I am rather pessimistic about the future of James Bond movies, this is my honest opinion. I enjoy people's opinion, in fact, II welcome disagreement. I would prefer that people disagree without being disagreeable and without name calling.
These are the reasons:
1. Creative force behind the series is lacking: EON used to be a leader - now a follower. The movies now have graphic novel intelligence about them. There is very little respect for the movie goer let alone the Flemingists.
Political correctness is killing the Bond movies. Since 1985, the Bond films have had to "re-invent" itself in 1987, 1995, and 2006. There seems to be a lack of direction in the Bond series. I saw a movie from The Falcon series from 1944 the other day that made more sense and had more intelligence than Skyfall. John Logan is no Richard Maibaum. James Bond is no longer the definable character it once was. I have yet to understand who James Bond is and what he believes and what is his motivation. This is not something new to the Craig-Bond era. I believe the series is still suffering from the over extended Moore-Bond era.
I watched Everything or Nothing and it was very clear that the producers are not very self aware of the product they produce. It was very telling that Barbara Broccoli blamed the movie goers lack of "forward thinking" for the failure of Licence to Kill and demise of Dalton-Bond. Michael G. Wilson said that the Bond series had to "adapt" to the times. I am not really sure what he meant.
2. The Decline of Movie industry: Say what you want about movies like Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me. Despite the outlandish plots, EON was willing to spend money on these films. However, the movie industry is having to live with less. Actors still live sybaritic lifestyles, but salaries across the board are down. There is too much product placement in movies. Also, there have been a number of big bomb busts recently. Don't expect to see a Bond movie before 2015. The studio is not going to spend the money every two years if they continue to get large box office receipts for a series that releases a movie every four years. It makes sense.
I don't get what you mean exactly? EON have always adapted Fleming's stories to the trends of the day. LALD (Blaxploitation), TMWTGG (Kung fu), MR (Star Wars), OP (Indiana Jones / Romancing the Stone) and LTK (Lethal Weapon, Miami Vice) are the examples usually quoted. But even going right back to FRWL, one can see how Eon ripped off Hitchcock's crop-duster sequence from NbNW.
Not sure why you think the series re-inventing itself has anything to do with political correctness? The series also reinvented itself in 1971, 1977 and 1981. That's why the series is still here. The direction of the series since 2006 has been pretty clearly defined. Why do you think it lacks direction?
How do you mean?
Films have changed and tastes have changed. In order to retain audiences, the Bond series has to adapt (i.e. change) to suit the prevailing tastes. That's why the series was reinvented and updated.
Would be interested to know what exactly your criticisms are.
For my money, I'm extremely optimistic. I never thought I'd see a Bond film rival Thunderball at the box office and, likewise, I didn't expect to see a Bond film knock OHMSS off my top spot but CR did that.
Craig is still Bond for the next 2 (hopefully 3) films. Even in films where the script isn’t good, when the budget doesn’t allow for fancy special effects or locations, when the co-stars are more eye candy than actors, Craig is riveting to watch. He’s just a flat out great actor. He understands Fleming’s Bond better than anyone who’s played Bond and, importantly, he’s got the acting chops to pull it off.
EON has finally grown a pair. They’re finally willing to take some risks with the Bond franchise. Look at the 70’s/Moore era, when they simply cranked out one cookie-cutter film after the next, never deviating from the same tried and true formula. It got stale. It got boring. It became the worst thing you can become in entertainment: a parody of oneself. What’s worse is that EON seemed unaware that they had become such a parody. It took Mike Myers to point it out to them (and why I’ll be eternally grateful to Meyers).
EON and Craig are now willing to stretch what a Bond movie is, or can be. They’re willing to risk not being liked (or making Bond less likeable) in order to further the character and forge new ground in the Bond world. They’re not afraid to be more “realistic” and to add emotion to Bond’s character. Now, some people aren’t going to like it when you take risks. They just want the same, comfortable fare you’ve been serving up. But I’m not one of those people. I like to be challenged by artists who are willing to grow and change. I understand if I want the same old thing, I’ve got the DVD player and the box set full of the traditional Bond formula.
Sometimes when you risk, you fail. Sometime when you risk, you find very exciting territory. It used to be you knew exactly what you were going to get with a Bond film before you even bought your ticket. Now, there’s a sense of “what are they going to come up with next?”. I find that very exciting.
The indsutry is imploding. It is simply in "free fall". Like you say [email protected], Moonraker at leats but the bucks up onscreen. SKYFAL cost millions of dollars and what do we have to show for it? A few little rooms...
Bond movies used to have a unique ID. Thunderball was "the under sea one", OHMSS was "the ski slopes one". What one is SKYFALL? Or even worse CASINO? They are a hodge podge of ad hoc locations with not much charatcers to speak of. Frankly, they feel more formula than ever. The Moore era at least gave us unique elements.
But Bond actually is one of the last movies trying to give us bang for the buck. Look at the fiasco BATMAN Nolan series, or Die Hard. The stadium in DARK KNIGHT RISES had maybe what? 12 or 15 spectators? Even Naked Gun managed to scrape toegether the budget for a full stadium for their climax.
