In Defense of SPECTRE: A Review For the BEST of Us.

You may have read Matt’s review of SPECTRE.  He seemed to like it but still called it the “dullest, most phoned-in Bond movie” since Casino Royale.  That’s a bit ambiguous but I think he liked SPECTRE and Casino Royale and just hated everything that came between Sir Sean Connery and Dr. Daniel Craig.

Sir Sean Connery

Real knight.

Daniel Craig

Not a real doctor. As far as I know.

You may also have read Jay’s review of SPECTRE.  You probably should read it just for context.

Jay and I have been together for over six years now.  She’s the smartest person I’ve ever met and that’s one of the things I love about her.  But it also drives me crazy because I have never been able to prove her wrong.  Until now.

Jay is right that she was never going to like this movie.  She hates everything I like on principle.  But that doesn’t make it bad.  Obviously I have fantastic taste in movies.  Exhibit A: The Rock.  Exhibit B: Transformers.  Exhibit C: Bad Boys.  Not coincidentally, those are all Michael Bay movies and two of them turned into franchises precisely becnicolas cage the rockause they were so good (the Rock probably would have been a franchise as well if not for the curse of Nicholas Cage).  Because people loved them.  You don’t get a franchise any other way, and everyone knows that sequels always live up to the original movie.  That’s just a fact.

Score: SEAN 1, JAY 0

Jay also hates franchises on principle.  But franchises make action movies better!  With franchises, we don’t have to worry about plot, or character development, or other boring things like that.   We can get straight to the action!  So when we open with the awesome Day of the Dead sequence, we don’t have to have title cards or anything to let us know that the guy who pulls off the mask is the world’s best spy, because the preceding five decades of Bond movies have already set that up.  Thank you, franchises, for simplifying our lives.

Score: SEAN 2, JAY 0

And okay, the helicopter sequence in SPECTRE is terrible.  Absolutely terrible.  But to say it’s worse than a bucket of army guys?   That’s just hyperbole.  And that’s a logical fallacy. So therefore Jay’s dislike of the helicopter sequence(s) is invalid.

  

Score:   SEAN 3, JAY 0

Jay also hated the train sequence.  Because it got destroyed.  But that’s actually entirely realistic when you consider who was doing the destruction.  Dave Bautista a.k.a. Drax the Destroyer.  Just look at how strong he is in the WWE (six time champion) or in Guardians of the Galaxy (where he singlehandedly fought a guy who later survived a spaceship crash).  That train was not only real, it was probably very well built, maybe even German.  It just didn’t matter because of how hard Bautista can punch.  If you want some sort of arthouse surrealism that’s fine, Jay, we can go to the Bytowne this weekend and watch a movie where two people can’t get out of a shed.  But don’t blame SPECTRE for your weird preferences.

Score: SEAN 4, JAY 0

Another criticism Jay made was that James Bond had different jackets all the time.  Well, that’s the whole point!  He’s not just a spy, he’s a fashionable guy with a watch that blows up and a car with an ejector seat.  Obviously he also has some sort of flying or floating wardrobe machine as well.  They probably covered that in one of the earlier Bond movies, so there was just no need to explain it this time.  Again, thank you franchises!

Score: SEAN 5, JAY 0

I think I’ve proven my point.  I’ll even give Jay the sockless loafers, Christoph Waltz in general, and the weirdness/creepiness/wasted potential of the whole Monica Bellucci thing, since I’m feeling generous.

Score: SEAN 5, JAY 3

And as for Michael Bay, you already have all the proof you need (The Rock, Transformers, Bad Boys) to rest assured that he’s Hollywood’s greatest living director.

Case closed.

Winner:  SEAN

 

HOLD THE FREAKIN PHONE, MISTER!!!

It seems our math doesn’t quite agree. Over at MY post, there’s a lot more nodding going on. I think we can count Mark, Joel, the other J, and Hammy as all #TeamJay.

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69 thoughts on “In Defense of SPECTRE: A Review For the BEST of Us.

    1. Sean Post author

      Missing SPECTRE would be almost as big a crime against cinema as if you had missed Transformers 4. Please tell me you didn’t miss Transformers 4…

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  1. calensariel

    There’s still no other Bond for me than Sean. (Although I like him personally a lot less having heard him say in an interview that you ought to beat your wife once in a while!)

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      1. Birgit

        I actually watched that whole Barbara Walter’s interview and for some strange reason, i was not all that offended by it. I should watch it again and see if i think differently but from my memory banks, he was saying that if a woman was beating on him, literally, he would then slap her. Would he be just-nope! neither is a woman who beats on her husband-both are very wrong except the man can inflict much more physical damage than a woman, usually. I have to see this again to see if I have changed my mind-memory banks could be low

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  2. msmariah1

    Ha, I admire your creativity, but I’m with Jay on this one Sean. Admittedly, I didn’t notice the jacket thing. But Spectre is the worst Bond film I’ve seen in a while. The Bond v’s technology thing has been done to death and the storyline was boring. The only thing worse was the romance in the film with Dr. Swann and the weird kissing scene between Craig and Monica Bellucci. I don’t want to get started on the lack of Bellucci in this film.

