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The 007th Minute: SPECTRE

Chapter by Chapter

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#1 Jim


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Posted 09 April 2016 - 02:40 PM

The 007th Minute, Chapter by Chapter – SPECTRE


No, I don’t want to know about Jesus… oh it’s you. Hello. You’re a nodge early, but come in. Wipe your feet. And, flattered though I am by your reaction to being in my presence, wipe yourself. If that gets in the parquet, it’ll be a sod to shift. Don’t worry about the dog, she growls and drools gloppy blood like that when she smells such mediocre cologne. Don’t show fear. If you’re intimidated by the hound, you just won’t cope with Mrs Jim. Do hang up your “coat” to dry; it’ll burn easier, later. Don’t worry; I always lock the front door. I didn’t unlock it when you arrived? How… observant of you. Hm. That? That’s the door to the dungeon wine cellar; you can look at that… later.


I’m pleased you had an evening free from your busy schedule of typing your thinking onto the internet and accepted our invitation to watch with us, blu-ray chapter by blu-ray chapter, 2015’s cross-concept marketing ruse SPECTRE (there’s a film in there somewhere but no-one bothered to make it). Did you bring a bottle? Thanks, let’s have a look…hmm… no.  Not to worry, and you mustn’t let anyone tell you that you didn’t try. Join us (not in that way, you chikky monkey; we’d need a superinjunction) and we’ll crack open the Mossack Fonseca ’88 and settle down to “enjoy” the “film”. You sit there, on the newspapers, that’s it. Only speak to Mrs Jim when spoken to; trust my years of practice on that one.


N.B. the below might not be verbatim, but most of it ectually did occur when Mrs Jim and I witnessed SPECTRE in the comfort of our own misery. It’s like one of those “scripted reality” shows none of us have ever watched, honest. This was the first time my wife had had seen SPECTRE, although since it’s at (cold) heart a momentum-free, cynical reheated casserole of a Bond, it’s arguable she’d seen it many, many times already.


The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 1: Gunbarrels, Arses and Bitterness
In which a lot of contrived dialogue occurs. But not in the film.


Mrs Jim (hereafter “She” – as in “who must be obeyed”): So what’s kickin’, daddi-o? (I might have transcribed that incorrectly).
Me: We’re having a nice night in, watching the latest Bond film.
She: Mutually exclusive. Another one? You get weird round these, oddly proprietorial; you always seem on edge, wanting me to like it as much as you did, anxious that I approve in some way.
Me: I suspect you’ll like this one as much as I did… but we should share things, interests.
She: Sweet. Bless. OK, I suppose so. I’m on call but I’ll turn the bleeper off; they’re going to die at some point anyway, aren’t they? You’re right, we should share more. It’s not as if you wear my shoes and lipstick, is it?
Me: (Pause). Erm… no.
She: Why are you recording this?
Me: People who subject themselves to my rubbish have asked to see more of you.
She: Are they after pictures? These are internet-shaped people, you need to be careful.
Me: It’s not that. I think slash hope. You’re a massive cult. 
She: This conversation could go very wrong, very soon.
Me: An audience with Mrs Jim. Like an audience with the Pope, but with less insane fictional rubbish.
She: Yeah, yeah. C’mon, let’s get this over with.


The film starts. No, the film doesn’t start. There’s half a minute of corporate advertising to sit through. The Bond theme is played over flashboasty logos, as if there’s something they’re actually proud about. The theme is drawn out to snail’s pace. It won’t be the only thing. The warnings are there from the off. Our cash was still warm from our pockets and they were already taking the piss. 


Me: Now the interesting thing is that the deal between MGM and Sony has come to an end and now the Bond series might have to find a new distributor.
She: You said there was an interesting thing?
Me: Hmm.It seemed interesting when typed into the internet, and argued about by people who have no stake in it whatsoever, but now I realise it’s incredibly boring. I suppose it’s important because it will mean more Bond films are made.
She: Today I cut an aggressive tumour from a boy’s gut. What were you saying about “important”?
Me: It’d be… nice that more Bond films are made?
She:  Would it? Don’t care much either way. When’s it going to begin? We made the twins in less time than this.


A gunbarrel happens. Daniel Craig is in it. This is a terribly complicated message.


She: I thought they’d stopped doing this. Grown up.
Me: They did, and the films improved because they weren’t “James Bond films”, which were creatively spent. This signals that they are sticking to a Daniel Craig timeline but also to placate those who wanted the old style of films, the whining little...
She: Dismount from thy high horse, darling. It’s an artistic decision.
Me: It’s a financial decision. They had success last time out with Heavy Themes, and the old style of lightweight factory-floor product was generally popular, so they’ve converged the twain. And all that happens is that for those who wanted this to cohere with the old films in a way this gunbarrel directly suggests, will get frustrated by how some of the plot tramples all over that previous “legacy”…
She: Don’t do that with your fingers; it’s very annoying. Amongst other things you do with your fingers.
Me: … and those of us who were enjoying something new will yawn at all the lazy past references to a series that didn’t actually happen in this timeframe so are logically baffling.
She: And real people won’t give a damn.
Me: Greed blossoms via complacency.
She: I bet you didn’t really say that whilst we were watching this.
Me: Sshh.
She: So it’s a mish of any old style of Bond film, whilst passing itself off as something new and also a sequel to The Much Loved Skyfall, which I think I’ve seen but have since got on with my life.
Me: S’about it. A bit like that new Star Wars.
She: Oh, I didn’t like that. It was noisy.
Me: Daniel Craig was in it.
She: I thought it was great. Was he? Which one was he?
Me: He was a Stormtrooper.
She: Isn’t he a little short for a Stormtrooper?
Me: Anyway, this… mess. Something old, something new, something borrowed, largely from itself, and something mystifyingly shite.
She: That seems both an insurmountable challenge, and a backward step, to me
Me: I agree with you, darling.
She: You’re not just saying that?
Me: No, this time I mean it.
She: What mean you, “this time”?
Me: Help. Still, $300 million and all they made was a Bond film. With this gunbarrel, they seem perversely proud to have done so, to associate what was going along nicely, with the tired dross of old.
She: Like those ones with Brosnan?
Me: Yes.
She: They were as useless as a bumless rent boy.
Me: Where do you pick up such things?
She: I actually listen to what our children say.
Me: Why? Anyway, Three Hundred Meeelion Dollars. Imagine all “the hospital” they could build for that.
She: Stupid comparison, dar-Ling. If it were $300 million of taxpayer money then yes, it’s scandalous and unforgiveable and, I suppose, in terms of longstanding human benefit they could have donated the money to ensuring clean water or cancer research instead of making yet another film when there are loads of films already. But if stupid people want to invest their money this way, let them. If you’re right, which you’re usually not, but if you’re right, then this gunbarrel thing is the whole confused mess of an enterprise in a nutshell, then. I’m not sure I need to see any more. Can I stop watching now?
Me: No, there’s two-and-a-half hours yet.
She: Could be domestic abuse. Why do they have to make these things so long?
Me: A misguided view that longer means better.
She: In certain circumstances. Don’t whimper, it’s unbecoming in a man. There; I called you a man. But surely  only better if there’s enough material to justify the girth? Is there?
Me: Wait and see.
She: Hm. I suspect you’ve introduced suspense to compensate for a lack of it. Required to compensate a lot, aren’t you?
Me: This could be a long evening. (Pours himself a vat of wine).
She: Sweetum, you’re ignoring our guest.
Me: Wouldn’t you?
She: Good point. Who – or perhaps more anatomically accurately, what – is that? I've seen some things on the operating table in my time, but that takes the Huntley & Palmers. What have I told you about bringing roadkill into the house?


The screen goes black. The message emerges – The dead… are alive


Me: Sums up the Bond series pretty well, that. Always trying to reanimate the mildewed corpse.
She: I thought you liked these films.


A skull-faced puppet appears on screen. It’s not Daniel Craig, although such description isn’t a million miles off.


Me: So this is arguably referencing Live and Let Die. Which hasn’t happened to Daniel Craig’s Bond.
She: Is that that more-than-usually racist one?
Me: Conveniently but inaccurately considered so, yes.
She: You say that, but that Italian woman was a crass stereotype and all the Americans are idiots.
Me: Admittedly, that’s not the angle most go for.


We are still within the one shot, allegedly. A tall man in a white suit makes his way through the festival crowds.


She: Is this is The Godfather II then? It’s very show-offy, isn’t it? Clever, though.
Me: Look at us, we’re artistes making Important and Cle-Ver Cinema. With a James Bond series gunbarrel slapped on the start of it.
She: Calm down.
Me: I’m sure it’s brilliant, but it is just people walking about whilst jigging goes on, isn’t it?
She: Is that Bond, then, in the top hat?
Me: Yes. How did you guess?
She: He’s standing with a pretty woman. These aren’t mysteries, y’know. Even with that hat, he’s still not as tall as her, is he? I bet she’s got good shoes. I thought they were meant to follow that man, so why are they going in there? I think I’ve spotted it.
Me: How this is done?
She: No, the highlight of the film. That’s a belting arse. Wiggly-wiggly. Yum. How old is he now?
Me: 47, 48, roundabout.
She: There’s hope for you yet. He could give me both barrels.
Me: This lift is a homage to Licence to Kill.
She: So they’ve referenced two of the dodgy ones so soon?
Me: It gets them out of the way whilst people are distracted working out how they filmed this bit.
She: Or why. Key in her tits; convent education. Masked people, in a cage, having sexy time… did you lock the front door? All the dead faces remind me of when we went to Sheffield.
Me:  I’m done apologising for that.
She: Look, there’s a man not in costume: do you think that’s a mistake? I suppose if it was all one shot it’s too much to re-do it just for that prat.
Me: Nah, they’d just throw another twenty million dollars at it, what the hell. Wave another watch in our faces or hold up a bottle label a little too long for credibility.
She: OK… Do you watch these out of fun any more? Is room 327 significant? By significant, in mean “in Bond”, so not really.
Me: I don’t know.
She: Aren’t you meant to? Does she get a name, this woman? Bet she doesn’t. Oh, there he is. Hello, lovely. Face like a smacked arse. But what an arse. Teasy kiss-kiss. They seem to be the same height now.
Me: He might have grown a little bit.
She: Yeah, yeah.
Me: She’s probably taken off her shoes. That top hat on the bed is Live and Let Die.
She: Is any of it original?
Me: Not really. All this trickery is to distract us from that.
She: Where was he hiding that gun, then? There must be a join there. Right, well that’s your line done, darling. It’s not progressive, is it? She’s just going to wait for him, is she? She’ll be disappointed. Give up, love. Go jump some other set of bones. Still, fun, this continuous thing. Is all of it like this?
Me: No.
She: Shame. He gives good strut, doesn’t he? Moves well. Right, it is Godfather II, isn’t it? Without the “good”. Not a bad suit, seems tight on him.
Me: It’s how they want him to look. If they were referencing the old films properly, he’d be in a safari suit and clown shoes.
She: So he’s been wearing two tight suits whilst walking in Mexico City on a hot, dusty day. Must be very well deodorised. You could do with some of that. Look at him, no sweat at all. Odd: Daniel Craig never looks clean. Grr.
Me: Did you just growl?
She: …It was the dog.
Me: She’s in the scullery.
She: …It was the “guest”.
Me: That I buy.
She: That’s clever how it’s all swoopy… but you’re right, it is just “walking”. I wonder what they would have done if he’d twisted his ankle and fallen off? Might have been a laugh.
Me: So he approaches the end in full height…
She: Not very tall. They can’t decide whether he fits in Boy’s Large size or Men’s Small.
Me: …and only at the last minute dips down behind a tiny parapet.


Bond finds himself amazingly fortuitously directly opposite where the man in the white suit ends up. There is a briefcase. There is chat.


She: Forward planning, that. Right, so villainous Italians. Original. I didn’t know Bond spoke Italian.
Me: It comes in useful later when he talks with Monica Bellucci. Entirely in English.
She: Why’s Bond frowning?
Me: He’s seen the baddie stick his hand up and show the others his ring.
She and Me: (Laugh childishly. Our guest looks worried. Reasonable cause).
She: OK, but I missed that. Is that important?
Me: Tremendously. Relatively tremendously.
She: So all this fannying about with a continuous wiggly-wiggly wasting time and something that’s actually got a point we’re all likely to miss?
Me: You’d spot it again on the second or third viewing, or at home. Having paid again.
She: Is that moral?
Me: I think it’s called foreshadowing.
She: Fastforwarding?
Me: No.
She: Worth a try.


The baddies talk about blowing up a stadium.


She: And he arrived just at the point they were being fiendish. He’s good, is Bond. Who’s this Pale King, then?
Me: That’ll come up later.
She: Seems we’re rushing through things to take note of, whilst wasting time making it look good.
Me: Of which to take note. Dear. Come now. Remember your prepositions.

She: Don't get all Oxford on me.

Me: Um. Ow. Don't poke that. Not there. Ok, meanwhile, back at the plot...you sure you haven’t seen it before? Anyway, Bond translates Pale King from colloquial Italian and nobody doubts that he might have made a mistake.
She: That’s clever, how they see his laser in the cigarette smoke.
Me: I didn’t notice that.
She: I’m a surgeon, I’m paid to notice. Smoking kills.


No, it’s “Bottoms Up”.


She: “Smoking kills” is better.


Bond shoots a lot of men. He then shoots the briefcase. It blows up.


She: Why did he do that? He didn’t have to do that.
Me: We needed an action scene. It’s been “some walking” so far.
She: He just didn’t have to do that. Why shoot a briefcase? If it’s not a bomb, you’ve shot a briefcase. If it is a bomb, trouble happens. Nonsense, either way.


Rubble. End of Chapter One.


She: The gimp in the corner is very quiet, isn’t it? I like that in a… whatever.
Me: Thoughts so far?
She: It’s not really got started, has it? Very stylish but I’m missing lots of things, but I don’t think that’s my fault. It’s weirdly put together as if we're meant to look but not engage.
Me: Hm. Hold onto that thought. Another splash, darling?
She: Oh, we’re doing that now, are we?
Me: Ssh.


Mrs Jim will return.

#2 Jim


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Posted 10 April 2016 - 12:09 PM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 2: Three men wrestle with one big chopper
In which there is mass destruction of pixels. Poor little pixels.


She: Everything’s dusty, isn’t it? I know a building’s been blown up but it looked smoggy anyway. I thought it was the television. Bloody Julie just dusts round things. Never picks them up. She’s not very good.
Me: She’s scared of moving things since she dropped your mum’s urn.
She: (Darned suspicious pause). I did say that was her fault, didn’t I?
Me: You didn’t have to bite her face off.
She: It wasn’t her face, it was just her ear. And I put it back. I am a surgeon.
Me: Yes, you said.


An alarum sounds. Daniel Craig looks at what he has just done. He looks worried enough to slit his wrists. He’s always on about that.


She: Assuming that suit’s tailored, did they mistake centimetres and inches? Seems a dangerous place to stand and stare. Bet the insurance was massive.
Me: He’s not there. He’s on a set in Buckinghamshire, staring at a tennis ball glued to a selfie stick.
She: But he did do all that walking around, earlier, there, I mean, actually sent him to Mexico City or wherever it is.
Me: Yes, I think so.
She: To walk around. I suppose they didn’t need a stuntman for that. Unless he has a stunt arse. So that clock says five to five…
Me: Yes?
She: And they were saying they were going to blow the stadium up at six.
Me: And?
She: Got there just in time, didn’t he?


The building opposite starts to tumble towards Bond.


She: Doesn’t time fly?
Me: You’ll regret saying that shortly. Or longly.


Being chased by a falling building, Bond makes a safe-ish spot in time.


She: It looks like it can pivot up and down.
Me: Set was probably built that way so they could try it again. It could be an oubliette and a really obscure homage to You Only Live Twice. Or a bit we’re not meant to notice.
She: Hard to work out what we’re meant to notice and what we’re not. The film is being directed, we’re made very aware of that, but the audience isn’t being directed very well. Why doesn’t he walk around the edges? No, it’s Bond, he’ll do something flashy. Don’t escape the collapsing building, jump into it and look surprised by all the falling masonry. What a bloody idiot.
Me: It’s the exciting option. A homage to GoldenEye when he bungees off a dam despite a set of steps plainly available.
She: I resent this waste of my income tax. Not very cost-effective, is he?


We enter James Bond: the Donkey Kong years, as he leaps from level to level whilst a poorly pixelated ape throws barrels at him (deleted scene).


She: Very hard wearing, that suit. You could do with one of those.
Me: You’re giving in to the advertising that’s shot through this like…
She: Like?
Me: …a turd in a cake?
She: Not one of your better ones, drear. I bet the crotch doesn’t fray.


Whilst Mrs Jim does the indecent thing and thinks about Daniel Craig's crotch, Bond lands on a sofa and there’s a bit of camp amongst all this accidentally-on-purpose 9/11 imagery when he flings a light fitting away.


She: Fortuitously empty buildings, those, that he’s just destroyed.
Me: I suppose everyone’s at the parade.
She: But in the wiggly-wiggly bit, he was in a hotel full of people. That’s only two doors down. If these ones were empty, that’s yet more brilliant planning on his part.


Bond and White Suit glower at each other. For ages. Putting the long in longing.


She: I’d say Get a Room, Boys, but Bond’s just blown them up. There’s no way that man could survive a bomb going off in his face then half a building falling down. Where’s Bond’s gun?
Me: He left it on the roof.
She: Yes, but the roof’s now on the ground, with him. Pick up the gun and shoot the man, you fool. Or his little gun, his handgun. Doesn’t he always have that?
Me: He doesn’t appear to be wearing it today.
She: Unwise. He could just shoot the man. Instead of dropping a building on him and now trying to pout him to death. So Bond turned up at the most precise of precise moments and picked two completely empty buildings to destroy, but forgot to put his gun on? Incompetent as well as inefficient.
Me: Like the film?
She: Beat me to it. He could have avoided shooting the briefcase and just shot the man. That would have saved millions of dollars in special effects and scaffolding, I’d guess. This cost $300 million?
Me: Yep.
She: Well, you can see where money is spent but the decision to spend it like that in the first place is bizarre. Especially since they didn’t use any in giving him his little replica gun. 
Me: He wore two suits at once, so that might have made them even tighter.
She: Not a bad thing. Or he could have kept it under his big hat.
Me: Bond’s had so much experience of people trying to kill him in pointlessly elaborate ways that he thinks that’s how it’s done.
She: Do they know each other, then?
Me: No. I think it’s suggested later that Bond’s been following him for some time, but that’s a bit of a throwaway point.
She: Hm; the way they just stare at each other looks like he’s a villain we should know? Should we; is he from another Bond film?
Me: No.
She: He’s not Blofeld, is he?
Me: No. We’re not supposed to know Blofeld’s in this.
She: Darling, the film’s called SPECTRE. Even I know Blofeld’s got to be in it. Is this how Blofeld got his scar, Bond dropping half a hotel on him?
Me: I’m telling you he’s not Blofeld.
She: He looks like Blofeld.
Me: I’m not even sure what that means.


It would make more sense than what happens, though. Bond and Blofeld White Suit start running about, in shaky-cam.


She: So Bond’s stopped one bit of Mexico being blown up by blowing up a different bit of Mexico? Seems counter-intuitive. Why didn’t they send a drone?
Me: That, I think, is what the film thinks it’s about, for ten minutes, before changing its mind.
She: It wouldn’t cause much more damage than Bond, would it? OK, it might hit an orphanage by mistake but there’s no saying that wasn’t what the building Bond was on, was. That’d be new, wouldn’t it; film goes in an unexpected direction by having Bond make penance for killing some kids. He could look as miserable as he wanted to, then.
Me: It’d be cheaper, too.
She: You keep mentioning the cost. It wasn’t your money, was it? And you didn’t buy this DVD at gunpoint, did you?
Me: It’s a blu-ray.
She: Is. It. Really? He’s not making out a watertight case for not sending a drone instead, is he?
Me: I think you’ve nailed it.
She: I’d nail him. That suit is great; see how the dust just dropped off. This is very dizzy-making, this running. Don Fanucci will never get a signal unless he stands still.
Me: A homage to Quantum of Solace and all the whining about it.
She: Is that the one that lasts twenty minutes?
Me: Yes, and we’re not watching it instead.
She: Worth a try.


Not very far away, the parade is still in full swing. A one minute jog from where there’s been a massive explosion.


She: Lesbian Daleks, there. Or one of those things my grandmother used to cover the loo roll with.
Me: A homage to similar scenes in Thunderball and Moonraker.
She: Are you going to keep doing this?
Me: As long as they do. When they stop, and come up with something original, I will.
She: There’s some lovely pictures here, it does look expensive. I suppose if they paid all these people even 200, 250 dollars, that would use a lot of budget.
Me: Some of them are definitely computer generated.
She: The lesbian Daleks must be real. You’d worry about someone using their computer for that. 


If typing this through the medium of being a moron, it’s hard to spot Daniel Craig amongst all the skull-faces. Bond and White Suit stop and stare at each other again. Lustfully.


She: Getting a bit drawn out, now, isn’t it?


You don’t know the half of it yet. Statutory Bond film helicopter.


Me: There are only two Bonds which don’t have helicopters in them.
She: Do I need to know? Interpret “need” as “want”.
Me: Sorry.


Bond whacks a lad around the head with a skull-topped cane and then leaps into White Suit’s arms.


She: See, he just wants a hug, after all. He’s had a hard day. Largely his own fault, mind. I like how all the jigging is still going on despite the explosion and this helicopter landing. I suppose they have to keep going otherwise the lesbian Daleks will shoot them.


The helicopter takes off. The crowd squeal.


She: Oh, now they’ve noticed.
Me: Screaming might be because they’ve been doused in bleach, like the buildings.
She: You’ll have to explain that one. Better. You're an educated man; do try.
Me: Look at it, how pale and washed out it looks.
She: I think it looks pretty. And so do you.
Me: Thank you, dear.

She: ...Waiting on the returned compliment...

Me: I think...

She: Waaay too late.


There’s obviously a fight. Some of it looks really dangerous. Some of it looks a little artificial. The music comes back in, to help us appreciate that something of significance might (finally) be happening.


She: I told you he was just after that man’s ring.
Me: Without the music, would you have noticed that amidst all the other bits of fighting?
She: Not really. I suppose that’s clever film-making. He wasn’t wearing a wedding ring.
Me: I think the character point is that this man is wedded to that organisation.
She: You said “character”. You are funny.
Me: Thank you.
She: Occasionally.


On it goes.


