For a while now, the new James Bond film Spectre has been advertising itself with trailers and multiple set photos released onto the internet. But also today the official theme song that will be playing over the opening title sequence (the standard of 007 movies) of the film. As a fan of the Bond series i feel like i should make some comment over the recent news about the new theme; this blog does say that i would talk about movies in the description.
I could talk about the meaning of Spectre itself, but there are already videos on Youtube and stuff over the internet explaining this, and their connection to the new Daniel Craig 007 series (Casino Royale,Quantum of Solace and Skyfall for those not in the know) So for the sake those not that far in the know about Bond; i’ll leave a link to Bandit Incorporated’s video on the topic.
In the meantime i shall discuss my feelings to the new theme song released today. Sam Smith’s Writing’s On The Wall…if you haven’t read the title of this post. For those who don’t know; Sam Smith is a British soul and pop singer; who first gained attention with the release of the song Latch in 2012 which he did along side with the band called Disclosure. After that his gained major popularity with a solo carrier producing songs such as: Money One My Mind, Stay With Me; which in turn led him to win four awards at the 2015 Grammy music awards. So before we start, what do i feel about Sam Smith? His OK. Admittedly the man has talent and is a well skilled singer and pianist. But i just never really got into him; with some exceptions. I felt his’ mostly just stuck to emotional piano ballets for a large portion of his musical career; again his good at it; but i fell he could try something other than the slow style he always seems to do. If you like him, good for you don’t let me turn you away from what you like; he’s just not my cup of tea.
Which brings us on to Writing’s On The Wall. Now i have to confess on how i was skeptical about the choice of Smith to do the theme song; but hey multiple Bond themes have been ballets and and less energetic tunes. Said songs including ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ and Adele’s ‘Skyfall’. So is this song any good for a James Bond movie? Kind of. It’s decent..i guess.
Yeah that seems to be the general reaction this song has got on the internet. Channel 5 news went to the Bond in Motion exhibit in London (a exhibit i highly recommend going to by the way) where they played to the track to people who went there; in order to film their reactions. And the majority of people said it was ‘alright’. Not exactly a great sign there. Honestly for a Bond theme i find this one kind of dull. As i said about Sam; his vocals are well performed, while the music and the melody are lacking.
The most i can really call this song, is Skyfall 2.0. Mainly due to how their both vocal based ballets. So we now have the theme to Skyfall with a male singing this time. While the music behind that tune was decent; this track is rather dull and almost lifeless even by Sam’s standards. The beat mostly goes through with a simple piano chords and a short melody, with changes in their chord and rhythm patterns; and even then it still goes at the same pace, with the verses being unmemorable to listen. With the exception of the intro and the second half of the chorus, the whole song sounds the same. The whole thing separating the chorus from everything else is the change of pacing and the volume and Sam’s voice.
His vocals being the saving point of this whole track, but not by much. The song itself is really bland and is flat out boring. This is the theme to a action movie; no one should’ve fallen asleep by the first ten minutes. While Sam in tune, and does show concomitant vocals skills; given the note and volume changes in the chorus, it’s less of a emotionally high point and more of a a tempt to wake the listener up.
Overall while i am still excited to see Spectre when it’s released in cinemas, i can’t say i will be too pumped to continue on wards when this is the pay of after the first action scene (With the exception of Dr No it’s usually the first scene, then the opening credits). I wanted to give Sam a chance despite what i said about him early, i wanted to say: “yes this is really damn good, and i think this guy’s on to something here”. And while i’m still all for you disagreeing with me on the quality of his work; but for me instead of challenging my thoughts on the guy, his now given me a key example of what i said about him several paragraphs ago.
If you’d like to listen to his track, it can be found on Spotify and on Youtube; as all ways thank you for reading.
In terms of discussions about movies nowadays; on the internet the age ratings is being brought under negative scrutiny, and for some good reasons as well.
So where do we begin? Well one thing that is brought up is how pretty much the majority of films that are released are 12, or as America would call it P-13 (this ranging from 13 year olds to 16 years olds). This ranging from comedies, blockbusters and even horror films are being pressured into meeting that age range. In fact films such as Prometheus, Live Free or Die Hard and the Robocop remake; have been examples of studios lowering the age ranges from NC-17 (the american version of a 18 rating) to PG-13. The main reason of complaint being how all three of these examples are follow ups to franchises that were aimed for adults, and are now alienating their adult audience.
