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No Time to Die

Well, it’s strange watching a Bond movie that looks this CGI-ey and greenscreeney. But for all I know, some of these shots are on actual location, but just colour corrected into looking really fake?

Rant time! I wrote this earlier but didn’t have any place to put it, so what about here?

An amusing thing that’s happening these days is that people complain about how CGI everything is, and then the makers behind that clap back with a “LOL THAT WAS REAL”.

Like the giraffes on One of Us.

Or the park scene in The Sandman.

And yes, that’s “LOL” all right, but not for the reasons the filmmakers a apparently laughing, but because these scenes, filmed for real, in camera, look so awful that they are indistinguishable from CGI scenes.

And that’s because these aren’t “real” even though they’ve been shot kinda on locations. (Ish.) The giraffes were against bluescreen backgrounds and had to be “colour graded” back to something that actually looked like a giraffe, and the Sandmand scene has had its colours and white balance tweaked beyond believability to match the rest of the awful CGI extravaganza.

That is, to avoid the occasional “real scene” to stick out like a sore thumb between all the green screen, filmmakers are making them look as bad as the rest.

And then they go “LOL” when viewers can’t pick them out, like that’s a gotcha. It’s not. It just means that it all looks horrible.

Because that’s the truth. Just about every TV series looks horrible these days: It all looks vaguely unreal, but it’s often difficult to point out just which elements have been generated, because it all looks bad.

I started rewatching Buffy The Vampire Slayer TV series a few weeks back, and my immediate reaction was just a feeling of relief: Everything looked real. The sets looks like if they had carpenters in to hammer some plywood into place, but there’s never that slightly nauseating feeling of unrealness where you’re pretty certain that the actor isn’t actually leaning against the wall they almost seem to be leaning against.

We’re back!

My god, this looks bad.

Even this looks kinda bad.

The director was particularly proud of this shot? We got this for like ten seconds. Is the director like 18 years old?

Well, finally something kewl.

So this is from 2021? I’m assuming this is all a COVID reference?

That’s some weird colour grading.

I thought the mania for teal/orange had dissipated a decade ago, but it’s back now…

OK, I’m griping a lot about the colour grading, but I’m enjoying this movie. It’s got a certain Bondness going — it’s moving slowly, but in a way that seems to be building up to some spectacle or other, which is what we want from a Bond movie, right?

This is classic Bond — it’s fun, and nothing makes much sense, and that makes it even more fun.

I mean… Spectre’s entire idea for that scene was apparently to kill Bond by stealing some kind of virus, and then exposing Bond with that virus in a very complicatedly staged setup… instead of just shooting him… which is very on brand for Bond movies.

I Approve Of These Spectre Logistics.

Ooh such orange.

Teal and orange.

Such real ship.

Nerd alert!

Man, this colour grading is brutal — it’s really like being back in 2013. I don’t think a single pixel escaped unscathed from the original SSD.

It’s Norway!

This could have done with more humour. There’s just long sequences that are kinda … not very interesting.

This film got millions in Norwegian subsidies to shoot these scenes. Probably well spent?

Ah yes, the Norwegian fern woods.

I make fun, but this bit is quite entertaining — lots of practical stunts (that look kinda good) and some CGI (I’m assuming).

Well, I have to give them props for this CGI set — it looks like a really good mad scientist hide out. And the composition is flawless: I was wondering whether they’d actually built this set physically.

So now I’m reevaluating whether any of the scenes were real — are those backgrounds CGI?

I quite liked most of this movie. That is, I wanted to watch a Bond movie, and this was a Bond movie. But is it a good Bond movie? Well… it did have the required elements, but it seemed to waste a lot of the set pieces that were presumably meant to be exciting. For instance, that plane drop? It should have been exciting and stuff, but instead it was like watching somebody play a video game on Youtube.

And some of the casting choices are just weird. Like… that Q? They went with The Full Nerd, which could work, but it just wasn’t funny enough.

So the director was flubbing some important elements, but it was still… fine. It’s OK. Nothing you’ll remember in a few years. Like most Bond movies.

I’m rating this on a Bond Scale:

No Time to Die. Cary Joji Fukunaga. 2021.

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