seven advices for tha makers of Bond 22

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seven advices for tha makers of Bond 22

Post by Dunda » Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:07 pm

interesting read on
(could not agree in all points, but still interesting, love the last advice!)

So, the 22nd James Bond film is in pre-production, with director Marc Forster already talking about locations and Bond Girls and more. But there have been disquieting notes and murmurs from the Bond camp -- filling Bond fans with dire contemplation of slightly grim possibility that Casino Royale's excellence may not be so easy to recapture. As a long-time Bond-watcher, I thought I'd draft a sort of open letter to the Bond production team about some very specific things they could do to make sure that Bond 22 maintains 007's freshly-renewed license to thrill. ...

1) Bulk Up the Bad Guy

If one thing hurt Casino Royale's air of excellence, it was the fairly disappointing physical mis-match between Daniel Craig's hulking, burly Bond and Mads Mikkelsen's pallid, frail Le Chiffre. Whoever your bad guys is this time around, please -- cast someone who looks like they could offer Craig's Bond a fairly even match in a fight. (One of the reasons GoldenEye worked as well as it did was Sean Bean's scary-competent, lean and wicked rogue 006 -- an extremely credible nemesis in both the brain and brawn departments.) Film-closing throw-downs aren't just fun, they're necessary -- we all want to see good and evil mix it up -- and nothing deflates the tension in an action film faster than knowing, at one glance, that our villain would fold up like a cheap tent after taking one punch. The producers of Bond 22 could try to save on the budget by hiring an unknown, but they shouldn't skimp on the tension by hiring someone who has less physical presence and capability than the formidable Mr. Craig.

2) Keep it Real ...

The Bond films at the end of the Brosnan run felt less like spy movies and more like idiotic variations on Saturday morning TV -- Die Another Day's plot of gene-spliced villains wearing electricity-shooting exoskeletons felt less like Ian Fleming and more like Stan Lee. And it's hard to imagine audiences accepting something like the plots of The Spy Who Loved Me or Moonraker, either, where the entire world was in peril and every life on the planet depended on Bond saving the day. Casino Royale had the balance right: lives were at stake, yes, but not millions of them; the stakes were comprehensible, and thereby much more affecting than grandiose, Dr. Evil-style schemes.

3) ... But Not Too Real

At the same time, the Bond films can't be too ripped-from-the headlines; escapism (which, at the end of the day, is what the Bond films are) is enhanced by realism, but poisoned by reality. Or, put another way: Do you really want to see Bond in the mountains of Pakistan, hunting Al-Quaeda? Of course not; it's an insult to the audience, the people actually trying to do that job, and pretty much everyone involved. Bond 22 should take place in a world that feels like our own; it should not take place in our world.

4) There's No 'Q' in 'Reboot'

Even with my happy memories of Desmond Llewelen's Major Boothroyd -- 'Q' to friends and co-workers -- you have to admit that those scenes also represented a gear-grinding stall in almost every Bond movie -- narrative momentum given up in favor or raised eyebrows and expensive throw-away sight gags. If the makers of Bond 22 decide to return to the past of the series and give us a 'Q' division scene -- gadgets and exposition, gags and banter -- then they'll find out, to their peril and ours, how swiftly some old roots can strangle the life out of new growth. I'm not saying there's no need for high-tech in the Bond series -- Casino Royale's portable defibrillator was as handy as it was cool -- but you can have high-tech without having high camp.

5) Fire the Writers

Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have written several 007 films -- notably The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day, two of the worst entries in the history of the series. Under Wade and Purvis, the Bond formula became appallingly watered-down and tarted-up. (Plus, they managed to bite that hand that feeds them by taking a break to write the Rowan Atkinson Bond 'spoof" Johnny English, and turn disdain for their other assignment into a paycheck.) I don't know why it is Wade and Purvis keep getting these gigs -- I suspect that the producing team lead by the Broccoli heirs are comfortable with them -- but their familiarity with the series has turned into a kind of contempt for the character and the audiences. They're listed as being on the payroll for Bond 22, and they frankly shouldn't be. I'm not sure who you'd replace them with -- rumors had rom-com expert Richard Curtis being offered a gig on Bond 22 -- but the ugly fact is that they need to be thrown off the series, and fast -- when you know you're riding the gravy train, you're not going to go anywhere interesting.

6) No Funny Stuff

There's been some contention of if Daniel Craig was joking when he offered in an interview with The Daily Express that "They [the producers] just want more gags. The next one's going to be a lot funnier. Octopussy and Pussy Galore-style gags. They're all great names -- but that's the thing, the Bond jokes will be flipped on their heads. ... " Was Craig joking? Well, I hope so; if anything killed the Bond series, it was the focus on comedy that came with the aging of the wheezy, crepuscular Roger Moore -- who, as the series progressed, became much more comfortable with a limp one-liner than a stiff right cross. That's not to say that you can't have bleak comedy in a modern Bond -- Dame Judi Dench, playing the busy, harried head of intelligence, spitting out her sentiment "Christ, I miss the Cold War. ..." was a wickedly sharp laugh line that also help define the film's feel -- but the second you start going for laughs in and of themselves, you might as well just put Mike Myers in the role.

7) Keep Daniel Craig Happy

By which I mean, ask him about what he'd like to see in the films; ask him if he things plot points x or y are a good idea; where he'd like to see Bond's character go. Brosnan grew amazingly frustrated with the Broccoli's insistence that Bond couldn't have a history or a sense of a past -- and that frustration is no doubt what led to his sleepwalking through his last two films, trading actual work for paycheck-earning clock-punching. Right now, for better or for worse (and I'd say 'better,') Craig is Bond -- and if you want him to be good in the films, and you want him to keep making the films, then start asking him what he wants, and soon -- before he, too, turns into a tuxedo-clad cutout you can move from scene to scene, joke to joke, with his broken spirit slashing the life out of the series.

Do you think there's anything that the people behind Bond 22 need to keep in mind as they prepare to launch?

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Post by angela_77 » Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:54 pm

I think seventh is just exactly right!

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Post by livetwice » Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:18 pm

I agree also on almost all the points. But I don't think the villain need to be physically strong: mental strengh can also be interesting to film ( the torture scene is a keyscene describing so nicely the battle of wills between Bond and Le Chiffre..)
Do you notice that they doesn't mention the femalepartners of Bond? Difficult choice to do after Eva Green... As we already talked on the other thread : she has to be a good actress too..
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Post by Lynda » Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:19 am

Yeah, I agree with most of these. Also agree with livetwice that the baddie doesn't really have to be a big guy, I think Mads was good opposite Daniel.

I really don't want to hear "gags" and too many double entendres. One or two is fine but I prefer a more serious film.

The Bond girl has to be strong and a good actress. Eva Green was amazing and it will be difficult to beat her. I don't want to see a silly overly feminine Bond girl. Bond has been hurt now in love so I suppose there may be more sleeping around but I hope they don't overdo it.
"He's blond ... he's Bond ... he's actually quite good!"

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Post by Laredo » Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:54 am

Actually most of the past Bond villains had henchmen to do the dirty work and most were big except for the midget in Golden Gun .
Some were women .

They will have to decide if their future bad guys are real guys in suits or Bond inspired odd guys .

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Post by Elaine_Figgis » Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:23 pm

The other day I caught 'Bond Girls are Forever' on a cable station. Good overview of some Bond girls. I especially like the explanation of Pussy Galore, except for the name, she was a pretty good villian.

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Post by Laredo » Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:28 pm

I think most people remember her because of her name though .

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