Rewatching some Bond

Unsurprisingly, all the Bond movies (even the two non-Broccoli ones!) are on my current streaming service just as the next movie is coming out. So I’m planning to rewatch a few of them to get into the proper mood for No Time to Die, and shitpost a bit.

Before getting into any movies, I want to show just how much pride the good people of Sky Atlantic put into their work. Here’s how they’re showing their specially curated list of Bond movies:

What an amazingly useless way to sort the films. First the Craig movies in inverse order, then Connery in chronological order, Brosnan in inverse order, two Dalton movies in who-the-heck-could-remember-what-order-those-came-out, Moore in inverse order, and finally Lazenby in both orders at the same time… Wait Dalton made a third one of these? Well, might as well just chuck it at the end.

I’ll start with Quantum of Solace, because I can’t remember a single thing about the whole movie despite seeing it at least twice.

I remember some dude being handed motor oil to drink. I don’t remember why.

I remember a hotel in the desert exploding dramatically because it was powered by hydrogen cells or something. I mean, good enough for the Hindenburg, right?

Quantum of Solace

Well remembered both of you! Both of those things do indeed happen exactly as you described.

  • The opening car-chase is making me ill with these hyper-fast cuts.
  • Is this the blandest theme song in the whole series? I don’t think anyone would recognize this as a Bond theme. And if told this was from a Bond movie, the only way they could figure out which one it’s from is by a process of elimination.
  • The Sienna chase sequence on foot is just unwatchable due to the shaky-cam and fast cuts. I have no idea of what is happening here. My favorite is the “cut to a camera that’s panning so fast all you can see is motion blur, and then cut away from it before it ever stabilizes” effect. Nauseating.
  • It is kind of funny that Bond ends up killing every lead by accident. Or at least it was funny until they made sure to explicitly point it out.
  • I don’t quite understand the logic of casting a French-speaking Ukrainean to talk English with what I assume is meant to be a Spanish accent.
  • The Opera sequence was just gloriously stupid nonsense. The world’s most secret cabal, and they’re holding their secret meeting out in the open crowd over earpiece radio. While also apparently arranging for a dozen gunmen to indiscriminately shoot innocent bystanders for no reason – I didn’t quite follow what happened there. But it was all quite stylish!
  • Wow, Fields’ arc was shallow even by the standards of a secondary Bond girl. Meet Bond, fuck Bond, get fridged.
  • Why did Bond dump Mattis’ body in a dumpster? Other than for the one-liner, that is. It certainly wasn’t to hide the body (or he would have, well, hidden both that body and also had to do all about all the other corpses).
  • The dogfighting sequence was just plain boring. Why did they even bother?
  • Oh, God. They bad guys’ masterplan has finally been revealed. They want to become a utilities provider in a third world country, but double the standard rates. Like, just how much money do they think there is in that? The cabal might as well have been planning a liquor store heist. On one hand, there is something admirable in keeping the stakes low in a movie like this. But on the other hand, it’s quite obvious that the movie makers weren’t considering these to be low stakes given how much they were hyping up the organization.
  • In the end, I guess I kind of like what they did with Kurylenko’s character. She had her own goals, didn’t get distracted from them. Bond was basically a sidekick on her quest, and all he got was a kiss goodbye.

That was atrocious, no wonder I’d forgotten all about it. It was like peak Bourne. All the action sequences were horribly shot and edited. Occasionally there were cool ideas for stunts, but they showed it for just a fraction of a second.

Tomorrow: Die Another Day, just for the invisible car. And I think maybe Rosamund Pike as a baddie? I have a strange feeling this might not be very good either…

To be fair, trying to watch it twice means you’ve probably only seen half of it once, what with all the horrible shaky cam cinematography. Roger Deakins’s work on Skyfall would have shined regardless, but it stood out all the more for following that mess in Quantum of Solace.

EDIT: Ah, I see you’ve beaten me to the punch by a few seconds. If you’re just getting in the Bond mood, might I suggest The Girl in the Spider’s Web? It’s every bit as much a Bond movie as Galaxy Quest is a Star Trek movie, from the sports car chases to the evil villains in their evil lairs with their evil plots, to the American sidekicks with high tech gadgets. It even has Bond girls (only gayer) and an opening credits music video. The only thing it didn’t have was a comparable budget, but it has a far more interesting protagonist. I’d rank it above literally any of the Moore flicks.


Nope. Just the two. After Lazenby, they list the stinker by Moore, A View to a Kill. And then the stinker by Connery, Never Say Never Again. And then the Roger Niven spoof Casino Royale. You usually never see that one listed.

Since you’re already starting with the worst two movies (Die Another Day and Quantum), might as well do A View to a Kill next, get all the really bad ones out of the way first.

I actually like Quantum of Solace, I don’t think it’s bad at all. Its main problem is that it was the followup to Casino Royale, which was always going to be a tough row to hoe.

There’s definitely elements of Quantum that I enjoyed, and I’ve only seen it twice, so it’s tied with the least amount of times I’ve seen a Bond movie, so perhaps with further viewings, those parts will grow on me and my problems with the movie will become minimized.

I must heartily recommend the number one film podcast in the UK. At one point, at least.

The key to enjoying Quantum of Solace is to watch it immediately after Casino Royale.

Hmm, I haven’t seen them in quite a while. But I recall thinking Spectre was much worse than Quantum of Solace.

Here’s how I remember the Daniel Craig films, Casino Royale was good, Skyfall was very good, Quantum of Solace was somewhat mediocre, and Spectre was awful.

it was so slow and going on forever and ever. QoS was quick, fast paced and had a good cast. He who controls the spice water controls the universe planet.

I love the Lazenby one for the music and Diana Rigg. And Telly Savalas.

Was thinking about Bond movies just the other day, wondering if the whole thing came off the rails early on. A movie like From Russia with Love is a spy movie, with relatively low stakes (the baddies just want to kill Bond, it’s not an eminent threat to rule or destroy the world), and it’s a really good film, once you make some allowance for changing social standards. Maybe more like that, and fewer super-villain-billionaires with grand plots to kill everyone?

I noped out of QoS in the middle of the second scene (the interrogation).

This was the correct move.

Is that the scene in the hold of the ship where they are whacking him in the nuts? Or am I remembering that from another of his films.

Either way, that scene is stolen directly from the novel “Casino Royale.” Very vivid scene…

That scene is in the movie Casino Royale.

That scene is also some torture porn bullshit that has no place in a fun action-adventure spy flick. Rabble, rabble.

Blandest? Can’t be. Writing’s on the Wall by Sam Smith for Spectre is a complete snoozer, and that’s just sticking with the Craig era. There might be even worse going back further.

But you’re right, “Another Way To Die” doesn’t sound especially Bond-ish.

That scene is in the book though…