Friday, November 14, 2008

Quantum of Solace (2008)


(WARNING: A few plot points are discussed in the review below.)
It is with a heavy, disheartened 007-loving sense of propriety concerning the cinema's most resilient series to report that the latest entry squanders the goodwill of its immediate predecessor. It sheds its responsibilities as a Bond entry in its nettlesome disregard for the more important pieces in shining a light on its protagonist—something Casino Royale seemed to invite henceforth, but such is clearly not the case. Daniel Craig proved with the 2006 “re-boot” that he had a glowingly glowering ferocity and darkness that made all of his Bond's actions altogether more resonant than the more tenderly unflappable Pierce Brosnan. Here, however, he is given little to do but punish his body and frown. It is lucky for director Marc Forster that his lead actor's piercing blue eyes convey a considerable repressed despair, melancholy and hatred, because the screenplay provides but one scene during which Craig is allowed to display much of any humanity.

That one scene is, however, so horribly written and clichéd that it makes one wonder if the screenwriters (Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade) believed they were transported to 1930s Hollywood and charged with writing a rote scene for a below-average melodrama. Quantum of Solace is such an aggravating missed opportunity on the larger matters at hand that the small nitpick-worthy items only stick out more, perhaps left to distract the viewer from greater concerns. An innocent Bolivian servant is nearly raped by an evil man in the film's closing stretch, and after the scene disintegrates into sheer mayhem, the character is lost, presumably left for dead. There is a mean-spiritedness and wastefulness to the proceedings that never quite gets out of the film's way. It would be one thing for the writers and producers to commit to their “fresh” take on Bond and succeed, as Casino Royale conclusively triumphed in its forming of a bitingly brutal new Bond. Quantum of Solace's Bond succumbs to the Bourne-ification of 007, as he becomes an aggressive automaton with practically no personality.

And that describes the film itself. Despite the many beautiful locations, there is little if any personality to be found here. The movie carelessly careens from one action sequence to another, all choppily shot and edited so as to confuse the viewer and further alienate the audience from the narrative's incredulous proceedings. Craig's presence in the film—it cannot be called a performance so much as being positioned before the cameras as he's disallowed from portraying the heartache and repressed vengefulness other characters tell the audience he must be experiencing, none more repetitiously than Judi Dench's M. Indeed, M may have as much dialogue as Bond himself, so perpetually attendant she is to almost all of Bond's actions, with the help of that most convenient of screenwriting tools of today, the cellular phone, and so limited in expression Craig's Bond is in this picture. The frustratingly hyper-edited action scenes more reminiscent of Michael Bay than the more classically, stately and sweeping compositions Casino Royale helmer Martin Campbell offered the viewer's appreciative retinas are ugly microcosms unto themselves of the unsuccessful blending of various components to the film as a whole. Forster's handling of the violence is an incoherent, jumbled mess of nanosecond-long shots, rarely ever describing the logical geography of Bond, his adversaries or anyone else. This most certainly is the Bourne-identification of James Bond.
Mathieu Amalric plays the film's villain, a physically meek but financially powerful man, an ostensible philanthropist named Dominic Greene, reuniting the French actor with Craig from Munich. Amalric is a wonderful actor but unlike Mads Mikkelsen as La Chiffre, for instance, he is handicapped by an underdeveloped character birthed by an underwritten screenplay. Amalric does what he can, relishing his own viciousness and remorselessness but he is never given the opportunity to truly impress. The actor's contrasting smallness makes a climactic struggle with Bond—who earlier incapacitated three elite MI6 agents in an elevator in no more than 0.8 seconds—seem more laughable than thrilling. This is especially true as it serves as the forefront for the jarring return of formula in the way of an exploding Villainous Hideout in the final reel, a most unwelcome formulaic staple of the series to which this confused, muddled film bizarrely retreats.