The good news? When the industry implodes it will rebirth from ashes like a phoenix and we might get a new golden age.
This is NOT up for debate this is NOT just my opinion these are FACTS. Look at the financials. End of topic frankly.
But you see my point re: Hollywood financing? Fudging the numbers. Cooking the books. For example, harry Potter was technically on the books a financial flop, even though it make billions and everyone on the back end get a nice chunk of change in their back pocket. The money DOESNOT appear onscreen.
I love the Bond movies- nearly every single one. I don't want these movies to stay the same all the time. Even Skyfall, which I have issues with, was a nice departure from the previous two.
Colour me optimistic.
I'm not saying Bond would work as an indie film. But if you've got a great script (which takes talent, not money) and great actors (again, plenty of great actors that aren't famous enough to command millions), and a director/crew that are dedicated to making great cinema, you don't need a biggilion dollars to make a great film.
Bond lives ina world of glitz, glamour. When the movies go cheap - TMWTGG, all of John Glen's movies but mainly LTK, ROYALE - they start to look dreary and common. Money is the key different between NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN and YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE and look which one of those has more 007 atmosphere.
But you are making EXACTLY my point mate. Costs $250 million plus, and what do they have to show for it? One big action scene, and the rest of just talking. And only one big mega watt star power (Johnny Dep). So no wonder they have a flop. Where did the money go? Into Eon's back pocket.
Why take the family and friends out to see a movie for $100 each pop, when you can stay home and watch a TV show with exactly same production values for free?
It's a no brainer.
Sorry, but I think it makes the exact opposite point.
The equation is pretty simple (some might say a 'no brainer'): Some big-money movies are great. Some big-money movies are crap. Some low-budget movies are great. some low-budget movies are crap.
So how can anyone say money is required to make a great film?
A great film tells a great story, tells it well (the script) and is well acted. None of those things require mega-millions to accomplish.
Furthermore, I find it hilarious when people start freaking out about the future of movies. I'm not a movie industry insider, but I do have years of experience in the music business. Just look at how my industry freaked out everytime the playing field changed or a new technology came around. The cassette tape was going to "ruin the music business". CD's were going to "end the music business as we know it". The internet, file sharing, iPods......on and on and on. They were all going to ruin music as we know it.
But guess what? The music survives. Why? Because people will always want to hear good music. The method in which they obtain that music will change, but the need to have music in our lives will always be there. Sure, the fat cats at the mega-corporations might not be making money hand over greedy fist anymore, but I think that's a very good thing.
The same is true for movies. Humans have a deep need for stories and story telling. It's simply engrained in our DNA to create community by telling stories. And movies are simply the best way we've come up with to tell and hear those stories. So, yeah, the business built around movies will keep changing, but our need for movies, our desire to share stories, will always be part of us.
Now, there may come a day when movie theatres are as rare as your local independent record stores, but movies will still be made and they will still be watched.
You claim that the Bond franchise is at a better place artistically. How does ripping off Bourne and Batman contributing to the artistic quality of the series? Yes, Skyfall was visually a good film, but we were making a Bond film not Barry Lyndon.
Bond's character has become stale and bland. The storylines have been watered down to beyond any reason sense of intelligence, and as Bond fan I am insulted by this. I prefer my Bond not be a comic book.
Please give evidence to your claim.
Yes, please, let's return to the days where the bad guy was a lumbering oaf with big, steel teeth, or had a labratory of evil build under a volcano or gigantic space station that somehow got build while eluding any detection, all to serve his master plan of creating a superior human race or extorting the superpower nations for one meeeliiiion dollars.
Because that was highly intelligent and not at all comic book. No, sir. Nothing but stark realisim, that.
Perdogg, it would really add a lot to your posts if you gave evidence for your claims. You have the habit of making fairly bold statements of opinion with no reference to specific examples or even what exactly you mean. It's a shame as your opinions are unusual and it would be good to hear why but your lack of clarity or substantiation makes it difficult to engage with you.
In what way do you think Skyfall is "ripping off Bourne", for example? How has Bond's character "become stale and bland"? In what way, do you think, "the storylines have been watered down"?
The evidence, if you can call it that, that the series is in a better place artistically than it has been for some time can be found in the overwhelmingly positive critical reviews for Skyfall. For example, take a look at the critical scores for all the Eon Bond films on Rotten Tomatoes:
DN - 98%
FRWL - 96%
GF - 96%
TB - 85%
YOLT - 71%
OHMSS - 81%
DAF - 65%
LALD - 65%
TMWTGG - 46%
TSWLM - 78%
MR - 62%
FYEO - 73%
OP - 43%
AVTAK - 36%
TLD - 75%
LTK - 74%
GE - 82%
TND - 57%
TWINE - 51%
DAD - 57%
CR - 95%
QOS - 64%
SF - 92%
Not scientific 'evidence' that the modern Bond films are artistically strong, of course (such a thing would be impossible - we're dealing with critical opinion) but I'm sure you know how Rotten Tomatoes works and the table above gives a pretty good overview of general English-language reaction to each of the films from published film critics, from which it's apparent that the current run of films starring Craig have received more positive reviews than at any point since the early 60s.
