#1 Edited by Benny (1947 posts) -

Saw the movie at my local cinema in glorious 2D and I enjoyed the hell out of it from start to finish, I thought I'd just raise some points I liked and didn't like and then if anyone wants to talk about any of the larger themes of the movie or the minutiae, this would be a great place to do so.

Onto what I loved:

The characterisation of Bond and M, we actually got to go much deeper into the characters than ever before, Bond gets nostalgic over the way things used to be, starts feeling age catching up with him both in himself and the new MI6 officers (Q in particular) being ever younger. I loved that Bond was a complete wreck after the opening but found himself again at the end when practicing his marksmanship skills with the Skyfall estate groundskeeper Kincade. The final act of the movie with him returning to presumably his family's ancestral home really made him feel more human than ever. Judi Dench's final appearance as M was more heartfelt than I expected too. I thought her reading poetry her late husband enjoyed was again, something that made her feel more like a human being. I didn't expect her to die either and that final scene in the church was really quite unexpected, Bond crying too was about as much emotion as has ever been in any Bond movie to date, perhaps all of them combined.

The general look of the movie was so well done that I was blown away constantly by so many of the scene's gorgeous designs. Shanghai was a vivid electric blue, the casino with the komodo dragons was blazing red and the end at the skyfall estate with the smoke rolling over the hills with the glow of the burning house was just beautiful, it was almost like the opening credits in how stylized it looked.

The nods toward past Bond movies and their traditions really brought out the nostalgia in me big time. Q mentioning an exploding pen and requesting Bond bring everything back in one piece, the actual Aston Martin DB5 from goldfinger, complete with front mounted machine guns and ejector seat getting their dues was close to being cheesy but executed extremely well. All the old school music cues right from the get go and the return of Q, Moneypenny and a new M tied up the movie so well that you could almost have this be the last Bond movie ever or the first and it would suit either bookend perfectly.

I only have a couple of complaints with the entire movie, mainly that the villain (Javier Bardem) wasn't that threatening to the general population and as such there wasn't really that much at risk for London or the world in general. There was no nuclear satellite waiting to crash the entire world economy or a chinese nuclear weapon that could destroy a continent. When he explains to bond that he could crash a stock market, or destabilise a government, sell a country etc. you just don't feel threatened whatsoever. The real threat is towards Bond and M and this focus on them specifically takes away from the usual global threat associated with Bond villians of old. The character himself was extremely creepy though, especially when showing the permanent damage from surviving his attempted suicide.

I also felt there could have been a little bit more spy business, infiltration, intelligence gathering, that sort of thing, but thankfully it didn't try to be an overblown action movie either, and that's absolutely for the best.

The themes of tradition, faceless enemies, and the value of human life were woven throughout the movie and gave you something more to think about than what was being presented on screen and I think they were all handled rather well. Trading Silva for 6 agents seemed like the right thing to do for M at the time but nobody can ever know how much impact one person can have on the future and Silva certainly made a greater impact on MI6 after being cast aside and left to die than he may have if he kept operating there. There's emphasis on the impact human operatives can have in a world dominated by technology and the internet with parallels to the this argument being shown in the form of 007 and Q when they first meet.

And damn, Bond flicking the M4 up with his feet at the end was so badass that you just know he is back to his best, and for me the movie was a return to form for the franchise as a whole.

The only question left is where do they go next?

#2 Edited by Icemael (6312 posts) -

I enjoyed it a lot. I thought it was a damned shame that they didn't spend more time exploring and developing the villain though. His scenes on the island and in the prison cell were amazing, but after they had established that he wanted to kill M they abandoned every other aspect of his character. I also think what he did when he finally cornered M was extremely anticlimactic and didn't fit at all with the way he had been portrayed up to that point. I would've been more than happy to see the time wasted on the utterly pointless romance stuff (there was literally no reason for them to be there except yo it's Bond so we have to have Bond stuff regardless of whether it actually makes the movie better) spent on looking into the villain's mind and having him and Bond confront in a Batman-and-Joker-in-The Dark Knight way rather than just shooting at each other.

