Tag Archives: Bond Girls

My Thoughts on SPECTRE

spectre

It’s been a while since SPECTRE hit theaters. I wanted to give the world a chance to see it before I gave my immediate reactions. But here they are. Now, I haven’t seen it since Nov. 5., this is definitely just the completed-sentences-version of what I wrote the next morning after viewing.

Bond Girls. This film did not deliver.

Monica Bellucci / I don’t even know her character’s name because it was such a pointless part of the film—After all the hype about her, and especially her age, it was so not worth it.  She was, like, a hot second of the film. And it was an entirely unaddressed story line that had really no purpose to the film. Sure James got info from her, but it wasn’t imperative that she be the one to offer it. In fact, it didn’t even make sense that she had the info, since she wasn’t with the man and she wasn’t part of the organization. Instead, it felt like “I’m throwing the old broad one last pity fuck because she’s gonna die.” Also, his “I’ll get Felix Leiter to save you” line was bullshit, too, and felt like they had to drop his name for when the character came back in a movie or two. Uh, no. This did no work, at all.

Lea Seydoux / Madeleine Swann—I feel like they were trying to make her the new Tracy di Vicenzo // Vesper Lynd, but without any of the development. Tracy and Vesper were movie-long seductions, to some degree, and Bond had to work hard to earn them. In return, they are the only two women to leave a franchise-wide impact on him. But Madeleine is all cold and calculated, and then when Bond’s getting tortured and she tells him she loves him… it was super fucking strange. It didn’t make sense. It didn’t develop. Then at the end of the movie she’s looking at him like it’s her or the job and he tosses his gun over the bridge. NO. Not only do I see nothing that actually connects them, Bond threw his life away (twice!) for women and it didn’t work out–I don’t think he’d do it for this girl. He actually wouldn’t throw his gun away if he cared about her, because, uh, HIS WIFE GOT SHOT. Besides all that, she’s entirely unmemorable. I don’t recall her having any serious style.

MI6 Agents. A mixed review.

Money Penny really wins this one, trotting around with Q and trying to help save James. She’s fierce and I love the attitude she’s been given and the way she tries to help it. It fits well with the history of her character in the films.

M. Harrumpf. I need to watch the movie again to see how I feel about him. He didn’t stand out to me, but I don’t know, the film wasn’t one that was going to give him a lot of room to shine. He’s got this anger/frustration with Bond that contradicts with his supporting of him even after Bond breaks the rules, but that’s on-point with Bernard Lee’s portrayal of M, so I’m OK with him for now.

Q was a little less arrogant in this film, and a little more friendly. I’m OK with that, but I don’t love it, either, because to do this they sort of had to sacrifice that attitude of his from Skyfall and instead made him a bit of the cat-owning-blundering-nerd stereotype. Previously, Q was unapologetic. I liked unapologetic Q. But I also liked that Q left the office and went to bat for Bond, which felt very License to Kill-style Desmond Llewelyn, and I loved it.

The bad guys. I liked them, and I wanted more.

Max Denbigh // Andrew Scott I knew he was evil form the get-go when he stood with the bad guys at the announcement of the film cast. I wish we could have had more time with him, because he immediately felt like he had to be a villain’s sidekick. That was frustrating, because you never really had time to develop a false sense of him being on MI6’s side.

Mr Hinx // Dave Bautista was the triumphant return of the henchmen of old that I was so ready for. But he only got to use his fucked up thumbs once. ONCE. He disappeared too early in the film. He should have made a comeback after the car crash, that’s what good henchmen do.

Franz Oberhauser/Blofeld // Christoph Waltz didn’t lose his hair in the epic fire. There was an epic fire, and the man retained his hair. WHY WASN’T HE BALD. HE GOT THE SCAR, WHY WASN’T HE BALD? And in the realm of other questions that left me hanging regarding him: Why did the film let him get caught? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CAT? I think Waltz was creepy and combative, and I want to see him reprise the role in the future. I think the bullshit brain drill was exactly the type of over-the-top weapon of villains’ of old.

The plot and story and execution. Welcome back.

First, let me say, I’m so glad they found their humor again. I know Craig, in an interview when he got started, said that it was going to be impossible to be funny with the role because Austin Powers ruined it. But I didn’t realize how much I missed the dumb stuff. When Bond told the guy, “Stay!” I was gleeful.

Mad, mad props to the opening scene. I loved the Day of the Dead parade. I sort wish there had been some sex in the hotel room, a cut away, and then Bond sneaking out on to the balcony to go over the guy and have the madness ensue, but it was still a spectacular opening. I actually got a little motion sick with the helicopter stuff.

Now, on to the opening credits + song: I still dislike the song, but the song sort of goes OK with the theme. Which isn’t saying much, but I don’t really like the visuals, either. I liked the parts with the kind of ghostly//inky stuff trailing off women, but the Daniel Craig being so visible is one thing I’ll never like. I appreciated in other Bond openings the way the character, even if obviously an outline of that man, was still blacked out. Still up for any man, any Bond. Oh yeah, the tentacle porn was strange. I also don’t like brining other movies into this opening credit stuff. That absolutely reeks of OHMSS, which was not a successful opening (it didn’t even get its own song), and which wasn’t a successful film/Bond, partially because of its inability to stand on its own (in my opinion). Was “Writing on the Wall” a link to the spray painted “James Bond” name in the old MI6 building?

