Quantum of Solace

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DanielCopelin
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Quantum of Solace

Postby DanielCopelin » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:17 pm UTC

I thought the movie was great, but I did have one significant concern. The building at the end. Who designed that thing? Who decided to place relatively unprotected volitile fuel cells in a carpark, strategically rigged to a series of secondary explosives that,if triggered, would lead to the progressive collapse of the entire structure? I'm pretty sure there are engineering guidelines that advise against that sort of thing.

Besides that, one of the best Bond films yet.

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Re: Quantum of Solice

Postby headprogrammingczar » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:58 pm UTC

DanielCopelin wrote:I thought the movie was great, but I did have one significant concern. The building at the end. Who designed that thing? Who decided to place relatively unprotected volitile fuel cells in a carpark, strategically rigged to a series of secondary explosives that,if triggered, would lead to the progressive collapse of the entire structure? I'm pretty sure there are engineering guidelines that advise against that sort of thing.

Besides that, one of the best Bond films yet.

I thought their explanation was that their "fuel cells" were not just storing, but releasing energy. Multiple smaller cells would be easier to control than one large one, because you could adjust the electrical output to match the load required.
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Re: Quantum of Solice

Postby Metacelsus » Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:26 pm UTC

It wasn't a bad film but it was way more 'old bond' than Casino Royale. I would have liked it better if they'd kept it smaller and more personal. Also the action scenes weren't very well shot I thought, too much cutting, like Batman Begins. Perfect example is the chase scene at the beginning of Quantum compared to the one at the beginning of Casino.
Casino's chase is shot in (relatively) long cuts where you can see all the action. Quantum's is zoomed in and constantly cutting and I found it really annoying to follow (weirdly obvious CGI too).

Anyway like I say, it was alright but I thought it could have been much better if it was less showy, take a couple of more pages out of the Bourne movies. What they tried to do with Bond trying to get over Vesper was interesting but again it seemed a bit too much flash and not much substance. Which is fine for Bond movies but it wasn't particularly inpressive flash.

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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Felstaff » Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:57 pm UTC

The action is too Bournesque, as they have the stunt team from the Bourne films (see: running across rooftops). The ultra-fast cuts, high-speed camera panning, and invasive close-ups can actually cause nausea. The Bourne Supremacy gave me a headache and my cinema buddy actually fell asleep because it was too intense for the human eye to take. Which is not always a good thing when it lasts over ninety minutes. It's not quite as intense in the Quantum of Solace, as the action is in short intense bursts, and there's plenty of pacing in between. But I agree, far too flashy. I could hardly work out the
Spoiler:
building fight with the Quantum traitor Mitchell, where they fall through the skylight. It's all just a blur of ropes and scaffolding. I guess Bond gets his leg tied in a rope? And falls twenty feet, yet the jolt doesn't rip his leg in twain? Meh.
The second time I watched it, I followed very closely, and it does make sense, in terms of manoeuvring around in the fight. But it moves too fast for the eye to comprehend, which is annoyingly distracting, rather than exciting.

Nothing is cooler than Casino Royale though. There's something about the sheer classiness of a high-stakes poker game. Maybe it's the green velvet cloth and card-game paraphernalia which is so cool. (Also apply this to the Ocean's # films)

I also think Alicia Keys should have sung more of the theme song, and had more influence in its composition. It's totally Jack White and a little too minimalist for a rockin' Bond theme.

Also it's the first time we've seen Bond actually drunk? I've made a few Vesper Martinis in my time, and one of them is enough to make your head swim. Bond has six on the 'plane. That is 24 shots of 100-proof spirits, and 12 shots of lillet, which is the strength of wine. In alcoholic terms, enough to kill a small horse.

Judi Dench is, as ever, on top form. She is a perfect M. I hope to God if they bring back Q that it's not John Cleese. Or if they do, that they tone him down from absolute Fawlty-Towersesque farce. (I like John Cleese, but in a Bond film? He's not got that perfect mix of silliness/seriousness that Desmond Llewellyn had).
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Re: Quantum of Solice

Postby ishikiri » Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:45 pm UTC

I really liked this film, possibly more than Casino Royal. At least it doesn't have the weird pacing issues that Casino Royal did.

