Would you rather watch OP OR TLD?

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  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 14,253
    I've been saying for years how I want Bond to smoke again in the films. It may be mostly Fleming purists who say it. I quit in 2009 because it was making me gag with every puff. The thought of me smoking again makes me wanna throw up, but the thought of a fictional character smoking doesn't affect me in the slightest. Unless of course, it culminates in witnessing Bond dying again, except this time from lung cancer.

    For me it's not about looking cool or glamorous:

    - it's Fleming
    - it's an extra character trait, or layer that shows our hero has weaknesses
    - it can provide a message and promote tobacco as being unhealthy by having Bond's peers grill him about it (it's easy to imagine Moneypenny lecturing [and forcing Tanner to back her up]) and/or M confiscating his case/packet after continuing to get a whiff of smoke in the office)
    - it's an opportunity to finally see the Morlands branding on screen - something we've never had AFAIK
    - it provides concealment for fun gadgetry (Brosnan and Moore's Bond never smoked cigarettes on screen yet they were given cigarette-based props throughout their run)

    Bond can be portrayed as a smoker without even seeing him touch one. A pack in his desk drawer would suffice. At the end of the day I just wanna see the 'three gold rings' on celluloid!

    People will continue to take up smoking whether Bond smokes or not - the whole world does not revolve around what James Bond does or does not do. At the end of the day it's fiction and up to the parents to teach their kids about the harmful effects of smoking in the real world. Grown-ups can make their own decision on whether they choose to smoke or not.

    He smokes in the most recent comics, yet that is never mentioned. I believe the same people who read comics watch movies, so I have to wonder what the difference is. Perhaps only smokers read comics.

    If it never came back it would not affect the quality of the films, so I'm good either way.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited June 5 Posts: 15,548
    QBranch wrote: »
    People will continue to take up smoking whether Bond smokes or not - the whole world does not revolve around what James Bond does or does not do. At the end of the day it's fiction and up to the parents to teach their kids about the harmful effects of smoking in the real world. Grown-ups can make their own decision on whether they choose to smoke or not.

    I don't think filmmakers can absolve themselves of guilt in this way though: it's all about a cumulative effect rather than saying 'well I don't think this one instance will affect anything'. If they help to set an atmosphere which glamorises something in the same way they promote the expensive watches, cars, clothes etc. they help to sell, then I think they can be legitimately criticised, and that's why they don't do it. Omega watches aren't a massively successful company because of James Bond, but he doesn't exactly do any harm to them.

    QBranch wrote: »
    If it never came back it would not affect the quality of the films, so I'm good either way.

    Yeah that's fair enough. This is something he hasn't done regularly since 1969, it's not really an issue. If he started wearing frilly shirts again, that might be a problem! :)
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 14,253
    Wait, frilly shirts are out?

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  • peterpeter Toronto
    Posts: 9,034
    I guess if I wanted the films to show a man looking like he was late 40s/early 50s with leathery and wrinkled skin, although the character is only supposed to be in his mid 30s, who does more investigating than action, pullback on all the great stunt work and fisticuffs, I could accept a smoking James Bond.

    But that's not what I want, and that's not who we get.

    I'd like to see a man who, in today's world (not the world of the 1950s, 60s, or 70s), moves forward, who is coiled like a spring and can hang off moving vehicles, ski, swim, fight, sprint, who looks fit and strong, and is physically appealing. He may have some vices (drowning out the screams of his past with some booze, kills pain with pills), is acceptable to me because, although it may take him out of action sooner, it doesn't take him out of action now-- which is what cigarette smoking would do.

