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James Bond News • James Bond Articles • James Bond Magazine
Popularity is not always a barometer of quality in general. Craig's films though different prove what Dalton said to the producers years ago is correct. Parodying James Bond will always weaken the series. We are back now to an era where Bond films are not dumbed down and depth has returned.
What they are doing for Craig in terms of scripts and supporting cast is what they should have done for Dalton. If Craig's first film was a hand me down unused Brosnan script then he would have had to compromise down his intentions.
I thought Goldeneye was Brosnan's best though I rolled my eyes at the tacky Aston/Ferrari race scenes. They were out of place with the serious narrative of the movie.
Also the Brosnan era proves that your legacy as Bond is not alone dependent on how many films you have done. An actor should have the his/her part defined from the outset. I think some fans assume that the third film milestone automatically transforms the actor into the ultimate Bond.
And I will give Dalton credit. Though he did two films, he made the role his own and added new layers to the character. Whether we like it or not, he was his own man. That is James Bond. His Bond is controversial that to this day fans are talking about it like it was yesterday. Even hate of Dalton is an emotion that has worked to his advantage. If Moore's Bond was Duran Duran, then Dalton's was Marilyn Manson. He was in some ways too different yet ironically true to the real character. Some prefer the red pill and some prefer the blue as The Matrix film points out. Those who prefer the fantastical will always despise the real.
And Craig's era was made possible by real world events where his Bond interpretation would be in line with where modern style film making and acting is going.
Had 9/11 not happened, I may be wrong, but Brosnan would have continued as Bond. But as we all know, the world changed forever on that day and things would never be the same.
Craig's Bond almost comes across like he did do a tour of duty in Iraq as well as Afghanistan. Not that it is implied but he has an ex-special forces style about him. And this is the Bond for the modern age that is necessary to protect the world.
Disagree about the 9/11 thing. DAD happened in 2002, after the fact. The huge success of Batman Begins and EON securing the rights to Casino Royale is why we got the reboot with Craig.
DAD was already in production so there was no time to change course despite 9/11 happening and the film was too out of step with real world events. They were also very focused on hitting the 40th anniversary deadline so production could not be delayed.
But the film's negative reaction by fans had an impact on Eon's direction. Also Eon would never let go of a successful actor in the part that easily and Brosnan was established in the part no question. Something was up for sure.Moore was not replaced after Moonraker but given a better down to earth film to balance things out.
Bourne also had an impact on the franchise which was before Batman. Audiences were tired of the fantastical which at the time was touted as classic Bond in terms of outlandish plots.
No doubt there are a lot of factors that contributed to the switch but I don't see the 9/11 thing at all.
Watch the Everything Or Nothing documentary that came out recently. Barbara Broccoli even mentions the tragic event of 9/11 and how a flippant Bond would no longer be appropriate. And then she talks about the re-casting of Bond.
Craig is blatantly a real world Bond adjusted to the realities of today. He suits the socio-political climate we have. His Bond is bleaker and suffers way more in the line of duty. I am not saying 9/11 is the only reason Craig was cast, but with the after effects of that event and the wars that are still going on, it makes sense.
It has nothing to do with opening a wound or to look important. But I know a lot of Americans and we talk about it. In fact, they always tell me to never forget. And it was a mega tragedy that cannot be ignored. I cannot pretend it never happened because then I can equally be seen as uncaring.
It's really quite simple, follow Fleming's material and philosophy, add a few modern day necessities that go along with the current society and culture, and there ya go. A great bond film.
You can be sick about it, but 9/11 indeed had an influence on every element of western society, including movies. For about ten years, my country The Netherlands has had a far right wing government, supported by xenophobic, populist far right (and left) wing elements of society.
Shortly after 9/11, Pim Fortuyn and his anti-muslim party LPF became big. He was on the rise and was tipped at becoming the new prime minister. A week before election day he got killed. It was the first political murder since William of Orange got killed in 1584. You see him on this portrait:
And it didn't stop there. Theo van Gogh got killed and other parties like Geert Wilders anti-muslim party PVV came on the rise. 10 years long, until the important re-allignment elections of September (Finally right-wing party VVD and left-wing party PvdA are forming a government, reminiscent of the liberal, compromise-government in Holland of the 1990's), The Netherlands was kidnapped by xenophobic and populist ideas about western society.
So 9/11 had a profound effect on Dutch society. And I think my Norwegian, English and Spanish Bond fans know exactly what I am talking about.
