I haven't been to see a James Bond movie in so long I'm not sure I ever went to one. Oddly, I feel like I've seen them all, since 3,098,564 clips have been shown and 4,603 movie critics have weighed in with their opinions. On reflection the movies all seem pretty much the same, although most of the actors have changed. I think.
Coming of age in the sixties I was
not inclined to be attracted to a genre that showcased the cold,
calculating, too goodlooking, if I catch you, I'm going to f**k you
male. Probably because I like to shave my legs first.
Sean Connery, the quintessential
Bond, as handsome as he is, still, was a throwback, both personally and
professionally, to John Wayne in The Quiet Man, that classic fifties
-- if I want you I'll take you -- movie hero. I confess it
wasn't until I watched that movie by default one rainy Sunday afternoon
around St. Patrick's Day, while dozing on the couch, that I realized how
insanely sexist it is. The same way I awoke to the undercurrent of
racism and cruelty to children in Song of the South when I saw it as an
adult with my own kids. Life happens. Those movies stayed the same.
As time has passed and Bonds have
evolved, my opinion of the character also changed. For the worse.
As much as I like Pierce Brosnan as an actor, he was too effete for the
part -- way too refined and effeminate. Any of the Bonds in between are too unremarkable to acknowledge.
Was casting Brosnan an attempt to
attract post feminist women to the theaters? Not if the producers had
anything to say about it, since most producers I've known would screw anything that
nailed down. or more appropriately, nail anything that wasn't screwed
However, today's movies are marketing driven. I can only assume that
research wanted them to cast a gay guy and everybody had to
compromise. Bond is
too sexist, so we have to make him more accessible to women. Apparently
that meant Pierce Brosnan. I don't want a man who
looks like he gets manis and pedis protecting me from bad guys. No
thank you very much.
Not that I thought Daniel Craig was
the solution to the problem. His lack of prettiness seemed almost like a self-conscious
choice. One I liked, however. I also liked the shots of him wading in
the water in a bathing suit. But, his Bond is blond. Bad hair color.
Blond men, as a rule, do nothing for me. Couldn't they call me and ask? Was my aversion to blond just baggage from my
childhood? Could I get over it? Enough to actually go see the picture?
Dozens of clips, several talk
shows, and many reviews later, I think there's a chance that I will pay
money to see this guy. I'm giving him the Mrs. Linklater Good Hunk Seal
of Approval. The movie too, based on what I've seen.
Sure the Bond girl looks like she
stepped out of a Victoria's Secret catalog. Page 104. But she's not
just a receptacle, if you'll pardon an expression. She has a career,
albeit unlikely, as an accountant. She has a personality, spent keeping
Bone -- sorry that was a typo, but I'll leave it -- out of her panties. Plus, gosh darn it all, she's also
dressed in clothes and seems
like a real person in a celluloid kind of way.
The good news is that James Bond is
back to being masculine and athletic. In a surprise twist, he also
to have FEELINGS, not just physical needs that must be addressed. Those
things are all functions of the script, of course. But the
critics are also saying Daniel Craig is the best actor to play the part
too. Wow, we're getting a two-fer -- looks good and acts good.
So I'm almost giddy about going to
see this Bond movie. Perhaps giddy is not the right word. It doesn't
suit the woman over sixty. Another word comes to mind, but I'll leave
it to you to figure that one out.