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Sgt Joch

Bond v. Bourne

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I picked up the DVD for the latest Bond outing, Quantum of Solace.

It's a good, competent Bond with lots of action. Not necessarily the best Bond ever, but certainly one of the better efforts.

However, I was struck by the persistent influence of the Bourne series in the action scenes, camera work, editing, even part of the storyline. Not a surprising development since the producers hired many of the persons who worked on Bourne Ultimatum to work on this movie.

The 60's era Bond films were cutting edge action flicks which redefined the entire action genre. I am a huge fan of the Sean Connery Bond films, but the series clearly lost its focus and momentum over the decades.

The last two Craig helmed flicks have brought the franchise solidly back into the action genre, however the series is no longer the cutting edge, push the enveloppe spy\action series it once was, I would say that crown now lays with the Bourne series.

As good as Quantum of Solace is, it tries a bit too much to be a clone of Bourne Ultimatum without being as good as the original.

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The ridiculously fast cuts made it worthless for me. I could do all the action scenes myself knowing that each take lasts 0.5 seconds on screen. If this is the future of action movies, then they won't make a lot of money with me ...

Best regards,

Thomm

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I picked up the DVD for the latest Bond outing, Quantum of Solace.The 60's era Bond films were cutting edge action flicks which redefined the entire action genre. I am a huge fan of the Sean Connery Bond films, but the series clearly lost its focus and momentum over the decades.

I think that this is precisely what happened. Bond was so over down, bordering on campy at times. And the endless string of 'Bonds' had some real losers in the line up. Name names? Sure. Timothy Dalton has proven himself in other roles but he absolutely sucked as Bond and I wasn't a real fan of Pierce Brosnan lacked something as well.

The last two Craig helmed flicks have brought the franchise solidly back into the action genre, however the series is no longer the cutting edge, push the enveloppe spy\action series it once was, I would say that crown now lays with the Bourne series.

I think the Bond franchise is over and should be allowed to die.

As good as Quantum of Solace is, it tries a bit too much to be a clone of Bourne Ultimatum without being as good as the original.

Alas, such things happen when, as you noted, you take all the talent from your competitor. You effectively trend toward the center rather than setting off on your own.

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Good 'ole Bond and his stereotyped baddies should be allowed to retire in peace with a choice selection of his nasty/nice babes and let movies move on to cool new franchises, like Bourne...and even that one will soon get long in the tooth.

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The ridiculously fast cuts made it worthless for me. I could do all the action scenes myself knowing that each take lasts 0.5 seconds on screen. If this is the future of action movies, then they won't make a lot of money with me ...

Watching some recent productions, I've had the uncomfortable feeling that the fast cutting was done to prevent the viewer from noticing how lousy the shots intrinsically were visually. A good contrast was a PBS nature show on the African fig tree. Sounds like an unpromising topic, doesn't it? Actually it was fascinating, and one of the things that I noticed early on was that the cameras had been set up with a real eye for beauty and that the shots lingered for a long time, sometimes two or three minutes. This was a movie that you were meant to actually look at and absorb.

Michael

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you have it about right..

Bourne set the bar at a new level... though you could argue the arc came via the vastly underrated RONIN, which was a homage mash up itself.

the suspending disbelief issue failed in bond movies when they became too comedy orientated... you could kid yourself about the volcano base and gadget stuff but if the film makers didn't take it seriously anymore why should we? the invisible car jumped the shark...

Bourne started to fail in the third outing as Bournes skill set was becoming increasingly ridiculous... do they really teach motorbike trial skills at Langley to MK ultra super spys?... along with free running (which copied the Bond reboot to be fair)

the first outing of Bourne was good because the action progressed us through the narrative rather than the plot just a device to steer us into set piece action pieces.. the exception being the Ronin lite car chase with the italian job mini copper.

the first fight scene didn't relie on fast cutting and its utcome displayed the differences in character between Bourne and the girl (why why why did they kill her off!).. their first kiss is a classic piece of cinema.

the bond franchise needs to re-introduce us to the character bond traits... the sophistication etc... even the austin power quiffs after killing someone... but in a re-invented way.

