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What would you change about "Quantum of Solace"?


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#121 danielcraigisjamesbond007

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 07:09 PM

Since "QoS" is now out for most of us, I'd like everyone to discuss what they would've done differently; recasting of roles, rewriting of scenes, relocating certain environments--Anything that you would have done had you been behind the helm of the film.

1) More time to finish/rewrite the script (I heard rumours that the script was finished 2 hours before the Writers Guild Strike of America happened).
2) A better director (Chris Nolan maybe?)
3) The gunbarrel back at the beginning
4) Daniel Kleinman back for the titles
5) Better editors (meaning no more shaky camera shots)

Also, it would have been interesting had Camille been after Greene as well as Bond. Then, there's some conflict between the two over who gets to Greene first... :(

#122 King Felix

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 07:21 PM

I would have changed the whole plot to make this a James Bond film. Bond essentially co-stars in this one with Camille, as evidenced by the cutting between their two fight scenes at the end. Unfortunately, this is the only time they climax together.

It's also missing the trademark humor, I would have thrown in a lot more of that. The guy is a killer and a womanizer, at least have him do it with a touch of sarcasm. Finally, I would have taken out all the extreme-closeup shaky-cam jason bourne fight scene bollocks. You want to know how to direct a fight scene or a chase scene? Go watch From Russia With Love.

#123 Harmsway

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 01:43 AM

Eh? Most of your earlier comments was to do with adding more to the film (dialogue, etc.) not removing bits from the film because it was too overlong.

Well, yes and no. There are little bits here and there that I wanted to see extended, but overall, that would just add up to a few minutes of screentime (I asked for slight additions to Mr. White's interrogation, Bond and Field's love scene, and Bond and Camille in the plane). Nothing substantial. And with the action cut down (no boat chase or airplane chase, or at least present in significantly altered, much shorter forms), then the film would probably come out shorter than the finished product.

If I had to prioritize my changes, I'd sooner see the cuts than the extensions. It's the cuts that are more necessary to QUANTUM OF SOLACE's overall quality, since, IMO, QUANTUM OF SOLACE's biggest issue is that it feels bloated. It's fine to have a simple narrative, but the finished film pads it out too much. So what really needed to happen was some real cutting of the extraneous material, which would really make QUANTUM OF SOLACE a near-perfect Bond flick (my desires for slightly extended scenes are more of a minor nitpick than naything else).

#124 Turn

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 03:32 AM

Eh? Most of your earlier comments was to do with adding more to the film (dialogue, etc.) not removing bits from the film because it was too overlong.

Well, yes and no. There are little bits here and there that I wanted to see extended, but overall, that would just add up to a few minutes of screentime (I asked for slight additions to Mr. White's interrogation, Bond and Field's love scene, and Bond and Camille in the plane). Nothing substantial. And with the action cut down (no boat chase or airplane chase, or at least present in significantly altered, much shorter forms), then the film would probably come out shorter than the finished product.

If I had to prioritize my changes, I'd sooner see the cuts than the extensions. It's the cuts that are more necessary to QUANTUM OF SOLACE's overall quality, since, IMO, QUANTUM OF SOLACE's biggest issue is that it feels bloated. It's fine to have a simple narrative, but the finished film pads it out too much. So what really needed to happen was some real cutting of the extraneous material, which would really make QUANTUM OF SOLACE a near-perfect Bond flick (my desires for slightly extended scenes are more of a minor nitpick than naything else).

I remember going into QoS and thinking of how fast it would fly by due to the announced running time only to walk out feeling like it seemed longer than CR due to the above reasons.

Completely agree about the action as well. One of the many things I liked so much about CR was the action scenes were fewer but memorable. Although I tried to keep away from spoilers in following the production of QoS, I recall reading there was to be a lot more action than in CR, which made me a bit wary.

The boat and plane chases felt like unused ideas from previous films and added nothing. And although I liked the chase at the beginning of the film, it really smacked of trying to equal the Madagascar chase.

Still, I liked QoS quite a bit and need to see it again to reevaluate some of my first impressions.

#125 Jet Set Willy

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 07:28 AM

Eh? Most of your earlier comments was to do with adding more to the film (dialogue, etc.) not removing bits from the film because it was too overlong.