She: I’m not sure hitting the helicopter pilot is a very good idea.
Me: Nor is a pilot letting off a flare gun inside, like that.
She: Stop hitting the bloody pilot! You really are an idiot, Bond.


Loop the loops. For real. Magnificent. 


Me: This homages The Man with the Golden Gun, although that had a penny-whistle over it.
She: You wouldn’t be able to hear anything over this. (Looks directly at me). Ideally.


Bond kicks White Suit out.


She: So Bond steals this man’s jewellery and then kills him, and he’s the hero?
Me: The man was a smoker.
She: Death’s too good for the bastard.


More loop the loops. We get it now.


She: James Bond is in an out-of-control vehicle and this is the climax and he will gain control of it. I really have seen this plenty of times already, haven’t I?
Me: The way it’s climbing and climbing…
She: If you say “homage” one more time, I’ll punch you in the teat.
Me: Quantum of Solace. Ow. I didn’t say “homage”. Oops. Ow.


The helicopter drops from the sky. This looks great. Even if it’s not original. She can’t get me in here. GoldenEye and Die Another Day. Ow. Oh, bloody hell. How does she do it?


She: Blond haired pilot; that’ll really help me work out who’s who.


Thoughtfully, to limit the potential for Mrs Jim’s confusion, Bond kicks the pilot out


She: He’s an absolute menace. Everyone murdered so far has been murdered by Bond. No wonder he doesn’t look very happy.


Bond pilots the helicopter – a helicopter he has just very violently stolen – through some lens flares, or the residue on a very dirty camera (the film has a problem with this, generally). One of the lens spots looks like a red face not wholly dissimilar to the smiley face on Ecstasy pills. Not that I would know this. Honest. Still, a subliminal message: take something to speed up the next two-and-a-half hours of inconsistent balderdash, kids. You’re going to bloody need it.


She: He’s not going to back to her, is he?
Me: Most doubtful.
She: Why isn’t he being chased by the Mexican police? He’s blown up their city, dropped two people onto a crowd and stolen a helicopter. They could at least have sent a lesbian Dalek after him.


The orchestra starts up.


She: That’s right, smirk away. You’ve got away with it again. I’d forgotten, this still hasn’t actually started yet, has it? Hang on, are we supposed to believe he was manhandling the gentleman’s ring through all the fighting and turning upside down? I didn’t see him pocket it.
Me: He didn’t. Nor did he put it on.
She: That’s rubbish, isn’t it? There’s no way he couldn’t have dropped it. So now he’s only just noticed the symbol?
Me: Apparently. Despite it being something he was desperately keen to get hold of, he doesn’t seem to know what it was.
She: I think you’d have to watch it all again to grasp that he had seen the man use it to introduce himself, and see Bond take it off him.
Me: Do you want to?
She: No.


We CGI into the titles. End of Chapter Two.


Me: Thoughts now?
She: It’s still not really got started, has it? That was quite exciting, but they seem to be going for overkill and spectacle rather than telling us what’s going on. It seems designed for multiple viewings, at cost. I can’t approve of that. I feel used. It’s a bit undernourished, so far. On which, what about your little friend in the corner? Doesn’t it want something to eat?
Me: There’s more than enough dust in that corner to sate its hunger. Bloody Julie has her uses, after all.
She: Look at the funny way it cups its hands to catch its tears, to drink. Why’s it so upset?
Me: It knows what’s coming next.


Mrs Jim will return.

#3 Jim


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Posted 10 April 2016 - 07:52 PM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 3: Feel the Yearn
In which there is cephaloporn, and a performance appraisal meeting. This is a very odd film.


She: This is that Sam Smith, isn’t it? He sounds upset.
Me: He’s probably seen the rest of it.
She: His stuff all sounds like this. Yearning. Uncertain. Wobbly.
Me: Hmm. Good point. It might suit the film more than people credit him.
She: People on the internet?
Me: Yes.
She: Who are otherwise bravely putting themselves out there for anonymous criticism during their breakneck schedule of artistic endeavour?
Me: More wine, my love?


There are naked dancing girls.


She: Bond film, then. Oh, such anguish. He sounds full of doubt. Is this meant to be about Bond? He didn’t seem full of doubt when blowing up that orphanage. I say it was an orphanage.
Me: This isn’t wildly popular amongst Bond fans.
She: If that thing over there is representative, nor is soap.


A topless Daniel Craig.


Me: If a script demanded it, do you think he would keep his clothes on?
She: We usually get topless with his films, don’t we? Don’t be jealous. 47, you said? Come closer, Daniel.


He comes closer.


She: I have powers. His eyes look really odd. Good nick for 47, though. I’m dropping hints, here.
Me: I’m leaving Bloody Julie to pick them up. Darling.


A big, black, oily octopus emerges.


She: Yuck. Do you remember that octopus we ate in Taormina?
Me: I think I might be still chewing it.


Starring Christoph Waltz.


She: Is he famous?
Me: Yes.
She: What will I have seen him in then?
Me: I do hate it when you do this. You’ll recognise him when you see him.
She: He’s Blofeld then, isn’t he?
Me: Wait and see.
She: They’ve put him on second. He’s bound to be Blofeld. Can I go home now?
Me: You are at home.
She: There was a prison vibe.
Me: That’s for later. Anyway, listen to how it sounds windy whilst they’re falling?
She: I thought that was Smith taking a breath.


Mildly controversial falsetto.


She: That’s… an interesting choice. I like that. It’s different. I say this full in the knowledge that I’m unlikely to knowingly choose to listen to it again. Just as well the dog’s shut away; she’d be going mad.
Me: This is I think one of the few songs from Bond’s perspective.
She: Explains the high voice. I said that suit was far too tight. That looks like a buttock… no, it’s just an arm. This is quite creepy, isn’t it? Unsettling. Very… writhy.
Me: Look – Monica Bellucci.
She: Where have they dug her up from? Is that her, there, then, being groped by a tentacle?
Me: I suspect it’s meant to represent her character, all caught up in… tentacles.
She: There you go with “character” again. So, if you’re right, one of these two people is Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Or he’s the octopus. He’s very talented.


Daniel Craig gets a co-producer credit.


Me: That’s the pension sorted, then.
She: I thought they were very protective and didn’t let the hired help take part.
Me: Generally so. A mistake; there are episodes of The Saint that Roger Moore directed that show far more flair than at least three of his Bonds. They could have given him a go.
She: I wonder if Daniel Craig, 47, sits around watching old tv. No, I bet he doesn’t. That’s why he looks like that.
Me: …and rumour has it that’s why they ditched Brosnan. He wanted to sing the theme song.


Smith, S. sings about “a million shards of glass” right on the moment we see a million shards of glass. And Javier Bardem, with his face all mashed up.


She: Shards of glarrrrrss. I suspect he’s from the Sithe of England, then. Isn’t that the gay terrorist from the last one?
Me: Yes.
She: Is he in this then? They did say the dead were alive.
Me: No.
She: Yes, I remember, that thing with his face, when he removed half of it. Presumably to allow more gentlemen better access. There’s that woman who drowned herself.
Me: I know, I can see it, I’m watching it too.
She: What was her name?
Me: Vesper Lynd.
She: Why do you know all this rubbish? And there’s Hannibal…
Me: Le Chiffre.
She: I know, I’m only winding you up.
Me: Successfully.
She: Ooh, Judi Dench. But she did die, didn’t she? Or is she the dead that’s now alive? Is that the plot – Blofeld has created an army of Zombie Denches programmed to Shakespeare us all to death?
Me: No.
She: Is she Blofeld?
Me: No.
She: Are they trying to make it all connected up?
Me: Yes.
She: Ok, I’ve solved it now, that sounds rubbish, can we stop?
Me: No.
She: Worth a try.


The octopus has a human skull.


She: Ugh.They let children watch this? Very OTT song, though. Overwrought isn’t the word.
Me: What is the word, then?
She: Omniwrought. Didn’t they give an Oscar to this?
Me: Yep.
She: Yes, I remember, didn’t Smith say he was the only gay man to win one? That’s impossible.
Me: I think it’s that no openly gay man has ever won Best Actor.
She: No openly Chinese one has, either. Does seem unlikely. The Oscars are the gayest thing ever. Apart from the Superbowl.
Me: Obviously.
She: Look at them – sculpted naked man with a large sword, dimensions of a sex toy.  Strange academy, that. Most give out a certificate.


Bond’s PPK is octowrapped.


She: Ah, well, you see, that’s where his gun got to. An octopus nicked it. That looks really oozy.
Me: As in the semi-automatic weapon?
She: You decide what makes sense when you write this up. I appreciate that’s an unlikely contingency.


Editor – Lee Smith, ACE


She: Ace! Does everyone get a little comment? Like “Daniel Craig – phwoarr”.
Me: I think it stands for “Asn’t Cut Enough”.
She: Don’t drop your aitches. Hoyte van Hoytema; is that like Robin Robinson?
Me: I suppose.
She: Does NSC stand for “Notably Smeared Camera”? That smoke lady has just been shot through the head. There are some strange images here.


Music strikes camp. Very camp. A very amusing image is how the SPECTRE members emerge from spider's legs scuttling back.


She: I’d love a chair like that. Is that Blofeld, then?
Me: Yes.
She: Doesn’t look much like Judi Dench. Eyes and eyes and eyes and eyes. It’ll give you nightmares. Oh, thank God, it’s back to normal, Daniel’s got his tits out and all’s right again with the World. Four writers? How hard can it be?
Me: Four credited writers. I think there were probably about ninety, in reality.
She: I suspect that’s not going to turn out well. So this Broccoli and Wilson get full stops in their qualifications, but the others don’t?
Me: It’s to ensure we don’t think they’re professional golfers. It stands for Pay Greenbacks Again.
She: Didn’t Sam Mendes do the last one?
Me: Yep.
She: So this should be good, then. Why’s that thing over there hooting derisively? You there, shut up. It’s bad enough with Old Buttermoobs here.


The song ends.


She: That was great. I actually liked that a lot, it was very silly. And now it’s over and I don’t have to do it again.


Newspapers are slammed down.


She: “Serious self-help solutions”. I can think of one immediately.
Me: No.
She: Worth a try. Headline’s a bit tabloid for The Guardian, though, isn’t it? That newspaper has no date.
Me: Keep that in mind. Let’s call this a ) Monday and b ) the day after Mexico happened. If you pause it…
She: Don’t you bloody dare.
Me: …if you pause it, the story on The Times suggests political unrest ensued, and a search for survivors.
She: Told you. He killed those kiddies. He’s an absolute liability. He’s going to get fired. Has to be. I get it now; he turns bad, not that this is much of a change, and infiltrates SPECTRE and undoes it from within. With a rapey vibe, and explosions.
Me: Albeit that’s Licence to Kill, that’s arguably better than what’s coming.


Ralph Fiennes is livid. It’s the suit they’ve put him in (very nasty).


She: He said “Potter”. Is that a joke?
Me: His name’s Gareth.
She: Really? Gary Voldemort. Hm. Will he disappear in smoke if subjected to anything other than weak natural light? It’s dank in here, isn’t it?
Me: It’s “moody”.
She: It’s pretending to be a proper film, isn’t it? Well, as Bond’s about to be fired, I get it.
Me: On that. Bond accelerated the death of the previous M by leading her to an isolated, unarmed dump in the middle of nowhere. Didn’t get fired. This man has shown Bond nothing but decency, concern and comradeship and agreed to cover Bond’s tracks last time out, and Bond repays this by being an utter git.


“Better half a block than a whole stadium full of people”.


She: Peeeepil. And it was fluke the half block wasn’t full of peeeepil as well.
Me: The Times said it was.
She: Murdoch press, don’t trust it. He’s going to get fired. And what’s that marital aid on Gary Voldemort’s desk?


“You had no authority.”


She: God, he’s going for it, isn’t he? Real lip curling there. Suit’s horrible, though. I do hate it when characters say “As you know” and then proceed to tell all anyway.
Me: Oh no! They’re suggesting Bond is obsolete. For the ninth time in as many films. It’s no threat any more.
She: The more they say it, the more we’ll believe it.
Me: Murdoch press.
She: Was this one as successful as the last?
Me: Nope.
She: Self-fulfilling prophecy, then. They ought to watch that, if they want us to watch in return. He’s just being an arse, here, Bond, and not in a good way. He’s basically asking to be fired. God, Gary Voldemort looks like he’s going to punch him. Deserves it, the little toad. They don’t like each other much, do they? Bond’s behaviour is simply not acceptable for a disciplinary situation. Go on, fire the fool. End the film.


The fool is not fired. The film continues.


She: That’s bollocks. Grounded? He’s not ten. Stood down from operations? He wasn’t on an operation anyway but still did what the hell he wanted; hardly a threat, is it, or within a range of meaningful responses? This is very poor management. A verbal warning? He blew up an orphanage. What does he have to do to get fired? Nuke Windsor? I’d have him clearing his desk right now. In the nude.


There’s a lot of staring. Time passes.


She: But he’s still calling him 007. If no-one’s taking this seriously, the internal discipline is ineffective. He should be taking notes of this meeting. I suppose twenty years in the NHS should have taught me it’s near impossible to fire anyone in the public sector. Bet his pension’s good.


“I don’t know what you’re playing at, but whatever it is, it has to stop. Now.”


She: Good advice
Me: No.
She: Worth a try. Shouldn’t he know what Bond is playing at? Isn’t he top spy? His competence throughout this meeting seems shaky, at best.


Ah, here comes “the plot”. 19 minutes in.


Me: Moneypenny opens the door, says nothing, shuts the door. That’s progress.
She: That’s Moriarty.
Me: Yep.
She: James Bond, Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes. It’s like a theme park for “instant Britain”.
Me: Or bad fan fiction.
She: You’d know.
Me: Ouch.
She: They appear to be getting on… oh no, my mistake, Bond’s taking the piss again. Why’s he calling him C?
Me: It sets up a joke later.
She: Doubtless one about vaginas. Can’t wait for that. It’s a bit random, though, just saying “I’ll call you C”; it’s like “I know your name’s Simon, but I’m so getting a Peter vibe from you, and I’m Jesus, so eat it, bitch.”
Me: I think the person really in this position is or was referred to as C.
She: But you’d have to care to know that to get the point of the joke, though. I don’t. He’s just calling him a ladypart to his face. He's only just met him. This is not appropriate in a workplace situation. This is awful behaviour, and M just comes across as weak. Bond’s completely intolerable now. Save for the bum wiggling, he’s been really horrible all the way through this. Oh, now Moriarty’s telling Bond his scheme. Classic. Is he Blofeld?

Me: I think he might have been at one time, then they changed it. Why do you think he’s a villain?
She: He does shifty so well, this guy. That thing he does with his eyes… Oh dear God, Bond’s about to say something and it’s bound to be vile.


“That all sounds lovely”.


She: He’s an absolute prick. James Bond meets up with Gary Voldemort and Moriarty Ladypart and it’s Bond who’s the nastiest. Weird.


“Report to Q tomorrow for medical, thank you”.


Me: Worth noting, that. The chronology of this film is all over the place.


M glares, shackled by his poor performance in a confrontational situation with an employee. He mentally notes that he needs more training. End of Chapter Three.


She: I’m not sure they have Bond quite right, here. Daniel Craig’s very good but it’s such an unappealing character.
Me: I think this is supposed to be part of a mystery; what has happened to make Bond behave in this way?
She: Not a very interesting mystery, though. They’ve tipped over the line, wit into insolence, confidence into untouchable smugness. I’ll continue with it because I want to see this bastard broken.
Me: You might be disappointed.
She: I’m used to that.


Mrs Jim will return.

#4 MrKidd



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Posted 11 April 2016 - 11:15 AM

Exactly Mrs Jim. Exactly. Your comments so accurately reflect my own I can only assume that you are me - which makes Jim my husband. In which case how dare you broadcast our private cuddle time over the internet. No dinner for you tonight. And you can put the kids to bed by yourself. I'm going out with the girls.
Good work Mrs Jim - don't let the buggers get you down - you have right on your side!

#5 Jim


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Posted 11 April 2016 - 06:47 PM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 4: When you’ve friends and neighbours, you’re the richest man in town.
In which a generation of British acting talent is wasted on roles delivering clunking exposition. It's not the only series that does this. Harry Potter and the Spectre of Meh.


She: The suit Ranulph Fiennes was in.
Me: Ralph Fiennes.
She: Whatever, not important. He looked like he was wearing two at a time as well. Is that a thing men do now?
Me: No.
She: You look like you’re wearing a lot. Oh no, silly me, my mistake, it’s just your fat gut.
Me: Are we doing this row right now?
She: As long as you’re still alive to hear it, then yes. It’s only because I care about you.
Me: And it’s only because I care about me that I don’t return the compliment.
She: Well, that’s a disciplinary right there.
Me: …Excellent.
She: That “Better half a block than a whole stadium” thing – I may have murdered some, but not as many as would have been murdered. It’s not the best defence, is it? Totally insurbordinate. Bond’s gone rogue.
Me: Again. They’re always doing this. He should behave – some guilt, surely, that he caused The Dench to die – but no, he’s getting worse. He lost the disc with the agent names on, which ultimately led to her death and since that didn’t happen after about 90 minutes of the previous film, he decided to speed it up, kidnap her and ensure it did. And he’s still not fired.
She: It’s not real, you know. Is Bond Blofeld?
Me: No.
She: Is Ranulph Fiennes Blofeld?
Me: No. Not everybody is Blofeld.
She: That’d be good, though – Bond’s hit on the head by some falling masonry and he’s awoken in Blofeldworld. Like Disneyworld, but less squalid. Fewer deaths.


Bond walks across a circular courtyard, somewhere in Whitehall. It is filmed in a clever way. Eat my clever. Just look at it. John Glen never did things like this. Bring back John Glen.


She: Do you think all that grumpiness might be because he was jetlagged. It’s a long trip, Mexico.
Me: I think you’re finding excuses.
She: Where are the people marching him off the premises? Isn’t that the Treasury?
Me: I think so.
She: That’s rubbing it in. He wastes so much public money and here he is, hiding in plain sight.
Me: Hmm… Vesper Lynd was a Treasury agent.
She: …You used to send me such poetry. Such poetry. Somebody stop this horrid man. He’s killed orphans. He’s destroyed bits of a sovereign state. He’s childish and petty. I’m 007, and you’re a big smelly C. He’s making conflict without cause. The only one creating risk and threat to Britain is him. That’s really contrived, isn’t it? He’s the author of his own misfortune.
Me: The author of all his pain.
She: No: ghastly. You’re supposed to be articulate. Such poetry. There he goes, yet more walking, thrown all his toys out of the pram.
Me: It was a helicopter.
She: Should have thrown himself out of the helicopter.
Me: Perhaps he’s bored.
She: He’s not alone. He should be locked up, not wandering about London, free. Serious public menace, given a mild ticking off. No wonder this country’s gone bang if this is the best of its best. Why isn’t there a court martial? There’s no loyalty here, is there? Given the chance to explain himself and it’s as sophisticated as “That’s what you are, but what am I?” Why isn’t anyone following him?


Somebody is following him. Here comes Moneypenny. Here comes Moneypenny to do acting.


She: Look at her running after him. Poor, hopeless cow. Nice shoes, though. He’s being a total bastard with her, too. Actually look at her, you uppity twat. Why would there have been personal effects at Skyfall? He abandoned it.
Me: This is indeed a problem in the logic of it. They just wanted to shout “Skyfall” at us and hope some of that rubs off.
She: Oh, d’you think? I do like her dress; that’s a really strong colour. She looks great.
Me: The Moneypenny in the early films used to wear a lot of blue. Ow? What?
She: Just because you don’t say “homage” it doesn’t mean the pain cannot continue. And how long’s that taken, to get one box file of stuff from Skyfall?
Me: It’s unclear whether it’s weeks or years. The passage of time is never regular with Bond films.
She: Tell me about it. No, don’t. Anyway, the only thing at Skyfall was one hairy old man.
Me: And two very nice Labradors.
She: Yes, so we just had to get another one, didn’t we? You’re too sentimental.


Insofar as the dog had to be named after a magazine (Bella), I lost out. My preference was “Country Life”, if only because its abbreviation would have been fun to shout in public places. I think Mrs Jim’s ambivalence is due to their shared name and the signal that sends out. That, and all the defecating everywhere. But the dog doesn’t mind about that. Meanwhile, back at whatever the plot is – it’s hard to say – we’re at Bond’s “place”.


She: Well, that’s going to be cheap, isn’t it? Did he inherit M’s house, then?
Me: No, but it does look similar.
She: Most of this film does.


We see the inside. It is “Spartan”, and not in the muscles and leather way. That’ll come later, be patient.


She: He’s got a big TV. Somehow I don’t see James Bond watching television.
Me: When we’ve seen his flat before, there was one, but he always seemed more interested in his coffee machine. He started making an espresso in 1973 and still hasn’t finished.
She: Bit like that Caffe Nero in Bournemouth. He’s got some art. What a surprise, it’s a nudey lady. I think. It’s hard to see. It’s all brown, isn’t it?
Me: It’s “as if lit by streetlights”.
She: Oh, turn another bloody light on, you berk, don’t be so mean. Does he wash himself under the cold tap? No wonder he always looks grubby. Christ, he’s cheap. Doesn’t mind going wild with other people’s money but he’s such a tightarse.
Me: And, right on cue…
She: Nice tight arse. I suppose that’s funny, that he seems to live so flamboyantly but his home life is depressing, lonely, penny-pinching and scabby. How’s this a hero?
Me: I bet the mortgage is a killer, though.
She: Somewhere around $300 million. It’s all falling into place. And apart. Presumably that Skyfall place was insured?
Me: Possibly not for “act of helicopter”. Come to think of it, it was Bond who blew it up.
She: Insurance job. He’s pure evil, isn’t he?
Me: An interesting view.
She: I’d be evil with him.
Me: Considerably less interesting.
She: Oh, he’s wearing his gun now, is he? Perhaps the Jehovah’s Witnesses are coming round. Well, Moneypenny looks pleased to be there. Has she changed her dress? It’s hard to see. That’s right, sexually oppress her, that’s what she’s for. He’s awful.


“What’s going on, James?”


She: Voice of the people.


“I think you’re just getting started.”


She: ‘Scuse me whilst I curl up into a ball and cringe. I was wrong: it’s not Godfather II, it’s Godfather III and here’s Sofia Coppola. Oh, he’s got a secret he won’t tell anyone. Yes, that’s because he’s a spy. They really are giving you rubbish to say, aren’t they?


Dame. Judi. Dench.


