Friday, November 22, 2002
The Name is Bond... I was batty for the James Bond movies as a kid. And, let's face it, movies like "Moonraker" and "The Spy Who Loved Me" were greasy kids' stuff in a big way. As I got older, I read the Fleming books and found the Connery Bond closer to the spirit of Fleming's character. (Roger Moore was cool and suave, yes, but the Bond of the books is a cruel and coldhearted son of a bitch.) Unfortunately, the earlier movies now suffer from the fact that the later ones mined them for formula. If you've seen all the later movies, then a classic like "Dr. No" will simply seem familiar, but in a cheesy, low-budget way (especially the now-standard "destroying the bad guy's lair" denouement). Shame, really, because the first few films were truly innovative and fun. Long ago, I hated seeing Brosnan passed over for Timothy Dalton. By the time Brosnan got the gig, I was too old and too fed up to care anymore. (Okay, I saw the first Brosnan outing. It was awful.) Ironically, Brosnan was in the best spy flick in ages, "The Tailor of Panama," between his Bond work. "Tailor," with it's cruel and self-serving anti-hero spy, is a successor to the Bond tradition of, say, "Thunderball," wherein the now hackneyed Bond humor is original, quite barbed, and thoroughly black. (He makes several of the famous Bond puns - the ones nowadays usually made over the "dryness" of a martini - in comparatively cruel circumstances, usually involving the brutal death of an enemy.) Ye gods! Look at how long this has gotten. Apologies to those not already in Bondage.