    I agree with Jay on the train as well. So after Bond and Bautista’s character destroyed the train, are we led to believe that a train employee or even a fellow passenger wouldn’t interrupt Bond to say “excuse me sir but perhaps you should get off the train at the very next stop and go immediately to jail.” He just destroyed an entire train car and threw a man off the train, but in the world of Spectre Bond goes to his cabin to immediately “make love” to Dr. Swann? Huh?

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Jay

      That’s right! There’s some brilliant #TeamJay logic for you!

      (although, note to others: don’t feel your vote HAS to be based in logic; expressing a strong personal preference for me is fine as well!!)

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    2. Sean Post author

      Bond is allowed to destroy the train in self defence, especially if it’s self defence against a bad guy. He’d just have to lead them to the body to show them Bautista’s bad guy ring.

      Bond probably even put a GPS on Bautista before he fell off the train to make the search easier, giving Bond plenty of cabin time with Dr. Swann.

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      1. Jay

        “Cabin time”? Are you looking to have a little less cabin time this weekend yourself?
        And anyway, I think the real problem here is that the train appeared to have been built out of papier mache!

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  3. DotedOn

    Wow Sean! Great post! You made me laugh 🙂
    My vote shouldn’t count because I didn’t watch the movie (or plan to watch it). BUT, I think that all the James Bond’s movies are the same. Boring. And the new guy playing James Bond has less James Bond looks than my uncle. Sean Connery had a grin and Pierce Brosnan also, at least, that’s what I think, that mischievous eyes that could melt an iceberg (or me :D)… To see all the other guys play “girl’s magnet” is actually hard to watch (for me). It’s like giving the role to Russell Crowe 😀
    And I know these movies are supposed to be about the action but the only thing I hear over and over is about “The Bond’s Girls”. So, why do men watch this again? 😀

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      1. filmfunkel

        Ah, this is where typing strips out all the important stuff from my tone. You haven’t ruined anything.

        I don’t think I’ve ever factored how many questions I don’t ask of a film simply because it’s in a a franchise.

        As for agreeing, you’d have to specify a point. I would, however, love to see you in a courtroom scoring as you do. 😀

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  4. Pingback: A SPECTRE Review For the Rest of Us | Assholes Watching Movies

  5. Birgit

    Oh I want to see this latest Bond flick. I think I am more with you:) In earlier Bond films, the attire is already set up by MI6 in various hotels. I think people are slamming Bond because of Bond’s age and the style of it. I like every Bond even cheesy Moore. They each brought their own personality to it. Now I have to see that helicopter chase. Maybe I won’t be as bothered by it since I remember all the Connery action stunts which one could tell was just wrong(the tarantula crawling on him when one can see it was on a glass superimposed over Connery

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    1. Sean Post author

      Yes, #TeamSean all the way! Good point too on the “special” effects. There have been a lot worse examples over the years than the helicopter scene.

      We used to care a lot less about realism and a lot more about good old fashioned explosions and spider-based terrorism. Those were the days!

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  6. Mark Walker

    Haha! Gotta love this little domestic disagreement going on. Great post Sean. As was Jay’s. However, as an outsider/innocent bystander, I have to make judgement on the arguments presented as I haven’t actually seen the film yet. That said, I’m in no rush to either. Therefore I have to stick with #Teamjay on this one. Sorry, man! 😉

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    1. Sean Post author

      Transformers is not a defence. It’s a masterpiece. There are three reasons people line up for hours to watch three days’ worth of movies with Shia LaBeouf, and those reasons are Transformers, Transformers 2, and Holes.

      Liked by 2 people

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  7. joel watches movies

    oh boy, you two are great. I’ve been given both teams’ hashtags, but it’s really hard to say what my true allegiance is here.. Jay’s review was snarky goodness, but Sean, you were a regular spin doctor with the way you twisted it all into something positive:

    “Obviously he also has some sort of flying or floating wardrobe machine as well. They probably covered that in one of the earlier Bond movies, so there was just no need to explain it this time. Again, thank you franchises!”

    I’d say a draw, although that’ll probably earn the ire of both of you. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. tubularsock

    Now Tubularsock likes to blow things up as much as the next guy but Tubularsock has to admit that Jay may just be the smartest of the two of you. No offense, to you Sean, but there is a limit to stupid. Sure Transformers are cute but good would be stretching a point. And James Bond 15 is pretty much like Halloween 54 ……… boring!

    But that is just Tubularsock and though he is correct 103% of the time, don’t let that influence you.

    Great post ………………..

