I’m not quite sure when my love of James Bond films started. When I was in junior high, I remember going to C.’s house and she was watching the end of Thunderball. I was fascinated by the fact that James Bond was dangling in midair and was holding on to an attractive girl, who looked rather happy with the situation. I would hope so, considering the alternatives. Add to this the fact that I was a big fan of the New Wave band Duran Duran, who styled many of their videos after Bond films. That peaked my interest more. I watched Octopussy at my friend A.’s birthday party and argued with her over which girl was married to bassist John Taylor.
I have yet to buy any Bond DVDs, and I still haven’t seen all the films. But every time there’s a Bondathon on SpikeTV or TNT, I am glued to the TV, watching Diamonds Are Forever, The Man with the Golden Gun, and Moonraker. It doesn’t matter how bad the plot is, how terrible the acting – if it’s a Bond movie, I will watch it, over and over again. I love the gadgets, the girls, the ridiculous action sequences. I love Bond’s witticisms. And I love the way he always triumphs in the end with 7 seconds to spare.
And the villains, lord, the villains. They are the most fun. Goldfinger, Scaramanga, Dr. No, Blofeld: the more psychotic they are, the better. When there’s a James Bond marathon, I have a game I play with my black longhair cat, Mossimo. I tell him, “Look, kitty, Blofeld is on! Time to play Evil Genius and His Cat!” And Mossimo gets on my lap and purrs while I pet him and say things like, “This laser is so powerful that it will cut you in two, Mr. Bond,” “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!”, and “Very soon, SPECTRE will take over the world!” Mossimo loves this game.
When all this talk started about finding a new actor to replace Pierce Brosnan as Bond, I was confused. Pierce was great as Bond: he was sexy and fierce and funny. He seemed to really enjoy himself. But the idea of having Clive Owen or Hugh Jackman in the role, dressed in a snazzy tux and tossing back martinis, got me all ferhoodled. As the ZZTop song says, every girl’s crazy about a sharp-dressed man, and your girl Moxie is no exception.
When the producers gave Daniel Craig the role, I was disappointed that my favorite hotties didn’t make the cut, but I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Because when I really think about what I love about James Bond films, I realize it’s the franchise I love. Each movie is a slice of James Bond’s life – aside from recurring characters, none of the films share a connective thread. Each movie asks you to suspend your disbelief for a couple hours and join Bond on a fantastic adventure. And I like adventures, especially when it means I don’t have to wear a sports bra in order to participate.
Last weekend, as you may have already guessed, I went and saw Casino Royale. I’d been following the film’s production via entertainment magazines and gossip blogs, so I was eager to see how Craig was in the role. Would Craig, and the film itself, pass Moxie’s muster?
Yes, yes, and yes. In that order. The plot was engaging and the film was very good, although it could have been edited a bit more in the middle, and I felt like a vital scene was missing. Not only does this film ask you to suspend your disbelief, it also asks you to drop all of your stories about who James Bond is and what makes him tick. We find out how the shaken martini got its start, how Bond got double-0 status, and a suggestion as to why he doesn’t have any Bond Girl babymamas running around. (Think about it: he’s bagged a lot of babes and yet there isn’t even one child? Apparently he’s not a sharpshooter in the sack.)
More importantly, Daniel Craig is excellent as Bond. He didn’t imitate anyone, and he didn’t contort himself. He captured the essence of Bond, loaded it into his Walther PPK, and shot it all over the screen. All I can say is, Ohhh, James.