Who killed James Bond ?

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robn1

Master Member
The first Bond was the best. Barry Nelson.
Barry_Nelson.jpg
 

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SSgt Burton

Sr Member
However the pre-credits in TND I'll give you is one of the best of the series. There was a purpose for it and an impending doom that needed escaping.

No argument from me! I love that sequence so much I bought a leather 3/4 length jacket similar to the one Bond wears. I also love seeing "pilot" Bond (mind you my meager knowledge of flight takes me out of the moment during this bit). I also think the bungie jump in Goldeneye was spot on Bond, and I'd say Moore's skijump with Union Jack parachute would be #3 for me.


Kevin
 

dbuck

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Much like Doctor Who, each person can have a different Bond. My father saw Dr No in the theater and said Bond's reveal caused the theater to go nuts.

The first Bond movie I ever saw was Goldfinger, but I barely remember seeing it. I remembered the car. My first theatrical Bond was The Spy Who Loved Me. That opening sequence sold me forever. Moore gets a lot of grief, but he was almost the original Bond in the sixties. Given the early scripts, perhaps he would have been quite good. Moore never really pretended to replace Connery, he just played it differently, and by then the scripts were goofy, anyway. When he did toughen up in For Your Eyes Only, kicking Colombo off of the cliff in the Mercedes, there was a big uproar regarding the ruthlessness of the scene upon its release. Supposedly during filming Moore said the scene was Bond, but not Moore-bond. Even my mother said she would have kicked him off, what were these people complaining about?

Lazenby had a chance had he done a couple more films. His movie is quite good, one of my favorites. He was okay, the cast around him excellent. However, they follow up the emotion of his movie with the Moore-like Diamonds are Forever. Even Connery can't play particularly tough in that one, and Tracey's death is essentially forgotten from the previous movie.

I liked the Dalton casting a lot, I thought he was like the literary Bond, but his scripts weren't up to snuff. License to Kill wasn't even a Bond film, just a revenge actioner.

Brosnan was the Bond in waiting for a long time, everyone knew it even when Moore was still accepting yet another big payday because the producers never found another Bond they liked. Goldeneye was quite good but they went right back to by-the-numbers scripts and they started a downward spiral. Tomorrow Never Dies has a few good parts, especially the opening, but much of it is disconnected, Paris dies too soon, for example. The script was not ready for shooting and it shows. By the time of Die Another Day, it had gotten worse than even Moonraker because at least Moonraker was attempting to be fun. Brosnan was good, but the scripts ended up beneath his talent.

Craig's casting mystified me when they announced it. Yet I loved Casino Royale. Quantum was a huge disappointment, I blame the director. Skyfall was back to a realistic vintage Bond, in my mind.

All the Bonds are different to me. Continuity doesn't matter much until Craig, watching his out of order might confuse people a wee bit, all other Bond movies can be watched in almost any order---a person can enter the world of Bond with any of those movies and enjoy. They are products of and represent the era in which they were made. Connery slapping a girl in the butt and shooing her away so the men could talk wouldn't fly too well in today's society.
 

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Wes R

Legendary Member
I agree Moore gets hell but he was working what they gave him, i have no doubt he had the range to do a more serious part. I'd like to have seen Lazenby do a few more, they didn't really give him a chance to shine and get used to the part. Craig looks like bond no doubt, it's just the stories are crap written. I think we'd have had Brosnan for long time if he could have gotten out of Remington Steele to film. I never liked Dalton way back when but now that I'm older I appreciate the movies more even if they weren't the best scripts. I always liked when they give Bond a bit of revenge, it makes him seem human enough but still a hero. I'm also a fan of the cold war era in general and the old school cool of the dean martin 60s so it could be why i'm partial to those stories too.
 

batguy

Sr Member
Lazenby only wanted to do the single Bond movie. He eventually came to regret that decision because everybody assumed it was the studio's choice to replace him so fast.

Moore might have been able to play Bond rougher than the movies they gave him, but I don't see him pulling off anything near a TD or DC level of roughness. I think the basic complaints about RM playing the role are valid even if the movies he got were an equally big factor in it.

Look at DC. He comes off like a working-class pub brawler uncomfortably stuffed into the Bond role. His movies are emphasizing that tone, for better and worse. The movies & actors tend feed off each other and lean towards a certain tone.
 

Alan Castillo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Side note:

I just want to say that I really appreciate the tone of this discussion. It's all been pretty good natured rather than the usual Intarwebz fiasco when fans with different opinions mix like raw sodium and water.

So, kudos to everyone who's been in on this. I might not agree with your position, but I agree with how you've presented it!

Spot-on Dan :thumbsup Seems the 'right' kind of crowd is here :)

I'll tell you one thing, anybody who lets his heart skip beats in these kind of threads, which are simple fun derived from fantasy, needs their head examined :lol

....... unless you own the studio of course :lol

Number one is health, family, roof over your head and food on the table.

All the rest is just a bonus extras for enjoyment in life.
 

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SSgt Burton

Sr Member
Bond's old gadgets used to be a much easier sell.
They traditionally occupied a tech-gap somewhere between "not yet invented" and "obviously impossible". But that gap has gotten radically smaller than it was 40-50 years ago. The audience has grown up with more real gadgets. And they understand much more about what is possible or not.

It's funny, while watching "Casino Royale" recently there is the scene where Bond is driving toward the Ocean Club and is using a GPS in his Sony Ericsson phone... and I'm thinking , this is one of his Q-branch gadgets? A phone with GPS? Why is there no GPS in the car?... Only to remember,
Oh yeah; this is 2006. :lol


Kevin
 

Solo4114

Master Member
Lazenby only wanted to do the single Bond movie. He eventually came to regret that decision because everybody assumed it was the studio's choice to replace him so fast.

