely seen as a weird retreat or science facility like that Greene Planet hotel in Bolivia).

Last edited by Colonel Shatner (19th Jan 2019 02:08)

'Alright guard, begin the unnecessarily slow moving dipping mechanism...'

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

Not much to add except:

Pro:
- Lots of Bond lifestyle products on display due to many costume changes for Bond.

Con:
- Unrealistic amount of costume changes for Bond. On his way to Blofeld's lair, he has his casual 'matchless jacket' outfit, his white tuxedo outfit (just to wear to dinner on a train?), his beige suit (that he only wears to go from the station to the lair), and his darker suit. It completely throws me out of the film, like Bond just wanted to wear all his clothes in the space of a day.

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

Pros:
-Gunbarrel back at the beginning and with the classic design (finally!)
-Moore/Craig sort of humour (i.e. gadgets not working, Bond falls in the couch), I like Craig/Bond to be a little more relaxed.
-The soundtrack: though the action music is quite similar to Skyfall, the romantic and ethnic themes are among the most beautiful in the whole series (Madeleine, L'Americain, Secret Room, Out of Bullets, Donna Lucia, End Titles). "Writing's On The Wall" is also quite beautiful to be honest and I liked how they used it for Bond and Madeleine's first kiss.
-Cinematography: shame about the yellow filter, but other than that there are precious shots of Tangier and the sun setting/rising on the desert as the train passes by.
-Blofeld. Honestly, I'm not always too fond of the foster brother thing, but it didn't bother too much to me. And I loved Waltz's introduction at the Palazzo Cardezza and the eye gauging scene. I wanted this thing of "be afraid of the villain" we haven't had for quite a while.
-The SPECTRE reboot was clever and very up to date: world domination by invading spy networks and getting into governments in a subtle way.

Cons:
-Too much time between M and C, would have preferred more time between Bond and Madeleine so they can get to know each other better and the romance feels more natural.
-The "Dead Are Alive" caption. The iris opening in the skull as originally intended was better.
-The story needed a little bit of reworking and more action that looked expensive. I would have loved a small shootout between Bond and Blofeld's men in the MI6 rigged for demolition. Same as in the escape from the torture: Bond feeling dizzy and not having a perfect marksmanship after getting his brain drilled. Something in the lines of the poisoned martini scene from Casino Royale.

All in all, SPECTRE could be my favourite Craig film. CR wins in terms of story, but SPECTRE is the most old-school Bond/Craig film to me.

Nicolás Suszczyk
Author, THE WORLD OF GOLDENEYE (bit.do/goldeneyeworld)
Visit my site THE GOLDENEYE DOSSIER (goldeneyedossier.blogspot.com)

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

Not much for me to add, other than I really dislike the film. I should give it another go I suppose, but it's just such a let down.

"It is better to be as well dressed as possible to stave off, at least for a very little bit, the total collapse of civilization"

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

martini wrote:

Not much for me to add, other than I really dislike the film. I should give it another go I suppose, but it's just such a let down.

How many times have you watched it??

I wasn't the biggest fan, its grown on me over time though.
My favourite thing is actually the music, I know there's repeat leitmotifs from skyfall, but I think that's what thomas Newman was going for, besides there's plenty of new tracks to enjoy.
People call it forgettable, but each to there own.

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

Had all the elements to be a classic but failed -  I still think the OHMSS theme trailer for it looked like it was going to be amazing!!!

Now don't get me wrong I don't hate it or anything but disappointed as this was the return of the mighty SPECTRE and each time I rewatch I  always think "what if..."     

Wish Mendes has kept to his original decision to do one film only.

Off my head Cons..

Blofeld / Brother storyline
Blofeld (Waltz) dissapointing
Blofeld lair escape (rushed)
Car Chase VERY mediocre (Aston Martin feels wasted)
Monica - wasted opp (like Severine)
Amazing locations wasted.

Seems like they blew a lot of money for little return.   Think I read that car chase alone cost more then the entire budget of UNCLE.

However the biggest flaw (I can't lie it really really bugs me to this day) is how it connects SPECTRE to every single Daniel Craig film in a rushed half arsed lazy way and responsible for everything.

Probably should have carried on with the Quantum thing and brought back SPECTRE / Blofeld for the fresh new Bond

Instagram - bondclothes007

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

I think the rome scene was originally planned to be alot more epic and maybe even have abit of collision, but i heard somewhere that rome laws didn't allow any collision to happen. so it essentially acted as an exposition scene, between moneyP and Bond.   

also kind of funny that really the only other car on the road is that fiat.
you would have thought there might be other bad guys pursuing bond with hinx.

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

Yeah, it does look kind of eerie like a lot of the film as if it's only Bond there. The chase has a whiff of futility about it, a bit like the ice chase in DAD.

