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Is SKYFALL still a stand alone film?


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#1 S K Y F A L L

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 03:12 PM

I say yes but Spectre would say no, any thoughts?


Sorry Mods this should probably be in the Spectre spoiler threads.



#2 plankattack

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 05:16 PM

That's an interesting question and I suspect how one answers will be a case of "horses for courses." As no fan of SP, Skyfall stands on its own, though how I feel about the former does unfortunately taint (just a little) how I feel about the latter.

 

When SF finished I didn't have any questions unanswered, so for me, the reverse engineering that is so much of SP's plot is apparent and obtrusive. Contrast with QoS, and while it's a different discussion whether it was successful or not in its goal as a sequel, that it exists to complete CR's story is IMHO  unquestionable. While CR ends with a wonderful "emotional" climax, as to plot points, the story is unfinished (which is different from whether it actually needed to be finished). 

 

With SF, there was nothing I needed to know that required another story so SP being a sequel is redundant. SF is a standalone film for me, though I would offer that if you greatly like SP, you might be more inclined to view SF as a "part one."



#3 Dustin

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 06:08 PM

Agree with plank there, SKYFALL for me was one independent story, nothing in SPECTRE adds to it.

But I imagine those who still wait for the definitive Bond film from Craig may be inclined to buy the bundle approach and set their sights on BOND 25. And those who always looked for an overarching storyline may also be happy with what SPECTRE suggests.

#4 Odd Jobbies

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 10:45 PM

Whatever we all personally want Skyfall to be or stand for, Eon has decided in all its wisdom that Skyfall is part of of an ongoing story arc that encompasses all of Craig's Bond movies.

 

This is explicitly stated in Blofeld's monologue in the basement of Mi6; after Bond has seen the posters of Le Chiffe and Silva  etc Bloefeld tells him that he has orchestrated all of this - puppeteered all of these villains from behind the scenes to torture Bond.

 

I'm not claiming that it makes sense or adds up when you look at the finer details, but connecting all of these films is without a doubt the intention of this messy, half-baked tv-movie finale.



#5 sharpshooter

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 12:40 AM

Silva had a grudge against M and this was not manufactured via Blofeld. Killing M and disgracing MI6 was Silva's own burning desire. My head-canon is that Silva requested helicopters and men to assault Skyfall lodge, and he just had to state why he needed them. SPECTRE has several aims, and the R stands for revenge.

#6 Jim

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 05:50 AM

Silva had a grudge against M and this was not manufactured via Blofeld. Killing M and disgracing MI6 was Silva's own burning desire. My head-canon is that Silva requested helicopters and men to assault Skyfall lodge, and he just had to state why he needed them. SPECTRE has several aims, and the R stands for revenge.

 

Yes, it would have been marginally more convincing if SPECTRE had simply acted as facilitator and resource solution provider for someone else's terror, rather than Blofeld trying to pass it off as "behind it all". Would chime a bit closer with what I understood SPECTRE to be (but that might be my misunderstanding). Doesn't deal with the family issues, but nothing really justifies that.



#7 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 07:53 AM

For me, SKYFALL remains a stand-alone-film.  That´s how it was designed.  That´s how it plays.  That´s how it should be.

 

I could persuade myself in believing that what Blofeld said is so outrageous that it cannot be true.  Hence, the amateurish photos in the building.  Bloferhauser is just so cuckoo that he thinks: hey, if I make my step-brother believe that I was behind all of it he will be even more hurt.  Bingo!



#8 Odd Jobbies

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 11:04 AM

There are potentially two ways of looking at this:

 

How you  see Skyfall.

 

How Eon  see Skyfall.

 

Sadly the amateur-hour writing of Spectre's finale that has created plot holes which fans now feel compelled to fill in order to salvage what they had liked about SF and which this poor writing now poops upon.

 

Like it or not Eon see it as part of an arc which is revealed in Spectre's finale. To whatever unspoken degree, Blofeld claims Silva as part of his plot.

 

Personally i like the idea of joining these movies up into one grand arc - it recalls Smearsh's dealings with Bond and the Blofeld trilogy. It was just a pi@@ poor effort and proves the importance of planning such arcs in advance rather than trying to tack them on at the end,



#9 Dustin

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 11:25 AM

Well, given how QOS was largely omitted from SPECTRE's history I would argue Eon is flexible enough about the whole idea as to what supposedly constitutes official history or this arc-thingy. Granted, it's easier to forget about Greene than it would be to forget about Blofeld; but there is certainly no law against Eon changing their minds if it so fits their purpose. Nobody is forever doomed to suffer for a decision in the past - you can always smarten up and change your ways. I would expect this can happen anytime Eon needs it to happen.