Well, yes and no. There are little bits here and there that I wanted to see extended, but overall, that would just add up to a few minutes of screentime (I asked for slight additions to Mr. White's interrogation, Bond and Field's love scene, and Bond and Camille in the plane). Nothing substantial. And with the action cut down (no boat chase or airplane chase, or at least present in significantly altered, much shorter forms), then the film would probably come out shorter than the finished product.

If I had to prioritize my changes, I'd sooner see the cuts than the extensions. It's the cuts that are more necessary to QUANTUM OF SOLACE's overall quality, since, IMO, QUANTUM OF SOLACE's biggest issue is that it feels bloated. It's fine to have a simple narrative, but the finished film pads it out too much. So what really needed to happen was some real cutting of the extraneous material, which would really make QUANTUM OF SOLACE a near-perfect Bond flick (my desires for slightly extended scenes are more of a minor nitpick than naything else).

If you strip the film of those scenes you mentioned, the running time would probably come in at around 80 minutes.

I'm sorry, but that is way below satisfactory for a Bond movie, for any movie in fact. Is that the best EON could dream up in 2 years to follow on from the brilliant CR? An 80 minute film, devoid of bloated action sequences, and instead focus on a storyline which was weak to begin with?

#126 HildebrandRarity

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 09:27 PM

There are little bits here and there that I wanted to see extended, but overall, that would just add up to a few minutes of screentime (I asked for slight additions to Mr. White's interrogation, Bond and Field's love scene, and Bond and Camille in the plane). Nothing substantial. And with the action cut down (no boat chase or airplane chase, or at least present in significantly altered, much shorter forms), then the film would probably come out shorter than the finished product.

If I had to prioritize my changes, I'd sooner see the cuts than the extensions. It's the cuts that are more necessary to QUANTUM OF SOLACE's overall quality, since, IMO, QUANTUM OF SOLACE's biggest issue is that it feels bloated. It's fine to have a simple narrative, but the finished film pads it out too much. So what really needed to happen was some real cutting of the extraneous material, which would really make QUANTUM OF SOLACE a near-perfect Bond flick (my desires for slightly extended scenes are more of a minor nitpick than naything else).


If your biggest issue with Q0S is that it "feels bloated" because of the boat and plane chases, then that (quite personal) opinion means that the film is actually one of relatively high quality...even if everyone shared that particular opinion of yours. Correct?

Also, do you not see that the boat and plane chases actually serve some purposes.

Boat Chase - Bond inadvertently prevents Camille from assassinating General Medrano. He 1) thinks he's helping a girl in distress and 2) that by 'rescuing' her he might actually get more information regarding the mission he's sent on in the first place (i.e. to see what Slate is doing with money paid via Le Chiffre's operation.) Clearly the boat chase serves a purpose or two in the movie. Don't you see that?

Plane Chase - Bond asks Camille to show him the Tiera Project. In the plane she tells Bond that Greene's geologist (which is seen drowned aside the dock at Port Au Prince) thought there was something of value in the area they were surveying. The survey area (with "quite a few" sinkholes in the area) is in terrain virtually inaccessable by regular car. Hence the DC3. They then get attacked because Greene wants them dead...want's to keep the mystery behind the Tiera Project a secret for Quantum. So, again, clearly there's a reason for the plane trip and there is a reason for the attack on the DC3. Don't you see that?

#127 Harmsway

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 09:52 PM

If your biggest issue with Q0S is that it "feels bloated" because of the boat and plane chases, then that (quite personal) opinion means that the film is actually one of relatively high quality...even if everyone shared that particular opinion of yours. Correct?

Well, sure. I've made no secret of the fact thta I think QUANTUM OF SOLACE is, on the whole, terrific stuff, marred primarily by an excess of action (and it's not good action, either... the boat chase and plane chase range from mediocre to awful). It's definitely one of the best Bond entries.

Also, do you not see that the boat and plane chases actually serve some purposes.

I do, but I think what the sequences accomplish could have been more interestingly and more concisely accomplished through other means.

