Barbara and Michael, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY 007???
I have just returned from a showing of the new, so-called James Bond movie SKYFALL, which from here on out I will refer to as S*ITFALL,
Where to start in describing S*ITFALL?
It's a well-made movie. It's well-photographed. The actors are superb. It's a well-produced movie....but it's not a James Bond movie. There's a guy in it who talks with a funny accent who calls himself James Bond, but this is not James Bond. I don't know who this guy is.
There was a time when Bond stood out from the crowd. The movies had amazing stunts and set pieces and great humor and over-the-top moments that were unique and everybody else had to play catch-up. There were times when Bond got too silly but he was always there with his smirk and his one-liner and his babe and there was a formula and elements you could count on being there that made you feel welcome and comfortable and ready to see what they were going to do this time. They always found a way to make it different, but the same, and a good time was always had by all (until you started reading the forums!).
There is nothing that makes S*ITFALL stand out from any other stupid action movie, and there is plenty of stupid action in this one (at least in the Silva escape sequence, the rest is OK). Remember in the '60s when Bond was popular and a ton of copycat movies were made to cash in? Today, Bond is a copy of himself. The filmmakers are trying to imitate their own movies and they've given us this new thing that is like Bond but not quite Bond because that would be copying.
S*ITFALL does not feature smirk Bond, funny Bond, or any other Bond we've come to love. That man hasn't been present over the last three films. Instead we have gritty Bond, gloomy Bond, pissed-off Bond, angry Bond. I don't want that kind of James Bond.
But it's Fleming! Horse manure. But it's realistic! Nuts to that. There are enough outlandish "Bond moments" in S*ITFALL for the attempt at "reality" to be a waste of time. The Bond in the Fleming books wasn't perfect and had second thoughts and was gloomy and got pissed off and all that, yeah, but I don't want to see that on screen. If this is Barbara and Michael's attempt at a "literary" interpretation, I wish they'd go back to the other way. Book Bond does not equal Movie Bond.
Bond is just not fun anymore.
Luckily, I have DVDs of the old movies. The "real" Bond movies. I think I'll watch OCTOPUSSY and wait for the Tarzan yell. Or A VIEW TO A KILL and laugh when the Beach Boys come on and listen for my favorite line ("Anybody else want to drop out?"). I'll watch FOR YOUR EYES ONLY and cringe when I hear "I'll buy you a delicatessen in stainless steel!" but Goddammit I will have a good time watching those movies!!!!!
If I want a gritty spy story, I'll watch THE SANDBAGGERS.
James Bond is not the Sandbaggers.
Maybe some day Bond will be fun again. Let me know when that happens, okay?