Mamo #279: From the Skyfall Down

SKYFALL! We’re joined by special guest star Fingerless Hobie / Demetre Eliopoulos, straight out of an IMAX screening of the fiftieth anniversary Bond spectacular. Grab your martini and have a seat at our table!

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Matt Brown
Matt Brown co-hosts the Mamo!, Super Zero, Get Your Cast To Mars, and My So-Cast Life podcasts, and has a weekly column at Screen Anarchy called Destroy All Monsters. Imagine Thor crossed with a 12-year-old girl.


    • Excellently written review, as usual, but I must disagree about the third act – which was definitely the weakest – MacGuyver meets Home Alone meets Batman Begins.

      Spoiler. Spoiler!!!!

      The car was definitely awesome though.

  1. Skyfall started off very good -almost great – for the first hour or so, but dropped off pretty quickly after that. The strong batman vibe – from the score to some of the story points – was very off-putting.

  2. The guys in Cinecast also mentioned the JAWS comparison with Bardem. I don’t get that at all. Maybe I’m totally remembering that movie wrong (its been many MANY years), but wasn’t Jaws just a big dumb henchman that could bite through anything? How is Bardem’s character supposed to be emulating the Jaws character in any way? Because his teeth are removable?

    Enlighten me.

        • No, you’re remembering it correctly, which is why I was completely gobsmacked by Price and Demetre’s assertion in the episode that there was some relationship there. Maybe there’s something about Jaws in the books that I’m not aware of, that hews closer to Silva? The screen version of Jaws bears no resemblance to Bardem’s character in any way, shape, or form.

          • OK good. I didn’t want to say anything on my show because I wasn’t sure I was remembering the movie correctly. So now I can officially say, “Halfyard, you’re out to lunch!”

          • It’s just the teeth. Nothing more. A fun homage to a prop that I just saw in the Lightbox 007 Museum. They are not going after character or feel the need to resurrect that type, merely one of many visual gags.

  3. I forget now who said it but I agree that the Bond franchise is too conservative to hire directors who will really apply a personal stamp. The obvious comparison is a Mission Impossible where that kind of stuff is possible. Which is because the cache of that franchise was much smaller compared to Bond so there was always much less to loose.

    • Well, I’d argue that the Bond franchise will finally begin heading in that direction now, bouyed by the successes of SKYFALL and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 4. But you’re right, historically they tend to stick with directors who, while competent, won’t ripple the water too much.

      • Nolan making a 007 at this point would be akin to Fincher making a Lisbeth Salandar movie. Sure it will be great, but kinda obvious too…

        • LOOK, all I’m asking for is this. I want Fincher to make the other two Lisbeth movies and then I want them to start making entire new Lisbeth movies not based on the books, so that the Millennium series becomes like the Bond series. Then I want the two series to cross over, and then I want the BBC Sherlock to get involved, and then I want Doctor Who to show up. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH THIS.

          • It was, and I don’t actually think Nolan will ever do a Bond movie. I would love him to, for the reasons cited in the episode, but he’s doubtless far too expensive for this franchise at this point.

  4. They should teach this film in screenwriting classes in regards of how to use Chekhov’s gun. I have never seen a film with as many Chekhov’s gun, plot devices as Skyfall.

    • The main point of using Chekhov’s gun in a screenplay is to streamline the screenplay, but a lean mean fighting machine of a screenplay Skyfall very definately is not.

      Since Skyfall was action lite compared to most Bond films and was low budget compared to other Bond films it could’ve done with some of the main subversions of Chekhov’s gun, i.e red herrings, along with plot twists, to make it more interesting.

      If you make an action film with reduced action and a severe humour deficiency you need something to replace the action.

      As for the ending, SPOILER ALERT, shooting up the car to signify a move to a more modern Bond (which was foreshadowed, as you correctly point out, earlier in the film) and then introducing Moneypenny and M behind his double doors completely undermined that.

      I agree with you that a Nolan Bond film would be great. TDKR wasn’t my favourite film of the year but you can’t argue with Nolan’s ability to direct action scenes as all the set pieces in TDKR were awesome.

  5. I will like to see Park-chan Wook’s be the director for the next James Bond film. He has style and knows how to direct action. Plus he will a relatively cheap option, in comparison to more well established Hollywood directors.

    Having said that, I would not mind a Nolan directed film. I do think he needs to get better at incorporating humor if he wants his film to be in the same ballpark as Casino Royal and Skyfall.

    In terms of spy franchises (not including John Le Carre:

    James Bond > Bourne > Mission Impossible.

    The problem I have with the Mission Impossible series is that Ethan Hunt is terrible, boring character, and this is coming from a pro-Tom Cruise film-goer.

    Bourne is great, but it does not have the iconography of James Bond. And perhaps for the better, I do not think Bourne has much of shelf-life in the post-Matt Damon era.

    • Tom Cruise is instantly more interesting a protagonist to me than any of the others almost just because he is Tom Cruise, he is a fun guy to watch on film especially in the DePalma one.

      For me it goes.

      Metal Gear Solid >> The Prisoner > MI >> Bourne > Bond


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