Still the best Bond movie I've seen. Fantastic visual style, nice references and my favourite Bond villain yet despite the wasted potential (I didn't at all mind that he was a threat on a much smaller scale -- I actually liked that). I hope they keep moving in this direction.

#3 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4330 posts) -

I skipped most of the OP on purpose cuz I didn't see it but is it better than Casino Royale? That's probably my favorite Bond film besides some of the old classics.

#4 Posted by Oni (2095 posts) -
Absolutely loved it, and now I'm going to rant by the seat of my pants until the letters run out.

First, I love Casino Royale, like one of my all-time favorite movies kind of love. It has the tragic character arc, makes Bond an actual person, has amazing direction and action scenes and it left the series with very little room to explore the Bond character, as far as I could figure. Quantum 'proved' this and was absolute trash that was pure plot, every line of dialogue was exposition, the action was shaky-cam nonsense and none of it was memorable or exciting. I remember next to nothing about it, which is probably one of the worst things for any story, being instantly forgettable.

Enter Skyfall. In many ways, it's a love letter to Bond. I didn't know this going in, but apparently it's a 50th anniversary thing. It's chockablock with homage and references, subtle and not-so-subtle, to old Bond. I don't want to spoil them, that would cheapen it, but it never felt tacky. So first off, it's very good because the nuts and bolts are all present and correct: exciting action bits, very well directed (there were some truly gorgeous shots, credit to cinematographer also I guess, don't know who it is), extremely well-paced, exotic locales, super charismatic villain, all that Bond stuff right. So even if the story was a bit naff it would still be entertaining.

But it isn't, it's all held together by an incredibly strong thematic core that gives meaning to it all. I'm hesitant to go into details, so I'll be as vague as possible: It's about M, and how Bond relates to her. This, really, is Judi Dench's movie, and she really delivers. Craig is as great in the role as he's been but his role isn't quite as meaty as it was in Casino, it's not quite as easy to empathise with him, but in M the movie has its heart and soul.

And I have to say, as I was watching it there were quite a few parallels to be drawn to The Dark Knight (Rises), so much so that for a while there I predicted some events before they happened.

****SPOILERS START HERE****

Bond (Batman) 'dies', retires for a bit, comes back woefully unprepared for the task at hand, meets his dark counterpart (Silva really is to Bond as Joker is to Batman in a lot of ways).
Bond (Batman) goes to Shanghai to interrogate (extract) a secondary antagonist.
Silva (Joker) lets himself get captured by Bond (Batman)only to escape, and he's planned a trap.
Bond (Batman) has to learn to be himself again and build himself back up.

***SPOILERS END HERE***

The difference is that Skyfall isn't some barely disguised metaphor for whatever you choose to read into it (pro-capitalism, anti-capitalism, extra-legal powers of state, whatever), it's about fucking BOND. It's about the character, and it's about the franchise. It's about why it's relevant.

A love letter to the series while simultaneously turning some of its tropes on its ear. It also has probably my favorite credit sequence with the song ever. I don't much care for Adele but Skyfall is really, really good.

I've run out of letters. Go see this movie.
#5 Posted by gaminghooligan (1419 posts) -

Loved it completely. Amazing villain and amazing moments. Made me a believer in Craig as Bond. First Bond movie in a long time that I can see my self watching over and over again.

#6 Posted by OneKillWonder_ (1697 posts) -

Can't stress enough how utterly fantastic this movie is. I consider Casino Royale to be one of my all-time favorite films, so I can't say for sure whether I liked Skyfall more or not, but I will say that I still loved every second of it.
 
The direction was excellent and the cinematography was beautiful, particularly in the Shanghai scenes. I also really loved the dialogue, as the quippy one-liners definitely helped give the film a more old-school Bond feel, as did a number of other things. Skyfall basically has everything that Quantum was missing, though I would say that it is somewhat light on action, and that the action that there is, while pretty good, doesn't necessarily live up to the high bar set by CR's big action sequences. What still makes it work is that this movie knows that action is not what it is about, and it's paced in such a way that makes those moments feel bigger than they are. My only other gripe would be that Javier Bardem needed more screen time, because he was a damn good villain and I wanted to see more of him.

