It is half-past-midnight local time. I got in the front door ten minutes ago after a forty minute walk home in the dark and cold from the cinema. At least it wasn’t raining. I made myself a cup of tea and I’ve fired up the computer because I have a blog-post I feel compelled to write while things are still fresh in my mind. I need to get this off my chest or I might not sleep.
A famous poet once said something like poetry is emotion recollected in tranquillity. This blog-post is emotion recollected while I’m still passionate about it. If I leave it until the morning, when I’m tranquil, I probably won’t bother. I’ll find something better to spend my time on and then one day I’ll regret it.
I purposely avoided looking at any film critic’s opinion of this latest James Bond offering. I shall go and look now and probably see that not one of them agrees with me – in print. I did notice online that Pierce Brosnan made a negative comment or two about it.
Well here’s me stripping naked and standing in full sun atop the battlements.
So, I went to the cinema tonight to watch the latest James Bond movie, Spectre. I have been looking forward to this one for months. I have long been a James Bond movie fan. With the introduction of Daniel Craig to the Bond franchise they just got better. Casino Royale with Craig was the dog’s bollocks of Bond movies. That means I loved it.
Spectre, by comparison and staying with the bollocks scale to give it some relative context was, for my money, a bag of bollocks. That means I didn’t like it. In fact it wasn’t just a bag of bollocks it was a sack of the surgically removed bollocks of a prison wing full of convicted paedophiles all suffering from the advanced stages of aggressive testicular cancer. That means I more than didn’t like it.
Quite fittingly this movie’s Bond song is called Writing’s on the Wall. It’s not a great Bond song as Bond songs go. With the necessary hindsight that having watched Spectre provides, the writing was on the wall regarding the quality of the Daniel Craig Bond films with Skyfall. Too much of that was just stupid and too much of a stretch of the imagination even for a Bond film. But let us stick with Spectre.
I’ve come away from this cinema experience feeling insulted by the people responsible for making this movie. I feel like the people who were involved in making this movie are guilty of lazy ‘thinking’ and simply trading on the franchise name.
Daniel Craig’s wardrobe stole the show. (I’m talking about his clothes, not an item of bedroom furniture, even though the actual wardrobes in the bedroom scenes were less wooden than some of the acting.) I mean it. I’m not exactly a fashion victim, myself, but I was pretty taken with some of his outfits.
The opening setting got me a bit excited and the helicopter fight scene was about the best in the whole film.
I cannot think of another positive and I saw this film less than an hour ago.
For a start the film’s basic premise was quite simply dumb. How could an organisation like that go undetected for ever? Come on. It just wasn’t credible. It wasn’t even incredible. It was just… dumb and insulting. I know that with Bond films one has to be prepared to suspend disbelief and I must be capable of that because I’m a Bond film fan. But Spectre just left me fuming that I’d been taken for a mug.
The film was a mess of disjointed, randomly packaged ‘ideas’ of scenes with absolutely no apparent coherent framework linking them all together. This film was a mish-mash, an incoherant shambles. A jumble. A complete dog’s dinner of fantastical thoughts. It seemed that the idea was just to throw in as many geographically varied locations as they could and forget about tying them neatly together. Forget about maintaining a lucid narrative arc. And so many of these scenes were just poorly imagined. Half of them didn’t make sense. And for a Bond film saying something didn’t make sense must mean it really was ill-conceived.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that there were conversations that went like this:
Mendes: Let’s send him up a snowy mountain to find the beautiful girl and then we’ll stick them in the middle of Tangiers (?) and then they can go to the middle of a desert and wait for a car to give them a lift to a secret hideaway where they can blow it all up and get away.
(Yeah I know that last bit’s par for the course with Bond movies but I seem to remember some coherence with the linkage of scenes where it’s been done before.)
Someone: Yeah, great Sam, but er… how do we link it? You know?
Mendes: Let’s worry about that later. It’s not important now. I don’t think they’ll notice anyway, do you? That’s boring shit anyway. Have we got room for another helicopter scene?
Half-way through the film I started smelling cheese. And I had a whole row to myself and no one sitting in front of me all the way to the big screen. I realised it was the scenes and the dialogue and the script that stank. And then I realised it wasn’t cheese I was smelling – that would be to insult cheese. What I was smelling was that triangular shaped, foil packaged, processed whey that masquerades as an affront to and in violation of the Trades Description Act as cheese. I was smelling portions of that slimy yellow muck that had been left out in the hot sun for a couple of days. Spectre became cheesier and cheesier as Alice might have been moved to say.
I’m in shock at just how bad it was.
I’m angry about it in case you can’t tell. This is a great movie franchise, a cinematic stalwart that has just been done untold damage by people who should know better. It was indolent, lazy film-making. It was fucking awful is what it was.
The acting of the leading ladies was poor. Wooden. I’d go so far as to say they were poorly cast. Unconvincing. Lacking depth. Especially, Lea Seydoux. I’m sure can act. But in this she was woeful.
The villain, Christoph Waltz is a great actor. But in Spectre I felt that his hands were tied with the puerile script he had to work with. He could turn out to be the worst Bond villain ever. There was no menace about him. He barely had a chance to warm up.
If the Bond estate want to save this golden goose of a franchise that keeps them sitting on their fat arses all day counting their royalties they need to do something radical with it. Get Tarantino to direct the next one. Retire Daniel Craig because looking good as a tailor’s dummy isn’t enough for a Bond movie. Breathe some new life into it. Get in some intelligent writers. The Bond films need to move on. Oh and please enough with all the little nods to the past. They didn’t impress me. Most of them fell flat. They just made me think that the film-makers were rather conceited and lacking ideas. Actually, when I think about it now, that’s just about right.
I shall be interested to see where they’re going to go from here. One thing’s for sure it can’t get any worse… can it?
(It’s now 2.15 am. I have to get up in five hours to get The Halfling ready for school. But that’s how much this meant to me. I feel better already.)