So this is a bit of a tricky #JNGReads/#JNGListens post because I’m not quite sure what category to fit it under. It’s really closer to a #JNGListens type post, because although I read the novel that the movie I’m about to talk about is based on, the quotes are from the movie and not actually from the written work. But does hearing a line performed by an actor or actress really count as a #JNGListens post? I don’t know – it seems like a bit of a stretch, and so I’m thinking I might need a new category to encompass quotes from movies and TV shows. I watch enough movies and TV in my day-to-day life, and I’ve already been struggling not to post quotes from them on my Twitter page because I didn’t know how to hashtag them, so I’m definitely going to have to think about this further! Update post to come, rest assured!
Anyway, to get to today’s quotes, I should start by saying that on Friday, my boyfriend and I went to see the new 007 movie Spectre! It was sooo much fun! I am a HUGE (Daniel Craig as) James Bond fan, which I’ve mentioned in a few posts before, and I was so excited to see this movie. It was action-packed, exciting, and it featured all of the classic Bond elements I’ve grown to know and love! In my opinion, it did not disappoint – my expectations weren’t massively high because I knew there would be cheesy elements, and overly dramatic elements, and I loved just being along for the ride! And Daniel Craig in a suit…well…I mean…is there anything better on this Earth?
But, this assessment brings me to a wee little bit of criticism of the movie, which is that it did very much call back (or so I’ve heard) to the older films in the 007 franchise. Okay, embarrassing admission here, but I’ve actually never seen any other 007 films than the ones with Daniel Craig. I know you all might be wondering how I can profess that I’m such a big Bond fan if I’ve only seen four of the movies, but I’m pretty passionate about these four, and I’ve actually determined that Bond Girl is my #1 dream job of all time, so I think I am rather qualified to assess at least the newest movies in the franchise.
That brings me to my issue with Spectre: it didn’t feel like a Daniel Craig James Bond movie to me. What I always loved most about Daniel Craig as James Bond is that he is a gritty, real Bond – he gets punched in the face and is actually bleeding, he struggles traversing fences and rough terrain, he looks tired after a long chase or fight. Or, at least, he used to. In Spectre, Daniel Craig seemed to have all the luck of an older James Bond: he’d fall off a huge cliff onto a perfectly placed…couch?! I mean, how is that even possible? A lot of what made Daniel Craig’s other films so realistic was missing from Spectre, and I’m sure that was intentional on the part of the filmmakers, but it also made me miss the rough-around-the-edges Bond I’d grown so used to.
And that’s why, yesterday, I went back to where it all began and watched Casino Royale for probably the millionth time. I am absolutely, without doubt, obsessed with this movie! It’s probably my favourite movie of all time – I even went back a few summers ago and read the novel (which was a lot more sexist that you’d imagine, if that’s even possible) just so I’d have a better understanding of the movie. Casino Royale is brilliant, and you feel every single thing that happens to Bond. He doesn’t breeze through his missions with a bunch of gadgets. He has to get down and dirty, and he has to use his MIND to outwit Le Chiffre and to spar with probably the strongest and most confident Bond Girl out there, Vesper Lynd. It’s the chemistry between Bond and Vesper that really makes the movie iconic for me. Vesper isn’t a woman who just sits on the sidelines – she has a brain and she calls Bond out on his attitude towards women, and that is refreshing to see in a 007 film!
“Bond: Well, your beauty’s a problem. You worry you won’t be taken seriously.
Vesper: Which one can say of any attractive woman with half a brain.”
“Vesper: You think of women as disposable pleasures, rather than meaningful pursuits.”
– Casino Royale
The conversations between Daniel Craig and the incomparable Eva Green as Vesper (who I’ve already gushed about on the blog before) really get to the heart of the problem that many people have had with the 007 franchise for years. In other films, the Bond Girl just stands there, looking pretty in her bikini, not really saying much. But Vesper will have none of that – she has opinions and ideas, and she’s not going to let Bond silence or objectify her. So not only is Bond more down-to-earth and human, he also has his work cut out for him with the woman he takes interest in. For all these reasons, Casino Royale feels like it delivers more of a message than your stereotypical, action-packed but substance-less Bond film.
But, having said all that, I’d still recommend that you all see Spectre because it’s certainly a fun ride! And you can’t go wrong either way, whether you choose to head to the theatre and see Spectre or sit on your couch with Casino Royale, you’re in for some fast-paced enjoyment regardless!
Happy 007 Sunday!
(Bond) Girl with a Green Heart