Olga Kurylenko is quite fetching but entirely unmemorable as the film's leading lady. The screenplay's tepid efforts to draw a note of comparison between her Camille and Bond—both are out for revenge against someone who took a loved one away—cannot dissuade the achingly disposable reality of the character. Jeffrey Wright is given nothing to do but literally glower and make faces as Bond's cagey CIA contact and friend, Felix Leiter. Dench is the only performer given an emotional arc with which she can work, making M more comprehensible and well-rounded than any other character, including Bond himself. Some of her scenes with Craig sizzle, but at a certain juncture they become tired and repetitive. Nevertheless, she remains one engaging constant and grounding force against the ridiculously pell-mell, under-baked storyline, giving Bond a vicarious mother figure of sorts that reveals more about Bond than anything with which Craig's character is endowed by this skeletal screenplay.

Lacking in depth, most conspicuously in the wake of the more nuanced and meticulously mounted Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace is nothing less than a cinematic surrender, a waving of the white flag rather than the Union Jack, as in the last shot of the pre-credits sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me. Consuming the trendiest conventions usually means the trendiest conventions have consumed the film at hand. Quantum of Solace takes its cue from the latter two Jason Bourne movies. It's infuriating, but primarily saddening. It is telling that the most harmoniously composed and intelligently handled scene is that of a blatant homage to Goldfinger, this time back in black. The Bond series, commencing in 1962, has already undergone so many revisions and recreations that for many, the Bond legacy had already been diluted to an extent. However, that Bond legacy always burned, more brightly and subduedly depending on the film and time period in question, yes, but Bond as a franchise was always fairly recognizable. With this, the newest and most outrageously self-sequestered and arrogantly recreant feature, Jason Bond seems to have been... Bourne.

Stitched out of endless, occasionally seizure-inducing action setpieces (one with a plane is particularly disorienting, ironically fitting for this most disjointed and discombobulated franchise entry) with almost nothing in the way of heart or wit, the film is plagued by uninteresting and almost immediately stale paradigms. Even Bond's quest for vengeance, at first promising in its singular savagery, if nothing else, finds a flummoxing destination. The film ends and beyond one final scene that feels almost obscenely tacked on to make something resembling a definitive statement about the character who has been followed for over twenty movies in the timespan of forty-six years, nothing seems especially accomplished. The entire picture plays like an intermittently stimulating second act of an unwieldy action movie that cares little for its characters. This is not the fault of Craig, but of the people behind the camera who have sabotaged their own enterprise and somehow fumbled what should have been a sure thing after their last film. The movie is as inconsequential as its immediate predecessor was vital to the “re-booting” of 007. For a film so apparently desperate to bathe in its supposed aqueous humorless inhumanity, the lasting sensory response of the viewer is astonishment at the frivolity of this most dissatisfying and halfhearted exertion. And, finally, it is that most scandalously awful kind of movie, that which seems, perhaps consciously, to mock appraisal, to dismiss its own oncoming critique with its bland shallowness. Quantum of Solace is finally a taunting motion picture, seemingly sneering through the celluloid towards anyone naïve enough to actually take it seriously.

88 comments:

Tony said...

Alexander, I see a welcome new economy of language and tightness in your writing. Great work!

The only caveat is "discombobulated" is getting stale, and it is a word I find sticks out like a sore thumb - I have as much trouble reading as I have saying it :)

I gave up on the Bond movie franchise after they ran out of Ian Fleming originals and Sean Connery left the scene. Roger Moore was fine as The Saint, but he was too smooth, and those that followed did not inspire a renewed loyalty. Your point on the "Bourne-ification of 007" is particularly apt.

I had read all the James Bond novels before I was 16 in the mid-60s, after graduating from Biggles books, and apart from Connery none of the cinematic characterisations had any substance for me. Fleming's Bond is not a deeply drawn character, but his persona was mythic - adventure, women, gadgets, and wordly sophistication. If we want to explore angst and revenge, we have other motifs, but enlisting Bond as dark avenger is just not British!

Alexander Coleman said...

Thank you, Tony.

Discombobulated--ha, yes, good point.

I agree that Roger Moore was too smooth and, perhaps worse, too "above it all" for Bond.

I too voraciously read all of Fleming's novels. The gulf between the literary Bond and the cinematic Bond is considerable, to say the least.

With Casino Royale it seemed as though the producers were interested in moving Bond back to his roots, but this movie seemed to directly refute this in many different ways. Craig's Bond has become only more distant from Fleming's creation.

