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Roger Ebert Far Flunger post on Spectre


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#1 bribond

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 02:10 AM

The article below is a well written insight that addresses and defends the mixed reaction to Spectre.

 

http://www.rogereber...-mendes-spectre



#2 tdalton

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 02:44 AM

Thanks for posting this bribond. :)

Now, that said, what a load of rubbish this article is. You'd almost think it was written by the EON marketing department. Mendez is one of the franchise's best action directors? Thanks, I needed a laugh. There are so many other points that the author makes that I vehemently disagree with, but I'm on mobile so I can't go through them.

#3 Hockey Mask

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 02:47 AM

Good article. I have to agree with most of it.

#4 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 05:54 AM

Thanks for posting this bribond. :)

Now, that said, what a load of rubbish this article is. You'd almost think it was written by the EON marketing department. Mendez is one of the franchise's best action directors? Thanks, I needed a laugh. There are so many other points that the author makes that I vehemently disagree with, but I'm on mobile so I can't go through them.

 

It´s just an article written by someone who enjoyed the film - like I did (since my third viewing, um).  And it won´t change anyone´s mind on the film since it´s just a personal statement and does not feature any real arguments for the film or against its detractors. 

 

And to be fair - the quote is:

 

"and much to my surprise, he’s turned out to be one of the better action directors in the series’ as well." 

 

 

Which I agree with.  I would not have thought before that Mendes can deliver these sequences.  Although, to be fair again, in Bond films action sequences mostly are done by second units.  And despite Mendes insisting on creating those by himself, it´s still the second unit-guys who do this.



#5 DaveBond21

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 07:42 AM

Good article.

 

I loved it. SPECTRE is still fantastic 6 months on.

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________



#6 RMc2

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 12:45 PM

Nice article. Those are very reasonably expressed opinions. Thanks for the link, bribond!

 

The irony of this statement amused me: 

"I don’t see how “Spectre” can be considered repetitive unless you believe that dealing with car chases and gadgets, snow action sequences or villains doing business in colorful lairs (if a bit reminiscent of hollowed volcanoes) means indeed that they are making the same movie all over again."

 

:P

 

Sadly I disagree with his sentiments in general. Some of the criticisms of SP he addresses are nitpicks from a minority of people. He seems to miss the bigger problems with SP - in particular, its self-seriousness clashing badly with its more traditional Bondian silliness. It's not as confused as TWINE, but SP repeats many of the same tonal mistakes.

 

And of course, he doesn't address the final act at all...



#7 sharpshooter

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 02:06 PM

I loved it. SPECTRE is still fantastic 6 months on.

There's a lot I like about it. I still have it underneath CR and SF, but nonetheless, I think it's a good entry. 



#8 tdalton

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 10:45 PM

 

Thanks for posting this bribond. :)

Now, that said, what a load of rubbish this article is. You'd almost think it was written by the EON marketing department. Mendez is one of the franchise's best action directors? Thanks, I needed a laugh. There are so many other points that the author makes that I vehemently disagree with, but I'm on mobile so I can't go through them.

 

It´s just an article written by someone who enjoyed the film - like I did (since my third viewing, um).  And it won´t change anyone´s mind on the film since it´s just a personal statement and does not feature any real arguments for the film or against its detractors. 

 

And to be fair - the quote is:

 

"and much to my surprise, he’s turned out to be one of the better action directors in the series’ as well." 

 

 

Which I agree with.  I would not have thought before that Mendes can deliver these sequences.  Although, to be fair again, in Bond films action sequences mostly are done by second units.  And despite Mendes insisting on creating those by himself, it´s still the second unit-guys who do this.

 

 

My paraphrasing of the quote was pretty fair, IMO.  

 

I can't agree in any way, shape, or form that Mendes is even remotely among the best action directors the franchise has had.  Take away the finale of Skyfall and Mendes' actions scenes all fall flat.  Spectre features some of the dullest action sequences in the genre, let along just the franchise.  Action scenes as poor as the Rome car chase or the car/plane chase in Austria are, quite frankly, beneath the Bond franchise.

 

The claim that Spectre isn't repetitive is another one that I completely disagree with.  Now, it's not the only film that has fallen victim to that, so it's definitely not alone, but it continues many of the same issues we've been having with the franchise over the past decade or two, namely the Bond/M trust issues, Bond going rogue, the personal element, and so forth.  Those have become extremely repetitive elements of the films, virtually everyone on this forum is in agreement on that I think, and combine that with the abundance of self-references that both of Mendes' films have had, and yes, they've become quite repetitive.  Also add to that the fact that it cannibalizes Craig's other three films to prop its flimsy story up, and that becomes rather repetitive as well.