#7 Posted by gaminghooligan (1419 posts) -

@OneKillWonder_: man that shot of Bond sailing up to the casino in Shanghai, the fight scene against the blue back lighting in the office building, this movie has the kind of amazing cinematography that only a grade A cinematographer like Roger Deakins can provide. I wouldn't mind seeing his name up there come awards season for this one.

#8 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -

@Colourful_Hippie: Skyfall is much more predictable than Casino Royale (which may very well be the only unpredictable Bond movie), but it's still at least the second best Bond movie in like 30-40 years. The absence of Sean Connery is pretty painfully obvious though.

#9 Posted by BaneFireLord (2912 posts) -

I loved it. It was a bit meh at the beginning, but when Javier Bardem showed up and straight-up capped the would-be love interest, it got really good really fast.

#10 Edited by aquamarin (555 posts) -

The movie was great, the best of the Daniel Craig era if you ask me. The locations and cinematography of the movie were fantastic. Also they didn't hit you over the head with "hey guys, Bond is a testosterone-fueled maniac," I was much more interested in the surrounding characters this time around. The return to the old school male M, Moneypenny office where Bond throws his hat was great. The action was well-conceived and wasn't as frenetic as Quantum of Solace with the mind numbing quick cuts.

#11 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -

@OneKillWonder_: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLCL6OYbSTw

#12 Posted by Delta_Ass (3255 posts) -

The last act of the movie reminded me of Home Alone.

#13 Posted by rentfn (1277 posts) -

@Delta_Ass said:

The last act of the movie reminded me of Home Alone.

#14 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4330 posts) -

Just got to seeing it and I have to say I was kinda disappointed. I appreciate them going more in depth into relationship between M and Bond and keeping the threat kinda low scale (we don't have to have Bond save the world every movie) but for some reason it felt like I was just watching the movie instead of being engaged in the movie. It's no Casino Royale but it's better than Solace.

#15 Posted by Benny (1947 posts) -

@gaminghooligan said:

@OneKillWonder_: man that shot of Bond sailing up to the casino in Shanghai, the fight scene against the blue back lighting in the office building, this movie has the kind of amazing cinematography that only a grade A cinematographer like Roger Deakins can provide. I wouldn't mind seeing his name up there come awards season for this one.

I fucking loved this, it must have been an absolute nightmare to prepare for the office block scene without getting a camera in shot or light reflecting all weird or a multitude of other things.

#16 Posted by Triumvir (460 posts) -

Skyfall stands toe-to-toe with the best in the franchise, in my opinion. It's a savvy, beautiful movie that is shockingly smart at times (what the hell is it will all these really smart action movies over the last few years? Fantastic time for the genre). That's my initial impression anyway. I guess time will tell how it holds up when compared to the rest of the catalogue.

Anyway, I agree with all that has been said, but I'd add how surprised I was with the amount of thematic complexity. I'd need to see the film again to get a full grasp on it, but death, the underworld (hell, not the criminal one), resurrection, wounds and/or personal baggage, and the conflict between aging and usefulness --- all these themes show up again as plot points, visual motifs, or literary/artistic allusions: M quoting "Ulysses" and the emphasis on the J M W Turner painting with Q were particularly striking --- also note that in the final scene, in the old-style M office, that there is a water colour on the wall which, although not a Turner as far as I know, shows a fully-arrayed line of Man-o-Wars, like the one being tugged for scuttling in the Turner painting.

I would also add that I very much enjoyed the playing with and subverting of Bond tropes. The way they messed about with the Bond-girl stuff was especially shocking and refreshing.

#17 Posted by JasonR86 (9609 posts) -

I thought it was good. It isn't as good or as interesting as Casino Royale. I thought the word play between Bond and Moneypenny was obnoxious. I thought the Home Alone aspect of the last act was silly. I thought they dropped the idea of Bond looking for redemption way to quickly. There were just a lot of little things that built up to one big nag about the movie. But it is very, very good. It's a dumb action movie and either you'll be ok with that or you'll be disappointed with the fact that they didn't try for more. I was disappointed but it was still a fun movie.

