Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bond, Old or New?

I love the new Bond franchise. Love, love, love.

I was a Daniel Craig fan from way back, having seen him in some great indie films before he was ever cast as 007, and I think the darker, more realistic rendering of this character is exciting and more appealing, but tonight I went to see A View to a Kill on the big screen and I'd forgotten just how fun and entertaining the old school Bond films are.

In fact, maybe I didn't forget. Truth is, I don't think I actually saw a lot of them. In fact, I don't think I saw any in the theatres. Bond movies were, for me, something you watched late at night when there was nothing else on TV, not something you went to see in a movie theartre where you had to spend your babysitting or gymnastic coaching money on a ticket....

But A View to a Kill was so much fun.

Who couldn't love:

  • A theme song by Duran, Duran (played both at the beginning--and the end)
  • Tons of neon paint and ribbons, lit with black lights, in the opening credits. (seriously, one girl was only wearing neon ribbons)
  • A snow boarding scene, before snow boarding was really a thing, with the Beach Boys' California Girls playing -- set in Russia. (I am not joking. The scene cuts from a fast paced skiing chase scene, with Bond being shot at and chased by about 15 KGB agents, with um, "this is exciting" chase music in the background, and then Bond straps part of a snowmobile to his ski boots, in some inexplicable way, and it becomes a snow board and the music changes to The Beach Boys...)
  • Tons of eye rolling and/or groan inducing sexual innuendoes
  • A total airhead of a Bond girl (seriously, I think she might have been the worst, ever) who's supposed to be a geologist, but who talks like a porn star and clearly had difficulty memorizing her lines, never mind injecting believable emotion into them, and wears high heels, not only to run around in a mine, but also to balance on the top of the Golden Gate Bridge. Good strategy. ;)
  • Grace Jones, being kind of awesome--and also wearing high heels in a mine
  • A young Christopher Walken as one of the best Bond villains ever. Seriously, why had I never seen this movie?
  • A construction site trailer that turns into a blimp
  • A crazy, Bond-worthy plot
  • Hilarious computers
  • Constant lessons/info dumps about microchips and how they're made from sand and used in computers... and why it's called Silicon Valley...
  • Patrick Bauchau as the villain's main side-kick, who I think is one of the coolest actors ever. (I always think of him as Canadian actor, because he played the patriarch in Canadian TV's answer to Dallas and Dynasty, called Mount Royal... but, LOL, he's Belgian and his time in Canadian TV isn't even listed in his imdb bio! I loved that show... (Cool thing I did learn in his imdb bio... he worked for a time with Salvador Dali making sculptures. And he's married to Brigitte Bardot's sister. Told you he's cool.)
  • At least three blonde actresses in the first ten minutes, all with Farrah Fawcett haircuts, whom I couldn't tell apart. Seriously. I was positive the chick in the restaurant at the top of the Eifell Tower with the butterfly act was the same girl who picked Bond up, with her snowsuit unzipped to her navel, in the submarine that was disguised as an iceberg, in Russia in the previous scene. (I think that was an experiment in how many phrases I can fit into one sentence. Fewer than that, I think.)
  • A reminder that in 1985 there was apparently a rule that you either had to have your hair cut like Farrah Fawcett or Dorothy Hammil--even though both hairstyles were nearly a decade out of date by that time.

Oh, I could go on... So. Much. Fun.

And then I came home and watched last night's Christmas episode of Parenthood.

Is anyone else watching this show? Oh the tears. Oh the tears. I had to watch a Parks & Recreaction rerun to recover.
"Seven Heads, the dramatic tale of an Israeli soldier who falls in love with conjoined Palestinian sextuplets. Out soon from Focus Features."
"Welcome to "Thought for your Thoughts." I'm Derry Merbles sitting in for Nina Joplin who's touring the country performing a spoken word opera about pear shaped women."
"A bat signal, for listeners who might not know, refers to the children's character The Bat Man, a strong gentleman who fights crime nocturnally."
"Coming up after the break, movie reviews with Ken Tucker, who's filling in for David Ballincouli, who's in New York filling in for Ken Tucker."
All this before the opening credits.

Oh, that show cracks me up.

PS. In case you're wondering how I ended up seeing a Bond movie from 1985 last night: The TIFF Bell Lightbox has a Bond exhibition on right now to celebrate the 50th anniversary, and are showing all the old Bond films... And they are doing cheap martinis in the lounge, which is the real reason I went... And I actually got a scene and a half written. Martinis appear to be the secret ingredient for this manuscript.

Which Bond you like better -- old or new? Silly or dark? Shaken or who cares?


Bonnie Staring said...

Thanks Maureen, now I have that Duran Duran song playing in my head. "Dance into the fiyah!" ;)

Although I do enjoy the cheese factor of the Connery/Lazenby/Moore/Brosnan Bonds, I love the way Daniel Craig portrays the character. I guess I enjoy a flawed character more than one covered in Teflon and identical blondes. LOL

Maureen McGowan said...

You're welcome, Bonnie. :)

That's the only part of that song I recognized. It seemed like Duran Duran tacked a verse of an entirely different song, with the words "View to a kill" in it, in front of the Dance into the Fire song, to that they could call it View to a Kill, instead of Dance into the Fire and have a bond theme song.

Anonymous said...

I have this fondness for all the Bond movies, even the cheesy ones that Roger Moore did, and the dark, kind of depressing Timothy Dalton ones. If they're on TV, I watch them with glee...

Stephanie Doyle said...

See I gave up on Bond when they made Denise Richards a physicist and the line Christmas comes more than once a year...

So I never saw Craig. I might have to check him out.

Maureen McGowan said...

Stephanie, you might like the new Bond films. Grittier, darker, more violent, less silly.

The line in the first Daniel Craig one that summed up the transition for me:

A bartender asks him whether he'd like his martini shaken or stirred. Bond looks at the bartender with disdain, "Do I look like someone who'd care?"

That one with Denise Richards was bad. So bad. Boy they do have a tradition of choosing actresses who can't act...

Another low (but had me laughing) moment in the one last night: They steal jumpsuits to go into the mine (but apparently there were no boots, because she had to stay in high heels) but the best part was he says something about how it was too bad she couldn't find a suit that fit, and they show her wrapping the belt of the jumpsuit around her waist 2-3 times (she was seriously skinny) BUT the suit itself was nearly skin tight. Apparently only the belt was too big. Or tightening the belt magically takes in all the seams by 6 inches...

I remember being furious about a physicist wearing daisy dukes to work. I think that's when I swore off them too...

Eileen said...

Hmmm. No wonder I've had trouble dressing appropriately for work. My role models are all wrong.

I love Daniel Craig and I thought Skyfall was great, but I have to admit, I love the old winky cheesy Bond movies.

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