A SPECTRE Review For the Rest of Us

Has enough time gone by yet that I can write this without being burned at the cross for heresy?

I didn’t like it. Worse still: I was completely bored by it.

I probably wasn’t ever going to be blown away by it, I was mostly along for the ride, because I sort of naturally abhor “franchises” – I just can’t watch thDaniel%20Craig%20steps%20out%20of%20DB10-largee same thing happen to the same person over and over and be entertained by it. At work I might call such a person pathological, or emotionally stunted, or incapable. At the movies, we call him Bond. James Bond.

007 and I parted ways long ago, but I’ve at least felt the past few movies were diverting, or at least they passed the time. This one actually slowed the clock down. And as soon as the creepy guy in the paisley shirt and twirly mustache sitting next to Matt stopped taking pictures of himself with the VIP waitress, andStephanie-Sigman-2_3482079b himself with his chicken wings, and himself watching a movie, I got bored.

The day of the dead parade was actually promising. Really promising. Wasn’t it beautiful? The colours and the energy and the tension in the long take? But then that opening helicopter scene. Shit. They obviously ran out of money. That thing looked horrendous: completely fake. I’m pretty sure I could spectre-featurette-01-600x350rig up something more convincing with my Samsung Galaxy and a bucket of plastic army guys. It was laughable – and the script is so lazy they use the helicopter stunt twice. You know, because it worked so well the first time.

And then the train. Seriously? I know they don’t make trains like they used to, but if you want people to take your set seriously, and to believe that it’s not just spit and cardboard, then don’t make it crumple every time Bond sneezes. Every time he threw an elbow the whole thing wobbled. I know Daniel Craig is soooo tough and everything, but I’m pretty sure some walls can withstand him some of the time.

And speaking of travel. James Bond is a spy, no? I always had this notion that a spy would travel light. But this spy has a goddamned different suede jacket for every occasion! And he changes sunglasses more often than he changes underpants (presumably).

And I still had less of a problem with Craig’s wardrobe than Christoph Waltz’s. Here is a free piece of advice to any and all of you Hollywood typeJames-Bond-Spectre-trailers, feel free to write it down: nobody looks threatening in sockless loafers. Nobody looks good in them either, but that’s besides the point. The loafers aren’t even the biggest problem with bad guy accessories. Let’s talk that octopus ring. Bond gets it from Sciarra but when Q scans it for DNA, all 3 previous bad guys have also spilled their DNA on the thing. So what, there’s a big mutual bad guy jewelry box, and when all the baddies are getting ready to go out to the club, Le Chiffre is like, “No you wear it tonight, Raoul. It looks so darling with your evil polka-dot pocket square.”

Not that I’m ready to let Blofeld off the hook yet. Because first, why the artifice when heO8AlDuLX-600x399‘s first introduced? His face is literally in the shadows when in fact, Waltz’s name was in the opening credits. There’s no surprise here. Waltz was announced as the villain months ago and the internet has already talked it to death. But now we’re all going to pretend we don’t know? Surprise! It’s Christoph Stupid Waltz! Playing my least favourite Bond villain maybe ever. I mean, spectre-still03how weird is it that he somehow raced back to the empty ruins of MI6 in order to set up a “James Bond, this is your life”  funhouse display (is there some sort of Evil Pinterest I don’t know about)? And then he reveals himself behind bullet proof glass, a move we all know he stole from Ethan Hunt. I’m beginning to think that Quentin

Mandarin collars: all the rage in evil pret-a-porter this season

Mandarin collars: all the rage in evil pret-a-porter this season

Tarantino fooled me into momentarily liking Christoph Waltz. Have I liked him in anything since? I definitely abhorred him in Big Eyes. He was less cartoonish here, but that doesn’t mean he was good. Aren’t villains supposed to seem…evil? Ruthless? Blood thirsty? This guy just came off like someone’s jaunty if letchy, grabby uncle (and p.s., “Cuckoo” is the lamest villain catch phrase EVER).