I didn't get the opera house shot out at all.. sub mtv BS trying to do a luc besson or somefink

continually dreaming up new ways of doing action and trumping the other rival efforts is an ask...

underplay the extravaganza and do it more "real" so minor displays of bravado under pressure appear genuinely cool... which is how they really are.

neil armstrong going to manual while the landing radar crashed the computer on the eagle as it headed into a boulder field.

thats pulling the fat out of the fire...

how to make this exciting in cinema terms is not impossible, BoB displayed being cool while the world collapses around your ears was quite convincing (though not necessarily realistic)

that combination of action combined with suspension of disbelief is what makes a action film cutting edge IMO.

I quite liked some of the new bond stuff... specter is super secret diffuse network/old boys club rather than some centralized cartoon show shacked up in a volcano base..

they can do a lot with that.

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About the Palmer series: "Ipcress Files" was brilliant, although the rest of the series veered too much into Bond fantasyland.

Ronin was vastly underappreciated. It had good story, actors, acting, action scenes.The car chase through Paris is a classic.

Bourne will probably fall into the same trap as Bond. They should have called it quits after Ultimatum which wrapped up all the loose ends, but there is a 4th one on the way.

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I thought Bourne pretty much sucked even in the first movie. It seemed like an unimaginative spinoff of the Bond idea. I didn't know it was a book first, but still I don't much like it.

I thought Casino Royale was outstanding, especially how there's kind of two 'fake endings' to keep things interesting. The fast cuts in Quantum of Solace really hurt that movie, plus right when I thought *that* movie would have a 'fake ending', it just ended, which in contrast to Casino Royale also hurt Quantum.

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Agree totally with Silvio regarding the two latest Bond films. Also, and don't want to ruin it too much for people who haven't seen it, but a Bond film where the threat is the partial take-over of the water utility in Bolivia...it's got more in common with playing Monopoly than it ought to.

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Agree totally with Silvio regarding the two latest Bond films. Also, and don't want to ruin it too much for people who haven't seen it, but a Bond film where the threat is the partial take-over of the water utility in Bolivia...it's got more in common with playing Monopoly than it ought to.

Wow I just realized that I had totally forgotten what the plot was in Quantum (other than revenge against the guy involved with blackmailing Vesper that is). All I really remember of Quantum was the absurd "attack" cuts in the action scenes, starting with the very beginning and continuing throughout. And the hot Russian chick. Not much else.

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Casino was IMHO a perfectly fresh take on Bond, and as brilliant as "Batman Begins" in it's redefinition.

Then they screwed up QoS royally with the fast cuts, laughable villain, bad plot and just generally not enough Bond.

Small example: Instead of Bond flying into Bregenz (which doesn't in fact have an airport) I'd have invested additional 30 seconds or 60 to have him drive into town, with a nice wide-angle shot of the Austrian landscape. That would be bond-ish IMHO - they always brought out visually interesting famous places.

But no, QoS is almost 30 mins. shorter than Casino, and it really feels rushed.

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Bottom line is this, Bond would kick Bournes ass, hands down. :D

Maybe so, but I never could suspend disbelief with Bond, but always could manage to do so with Bourne. At least as far as the character went, anyway.

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I rewatched Quantum of Solace again. I personally like it better than Casino Royale, probably because it is tighter and does not slow down, as CR did with the poker game.

It is a quality action movie, about on par with Bourne Ultimatum. Both are very good with top notch action scenes, it was interesting to see that a lot of the action scenes, like the foot race through the tunnels and rooftops of Siena were shot on location. Daniel Craig actually did jump off roofs and onto a bus (albeit with a wire). The question of which is better is probably a matter of personal taste. QS is more over the top than Ultimatum, but both are a stretch on reality.

The strange thing about QS though is that even though it is professionnally done and I can't find a flaw in it as a Bond/action flick, it is not engaging on an emotional level. Part of that may be because Daniel Craig plays Bond as such a cold, ruthless SOB. It is probably realistic for a hired assassin, which is basically what Bond is, and in keeping with the revenge motif, but it certainly does not turn him into a sympathetic character.

