I went with my family to see Skyfall, the new James Bond movie.  We all enjoyed it.  It has all the Bond film goodies: Daniel Craig, for whatever misgivings I have about how his character is scripted, is an excellent masculine action hero; Judi Dench is perfect as ‘M;’ there’s a compelling story line and plenty of action without it getting tiresome.

And yet…

  • One of the things that made James Bond, and the Bond film, so compelling, was that I could realistically aspire to be Bond.  No, I’m not a spy, but some of my work involves behind-the-scenes derring-do.  The previous Bonds were generally in good shape, but not fantastically athletic.  I could readily imagine myself as Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan.  But I get tired just watching Daniel Craig sprint through the streets of London.
  • James Bond villains in the Daniel Craig movies are just not the same as before.  The classic Bond villain is a megalomaniac with vast plans for world domination in one form or another.  So far, we’ve had bankers in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, and an ex-agent with a personal vendetta in Skyfall.  Which leads to:
  • I thought the title, Skyfall, referred to some kind of atmospheric mayhem that the villain was preparing to commit.  I was disappointed to find that it was the name of Bond’s childhood home.  (Almost as bad as finding out that the ‘Desire’ in A Streetcar Named Desire was simply the destination of the streetcar.)

The first Bond movie that I saw in a movie theatre was Live and Let Die in 1973: my observations about earlier films are necessarily after-the-fact.  But while the first two Bond films in the 1960s were good, it was the third effort, Goldfinger, when they finally got all the parts working together.  And so it is with Skyfall: the new franchise is finally firing on all cylinders.

I’m already looking forward to the next one….

4 thoughts on “Skyfall”

  1. Where do they get those muscles?! I went to my gym regularly and all I got was tendonitis!!! Carry Grant did not need muscle like that!!!

  2. Steroids, James, steroids.

    More seriously, there are some people who are able to train and get that sort of results, and the amount of time and effort that it takes is on the order of hours per day.

    There is a need for eye candy for the ladies that was not required in Cary Grant’s time.

  3. What fascinates me the most about James Bond isn’t the movies themselves but the music. I think the music is an interesting study into trends such as who is popular and what style is popular. I have heard the latest song by Adele and it reminds me of Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey. In fact Adele reminds me a lot of the jazzy British pop divas of the 1960’s like Bassey, Dusty Springfield and the like.

    What never fails to escape my attention is that when you look at the songs from James Bond that are always ranked among the best is how many are among the heaviest songs ever recorded for the movies. In fact I have seen several polls about this and the songs that usually are listed at #1 and #2 are without a doubt the hard rockers that became hits for James Bond. Goldfinger is often high up there but I haven’t seen it listed as the best song though many would consider it as such. For me being a music snob I think only British acts should cover a James Bond song and that it should be a hard rock song (as as close to it as a James Bond song will go). The most successful James Bond song in fact wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar which I think was a travesty. To me personally the worst James Bond songs were the mainstream pop junk that would be heard on adult contemporary stations. Also, what I find interesting is that several of the heavier songs from the movies were released with easy listening versions to get played on both rock and beautiful music stations. I looked at my iPod and I see I have 4 James Bond songs, 3 of which were huge hits.

    Having said this I have only seen one James Bond movie all the way through and yes it was because of the particular theme. My dad though is a huge fan and I have bought him all of the movies through the years. He prefer Sean Connery the best though thinks Pierce Brosnan is a close second. For me I think Brosnan is the sexiest. I think part of the reason why I don’t believe Connery is the sexiest is because of comments he has made through the years, though he is one of those actors who has aged gracefully and looks great older.

  4. I have to agree about the music: one of the reasons that I look forward to James Bond movies is the hope (not always realized) that the movie will include a really good theme song. ‘You Know My Name,’ the theme from Casino Royale, was my song of the year for 2006. The theme from Skyfall is really good: it made my whole November.

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