Critical Mass: The ghosts of 007’s past haunt Spectre

7 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Spectre’ reviews: What did the critics say?.

First, a little history: When Dr. An 8-year-old Calgary boy with an encyclopedic knowledge of James Bond films was treated to an unforgettable 007 experience courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres.

James Bond may be a fictional British secret service agent, but ever since he debuted on the big screen 53 years ago, he has become the most American of heroes.Does digital data offer indicators that can be used to monitor marketing effectiveness and predict box office success even before awareness turns into intent?

The Ellen DeGeneres show flew Britton Walker to Mexico City on Monday for the premiere of “Spectre,” where he met current Bond actor Daniel Craig and learned what it takes to be a secret agent. Moviepilot — which studies social data and box office trends — analyzes this weekend’s new movies across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google (the methodology behind the numbers is laid out in the appendix below) over the seven days leading up to their release, when marketing campaigns are at their peak. The last film grossed over one billion dollars worldwide and director Sam Mendes and the same writing team returns as we find 007 still reeling after the death of M, played by Dame Judy Dench in the last installment. Kennedy was president, the big American blockbuster was How the West Was Won, and the No. 1 song on the radio was “I Will Follow Him” by Little Peggy March. After giving Craig a big hug, the young fan was shown how to keep his tuxedo perfectly crisp (careful ironing) and the secret behind a Bond-worthy apple-juice martini (shaken not stirred, of course).

Mark Watney and “The Martian” have enjoyed an extended stay deserted and all alone at the top of the box office, but that dominance is set to come to an end this weekend. Asked what he’d need to make a good Bond, Britton told Craig that he’d probably have to practice his martial arts skills and be “a bit more handsome.” After hanging with the British actor, Britton was given a microphone and sent to the “Spectre” premiere to interview stars such as Sam Smith and Monica Bellucci on the red carpet. The current occupant of the Bond role, Daniel Craig, has distinguished himself through four films by delivering the most emotionally available and realistic portrayal to date. “Hopefully, my Bond is not as sexist and misogynistic as [earlier incarnations],” he recently told The Guardian. “The world has changed. And who could be better equipped to take out the sci-fi blockbuster than MI6’s finest, James Bond? 007 returns in “Spectre,” the follow-up to the incredibly successful “Skyfall,” which opened to $88.4 million three years ago.

Filmed during the annual “Day of the Dead” festivities in downtown Mexico City, it features an impressive opening tracking shot, a stunning building collapse from an explosion and a helicopter battle that will blow you away, literally. No was innovative and now in every way, and Sean Connery’s Bond was a dashing Kennedy-esque hero who never allowed you to see him sweat no matter the odds. When Christoph Waltz –- who plays the film’s villain — stole the microphone and asked the boy why he likes James Bond so much, Britton replied, “He is tough and he smooches a lot of girls.” After Mexico City and faced with the prospect of the shutdown of the 00 program, Bond is off to Rome, Austria, the Moroccan desert, and along the way meets the latest Bond girl, Madeleine Swann played by Lea Seydoux. It means you cast great actresses and make the parts as good as you can for the women in the movies.” Craig’s Bond films are indeed far less overtly insensitive to women than his predecessors.

Daniel Craig might be weary of playing 007, but he’s the keeper of the flame, and Spectre roars into theaters with high bars to clear, financially and creatively. As ever, “Spectre” boasts a star-studded cast, with Daniel Craig returning as Bond alongside Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux as the Bond girls, as well as Dave Bautista. Directed once again by Sam Mendes, Spectre reaches far back into the Bond archives, sifting through the best bits of 23 previous missions and sprinkling references throughout an adventure purportedly designed to please the most passionate double-0 nerds.

The title itself conjures up memories of Bond’s greatest nemesis, the SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion terrorist syndicate that Dr. Today, Pierce Brosnan’s tenure in the tux in the 1990s is often treated with derision, even by the actor himself — but many fans forget what a breath of fresh air his films were at the time.

Brosnan’s four gadget-heavy editions were a true reflection of the tech boom decade, when the U.S., flush with funds, wanted action more spectacular than plausible. The 20th Century Fox movie also has a Snapchat milestone to its name, having created a customized Snapchat lens for the movie, which allows users to create animated selfies. He’s more than just a blunt instrument these days, and he alternates cruelty and charm to locate the shadow organization and the man who seems to be behind it, Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz). The Brosnan era’s big budget, effects-laden entries helped make Bond an icon for a whole new generation of filmgoers who were too young for the character’s 1960s heyday. Set to the classic theme tune, the animation featured Woodstock bouncing on the user’s head while candy corn streams out of their mouth, with a prancing Snoopy alongside. “Peanuts” sponsored the lens, along with two geo-filters on Halloween to drive maximum engagement on a day where the app enjoys high traffic.

