Friday, November 20, 2015

Movie Review: Spectre

Let me begin by saying more than any other Bond, Daniel Craig's 4 films feel the most cohesive, Quantum of Solace works better when viewed with Casino Royal, and it's almost a prerequisite to have seen the previous 3 films prior to watching Spectre.
After the spectacular job Sam Mendez did with Skyfall I was really excited to see him return for Spectre, I liked the choice of Chistoph Waltz as the main villain who was a total homage to Diamonds are Forever villain of the same name.
Spectre is littered with so many homages to older Bond movies it's staggering like this scene...



Which hearkens back to Bonds encounter with Auric Goldfinger back in 1965...



The cast for Spectre is Spectacular and I just want to say for those making an issue about Monica Bellucci being too old to be a Bond Girl, first off she's not a Bond Girl. Bellucci is a woman thru and thru, when Bond Girls grow up they hope they look like Monica Bellucci! I have to agree with Uncle Paulie...my only problem with Bellucci's character was the ridiculous lack of screen time! Personally I think the opening shot was cool but it could've been shaved down a bit and that time allotted to the Bond / Sciarra scene.
As for the actual Bond Girl in Spectre, Lea Seydoux (Dr. Madeleine Swann) totally impressed me in Blue is the Warmest Color earlier this year (fantastic film!) and again in Spectre!

Another aspect of Daniel Craigs Bond movies I appreciate is the way the women are portrayed as strong, self assured women iso damsels in distress. There were some incredible moments between Bond and Swann such as the scene in Blofeld's secluded desert base where she knows she's going to die but continue's forward with Bond with fearless conviction and the entire time on the train especially the fight against David Bautista's Mr Hinx.
Which brings me to my next gripe with Spectre....Mr Hinx! There have been some very memorable minions in the Bond films....Jaws, Oddjob, Pussy Galore, Xenia Onatopp....Mr Hinx comes across as a Cyberdyne systems model 101 more than a henchman for Spectre. The car chase scene between Hinx and Bond unfortunately was forgettable, I didn't get the goosies watching the gorgeous DB10 and Jaguar C-X75 race around Rome.
As I mentioned at the beginning, Craig's Bond films have a cohesiveness to them and I believe Spectre was attempting to tie together all the past villains and organisations under one umbrella organization, did they accomplish that goal? Yes but in my opinion not as well as it could've, I do believe Christoph Waltz was the best choice for the role, the reason I say that was the opening scene in Inglorious Basterds....the way he masterfully transitioned from a sympathetic Nazi just doing his duty to a maniacal villain has to be witnessed, and we saw a bit of that with "dentist chair" in Spectre but not to the same degree and unfortunately without that Blofeld never elevated beyond the other villains in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall.  And in turn I never felt Spectre was the head umbrella organization without a heavy dose of exposition from Blofeld.
The whole diatribe about James and Blofeld's father made the rivalry between the two too personal and detracted from the Super Villain/organization vs Super Secret Agent/ MI6.
And then there's Denbigh and the 9 eyes project....


Fear not though we have Q (Ben Whishaw) MI6's wizard class hacker to help 007 unravel the mystery's of the one ring...










I also have to say I miss the relationship between Dame Judi Dench's M and Craig's Bond, nothing against Ralph Fiennes but the dynamic isn't the same.
For all the drama that took place between Bond and Moneypenny in Skyfall there was surprisingly little interaction between them aside from the scene where she brings his personal effects to his apartment.
All the ingredients for a great 007 movie are in Spectre...Gorgeous women, high end sports cars, exotic locales, secret bases, shadowy organizations, evil villains, larger than life henchmen, breathtaking action and yet Spectre was not as enjoyable as Skyfall.

B-

Did you know Christopher Nolan and Albert R Broccolli were considering collaborating on a Batman Vs Spectre movie??? Bet ya didn't...test screenings didn't go so well but I have a clip from the scrapped project for you!