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This is Serious Business: Skyfall Edition!

Skyfall Chinese Casino

The latest Bond flick takes center stage as the G1 panel reunites to discuss Skyfall.

Moderator: Jeff

Panelists: Rob, Jon, Christin

Table of Contents:

Part 1 – Start – 13:20:
- Intros + Theater experience
- Bond retrospective

Part 2 – 13:20 – 37:45:
- Skyfall, is it M’s movie?
- Let’s talk about Silva
- Bond’s arc

Part 3 -  37:45 – End:
- Skyfall flaws
- Final thoughts and ratings
- Open discussion
- Wrap

Audio Credits:

Break one audio is the James Bond Theme by the John Barry Orchestra.

Break two audio is Skyfall by Adele.

  • http://thefeatsofstrength.blogspot.com Bryan

    I thought Skyfall was very thematically similar to GoldenEye: struggling with the relevancy of MI6 and Bond (and now M) in a post-Cold War world, where the enemy is “in the shadows”. I think it’s interesting that the bad guy in both both movies is a traitorous MI6 agent (with a ruined face) combining his old-school training with the changing technologies to create a threat Bond isn’t prepared for. At this point, this sort of shadowy cyber-enemy might be the only way to challenge this superhero.

    Second, I disagree with Jeff’s dismissal of the Joker/Silva comparisons. Aside from the superficial similarities (that entrance! dressing like cops! asking people to kill them! interest in unmasking secret identities! silly hair!) both characters are borderline omniscient, pulling off crazy elaborate plans that include their capture. At least Silva didn’t ask Bond if he looked like a guy with a plan.

    In all, I felt like they were trying to squeeze too much into this movie. I was reminded of something I heard the brains behind “Homeland” say: at this point, the audience is genre-savvy enough to know what’s coming, so the only way to really surprise them is to mess with the timing. That rooftop chase, Bond looking suave, Bond’s capture, Silva’s defeat, Severine’s death, the use of Q’s gadgets: these are the points that all the Bond movies hit eventually, and it seemed like we were rushing through them. With a little extra exposition on Silva, you could’ve turned the first 1.5 hours into a separate movie, ending with Silva in that glass octagon Magneto-prison thing, and then turned his escape and M-hunt into part two. Not that they would have necessarily been two great movies, but as it is, we didn’t have time to savor the typical Bondisms or to appreciate the threat Silva represented to people other than M.

    • http://gosu.com Jeff

      All good points. I think the heart of my dismissal of the Joker/Silva comparisons is motive. The Joker (as portrayed specifically in the Dark Knight) is a chaotic entity almost transparently existing to be a thorn in the side of Gotham. He has no vendetta, he lies constantly about his past, and is a self-proclaimed “Dog chasing cars.” Silva, on the other hand, has a deeply involved emotional connection with M. I would never, ever imagine Ledger’s Joker in behaving the way Silva does in his final scene, for instance.

      • Christin

        But… doesn’t he behave in the exact same way? He’s disappointed that Batman saves him. He’s willing to die himself just to prove a point and make Batman give up his moral code.

        (Semi-related, chilling theory Patton Oswalt tweeted once: what if the Joker is a suicide who keeps failing.)

        • http://gosu.com Jeff

          The Joker isn’t disappointed, he’s amused. Also, Silva’s suicide wish isn’t about spite, it’s about ending his torment. He hates M, but he hates his life just as much. M is the center of Silva’s motivation, I don’t see the Joker having a similar center.

      • http://thefeatsofstrength.blogspot.com Bryan

        I agree about the difference in their respective final confrontations, but you still have to mark this down as another superhero movie (and let’s be honest, Bond is a well-dressed superhero at heart) that owes a HUGE debt to Christopher Nolan, at the very least in terms of its style.

        And as much as I like The Dark Knight trilogy, I am glad that it’s over because it’s so damn serious (“some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb!”). I’m told these things are cyclical, so I’m hoping by the time the next Bond movie comes around, this Nolanization trend has faded and we can get back to some good old-fashioned escapism. That was the message I got from the final scene: The (barely) updated version of M’s office c. 1962 and the introduction of Moneypenny seemed to say, “Okay, that’s over. Time for some megalomaniacs with nuclear weapons!”

        By the way, do the British not fly flags at half-mast?

    • http://heroesareboring.com Rob

      “What were you expecting? An exploding pen? We don’t really go in for that sort of thing anymore.”

      WELL WHY NOT?

      • http://thefeatsofstrength.blogspot.com Bryan

        Budget cuts, man. Recession’s a bitch.

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