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So-So-7 [The 'Quantum of Solace' thread - includes Spoilers]

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  • So-So-7 [The 'Quantum of Solace' thread - includes Spoilers]

    Hmmmm yeah, well, "Quantum of Solace", eh? Essentially meaning the same as "Crumb of Comfort", I guess(?).

    The movie starts with a classic car chase, but as with all the action in the movie, there are lots of jerky close ups of things happening, and very few tracking shots, so you can't get a good feel for what the hell is going on. There's a great plane-chase, too, but I was still left scratching my head at to how Bond actually "did it" when he offs the other guy: again, the directorial emphasis was on exciting close-ups and plot exposition go hang.

    The dialog is as good as always, and there is plenty of humor, too. M's exasperated "'We are everywhere'... EVERYONE always says 'We are everywhere', so do florists, but we don't expect them to be in the same room with us." got a good laugh, and Daniel Craig delivers his lines with just the right level of intensity (i.e. very high), with nary a trace of a self-congratulatory smirk and a raised eyebrow.

    One major clunker was the line in the Presidential bunker that must have been added on by a 5 year old at the last minute
    "We use fuel cells to power the building"
    "Yes, and they are very unstable!"
    Almost had me howling with laughter as a monumentally awful set-up. Gee! Ya think the building might blow up at the end because of those darn "fuel cells"??!!. What are the odds of that happening in a Bond movie?

    The plot is as thin as a Monty Python mint, and the clear implication that the villain "could do the same thing all over the world" just doesn't make any sense. The environmentalist baddy (Mr Greene.... I laughed til I stopped) says psycho-type things and stares without blinking, but you don't really get a sense of menace off him.

    The dead girl covered in oil was reminiscent of "Black-gold Finger", but coming as it did near the end of the movie, it just seemed contrived, as did the very strong anti-American undercurrent, although balanced by some fine displays of hypocrisy by the British government.

    There's also stated emphasis that M is for Mother in this one, and Bond is very much the prodigal child at the end: it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the next one.

    The action moves were pretty good, but Bond displays some fine jujutsu moves throughout... until the end, where he can't take a simple fireaxe off the bad guy. Didn't make any sense: particularly given the way he took a knife off the guy in Haiti with a nifty wrist-throw.

    I didn't stop to see the title of the next one, but "A Shotglass of Schadenfreude" maybe....anyone?
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  • #2
    Watched Quantum on DVD last night. Now I know what a Bond film made by a kid with ADHD and spiked to the eyeballs on sugar and E numbers looks like. The opening pre-credits car chase was clearly designed to given anyone over the age of twelve a migraine with all the flash cutting going on. I reckon there wasn't a shot longer than 2 secs before the director/editor cut to another shot then another shot then another shot then another shot then another shot wham! blam! bang! bang!

    After five minutes I gave up trying to follow the action sequences and instead tried to work out what Marc Forster was trying to do with them; what effect was he trying to achieve because I'd rather believe that there was some sort of purpose behind all the fast cutting than simple ineptitude. My guess is he was trying to create some new sort of film style - hell, I watched Transporter 2 last week so I know about modern action movie film editing but QoS takes it to a whole new level. I wonder whether audiences in the '60s were as baffled by Terrance Young over-cranking the camera during fight scenes in Thunderball as modern audiences are by QoS? What's it they say? 'Evolve or die?'

    Thankfully once Forster had got all the chases sequence out of the way the film settled down to a more sustainable pace. Acting chops all round were very good, with Craig building on his iconoclastic début, although I'm sorry to say that Judi Dench is starting to look her age. Olga Kurylenko was the archetypal Flemingesque 'bird with a wing down', a fact hinted initially by the slight trace of scarring on her otherwise flawless back, which I thought was a nice touch. Obviously one couldn't help wondering what Agent Strawberry Fields (played by Gemma Arterton) was[n't] wearing under her mac when she turned up; sadly we never got to find out.

    Plotwise the film made about as much sense as your typical Bond movie (any Bond flick not explicitly based on a Fleming storyline seems to suffer in comparison with those that do) and considering that Purvis & Wade still need Paul Haggis to come on-board and make their scripts workable one wonders why they're still employed to write them.

    One high - the prominent appearance of Bill Tanner, always a nice nod to the original Fleming novels.

    One low - the godawful theme song; lazy clichéd tosh that perpetuates the Curse of Macca, namely with the exception of LALD any Bond theme with the word 'Die' in the title is the kiss of death. Jack White achieves the previously unimaginable feat of making Madonna's tawdy effort sound half-decent.