Wonderful trademarks such as the theme song, here almost wretched, and the sadly missing gun-barrel opening, being bastardized and/or ommitted, only further damage a film crippled by the issues you take note of in your comment, Tony.

Sam Juliano said...

This is too funny and ironic!

I just got back in the house after taking Lucille and all five kids to see QUANTUM OF SOLACE at the Edgewater multiplex along the Hudson River facing Manhattan. I walk downstairs and turn on the computer, go over to my website, and invariably shift over to CCC and lo and behold, what's here, but a review of the film! I will gather my thoughts together and respond in an a second post I will begin now.

LOL!!!!

By the way Tony, I am with you for sure!

Sam Juliano said...

As far as that opening disclaimer Alexander, feel free to spoli the whole thing! I won't complain. LOL!

Yep Daniel Craig in this film was a dour, humorless character, devoid of any humanity or interest. I like the way you say he delivered "less of a performance and more of just being a character positioned in front of the cameras." The kids were asking in the car on the way home who the other Bonds were, and I mentioned that Craig is probably the worst one. But to be fair everything here was underwritten (as you yourself noted for Amalric) and Dench is "redundant" beyond the norm. You say this was a "missed opportunity," but for me I would say he was no opportunity at all. I wasn't a big CASINO ROYALE fan to be truthful, but I'll agree with you when you say it was more "nuanced" and "meticulously mounted."

You pretty mush summed up the whole thing by saying:

"Forster's handling of violence is an incoherent, jumbled mess of nanosecond long shots." And yes, I also wholeheartedly agree with you when you say this ffilm is all "action set pieces."

"Cinematic surrender" indeed Alexander!

Thorough and outstanding film criticism here.

Alexander Coleman said...

Wow, Sam, that is a great story about taking your wife and children to see the newest Bond film and coming home to the unparalleled sight of a new review of the new film here at CCC (ha, I kid).

It's interesting: I continually resisted most of the charms of Casino Royale until yesterday, when I finally revisited after seeing the film theatrically two years ago. It still has a boatload of flaws, but most of them are minor, and as such forgivable. Quantum of Solace, however, is unmistakably a mess of the highest order, and, upon reflection, must be considered one of the worst of the entire series. It's definitely the most unpleasant in my opinion. Perhaps my opinion will slowly soften but I doubt it.

I think this represents something even more tragic than merely a bad Bond movie. There have been bad Bond movies, unquestionably, but as I say in my review, they were... Bond movies. Here, there is little in the way of knowing the hero is Bond.

Coming out of Casino Royale, I believed the jury had to still be considered very much out with regards to Daniel Craig. The potential was there in my opinion. However, here he's handcuffed to what could only charitably be called a thin, reed-like screenplay overwhelmed by incessant action scenes.

Very, very interesting, Sam, thank you for that most eloquent response!

K. Bowen said...

Well, I think there is more development and movement in Bond's character than it is easy to see. I also think it's questionable whether he's out for revenge or not.

Reading over on Hollywood Elsewhere, Jeff Wells was passing a rumor that a lot of the character developing scenes got cut b/c the chemistry btw Craig and Kurylenko wasn't working. They should have paid for a better actress. Or just hire Eva Green to play all the female parts.

While I liked the film, I generally agree that the weakness came in not giving the actors a lot of acting to do.

Alexander Coleman said...

Interesting, KB. I actually saw that this evening, Wells passing that rumor along (from earlier this week), and I saw your comment at H-E about it (stating that if true, it indicated there was still the intent to continue forth with greater character development, etceteras).

You make an excellent point, though, about these very talented actors (Craig, Wright, Amalric, especially) not being given much, if anything, to do. Only Dench is given the permission slip to "stretch," as it were, and it's telling that she provided many of the film's better "light" moments and emotional moments alike. The more I think about the film the more I come to the realization that Craig is the Matt Damon/Jason Bourne cipher in it and Dench is the star. It's more than a little disconcerting, however.

