An Open Letter to the Producers of James Bond

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An Open Letter to the Producers of James Bond

Some things for movie makers to keep in mind if and when they resurrect James Bond.

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This is very true I really haven't had fun in a bond movie since Goldeneye. I mean my favorite Bond of all time was Sean Connery he just was Bond . He was witty, sophisticated, suave, fun etc etc. Anyway I will say I hated Craig almost as much as I hated Dalton I mean to me these two bond were just cast in gritty semi reality movies which tend to kill Bond movies altogether. Oh and I know I will most likely catch some flack for comparing Craig to Dalton.

Have you read the books?

It seems odd that you fight for Fleming's original concept, yet then seem to push against that, despite Craig's Bond being the closest to the style of the books by far.

Um... thank you. I believe I know a decent amount about James Bond (I have the collection set of all the movies and have seen). But the biggest thing that has bugged me recently,which I think you noted, is that 'Evil Schemes" aren't outlandish. In the past we've had, A satellite death ray bedazzled in diamonds, A crackpot Journalist starting a war between china and Russia with a stealth ship, another.... diamond satellite, nuclear warheads stolen by an underwater base, and , of course, renewable energy (no really Man with the Golden Gun)... and now we have... well Casino Royale was just a transference of money to an undercover agency and keeping water from poor people? Thus are boring, and not interesting at all. I feel that the mre outlandish the scheme the better movie it was but that's just me.

I'm not really going to complain about Craig as Bond; mostly because when the best Bond of all time (Connery) gives his blessing then all the lesser men must shut up in unison. Hopefully this franchise's future gets cleared up at some point so we can get things in order

I think you hit the nail right on the head. There already is a batman and james bond isn't it.

I think my favourite Bond "I enjoy what I do and am damn good at it moment" was in Die Another Day when he goes AWOL from the boat. With massive beard and bathrobe he knocks out the guards and without a second thought jumps overboard and walks soaking wet into a hotel.

I like Daniel Craig. i thought that he pulled off what Bond was supposed to be. this suave yet cold man of mystery. using whatever tools or people he needed to accomplish the mission. Connery was good as bond as well. as was pierce brosnen, though he was more of a ladies man than a gadgeteer.

I liked Casino Royal, but I'll admit it didn't really feel like a Bond movie. Sadly we probably won't see one in awhile. :(

When was the last time James Bond had fun doing what he does? I can't remember.
Speaking of Batman, you know what sucks? Now that Chris Nolan can't bring the Joker back anymore, we are never even going to have the possibility of having Harley Quinn show up at some point. That would've been awesome.

I liked the new James Bond series. Yes, it isn't the original film series, but the new formula worked. Danial Craig had an edgy quality to him that other James Bonds lacked. Yes, the fight scenes are over done and overly long, and yes Quantum of Solace wasn't all that great, but still they were cool movies and I was looking forward to the third one. I still need to find out what the heck the deal with Quantum is!

Even so, it wasn't the new direction in 007 that killed Bond 23. The last two movies were amongst the most profitable films in Bond history - hundreds of millions of dollars were made. That they aren't making a new one just shows that MGM is truly finished as a film studio... or that they've gone the bold new financial direction of hating money.

Fappy:
I liked Casino Royal, but I'll admit it didn't really feel like a Bond movie. Sadly we probably won't see one in awhile. :(

I guess I don;t know what a real Bond film is supposed to be. I like the actiony adventury chaos fun that always seemed to happen.

I sense it's a failing in general at the moment, that the bosses take something popular and liked, and then see something more popular, and think they can just smash their best property with a hammer til it vaguely resembles the more popular thing, and suddenly people will prefer theirs.

doesn't work like that, all you've done is wreck your own stuff for your own fans, and produce a broken, ugly version of what your competitors are already doing better than you.

So yes, in full agreement, make Bond Bond, not Batman 2, not Bourne revisited, not Iron Man 2.0, but Bond, James Bond. Sure he can be a little updated from his 50s self, but he's gotta stay sophisticated, classy, witty, confident and a ladies man who can handle himself in a fight without ruining his suit.

Just for the non Bond fans however :

RTR:

Speaking of Batman, you know what sucks? Now that Chris Nolan can't bring the Joker back anymore, we are never even going to have the possibility of having Harley Quinn show up at some point. That would've been awesome.

I would of said that she could still appear, keep the story of Harley becoming obsessed with the Joker through watching and hearing about him on the news, instead of being his shrink when he was in Arkham. She could still become the villain by looking for revenge on Batman for what he did to the Joker, or would that be too far-fetched?

