Sunday, November 19, 2006

The New James Bond

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 wasn't nailed down. or more appropriately, nail anything that wasn't screwed down.

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 seems 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.


jevanslink said...

My 82 year old mom is here for Thanksgiving and she is DYING to see this guy and this movie, so off we will go one day soon.  I'm with you on this one, Pierce was way too pretty.  This guy does look like the real deal.
Comment from cberes1 - 11/19/06 5:54 PM

screaminremo303 said...

Bond isn't about feelings. It's about intrigue. It's about man-to-man combat and whiz-bang gadgets. It's about trying to nail a woman named Pussy Galore.

Most of the critics are gay. The prosecution rests.

onemoretina said...

    Interesting comment about your experience with 'Song of the South.'  As a kid, I loved the movie 'Carousel.'  When I saw it as an adult I was mortified.  I guess those things sailed right on over my head back then.  Geez ....    
    I think you may be right about this new Bond.  No, he doesn't have dark hair ( my preference, too ) but he has a more rugged, not-too-pretty look that I find attractive.  I'm hoping that he has the personality to complete the package.   Tina

swibirun said...

I'd rather see Happy Feet than any Bond movie.  I've just never been a fan of the Bond series, the Mission Impossible series, or any of those action thrillers.  They just seem all flash (special effects, chases, fights) and no substance (actual plot, character development).

My favorite Sean Connery was the time he was on Jeopardy (he he, actually, he was portrayed on SNL  (by Will Ferrell I think) as being on was hilarious)


mombzbe said...

A man should never look like he uses more personal hygiene products than you do.  I'm not saying he should look like a complete caveman, but I am with you on the mani/pedi thing.
As well as the blonde thing.
As well as this guy looks, um, interesting.   In a I'm gonna catch him,  because I'd f.....
Ahem.  Let me regain my ladylike persona.

Nope, it's gone.