Movie Reviews: Spectre

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Spectre directed by Sam Mendes

James Bond will be back in … Spectre. Yeah buddy. Was I excited with a giant tub of popcorn to watch this. To me, Daniel Craig is the best James Bond ever. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know you die hard fans stuck in 1960 think Connery is the best, but come on, those films are barely worth watching anymore.

Casino Royale is the best bond film of all time. This edged out my former top bond film, Goldeneye, after years or repeat viewings and arguments with friends. Casino Royale harkened back to the first Ian Fleming novel I ever read. It was darker and edgy and told the story to why Bond couldn’t truly love again. Goldeneye with Pierce Brosnan as Bond about a decade after he should have been cast (Remington Steele contract disputes kept him off). Sean Bean did what he always does … die. It had Famke Janssen and Russian politics and the best Nintendo 64 tie in game of all time.

I had such high hopes for Spectre. Casino Royale was awesome. Quantum of Solace was poor. Skyfall was awesome. You see pattern, right? When I started watching Spectre, the first ten minutes was so over the top and awesome, I thought the curse was over. I mean, what an epic opening. One long shot. Watching the opening of it was a sight to be seen. I was filled with popcorn and soda and excited for what was to come.  Then we got Monica Bellucci for some reason in a bit part. Then a mystery of hunting for Blofeld. Then it all culminated in a final confrontation at Blofeld’s lair in the desert. Bond was captured. He triumphed and blew the whole thing up. I was fairly happy and was ready to leave the theater.

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Then the movie kept going.

What?

For no reason at all, other than to give Blofeld a scar, the movie falls off a cliff and falls into the abyss of stupidity. Why? He didn’t even kill Blofeld on the bridge, and we all know he won’t stay captured, so what was the point?

I digress.

The good thing is the first 90 minutes made for a decent Bond film. The downside is that we had to deal with the last 30 or so minutes of the film.

Movie Rating: 9.5/10 (Up until the explosion), 1/10 (everything after the explosion)

NOW SEE A REVIEW OF A GOOD FILM WITH NO EXPLOSIONS OR A WACKY VILLAIN

17 thoughts on “Movie Reviews: Spectre

  1. He didn’t kill Blofeld because they have a connection, and as cold-blooded as Bond is, there’s some inner turmoil going on, that blind-sides him. I like that he didn’t put a bullet in his head. Narratively, it’s more interesting.

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    • But why did we need the last 30 minutes of the movie? Couldn’t it have ended with the explosion in the desert and left it as a cliffhanger? We would essentially pick up the same place in a future film, outside of maybe Blofeld needing to escape. I agree to a certain degree that this new Bond didn’t kill the villain in Casino Royale (Someone else did), and Quantum of Solace (left an oil can), but did avenge M in Skyfall. I just firmly believe the movie fell apart the last 30 minutes.

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      • I understand, but I don’t think the explosion in the desert would have been a satisfactory climax for a Bond film. I ‘get’ that any film has issues, but by no means did I feel the Spectre falling apart in the last 30-mins. It’s definitely too long, for the type of film it is, though. I say this from the perspective of a passive fan, I come to these films with no preconceptions of them being anything other than big budget bravado, thrills and spills, with a few cute lines of dialogue. Essentially, these movie are one and the same. That’s just my angle.

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      • Bond blew up the place. He got the girl. The villain was vanquished like in the bond films of old. I think it was a perfect ending. Everyone walks out happy. If I remember correctly, isn’t this the ending to “The Living Daylights?” and “Quantum of Solace” and the majority of Bond films? The last 30 minutes added nothing to the film. The subplot with the girl needing to leave at the last moment (she lived through Morocco with him, but now it’s too much?) made no sense and was an obvious plot device to get her captured for no reason. The M having to confront C (Who I see as Moriarty on Sherlock) for being part of it, when his part could have been cut from he film. Bond gets the girl again in the end and Blofeld is vanquished again, and I just didn’t understand the whole point. CLINCHER ARGUMENT: Did we need to see Bond take down the helicopter with the hand gun? That must be one of the more ludicrous things ever in a Bond film. This undid was one of the dumbest endings, to contrast one of the best beginnings of any Bond film.

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      • Well, I can certainly see that you have a measure of discontent about it. I’m standing my ground here, though.

        I took no issue with the final act, and as for your “CLINCHER ARGUMENT” – come on, it’s Bond! James has done far more outlandish things than take down a chopper with a handgun, which not incidentally, aren’t designed to be shot at. You hit a fuel line, the pilot or any other key mechanism, the thing isn’t flying much further.