Sorry, but has anyone here read the books??? Bond was a depressed, alcoholic, uncontrollable woman beater. He alienated all his friends and colleagues. The whole POINT of the books was that it was all about his struggle and character development. The films are what happens when hollywood gets their hands on a franchise. I think Craig is different, not better or worse - he's portraying a different type of bond. He still has his british class (refusing to stay in a grotty hotel, and pretending he's a teacher that's won the lotto to stay in a posh hotel? His clothes? Glasses? Aston Martin DBS anyone??), and womanizing ways (isn't that what he gets in trouble for in Quantum of Solace?)- it's just darker. Original.

I like hollywood bond like anyone, but the reason why the 'Craig Revolution' happened was because a giant plastic-y laser made from a guy with diamonds in his face in a tacky looking ice hotel was just a stretch too far...

I totally agree with the English things, it's a core part of the character. I

If you want an American James Bond, just tell the studio's to get on with the 24 movie, Jack Bauer was just the producers way of making Bond the American hero.

You know, it seems to me that Bond got over the whole 'tormented past' thing by the end of Quantum of Solace. In fact, that seemed to be the whole point of the movie. It wasn't about Bond going out to shoot more bad guys, it was the traditional RPG choice of 'revenge, or no revenge'. And, it seems he's over it. He left the guy alive (I can't remember his name). And that seems like a fitting end to the series.

By the way, I loved Daniel Craig as the new 007. I don't understand why people think he's lost his suave, swagger and style. He's an incredibly intelligent character, he's just no longer toting duck hats and invisible cars.

RTR:
When was the last time James Bond had fun doing what he does? I can't remember.

Goldeneye. Tank Sequence.

-m

Knight Of The Realm, not the round.

Oh and fyi I agree whole-heartedly with everything you said. (well... wrote)

See I go the other way. I like Jason Bourne because he is basically "broken" as a human being. I was never crazy about Bond as a child, I just never found him any way interesting as a character. I do think Bond films should not try to emulate Bourne because once the inherent sillyness kicks in your left going "wha?" Clear and Present Danger and Bourne follow real worldish rules and can't really have laser watches and sex powered yachts. So even though I am not a huge Bondage fan I think he should be killing guys while shagging educationally sub-normal woman and killing his liver with booze. oh and not bleeding....

I agree that the movies need to quit "trying" to be accurate.

Woodsey:
Have you read the books?

It seems odd that you fight for Fleming's original concept, yet then seem to push against that, despite Craig's Bond being the closest to the style of the books by far.

I'm a bit baffled by this as well.

One of the things I liked best about Casino Royale is how close they actually got to Bond as he is portrayed in the books. Especially how he almost always gets beaten up to hell and back. He is in excruciating amounts of pain, bleeding like a leaky, rusty pipe and yet always manages to just grit his teeth finnish the mission with an ohmigodthisissoexcilarating bloody vengeance. Thing is, unlike McClane, he is always on the verge of passing out and straight dying on the floor of badguy mansion's while he does it. You can't but keep cheering him on as you read 'come on, man! Don't you freaking die on me! Just a little bit more! Almost there, almost there!'

There was also the bit about him finally finding love in CR (IIRC it was in In His Majesty's Secret Service book, maybe Diamonds are Forever) only to have it all taken away from him, solidyfing him into the hardened, I-can't-care-for-anybody-but-myself he eventually becomes. I believe this was done in one of the Dalton's movies but I haven't seen a lot of Bond films other than the ones with Connery since I don't find any of the other imaginings of Bond appealing at all.

Note: I haven't reread the books in ages so I apologize in advance if I got some of the facts wrong :)

in a bit of a pickle:

Woodsey:
Have you read the books?

It seems odd that you fight for Fleming's original concept, yet then seem to push against that, despite Craig's Bond being the closest to the style of the books by far.

I'm a bit baffled by this as well.

One of the things I liked best about Casino Royale is how close they actually got to Bond as he is portrayed in the books. Especially how he almost always gets beaten up to hell and back. He is in excruciating amounts of pain, bleeding like a leaky, rusty pipe and yet always manages to just grit his teeth finnish the mission with an ohmigodthisissoexcilarating bloody vengeance. Thing is, unlike McClane, he is always on the verge of passing out and straight dying on the floor of badguy mansion's while he does it. You can't but keep cheering him on as you read 'come on, man! Don't you freaking die on me! Just a little bit more! Almost there, almost there!'

There was also the bit about him finally finding love in CR (IIRC it was in In His Majesty's Secret Service book, maybe Diamonds are Forever) only to have it all taken away from him, solidyfing him into the hardened, I-can't-care-for-anybody-but-myself he eventually becomes. I believe this was done in one of the Dalton's movies but I haven't seen a lot of Bond films other than the ones with Connery since I don't find any of the other imaginings of Bond appealing at all.

Note: I haven't reread the books in ages so I apologize in advance if I got some of the facts wrong :)

In "On her majesty's secret service" it was george lazenby playing bond and yes he gets married but has his love taken away from him in the last few minutes of the movie.

