29 November, 2015

James Bond 007's #Spectre - Some Thoughts

Let me begin this one at the very beginning.

My introduction to the 007 Adventure began back in the 80's, and it was Roger Moore who captivated my heart as well as my soul with his version of the shaken, not stirred secret agent in  For Your Eyes Only.

There was no prior-to-that for me because I grew up in a Catholic home and both parents were convinced (even having never seen nor read an Ian Fleming novel) that we would all be damned to hell as a family collective if any one of us dared read or watch a 007 flick.

It was all of that wanton, indiscriminate sex, you see.

I became hooked anyway and made it a practice to view as many of the Bond films as I could, and after marriage, it became more easy a task to accomplish with cable television and late nights spent in a rocking chair with an infant/baby in my arms.

Until then, I had adored Roger Moore and honestly still do, but after watching so many of the franchises films, I came to the conclusion that no one held a candle to Sir Sean Connery.

Later, the two babies I'd rocked to sleep late at night made their introductory viewings with the likes of Pierce Brosnan and both would agree that he is, of course, the perfect and most memorable of the 007 secret agents.

And, I think it is a generational type thing, too. Depending on when you were introduced to the series and how into the movies you really are, it can sway an opinion about which of the previous 007 actors is or was the best.

But then along comes this new guy, and all of the horrible, mean, and downright thoughtless comments made about him becoming the next Bond.

I, for one, felt sorry for the guy even when I had no idea who he even was.

I'd never heard of him but was never really impressed with the blond haired, blue-eyed set of male, so my opinion wasn't all that high or flattering regardless of what everyone else was saying about him as the next Bond.

I just wasn't that interested in watching anymore Bond films.

Call it my brand of stubborn fool. I didn't want to say anything mean or hateful about the guy, but I was about as convinced of his being able to pull it off as the next fan.

Shame on me!

Because, eventually, I did watch one of his movies, Casino Royale, and . . . all I can say is, Daniel Craig made my head spin. He was completely successful at putting me, my silly opinion, and those of every other nay-sayer, to shame.

To rest, actually.

Then I watched his first Bond, Quantum of Solace,  online and was even more of the opinion that Daniel Craig and the 007 stories he's portraying are the best. It doesn't matter what the critics think, either. Rarely, if ever, have they swayed my opinion.

I wanted to see more, and so I did. I watched Sky Fall  and became convinced that there should never have been another Bond other than Mr. Craig.


He had said he would put his all into the part, and we all know how true that turned out to be.

At this point, I had read a few of Ian Fleming's novels and had also watched a documentary on the man behind Bond.

If anything, I understood more and could appreciate its spectacular success better than I had prior to having read and learned as much as I could about the behind-the-scenes stuff.

With Connery, it was all about Connery and not Bond.

With Moore, it was all about silly, witty come-backs and flash than about Bond.

With Brosnan, it was all about being PC and not stepping on anyone's sensitive toes, and a whole ton of gratuitous violence the likes of which had never been seen in a Bond flick prior to his entrance on the 007 scene.

Also, I could never get past his Remington Steele character whenever I saw him, not to mention his Mrs. Doubtfire stint.

So, that leaves our Mr. Craig and what it is he brings to the 007 table of things.

He isn't PC for starters, thank you! He's not a vile letch, either, but he is as no-nonsense about the women he beds as he is about the role he's paid to play -- a secret agent working for MI6 who possesses a license to kill.

Craig's Bond is the most believable of them all, his conflicts are entirely realistic, and when a woman attempts to put him in his place, he has a reasonable yet honest come-back that is not always as witty or charming as the previous Bonds would have preferred.

Which leads me to Spectre and why I am now convinced that Daniel Craig needs to re-think his hem-haw position on not returning for another go at playing James.

I researched this dilemma and here are a few quotes and their resources:

'Spectre' Producer Expects Daniel Craig to Return for Another Bond Movie - The Hollywood Reporter

(Craig being asked if he'll return) 'I don’t know. I really don’t know. [...] Honestly. I’m not trying to be coy. At the moment I can’t even conceive it.' - Forbes Magazine

And, a bit on how well Spectre actually did during its Premiere week both here and in the U.K.

‘Spectre’ Scores $80.4 Million at Foreign Box Office, Shatters U.K. Opening Record - Variety

The real issues with the Bond francise include needing a new distributor and re-signing Craig to another 5 films.

I think, after Spectre's success and the viewer's reaction to his talent in the Bond regard, that Craig will reconsider his indecisive decision to stop being 007.

If you haven't watched it yet, Spectre  actually worked to clear up all of the loose ends from his previous movies -- even going back as far as the Sean Connery days.

The title, for example, stands for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion, and we've all heard Spectre being tossed around over the decades, too.

Craig's Bond makes an unlikely move at the very end, but then he appears before Q to make one, final request (which I won't mention in case someone hasn't seen the movie yet).

All I could think was that I hope the beautiful smile Craig's Bond offered at that point wasn't one of utter relief at knowing he wouldn't be making another Bond film again.

I want to believe that Craig will be back, and that he'll perform better than ever.

It is difficult to form an opinion about which of the Daniel Craig Bond films I enjoyed best, and after returning home from the theatre this Thanksgiving weekend, I am not sure I know the answer, still.

I liked them all, and I'd watch them over again, too, which is saying a lot, believe me.

Lastly, I just want to point out the amazing fact that in the middle of this film, I was beyond happy to see that the Bond Girl this time around wasn't tough as nails, a bad-ass to the bone, and more than capable of fending for herself and not needing Bond's help in the slightest.

When she said, "I'm scared." and James grasped her hand for reassurance, I wanted to leap from my chair and applaud . . . but, I didn't.

I managed to keep my cool, unlike the dude seated an empty chair from mine, who started to bob in place when the pre-movie music started, and he actually clapped loud and hard to the beat, which prompted the other movie-goers to do the same in all of the CLAP, CLAP, CLAP instances thereafter.

Me: face-palm

My choice for this week's #HotGuySunday post

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