She: So, this Sciarra, that’s the Godfather II man? Is this still Godfather II? Does Bond kill his older brother?
Me: Not… as such.
She: Does he have an older brother?
Me: Not… as such.


I have rarely been so relieved to hear the word “Jesus”.  There is a God. Oh, I see how it works now.


She: Don’t listen to her! She didn’t tell you any of this on the way to Scotland. Why believe it now? When did she record this? That’s in her house! So Bond took her away after she recorded this. Why not tell him? Long journey to Scotland. You can only play so much I-spy before wanting to kill each other. She’s Blofeld! She’s working for SPECTRE and she’s setting him up! She’s as fed up with him as I am. This is obvious. Is it that he’s been got at by SPECTRE to disrupt Britain’s international relations? Doing their dirty work all along? He’s being used by them and he’s too thick to realise it?
Me: That would actually be a story worth telling.
She: You’re not overselling this, y’know. I note she didn’t tell Bond to take the man’s ring.
Me: She probably couldn’t have said that without giggling.
She: Yes, it would puncture the documentary realism, wouldn’t it?


“She wasn’t going to let death get in the way of her job”.


She: You hypocrite. What do you know about doing your job?
Me: So, funeral’s in three days, so that’d be Thursday. This is important.
She: No. No, it’s really not.


“…you’re insane”.


She: Good point. Yes, yes he is. He has an appalling home life, he’s distracted and aggressive at work and he is tormented by messages from beyond the grave. He’s basically gone mad. I get it now – those suits are only one stitch loose of a straightjacket. I feel sorry for him. I’d give him a cuddle.
Me: Stop it.
She: He just seems on the edge of a massive breakdown. And he’s usually armed. We need an intervention here, before he kills more orphans. It’s getting ghoulish. I suppose this explains some of it but I mean, I still don’t get why he doesn’t tell Gary Voldemort about all this. He’s been given absolutely no reason not to trust him, other than Gary not liking him very much but that’s all of Bond’s making anyway. Although he’d probably have Bond sectioned.
Me: ….00-sectioned?
She: Please. James Bond - mad, sad and tedious to know. Socially awkward, paranoid alcoholic with delusions of invulnerability and entitlement, and desperately mean with his money.
Me: You called?
She: As studies of isolation and ensuing sociopathy go, this one has more helicopters than most.


“He won’t let you out of his sight.”


She: You said something perceptive a minute ago, and now you’ve ruined it. That’s not true. If Gary Voldemort wants to know what’s going on, why doesn’t he have him under surveillance?
Me: They usually put the bugs in the light fittings. But he barely has any. That explains why he hasn’t turned them on.
She: Hmm. It’s “no”, isn’t it? That’s it, then, is it? That’s the big reveal and we’re meant to say, oh it’s all completely understandable now, this is why Bond’s being a total dick to everyone?
Me: I think that’s what it’s meant to be. That he had to misbehave to get this done.
She: Oh, James, I get it now, you keep on insulting people and neglecting your duties and blowing things up because it was all a cover. You were right all along.
Me: Something like that.
She: Well, that’s complete bollocks. It might explain it, but it doesn’t excuse it. And now we know all this, is he going to apologise and say he had to do and say these awful things to keep the secret and expose Moriarty for the utter ladypart he is?
Me: No.
She: So he’s just going to carry on like this?
Me: Yes.
She: I don’t think this film is suitable for you. She looks quite happy to be his mole, poor subservient bitch.
Me: Roger Moore had a mole.
She: Was it called Steven?
Me: No.
She: All moles should be called Steven.
Me: How much of that have you had?
She: Nowhere near enough.




She: Oh, bugger off. She shot him. He’s a lunatic.


Moneypenny leaves, before Mrs Jim can get even angrier with her.


She: Does he always leer at single women walking along the road like that? No wonder he never has his lights on. As a study of a psychotic manic depressive loner with authority issues and money problems, it’s pretty hard to beat. Give Ken Loach $300 million and he’d do this. Look how he is failed by authority figures and just left to become ever more socially inept and eking out his days in a badly furnished flat, with one lightbulb.


It is now later. We know this because it’s even darker. This is apparently possible.


Me: That bulldog is from Skyfall.
She: They’re laying it on a bit thick. Do you remember the one we made earlier? The one you actually liked? He’s really going for earth tones, isn’t he? It’s so brown. I didn’t think he’d have scatter cushions.


The Notice of Temporary Guardianship. The author of all my pain.


She: Music. So it must be important. Ah, a smile. Put it away, it looks weird. Is that photo him as a boy?
Me: Yes
She: Was he adopted by a paedophile ring, then? It’s would explain so much.
Me: No. But you’re right, it would.
She: The fire didn’t dare burn him out of the photo. It wouldn’t have dared. He’d have called it a name and been surly at it. His parents died, didn’t they?
Me: Climbing accident.
She: I bet they jumped. Rather that than talk to this little twerp. So, these papers, which belonged to whoever his guardian was, he was given back and then he took back to Skyfall, which he had otherwise abandoned, because…why?
Me: Because this story demanded it.
She: What this story demands is a smack round the head.


It’s Tuesday. The blown up shell of the old SIS building is described as “poor old girl”.


She: It doesn’t look very feminine.
Me: Hear that. Rigged for demolition in a week. So that’s Tuesday next.
She: What you’re saying is that we’re being told this for a reason.
Me: Yes.
She: I think I’ve guessed how it ends. Can we stop now?
Me: No.
She: Worth a try. Why’s he telling Bond things Bond already knows? We saw Rory Kinnear in Othello, didn’t we? He was brilliant. Why’s he in this?
Me: Probably pays well.
She: Yes, but he could get a bigger part. He’s really good. Is he Blofeld?
Me: No.
She: He’d be a good Blofeld.
Me: Not everyone’s Blofeld.
She: That’d be a plot, though, wouldn’t it?
Me: We’ve had the plot. It was that stuff about the exciting ramifications of civil service restructuring.
She: And Blofeld’s behind that?
Me: Yes.
She: That’s it, is it? Didn’t spend that $300 million on a story, did they? Ten quid on a boxset of Spooks. He said “drones” as if that was a bad thing. Go on, tip Bond overboard. That’d be back to the Godfather II.
Me: Is that the only other film you’ve seen?
She: No. But it might be the only one I’ve liked. Hang on, how can little Moriarty Ladypart have been to school with the Home Secretary? She’s old enough to be his mum.


There’s a security conference in three days, apparently.


Me: So that’s Friday.
She: That’s how a week works, dear. I'm glad the many thousands spent on your education wasn't wasted. “New World Order”. That sounds non-sinister.
Me: If C gets his way, he’ll get the intelligence of nine countries.
She: And what’s he going to do with it then?
Me: I don’t think anyone knows.
She: Are they taking Bond somewhere to be shot?
Me: No.
She: But he’s a massive traitor. Isn’t treason still a capital offence?
Me: I don’t think so.
She: There they go, through Traitor’s Gate.
Me: I think that’s an accidental suggestion.
She: OK, so why would Bond, a security agent if not a very loyal one, not actually know about these other explosions and bombings? He hasn’t been in prison, although he deserves it. He was only in Mexico. They have television there. And lesbian Daleks.


“It’s all rather playing into C’s hands”.


She: Subtle. And Bond’s fault. Oh come on, don’t ignore your friend’s hand. He’s trying to help you! You rude bastard.


“I hear he’s got something rather special for you”.


She: I hope it’s a punch in the face.


“I can hardly wait”.


She: Christ, he’s worse than a teenager. I can hardly wait, grumble grumble grumble. He’s absolutely vile, he really is. Look at that, goes straight for the gun. He’s not right in the head. He’s rude to his boss. He’s rude to his other boss. He sexually intimidates Moneypenny and now he’s horrible to his friends. Go on Q, terminate the little sod and we can all go to bed. Well, not all of us. Your little friend in the corner hasn’t moved for five minutes. I think it might have died.
Me: Oh, not another one.


End of Chapter Four.


She: Is this a remake of that Casino one? Where he started as awful as this and then learned a lesson and became to be a proper human being?
Me: Might be.
She: I mean, he can’t go on like this forever, can he?
Me: Um…
She: He is actually going to suffer a bit here, isn’t he?
Me: Um…
She: Seriously, his behaviour is really getting on my nerves now. Any more of this and he's going to get a smacked bottom.


Mrs Jim will return.

#6 AMC Hornet

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 01:20 AM

Mrs. Jim sounds like my first wife - watching a Bond film with her was a chore too.


Fortunately, the new Mrs. H enjoys watching them with me, even when I point out (for the nth time) that Dr. No and TMWTGG are the only films to not feature a helicopter.


She especially likes "the Welsh ones".


Ergo, I have no intention of following Jack Wade's example of populating the world with "Muffy"s.

#7 Jim


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Posted 12 April 2016 - 06:04 PM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 5: The usual tat. But at least Q is likeable. 
In which the film continues to fight the brave fight against actually starting.


She: Bring the… thing over here; need a footstool.
Me: Don’t hit me, but there’s a line in Quantum of Solace about the dead not wanting revenge and it even ends with Bond showing M about how he stayed his hand and did his job.
She: I’m too bored with that to hit you.
Me: Now that she’s dead, though, turns out she does want revenge and has unleashed him to cause chaos, unprofessionally.
She: I’m not sure why you’re telling me this.
Me: Well, they have all these references and want to tie things together but it’s already falling apart.
She: Well, whatever. Didn’t that Moneypenny say Bond was just getting started? Badly.
Me: Yep
She: Lied, didn’t she?


Here’s Q. It’s refreshing to see a friendly face after half an hour of everyone scowling.


She: That’s Wishaw, isn’t it? [Name of one son] could do worse than bring him home.
Me: I think he’s married.
She: He looks about nineteen.
Me: Where is [name of same son], anyway?
She: He and Robbie went to Berlin. They’re back tomorrow. You’re picking them up. You knew that.
Me: Not sure I did. Did you give them the money for that?
She: Yes.
Me: How much?
She: $300 million. I thought he’d come for a medical.
Me: He has.
She: Is Q going to stick his finger up his backside? 


No, he is not. “Everything’s a little bit up in the air”.


She: Everything, Benjamin? You flirt, you. Go on, Benj, take him by the muzzle. That’ll dispel rumours.
Me: I suspect that image is probably not deliberate.
She: I suspect it bloody is. That’s it, inject him with something nasty. Shove him full of potassium chloride and put him out of our misery.


Q says “prick”.


She: Bit of a half-volley, that one.


It’s cutting-edge nanotechnology, apparently. The blood has microchips in it.


She: What bollocks. What if he gets a nosebleed? That’ll hurt. There can’t be any female 00s. You’ll definitely get period pains, passing a load of circuit boards as well. Imagine tracking that movement in the field. Oh, that’s such an unrequited, lingering look.


Bond responds in the manner we have come to know and love.


She: Sarky little weasel.
Me: Lowest form of wit.
She: Should suit you right down to the ground then, shouldn’t it? Darling. Can they use the nanoblood to freeze him, give him a heart attack, a stroke?
Me: I suppose they could, but they don’t.
She: Is that the plot? Is that how Blofeld tries to kill him?
Me: No.
She: Seems a bit pointless. Other than Benj here stalking him. Which he will.


Q has one last thing for Bond.


She: We know what that is. He’s looking wan. Nanoblood’s rushed elsewhere.


The DB10


She: That’s lovely. Me like. Get it me.
Me: No.
She: Please. If you loved me, you’d get it.
Me: I’m not sure it’s for sale.
She: Boring technicality. Anyway, the Maserati needs a wash.
Me: That’s not a reason to change it, is it?
She: It is. And you should be grateful I don’t apply the same reason to you. Oh, Q, don’t tell him it was his but now it’s not. He’s going to think he’s entitled to it. He’s childish enough already.


The watch.


She: What type of watch is it?
Me: Don’t know. Does it matter?
She: No. Does it blow up?
Me: Yes.
She: I thought they didn’t go in for that sort of thing any more.


The DB5. Yet again. They just can’t kill it.


She: Why’s he giggling like that? Q done a funny?
Me: He didn’t tell him to bring it back in one piece. He didn’t tell him anything about it.
She: Do you never think you’re wasting some of your life, dear?


There are Aston Martins everywhere.


She: Public sector cuts not hitting around here, then.


“Will you do something for me?” / “What do you have in mind, exactly?”


She: Best left to the imagination. Is Q the Bond boy?
Me: No.
She: It’s blatant flirting.
Me: You pick up on these things.
She: Mum always knows. Is Q Blofeld?
Me: No.


“Make me disappear”


She: Yes please. At least Bond’s slowly becoming self-aware. And threatening cats. He’s risen in my estimation. Blofeld has cats. Are you sure Q’s not Blofeld?
Me: Very. OK, so the Smart Blood won’t work for 48 hours, or Q’s going to pretend it doesn’t.
She: Taking us to?
Me: Ha! Made you think about it. Ow. Stop it. Get off. Thursday.


End of Chapter Five.


She: That was short. It’s picking up the pace.
Me: Are you beginning to enjoy it?
She: Yes, I am, out of morbid curiosity that they’ve made something so weird, so determined to show us Bond’s horrible. All the violence and conflict emerge from him. No-one else has done anything. Is that what this is, then? He’s reached Peak Twat, so assured of his own importance, so the only way he can save everyone else from suffering is to stop being James Bond?
Me: I think the film suggests it but it never makes the point as expressly as it could.
She: I mean, I’m not getting any urgency or outside threat or anything like that; everything that’s happened so far stems from Bond being a petulant, stroppy bonehole. They’re going out of their way to spend obscene money on making him obnoxious.  If that’s what they’re doing, that's complex, there's a lot of self-hatred going on, but it's brilliant.
Me: And if it’s not? If they’re actually saying this is witty and charming and aspirational and "James Bond". 
She: Then it’s crap.


Mrs Jim will return.

#8 Simon



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Posted 12 April 2016 - 08:57 PM

I thought James Bond Radio did well to offer up 30 Days of SPECTRE.


But if we're going to get (x number of) Chapters of Mrs Jim sticking it in where normally it is Jim himself decrying that which he otherwise maintains he likes, then wonderful.


How many chapters are there then?  Hope I live long enough...

#9 plankattack


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Posted 13 April 2016 - 01:38 AM

Keep it coming!

As the actress said to the bishop.

#10 Simon



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Posted 13 April 2016 - 08:26 AM

And, a propos of nothing, what is the cartoon caricature on the front page??

#11 stromberg


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Posted 13 April 2016 - 09:33 AM

Brussels support message.

#12 Jim


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Posted 14 April 2016 - 05:57 PM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 6: Putting the “fun” in funeral 
In which there’s a car theft and widow abuse and we’re still meant to be on his side.


She: Cars and suits. Cars and suits, and watches too. But as an advert for being a blood donor, saving a life, something of value, total rubbish. He can’t give blood now, it’s electric, put that in your gran and it’ll kill her. But he can afford a flashy watch. Hey kids, be like this. It’s amoral. I’m not happy you’ve brought this into my house.
Me: Our house.
She: …so you say.


Time has passed. It’s now Wednesday, by my reckoning. Or 2079.   


She: They’re making London look good. Bit empty.
Me: They used up the budget for extras back in Mexico.
She: Since that song, we’ve seen ten people. Many long, lingering bits, though. I’m sure this is padding it out unnecessarily.
Me: It’s meant to feel weighty.
She: Flabby.
Me: Fat is lighter than muscle.
She: Well, I’ll have to tie you down or you’ll float away, won’t you?
Me: Later, maybe.


Moneypenny has a present. If not much of a future.


She: Did no-one check the box? M’s in the next door room. These buildings regularly blow up.


M’s not in the next door room; he’s just arrived.


She: She thinks Bond admires her. He doesn’t admire you; he’s lured you into a cycle of abuse. And now you’re betraying M. And it won’t be Bond who loses his job when it’s exposed, will it? You’re being set up, Moneypenny, you daft bag. He doesn’t love you, you’re his patsy. I’d want a better phone than that if I’m going to carry the can. Everyone’s so disenchanted, and it all comes from the top.
Me: Seasonal Affected Disorder.
She: In the minds of the weak. Although another lamp wouldn’t hurt. Or maybe wear something more summery. Gary’s lost control. They need a clear-the-air away day and a refocusing of team objectives. He’s a very ineffective manager.


Q is also arriving for work and the eleventh person we’ve seen since the song wishes him a good morning. I was right; it is now Wednesday.


She: So this is the next day already, then?
Me: Yes.
She: Taking its time, isn’t it?
Me: Yes.
She: Taking my time. How did M know it was Bond who blew up Mexico, anyway?
Me: He didn’t. That’s why Bond said it was a coincidence, all that carnage happening whilst he was there on holiday, he said.
She: But Gary knew Bond was in Mexico?
Me: I assume so.
She: So what’s the point of the nanoblood then, if he has a means of knowing where Bond is? It’s such a waste of money. All round.
Me: M put two and two together and made 007.
She: (Long pause) There’s no prize, you know. There just isn’t.


Bond has stolen a car. Things aren’t really improving.


She: So he asked Q to trust him, and betrayed that immediately. One of these days that approach is going to bite him on the arse.
Me: Before or after you do?
She: Does 009 go after him?
Me: No.
She: Rubbish. If that was my car and someone stole it, I’d get it back, and claim their head. 
Me: Just as well I only ever stole your heart, darling.
She: …so you say.


Q says a bad word.


She: Is there usually bad language in Bond films?

Me: It's developed more recently.

She: I don't think "developed" is the word. Still, he's left Q something to get stuck into. He is thin, isn't he? Needs some meat on his bones.

Me: So bad language is naughty but awful innuendo isn't?


Rome. Says the screen.


She: Of course it’s bloody Rome.
Me: Some people might not know.
She: He said he was going to Rome. I’m not even really watching it and I got that.
Me: So it’s now Thursday.
She: Is it? Is it really? People are going to think I married you for your body. So he’s driven halfway across Europe in a day? Hmm. He wasn’t stopped at all? It’ll smell in there by now. Surely 009 could have got a flight and be there, waiting? Lovely car though.
Me: He’s only just now noticed the buttons screwed into the dashboard.
She: Well, most of the driving would have been at night and he’s wearing dark glasses.
Me: Which is why he’s swerving about all over the place.
She: When that glass house of yours shatters, my love, it’ll be me picking up the pieces.

Me: He appears to be approaching central Rome from the south; bit odd.


A cemetery. Which is also practically deserted.


She: God, that’s a pair of shoes. Pause it.
Me: I thought…
She: Pause. It. (My wife stares for some considerable time at Monica Bellucci. She is enjoying her time doing that. I am also enjoying her time doing that). OK, Avanti.  Great shoes. Is she Blofeld?
Me: No.
She: This funeral’s come too quickly. Surely there’d be an inquest? Long haired man in white drops out of the sky. Not normal. Even down Mexico way.
Me: Religions are founded on less. Or similar.
She: Give it a rest. Anyway, according to you that was only Sunday.
Me: Yes.
She: So they’ve got the body released and prepared for burial and all the invitations and catering sorted?
Me: They’re SPECTRE. They have people everywhere.
She: Even in catering? That’s worth knowing. Why are they the bad guys?
Me: It’s evil catering. Couscous and cress. White wine. Plastic cutlery and coleslaw. 
She: Angela needs a caterer.
Me: I really don’t think SPECTRE do catering.
She: Haven’t really done much of anything so far, have they? At least it would be regular work.


Bond stares at people, for a long, long time. It is suggested he might have half-recognised one of the other mourners.


She: Does he know that man?
Me: That’s what’s suggested.
She: He felt his aura.
Me: That might be the cause of all the problems.
She: Is that Blofeld?
Me: Yes.
She: So that’s that solved.
Me: But Bond doesn’t know that yet. He thinks he’s someone else.
She: But’s he’s actually Blofeld?
Me: Yes.
She: And everyone else here would know him as Blofeld?
Me: I assume so.
She: So Bond’s going to find out the man is Blofeld, which is something everyone else knew, and be very shocked?
Me: No. He never knew him as Blofeld. He doesn’t know about any Blofeld.
She: So why does it matter? But he’s met Blofeld before. You’ve made me watch some with Blofeld in them.


As you will have realised by now, the chances of making Mrs Jim do anything against her will are Wishaw-slim.


She: That one in the volcano, that was Blofeld.
Me: Are you asking me or are you telling me?
She: You decide. Even the audience thinks he’s Blofeld. Everyone else apart from Bond, who’s so far a bit of a tit.
Me: It is a bit odd when you consider it that way.
She: Yes, and it’s perfectly normal otherwise. Come onnnnnn….


It is taking its time, isn’t it? Bond now seduces the widow, through the medium of “rude”. It’s quite funny.


She:  Much more like it. I think that’s the first decent joke. After several hours.
Me: Thirty minutes.
She: Is that all? You keep saying it’s five days. There’s a hell of a lot of set-up, isn’t there? Mooched around London, now Rome. When’s it going to get moving? It doesn’t look at all sunny. Has Blofeld kidnapped the Sun?
Me: No.
She: She’s very pretty.
Me: There was a lot of play of the angle that Bond seduces an older woman.
She: So what is she, she can’t be more than a couple of years older, if that?
Me: Think that’s right.
She: So his habit of bedding nineteen-year-olds isn’t a story, but this is?
Me: Yep.
She: Has it ever crossed your mind that these films are dodgy?


Men appear to “do intimidating”.


Me: It’s all very tastefully filmed.
She: Masks how tasteless much of the material is. Are they going to kill her there?
Me: No.
She: Is Bond going to have her there?
Me: No.


An exchange of looks so laden that they beep when they reverse.


She: Well that’s another few minutes wasted. Have I missed something; is this meant to be happening in real time?


End of Chapter Six. Only another billion to go.


She: They keep throwing things at us but none have yet really caught fire, have they? As if they had lots of ideas and just did them but didn't know how to sew it all together. We're in Rome now but I still don't get why.

Me: Judi Dench said he should go.

She: But what if someone else had killed the husband first?  None of this would be happening.

Me: I just don't think you need to think like that.

She: But they're giving me so much time to do so.


Mrs Jim will return.

#13 Simon



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Posted 14 April 2016 - 09:50 PM

I know you don't respond to messages mid-flight (very tasteful), but at some point, you are going to just Have to let the (intra-niche) world know what you consider a good film to be...


Might provide some context to the comparatives of that which you decimate.