@SirHenryLeeChaChing 's excellent averaged ratings on the Original Fans thread gives a good view of MI6 Community fan opinion (from the Oldies, at least :-p) of each of the films and tells a similar story.
It's all well and good to hold a contrary view, but you could at least acknowledge the fact that the films are more successful, both commercially and critically, than they have been in almost half a century and then go on from there as to why you don't think it's all so rosy or don't actually believe they are that successful or whatever. As it is, it just seems as though you're in some sort of weird denial.
I was following you, if not completely agreeing with you, until you said that. In fact I don't think I've ever heard anyone accuse the Craig era of being too much like a comic book.
If one was willing to accept those Movies premises, their Inner Logic was quite sound in itself (well, some more,some less. Don't bother throwing the zillion of logical faults of yesteryears Bond Films. I know each and everyone of these!).
What makes SF such an EXTRAORDINARY Annoyance is, that they simply stop making Sense at about Minute 2:30 (Bond leaves the House ) and never bother to get back on Track (in a Film that pretends to be realistic,gritty,whatever). What makes all you SF defenders reaction so especially annoying is,that you praise them for boldly flying in the Face of logic (and ethics too, I might add). I really fear this could encourage them to continue this Way and now with Logan and Mendes firmly at helm this has in fact become Reality.
That could be much more logically observed regarding the last 2 Connery films, most of the Moore's, and the Brosnan's if the truth be told. Most of Perdogg's statements seem to take pot shots at this era with little factual evidence to back up most of his claims, therefore I take his thoughts with a grain of salt. I'm optimistic as long as Craig continues as Bond and as long as P&W aren't returning.
So now I'm pretty optimistic and I'm fairly confident that we're set for the next couple of years.
Financially maybe it's a fact but artistically, it's again subjective.
I wasn't taking shots at the 70's/Moore era Bonds exactly. I like the fact that they're kind of silly, comic, lighthearted takes on Bond. Yes, I prefer Craig’s more serious take on Bond, but sometimes I want to enjoy a silly little spy romp and for that I have no problems popping MR or TMWTGG into the DVD player. I don’t see that as a contradiction. Just because I love classical music doesn’t mean I can’t also love the Ramones. (I seem to be one of the very few here who can actually enjoy all the different 'versions' of Bond instead of insisting every freakin Bond film be cut from the same cloth.)
What I was trying to do was point out the utter absurdity of Perdogg statement that Craig's Bond was "comic book" compared to what came before. No matter which style of Bond you prefer, you have to admit that’s a dead wrong assertion.
As for Skyfall, well, there are plenty of other threads here where other have tried to point out it’s “flaws” and I’ve tried to set the record straight, so there’s little point in getting into it again here. Except to say: is it a perfect movie? Of course not. Does it make “internal sense”, as you like to say? It absolutely does. Where Skyfall lost a lot of fans was that it did away with hammering the audience over the head with clues as to what’s going on in the film and with the characters. It’s THE most subtext-laden films in the Bond cannon. If you’re not used to picking up on that kind of thing, of course the work won’t make much sense to you.
I, for one, am loving the fact that I don’t have to check my brain at the door anymore when going to see Bond. And that’s why I’m more optimistic about Bond’s future than ever before.
It's a sad complaint, but after loving those fights from QoS, I was initially disappointed we didn't get anything Bond vs. Slate like in SF.
Pleeeease?!? There has NEVER been a Bond Film hammering harder than SF!Subtext? Sometimes the Old ways are the best, anyone? I don't intend to go into SF Storyline again, but if there ever was a Bond that sacrificed Substance for Style it is without a doubt SF.
All of these bombs have been from big budgeted films with no film history. (Ex. John Carter, The Lone Ranger etc.) James Bond is already a name and is incredibly popular. There is no doubt in my mind that the Bond producers will continue to shell absurd amounts of money towards the films as long as Bond still continues to sell. James Bond CAN afford $200 million plus per film.
This is the worst post I have ever read in my time on the internet.
I second that. On the topic of the future of Bond movies, I feel like we're going to be entering a new "golden age" critically speaking, but possibly the most polarizing since Craig's announcements. The fact that with the help of Craig, the producers, Martin Campbell and Sam Mendes, the series is beginning to shed the "it's just a Bond movie" image. As of late critics and many audiences have had this sort of patronizing view towards the franchise and a "Oh, well it's good for a Bond movie" mentality. Now that Bond films are being looked at as serious films that can hold their own artistically outside of the context of the franchise, we're going to be getting a lot more high budget "elevated" action films, similar to the vein of the Dark Knight trilogy. Even for Bond 24, many are anticipating a Thunderball type of light adventure feel, but I feel that we're really headed in more of an On Her Majesty's Secret Service direction. The challenge is to create some emotional depth and complexity without going back over the "Bond falls in love," or "Bond gets betreayed," or "It was an inside job" subplots. However, I feel that in a series of 23 films that has spanned over 50 years, it's inevitable that to avoid retreading those areas, the creative team is going to have to go in new areas that will likely alienate many traditional Bond fans, and I'm quite interested in seeing how it plays out.