10+ Daniel Craig suit ideas daniel craig, james bond ...
10+ Daniel Craig suit ideas daniel craig, james bond ...
Casino Royale Archives – Bond Suits
James Bond Clothes - 007 Museum
Daniel Craig Suits Up in the Bahamas — PHOTOS - Socialite Life
The Casino Royale Dinner Jacket – Bond Suits
No Time to Die: How to Dress Like Daniel Craig as James ...
Casino Royale: Why It Worked (Retrospective on the Franchise)
One of the most critically acclaimed Bond films. It truly revived the franchise in a way that it had not been since the Connery days and while I strongly disagree with the comments about Craig being the best Bond since Connery, he debuted under the best circumstances. Casino Royale gets a lot of praise from the media for being “different” from other films while some fans deride it for the same reason, calling Daniel Craig’s Bond an emotionless thug. The latter group is somewhat correct, if referring to Quantum of Solace. The former group, is a bit overblown in their praise, forgetting that changing too many things could run the risk of losing what made something great in the first place, which happened in some areas with Craig’s subsequent films. In my opinion, however, Casino Royale is not a “deconstruction” of the Bond films that stripped back the gadgets, girls, and humor that defined the films, but a reconstruction that stayed true to the original novels and simply improved upon the many great things its predecessor did while getting rid of the fluff. Looking back, Connery started out perfectly in his first two films. He added his own charm and wit to the original character, making for a perfect lead actor while keeping the more dubious aspects of the character. Unfortunately, Goldfinger marked the beginning of Bond becoming a caricature, a perfectly dressed gentleman who saved the day as effortlessly as he displayed charisma. While some of the original Connery returned in Thunderball, his last two films doubled down on Goldfinger’s success and felt like a pale shadow of his former self. George Lazenby, despite only appearing in one film, managed to remain unobscured because he appeared in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, a crowning moment for the franchise that stripped back the gadgets, girls (kind of), and humor. Rather strange, considering Casino Royale was adored for doing the same thing, but gets a better reception from audiences (critics and fans have given Lazenby’s film its due for decades now). Roger Moore, despite the silliness of his films and the decreasing credibility the franchise had because of his age as the films progressed, deserves credit for allowing the films to develop differently rather than just copying the Connery films. Moore could never compete with Connery’s rugged macho persona and instead became more suave and gentlemanly, with even more emphasis on the humor. The franchise had been heading down a path where the films could not be taken seriously and Moore allowed them to embrace it. Say what you want about films like Moonraker, but that was the direction the producers wanted to take and much of how one perceives it is based on how silly or serious they want their Bond films to be, a testament to how Moore allowed the films to vary in tone. For Your Eyes Only, despite not being a particularly strong film in my opinion, stripped back the gadgets, girls, and humor (kind of). Casino Royale gets praise for being more realistic and grounded than Die Another Day, but For Your Eyes Only did the same after Moonraker, albeit to a lesser extent. Moore proved that he could still portray a more serious Bond and the result was one of his best outings. Unfortunately, the silliness still lingered and Bond faced competition from other heavy-hitters in the eighties. While I enjoy Octopussy and think A View To A Kill deserves to exist because of its awesome score and Christopher Walken, Moore should have left earlier. Timothy Dalton still remains underappreciated by critics and audiences (“Mainstream” media sites still rank his films in the twenties) despite having a cult following among fans. While I am not the most knowledgeable of the novels, I remember enough from the ones I read that Dalton fit the literary version almost perfectly and I still maintain that he is closer than even Craig or Connery to Fleming’s Bond. The Living Daylights and Licence To Kill are both extremely well-done films, that while suffering from a lackluster director far better at executing action than story and poor production values, managed to be the closest in spirit to Connery’s early films. It is rather unfair that Dalton is labelled the “proto-Craig” when he was closer to the novels, a bit too close. One area where Craig is superior to Dalton is the charisma. Dalton lacked the “it-factor” that his predecessors had and while he was not beholden to following what Connery started, the public perception about the larger-than-life Bond hurt his era. People began rejecting the caricature Bond had become with the Pierce Brosnan era, which had the worst scripts in my opinion. GoldenEye was a pop-culture hit and its legacy as the “only good Brosnan” film was aided by a video game that I would rather go back to than the film itself. It was a well-rounded out film, though I would argue that it is not one of the best since several others were less derivative and excelled in some areas more than it did. Brosnan’s era dropped in quality with films even more derivative than his debut, repeating GoldenEye’s mistake of ultimately wasting interesting plot-points in favor of falling back on the tried-and-true tropes. I still love Tomorrow Never Dies though. The end result was Die Another Day, which saw the producers in the same situation they found themselves in after Moonraker. They had to return to Bond’s roots, and for the first time in its history, truly delivered an almost flawless product that learned from everything the films had done. Some look back on the pre-Craig films and scoff at them, finding them too cheesy and not serious enough. However, quite a few Bond films were serious and faithful to the source material; they just happened not to do it as well as Casino Royale, with the exception of From Russia With Love, which is the closest in reception to it. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service suffered from a rather lackluster star, who despite the arguments from people such as myself who enjoyed his vulnerability compared to Connery and acting during the ending, hurt the reputation of a great film. For Your Eyes Only set the tone for the eighties films, but still had some of the Moore silliness. The Living Daylights and Licence To Kill also suffered from tonal issues, to a lower extent in my opinion. Dalton gave very committed performances, but the other members of the production were not quite as willing to commit to such a radical change and never went the extra mile like Casino Royale despite delivering two top tier Bond films. Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli finally realized that they had to give the character justice after they restricted Pierce Brosnan from reaching his full potential. The one-liners worked with Connery and Moore, but they did not with Dalton and Brosnan, showing a lack of confidence in their lead actors’ acting ability that they did not with Craig. Rebooting the franchise meant the producers could start a clean slate, take all the great things of the past twenty films, and put it in one film. I prefer Dalton overall, but Craig’s debut performance was the perfect combination of the literary and cinematic Bond. He retained the cold nature Dalton brought to the role while keeping some of the wit Connery brought into focus. Craig gets some praise for being more brutal with the bathroom opening frequently highlighted, but I think that it rather misses the point of the plot. Bond went from being a reckless, violent gunman to being a cold man who tries to hide it with charm and witty lines, closer in personality to the previous Bonds. It has even been brought up that Vesper influenced Bond’s dress style, going from wearing casual clothes to a three-piece suit in the ending. Bond holding the machine gun in such fancy clothes showed how far he had become since the prologue, no longer wearing his Oxford-styled suits with disdain. Even Craig’s hair, which is flat down throughout the film, is a bit sharper in the end, showing that Bond now puts more thought into the way he appears. Getting some input into the character also meant Craig had the freedom Dalton and Brosnan were unfortunately never afforded. Only Craig could have pulled off the torture scene. Connery and Moore were too untouchable; Lazenby and Brosnan were not the best when it came to dramatic scenes; Dalton lacked the humanity that made Craig more relatable, though their interpretations are two sides of the same coin. Casino Royale was inspired by the Bourne films and Batman Begins, but still feels very Bondian. The tropes Goldfinger introduced may be gone, but those from the novels and first two films remained. The film adds scenes set in the Bahamas, which reminds one of Dr. No and Thunderball. The Aston Martin DB5 returns, continuing the nostalgia for the Connery era which the producers had been milking since GoldenEye, and exacerbated in future Craig films. Bond’s characterization is also close to Connery’s first two films and Lazenby and Dalton’s films. The film does not feel like a complete departure from its predecessors, but more of a return to form. For me personally, I like the films like From Russia With Love and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which retain the cinematic Bond thrills while adding more depth to the plot and characters. Craig’s debut set the bar high and I think his follow-ups learned the wrong lessons from it. After being praised for departing from Bond’s roots, the writers went further and made a film that does not feel Bondian at times. Criticize Licence To Kill for being an eighties action film all you want, but the story felt more like classic Bond than most of its predecessors. While Quantum of Solace had great action, cinematography, interesting plot points (holding the water of a country ransom does not seem so funny now?) and had some parallels between Dalton and Craig (Dalton snaps and rejects MI6 to become a rogue agent hellbent on revenge, Craig never actively seeks revenge and despite the brutal moments he finds himself in, keeps his composure), it badly-edited and suffered from an undercooked script. On the other hand, Skyfall is a beautifully shot film that like GoldenEye, has a meandering plot focused on meta-commentary discussing Bond’s relevance. I would still put Skyfall in my top 10, but it is not as original or groundbreaking as the critics would have you think. Finally, Spectre repeated the same mistake the Brosnan films did: fall back on good old nostalgia. This time, the writers tried to fuse a Connery era plot with Craig’s darker aspects, making for a charmless bore with some really misguided intentions (Brofeld, anyone?). I eagerly await No Time To Die like everyone else and hope that it manages to end off the era of one of the best Bonds with a bang.
This decade (2010s) will be the first one to only have 2 James Bond movies in franchise history. But Daniel Craig will be the first Bond actor to appear in 3 consecutive decades.
1960s (6 movies) - Dr. No (1962) - From Russia With Love (1963) - Goldfinger (1964) - Thunderball (1965) - You Only Live Twice (1967) - On Her Majesty Secret Service (1969) 1970s (5 movies) - Diamonds Are [EDIT] Forever (1971) - Live and Let Die (1973) - The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) - The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) - Moonraker (1979) 1980s (5 movies) - For Your Eyes Only (1981) - Octopussy (1983) - A View To A Kill (1985) - The Living Daylights (1987) - License To Kill (1989) 1990s (3 movies) - GoldenEye (1995) - Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) - The World Is Not Enough (1999) 2000s (3 movies) - Die Another Day (2002) - Casino Royale (2006) - Quantum of Solace (2008) 2010s (2 movies) - Skyfall (2012) - SPECTRE (2015) 2020s (x movies) - Bond 25 (2020) Actors by appearances in decades: - Daniel Craig 3 (00s, 10s, 20s) - Sean Connery 2 (60s, 70s) - Roger Moore 2 (70s, 80s) - Pierce Brosnan 2 (90s, 00s) - Timothy Dalton 1 (80s) - George Lazenby 1 (60s) EDIT: And here just some personal information opinion and stuff: - I can understand that Bond movies, now built up as very big blockbusters shouldn't be released every year or two (thing is, there weren't that many blockbuster action movies back in the 1960s, so a Bond movie basically was the big movie of each year which take for example 2015, a year where next to SPECTRE movies like Age of Ultron, Star Wars 8, Fury Road, Revenant, Creed and so on also were released; isn't the case anymore). But I think 3 years is a solid gap and not the 5 we get now. - Connery IS James Bond and there's probably nothing that'll change that. He also has the hottest streak of good to great Bond movies (for me from Dr. No, FRWL, Goldfinger & Thunderball). - Still, I actually love Daniel Craig's interpretation of Bond and Casino Royale isn't only my favorite Bond movie, but also in my opinion one of the greatest movies ever made. SkyFall is also top tier, especially at how gorgeous it looks (apart from BR49 this is maybe my favorite of Deakins work this decade). - I'd like to call Brosnan's Bond Rambo wearing a suit. His later movies may be considered generic action flicks but they sure deliver some memorable and engaging action sequences (apart from DAD which, you know, obviously has these atrocious VFX). GoldenEye though is something special and at least for me a masterclass in action. - Roger Moore holds the title for most Bonds and that's totally fine. The cheese in his movies ranks from working really great (TSWLM), to fine (TMWTGG, LALD), to really bad (last two ones). Lazenby is well Lazenby, OHMSS is a good film but he's just too wooden for me to be Bond. Dalton is actually really good, and both of his movies, especially LTK are solid thrillers. I think he should've done at least one more. EDIT 2: I was not counting Connery‘s „unnofficial“ Bond in the 80s What do you think about this?