I agree with most of what hs been said about the cutting, and some of the non-sensicallity (yeah thats a word) of the rope fight scene. I rather liked the roof-tops scene, I mean no-one seemed to have a problem with them jumping off a crane in Casino.

They could have also cut about 2 minutes off of that song, its good but its not the right thing.

Also why the hell is he carrying a PPK again? He has about the best gun produced in the last 15 years in the last film (discounting the previous 20 films) and instead he carries an outdated design, mostly known for jamming, chambered in a piss-weak calibre? At least he nicks a decent gun later.
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby clintonius » Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:44 pm UTC

Quick correction of Felstaff: they don't specify how many shots go into a vesper -- just the ratio. I've taken down three and felt pretty cozy but not beshitted, and this was before I, *ahem,* "increased my tolerance." They don't typically actually put three shots of gin in there (also, it would be three total shots of lillet in six drinks, by your reckoning, not 12). I feel confident in saying someone as built as Bond could take six without too much trouble.

And I had the exact same issue with the camera cuts during action sequences. I understand the desire to create fast-paced action sequences, but I also want to be able to see what's happening. The "thwak thwak thwak" in this movie makes me think they cranked up a powerpoint slideshow of angry pictures set to the soundtrack of a furious masturbator.
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Kazuke » Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:32 pm UTC

DanielCopelin wrote:Who decided to place relatively unprotected volitile fuel cells in a carpark, strategically rigged to a series of secondary explosives that,if triggered, would lead to the progressive collapse of the entire structure?


The same person who built it in the middle of the freaking Bolivian desert?

I really enjoyed it. <3 Daniel Craig

Only part I didn't like was

Spoiler:
Death by oil asphyxiation. Nice throwback to Goldfinger, but dammit, I liked her. She was cute.

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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby JayDee » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:57 am UTC

I loved every minute of the movie, but I watched it as a wind down after my exams. I couldn't even pretend to be disappointed that they included nothing (but the title) from the "Quantum of Solace" short story.
Felstaff wrote:The action is too Bournesque, as they have the stunt team from the Bourne films (see: running across rooftops).
Ah, that makes sense. I've no plan to watch the third Bourne movie (the second was too much on this count) but it was only the car chase that bothered me in Quantum of Solace. And that not much, more overly rapid cutting, less nausea induction. I found it hard to follow precisely, but not hard to catch the drift. Which was fine by me. By the time the rooftop fight came along I was probably expecting it and paying closer attention.
Felstaff wrote:Nothing is cooler than Casino Royale though. There's something about the sheer classiness of a high-stakes poker game. Maybe it's the green velvet cloth and card-game paraphernalia which is so cool. (Also apply this to the Ocean's # films)
Really? The entire Poker game seemed like a joke to me. "I have almost the highest possible poker hand!" "But mine is even higher!" "No, mine is higher still!" Fleming's games of Baccarat were far better. Intense and believable.
ishikiri wrote:Also why the hell is he carrying a PPK again? He has about the best gun produced in the last 15 years in the last film (discounting the previous 20 films) and instead he carries an outdated design, mostly known for jamming, chambered in a piss-weak calibre? At least he nicks a decent gun later.
I would assume because that's the gun he is most associated with? The wikipedia article on the gun mentions Bond early enough. Closer fidelity to the books has been one of the aims of this relaunch, I thought. That and brining 007 into the modern spy movie genre as changed by the Bourne movies and others.
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Felstaff » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:09 am UTC

Oops. My dumb was mathed with the lillet: 'tis indeed three in total, not twelve.

Anyway, the Vesper is, according to Fleming
Casino Royale - The Novelisation wrote:Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.
A measure, in British terms, is 50ml, or a bit<2 oz. and it works out that the exact amount (225ml) fills a cocktail glass damn-near perfect. (Or indeed a deep champagne goblet, which is what he asked it to be shaken, rather than stirred, into).

