is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired in 2013), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “How They Got There: Interviews with Digital Designers About Their Careers”and “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children.
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Khoi, I agree. One could fear the franchise is losing sight of what makes Bond fun in the first place with its ‘realistic’ take. I did really enjoy Skyfall..but Bond is supposed to be irresponsible. The characters M and Q exist to tsk-tsk him with a measure of reality. The Shanghai stuff was indeed beautiful and successful. The Macau sequence was also good because, classic Bond, in addition to action we want the Bond in an exciting, luxurious foreign locale.
The reason why Bond feels the need to justify itself to the viewer is because there will constantly be people who can’t help but deconstruct each movie. You pore over it because it acknowledges its changing circumstances, but at the same time it would get picked apart if it acted like times weren’t different. It cannot win. I like the current tact, where it acknowledges that things have changed, but still continues on the same general path. Skyfall is probably the best Bond movie ever, which means it will invite even more dissection.
Never use the word “relateable” if you want what you say to be taken seriously by anyone over the age of 29. That’s a word college kids in the “learning-as-a-service-industry” age invented to explain why they won’t study a book that offends their sensibilities.
Along similar lines, this piece argues that the whole Bond franchise is about the trauma of post-colonialism.
I could be mistaken, but it sounds like your version of a new Bond film is one I would probably not even waste rental money on. There’s a reason that many old action movies are terrible to watch these days and don’t hold up – and I’m not talking about special effects.
Yah, the Bond movies start to suffer when they try to justify themselves or get w/the trends of modern times. Bond is a super hero, essentially, and it would be wise for the film makers not to over think this stuff. Your going to be influenced by your contemporaries, but it is a problem when things get derivative.
The Brosnan films really play like 90s action films at their core and are just too influenced by that stuff. Though Michelle Yeoh (sp?) was brilliant in her film and Die Another Day was pretty enjoyable.
Daniel Craig is breathing new life into the series w/his abilities, looking forward to seeing Skyfall.
You nailed it! I love Bond’s world, and when I go to the see a Bond film I want to live in his world for two hours.
Can’t wait to see Skyfall and escape!
Fair points, but I think there’s something to be said for viewing the second half of the movie in a different light. (As with this entire page, spoilers coming up, naturally.)
Casino Royale was a new take on Bond and Quantum of Solace dialed the grittiness up a few notches further (to its great discredit). While Quantum of Solace went for a relatively blemish-free villain to accentuate personal darkness, Skyfall returned the bombastic, classic Bond bad guy. Skyfall just about turns the car around, but not enough to fall into the trap of introducing John Cleese as R. (Terrific performances, but as good an indicator as anything of the plot slowly turning to self-aware parody.)
The part of Skyfall that’s not about reclaiming the Bond legacy is about the place of Bond’s MI6 in a modern world. M makes a gallant case, but you’ll also note that it doesn’t keep her from being killed off. All the focus on the new M, the new Moneypenny and the new Q establish them as departures from what has come before, but as carrying the torch forward.
For lack of a cheesier term, Skyfall shows us a Bond team embracing the duality of a modern Bond. A Bond that shows us what we loved before, but which makes no attempt to stay put in its box when, say, the Macau fighting scene is within reach and contributes just as much as the opening chase and the attack on the manor.
Skyfall demonstrates that Bond can continue. There are blemishes, but you don’t have to look hard to also notice the inexorable mark of progress. The stage is set for Bond 24 to start Bond all over again; not by a reboot, not by simple remakes of the earlier movies but by Craig’s Bond in basically the same position as the start of the series and a modern cast of characters.
Personally I liked Skyfall as a film. I liked the modern day scenario approach. As for relatable – considering 7/7 and 9/11 and more recently, the Breivik massacre, its not a matter of if these people exist – its a matter of who will stop them. Sure, Skyfall places the mantle of saving the day on the shoulders of a flawed man and goes to dramatise it more. After all it is a work of fiction thats evolving to work with today.
I appear to be the only person in the world who enjoyed Quantum of Solace more than Skyfall. All three of the latest films were quite good, but I felt each was not as good as the previous.
My major beef with this one was the lack of development with Severine. When she was part of the plot, she did quite a bit for the story… but she ended up being such a tiny part of the movie. Died too quickly.
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