Fans were able to indulge in more personalized marketing with the “Peanutize Me” mini-site, where you can create a version of yourself or your friends as a character from Charles M. The character was the perfect antidote to Cold War paranoia, a resourceful and virtually unflappable man’s man who always outsmarted his megalomaniacal foes. And although the Bond films were careful to delineate between SPECTRE and its fictional Soviet counterpoint (called SMERSH), there is little doubt that the organization played on ‘60s-era fears of international criminal conspiracies. Spectre aspires to be the culmination of Craig’s four-film cycle, connecting all his onscreen adversaries in one nefarious web of villainy, but it sets up a this-is-what-it-all-means revelation that never quite pays off.” “The stakes are surprisingly low considering how high we’re told they are.

As détente took hold and the U.S. emerged from under the cloud of Watergate, the affable Roger Moore was a welcome change of pace from the hard-charging Connery. On Twitter, “Peanuts” used a number of eventized hashtags and partnered with key influencers to create full day activations, live event commentary and pop-culture relevant surrounds to increase tweet volume and engagement. Bond is given a love interest (Léa Seydoux), and while it’s nice to see a female lead who’s more than a damsel in distress, she seems like a plot device. His arched eyebrow and ease with one-liners personified the rise of light, audience-pleasing entertainment that began in the late-‘70s and reached its peak in the 1980s.

But with all he’s done for the franchise, Craig deserves to go out with a bigger, smarter bang.” “There’s nothing surprising in Spectre … which is presumably as planned. Much as the perfect is the enemy of good, originality is often the enemy of the global box office. … [Craig and Mendes are] a reasonable fit, although their joint seriousness has started to feel more reflexive than honest, especially because every Bond movie inevitably shakes off ambition to get down to the blockbuster business of hurling everything — bodies, bullets, fireballs, debris, money — at the screen.” “Spectre has everything anyone could possibly want in a James Bond movie. Besides a handful of non-white “Bond girls” over the years, 007 has largely occupied a lily-white universe, but a growing chorus of fans have been loudly lobbying for black British actor Idris Elba to play the part next.

Tobias Bauckhage (@tbauckhage) is co-founder and CEO of moviepilot.com, a social-media-driven movie community reaching more than 29 million Facebook fans and 30 million monthly unique users. Based on community data, Moviepilot helps studios to optimize their social media campaigns, identifying, analyzing and activating the right audiences. And it has a villain who immediately enters the pantheon, both for the way the role is written and for the way it’s played…” “In the hands of filmmakers with a sense of play, this could be a pop hoot, as witty and cruel as the Connery films and as effervescent as the Moores. But Craig has never handled the series’ humor well and Mendes can’t decide whether he’s making a straight 007 movie or inviting us in for a goof. … Spectre is a movie that wants to have fun but simply doesn’t know how.” “The opening is exciting, outrageous and a cheeky showcase of cinematic craftsmanship. But then again, few predicted an African-American would ascend to presidency in 2008, leaving some in this country both shaken and stirred. “If human beings want to know if there’s any connectivity between all of us, the one thing I’ve heard around the world universally is that, ‘You’ll be great at James Bond!’” Elba told Variety in September. “If it should happen, that’s proof there’s connectivity amongst human beings.

Fan engagement measured by PTAT (People Talking About This) is a more precise but also a fickle indicator, heavily driven by content strategy and media spending. The story is tangled and complicated, but not in a clever or revelatory way: It’s needlessly obtuse, like a first draft in dire need of tightening.” “Some of the individual stunts and action set pieces temporarily hold our interest — at that cost, they’d better — but the story itself is not convincing on its own terms, playing like a series of boxes (Bond asking for a martini shaken not stirred) that need to be checked off and forgotten. But it was a fascinating journey, wasn’t it? … The Craig Bonds are prime examples of what happens when brainy, intensely self-conscious fans — people who grew up with these series — get hundreds of millions of dollars to engage in a dialogue with the past.

We track all English-language original video content about the movie on YouTube, down to videos with 100 views, whether they are officially published by a studio or published unofficially by fans. But Spectre seems confused in its token nods to feminism, with Madeleine initially scorning Bond’s irresistible charms, only to melt helplessly into his arms a few scenes later.” “Seydoux, who plays Bond’s love interest, may want to consult with Mission: Impossible’s Rebecca Ferguson for tips on how to find scripts that bring a female supporting role into the 21st century without losing an ounce of seductive allure. (Let us pause to lament the absence of the great Judi Dench, whose flinty intelligence was crucial to lending recent Bond films class they might not have otherwise deserved.)” “The film finally hits fifth gear when Waltz’s louche villain emerges from the shadows, though he’s not as eerily vivid or playful an opposing presence as Javier Bardem’s Silva in Skyfall.

The Austrian actor brings his familiar streak of fruity menace to the role, though like much else in Spectre, he’s working to match comforting series archetypes rather than transcend them.” “Once Franz gets Bond strapped in a torture device and has the opportunity to tell stories from his childhood and explain just exactly how he’s going to rip James apart, Waltz doesn’t disappoint. His Franz is wonderfully insane, and of course he constructs elaborate puzzles and even invokes the old Countdown Timer to Destruction instead of just putting a bullet in Bond’s head when he has the chance.” Search is particularly significant for fan-driven franchises and family titles as parents look for information about films they may take their children to see.

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