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What Would People Think?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Craig, Daniel Craig

I haven't seen the new James Bond film yet because I'm arguably a momma's boy. You see, my mom - the woman who introduced me to the Die Hard movies - is an action movie fanatic. And she's really been looking forward to watching the movie with me over Thanksgiving weekend. So - much as I'm sure Christy would like to spend the time sleeping through a movie that would hold no interest for her - I'm waiting to see it with my mom.

But I must say, based on the reviews, I'm ambivalent. First off, I was a huge Pierce Brosnan fan. I really thought he was the best Bond of the series. Yes, I know, Sean Connery is supposed to be the only true Bond. But I figure I've earned my Bond geek stripes. How much of a Bond geek am I, you ask? I've seen every real Bond film (Never Say Never Again & the first Casino Royale don't count, dammit!). I'm such a Bond geek that when reviewer James Berardinelli mentioned that the character of Felix Leiter was returning in the new film, my response was "Felix! That's awesome! Haven't seen you since License to Kill in the late 1980s!" I imagine most people would not know that Felix Leiter has been played by a different actor in every Bond film he's appeared in. I bet most people would go "Felix who?"

So, back to Brosnan. I've always liked him. I thought he had the lethal edge of Sean Connery, the humor of Roger Moore, and the serious vulnerability of Timothy Dalton (all of whom overplayed those qualities, except Connery who simply lacked the vulnerability). And Brosnan, unlike George Lazenby, was not a non-entity.

So I'm not sure about this Craig guy. First blond Bond. Bad sign. And what's this about there being no Q or Moneypenny? I've grown to love the conventions of the Bond films. No gadgets? I even hear rumors of Bond falling in love? You know that didn't work at all in On Her Majesty's Secret Service...except to give Bond a tragic memory. And, I suppose, that's what might happen here.

But I'll withhold judgment. Change can be good. The Bond series didn't need reinvention as much as the Batman series, but maybe new ideas will make it even more fun. I mean, there's still people shooting people. How bad can it be?


  • The last few have been terrible. I thought Pierce Brosnan was a great Bond, but the recent movies have been terrible. Goldeney was pretty good, but everything since then has been a complete wreck. And the owners of the franchise refused to take a chance and make the movies not ridiculous, so Brosnan left. Then finally they let them reinvent it.

    I would have loved for Pierce Brosnan to be in this new one, but I really think they're taking it in the right direction. They're making it more gritty and realistic. This is the kind of Bond one can actually imagine the secret service hiring to do their dirty work. It makes him vulnerable, while still being badass.

    By Blogger Barzelay, at 11/19/2006 10:29 PM  

  • See, I disagree. While I think The World Is Not Enough was lame, I loved Die Another Day. The ice palace was awesome. The idea of Bond actually being captured and tortured at the beginning of the movie was an intriguing tweak on the series. And the utter hatred that resulted between Bond and that particular villain was very interesting. Halle Barry was a great Bond girl (the least laughable in ages...especially after *shudder* Denise Richards).

    By Blogger Ben, at 11/20/2006 6:48 AM  

  • I agree with some of what both of you say. I loved Pierce Brosnan, blond Bond made me nervous.

    The correct ranking in order of quality of Brosnan bond pictures is thus.

    1. Goldeneye
    2. World is not Enough(take away Denise Richards and you have a great old-school Bond tale).
    3. Die Another Day's Opening sequence

    3. Tomorrow Never Dies
    4. Die Another Day (sorry Ben, WAY too much cheese here, and even Brosnan looked pretty disgusted with it)

    That said, i really enjoyed the newest version, minus a couple minor issues that I would be happy to discuss with you after you've seen it. Enjoy!

    By Anonymous Amy, at 11/20/2006 10:33 AM  

  • I really liked "Casino Royale", but I admit my Bond geekosity is not nearly at your level. We'll have to discuss it after you see it, I'm interested to hear the opinions of a diehard Bond fan.

    And point of order: neither Q nor Moneypenny appeared in the original book either, ergo I have no problem with their absence here.

    By Blogger Mike, at 11/20/2006 10:44 AM  

  • I enjoyed "Casino." I will also argue that the most salient change between the last few Bond films and this one is not Craig but the addition of Paul Haggis (Million Dollar Baby) to the screenplay team. Craig has to portray the deepest Bond character yet and acquits himself excellently.

    It's also a bit weird time-wise. You'll figure that out in the first five minutes, though, so that's not a spoiler :)

    By Blogger Jeff, at 11/21/2006 1:43 AM  

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