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Zencat's DAD review: "THE BEST BOND MOVIE EVER?"


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#31 Tim007

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 08:04 AM

[quote]Originally posted by zencat
I

#32 Bondpurist

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 11:32 AM

The best Bond film since LTK. It contained a personal element that worked, and developed Bond a lot as a character. I think the scenes in Iceland were some of the best ever in a Bond film - they proved Bond's style, resourcefulness, intelligence, and were so much fun! The scene were he improvises the surfboard from parts of the drag racer, were he uses the ejector seat to right himself, were he sets the trap for the guy on the snow vehicle and were he manages to break Frost's seemingly puritannical resolve all reek of Bond class and resourcefulness, reminiscent of both the literary and classic cinematic Bond.
The only let down was Halle Berry. It's normally a good idea to have the best looking Bond girl as the good girl, and not the other way round. As well as that, I thought her acting was appalling, and she was too old for the role. Her frightful American accent paled in comparison with Frost's lovely English accent. However, nothing is perfect.
And then there was The Clash! I never thought I'd see the day that London Calling was on the soundtrack to a Bond film! The 'Korean' coast at the end was blantantly Cornwall as well, but I suppose the American audience wouldn't know Cornwall from Iceland, so it's not particularly important.

#33 Red Grant

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 11:48 AM

Originally posted by Tim007


This should tell us something :)


Yeah, we Brits have a couple more words in our vocabulary...SUBTLE and IRONY...:)

#34 Loomis

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 12:35 PM

Originally posted by Bondpurist
she was too old for the role.


You mean a 33-year-old is too long in the tooth?

#35 1q2w3e4r

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 12:59 PM

Ahh subtly and irony! Why my dear fellow, I happen to think you need those qualities. Definition of Irony... England loosing the Ashes for the seventh series in a row and not letting us have them because there "to fragile to travel."

That's like loosing your money at the casino and refusing to pay up!

Ahh well. I guess it's just jeliously at waiting till December 12. But I guess you Brit's will be waiting a lot longer to claim back the ashes! :)

#36 Harmsway

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 01:06 PM

My problems with DAD are with the last half, in which there is very little character development, cartoonish action, and the plot is drowned out but spectacle after spectacle.

Miranda Frost was the most underused character. They needed to expand on her relationship with Graves and backstory. They explained her character in one or two lines. So much for a well thought out henchwoman.

Graves goes overboard with his suit and such. The electric bolts shooting all over Bond's body would never happen if his suit was armed with tasers. It just reeks of sci-fi madness. Does get a great death scene tho.

The plot isn't explained very well, either. The conflict takes a back seat as Bond fights through lasers, a greenhouse, on a snowsled, in cars, on switchblades, on an airplane, and on a helicopter. There is almost no fear that people will die.

Taking itself not seriously enough will ruin Bond, as will taking it too seriously. You have to find that middle ground, and for me, GE and TND are still the "Brosnan Bond flicks."

You don't have to agree with me, but for me this movie has been the biggest letdown since Star Wars: Episode I.

#37 Loomis

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 01:16 PM

Originally posted by Harmsway
My problems with DAD are with the last half, in which there is very little character development, cartoonish action, and the plot is drowned out but spectacle after spectacle.

Miranda Frost was the most underused character. They needed to expand on her relationship with Graves and backstory. They explained her character in one or two lines. So much for a well thought out henchwoman.


Agreed 100%. From the point where Bond has "rumbled" all the villains, there's nothing to interest you in the narrative. As you say, characters and story are sacrificed for spectacle (and not particularly impressive spectacle, thanks to dreadful CGI).

Rosamund Pike was wasted as Frost. The film first implies (ludicrously) that she turned bad after the villains fixed her victory in a fencing match (!), and then hints that she and Moon were lovers.

There was no impact whatsoever to her being unmasked as a traitor. She had no rapport with Bond, and we never know whether Bond trusted her in the first place. Very disappointing.

#38 Mister Asterix

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 03:08 PM

Zencat, I'm with you, old pal.

This was a great Bond film. One that was long overdue. It had a true, great Bond villain (the first since Scaramanga), a great hench (the best since oddjob), fantastic Bond girls (Jinx was wonderfully refreshing and Frost was ultrasexy and elegant), the plot was fantastic and fantastical, the action was heart-pounding. The title sequence was mezmerising (the best since Thunderball). I could go on and on.

As for the CGI stuff I would have preferred stunts, but for me it didn't detract from the film. If I were to let things like CGI, back-projection, or other effects ruin a film, I don't see how I could be a fan of the series.

Best Bond film of all time? I've learned not to answer that until I've had a dozen or so viewings, but this movie definitely rates up toward the top.