A shame, if that is true about the leading lady and Craig not having much in the way of chemistry. It would not be in any way surprising, considering what we did see between them in the film. It was just one of the main ways in which this was a very significant step down from Casino Royale (which, again, seeing yesterday, made me marvel at just how wonderful Eva Green was in her role).

Sam Juliano said...

"There is more movement in Bond's character than is easy to see."

Beg to differ, sir. What you see is what you get here. And what you get is endless explosions and pyrotechnics. Is it possible that this mind-numbing garbage can really be defended?

patrick said...

just got back from seeing Quantum of Solace; it was entertaining, though it could have done with six or seven fewer chase scenes

Moses Hernandez said...

The movie is s***. A betrayal of the Bond mythos was at hand here. And frankly your review is the only one I've found that says as much, so kudos to you, sir.

Alexander Coleman said...

Patrick, I likewise thought the action was overdone. By the fourth or fifth chase scene I was groaning.

K. Bowen said...

They should have just kept raiding Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Munich and gotten Marie-Josee Croze. Short of that, Marina Hands.
But maybe they didn't want another French woman after Green. They did talk to Carice Van Houten.

K. Bowen said...

I should say they were rumored to have talked to Carice Van Houten.

Alexander Coleman said...

Thank you, Moses. This morning I arise and wonder if it's possible the producers can correct the ship with the next movie. There is some "closure" to be had at the end of Quantum of Solace but, tellingly, it did not seem directly connected to the main plot of the film except in the most tertiary way.

MAJOR SPOILER BELOW

"QUANTUM" seems to still very much be operational. Perhaps the idea is for there to be a trilogy about this? I just wish it were made interesting; that was not the case in this movie.

Alexander Coleman said...

Ah, that is interesting, KB, about Carice Van Houten, if true.

Marie-Josee Croze would make a splendid "Bond girl."

K. Bowen said...

For the record, so everyone knows whom I'm talking about, Hands is Lady Chatterley, Amalric's very Catholic girlfriend in the flashback sequence in Diving Bell, and the horse-riding daughter in Tell No One.

Alexander Coleman said...

Yes, she would have been good as well.

Sam Juliano said...

I knew full well what you were saying myself as I revere DIVING BELL, but perhaps not so much MUNICH, TELL NO ONE or BLACK BOOK. I gave lukewarm reviews to the latter three....

Alexander Coleman said...

I just wanted to note that I saw Quantum of Solace yesterday at the finest, largest theatre in all of Marin County, the Corte Madera "Cinema." I sat in the very back row, and I am glad I did. Numerous people closer most likely had seizures.

Anonymous said...

Ian Fleming is spinning in his grave. What a travesty. If only the movie had had even the slightest amount of the potency your review of it so ably features. Well done.

Alexander Coleman said...

Thank you, Anonymous. I likewise consider this latest "Bond movie," if it can be called such, "a travesty."

Sam Juliano said...

I just heard that the producers are facing law suits fron thousands of patrons who claim their hearing was severely damaged after experiencing this film last night. Some say they are now officially deaf.

Shame.

Alexander Coleman said...

Where did you hear about this, Sam?

Sam Juliano said...

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JUST KIDDING!!!

I'm a bad boy.

Alexander Coleman said...

Haha. I was just hoping you could extend the joke, like maybe it was on the Drudge Report or something. :)

Christopher said...

The most disappointing movie of the year. Damn, and it looked like a fun romp judging by the trailers. Total waste. Tremendous review, and your piece on Goldfinger and other Bond items are great. Those are the only good things that have come out of this fiasco.

Sam Juliano said...

True, Alexander.

I gave up too fast there.

LOL!!!

Alexander Coleman said...

Thank you for the very kind words, Christopher. And I agree, this may possibly be the most disappointing film of the year. And I never considered Casino Royale the Second Coming, but as I say, it looks all the stronger now in comparison to this.

Alexander Coleman said...

Haha, Sam.

Sam Juliano said...

Actually Christopher, that GOLDFINGER review was fastastic, and one of the finest in the CCC archives in my opinion. It was a thoroughly entertaining read, and it brought back memories.

Christopher said...

Daniel Craig should play The Terminator. Not Bond.

Christopher said...

