Thursday, November 29, 2012

Roger Moore Slept Here

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?


  1. I wish to agree with your review. Although I have yet to see Skyfall - I may wait until it's out on DVD/Bluray - I felt the casting of Daniel Craig, and the general direction the franchise has gone down as a result of his casting, has, bar some exiting action set-pieces, more-or-less killed off the 'magic' of the franchise.

    I've seen Casino Royale once. I've tried to watch it again but gave up around half way. I cannot bear to watch Daniel Craig as James 'glum' 'little charm' Bond. I felt the same watching Quantum of Solace - a film I've seen just the once. Craig brings no glamour, no sophistication, no 'I'd want to be like his Bond' vibe to the role. I also dislike the increasing amount of screen time given to M. Dench's M comes over like Bond's disapproving mother.

    In my humble opinion the Bond franchise died in 2002. Sure, Skyfall has been an huge hit but this merely reinforces the fact people want and accept a different kind of Bond and a different kind of Bond franchise. Fair enough. They're welcome to it. The public have spoken, but I'll stick with the Bond franchise from 1962 - 2002.

    And as for the producers putting the gun barrels at the end of the last two James Bond films - shameful.

  2. I don't mind Judi Dench. She's a terrific actress, but now that there's been a change in leadership at the MI6 office I'm sure we'll now see Bond's disapproving father get more screen time.

  3. Well said Brian. You voiced all the things we felt walking out of S:;(fall. What a disappointment for real Bond fans.

  4. I must disagree here and I'm no fan of Daniel Craig's Bond - I didn't like Casino Royale and Hated Quantum of Shit but I thought Skyfall was the best Bond movie since Goldeneye. Craig actually came across as Bond here, an ugly Bond but Bone nonetheless. I liked Skyfall

  5. Well, Gary, I tried to watch it again, with my father, since it's been out tradition since 1983 to watch each new Bond movie as it hits theaters. He dozed off during the casino scene. He said that in 50 years of watching Bond he has never dozed off. There is something not right with the current incarnation, and I hope they give us something like "The Living Daylights" next time around. That was serious adventure but laced with humor and still Bond through and through.

  6. I will agree Living Daylights is better than Skyfall, but out of Craig's Bond movies I think Skyfall is the best. I also think the franchise is back on track and hopefully the next one will be prime Bond - would prefer a recast of Bond, though

  7. Okay, I must totally weigh-in here as a long, long, loooooongggggg-time fan of James Bond (both books and movies). What I like most about Craig's Bond aura is that very rough, edgy, tormented character -- which most ardent Fleming readers would agree comes much closer to the creator's Bond than the Rico Suave of previous actors (Brosnan's sticky-sweet being the worst, ack, ack, coughing up a hairball).

    As to Skyfall, which I will admit not having seen yet, I've been told by friends and Bond fans it's good. But I always reserve final judgment for my own opinion. Knowing you, Brian, are probably as much a Bond puritan as I, gives me cause to worry some now about this movie.

    That all said, I actually liked Timothy Dalton who I thought was the best Bond (please don't throw anything at me, people, it's just MHO). And I felt both Licence to Kill and The Living Daylights were first-rate pictures for the franchise. Great post, Brian, and thanks for the heads up.