Why I feel Quantum of Solace is a better film than Skyfall
Despite the common consensus that Daniel Craig’s second outing is a weak entry in the series, I swear this film improves every time I watch it and is deserving of re-appraisal. Critically panned back in the day, and for mostly understandable reasons – Quantum of Solace had a troubled production in the midst of the 2007-08 Writer's Guild strike, that would result in the feature having the bare bones of a script and, according to Daniel Craig, leaving himself and the director to haphazardly pen scenes, in some cases on the day of shooting. Such a rushed affair does not bode well for a sequel to what is arguably the most perfect Bond of all-time, Casino Royale. And upon release, I remember leaving the cinema feeling confused and having a bit of a headache. Critics were correct to point out the at times incomprehensible editing choices and rapid cuts that made certain action set pieces feel like an epileptic fit. However, on this rewatch, I found it to be much less of an issue than originally thought and, at the risk of making everyone reading this groan with a cheap, A-Level Film Studies level insight, worked well to convey Bond’s fractured, relentless state of mind following the lingering trauma of Casino’s third-act. To begin to explain my delusional admiration for Quantum, for a film that had real problems in the writer's room, good god is this a much better script than Skyfall. Characters actually feel human and dialogue authentic – no cringeworthy, half-baked one liners in sight, no obnoxious, fourth-wall breaking references to past glories (yes I'm aware of the Goldfinger painted lady callback, but this works in the context of the scene and doesn’t feel out of place) and most notably, the relationship between Bond, his leading lady Camille and his lovably wry Kerim Bey-esque contact and friend, Mathis, believable and engaging. This does wonders for my investment in the piece and goes a long way to patch up what is admittedly a pretty skeletal plot. Like Casino, the film’s sparing use of dry humour is made all the more effective when it lands and never feels incongruous with the established gritty tone of the Craig timeline; something Sam Mendes would fail to grasp four years later. I was also impressed by Quantum's willingness as a mainstream movie to showcase a cynical, post-9/11 worldview on foreign policy, the oil industry and Western government officials casually getting in bed with terrorists and despots. Once again in the Craig era, the enemies are not goateed French bastards wishing to eradicate humankind and repopulate the earth exclusively with sexy models – it's sellout politicians enabling dictatorships and poverty profiteers. By depicting not only human relationships but also the nature of 21st century geopolitics in such an authentic light (as much as is possible within the escapist fantasy of Bond), this serves to make the stakes feel all the more real and further justify the harder-edged interpretation of the character and the world he inhabits. Despite this, Quantum never comes across as preachy – it simply treats the disillusioned reality of global affairs and entrenched corruption as a given. While Mark Kermode humourously viewed the film's relentless action as "teletubbies bouncing around in a padded cell", the meaninglessness of the violence struck me as intentional and if not, certainly worked on a thematic level. As M puts it, this is a broken Bond driven by "inconsolable rage", going apeshit and killing every lead; another body stacked up without consequence and bringing no solace, not even a quantum of the stuff, until the very end. And at this point in time, the concept of Bond "going rogue" was actually still fresh and exciting (fast-forward to the utter clusterfuck that was Spectre and I'm bloody well sick of his cavalier attitude to work). Dominic Greene may have been consigned to the dustbin of Bond villain history in popular culture, along with Kristatos and Jack Wade’s evil twin from The Living Daylights, and apparently not worthy of having his stock casting photo proudly blu-tacked to the wall of a crumbling Mi6 in a cheap effort to taunt Bond in Spectre, but I don't see why. Sure, he doesn't have some token physical disfigurement and his scheme to deprive Bolivia of its water resources isn't as fanciful as using a big bastard space laser to explode the world's nukes. His evil is one without bells and whistles or Roger Moore era camp – he's a sleazy, slippery little fucker without pomp, who deserved a belly-full of motor oil by the time the credits rolled. This I much prefer than the flamboyant, bleach-blonde and frankly misguided comic relief excuse for a villain we get in the following film. Quantum’s leading lady, Camille Montes, is easily the second most compelling Bond girl in the Craig era and she too carries her own personal demons – their relationship is one of mutual catharsis and an opportunity to ‘bond’, not over martinis or foie gras in a fancy casino, but rather discussing their dead, unavenged loved ones in a cold cave. In a way, it’s rather nice they don’t shag at the end, signifying he doesn’t view her as a disposable pleasure and has enough respect not to try it on. But to be fair, they do look very sweaty and smelly after that ferocious conflict in the desert hotel, so it would probably have been rude to assume sex was on the cards (if I were in her position, I’d want to get home, have a nice big bath, order a curry and watch a few episodes of Frasier before bed). It’s a shame they didn’t bring back Camille for future outings, as I would’ve loved to have seen her alongside Craig again, only this time joining forces in a legitimate mission. This is an extra disappointing pill to swallow considering they are bafflingly bringing back that walking piece of cardboard, Madeline Swann (no offence, Léa Seydoux) for No Time to Die – a woman who’s ‘deep’ emotional connection to Bond is entirely predicated on the fact he happened to shoot her dad in the leg with a machine gun in 2006. I mean seriously, Bond and Camille shared more chemistry in five minutes than Bond and Swann in the entirety of Spectre, ugh… Technically speaking, this film has some gorgeous visuals to admire when the camera very infrequently remains still, it features one of David Arnold’s best scores with some lush, sweeping orchestrals and the occasional ghostly callback to Vesper’s theme, and on a superficial level, Craig looks his absolute best as Bond here with some timeless sartorial choices, before they would start putting him in tiny, skin-tight suits in following adventures. There are some cool arty moments such as the Tosca shootout, that I felt elevated what could’ve been a pretty unremarkable sequence to, forgive the pun, operatic heights. Onto the bad, which I will keep short and sweet as everyone is already acutely aware of this film’s shortcomings and likes to overinflate. The theme song is a bag of shite and practically devoid of melody, the editing could’ve been a little more coherent at times, the bizarrely unsatisfying “I told you everything you wanted to know about Quantum but the audience probably won’t be interested, so let’s just skip over it” line, and the gunbarrel design looks like it was mocked up in Photoshop in two minutes and should have had its rightful place at the beginning. In my view, Quantum has aged like a fine wine but critics and many in the fan community were left cold upon release. Unfortunately, I would argue the wrong lessons were learned from these less favourable reactions and the following outing, Skyfall, would serve somewhat as a course correction for the series – swiftly undercutting the new lean, mean and down-to-earth tone for a cartoonish yet mopey pastiche of classic Bond.
[James Bond] Simple explanations for Bonds behaviour, habits and preferences.
There are a few things 007 does in the movies which some people are confused about, so hopefully this will explain why he does what he does. I will mainly be sticking with the Daniel Craig movies in terms of Bonds behaviour.
Why does bond always order a vodka martini shaken not stirred? A martini expert will tell you never to put vodka in a martini or shake it over ice. These things make the drink very bland and tasteless but that’s exactly why Bond does it. It allows him to detect poison in his drink earlier before it enters his system so he has a chance to vomit or administer an antidote.
Why does Bond drink so much? Strangely, it helps with his fighting skills. Yes, alcohol greatly reduces your reflexes but Bonds greatest strengths are pain tolerance and lack of fear. Alcohol will help both of these. Drinking also helps him forget the harsh life of killing people for a living.
Why does bond always use such a small gun? Daniel Craig regularly uses a Walther PPK throughout his bond films which is a very small gun. This is because it won’t ruin the lining of his suit when it is in his holster.
Why does bond wear Omega watches instead of Rolex? Bond was in the SBS (special boat service) before joining MI6. (I know vesper says SAS in casino royal but according to the James Bond wiki, he was SBS). SBS are one of, if not the best, amphibious special forces groups in the world. This means he naturally prefers watches which are robust and waterproof, so he tends to wear the Omega sea master or ocean master watches.
Why does Bond tell everyone his name? Not very smart for a super spy. Unless he is using his reputation to scare which ever terrorist he is after. He is trying to intimidate them which could make them make a mistake. And presumably his name is legend in the criminal underworld. This is the only explanation I can come up with.
Overall, Bond tries to be very practical with is approach to killing people and uses everything to his advantage.