I agree the Goldfinger review was awesome and one of Mr. Coleman's very best that I have read.

Alexander Coleman said...

Thanks, guys.

mc said...

This sounds like a nightmare.

Daniel Craig isn't even handsome.

victor muldoon said...

this movie is incomprehensible discombobulated shit!!! those writers prolly wrote it in like two hours! did michael bay ghost direct this steaming turd?!?

Alexander Coleman said...

This film is clearly inspiring some spirited responses. Occasionally atavistic responses.

Daniel Getahun said...

Outstanding, as usual, and as expected. If this doesn't say it all, nothing does:"It would be one thing for the writers and producers to commit to their “fresh” take on Bond and succeed, as Casino Royale conclusively triumphed in its forming of a bitingly brutal new Bond. Quantum of Solace's Bond succumbs to the Bourne-ification of 007, as he becomes an aggressive automaton with practically no personality." That's about exactly what I said in my review, but with a lot more words!

Honestly, the exploding hideout was almost enjoyable for me if only because it a was a familiar element of a Bond film. Up until that point I didn't know what I was watching. What was Forster thinking with the action you so accurately lament?

Great, great review. All of it right on.

Alexander Coleman said...

Thank you very much, Daniel. Looks like the Bond-athon voices are all meeting one another in almost perfervid agreement.

I agree that there was a sentimental feeling of contentment when that villainous hideout was being blown to bits, even if it did not in any way match the film that preceded it. (And Roger Ebert makes a good point about the stunning lack of security for that hotel/hideout in his review.)

I'm afraid Forster and the producers decided, "Well, we've tipped our toes, let's go all in," with the outright cannibalizing of the Bourne series.

I'm sounding like a broken record in this comments section: Seeing Casino Royale the day before carried with it an unfortunate series of realizations, one of those being that Martin Campbell, whatever you think of him as a director, knows how to shoot action. He knows how to create geography, location, etcetras. Forster decided to go in the entirely opposite direction and try to ape Paul Greengrass, a fatal mistake for the Bond series unto itself.

Thank you very much for the kind words, and I'm satisfied to see us in such agreement on this!

Anonymous said...

Best QUANTUM OF SOLACE review on the net. How and why so many professional critics slavishly gave this a pass is a mystery to me.

Alexander Coleman said...

Thank you, Anonymous, you're too kind.

vanessa said...

What an atrocity this movie turned out to be. I didn't wanna believe the critics who trashed it. In the end I thought ti sucked harder then most of em thought.

Yer brutal review is perfect. Awful movie.

mike said...

Your review scares me but I will check it out tonite.

Alexander Coleman said...

Be afraid, Mike, be very afraid.

Thanks, Vanessa.

Daniel Getahun said...

Yeah I certainly remember the action sequences in CR being a lot more gripping - the parkour, the car flip, etc. I haven't seen it in two years and those still stay with me.

Alexander Coleman said...

Being able to tell what is going on usually helps a scene, and sometimes even makes it memorable, besides. :)

darkcitydame4e said...

Nov. 16 (According to Bloomberg News) -- "The James Bond thriller ``Quantum of Solace'' opened in first place in U.S. and Canadian theaters with ticket sales of $70.4 million for Sony Corp. and Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., the best-ever debut for the spy franchise."

Wow! Alexander, look how well the
film "Quantum of Solace" did at the box office!...not only in the U.S., but Canada too! eh!

dcd ;-)

Alexander Coleman said...

It's not especially surprising to me, Dark City Dame, but interesting, nevertheless. Casino Royale created an enormity of goodwill in the world for the next Bond adventure.

Sadly, with only one film removed from the relaunching of this franchise, it seems like 007 is in need of another rest.

Alexander Coleman said...

Dark City Dame, though you said in response to my Goldfinger review that you aren't a Bond fan, will you be seeing Quantum of Solace? Which Bond films have you seen? Of those, which do you prefer and/or are your favorites?

And don't you have a certian noir review of mine to read? Haha! :-)

laura said...

"It is telling that the most harmoniously composed and intelligently handled scene is that of a blatant homage to Goldfinger, this time back in black."