#39 TheBritishEnd

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 05:24 PM

Originally posted by 5 BONDS
And what happened to Brosnan's mean look from TWINE which I missed sorely in this film.


I'd say Brosnan was pretty pissed off at the conclusion of the fencing scene!

#40 Blue Eyes

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 05:26 PM

Originally posted by zencat
Yet to hear from you Aussies (at least in this thread).


Well I'm not quite an Aussie when all is considered, but I do love the film. And I know a lot of UK people who do too :) And I the people who like the film far outweigh those who don't.

#41 zencat

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 05:29 PM

That's great to hear, Blue Eyes. I know Ajay liked it, and Ajay is definitely the voice of the English fan for me.

Hope you had a great time at the prem. :)

#42 TheBritishEnd

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 05:30 PM

I think we'd all rather have stunts over CGI, but today's action films (cheesy as they might be) DO reflect a changing taste on the audience's part.

Of course, I would never want to see a Bond film filled with horrible CGI stunts as bad as, say, the new Charlie's Angels trailer (which previewed before DAD). But, if I can forgive Blade II or Spiderman, I can certainly cut Bond some slack for trying something new.

My biggest FX complaint was actually the overuse of slow-mo. What was up with all the slow-mo punches during action scenes?

I've also never been a big fan of camera zoom FX. (You know, where the camera zooms over a landscape and everything looks like it's being done on a computer? It's usually combined with a 'whoosh' sound, and looks horribly cheesy.)

#43 Loomis

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 05:37 PM

Originally posted by TheBritishEnd

My biggest FX complaint was actually the overuse of slow-mo.  What was up with all the slow-mo punches during action scenes?

I've also never been a big fan of camera zoom FX.  (You know, where the camera zooms over a landscape and everything looks like it's being done on a computer?  It's usually combined with a 'whoosh' sound, and looks horribly cheesy.)


These flourishes were pointless and irritating. Bond should be leading, not following (THE MATRIX and M:I-2), and besides, techniques that call attention to themselves are never a good idea.

The slow motion punches were particularly annoying. This sort of thing works well in a ROCKY movie, but why put it in a Bond film?

#44 TheBritishEnd

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 05:44 PM

It also reminded me of the computer-edited punches in Stallone's remake of 'Get Carter'.

NOT the film I want to be reminded of while watching a new Bond film!

#45 zencat

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 05:50 PM

Originally posted by Loomis
These flourishes were pointless and irritating. Bond should be leading, not following (THE MATRIX and M:I-2), and besides, techniques that call attention to themselves are never a good idea.

In general, I agree with you Loomis. I normally don't like these flourishes at all. Filmmakers don't seem to understand that in The Matrix these effects were motivated

#46 ray t

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 05:50 PM

i'm with you zencat...it was HIGH TIME we had an epic bond in the thunderball/TSWLM mould

...and yet when the locations shifted to cuba and then london, i swear it had a classic feel to it that REEKED james bond.

the score was top class and (unlike GoldenEye) you knew you were watching a classic 007 adventure in the mould of 1962 - 1967

the story was intruiging and engaging and it moved like a bullit.

sure there were minor short-comings in iceland, but 97.5 percent of the movie were pure BOND MAGIC which overwhelmed the other 2.5 percent of it...not to mention 99.5 percent of all the other MOVIES of the past two and a half years...or 95 percent of the movies of the past decade.

my congratulations to Eon...to David Arnold...and to Pierce Brosnan for making the extra year worth the wait - and in spades!!!

#47 zencat

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 06:03 PM

I realize in my review I didn't mention Pierce

#48 Loomis

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 06:06 PM

Originally posted by zencat
a VAST improvement over his overly dramatic turn in TWINE. He was back on track

You can say that again.

#49 Simon

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 06:06 PM

[quote]Originally posted by zencat
I

#50 zencat

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 06:09 PM

Thanks Simon. Glad you liked it. The UK is representin'!

#51 Simon

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 06:12 PM

Originally posted by TheBritishEnd

My biggest FX complaint was actually the overuse of slow-mo.  What was up with all the slow-mo punches during action scenes?


I was actually quite happy with all the speed effects - be they slow or speeded up. They lent a modern feel to the film which we have yet to see whether they will date or not.

I think the one scene that could have benefitted from slo-mo was when Bond flipped the Aston back up the right way. I wonder how many of the audience really saw the rocket flying under the car unless they already knew what to look for. I would have liked to have savoured the closeness of escape.