However, Esquire suggests in the modern day remake each shot only be 1oz, thus halving the quantity. Six of these 'weak vespers' would only make a bit>three 'strong vespers'. If Bond drank the six weak Vespers on the plane, then yeah, he'd be pretty coherent. If he drank the six strong Vespers, he'd be sweating gin and telling Mathis how much he loves him, and the he's his besht mate, shortly before vomiting on his shoes.
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby ishikiri » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:34 am UTC

JayDee wrote:
ishikiri wrote:Also why the hell is he carrying a PPK again? He has about the best gun produced in the last 15 years in the last film (discounting the previous 20 films) and instead he carries an outdated design, mostly known for jamming, chambered in a piss-weak calibre? At least he nicks a decent gun later.
I would assume because that's the gun he is most associated with? The wikipedia article on the gun mentions Bond early enough. Closer fidelity to the books has been one of the aims of this relaunch, I thought. That and brining 007 into the modern spy movie genre as changed by the Bourne movies and others.

Yeah I know its because of that but I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to guns. The Walther PPK would be last gun someone in his job would carry, they're rather prone to fucking up just when you don't want them to. There are a whole bunch of guns that would be much better.

Anywho, as a general question, has anyone bought an earlier Bond film on DVD recently? I did about a month ago, and frankly, they were just so unappealing to me. I think I just blind grabbed a Dalton one, I can't remember which, I think I forced myself to watch till the end. I'm so glad Bond has, you know, emotions and shit now.
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby thatguy » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:42 am UTC

My big gripe is the camera. It cuts so quick and is zoomed in so close that it prevents you from ever being able to establish a real sense of geography during an action sequence. And with the scaffolding scene for example, not only does it jump angles repeatedly, it jumps to a completely different persepective of the scene, only to immediately jump back. Someone needs to sit that director down and tell him quick cuts are not the only way to build energy during a scene. Also, be more imaginative with the damn camera. This is a Bond film. You have a sizeable budget. Invest in some handcams and cranes, and then use them.

Other than that, it was great. The MI6 computers were effing sweet.

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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Malice » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:22 am UTC

The most egregious example of the badly filmed action was, to me, in the elevator. Bond steps in with two guards, the doors close, he takes them both out by the time the doors open on the very next floor. Totally badass. Except that it was filmed in I think 4 shots--overhead as they get in, two quick close-ups of somebody hitting somebody (presumably Bond hitting one, then the other), then cut back to the overhead as he steps out.
Now imagine somebody said, "I'd like to impress the audience with how fast that action happens. To do this, I won't cut, because cutting allows you to ellipse time and everyone knows it. Instead, I'll do it in one overhead shot, and people will be awed by the performance. This will be possible because they'll be able to see what the fuck is going on."

Time and time again, we are left inferring the action instead of observing it. A car comes up behind Bond's. Three incomprehensible shots. Explosion. Bond is alone on the road. Oh, now I get it--he must have pushed the other car off the side of the road.

I'm sure they have well-filmed inserts of proper length; you could recut this to make it amazing, if ten minutes longer. Perhaps they'll do that when they put Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and whatever the next one will be together into one awesome 6 hour movie called "James Bond is Sad."
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby ishikiri » Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:28 pm UTC

There will be at least two more films. Daniel Craig said that he signed up for four in his contract on Jonathon Ross. I assume that they will follow the pattern of this secret organisation thing:

Spoiler:
The next flick will probably him chasing down all the people he took photos of, as well as slotting Mr White for certain.
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby clintonius » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:52 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:Oops. My dumb was mathed with the lillet: 'tis indeed three in total, not twelve.

Anyway, the Vesper is, according to Fleming
Casino Royale - The Novelisation wrote:Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.
A measure, in British terms, is 50ml, or a bit<2 oz. and it works out that the exact amount (225ml) fills a cocktail glass damn-near perfect. (Or indeed a deep champagne goblet, which is what he asked it to be shaken, rather than stirred, into).

However, Esquire suggests in the modern day remake each shot only be 1oz, thus halving the quantity. Six of these 'weak vespers' would only make a bit>three 'strong vespers'. If Bond drank the six weak Vespers on the plane, then yeah, he'd be pretty coherent. If he drank the six strong Vespers, he'd be sweating gin and telling Mathis how much he loves him, and the he's his besht mate, shortly before vomiting on his shoes.

Ah, I didn't realize a "measure" was standardized. Good t'know.

