SPECTRE

SPECTRE

I saw the Bond film, Spectre, in an Imax cinema with John the other week and quite enjoyed it although I am not a Bond fan.

Why are cinemas so loud? The noise together with the impact of the Imax sensations made me feel sick and I had to close my eyes at some fast moving sections.

This film required rather more than the usual suspension of disbelief – helicopters performed impossible feats, people got up and fought after terminal injuries, machinery was where it was required with no explanation at all for why it was there etc.

I think Daniel Craig with his arrogant coldness is one of the better cast Bonds. There has been much talk of the emancipation of women in Bond films but apart from the late lamented M, I see no evidence of this. All the women fall instantly for his charms and give him whatever he wants. Someone should perhaps advise the male fantasists who design these films that however rich, handsome, sexy or powerful a man may be, not every woman will collapse like a blancmange whenever he deigns to show up.

The film at 2 and a half hours long was perhaps half an hour too long in my view.

It was action packed and not boring but it never captured your heart.

Those who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.

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SKYFALL

John and I went to see the new Bond film in Brighton last weekend.

I’m still thinking about it, which shows what an untypical Bond film it was;  and I’m not sure what to conclude.

Firstly, it was enjoyable;  I recommend it.   As John said, it was a proper film, stand alone, with a story and a hinterland;  it wasn’t just the latest in the Bond franchise.   Herein may lie the difficulty, for if you go wanting glorious technology, violent but amusing; Bond girls glamorous but demanding in the 21st century mode; our hero looking dishy and always emerging on top;  Britannia rules the waves with an American happy ending slant  – this isn’t it.

It did have pretty girls, car and bike chases, fights, a casino scene, good photography, great acting – just not, perhaps, all in the right order (if you’re looking for ‘classic’ Bond.)

I’ve heard it described as ‘nostalgic’ and it is true that the car in the final denouement was classic (ie old) and the lethal weapon was primitive.    But although nostalgia literally means ‘extreme homesickness’, the word I believe these days has a lighter weight and is generally associated with a hankering back to the ‘style’ of former days, as in vintage clothing, retro styles of interior design and classic cars.

The message of this film appeared to me to be:    We stand in mortal danger from an unrecognisable enemy concealed within us.   Technology will not help us.    Our only chance of survival is to hold fast to the values that we still hope reside within ourselves, and not to yield to baser motives.

This is an ambiguous message (if correct) and not at all easy to interpret.

Daniel Craig plays Bond in the Avenging Angel mode.   He’s no pretty boy in a well tailored suit.    This is neither romantic fiction or light entertainment.

Skyfall is a dark film, full of foreboding and menace, and though it points the way to survival you get no sense of confidence that it has or will be achieved.   Bond survives (just) to fight another day.

We have been warned.