#10 Odd Jobbies

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 02:14 PM

Eon have a long history of making it up as they go - they're more concerned with improving the box office and these days the critical reception (which applaud) than about adhering to a canon. In fact, looking at the canon you might suppose they had a mission statement to avoid all canonisation.

 

But what with Marvel's success and that of the tv serial they obviously feel the pressure and desire to serialise. Personally i think that's a marvellous thing, but whatever they do it's only marvellous if the quality is up to scratch.

 

Like i said i like their idea of wrapping together Craig's story, they just didn't do it very well - seemed like an after thought with a kick, bollox scramble to revise the script as such.



#11 Dustin

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 03:36 PM

The problem with 'serialising' (is that a word?) is that it works really well only in a select few cases. And here typically best not in classic tv but in streaming format where the viewer decides how much of it he wants on his plate in one go. But regardless how it's consumed, you have to have an idea of your destination from the go; otherwise you start with survivors of a plane crash and end up in some diabolic form of afterlife as imagined by postmodern tv.

I have trouble seeing how this could possibly be translated into the world of the cinematic 007, with a single entry every few years and a set of requirements that demand a certain number of explosions, a dinner jacket scene with bubbly brand X, a wristwatch commercial for brand Y and some exposition for a car manufacturer - but no required limit of character and inner logic to the tale at hand.

With Bond films we can at most expect a degree of fairly light entertainment, at times a downright splendid or even fabulous entry.

But to paint a greater picture under the demands of present day film production with hardly anything of worth that hasn't been used before - I think that's just a bit beyond the abilities of this series. And I don't regard the Marvel films as a proper example to the contrary. They have a story canon of sixty years, countless protagonists, an army of writers and artists who made that property what it is - and in the end the productions are still largely given to action fests. Yes, they tell a bigger story - but it's still a comic book story.

#12 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 03:41 PM

Also, not every series need to be told horizontally, i.e. connected storylines with cliffhangers.

 

In fact, I would prefer Bond to remain a series with stand-alone stories, for the reasons you stated above - and because it would be so refreshing these days to really see someone tell a good story that can be wrapped up at the end.  

 

Too often people consider these long story arcs to be superior when they are just a way to keep viewers around.  It´s too often just a machine that has to be fed with unnecessary plots to justify the machine itself.



#13 tdalton

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 03:50 PM

I'd say it's still a standalone.  It was meant to be a standalone at the time, so that's what it is in my book.  Spectre's half-baked and lazy attempts to tie everything together in a last minute effort to serialize things that weren't mean to be serialized shouldn't affect the way the previous three films are viewed.  

 

If anything, at least for me, Spectre served a very important function.  I appreciate Skyfall much, much more in the wake of the last film than I ever thought possible.



#14 Dustin

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 03:55 PM


Also, not every series need to be told horizontally, i.e. connected storylines with cliffhangers.

In fact, I would prefer Bond to remain a series with stand-alone stories, for the reasons you stated above - and because it would be so refreshing these days to really see someone tell a good story that can be wrapped up at the end.

Too often people consider these long story arcs to be superior when they are just a way to keep viewers around. It´s too often just a machine that has to be fed with unnecessary plots to justify the machine itself.



That's it. Recent example for me Wayward Pines, a series that started out intriguing enough, but sharply dropped after the halfway mark. It's finale did away with some of the most interesting characters, some of which haven't even been used properly. Now a second season - the announcement of which surprised most of the cast apparently - is going to tell it all again, minus the initial mystery. Instead of letting it stand as is and head for a original story.

#15 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 07:25 AM

Had the absolute same feelings about Wayward Pines - loved the first half.  And then...  very disappointing.



#16 Odd Jobbies

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 11:17 AM

By serialisation (new word? Well it is now) i mean an ongoing story-arc. it can 100% work in the Bond movies in short bursts just as it worked for Fleming with the Blofeld trilogy and that was doubtless the aim with Quantum (ditched because Solace was panned) and now with SPECTRE attempting to join the dots of all of Craig's films. 

 

Lost  is a great example of how not to do it - making it up as they went; worrying about how A connects to B and who cares what Z is. It appears, however that Eon tried to do it properly with Quantum, but got unlucky with the writers' strike and felt had to ditch Quantum to distance the brand from that films shortcomings.

 

I think it was the right thing to do, making Quantum part of Spectre's bigger arc by including the superb Mr White, but they made a real hash of it in the finale with the very tacky posters of the characters; it was Freud for the lowest common denominator.

