3 things to note before declaring Skyfall best 007 movie ever

Last week, the entertainment Web site Whatculture! presented 5 Reasons Why Skyfall Might Be the Best James Bond Film Ever. Author Chris Wright opined:

I am confident that this will be the best of the series so far and a hell of a way to celebrate the momentous 50th Anniversary. (emphasis added)

Wright has bought into Barbara Broccoli’s comment how Skyfall may exceed the 22 previous installments of the series made by Eon Productions. What follows that people may want to keep in mind regard Whatculture!’s reasons that Skyfall will be the best:

An A-List cast and crew doesn’t guarantee success: Imagine a movie with at least five former or future Oscar winning actors and a crew that included a director, a composer, a director of photography and an editor who had all won Academy Awards. You’d have The Swarm, Irwin Allen’s 1978 disaster movie that was a critical and box office flop.

The cast included Michael Caine, Olivia de Havilland, Jose Ferrer, Patty Duke and Henry Fonda, all of whom had either won Oscars up until then or would receive them in the future. Producer-director Allen had an Oscar on his shelf (for a 1953 documentary), as did director of photography Fred Koenekamp, composer Jerry Goldsmith and editor Harold F. Kress. All of those crew members, including Allen, had other Oscar nominations.

Is this a pretty extreme example? Absolutely. But it’s not unique, either.

Third-time-the-charm rule has a mixed record: Author Wright, cites one of his reasons thusly:

With Skyfall marking Daniel Craig’s third time in the lead role, the history of the series suggests this might be his finest instalment. When Sean Connery and Roger Moore were both starting out in the role it took them both three films to fully settle into the part and make it their own. Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me are both considered to be among the best of the series and it is no coincidence that these are both the third films for each actor.

What about Pierce Brosnan and The World is Not Enough? Brosnan’s third Bond movie did fine at the box office but it wasn’t universally proclaimed his best outing. Nor did the film have the impact of either Goldfinger or The Spy Who Loved Me, the latter giving the series a jump start. Maybe Daniel Craig’s third film will have that kind of impact, but again merely being the actor’s third film isn’t a guarantee.

The Aston Martin DB5?: The 1960s sports car has been driven by Bond in two mega hits (Goldfinger and Thunderball), in two Pierce Brosnan movies (GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies) and Craig’s Casino Royale. In terms of impact, it played a central role pretty much only in Goldfinger, where it was the movie’s centerpiece gadget. You don’t see it after Bond gets to Nassau in Thunderball. In the Brosnan and Craig movies to date it’s more like an homage to the earlier movies. In Casino Royale, Craig/Bond wins the DB5 in a poker game against a secondary villain. Any super-priced luxury car could have substituted had a DB5 not been available.

Despite that, Whatculture! says the DB5 will be a leading reason why Skyfall is No. 1.

Again, this is not a prediction that Skyfall is going to bomb at the box office or be a bad 007 movie. Fans say you can’t say that until the movie is out. Again, predicting Skyfall will be No. 001 among 007 movies is a matter of faith at this point.

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15 Responses

  1. I agree almost completely, but it would be nice to have a positive piece on here for a change. It’s quickly becoming the Humblog Blog

  2. *Humbug!

  3. You’re dead right , of course .

  4. Well, there’s the four-year-gap, the main reason why Skyfall might at least have some quality. As Sam Mendes said: “There’s no movie that doesn’t profit from a year extra screenplay polish” (or sth like that)

  5. I do agree that we all have to wait and see. I also agree with ‘Bob’ — you guys do seem to be the ‘rain on your parade’ blog when it comes to Skyfall. How about a post on the positive signs related to the new Bond film? Granted, Award-nominated personnel working on a film doesn’t guarantee smashing success, but then neither does it predict disaster. In line with Roland, I think the biggest indication that “Skyfall” may be decent is the extra time to work on the writing.

  6. Two words: Phantom Menace. With so many years between Episode 6 and Episode 1, fans were eagerly awaiting the next Star Wars installment. Unfortunately, Episode 1, 2 and 3 began like a great tasty McDonalds cheeseburger, but then after awhile it sits in your stomach churning the gastric acid and you wish you had not paid for a piece of crap. It is true with SkyFall. It looks great … so far, but when we get to the theater and the proper feel is not in place ie: gun barrel at the beginning, great musical score and title song, scenes that don’t feel rushed and edited with a weed whacker, then the audience is just going to say ‘meh’.

    I am excited and I do hope they pull this one out like they did with Casino Royale, but we all have expectations and we most likely will be disappointed with one or two parts of this film.

  7. Episodes 1, 2 and 3 were written at the time of the Classic Trilogy, Lucas made them later because of budget’s limits (still they could improve something through the years).
    Personally, I loved The World is not enough, though it lacked something.

  8. ["Two words: Phantom Menace. With so many years between Episode 6 and Episode 1, fans were eagerly awaiting the next Star Wars installment. Unfortunately, Episode 1, 2 and 3 began like a great tasty McDonalds cheeseburger, but then after awhile it sits in your stomach churning the gastric acid and you wish you had not paid for a piece of crap. "]

    Dear Mr. Bassinger,

    The Prequel STAR WARS movies are still like a fine souffle in my stomach. It’s not perfect. Then again, neither were the Original Trilogy movies. And I love both trilogies.

    As for SKYFALL . . . I guess we’ll see how it turns out in November.

  9. And if you go to cinemablend.com, you will find the Aussie version of the Taken2 trailer. Istanbul, rooftops and trains, oh my! And debuting shortly before 007…getting harder to compete in such a small world.

  10. @DRush, actually the ‘original’ Star Wars was perfect. Fun throughout. I’m referring to the 1977 version before it became A NEW HOPE. Yes, there was a version that did not have Episode IV A New Hope added at the beginning of the film. Lucas should have left it alone with all the neat model work and cool effects from that day. Now we have a CGI version, and the Academy award winning effects that were a major part of its success have been replaced with them. I don’t know about you, but George needs to leave well enough alone.

  11. Alex, that is totally untrue about the prequels being written decades ago. Read the interview with SW producer Gary Kurtz from 2010; Star Wars started off as a Buck Rogers feature film which eventually became Star Wars.

  12. As for the prequels, it’s the culmination of marketing the Star Wars myth. Say what you will about George Lucas but you have to admit, the man is one of the brightest producers who ever lived; He did his job.

  13. Stuart, to my knowledge, SW always had Episode IV – A New Hope at the beginning. I saw it first run in 1977. The purpose was to harken back to the movie serials of Lucas’ youth and to use the literary device of in medias res.

  14. One of our staff also saw it first run and doesn’t remember Episode IV being on it.

  15. I saw Star Wars first run and I don’t recall the Episode IV title either. Take it for what it’s worth, but according to Wikipedia: “Though the first film in the series was simply titled Star Wars, with its 1981 re-release it had the subtitle Episode IV: A New Hope added to remain consistent with its sequel, and to establish it as the middle chapter of a continuing saga.”

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