Do Three Little James Bond Updates Equal One Big One?
Published at: March 9, 2008, 11:16 p.m. CST by Moriarty
Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.
We’ll see. One of these isn’t so much an “update” just as a way to tie things together. Overall, I just feel like talkin’ a little James Bond on a Sunday afternoon.
First up, we got a little word on when you can expect to see your first QUANTUM OF SOLACE trailer:
I'm a theatre manager and have been browsing through the various studio's exhibitor websites we have access to and noticed a few interesting trailer release dates. Thought you might be interested:
THE INCREDIBLE HULK trailer will be attached to prints of DOOMSDAY (3/14)
QUANTUM OF SOLACE trailer will be on HANCOCK (7/2)
Your nickname conjures up some painful and horrible images, dude, but thanks for the heads-up.
Meanwhile, the oh-so-lovely Suki Jonze reminds us that MGM has already given away pretty much the whole plot to QUANTUM OF SOLACE in an official press release, and, honestly, I don’t see a problem with that. It’s not like Bond films are built on big twists or shocking plot elements... they’re Bond films. We sort of get it already. What I like is the way this hints at how personal the stakes are this time, and it sounds like a hell of a companion piece to CASINO ROYALE:
”QUANTUM OF SOLACE continues the high octane adventures of James Bond (Daniel Craig) in CASINO ROYALE. Betrayed by Vesper, the woman he loved, 007 fights the urge to make his latest mission personal.
Pursuing his determination to uncover the truth, Bond and M (Judi Dench) interrogate Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), who reveals the organization which blackmailed Vesper is far more complex and dangerous than anyone had imagined. Forensic intelligence links an MI6 traitor to a bank account in Haiti where a case of mistaken identity introduces Bond to the beautiful but feisty Camille (Olga Kurylenko), a woman who has her own vendetta.
Camille leads Bond straight to Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a ruthless business man and major force within the mysterious organization. On a mission that leads him to Austria, Italy and South America, Bond discovers that Greene, conspiring to take total control of one of the world’s most important natural resources, is forging a deal with the exiled General Medrano (Joaquin Cosio). Using his associates in the organization, and manipulating his powerful contacts within the CIA and the British government, Greene promises to overthrow the existing regime in a Latin American country giving the General control of the country in exchange for a seemingly barren piece of land.
In a minefield of treachery, murder and deceit, Bond allies with old friends in a battle to uncover the truth. As he gets closer to finding the man responsible for the betrayal of Vesper, 007 must keep one step ahead of the CIA, the terrorists and even M, to unravel Greene’s sinister plan and stop his organization.”
Sounds good to me. I’m excited about these films precisely because the James Bond series feels adult again, fresh. I can’t tell you what a relief it is to actually be looking forward to a Bond film. It’s been a long time since that happened, and even with CASINO ROYALE, I was skeptical until I actually saw it.
What was the first Bond film you guys ever saw, theatrically or otherwise? For me, it was THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, in a theater in 1977, with my dad, and I think that sort of set my lifelong love affair with the character in motion. I’m intrigued by the idea that we might be able to see a new digital print of that one in theaters, although I’m not sure if this is only for the UK...
A friend and I caught the World Premiere of the digital version of the classic Roger Moore Bond, 'The Spy Who Loved Me' Yesterday. It was shown as part of the current Film Festival taking place at the National Media Museum in Bradford - UK.
Before the film we saw Michael Palin and Richard Griffiths (Monty from Withnail and I) sauntering around the ground floor. The Museum are showing a whole bunch of Palin related films including two of my faves, Brazil and Jabberwocky. They were very relaxed and gracious with the few people who were approaching them for autographs. I couldn't think of anything to say to them so simply gave a smile and a nod as they walked past which they returned graciously. I did consider walking up to Richard Griffiths and saying 'Monty you terrible C*nt', from 'Withnail and I' but thought better of it!
Then my friend spotted Michael G. Wilson, the producer of the Bond movies, I have to say I didn't recognise him myself but it transpired that he had flown over from the filming of 'Quantum of Solace' from South America to introduce the film.
We entered the Cinema and took our seats and Michael G. Wilson took the stage. He spoke for a short while on the Digital Restoration of the Bond movies and also his work on 'The Spy Who Loved Me', specifically some underwater footage he shot. Then the movie started. This is the second Digital Projection I have seen at the Cinema, the first was the fantastic 'Blade Runner - The Final Cut' a few weeks back.
This was the first time I had seen 'The Spy Who Loved Me' all the way through for a long, long time and I enjoyed the nostalgia of seeing all the great set pieces I loved so much from my childhood again. The opening ski chase, the Egyptian cat and mouse scenes with Jaws, the train battle between Bond and Jaws, The underwater secret base, the ultra cool Lotus Esprit and of course the sultry Caroline Munro (I never like it when Bond dispatches her chopper!).
However, half my mind was also mulling over what I thought of the Digital presentation of the film and it was a mixed bag to be truthful. I can say right away that it was not up to the high standards set by 'Blade Runner'. I have come to the conclusion that Digital Cinema is going to be just as prone to the same quality issues that effect DVD production which makes perfect sense as they are both using similar methods.
I was suprised to see some pretty major 'haloing' or edge enhancement effects in some scenes. This was especially noticeable when Bond was in the Egyptian desert. The image was not as clear as 'Blade Runner' with contrast levels being suprisingly low in some scenes and a general lack of sharpness. This could be due to the quality of film originally used or the state of the negative perhaps. Besides the haloing, my second biggest criticism was that motion was not quite as crisp as I would have liked it to be. Panning shots exposed a slight blurring and lack of definition, nothing disasterous but not quite the standard of presentation I had espected.
I did get a real kick out of seeing a classic Bond on the big screen however and would definately see more digital projections from the series if they play them. Like the guy who reviewed the screening of the digital projection of 'Goldfinger' said, there was definately a feeling of watching something more akin to DVD than film. Of course, the film is 30 years old so this may explain why the image was not 'stellar' but things like haloing are a little careless, maybe it had something to do with the projector settings but there were no such artifacts in the screening of 'Blade Runner' at the same cinema previously.
All in all, I had a great time and I'm not dissing the guys who worked hard on the restoration just sending my thoughts. I do have an urge to buy a load of Bond DVDs when I get my next wage through so job done there. The audience had a good time with a fair few laughs for Roger's one liners and seemed to have a good time which is the most important thing.