#18 Edited by NTM (7274 posts) -

I think if you look at it on its own, it's a great movie, but I think we've been spoiled with other smart action-y films in the past that this film clearly draws influence from, or simply is like it anyways. While I love James Bond, I didn't have much expectations going into this, and it caught me by surprise that I even saw it in theaters today, so to say this plain out disappointed me wouldn't be right, but I just feel it's one of those 'been there done that' films, though not for Bond itself. It's a good one, and it does what most Bond films haven't done with the way they approach things, but it just felt like an amalgamation of things I've already experienced, but a little better, and a little worse than in the past. It kind of felt like the Bourne movies mixed with The Dark Knight, a little better than Bourne, but not quite as good as Batman.

If I had to put a score on it, I'd give it a 4/5 stars, including half stars. I think it's great, but I don't think when you see reviews on a place like Rotten Tomatoes, you'll see many comparisons to the films it takes ideas from, and that's understandable, but you'll expect much more out of it than you should. I recommend you see it though! It is great, but maybe I'm only saying this because it's a movie worth discussing, more so for its cons than its pros. I have mixed feelings on how the films is being praised by professional critics, it's worth it and not so worth it all at the same time. As for the specific aspects, I guess I'll go with two major (or minor?) cons, 'cause I really only have three main complaints.

I didn't expect the "Bond lady" to die so early, and the way she did, so that kind of surprised me. And I don't think there was any way to kill off Silva in a satisfying way, but I understand that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to keep him alive from a creative stand-point since viewers would find reason for later Bonds to bring him back, when I'm sure that's not what they want. I'm really curious to see what they have next with the subsequent films since they killed off M. It's neat that they really did something new, and kind of feels like the end of an era for Bond, I guess you can say. I never find myself saying this enough, but I wish they'd -- as in anyone in the media -- find a way to make it more original.

Edit - Oh, and at first, I didn't really care for the way they treated Bond's death, but I guess it was set up just as it was supposed to be which made the most sense, and how Bond in some cases seemed like a whiny baby, for the lack of better words. I'd go into detail about what I liked, but then I can just say that I liked just about everything else the film had to offer. Oh, and this goes into the whole cliche type stuff again, but did anyone feel like -- and awkwardly -- the whole Money Penny reveal felt very reminiscent to the Robin reveal from The Dark Knight Rises? I imagine Sam Mendes didn't see that film before the time of putting that in, but maybe he did.

Online
#19 Edited by soulfulsoul (145 posts) -

Overall, I loved it. Some of the surprises relating to the series gave it that extra special little something. And that cinematography!... So amazingly beautiful! But a couple of things bugged me a bit.

The Komodo dragon that went after Bond seemed a bit poorly animated.

Similar to The Dark Knight Rises, there wasn't always a great sense of tension in scenes that should have had it. Not that the film was devoid of tension, but it didn't quite connect in certain scenes.

Again like TDKR, I felt Silva was similar to Bane. I didn't find him all that terrifying, just odd and a bit unsettling. It would have been better if they made him a bit more serious, more Joker-like.

#20 Posted by Phatmac (5722 posts) -

Loved it and honestly surprised that they killed off M. The movie is a transition from the old age of Bond to the modern world. It does this well and makes Bond more human. Go see it.

#21 Edited by Karkarov (3000 posts) -

Well I am a stupidly huge Bond fan... to me Sean Connery will always be the best at the role. That said with Skyfall Craig upped the ante and cemented himself as the second best Bond easily, in fact he is just about right even with Connery at this point. Quantum of Solace was a bit of a let down after Casino Royale which I consider to be probably my favorite Bond film... Skyfall completely redeems it though. It is one of the best of the Bond movies and will probably find itself in my top five.

I would also say it has one of the best opening sequences out of all the movies if not the best.

If you like Bond movies and haven't seen it yet, stop waiting and go now. Hell, if you like good movies period go now. You wont regret it.

#22 Posted by Blastroid (257 posts) -

Loved it except for the almost bromance part. Even though the world was not at risk I felt Bond was about to get raped and it made me shudder.

#23 Posted by RAMBO604 (137 posts) -

Thought it was really good, not sure if better than Casino Royale or not yet but really really good. I have a hard time quantifying the Daniel Craig Bond flicks with the older ones though, they are such different beasts.