    In conclusion: not as good as Casino Royale but still better than most of Brosnan's post-GoldenEye excursions. Must remember to stock up on Nurofen before watching again. 7.5/10
    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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    • #3
      That movie title really pissed me off. Anyone actually read Fleming's short of that title?

      The law of a quantum of solace sort of means that a relationship is saveable if one partner retains the smallest amount possible of feeling. Or something. Nothing to do with the movie as far as I can tell.
      A: Yes.

      > Q: Are you sure?

      >> A: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation.

      >>> Q: Why is top posting annoying?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by David Mosley View Post

        In conclusion: not as good as Casino Royale but still better than most of Brosnan's post-GoldenEye excursions. Must remember to stock up on Nurofen before watching again. 7.5/10
        Ditto. On pretty much the whole thing.

        On a 1 to a 10, it gets a 6. Not a lot wrong with it... not a lot right with it. Sigh.....
        "Self-discipline and self-knowledge are the key. An individual becomes a unique universe, able to move at will through all the scales of the multiverse - potentially able to control the immediate reality of every scale, every encountered environment."
        --Contessa Rose von Bek, Blood part 4, chapter 12

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        • #5
          I have not seen Quantum of Solace but it looks dubious. If it has less emotional stuff that is fine by me. Casino Royale had super action and this contrived pathetic love rubbish stuffed in and lots of boring poker. The girl was so boring. Eva green is a awful actress. Who did she pay to get ahead. Poker is a boring boring subject in a film or tv show. Even the Devil May Cry anime episode Death Poker could not make it interesting. And that is a superaltively awesome anime. All the rest is awesome but the poker, made me wish it involved sticking pokers through enemies heads. The title made me hope, wish, it was a poker game were people died violently but it was not, sadly. But if Quantum Of Solace is bad, think how vomit inducing garbage the next one will be. The precious idiot Danny Boyle is doing it. Bond is doomed. The more fun spy series is going to turn into bullshit like all his films. What a stupid lier. There is no such phrase as a 'slum dog'. What stupidity. I hate that man and his films. They are contrived pretentious bafta, whatever, idiot sucking up rubbish. And are you wondering why all this is together. Well my browser won't do paragraphs on this site. And if QOS is less soppy it will have something on CR. Fighting, action, vengence, that sounds a good set up for a film.
          Last edited by Yisselda; 04-28-2009, 04:38 AM.

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          • #6
            Very so-so. While it is an orgy of quick-cut action scenes, below 1 secs often, if I'm not wrong, the old dry humour has completely flown out of the window, and the moments, you know, when the movie betrayed it wasn't taking itself 150% seriously... which Connery did best, of course. It isn't Craig's fault, but the producers' and director's that there isn't a whiff of it left and it becomes just another action thriller.
            Google ergo sum

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            • #7
              I liked it, though I think Casino Royale is better. There was one shot, where Craig and Kurylenko walk out of the desert in full evening dress, that really is classic.
              Kevin McCabe
              The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

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              • #8
                Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                In conclusion: not as good as Casino Royale but still better than most of Brosnan's post-GoldenEye excursions. Must remember to stock up on Nurofen before watching again. 7.5/10
                I watched QoS again last night for the first time since posting the above review and I don't know what it was but I actually liked it a lot more than before, the opening car chase and the pursuit of Mitchell sequence hold up a lot better than I thought first time round. The flash editing is actually quite clever and if you watch it closely very carefully thought out; it has the impression of chaos but really it's very linear with nothing happening that couldn't have followed on from the previous action/event. Of course, the Mitchell pursuit is inter-cut with the horse racing which throws you (me) a bit the first time, but second time around it seemed to work. I think the key is that Familiarity breeds Context.

                Anyway, I liked the film so much I watched it again straight-afterwards. It really is a lot better than I remembered. Possibly even 2 points better than I remember.
                _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                Comment


                • #9
                  I haven't watched QoS since I saw it at the cinema - my reaction was the same as your initial reaction, David. For the first time in my life, I haven't bought a Bond film soon after it was released, because I am fairly sure a deluxe edition come out at some point, probably when Skyfall is released, and because I really wasn't that keen on the film for all of the reasons that you stated. I will buy it eventually.

                  I have a feeling that when I do see it again, I will find it more agreeable, partly because of the familiarity and partly because all that trendy editing doesn't produce quite such a headache when see on a smaller TV screen as oppose to a large cinema screen.