#52 Simon

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 06:18 PM

[quote]Originally posted by zencat
I realize in my review I didn't mention Pierce

#53 Xenobia

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 06:27 PM

I gotta tell you...Pierce in TWINE really wasn't that bad. I think with Sophie Marceau he had much more poignant and captivating relationship than he does with Halle Berry or Rosamund Pike.

He also gets to have a lot more fun with his facial expressions in that movie...I think. But I will have to watch DAD a couple more times to be sure.

-- Xenobia

#54 Neil S. Bulk

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 07:17 PM

[quote]Originally posted by zencat:
And Graves died the way a Bond villain should die

#55 Blue Eyes

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 07:25 PM

Actualyl Neil Bond's weapon is not minus the bullets, it's minus the firing pin, hence the click.

#56 Neil S. Bulk

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 07:26 PM

You are correct. I just checked the novelization.

"But instead of a bang, he heard only the hollow click of a bent firing pin."

Is it that clear in the film? I don't know if I could tell the difference between a gun with a bent firing pin and gun with an empty chamber.

Neil

#57 Blue Eyes

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 07:32 PM

I think there's a line of dialouge indicating it.

#58 zencat

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 09:13 PM

Originally posted by zencat
...(more on the amazing evening Bryce organized in another post)...

As promised: http://forums.comman...s=&postid=73589

#59 JimmyBond

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Posted 25 November 2002 - 02:41 AM

I keep hearing all this talk of how the film loses track in Iceland, but on my second viewing, nothing was lost once Bond gets to Iceland. I mean, sure there are two big action set pieces, but they never detract from the narrative in the way the action did in TND's second half. If anything, I felt the film gets better as it gets to Iceland.

#60 General Koskov

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Posted 25 November 2002 - 03:29 AM

I'm from Canada, and I thought that the film lost track in Iceland. Now I loved the Korea/China/Cuba/England scenes. They were fantastically done, and the vocal 'London Calling' was a nice touch--first since 'We Have all the time in the World'.

The CGI titles were the bane of the film once again. My question to Mr Kleinmann is: wouldn't it be easier, and cheaper to create the 2-Dimensional female silhouettes with a computer, rather than the garish 3-d women?

Now for the bad parts:

The Jinx/laser scene. First off, don't self-parody Goldfinger. Secondly, while GF's laser had an obvious purpose, what the hell was this multi-laser for? If it was for cutting diamonds, why did the bench (which Jink was strapped to) have to be so mobile? And why were the lasers so mobile? Or was this a torture room? Either way, the fight was rediculously easy and would have been better suited to Charlies Angels or The Matrix. Obviously Bond isn't going to get cut into peices because he jumps so freely around the lasers and is so much more concerned with killing (whatever the Gabor-remake's name was).

Now if that scene was cut, Bond would only have to rescue Jinx once. However, the beginning of this rescue was all too reminiscent of the Agent Under Fire level where Bond drives through a factory to retrieve a briefcase.

Strangely enough, I like the para-surfing scene a lot. It has that cheeky Roger Moorishness to it, like its counterpart in AVTAK. The more everyone says it, I can see the chunks of ice becoming pixillated, but the ingenuity of that scene is great.

What a pity we have that silly 'I've got more gadgets in my car than you do in yours' chase which could be cut out entirely and have less of an effect than cutting out the (worse) laser scene. I've learned from many a Bond film, that a chase's quality depends on what it accomplishes. This chase killed Zao, but it killed him in the same location as the damned thing started, so no one got anywhere.
For a good chase, think of TSWLM, OHMSS, or GE where the story advanced due to it. Fleming never had a chase in which Bond got away unless Bond was in the bad guy's custory before. Let that be rule for Purvis and Wade.

The Jinx rescucitation and subsequent meeting with MI6/CIA was good, but what the hell were the torpedo-with-wings things that Jinx and Bond just abandoned in mid-air? Why not just parachute onto Graves' plane and eliminate the useless spying/fence cutting scene. I'd like to see Bond have to get into a jumbo jet as he did in OP.

Now the ending scene was pretty good, but what about M and Q and the rest of 'em looking for Bond and Jinx? When I heard about this film 'going back to the classics' I suddenly wanted a one-liner to Q about re-entry or something.

Back to the video-game ideas: what was with the TWINE 64-ish VR shooting range? While Moneypenny's scene was humorous, this was pointless; as Bond said, he could have just gone to the range. This sort of scene works better in Austin Powers (I half expected James to jump into David Arnold's studio and start blowing up Britney Spears).

All in all this was certainly a good Bond film, but GE is still Brosnan's best, and OHMSS is still at the top of my list (mind you, DAD would need to be a super-film (I'm not quite sure what that means) to beat OHMSS).




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