Review of a review of Skyfall

Mark Salisbury gets into the nitty-gritty of the film making, vis-a-vis Bond and that’s the part which interests me.

The reviews are starting to come out now and it’s looking … not bad at all.   Everyone hopes it will be good, that it will not be another dire dirge like Quantum.

Salisbury quotes Craig:

Sam and I sat down and reread the books together and took out chapters and lines.” Mendes adds: “The delay allowed us the time to think about the story more than might have otherwise been the case.”


Mendes drafted in John Logan (The Aviator) to rework the initial script written by regular Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade and originally called Silver Bullet.

Even better – never much liked Purvis’s and Wade’s limited scope outpourings.

“A lot more humour. Also going back to the books, it felt more in keeping with the feel of a classic Bond movie. A lot of it is Bond getting his wit back.”

Thank goodness for that.

Logan: “Building that vocabulary of what we think the perfect James Bond film is, it’s a little like alchemy. If you have too much grotesqueness or too much over-the-top action it can tilt the balance so you don’t believe the drama.

Conversely, if you play it too hard and too dark, you lose the wit. Sam and I always talked about Fleming first, about the particular tone of Fleming, and trying to make that the beating heart of Skyfall.”

Well, you deserve commendation, if only for that.  Question is – how good are you sir, and the other thing is whether there might be a tendency to over-finesse, to be a bit contrived, a bit paint by numbers?   We’ll put the humour here, here is the action, here is the romance.

Skyfall – Clip No. 1


Not if Naomi Harris is to be believed and I get a whiff of feminism here again, so perhaps they haven’t learnt:

Harris. “For me, it’s like the rebirthing of the whole Bond franchise in the way it’s done. With this one it does feel like this is a real big bang, a real evolution to the next stage of Bond.”

Which, for Harris, also means binning the label “Bond girl” once and for all, because, she says, “they’re not Bond girls, they’re just characters.”

Groan. If the silly moo ain’t a Bond girl, then WTF is she doing in a Bond movie?

And “rebirthing”?   Oh my goodness! Dear oh dear!

Token black British female mired in utter PC c**p ?   When will this type of female realize that she ruined Quantum and DAD?   For goodness sake, let us have some romance in the proper tradition!

Salisbury makes no mention of it and that’s a bad sign.

Watch the clip below from 1:07 to 1:15 – first Harris, then Marlohe.   Harris walks by in that tough, “don’t mess with me” style which, to a man, is utterly, wristslittingly boring.  Listen dear, do you think anyone at all is remotely interested in your self-empowerment exercises?   A little girl, swaggering around as some sort of “equal to Bond”?   Purr-lease … or am I missing the comedy element here?

Now see Marlohe come in and vive la difference!!  Body language, body language! If men can see this, why on earth can’t British and American women?   At least French women can – it’s called allure. No, seriously, come on lads, let’s be brutally honest here. Does that Naomi person move you in any way, shape or form?

Unfortunately, Bérénice Marlohe made mention of sex but not of romance.   Oh no, don’t tell me we’re not going to get romance?   Look at FRwL, OHMSS, CR and Goldeneye – they all had meaningful interaction, not just banging.   And all were movies in their own right.  Yet mention has been made of the shower sequence and what she does with Bond and that sounds like sex positions to me, though I’m sure Daniel was not averse to it.

Sincerely hope it gets more like the latter part of CR and the fact that she’s French, like Eva Green, at least bodes well.   They must keep the French, Italian and Spanish women coming in to these films and keep the feminism-scarred British and American females [we’re the equal of Bond] down to a minimum.   I understand they must include a token amount.

Skyfall – BTS Clip No. 2


Writing Silva, says Logan, required holding a mirror up to Bond. “It’s an echo through the entire series that Bond is perhaps most vulnerable and forced to be at the best of his game when he’s confronted with an equal,” he adds.

Yes indeed – good, good.   That’s very true.  The Sherlockian tradition too.

Gadgets and Q?

“There’s a sequence where Q gives him his supplies and Bond is rather disappointed at the gadgetry involved and Q makes a wry joke: ‘Were you expecting an exploding watch? We don’t really do that any more.’

Well, yes and no.   Corny gadgets maybe but there’ve got to be gadgets and from what I’ve seen of the new Q, they’re onto a winner there – young boffin type.

So, wait and see, eh?  October 26th.