#14 Jim


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Posted 20 April 2016 - 05:59 PM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 7: Look at the big fat art on that
In which beautiful people at a beautiful house do ugly things in the pursuit of a story constantly out of reach


She: You don’t seem to be enjoying it.
Me: There are good bits. It looks great, when you can see it. It feels “quality” but I have a nagging doubt that’s covering how hollow it is. The actors are very watchable, even if what they’re given to do is so underpowered. Where’s it going? The plot, wherever that’s disappeared to, doesn’t justify the technical cleverness in making it. All these pauses make me wonder whether they’re working out what to say next, making it up as they go along. It’s definitely not the worst one, nowhere near. But it’s one of the more disappointing ones, for me, anyway. As you say, it’s difficult to see a coherent theme or threat or tone running through it. And watching it chapter-by-chapter does tend to emphasise how little has actually happened so far.
She: You could just say you don’t like it. It’s a yes or no answer. Can’t nobly accuse the film of dragging things out when you’re doing the same.
Me: I can see various reasons why I could like it, but I don’t enjoy it, much.
She: You don’t have to spend your money on these films.
Me: Our money.
She: (Incredibly dangerous pause) What?
Me: From the joint account.
She: (Calm, and accordingly distinctly more lethal) How much?
Me: Fifteen pounds, something like that.
She: Means reciprocal shoes.
Me: Yes, but they’ll be more than fifteen pounds, won’t they?
She: Much more. It’s a pleasure levy.
Me: A what?
She: They should cost more because I will gain pleasure from them. I bet I wear them more than you ever sit and watch this film.


I bet I wear them more than I ever sit and watch this film.


Me: So that’s the Villa Sciarra.
She: No it’s not. It doesn’t look like it.
Me: It’s where she lives. His name was Sciarra.
She: No, I’ve been. It’s Trastavere.
Me: Was I with you?
She: You’d gone to St Peter’s, to tut. And still they didn’t give in, in the face of such mighty opposition. Anyway, that’s not Trastavere, far too open a view. Nice house, though. She has good taste.


Can’t really see her, though.


She: I suppose they’re making an effort. It looks very “art”.
Me: It’s some more walking.


As Monica sashays through the beautiful villa, most beautifully and to beautiful music, revealed behind her are gunmen. It is unclear how beautiful they might be.


She: It’s cleverly done.
Me: I fear that’s all it is; that’s supposed to be our reaction to stop us thinking about why or whether it should be done at all. Lavishly presented to stop us undoing the glossy wrapping and finding a mouldy old bone in the box.
She: But you could say that of a lot of these Bonds and they don’t all look at good as this, do they?  So this has an edge. I mean, do you really think anyone watches these for the story?
Me: Some people do.
She: And some people bugger their dogs. It’s not a credible standard. She looks terrific. They have better actors in these now, don’t they?
Me: She’s giving good tremble. This Mendes does have his Bond women give good tremble.
She: Perhaps he thinks women as victims is good.


Oh, look who it is.


She: Brilliant. There’s some style here. They know what they’re doing. Wish I did.


Bond walks, slowly, and remains slightly out of focus, although we can see that his suit is fantastic. An image that sums up the whole film, really.


She:  47, you say? Pretty bloody good. She looks as scared of him as she did beforehand.
Me: I think that’s meant to be the point. And with good reason. Only one of his women has ever survived.
She: Victims, as I say. So it's...Bond kills: several dozen; everyone else, nil, isn’t it? And he’s a car thief. And a liar.
Me: Not really very appealing.
She: …47…mmm.


We go inside. It was looking chilly out there. Within the space of five minutes, Bond has rustled up champagne on ice. And lightbulbs. There is a confrontation, during which Bond smashes the drinks and advances menacingly on the widow. Yep, had to look twice after typing that, but it’s all there.


She: That’s so sexually threatening. This is still the day of the funeral?
Me: I assume so.
She: Bloody hell. His earlier behaviour might – might – be explained by that message video thing, but this isn’t.
Me: I think they forgot that pretext and just decided to continue on as he was, regardless.
She: He’s headed for a big fall; this is a terrible thing to do.
Me: Perhaps it’s a homa… reference to how he behaved in the 1960s films.
She: Not a thing to reference. And not as if those films were going back fifty years and saying women shouldn’t have the vote.


“Loyal to a man you hated.”


She: How does he know this?
Me: He said he had been after the husband some time.
She: And knew this and didn’t intervene? What a hero.
Me: Perhaps he likes watching women suffer.
She: There’s no perhaps in it. He’s a scumbag.


There’s more chat about “trust”.


Me: The last four films have been sounding off about trust from the get-go.
She: Have they reached any conclusions?
Me: Confused ones, mainly. He’s even said his name verrrrrrrrrrrrry slowwwly. Eats up more time.
She: He seemed a bit unsure what his name was.
Me: I’m having my doubts.


“These people, if you just knew what they could do…”


She: I wish I did. Hurry up and tell us. They actually haven’t done anything yet.


“Mon” mentions an “organisation”. This is the first time it has been suggested there is one.


Me: We know there’s an organisation because the film’s called SPECTRE. He didn’t know there was an organisation, there’s nothing been mentioned until now about an organisation, it was just the man in the suit. But he doesn’t seem surprised.
She: He might think it’s Mafia.
Me: Why would the Mafia blow up a stadium in Mexico? It’s complacent writing, relying on the audience’s knowledge that there is an organisation.
She: But you say Bond had been following the man for a while; it’s likely he would have found out he was a member of something?
Me: If so, why not just start looking into it earlier? Or at least why not ask Monica more about it? It’s this cake-and-eat-it attitude that’s so annoying. All this is new to Bond, yet all of it relies on audience knowledge of old Bond films, to be a lazy shortcut to establishing a threat without bothering to set it up properly.
She: What a sedated little life you lead.

Me: It doesn't make any sense in the context of the series.

She: Who cares? Why do you imagine they're making it for you? Why not just accept it at face value?

Me: Because then all the references just about gluing this together would be meaningless, baffling, and it shatters. 


The organisation is going to meet at a palazzo, at midnight.


She: And that’s also in Rome, is it?
Me: Yes.
She: Well that is lucky.


We cut to Bond writing something. It’s probably the next bit of the script, so lax and first-drafty is it. The One Ring is there. My semi-precious.


She: He’s remembered the ring, then. That’s a bit in your face: wouldn’t she recognise it?
Me: How does he know that ring has anything at all to do with any organisation? Again, it’s assuming that the audience’s knowledge of the symbol is in some weird way excusing Bond’s unexplained assumption about it?
She: Isn’t there one of these set in space?
Me: So if he thought it was meaningful, why not spend the past couple of days finding out about it rather than stealing a car and driving to Rome on the off-chance that a ) it actually does mean something, b )  the widow’s a looker and c ) she’ll be up for being pumped for information?
She: I thought he was suspended.
Me: Yes… but…..
She: So he couldn’t get it checked out.
Me: Hm. Still doesn’t really explain why he’s attaching importance to it, unless he’s seen previous James Bond films where it appeared.
She: That would be stupid.
Me: But that’s what’s being asked of us, to fill in all these gaps because they got bored or stuck writing it. Rather than writing something original, it’s just a remembrance of things past.


I suddenly get the Madeleine Swann joke. There might be more to it, after all. Bond departs, to a place where there is no mercy. Swindon. End of Chapter Seven.


Me: And goodbye Monica.
She: Is that it?
Me: I suppose she could come back.
She: Expedient plot device, breathing exposition through her veil. Not sure there’s much character to bring back, is there?
Me: We might be getting somewhere, finally.
She: If we’d been told this was a villain, we’d hate him by now. Has he actually done anything nice yet?
Me: No.
She: It’s got to stop soon, this behaviour. Or something makes him stop.
Me: I think that’s the idea.
She: You must have seen it several times and you still only think that?

Mrs Jim will return.

#15 Jim


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Posted 21 April 2016 - 06:40 PM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 8: A SPECTRE bored meeting
In which James Bond visits Blenheim Palace and realises it’s quite a dull day out


She: He could stay; he should stay. Not just abandon her like that. Surely he should wait for his friend to turn up?
Me: He’s got what he wants. He’s James Bond. He loves and leaves them.
She: And is that an admirable quality, dear?
Me: ….no.
She: I bet she didn’t think her husband’s funeral would end quite like that.
Me: Buried two stiffs in one day.
She: You really are quite unpleasant, aren’t you?


Bond drives through the night towards a computer generated image.


Me: So it’s now Thursday night into Friday morning.
She: Is it really?


The lovely car pulls into somewhere Mrs Jim knows.


She: That’s Blenheim. That’s bloody Blenheim, isn’t it?
Me: Yep.
She: They’re in SPECTRE? Why’s he gone to Blenheim?
Me:  It’s still supposed to be Rome.
She: (Derisively. You have to hear it to feel the eviscerating power). Bollocks. It looks nothing like Rome. Is that why it’s all yellow, then? How’s he managed to park in there? You usually get shot. Remember that party we went to?
Me: Vaguely.
She: You nearly got us locked in.
Me: I was trying to find the bar.
She: Usually you smell them out at a thousand yards, dear.
Me: There are plenty of bedrooms.
She: Not really the point. But this is weird.
Me: They often use places in the UK to suggest overseas. They filmed North Korea in Cornwall.
She: Stands to reason. But this is taking me right out of it. Dousing it in gloom doesn’t disguise it. See that? That’s where Sue got fiddled with by an Airedale.


I’d better not remind Mrs Jim they filmed the safe house in The Living Daylights around the corner from us, if only to avoid the possibility of an anecdote that “Sue” (a wanton pal of hers) was molested there by a donkey, or something. Still, happy memories of (possibly) unsolicited bestiality is distracting Mrs Jim from the car porn. Meanwhile, back in “Rome”, there’s more swearing.


She: They can’t say that.
Me: Stronzo?
She: It’s very rude.


James Bond claims to be Mickey Mouse.


She: He’s got the ears for it, poor lamb.


He shows a muscular man his ring. You knew that was coming.


Me: So he’s magically worked out that the ring will gain him entry to the meeting, which means he’s magically worked out the symbol is something to do with an organisation he only found out about a few minutes ago.
She: Why doesn’t he just find out who owns this place? They’re bound to be well-known; you can’t just drop Blenheim Palace onto the Via Veneto and not be asked who the bloody hell you think you are.


Bond walks into the meeting. He’s walked miles in this film, hasn’t he? I’m sure he’s done his 10,000 steps per day. A distant voice is banging on about cornering the market in counterfeit pharmaceuticals.


She: NHS middle-management. Yeah, they are probably SPECTRE.


We peer over the balustrade.


She: That’s a very nice table. Get it me.
Me: Where would we put it?
She: You might have to move out.
Me: It’s probably CGI. That man he’s standing behind; he was in Casino Royale.
She: So was he.
Me: Yes… but…
She: Not really getting the point I don’t need you to make.


As Bond walks – slowly – around, no-one pays him any attention and a German woman starts to report on how successful they have been shipping prostitutes hither-and-yon, and how the new global surveillance thing will help them. This has basically blown the gaff on C. James Bond can speak German. James Bond does absolutely nothing about this.


She: Is this meant to be the Bilderberg lot, then?
Me: I suppose so, but evil.
She: “But”?
Me: Aren’t they all meant to be lizards?
She: That’ll liven things up. Are they all lizards?
Me: No.


The doors open. The meeting holds its breath. A wee little chap enters and sits down.


She: Is that Blofeld?
Me: Yes. And no.
She: Are tentacles going to come out of his chair?
Me: No
She: Not fair. Those titles promised me chairy tentacles.
Me: I think you may be misunderstanding that for comedy effect.
She: Did it work?
Me: Not really, no.


There’s stillness and whispering and the slow march of time.


She: Get on with it.
Me: It’s meant to signify power and control.
She: No, it’s a very poorly organised meeting.


There’s some messing about with a microphone which despite being close at hand for – what the hell – Blofeld, someone else moves  for him.


She: Move it yourself, you lazy swine.
Me: I think it’s meant to show he’s so important, he has other people to do it for him.
She: They’re absurdly overstaffed, then.


Blofeld speaks!


She: Well that was a good couple of minutes of nothing. I hope whoever’s taking the minutes notes that the business was adjourned so that the Chairman could twat about unnecessarily. I’ve been in meetings like that. 


The German woman mentions the surveillance thing again, and without any possible ambiguity. And still Bond does nothing.


She: So all this is about, is SPECTRE cornering the market in prostitutes and being able to do so because they will know everything because of global surveillance.
Me: Yep.
She: It’s a bit low-rent, isn’t it?
Me: These films are usually about monopoly of something.
She: And this time it’s whores. Wasn’t there one about water?
Me: Quantum of Solace.
She: Is that the one that would be over by now?
Me: Yes. But no.
She: Worth a try. Seems like a lot of trouble to go to, all this government surveillance, just to run a string of old slags. Not very ambitious.


As the camera focuses on Blofeld, a voice starts up. But it’s not Blofeld. It’s a bit confusing. It’s our pal with the pills, who looks a bit like me. He mentions the attacks in Tunisia and Hamburg and Mexico with all the subtlety one’s come to expect of the film so far, and all this is being laid on a plate for Bond and he does nothing. He is just staring at the Chairman, probably wondering how he could get Moneypenny to fiddle with his little microphone. By which I mean willy.


She: Is this “Let’s give the game away night” round at Blofeld’s, then?


It’s more Truth or Dare. As we’re about to find out.


She: He looks a bit like you, you know.


I know. The Pale King is mentioned again. It’s obviously important, then. So important that they haven’t actually done anything about it in the five days since Bond flung Sciarra onto some jigging folk.


She: So they place this Spanish man at the other end of the table to set him up as a threat. It’s basic. Is he Blofeld?
Me: No.
She: He’s going to die soon, then, isn’t he?


Especially if he keeps going on about “amateurs”.


She: Ooh, bit passive aggressive, that. Take it outside the meeting, please.


There follows a solid thirty seconds of film when nothing actually occurs.


She: Hello, we’re still here. Hello. You’ve paused this, haven’t you, you rotten sod. 
Me: No.
She: “Action film”.


It is indeed a bit of a shock when my nearly-twin speaks again, inviting the challenge. We have to see everyone’s reaction. More time passes.


She: Yes, the Spanish man is going to die. It’ll be of old age.


End of Chapter Eight.


Me: Bond’s now heard the entire plot, such as it is.
She: Does anything really happen to change that before the end?
Me: Not much.
She: So it’ll be gunfights and explosions when all he has to really do is phone this in?
Me: Yep.
She: “Moneypenny, this time it’s all about tail”. When isn’t it? Christ. This meeting’s going on. I wonder if Bond’s got an overnight bag.
Me: Another euphemism for prostitute.
She: Yes. Yes, I know. But how would you?


Mrs Jim will return.

#16 Simon



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Posted 21 April 2016 - 11:14 PM

'Buried two stiffs in one day' had me crying rivers of laughter....


Composure was a long time coming after this.  Deary me!

#17 Jim


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Posted 29 April 2016 - 03:46 PM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 9: Where Has Everybody Gone?
In which the plot goes cuckoo


She: There’s way too many people here. They have a real security problem. Should wear lanyards. Don’t they have a policy?
Me: That’s what the ring’s for.
She: Be funnier with lanyards. They could throttle each other. This henchman has a razor wire lanyard. And SMART annual objectives.
Me: This is another poorly conducted performance appraisal.
She: All meetings are evil. Had one on Wednesday where “paradigm” was used as a verb. Are this lot the Illuminati?
Me: That I think is the suggestion.
She: The under-Illuminati. How many members of SPECTRE does it take to change a lightbulb? None, because they’d rather just talk whores.


Mr Hinx arrives, although as we’re never told his name, we’ll go with Mrs Jim’s next best guess.


She: He doesn’t look subtle. What’s his name, then? Jennifer Honeysuckle?


I’m sure he’s a very nice person. The Spanish Gentleman might disagree.


She: Urgh. Still, the man didn’t stand to greet him, so he deserved it. Good manners are important. 
Me: Tin Thumbman. He’s the man, the man with the thumbs of tin. He’ll gouge eyes in.
She: Never sing again. Only at my funeral. Then you do a solo. Was thinking “Defenders of the Earth”. Might as well have one last laugh.
Me: What if I go first?
She: Binbag off Beachy Head, sweetum.


Bond watches on. Some of the gathering are disturbed, but his reaction is uncertain.


She: Bet he wishes he could do that.
Me: I suppose the idea is that however badly Bond has behaved, he’s now met people who are worse than him.
She: No defence, is it? Can do what I like because there’ll always be someone more evil. Childish.
Me: British foreign policy. One reading of these films is that Bond exemplifies it. 
She: A reading you’ve just made up.
Me: Unless the suggestion is that it’s Bond’s behaviour that has created this, and now it’s gone even beyond him and the only way he can stop it is to stop being James Bond. Evil begets evil, et cetera.
She: Well, you’ve seen the film. Is that the suggestion?
Me: Never abundantly clear.
She: Little of it is. It’s all murky – story, motive, how it looks.
Me: It’s pathetic fallacy.
She: Halfway there.


It’s Blofeld! But… not. Knowing/caring, little difference. He claims that having reflected on Mexico, things have become clear. It’s not readily apparent how he arrives at his conclusion. The script has become “words get said”.


She: So he knows Bond?
Me: Yes.
She: They’ve met?
Me: Yes. And no. Not as Blofeld.
She: Yes they have. Loads of films.
Me: That’s the problem. If “Blofeld” or “SPECTRE” has meaning for the audience, then the people who produced this are exploiting our memories of the same to anticipate the villainy, shortcut a story. But Bond doesn’t know he’s Blofeld and the organisation has no name.
She: Bit slow, is he? Look at how the meeting’s gone. Who else is it going to be?
Me: The audience is having a different experience to Bond. Usually we see what he sees, we know what he knows, going along for the ride; now we’re taken for one.
She: Howls of delighted laughter, dear.
Me: We’re being told a tale about Blofeld and SPECTRE in the same way as every tale about Blofeld and SPECTRE, but Bond doesn’t know about any of that and heads off in other directions. He’s ignoring the “James Bond” things going on, at the same time as they’re relentlessly shoved at us.
She: Yes, but only persons like you would spot those references.
Me: Some, maybe, but you remember and know about Blofeld and SPECTRE.
She: Conceded.
Me: It’s weird: they’ve made Bond unappealing and now they’ve introduced something where their reliance on – complacency in - our prior knowledge means we’re impeded from joining Bond in a conceit that all this is new. They’re deliberately distancing us from him.
She: Don’t you think that’s the idea? That’s what I’m getting from it. Audience is already alienated and now this tops the turd?
Me: Or it might be sadly confused and disorganised, exploiting audience memory of other Bond films to avoid a story amidst all the competing demands for product placement, to lazily establish a threat because the underlying plot can’t muster one. We have preconceptions of Blofeld and his mates, and they’re not brave enough to try something new. This is another SPECTRE board meeting and plays out in the usual way. Slowly. When the usual SPECTRE stuff happens, it does so limply. Frustrating. They can’t decide if they are making a Bond film or some sort of anti-Bond.
She: The bins’ll need bringing in, first thing. Don't forget that bag of books in the porch is for British Heart.
Me: If his behaviour wasn’t already doing it, now they set audience and Bond down differing paths and I’m not sure they ever meet again. All these references don’t tie Bond to his audience; they’re actually cutting him loose from it because the more they ladle them on to trap us, the less connected he seems to it all.
She: It’s the only way he’ll grow out of it and stop. Time to ignore all this crap and walk away. Could be more subtle than you think.
Me: Hmmm. You might be onto something. You might also be giving it too much credit for a clever, if incredibly mean-spirited, idea. If you’re right…
She: …If?
Me: Then the contempt for Bond, the contempt for the audience and now the contempt for narrative coherence: is there any way back?
She: That’s what I’m getting from it. Is this the last one?
Me: No. It could be the first one of something completely different.
She: Perhaps they’re bored having to make them and decided to take the piss.
Me: Can’t dispute that; it does make my kidneys ache.


“What took you so long?”


She: He’s in this film. Everything takes ages.




She: That was… unexpected. And undignified.
Me: Interesting you say it was unexpected. I suppose the point is that this is a fresh twist, to try to convince us old hat is new. But it’s a desperate one.
She: At least he didn’t say swallow.
Me: Or shag.
She: Or cock.
Me: Or tit.
She: Or booby.
Me: Or puffin.
She: Nope.
Me: Or dickcissel.
She: You’ve made that up to cover your humiliating failure.
Me: No I didn’t.
She: It would be better than actually knowing.
Me: Yes I did.


Bond does violence.


She: Am I supposed to recognise Blofeld?
Me: From that Tarantino one.
She: Yes, yes, I know who the actor is, but has he been Blofeld in any of the others?
Me: No.
She: So he might not actually be Blofeld?
Me: This I think is the point where trying to devise a logical path through all this evaporates.
She: So he might not be a villain.
Me: You don’t cast him and not have him a villain.
She: Bit lazy. It's the man who plays villains. So, you know, that's enough characterisation.


Bullets fly, Bond makes mediocre his escape, by means of a jumpy-leapy-not Daniel Craigy-thing that would just injure him before he got anywhere near the car.


She: They really won’t like you shooting chunks out of Blenheim.  Lovely car, that.


Oh no! Here comes Jennifer Honeysuckle!


She: Is Jennifer’s car orange so you can’t actually see it? Big though. Not very practical for Rome.
Me: Why not?
She: Loads of people about.





She: ...Where is everyone?



Token Fast and Furious powersliding around a fountain and past a belvedere possessed of a dramatic view, which is being admired by absolutely not one single human being.


She: You were keeping score; what time of day is it?
Me: Just past midnight, early Friday morning.
She: In Rome. And there’s no-one around. Rubbish.


The cars charge along a deserted avenue. Did everybody die, or something?


She: This is ridiculous.
Me: I think the idea is that it’s a racetrack.
She: Then film it at a racetrack. There’s no danger here. The music keeps screaming at me but that’s the only thing making me tense. We’ve gone from a stupidly overpopulated meeting to a stupidly underpopulated Rome.


Backfire. Misfire. Sums it up.


She: Why’s he talking like an American? And no-one’ll hear you, love; there’s no-one for bloody miles.


Still haven’t spotted anyone. Tell you what, let’s go down a side street, bound to be folk to mow down, down there. We round a corner with the camera mounted on the car in such a way that it’s evidently not Daniel Craig driving it. He tries “Atmosphere”.


She: Is that meant to be a joke?
Me: It’s hard to tell. Tone is all over the place.
She: That was really… strange. That and the cuckoo thing. What was that about?
Me: You’ll find out.


Unfortunately. Meanwhile, back at the “story”, Bond drives his car over, but mainly through, a stationary one.