After seeing the documentary 'Everything Or Nothing' I know Barbara Broccoli is an emotional, but moreover an empathic human being. She understood that the Bond films had to re-adjust in order to look and feel credible and necessary. A 9/11-like terrorist attack on a big airliner on Miami Airport, a Bolivian dictator partially helped into power by the CIA and Dominic Greene, a Wikileaks-scandal of proportions initiated by Silva: I am happy we saw this happening in Craig's last three Bond films.
James Bond is especially now more necessary than ever. Barbara and Michael know that. And I am happy we saw this kind of realism in the Bond films as well. It's really an exciting, but also more uncertain period in our lifetime, reminiscent of the Cold War period during the Connery-Bond films ('From Russia With Love', 'Thunderball', 'You Only Live Twice'...if only Ian Fleming was alive now).
And indeed, I do think we need to move on. And we will exactly do that. But there's nothing wrong with realizing what history has done to us, to western society. The implications of 9/11 are profound, but it has made us more responsible about ourselves and others.
If I am debating with someone over the
"official" story of 9/11, and I ask them to
explain how WTC 7 fell when no plane at all
hit it and they dismiss that question, like I
didn't even say it, is it wrong if I open hand
slap them to bring them out of their cognitive
9/11 was a wake-up call that the West you be aware that certain actions have consequences. As a result we went into the east and started some more unnessary wars that has even more destabilised a large region of the world. Most folks have little knowledge of a a large Islamitic part of Asia of which Afghanistan is not even a part.
I think that the financial crisis in wake of 9/11 has far more devestating consequences, the fighting of a double war is for a lot of countries a big drain on resources that we very much need in our own part of the world.
Imho Connery is the Golden century of 007ness, Sir Moore is the Glorious anything goes era of 007ness, Brosnan is the return to greatness of the 007ness, DC's era will be the new era until we get another 007 at work in which case we can accurately name his part in the franchise history.
What happened on 9/11 didn't just change America, it changed the world and it's a very significant milestone in human history. That said, life goes on and we must try to live normal lives in spite of overwhelming adversity. As daunting as reality may seem to be in the wake of such events, culture shelters us and helps us move on with a healthy dose of escapism. For me, Bond has never been about exploring the reality of spying so much as he has been about providing a romanticized, ideological representation of what the spying business should be like.
The Bourne films are similar because they illustrate a world where intelligence agencies are extraordinarily competent and thus make us feel safer in a post 9/11 world, but the fundamental different is that they fully embrace the gritty realism of that fateful day by channeling that angst into the film stile, the plot and above all the action.
Bond films should always be fun, classy, sexy films which tackle the larger than life schemes of fictitious villains. As far as Bond is concerned, 9/11 is something which should be tied to a larger conspiracy through fictional groups like Quantum, because to admit that a small band of terrorists could pull off something so terrifying so easily cuts through the romantic zeitgeist of a Bond film. The main issue that we're facing here is that Bond has become obsolete in the post-Cold War world, and in order for him to seem relevant, larger fictional factions like Quantum and Specter must be created to keep him from becoming Jason Bourne.
During the Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton and Brosnan years certainly a new 'M', 'Q' or Moneypenny showed up without a clear introduction.
THE FIRST BOND ERA (TIMELINE 1962 TILL 2002):
Q was played by three actors from 1962 till 2002:
--> Peter Burton ('Dr. No'),
--> Desmond Llewelyn ('From Russia With Love' till 'The World Is Not Enough'...'Live And Let Die' excluded) and
--> John Cleese (Weirdo 'R' in 'The World Is Not Enough' but properly Q in 'Die Another Day').
Moneypenny was played by three actors from 1962 till 2002:
--> Lois Maxwell ('Dr. No' till 'A View To A Kill')
--> Caroline Bliss ('The Living Daylights' and 'Licence To Kill')
--> Samantha Bond ('GoldenEye' till 'Die Another Day')
M was played by three actors from 1962 till 2002:
--> Bernard Lee ('Dr. No' till 'Moonraker')
--> Robert Brown (Admiral Hargreaves in 'The Spy Who Loved Me' and 'M' from 'Octopussy' till 'Licence To Kill')
--> Judi Dench ('GoldenEye' till 'Die Another Day')
Then I'd like to point out that indeed the Craig-era is set in an entire new timeline, initiated by 'Casino Royale'. Even Judi Dench as 'M' must have forgotten about his own events in the Brosnan movies, as Bond is completely re-introduced. You see him being promoted to 007 as well.
