Friday, 18 October 2013

The Marmite Wars: Blogger vs Blogger - Skyfall

Movies can split people a bit like marmite: For all the people who love and savour a certain movie, there will always be those who hate it and are left with that bitter taste in their mouth. Yuck! To be honest, that’s as far as the comparisons between Marmite and Movies goes, so let me stop there before I get lost in an unwieldy metaphor about movies on toast.

That’s the great thing about movies, there is no right answer, no definitive best film: It’s all subjective and it’s all just your own opinion. It makes for endless discussion and often passionate debate.

In light of such, allow us to introduce Tank Top Movies Blogger vs Blogger series: The Marmite Wars.

Today’s opinion splitting film is Skyfall. In the corner of Mr Bond’s defense, not that he can’t look after himself, is our very own Ian Unsworth and I shall lead the attack myself.



Ian Unsworth: Likes film, TV and sport. Hates writing descriptions about himself.

I’ll be the first to admit that Quantum of Solace was disappointing. After that debacle, Bond really needed a top-notch installment to get back on track. Despite all of expectation and hype, Skyfall was definitely that film.

The first thing to say is that Skyfall is awesome because it is a Bond film. That should be a given. Even rubbish Bond films are really good. But putting that to one side and looking at the merits of the film on its own, there is still plenty to like about this most recent addition to the Bond canon.

In this installment we see Bond initially as battle-worn and perhaps mentally scarred, seemingly his years of service having caught up with him. This worn Bond gives a dose of realism to a character that has wormed his way out of so many close scrapes in his time. Of course someone in his line of work will see it take its toll eventually, but a more vulnerable Bond is a welcome addition to the series.

We also see M rise to take a more central role which really harnesses Judy Dench’s glorious talent to full effect.  M is no longer an old woman sitting behind her desk but really a Bond girl in her own right. In confronting demons from her past in the form of our villain, played by Javier Bardem, M really has an integral part in Skyfall.

We have a villain who is not just hell-bent on revenge/destruction/murder but also funny in places. Played terrifically by Javier Bardem, he is a deranged genius with a very flamboyant manner and is former charge of M. His dastardly scheme for revenge might be over-the-top, but then that is his character through and through.

All in all, it is a terrifically enjoyable film with an all-star cast. We have girls (Berenice Marlohe, Naomie Harris), cars (from Land Rover defenders to Range Rovers to a classic Aston Martin DB5) and shootouts and action sequences galore.  What more could you want?


Matthew Taylor: Blogger, Gamer, Hater of Marmite!
Daniel Craig’s first outing as Bond was slick, stylish and superb. Quantum of Solace was certainly the difficult second album, but I was hopeful that Skyfall would put Bond back on the right track. The build up and hype train was in full motion on this one. Adele soundtrack was stellar and the anticipation and excitement around 50 years of Bond films was massive. Sky Movies even introduced a limited Sky Bond channel. The anniversary was the making of the film, and it was a massive success, but it also what ruined the film itself for me. The gritty more grounded world created in Casino Royale was abandoned for over the top, self indulgent, celebratory antics. Lovers of Bond’s history may well have revelled and greatly enjoyed the relentless nods and winks to the series rich history. For me though, the new Daniel Craig Bond of Casino Royale, updated for the 21st century was sacrificed.  I could list all the moments, scenes that particularly annoy me, but it’s this general direction the film took that had me looking at my watch waiting for it all to be over.  But while we’re here… here are a couple of those annoying moments/ aspects.

  • Maybe I’m expecting too much when I say that I would like the plot to make sense. I’m ready to suspend my disbelief and give it a bit of movie lee way, but Skyfall’s plot is just all over the place. The story is nothing more than justifications to get Bond from one swanky location to another.

  • The moment that had me rolling my eyes most was super villian SIlva’s master plan. I’m not sure which movie started it, but it was Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight that perfected it and perpetuated its subsequent overuse. It’s about mid way through the film and the main bad guy gets caught… ok, interesting where are they going to go from here? But wait… He wanted to get caught, it was all part of his plan. Dun Dun Dunn! This plot device is tired, lame, lazy and way overused.

  • Bond picks up a loose chain from on top of a speeding train.

  • Silva had his timing and route of escape so tight he was able to launch a train at Bond, who he knew would be following him at exactly that distance.

  • What exactly was the point of the Bond fake out death at the start. Obviously he wasn’t dead- it served no dramatic purpose, it was just weird. If they had pulled a Psycho and the new Bond appeared that would have been badass.

  • So where do you stand? Skyfall: You love it? Hate it? Indifferent? Got a movie you absolutely love, or one you completely despise? Let us know in the comments or if you're interested in contributing to the blog in a Marmite Wars edition, email us at or hit us up on Twitter!