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What We Know So Far: Picking up where Skyfall left off, James Bond goes on an unsanctioned hunt for man who is behind a cryptic message that leads him to a vast criminal organization called SPECTRE.
The Trailers: (Official #2/ #3)
David: Why am I not interested in James Bond this time? Is James Bond done? I understand that Skyfall is the most successful film in the series, but for me, was a disappointment and a turning point in the long running sequels that I don’t think it can recover from. Plotting and logic aside, Skyfall, and now Spectre, are big bulky films that seem more interested in playing with cliches and a “return” to the old formula. They disregard the great start it gave the perfectly cast Daniel Craig in the reboot with Casino Royale, which was much more localized and about the growth of the character, gritty and realistic. These trailers see nothing but tired Bond earmarks, one by one being rolled out for the viewer like a runway fashion show and it feels terribly dry and uninventive as it does. Once again, and wholly unwelcome, Bond is snarky with silly lines like “I was taking an overdue holiday” when asked about a, let’s face it, terrorist act he perpetrates when he explodes a building in Mexico City, or the yawn-inducing, “He’s everywhere” response given to Bond while he interrogates Mr. White (who sadly, is not affiliated with the Reservoir Dogs), about where Spectre is. I get that this movie is purposefully trying to harken back to the spectacle of the earlier films, with big action set pieces and over-the-top villains, and I get that things are cyclical in movies and maybe audiences want to get away from the dark reality of modern films, but these trailers just feel empty from start to finish. Maybe the final film will be a smart, clever story that gives Bond a solid and intelligent nemesis where the gadgets take a back seat and are used to propel a moment, not become the moment. It’s a dream.
Dan: Daniel Craig returns as Bond with (perhaps) his last appearance. His 007 movies are much more serious than some of the earlier campier entries. These new trailers do little to further the plot, but offer a series of rapid flashes of several explosive action sequences. So, at least (it looks like) this entry in the legendary franchise has more action than the earlier ones. From the trailers, it seems like the story will focus on mystery, perhaps delving into the backstory of our favourite screen spy. I am not sure that this is the best decision. Bond works best as a man of mystery. That said, the villain here (portrayed by Christoph Waltz) looks to be quite intriguing – whether his personal history has ties to Bond or not. Waltz is sure to chew up the scenery with delight. While these trailers kept the secret of if this villain is indeed Blofield, it quelled the fears of this being another dry and drama focused Bond. For me, I prefer the Mission: Impossible franchise, but I am still anticipating another glossy big budget James Bond.
David Says: I’ll just come out and say it: Monica Bellucci. She is listed as Lucia Sciarra, the wife of an assassin killed by Bond and boy does she class up in Trailer #2. She is only seen twice, once where she is either seducing or being seduced by Bond, and more effectively, the real Sneak Peek Moment a bit later when we see her facing the camera, eyes closed with two blurred men behind her aiming their pistols at her. Shots are fired, she winces with expectations, and yet the two men’s bodies crumple before the scene cuts away. I love her expression and in only a few seconds, provides some amazing depth and an intriguing moment that almost has me thinking I may be sitting in the theater after all.
Dan Says: There are a lot of standout moments that rush by quite quickly. One impressive sequence in Trailer #3 has Bond outrunning a collapsing building. Another has him in a helicopter doing a barrel roll twist in the air. There are also some compelling glimpses at the stunning Lea Seydoux, looking all Film Noir glamour, as well as the aforementioned Waltz looking gleefully menacing. There are also some hints at the secret organization called Spectre. My Sneak Peek Moment is another brief but impactful one. It comes at the very end of Trailer #3, as Bond kicks the -screen- (a.k.a. the camera). A smash cut transition reveals the fractured (and tentacled) logo for Spectre. Combined with the rapid editing, crazy action, the mounting effect of one awesome image after the other comes to a jarring stop with the kick and logo reveal. Watching this trailer left me feeling like I needed to catch my breath. The action emphasis with this brief trailer built up my excitement for the latest 007 even more.