She: That’s decapitated the occupants. Were there anyone in it. Wasn’t, obviously, this being Rome Alone. Surely they could afford a few extras to run about, screaming?
Me: They spent it all on the cars. They’re both prototypes.
She: They’re nice cars but that just seems like misplaced investment. Pay a few students to run about, screaming. Then mow them down.
Me: It’s not a snuff movie.
She: It’s not up to snuff.
Me: Nice rescue.
She: Silence ...dickcissel.


Given the total absence of third parties so far, in a statistically improbable move, the only other car in Rome pulls out in front of Bond.


She: Hm.


Jennifer’s car – plainly too big for this – does some random damage. We are bored to report there were no human casualties.


She: I’m sure it was hard to film but there’s no umph to it.


End of Chapter Nine.


She: It’s portentous and doomy and to be endured and then they throw something in that’s meant to be enjoyed – I think – like that New York, New York thing – which is random and out of nowhere – and you don’t know what they’re trying out.
Me: Momentary shocks, to wake us up, or defy audience expectations.
She: The expectation of having a good time?
Me:  Like in Rome, which no-one ever visits.
She: Si, you will get a ‘otel and not get shoved about and overcharged for breathing – look, is empty. Have I missed something, was there a curfew?
Me: On which, shouldn’t [daughter] be back by now?
She: I said earlier, she’s at Clementine’s tonight.
Me: You did not.
She: I believe I said it, and that’s what makes it true.
Me: I’m not sure it works like that.
She: General Medical Council is.


Mrs Jim will return.

#18 Jim


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Posted 30 April 2016 - 11:53 AM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 10: Dirty Moneypenny. Which is a cocktail made from the contents of her ‘fridge. Mayonnaise, salt tears and angostura oh-so-bitters.
In which Jim is brought to you by Kia Motors Corporation.


Mrs Jim uses her “branded tablet machine device thing” (we didn’t secure the product placement deal in time) to look up birds. Like I do.


She: You’re right, though; dickcissel does exist.
Me: Is it a Bird of the West Indies?
She: …no…what an odd question. It does migrate to Mexico, though.
Me: Near enough.
She: No it’s not.
Me: A Bird of the Nearly in the West Indies.
She: Is that a Bond thing?
Me: Yes.
She: (A pause from which you could dig bits with a shovel. If you dared) Gift that never stops giving, isn’t it? Did they do one of those tragic colouring books for this film?
Me: Not as far as I know.
She: You’d only need an orange crayon.


Talking of shovels, our guest is beginning to seep juices. Will get around to that in a bit. Bond proceeds to terrorise the weaker car. Some claim that this is a silly scene. If you’ve ever had Mrs Jim drive you, you’d appreciate its harsh realism.


She: Go on, shunt the bastard into the Tiber.
Me: I thought you didn’t approve of Bond’s selfish aggression.
She: To be meaningful as disapproval, you set a threshold on acceptable behaviour. Obviously. Hate those bloody Fiats. Georgette’s got one.
Me: A pretext to dislike Georgette?
She: I don’t dislike her. I need no opinion of her whatsoever. Grind it into the wall, there’s a good lad. I’m not sure we need the opera: he’s driving a Fiat around Rome, we get it. What would the “Atmosphere” button do, anyway?
Me: Gas people, I guess.
She: Nice. James Bond offers you a selection of deaths. It’s not moral.


And yet, glee emerges from Bond bullying the hapless Fiat driver. Mrs Jim’s standards remain reassuringly capricious. But I suppose that of itself is a standard.


She: Why would you stick ambiguous labels on the levers? In a chase, surely you need to be sure what it does?
Me: If it said “Gas the Expendable Scum” it would make a passenger nervous.
She: It would also make for a very long label and get in the way. What sort of car is Jennifer’s?
Me: A Jaguar.
She: Pointless chase. Bond only needs to drive in a straight line and Jennifer’ll break down in about three minutes.
Me: I think they’re much more reliable now than that one your Dad had. Cars are reliable these days. Especially… Kias.
She: Hm?


Might have got away with that. “Might have” in the sense of “Won't have”. The aria reaches its crescendo just as the Fiat comes to a halt. Some time later, the airbag goes off.


She: Even the airbags are slow in this film. I’d get that seen to.


Jennifer Honeysuckle having disappeared for a bit, probably has broken down after all, Bond decides to call Moneypenny. His ‘phone is made by Sony. Do Kia do ‘phones? I bet they would be great, if they did. Can I have my money now? Moneypenny is sitting on her bed, writing up her diary. It’s a testament to loneliness.


She: Is that the same ‘phone he gave her?
Me: Not sure it is.
She: Well that scheme failed, didn’t it? What was the point of that scene earlier, other than showing us a product in a box?
Me: I think you’ve established precisely the point of that scene.
She: What are all those bottles of pills?
Me: Take the pain away.
She: She’s pinched that lamp from work. She’s on the fiddle.


She's fiddling with someone, anyway. Look, you knew that was coming. As was he, after a fashion. Ahem. Where were we? Right... Bond delivers exposition. Mid-chase. This could be funny but there’s an air of bored invulnerability about all this.


She: Did we know about Hamburg and Tunisia?
Me: Both mentioned, in passing, earlier. But very quickly.
She: Why are they keeping the plot on the sidelines like this?
Me: I think it’s all about suggesting things happen in the shadows, at the corner of the eye, and whatever bad things happen to foreign people, Bond’s is the biggest fight. It’s a bit dodgy.
She: Well, I get that, but it doesn’t help understand what Bond is trying to fight.
Me: It’ll be Blofeld and some connection with him.
She: Established that. What more is there to do?
Me: Dunno. Fart about aimlessly for an hour or so, I guess.


“So she was right.”


Me: No she wasn’t. She never mentioned any organisation. She was wrong.


“Who is it?”


She: Oh, saucy Moneypenny. Is that M?
Me: Unlikely. And disturbing.
She: It’s not going to be Q, is it?
Me: Why not?
She: She’d snap him.
Me: And not for any other reason?
She: No. Apart from Moneypenny being one of those dirty promiscuous heterosexuals you read about.
Me: She keeps a secure laptop in her flat and invites any old bloke round. C’s right; this lot need dealing with. He’s got the right idea.
She: Ooh, Bond’s jealous. That’ll put him in a bad mood.
Me: Could it get any worse?
She: He should be concentrating on his driving. He’ll hit someone. Oh no, forgot, there Isn’t. Anyone. There.


“It’s called life James, you should try it sometime.”


She: Bitch. But I suspect that’ll be significant later.
Me: Are you sure you haven’t seen this?
She: I’d have remembered the pure pleasure. Bond is taking a liberty here, phoning up this late. I’m sure this is in breach of the Working Time Regulations.


Moneypenny delivers the information about the Pale King through the medium of trying to remind the audience of things that happened two films ago. Bond delivers his response through the medium of hopeless overacting. Shame; he’s usually pretty good at saying some lines and jumping about a bit.


She: What does he mean, “of course”?
Me: He was a villain in the first two Craig films, who escaped.
She: Oh God, they’re saying it’s one big story, aren’t they?
Me: Saves them bothering to write a new one.
She: So if they know where he’s been for four months, why not bring him in?
Me: It wasn’t appropriately melodramatic to do so until now.
She: Oh look, Jennifer Honeysuckle. That’s right, we’re in the middle of a car chase, aren’t we?


Moneypenny’s ‘fridge.


She: Ketchup, some soup, a smoothie, mayonnaise and Nutella. A ‘fridge full of condiments. She has a very bad diet. Spinster ‘fridge. And both full fat and semi-skinned milk. Odd. I suppose she’s got in there the viscera of the last man invited round. That bloke’s in trouble. He’s gone very quiet.


At this point, the story takes a powerslide into The World of Wrong.


She: Franz who?
Me: Oberhauser.
She: Who’s that?
Me: The man at the meeting.
She: That was Blofeld.
Me: Yes. But no. Bond knows him as Oberhauser.
She: Given his behaviour to date, what Bond feels and thinks and knows is utterly irrelevant. He will turn out to be Blofeld, won’t he?
Me: Yes.
She: Soon?
Me: In about an hour.
She: Christ. So we have to sit around waiting for something to happen that we already know.
Me: Yep.


There’s another car!


She: Nearly got him. So Bond knows this Oberhauser? Is this from the books?
Me: Sort of. The father, that burned photo, taught Bond to ski. I think the suggestion here is it was more than that?
She: Grooming?
Me: Guardian.
She: The man in the photo wasn’t this Blofeld?
Me: No. The one in the photo was much older.
She: He is much older. So Blofeld is Oberhauser in the books?
Me: Very much no.
She: I don’t get it.
Me: I don’t think they do, either, any more.
She: Did you just stifle a sob?
Me: Hayfever.
She: In March?
Me: Global warming.
She: Oh, now you believe in it? So, has this been mentioned before in these films, this Oberhauser?
Me: No.
She: Seems a bit last-gasp shoddy.


The cars slide about in front of The Author of All My Pain.


She: St Peter’s. Do they wreck the Sistine Chapel, then?
Me: No.
She: Missed opportunity.
Me: Rome. Home to a fear-driven patriarchal organisation with a deplorable attitude to HIV in Africa, and the subjugation of women. 
She: And the Catholic Church too. 
Me: Not fair. You stamped on my gag.
She: …Wish you did have a gag.
Me: Later, maybe.
She: Intentional parallel. They didn’t need to have SPECTRE meet in Rome. Could set it anywhere. It’s not as if we’re shown much of it.
Me: Some establishing bits, a cemetery, a villa, Blenheim Palace, Pinewood Studios and now drinking in the vibrant, crowded atmosphere of the Eternal City by showing none of that as we whizz by.
She: I see now why they had to state “Rome” at us, because otherwise you wouldn’t believe it. They could have saved money and done this scaled down, out at Blackbird Leys with some stolen Saxos. That Aston’s been pinched anyway and I doubt Jennifer came by his by honest means. Especially as it’s something you can’t buy. Is Jaguar Land Rover part of SPECTRE then?
Me: The members do use their products, come to think of it.
She: Must enjoy breaking down.
Me: Yet you drive a Maserati. When it works.
She: It doesn’t break down. It has moods.
Me: Bloody expensive ones. Why can’t you get a Kia? Seven year warranty, Bluetooth and DAB, multi-point fuel injection, whatever that is, with market-leading economy and low emissions.
She: No. Were you paid to say that?
Me: ….  …. …. No.


Watch out for the (conveniently timed) truck!


She: Bringing in this week’s supply of altar boys. You can’t drive those down the steps like that. They’ll ground the cars.
Me: Like when you scuffed yours running over that speedhump
She: … a speedhump. I did say that, didn’t I?  So, there’s no-one taking a walk along the Tiber by the light of the silvery… by the light of the orange moon?
Me: I think to be fair, this one’s a road.
She: So where are the cars?


We find out. Bond and Jennifer Honeysuckle avoid the obstruction, amusingly.


She: I suppose that’s physically possible?
Me: Don’t try something similar.
She: Bit late for that advice.

Me: I'm not sure that if you drove past St Peter's in the direction one did, you'd get down to the river so quickly. They seemed to be driving away from the river.

She: Are you suggesting it might be fictional?


Bond sets Jennifer’s car aflame.


She: I thought they were making these films more realistic?
Me: They were starting from a pretty low base. You saw Die Another Day.
She: Don’t bring those words into my house.


Bond flips the “Air” lever. I think we all know what’s coming next. It does.


She: Exciting.
Me: Trouble is, when he’s had an ejector seat before, it’s been the passenger seat.
She: I’m not sure I’m very worried about that.
Me: Why would Q design a car where the driver gets ejected? It’s bound to crash. He probably enjoys a sudden rearward thrust.
She: Thank you for blithely dismissing one of our children’s lives quite so casually. Hashtag everyday homophobia.
Me: Don’t do that “hashtag” thing. It’s shaming
She: That’s not the thing you ought to be ashamed about, Jacques.
Me: Sorry.
She: I should bloody think so.


The Aston Martin flies into the river. Bits break off it, which find their way back onto its shell for the next shot. That’s clever. That was the “Continuity” lever.


She: Jennifer looks… I’m not sure what that look is. Puzzled? Windy? Oh, now there are pedestrians. Where did they come from?

Me: It's the Ponte Sisto, there's always people about.


Bond drifts into view.


She: Quite cool. Oh, pick it up. I know that man’s a roadcleaner, but you don’t have to be such an arrogant arse.


Back at Moneypenny’s, she’s doing “internet research”. We all know what that means.


She: The bloke in her bed’s fled. Needs to find another one. My interests are stealing from work, being bullied by an abusive sociopath loner, and Nutella. Is she on Ashley Madison?
Me: And how would you know about that?
She: I read about it in the newspaper. How would you know to ask whether I knew about it?
Me: I… read about it in the newspaper?
She: I suspect at least one of us is fibbing.


Probably a good time to bring Chapter Ten to a close.


She: So there’s now a mystery about why Bond thinks someone who is obviously Blofeld, isn’t?
Me: Yes.
She: Seems a bit of a waste of time.
Me: The real fight isn’t with SPECTRE, it’s with his personal demons and all about his past and the struggle for his future.
She: You do have a talent for the ghastly. Ugh. Meanwhile people in Hamburg can just die?
Me: Yes.
She: This is really quite objectionable now.


Mrs Jim will return.

#19 Jim


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Posted 30 April 2016 - 06:08 PM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 11: Democracy, possibly misunderstood
In which you begin to wonder whether the people who wrote this film received any form of basic education.


She: Was that 009 in Moneypenny’s bed? He had nothing else to do.
Me: No-one else to do.
She: Don’t be crude. It’d be a story, though. Two 00s fighting over the one slave.
Me: Don’t give them ideas. Anyway I don’t think it’s ever stated that 009 is a man. And before you start accusing me of inadvertent horribleness again, that was a man in the bed.
She: Could have been trans.
Me: Oh stop it, you’re just trying to start a fight.
She: Would be a bit of excitement.
Me: What do you mean? We’ve just had a massive and massively expensive action scene.
She: That’s just it: I felt the expense, but not much else. It was out to impress, no doubt, but I just felt I was watching it and never engaging.
Me: That’s something Bond accuses Blofeld of, later on.
She: So am I Blofeld then?


Whilst that horrific probability sinks in, let’s rejoin Moneypenny.


She: I hope she claims overtime for this. Which one of those is Blofeld?
Me: The one on the right.
She: The one on the left looks like that Le Chiffre man. Was he Bond’s guardian?
Me: Yes he does, and no he wasn’t.
She: So Bond was taken in by Blofeld’s dad, then?
Me: Yes.
She: I think I can see where this is going. Bit unlikely, isn’t it?


That’s one way of putting it. Anyway, whilst that equally horrific probability sinks in, here’s C to remind us he’s in this film. It’s been ages since we saw him last. Now he’s telling us we need more, much more surveillance.


She: He only wants it to look at prostitutes. That’s the conspiracy, isn’t it?
Me: Apparently so.
She: So he’s in league with Blofeld to give Blofeld access to all the world’s security information.
Me: Yes.
She: What will they do with it?
Me: ….something with prostitutes, apparently.
She: Surely there’s more to it than that?


C bangs on about… whatever.


She: Well, that’s an unassailable argument he’s raised, based as it is on absolutely nothing at all. How come we’re in Tokyo?
Me: They said they would be going there.
She: Did they film it in Tokyo?
Me: London City Hall, I think.
She: Knowing I shouldn’t indulge this, but is this on the day they said?
Me: Yes. Yes I think it works out. It’s Friday evening in Tokyo. I think it’s still holding together, just.


“Less likelihood of terrorist attack”


She: Whores and safety. Sounds like a plan, to me. What’s not to love?
Me: Gary Voldemort and Iago don’t like it.
She: Jealous they didn’t think of it first.


“Together, we are a global power.” / “An unelected one.”


She: So who voted for you, Gary? He’s already been shown as incompetent in using his power, now he doesn’t understand the source of it. Absolute buffoon.  Hold on, he can see how they’re voting!
Me: Well, he is a spy.
She: Surely it should be a secret ballot?
Me: I suppose they have to trust each other. I guess that’s part of the idea.
She: Are we really expecting that little Moriarty Ladypart has persuaded the Chinese to share their intelligence?
Me: I suppose they have an equivalent mole in their government.
She: I’m not sure it’s the strongest plot if we have to sit here supposing it.




She: Is it? I suppose everyone’s vote counts. But it’s the sort of democracy where everyone has to vote the same way. Are the Russians in the room? This is their sort of thing.
Me: I think I saw China, France, the USA, Spain, us and the South Africans are there too. There are three others.
She: I’m sure the French and the USA would willingly agree to share. Or China and the USA. Or anyone else and the USA. Apart from us, because we’re a bit daft and have Voldemort and Iago running things. I mean, it’s some achievement of SPECTRE’s, to get the Chinese and Americans to agree to be nice to each other. And the French to be nice to anyone.
Me: Now, now. Hashtag everyday racism.
She: Hashtag absolutely not bothered. I’m sure these ‘phones would be tapped. That’s government property. Oh, Q’s got a vibrating thing. Good for him.
Me: How come you can say that and I would be accused of badness?
She: I bet all this lot would have voted in favour if he had just admitted it was about better access to prostitutes.


M wants to know whether Bond is in London. M, mate, you’re in London too, you go look for him.


She: There’s a lot of swearing in this, isn’t there?


Q lies! And M wants eyes on 007 when he gets back. He’s only down the road.


Me: Q’ll volunteer for that.
She: Not acceptable.
Me: Oh, I don’t understand the rules any more.
She: That’s because you think it’s a game. It isn’t.




She: I don’t think we need to be told that. They’ve only just shown us a map. So, presumably this is some time on Friday?
Me: Yep.
She: He’s had a long day. Got from Rome to Austria pretty quickly. Still, there wouldn’t have been anything on the roads.


There’s a dramatic approach by boat. It is very well staged. The music… well, the music’s just gone a bit nuts at this point.


She: Such nicely filmed bits, but still trying desperately to impress. What are we doing in Austria?
He: Finding Mr White.
She: Oh, right. That.
Me: Not actually bothering to tell everyone he’s discovered this massive conspiracy already and now he’s just… discovering it a bit more? I think he’s enough evidence really. But no, on we go with his own little selfish corner of the plot.
She: That was the little hat he was wearing in the burned photo. He kept it all this time. Bless.


There’s some walking. Then some more walking. Bit more walking. His Fitbit’ll explode. End of Chapter Eleven. And it is bankrupt.


She: Right, so why did he have to come here?
Me: Because they’d cast the actor again.
She: Seems a good enough reason. Why isn’t Moneypenny running around saying there’s this organisation blowing things up?
Me: I think it has to hinge on whether Bond is believed that Oberhauser is alive?
She: What does that matter? Everyone else thinks he’s dead anyway. There patently was a meeting, there was all that dialogue telling us the plot, there was a live man in charge of it regardless of his name, why does any of it rely on waiting for Bond to do anything else at all?
Me: I’m… not sure?
She: Nothing Bond has done tells me that this supposedly sinister project is a bad idea at all. I can see why the British are keen to share other countries’ intelligence. Theirs is crap.


Mrs Jim will return.

#20 Jim


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Posted 02 May 2016 - 04:30 PM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 12: Apparently the chessboard shows a stalemate. They paid someone to bother doing that. All accusations of profligate overspending to limited effect are so, so unfair.
In which you wonder what would have happened had Mr White had a son instead. 


She: So Moneypenny’s now aware of this Oberhauser?
Me: Yes
She: And that Bond has seen him at the meeting?
Me: Presumably.
She: So she will find out that Bond is associated with him in some way?
Me: Presumably.
She: And this wasn’t something on Bond’s file already?
Me: Odd you say that. In the last one, it was suggested that the old M knew the whole story.
She: And she’s the one who has set Bond after SPECTRE, in a roundabout way?
Me: Yes.
She: Why didn’t she just say “Your old pal Oberhauser is still alive and you should go and kill him”? Rather than leaving abstract clues. It’s worse than 3-2-1.*
Me: Because that would have deprived us of the opening bit in Mexico. Anyway, she might not have known.
She: But Widow Bellucci said her husband spent all his time with the organisation, so surely the old M knew there was one? Are the British actually any good at spying? Not very efficient, are they?
Me: This is why they need restructuring. Desperately. C’s got the right idea. He’s a good lad.


* Obsolete British game show based on the Spanish Inquisition in which contestants were subjected to light entertainment delivered via The Brian Rogers Connection and presented with fiendishly impregnable lateral thinking clues in the hope of winning a red Vauxhall Nova; the booby prize being a dustbin.  Example: “My first is in Car, but not in Dog. My second is in Car, but not in Jab. My third is in Car, but not in Pub. What am I?” Did you think “Car”? Well, my first is in Car, but a bee might get trapped in a car on a sunny day. So the first is B. The second is in Car, but you could always put a bin in a car, in the boot, say. I have a car. So the second letter is I. The third is also in Car, but not in Pub. Well, pubs must keep their bins outside due to prevailing Health and Safety legislation and the letter N is not in the word “pub” anyway. Saying it was in Car was a clerical error, so all errors must in due course go in the bin. So, sorry, it’s not the car, you win a bin.”


It was so cruel. Only second in sadism to Bullseye, in which amateur dartists were, when habitually unsuccessful, shown what they could have won. Often a speedboat or a red Vauxhall Nova (it was probably the same one). The contestants’ corpulence meant neither was a practical prize, just rubbing in further their lipidinous humiliation.


Meanwhile, Bond’s still walking towards the chalet. He always runs while others walk. Except in this film.


She: Not very houseproud.
Me: Neither was Bond.
She: Random slovenly psychopaths killing each other off; why should I care?


Birds go “flap”.


Me: John Glen used to do that.
She: Did he? Did he really? That looks like the camera on the boathouse. Did you fix it?
Me: Yes.


No. Ssh.


She: It’s eating my life, all this wandering about. “Bond goes walking” is not a plot. He’s not there, whoever you said it was.
Me: Mr White.
She: Well, I wouldn’t recognise him anyway.


Bond sees something – a light under a mirror. How he spotted this through the cinematography is anyone’s guess.


She: Oh, it’s a secret door. Of course it bloody is. Bit of a cliché?
Me: What would you say of a film that does this twice?
She: Bit bloody desperate.
Me: It does it twice.


Another untidy room is revealed (it’s big, this chalet). Albeit this one is occupied.


She: Looks like this place after Bloody Julie’s been. Is that John Hurt?
Me: Cut-price John Hurt-like treat. An Aldi John Hurt.
She: He doesn’t look at all well.