The Clarkson Review: Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante (Oct. 13)
The Clarkson Review: Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante (Oct. 13) Of course I will go and see the new James Bond film, but I almost certainly won't enjoy it. I haven't really enjoyed any of them since Daniel Craig took over. I know he wants his Bond to be fallible and weak, like the character in the books, but I don't want to see 007 swigging Heineken from a bottle that just happens to be label-side out, and I don't want to see him bleed, or fire his gun at something and miss. I want him to be Roger Moore, the cheeky chappie who could speak Latin, fly a space shuttle and lay anyone low with one of his signature karate chops. Craig's Bond can't do that. In fact, if you actually stop and think what he's done in the past, you'd have to conclude he's completely useless. In Casino Royale, he didn't notice that the woman he'd fallen in love with was spying for the other side, and then, despite his best efforts, he let her drown in a lift. The next woman he lurved, in Skyfall, got shot in the head by a former colleague. Oh, and then he took an old woman who needed to go into hiding to his own bloody house. Where she and 007's gamekeeper wandered about on a darkened moor, with a torch, just in case the baddies needed even more help locating her. Before that happened, though, Bond went to interview someone in Shanghai and ended up throwing him off a skyscraper. And in an earlier scene, he was shot by Miss Moneypenny. I'm telling you, Johnny English is better at espionage than this guy. So's Inspector Clouseau. But the worst bit in Skyfall came when the director Sam Mendes decided to blow up Bond's Aston Martin. So he pumped it full of bullets until it exploded. I'm sure, to the luvvie-in-chief, this was fine, because a car is just a collection of plastic and metal and glass. But a car is not just a collection of plastic and metal and glass. And Bond's Aston is more of a car than most. It has been a part of my life since I was four. I have owned many models, including one that would fire a small man under the sofa. And Mendes blew it up so he could get Craig to do some acting. I considered at the time filling Sam's dog with bullets until it exploded, just to show him how it felt. The car was put back together in the next Bond film, Spectre — and it appears in the new movie as well — but it was like making Ring of Bright Water 2 and trying to argue that someone had sewn the otter's head back on. I bet Aston Martin had a duck fit when it saw the DB5 reduced to a smouldering ruin, because Bond is its marketing department. He is its PR machine and its ad agency and its ambassador all rolled into one. So I bet it really did try to sew the DB5's head back on, because without 007, the company would have to maintain a public profile on its own. And it doesn't have the cash for that. I'm not sure it even had enough cash to develop the car you see before you today. It's called — deep breath — the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante, and sometimes you get the impression that you're tootling about in almost two tons of make-do and mend. With a bit of cast-off Mercedes tech to maintain a veneer of modernity. To create it, Aston had to chop the roof off a normal DBS, but this meant finding somewhere to put the electric roof mechanism. That meant rerouting the massive exhaust system and that meant turning the fuel tank round and redesigning every body panel aft of the doors. The company managed it, but sometimes the roof doesn't go down when you operate the switch, the boot is laughably tiny, and it gets so hot in there, owing to the exhaust system, you could roast a chicken. There's also a problem with the interior. Astonishingly, we got four adults in it, and that's impressive, but it is almost identical to the interior you get in a far cheaper DB11 Volante. And that's not good enough. The basic starting price of the DBS Superleggera Volante is £247,500 and, I'm sorry, but if I'm going to blow a quarter of a million on a car, I don't want it to have the same innards as a car that costs almost £90,000 less. The trouble is, of course, that when you've spent all that money turning the fuel tank round, there simply won't be enough left to do the air vents as well. Or fit a glovebox. It sounds like I have a real downer on this car, and I haven't finished yet, I'm afraid. Because superleggera is Italian for "superlight", and it just isn't. With a couple of people on board, it weighs more than two tons. Perhaps that's why it endlessly catches its chin-mounted skid plates on speed humps. And why its tyres are so thin you need to be very careful when you're parking, even against a dropped pavement, or you'll kerb the wheels. Perhaps Aston should have called it Supergrasso. You can feel this weight when you're driving, too. It doesn't come across as a feisty little whizz-bang; it's no water boatman. But that said, it's fast. Rocket-ship fast. It's almost too fast, because on wet roads you would be well advised to treat the throttle with extreme caution or you will have a crash. You even need to be careful sometimes on dry roads. And that raises a question. If you can't unleash all the volcanic fury without the back end having a few moments of panic, then why not save yourself the best part of £90,000 and get the DB11 Volante instead? Because you can exploit all the power in one of those, all of the time.And it has the same interior. And it's a little bit more civilised and comfortable. It's almost as though Aston bit off more than it could chew with the DBS. Think of its engineers as pianists. They're accomplished enough to impress their friends and colleagues, but they're not really able to put on a penguin suit, walk onto the stage at the Royal Albert Hall and attempt Liszt's La Campanella. If you attempt to build a 211mph car that costs £247,000, you need to make sure that you have the money to pull it off. Yes, the DBS Superleggera Volante is one of the best-looking cars ever made, and it's blisteringly fast and it makes some laugh-out-loud noises from the tailpipes, but as a package, it's flawed. Hopefully, the new Bond film will be a gem and will keep alive the aura that surrounds the man and the car he drives. But I wouldn't count on it. The way things are going, they'll replace Craig with Anthea Turner and give her a Nissan Leaf. And that, I fear, would bring the curtain down on Britain's best-loved car-maker. In the meantime, if you want an Aston because you, like me, grew up worshipping them, then don't despair because the DB11 Volante is brilliant. That sort of car at that sort of price? Nobody does it better. (Source [paywalled]): https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/clarkson-review-aston-marton-superleggera-volante-v0gz2qs0w)
Clarkson's Columns: In Memory of Ginger Baker & The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Review
Skyfall's villains can blow this one up too The Clarkson Review: Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante (Sunday Times, Oct. 13) Of course I will go and see the new James Bond film, but I almost certainly won't enjoy it. I haven't really enjoyed any of them since Daniel Craig took over. I know he wants his Bond to be fallible and weak, like the character in the books, but I don't want to see 007 swigging Heineken from a bottle that just happens to be label-side out, and I don't want to see him bleed, or fire his gun at something and miss. I want him to be Roger Moore, the cheeky chappie who could speak Latin, fly a space shuttle and lay anyone low with one of his signature karate chops. Craig's Bond can't do that. In fact, if you actually stop and think what he's done in the past, you'd have to conclude he's completely useless. In Casino Royale, he didn't notice that the woman he'd fallen in love with was spying for the other side, and then, despite his best efforts, he let her drown in a lift. The next woman he lurved, in Skyfall, got shot in the head by a former colleague. Oh, and then he took an old woman who needed to go into hiding to his own bloody house. Where she and 007's gamekeeper wandered about on a darkened moor, with a torch, just in case the baddies needed even more help locating her. Before that happened, though, Bond went to interview someone in Shanghai and ended up throwing him off a skyscraper. And in an earlier scene, he was shot by Miss Moneypenny. I'm telling you, Johnny English is better at espionage than this guy. So's Inspector Clouseau. But the worst bit in Skyfall came when the director Sam Mendes decided to blow up Bond's Aston Martin. So he pumped it full of bullets until it exploded. I'm sure, to the luvvie-in-chief, this was fine, because a car is just a collection of plastic and metal and glass. But a car is not just a collection of plastic and metal and glass. And Bond's Aston is more of a car than most. It has been a part of my life since I was four. I have owned many models, including one that would fire a small man under the sofa. And Mendes blew it up so he could get Craig to do some acting. I considered at the time filling Sam's dog with bullets until it exploded, just to show him how it felt. The car was put back together in the next Bond film, Spectre — and it appears in the new movie as well — but it was like making Ring of Bright Water 2 and trying to argue that someone had sewn the otter's head back on. I bet Aston Martin had a duck fit when it saw the DB5 reduced to a smouldering ruin, because Bond is its marketing department. He is its PR machine and its ad agency and its ambassador all rolled into one. So I bet it really did try to sew the DB5's head back on, because without 007, the company would have to maintain a public profile on its own. And it doesn't have the cash for that. I'm not sure it even had enough cash to develop the car you see before you today. It's called — deep breath — the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante, and sometimes you get the impression that you're tootling about in almost two tons of make-do and mend. With a bit of cast-off Mercedes tech to maintain a veneer of modernity. To create it, Aston had to chop the roof off a normal DBS, but this meant finding somewhere to put the electric roof mechanism. That meant rerouting the massive exhaust system and that meant turning the fuel tank round and redesigning every body panel aft of the doors. The company managed it, but sometimes the roof doesn't go down when you operate the switch, the boot is laughably tiny, and it gets so hot in there, owing to the exhaust system, you could roast a chicken. There's also a problem with the interior. Astonishingly, we got four adults in it, and that's impressive, but it is almost identical to the interior you get in a far cheaper DB11 Volante. And that's not good enough. The basic starting price of the DBS Superleggera Volante is £247,500 and, I'm sorry, but if I'm going to blow a quarter of a million on a car, I don't want it to have the same innards as a car that costs almost £90,000 less. The trouble is, of course, that when you've spent all that money turning the fuel tank round, there simply won't be enough left to do the air vents as well. Or fit a glovebox. It sounds like I have a real downer on this car, and I haven't finished yet, I'm afraid. Because superleggera is Italian for "superlight", and it just isn't. With a couple of people on board, it weighs more than two tons. Perhaps that's why it endlessly catches its chin-mounted skid plates on speed humps. And why its tyres are so thin you need to be very careful when you're parking, even against a dropped pavement, or you'll kerb the wheels. Perhaps Aston should have called it Supergrasso. You can feel this weight when you're driving, too. It doesn't come across as a feisty little whizz-bang; it's no water boatman. But that said, it's fast. Rocket-ship fast. It's almost too fast, because on wet roads you would be well advised to treat the throttle with extreme caution or you will have a crash. You even need to be careful sometimes on dry roads. And that raises a question. If you can't unleash all the volcanic fury without the back end having a few moments of panic, then why not save yourself the best part of £90,000 and get the DB11 Volante instead? Because you can exploit all the power in one of those, all of the time.And it has the same interior. And it's a little bit more civilised and comfortable. It's almost as though Aston bit off more than it could chew with the DBS. Think of its engineers as pianists. They're accomplished enough to impress their friends and colleagues, but they're not really able to put on a penguin suit, walk onto the stage at the Royal Albert Hall and attempt Liszt's La Campanella. If you attempt to build a 211mph car that costs £247,000, you need to make sure that you have the money to pull it off. Yes, the DBS Superleggera Volante is one of the best-looking cars ever made, and it's blisteringly fast and it makes some laugh-out-loud noises from the tailpipes, but as a package, it's flawed. Hopefully, the new Bond film will be a gem and will keep alive the aura that surrounds the man and the car he drives. But I wouldn't count on it. The way things are going, they'll replace Craig with Anthea Turner and give her a Nissan Leaf. And that, I fear, would bring the curtain down on Britain's best-loved car-maker. In the meantime, if you want an Aston because you, like me, grew up worshipping them, then don't despair because the DB11 Volante is brilliant. That sort of car at that sort of price? Nobody does it better ? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- He's not around to beat me, so I'll say it: Ginger was only the world's second-best drummer (Sunday Times, Oct. 13) The drummer Ginger Baker died last week and everyone was very surprised because we all assumed the drug-addled wild man from Cream and Blind Faith had shuffled off this mortal coil years ago. It's customary, of course, when someone dies to gloss over their shortcomings and concentrate instead on their work for charity and their heroics in the war. But this is nigh-on impossible with Baker, who was almost certainly the most unpleasant man ever to grace a stage. He pulled a knife on Cream's bass player, Jack Bruce. He used his fists to settle almost every dispute. He broke the nose of the director who made a documentary about him with his walking stick. Then, of course, there was the naked 11-year-old girl featured on the cover of Blind Faith's only album. That's such a difficult issue these days, none of the obituaries even mentioned it. Instead, everyone concentrated on Baker's skills as a musician — but even here people missed the point, because despite what he claimed, he wasn't the best drummer the world has ever seen. Thanks to Mitch Mitchell, who played with Jimi Hendrix, he was the second best. I'm on Twitter if you want to argue. Baker, however, could keep perfect time, even when he was full of heroin, which is quite an achievement. And he could maintain four different cross rhythms with each of his limbs. This is like rubbing your tummy, patting your head, pumping up a lilo and playing hopscotch all at the same time. I have a drum kit. It's an enormous Pictures of Lily limited edition replica. And after several years of weekly lessons, I developed a profound admiration for drummers, because they're doing something I can't do. We can't admire people who can do what we can do. I don't admire anyone who can drive fast while shouting, but when I watch a dry-stone-waller creating a natural barrier using nothing but experience and big, warty hands, I become a statue of wonderment held upright by nothing but the tingling in my hair. That's what happens when I hear a drum solo. A columnist last week said that words cannot begin to describe the "unstoppable misery" of the "nightmarish" drum solo. Plainly, he is the sort of man who thinks drummers are like houseflies. That they come, they make an annoying noise and then they die. And I literally could not agree less. A drum solo allows the audience to marvel at the technical wizardry of the drummer. It allows us to concentrate on his incredible ability to get a whole arm from one side of the kit to the other faster than it takes a Formula One car to change gear. And to do it in perfect time. It's been suggested that Ginger Baker invented the drum solo so his bandmates could have a moment to go backstage and top up whatever was missing at that moment from their lives. I doubt this, though. He didn't really like other musicians that much. It's been reported that he called Mick Jagger a "musical moron". But that's not true. What he actually said was that the Stones were like "a load of little kids trying to play black blues music and playing it very badly". It was George Harrison he called a musical moron. And he dismissed Paul McCartney too, because, unlike him, McCartney could not sight-read music. Led Zeppelin? If you even mentioned them in his presence, you'd get a thick lip. He only really liked people we've never heard of. Phil Seamen was a hero of his, for example. And Art Blakey. So no. Baker was on the stage doing his solos simply so we could hear how he'd fused the jazz music of his heroes with an altogether new and busy way of playing. He despised the 4/4 beat of rock and pop music, but it's possible that, because of what he did with Cream, he's partly responsible for it. His solos were often more than 10 minutes long and were mesmerising. And soon drummers everywhere were trying to outdo him. Led Zeppelin's John Bonham did a 17-minute epic on the track "Moby Dick", and then you got — whisper this, because I'm friendly with Nick Mason and Roger Taylor — my favourite drummer, Phil Collins, duetting with Chester Thompson. They started out hitting bar stools and then moved to their kits for a drumming shootout. It's the best thing on YouTube. And now? Well, there was the movie Whiplash, which everyone, apart from me, thought was weird — but on stage? In real life? There's nothing. The drum solo is dead. I find that odd. There are still bands and some still have drummers, so why don't these people want the audience to see and hear them doing their thing? Isn't that like being a goalkeeper who never wants to make a save? The only explanation is that they actively hide at the back behind the bass and the guitar and the flashy vocals because they're not that good. This sort of thing has happened before. Between 1750 and 1820, the world heard from Schubert, Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, but since then, apart from a couple of little spurts, there's been nothing of any great consequence. And today? There's a woman in Iceland who turns drawings of turnips into classical music and there's Ludovico Einaudi, who provided the soundtrack for many of the Top Gear films I made. But that's about it. Could it be that the same thing has happened with drumming? That we as a species were only ever any good at it between 1958 and 1978, and now we have lost the ability, in the same way that penguins have lost the ability to fly? Luckily, however, we still have the recordings from the days when drumming wasn't just an electronic nn tss nn tss nn tss nn tss and I've been listening to a lot of it all week. That's why I ended up revisiting "Can't Find My Way Home." You played on that one, Ginger. And now you have. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And here's the Sun column: "Extinction Rebellion forget dole money, tents and yoga mats all come from… oil" Clarkson is wrong by the way: Ginger Baker is only the world's fourth best drummer. The best and second best are Hal Blaine and Levon Helm. Anyway, I have now caught up on posting all the Clarkson columns that ran while I was on vacation. Normal weekly posting will resume on Monday.
I am on a goal to watch all 24 bond movies before the next one comes out...Just finished Dr. No (the very first bond movie)
I have only seen Casino Royal (Daniel Craig and Eva Green, still my favorite plus Mads Mikkelsen was so good as the villain). I might have also watched Skyfall and Spectre (dont remember them much) and also Die Another Day (the one with too much tech stuff... Probably the worst I hoped). Well decided to just watch every single bond movies, just finished watching Dr. No the very first movie in the franchise, solid movie plus it actually aged well although I have some negative assessment. Starting with the good: The actor playing James Bond in the movie was really good. I love his facial expressions and he looked good in a suit. He also seems like he could actually fight and stand his ground with an enemy soldier. I really love the bond character he seems really smart and felt like a detective. Many moments in the movie, bond showcase how intelligent and smart he was, also concerning the movie was not full blown action (felt like a noiinvestigation movie similar to what Matt Reeves is planning for Batman if what I read it true). Also I movie was diverse. OK, as someone who was born close to the 2000's I did not think the movie would have a diverse cast. I was actually surprised and impressed at the same time. Loved how it was set in Jamaica and great to see actors from other ethnicity were among the beginning of the great franchise. Finally , the love the fashion. While technology was vastly improved and gone a long way, fashion is/was still awesome then and now. Really loved how everyone dressed and their hair style. Big probs to the costume department. Now, the bad: Honey Ryder: yes the supposedly first bond girl. I swear, she was just useless in the movie with absolutely no arc only just an eye candy (yes, I checked the meaning of bond girl, basically eye candy ). While the actress was gorgeous, the character was lame. If you remove her from the movie, it will not disturb the plot. All she was there to do was to look good and show the body part. The villain Dr. No was also a letdown. While the actor was good, he did not feel like a threat but Spectre (organization of criminals which he named dropped in the movie) did. The movie was also particular slow and aimless sometimes. Overall all a solid movie and average start to the bond franchise. I found it funny how small their guns were. Also I do not miss the way old movies sound like. Excited to watch the remaining ones
Missed opportunity: Christian Bale as James Bond would have been better than his Batman.
I tend to see Nolan's Batman trilogy as being primarily a product of Christopher Nolan's vision/execution, seasoned with some top shelf acting by Gary Oldman, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy (the best of the least film) Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman (among many others). But Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne, and especially his Batman, are, when you take away the surface trappings and the neat toys, far from the strongest performances in any of the films. Off the top of my head I think you could have plugged, for example, Keanu Reeves into the role, and under Nolan's direction he would have been just as good or probably a lot better, just by being more interesting. Plus he had the cred already from the Matrix films if nothing else, and he looked good in a fight. But I remember seeing American Psycho the weekend it opened, and thinking that Christian Bale would be the most perfect guy to play 007 at some point. He had the looks, the ability with dark humor, and the killer skills required for a guy with a License to Kill. I also think he would have been more than capable of handling the more realistic direction the producers choose to give the rebooted Bond in Casino Royale. I know people like to point to Daniel Craig's unusual looks as being key to his more 'thug' like origin story (and honestly he's made a great James Bond) but Bale could have taken that killer stuff into a much darker area while fitting in better visually with the legacy of the actors that have played the character. Bottom line I just think the role of James Bond would have suited Bale's skill sets a lot better than Batman did, and as wonderful as Nolan's Batman films are (mostly) I think they could have been even better had someone else been cast in the lead role. P.S.: Yeah I know we can't change history (only Tarantino can do that) but it's Friday and I'm just trying to start a bit of "What if" movie discussion about two of my favorite franchise characters. Thanks for reading. Please don't hurt me.
The name’s Bond… James Bond. A deeper look at Casino Royale (2006)
Hey folks! I'm planning on watching all 23 of the James Bond films between now and the release of Spectre in November. 007 films have always been my guilty pleasure and I thought it might be worth trying to have a more analytical discussion about them. If you all are interested, I'll be posting one of these discussions/reviews every 2 weeks. So here goes!
Story It’s often said that Bond films are made and broken by their villains. I say that this is a fine metric for all pre-Craig entries. Don’t get me wrong. Le Chiffre is perhaps one of my favorite Bond villains and I’ll get into that shortly, however this film isn’t dictated by the quality of the villain as he is overshadowed by a far more fulfilling character. We finally have our first film that is truly about James Bond. For the first time in the illustrious 44 year history of the franchise, we get a film that honors James Bond as a three-dimensional character. The role is juicy and Craig delivers spectacularly. The film dives deep, deep into the psyche of a spy — of a killer. I revel in the pointed exchanges between Bond and M. It is a pleasure to watch Bond arrogantly defend his actions. He is smug, self-righteous, and (to his superiors and peers) frustratingly correct more often than not. The caustic sparing between Bond and Vesper Lynd in their first meeting on the train even takes the title of greatest dialogue sequence away from Pierce’s Bond vs. Dench’s M in GoldenEye. It’s intelligent, it’s hysterical, and it’s real. It’s everything that a conversation between a top-tier, egotistical field agent and an aggressively ambitious agency accountant would be. And speaking of Vesper, there is no doubt that she is the greatest of all of Bond’s female cohorts. Obviously with 20 films to choose from, there are no shortage of female characters to consider. Pussy Galore is first competent female character who isn’t being played by forces out of her control. She’s completely dismissed for being a lesbian and taken advantage of in a terribly unsexy love scene. Tracy Bond is a fiercely independent and upstanding young woman. But ultimately she is restricted by her role as the obedient daughter. Anya Amasova is the first truly self-reliant, professional female. Even her character's integrity is completely undone as the writers go for a cheap sex scene at the end of the film. None of this applies to Vesper. She is self-sufficient. She is clever. She is human. The scene in which Bond comforts her in the shower following his visceral killing of a couple of thugs is one of the most striking and easily the most touching scenes in the entire series. Finally, as I mentioned before, Le Chiffre is one of my favorite villains. He is a welcome breath of fresh air in a series that had clumsily escalated to the point of villains wearing cheap Ironman knock off suits shooting lasers from the moon. Le Chiffre is a mathematical wizard who enjoys embezzling the money of his criminal clientele. Best of all, the entire plot of Casino revolves around Le Chiffre’s necessity to recollect $100 million of his clients’ funds that he lost betting the wrong way on a stock shortage. This sets up a fantastic dynamic between hero and villain. Unlike Everything that Le Chiffre does, he does out of fear and desperation. As the veil thins and the stakes raise, his actions become increasingly wretched, eventually concluding in a skin-crawling torture scene. Look and Sound Plain and simple, Casino Royale is the sexiest looking Bond film yet. Even the stylized scenes (the cold open and it’s accompanying flashback) are positively stunning. Daniel Craig’s introduction isn’t one of flash