Also, I had a few much-simplified Vespers last night (just gin & lemon twist so's to avoid confusing the waiter), and they certainly contributed to a forgotten evening.
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Nyarlathotep » Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:09 pm UTC

To be fair, if one IS a true lightweight, like me (Last I checked my weight was 107 pounds) you can indeed treat the thing like a ratio, which would be 3:1:.5. So then you could go 1 measure gordons : 1/3 measure vodka : 1/6 measure Kina Lillet

I have never had one. I shall speak with my father about this.

Anyway, I enjoyed the film. It was a bond flick which was exactly what I wanted to see, even if the hotel bits did induce some fridge logic.

Spoiler:
Also I was VERY PLEASED that Bond did not bang the lead Bond Girl. And she also didn't die! Awesome. I am sad about them offing the red head though even if it WAS A great homage to Goldfinger
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Jesse » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:27 am UTC

I guess I am the only fan in the world of fast-cut action scenes. I loved the third Bourne film for it and I loved this for it. I am clearly some kind of fast-cuttign freak.

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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby JayDee » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:41 am UTC

What I couldn't stand in the Bourne movies was that it was fast cutting and also had really shaky handheld camera work.

I liked them in this film (after I got over my initial adverse reaction.) It was somewhat hard to follow, which gave a good sense of chaos to the scene. I liked that. The bits and pieces they cut together I thought were well filmed.
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Cryopyre » Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:10 am UTC

I just saw it, pretty fun, but suffers from the editing in action sequences that attempt to draw you into the excitement, but just make you confused.

And the bond chick this time (not the oil one, the other one) was the cutest yet IMO. Also had a pretty nifty storyline
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby VannA » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:05 am UTC

I saw this movie far too close to a very large screen, so the cutting made me angry. Very Angry.

As did the bullshit storage technology for fuel cells.

The rest was awesome, though we didn't see enough of Strawberry Fields (Check the credits.. that was her name. Is awesome Bond girl name.)
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Cryopyre » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:44 am UTC

That must be the readhead, I'm thinking of Olga Kurylenko
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby TheAmazingRando » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:50 am UTC

It was fun, but it didn't seem to have much by way of plot, and the cutting in the action scenes made them almost impossible to follow. I like some chaos, though I think it can be overused, but unless your characters are heavily stylized, sometimes you need to stop for a minute so I can tell which blurry suit is which.

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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Metacelsus » Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:17 am UTC

Jesse wrote:I guess I am the only fan in the world of fast-cut action scenes. I loved the third Bourne film for it and I loved this for it. I am clearly some kind of fast-cuttign freak.


I liked the Bourne films, I just don't think it was as well done here.

I could have stood to see more of Fields, I liked her better than the Bolivian secret service chick (whose name completely escapes me). The fact that it turned out that she was completely out of her depth makes me think there could have been more interesting things done wih her.

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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby 22/7 » Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:28 pm UTC

I have the same complaint as a lot of other people did with the action/chase sequences. It's as if they decided the only way to convey action is to spend no more than 1/3 of a second on a given angle. You know what my other issue with the film was? In, what, 85, 90 minutes of film, there were
Spoiler:
2 long foot chase scenes, 1 1/2 long car chase scenes, 1 long boat chase scene and one long plane chase scene. We get it, we're watching a Bond film. You don't have to hit us over the head with it. It's like they realized that they had 10 minutes worth of film that Q would normally have filled and decided to throw in an extra couple of chase scenes to get us to 90 minutes.
I also felt like the plot was really strained.
Spoiler:
The oil girl, for example. Why cover the girl in oil if there's no oil? It's not a calling card, and you're not trying to send a message, so... ? It's also getting really old seeing the "SPYX has gone rogue! Bring them in!" "We're trying, but it's not going well." "Well try harder" rest of movie "Oh, just kidding, you were on our side all along. No hard feelings right?" "YAY!!!!happyjoy!1" subplot play out in every spy movie made in the last 5 or so years. Ok, so that's an exaggeration, but still.


So a lot of that was spoilered. Sorry, I'm a little cautious about these things.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Malice » Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:40 pm UTC

Spies are tools, 22/7. They have to drive the plot in order to be interesting characters; otherwise your main characters are the politicians sending them out. This means they either have to go rogue (by disobeying orders) or be disowned as rogue (therefore ceasing to receive orders).

