Friday 26 October 2012


I don't think anyone who sees this would deny that this is one of the better of the series.
In the obligatory, pre-credit chase sequence I was initially a bit put out by the filmic cliches - fruit and veg from street market stalls being crashed into, with the produce flying all over the place (it is Istanbul, after all!), a gun having run out of bullets being thrown away with a mini-second of irritation....But these are minor nags in the overall scheme of the film.
  Positive aspects of this film for me was that the arch-villain (played with mincing, deliciously-campy malevolence by the excellent Javier Bardem) as well as Judi Dench's 'M', are given far more screen time than either of these roles have had in any previous Bond film, 'M''s considerably so. The new 'Q' was a brave and unexpected move too, and a good one. Also, I don't think a previous film of this series has been set so much in this country - London (a large part of it being underground - I say no more!) and in the remote Scottish highlands.  (I now don't give away any further 'spoilers'!)
       Actually, there's not much more to say. I found it quite exciting without it gripping me tautly. There's no doubt that after Dalton's Bond (who wasn't exactly bad) followed by Brosnan (who was actually pretty good), the series since Daniel Craig took over has been given a much needed shot in the arm - and all three of his films now have been of a superior standard (though some may disagree about 'Q of S').
      Yes, for a spy thriller this one is distinctly above par - though maybe it's just me in feeling more a detached observer of the on-screen antics rather than a sense of being really involved in them.
     I'd better not say more as many will be going to see this, surely the most eagerly anticipated film of 2012, and I don't want to risk marring anyone's enjoyment by my own personal opinions.

I give 'Skyfall' a.............7/10 - and would not remotely suggest that anyone should avoid seeing it. Go!


  1. Replies
    1. Glad to hear it, Bob - and please let us all know (somehow) what you think.

  2. Well Ray, these kind of flicks normally don't draw me in too far, but it sounds like they are doing the right thing in this one. When it is out on DVD I'll put it in the queue.!

    1. Don't you go to the cinema at all, Kyle? Or has it to be something really special to make you want to spend the money? Although seeing this on DVD is better than not seeing it in any form, I feel that for ANY film made for the cinema, seeing it on a small screen is a so much more diluted experience as compared with the medium it was intended for. One is never overwhelmed as one can be when seeing it on the big screen. But, as I say, this is worth seeing anyhow.

  3. OK
    good points

    old fashioned ( in a good way)
    I liked Q
    Dench was great... not too sympathetic but sympathetic enough
    Rory Kinnear ( an actor I love) used more and was v good
    Naomi Harris ( likable)
    Bardem ( soooo excellent and the best of all the bond baddies)
    every bond cliche used ++++++

    bad points

    slightly unbelievable ending


    1. Thanks, J.G. I would also have put your point about it being on the overlong side onto my original blog. I just didn't want to be too down on it for the majority who have yet to go.

      It was 'old-fashioned' in a sense but the chief motivation of super-villain Silva was more directed by a personal grudge rather than by megalomania, as in all the previous Bond villains (I think) - and that was newish.

      Judi D. did a fine balancing act between her hard-nosed authority figure and a vulnerable matriarchal one, which was quite touching.

      Yes, Rory Kinnear has been really starting to shine in recent years. I've heard him in a couple of radio plays recently and he's getting to play quite a repertoire - much more than his dad who was cornered early on into clownish/ 'naughty boy' roles.

      I knew the name of Naomi Harris but couldn't put a face to her until now. She's one to watch.

      I agree, Bardem has produced one of the very best Bond villains of all - and when the dust settles he may well be seen to have made THE defining one.

      Mark Kermode, yesterday, made the analogy of the final confrontation scenes as being rather like 'Straw Dogs'. (I only heard his review on returning from the cinema.) - and he was right. I was half-prepared for what was to happen re the Dench and Fiennes characters, having deciphered 'signals' from those who'd already seen it but didn't want explicitly to give it away. Yes, if you're referring to the second of these, it was a bit of a strain to believe it, but I think this sort of thing comes with the Bond territory.

      Your score of 8/10 makes me wonder whether you consider this to be the best of ALL the Bond films. If you do, I wouldn't go quite that far. My personal favourite, despite that awful gaping 'hole' right at the centre of it, is probably still 'OHMSS', (also Mark Kermode's choice) which, out of those films based usually (very) loosely on the original novels, did come closest to the book.

  4. 007 movies are too silly for me anymore. I sit and think of how this and that can't happen rather than enjoy the spectale.

    1. I think one has to leave one's brain outside, Dr Spo - and just go along 'for the ride'. Although they are all still ridiculous I think the biggest excesses of silliness came with the Roger Moore films, particularly the later ones. There have been attempts to retract from the tongue-in-cheekness' in more recent films, some of which didn't work because the temptation to continue spoofing was too great to be resisted. But I think they've largely succeeded in pulling back from the over-indulgent self-mockery now, at least if 'Skyfall' is anything to go by.

  5. Yay James Bond! I cannot wait to see this. It doesn't hurt that two of the biggest hotties around are in it: Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem. That fact that they are very capable actors is a huge plus. Hmm, maybe I said that backwards ;-)

    1. More than a few are saying that Daniel Craig is turning out to be the best Bond of the lot - and I wouldn't disagree with that. It's quite an achievement when one recalls the cries of "Who?" or "Oh no! - a 'blonde' Bond?" when it was announced he was to take over from P.B.

      Cubby, you being such a Javier Bardem fan (I wouldn't myself have described him as 'hot', but there you are!) are not going to be disappointed. Easily one of the most scary Bond villains of all. A portrait to savour.

  6. I forgot to add in relation to your previous post
    Alessandro Nivola
    did you know he has an amazing singing voice....?

    1. No, I didn't know that, J.G. Now THAT makes him all the more intriguing. Must investigate. Thanks.

  7. OK, I now understand you're a bit stingy with your scoring! So, 7 is very good and I will go see this.

  8. Yes, I'd certainly not intend to put you or anyone else off from seeing 'Skyfall', Mitch.

    I suppose you COULD describe my scoring as 'stingy'. However, here's an off-the-cuff guide to the Raybeard ratings:-

    10 = impossibly perfect - literally.
    9 = as good as it can get
    8 = approaching knock-me-out good
    7 = pretty damn good
    6 = good is a fairly apt word
    5 = so-so
    4 = thumbs down, but slowly
    3 = waste of time & money
    2 = what a bummer!
    1 = God help us!

    I can never subscribe to the mind of people who, on IMDb site, give 10s (and 1s) so freely. I think reactions are much more subtle than that - hence in my own scores I give myself the luxury of allowing intermediate 1/2 points.
    Hope that clarifies matters :-)

  9. Thanks for this lovely review and also the comment above to indicate the true feeling of your ratings, now I understand I want to see it. Maybe after wednesday!

    1. Not sure I qualify for those positive strokes, Jase, but thank you very much. There's no shortage of reviews on the blogs, and all that I've seen are favourable or very much so.
      As you're clearly not a frequent cinema-goer I look forward to reading how this 'unusual experience' went for you.


    my spouse's take on this movie. I am NOT a bond fan.

    1. Thanks very much, A.M. I've duly dropped a comment at the foot of your hubby's blog. Ta!