and spectacle. He doesn’t get a big Hollywood close up. His first lines are as dry in content as they are in delivery. The first time we see him, he is sitting in the far corner of a dark office. All we see is his face, unmoving and small in the film’s frame, his body obscured in noir-like darkness. Mads Mikkelsen's already superb performance is also greatly enhanced by top tier lighting. When the frame moves, the direction is just as immaculate as when it is still. The camera motion invokes a high level of energy during a series of perfectly choreographed, photographed, and executed action scenes. The stunt work and effect work is above and beyond any heretofore seen 007 footage. The parkour chase scene and airport chase scene are two of the most exhilarating sequences the franchise has to offer. David Arnold’s score is above average, though ultimately it doesn’t stand out too far from its contemporary film scores. That said, my absolute favorite music decision is that of the delayed gratification of the James Bond theme. It is absent throughout the entire score until the final seconds in which the familiar tune slowly and smirkingly edges in as our protagonist saunters into frame to utter the ever-iconic line, “Bond… James Bond.” Chris Cornell’s “You Know My Name” is solid though I wouldn’t rank it terribly high in the annals of Bond Song history. The accompanying credit sequence on the other hand is quite possibly my favorite. Title designer Daniel Kleinman dispenses with the standard 3D abstractions in favor of flat colors and 2D design. Casino marks the final Bond film in which Peter Lamont acted as Production Designer. His mark on the series is as notable as his predecessor, Ken Adam. Where Adam emphasized the stylized mid-century modern world of Connery's Bond, Lamont took the world in a decidedly new direction. Beginning in 1981 on the production of For Your Eyes Only, Lamont aimed to produce a world that felt tangible, modern, and realistic. In this final film, his efforts reach their zenith. When paired with the positively stunning lighting from cinematographer, Phil Méheux, the combination is a world that requires no suspension of disbelief. Callbacks, Recurrences, and Tropes From the first frame, things have changed. Immediately following the MGM lion’s roar, we find ourselves at the snowy exterior of a foreign government building. No gun barrel sequence here. The scene plays out with Bond discussing his first ever kill as a government agent. During the conversation, we flashback to the fight. It climaxes with Bond’s nemesis springing back to life and aiming a gun at 007. The POV snaps into the barrel of the gun as Bond reacts, shooting the would-be killer in the familiar manner of the traditional gun barrel shot. Casino Royale is the first film of the series not to include either Moneypenny or a Quartermaster. While Dr. No didn’t include a character by the name of Q, it did have Major Boothroyd, MI6’s armorer. Incidentally, Q is referred to as Major Boothroyd in The Spy Who Loved Me. It's a bit confusing but the moral of the story is that there is no gadget master in Casino Royale. With that is the absence of the traditional gadgetry as we’ve come to expect. One of the few prop callbacks is the return of the iconic 1964 Aston Martin DB5. The DB5 makes its fifth showing in the series, following appearances in Goldfinger, Thunderball, GoldenEye, and a brief cameo in Tomorrow Never Dies. In one of the wiser casting decisions, Judy Dench was asked to return as M. She provides a pleasant bridge in the casting change between Brosnan and Craig. Casino also marks the return of CIA Agent Felix Leiter — this time portrayed by Jeffrey Wright. It shouldn’t come as a surprise by this point that Wright’s portrayal of Leiter is also undoubtedly the best of the series. Gone is the portrayal of Americans as cowboys and the rednecks. That’s not to say that the character isn’t without his Americanisms. I do get a chuckle every time Bond asks Leiter what will become of the poker game winnings if Bond beats Le Chiffre. Leiter response with a toothy grin, “does it look like we need the money?” Casino even handles one of the more preposterous 007 traditions in spectacular fashion. It would seem entirely out of place for a character to have a name like Pussy Galore or Xenia Onatopp. The gag still makes an appearance, however. When briefing Vesper on their upcoming mission, Bond playfully informs her that her undercover alias is Stephanie Broadchest (and that she’s just going to have to trust him on this one). Finally, even Bond’s signature drink order is adjusted to reflect the new character’s coarse nature. After being denied reentry into the poker tournament, Bond orders a drink while he stews over his course of action. He then responds to the bartender’s “shaken or stirred” inquiry by snapping, “does it look like I give a damn?” Overall Impression Spectacular. Visually stunning. Emotionally gripping. Engaging, exhilarating, electrifying. The strongest and most unique entry thus far. Technically proficient in every way with writing that is entirely without equal. Every facet from the cinematography to the costuming appears to be fully thought out and executed in with the utmost care and proficiency. I suppose it’s a bit of a faux pas to refer to another review in your own review but Roger Ebert said it best when he explained that as the years went on, he was becoming less convinced that he would ever need to see another James Bond film until he saw Casino Royale. Quick Hits
Top notch. Sharp, smart, funny.
Gorgeous framing, excellent camera moves, pulled some fantastic acting from his cast.
As true to real witnessing real life as you’re going to get in a Bond film.
Bonus Category! So for each movie my wife and I will be enjoying a spirit or cocktail that relates to the film. This was the easiest cocktail choice yet. Bond hands us the drink on a silver platter by actually listing out the exact ingredients and measurements for the Vesper Martini. It is as follows • 3 measures Gordon's Gin • 1 measure vodka • 1/2 measure Cocchi Americano vermouth (Bond asks for Kina Lillet which has been discontinued so the internet suggested Cocchi as a "perfect substitute") • garnish with a slice of lemon Shake well over ice until cold. Garnish with a thin slice of lemon rind.
So what do you folks think? How does Casino Royale fare in your opinion?
I just came back from the first screening of Skyfall in London. Here is a spoiler-free summary of just how good it is.
So Skyfall. I honestly had no idea about what to expect, since the Daniel Craig films had been really disappointing so far (way too serious, more like the Bourne films than the Bond ones IMO). But this was something else. Something much, MUCH better. First off, the style, humour and charm of the Bond franchise is back, and the film is all the better for it. Daniel Craig finally captures what makes James Bond so great - his ability to stay cool in the face of danger, the one-liners (oh god, the one-liners), and the great banter between colleagues (his stuff with M is hilarious, a very strong script) Sam Mendes' obsession with Ian Fleming is pretty damn evident here too, and practically writes a love letter to the series. But this doesn't get in the way of the brilliant plot - he threw out surprises that really caught me off-guard, and it was the first time I've actually cared about the characters in a Bond film in a long time. In effect, the franchise really benefits from having such a great director take the reigns - he tells a story with real depth (as opposed to, say, Quantum's style over substance). Yet while this is all cool, I think that the characters in the film are its strongest suit. The new cast members are very good additions - Ralph Fiennes is a highlight as one of the big bosses of M16 - and yes, Javier Bardiem is everything you'd expect him to be (think No Country but with a wicked sense of humour - the scenes between him and Bond are probably the funniest in the film). But this is Bond's film and, to some extent, M, who's subplot is perhaps the film's most moving element. We actually see these characters as real people again, and while I don't wish to spoil anything we learn more about Bond's character than in most of the other films combined. Which is awesome. I say without exaggeration that Sam Mendes has made possibly the greatest Bond film in 15 years, perhaps one of the greatest of all time. You cannot, CANNOT miss this wonderful piece of film making. TL;DR: The Bond franchise is back on form with Skyfall, with great acting from Craig, Dench and Bardiem, an original plot (but also a love letter to the franchise) and some brilliant set pieces. Oh, it looks great too. What more could you want? 5/5 EDIT: Let me qualify that I thought Casino Royale was a very good action film. I just didn't think it was a very good Bond film. I know this'll probably make me quite unpopular on Reddit but that's just my opinion - I didn't have as much fun as I did with previous films in the franchise. Although I did appreciate the need for a gritty reboot (Die Another Day sucked). EDIT 2: Also, let me qualify that Javier's villain is still one evil, evil motherfucker, he just happens to have the best lines in the film - he's far from a camp Bond villain. In fact, for those worried about the humour, Skyfall never goes into cheesy Brosnan/Dalton territory, it just manages to find lighter, Bond-like moments amongst the actually quite serious plot. EDIT 3: Okay, okay, I get it. You all liked Casino Royale.
The movie was recommended to me several times, the only thing I knew about it is that movie may be partly responsible for the Bond producers to choose Daniel Craig for Casino Royale, other than that I knew nothing. But wow, I was blown away. First off Craig was phenomenal in the role of the protagonist called XXXX (his name is never given). I really see why he was chosen to play Bond, cos like Bond Craig character has that cool, cocky, suave attitude. Plus he looks damn good in a suit. Other supporting actors include: George Harris, Colm Meaney, Tom Hardy, Ben Whishaw and Michael Gambon. Favourite scene in the entire movie, not trying to spoil it but it involved a cafe and the use the song Ordinary World by Duran Duran. If you seen the movie you'll know what I'm on about. It's brilliantly done. Also the ending I thought was bold and very abrupt and I loved it. Though I can see why it wouldn't be for everyone. So what does reddit think of Layer Cake?
First post here, please be gentle. Instead of a battle of strength, or a battle of stealth, or a battle of endurance, lets have a (slightly more sedated) battle of wits! Eight brilliant characters playing a high-stakes Texas Hold 'em game. The Premise Each player has a reason to be at this table, as hopefully will be explained later. The buy-in for the game is $10 million, with a $5 million rebuy, winner takes all. Before entering the room, each player is meticulously searched and all items are confiscated for the duration of their time in the game. The Venue A poker game of this nature requires a special venue. Therefore the game shall be held at the Casino Royale in Montenegro. (I'm unsure if it is a real place, but if not assume it is the place from the James Bond film of the same name.) The Contestants In the interest of being thorough, I have included a description next to each player, to give some background as to why exactly each of these people is at the same $10 million poker game.
Sherlock Holmes (from the BBC series Sherlock) - A case regarding a rare Mayan tapestry that appears to have vanished from its vault in Belgium leads Sherlock to Montenegro. After being in town for a few weeks, one of his sources provides him with information that leads him to believe that a person connected with this crime will be playing in the next $10 million game at the casino, so he uses funds he has collected during his time being 'dead' to buy himself a seat at the table to try and track down the culprit.
Daniel Negreanu (professional poker player) - To celebrate over 100 billion hands dealt, Pokerstars have sent Team Pro member Daniel Negreanu to the next $10 million event at the Casino Royale, with plans to film a documentary about the event and his preparation for it, as well as about online poker. He has conducted interviews about his hopes for this tournament in the weeks prior.
Bruce Wayne (from the Batman comics/animated series) - Billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne has been under a lot of pressure and gentle ribbing from Gotham City press about his gambling abilities, after Daniel Negreanu joked in an interview that "Bruce Wayne probably couldn't tell a set from a straight, let alone actually win a poker game". In an effort to both get the eyes of the press (who really should have better things to write about, the feels) away from him, and to maintain his playboy image, Bruce has decided to enter the same tournament that Negreanu is playing in.
Felicity Smoak (from the CW series Arrow) - a gang of armed thugs has been targeting museums and galleries around Starling City, killing no civilians but taking several artefacts of a Mayan origin. Working with Ollie, Felicity managed to work out which museum they were going to target next, allowing The Arrow to get the jump on them. While this was not successful in stopping the robbery, Ollie managed to retrieve a cell phone from one of the downed thugs, which Felicity used to trace their central source of communications back to Montenegro - more specifically, room 52 of the Casino Royale. Some minor hacking reveals the occupant of that room to be a Christian Wintergreen, who the team have no record of. Ollie has commitments with Diggle in Starling that they cannot possibly leave to track this lead, so Felicity volunteered herself to travel there and pursue it herself, with Oliver fronting the money for her buy-in. As she was disconnecting from the Royale's servers, she believes she saw another transaction pop up on Wintergreen's account including the word 'exit', but she doesn't tell her team.