#128 HildebrandRarity

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 10:21 PM

If your biggest issue with Q0S is that it "feels bloated" because of the boat and plane chases, then that (quite personal) opinion means that the film is actually one of relatively high quality...even if everyone shared that particular opinion of yours. Correct?

Well, sure. I've made no secret of the fact thta I think QUANTUM OF SOLACE is, on the whole, terrific stuff, marred primarily by an excess of action (and it's not good action, either... the boat chase and plane chase range from mediocre to awful). It's definitely one of the best Bond entries.

Also, do you not see that the boat and plane chases actually serve some purposes.

I do, but I think what the sequences accomplish could have been more interestingly and more concisely accomplished through other means.


Ok, well, since you asked me back in July how would I go about changing the Ferries At Midnight/Sonar Fight near finale' of The Dark Knight...and I answered it with what you thought was a thoughtful reply, i'd like your take on what you would have done to make those two sequences accomlish things more interesting and more concisely.

You know i'm not being 'silly bugger' about this. I answered you back in July and now i'd like some juicy new ideas from you! :(

#129 Harmsway

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 02:45 AM

It's a more than fair question. Give me a bit of time to think things through and see what I can make of the two sections of film.

#130 HildebrandRarity

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 03:12 AM

It's a more than fair question. Give me a bit of time to think things through and see what I can make of the two sections of film.


I value your opinion and your ideas and I see eye-to-eye with you on probably 75 percent of the stuff around here...so, looking forward to it.

:(

#131 Judo chop

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 03:54 PM

I know nobody asked for my opinion, but I think:

The boat chase needed to end with, or at least contain, a breathtaking stunt. A gloriously daring stunt, and something which we haven’t seen before. The 2008 equivalent of MTWGG’s corkscrew jump – not the mystifying anchor toss we were given, which really comes across as last minute patchwork over a glaring mistake in the storyboarding. As it stands, there are only a couple ‘things’ that happen, action-wise. I like that Bond simply rams Medrano’s boat – I wasn’t exactly expecting that. The ‘throw on the brakes’ maneuver which knocks out Camille just ok, and more than a little cliché. In between there is nothing. A completely unexciting sequence comprised of a boring clothesline move, machine gun fire and lots of engine revving. I’m not sure if it’s the camera position or the cutting (I’m really trying hard not to sound like I actually know how to direct an action film) but I never had a good sense of spacing in the sequence. I don’t know where the enemy is in relation to Bond and Camille, which kills the threat. As a result, there’s very little suspense in the scene. (Though, somehow, the opposite is true with the opening car chase).

So: keep the boat ram, develop a great stunt at the end, and focus on building a little suspense, maybe by letting me see what’s happening this time.

Also, there is potential for a little humor when Bond and Camille have their verbal exchanges (insert funny sheepish look from Craig when Camille accosts him for ‘saving her’), but the scene is too focused on emphasizing the surrounding action (of which there isn’t really any) with jittery camera and quick cuts to give such an exchange a chance to breathe.

Otherwise, I think the motives and the situation are all relevant to the story and workable as is. Medrano can still show up on a boat and take Camille, and Bond can still go after her via a water chase.

I won’t put my head in the freefall guillotine today.

#132 Loomis

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 04:23 PM

Well, I'd change quite a number of things (admirer of the flick though I am), but here's one that struck me quite recently: did they drop the ball with Tanner?

I mean, isn't he supposed to be Bond's closest friend? Well, you'd be bloody hard pushed to tell from QUANTUM OF SOLACE that 007 had anything other than cold and complete contempt for the man.

*Sigh* Eon, eh? Never an opportunity missed to be pointlessly unfaithful to Fellminngn.

#133 Judo chop

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 04:37 PM

I mean, isn't he supposed to be Bond's closest friend? Well, you'd be bloody hard pushed to tell from QUANTUM OF SOLACE that 007 had anything other than cold and complete contempt for the man.

Don't you think that would have been overfriending Bond at this point in his story?

He's just making amends with Vesper.
He's just wrapping up his relationship with Mathis.
He's beginning to trust in Felix and to find his proper relationship with M.

To my mind, adding Tanner to the mix seems to be the pointless move. In light of the other, much deeper relationships going on, another less significant one with Tanner might only “bloat” the film with friendships.