And speaking of letchy! Confidential to James Bond: it’s fucking 2015, dude. You don’t get to act this way anymore. I was so excited to learn that Monica Bellucci was in this – I love her. Loved her. I’m sorry, but after watching that super weird “makeout session” (?) in front of the mirror, I can’t even look at her the same way. I don’t know if they do it different in Italy, but usually kissing involves…the touching of lips. Not just open-mouthed hoveringSPECTRE-summ-image-xlarge. It felt…well, almost non-consensual. Like, when on earth did she decide this was going down? That it was okay? Because I totally missed that part. And was totally grossed out by the, um, foreplay. And boy did he drop her like she was hot. Literally the script forgot she ever existed as soon as he left her boudoir – her only raison d’être was to look fleetingly luscious in European lingerie (which she apparently put on after sex, as people do – since her back was BARE when Bond unzipped her dress), and she’s goddamned Monica Bellucci! If you’re lucky enough to have her, you use her! But no, by all means bring in a younger version to offer NEKNYq3qRGnHOQ_1_bromance, a doctor so we know she’s not just going to stand around looking cute in her nightie (although, come to think of it, we did get a look at her in her nightie…which she was not wearing when James put her to bed, and yet…WAIT A MINUTE! Is James Bond’s kink to dress women in their lingerie? And is he possibly also wearing women’s lingerie under his relentless supply of suede desert jackets?).

And is it just me, or did things take a turn for the Michael Bay toward the end? When Blofeld declares that the thing about brothers is they always know “which buttons to press” – he then actually presses a button. It’s the kind of cheese I expect from Michael Bay but that line made me cringe for real. Is this really what it’s come to? And now this film has left us with a bad taste in our mouths. James Bond is outed as the exact opposite of the badass superspy we’ve built him up to be – apparently he’s just been a hqdefaultpawn manipulated by Blofeld this whole time. When we thought he was digging up villains in the previous films, it was actually Blofeld cleverly orchestrating the whole thing. In fact: James Bond is terrible at his job. Not only did these villains want to be found, THEY were coming for HIM. A monkey could have done his job, and would have probably worn less suede jackets.

 

Sean thinks he can outBond me? I don’t think so! I’m recruiting more members to #TeamJay – let’s let him know what we think! I’m calling out yet another Jay, and Ben, Kenny, Ruth …maybe even Peggy?

 

 

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48 thoughts on “A SPECTRE Review For the Rest of Us

  1. Mark Walker

    Haha! Great read Jay. A great read and so refreshing to hear someone slate it. I haven’t seen it myself – I’m pretty bored with Bond these days. “Nobody is threatening in sockless loafers”… love it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      Well then you’re right to stay away. This one tries to tie in all the previous Craig movies and actually just ends up nullifying them. And it’s WAY more boring than it has any right to be.

      Liked by 3 people

      Reply
  2. Carrie Rubin

    While I enjoyed the film more than you, I can’t argue with any of your parts. I expected much more to be done with Monica Belluci after all the hype about her role in the movie. Very disappointing. And I expected more to be done with Christoph Waltz’s character too. As for this: “nobody looks threatening in sockless loafers.”—True that!

    Liked by 2 people

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  3. DotedOn

    I’m still laughing, Jay! 🙂
    I’m sorry the guy in the paisley shirt didn’t entertain you for longer time 🙂
    I got a Matrix feeling when I was reading this 😀

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    1. Jay Post author

      He was such a weird guy! I’m not sure if he was a tourist or if the VIP cinema was really such an exciting brand new thing to him. His camera was a relic from the 90s and he asked Sean to take a picture of him with the waitress! He also took pictures of the screen during the opening credits but thankfully put the camera away after that.

      Liked by 2 people

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  4. Birgit

    Now I love all the Bonds and take them as they are because they all would have their dicks fallen off by now and their lungs implode from all their smoking never mind that their liver is crying but I enjoy the flicks. I do want to see this one but your review had me thoroughly entertained. Waltz must be a bad ass in this film wearing loafers with no socks. Why? A good German/Austrian always wears socks even with sandals and shorts. Be thankful he was not in lederhosen

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  5. J.

    Excellent stuff. I’ve found each of these Bond movies to be worse than the last. I just wonder what the point is now, cause they aren’t even remotely entertaining (my opinion, of course) or interesting (touching on Bond’s darkness, but never exploring or embracing it enough).

    … And wasn’t there a time when Mendes got mad love for his film making skills?

    Maybe they should just face up to the fact that this Bond character is no longer relevant …

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  6. reocochran

    Oh NO! I have been comparing it to “From Russia with Love!” Seriously, thought Quantum of Solace was boring. This one felt more, cared more. . . Loved the train scenes. I liked the quirky tech guy a lot. My friend and I laughed and cringed. Hmm. I was glad to see Carrie R. Liked it. Sorry! 🙂

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    1. Jay Post author

      I was still mad at the quirky tech guy – we’d seen him in Sufragette just an hour or two before, and he was awful. Sorry, Ben Whishaw, but you’re either with us, or you’re against us.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      Right?
      And I still think it was weird he blew up a whole building and no one cared or noticed. Like, no matter how hard I worked on my costume, if an entire building just disintegrated beside me, I’d be like “Oh shit!”