Wow, that is frightening in its accuracy. Very well put. You've nailed this movie to the wall.

Your last comment says it all, too. One movie after the fresh CASINO ROYALE Bond already needs another rest.

Alexander Coleman said...

Thank you very much for the kind words, Laura.

50! Wow. This shatters CCC's comments section record.

darkcitydame4e said...

Alexander said, "Dark City Dame, though you said in response to my Goldfinger review that you aren't a Bond fan, will you be seeing Quantum of Solace?"

Hi! Alexander,
hmmm...I may wait to view the film "Quantum of Solace" on cable television.


Which Bond films have you seen?
"Goldfinger," (but of course!) "From Russia, With Love"
and "Die Another Day." (2002)


Of those, which do you prefer and/or are your favorites?
All the 007 films,in which actor Sean Connery appeared.

Oh! Btw, thanks, for all the falling "confetti" that just "invaded" my comment space after your 50th post!...ha!ha!...Congratulation!

Alexander, I am going to comment on your review of the film "The Big Combo" in a few minutes.

dcd ;-)

Alexander Coleman said...

Confetti should be attendant with all of your posts, Dark City Dame, haha, but yours bringing this comment thread beyond the number 50 most especially deserves special attention, haha!

Yes, the Sean Connery Bond movies, and especially out of the ones you have seen, are vastly superior! :-)

"hmmm...I may wait to view the film "Quantum of Solace" on cable television."

Hahahaha... A lacerating but perfectly honest statement, I do believe.

Larry said...

I liked a lot of it but a lot of it was pretty weak, too. Craig is good but the rest of the cast was not used. Except Judi Dench.

I wish the action scenes werem't so confusing for no reason. At least on that poit I totally agree with you.

Alexander Coleman said...

Thanks for contributing your thoughts, Larry.

dave said...

I agree with you, it was disapointing. Bond seemed unable to NOT be in a chase scene. I bet if he went out to pick up the newspaper on his front lawn he'd get into a chase scene.

dave said...

Also isn't this the first time BOnd didn't bed the main "Bond girl?"

No satisfaction to be had anywher.

kenji said...

Great review.

Alexander Coleman said...

Thank you, Dave--funny statement about Bond's reaching for a newspaper outside his house would result in a chase sequence--and Kenji. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

giraffe woman said...

Sounds disappointing. I'll wait to see it on dvd. Good review, though.

Alexander Coleman said...

Thank you, Giraffe Woman. Hope you stop by CCC again.

Film-book dot Com said...

This Bond film didn't have as many well written parts as its predecessor but it did have a few: when a particular character dies in the street, Bond not being able to sleep, the fire battle with Greene...
But then there were the slow points that dragged it down.

Oh well, just think of this film like the calm before a better Bond storm.

Alexander Coleman said...

Interesting analysis. I do agree with you that this film was not nearly as well-written as Casino Royale. However, that one scene on the airplane with Bond not being able to sleep was good. Probably my favorite scene of the film.

Thanks very much for stopping by and commenting.

nick plowman said...

I will prolly see QoS this weekend as I was too busy last weekend, but I can't say I am looking forward to it anymore, especially not after your review!

Alexander Coleman said...

No, it's not worth looking forward to, Nick--thanks, though, checking out my review, and I hope it works much better for you.

Daniel Getahun said...

65!

Alexander Coleman said...

It's amazing. With #66, this is 31 posts over the Coleman's Corner comments record.

dirk raper said...

welcome to the rook.

Alexander Coleman said...

Thanks for the welcome, Dirk.

tim watts said...

I liked it but yer revew is good.

tim watts said...

Judi Dench was good but Jeffry Wright needed some more scenes. Cuz he's a good actor but he wasn't given much.

Alexander Coleman said...

Thank you, Tim. I agree. Dench was the one performer given a role that required acting (sleepless night aboard the plane aside, Bond could almost have been played by Hulk Hogan). It stinks to see an actor of Wright's capabilities reduced to this. (I can just see the screenplay saying, "Leiter frowns," over and over.) I'm not expecting Shakespeare here, but something less obviously based in the pyrotechnics Sam bemoans would have been a little more pleasant.

darkcitydame4e said...