James Bond (from the Daniel Craig films) - back again! MI6 and the CIA believe a man known only as 'The Soldier' is somehow single-handedly funding terror cells across Europe and America, and have intercepted financial papers that seem to imply that at least some of the financing is coming from an occupant of the Casino Royale, of which Bond is familiar. With the combination of the technical efforts of MI6 and of the information Bond has managed to gather on site over the past two weeks, they have concluded that the man they're looking for likes to gamble, and is almost certainly going to be playing at the next $10 million event. Bond is immediately bought in to the event, the British Government being confident that they know more about their target this time that they could track down and retrieve the money should Bond somehow lose. But he's the best player on the force, so it should be fine. Bond is apprehensive about returning, after last time.
The Doctor (the Tenth Doctor) –after leaving Donna Noble, but before answering the Ood’s summons, The Doctor spent a lot of time adventuring around the universe. At one point, whilst orbiting over Earth in the year 2013, he detected a concentrated space-time anomaly originating at the Casino Royale. Readings of this nature had only been recorded when he encountered his previous selves – when people who should never be able to meet, meet. But these were off the charts, these were readings he had never thought possible. The universe hadn’t been annihilated when he had been involved in them, so he was quietly confident that the danger of this event was minimal. But, being The Doctor, he just could not resist investigating anyway. After convincing staff that he was the King of Belgium and securing himself the Presidential Suite, he took the time to investigate the building. The readings reached their upper limit upon inspection of the grand poker room, and were slowly increasing as time passed. The Doctor, upon seeing the sign for the $10 million game, surmised that this event could very well be the cause, and decided to buy in for front row seats to whatever happened at that moment in time.
Tony Stark (as portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.) – after getting rid of the suits for good, Tony Stark had a lot of time to reflect on what he had been through and to refocus his life and priorities. With a newfound appreciation for life and the world around him, he and Pepper decided to travel across Europe. One of the countries they decided to visit was Montenegro. During their stay, they made an appearance at the Casino Royale, on the night that the $10 million game was scheduled to take place. Within minutes there were people swarming Tony outside, asking for autographs, pictures and, most curiously to him, whether he was entering the big tournament. He was just about to tell a particularly insistent ‘fan’ where he could stick his tournament, when slowly the people crowding him began to chant. “Do it! Do it! Do it!” they yelled. Tony, after getting a not disapproving look from Pepper regarding the situation, and never being one to back down from a challenge, caved to their pressure, joking “So how much am I walking away with tonight?”.
Walter White (from the AMC series Breaking Bad) – before Heisenberg’s ‘Blue’ could be sold in the Czech Republic, Lydia and Walter had to prove themselves to the potential distributors. Under guise of a Chemistry conference taking place nearby, Walter and Lydia travel to Montenegro as a ‘neutral’ location to meet their potential Czech business partners. After much business discussion in a deluxe suite at the Casino Royale, the Czechs decided that they needed to know the Americans on a slightly more personal level to know whether they truly can be trusted in this venture, and that they are who they say they are. There is a buzz about some ‘ten mill’ game that is happening soon. They were treated to an evening of fine dining and finer liquor. Walt gets a little drunk, but is still coming off slightly awkward in the presence of these gangsters. They start to pick up on it as time passes, with one of them even saying, only half joking, “You sure don’t seem like you got the stones to be the Heisenberg, man”. A slight combination of the alcohol and his pride took over, and he said “Well I didn’t see your name when I signed up for the ten mill game earlier.” Pleasantly shocked and impressed, the gangster acknowledged Walter with a little more respect with each line spoken about his poker ‘prowess’. Of course, Walter did not have the money laundered to sign up, so had to enlist the help of Lydia later that evening who, with some creative accounting using her Madrigal connections, managed to get him bought into the game. Even after talking himself up enough the night before, Walt could likely lose the game and still not jeopardise the business deal. But he is the one who knocks, and he was determined to prove himself in some further way.
Your Job Say it with me everyone: who would win? You know the contestants, you know the arena, and you know what brings each of them there. Who walks away with the $80+ million? Bonus love and internet points to people that come up with the coolest stories. Also, as an aside, how did I do with the whole backstory thing? Feedback greatly appreciated. TL;DR: names are in italics, which one of them wins in a Casino Royale style poker tournament?
MFA Spring/Summer Starter Pack 2015: UK Edition Part II
PT I. It was a pleasant surprise to receive such a positive response to the first part of this write-up. This follow up is meant to provide some options for those who are looking for more top of the range choices. I've tried to emphasise British, and to a lesser extent European, brands but there are a few items from around the world. I did face a few difficulties with this section because of the wide range of styles and prices once you start considering a higher price range, as well as being hindered by my relative inexperience with these items. Nevertheless, I did a fair bit of reading so hopefully this is a good starter for anyone who is looking for some British summer (as oxymoronic as it may be) inspiration!
Shirts & Tops
Acne Standard O Tee (£75) - Good construction and my favourite collar cut as it's at the perfect spot between a scoop and a regular crew. Sunspel Crew Neck (£55) - Sunspel make some great t-shirts and could easily replace the previous Acne recommendation. Their henleys and polos (the Riviera was designed for Daniel Craig in Casino Royale) are also worth checking out. Oliver Spencer Breton Tee Navy (£65) - There's nothing like a Breton-stripe to announce that summer's arrived! Really like the collar stripes here. Slim Fit Lacoste Polo (£100) - The classic Polo brand in a modern fit. There's also a regular and ultra slim fit but I feel this one will cater to the widest audience. Engineered Garments Layfette Shirt (£179) - Daiki has beautiful prints and the penny collar is a nice contrast to regular shirts. Our Legacy Six Shirt (£165) - All silk and a very subtle print. From Joff_Mengum: The OL Six Shirt is lovely but the material is actually surprisingly insulating so bear that in mind on hot days. I have another of their shirts in the same fabric with no print and it can easily fill the role of a light jacket on cooler days when worn over a tee or another shirt if you roll that way. S.E.H Kelly Stripe Linen Shirt (£140) - I'd describe this as being a very neutral cut as it's neither slim nor loose, just somewhere inbetween. The horn buttons and the collar roll, though it may not be everyone's thing, are really eye-catching. Percival Short Sleeve Blue Dot Shirt (£115) - A really cool small dot print, and comes with turned up sleeves which are pretty popular during summer here. Oliver Spencer Eton Collar Shirt Greystoke Cream (£99) - A cotton-linen blend with an eton collar and a slubby marled texture. A really interesting way to bring in texture into summer outfits which I feel, aside from denim, tend to lack any heavy textures.
Common Projects Original Achilles Low (£259) - There is not much I can add when it comes to discussing CPs. There are countless alternatives but these are the classics. Maison Margiela 22 Classic Replica Sneaker (£269) - Really nice interpretation of the historical GAT. Y-3 Qasa Low (£249) - There have been so many interesting releases from Nike and Adidas ranging from the million different flyknits to the tubulars that it's impossible to cover them all so I decided to just throw in a Qasa from the current season but there is a huge field of options if you want to get sneakers. Asics GT-II 'Easter' (£79) - If you're after a more traditional style of sneaker Asics and New Balance should have you covered. Mark McNairy Contrast Sole Suede Derbys (£230) - A derby is arguably the most summer-appropriate casual leather shoe and these McNairys come in a beautiful colourway. Visvim Americana Boat Shoes (£440) - I'm personally quite a big fan of Hiroki's work but the heel and the branding may not be to everyone's tastes. I am not going to even attempt to add these together into a total price (as a student of maths my addition is, as you may expect, incredibly poor). Browsing through END, Oi Polloi, and Mr. Porter will show you that there's an absolutely massive range of brands and fashion houses at this price level so I would definitely encourage anyone interested in any of the pieces here to look up the brands and see the alternatives. I'd love feedback for any of the items I've mentioned here or any other suggestions!
Well, okay... it's actually QUANTUM OF SOLACE. I liked it fine. It's not completely satisfying but then, how many movies are? I think it's a valid take on the James Bond character, in most ways more faithful to Ian Fleming than nearly any of the movies in the series. There is almost none of the slapstick moments between the action scenes, almost none of the callous wiseguy quips after someone dies. These are part of the established formula and I imagine they will start to come back, but QUANTUM OF SOLACE is serious to the point of being somber. Basically, it picks up immediately after the last scene of CASINO ROYALE as Bond takes Mr White in for questioning. Here we get an aspect of the film I was glad to see. Ever since the loss of SPECTRE, Bond has been tackling individual criminal masterminds and that's fine, but I like the idea of a shadowy conspiracy that the hero has to uncover and go after. It suits the fact that Bond isn't really a crimefighter or vigilante, he is a counterspy. It turns out Mr White is involved with a sinister group called Quantum that has people literally everywhere.... even in MI6, as M's personal bodyguard is one of them. M is shaken, here is a worldwide organization that neither her Service nor the CIA knew anything about. It's a scary new threat far removed from the comfortable longterm games with the Russians and the Chinese. In fact, Quantum is involved with business deals with the government that puts it above direct attack; governments aren't motivated by right or wrong, they mostly just act in their own best interests. For his part, Bond is still trying to digest the way he had been used and betrayed by the first woman he really fell in love with (in the previous film). He is grim and angry and he seems to keep killing suspects that M thinks he could have brought back alive if he wanted to. Bond's relationship with his own Service gets shakier than usual as he is seen as a loose cannon doing more harm than good and he inevitably strikes out on his own. Reluctantly joining forces with him is Camille, a shady young woman with a vendetta of her own that verges toward where Bond is going. My dislike of the action sequences is familiar grievances by now, they go on for way too long and veer off beyond what is plausible into "Oh come ON!" territory. The characters also take more punishment and shrug it off than they could reasonably survive. And the editing is so choppy and rapidfire and filmed in tioo tight closeup that I can follow it on a second viewing but not the first time. This isn't just the way Bond films are shot of course, it is the way action movies have been going for many years at this point. It was originally the MTV influence that led this way, I suppose, but by now i'ts the standard. I suppose moviegoers who are used to this would watch RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK or ENTER THE DRAGON and think they are a bit stodgy. Daniel Craig does a fine job as James Bond. He puts everything he has into the role, you can tell he takes it seriously. He doesn't look at all the way Ian Fleming described his creation.. six feet tall, one hundred and seventy pounds, black hair and blue eyes. (Of all the actors so far, Pierce Brosnan really looks the most like Bond, but he had to deal with weak uncertain scripts. Too bad) But I can get past the blonde hair and slightly brutal features on Craig, these not a fatal setback. I like the way Craig plays the character as brooding, bitter, distrustful, even melancholy... that's the Fleming outlook. A funny aspect of the movie, and one which seems to confuse a lot of people, is Quantum's agenda. They are out to control a major resource and naturally we (and the characters in the film) think it's oil. But it's actually fresh water, which indeed will likely become extremely precious in the near future. Unfortunately, this sort of defuses the threat from Quantum. We would feel more anxious if they were attempting to obtain nerve gas stockpiles or to trigger a conflict in the Middle East or something like that. Getting a monopoly on fresh water in Bolivia just doesn't seem scary enough. Yet. Giancarlo Giannini is a highlight as the disillusioned weary Mathis. He and Bond have an interesting relationship; they are not friends or even allies but they both keep playing the desperate game because it's all they know. Bond goes to Mathis for help, and the retired spy goes along with him without really knowing why. And I recognized his delivering some Fleming dialogue from the CASINO ROYALE book, which scores points with me. Olga Kurylenko as Camille is okay. She is the basic Action Girl character out to avenge the murder of her family, and she does all right with the role. It's a funny thing, but I was thinking if they were going to do a Modesty Blaise movie, she might be a good choice. She is not exactly right, but then who would be? And she has a slightly exotic look and accent that would suit Modesty. Hey, sign Craig up as Willie Garvin and he could alternate both franchises! QUANTUM OF SOLACE has enough striking moments to overcome its slightly unpolished feel. (The scene where Bond interrupts the clandestine meeting at an opera was great.) And I think I finally get the title. It was taken from a short story by Ian Fleming of course, and Quantum is the code name of the new SPECTRE. But I think it also refers to Bond finally getting closure on what Vesper did and settling how he feels about her so he can get on with life. He can gotten just enough comfort to move on. Quantum of Solace.