So why do studios do this. Simple; money. Young people such as teenagers have the most disposable income to spend, so movie studios plan to tap that demographic in order for the most amount of seats filled in at the cinema; which will add up with the amount of adults seeing the film. More people in seats, the more profit is made. Not mention the DVD sales. With people seeing the cut down version in cinemas; to then advertise the uncut or rated version of the film on DVD. In order to sale you on the idea of getting more than you thought you were, if you saw the theatre cut when it was out in cinemas. That and certain TV channels won’t air trailers for NC-17 films, nor will certain stores stock their DVDs doesn’t help; especially for the horror and independent movie makers.
Unfortunately this ends up being problematic for the people making the film; said problem being limitonon creative control. Terminator Salvation was an example how a film aiming to be R rated; until Paramount (the studio behind it) had the film trimmed to remove the violence, blood and even a brief scene featuring one of the female characters topless. Same goes with ‘Cursed’ a 2005 horror movie features a similar case where 60% of the film was scraped before post production, and then re-shot for the PG-13 rating. Leaving the film as an absolute mess, and given the 4.9 out of 10 rating on IMDB (International Movie Data Base) it shows.
Not only can this screw up the tone, but also everything else important. The 2009 comedy Fired Up was meant to be an edgy adult comedy in the vain of American Pie. But yet again the studio cut the film down from R to PG-13; bad enough, but from what I’ve heard the best jokes from the film, were left on the cutting room floor, and could only be found the extended DVD release. So well done there Screen Gems. And while we’re on the topic of plans going up in flames; the idea of lowering the age rating equals more people watching and that equals more money, that’s not even that true. The Expendables is a violent throwback to the 80s action films. The first two films were R and both opened at the top of the box office. Meanwhile the third film caved in and became PG-13, you want to know in what box office place that movie ended up in on opening day….fourth. Making it the lowest grossing of the trilogy, Oops.
Plus the whole way films are rated is kinda inconstant. In the sense of one film that can get away with a low rating for doing something more adult, while another film that does a similar act or features similar content is stricken with a higher rating. Let me explain. A 90s thriller called The Cooler was given a NC-17 for showing one of the actress bush after a sex scene featuring the actress in question, meanwhile Basic Instinct (a film released a decade later) was given a R despite featuring Sharon Stone flashing her vagina towards the camera. Given how to big actors like her and Micheal Douglas were staring in the film; the reason why the ratings are different becomes clearer; market appeal.
Disney is also guilty of the same thing. Tarzan features the main villain being hung by the tree from his neck, Lion King the main villain is eaten by Hyenas, Beauty and the Beast the villain in that film falls from a tower to his death. The connection being how these Disney films were rated G (or as we English like to call it U). So given how Disney and over companies run 95% of the US film business, they’ll naturally use the lower rating to get the highest audience possible. Because it always about the money and how much is made.
So in the end what do i want, and how could this method be changed? Well i feel that the rating system should be more relaxed. Allow movie studios to create the films they want to make; and to not censor them down to lower ratings, in the hopes of “reaching a wider audience”. If Wolf of Wall Street and D’jango Unchained can be financial hits with as NC-17s, then so can any other movie. I also feel that there should a short list of feature content: blood, sex, nudity; similar to how video game trailer work. Because a movie like The Avengers can claim to have violence, but so does The Dark Knight; the rating based on content means nothing really. But I’m sure there’s multiple ways to fix this problem, and better ways to do this. So i leave it you.
Before I sign of, I’d like to suggest to good videos on this topic. The first being from GoodBadFlicks:
And the second being from The Chesire Cat Studios podcast:
In any case; thank you for your time.
Welcome my friends to the show that never ends, my name is Kenny Colliver and welcome to the first of many (I hope) entires on the Kenny’s Penny For A Thought blog. Now as blogs go, this will be a general mean for me to express what opinion on a topic I’d like to talk about.
This could range from: movies, TV, gaming related and just stuff about the world in general. This is just a place to express my feelings with those who give enough of a damn to read it…whether you agree with me or not. I’m all for dis agreement; if you think I’m wrong or whatever please share what ever you want to say about what I’ve written in these post.
Anyway, I shall be starting up every soon and I hope to have taught you something; or at the very least make you go ‘yes that was interesting’.
For updates on the realese of the next entry, please follow me on Twitter, as i post all new entires there.
With that said; shall we begin?