In that sense, both 'Casino Royale' and 'Skyfall' are unique, regarding the characters of James Bond, 'M', 'Q' and Miss Moneypenny.
THE SECOND BOND ERA (TIMELINE 2006 ONWARDS):
M re-introduced in a new timeline:
--> Judi Dench (New 'M' introduced in 'Casino Royale', was 'M' till her death in 'Skyfall')
--> Ralph Fiennes (New 'M' introduced in 'Skyfall')
Moneypenny re-introduced in a new timeline:
--> Naomie Harris (New Moneypenny re-introduced in 'Skyfall')
Q re-introduced in a new timeline:
--> Ben Whishaw (New 'Q' introduced in 'Skyfall')
When M is at the internal affairs meeting in SF, a government oversight board is questioning the need for the 00-section and criticizing M for still thinking we need human intelligence in the tech-heavy 21 Century methods of spying. The oversight board is taking the place of a critical viewer and saying that Bond is obsolete in today’s world. Then M counters with the notion that only someone like her who sees the raw intelligence actually knows what’s going on. That in the post-cold war era we’re not safer we’re more vulnerable because now our enemies are not nations and their armies but individuals and their ideas. People who live in the shadows are what are to be feared, people like Quantum, people like Blofeld. After SF, organizations like Quantum and Specter seem much more plausible and likely as Bond’s new enemy going forward, and that is the essence of the Golden Age of Bond.
There is only one Golden age and that would be the 1960's. the first six films. When Bondmania was begun and at its height. Bond set the stage and ushered in new type of action film. Skyfall is very very good but unless you lived thru the 1960's you will never understand what it was like. That era will never be back.
Agreed, answer to question is NO. It's a good time for Bond but it'll never echo the original 60's releases.
What more do you want?
They spent three full films, 6.5 hours of screen time and six years setting up this REINVENTION of the franchise; it's unprecedented for us, and impresses the hell out of me that they had to guts to do it this way. They were patient and exacting, even in the wake of the MGM mess and they knocked it outta the park IMO. Just wow all around. I've never been more excited to be a Bond fan.
And looking at the BO numbers, SF is killing all around the world. The Grand total will beat TB by a lot I think, adjusted for inflation it has to top 900 mil and it should. If that isn't a 2nd Golden Age, I can't imagine what would be.
And that's certainly a good thing. He's putting together what Dalton did but Craig's even better at it while doing his own thing. He's also got the best of Connery in his portrayal, the brutal, ruthless killer. Craig is amazing, fast becoming the best Bond ever, or at least my favorite. He's #2 right now, just a sliver behind Moore. If his next two are on the same level he will shoot straight to the top.
I'm with you. I think Craig has been superb from day one, and seems to be only getting better.
And no one can deny that his Bond is a huge hit with the general public and the critics.
The Skyfall reviews, the overall public reaction, and the fantastic box office results, are inescapable proof that Craig has been embraced as Bond.
If Craig continues on like this, I think his run as Bond (5 films perhaps more) will be the best ever, even surpassing Connery's golden days of DN, FRWL, GF and TB.
To answer the question : Not really. Personally, I don't even think Craig can be compared to Sean, except for their manly side. If it is, it's more like tributing... Craig is closer to Dalton IMO, who reminded some Connery's acts.
I could not have said it better SirSeanIsBond ;-). In a way, 'M's speech in front of the hearing committee reminded me of the late Ian Fleming himself. Truly remarkable.
Moreover, I think this '2nd Bond era', as we tend to call the Bond films starting with Daniel Craig as Bond, is original and creative too. Remember, when Cubby and Harry wanted to bring Bond to the cinemas, they did not have the creative freedom to slowly introduce agent 007 as we know him since 'Casino Royale'.
On the contrary, Cubby and Harry had to pick the easiest Bond novel for their first Bond film. The Bond timeline from Fleming's novels was already in shambles back then (Why did Blofeld not recognize Bond in 'OHMSS'?). The first Bond film HAD to be an immediate financial success, otherwise Bond was dead already after 'Dr. No'. So in a way, ever since 1962, we never got the perfect introduction to Bond.
That changed when 'Casino Royale' got into pre-production in 2004/2005. I was thrilled and excited. I restarted reading all Fleming novels in proper order of publication. And I knew.....Bond was not only reborn as a cinema icon, like back in 1995. No, Bond was reborn as a fully rounded Fleming character too.
Me loves Bond :-).