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    2. Jay Post author

      Haha, and then the plane lost its wings!
      Actually, was that the chase where they started careening down a hill that was dotted with lots of cottages? Becuase that totally felt like a Bad Boys rip off to me – Oh my god, Michael Bay has his dirty hands all over this thing. I can’t believe I forgot that!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  7. badblokebob

    So you thought it was fundamentally pretty good, then? 😉

    I’m a Bond fan, so I don’t mind the series having its tropes and familiar elements. In this case, I thought some of it worked, some of it didn’t (I think it’s apparent on screen that the third act was a behind-the-scenes disaster); it’s not close to the best Bond film, nor close to the worst.

    It’s certainly provoked a wide spread of reactions, I think we can all agree on that!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. badblokebob

      I meant to say, re: Monica Bellucci, I reckon they wrote a small role and then ‘accidentally’ cast a too-big actress. If they’d made it clear in promotion that she essentially had a cameo in the film, rather than being a full-blown part of it, I think it might’ve seemed less weird to people.

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      1. Jay Post author

        Yes, but either way, we know she’s in deadly peril, apparently just minutes away from being murdered…and he doesn’t care? Never sends a single follow up text? “Hey, last night was great, hope you’re still alive, here’s a dick pic to keep you company on your lonely widowy nights. luv, jb”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. badblokebob

        It makes a change for Craig’s Bond that she makes it out alive, at least.

        You’re not wrong about him not caring. Frustratingly, I think it is/was part of Craig-Bond’s character that he doesn’t care: there’s a bit in Casino Royale between him and M, after the equivalent Bond girl is murdered, that makes this point. But they don’t make the same point at all in this film, and later we’re meant to be believe he’s a more caring person generally… so, yeah, it is just wrong.

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  8. Pingback: In Defense of SPECTRE: A Review For the BEST of Us. | Assholes Watching Movies

  9. ruth

    Hey thanks for the link Jay!! I’m SO with you, man you took the words straight out of my mouth!! What an entertaining review, far more than I can say about Spectre itself. I agree w/ so many of your points here, the ridiculous wardrobe even though I never saw Bond hold a suitcase or even a backpack, seems that his suede jackets just magically appear, kinda like Superman’s suit y’know. And that entire scene w/ the criminally-underused Monica Bellucci, one of the most beautiful women in the world who actually can act [sigh] “… I don’t know if they do it different in Italy, but usually kissing involves…the touching of lips. Not just open-mouthed hovering…” I KNOW!!! I was saying the exact same thing to my hubby on the way home. What the heck kind of foreplay is THAT?? Not to mention the fact that I find it SO hard to believe anyone could fall for someone who looked like Daniel Craig in a matter of seconds like that, I mean COME ON!! Yes he looks good in a suit and he has a nice body but still, he ain’t no Greek god.

    P.S. Heck even that orangutan looks pretty darn good in a tux, just sayin 😉

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  10. Anna (Film Grimoire)

    Haha! Even though I loved Spectre I also loved this write-up. Some things definitely didn’t make sense and I’m still not convinced that Blofeld really was the author of literally all of Bond’s pain, given that it makes no sense for Silva to be involved with Spectre. I also would have loved to see more of Bellucci because she is amazing. Although her post-coitally getting into the lingerie didn’t make sense either. But it’s the kind of nonsense I enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

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  11. A Potpourri of Vestiges

    Nice review… here are my thoughts:

    Spectre does have its moments but it is one of the weakest of the four films starring Craig as 007. The culprit is its weak storyline and a runtime that’s the longest ever for a Bond film. However, the action is topnotch and the fight sequences featuring Daniel Craig and Dave Batista are the movie’s real highlight. Spectre proves to be a worthy addition to the James Bond film franchise but unlike Casino Royale and Skyfall it fails to leave a lasting impact. Spectre is an attempt on the part of the makers to pay homage to the classic 007 movies but the execution only reflects their confused state of mind. The creative think-tank must quickly decide if it wants to return to the classic 007 elements or build upon the new ones that Casino Royale brought in. Despite its aforementioned shortcomings, Spectre serves as a pleasant viewing experience and is a must watch for the Bond movie enthusiasts. 7/10

    My complete analysis can be read at:

    http://www.apotpourriofvestiges.com/2015/11/sam-mendes-spectre-2015-attempted.html

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  12. Phoenix Autumn

    As a fan of the 007 franchise, I like that they reintroduced SPECTRE into the modern James Bond world. In addition, Blofeld is a classic villain. He was Bond’s arch nemesis in the earlier films. Not only did they bring him back, but they gave him a backstory that actually made it personal between he and James. This film caters more to true fans of the 007 franchise than to casual watchers. I liked it.

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