    I like a Bond who's knowledgeable about food, wine, even perfume. I didn't like the know it all too much. But I'd much rather a James Bond who is a bit of a cultural snob vs a Bond who's supposed to be someone who can execute enormous feats of physical endurance, yet is a smoker. The latter just isn't appealing in today's world, and is so ridiculous, it'd take me out of the film.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    edited June 5 Posts: 40,682
    Why add the realities of smoking to Bond's cinematic smoking though? In a universe of space battles and bionic eyes, I don't see why smoking would have to negatively affect him when he's running around doing everything he does as a heavy drinker, which is equally absurd. We just buy it because that's who Bond is. Hell, he even stops for a couple drinks in the midst of fighting and killing in NTTD.

    That's just how I feel though, and it's not a huge deal and I know he'll never go back to smoking. It'd be nice but it's a thing of the past. Still, Bond lighting up Felix's cigar in NTTD? That would've been great.
  • peterpeter Toronto
    Posts: 9,034
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Why add the realities of smoking to Bond's cinematic smoking though? In a universe of space battles and bionic eyes, I don't see why smoking would have to negatively affect him when he's running around doing everything he does as a heavy drinker, which is equally absurd. We just buy it because that's who Bond is. Hell, he even stops for a couple drinks in the midst of fighting and killing in NTTD.

    That's just how I feel though, and it's not a huge deal and I know he'll never go back to smoking. It'd be nice though.

    Space battles work because they’re NOT real yet movie magic magic makes it real to us.

    However, with smoking, can’t put the paste back on the tube. We’ve been exposed to what cigarettes do, and no amount of make belief will ever change that. Smoking is a part of our world and there’s no glossing it up.

    As others have rightly pointed out: smoking is for nervous characters and villains and slimy sleazeballs and femme fatales….
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,682
    Can't the same logic be applied to drinking? We've even seen a decline in its popularity in recent years (albeit nothing on the level of smoking, granted).
  • Posts: 12,348
    I’m not super bothered by Bond not smoking anymore, but I really don’t think his alcoholism is much “less bad.” I guess it’s just the fact that much of society still thinks drinking is cool and “in” while smoking isn’t, and the movies reflect the times, even though it’s still plenty harmful. For the record, I don’t care what objectively harmful things fictional characters do, but I’d argue alcohol and violence still being so much of Bond’s character really isn’t better morally than smoking. It’s like I said, it’s only because of how society is shaped.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,682
    FoxRox wrote: »
    I’m not super bothered by Bond not smoking anymore, but I really don’t think his alcoholism is much “less bad.” I guess it’s just the fact that much of society still thinks drinking is cool and “in” while smoking isn’t, and the movies reflect the times, even though it’s still plenty harmful. For the record, I don’t care what objectively harmful things fictional characters do, but I’d argue alcohol and violence still being so much of Bond’s character really isn’t better morally than smoking. It’s like I said, it’s only because of how society is shaped.

    Those are some good points there. One can argue the degrees of morality in all of it but it is funny how smoking's a big no-no in Bond's world anymore while he continues to drink heavily and kills dozens of people per film.

    At least on the alcohol front, I'll be interested to see if that aspect of his character changes over the coming decades, as alcohol's popularity wanes accordingly (if it continues to, that is).
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 15,548
    FoxRox wrote: »
    I’m not super bothered by Bond not smoking anymore, but I really don’t think his alcoholism is much “less bad.” I guess it’s just the fact that much of society still thinks drinking is cool and “in” while smoking isn’t, and the movies reflect the times, even though it’s still plenty harmful. For the record, I don’t care what objectively harmful things fictional characters do, but I’d argue alcohol and violence still being so much of Bond’s character really isn’t better morally than smoking. It’s like I said, it’s only because of how society is shaped.

    I don't think he has alcoholism as portrayed, but smoking does kill twice as many as alcohol does- it just is worse. Neither are great, no, but I think it's fair to eliminate the worst one in line with how society is moving, as you say. Smoking is a social no-no.

