Saturday, 23 October 2021

We're back - at least for now.........with my take on 'NO TIME TO DIE'.

 

Won't bore the pants off you - so skipping details, I'm back for a while using temporary keyboard until shop gets new missing part. Then on its arrival shouldn't take long to fix. So enough of that!

Thanks for all the messages on my last two posts which I hadn't seen until this morning. All are now acknowledged and/or responded to.

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NO TIME TO DIE

I'll keep this more brief than some I've done.

My first cinema visit in over a year, and this I just had to see - though it turned out not really to be what I'd been hoping for to mark Mr Craig's swan-song appearance as 007.

For a kick-off I found the film far too long - by at least a half of its close on three-hour length - to sustain a keen interest in its extended stay, well mine at least. And such a convoluted plot too, needlessly so - SMERSH organising blood injections and DNA manipulations for the entire global population from a Japanese island whilst establishing a 'poison garden' - surely a none-too-subtle nod to 'You Only Live Twice', the original Ian Fleming novel, not the film - but why?  Oh, please give me a simple. old-fashioned, blow-up-the-world, nuclear bomb, something we can all understand, even if we now yawn at it! But that's probably too passe for today's audiences.  

Rami Malek, as this meandering tale's arch-villain-in-chief is just adequate in the role, though no more borderline scary than most of Bond's weaker adversaries of the past. Malek sports facial pockmarks and grazes to indicate to us that he's a real bad 'un, a pukka swine! But this actor himself being so young, seems to lack the unquestionable authority which marked out other more memorable villains in the series. I just couldn't see him as the biggest threat the world has ever faced. Christoph Waltz in a one-scene reprise appearance is much more impressively menacing and authoritative. Having said that, Malek's character really does display a hideously vicious level of nastiness well worthy of such a contemptible figure. 

I thought the introduction of a female 007 (Lashana Lynch)  to replace Bond when his disappearance at the start of the film had led to the assumption by 'M' (Ralph Fiennes once more) that he must be deceased, hopelessly unconvincing. Aside from some efficient swimming and being able to ride a motorcycle in a chase with Bond hanging on to dear life as pillion passenger, she didn't seem to possess the exceptional survival skills which had marked Bond out sufficiently to merit his inclusion in the '00' licence-to-kill category.

This is the most episodically stop-start-stop-start and relentlessly serious of all twenty-five films in the series, practically devoid of all humour, though the odd 'aside' might just be caught by perceptive ears, including from Ben Wishaw again as 'Q', in that role's most substantial contribution yet. 

I've already mentioned the allusion to one of Fleming's original novels. There are a couple of more direct references, aural ones including over the closing credits, to a certain eartier Bond film, in my books easily one of the best ones, if not the best - despite having one glaring 'thumbs-down'! 

This is only the second film from director Cary Joji Fukunaga which I've seen, the other being his 'Jane Eyre' of ten years ago with which I had been mightily impressed, awarding it a rare for me rating of '8'. I rather think he's hit the buffers with this latest of his. 

The reviews of 'No Time' which I've seen have been overwhelmingly positive, many of them giving it their maximum number of stars. Fair enough, even if I beg to differ greatly. I thought that over his five Bond outings, Daniel Craig has made a highly admirable Bond. all his films bar one deserving a second viewing, or even more - that is all except this very one, which left me, quite uniquely for a Bond film, with a nasty taste in the mouth...................5/10.

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If I do disappear again in the next few days it shouldn't be for too long. Now I really must go and start catching up on all other blog-pals' postings I've missed. 

23 comments:

  1. I stopped reading the Bond critique because I didn’t want to spoil it for myself when I eventually do see it. So glad you’re back, at least temporarily, in business. Dudo was on my lap but just jumped off in a huff because I’m typing! I need to go apologize.

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    1. Good to have returned, Mitch - and please do convey my own apologia to D too.

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  2. I have seen many and though Craig was one of the better fit in the role along with Connery and Moore, so it makes me a bit sad to read it wasn't a bit more entertaining for his exit. And while Lashana Lynch is a good actress, I feel she does not have the sauve and chic look to be a "bond replacement" She looks to sweet and demure. As for Rami Malek I have always loved him and even more so after he portrayed Freddy Mercury , but when I heard he was in this, I wasn't sure about him being a villian, well, at least no in a Bond film, but will reserve judgment till I view the movie.