“Do me a favour and make it quick.”


She: They’re just being unnecessarily provocative now. No, Bond, he’s in no fit state to go upstairs. Help him with that drip, surely?


Surely not.


Me: I think they’ve forgotten Bond shot this man in the kneecaps.
She: The Chessboard of Metaphor. The Room of Plot Requirement. They really are leaving no tried old trope unmolested, are they?
Me: Where’s his drip gone?
She: Good question. Untidy though it is, it’s still cleaner than [name of hospital, not saying which, your gran might be in there (but not for much longer)].
Me: Bond’s taken his hat off.
She: That was an action scene of itself. Why is he surprised to see Bond? There was a camera.
Me: I think it’s suggested that’s not his.
She: In his own house? How would he not notice?
Me: It’s a bit of a mess.
She: Indeed it all is. The message being that if you don’t clear away your dishes, someone’ll come and stick a surveillance satellite to your wall?


“Last month, I found thallium in my cellphone.”


She: Well, you would.


Not in a ‘phone made by KIA MOTORS CORPORATION, I’d bet!


She: What?


Yikes. She can’t have known about that comment. If she did, we’re all in deep trouble. I'll blame you.


Me: He’s got more hair than he used to.
She: Thallium makes your hair fall out, actually. They call it “inheritance powder”. “They” being sick bastards.
Me: How do you know these things?
She:… I’m a doctor. It’s also used in The Pale Horse.
Me: Is that where they got the Pale King thing from, then?
She: Probably. They’ll steal anything from anywhere. I suppose that’s a Litvinenko reference. Ha ha ha.
Me: A plodding collection of internal and external references in the vain pursuit of a narrative.
She: My, aren’t we posh?


We are interrupted by [Child], twin brother of he who is currently in Berlin with his boyfriend.


Child: Alright?
Me: Try “Hello, parents, how gladly it makes my heart to see you both well.”
Child: No. This is SPECTRE, isn’t it? S’alright. Can I have fifty pounds?
Me: Whether you can is different to whether you may.
Child: (Muttered brigandish oath) May I have fifty pounds?
Me: No.
Child: You gave [name of twin brother currently spending money in Berlin] money for Berlin.
Me: Wasn’t me. I didn’t know about it.
Child: Come on, be fair, I need fifty.
Me: How much of that is “need”, and how much of that is “want”?
Child: Mum?
She: Ask your father.
Child: I did. What’s that body doing over there?
Me: Ssh. Neither a borrower nor a lender be. That’s Shakespeare.
Child: No; it’s Polonius, and Polonius is a dithering old fool.
Me: Backhanded insult aside, good to see paying for [year 1 of BA English Literature at “Not Oxford, But His Mother Thought It Was Nice”] hasn’t been wasted.
Child: Come on, I need fifty for a thing.
Me: That cuts away all mystery in the request. Hasn’t the pub paid you?
Child: Minimum wage.
Me: At your age, I…
Child: At my age, you inherited granddad’s money.
Me: Not true; life tenant. It’s in trust for you all when I die.
Child: But that won’t be for ages.
She: …thallium.
Me: Most touched by your commoditising me. 
Child: So it’s my money anyway?
Me: Third shelf up, next to the autobiography of Robin Askwith – there – “Trusts & Equity”, G. Watt, 6th edition. Look up “contingent interest” and "in remainder". Then award me ten points, and some jelly.
She: Here’s fifty pounds.
Child: Thanks. Seeyur.


Exit, pursued by a stare.


Me: Oh, what?
She: It was worth it.
Me: Why not just pass the inheritance powder and cut out the middleman?
She: I don’t think Waitrose do it. Apparently it’s tasteless.
Me: Speaking of which… right so it’s evening. Say Friday evening.
She: You’re persisting with this?
Me: It maintains my interest.
She: I suppose you could have a drinking game. Every time someone ambles around a bit, start drinking and don’t stop until they do.
Me: I’d be dead in an hour.
She: Worth a try.


“You grew a conscience…” / “But this – women? Children?”


She: So this man was a villain in some of the others.
Me: Yes. When he supported child soldiers, blowing up airliners and cutting off a nation’s water supply. But mention prostitution and he goes all Barnardo on us.
She: Convenient change of mind.
Me: Desperate attempt at continuity.


“He’s everywhere.”


She: Is he in Leeds?
Me: Probably not.
She: Stupid thing to say, then.
Me: He does get about, this Blofeld. Yet the Secret Service has never heard of him and won’t unless and until Bond bothers to tell them about him. Which he now could. But doesn’t.


“You’re protecting someone.”


Me: Hear the plot’s gears shift so very smoothly.
She: I think it’s just gone into reverse.
Me: Magnificent joke, darling.
She: There are worse fates than thallium, dear.


“Your daughter.”


She: Oh, right. I get it. It would have been more interesting if he’d had a son.
Me: Shorter, certainly. All we ever get to know of this conspiracy, we already know, and none of the ensuing forty-five minutes would have to play out because basically everything Bond finds out about the threat isn’t any more than what he overheard at that meeting.
She: Sorry, how does he know the plan?
Me: The German woman talked about it at the SPECTRE meeting. Twice.
She: What if he doesn’t speak German?
Me: Well, a ) it’s always been the case that James Bond speaks German, although that was probably a war thing, and b ) insofar as this specific story hangs together, he became the ward of an Austrian called Oberhauser for a period of time. Let’s say the mother tongue wasn't Welsh.
She: So his presumption of the heterosexuality of this man’s daughter is completely wasted?
Me: Yep.
She: So the daughter – who I assume is the Bond girl – is basically unnecessary?
Me: To the threat, the surveillance thing. Yeah.
She: T’riffic.


“I can keep her alive.”


Me: He doesn’t have a very good track record where that’s concerned.
She: Your Mr White has a comedy squeaking voice. It wasn’t thallium, it was helium.


Mr White points Bond’s gun at Bond. There’s some convincing “ill” acting. I’ll miss this chap when he’s gone. Which is in about ten seconds.


She: The American?
Me: L’Americain.
She: So it’s a place, then?
Me: Are you sure you’ve not seen this?
She: He’s not French, is he, so why say it like that unless it’s a place?


This is an obvious detail it takes everyone in the film about another half hour to work out. Keeping in the tradition set by The Dench of “a major character from previous considerably better Daniel Craig Bonds delivers pointlessly cryptic clue prior to death”, Mr White shoots himself.


She: Ouch. Still, he’d seen how much hoovering he had to do. I can understand his choice.


Bond robs the body.


She: Is he trying to tickle him back to life? Oh, go for the wallet. He’s from Liverpool, isn’t he?
Me: Chester.
She: Near enough. Well, that was convenient. And how convenient that she’s pretty.
Me: He didn’t have a donor card.
She: Scumbag. So we’ve advanced from general, if violent, insubordination, to corpse robbing. Is he going to lever his teeth out?
Me: Where’s Bond put his hat?
She: He’ll never find it in this mess. And he'd kept it all these years, poor lamb.


End of Chapter Twelve.


She: I suppose this is introducing the romantic element
Me: That actually advances matters not one inch.
She: Probably a few inches.
Me: (Pause to reflect on World-class double entendre, not that I would ever let her know this) More thallium, dear?


Mrs Jim will return.

#21 Jim


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Posted 09 May 2016 - 06:33 PM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 13: Communication Problems
In which there are abundant opportunities to bring this to a satisfactory conclusion. They are not taken.


She: You’re still recording this?
Me: Mm-hm.
She: You don’t think it’ll come across as very smug; “oh, look at the things me and my wife say, mmm mmmm mmmmmmmmm”.
Me: My wife and I.
She:...Smug doesn’t do it justice, does it?
Me: Anyway, I don’t expect to be agreed with.
She: Speak for yourself, chubbers.
Me: Isn’t suggesting you’re not smug, itself smug?
She: You’re such a clever boy.
Me: Thank you.
She: …Living out that clever life of yours on a sofa.

Me: Livin' La Vida Sofa.


A lovely opening shot, across the Thames, London a mysteriously sterile white, a fishbelly white, a leprous white. There’s a weirdly ethereal quality to it. I think it might be my favourite part of the film. I’m not joking.


She: Not many people around.
Me: Typical. But it might be Saturday. Or Sunday, now. They had to get back from Tokyo and that was Friday evening.
She: Long trip, Tokyo.
Me: Yes, you had that oncology conference there, didn’t you?
She: …Yes.
Me: That conference with Barney.
She: …Yes, that conference with Barney. Has M changed his clothes?
Me: Have you changed the subject?
She: I don’t think he’s changed his clothes.
Me: I see.
She: Has M been to find out where Bond is?
Me: I don’t think so.
She: Any competent leader would make that a priority.


Evidently City Hall, albeit doubtless they spent millions to CGI the old SIS Building into the background, slightly pointlessly.  C reveals that the funding was from the private sector. M chooses to ignore this MASSIVE CLUE and, brilliant spy that he is, doesn’t already know (?) and doesn’t bother asking who those were. Nor is it public information already. This is a simple Freedom of Information request, and still M hasn't bothered. How likely is this?


She: So it’s a satire on the Private Finance Initiative? In Bond world, it’s not Serco or Capita providing your competitive outsourced infrastructure solution, it’s SPECTRE? Good fun. 
Me: Again, it’s hinted at, but thrown away. There’s a waste of ideas here, as if it can’t summon up the nerve to follow them through.
She: “SPECTRE – people who care, caring for people. Just not very much.”
Me: Special Executive for Corporate services, Training, Restructuring and Efficiency. An evil one.
She: There’s already stiff competition for the “evil” bit.


C bangs on in his deeply characterised way.


She: He’s enjoying talking about data gathering. He’s not right in the head. Why’s he gathering it? Seems pointless unless we’re told.
Me: Does Facebook tell us what it does with data? And in which it sells shares to unknown corporate investors?
She: They might just like pictures of cats.
Me: Blofeld has cats.
She: So Facebook is SPECTRE?
Me: Another suggestion not followed through. I suppose the idea is to have us think about who possesses all this stuff we give, willingly and warn us it could be someone as inert as Blofeld.
She: How’s it a threat when we’ve all given it away anyway? Are you suggesting the film’s subversive?
Me: Bond films often have an anti-capitalist message in them. Although that’s probably only to reach as many people’s money as possible. Which is massively capitalist.
She: So it’s a disguise?
Me: A $300 million corporate extravaganza designed to sell telephones and watches and promoted freely across privatised social media is a jolly good disguise. I wouldn’t say disguise. I’d say “trap”.
She: I’m not sure this would be Orwell’s worst nightmare. That might have been vermin.
Me: At least he’s calling out M – the Head of Spies and Killing - on the shocking hypocrisy of his objection to all this.
She: He says Rome wasn’t built in a day. He knows Bond’s been in Rome. He’s teasing. He’s naughty.


“I know surveillance is a fact of life.”


She: It’s a fact of your job, you limp teat. They’re having to do this because you’re rubbish at it.
Me: He seems so reluctant about his role. Which is spying.
She: Odd message – some unelected spooks are marginally more acceptable than others? I’d want competent ones, however stricken with guilt they are. This C seems competent. I'd vote for him.

Me: You don't vote for spies.

She: Not what Gary thinks. But he's a cretin.


“It’s how you use the information that concerns me, and who is using it”.


She: You could, of course, Ask Him.
Me: I wonder if that means he knows what’s going on? Probably not, because he’d be reacting to what 007 reported in. Which 007 hasn’t. I suspect it’s trying out irony as another half-hearted chuck-it-in. I suppose it’s also a joke at the expense of how this film’s script was leaked when there was that hack thing.
She: Did that reveal any secrets?
Me: Only that overpaid people can’t spell.


00s are prehistoric, apparently.


Me: We keep being told this. We’ve been told it for twenty years now.
She: People like dinosaurs. And dinosaur films. They make lots of money. Have there ever been dinosaurs in a Bond film?
Me: A View to a Kill? And Sean Connery aged quickly.
She: Obviously not what I meant.
Me: There was a comic book some years ago… don’t you think it would be stupid?
She: Do you think “not being stupid” is the defining quality of these things? He’s right, though, when he says a man in the field can’t compete. Everything Bond’s done is proving him right. He’s been casually violent and insubordinate, so far. A drone wouldn’t call you a ladypart, for a start.


“Running around out there with his licence to kill.”


She: He’s running round rogue.
Me: Hmm – it would all have more impact and challenge and up for discussion if Bond was on an actual mission; then it would be a fair comparison to invite us to draw. But he’s not, so it’s not. So it’s meaningless. Why’s M sticking up for Bond, anyway? He’s out of control and being ineffective in performing his job – he knows the terribly evil scheme in full now, but has decided instead to dick about doing other stuff.
She: You can pull the plug on a drone. Ooh, M’s finally showing his balls.
Me: I suspect C’s never had to kill a man, but it leaves it ambiguous whether he’s ever chosen to.
She: That’s not what we’re meant to get from that exchange.
Me: It’s what I get from it. Because it’s more interesting.
She: Now suggesting Bond’s some sort of professional. Trouble is, Gary, he’s patently not, so he’s just showing you up as even feebler than you already were. Your argument is based on the nobility of someone we’ve had – God, it’s not even an hour yet – nearly an hour of being shown is utterly unworthy and loathsome. And I’m sure that’s the same tie you had on in Tokyo.
Me: I’m not sure it’s wise to dismiss every method of surveillance. After all, Bond’s listened to a lengthy exposition of the scheme and hasn’t reported it back yet.
She: He’s just casually disregarded most of his employees just so he can say that Mr Willyplunge is great. Which he’s not. It’s probably Constructive Dismissal.


“A licence to kill is also a licence not to kill.”


She: No it’s not. Unless it says so in one of the schedules. Anyway, Bond isn’t operating under his licence. He’s grounded. This standing up for Bond when he’s not worth it is so desperate.


C calls M on his lack of control.


She: He’s right. He’s bloody right. This isn’t a villain; it’s justified peer review. M’s useless. Windy old speeches but no substance. Restructure the [pooh] out of him, C.


We are reminded of Mr Craig’s actoring.


She: So by now M will surely know Q’s betrayed him, and Moneypenny’s betrayed him too. Does he have them shot?
Me: No.
She: Or at least dismissed?
Me: No. They all form a little gang.
She: Spineless and feeble. No wonder this C can just walk right in. M and his minions aren’t under attack: they’ve beckoned it in, then rolled over submissively and died on their backs. Well, Moneypenny’s in trouble. Although if he picks on her and doesn’t reprimand Q, that’s an instant tribunal right there.
Me: I think Young Ralph looks shocked that another member of his profession could deliver a line quite so badly. Or is thinking that twenty years ago, he could have been Bond.

She: Really?

Me: Possible.

She: Instead of that Brosnan?

Me: Yep.

She: I'm now upset about that. Hmm.

Me: Would you like a moment?

She: May I leave the room?

Me: No.

She: Worth a try. So this man has now given M information that Mr White is connected to – whatever it is?
Me: Yes.
She: So does M do anything with this information?
Me: Of course not. Interesting, though; I suppose C has dropped a bit of a brick by revealing that one. There’s really nothing left to reveal about the conspiracy. That’s…it.
She: M’s not going to notice. How much more of this is there?
Me: Still under halfway.
She: Seriously? C’s tapping MI6 agents and admits he has private backers and he’s obviously a bad ‘un, and you keep saying the German woman blabbed about the surveillance network thing – and M and Bond just let all this wash over them and on and on and on the film goes.
Me: It’s not British Intelligence. It’s British Thick.
She: I see what you did there. Before you ask.


“We watch everyone”.


She: Who’s “we”? Go on, Gary, Ask Him.


Gary does not Ask Him. The film does not Tell Us. Because it already has, several times, and it is determined to Continue To Entertain Us At Great Length. So just as everything could have basically been ended right here, it’s back to Austria and Mr White’s cabin, 9.26 a.m., probably Sunday. The crows are breakfasting. More a sort of casual, relaxed brunch. They're peckish.


She: So it’s taken Jennifer… how long?
Me: Two days.
She: Two days to find a man it took Bond half a day to get to.
Me: A man they were all talking about at that meeting as being a matter of urgency and a man whose location they already knew, to put thallium in his ‘phone.
She: Take things pretty slowly, this lot. Presumably Jennifer used public transport. Actually, how did Bond get there?
Me: He probably stole a car. He’s like that.
She: He’s seen the camera. So he’ll know Bond’s been there.
Me: I think that’s it.
She: So those crows have been picking at that man’s face for two days?
Me: Yes.
She: Lovely. Still better than [name of hospital that will shortly be passing on their condolences about your grandmother, but not in a way that could be construed as an admission of liability]. Why’s Jennifer turned up here, anyway?
Me: Presumably to kill Mr White?
She: But they’d already killed him with the thallium. So he came to – kill him some more?


Somewhere else in Austria. Somewhere else in Austria that it has taken Bond two days to find, despite being told its name. A clinic atop a mountain. A reference atop a reference. Commoditised self-necrophilia


She: I bet their carpark’s still cheaper than [name of hospital you’ll shortly be suing, albeit fruitlessly].


Bond approaches clinic, looking a tadge silly.


She: It’s taken two days. But he’s still in Austria. What’s he been doing? Did they mistake Austria for Australia? Austria’s small. If they ever set one in Australia, it’ll last a month. Bit like this. Have they done one in Australia?
Me: Not yet
She: I’m sure I’ve seen one in Australia. That one with the motorbike chase.
Me: That was a Mission: Impossible film.
She: Same difference.
Me: You’re only saying that to hurt me.
She: Worked. He’s found his hat, then. What type of clinic is it?
Me: Never clear.
She: Probably clap. Looks private. But not especially confidential.


On which…


She: She can’t do that.
Me: Speak French?
She: Evidently she can do that. But dictating a patient’s notes in front of Bond?  Totally unethical.
Me: I suspect it’s meant to give her character some… character. Show her as a professional and not just someone for Bond to attach himself to, albeit utterly pointlessly this time.
She: But it shows her as being massively unprofessional.
Me: It’s the last time she does anything “doctor”. And we know what the French for PTSD is, now.  I suspect it was to give her some lines in French, that’s all. Probably insisted on by her agent. But it might mean that the family’s French?
She: So?
Me: So l’Amercian might not be a place?
She: But that conversation was in English. And it is very obviously a place. Otherwise he would have said a name. Is she really meant to be a doctor?
Me: Some kind of psychotherapist, I think.
She: Break that down and it becomes psycho the rapist. I can see why she and Bond hook up.
Me: Don’t worry. It’s over soon, and she becomes this film’s forgettable park-the-pork.
She: How vile. I wonder what Bond would do if she was really ugly?
Me: Surely it’s the personality that counts?
She: Is there a personality?
Me: No. I suppose he would have called in all the information he knew, including the connection between Mr White and SPECTRE, and in so doing could have saved the threat hanging over Q and Moneypenny’s careers. But instead, he’s done none of that, because a ) that would be unselfish and heroic and b ) she’s quite pretty and he might get a cuddle.
She: She’s very pretty. But the only person we’ve met who is any good at their job, is C. And he’s a villain. An unusual message to send to the youth of today. Why’s he come here?
Me: To ask her about l’Americain.
She: He could look it up on the internet.
Me: To protect her.
She: From what? Surely if SPECTRE were after her, they would have found her already? Years ago. I mean, your Mr White man used to be their pal. They found him. Twice.
Me: To… nope, can’t think of any other reason. Beyond finding out about her bedside manner.
She: Yeah, yeah. Still, she’s got years of material with this abject nutter.
Me: Is that a medical term?
She: James Bond – Do not resuscitate.
Me: Except every three years, for cash.


She introduces herself.


Me: That’s a Proust reference. Swann. Madeleine. Four writers, apparently.
She: As if you got beyond the first page.
Me: This is all about remembrance of times past. It’s the same set up as Tracy.
She: The dead wife?
Me: Yes. Daughter of criminal, whose character is all over the place, for whom Bond contemplates giving it up.
She: Giving what up? He’s not actually doing his job. Didn’t they analyse Bond in the last one?
Me: Yes, but that doctor wasn’t as blonde, nor as young. Nor as female. They keep doing this. The last five or six have done it.
She: No wonder he’s crazy.


Bond claims not to have noticed the view.


She: Urr.


Dr Swann doesn’t actually shut off the view.


She: You deserved that, you leering fossil. He must be a good twenty years older than her.


Questions. Designed to raise a knowing laugh.


She: She’s not looking at him. Everyone’s so chilly, in this film.


She does look up, at the mention of parents. This is Acting. This is Direction. This is Bleeding Obvious.


She: He really didn’t like that question.
Me: There’s no particular reason he didn’t mention the name Oberhauser. Surely that’s worth trying? She might recognise it and we might get to leave a bit more quickly.
She: Impressive cv.
Me: It’s to show she’s “good”. If he’d said Cambridge, we’d know she was eeeeevil.
She: Not sure how anyone could hide in a big glass cube on top of a mountain.


Bond scores himself 2 for anxiety, scaredyness and regret, and considers himself of even temper. He is completely delusional.


She: Disappointing signature.
Me: I’ve never really given much thought what his signature would be like.
She: Funnier if just a bloodied thumbprint. Oh, just go back outside and fill the bloody form in properly, and stop wasting my time.
Me: He’s probably forgotten what his job is; it’s so long since he actually ever did it.
She: He could just write “Licence not to kill”, because that’s what his boss thinks it is.


“I kill people”.


She: Press the panic button!
Me: I don’t think she has one.
She: Useless. How does she know he’s not going to kill her?
Me: She doesn’t. And he does try, shortly.
She: What? Is he Blofeld?
Me: He’s considerably more dangerous.
She: I don’t see how she assumes this is about her father. Unless he told her about Bond.
Me: Possible.
She: He’s old enough to be her dad, after all.


Her father died “two days ago”.


Me: Told you.
She: So what’s he been up to in all that time? Not looking for l’Americain?
Me: Choosing a new hat, probably. Not reporting in, either.
She: Just stalking her on the internet for her cv and now he turns up at her workplace and says things like this. He’s a very, very unwell man. He could be breaking the news of her father’s suicide much more gently than that.


“Your life is in danger and I need your help.”


Me: A – he doesn’t actually know that and B – professionally, yes.
She: She’s just the subject of a deal?
Me: This is another Tracy reference; a chattel, part of an exchange for information about SPECTRE.
She: Ugh. How very progressive. So – using technology to find information – bad. Using people’s emotional frailty to find information – good?


She kicks him out. But not for long. Very shortly (very shortly-ish), she’ll claim to love him. Physician, heal thyself.