My millionth or so re-ranking of the films, as of October 2016
24. Diamonds Are Forever - A disaster. A visibly disinterested and out-of-shape Connery goes against a camp Blofeld less threatening than a Looney Tunes villain in a dumbass spy comedy. If the films had stayed this tonal path there would have been no need for any Bond spoofs like Austin Powers. 23. Quantum of Solace - Apologies to those whose interesting defenses of this film I’ve read over the years, but I still don’t like it much. Other Bonds may be darker or more serious-minded, but this is the only one that I find to be full-on grim, bleak and miserable. (Kinda funny that my problem with my bottom two are exact 180 degree opposites.) (#24-23 are the only Bond films I actually dislike, all 22 films above this point I at least like if not love.) 22. Thunderball - Controversially low, but this one’s a bit on the dull side to me. Its high points include a still-cool Connery, Fiona Volpe, Barry’s score and a few standout scenes. But most other characters (Largo, Domino, Vargas, etc.) I find unmemorable and the underwater fights - while I’m sure they stunned in 1965 - have always felt slow and killed the pacing. 21. Die Another Day - Of course; even at #21 I’m one of the Bond fans who ranks this highest! When it’s stupid, it’s really stupid (invisible car, virtual reality, Robocop suit, and of course CGI windsurfing). But when it’s a little less stupid I find some of it enjoyable, including the pretitle sequence, sword fight, parts of Cuba and the climax, with Graves/Frost/Zao making a trio of enjoyably ridiculous villains. 20. Spectre - A frustrating film of highs and lows for me. You have a handsomely-mounted and atmospheric production with some solid action and likable characters that evokes some classic Bond films in fond ways and has one of the best pretitle sequences of the series. But on the other hand, I don’t think anything in the entire half-century of the series infuriates me the way the Blofeld twist in this film does. 19. The Man With the Golden Gun - This film has many of the same tonal problems as previous Guy Hamilton/Tom Mankiewicz joint Diamonds Are Forever, refusing to take any of this seriously in a way that damages the mood and stakes. But unlike that film it has a classic villain given life by a great actor and a leading man who actually shows up, and also better locales/score/stunts, so it’s clearly superior. 18. The World Is Not Enough - Yes, Christmas Jones sucks and I find Apted’s direction of many scenes flat, including the submarine climax. But I respect its attempt at telling a more emotionally grounded story of protection turning into love into betrayal into enmity, and Elektra King is a terrific villainess. The return of Zukovsky, opening boat chase and farewell to Q are also memorable. 17. A View to a Kill - If this was which films I’m fondest of, AVtaK would be high up. That may come down to series villainous highlights Walken and Jones as Max Zorin and May Day. More objectively, the film has many issues, from a lumpy narrative to screechy Stacey Sutton and an ancient Roger Moore. But also objectively, the title song is epic, and Barry busts out one of his ultimate scores here, lending real musical life to everything from big scary action (“He’s Dangerous”) to warm romance (“Wine With Stacey”). 16. Dr. No - I think of Dr. No as the “pilot episode” of Bond, with some elements not quite fully formed, such as the villain and Bond girl showing up very late, very raw action scenes and an odd tropical score. But that said, Sean Connery explodes into the role of James Bond fully-formed and cool as hell from his first second of screen time, and so much else about the mood and feel of Bond are established immediately, from gambling to exotic locales to to the supporting cast. A pilot episode, but a very solid one. 15. For Your Eyes Only - Give or take Bibi Dahl and some parrot comedy, this is the Moore era’s take on a relatively serious spy film, and it’s a good one, chockablock with winter sports action, a great cliff climbing scene, Bond kicking a car off a cliff, a likable ally in Columbo, and an interesting Bond girl with an arc in Melina Havelock. The only real weakness is a fairly forgettable lineup of villains. 14. Licence to Kill - I’ve jokingly called it “Bond Does Miami Vice” due to its Miami/Latin American locations, drug-dealing villains and generally very 80s look and feel and hairstyles, but this harder-edged revenge thriller really gets the blood pumping and plays into Timothy Dalton’s strengths as Bond. Sanchez is one of the series’ larger than life villains, charismatic, wicked and even darkly likable in his own way. 13. Moonraker - One I seem to rank higher than everyone else. It's a deeply stupid film, what with the laser guns and double taking pigeon. But it has brilliant work from Barry ("Flight Into Space") and Ken Adam, a great villainous two hander with Drax and Jaws, the series' most epic villainous plan, a super cool Bond ("You missed, Mr. Bond." "Did I?"), a likable leading lady, hilarious ending, and neat 70s special effects. 12. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service - Here’s one I seem to rank lower than most - many seem to rank OHMSS #1 these days. But I still find Lazenby and Savalas wooden as Bond and Blofeld, which is a big obstacle for me. But in pretty much all aesthetic ways it’s a masterpiece, from Barry’s majestic score to the sweeping cinematography and use of color and the locales and skiing scenes and just that grand 60s mood, and of course that devastating ending. And Diana Rigg as Tracy is just phenomenal. 11. Tomorrow Never Dies - This one is pure entertainment. I admit that a bit of “generic 90s action movie” feel leaks in. But I can forgive that when so much of the action is imaginative stunt-driven badassery like the backseat remote control driving, tandem motorcycle chase and final stealth boat raid. I love Elliot Carver’s cheesy villainy and Wai Lin as Bond girl/ally, Brosnan is smooth and charming and David Arnold’s energetic, Bond theme-heavy score rocks. 10. Skyfall - Skyfall has going for it Daniel Craig’s performance, one of the greatest villains in Silva, and of course just being utterly gorgeous top to bottom, for me supplanting previous champs OHMSS and YOLT as the best looking film of the series. I’ll go to my grave believing Deakins was snubbed not winning the Oscar for this. The film’s plot doesn’t entirely pass the logic test - there were about a million simpler ways to kill M! - but as a work of mood and emotion and atmosphere and visual elegance it’s sublime. 9. The Living Daylights - Skyfall vs. Daylights was the hardest call of this list for me, and I went back and forth a hundred times, but I just give Daylights the edge. It just has that intoxicating Cold War atmosphere to it, perfectly channeled through Dalton’s performance. The film is tough, tense, atmospheric, and brings back the espionage and tradecraft in a way unseen since FRWL. Forgettable main villains but everything else is fantastic (including that kick-ass title song). 8. Octopussy - For me Octopussy is the ultimate “generic Bond movie,” which I say with love. One of the best lineups of villains (Kamal Khan, Orlov, Gobina, knife-throwing twins), a favorite Bond girl in Octopussy, a nuclear bomb plot that balances being big-scale and global while not dipping into Spy/Moonraker sci-fi, solid action, Q in the field, a great gambling scene (“Double sixes. Fancy that.”), and a lush Barry score. Love it. Even the clown stuff and Moore’s aging don’t bother me… too much. (Everything from this point up is also in my own personal top 100 favorite movies list.) 7. You Only Live Twice - I just love this one, the Japanese flavor of it and Pleasance’s Blofeld and Tiger Tanaka and how big-scale it is and how great it all looks and sounds - I think that series icons John Barry and Ken Adam both do their all-time best work in this film, with that volcano base pretty much being the coolest set in film history. My only real issue is that they kill off the likable Aki and bring in the forgettable Kissy. 6. Live and Let Die - I have enormous fun with this. The series feels refreshed after Diamonds with a fit, cool, suave and handsome Roger Moore now in the lead, and I enjoy the supporting cast of Kananga, Solitaire, Tee Hee, Baron Samedi, Quarrel Jr and Hedison’s Felix Leiter (ok, not Rosie Carver). The atmosphere is pure cool 70s, the score funky and awesome, the boat chase and crocodile running stunt kick-ass. I’m not saying I’d want to see a Bond film try to bring in these supernatural/voodoo/blaxploitation elements again, but as a weird one-off experiment I love it. 5. From Russia With Love - A superb Cold War spy thriller by any standards with its very Fleming vibe and Hitchcock and golden era noir flavors running through it. The Blofeld/Rosa Klebb/Red Grant/Kronsteen villainous lineup is excellent, with Grant especially being an iconic Bond villain to this day. His train fight with Bond still kicks ass. The complex plot still fascinates, and the atmosphere of tradecraft and espionage and counterintelligence still intoxicates. Such a leap forward from Dr. No. 4. Casino Royale - Not just a superb spy thriller and a kick-ass action film but even a really solid character drama on top of that, with Craig giving the best actual acting performance as Bond in any film. Vesper Lynd and Le Chiffre are terrific supporting characters. The way the film adapts the then half-century old novel in a way that modernizes and actions it up while remaining very faithful to the plot and spirit of it is brilliant. Dialogue, visuals, sets, score, action - I can complain about nothing. It’s great. 3. The Spy Who Loved Me - There’s more cheeky guilty pleasure to this one than the last couple, but I find this to be the ultimate “epic Bond,” larger than life in every way with Bond of course saving the entire world from nuclear devastation. From the ski jump intro to the Lotus submarine to Atlantis and that climactic tanker battle and everything about Jaws, this is loaded with iconic moments and imagery. It remains perhaps the purely biggest and grandest and most sweepingly epic films of the series. 2. Goldfinger - After the relatively buttoned-down FRWL, here’s where the swingin’ 60s arrive and the Bond series gets more playful and colorful and comic-book-pulpy, in look and sound and feel and especially in its villains. What a memorable, fun and iconic pair Auric Goldfinger and Oddjob make. That laser scene, the golden girl, the final raid on Fort Knox, Bond and Oddjob’s battle, Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore, even the golf game is really fun and memorable - this one is just iconic. 1. GoldenEye - I pretty much wrote a novel about my love for GoldenEye during Bond film of the week, but just to reiterate my points there, the film is just the perfect mix of great tone, atmosphere, characters, story, action, look, and just pure Bondian cool to me. Give or take a slightly odd score, I adore everything about it, dam jump to cradle collapse. One of my favorite movies ever. (For completionists, the unofficial films all rank at the bottom: Casino Royale ’54 at #25, Never Say Never Again at #26 and Casino Royale ’67 at #27.)