        As for you thinking the explosion in the desert should have been the ending…no. It would have been more stereotypical to finish that way. If Quantum and TLD did the same thing, why repeat it!? I like that Blofeld is taken into custody, and Bond spares him. It makes for a more interesting narrative move, and sets up and interesting dilemma in the next film. As for Bond getting the girl again, is that really something we need to worry about? It happens in every single Bond film. Like I’ve pointed out countless times over, sometimes, we just have to let the movie be the movie.

        It’s good to share our opposing views on this.

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      • I’m not arguing for more of a trope ending. I just thought the emotional/plot peak of the story was when he found out Blofeld was his quasi-adopted foster brother or sorts, so there was a history there, coinciding with the reveal about his plot to take over intelligence gathering. Then getting locked in the chair kind of reminded me of Goldfinger (I did feel the watch thing kind of was written after the fact to add a gadget that would get him out, much like many films). Then he fights his way out and gets the girl and sees it all blow up. That’s unbelievable but bond. Overall, the last 30 minutes added absolutely nothing in moving the story forward (he could have spared him in the desert by not being able to kill he closest thing he has to a family member). The helicopter end seemed like a bookend to the helicopter in the beginning I think. Why the helicopter has to fly directly over the river near the boat, I don’t know (they were not shooting back). I think both of us could have come up with a better ending after the explosion if we had to. Maybe a cliffhanger ending for once … like they Capture Bond on a romantic getaway as a twist to all the other Bond endings. Leave the audience going “WHAT?” Ironically, only On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Casino Royale has a a cool ending like this. Both are still talked about today. This trope ending of Spectre? I think people will stop the DVD at the explosion.

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      • Again, I disagree, I felt the ending was an interesting move. For a few lingering seconds, I thought Bond might actually put a bullet in his head, and when he didn’t, I was surprised. It left a good after-taste, for me, and sets up the next film nicely, without sacrificing a sense of conclusion for Spectre. We could sit her all day comparing bits from previous Bond adventures, but lets be honest with each other and ourselves, these movies are one and the same. Does the plot every REALLY matter? It’s about the audacity of James Bond, it’s just repackaged differently each time. I’m still waiting for the Bond film that truly upends the series, and gives us something genuinely new. Casino Royale has been the closest so far to achieving that.

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      • Well yes, I hold Casino Royale pretty high as perhaps the best Bond film of all time, although nostalgia wise I am a Goldeneye fan due to the N64 game. I didn’t think for one moment Bond was going to kill Blofeld because Spectre is a trop that needs to be milked in the future (A franchise that slowly brought a new M, new Moneypenny, new Q, new Bond was NOT going to off Blofeld 30 minutes after introducing him).

        I just think if wanted to spare him, he could have in the desert after using his watch. Maybe make the decision to leave him unconscious as an old foster brother. Then when the whole things goes up in flames, the audience doesn’t even know if he got out. Like a cliffhanger end. If she shows up the next movie, it would be a surprise he lived (instead of Spectre breaking Blofeld out in a future film).

        If you want audacity, shooting the helicopter down and rescuing a girl who didn’t need rescuing (She followed him to the desert mission, but had enough back in London? Give me a break!)

        The plot does matter. The new bond was more about believability and less campiness. (Roger Moore had most campy Bonds, but the best villains and side villains of entire series, but those were almost a farce to watch).

        CLINCHER NUMBER TWO
        Come on, how menacing is “CUCKOO!”

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      • Going through your list of best films, we agree on many films like Drive, Midnight in Paris, Inception, In Bruges, Into the Wild, Batman Begins, Kill Bill, Lost in Translation, the Dark Knight rises … however, we disagree on the few you seem to think are good like Spectre, Interstellar, The Hunt, Prometheus. You have good taste, but I’m not sure if you’ve ever written a screenplay and submitted it and might not understand what goes into writing film treatments. The last 30 minutes of Spectre was complete rubbish and a time waste. Any plot thread could have been wrapped in a one liner in the desert and left the franchise at the exact same spot. It’s called a character arc. When everything blew up, all the arcs blew up.

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      • Thank you. There is no right answer when it comes to interpreting art, and my understanding of an arc is crystal clear, although I also understand that it’s more important that a film should never be bound by formula. I sense your frustration with me over that Spectre ending, but we must move on. I liked it, you didn’t…let’s tie a bow around it. As for Interstellar, The Hunt, Prometheus, yes, I LOVED those movies and I’ll shout it from the rooftops. In each case, I found myself utterly immersed in the characters, design, music, photography and story. It’s good to have discussion, but let’s not lower ourselves to repeatedly making the same points over and over.

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      • Closing your mind to information? Go figure man. Didn’t see you like that. EW is only like the the biggest Movie & Entertainment site/magazine in the United States. Too “mainstream” for you.

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