She: No, call security now, you fool. In ten minutes, he’ll be wearing your pelvis as his next hat.


End of Chapter Thirteen.


Me: Odd bit of the film – all the opportunities were there to actually end it swiftly during this part, and yet it goes off into a romance that ultimately means very little.
She: I can see why he’s attracted to her – Pouty McPoutface, the both of them. Why’s he here, again?
Me: No very good reason.
She: Still an hour of this?
Me: Oh yes.
She: Can I call security?


Mrs Jim will return.

#22 Jim


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Posted 10 May 2016 - 06:43 PM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 14: Bond’s Dirty Ring
In which we contemplate the morbidity of the soul. The pacing of this film allows same.


She: That went well. She’s not convinced. Nor convincing.
Me: Perhaps he should have shown her his ring.
She: She’s not that type of doctor.
Me: Is she any type of doctor?
She: No.


Bond is propping up the bar. As we approach him from behind – I could rephrase that, but won’t – one of the tables appears to have a bottle of vodka on it. This might become significant.


She: Bond’s suspended.
Me: …Yes?
She: How does he pay for all this, then? She said it was costing a lot. Waiting rooms like this don’t come cheap. Suspended, he can’t claim expenses.
Me: I don’t think we’re meant to worry. Anyway, he’s now based at The Treasury, apparently, so he’s in the best place to find cash.
She: Odd, that. Thought he would be at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, that’s only over the road.
Me: So not working out of the place representing where the money’s kept, but the place representing where we nicked it from in the first place?
She: How joyous, the sixth form Debating Society has arrived. Still, Bond is the sinister, thoughtless embodiment of social injustice and government waste. C’s right, this is so inefficient. Drones don’t stay in hotels and drive Astons, then meander off up a mountain to waste time and pester, sexually.
Me: Some might say that’s why James Bond is better.
She: Wait until they have an income worth taxing.


Dr Swann drops her blinds. Won’t be long until she drops her pants. Don’t groan; this is how these films are built, and you know it.


She: Shouldn’t be drinking at this altitude.


Indeed he won’t be.


She: Oh, Bond, don’t be so bloody rude all the time. Man’s just doing his job. Just so surly and nasty. Role model? For whom?

Me: Hotel receptionists.

She: Granted. Go on, barman, do a wee in it. Or a spoonful of thallium, that’ll show him.
Me: Their “promotional partners in vodka” might not be pleased about this.
She: I’m sure one of the other people here had a bottle on their table.
Me: Perhaps they smuggled it in. Like sitting in a pub garden but eating your own sandwiches.
She: I’m consistently overwhelmed by how richly you live.


Right on Q… Q.


She: Q! But that’s… nonsense. What’s he doing here?


Good question. Which Bond also asks. Film must be working, or at least acknowledging its own slack-jawed absurdity.


She: I like his jumper. No, darling, M wants your balls because he has none of his own. I’m not sure they would make very nice Christmas decorations.
Me: I suppose it’s like Santa’s sack.
She: And you wonder why I don’t take you anywhere. Has Bond actually been nice to anyone?
Me: Well, he tried flirting with Dr Swann.
She: Until he threatened her, told her that her dad died and got thrown out of her office.
Me: Yes, the three seconds until all that happened.
She: How does Q know about Oberhauser?
Me: Desperate plot contrivance. I suppose Moneypenny told him.
She: She's just there to serve. So he’s had time to look it up and get out here?
Me: Yes.
She: Just as well Bond wasted a couple of days otherwise this would never have happened.
Me: Convenient.
She: Does Q not have a telephone?
Me: At least he’s trying to have Bond realise the consequences of his actions.
She: Does it work?


Does it bollocks.


She: Surely C will know that Q’s been looking at the records?
Me: That’s probably why he’s about to have an action sequence all of his very own.
She: So this Oberhauser died twenty years ago. He looked more than 20 years older than that photo.
Me: 1995.
She: Well done. Was it a Tuesday?
Me: …No.
She: Was it not? Oh.


“He’s not someone I’ll ever forget.”


Me: He’s not someone you’ve ever mentioned.


Q is singularly unimpressed by Bond’s lead. This is not a euphemism.


She: Come on Q, you could always look it up. You like internet.
Me: Yes, Bond, do it through the proper channels. You have more than enough information now.
She: C would use all this information properly. Bond’s useless at it. Won’t M have noticed that Q’s missing? He was due to give him a very stern warning, orally.
Me: ….Not fair.
She: Sorry, silly me, it’s Gary. He’s not the most observant of spies.
Me: He didn’t seem to notice that Tokyo and C’s base were the same building, for a start.
She: They probably filmed it on the one day.
Me: They probably wrote it on the one day.


“Do one more thing for me...”


She: Well, Q’s perked up a bit now.


“…Then you’re out.”


She: Is not remotely suggestive.


Q manhandles Bond’s ring.


She: I know you. I know what you’d say about that. Something cheap about manhandling a ring.




She: Don’t even think about it.
Me: I won’t. Promise.


I won’t promise.


She: Oh, Q, you could do so much better. He’s just taking advantage. You’re not alone in hating him. But Bond does sort of invite that. It’s another abusive relationship of the kind Bond just beckons to himself. He’s a very damaged soul. He filled in that form claiming he was lovely. He’s insane.
Me: That guard spoke French. Only just noticed that. I thought we were in Austria.
She: The clinic had a German-sounding name, didn’t it?
Me: Yes… odd, that.
She: I suspect in all the breakneck excitement, they forgot.


Q shouts out his location – a nice in-reference – across a crowded room. “Senior Intelligence Officer”. C’s reforms can’t come soon enough. This lot are an absolute joke.


She: That drink looks quite tasty.


Bond’s rude. Yet again.


She: How about we shove your head down the toilet, you horrible little man? Sorry, dear; school flashback?
Me: Bit cruel, dearest heart.
She: Toilet duck; shaken, not stirred. Probably nicer than a Vodka Martini, to be honest.


Bond notes Dr Swann being led away.


She: General Medical Council Rapid Reaction Regulatory team, investigating her breach of patient confidentiality. They’re very quick. She’s patently unfit to practice.
Me: It’s Jennifer Honeysuckle.
She: So it took Bond two days to find her, but Jennifer needed about twenty minutes?
Me: Seems like it.
She: Suggesting Jennifer knew where she was anyway.
Me: Or he watched the recording of Mr White’s suicide.
She: There wasn’t a microphone on that camera, though. Your Mr White told Bond the name; he didn’t write it down, or act it out through the medium of contemporary dance. Not whilst hooked up to that drip of his.
Me: I suspect Mr White had the house wired for sound.
She: Under piles of eggy plates and crusty socks? Hmm. If it is that, it’s still quick work.
Me: Although if Blofeld is indeed “everywhere” as her mad old dad said, he’s likely to know about her and where she is.
She: So why only take her now?
Me: They’ve watched the recording and realised Bond vowed to protect her, so they’re kidnapping her just to torment him and as a result she’s really just incidental and expendable.
She: That’s almost a story.
Me: Thank you.
She: I said “almost”.


Bond has a funny little fight with the ineffectual probiotic security guards, and then puts his fly-vision specs on and goes outside to shoot some randomers. Because he can. But also because he doesn’t have to. And that’s the point. In Gary’s messed-up nano-brain.


She: There he goes, using that licence to not kill of his again.


Jennifer and his chaps escape in Jaguar Land Rover products. Bond… wanders off…


She: I like Q’s hat.
Me: That’s quite a sinister man with him.
She: His own little action scene. Lovely. He’s actually someone to worry about. Bond’s not. It wasn’t that snowy a moment ago, I’m sure.
Me: Handy that he has just the device for doing whatever it is.
She: I think it’s a mug warmer. What’s it doing?
Me: Picking up the DNA of whoever wore the ring.
She: Bond, then?
Me: And all the previous owners.
She: So he’s checking out Bond’s dirty ring.


Really not fair. Meanwhile…


She: She’s only thought to ask them now what they want?
Me: I guess they didn’t fill in her little form properly, either.
She: Surely she knows what that man’s doing? She is a doctor. If a very, very poor one. Where’s Bond?


You had to ask.


She: He’s got a ‘plane? Where’d he get that from, then?
Me:  …Somewhere.
She: And in the next round of government cuts, it’ll be education spending in rural areas that gets shredded, not this profligate menace.


Dr Swann murders someone. Jennifer is fairly chilled about the whole thing.


Me: At least the ‘plane’s Austrian.
She: Wouldn’t that have to be flying very slowly, or the cars going very fast, to match each other?
Me: Well, those Land Rovers are quite powerful.
She: But not as powerful as Kias.
Me: They got to you too, then?


James Bond says hello. It's actually quite exciting. I like this bit.


She: Is that physically possible? Shooting out of a ‘plane and hitting cars?
Me: Probably not, but I think the realms of possibility have long since been ignored.
She: And isn’t he going to hit Dr Swann, doing that?
Me: He doesn’t really need her any more. Q knows about l’Americain, and he has access to lots of files and intelligence, so she’s outlived her purpose. And I think she only has about thirty more lines, anyway.


End of Chapter Fourteen


She: I’m worried about Q. I’m still not sure why he’s actually there, but I am worried about him.
Me: I wonder what Christmassy treat could be actually be made from a man’s testicles?
She: Chipolata?


Mrs Jim will return.

#23 Simon



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Posted 11 May 2016 - 11:42 AM

All very clever indeed.  Very thought provoking.


However, I sometimes wonder which is the worse; to read all the spoiler production updates before the film's release, or to read one of Jim's dissecting reviews after?

#24 Pierceuhhh



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Posted 12 May 2016 - 10:33 AM

The best moment in the whole movie to me is Bond's "STAY!" during this scene. Mendes remembers to give Bond lots of memorable little Bondian moments - Craig gets room to breathe and to be himself in Skyfall and Spectre. This aspect will be remembered fondly.

Also love for more LOL reasons that slow push in on Craig's gigantic "ass like a working mare" butt as he leans fruitily against the bar in his tight pants. Ridiculous.

This latest chapter suggests that a scene was written in one day. That's what REALLY gets me about this weird ass movie - SO MUCH of what's wrong with it could have been fixed for zero cost in one day of script meetings. What exactly were Logan, Purvis and Wade doing for those TWO YEARS? Jawdropping decision making.

Edited by Pierceuhhh, 12 May 2016 - 10:34 AM.

#25 Jim


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Posted 12 May 2016 - 05:23 PM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 15: 'Plane, sailing. More sort of sledging, really, but that doesn't really work as well.
In which Bond shunts himself into Dr Swann's landing strip.


Me: Unfair to accuse me of stuff like “manhandling a ring” when you said exactly that earlier.
She: I didn’t. I did not.
Me: You did. Want me to rewind you?
She: (A sigh as heavy as your sister) How’s that work, exactly?
Me: I press your button and you gabble in a high-pitched way.
She: …Haven’t done that in years, dear.


Q is doing computer things and that always makes for such tense drama, the doing of computer things. The faces of the dead appear.


Me: Suggests Bond’s got blood on his hands.
She: And he hasn’t washed them. So everyone is connected?
Me: Yes.
She: By means of this unclean piece of jewellery?
Me: Yes. Unless Bond really hasn’t washed his hands and this DNA has come off him. After several years. Actually, that’s not it – although it goes by very, very quickly, these are autopsy, toxicology reports and their bodies had in them traces of the element, whatever it is, in the ring.


On reflection, is this actually it? I’m not sure it’s ever clear. Item number forty-three on that list.


Me: Including the man in Mexico.
She: Quick autopsy, that. So Bond’s being poisoned as well?
Me: Presumably. He’ll shortly start eating raw fish, wearing rags and talking to himself.
She: Not sure I could have picked that up immediately.
Me: No, you have to watch it a few times.
She: At cost?
Me: Yes.
She: Exploited, much? And they didn’t bother checking for connections between these people before this? At any time?
Me: No. Even though they knew there was an organisation, albeit called something else due to… lawyers.
She: Gary really is bloody useless, isn’t he? I resent having to pay for him.
Me: It’s not real, you know.
She: Well, that’s the trouble. That one you like, what is it, Sex Farm in Space?
She: Yes, well, that’s alright because it’s nonsense. But this veers into government politics and civil service redeployment and real world stuff and asks you to accept that, and then asks you to accept this as well. It doesn’t know what it wants. It doesn’t know what it’s for.
Me: Making money.
She: Seems to be it, though.


Oh no! Q’s being menaced!


She: One thing in the film’s favour; the hats are top-drawer. 


Cutting to the chase…


She: He’s going to fly into them?
Me: Sort of.
She: Questionable rescue.
Me: He only needs her to tell him about l’Americain. Then he can drop her off a cliff.
She: Where’s his hat gone?


Bond proceeds down the conveniently aeroplane-width path.


She: He’s going to kill her, doing that. Oh look, he has.
He: Not her car.
She: Hard to tell and he couldn’t have predicted otherwise.


A clever shot of the ‘plane rising away from the explosion. Actually, I think this is my favourite bit of the film.




She: Well, that was conveniently distracting. Run, little Q! Run, like the wind!


He escapes. Easily. And without having to kill lots of people.


She: Surely an alarm would have gone off? Still, he did give everyone his address, didn’t he?


Meanwhile, in another part of the forest.


She: He’s going to land on them?
Me: Looks like it.
She: …Why? That’s not really going to help, is it?


Various parts of the ‘plane break off.


She: Told you.


Bond proceeds to ram the back of the car in which Dr Swann is travelling. It’s probably a mating ritual, the giddy old flirt. 


Me: I suppose he couldn’t prevent that.
She: Rubbish. It was bound to happen, flying like that. He really is trying to injure her. He’s been horrible to women. Charming secret agent James Bond. 
Me: True…he patronised Moneypenny, unsolicited dismissive paternalism anyway. Sexually menaced a widow. Ignored completely that German woman, more fool him. Shot at this Swann girl, several times, and now he’s trying to ram the rough end of an aeroplane right up her windsock.
She: She might enjoy a good nosecone.
Me: I have no idea what the limits are any more.


The ‘plane threatens to crash.


She: Practical socks, those. I mean, she’s only got his word that her dad is dead. And given that he self-assesses himself as pleasant, his word is not… his bond. I can’t believe I did that.
Me: Me neither. I’m not sure what proof Bond could have produced?
She: Could have hurled his drip at her.
Me: I think that comes later.
She: You’re using that as a euphemism, aren’t you? Hurl his drip?
Me: I thought that’s what you meant
She: You are lost, so lost.
Me: I’m not sure I want to be found.
She: You’re suggesting someone losing you would be by accident.


More bits break off, and it’s quite exciting.


She: So he’s now going to kill some villagers. How many have to die? Lovely blue eyes, though.


A barn gets a new door.


She: Excellent. This is good.
Me: I wonder what happened to all the aviation fuel?
She: He probably drank it.


Jennifer’s car crashes. The airbag… does not deploy.


She: Ouch. Poor Jennifer. No airbags. Won’t be getting one of those, then.
Me: Good. They’re very expensive.
She: There’s no actual price on your children’s safety, Jacques.


£12.99? Possibly twenty quid, at a push. And the Kia Sorento (whatever the Hell that actually is, could be a washing machine for all I know) comes with twin curtain airbags with rollover sensor. And a side of wedges, with minty dip.


She: Interesting rescue technique, that. She’ll definitely know the French for PTSD now.


Shouldn’t Sorrento be two rs? There’s a robust exchange of views about Bond’s strategy.


She: Sensible girl. He does keep trying to kill her.
Me: I’m not sure he did lead them to her. They knew her family for years. That comes up later.
She: There’s more of this? He’s very menacing. Oh, just tell him what he wants to know, and get the hell out of there.


“I’m your best chance of staying alive.”


She: Bollocks. And if she believes him, he’s just talked himself out of finding out about l’Americain immediately as she’s really not going to tell him now and get herself abandoned. What a twerp.


End of Chapter Fifteen.


She: It was a lot to take in. It’s very uneven – sometimes nothing happens and then at others far too much does and when it’s like that, I basically feel entertained at, if that’s possible. Cramming me with entertainment until I’m hurting. Like you, when you eat cake. I miss Timothy Dalton. He was good at this.
Me: He might have got a bit lost in all this noise.
She: I thought his Bond occasionally became angry, not just permanent state of childish rage.
Me: He wasn’t that popular.
She: I mean, Daniel Craig’s perhaps more of an immediate physical thrill, but this relentless obnoxiousness is getting wearisome. There’s not much variety. That was all quite good, though, with the ‘plane. It’s better when it’s doing that sort of thing than talking itself into a corner.
Me: They probably had all this set up and paid for and it was too late to change it when the script was pinched.
She: Script? Bless. I can’t see this relationship working. She’s supposed to be a doctor. Surely she recognises he’s utterly mad?
He: He has such lovely blue eyes, though.
She: He’s tried to land an aeroplane on her. This is not normal behaviour. You’ve never tried to land a ‘plane on me, for example.


Not for the want of trying, my darling. Not for the want of trying.


Mrs Jim will return. Unless I land a 'plane on her first.

#26 Jim


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Posted 19 May 2016 - 06:40 PM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 16: It’s called SPECTRE, everyone. Surprise! Oh.
In which Dr Swann outlives her usefulness. No need to sulk about it, though.


She: What day is it again?
Me: Sunday.
She: …For us?
Me: But that was a good bit, wasn’t it?
She: Yes, but it still feels long. Longer if it has to get the girl to a point where she actually likes Bond. 
Me: What if it were to get there quickly, but not really explain why or how?
She: Unsatisfactory? But a blessed release. I probably shouldn’t complain.


But you will.


She: Oh good, Jennifer’s not dead.
Me: He probably went thumbs first through the windscreen; it shattered before his head hit it.
She: I’d forgotten about the thumbs.
Me: I think everyone has.
She: I don’t think they’ve done a good job of selling those Land Rovers. They lack safety features.
Me: Not going to be a regular occurrence that someone lands an aeroplane on them, though, is it?
She: Not going to be a regular occurrence that they have to be driven over seventy miles per hour and by gits, but they will be. 


The Hotel Pevsner. TripAdvisor says “Not only is the WiFi at extra cost, but so are lightbulbs.”


She: Didn’t spend $300 million on the lights, did they?
Me: Making it look like this was probably very expensive.
She: Bond doesn’t sound very pleased to be there. I suppose all this stumbling around in the dark is meant to be A Point. Is Q going to be dead?
Me: No.
She: He did tell everyone where he was. Is Bond going to find him painted in gold? Or perhaps in nice jam?
Me: Thanks for that image.


She knows, you know.


She: Yeah, about you two.


“You are onto something.”


She: We all know what he’d like Bond onto.
Me: Oh wife of mine, is that acceptable?
She: I shall ask myself some very searching questions later.
Me: He’s onto something they could have found out years ago. They were watching Mr White for months, if not years. There was a whole film establishing that Quantum had reach and influence.They just didn't bother following it up, did they?


“Oberhauser is still alive. The ring proves it.”


She: How?
Me: How?
She: I asked you.
Me: I have no idea. I have absolutely no idea how that is a viable conclusion. It’s now just words in the downtime between the exploding bits that take months to set up and can’t be changed.


“They were all part of one organisation.”


Me: Yes. It was called Quantum. He even mentions Quantum, so it’s not as if the existence of an organisation is news or that they’re trying to deny any of that happened. 
She: There only appeared to be six of them. He’s done a very pretty picture.
Me: Four of them were dead before this film started. They could have made the connection already. He’s just invented that evidence.
She: Well, he is a British spy.
Me: There were loads more than six at that meeting. Surely Bond could try to put some names to the faces he saw?
She: It says there it’s a DNA match. I thought you said it wasn’t.
Me: I thought I thought that I thought I thought that.
She: So they had his DNA… in them? Hmm.




She: Exactly how?
Me: Nope, not getting told. Just “is”.
She: Rubbish. There’s no plot, is there? Is it important what it’s called?
Me: No.




Me: This means something to the audience but nothing to Bond. It might as well be called “Geoff Club”. It’s deliberately setting out to be incapable of being enjoyed at face value. Bond's reaction is nil. It's inert.
She: Surely the thing to do now is to waterboard her in the bathroom until she tells everything?
Me: That would be traumatising.
She: Give her something to do other than sulk, though.
Me: This is the end of (deep breath, cringe) her character’s journey.
She: Ghastly, ghastly, ghastly. 
Me: From the top of a mountain to a hotel at the bottom of it. Game over.
She: Does she do anything more?
Me: I think she has about fifteen lines left. It's immaterial what they are. Why doesn’t he tell Q about what the German woman said?
She: You keep going on about that. But Blofeld knew Bond was there. Perhaps he let Bond know all that. Taunting him. It might be lies. If you have all the information, you can also misinform?
Me: Hmm, that does add a dimension. But another one not followed through.


“I think you ought to see this.”


She: Why?
Me: South Africa. The South Africans voted against the… thingy.
She: Oh.
Me: It wasn’t that highly emphasised.
She: Are we watching the deleted scenes? Is the real film, the one where the plot is happening, just somewhere off to the right of all of this?
Me: It’s improvised rehearsal.
She: For $300 million and 300 million writers I’d want something a bit better than busking.
Me: How fortuitous to have turned on the television at that precise moment.


Mrs Jim notices something…and unleashes her favourite expression.


She: Ah! You were wrong! It’s Thursday, not Sunday!
Me: OK, fair enough. So that makes Mexico last Thursday, Bond getting a weak ticking off Friday, mucking about with Q a Saturday, stealing the car a Sunday – which I suppose is plausible, there was no-one around…
She: There never is.
Me: …although why M, Q and Moneypenny were all in work is a mystery, Bond attending the funeral a Monday, scaring the widow and going to the meeting Monday night into Tuesday and Mr White was some time on Tuesday evening.
She: How unutterably fascinating.
Me: Thank you. It’s also 4.40 p.m. Central European Time which suggests we’re nearly at the end of Thursday.
She: That it would. Well done. Oxford education pays off, doesn’t it?


“M’s gonna need your help.”


She: Going to. Going to. “Gonna”. Seriously?
Me: Suspect Gary hasn’t noticed Q’s missing yet.


“And Bond, you have to find l’Americain.”


She: Suddenly very insistent about something that might amount to nothing?
Me: He’s been required to say lines to move the story along. There’s no reason why he should be that interested. He wasn't in the last scene and now he has "found" all these connections, he doesn't need to be.
She: He’s just done something absolutely impossible on his computer, so a Google search shouldn’t be too hard. Find it yourself, you lazy swine. Get on with it, computer child.
Me: They were supposedly aware of Mr White’s whereabouts, and it soon becomes apparent Mr White went to this place every year. They’re not very good at spying, are they?
She: It’s Gary’s fault. Inertia and incompetence.