#134 Brooky

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 04:17 PM

I would have begIn by simply filming the two films back-to-back and releasing them over 2007/2008 keeping the same crew of CR. The gun barrel would be at the beginning at the film where it should be and the pre-credits sequence would be Mr White's Interrogation and the subsequent rooftop chase meraning that there is no car chase. I would keep Chris Cornell doing the titles and use a different song sang by different artists. Elvis' part would be cut out and Greene's part would be re-written to make him more interesting and memorable. Also, the dogfight would be filmed more with real planes and SFX for smoke etc with real skydivers doing the freefall scene. Finally, I would stop M's wittering on about "trust", "loyalty" etc because she really began to grate on me in this film.

I am sure that there is more but that is all that I can think ofg for now.

#135 Chief of SIS

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 04:46 PM

The Haiti scene is so rushed. I watch it with friends all the time and they always get confused about Slate. They do not know why Bond was there. They do not understand the money bit. All the wrong parts of QoS are too short. The beginning of the film moves too fast for some none Bond addicts. Forester dropped the ball. I would have to say the second half of the film is pretty flawless although I wish the dialogue in Mathis' death scene was a wee-bit different.

#136 Capsule in Space

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 06:36 PM

1. Recast the role of James Bond.
2. Rewrite the script that includes a plot that involves much higher stakes.
3. Return gun barrel introduction followed by a pre-title sequence.
4. Recast the role of M.
5. (See Captain Grimes' fifth suggestion listed above)

#137 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 07:08 AM

Here´s what Marc Forster recently said:  http://collider.com/...-solace/#poster



#138 hilly

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 08:40 AM

The final quarter of the film (bar the confrontation with Vesper's boyfriend) is a bit of a mess. 

(Given that Spectre tried to tie together the Craig films (clumsily), they rather forgot about him. MI6 detained him at the end of the film, but apparently he didn't give away anything about Spectre...)

The scenes at the hotel in the desert are chaotic

Camille is a bit nondescript and Elvis, as a character, is a bit odd



#139 bribond

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 01:28 PM

I'd wait a year until the script is right :)

 

To me most of the problems are in the first act.

 

The editing and camerawork on the first three action sequences is too flashy.  Several good ideas are introduced (ie Bond not sleeping, Camille's infiltration of Quantum, Leiter's uncomfortable dilemma) but not explored.  

 

I'd also change the song and stick the gunbarrel in the front.

 

Most of the rest of the film is pretty good.



#140 Dustin

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 02:28 PM

My critique of QOS is that it's overall too conventional an action film. I don't mind the editing until the boat sequence, but the parts with the plane and the hotel are not all too engaging. Since the villain and his henchman are not particularly strong characters it might have helped if the script had concentrated on Camille/Bond and instead of action had put an emphasis on spying-investigating.

Camille is already a part of Greene's wider set, Bond could have used her as his agent inside that family, offering to reveal to her who hired him to kill her in exchange for information on Greene. Camille would not know yet Greene wants to get rid of her. Greene would not know yet his killer failed, would in fact wait for him to strike (Greene and Bond should meet, with Bond impersonating Slate). Bond would not know yet if and how Greene is connected to White. This would also give a rare chance to show Bond as an actual intelligence officer running an agent. I would move the hotel part towards the end of the second act and change it so Greene finds out his killer is dead and Bond replaced him. Greene would then torch the hotel with Bond and Camille inside, so that the fire shower scene stays largely intact.

The finale would then be the opera scene, wherein Bond manages to identify numerous Quantum executives. In the ensuing fight White would escape again. Greene would be the honey trap who recruited Vesper. I loved the part where Bond leaves him in the desert. But some good things have to go.

#141 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 02:58 PM

Very interesting alternate take!

 

I wonder, by the way, why the last Bond films had such an incredibly short editing schedule.  Why isn´t it possible to start earlier and have more time for post-production?  Availability of actors, directors?



#142 Dustin

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 03:09 PM

Over my head, really. The editing is the crucial part of the process where all the parts have to be fit together. Good editing can elate middling material by several levels - while bad editing can easily destroy even the most genius work. How anybody can think it's fine to do this work under severe pressure and with a deadline looming right outside the cutting room is truly beyond me.

