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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Bond Unorthodox, 15 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After watching this movie, I did not immediately know what kind of judgement to pass upon it, but I thought that for a Bond film it is disappointing.

Watching Quantum I get the feeling that the movie-makers have run out of material/ideas for Bond movies and, in order to avoid the same hackneyed Bond game, decide to depart from traditional Bond and explore new territory.

The problem is that too much emotional depth is invested into Bond. He starts to have deep, complicated feelings for women. Take Vesper for example. His "love" for her motivates his desire for revenge on the General(the "adrenaline" part), but in the end he thrusts the necklace onto the snow. Or the way he is emotionally involved with Mathis, and rues his death yet dumps his body in the trash and saying something unfeeling... This is not the cool, collected, suave Bond we know.. He makes love with women, yes, but "love"? He kills people without so much as batting an eyelid, but feeling sad for loss of life? And he's not supposed to be so cruel to torture people with motor oil in the desert..

Clearly the Bond of Quantum is a much for emotionally-volatile one. Bond movies, I believe, aren't meant to explore such deep issues.

Also, the introduction of "politics" changes the game-plan. No longer is Bond safe in the right vs. wrong concept, with every action (including sleeping with beautiful girls) validated and warranted by the fact that he is doing his duty for King and country, but now good and bad isn't so clear-cut. The Americans(CIA) who are after oil, have they become the villains? To the point that Bond becomes for a while distrusted by M: Was he doing the right thing? The bond theme isn't even played throughout the movie(as far as I notice) except till the closing credits. And he did not say his classic "the name's Bond"-or-variation-of-it line.

Having said these the action scenes were excitingly and tantalisingly filmed, for example the plane scene( the parachute drop was rather incredible though), though the dialogues got rather cheesy at times, but all in all it is a decent film on its own. But as a Bond movie it defies our established expectations.

Joshua (2007)
27 out of 40 people found the following review useful:
Perfection, 26 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Joshua is a very clever, smart child. A prodigy. The problem is that his nature demands perfection, but that his circumstances don't provide it:

His mother neither tries nor is able to understand his eccentricities, and doesn't genuinely care for him, giving little attention to him especially with the birth of his new born sister. This in the first place is an unhealthy sign.

His father tries to love him, but fails to meet Joshua's perfectionist standards of love. Apart from having some of his attention displaced onto the baby girl, he has one important flaw: Joshua is smarter than his dad. Joshua skips grades while his dad did not. Joshua is a prodigy on the piano while his dad listens to pop music on his earphones and doesn't notice his playing, nor his talent.

Thus he attacks his mother first, then his father. His grandmother was a means to getting his father(who is emotionally tougher than his mom); he will spare no means to carry out his revenge.

Perhaps the only person who has not neglected and ignored his talents was his uncle, who is the only one spared by Joshua.

Therefore Joshua's intelligence combined with childish revengefulness leads him to exact such a horrifying revenge. He doesn't take a knife and do bloody murder, no. He uses cold, cunning, stealthy plans to do damage. He never harms his sister, yet destroys his parents. Thus this is the cold, cunning mind of a killer in a child.

This movie is thus partly about unrecognized genius in a child. About inferior parents not understanding their child.

Joshua is a jealous kid. He knows his dad finds HIM 'weird'. He finds out he had been a troublesome baby, causing his mother great pain, this while his little sister is no trouble at all. The new baby was a relief, especially to his mother. Finally a normal child to negate the weird one.

This movie is about regress from (near) perfection to utter destruction. At the start all is perfect: everyone is cheery, relationships are in tact. Then mother goes mad. Daughter-in-law swears at mother-in-law. Dad quits job, and lands up in jail for child abuse. Relationships are torn asunder skilfully and silently by Joshua. Perhaps all this is because Josh wants perfection but doesn't get it, therefore childishly reasons that, might as well everything be destroyed.

This movie depicts civilised, educated society in its downfall. The Steinway was used by him as a tool of destruction. His knowledge of Egyptian mummies and gods fuelled his evil imagination. The book of Joshua in the bible -ironically- contributed to his desire to destroy.

This movie is also about dysfunction in civilised society: people who can't take the pressures of perfection in civilised society. Dad wants to view pornography, and flirts with his colleague, because he cannot take it. Mom cannot produce milk because she can't take it. Dad's mom looks to religion for strength to take it.