Matt Damon was able to play Bourne as a trained assassin and still keep the character sympathetic and vulnerable. Of course, this could be chalked up to character motivation. Bourne has quit the program and is trying to atone for his past sins while Bond is still very much part of the system...then again, maybe I am just trying to read too much into two action movies which were solely designed to appeal to as many young males as posible...:D

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Maybe so, but I never could suspend disbelief with Bond, but always could manage to do so with Bourne. At least as far as the character went, anyway.

The early Bourne, yeah. But the latest Bourne, not so much.

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There's room for plenty of fast actino films - both sci-fi comedies and gritty "realistic" ones with heroes and anti-heroes galore.

Bourne was good, bond was good, bourne got better, bond got better - wtf more could u want?

Why limit yourself?

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The strange thing about QS though is that even though it is professionnally done and I can't find a flaw in it as a Bond/action flick, it is not engaging on an emotional level.

IMHO this is exactly caused by the movie being "too tight", no time for character development. You may like it as a fast action movie, but CR did with - what you call "slowing down" - IMHO the right thing to flesh out people more.

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One of things I really like about CR is the entire Casino "act" - from the train ride to Montenegro (and the sharp/combatitive convo introducing Vesper), and the game itself. The period in which the actual game occurs accomplishes lots of things: shows Bond's recklessness (the whole "bluff" charade), a good fight scene in the stairwell, Vesper dovetailing Bond's coldness with her own shock at the deaths, Bond's near-death from Le Chiffre's poisoning attempt and Bond's high-tech resuscitation, etc.

Then, a minor scene but one I'm very fond of - I really like Aston Martin's and Bond races off in his to go after Vesper, and it looks like it will be a classic "new" Bond chase scene possibly with a few new gadgets, but no almost immediately Bond crashes and flips the car about 20 times - a very nice "twist"

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Wow I just realized that I had totally forgotten what the plot was in Quantum (other than revenge against the guy involved with blackmailing Vesper that is). All I really remember of Quantum was the absurd "attack" cuts in the action scenes, starting with the very beginning and continuing throughout. And the hot Russian chick. Not much else.

You know after watching it in the theater, that's exactly what I thought/felt. Casino Royale was a great Bond movie and I was really looking forward to Quantum of Solace, and in consequence was disappointed with the second effort. However, after watching Quantum of Solace again last night my opinion is completely reversed. Yes the three first non-stop fight scenes are over the top, but after that it is all Bond, a much more ruthless one but Bond nonetheless. One of the other posters felt Craig as Bond was unapproachable emotionally in the film; I personally think he is the best take yet and am appreciating the character's 'development' and am looking forward to the third installment.

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My view of Bond has long been that he is an overpaid, oversexed, and overequipped assassin rather than a spy. It may be obvious that the Bond stories and films are not meant to be in any way indicative of reality, but I think Bond gives spies a bad name. IRL, the mark of a good spy is how much he doesn't use his gun(s).

Here's potential food for thought: Could Bond flourish as a character without technology of some sort? The latest Bond films have somewhat de-emphasized technology and have made the gadgets he wields more credible, but they still take place in an age rife with smart phones, supercars, and satellites. What if a Bond-like character were at large in (just to pull a time period out of a hat) late 12th-century Normandy? Would he be at a loss because he lacked a huge technological advantage over his adversaries, or would he bring the full force of his will and his wits to bear and improvise?

That said, I agree that Daniel Craig makes perhaps the best Bond yet, certainly better than Pierce Brosnan, though I generally like Brosnan.

It was claimed that Bond would kick Bourne's ass "hands down". Assuming that there's at least a grain of truth in that claim, why would Bond beat Bourne? Is it because Bond has a reputation for wielding awesome gadgets? It is because Bond is a veteran spy/secret agent, whereas Bourne is a rookie (though quite a capable one)? Or is/are there other reason(s)?

Several have commented on how much more ruthless Bond is in the films starring Daniel Craig compared with earlier renditions of Bond. If these latest Bond films are supposed to be depicting him at the outset of his career as the real 007, what could account for him being seemingly less ruthless later in his career?

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Several have commented on how much more ruthless Bond is in the films starring Daniel Craig compared with earlier renditions of Bond. If these latest Bond films are supposed to be depicting him at the outset of his career as the real 007, what could account for him being seemingly less ruthless later in his career?

He got in touch with his softer side in the process of screwing all those seductive Russian spies?

Michael

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