Sorry for being so vague, but I'm trying to explain a suit I really liked Daniel Craig wore, however, I don't remember much about it. It is a bright blue really tight fitting suit Bond wore in either Casino Royale or Quantum of Solace. The scene involved him talking to Q in an office and then he storms out. Any help finding the scene would be great as I can't find it.
The next Bond film should be You Only Live Twice - the novel, that is. Plus, a rant!
You Only Live Twice is a contender for my favorite of Ian Fleming's original novels, and it got a very loose adaptation on screen. Warning - I intended this to be a short post, but got emotionally carried away, so... long text incoming; I don't blame you for skipping it. But if you have read Fleming's novels, it might contain some interest for you. The original story was about a James Bond at the end of his rope, a broken shadow of his former self after Tracy's death, morosely wishing he would be fired so he could become a chicken farmer, of all things. M is not ready to give up on him, and at the prodding of the department's in-house psychologist, he sends Bond on an 'impossible' mission to secure an intelligence foothold with the Japanese, to bypass the reliance on secondhand intelligence from America's relationship with Japan (there are some strong connotations to the feeling that the British empire was fading in the setup). In return for securing the intelligence, 'Tiger' Tanaka asks for a favor from Bond - the assassination of an evil man, the Death Collector, AKA Doctor Shatterhand, a man who has created a 'suicide garden' with the goal of luring suicide-prone Japanese to a place of death. Sounds ridiculous? Look up Japan's famous 'suicide forest', it's darkly fascinating and 100% real, and Fleming was one of the first to report on the phenomenon to the West in the form of spy fiction. Bond makes a shocking discovery - his target is none other than Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the man responsible for his true love's death, having descended into pure twisted insanity after having been set back by Bond's interferences in his machinations. This is a really twisted story that's almost mystical or Lovecraftian in nature - Bond is against the Devil himself; the Death Collector - and narrowly escapes death itself after killing the man with his own hands. In his injury, Bond is robbed of his memory, and as an amnesiac, experiences a sort of rebirth in an idyllic primitive fishing village, before a scrap of newspaper which serves as toilet paper for the villagers containing the work 'Vladivostok' triggers Bond's memories of his old enemies, and he leaves idyll to seek answers about his past. Sound bonkers? It totally is! It's very much a surreal story. I mentioned Lovecraft earlier - I think Fleming could have been a fantastic contributor to the Lovecraft mythos. How many references were there in the books to the 'death-watch beetle', the 'undertaker's wind', and notably in Dr. No, a mythical dragon (which turns out to be mechanical), followed up by an actual fight with a giant squid? There's another hint of this in the prologue in Goldfinger, when Bond reflects on the great bird of a Mexican henchman's soul flying out of his mouth (metaphorically) after Bond had to kill him with a single knife edge hand to the throat, remarking that the man's soul was worth more than all of Mexico and everything within it. Fleming always had an undercurrent of macabre supernaturalism (of a sort) in his books - you can feel Fleming's delight in exploring Voodoo in Live and Let Die. It existed as early as Casino Royale, in which an injured and jaded Bond pontificates on the nature of Good vs Evil, before a more grounded Mathis implores Bond to stop trying to be too human, lest the world lose such a wonderful and effective machine. Fantastic! Unfortunately the movies have completely excised this remarkable aspect of Fleming's stories. The series had the opportunity to explore the darker, surreal side of Bond after OHMSS... but they didn't. For some bizarre reason, they did a really dumb revision of YOLT featuring a volcano lair, spaceship snatching, Little Nellie, and rocket cigarettes BEFORE doing OHMSS. Now there is a new opportunity. I'm not gonna lie, I really disliked SPECTRE, but we can try to salvage it. Bond has a new love now. Skip ahead a few years, they're happy newlyweds and Bond has made good on his promise to her to stop killing and change his life, etc. Then kill her immediately and tragically, early in the next film. Make Blofeld responsible. Fuck Bond up and give us Fleming's You Only Live Twice. It's a fantastic story about looking death in the face and being reborn, after resigning to a life of mediocrity as a chicken farmer... It doesn't have to be called You Only Live Twice. Call it 'Doctor Shatterhand' or 'The Death Collector' or something. It doesn't even need to take place in Japan, honestly. So it doesn't have to be an 'undoing' of YOLT as a film. It would be a new film that is a better adaptation of the themes and elements of Fleming's novel. Give us that dark, Lovecraftian Fleming, finally. Give us Bond at the end of his sanity. Give us a story about Bond finding catharsis and rebirth after tragedy - which is where this reboot was headed with CR and QoS (both of which I loved) before derailing the story arc to do two shallow nostalgia-laden written-by-committee fan films in Skyfall and SPECTRE. It's so irritating to me that Ian Fleming wrote these really fantastic stories, and the 50-year-old movie franchise refuses to adapt them! The books were popular for a reason, and the themes are timeless - the Cold War may be over, and technology might have changed, but people haven't changed. I have been a Bond fan since childhood in the 80's (my father owned all the movies to then-current, so I watched them as a kid), but Casino Royale is my favorite of the franchise because it's really quite accurate to the books despite being filmed 52 years after the book was written. If you've made it this far, I apologize for being so long-winded. If you're a producer for EON, PM me, okay? I can help you get this back on track. I'll consult for bottom dollar. This series deserves better than fan service to the cheesy tropes of the films of the 60's and 70's. Austin Powers lovingly gutted those follies, and anyone old enough to want to see another 'throwback' film is outside your target demographic these days. Ironically, the 'fix' is to go even further back, to Fleming's writings, which are timeless compared to the films. He knew how to speak to the subconscious, and the human condition. You guys got spooked by the reception to Quantum of Solace, but you went in the wrong direction. That storyline should have been continued; it would have retroactively redeemed that film as a 'middle movie' connecting together the first long form story arc in the franchise - which actually happened in the books, as TB - OHMSS - YOLT - TMWTGG were one continuous arc. But you blew it again, and once more the James Bond franchise has been crippled and not allowed to elevate beyond being a cheesy, lackadaisical suite of references to movies our grandmothers enjoyed. Can we get this new opportunity back on track before Daniel Craig - an excellent Bond, by the way - has left us?
Now, I've never made one of these before and somehow felt the need to do it, after watching this movie. I was pretty hyped for Spectre, regardless of the fact that most people on this sub said it muddied Daniel Craig's Bond legacy. I respectfully disagree. As someone who grew up watching Bond movies and reading the novels, I was pleasantly surprised as I walked out of the movie, grinning. This does not mean that Spectre is perfect, by any means. It just means I enjoyed the movie, at the end. A few points that I noted:
The theme which starts playing during the helicopter sequence in the sequence before the song was directly lifted from Skyfall. The theme in the soundtrack is called Grand Bazaar, Istanbul. It doesn't copy the whole track, but the climax portion of it.
Sam Smith's song is well written, the production is fucking amazing. Yet his vocals did not suit the song. The visuals did not disappoint me, but I did note that the part where the octopus tentacles envelope a naked woman was directly lifted from Japanese hentai
Monica Bellucci was unnecessary. Her role is as long as Alex Dimitrios' wife in Casino Royale and her casting was unnecessary. It could have been anyone else.
Madeleine Swann's romantic subplot was very underwritten. Compare this to the writing of the romance between Bond and Vesper and you'll realize that Swann has absolutely no need to fall in love with Bond.
Mr. Hinx was quite enjoyable. His introduction was pretty much GoT (RIP Oberyn Martell). If he comes back as a reboot of Jaws, I will not be disappointed.
I love how they used Ralph Fiennes' M to his potential. We caught of a glimpse of that from the courtroom shootout in Skyfall, but I like him being involved in the plot to this extent. But I kinda felt his subplot about replacing M and all that was very reminiscent of Dame Judi Dench's plot as M in Skyfall.
I like how they reference the Ian Fleming book's with the safe house being called Hildebrand. The Hildebrand Rarity is one of the few titles that have not been used in a movie. It was a short story written by Fleming.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld is not done yet. This movie, IMO, is setting up a movie where Bond kills Blofeld. I don't think Waltz getting less screen time is bad writing. I think there's more to what he's got to offer.
Which brings us to the penultimate point, the next movie. I think Daniel Craig is too old. Yet, he has one more movie left. Finish Blofeld and tie up all loose ends. Finish off with a bang.
What next after Craig? A new movie, obviously. Preferably with a new actor portraying Bond. This will be difficult, because I love the cast of the current movie. Daniel Craig's movie have established a continuity. This means the next movie will have to do something like Casino Royale. Retain M and offer no explanation for it or bring in a fresh new cast, which would be a shame.
EDIT: I forgot to mention how the Smart Blood technology was kinda stupid. I mean, Casino Royale had this exact same thing and they try to introduce it to us as new. I'm sorry for this long wall of text. Although I can understand why Spectre can be underwhelming as a movie, I felt certain elements stood above the rest and that these elements were under appreciated.
Casino Royale tells a story about how James Bond became the familiar character we knew from before, eschewing the typical plot-d... Le Chiffre’s Dark Brown Suit in Casino Royale 15 August 2016 8 When a ripped Daniel Craig emerged from the sea in Casino Royale in a pair of skimpy La Perla shorts, it nearly broke the internet – and made us feel just a little guilty about all those gym ... Daniel Craig’s Brioni dinner jacket (Tuxedo) in Casino Royale has been a great inspiration to many over the past four years since the film was released. But many of the fine details of the outfit are known thanks to an article by Christopher Bray and Nick Foulkes titled “Dressed to kill; Barbara Broccoli calls Daniel Craig’s Bond ‘a tough guy in a dinner jacket’. Nov 6, 2016 - Explore Cecil Jeremiah's board "Daniel Craig suit" on Pinterest. See more ideas about daniel craig, james bond style, daniel craig james bond. Daniel Craig films Casino Royale in the Bahamas. Daniel Craig pictured in the Bahamas on the set of the new James Bond film, Casino Royale, on February 22, 2006 in which he is taking over the role. Daniel Craig in his debut James Bond film “Casino Royale” set the tone of modern 007 with his suave looks and incredible sense of clothing. Bond’s first mission after getting 00 status leads him to the Bahamas where he spotted looking charming with his sophisticated style and a lightweight grey linen suit. We have recreated this suit for Bond fans who want a formal dress up even in the ...