The old Bond films are somewhat of an exception; sometimes they work as entertainments simply because his attitude is so enchanting. But that's not so in these (Craig is so much more reserved and straight-laced), and even in the old ones they made a great deal of "Oh, Bond follows his own rules, disobeys his commanders, breaks Q's toys, sleeps with every woman in sight," and his actions are only tolerated because he gets the job done.

In other words, it is really quite difficult to write a good spy story that doesn't have at least some element of "he's gone rogue!" in it.

Also I think the fact that there's been 5 spy movies in the past 5 years and they were the Bournes and the Bonds is coloring your sense of the genre's recent trends.

In further defense (Mr. Owl, how many defenses does it take to get to the center of the lollipop?), the plot made a lot of sense in this particular film, because the fact that Bond's new at this is a good reason for them not to trust him (and happened in the last film, too--which took place less than 24 hours before this one, so it's reasonable to see that the characters haven't changed); it also made sense to me because it felt very much like
Spoiler:
Quantum pulling the strings.
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby 22/7 » Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:14 pm UTC

Fair enough. I really need to go back and watch CR again and then maybe consider/rewatch QofS in light of it.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Briareos » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:22 am UTC

My sister and I were both taken by surprise because the ending seemed very abrupt. I distinctly remember thinking to myself, "The whole building's exploding; I suppose this is the climax." Maybe it was because

Spoiler:
They spent a long time talking in the beginning about this huge conspiracy, and spent a lot of time at the opera documenting the extent of said conspiracy. Then, finally, they simply abandon Greene in the desert, and, well, that's enough of this film. Do they need the conspiracy around for later films?
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Felstaff » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:31 am UTC

Yes. Quantum is the new S.P.E.C.T.R.E. so they'll be around for a few Bond incarnations yet. Remember, MI6 still knows relatively bugger-all about them, which makes the franchise limitless right now, and Bond's killed every lead,
Spoiler:
'cept the whole bunch he caught at Tosca.


They'd be called SPECTRE if the name wasn't steeped in Russian Cold-War power-play, too.
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby JayDee » Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:54 am UTC

Felstaff wrote:Remember, MI6 still knows relatively bugger-all about them.
Spoiler:
I was under the impression that Greene talked, in the end. Since it happened off screen, they'd be able to spin a story out of that in any way they fancy. We don't know what MI6 know.
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Hayden » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:38 am UTC

JayDee wrote:
Felstaff wrote:Remember, MI6 still knows relatively bugger-all about them.
Spoiler:
I was under the impression that Greene talked, in the end. Since it happened off screen, they'd be able to spin a story out of that in any way they fancy. We don't know what MI6 know.


Spoiler:
My understanding was that his people found him half-dead in the desert after he'd drank the oil, and shot him.

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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Metacelsus » Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:04 am UTC

Hayden wrote:
JayDee wrote:
Felstaff wrote:Remember, MI6 still knows relatively bugger-all about them.
Spoiler:
I was under the impression that Greene talked, in the end. Since it happened off screen, they'd be able to spin a story out of that in any way they fancy. We don't know what MI6 know.


Spoiler:
My understanding was that his people found him half-dead in the desert after he'd drank the oil, and shot him.


Spoiler:
When Bond pulled him out of the car he said that he'd "answered all your questions about quantum"


Which felt a bit dull to me.

Maybe it was an issue of balance. The final scene should have felt much more meaningful to me than it did. If they'd focussed on Bond's personal vendetta and let some of the conspiracy stuff slide it might have made it more gripping for me. I know the two are intertwined but I didn't feel either was particularly emphasised.

Also I think
Spoiler:
the oil-girl thing was meant to be a red herring since they were trying to give impression they were interested in oil.
Yeah that's totally a spoiler, I've just gone rogue and don't even care anymore.

Rogue mod goes and spoilers everything.

