If Daniel Craig is finished, what’s the recipe for a good James Bond?

6 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Box office preview: Spectre could be the second biggest Bond opening ever.

While Craig’s Bond status remains up in the air, a team of such Bond aficionados donned casting caps to determine exactly which ingredients are necessary for a boffo Bond. “Bond has to be a rather overwhelming, daunting and physical presence,” said film historian and Canada’s self-declared James Bond Expert Murray Gillespie. “I don’t think you could have someone who’s 5-6, 130 pounds playing the character.” “He’s supposed to be a spy, he’s supposed to be a secret agent, he’s supposed to be able to blend into a crowd,” said John Threlfall, a University of Victoria instructor who teaches a class on Bond. “The very first actor to play Bond was an American named Barry Nelson, so there’s precedent,” said University of Leicester film professor James Chapman, author of Licence To Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films. “Before they officially cast Sean Connery in Dr. “A license to kill is also a license to not kill,” M lectures his new boss in the 24th James Bond film, “Spectre.” Well, it’s not a license to bore as much as this bloated drag manages to do. After a smashing opening sequence with a rooftop chase set against Day of the Dead observances in Mexico City, we’re plunged into a patchy plot (basically the same as the last “Mission: Impossible” outing) that’s little more than an excuse for random homages to the series’ illustrious past — reminding us how utterly mediocre this one is. Those familiar with the Ian Fleming corpus will recognize it at once as the name of the English author’s second-most enduring literary invention: SPECTRE, or the Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion, a crime syndicate responsible for various failed claims to global domination. Instead of the buxom babe coming out of the water in a bikini, in Casino Royale we had Daniel Craig coming out of the water in his briefs with his rippling muscles.” “The Bond films really from the start have had elements of humour — slightly parodic, not sending up the genre, but they were aware … that it was a rather ridiculous character in ridiculous circumstances,” Chapman said.

Often visibly bored, he seems downright annoyed when he’s called upon to deviate from his “realistic” Bond to deliver Roger Moore-style quips — and utterly disinterested when required to fake the kind of chemistry with his leading ladies that Sean Connery managed so effortlessly. With the fourth Daniel Craig Bond film, “Spectre,” 007’s live-and-let-die relationship with the women in his life has begun to hollow him out from the inside.

Moore was nearly 58 years old upon the release of 1985’s A View to a Kill, and Bond experts agree that the character should not be portrayed by someone nearing his MI-60s. “Jesus, by the time he was done with A View to a Kill, it was just embarrassing how old he was,” agreed Threlfall. “It really showed onscreen.” Suspended by the new M (Ralph Fiennes) for his unauthorized Mexican caper, Bond goes off the grid for the umpteenth time on a mission he’s been given by M’s late predecessor (a Judi Dench cameo). Here’s how this weekend’s box office might shape up: Not only is Spectre going to top this weekend’s box office, but it’s on track to become the second biggest James Bond opening of all time. While Sony is predicting a more conservative opening around $65 million, other box office tracking services are expecting a debut as high as $85 million. Ironically, “Spectre” does a remarkably poor job of arguing that the whole James Bond concept is, as one character puts it, “prehistoric.” A big part of the problem is Christoph Waltz as a campy villain from Bond’s distant past.

In the beginning there was Ian Lancaster Fleming: The former British naval intelligence officer and newspaperman published his first work of fiction, an espionage thriller about a secret-service agent named James Bond, called Casino Royale, in 1953, and thereafter wrote a Bond book a year until he died in 1964. When that brazenly smutty character name was uttered aloud in 1964 by Honor Blackman, who played her in “Goldfinger,” it was like the bomb going off at the end of “Dr. As the movie’s chief assassin, wrestler Dave Bautista is meant to evoke classic Bond villains like Oddjob and Jaws, but his personality-free character only suffers from comparison as Bond emerges without a scratch from attack after attack. Spectre isn’t expected to surpass Skyfall with its domestic opening, and Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as 007 has received mixed reviews with a 62 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to Skyfall’s 93 percent. Fleming and McClory agreed to collaborate on a Bond adaptation and set to work together – alongside screenwriter Jack Whittingham – on an original story called Longitude 78 West, about a terrorist organization that holds the world’s superpowers at ransom with a pair of stolen nuclear warheads.

It also set an IMAX record, becoming the first film ever to earn more than $100,000 per IMAX location, so there’s a chance that Spectre could start breaking some records stateside, too. His not-so-secret longings naturally go unconsummated, though at least he has more to do in the spy department than the similarly smitten Moneypenny (Naomie Harris). “Spectre” scenically meanders through Rome, Austria and Tunisia during its frequently mind-numbing 2½ hours.

In January of 1960, Fleming met with McClory and Whittingham and the three agreed that the film should move ahead and that McClory should oversee the project as producer. G-rated movies have been extremely scarce this year, and so far in 2015, there have only been two: Disney’s Monkey Kingdom in April, and the limited release A LEGO Brickumentary in July.

As of Tuesday, The Martian has grossed more than $185.7 million and will soon surpass Gladiator ($187.7 million) to become Ridley Scott’s biggest movie ever. After briefly interrupting The Martian’s No. 1 streak, the family-friendly horror comedy has held steady in second place, earning a domestic total of $58.5 million. So far, it hasn’t faced much in the way of family-friendly competition, and it’s expected to drop at least 40 percent this weekend as The Peanuts Movie opens. Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies has held up extremely well, falling only 26 percent in its second and third weekend, and its box office has now reached $47.4 million.

Technically not a spy, just a paranoid unemployed alcoholic serial murderer.” On Wednesday’s “Late Show,” host Stephen Colbert and guest Craig presented a clever taped sketch imagining Bond, having lately trashed several vehicles in the line of duty, encountering a particularly fussy employee (Colbert, in an ill-behaving fake mustache) behind the rental counter. “Gritty realism” is how Craig introduced the sketch. And then, nearly 20 years later, McClory adapted it once more on his own: Never Say Never Again, released in 1983, found Sean Connery reprising his most famous role in an aberrant little picture best-remembered now as the notoriously “unofficial” 007 outing.

Outside of the top five, the specialty box office will see the opening of three new limited releases: Spotlight, about the Boston Globe’s investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic Church, Brooklyn, starring Saiorse Ronan as an Irish immigrant in 1950s New York, and Trumbo, starring Bryan Cranston as the blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter. But their continued efforts to excise McClory from Bond’s legacy only confirmed in court what McClory had long maintained: His claim to the Bond legacy extended much further than a single screenplay.

There’s news of a new collection of author Fleming’s correspondence, “The Man with the Golden Typewriter.” The book contains one letter to be sold at auction later this month. Dating from 1959, it deals with the character of Galore, more explicitly spelled out as a lesbian in Fleming’s “Goldfinger” novel than the 1964 movie.

Clearly, Fleming wrote, such a woman “only needed the right man to come along and perform the laying on of hands in order to cure her psycho-pathological malady.” Fleming was responding to a Dr. McClory could prove that at least one such aspect of 007’s cinematic life belonged to him: Bond’s long-time nemesis, SPECTRE, was the product of his Thunderball script. In the 1970s, McClory disputed the appearance of SPECTRE in the non-Thunderball Bond films. (They’d popped up in almost every film since the first.) And so after Diamonds Are Forever, the terrorist organization and its leader Blofeld were never again permitted to be so much as mentioned on screen. It’s more about getting through the day, healing old psychic wounds, and finding someone who won’t try to change you in the slightest, as Lea Seydoux’s character promises. A few years later, his heirs sold his rights to all things Bond, returning everything – SPECTRE included – to the people responsible for two dozen Bond films to date.

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