A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.
This SKYFALL "extra" actually consists of four documentaries . . .
. . . each of which is given TWO different titles by the Eon Production Company's DVD "bonus features" contractors. The first segment, lasting 2 minutes, 59.68 seconds, is called "TITLE SEQUENCE" in the index. However, it is headlined as WORKING WITH TITLES as the piece begins. Appearing as themselves are SKYFALL main titles creator Daniel Kleinman (who notes he's done several Bond flicks, beginning with GOLDENEYE in 1995), and SKYFALL director Sam Mendes. As is the case with the subsequent three documentary shorts lumped together under the umbrella of SHOOTING BOND, the one-sided interview snippets from these two individuals is inter-cut with illustrative clips from the 23rd Eon Bond feature film. The primary actor included in the clips for offering #1 in SHOOTING BOND is Daniel Craig as Agent 007 himself. Interestingly, Kleinman claims that he created most of the animated and live action main titles sequence from Bond's point of view, with the theme that what's seen on screen represents James' life passing before his eyes after Eve Moneypenny shoots him off the top of the train car where he's struggling with Patrice, sending him plunging hundreds of feet from trestle top to river rapids.
The second documentary short in the SHOOTING BOND quartet is titled DB5 in the index, but BEHIND THE WHEEL on-screen. It lasts only 99.52 seconds. Brevity is one of the reasons I rated this only as 6 of 10. The three men interviewed for BEHIND THE WHEEL are SKYFALL producer Michael G. Wilson, director Sam Mendes, and star Daniel Craig (Bond). Judi Dench appears briefly on-screen as "M" in one of the illustrative clips. Wilson says "we've (Eon Productions) used different cars from time to time, but we always come back to Aston Martin." Because this documentary is so brief, there is no footage of Craig's predecessors such as Sean Connery driving Edsels, Tuckers, or Packards in the role of Agent 007.
WOMEN, retitled THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE BEAUTIFUL, is the longest of the four documentary shorts sometimes lumped together as SHOOTING BOND. This piece lasts 4 minutes, 32.22 seconds. Since it is fairly obvious and repetitive, I gave it a rating of 6 out of 10. It persists in using the term "Bond Girls," thought to be demeaning by most, no matter how "cute" it may have seemed 50 (plus) years ago, when SKYFALL's first forerunner, DR. NO, debuted in 1962. Berenice Marhole ("Severine") discloses here that she brings a half French, half Cambodian ethnicity to her role as Silvia's disposable mistress. Director Sam Mendes points out that Eon Productions has tried to make their latest Miss Moneypenny pretty "bad-ass." Producer Barbara Broccoli (producer Michael G. Wilson's step-sister), actress Naomie Harris ("Eve"), actor Daniel Craig ("Bond"), as well as writers Rob Wade, Neal Purvis, and John Logan also chime in here.
The final documentary short under the SHOOTING BOND umbrella has the alternate titles LOCATIONS (index) and LICENCE (sic) TO TRAVEL (on-screen). I viewed its 3 minutes, 28.38 seconds of material twice myself, finding it interesting enough for a 7-rating (out of 10). Director Sam Mendes, 1st assistant director Michael Lerman, 2nd unit director Alexander Witt, screenwriter John Logan, special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, and "James VI" himself, Daniel Craig, are interviewed here. Judi Dench appears as "M" in a brief illustrative clip. The main takeaway is that downtown Shanghai is really spooky at night, with multi-colored LED lights and neon turning an America worth of skyscrapers into surreal ads in an otherwise cold and empty metropolis. "It's eerie," according to Mr. Witt. Craig brags about how Eon Production Company rules the roost in England; "We closed down Whitehall (their Congress), we shut down The Tube (their subway): Bond opens a few doors around here." It sounds to me that he closes even more!
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