Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The great American swill machine.

I just watched the new James Bond movie "Quantum of Solace" and I fear I am the one in need of solace. Listen, when you get kicked in the head, fall twenty flights and land on your kidney, get shot at repeatedly by automatic weapons, you get hurt. The wholesale dismissal of consequences in this move is staggering. Then there's the editing, seemingly done by stopwatch. Every 2 minutes 30 a car must blow up. Every 4 minutes and 27 seconds a sweaty troop of cleavage bounces into frame. Every 8.27 minutes Judith Dench appears looking haggard and disconsolate about her rogue blue-eyed killing machine. The cuttiness of the chases and the fights is so rapid that sequence and linearity matter not a whit. It's like the whole mess was directed and cut by an old-time Broadway choreographer but instead of "kick, kick, kick, turn, kick, turn, kick," it's "punch, grunt, axe, punch, grunt, grunt, punch."

Plot, character development, humor: zip.
Blood, gore, rape-fantasies: 1,000.
Entertainment value: void.

If you want to see a fight scene, go rent John Sturges' "Bad Day at Black Rock" and watch one-armed Spencer Tracy knock the daylights out of Ernest Borgnine. Or take five minutes and watch it here.

Sorry. This Bond movie sucked. But it will gross enough to pay a Citibank bonus so we're sure of another one.



Tore Claesson said...

That's an intense scene.
I reckon even today's move audiences would approve of it. My kids are not surprised or awed by any digital effect, 3g rendering or editing trick however amazingly creative. They've seen it all already. but they're deeply touched by classic books they read.I showed this clip to my 9 year old, who already has blue belt in karate by the way, after 4 years of 3 days a week practice and tough contact sparring on Saturdays. He was cool with the scene.

george tannenbaum said...

The larger point is that there was a build in "Bad Day at Black Rock." A mystery about what happened there and why the whole town was threatened by Tracy, a mysterious one-armed stranger.

Batman and Bond, two of the movies I've seen lately are a series of hyper-manic set pieces. There is no pace, no crescendo, no nothing but stunning digital effects.

Or, in the case of your kids, not stunning digital effects.


the link no working...but whoa, look at the headshot!


and yeah, agreed! it makes me angry to sit through a movie that's soooo ridiculously LOUD!!!! when it's not warranted especially. sorry, but you can't deafen the plot into my earholes! ooo, it makes me mad. sooo un-earned! they should make them pass some kind of good story test before they allow these films to up the decibals.

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