Okay, I've seen Skyfall a second time, and I enjoyed it much more. As I stated earlier Bond films have to sit with me a while before I can truly say whether or not I like them. One question that was clearly answered upon second viewing (and with a bit of help from a VERY sharp-eyed forum member) was the one about Bond "letting" the Shanghai assassination happen. Shortly before he arrives, M specifically orders Bond to find out who the assassin is working for, THEN kill him. Not the other way around. Also, Bond is not yet in the room with the assassin when the trigger is pulled. There is still glass separating them. Bond could not have prevented the victim being shot without shooting the assassin.
The Aston Martin...well, Bond says "the problem with company cars is they have trackers." This is a bit of a stretch, but he may be referring to the black government cars MI6 and other government types are using, not necessarily Q-Branch cars. "Company cars" meaning "government cars." Again, a stretch. But possible. Also, it could be the Aston is a holdover from Q-Branch's early days, before sophisticated tracking devices, and Bond simply got hold of one. He knows all kinds of stuff, including what "M" really stands for and how to break into her apartment. Maybe he's got some old Q-Branch stuff in storage...knew how to get it, and is hiding it for his own use. Also, if his family heirlooms were almost all sold after his apparent death, chances are he lost the Aston he won in Casino Royale.
When watching Casino Royale the other night, I noticed Bond seems to know not only the make but also the exact year model of Dimitrios' car...maybe Bond loves classic cars, especially Astons. Maybe he's working on a collection.
Main titles mean a hell of a lot more once you've seen the movie. Song, too. Nice thematic development.
The score, which I thought was odd in some places upon first viewing (hearing), is really growing on me. I still think David Arnold's last two scores were masterpieces (especially Quantum of Solace--he was practically channeling John Barry during certain sequences in that one), but Newman offers some great moments.
I'm really digging Ralph Fiennes as M. I'm SO GLAD things will be back to normal for next time. Male M. Moneypenny. Q. The cushy, old English office. Welcome back, old friends.
Enough of Bond Begins. We've done it. Went one film to far, maybe, but it worked! Great. Let's move on. It's time to save the world.