    Folks say 'but what about the killing?' but it's not the same thing: people don't work in a simple logical fashion like that - you can advertise a nice watch to them but you can't make them kill people with an advert, much like you can hypnotise them to bite into an onion like it's an apple but you can't make them throw that onion at someone else's face. There are sides to Bond which are aspirational -and millions of dollars of product placement kind of prove that- and there are sides which aren't, and audiences don't get them confused. They're happy to buy the shirt but less interested in the carpet-beating.
  • peterpeter Toronto
    Posts: 9,034
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Can't the same logic be applied to drinking? We've even seen a decline in its popularity in recent years (albeit nothing on the level of smoking, granted).

    Personally, I’m not making a moral judgement on smoking and drinking.

    I just know that smoking can kick your ass pretty much immediately and have a negative impact on lung, sex drive, secretion of scents, throat and esophagus, sense of smell, etc… When one has been smoking for decades, I know they couldn’t dream about the things James Bond does, let alone actually doing them (and they can’t dream about these things because their sleep is so disrupted from their apnea).

    Drinking is also poison. I’m not morally judging it. It’s a vice that I accept James Bond would have, and, as I said earlier, drink will slow him down over time, but not immediately (outside of a hangover, which, pop two pills and away he goes).

    So this has never been me tut-tutting over these vices; it’s whether I believe Bond could do all the things he does as a life long smoker. Smoking even a couple of cigs a day will see you slow down in every way within a month.

    And there’s no glossing this over.

    I want to believe my guy can do all the things he’s doing— whether it be riding a motorbike, having a fight, sprinting, swimming , and yes, having good sex where the tools are working and functioning well. When you’re a smoker, your skills and endurance and strength and overall health take a quick and massive hit.

    Whatever an adult wants to do, do it, provided it’s not harming anyone else, and doesn’t involve kids. But when it comes to a modern Bond, up on the big screen, I can’t think of anything that would take me out of the film quicker than a doughy 007, or a smoking 007.
  • Posts: 3,344
    Completely unrelated, but I’m always confused as to whether drinking is genuinely on the decline amongst 18-34 year olds, at least in the UK. Random news articles will claim this is the case, but I seem to see just as many claiming health issues caused by excessive drinking is on the rise in this demographic… in my own experience I generally see younger people as more likely to drink, and binge drinking/heavy drinking is relatively common… smoking not as much I guess (even compared to when I was a teenager. Although there’s more vaping now I guess, not that Bond should indulge in that either!)

    Anyway, I’m all for Bond showing a bit more open interest in cultural things in the next era. I wouldn’t call him a snob (and I wasn’t really a fan in the Connery films when his Bond would seemingly attempt to up M about brandy etc) but Bond to me is a character who has interest in these things and acquires knowledge easily.
  • peterpeter Toronto
    edited June 5 Posts: 9,034
    007HallY wrote: »
    Completely unrelated, but I’m always confused as to whether drinking is genuinely on the decline amongst 18-34 year olds, at least in the UK. Random news articles will claim this is the case, but I seem to see just as many claiming health issues caused by excessive drinking is on the rise in this demographic… in my own experience I generally see younger people as more likely to drink, and binge drinking/heavy drinking is relatively common… smoking not as much I guess (even compared to when I was a teenager. Although there’s more vaping now I guess, not that Bond should indulge in that either!)

    Anyway, I’m all for Bond showing a bit more open interest in cultural things in the next era. I wouldn’t call him a snob (and I wasn’t really a fan in the Connery films when his Bond would seemingly attempt to up M about brandy etc) but Bond to me is a character who has interest in these things and acquires knowledge easily.

    I was listening to a podcast with a neuroscientist on it discussing the perils of alcohol and he also stated drinking has decreased amongst younger people.

    Anecdotally, my kids— in their very late teens and early 20s drink nowhere as much as I (and my peer group) did back in our crazy uni days.

    They like a glass of wine with a special dinner. They certainly experiment more with exotic cocktails, but as far as quantity goes, significantly less. Same with their friends.