Edit: They found me!
Last edited by Metacelsus on Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:43 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Various Varieties » Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:10 am UTC

A few links to reviews of the film:

Cinephobia
Noise to Signal (written by the producer of the Red Dwarf DVDs, fact fans!)
Mark Kermode

Also, the guy who writes the blog I Expect You To Die has been going through all the 007 films at a rate of one a week. They're fun, and worth reading if you're a fan of the series.


First of all I should make clear that I did enjoy the film a lot. It was a well-above-average action film, hardly the disaster suggested by many reviews (although having said that, I can appreciate many of the criticisms in Kermode's scathing review above - they just didn't bother me in the cinema). But it's definitely a disappointment, largely because it comes directly after the superb Casino Royale.

Quick summary of my top Bond films:

1. From Russia With Love
=2. Casino Royale (2006)
=2. GoldenEye
4. The Living Daylights
5. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
6. Goldfinger


Action/spying balance, and the villains

The fact that from the very start of the film, everyone in Quantum knew who Bond was and tried to kill him on sight may have helped keep the action high, but it didn't really help with the spying side of the Bond formula.

It could be a potential problem for the next film too. Quantum being aware of Bond being a thorn in their side may again mean he has little opportunity to do much actual spying: specifically, we probably won't get any scenes of Bond infiltrating his way into the organisation and antagonising and humiliating the main bad guy at sports or gambling, which are always some of the most fun scenes of the Bond formula. (Casino Royale's poker game was, in that respect, basically an expanded version of the golf scene in Goldfinger.) And the series' new-found realism means Bond probably won't share a formal dinner with the villain and get taken on a tour round the base while having the Master Plan explained, either. :(

Some reviews have commented that it felt like Le Chiffre was a higher-ranking bad guy than Greene. In fact, it felt like Mr White was higher up in the organisation than either of them, and
Spoiler:
since he escaped at the start of the film, any other bad guy was bound to feel like a step backwards after that.



Bournetacular

Personally, on the whole I prefer action scenes to be directed like the first two Matrix films: the frame focusing on a single clearly-composed image; shots held long enough for you to take them in; the camera a passive observer of long sequences of fight choreography. However, hyperactive editing of handheld camera shots does have its place in less stylised action films: most (but definitely not all) of the time in Batman Begins it was a great way of illustrating fear and disorientation (the goons at the docks for example).

And I love the Bourne films. There, the shooting and editing style was appropriate in action scenes because the instinctive efficiency of his takedowns often surprised Bourne himself. But mostly, it worked because Greengrass usually made sure you had a clear grasp of the scene's geography, and even with the quick shots in non-action scenes, he made sure you noticed the presence of any important objects or writing. David Bordwell did a couple of detailed analyses of this editing technique in The Bourne Ultimatum - he disapproves of it, but they make interesting reading whether you like that style or not:
http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/?p=1175
http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/?p=1230 (especially this one)

But in Quantum of Solace the editing style just wasn't used as well. It's one thing to use fast cutting to illustrate the chaos of a chase scene or Bond swinging upside down from a girder, but do it too much and when the triumphant moment comes (the end of the boat chase for example), you're thinking "what did he just do?" rather than "he just did something really cool!"

One of the reviews I mentioned above hit the nail on the head:

I Expect You To Die wrote:If you're going to do the "Bourne-style," you HAVE to have a certain command of the grammar of an action film, the basic vocabulary to discipline the seemingly undisciplined rapid shots and edits into telling a coherent story. Whether or not you like the Bourne style, I don't think you can argue that director Paul Greengrass--using the same 2nd unit director--did a far superior job of storytelling in that mode. As disorienting as the camera may be in Bourne 2 and 3, you are rarely lose track of how many participants there are, over who is where and what's going on. Greengrass may give you micro-cutting and a shaky camera, but he also gives you establishing shots and beginnings and middles and endings of actions, gives you shots besides extreme close-ups, and manages to tell the stories of his action sequences.

But in QoS, Forster gives us a Bourne vocabulary, without the Bourne grammar. Forgive the patronizing analogy, but he's like a child who knows some words but doesn't know how to structure a sentence with them yet. We shouldn't have to keep guessing about how many cars are involved in the teaser chase. We shouldn't constantly be confused about where Bond is in relation to Mitchell during the rooftop chase, and you shouldn't have to guess what the hell Bond fired his gun at during that chase (it was Mitchell's head, in frame for about 1/100th of a second and never established with a pre or post firing shot). We shouldn't be puzzled about how many agents Bond is fighting in the elevator. We shouldn't be completely baffled when Mitchell turns rogue during the interrogation scene...it shouldn't take multiple viewings to be able to follow the action and realize that it was White who took a bullet and that was M running off to the staircase.