 

There are elements of Spectre that I've praised, namely Lea Seydoux, and I'll think you'll find that I've fairly extensively defended the film as not being the failure that many have claimed it to be over in the box office discussion thread, so I don't think I'm bashing Spectre just to bash it.  Nobody wants a Bond film to be bad, but Spectre is just an abysmal excuse for a Bond film, IMO, and it was entirely preventable, which is the saddest part about it.  When it became obvious that they were flailing around for some kind of direction (the idea that Fiennes had to put his foot down and say he wouldn't play M as a turncoat comes to mind) shows that they were just throwing ideas out there and hoping something would stick.  What should have happened is an adult in the room should have put the brakes on it and figured out a way out of the mess or, perhaps better yet, trust the guy you've chosen to write the script.  Once they ditched Logan's initial ideas, it seems like it was just a free-for-all as they threw two more writing teams at it until we got the end product.  Frankly, from the bit I've read about Logan's initial ideas, those would have largely proven to be better than what they got.  While some were unorthodox, at least they took chances, rather than the bland and tepid final product that relies so much on what came before that it cannot stand on its own legs.



#9 MattofSteel

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 11:19 PM

Great article.

 

I can't believe how under-appreciated SPECTRE is, at least relative to my own view of the film. It's got its flaws - and I certainly could have down without the overdone yellowish browning of the colour grade, yes - but man oh man, if it isn't the sort of milestone, touchstone Bond film that every true hardcore fan wants at least once a decade (or at least once in their life), then I don't know what is.



#10 Gobi-1

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 12:42 AM

This reviewer gets it. Great article.

 

My only complaint regarding Spectre is the yellow filter that runs throughout the film. Everything else is sublime.



#11 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 05:58 AM

 

 

Thanks for posting this bribond. :)

Now, that said, what a load of rubbish this article is. You'd almost think it was written by the EON marketing department. Mendez is one of the franchise's best action directors? Thanks, I needed a laugh. There are so many other points that the author makes that I vehemently disagree with, but I'm on mobile so I can't go through them.

 

It´s just an article written by someone who enjoyed the film - like I did (since my third viewing, um).  And it won´t change anyone´s mind on the film since it´s just a personal statement and does not feature any real arguments for the film or against its detractors. 

 

And to be fair - the quote is:

 

"and much to my surprise, he’s turned out to be one of the better action directors in the series’ as well." 

 

 

Which I agree with.  I would not have thought before that Mendes can deliver these sequences.  Although, to be fair again, in Bond films action sequences mostly are done by second units.  And despite Mendes insisting on creating those by himself, it´s still the second unit-guys who do this.

 

 

My paraphrasing of the quote was pretty fair, IMO.  

 

I can't agree in any way, shape, or form that Mendes is even remotely among the best action directors the franchise has had.  Take away the finale of Skyfall and Mendes' actions scenes all fall flat.  Spectre features some of the dullest action sequences in the genre, let along just the franchise.  Action scenes as poor as the Rome car chase or the car/plane chase in Austria are, quite frankly, beneath the Bond franchise.

 

The claim that Spectre isn't repetitive is another one that I completely disagree with.  Now, it's not the only film that has fallen victim to that, so it's definitely not alone, but it continues many of the same issues we've been having with the franchise over the past decade or two, namely the Bond/M trust issues, Bond going rogue, the personal element, and so forth.  Those have become extremely repetitive elements of the films, virtually everyone on this forum is in agreement on that I think, and combine that with the abundance of self-references that both of Mendes' films have had, and yes, they've become quite repetitive.  Also add to that the fact that it cannibalizes Craig's other three films to prop its flimsy story up, and that becomes rather repetitive as well.

 

There are elements of Spectre that I've praised, namely Lea Seydoux, and I'll think you'll find that I've fairly extensively defended the film as not being the failure that many have claimed it to be over in the box office discussion thread, so I don't think I'm bashing Spectre just to bash it.  Nobody wants a Bond film to be bad, but Spectre is just an abysmal excuse for a Bond film, IMO, and it was entirely preventable, which is the saddest part about it.  When it became obvious that they were flailing around for some kind of direction (the idea that Fiennes had to put his foot down and say he wouldn't play M as a turncoat comes to mind) shows that they were just throwing ideas out there and hoping something would stick.  What should have happened is an adult in the room should have put the brakes on it and figured out a way out of the mess or, perhaps better yet, trust the guy you've chosen to write the script.  Once they ditched Logan's initial ideas, it seems like it was just a free-for-all as they threw two more writing teams at it until we got the end product.  Frankly, from the bit I've read about Logan's initial ideas, those would have largely proven to be better than what they got.  While some were unorthodox, at least they took chances, rather than the bland and tepid final product that relies so much on what came before that it cannot stand on its own legs.