    Will drinking ever go the way of the Dodo Bird? I can’t see it, as it’s still the most acceptable social drug on the market. But I am happy that it’s been scaled back, just for the sake of over all health.
  • Posts: 14,910
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Can't the same logic be applied to drinking? We've even seen a decline in its popularity in recent years (albeit nothing on the level of smoking, granted).

    The difference I think is the perception. Many alcohols are still seen as glamorous. Alcohols are paired with gastronomical meals. With the exception of cigars, tobacco products don't have that aura anymore or that association. And one can drink in moderation. There is no safe, reasonable amount of cigarette you can smoke. It's not seen as sexy either, even for women.
  • edited June 5 Posts: 3,344
    peter wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    Completely unrelated, but I’m always confused as to whether drinking is genuinely on the decline amongst 18-34 year olds, at least in the UK. Random news articles will claim this is the case, but I seem to see just as many claiming health issues caused by excessive drinking is on the rise in this demographic… in my own experience I generally see younger people as more likely to drink, and binge drinking/heavy drinking is relatively common… smoking not as much I guess (even compared to when I was a teenager. Although there’s more vaping now I guess, not that Bond should indulge in that either!)

    Anyway, I’m all for Bond showing a bit more open interest in cultural things in the next era. I wouldn’t call him a snob (and I wasn’t really a fan in the Connery films when his Bond would seemingly attempt to up M about brandy etc) but Bond to me is a character who has interest in these things and acquires knowledge easily.

    I was listening to a podcast with a neuroscientist on it discussing the perils of alcohol and he also stated drinking has decreased amongst younger people.

    Anecdotally, my kids— in their very late teens and early 20s drink nowhere as much as I (and my peer group) did back in our crazy uni days.

    They like a glass of wine with a special dinner. They certainly experiment more with exotic cocktails, but as far as quantity goes, significantly less. Same with their friends.

    Will drinking ever go the way of the Dodo Bird? I can’t see it, as it’s still the most acceptable social drug on the market. But I am happy that it’s been scaled back, just for the sake of over all health.

    Yes, it’s probably best to not drink consistently. I have noticed that people seem more aware of how it can affect them/will make efforts to have periods where they don’t drink. But otherwise the idea of younger people not drinking as much on the whole is an unusual one to me (it may well be my own experiences though. I know heavy drinking is common in the hospitality industry which I used to work in throughout my early twenties. Even worked with at least two people who turned out to be full blown alcoholics unfortunately. But even so I wouldn’t say heavy drinking is uncommon having worked in a different industries in London and Scotland).
  • Posts: 12,348
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Can't the same logic be applied to drinking? We've even seen a decline in its popularity in recent years (albeit nothing on the level of smoking, granted).

    The difference I think is the perception. Many alcohols are still seen as glamorous. Alcohols are paired with gastronomical meals. With the exception of cigars, tobacco products don't have that aura anymore or that association. And one can drink in moderation. There is no safe, reasonable amount of cigarette you can smoke. It's not seen as sexy either, even for women.

    Well said, perception really is the number one thing. Sure, you can pull up all sorts of stats about smoking being “worse” for a pure black-and-white debate, but I don’t think it’s any excuse to downplay the dangers of alcohol consumption. Anecdotally, I know more people who’ve hurt or ruined their lives as well as the lives of others from alcohol than smoking.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,682
    To be fair, it seems more and more studies nowadays say that there's really no "good" amount of alcohol to have because any amount is bad for you, much like smoking, but I digress.

    Bond will never go back to smoking, but I wouldn't mind seeing it happen.
  • mattjoesmattjoes DAY OF THE BROSNAN
    edited June 5 Posts: 6,927
    There is plenty of talk here about the perception of smoking, which is fine, but as some have already done, it would also be interesting to offer one's personal view on seeing Bond smoking, regardless of general perception, commercial considerations, etc. I'd like to see it, and I don't care about whether smoking makes athletic feats unlikely or impossible. These movies are fantasies, and the fantasy of smoking is just another thing I can roll with. For me, it's not a bridge too far.