“He’s our only link to Oberhauser.”


Me: Apart from the six people you've just directly linked to him, the several dozen people Bond saw at the meeting but hasn't bothered telling you about, the widow, Jennifer Honeysuckle, this woman and Bond himself, then yes.Tell you what, Q, feed all that into your computer and actually do some bloody work.
She: Why didn’t Bond interrogate Jennifer?
Me: Thought he was dead.
She: Didn’t really bother to find out, did he? He was in a weakened state, he wouldn’t have been able to fight them off. Bond and Q giving a muscle man a licking in a hotel bedroom might have been worth a watch.
Me: …help.


“It’s a place.”


She: Well, durr.


A place to which we now go. Given what needs to be arranged to actually get there, let’s say they reach Tangier the next day. It is very crowded. Friday. The day of prayer. Hmm.


She: Other people! They found some extras, then?
Me: Suggestion being that when Bond is with this woman, she brings him out of his isolation into the world in which he can move freely and anonymously.
She: Pfft. You don’t believe that, do you?
Me: No, but some impressionable lunatics desperate to claim this relationship has credibility, or embarrassingly assert that this cacky casserole of reheated rot has any depth, might be.
She: At least they’d be positive. You don’t seem to be liking it.
Me: I’m not sure it’s liking me. Although that might be the cold heart of it. Keen to keep everyone at a distance, not to engage positively with the absurd behaviour and shocking incompetence of any of these supposed heroes, that when the end comes you’re not disappointed at the eventual decision.
She: You said something about “embarrassing”… She’s tagged along, then. Why?
Me: No idea. Presumably to help him find it.
She: Oh look, there’s a sign. To the place. The place no-one could find. It has signage. Not much point her hanging around now. He could sell her. She looks a bit like that Scarlett Thingy.
Me: The Aldi Scarlett Johansson-like treat.
She: Might make 10p.
Me: I think she has to be with Bond to ensure she’s not found.
She: But he has that nanoblood. He is the most findable man on Earth. Sell her to any of this lot and she’s guaranteed to go missing.
Me: Smidge racist, my lovely?
She: Don’t mind if I do. Anyway, it’s not as if you’re above that yourself. I do expect that… person? …in the corner removed before we go to bed.
Me: I was thinking of bringing it with us.
She: Bury yourself along with it if that’s what you think. Dig deeper, this time. That advice you got off livelikedahmer.org was rubbish.
Me: I’m not using that site any more. Livelier chat, and fewer quote games, on everythingfredwest.co.uk.
She: I’m not sure I approve of that.
Me: You’ll have to; I use your work laptop to access it.
She: An evening at home. Murder, racism, sexism and homophobia.
Me: It built an Empire. Keeping the British end up.
She: That’s a Bond quote isn’t it?
Me: No.
She: I know when you lie. You breathe.


Second hotel of the chapter, oddly. A homage (…ow) to John Gardner.


She: Reminds me of that place in Rabat.
Me: Who put the rat in Rabat? That chicken soup had fur in it.
She: You were convinced you caught rabies.
Me: I think it was catarrh.
She: Grubby light switch. Don’t think much of the housekeeping. Don’t eat that chocolate on your pillow.


Madeleine Swann – a la recherche du temps perdu. It’s so, so clever.


She: She’s only telling him this now? Long journey from Austria. No wonder they both look so grumpy all the bloody time; they’ve barely met.
Me: Mr White kept coming back. And SPECTRE knew where he was. And the British knew where he was. And no-one ever bothered to think about this place.
She: I thought Jennifer Honeysuckle might be waiting for them to turn up.
Me: If he was expecting them to bring the plot with them, he’d be sorely mistaken.


“Well then, I’m sorry”.


She: Definite turning point. She’s coaxed an apology out of him. More than anyone else has got. Bizarrely.
Me: They’re obviously very deeply in love, then. Can’t you tell?


No, not really. A la recherche du plot perdu, we reach the end of Chapter Sixteen.


She: If you went out for a wee during that you’d have no idea what was going on any more. All that hanging about and then it’s just rushed by the story, flapping it out of the way and not really bothering to tell it.
Me: It might be a little ashamed of what it’s trying to tell.
She: I still don’t get why she’s still there.
Me: But can’t you sense the chemistry?
She: Yep. Methane.


Mrs Jim will return.

#27 Jim


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Posted 22 May 2016 - 01:59 PM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 17: The Past Recaptured
In which the story pokes its head out for a bit, engages with its potential complexity, but then disappears back down its mousehole and we’ve still got about forty minutes of big explosions to come. 


She: You keep moaning about the plot, but they’ve hardly had great plots before, have they?
Me: No, admitted. But they did have a sense of a story. X is going to blow up the World or Y wants to kill M or Z maimed Bond’s friend. Basic, I agree, but identifiable. What is this actually about?
She: How terrible it is to be James Bond?
Me: Probably, but that’s so sneaky. Sinister, even. Brazenly taking the money, but royally taking the piss out of the mad people who want to dress up like him or wear his watch or whatever, and even more so those who put their little adverts in it to plump up the budget. And is that a story?
She: It’s the only consistent idea so far. I see why you’re averse to it; it’s mocking you. It’s nothing to do with the qualities of the film. I can see it; you look betrayed.
Me: Ah. You remember my betrayed face, don’t you?
She: You can shut right up, right now.


I… choose to.


Me: I suppose the story is how they’re trying to tie it all together. But that makes it fall apart all the more. It’s beyond rescue.
She: Exactly. It’s not worth being James Bond any more. That just emphasises its point.
Me: It’s one long, very long, sneer. A $300 million acid-hearted punch in the gut.
She: …It could hardly miss.


Talking of hitting things, Bond proceeds to demolish a hotel room whilst Dr Swann gets drunk. It’s searing social realism. Ken Loach would baulk at it.


She: What’s he looking for?
Me: Something Mr White left behind, I suppose.
She: How does he know there’s anything to find? Has she told him?
Me: No.
She: She really is of little purpose, other than going from pissed off to just pissed. An unprofessional drunkard.
Me: Made for each other. A shorthanded way of saying they’re ideally matched, and now a-woo. I suppose the idea is that Bond thinks like Mr White thinks, they’re not so very different, he and he, and so he makes a brilliant conclusion that there’s something in the room. Apart from a sour atmosphere.
She: It might not be the room; could be anywhere in the building?
Me: All film wandering around a hotel? I suppose if they were making Brokenclaw… but even that had a story. I think.
She: What are you on about?
Me: It’d take too long to explain. And I’d bore myself, to be honest.
She: Often wondered what the threshold was. She’s in such trouble. Off her mummylumps on Moroccan red and about to fall for a man just like Daddy. She’s going to end up very badly dead, isn’t she? The writing’s on the wall.
Me: Very good.
She: Hmm?
Me: That was the title of the song.
She: Was it? Oh.


Bond reaches into a darkened hole.


She: I hope it’s scorpions.
Me: Like that bit in Flash Gordon?
She: Like that what in what?
Me: Never mind. Formative years.
She: You have occasionally been outside, haven’t you?


The room’s in a bit of a state. Bond has kicked the chair over. It’s unclear what he was expecting to find under it. He might have slit it. No wonder Dr Swann is having to sit on the floor.


She: I’m sure the management will have something to say about this.


“This can’t be it.”


He: I said something similar. November, it was. Outside a cinema.
She: Two lonely and broken drunkards get pissed up and destroy a hotel room. It’s like a Premier Inn in Portsmouth.


Dr Swann says something. It’s not happy. 


She: They’ve mixed up sultry and sulky, haven’t they?
Me: How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is, to have a thankless child.
She; You say that far too often.
Me: With just cause.

She: With unjust pomposity.


“And then, with his dying breath, he sends me you.”


She: And now she’s found her replacement Daddy. It’s really creepy.


“The only reason his heart was still beating, was you.”


Me: Oh, raw vomit.
She: The only reason I’m suppressing the gag reflex is that he’s finally trying to be pleasant to someone. He’s much nicer around her.
Me: I think that’s the point.
She: When he’s not trying to kill her, of course.


Dr Swann  struggles with a deceptively flat bit of floor. We get a 28-inch shot of her bottom. Imagine that in IMAX. Now wash your hands.


Me: Whatever that Moroccan wine is, we’re getting a crate.
She: And yet you always said product placement didn’t work.


Dr Swann resists Bond in a postmodern way, which is some achievement given how blasted out of her pouty-mouthed head she is.


Me: She said “solace”. It’s to remind us that when Bond sought his, he actually blew up a hotel. He’s learned from that. Now he just vandalises them.
She: She looks like she’s going to puke. It’s good acting. She doesn’t look well at all. Jaundiced, liverish pallor.
Me: That’s the clever and artistic lighting; we are in the presence of artistes, don't forget it.


Another reference to watching, rather than participating. This is the POINT. You might get your jollies from watching James Bond, but you couldn’t possibly cope with being James Bond because not even James Bond can, any more.


“Come anywhere near me and I’ll kill you.”


She: Well, it is her turn. And now she’s being almost friendly. She’s such an abused mess. Poor cow.


Dr Swann asks herself in French what she is doing there.


Me: In vino veritas.


Bond appears affected by her condition and this is ALSO THE POINT.


She: That’s your actual acting, that is, right there.
Me: Contemplating that the consequence of all his running around and blowing things up, and the same by people just like him i.e. her father, leaves others terribly damaged. 
She: That’s actually quite a good point.
Me: The only trouble being that the last three films have said exactly the same thing. I’d agree it’s worth saying but four times in succession is overkill. I suppose that’s the same point – I now feel damaged by it as well.
She: Which goes back to the point that James Bond just leaves everyone unhappy, and it all might as well stop.
Me: …Hm. I don’t know whether exploring that as a theme demonstrates bravery on the part of the producers, or brutal cynicism.


Bond gets pissed. Which was a rejected title for Mr Boyd’s “Solo”.


Me: That mouse is completely CGI. Which is another mystifying waste of money and not even the Brosnan …experiences had CGI vermin in them. Unless you count the bit when Bond goes kitesurfing.
She: So it’s a computer mouse?
Me: I’m not sure that’s the joke they meant. 
She: Don’t feed the mouse ale! It’ll expand to supersize and burst through the wall! Perhaps.


Bond punches the wall. If anyone’s sole experience of James Bond was contained within this one chapter alone, they’d be mystified about the appeal.


She: Pre-emptive strike – he’s knocked that giant mouse out cold.
Me: Oh look, another secret room helps the plot out of a corner.
She: The management here is shoddy. Not noticing a missing towel is one thing, but failing to spot someone’s built an additional room in your hotel is just slack.
Me: A room with its own electricity supply.
She: A room of requirement, then?
Me: A room of stunning unlikeliness.


Time for a clerihew (it’s always time for a clerihew). Dr Swann. Has little on. Look at all that gloom. In Daddy’s secret room.


Me: Some folks have noticed a continuity error here, in that she was wearing more when she literally fell asleep.
She: Is her state of undress the sort of thing to which you and your little chums play close attention?
She: I’m sure it’s artistically justified to have her wandering around like this.
Me: It’s a James Bond film.
She: Is it, though?


It would appear that her father was fond of her, after all.


She: It would have been funnier if she found evidence that he faked all her qualifications for her. Not that I don’t believe this is how someone with such a background would be behaving. What’s that he's found?

Me: It’s a video cassette.
She: But that film with that Vesper woman was recent, wasn’t it?
Me: Mm-hm. And it was all mobile phones and DVDs of security feeds, so I’m not sure why he has a video of it. Other than it being easier to read the label.
She: Well, they’re both in all sorts of torment, aren’t they?
Me: I suspect that’s also part of the point. Bond’s got over it, she hasn’t, and he’s going to heal her?
She: With his special healing wand?
Me: You mean his willy.
She: Yes. I mean his willy.


“What’s this?”


Me: Amazingly conveniently placed, that’s what that is.
She: Those degrees were definitely faked.

Me: Well, moment ago you didn't recognise a video cassette.

She: That's because I'm a modern-shaped person.


“He was looking for him.”


Me: One wonders for how long, and how far back this falling out between White and Blofeld was? The last film he was in was only 2008, and he was definitely a bad guy then. This room hasn’t had a dust for a decade or more.
She: As if you’d know about dusting. But this Blofeld does like to take his time, doesn’t he? Is the film Blofeld?


Slightly mindbending concept, that. Textbook minor altercation about going with/not going with ensues. Homages every action film ever made.


She: She’s a bit of a madam. He could brick her up in here. He doesn’t need her.


“I might not be coming back.”


She: Well, you can read that on all sorts of levels. Is this going to be his last one?
Me: Possibly.
She: Well, they’re not being very subtle about it. Might look a bit desperate to send out all these signals about ending and stopping and this sort of dialogue, and then just turn up again in a few years time.
Me: It’ll be for artistic reasons. The sort of art that’s small, rectangular, easily portable, has the Queen’s head on it and comes in batches of tens of millions.


“But I want to understand what happened to my father.”


She: But that you know.
Me: I think she means, what made him as he was. To better understand what makes Bond as he is.
She: You’re almost justifying her continued presence.


“So, where was he going?” / “Nowhere”.


She: Open goal, that.


End of Chapter Seventeen.


She: I think the dog needs letting out. I’ll go.


A suspiciously quick bit of volunteering, it has to be said. 


Will Mrs Jim return?

#28 Pierceuhhh



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Posted 26 May 2016 - 06:39 PM

Right in the bleak depths of the movie! That point, like Bond's eighth day at Piz Gloria or the underwater bit in FYEO, when you feel like you'll never make it out of this god damn movie alive. At the theatre, you could also sense the audience well and truly losing any goodwill for the movie at this point. In many ways it's true to the SPIRIT OF BOND!

You npw need to do one of these for every Bond movie. It enriches the experience.

#29 Jim


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Posted 28 May 2016 - 07:30 AM

The 007th Minute: SPECTRE
Chapter 18: Brown, brown, deeper and brown.
In which Moneypenny "forgets" to bring her "script" with her, challenging them to force her to say these terrible things. They back down.


Me: Dog OK?
She: Shall I let her in?
Me: Why not?
She: She might start gnawing your little chum.
Me: She only does that when you’re out… … you mean the guest, don’t you?
She: Yes. What… what did…? No.
Me: Had you going for a moment, there.
She: Yes. Back to my sister’s.


Saturday morning (probably). The Treasury (inexplicably).


She: That is the Treasury, isn’t it?
Me: Mm-hm. Might be a reference to Vesper Lynd having been a Treasury agent.
She: And everyone watching the film’s going to get that, aren’t they?
Me: Alternatively, even though it’s nonsensical, it looks good.
She: Film’s become self-aware, hasn’t it?


It’s Gary! Gawy all gwumpy. At least he has some lines.


She: A world of brown. Still, it does show Gary can put one foot in front of the other. I had my doubts.  It’s all one can really ask for in a top civil servant.
Me: I think Moneypenny has to chew his food though; this might explain why she doesn’t say anything.
She: Surely he’d know when the meeting was? He’s a spy. Anyway, isn’t that Moneypenny’s job? Why’s she still there, anyway? She’s betrayed him. 
Me; I think he’s cut her tongue out. It’s No Deals, Mr Bond.
She: No, it’s “who gives a [social engagement]?” Moneypenny’s knackered; up all night, licking Nutella off binmen, no wonder she can’t function.
Me: What was the thing about binmen?
She: …Nothing.


The South Africans are on board! It’s full steam ahead with Project… erm? Project Erm.


She: So the South Africans vote against. There’s then a terrorist act. Then they vote for?
Me: Yep.
She: And Gary’s completely missed the point. Although, fair enough, I suspect lots of people did. Until they paid some more money to see it again.


In 72 hours, Project…uh…Project Obscurity, that’ll do, is go! It’s so tense.


She: Why not just say three days?
Me: I’m not sure why it would take that long. It’s just “electric”.
She: They’re probably waiting for the broadband man to actually bloody turn up.
Me: Here’s part of the problem: they’ve set the ticking clock, a countdown of three days or so.
She: OK.
Me: So that’s Tuesday.
She: If you say so.
Me: Bear that in mind.
She: Must I?


The Home Secretary has closed the 00-programme.


She: But surely Gary has other programmes?
Me: It’s suggested not.
She: Probably all taken off him and reassigned to the competent. You can’t have a department full of guns and Aston Martins just for Bond and the other one. It’s a sensible reduction. This is massively over-resourced. C’s doing a good job.
Me: I don’t think it’s the Home Secretary’s remit. Surely the Foreign Secretary?


Mr Scott does his Moriarty bit.


She: Boo.
Me: And hiss.
She: It is just pantomime, isn’t it? And how can you take “cocky little bastard” as a compliment?
Me: It’s just words. There are explosions soon. The words are incidental.
She: I still don’t think Gary’s changed his clothes.


“This isn’t over yet.”


She: Oh, rub it in, why don’t you?

Me: Still thinking about binmen, dear?

She: You'll be doing some professional shutting up right now. 


Moneypenny goes to say something, then realises the script has absolutely nothing for her. So she does some staring, instead.


She: Gave him evils! Is that it?
Me: Yep.
She: Is she not allowed lines, then?
Me: Apparently not.
She: Are they going to hurt her pretty little head, all the remembery-wembery of them?
Me: It does seem a bit of a waste of an actress. They might as well have had Gary hold up a piece of paper with “Grr” written on it.
She: Reminds me of that cab driver we had in Atlanta.
Me: “You can’t have emancipation without having “man” in it”.
She: You can’t have Atlanta without having twats in it, either.
Me: Might have been better not to have actually said that at the time.
She: …I miss those shoes.
Me: Alternatively, she’s been spared the misery of having to say some of this dialogue.
She: Maybe she was flirting with him; she knows where the real power is.
Me: I wonder if that was C in her bed?
She: Is that the twist?
Me: No.
She: It’d be a good twist though. Not surprising C knew what she had been saying to Bond; he was in the room with her. She’s glaring at him because he’s giving the game away. Is she Blofeld?
Me: No.
She: Talk about a lost opportunity. Isn’t she the one who shot Bond?
Me: Yes.
She: It’s all there and they’re doing nothing with it.


Lovely bit where the train leaves somewhere in Morocco but it’s probably some pixels leaving some other pixels. One can get jaded with all the technical wonder of it.


She: He doesn’t travel light, does he? Where did he get a suit from? Was he staying at another hotel... despite staying at that hotel?
Me: It’s just building up to a bit of crowd-pleasing.
She: Given that’s all these films are meant to be, surely it’s a bit hopeless to suggest that after all these months something’s finally coming?
Me: No, these films are now great and deep and important art.
She: If you like brown, yes.


Bond produces a gun.


She: Go on, shoot her. Not even you could miss from there. Blow her away, you don’t need her there, you don’t want her there and she’s horrid anyway.


“What if I shot you by mistake?”


She: Well, it is her turn. I suppose this is an act of chivalry in that mad old head of his.


“Wouldn’t be the first time.”


Me: It’s Skyfall 2 everyone! Just in case you’d MISSED THAT.
She: He’s grooming her. He’s still quite a bad man.


Appears she knows all about cocking triggers. As t’were. 


She: Utterly consistent with her previous behaviour, obviously. Drunkard orphan of inconsistent temperament and consistently available costume changes who knows guns.
Me: They do always pretend the women are Bond’s equal. They might have achieved it this time.


“Don’t have to teach you anything, do I?”


She: Manners, maybe. No, forget that, he’d be terrible.


More of yer actual recherche. More of that there temps. More of that flamin’ perdu.


Me: I think it’s suggested later that it was Blofeld who came round to the house.
She: I’d forgotten about him. Is this still the same film?
Me: Yep. So she was in her bedroom, playing, when that happened. But her Dad was a baddie only six or seven years ago. Which makes you wonder how old she really is.
She: Well, Bond was taken in by an older man in a time of childhood crisis, so he’s just repeating the behaviour. The abused becomes the abuser. Textbook. It’s really sinister when you think about it.
Me: No, it’s really sinister when you think about it.
She: At least I’m thinking about it.


Notably, she starts to refer to Mr White as “Papa”. This is subtle character progression. Sorry – SUBTLE. CHARACTER. PROGRESSION. Bit more like it.


She: Rubbish. State of his house, that man never used bleach.
Me: Adds a weird domesticity to it. Possibly what they were going for, to suggest ordinary lives are possible despite all the madness, but I just can’t picture – say – Dr Kananga cleaning his oven.
She: Can’t picture you bloody cleaning the oven.
Me: It’s self-cleaning.
She: So in principle is the dog, but it doesn’t really work like that, does it? Ooh, she smiled! She has a nice smile… oh, it’s gone. Back to scowling.
Me: She’s evidently very deeply in love. 
She: Yes. She’s threatened to shoot him at least twice.


End of Chapter Eighteen.


She: That was short. But it was just more meandering, really.
Me: I suppose we had to establish that Project Underwhelm had to be the result of a democratic process. Blofeld insisted on that. He likes a good poll, does Blofeld. Don’t worry about the actual detail of what it is, it’s just vital it gets voted for, because… Because.
She: Why didn’t Moneypenny headbutt C? She’s already out of a job, it’d hardly matter.
Me: She might have had to say sorry but no-one could be bothered to write any such line for her.
She: That was a very funny bit: trying to glare him to death. Hopeless. I just can’t see why this C’s a villain. Gary is clearly a study in indolent, entitled, institutionalised incompetence, which is far more insidious and corrosive villainy than, I don’t know, trying to blow up Chichester or something, and all C’s trying to do is get it sorted. And I still think having Moneypenny in league with him would be good. It’d give her something to do rather than hang around abusive and useless men, mute.
Me: It’s odd; giving these characters more to do counterproductively establishes how ineffective they are. It was never like this with Lois Maxwell’s statutory fifteen seconds.
She: Empowerment.
Me: You need “men” for that as well. And “government”.
She: And “mentally weak.” And “mend the front gate, you lazy [close encounter]”. And “Atlanta doesn’t have a monopoly, Oxfordshire has its fair share.”
Me: I’m not sure that has “men” in it.
She: You’re so right.

Me: Apart from binmen?

She: Silence, worm.

Me: I thought they only came once a fortnight.

She: ...You've watched too many of these films.


Mrs Jim will return.

#30 Simon



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Posted 29 May 2016 - 04:12 PM

Social Engagement, and, Close Encounter.


Like them.  Might use 'em, bearing in mind 90% of all I say is referenced from sources as opposed to imagination.