    Liked by 2 people

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  9. In My Cluttered Attic

    As much as I like and admire, Jay, and her reviews of films, I’m in your corner on Spectre, Sean. Spit! Granted, it wasn’t as great as Casino Royal (the best of the Craig Bonds), but it offered a great deal more humor—loved the quips with Q and Moneypenny. Lean back a little while I get some Vaseline on that cut above your eye. Oh sure the train got destroyed and 007 got in the sack awfully quick there after, but some liberties in reality must be taken in a Bond movie—besides the guy goes to bed with a girl in the drop of a hat. Let me get those shoulders rubbed down there. On the plus side, they finally did the right thing and returned the traditional beginning gun barrel sequence to its proper place—at the beginning! Extend your arms and let’s tighten up those gloves. Sure, I think James Bond has been in better escapades as this one had a little slower pace at times—the helicopter scene was not as rousing as advertised, but still not all that bad. Now, remember to duck to the left with those right jabs she throws. But, all in all I won’t avoid the next Bond movie, or the next one after that, or the one after that and so on, because oo7 always has the potential to surprise us. Now get in there, Sean, and don’t let, Jay win that next round. Your reviews are just as good as her’s, sometimes even better—like this one! (Ding!) Don’t forget to keep that chin up!

    Liked by 3 people

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  10. Salty Popcorn

    Actually read this yesterday morning and lolled a lot but thanks for dragging me into the debate Sean (or Jay). My review is http://saltypopcorn.com.au/spectre/
    Personally this is my favourite Craig Bond – have only ever watched the previous films once – will buy this on Blu Ray – actually enjoyed the helicopter scene – it is very Bond on opening. Wasting Bellucci was ridiculous and a real negative on the film.
    On your debate scoring.
    Love franchises – with Sean
    Enjoyed the helicopter sequence – VERY BONDESQUE opening – with Sean (sorry Jay :))
    Loved the train sequence however Bautista was a cheap and ineffective Jaws – he needed to become Jaws in this movie so he could pop up in further instalments. I also disliked that Bond was beaten to a freaking crisp by Bautista but brushed off some dust and all was well – leaning with Jay on this one
    As for the jackets – jacket observation is not necessary – James has a tardis suitcase he always carries and constantly looks good – there are sponsors to keep happy after all – but the fact he could get a white tux pressed on a train is beyond me – it is 2015 – completely impossible – leaning with myself on this one 🙂 Abstaining from vote 🙂
    Jay wins on Bellucci comment and it must be a joke but NO ONE CAN LIKE MICHAEL BAY 🙂

    I think you get a tie 🙂 A bow tie!

    Now did you know part of Bond contracts are that if you play Bond you are never allowed to wear a tuxedo again in another movie?? Bresnan got away with it in The Thomas Crown Affair by wearing it white with no tie and open top button 🙂 And part of Craig’s contract – he is entitled to any Aston Martin for life. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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    1. Sean Post author

      That’s a neat fact about the no-tux requirement. I didn’t know that. And I’d love to have an Aston Martin clause in one of my deals.

      I also wish they had made Bautista into Jaws rather than such a similar character. It felt almost like where a movie slightly changes a tune to avoid paying royalties. They couldn’t have lost the rights to Jaws, could they? It seems almost impossible for that to have happened but in a franchise that includes Never Say Never Again and the original Casino Royale, you really can’t ever assume anything!

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  11. Anna (Film Grimoire)

    Now I can’t stop thinking about a Bond film directed by Michael Bay. There would be so many explosions. It would probably be the best film ever made and there wouldn’t need to be any more Bond films made ever again.

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    1. Sean Post author

      I agree with everything you said except the last part. There always need to be more Michael Bay movies, since each is better than the last!

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  12. reocochran

    I already voted that I loved this movie and found it of the original caliber of Sean Connery in “From Russia with Love.” Sorry, Jay. I am going to say the movie fascinated me, Day of the Dead (Dia de la Muerte) and buildings crumbling, many moments like on the train, romantic and then death defying. Okay, dumb helicopter part. One big mistake.
    I liked the sexy parts and then, Bond seeming to transform snd evolve. He showed a conscience and actual feelings of love. ♡
    My son and his friends had me take them to “Bad Boys,” which alternated back and forth from humor to drama, actors who were fully capable of being likeable, too. 🙂

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  13. Pingback: Creed | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

  14. Chris

    My gripe with the train scene in Spectre is that it was lacking in charm and warmth. Especially compared to the train sequence I remember in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). Dave Bautista was bland compared to Jaws.

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    1. Sean Post author

      I agree that Bautista didn’t measure up to Jaws. It seemed from his introduction that the character was headed that way but then everything else was regular punching and wrestling. They should have gone more over the top with the nail thing, though one use of that move was more than enough for Jay.

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  15. ridicuryder

    Assholes,

    I walked out of a 5pm showing of Brooklyn yesterday – thanks Jay! amazing film! There, across from the theatre exit was Spectre showing at 7pm…as a freebie it was okay, but it seemed like they were recycling Austin Powers shtick because “We invented this stuff…even if Mike Myers took most of this beyond beyond…we still do it cooler than anybody else.”

    Monica Bellucci was the best part of this film, if there is ever a director’s cut and her role is properly set…I’ll pay to see it.

    RR

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  16. Pingback: Jay’s Top Cinematic Moments of 2015 | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

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