Monday, October 17, 2005

Quickie: Daniel Craig + Bond = way cool

While I mean for this blog to be largely free of fanboyish twaddle (visit this well-known site for that), allow me quickly to jut my thumb in an upwards fashion over the choice of Daniel Craig as the new Bond. Are you telling me you haven't seen Layer Cake? Hie thee to Netflix, varlet.

Brosnan was actually a terrific Bond. But oy, those scripts. A downward spiral from the get-go. GoldenEye — fine, fine. Tomorrow Never Dies — watchable only for Michelle Yeoh, really; would have been much better had they not chosen to off Teri Hatcher in act one, too. The latter two — urk.

Quentin Tarantino's proposed version of Casino Royale with Brosnan will have to remain one of cinema's great "if onlys." The Bond movies have always been "producer movies." It appeared, for many years, that they were more than that; they were "stupid producer movies," given the series' forward-march into pure comic book territory ever since...well, Moonraker. (Not to mention the fact that anyone who turns up their noses at a pitch from QT is not, to quote Black Adder, "exactly over-furnished in the brain department.") Tarantino wanted to bring the series back to Ian Fleming's original low-tech, character-and-drama oriented vision. Now the rumor is, with the new Craig film (which, amazingly enough, will be Casino Royale), the producers actaully want to do that, too. Hiring the screenwriter of Oscar-winner Million Dollar Baby shows they have their heart in the right place. The only problem I foresee is the return of GoldenEye helmer Martin Campbell, a member of the subspecies Genericus Directorius Hackibus. I try not to dog on directors named Martin, but I haven't seen anything of his (including Zorro) that didn't look like it was directed out of a manual.

I fear that the sheep will give Craig the same brushoff they gave Timothy Dalton, who I thought was a badass Bond who fit the rough-edged template I felt the character needed. (Fleming described Bond as good-looking in a "cold way".) Did anyone actually believe that Roger "You Will Never See a Single Strand of My Expertly Sprayed Hair Out of Place" Moore was a trained killer? But I fear too many folks prefer the image of Bond-James-Bond as the martini-swilling pretty-boy seducer than as anything resembling a tough, take-no-prisoners action hero who'll jack you up soon as look at you. But we'll see. All they have to do is put out a damn good movie for a change, and the audience might just decide that "ugly" Craig guy's all right.

So...please please please don't suck. Okay?

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