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Episode 002

James Bonding

Skyfall with Steve Agee

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James Bonding #002: SKYFALL with Steve Agee

Matt and Matt invite Steve Agee to discuss how the sky falls!

Follow @JamesBondingPOD@MattMira, and @MattGourley on Twitter!

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39 comments

  • An interesting stat to keep track of would be the number of actors per appearance for each character in James Bond movies. Like Tanner, for example, four different actors play him in six movie appearances. Obviously someone like Moneypenny would have a low number and Felix Leiter would have a high one.

  • Great podcast. FYI, it’s “Maam” to rhyme with ‘ham’ not “Marm” to harm with ‘harm’. NB It is NEVER ‘mum’ as in ‘Queen Mum’. PS In QoS, JB mispronounces the word.

  • Those early specific brands in Bond films aren’t product-placement(a company specifically paying a film to show their product). They were putting on film Fleming’s description of Bond as having very firm opinions about the best version of what he uses/consumes, the motivation for which he explains in “Casino Royale”.

    I find the whole did Bond & Moneypenny make the beast with two backs depressing; Fleming was very clear about what kind of person she was, and how the agents treated her: flirt all you like, but nothing is going to happen, because she’s the den mother to all the field agents, and refuses to get involved with any of them. And no one is going to risk the wrath of M by really pursuing her.

    If he was sent to Eton, the one thing Bond _wouldn’t_ be eatin’ is p**sy; it is an all-male school.

    Oh, and “Mum” vs “Ma’am” is an old debate left over from Victoria, and the older courtiers of hers. In reality, you do NOT call anyone “Mum” or “Marm”–it’s “Ma’am”.

  • I am disappointed that this is potentially the end of such wonderful characters as Buffalo BIll Albert Finney and MI6 agent Mike Brimmer. I feel confident that Australian-Accented Matt Gourley will be back at some point.

  • I am really enjoying these podcasts. It’s comforting to know there are other people in the world that are as obsessive about 007 as I am. I’m not alone anymore!! In reply to your comment that George Lazenby’s “other fellow” line was the worst moment in any Bond movie, I would counter with the slide whistle sound effect during the spiral jump in The Man With the Golden Gun as the worst. They completely ruined what was perhaps one of the coolest stunts ever attempted on film.
    Which suggests another topic for possible discussion: “Moments in Bond movies when music/sound effects/attempts at humor really kill a scene.”
    p.s. John Barry did admit once that the slide whistle was a HUGE mistake. Still no excuse, though!

  • I look on the product placement in the old Bond movies as a means of them adding authenticity to the location. The Red Stripe, for example. It makes the exotic locale more believable, given that it scenes may not have been done on location, to save expense, etc.
    One of my favorite moments in Skyfall is when we find out about Moneypenny. And, by the way, what did she do with those millions in the case that Bond got at the casino? They weren’t government money, so who gets them?

    • It’s right after the dragon kite sequence. It’s not obvious at all, but once you know to look for it, that’s definitely what’s going on, especially since the flickering imagery culminates with the viewer’s POV going into the man’s mouth–where his cyanide tooth was.

  • In the discussion of worst moments in Bond film history, I can’t believe the pigeon double take in Moonraker isn’t at the top of everyone’s list. Just awful, even in the Moore era.

  • So much better than the last episode. GREAT job.

    I always chalked most of Silva’s plan up to contigencies. Like he already had a few dozen audibles in play but we weren’t shown that (I thought the same of the Joker’s plan coincidentally). HOWEVER from the point of being in the cell and escaping it is weak since he HAS to be kept in a cell that is controlled by computers, and an idiot HAS to plug it directly into the mainframe around the time he needs it.

    Also, not a fan of Bond tapping Moneypenny since like you guys pointed out, in the old films they flirted which was fun to watch, but never anything more and I think that is very important for their relationship.

  • If you’re still considering segment suggestions, I have one or two to take or leave. You try to stump the other host, in this case the other Matt, with an obscure piece of Bond trivia (or share one you think the other Matt does not know), either about the movie du jour or the Bond universe. 1 attempt each. Loser buys martinis. OR Bond in the news, if there’s enough weekly Bond news to make a segment… enjoying the podcast as I do all Nerdists. Thanks.

  • Exposition that is split up between multiple scenes could be referred to as “Roaming Exposition”
    I think this is the podcast I was listening to when that question came up. Thanks for the show.

  • I have a theory on the controversial bit where Silva blows up the wall /ceiling and a tube train falls through.

    The train is empty. That suggests that it’s a train in a depot. could that be the answer as to how he knew a train would be there, because there always is, it’s where they keep the trains? So if you rig it to blow then a train will fall through the hole.

    • That, or something along those lines, has always been my assumption. There is clearly nobody on that train, so it seems fairly obvious that he rigged a little setup for himself to use in that specific location if he needed one.

  • I think you guys roughly point out my difficulties with Skyfall. It’s very pretty to look at, and there are some good performances, but it doesn’t fit together. Silva (and his plan) is fairly outrageous, the NOC list is silly, but then they are trying for serious ‘Bond is getting old’ plot. Plus, Bond looks incredible in this! Make him slightly pudgy, or something. Something more than having a weak beard. A beard does not make someone into a wreck. Plus, his fall off the train would have killed anybody, so using that as an awakening is silly to me.

    Still, so pretty to watch that I’d see it again on Bluray. But I can’t take the plot seriously. Which is fine, but it goes against what the movie seems to be attempting.

    Good show guys. Gives me a reason to watch the movies all over again.

    • Skyfall is much more about a clash of themes, to me, than about the surface-level plot. The Daniel Craig Bond films have very much been about stripping away the fantastical and wild elements that the Bond franchise had developed, and there have been many asides and nods to that in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Recall the parkour setpiece, which has the villain of the scene doing all sorts of absurd acrobatics while Bond just takes the quickest route from point to point.

      Skyfall is a much more expansive and pointed takedown of mid- and late-series Bond excess, basically devoting the entire film to Daniel Craig’s Bond fighting against a villainized version of the 1980s/1990s Bond. That’s who Silva is to me. He represents the way that Bond had become so outlandish by the end–“acting beyond his brief”–so he was cut loose and replaced by a leaner, tougher model.

      These three films have always been about getting James Bond, the character, back to square one as seen in Dr. No, but updated for the modern age. So we started with the blank-slate Jason-Statham-character-clone at the beginning of CR, slowly added the personal texture and flavor of tragedy and loss that shape the classic Bond figure, and finally established the fully formed and realized character, and a big part of that journey was exorcising the demons of the absurd, ridiculous spectacles that Bond films got to in the 80s and 90s.

  • You pointed out that there were 3 former Sam Mendes Hamlets in this movie, which was interesting. A related bit of trivia: Sam Mendes just produced an excellent TV movie of Richard II for BBC, and he cast Q as Richard II, and Tanner as Henry IV. If he could have found a part for Ralph Fiennes and Judi Dench, it would have been a clean sweep.

  • My problem with Skyfall is that I have never needed or wanted James Bond’s origin story, background, any of it. Punch me in the face for saying this, but in a lot of ways, he’s not an actual character. He just needs to show up, look right, and do cool stuff.

    • Well fuck everyone else for trying a different spin on the character. It’s not like there have already been a half-dozen different iterations of him. You’re like the people who hate the Nolan Batman films because they aren’t the Burton Batman films.

  • As it was the 50th anniversary, I would have loved to have had 2 Bond movies come out. Skyfall would have been with Brosnan as it seemed like a pre-CR Bond movie. The second movie would have had Craig in it and it would have continued the Quantum story line.