Tag Archives: James Bond

Spectre

So, we saw the new James Bond film today. Spectre.

There was plenty to enjoy, not least was the little nods to the past – the ‘Day of the Dead’ opening was great – and the camerawork on that opening shot was superb. Some of the action shots were disorienting, though – especially in the (first) helicopter sequence, too many cuts, but I get the sense that this was intentional due to the chaos going on.

The film itself had a lot to commend it, Christoph Waltz was great – but the ‘Bond out in the cold’ thing is getting a bit old. I thought they were done with that after Skyfall.

I found the ending rather flat – I had been expecting a ‘Blofeld and Bunt killing Diana Rigg’ moment, and Bond just leaving Blofeld be, to presumably allow him to escape and fight another day was an odd way to do it. Blofeld surviving despite the best efforts of Bond, but damaged and licking his wounds, okay. 

The whole ‘Bond is Blofeld’s adopted brother’ was far too much.

I liked that ‘M’, ‘Q’ and Moneypenny all got an outing, this made a pleasant change, although the reveal that ‘C’ was a villain was the most unsurprising thing since a ‘Q’ gadget was just the thing that Bond needed to save the day – after all, ‘C’ was Moriarty!

There was a missed opportunity, I thought that Monica Bellucci would be the ‘Bond girl’ – which would have been someone his own age – but no, she was abandoned for a younger model. A pity, and a wasted opportunity.

Overall, it was an average to good Bond film. Not as good as ‘Skyfall’, better than ‘Quantum of Solace’, much better than ‘Octopussy’.

I give it a rating of ‘Shaken but not Stirred’

Oh, and the Sam Smith track. Meh… but better with the visuals of the title sequence.

Goldfinger

Last night, we went to see the restored ‘Goldfinger’ at the Cinema (an Odeon). There is talk of releasing ‘Thunderball’ and ‘From Russia with Love’ on the big screen too.

The retouching was done very well, the film looked sharp and crisp – thankfully they resisted the urge to tamper.

Goldfinger is the quintessential Bond theme, I can’t even recall the name of the Casino Royale theme, let alone hum the tune (the last one that felt ‘Bondy’ to me was ‘Goldeneye’ – and the last ones I really remember were ‘View to a Kill’ and ‘The Living Daylights’. For me, a Bond Theme should scream ‘Bond’ even when not attached to the film, there is an honourable exception for ‘We have all the Time in the World’). I’d love it if they got someone like Shirley (or even Bassey herself) to do Bond 22.

From the start, the film is sublime. Oddjob, Pussy Galore, Auric Goldfinger – wonderful stuff. There is the superlative exchange ‘Do you expect me to talk….?’ ‘No, Mister Bond, I expect you to die‘.

As the TimesOnline points out, I’d forgotten that this is one of those Bond Films where events take control of Bond, and he goes from disaster to disaster, for instance the day is saved when one of the main villains has a change of heart after Bond forces himself on her, and rings the CIA (though why they don’t intervene before the nuclear bomb goes anywhere near the repository is beyond me – Goldfinger isn’t suicidal) – and he almost detonates the bomb by ripping wires out instead of hitting the ‘off’ switch which Leiter finds so readily.

I loved seeing Goldfinger on the big screen, I do hope that the other films get the same treatment.

I’ve only just found out that it was for one day only, if I’d have known that I would have posted yesterday – my apologies. This is part of a film season from the UK film council.

For one night only, some of Britain’s best films will come to the big screen, as you’ve never seen them before. Digitally remastered in Hi-Definition and returning to cinemas for the first time since their release, these films are a rare and unmissable visual treat.

Every Tuesday evening – from 31 July to 11 September – 136 cinemas across the UK will be showing seven British classics, kicking off with the action-packed 007 classic "Goldfinger" and ending with the popular buddy comedy "Withnail & I".

Please see below for the full list of films and their screening dates:

  • Goldfinger – 31 July
  • Brief Encounter – 7 August
  • Billy Liar – 14 August
  • Henry V – 21 August
  • The Wicker Man – 28 August
  • The Dam Busters – 4 September
  • Withnail and I – 11 September