    Looking at it from a commercial point of view, it's something that has already been understandably phased out for the most part, but I think it would be nice to see it brought back occasionally. Like in Die Another Day, when he's been deprived of pleasure for so long, that it makes sense to see him indulge in this "filthy habit." It also explores the less glamorous side of Bond, which for all the (legitimate) talk about glamour, is something that does exist within the character and the films. Bond is, as mentioned before, a bit of a bastard. His coolness exists on the edge between heroism and cruelty, virtue and vice.

    When Casino Royale showed us Bond's face full of cuts and wounds, it emphasized the danger, the less romantic side of what he does and what he is, and it was great to see. Much like that, smoking, at least when presented occasionally, could achieve the same effect. Films can set or buck trends, you know? Smoking isn't something that has to be reserved for villains and twitchy people, which is an affectation of movies, anyway, and thus can be deconstructed. There is always some room for little subversions. That's the fantasy of movies for me; things can be in flux.

    To answer the question though, I would still prefer the return of the snob than that of the smoker.
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Born on the bayou. I can still hear my old hound dog barkin'.
    Posts: 8,823
    My opinion about Bond's smoking (as mentioned above) doesn't even consider health and child protection reasons. Smoking is just out of date if you want to appear half-way educated. And just because Bond smoked in the 1950s and 1960s books and the early movies doesn't mean he still has to do so 60 or 70 years later. You might as well demand that he wear those funny hats we saw in the early gunbarrels.
  • Posts: 14,910
    FoxRox wrote: »
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Can't the same logic be applied to drinking? We've even seen a decline in its popularity in recent years (albeit nothing on the level of smoking, granted).

    The difference I think is the perception. Many alcohols are still seen as glamorous. Alcohols are paired with gastronomical meals. With the exception of cigars, tobacco products don't have that aura anymore or that association. And one can drink in moderation. There is no safe, reasonable amount of cigarette you can smoke. It's not seen as sexy either, even for women.

    Well said, perception really is the number one thing. Sure, you can pull up all sorts of stats about smoking being “worse” for a pure black-and-white debate, but I don’t think it’s any excuse to downplay the dangers of alcohol consumption. Anecdotally, I know more people who’ve hurt or ruined their lives as well as the lives of others from alcohol than smoking.

    It's 50/50 in my case: I've seen lots of people ruined by alcoholism, and a lot of people dying of cancer because of cigarettes. But I'd say plenty of people I know with addiction tendencies abuse of both.
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    To be fair, it seems more and more studies nowadays say that there's really no "good" amount of alcohol to have because any amount is bad for you, much like smoking, but I digress.

    Bond will never go back to smoking, but I wouldn't mind seeing it happen.

    Alcohol is far more toxic than many illegal drugs. But it's still more glamorous than all of them.
  • DwayneDwayne New York City
    Posts: 2,702
    knowledge expert.

    I like to think that Bond is well read. In another thread, I mentioned that while recent films have had Bond globe-trotting as much as ever, we rarely get to see him interact with a foreign culture or people. I would like to see that come back. And if it did, it would provide the perfect avenue for Bond to show that he is knowledgeable.

    IMO, of course.
  • peterpeter Toronto
    Posts: 9,034
    Smoking is just out of date if you want to appear half-way educated.

    … and there’s this excellent point…
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Born on the bayou. I can still hear my old hound dog barkin'.
    Posts: 8,823
    peter wrote: »
    Smoking is just out of date if you want to appear half-way educated.

    … and there’s this excellent point…

    I hope you're not being ironic. I wasn't.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 8,120
    Dwayne wrote: »
    knowledge expert.

    I like to think that Bond is well read. In another thread, I mentioned that while recent films have had Bond globe-trotting as much as ever, we rarely get to see him interact with a foreign culture or people. I would like to see that come back. And if it did, it would provide the perfect avenue for Bond to show that he is knowledgeable.

