Book Review: Skyfall

Steven Pressfield On Writing

Article@ The Making Of 'The Blair Witch Project'

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Sep 25, 2014
Bought with reluctance it as hub requested it for his b'day. We watched it last night.

I have never been a James Bond fan, spare me the car chases; they bore me nearly numb, but at least there would be the occasional quip, or cartoonish outlandishness. The only bit of banter last night, was something like 'shut up, you jumped up little shit.' This was Bond's quasi 'old family retainer, gamekeeper Kincaid, putting Bond in his place.

Cinematically handsome in parts. Good sound track, really good in parts. Empty, dull and heartless. 'M' died stoically; it was hard to care. She didn't care what a traded agent had undergone, while he didn't need to murder all of MI6, did he, because his handler had traded him. Oh, well, people do what they do based on emotion, not logic but there was no emotional punch, either.

Um, I didn't rate it one bit. Someone who disagrees, please counter-balance.
It’s an institution, and therefore mostly immune to criticism. I dutifully went to see it, and will do likewise with the next one. Feeling like a medieval peasant paying tithe... it’s one of those things ya just gotta do... :cool:
Saw Roger Moore being interviewed, he observed that Daniel Craig 'has the face of a killer.' He frightens me, for sure. I think I first saw him in 'Our Friends In The North' with Gina McKee...or did I? He was frightening there, too. Clive Owen would be good as Bond, though not much of a smiler either. Stylish in that casino film...Croupier. Gina McKee again.

We had a terrific guest on LAD about a year ago, former Kremlin adviser.

He said Daniel Craig “looks like a Polish plumber”.

How I snickered...
Hee, I can imagine. Alexander Nekrassov...he was a cracking guest. We exchange communications now and then on Twitter.

Less handsome than a Polish plumber...
Skyfall was a disappointment to me. I don't generally like James Bond films but when Sam Mendes was added as director I thought we might get a Bond film that would do for the franchise what Christopher Nolan did for Batman - add some semblence of intelligence and thematic relevance to a blockbuster action movie.

There were a few signs of this in Skyfall. Javier Bardem's character reminded me a little of the Joker in The Dark Knight. He had the screen presence and edge to make a convincing, anarchic figure whose past as a betrayed agent raised some questions about the modus operandi of MI5 and I believe he only did the film because Mendes convinced him. The middle third where this character was most prominent I genuinely did enjoy.

Unfortunately, the first and final thirds were the same old cliched Bond - overblown action sequences, corny, chemistry-free romances and an establishment-friendly celebration of good old-fashioned, stiff-upper-lipped Britishness supposedly embodied by the Judi Dench character, who, I agree, totally failed to make the viewer care about her death.

The fact that Mendes declined the opportunity to direct a sequel suggests to me that he probably wasn't afforded the artistic freedom to make as many changes as he wanted. I imagine the people making a killing off the films aren't prepared to risk a major change in direction - like making them good.
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Steven Pressfield On Writing

Article@ The Making Of 'The Blair Witch Project'