Those are some very keen observations about Quantum of Solace. I could never quite put my finger on why I didn't like it. Casino Royale, on the other hand, is one of my all-time-favorite movies. They should hire the same people who made that movie for any future ones.

To your main point:

I had not yet seen any pictures. Wow! That Russian spy is hot.

The forward of you column was also good.

I really enjoyed this article, a lot of the time I don't agree with MovieBob but this article quite eloquently summed up my feelings about the new James Bond movies.

They just feel too formulaic, they didn't really have any unique qualities, they were just another cookie cutter "brooding hero punches people" movie in the vein of the Bourne series.

I think that my favorite Bond movies are definitely the Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan movies, Connery because they were over the top and fun with good jokes, gadgets and everything, and the Brosnan movies for the fact that they were clearly made by people who loved the old movies and weren't ashamed to admit it. That's another thing that I dislike about the new movies, they seem almost ashamed of the movies that came before them, like there was something dreadfully stupid and childish about them that they wanted to abandon. Because of that the new films wound up revamping everything, no gadgets, no silliness, no super villains and the a sociopath of a Bond. Not even a witty or charming sociopath at that, but rather the kind of guy who would probably be in prison if he wasn't working for the government.

I'm willing to look past the casting of Daniel Craig as Bond, as after all he's not terrible and he can bring the fun aspects of the character to the fore everyone once in a while but I still find the the new Bond to be too dark and boring, with none of the spark and charm that the old Bonds had.

Also, am I the only one who thinks that Bond is badly in need of some more memorable enemies? The last good villain was 006 from Golden Eyes, after him we've just gotten a parade of generic generals and terrorists. Not that I don't think that a villain who's there for the sole purpose of giving Bond a target when they let him loose, but the most enjoyable films always had a more memorable enemy, like Goldfinger, Scaramanga, Blofeld, or 006.

Anyway, great article. It's too bad we won't be getting any new Bond movies anytime soon, after all I may not have loved them but they were still Bond.

EDIT: I just realized, everyone talks about the books being much closer to the new movies, but frankly I don't care about that, too me the real Bond is the one from the movies.

Bob, you said exactly what I've been thinking.

Woodsey:
Have you read the books?

I've read some, though only a few. And yes, it is absolutely true that Bond-Craig is closest to Fleming's original vision. It's a good vision, and I enjoyed the books that I've read (ohmilife, Diamonds are Forever is so much better as a book than a movie!)

But to be honest, I like the movie-Bonds more, precisely because they're unreal. They're silly escapist fantasy, with all their faults. And that's what I want out of a Bond movie. The books are indeed a dark, flawed, realistic Bond. I do like that character. But when I want that Bond, I'll read the books. I like being able to see an unrealistic and not-at-all-Fleming James Bond in the movies.

It's only a personal opinion and I don't begrudge or question anyone who likes it better now that the movies are closer to the books. That opinion is just as valid. After all, there are so many Connery and Moore movies I can go back to watch again when I want my escapism quotient. And when I want darkness, I'll curl up with one of Fleming's classics.

First off, I think its reasonable to say FORGET THE BOOKS... i know its reasonable to think that aspiring to the source material is important, but why? The movies have been around for 30 years, and have been seen by more people than have read the books. They are different mediums and work in different ways. I say the movies should be judged by an individual standard.

That being said, i think the article is quite correct, however, there was one additional point that was not expanded on enough, i think. James Bond was CLASSY! He wasn't a dirty schmuck, he was a high-class, well educated socialite. I think that was a significant part of his character, and is one of the reasons i don't like dalton or Craig, they seem like they could have come from a trailer park :P

Good article MB, I agree on all points.

Woodsey:
Have you read the books?
It seems odd that you fight for Fleming's original concept, yet then seem to push against that, despite Craig's Bond being the closest to the style of the books by far.

-Well thank god someone in production figured early on that the movies had to be quite different in order to sell.

For me...if they could bring back Connery to do it all over again...that would make it epic enough for me!

RobfromtheGulag:
Good article MB, I agree on all points.

Woodsey:
Have you read the books?
It seems odd that you fight for Fleming's original concept, yet then seem to push against that, despite Craig's Bond being the closest to the style of the books by far.

-Well thank god someone in production figured early on that the movies had to be quite different in order to sell.

Right, that's why Casino Royale grossed the 5th highest amount at the box office of all 22 Bond films.

Woodsey:

Right, that's why Casino Royale grossed the 5th highest amount at the box office of all 22 Bond films.

Incidentally, which one grossed the most? One of the broodier more realistic ones?

100% agree. Bob u is the man! :D

There something I'd like to add to that list:

Bring back Q and his gadgets!

For me, its just not a James Bond movie without crazy-cool spy gadgets.

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