 

RE Marvel, sure they've got plenty of back catalogue to draw upon, but so have DC and look at what a mess they are making of it by entrusting the wrong people to spearhead it. Snyder mistakes scowling and low lighting for drama and slow-mo for tension.

 

Eon/Sony (whomever pulled rank at the last moment) made the same mistake by entrusting the finale of Spectre to whomever is responsible for that travesty. The difference between the Brossa era and Craig's is not that Craig's is attempting to be serialised, but the talent involved and the lessor executive meddling that talent allows (in most cases).



#17 Odd Jobbies

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 11:27 AM

Also, not every series need to be told horizontally, i.e. connected storylines with cliffhangers.

No indeed it'd be tiresome if every one were a cliffhanger, but it's nice to have one every now and then, just as Fleming did with FRWL, OHMSS and best of all YOLT. Even CR was a cliffhanger of sorts as the final paragraph was kind of call to action.

 

There can still be stand alone films in the mix with arcs and cliffhangers, so long as they respect the canon within the text of these films. However, i do think that in most cases a change of actor [as Bond] should give Eon a reasonably clean slate to change the canon.

 

That's why i feel there's plenty of scope with Craig and his successor to re-tap Fleming's novels - or moreover adapted  them as a whole, as CR was (the majority were never really adapted in the first place, just raped and plundered)



#18 Odd Jobbies

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 11:45 AM

That's it. Recent example for me Wayward Pines, a series that started out intriguing enough, but sharply dropped after the halfway mark. It's finale did away with some of the most interesting characters, some of which haven't even been used properly. Now a second season - the announcement of which surprised most of the cast apparently - is going to tell it all again, minus the initial mystery. Instead of letting it stand as is and head for a original story.

 

Pines was shelved for quite a while before being aired. It's success was a surprise to Fox, who then recommissioned it. However, they left it idle so long that many contracts had expired and those parties chose not to return. At least that's the way it's been spun in the gossips.

 

I'm not discriminating between the superiority of serialisation or self-contained movies. Either can be done well or poorly. Fleming serialised very well. Eon not so well, so far. Marvel is a good benchmark for good serialisation not because there's plenty of back catalogue (there's plenty of Fleming that could now be returned to). It's because Marvel have taken the notion of building a series of connected/on-going stories seriously and paid for the talent and time to make it work and more importantly trusted those writers and producers (Kevin Feige) to pick the right directors. Gunn has been a cult fave of mine, but until Guardians no one else would've given him a tentpole movie.

 

In short they planned it out - Eon didn't - at least that's what Spectre suggests. If they are going to serialise they need to do it properly, like Marvel, or not all (i'm definitely for the former). With the kind of numbers Bond movies do there's no excuses.

 

Whoever takes the reigns from Sony (maybe Sony again) can learn a lot from the way Disney has allowed Feige to work. I know Pascal gets a lot of love here and that's warranted considering the improvements in Craig's era, but i'm guessing she was overruled when it came to the mishaps of Spectre (particularly that finale). Perhaps those leaked emails say as much - i haven't read them (would love to though!)



#19 S K Y F A L L

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 01:16 PM

About the 'back catalogue' I always felt Bond has one. Longest film series in history I believe and the books were written in the 50s (14 I think) and still coming out, not that they would use continuation novels.

 

Had SF had a brief Blofeld scene dispatching Silva then I'd say there is a larger story to it and there would be but there isn't so I still think of SF as a stand-alone film. I might have just left Silve out of SP but I guess it adds to Blofeld's revenge to have had him also murder M in SF.

 

What they did with SP was too little to late, still I'll take it although it leaves me wanting more Blofeld doing something truly menacing, hopefully in Bond 25. Blofeld's plan for 9 eyes in SP compared to starting WWIII, nuking a major city or holding the world hostage was disappointing to me.  

 

If Blofeld returns in Bond 25 with Craig as Bond then what?

Does Bond kill Blofeld and if so does or will he ever return to the series?

Could they let Blofeld get away as usual without hurting the conclusion of the Craig series...?



#20 Odd Jobbies

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 02:53 PM

I think we're at cross purposes here. I agree that it's in some ways it's preferable to see SF as stand alone, because the inclusion of it in Spectre's arc was botched.

 

And it not a tall order to exclude Spectre's text when viewing SF and it does indeed work fine, perhaps better if we temporarily forget Spectre while enjoying SF on future viewing. In fact there's no need whatsoever to think of the revelations in Spectre in order to enjoy SF.

 

But it's undeniable that Eon is saying in Spectre that Blofeld masterminded/puppeteered all of Bond's misery - all of the plots in his previous movies (sure there was no picture of Greene, but that's because Eon didn't want to taint Spectre with it's memory). However Le Chiffre's picture and White's presence made it clear Quantum was more or less under Spectre's purview (so that encompasses QoS also, despite Greene's picture missing from the rouges gallery).

