Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bonding with the new Bond

I've just enjoyed one of these days you retire for: morning coffee in Fazzi's in Glasgow, a visit to the big cinema (it keeps changing its name - was UCI) to see the new Bond film, and a late and bibulous lunch in Dino's. I have to say I enjoyed Casino Royale so much - more than any Bond movie since Doctor No, which I remember more than the guy who took me to see it in the early '60s.

This film has shed all the smoothie humour of the Roger Moore days and the growing reliance on gadgets and fancy transport, and has reverted to a much more physical style, as well as sticking much more closely to the original book, especially in the key scenes. The violence is ...very violent. Bond doesn't emerge from conflict with a smirk on his face and barely a smudge on his tux; he goes through clean shirts at a terrifying rate and sits in the shower wearing his second dinner suit of the evening after a memorable death-fest in a stairwell. The baddie is wonderfully unpleasant and has an eye problem that fair puts mine in the shade. I particularly enjoyed the fact that nearly all the technology used - by goodies and baddies alike - was familiar to me: mobile phones featured greatly, as did laptops, SMS and Photoshop. The only thing they didn't seem to do was keep a blog - but I don't suppose there was much time for blogging. Maybe M (Judi Dench) blogged on her bedside computer.....

The best bit about the film, however, is the lovely Daniel Craig (pictured). He has all you need in a Bond - blue eyes, reluctant but totally charming smile, and a body. (I'm being really, really restrained here). He does a great deal of running - see the photo - and there is a wonderful sequence near the start of the film in which he runs his socks off in pursuit of one of these amazing free runners. We see how Bond acquires his 00 status, and there is a suggestion that his later attitude towards women may evolve from what happens to him in this, the film of the first of Ian Fleming's Bond books. There is also an interesting reversal of the usual Bond/girl formula - the girl in question isn't the usual eye candy, which Bond undoubtedly is.

I'll stop there. I don't want to discourage my male readers. Just see it - preferably in a proper cinema. They even play the right tune at the end. Great stuff!


  1. Anonymous4:59 AM

    "The only thing they didn't seem to do was keep a blog - but I don't suppose there was much time for blogging.”

    You are thinking of the wrong agent, Chris. You want the Agent of Change–to wit, 007.5, James Blog, whose pen is mightier than a Walther PPK. He may not be so athletic as the other, being fundamentally broad, so to speak, from so many hours sitting before his computer, but he is deadly with his razor wit and drinks his martinis stirred, shaken, or any way he can get them.

    That’s Blog, James Blog.

  2. Anonymous11:55 AM

    Oh, think not that you discourage all of your male readers...

  3. Nice one, Walter!
    and a nice wee anonymous teaser there .....

  4. Didn't I say that he could run! :-)

    Not sure I agree with your comment about the lack of female "eye-candy" though. And even if there wasn't, Judi Dench's eyes beat Daniel's hands down. (Er, eyes down?)

    A very different style of Bond movie... but very, very good. I thouroughly enjoyed it.

  5. "thouroughly"? Ooops! And on an English teachers blog too!

  6. Tsk tsk, David! But I too suffer from the ten thumbs on the keyboard - let's just say that's wot did it!