Hi! Alexander,
I am just waiting to see what the final "magic" number is going to be!...I am on "pins and needles"...Ouch!

dcd ;-)

Film-book dot Com said...

Thanks Alex. I've got to get my ass in gear and write up my own review. 72 Comments! Bravo.

Alexander Coleman said...

Haha, Mr. Bond is the main attraction here, I suppose. You're welcome!

Dark City Dame, how are you?

tim watts said...

Bring back Campbell.

darkcitydame4e said...

Alexander said,"Haha, Mr. Bond is the main attraction here, I suppose. You're welcome!" Of course not!..Alexander, your "reviews" rules here at the CCC...

...Dark City Dame, how are you? I will tell you Alex,...I am still red-faced (Someone pleasssse hand me a "blushing" smiley!)because I thought I was reporting such "ground breaking' news about 007 boxoffice
intake...that was until you and the other "wonderful" blogger, Rick Olsen, from over there at Coosa Creek Cinema, (another CCC) set me on the straight and narrow. Grrrr...My teeth are clenched together! haha!

dcd :-0

Anonymous said...

wow, this movie sucked

Alexander Coleman said...

Haha, Dark City Dame, don't feel bad about things like that. :)

Anonymous, it sure is disappointing, isn't it?

barney raper said...

this movie sux.

Alexander Coleman said...

Not the most substantive critique, Barney, but thanks for throwing your opinion in anyway.

christian said...

Fitting that as I was exiting QOS tonight, I walk right into CJ Kennedy. Ah, the LA blog world is small. As small as the interest I had in the film. You said it all Alexander, and while I did not hate the film as I was expecting, it wasn't a Bond film until the music at the end -- which should have been playing at high volume during all the endless boring action. Even the much vaunted opera scene is ruined by artsy intercutting.

I'll write up something for my blog, but as of now, I can't be bothered.

Alexander Coleman said...

Ha, sweet! Well, at least you were able to bump into Craig Kennedy. That makes it all worth it.

Thank you for the kind and rewarding remarks, Christian. Can't tell you how much I look forward to whatever you have to say about it from your blog.

You're right: even the opera scene is overly cut to the point of rendering it incoherent and dissatisfying.

ben said...

You make a gr8 point about Bond being able to knock out 3 MI6 dudes in a heartbeat but he has to fight that little French guy for like 5 minutes. Seriously lame.

ben said...

But those early fight scenes kicked butt. Gotta say.

Alexander Coleman said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Ben.

The Filmist said...

I'm probably a little late to this, but I still can't understand anyone who'd consider Quantum of Solace a worse film than Casino Royale - which isn't a bad film, not even close, don't get me wrong. Still, Campbell is a journeyman director - he's competent, but he's a workman.

Here, they've got an established director with an idiosyncratic style - and, luckily, where they'd tried such a thing before with the series to mixed-at-best results, it all carries over into going that extra step toward redefining the character, something that Casino Royale did come close to doing, but stopped just this side of the finish line. I disagree that Bond's without personality in this film - or at least, that some of his emotional monotony wasn't on purpose. M confronts him about it, several times even.

I also liked how this installment finds a way around the slight problem that Fleming seemed to have ignored in his original series - Casino Royale is a book that sees its character acknowledge the moral ambiguities of the world he works within, and near the end of the book sees him resolve to come to the bottom of this SMERSH business now not because of some ideal, but because of what they'd done to him. It's a strong, emotional moment, the end of that book - one of Fleming's finest moments is in that last line. But, nothing ever comes of it - by the time Live and Let Die has come around, Fleming seems resigned to write the character purely as a two-fisted update of the old pulp heroes. What's funny is that he kind of flip-flops between genuinely masterful, even experimental, spy-thrillers and these more pulpy installments all the way through the series - but I digress. There's never any resolution to this element, and it's nearly all but forgotten until From Russia With Love comes around.

So, it was nice to see a film bridge this gap in some way - take off from where Fleming had clearly set up to go, but never went, strangely enough.

Well, there - I just rambled a mouthful. Hah!

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