#143 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 04:18 PM

Might be due to financing peculiarities - with the moneylenders expecting returns at a certain (too early) date...



#144 trevanian

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 04:41 PM

I like a lot of Dustin's alternate version too. The idea of showing Bond running a field operative would have pushed a bit in the NOTORIOUS direction, which is not the worst thing a spy movie can do!

 

As to Forster's comments, he seems to be forgetting Joshua Zetumer's uncredited writing, which I though made up the bulk of what was actually shot. I will hazard a guess that Forster is now just 'remembering' what Craig had said post-release and parroting that as the actual account.

 

The very short post schedules on Bonds go all the way back to GF and certainly TB Connery era, where you're not finished shooting a film till a month or two before it goes into theaters. If you consider fancy opticals could take WEEKS to complete back then, that shows they were always up against impossible turnaround times. If MOONRAKER had been done using then-standard VFX techniques instead of the double-exposure cheats, it would have been at least 6 or 9 months extra before the film could possibly have been finished. QUANTUM had 900+ VFX shots that had to be finished in that compressed post of something like 75? days, and that shows how studios refuse to learn from the mistakes of the past, no matter how much folks claim you can push a button and out come great fx.



#145 Dustin

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 08:10 PM

That's a shame, really. In that light it's rather surprising they so often finished with quite satisfying results. But it explains a lot of the shoddier ones, too.

Yes, NOTORIOUS would have been an obvious influence for me. I would have liked Camille to be a highly motivated and capable girl - but nowhere near a professional. She's after something, but we do not learn what that is until way further into the film. She's not entirely an angel; somebody took the effort to hire a killer to get her out of the way - and she doesn't even know who that could have been. She does NOT suspect Greene. And she would not trust Bond outright practically from the go.

Greene would have been a guy who's just up and coming - aided by his Quantum connection - but not somebody who can arrange any number of murders at a whim (makes one wonder why he needed Slate). He's about to broker a deal for Quantum that will move him upwards - but he's also concerned about his public appearance and would not want to be connected to people turning up dead around him.

Bond would at first not know himself who hired Slate, only that the target was Camille. He suspects her boyfriend Greene - Bond watches crime shows like everybody else - but it's only confirmed when he and Greene meet in person. The nature of Greene's deal should be revealed only gradually by Camille's and Bond's efforts, not all of a sudden with the awkward plane-parachute stunt.

All of that is of course largely useless and beside the point, since QOS is what it is - and cannot be fixed, simply because it doesn't need to. But you get the general idea, Bond instructing Camille how to break into her lover's files, what to look for, how to report her findings - all the while knowing she's spying for him on her would-be killer.

Bond would be a bit of a bastard here, willing to risk Camille for his own ends, but also doing his best to protect her. When she's in danger of being exposed at a party Bond moves in and meets Greene, introducing himself as Slate. When Greene mentions that he met Slate and Bond looks nothing like him, Bond simply bluffs that Greene only met a go-between. Bond would work more with his wits and outmanoeuvre opposition where possible. Greene would not have unlimited Quantum access and be able to identify Bond as SIS agent, much less know of his significance for Mr White.

#146 bribond

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 09:59 PM

I think a lot of the editing is done during production now.  For example, a scene might be constructed right after it is shot but the larger framework might not assembled until after production is complete and the director can focus on it.  This allows other post production work to commence immediately (fixing the color, sound, etc.)  I believe six months after the end of production is the ideal time to release a film which gives it time to breathe and the director time to experiment.  I remember Lethal Weapon 4 finished production in May 1998 and was released the second week of July which rarely leads to a top shelf finished product.  



#147 Odd Jobbies

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 10:16 AM

Forster recently said that due to the strike predicament he'd decided to forego the pre-eminence of plot/story and approach it as a 70s revenge flick. I love this idea and believe it was a wise way to make the best of a bad situation. If only they'd gone the whole hog....