                  I have a feeling that the editing on the early Bond films was seen as equally revolutionary, and that was part of the reason for their success back in the sixties. The fight in the train in 'From Russia with Love' is fairly brutal, and cut very quickly by the standards of the time. People didn't really see fight scenes like that in films then. Things were a lot more genteel. I think that's one of reasons they became the phenomenon that they did.

                  I still don't really like the modern style though, unless the director keeps it under control. In The Bourne Supremacy it went too far - I couldn't figure out what was happening sometimes - whereas in The Bourne Ultimatum, they kept it reined in just enough to maintain a sense of what was going on.

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                  • #10
                    A timely interview with Daniel Craig: http://tiny.cc/ieyxt

                    Originally posted by Daniel Craig
                    On Quantum, we were fucked. We had the bare bones of a script and then there was a writers’ strike and there was nothing we could do. We couldn’t employ a writer to finish it. I say to myself, ‘Never again’, but who knows? There was me trying to rewrite scenes – and a writer I am not.

                    Me and the director [Marc Forster] were the ones allowed to do it. The rules were that you couldn’t employ anyone as a writer, but the actor and director could work on scenes together. We were stuffed. We got away with it, but only just. It was never meant to be as much of a sequel as it was, but it ended up being a sequel, starting where the last one finished.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks, Tom!!! Oh: this bodes well for SkyFall.

                      The "new" Casino Royale was my favorite Bond movie ever, and I couldn't understand why Quantum was such a frigging mess.

                      Des
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                      • #12
                        I saw it on tv. It's as the review says.
                        It's bad.

                        The set ups are so obvious it is laughable. Especially the oh no, the fuel cells will explode one.

                        The stupid girl with scarring deserves death, total cretin.
                        The oil covered girl is totally and uterly unnessery and stupid.

                        The theme is grisly. Totally lame and the video for it is so boring!

                        Hopefully Skyfall is better.

                        Daniel Craig is a good Bond. And the film avoid some of the cliches that bugged the worst of previous ones.

                        He deserves better films.
                        Going Linear Is The Only Game Garanteed To Drive You Mad

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                        • #13
                          Have I mentioned that I think Michael Fassbender should play James Bond?

                          After Daniel Craig has his run, he could take over. Especially if they would actually film a retro 1960's Bond.

                          I'd imagine Fassbender and 007 has been mentioned in the same sentence before.

                          "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                          - Michael Moorcock

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                          • #14
                            I think we were promised something more like the 60's bond and instead we got another superhero. Nothing wrong with superheroes but Thunderball is my favorite Bond film, not exactly 'realistic' but you get the idea that Bond not only can get hurt but that what he can do, anyone could do. He's just tough, mean and crafty. Not like the new Bond where we're supposed to think he's 'more human' because he can withstand superhuman amounts of pain and has the odd repressed emotion. Then he proceeds to be a superhero.

                            I guess an even better illustration of this kind thing is in the Die Hard movies, compare the tough and determined McClane in the first movie with the kind of gravity-defying superman in 'Live Free'. The same thing has happened to the Bond movies over the years. I thought Craig might be a reversal of that but from his first scene I was dissapointed.

                            And for some reason substituting Texas Hold-em for Baccarat was really off putting to me. Maybe the producers felt Americans wouldn't understand the game or it might make Bond look 'too European'. Maybe Bond should change his name to Jimmy and drive a pickup truck with a great big nuclear missile on the back.

                            Of course none of this is Craigs fault, he actually does a good job, he's just trapped in stupid movies.

                            Combined with how badly the movies are structured and written, I think this is a low point for Bond. I think it might be neat to see a period piece with Bond from the early 60's but I doubt it wil happen, they're making too much money with something that I feel is inferior to Bond-type thriller movies and shows like the Jason Bourne series or Jack Bauer in '24'.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by opaloka View Post
                              And for some reason substituting Texas Hold-em for Baccarat was really off putting to me.
                              I think the idea was THE was more 'cinematic' than Baccarat. Don't know if that's the case but it's the sort of change I would expect a film-maker to make when adapting a work from one medium (literature) to another (cinema), so I can live with that.

                              Originally posted by opaloka View Post
                              I think it might be neat to see a period piece with Bond from the early 60's but I doubt it wil happen
                              Lovely idea but is never, ever, gonna happen. Not so much to do with box-office per se but the audience for a period Bond is probably quite niche compared to that for contemporary Bond. (Compare how many people read and prefer book Bond to those who only know movie Bond).
                              _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                              _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                              _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                              _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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