In terms of plot and character development this had more than most 007 movies combined for sure. And it was visually stunning consistently. It reminded me a lot of Prometheus. Say what you will about the movie's storytelling that movie has visual style for days.

The villain was okay, he may not have been world threatening but he was a good foil for Bond. The franchise needs to mine the rogue MI6 or double 0 territory more often I think. Javier Bardem has creepy down to a science. His first encounter with 007 is outright uncomfortable. He made it personal for Bond and M which is something villains rarely do in this franchise. If the James Bond films were a TV show each villain is just a monster of the week each with world world dominating schemes that have no relation to Bond other than he has to stop them. On that level Skyfall succeeds.

The throwbacks and nostalgia had me grinning from ear to ear and after introducing Q and Ralph Fiennes as the new M that the new character reveals herself to be Moneypenny that I was like yessss the gang is all in place now. Which I'm glad Craig has signed on for several more movies because I want to see this version of the Bond universe possibly tackle some of the older films but with a modern twist now that all the principles are in place.

Also I was fully expecting and utterly crushed that Kincaid was not played by Sean Connery. It would have been perfect.

#24 Posted by JasonR86 (9609 posts) -

@RAMBO604 said:

Also I was fully expecting and utterly crushed that Kincaid was not played by Sean Connery. It would have been perfect.

I don't know man. Have Sean Connery in this movie would have been a bit much. I think I would have rolled my eyes at that.

#25 Posted by MechaKirby (187 posts) -

Skyfall KICKED ASS! The Shanghai fight and entrance to the casino on the boat looked incredible, the train part was mega badass, just too bad its was given away from the previews, and Bardem did an incredible job. Actually pretty much every actor did a fantastic job

Did the entire theater twist and yelp in horror when Bardem was coming onto Craig when he was tied to the chair for anyone else?

#26 Posted by Phatmac (5722 posts) -
@JasonR86

@RAMBO604 said:

Also I was fully expecting and utterly crushed that Kincaid was not played by Sean Connery. It would have been perfect.

I don't know man. Have Sean Connery in this movie would have been a bit much. I think I would have rolled my eyes at that.

Dude's retired so I'm glad he wasn't involved. It would have also been super cheesy.
#27 Posted by Panpipe (472 posts) -

SPOILERS BITCH

How do you guys feel about the women in this Bond film? I don't particularly want to go in to how women are treated in film and drag the discussion in to that stuff, but I did think there were some interesting choices made in the film.

Obviously M is the main female role in the film and consistently kicks ass, however, she is practically helpless when it comes down to action. She can barely aim her gun, and gets shot by a single guy, meanwhile Bond is getting on for a killimanjaro. She is replaced at the end of the film by a man.

Moneypenny, the other traditional female character, not only shoots James Bond as she struggles under pressure (not to mention knocking the mirrors off her car), she also accepts Bond's advice to take a desk job. Oh and she shaves Bond and presumably sleeps with him.

And finally the all important Bond girl, Severine. Bond discovers that this total hottie has a history of sex trafficking and is a prisoner of the baddie. She puts up a front of being strong and dangerous but is actually quivering with fear, Bond promises to save her. Bond proceeds to sneak in to her cabin, strip off and get in to her shower, uninvited. She doesn't really mind because he's got a great six-pack and he says he'll save her. She then gets shot to which Bond quips, "waste of good scotch." There is no moment of reflection for her death, a bunch of helicopters come in to a triumphant fanfare.

I know that not every film needs to push forward women's rights/girl power, but it's funny that pretty much every female character in this year's blockbuster got shafted, in more ways than one.

#28 Posted by CrossTheAtlantic (1145 posts) -

@Phatmac said:

@JasonR86

@RAMBO604 said:

Also I was fully expecting and utterly crushed that Kincaid was not played by Sean Connery. It would have been perfect.

I don't know man. Have Sean Connery in this movie would have been a bit much. I think I would have rolled my eyes at that.

Dude's retired so I'm glad he wasn't involved. It would have also been super cheesy.

I'd be willing to bet money that they at least tried to get him for the part.

I loved it. Thought it was a great interpretation of classic bond elements mixed with the grounded stuff of the reboot. Plus, it was fucking gorgeous. Roger goddamn Deakins, everyone. That silhouette Shanghai fight was incredible, and the entire end scene where night approaches until the only light is the burning house.