 

 

I respect your opinion, of course, and despite finally enjoying the film for what it is I do still have issues with it and share parts of your criticism.

 

For me, however, some of the repetitive elements of the Craig era are its basics.  It is a cycle of Bond films which all deal with trust and fear within Bond and his superiors.  We never had that kind of closely connected films, only stand-alone films which had very, very small threads that tied them together.

 

As for the script development, unfortunately, that process is not as clean-cut or easy as you hint at.  Especially with a big budget film which has to reach the widest audience possible, there just are too many people who will always weigh in.  Any writer in that situation will have to react to a million ideas, and even distinguished producers like EON cannot simply decide what they want.  And when Ralph Fiennes stated that he put his foot down... I suspect he did not consider the whole narrative but instead - as most if not all actors do - the possible perception of himself.  To have M actually turn out to be in league with Spectre, IMO, would have been a FANTASTIC twist.  However, it would have made Fiennes the first M in the series to become a bad guy.  And that´s what Fiennes obviously did not want.

 

This is an example, by the way, why great or at least interesting and unconventional ideas are shot down and why the end result so often becomes sanitized, a hodgepodge that nobody feels hurt by yet also not inspired.

 

Anyway - I agree with you: it´s time for new ideas, and I believe the mixed reception of SPECTRE will lead to a new approach.  The Craig era - as any era - had its ups and downs, but it should remain a closed arc.

 

Let´s hope for a fresh start with new actors, and if I may suggest: go back to the stand-alone films which focus on Bond going on a mission.



#12 tdalton

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 02:10 AM

Having M turn out to be a villain might have been a good twist, had it been Dench's M or another M down the line who had some longevity in the role.  It wouldn't have worked, and I suspect Fiennes was very aware of this, with Mallory because he'd literally just assumed the role.  It would have had no emotional punch had they done it that way, and to boot it would have damaged Skyfall in the process.  It would have also not been a good thing for the franchise, to have three different Ms in three consecutive films, which is what would have happened if M had been revealed as a turncoat in Spectre.



#13 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 05:59 AM

Wel, it´s all in the execution.  

 

I could imagine that M secretly working for Spectre would not necessarily turn him into the bad guy.  Spectre could have manipulated the Nine Eyes-scenario to lure M into thinking that he needs an independent venture like Spectre to combat the real bad guys like C who already had infiltrated the government.

 

Bond at first would have thought that M is his enemy, resulting in a variation of the TMWTGG-beginning.  But then he could have found out that M was only used - and together they could have exposed Spectre for its evil plan.



#14 RMc2

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 11:05 AM

Wel, it´s all in the execution.  

 

I could imagine that M secretly working for Spectre would not necessarily turn him into the bad guy.  Spectre could have manipulated the Nine Eyes-scenario to lure M into thinking that he needs an independent venture like Spectre to combat the real bad guys like C who already had infiltrated the government.

 

Bond at first would have thought that M is his enemy, resulting in a variation of the TMWTGG-beginning.  But then he could have found out that M was only used - and together they could have exposed Spectre for its evil plan.

 

If they'd gone with the 'M is a traitor' idea, that would've been an excellent way to do it :) At the end of the film, it would've allowed Fiennes to portray a more vulnerable and regretful side of M.

 

I can only assume that they never thought to make M an unwitting traitor, which is why Fiennes (wisely) scotched the idea :P



#15 DaveBond21

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 11:34 PM

This reviewer gets it. Great article.

 

My only complaint regarding Spectre is the yellow filter that runs throughout the film. Everything else is sublime.

 

Yes, that is a good point. But it doesn't detract from an excellent movie. Going to watch it again tonight.



#16 sharpshooter

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 12:28 PM

Indeed. The filter isn't a deal breaker by any stretch of the imagination. For me at least. I think SPECTRE manages to feel grand scale and intimate at the same time. I really enjoyed it.

#17 Gobi-1

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 01:59 AM

My eyes adjust to the yellow tint once I'm past the opening credits. It's certainly not a deal breaker. Just a nitpick.






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