 

It is what it is - SF is now part of the Spectre arc. If we don't like that we just need to disengage a small part of the brain in order to enjoy SF untainted.



#21 DavidJones

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 11:32 PM

I can't enjoy SF anyway, because of its terrible plotting, so it doesn't matter much to me if it's connected or not.

#22 dtuba

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 06:01 AM

I wish it was.

 

EON should have connected Spectre to Quantum, sure, it would have been logical. But no, SF should have been a stand-alone third film, much like GF was for Connery.


Edited by dtuba, 19 October 2016 - 06:03 AM.


#23 Professor Pi

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 11:43 AM

Well, Skyfall can't be a standalone film because it introduces new characters and kills off another.  So it's a start of a story arc, which is perplexing because of all the "Bond is old" stuff they employed for the 50th anniversary.  And the car paradox confounds to no end!  Given who both Silva and Blofeld are, even if one is answering to another he would deny it because of their ego.  Silva says he does his own secret missions, but many were probably contracts.  He mentions rigging an election in Uganda (where CR starts), or topping two bit governments (QoS).  It could be that SPECTRE ordered that through Quantum.  And if Silva does do his own thing (revenge on M), Blofeld is the type to take credit for it.  Neither character should be taken at face value. 

 

But both SF and SP are a double bill, just like CR and QoS.  The more I think about it, the more I embrace the interpretation of Bond dying in Blofeld's chair ("The dead are alive.") and the rest of the story, indeed the Bond canon, are missions in his head.  Some even argue that Bond dies in the beginning of Skyfall ("Why not stay dead?")  Interpreted that way, the whole Bond canon makes sense in this order:  Craig movies, Connery-Moore-Dalton, Brosnan, and even NSNA and CR'67.  After all, Bond is male fantasy, so why not be that for the man himself? At least, it makes more sense than the Code Name Theory, and conveniently explains away continuity errors and the Aston Martin incarnations.  But it's kind of a dead end.

 

If Craig comes back, they'll have to address it somehow, but my guess is they'll be vague and open to interpretation (ala Connery in DAF.)  If there's a new actor, I'd like stand alone missions and keep the same cast of supporting characters.  They did it for Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, and even Brosnan with Q's Desmond Lewelyn. 

 

But if Craig comes back, I want a YOLT novel adaptation.  Madeline need not be killed, she could just leave Bond and that would depress him.  Twice bitten.  Then Blofeld escapes and his life mission crystallizes.  Kill Blofeld, escape the castle, amnesia, and Japanese fishing villages.  That sets up the next actor perfectly.



#24 Vauxhall

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 01:01 AM

I still see CASINO ROYALE and QUANTUM OF SOLACE effectively as two parts of the same stories - albeit ones which can easily, and more readily, be taken separately.

 

As for SKYFALL and SPECTRE, I see them both as standalone episodes - albeit with strong links to each other and what's gone before with Quantum.



#25 winstoninabox

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 03:52 AM

Silva had a grudge against M and this was not manufactured via Blofeld. Killing M and disgracing MI6 was Silva's own burning desire. My head-canon is that Silva requested helicopters and men to assault Skyfall lodge, and he just had to state why he needed them. SPECTRE has several aims, and the R stands for revenge.

I agree. I think many of the complaints about Spectre connecting the dots between the Craig films come from taking Blofeld at his word when he's obviously bigging himself up. Both Casino Royale's and Skyfall's plots are centered on the villains' of those stories motivations, and are not directly connected to any orders Blofeld may have issued.Yes, he might have become involved in those plots behind the scenes, but he didn't instigate them. Also, QoS can only be connected by way of Quantum morphing into Spectre, so even if Blofeld was involved at the end of Quantum, or in the nascent Spectre, it's still pompous of him to claim that he authored Bond's pain in this case. Bond was acting of his own volition in QoS, and sure Blofeld can say that Vesper's death prompted Bond to pursue Quantum, and he had a hand in that death, but even then it's just puffery. He never wanted Vesper to die because he wanted to turn another agent, in this case Bond, to Quantum. His claim only works by turning a very lucky circumstance on his head to make it out as his benefit rather than a loss.

 

The foster brother point may or may not be on the nose depending on how one feels. But the circumstances themselves don't support Blofeld's interpretation of events. He's a grandiose villain who is not above taping the pictures of people Bond has beaten to lure him into a trap. If he were a novelist he'd politely be described as "purple". Here, he's rewriting history for the sake of his own version of it. A version that keeps him at the center.






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