The only thing I kind of wish had happened was that they went full on Batman Begins and, at the end, had the dossier open to show the name BLOFELD or something about QUANTUM at least. Still, a really great movie.

#29 Posted by Andorski (5198 posts) -

@MechaKirby said:

Skyfall KICKED ASS! The Shanghai fight and entrance to the casino on the boat looked incredible, the train part was mega badass, just too bad its was given away from the previews, and Bardem did an incredible job. Actually pretty much every actor did a fantastic job

Did the entire theater twist and yelp in horror when Bardem was coming onto Craig when he was tied to the chair for anyone else?

Everyone in my theater laughed when Bardem insinuated that Bond might enjoy his first gay sexual encounter, with Bond asking why he thinks it would be his first time. Bond is probably lying with his snarky reply, but a man who has done his fair share of work in the bedroom would comfortably make a retort such as that.

@Panpipe: I think you are just thinking too much about it. Yes, M does die at the end and is replaced by a man, but she comes off as the strongest character in the entire movie. She tells Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) that she cares more about getting the job done rather than saving her public image, she puts Bond back in action even though he failed his physical because she knows that he can still get the job done, and she doesn't question Bond's plan about making herself the bait. You also can't expect her to handle her own with a gun; the fact that she is a elderly woman ballsy enough to take a shot at mercenaries shows her fortitude.

Eve, if looked at as purely a Bond girl, is a slight bit of a letdown. Still, this version of Moneypenny is a huge upgrade from past films, who were merely Bond's sex toy. Eve might not be the perfect marksmen, but she has no trouble getting a gun and firing back at Bardem and his cronies.

The Severine character looked to have gotten the shaft in this film due to the increased amount of screen time M got. Her part in the movie is short and the only use the plot got out of her was her murder that established SIlva's ruthless attitude.

#30 Posted by Blackout62 (1329 posts) -

@Andorski said:

@MechaKirby said:

Skyfall KICKED ASS! The Shanghai fight and entrance to the casino on the boat looked incredible, the train part was mega badass, just too bad its was given away from the previews, and Bardem did an incredible job. Actually pretty much every actor did a fantastic job

Did the entire theater twist and yelp in horror when Bardem was coming onto Craig when he was tied to the chair for anyone else?

Everyone in my theater laughed when Bardem insinuated that Bond might enjoy his first gay sexual encounter, with Bond asking why he thinks it would be his first time. Bond is probably lying with his snarky reply, but a man who has done his fair share of work in the bedroom would comfortably make a retort such as that.

@Panpipe: I think you are just thinking too much about it. Yes, M does die at the end and is replaced by a man, but she comes off as the strongest character in the entire movie. She tells Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) that she cares more about getting the job done rather than saving her public image, she puts Bond back in action even though he failed his physical because she knows that he can still get the job done, and she doesn't question Bond's plan about making herself the bait. You also can't expect her to handle her own with a gun; the fact that she is a elderly woman ballsy enough to take a shot at mercenaries shows her fortitude.

Eve, if looked at as purely a Bond girl, is a slight bit of a letdown. Still, this version of Moneypenny is a huge upgrade from past films, who were merely Bond's sex toy. Eve might not be the perfect marksmen, but she has no trouble getting a gun and firing back at Bardem and his cronies.

The Severine character looked to have gotten the shaft in this film due to the increased amount of screen time M got. Her part in the movie is short and the only use the plot got out of her was her murder that established SIlva's ruthless attitude.

Bond never had sex with Moneypenny. That's kind of the point, James Bond takes all the women in the world but the one that pines for him so obviously only gets a bouquet of flowers and really sad UST.

#31 Posted by NTM (7274 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

@RAMBO604 said:

Also I was fully expecting and utterly crushed that Kincaid was not played by Sean Connery. It would have been perfect.

I don't know man. Have Sean Connery in this movie would have been a bit much. I think I would have rolled my eyes at that.

He was supposed to make a cameo actually, so I'm sure if he was in it, that was the role. I didn't read past the fact that he was supposed to be in it, so I don't know why he wasn't.

Online