    IMO, of course.

    Intelligence officers are supposed to know a lot about a lot, for the simple fact that they need to blend in, be able to entice people to talk to them, etc. And obviously, Bond beeing the best of the best, I'd expect him to be able to start a conversation on just about anything. I'd really love to see that return to the films indeed.
  • peterpeter Toronto
    Posts: 9,034
    j_w_pepper wrote: »
    peter wrote: »
    Smoking is just out of date if you want to appear half-way educated.

    … and there’s this excellent point…

    I hope you're not being ironic. I wasn't.

    Oh no, I was being absolutely sincere, @j_w_pepper !!! It's the most simple, straight forward perception of smoking. It's absolutely outdated. And a man of today, which Bond is, would be on board with this.

    He has his vices: sex and alcohol (danger and living on the edge), and cigarette smoking wouldn't have a role if Bond existed today.
  • SimonSimon Keeping The British End Up...
    Posts: 136
    peter wrote: »
    It's the most simple, straight forward perception of smoking. It's absolutely outdated. And a man of today, which Bond is, would be on board with this.

    Not sure I agree. Bond doesn't care about his perception - if he wanted to smoke, he would do, and would almost be more in character to not be towing the socially acceptable line. A 'man of today' could also vape, and I don't think that's on the cards either ;)

    That said, I never got the idea that smoking was somehow a character trait or a mark of the man.

    Would I care if Bond smoked? No, not even slightly. Do I have any level of want, desire or wish to see him smoke? No, not even slightly.

    The intelligence/snobbery thing is by far an away more impactful in shaping how the audience views the character, and how the producers forge the characters perception - is he a know-it-all, or an elite Intelligence Officer? Or is he a character of convenience who just happens to stumble across required intel? How this element works is a tool to provide the audience with a measure of the man on screen. Cigarettes just looked cool in the 60's, and is now irrelevant weather Bond uses them or not.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 15,548
    Simon wrote: »
    peter wrote: »
    It's the most simple, straight forward perception of smoking. It's absolutely outdated. And a man of today, which Bond is, would be on board with this.

    Not sure I agree. Bond doesn't care about his perception - if he wanted to smoke, he would do, and would almost be more in character to not be towing the socially acceptable line. A 'man of today' could also vape, and I don't think that's on the cards either ;)

    I agree that Bond wouldn't care, but the filmmakers have to care in so far as they're establishing a character, and Peter's right to say that the perception of it there matters. It is character shorthand and carries a different meaning now to how it did in the 60s.

    A vape would be horrible, although it would at least be a nifty concealment for a Q gadget! :D
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    edited June 7 Posts: 14,253
    They may continue to include just one character who smokes per film, like Severine, Madeleine's mum, Nambutu Embassy Official, Mitchell... Can't think of one for SP - certainly no one in the Hoffler Klinik!
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited June 7 Posts: 15,548
    QBranch wrote: »
    They may continue to include just one character who smokes per film, like Severine, Madeleine's mum, Nambutu Embassy Official, Mitchell... Can't think of one for SP - certainly no one in the Hoffler Klinik!

    Mitchell didn't smoke- that was the gag! :)
    Those characters are good examples of the shorthand though. Look at Severine: it kind of exemplifies her nerviness and weakness in a way.
  • SimonSimon Keeping The British End Up...
    Posts: 136
    mtm wrote: »
    I agree that Bond wouldn't care, but the filmmakers have to care in so far as they're establishing a character, and Peter's right to say that

    Absolutely, maybe misread on my part who this was referring to!

    A vape would be horrible, although it would at least be a nifty concealment for a Q gadget! :D

    "Now Bond, here is your newly issued MI6 vape. It's not ordinary vape though - concealed in the battery compartment; a single Benson & Hedges. Hold the device upside down and press the button on the side, and look - a lighter."
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