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Has the big-budget mindset screwed up the James Bond series?
by the Grinch

Ah, memories. Recollections of my father taking us to the theatre when he came up, taking full advantage of his
visitation rights...."Hey kids, whattaya wanna see?"he'd say, Krusty the Klown syle... "Neverending Story" or some such drivel would inevitably be the reply "Nahh, you don't wanna see that pap! Howabout the new Bond flick?!"


Recollections of a time when it didn't cost you the price of a trip to see Walt Disney's cryogenically preserved head to catch a movie with your kids. Recollections of cheezy 80's themes being the only mnemonic devices in many a movie. Recollections of a stiff and aging Roger Moore still hamming it up in a tux and various jumpsuits. Recollections of a time when writers still paid attention to Ian Fleming's style, not to mention such important components as intelligence, wit, sexiness, action, and adventure. Recollections of a time when James Bond movies had the slickest, cleverest, catchiest titles around. "Never Say Never Again" anyone? "For Your Eyes Only"? Memories of a time when Bond movies, quite frankly, weren't just another gear in the hype machine.

Now, instead of "A View to a Kill" or even "The Living Daylights" we have...ta-da! "The World is Not Enough"...wow...how catchy is that? "Hey, when's that new Bond movie coming out? What's it called again?" "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, But Eight is Enough, or something like that, I dunno man."...before that we had..abracadaverous!-"Tommorow Never Dies"...wha? What the hell does that have to do with anything? Yeah, tommorow never dies, but this movie made ME wanna die. Is that some throwback to that stupid Beatles song? I'm as sick of the frickin' Beatles almost as much as I am of these crap titles.

And Pierce Brosnan, jumpin jeezus on a vaulting pole, what qualifies this man to play James Bond? Hmmm? Good looks
(which is negotiable)? A british accent? Then why aren't Gary Oldman or Ralph Fiennes playing 007, eh? What the hell do
people see in this guy? Ok, he did a great job playing an effite know-it-all international-spy-caricature in Remington Steele. But James Bond? And so many people think he's just ssuper! "Ooh, that hunky Pierce Brosnan is just the best-est ever!"Well guess what...they're wrong. He's not. He spouts his lines like an animatronic robot from the 'Hall of Presidents'. He doesn't MAKE you like the Bond character, it's almost as if he just expects that you'll like the character, just because you're supposed to. Blah. It's not entirely his fault, the writing team on the past 2 phlegms, er, films have kind of lost the essence. Still, I think Charly Bronson would be a better Bond than Pierce Bronsan. Bronson, not Brosnan. Who sounds more like the last person that's going to get picked for dodgeball teams? CHARLES BRONSON, or PEEEEARSSS! BuhRAHSnan!

And, is it me, or is the blonde haired, blue eyed henchman thing getting old? Seems like in the last couple of Bond films (see Tomorrow Never Dies), when they want a baddie they just do a casting call for every 7 ft tall Aryan guy they can find! Maybe the next Bond movie will just be 2 hours of explosions, aryan dudes suffering from gigantism, and ad placements. Profits over quality.

Hey, remember when the title songs were actually good? Ya had the british goddess of soul, Shirley Bassey belting out
Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, and Moonraker. I mean, gah! She's just singing about some stupid spacecraft thingee, and yet she brings tears to the eyes with her woeful, silky voice. What do we have now? Well, now we have Sheryl Crow baying out the themesong..let me contain my excitement here. In all honesty here, I'd rather hear my uncle Vince belch "joy to the world" than hear anything other than a death rattle come out of Ms. Crow's mouth. I'm still healing after enduring the torture of her raping of Led Zeppelin. Cmon, the only reason she sells music is because of the fifty million closeups of her lips in every video she releases...Mmm...lipsss...pretty...hypnotized...by lips...OH! I'm getting off track here...

Now, about the scripts of the past couple Bond excursions. Ok, so I'm obviously no Faulkner myself, but when your Choose Your Own Adventure copy of "Barracuda:007" captures the essence of Fleming more than modern day James Bond movies do, there's a serious problem. Nowadays, all anyone's concerned with is "oooh, I wonder what kind of car he'll drive in this one!"....gadgets, chicks, and BMW's: is this what it's come down to? What about the witty Moore Bond who, when his magneto-watch failed to bring a boat to him, ran across a bunch of alligators' heads in "Live and Let Die"? Or the Connery Bond, who actually home-brewed his own home security devices in 'Dr.No', where he pulled a hair out his head (wouldn't work so well now, sorry Sean) licked it, and pasted it over the door and the frame so he'd know if someone had snuck into his room? Jivin Jehovah in a Caddy, even if the new Bond flicks WERE just silly tributes, 'If Looks Could Kill' starring Richard Greico would've made a better tip-o-the-hat!

I'm finished...give me my meds for the day and put me back in my cell. There's nothing more I can do here...except brew up some popcorn (which is actually cheap AND fresh, wish I could say the same about the theatres') and go to my 007 video collection. Heck, I've got em all , even the Lazenby one (Australians are shuddering) 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' with an earlobe-less Telly Savales. Who loves ya baby? I do, that's who, that's why I'm here, complaining like an old man who hasn't had his prunes at his regularly scheduled time. Yep, they sure don't make em like they used to! Guess tonight I'll pop in 'Octopussy', or 'Thunderball', and submit to the male fantasy that James Bond movies use to be about...luxurious and exotic locales,staring death in the face and making snappy remarks,and last but most importantly getting as many women in the sack as possible within the 2 hour mark. I mean, honestly, that was one of the greatest things about the Bond flicks. You and your friends would bring out a bottle of cuervo, and take a shot everytime jimmy bond, well, did the shimmy with his jimmy. James Bond, Jr indeed! (remember that cartoon? Um..yeah, neither do I!)

And I know this'll probably light the cherry bomb under many a Connery fans' skirts, but Roger Moore was el primero.


link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=155
originally posted: 01/27/00 03:44:33
last updated: 02/18/00 18:29:11
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