They do struggle with extras and stuff don't they. Remember the scene in Venice where Bond meets M and Chief of Staff in Doges Palace and have to shove past a load of Bond fans... Or the Vegas sightseers watching the car chase in DAF.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

I'd like to quote a 'con' here, then answer it with a 'pro'.

In his article, 'In Defence Of Moonraker' ('Double-O-Seven Magazine Moonraker 40th Anniversary Special Edition', 2019), Anthony Jones favourably compares the death of Corrine Dufour in MR with Hinx's killing of his rival at the board meeting in SP: "I cannot help but compare this to the eye-gouging scene in 'SPECTRE', which I believe to be one of the most misjudged scenes in a Bond film. What we witness in that scene is graphic brutality where a character, who is essentially a 'shark', [gets] horribly killed by a bigger shark. It is shocking and deliberately unsubtle - but what does the film gain by it? We learn how unpleasant and lethal Dave Bautista's Mr. Hinx is, but it means very little since we have no feelings either way for the villain he kills. The death of Corrine in 'Moonraker' has the same hints of sadism but is much more powerful as we know Bond cares for her, and her death is a consequence of worthy actions. It also displays the cold ruthlessness of Drax since he directs the action, whereas Blofeld in 'SPECTRE' is simply a passive witness."

First, I'm not sure that Blofeld is simply passive in this situation. The way he whispers in the ear of the chairman, Moreau, before Moreau addresses the assembly to ask whether there's a challenger to Guerra, suggests not only that he - Blofeld - knows that Hinx is waiting in the wings, but that Hinx is actually his preferred candidate for the deceased Sciarra's job: Blofeld is pulling the strings, here; the implication is that he's set up Guerra to be killed by Hinx.

Whilst I support Anthony Jones's defence of MR, I think he misses a crucial point about the eye gouging in SP. If we set aside that this is violence with Shakespearean overtones (Gloucester's eyes are plucked out in 'King Lear'), it connects with a theme in the film to do with seeing and not seeing. Max Denbigh puts together Nine Eyes for SPECTRE's benefit; it's Q's task at the end to try and take it offline, or to blind it. Immediately before Madeleine tosses Bond's watch, primed to explode, Blofeld positions the drills he's using to torture Bond, so that they're ready to cut into his eyes. When Bond's watch detonates, Blofeld is blinded in one eye (as we see later in the movie. So Blofeld's wounds aren't merely a cosmetic homage to Donald Pleasance's scar in YOLT; there's a whole theme at work there to do with sight and blindness.) In a brief scene in Mr White's cabin, rigged for surveillance, birds peck at the eyes of White's corpse. Referring back to Guerra's fate, Blofeld discourses on the enormity of blindness, identifying the eye gouging as a moment devoid of life, preceding death itself.

To answer Anthony Jones's question about what SP gains by the eye gouging, it gains a metaphorical theme which reverberates through the film in tandem with anxieties about all-seeing surveillance technology.

Denbigh's code name is C. Now we know what C stands for... *see*?

Last edited by Shady Tree (18th Feb 2020 11:02)

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

Thank you, Shady, I very much enjoyed reading that.

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

+1 Some nice points Shady Tree  ajb007/martini  I was very impressed with how Hinx was introduced.
Yes, it's shocking, but it very quickly sets in your mind that Bond is up against a truly Brutal
opponent. It adds to the train fight in which Bond by the end is defeated, worn down and
exhausted from the fight, it looks as if he has nothing left.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: Pros and Cons: SPECTRE

PROS
- Gunbarrel in the right place, finally.

- In principle, it's very good EON now has the rights to Thunderball and Blofeld and SPECTRE and the cat. When one day they sell the BondRights, it will be very good to have all the Fleming material complete, and maybe someone else can do the material justice.

- Precredits
- The long tracking shot, and Craig's surefootedness. Mendes did some cool tracking shots in SkyFall too.
- The helicopter fight spinning totally out of control, mere metres above that crowded square. This is very dangerous looking, and the highlight of the film.
- Isolated from the rest of the movie, these precredits make for a very good Bondfilm.

- Dark Gothic vibe throughout the first half, starting with the Dia De Los Muertos costumes, then the funeral sequence, and that meeting.
- The meeting scene looks like something out of a nightmare (or Harry Potter).

- There's a lot of bits and pieces of Fleming. Thunderball especially, of course, and OHMSS. The YOLT references are mostly to the film version, but Blofeld does torture Bond in the YOLT book (he seats him on top of a live geyser), which I don't think he personally did in any film.
- in DaF, Bond tells Tiffany he is already married, to a man called M. This film ends with heavy handed symbolism in which Bond must decide between Madeleine and M. And since in the books, Bond lived with Tiffany for a year, and Tracy didn't even make it to the hoenymoon, it is the experience with Tiffany that is more relevant to Bond's implied life happily ever after with Madeleine.
- Also lots of Octopussy. The name Oberhauser. Mr White's suicide (and then sleeping with the dead man's daughter, that's from the film of course). And all that tentacle-erotica in the main credits!