    So glad your back also. Here's to hoping your computer woes will be behind you. Hope all's well otherwise and the weather is not to cold there yet.

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    1. Malek was extraordinary as Freddy Mercury, N.M. and I see his miscast presence in this new film as just a blip in a promising career. I've no doubt he'll be back in more deserving roles.
      You may well find Lashana Lynch, whom I'd not heard of, more convincing as a 'toughie' than I did.
      You may well side with majority favourable opinion on the film as a whole, and that's fine by me. In fact I rather hope you will.

      Apart from computer, all reasonably okay here. Had my Covid-booster jab yesterday. Arm more sore than it usually is after such things.
      Weather not too bad either, though very early days yet.
      Trust all is also well by you.

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  3. Glad you finally got to return to the cinema - even if the film wasn’t the greatest. I haven’t been myself for nearly two years, and was starting to find it a rather daunting ordeal - even before I’d ever heard of Covid…
    I definitely don’t want to miss seeing the latest Bond film, though - if only because I’ve seen all the others.

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    1. You need to see this if only to complete the 'set', Julie - at least the set so far. After Dan C., the next Cond has very large boots to fill. Good luck to him - or her?

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  4. I have booked next week to see it Raymondo xx

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    1. I look forward to your verdict enormously, JayGee.

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  5. I'm delighted that you're back in Blogland - hopefully your keyboard woes will be permanently resolved soon.
    The keyboard on my laptop hasn't worked in years, so I'm always compelled to use a "temporary" keyboard - thanks to my cat Bosco. He made a Nijinsky leap on my keyboard and completely disabled it (he's a huge, heavy cat with a big ass).

    I always enjoy your movie reviews, although I admittedly was never a Bond fan.

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    1. Were you ever a fan of the novels, I wonder, Jon? Very much products of their 50s/60s era, I still read them all about once a decade. Love their racy, breathless style, though they do peter out before they approach the finish of the 14-book series when it's clear that Fleming's heart wasn't in it any more. But the early and middle ones are terrific reads.

      I'm familiar with the cat problems you had. If I turn away just for a minute I can come back to find one of them sitting right on top of the keyboard - and, as if that's not bad enough, blocking my seeing the screen. I'm convinced they do it on purpose just to test my limits!

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    2. I've never read any of Fleming's novels, but I remember a time when they were very popular.

      As much as I love cats, you're right about them testing our limits. For them, it seems to be an enjoyable pastime (or perhaps a career?).

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    3. Ray, I think there's a Blogger glitch. Every time I recently leave a comment on a blog, it comes out twice. I'm sorry about that.

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    4. No problem at all, Jon. Easily deleted at this end. We all know just how temperamental and maddening our computers can get.

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  6. Good to see you back in the film critic's chair. I don't know how soon I will see this Bond. I may wait for it to appear on television.

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    1. My critic's chair will be occupied only very rarely from now on, ERG. Frequent cinemas visits are henceforward confined to days of yore.
      On TV you'll miss the wide-screen effect but little else. If I ever do see it again it'll only be for curiosity to see if my disappointment with it still stood. No other reason.

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  7. Glad to see you back. I wouldn't put Bond films among my favourites but have always watched each one of them and liked Daniel Craig's Bond. However the length of the film does rather put me off. I will wait until it comes to television and then will record it and maybe watch it in two halves, I am such a lightweight!, especially in view of your being disappointed. I don't know why they have to make these films so long and even though it's an action film it would probably put me to sleep if I watched it in one sitting.

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    1. I think they wanted to give Craig a big, memorable send-off, Carol. Well it IS all of that, but only for the wrong reasons. And I did truly want it to have an interval - or, better still, just for the darn thing to finish!

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  8. Welcome back! And a belated happy birthday to you! -A.K.

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    1. Thanks muchly, A.K. Your greeting still appreciated - and liked.

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  9. We haven't seen it yet, but when I heard Malek was the villain, I thought Bond was going after a day care or something!

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    1. Compared to some - even most of - previous Bond villains, Malek is a bit of a lightweight, B. His facial make-up to make him look more 'repulsive' seems a throwback to a time when such tricks were necessary to indicate 'evil'. I thought that was q pity.

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  10. Great review! I think Daniel Graig did his last movie well. Now waiting to see who the next bond will be

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