Sunday, November 09, 2008

Damaged goods

This blog has been a casualty of my chasing around on a number of projects, some of which are very exciting indeed. Announcements in due course...

Took the Dr to see Quantum of Solace on Friday, and generally agree with Millennium's glowing review. It's all played brilliantly, it looks absolutely gorgeous but I'm not quite convinced by the frenetic edit. Watching Nimbos' Blue-Ray Casino Royale earlier this week (cor!), Codename Moose noted how well told the action sequences are. They're fast and complex and intricate, but every shot is framed perfectly, and in any given instant you know exactly where you are.

Quantum of Solace continually loses you in the midst of action. There's an opening car chase where someone loses their driver-side door, and it took me a moment to realise who. There's a scene of Bond and a villain swinging from ropes where you're not sure which is which.

I'm a bit disappointed that we didn't learn the real name of Mr White – or “Ernst”, as he is to his mother. Nor do I really see the point of keeping the gun barrel to the end. But hooray for MK12's opening sequence: different but very pretty.

Also, ignore the fools who say this isn't really a Bond film. Or that it's the first direct sequel to the previous film. There are no gadgets in Doctor No - “Q” is in it but he's not called that and he only gives Bond a new gun. From Russia, With Love is a direct sequel to that first film, too – with the Doctor's buddies out for revenge. Quantum of Solace is, then, continuing a back to basics exercise, not just getting back to the Bond of Fleming's novels but the films as they began.

I've also read SilverFin, the first of Charlie Higson's Young Bond novels, which I enjoyed a great deal. The mad plot about eels and special serum is at the dafter end of Fleming (and more like the barking end of Sherlock Holmes). But it's a fun adventure.

A bit like River Phoenix in The Last Crusade, there's fun seeing Bong get his scar and learning to drive. In fact, Uncle Max explains to Bond for at least two pages exactly how a car engine works. I'd have loved this boy-stuff detail in my teens. It could almost have done with an Eagle cutaway.

Though we're never told the date in the book itself, the internet says this is set in 1933 – and Bond born in 1920. I think that's out by at least two years.
“[Moonraker] makes Bond 37 in a book first published in 1955, and possible set a bit earlier. He can't then be born any later than 1918.”

Me, 14 March 2008.

I'm now well into From Russia, With Love, and will report back as soon as possible. (I've also got notes on Baboon Metaphysics and a handful of other stuff. But you'll have to be patient.)


Le Mc said...

The number of Bond films was a question on the pub quiz tonight, which we won (first pub quiz I've ever won, I might add). Unfortunately we didn't get the question right--we said 23, they said 22.

Le Mc said...
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