Moore might have been able to play Bond rougher than the movies they gave him, but I don't see him pulling off anything near a TD or DC level of roughness. I think the basic complaints about RM playing the role are valid even if the movies he got were an equally big factor in it.

Look at DC. He comes off like a working-class pub brawler uncomfortably stuffed into the Bond role. His movies are emphasizing that tone, for better and worse. The movies & actors tend feed off each other and lean towards a certain tone.

That's a good point. I actually think that ties neatly into Bond's (literary) background. As I recall, Bond is supposed to have been a scion of Scottish nobility, but somewhat impoverished Scottish nobility. He went to public school, but never really fit in. I seem to remember Vesper pretty much nailing him on all of this when they're having a drink together, and basically guessing at his background, all pretty accurately. It's not exactly that he's "working class" but rather that he looks at the privileged classes with a degree of disdain for their inability and unwillingness to get their hands dirty.

Again, it's one of the things that makes Bond's character so interesting -- when they let it shine through. He disdains the people who won't get their hands dirty, but at the same time, he has a LOT of self-loathing for the job he does (which is pretty much the epitome of "getting your hands dirty"). Bond's job involves lying on a regular basis, as well as legally sanctioned murder. He may have a licence to kill, and he may be good at it, but that job leaves a stain on his psyche and his soul. And at the same time, it's thrilling and he loves it, which only further makes him feel conflicted if not outright disgust with himself. And all of THIS is why he indulges in the gambling, the women, and the deep knowledge of the "finer things in life" like fashion and alcohol. All of that is a distraction and the only ways that he can feel like the world isn't simply a dark pit full of vicious, murderous men...like himself. Bond is a deeply, deeply conflicted character, and a far cry from the glamorous playboy cartoon character of the Moore era (and which influenced the Brosnan era, as well).

It's that side of Bond that comes through loud and clear in the novels, and which comes through subtly in Craig's performance. Other actors (like Dalton, Connery, and even Brosnan at times) got the ruthlessness of the character, but really, only Craig has gotten the remorse and self-loathing part. Actually, Brosnan very occasionally allowed Bond's mask of cold ruthlessness to slip, but his scripts didn't give him a ton to work with (although my sense from interviews is that he really wanted more of that).

Now, I also get that not everyone WANTS a Bond who is a ruthless killing machine, nor a deeply conflicted psychologically damaged individual. I think, however, that you CAN have both. Bond can maintain an exterior of cool detachment in many of his scenes, giving way to utter ruthlessness and violence in others. But I think you also need to balance those moments with ones where we see the impact of his life on Bond. The pain he feels when, for example, he has to stand by idly while the villain kills the woman who just helped him that Bond COULD have saved...if not for the requirements of his mission outweighing that. You can show Bond's disgust in moments where a kill was unfortunately made necessary or where he cannot stand by and help an ally (like Remy in QoS), or where he has a quiet moment in the film and feels the weight of his actions. These can be done overtly, but they can also be done subtly enough that the people who JUST want the cool action hero will largely ignore them.

To me, that's the great strength of Craig's portrayal. Even in a film like Skyfall, which was a LOT closer to a traditional Bond movie than we've seen in his tenure, those things came through in Craig's performance...but they weren't lampshaded the way they were in Casino Royale, or the way they have been in past Bond movies (e.g. Tomorrow Never Dies, Goldeneye). Between Craig and a good editor, you can show something as simple as Bond simply working a jaw muscle and holding a look for an extra beat, while otherwise appearing impassive when these things happen, and it still gets across the sense of frustration, pain, remorse, etc. But it does so without, say, having Bond weep openly or say "GOD I HATE MY JOB" or whatever.

One of the other things I've most appreciated about the Craig films is the character growth they've shown with Bond. At the start of Casino Royale, he's a rookie 00, having just made his second kill in the line of work (with his first resulting in him vomiting afterwards). Over the course of the film, we see Bond toughen up, let down his guard, wind up betrayed, and fully put on his armor by the end of the film. When he shows up in his 3-piece holding the silenced UMP-9 and saying "Bond. James Bond," it's Bond fully putting on his "costume." From that point forward, you can have Bond occasionally show cracks in the armor, but you can never let him drop it completely the way he did in that film. And yet, that film, for the current iteration of the franchise, needs to be a touchstone for all future depictions. We need to remember where Bond came from and who he was, so we can understand who he is now, even if he becomes a guy who can give an ironic look in a dangerous situation. We need to know that he does this stuff not because it's a wink to the audience, but because it's part of Bond's character, part of his armor and the mask he wears to help him weather this horrible job he does. Bond can have his lighter moments, but they also need to be grounded in the humanity of the character, or else the whole thing just becomes a boring power fantasy built on cartoonish caricatures, like a badass version of Austin Powers.
 

Michael Bergeron

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Dan. You're my hero. :)

You say all the things I think in such a concise way!

Sent from my SGH-I317M using Tapatalk 2
 
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batguy

Sr Member
Concise or text-diarrhea, either way he's on point.

It makes me start wondering how things might shape up if DC were to keep the role for several more movies - it might be perfectly logical that he would continue to develop TOWARDS the 1970s RM version of Bond. RM's moral detachment and casual gallows humor would be a pretty logical set of coping mechanisms for someone chronically coping with that stuff. The original Connery-->Moore change worked pretty well to show a subtle shift in Bond's apparent age & attitudes. Call it accidental character growth.

A lot of the current audience would hate to see future Bond movies where DC is eventually doing his impression of RM. I don't think it would make a very satisfying direction for the movie franchise either. But IMO it makes all kinds of sense when you think about it. At the very least I could see DC starting to show more moments of RM's detachment & humor as time passes.
 
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