 

The original teaser put revenge front and centre:

 

 

I always loved that slightly bleached shot of Craig approaching over a rugged desert-scape, machine gun in hand. For me it [slightly] inexplicably had something of The French Connection about it and i looked forward to the gritty, ruthless retro revenge flick that Forster has since alluded to.

 

Sadly for me it didn't go far enough in this regard. I'd like to have seen it push the boundaries of taste and aesthetics in that direction. The only parts of the finished movie that had this edge were the opening car chase (the only action-scene in which the the editing was successful).

 

....Also Craig's short, businesslike pep-talk to Camile before storming the desert hotel.

 

....The the ruthless simplicity of Bond leaving Greene in the desert to die (very 70s imo).

 

....And the final farewell in the car between Camile and Bond, with its wonderfully bleached out photography and Craig's make-up looking genuinely beat-up (those 70s revenge flicks never worried about their antihero looking handsome). It was a hard edged goodbye not at all sweetened up for a mainstream audience...Bravo!  Not unlike the the downbeat epilogue of Fleming's MR, but with a 'French Connection' aesthetic.

 

The rest of the movie's very slick, smooth look and feel was at odds with this harsh grit. Sure you could say that the Grit was for the Central America stuff and the slickness for the Alps etc. But I don't think that harsh revenge-grit plays well with other, slicker tones; if you employ it, then the whole movie needs to employ it - it's all or nothing with such since it's characterises the story and more importantly the central theme of revenge, rather than just a location.

 

The more traditionally photographed and blocked out scenes (the slick stuff), which dominated the majority of the runtime of the finished movie is where the kinetic edit style came unstuck - comparing the 70s car chase and the boat & plane chases, the chaos enhances the former gritty 70s aesthetic and compromises the latter slick stuff.

 

It's not that the slick stuff was all bad. The heavily stylised opera shoot out is one of my favourite scenes in the whole canon. It didn't employ the fast-cutting of the other action scenes, but instead slowed things down by dropping the audio and replacing it with the opera track - beautiful scene.

 

Overall i'm a fan of QoS. I see it's shortcomings and taken in the context of it's production problems i think they did a marvellous job. For me they could of gone the whole hog with the 70s revenge flick angle, instead of being caught between 2 aesthetics.

 

That would've meant more violence, more cynicism, more bleaching and crushing of the blacks in the photography (not in post), and throwing out most of the convoluted story, which in it's half-baked form distracted way too much from the central theme of revenge. This movie wasn't about water supply, or even the discovery of Quantum - they should've been peripheral (as the plot elements were in OHMSS compared to its emotional journey with Teresa).

 

QoS (or more to the point CR's sequel) was about revenge revenge and more revenge...  That was Bond's emotional journey here -- until he was sick of revenge and ready to listen to M; the more brutal his escapede, the more welcome his return when he comes in from the cold in the epilogue.

 

Instead it was revenge that was treated peripherally; referred to in too on-the-nose dialogue with M and Mathis and Camile. And so all the elements - the water, the conspiracy and the revenge became muddied together trying to keep all of these plates spinning. Great revenge flicks don't actually discus revenge all that much in the dialogue - show, don't tell.

 

If Forster had had the clout, or the impetuous (who knows?) to really commit to his '70s revenge flick' approach maybe then QoS would be remembered as that crazy hardcore one that takes no prisoners, where Bond really goes on the rampage - a more fitting continuation of the emotionally charged Casino Royale. Rather than the confusing one that was oddly half-tradional Bond and had a few good bits.

 

Perhaps something they can iron out in a future instalment.



#148 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 11:55 AM

Um, Bond films still are mass entertainment for the PG-12 or PG crowd.  

 

So, to wish for anything else will not end up with a success.



#149 sharpshooter

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 12:27 PM

For the most part I think QoS works, and I like it. I admit it's not exactly how I envisioned the sequel to CR, and a fleshed out plotline of 2.5 hours would've been ideal. But nonetheless, the connective tissue is still there and I can appreciate the film's individual flair. It's quite entertaining.

#150 Odd Jobbies

Odd Jobbies

    Lt. Commander

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 02:07 PM

Sure a 70s revenge flick is not your standard Bond entry, i'm just going on what Forster recently said and it sounded great to me as black sheep  Bond as opposed to a half realised one.






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