Monday, July 11, 2016

Mondo Bond-o and Beyond(o)

Daniel Craig's Bond has been an interesting progression. Casino Royale felt, at its debut, very new and different. By Skyfall, Bondstalgia was in play, and that was kind of a lovely ride. For full pun effect:

Image: Wikipedia

Whether the nostalgia played SO well they decided to indulge in it to excess, or it's just been enough decades since Roger Moore that we can finally go for his era's over the toppery and sumptuousity ... Spectre brought me, at least, full circle in Bond-age.

I grew up on 70s Bond, Moore Bond, Sunday Night Movies on ABC edited and family Bond - the Bond who wore Sears Bend Over pants, the Bond whose bow tie, when he wore it, took up a fairly impressive segment of his height as a whole.

So Spectre's snowy, modernistic sets, its romping from Mexico to Rome to Austria to Tunisia and all the pauses in London in between ... I ate it all up, with a large spoon, and a smile on my face.

Craig's grittier, more realistic Bond is still good in my book. I was all aboard for Casino, and I'm one of the like three people, apparently, who liked Quantum of Solace and didn't even make fun of the title.

But Bond Guignol, the madness of some of the great entries in the franchise, the sharks-with-laser-beams-on-their-heads daft-ery that was the only way I could watch these movies as a little girl (what did I care about spies? but the eye candy was great fun!), has returned in full effect. Bond's brain is drilled, and he prevails. The bad guy dies, but we know how that can be. Craig recalls, for me, his amusing turn as Jemmie in The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders. His clear enjoyment in providing the spectacle is quite a bit of fun.

In short: I'm this fan. (Hit this link, seriously, it's very funny writing!)

Part of the pleasures of loving Bond is how the franchise provides a pocket history of half a century of the blockbuster-movie as an art form and as an ongoing concern. You watch the ’70s become the ’80s ... You watch film styles come, go, return.
--Darren Franich

Why the late, late movie review? Well, for one, it runs in my family. And also, I had a Spectre re-watch last night, first time since the theater, and I just had fun so it was on my mind. And also, with other new movies coming out and glimpses forward in the franchise - Craig will do a couple more, and it looks like we might have Cristoph Waltz back as Blofeld to join him.

And then there's Star Trek. Star Trek: Beyond is the focus of a certain trepidation amongst fans.

I'm one of those fans who prefers to know as little as humanly possible before I see a new film. I don't even much like knowing there may be division or doubt; I'm a great taker-as-they-come sort of fan, particularly when it comes to Trek. I'm passive in the extreme till my butt's in the theater seat and the endless previews are over. Unless grossly offended (and I have been, by Trek - I still think we need a t-shirt or bumper sticker that says CAN WE PLEASE STOP RAPING DEANNA?), I'm not just going to watch what you make, I'm almost certain to rewatch till whatever is produced is also pretty much committed to my memory.

With Bond and with Trek, my love is deep, and less concerned with market forces or even production values than the experience of a story. Give me a good one, I'm on board for the run.

I want this Beyond to be as good as Far Beyond the Stars. I want to be as excited as the day X and I finally saw the reboot together, and (yeah, I'm tellin' on him) he got a little misty at the birth of Kirk.

So far - not there. I'm not in that seat yet.

But we shall see.

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