Sunday, December 03, 2006

Blond Bondshell

(This is the second version of this post. The first one disappeared into thin air when I tried to publish it. Thanks, blogger!)

Let me open by saying that I love Sean Connery as James Bond. ML and I went through a Bond phase where we rented all the Connerys and they were wonderful. Nobody can match the Great Scot in his signature role. It's a perfect fit, he's perfection and no one who's followed (Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan or the new guy, more on him in a moment) will ever live up to that performance. Even in Never Say Never Again, he was still The Man. That said, I think Daniel Craig did alright as Bond. Let's face it, this guy's up against a lot...filling Connery's shoes (impossible, but I think he knew that and just went his own way with the role), being a relative unknown (in the States, because if you check his list of credits on IMDB you will see it's as long as my arm) and, of course, being blond (this is a real bone of contention for some, along the same lines as Renee Zellweger, a Texan, playing the veddy British Bridget Jones). Did you know there's a Daniel Craig is not Bond web site. There are some hard core people out there.

Although I've seen a lot of Bond films, I don't consider myself an authority by any stretch of the imagination. Here's what I'm basing my opinion on: all the Connerys (Goldfinger rocks), the one Lazenby (On Her Majesty's Secret Service with Diana Rigg. Saucy!) and one Dalton (I caught The Living Daylights on cable once. I think he was better in Flash Gordon, with the green tights). I've tried to watch Moore, but it just doesn't work for me. I fell asleep during Moonraker and simply could not get through A View to a Kill (Tanya Roberts! Christopher Walken! Grace Jones! Oh my!). As for Brosnan, I can't get past the whole Remington Steele thing. I keep expecting Stephanie Zimbalist to walk in and yell at him for something.

So, about Craig. He's not as suave as Connery, not as cheeky as Moore and not as dark haired as any of the other ones. He is rugged as hell and quite possibly the fittest man I have ever seen. (I realize that his body might have been a bit of a distraction for me, but as ML said "it's about time you chicks got a bit of beefcake.") Granted, it was clear that he did not seem at ease in The Suit, but how many guys truly feel like themselves in a tux. I'll tell you how many. Four: Connery as Bond, Cary Grant, George Clooney and my Dad. I'm not counting Fred Astaire because he always wore tails. I'm talking about your basic, classic, timeless tuxedo. Craig seemed most comfortable in those swim trunks, which is ok by me. By the way, am I the only one who thought of Ursula Andress in Dr. No the first time Craig burst out of the waters? Intentional or not, that was a good wink.

Other notes on the film: this is supposed to be the prequel, the one where we find out how Bond became Bond, right? Right. That would explain the dearth of fancy gadgets. All we got in this one was a car (not even an Aston Martin) outfitted with a very large gun, a syringe full of God knows what and a defibrilator. Sad. But I love, love, love Judi Dench as M, so much so that I think she should be given a franchise all her own, complete with a young boy Moneypenny. Are you listening, Mr. Broccoli? You can't give this woman enough screen time. The villain? Yeah, ok, he was alright with his inhaler and his bloody eye (literally bloody, not English "oh bloody hell" bloody.) He totally monlogued when he should have simply gotten on with the business of dispatching Bond. They always do, don't they? (best Bond/Villain exchange ever? Bond: Do you expect me to talk? Goldfinger: No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to DIE!"). Vesper Lynd? She sure did wear a lot of dark eye makeup. Her name should have been Smokey Eyes. She's no Pussy Galore, I'll say that much.

Did I walk in to Casino Royale with expectations of how true it would be to old school Bond? Not really. Like I said, I love Connery, but I'm not a rabid fan. I didn't grow up watching Bond films, I actually came to them a bit late, but I do understand how some people might feel upset or betrayed. The only thing that comes close to that for me is the Superman franchise. ( I did go see Superman Returns, but no matter how many new movies they make, Christopher Reeve will always be Superman to me. Sorry, Brandon Routh.) I will say that this film had a lot of great action and exotic locales (London, the Bahamas, Miami, Montenegro, Venice) to keep me interested, even if it did run a bit long (no thanks to the series of commercials shown before the actual previews. Capitalist bastards.) My point is this; if you want Connery, gadgets, babes and Q, then watch one of the Connery Bond films. However, if you want to see a well-built guy stripped naked, tied to a chair and tortured in a most unusual fashion, then by all means, this Bond's for you.


Ia said...

I'm sold!!!!

Ia<~~~~logging onto to get her tickets to see Bond!!!

Catherine said...

In the immortal words of the ol' man: "There's only one Bond, and only one Saint. At least this one looks like he could be a spy."

That's all I'm saying.

Cat - can't wait to check out the yumminess.

Tk said...

I stopped reading when you quoted the Goldfinger line that has been a fave of me and my dear sister since we saw that pic way back when. While most of the scene fulfills the necessary over-complicated death machine requirements, that exchange slightly undermines them, suggesting that Auric Goldfinger knows the conventions, but he really does want Bond to die. You could probably make a short film about Gert Frobe wanting Connery to die, or about a Method version of Bond in which Frobe's line is ad libbed, and Connery realizes that the laser is real. (Which wouldn't explain why the laser is visible, but that's for the short film maker to figure out.)

Chris said...

I haven't checked in a while, loved the movie but I take exception to your comment about no Aston Martin in the movie. There were actually 2, the DB5 which he wins in the poker match against Dimitrios and the brand new yet to be released DBS which he flipped over. Now, with that, please run all automotive related posts by me for fact checking.

...going back in his hole

Anonymous said...

Uh...Albert "Cubby" Broccoli isn't alive anymore....his daughter is the executive producer now, which explains why James Bond has had his balls taken away, you see NO MORE babes in bikinis, and he's all sensitive and lovey-dovey with ONE GIRL in the whole film! And for the scene where he's naked and the criminal is ogling his body before beating his testicles, well that type of homoerotic behavior just doesn't do with the majority of male heterosexual Bond fans out there. Instead of a blonde beefcake thug Bond who doesn't know how to wear a tuxedo and has never tasted a martini, can we have the REAL Bond back please?