- Amis gets a credit, for his dialog! They had borrowed bits of plot from Colonel Sun in several previous films, but this is the first formal credit for any continuation author.

- The funeral scene and grieving widow is arguably a reimagining the Thunderball precredits, and in this case is an improvement. (I don't like the Thunderball precredits)
- Monica Belluci: it's nice Bond isn't always chasing twenty year olds anymore. An older woman brings more experience, and appreciates the stamina of a younger man.
- Monica Belluci is the second Craig-era Bond girl who also appears in Twin Peaks The Return, also as a date of Deputy Director Gordon Cole (Cole and Bond seem to be swapping chicks?)
- Belluci's role in Twin Peaks The Return is actually part of a dream sequence, and may suggest a means for our film to undo some of the less loved plottwists to come. Everything we would wish to unhappen in this film happens after Bond spends the night in her bed.

Spoilerin Twin Peaks The Return, Agent Cooper has ritual sex with Diane, then when he wakes up he is now a different person in a different level of reality. Imagine if such a thing happened to Bond? Wouldn't that solve everything? What's that you say, sex-magick and dimension-crossing are inappropriate for a Bondfilm? At least it'd be better than the foster-brother plot!

- The meeting scene starts off very promising, right up until the word "cuckoo". (PROs abruptly end here).




CONS
- I'm not sure there's any significant PROs after  the word "cuckoo" is first spoken.

- McClory (boo! hiss!) Somehow this has got to be his fault.
- in Casino Royale, they treated the Fleming content with Masterpiece Theatre style reverence. Now they've got the rights to McClory's properties, all they do is replace it all with Austin Powers parodies of the same concepts.
- Mike Meyers should have got a credit right after Amis, as they used more of GoldMember than Colonel Sun.
- Craig's Executive Producer credit ... does he not therefor have responsibility for script approval? Didn't he once say he'd rather slit his wrists than do the same things as Austin Powers? Gotta find that quote, I'm sure he once said it.
- If not one single minion told Babs, Mike, Craig or the Mendes that this plot twist had already been done in GoldMember, EON must be a disfunctional workplace where minions are scared to speak up.

- Now there's way too much of Craig's comedy stylings. SkyFall may have had the best balance.

- Theme song slightly more appropriate than the hard rock posturings of Craig's first two films, but this over the top soul wailing is nonetheless annoying.

- They're now repeating images from past Bondfilms so continuously, they're even repeating images from the previous Craig films, especially Casino Royale.

- Monica Belluci's scenes are so quick she doesn't really contribute anything.
- The scene at her house where Bond rescues her is another of those overly stylised artificial looking Craig-era "action" scenes that completely pulls me out of the plot. Please EON, let's hire some humble workman-like directors who know how to serve the story without calling attention to themselves.

- The car-chase, in which nothing happens, except some stoopid jokes. It is shot so dark we can't even appreciate the scenery.
- People compare this to a typical Roger Moore chase, because it is supposed to be funny. Which completely misrepresents Moore. In Moore's zany chase scenes, many interesting things would happen, and if nothing else we got a good look at the scenery.

- That chase at Madeleine's clinic makes absolutely no sense. Where did the plane come from?
- Inception did the OHMSS tribute content so much better.

- I liked Léa Seydoux better in that Mission Impossible movie she was in.
- I like her better in interviews than in this movie, she's actually funny in real life.
- Madeleine declares her love for Bond awfully quick doesn't she?
- CraigBond may finally finish an adventure with a lady, but given he once again appears to be retiring for sake of a longterm commitment, this hardly counts as a proper "life raft" ending any more than his first three films.

- I liked Christoper Waltz better in Inglorious Basturds. (and in just about every other film I've ever seen him in. Well, maybe his episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee was a bigger letdown than this, but not by much)
- Waltz-Blofeld is not scary. The film has this gothic horror vibe up until he appears, then the big baddy we've all been waiting for is not the slightest bit scary!
- From his very first line, Waltz-Blofeld never shuts up about the foster-brother thing, he never talks about anything else. He even literally says they are "brothers" when he sets the bomb at Vauxhall.
- The only way to ignore the foster-brother thing is to just not watch the film.

- Villain's headquarters blows up too early, and film returns to London once again for the final act.
- The final act

- Bond25 will be a direct sequel to this, and will therefor confirm these plot-elements that we all would rather forget are indeed official canon.
Come on, they ignored the events of OHMSS for eight years, why can't they just pretend this film never happened?
- It's taken them five full years to think up a way out of this corner they've painted themselves into.