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Why does Bond still feel "right"?

Why does Bond still feel "right"?

I’m not particularly used to seeing things I like becoming media obsessions, so while it’s strange enough seeing Doctor Who things emblazoned across shelves in shops, it’s now become a daily occurence. Whereas the sheer juggernaut that has become Bond has emblazoned itself across seemingly every magazine in the newsagents, every music channel and a documentary on the BBC, presented by the still-surprisingly-sultry Joanna Lumley with voiceovers from silky-smooth Jonathan Pryce.

Despite all that, despite the fact that Quantum of Solace (and the Bond films generally) rate as one of the highest commercial films ever with product placement galore and a guaranteed moneyspinner with limitless franchise potential, I’m still finding myself getting rather excited about it all. The theme song has a great bass drum (at least I think it’s bass), the plot seems unremittingly grim and unreconstructed.

Any long-running franchise like this would probably have been re-booted and Hollywood-ized umpteen times – and indeed, the Bond franchise has been. But it still feels right, especially with the obsession with Fleming-esque titles. Whatever it means, I love the title Quantum of Solace – it just *sounds* right.

Yes, it’s a generic staid formula – but, alas I love it. Oddly, I’ve never bothered checking the world of Bond Internet fandom, and it’s one of the few things I like that I don’t look up online. Presumably because I don’t feel the need to – and I’m not sure what there is to discuss really. It’s all there on the screen/book… isn’t it?

How I'm like Daniel Craig David as 007…

How I'm like Daniel Craig David as 007…

– I am writing this on a Sony Vaio laptop.
– The phone I’m carrying is a Sony Ericsson phone. Although I can’t even archive a text or press up or left on my phone, never mind use GPS tracking systems to trace my prey.
– In an ideal world, my next digicam will be a Sony camera.
– I, like Daniel Craig, look really uncomfortable in a suit. Although my reasons are not because I have too many pecs.

Seriously, the amount of product placement in Casino Royale was ridiculous. It’s always been a problem in Bond films – but at least it was relatively subdued. This time, the characters actually praise each other on the choice of their watches – and the Omega brand gets a huge thumbs-up. It’s still not going to make me wear one though.

But otherwise, it was a great Bond film. I was quite happy with most of the re-booting, but the emotional violence on screen was very discomforting. And maybe it’s a sign of my decreasing brain power, but I was almost thankful that M cleared up what happened at the end – although it still makes no sense as to why Vespar did what she did. Anyone care to explain?

Got a bad feeling about Bond…

Got a bad feeling about Bond…

Two quotes taken from the BBC News story announcing Daniel Craig as the next 007:

Asked earlier this year if he would take the role, Craig replied: “Well, the emotional level is not there and that’s important for me.

The English star … arrived at a press conference in London by speedboat to be confirmed as the next 007.

I’m not sure if we need a younger, harder, gadget-free Bond. The gadgets are all part of the fun fantasy mix – take away that fantasy and you’re left with Timothy Dalton. Who didn’t exactly wow audiences.

Die Another Day, for all its schizoidness between the two extremes of Bond, had enough fun elements to appeal to people everywhere. It made gazillions. Did the franchise need changing?

And even if it did, harking back to a darker, grittier Bond isn’t going to do the job. We’ve seen that with Timothy Dalton – and let me tell you, The Living Daylights is an exceedingly dull film. Licence To Kill is like watching Lethal Weapon Lite.

If you are going to change or reboot the franchise, do it a la Doctor Who. Find someone with vision, and new ideas instead of just rehashing various old elements into something that looks vaguely new. Quentin Tarantino has been begging for a Bond slot for years. So has Steven Spielberg. Why give it to a professional hack like Martin Campbell?

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