More generally, Cinephobia discusses why the Bond franchise is only now beginning to imitate its contemporary rivals:
Cinephobia wrote:Yes, the Bond producers are slavishly imitating their chief rival, even hiring the same second unit director (Dan Bradley) to helm the action scenes. But a certain déjà vu goes with the territory, and at least the producers seem to have been spurred by the Bourne challenge into seeking to reclaim their pre-eminence in the genre. Back in the sixties, the Bond films were the action series that all others imitated; they basically invented modern blockbuster filmmaking, and either Goldfinger or On Her Majesty’s Secret Service could legitimately be cited as the greatest action-adventure film of the 1960s. Yet the producers burnt that legacy with years of complacent films that simply did not stand beside the top action films of their era, put together by bottom tier directors such as John Glen. Watch For Your Eyes Only after Raiders of the Lost Ark; or Licence to Kill after Die Hard; or The World is Not Enough after The Matrix; and then try to tell me the Bond films were keeping up with their contemporaries. The Bond films still don’t lead the pack, and probably never will again, but the post-reboot Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace now actually look respectable against their competition.


One more quick superficial Bourne Supremacy comparison: the subdued epilogue taking place in a wintery setting.

As for Bond's escape from his captors in the lift: the version in Mission: Impossible 3 was better. :)


The gun barrel

What an odd place to put the gun barrel! There's a bit of a bullet time moment towards the end of the opening titles - I thought the camera was going to swing round into the bullet's path, and we'd see the gun barrel and falling blood there, at the end of the opening credits. It would probably have made more sense than the arbitrary place it was eventually put. The deviation from tradition in Casino Royale made sense, because that was the moment Bond got his second kill and became a double-O. But this just seemed to be putting it in an unexpected place just for the sake of it - or in imitation of the previous film's sucessful twist.


Humour

Even though the humour was not as overt as old-fashioned 007 puns, there was still more than I was expecting from some critics' reviews. For example, the incorporation of the location captions into the scenery was a cute, lighthearted touch, as were the taxi driver's "distracting" subtitles. And the "teachers on sabbatical... who have won the lottery" joke was great.

On the other hand, all three of those involve text rather than speech. Oh.

Still, whatever humour the movie actually contained, the film has at least given us Joe Cornish and Adam Buxton's incredible attempts at a theme songs. :D


Music

I love the White Stripes but I'm much less keen on the vocals in this song, especially the bit that's wailing rather than words. It might be better if it was just one of them singing... or at least if it didn't start with a line about "a slick trigger finger for Her Majesty". Hmmm.

I think the instrumental parts of the song are good though. And I've seen quite a lot of praise for David Arnold's score in this film. I didn't pay much attention to it in the cinema, but I'll be sure to listen out for it a bit more next time I watch the film.



ishikiri wrote:Yeah I know its because of that but I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to guns. The Walther PPK would be last gun someone in his job would carry, they're rather prone to fucking up just when you don't want them to. There are a whole bunch of guns that would be much better.

In the original Ian Fleming novels, Bond acquired his Walther PPK in Dr. No precisely because it was more reliable than the Beretta that jammed at the end of the previous book (From Russia With Love).

More details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ja ... d_firearms

(Also, according to that page, John Gardner - whose Bond novels I haven't read - got rid of the PPK due to a real life example of the gun's unreliability.)


ishikiri wrote:Anywho, as a general question, has anyone bought an earlier Bond film on DVD recently? I did about a month ago, and frankly, they were just so unappealing to me. I think I just blind grabbed a Dalton one, I can't remember which, I think I forced myself to watch till the end. I'm so glad Bond has, you know, emotions and shit now.

Depends which Dalton one you got: The Living Daylights (the one in Afghanistan) is great; Licence to Kill (the one with the oil tankers) is the exact opposite. Sometimes it seems like I'm the only one who thinks of them that way round, though...

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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby ishikiri » Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:45 am UTC

Firearm discussion.
Spoiler:
Various Varieties wrote:
ishikiri wrote:Yeah I know its because of that but I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to guns. The Walther PPK would be last gun someone in his job would carry, they're rather prone to fucking up just when you don't want them to. There are a whole bunch of guns that would be much better.

In the original Ian Fleming novels, Bond acquired his Walther PPK in Dr. No precisely because it was more reliable than the Beretta that jammed at the end of the previous book (From Russia With Love).

More details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ja ... d_firearms

(Also, according to that page, John Gardner - whose Bond novels I haven't read - got rid of the PPK due to a real life example of the gun's unreliability.)

The Walther PPK and its bigger brother the Walther PP were initially produced in 1929 and were issued, along with the Walther P38 and Luger P-08, to Nazi troops throughout WW2 (you can actually buy original PPK/P38 handles/weapons with the Eagle and Swastika insignia on).
The Walthers were about as good as it got for a compact semi-auto at the time, when Bond was being issued the gun in the late 50s. So it makes sense then (50 years ago) for him to be issued it. Nowadays its considerred to be a generally pretty crappy gun, unless you get lucky and buy one that just doesn't happen to break for no reason or jam on every other shot.
Realistically Bond would most likely be issed the SIG P228 (British Military ref. L108A1), it has twice the ammo capacity of the PPK and it fits with his SBS background, as they are one of the two known standard issue handguns for British SF, the other being the full-size P226 (L107A1). A comparably gun to the PPK would be the SIG P230, which is basically a PPK. . . but good.



Why the hell can't I do a degree in firearm history instead of English Lit? This shits so much easier.
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby JayDee » Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:07 pm UTC

Various Varieties wrote:It could be a potential problem for the next film too. Quantum being aware of Bond being a thorn in their side may again mean he has little opportunity to do much actual spying: specifically, we probably won't get any scenes of Bond infiltrating his way into the organisation and antagonising and humiliating the main bad guy at sports or gambling, which are always some of the most fun scenes of the Bond formula.

Good point. So we'll get to see Daniel Craig in disguise drag, then, in the next one?

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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Angua » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:10 pm UTC

Am I the only person who missed the normal Bond gadgets? Also, the lack of infiltration and seduction didn't really make it seem like a Bond film.

That said, it was ok as a film.
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby aion7 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:50 am UTC

Angua wrote:Am I the only person who missed the normal Bond gadgets?

No.


I liked it, but it still hasn't gotten to Sean Connery Bond greatness. Then again, not much is nearly as cool as those movies, so it's not a very fair comparison.

I also liked the humor in Casino Royal more. It just doesn't feel Bondlike without wisecracking, and Quantum of Solace didn't have much of that.

I did like both of the main female characters, and I do believe Judi Dench is the best M ever, and did probably her best performance of the character in Quantum of Solace.
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Various Varieties » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:25 am UTC

A few days ago came the news that pre-production on Bond 23 had been put on hold amidst problems at MGM.

Now, The Hollywood Reporter says that the next 007 film will be directed by... Sam Mendes. :shock:

Admittedly, while the headlines scream that it's a certainty, the actual post just says he's "in negotiations". But even so, this report seems a little more substantial than the time it was rumoured Paul Thomas Anderson would be directing the Metal Gear Solid movie... :lol:

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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby Jesse » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:39 pm UTC

I hope it isn't Sam Mendes, his movies are awful. I'm still wishing they'd let Tarantino direct Casino Royale like he wanted to.

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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby headprogrammingczar » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:41 am UTC

A Tarantino Bond movie would be ridiculous.
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby DoctorSubmarine » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:43 am UTC

headprogrammingczar wrote:A Tarantino Bond movie would be ridiculous.


But awesome! You can't deny that!
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Re: Quantum of Solace

Postby MikeBabaguh » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:27 am UTC

I had to imdb Sam Mendes to figure out why I'm only hearing negative things about him (not just from this forum).

American Beauty
Road to Perdition
Jarhead
Revolutionary Road

Why the hate? This guy does quality work. Is he wrong for the material?
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