On that note, I despised the way they brought back all the dead people from Craig’s movies. Why that continuity? Why now? If this wasn’t a send off for Craig as Bond, it’s going to feel really inadequate when Craig goes back to forgetting the past, per usual. It feels like he needs to walk away. I like him as Bond, but given the grievance of bringing up his entire past, and then running off with Ms. Swann, it’s time for Craig to go.

Speaking of Bond’s past… It was an interesting connection between James and the leader of SPECTRE. I liked it, a whole lot actually–more than anyone I’ve talked to it, seems. I like that it sort of gives context to all the earlier films with Blofeld as Bond’s main nemesis. This movie shows it’s personal without discrediting that it’s Bond’s job, with MI6, to battle him.  However, I have to agree that it is a little rushed. Bond just sees this photo and admits to this longstanding (that we didn’t know about) feeling that his brother-from-another-mother is still around? Pishposh. Particularly when these Craig films spend so much time relating to one another. SPECTRE as an organization, sure, that’s sort of pulled through all the movies. But this man? Not at all.

Also, I’m done with the internal intrigue and the drama. I’m sick of MI6 agents being the enemy, and exhausted with Bond threatening to leave and go rogue. Let’s put him back on his desk and let an outside be the villain again, what do you say?

The ultimate decision: a let down.

 

I hate telling people that. They’re so excited to ask me about it, and I hate being like, “Eh.” In reality, it’s not a let down as a Bond film (that’s only QoS, which is a letdown as any kind of film) but I find it underwhelming in that it doesn’t stand as strong as Casino Royale or Skyfall (which is an admittedly impossible movie to follow). It has so many amazing elements–and we all knew that going into it–that expectations did not meet reality.

That being said, I can’t wait to buy the DVD and watch it again, because it’s Bond and it is still great.

 

 

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Celebrate in Style: NYE edition!

Well Bond fans, I don’t know what my New Year’s Eve has in store. But in the event that I have a smashing party to attend, I know where to look for some quality style inspiration for dresses, hair, makeup, jewelry and accessories.

Wondrous Whites

Miranda Frost

Miranda Frost

Tracy Di Vincenzo

Tracy Di Vincenzo

Solitaire

Solitaire

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Belle Blues

Tracy Di Vincenzo

Tracy Di Vincenzo

Fiona Volpe

Fiona Volpe

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Ravishing Reds

18994034.jpg-r_760_x-f_jpg-q_x-xxyxx

Lupe

Elektra King

Elektra King

Solange

Solange

Sylvia Trench

Sylvia Trench

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Black Beauties

Vesper Lynd

Vesper Lynd

Severin

Severine

Paris Carver

Paris Carver

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Plum Paramours

Plenty O'Toole

Plenty O’Toole

Vesper Lynd

Vesper Lynd

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Celebrate Bond in Style

When I learned this morning that Friday, October 5, 2012 has been named Global James Bond Day, I immediately announced to everyone in earshot that I would be taking the day off. Wishful thinking.

Unfortunately, I work that day, I have plans that night, AND I work all weekend–bottomless martinis and Bond films are out of the question.

So how will I celebrate such a momentous occasion within the confines of Corporate America? Treats, obviously. But I bring treats for anything, so that’s hardly special. Posters? But of course. Although they won’t stand out since I already have a Skyfall poster and picture of Sean Connery from Diamonds are Forever in my cube. Happy hour? You better fucking believe it. Maybe even a liquid lunch. But none of those things are enough.

But going to work dressed like Bond girls for the whole week sure as shit should do the trick. (And I’m missing Halloween this year–I really love costumes and playing dress up [kinky!]–so this should appease that, too.) I told my boss, who promptly and wisely told me to be “work appropriate” with my outfits. While I was already thinking of going the evening gown route (because we all know there are more formal dresses and bikinis than anything else in Bond films), and trying to channel Sylvia Trench’s shirt + heels, to keep it proper I’ll celebrate with more suitable selections.

Monday: Like a Boss [Judi Dench as M]

Tuesday: Bad in Black [Tilly Masterson, Xenia Onatopp, Wai Lin]

Wednesday: Buttoned Up [Vesper Lynd, Solitaire, Natalya Simonova]

Thursday: The Icon [Pussy Galore and fliers, Tracy di Vincenzo, Jenny Flex]

Friday: Global James Bond Day [Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny]

 Per usual, I’ll be sporting these expressions as I work:

I have a bow tie and shaker that I’m also working into the equation. It’s shaping up to be a fantastic holiday. 

Oh, and can we give a shout out to the sometimes necessary evil called workplace seduction, via The Living Daylights? I feel about that sexy in my PB black tee.

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Nailed It

Is it as ridiculous as having a secret panel in your office where you plan your robberies? […] I’d say that’s pretty ridiculous. Though not as ridiculous as Denise Richards playing a nuclear physicist named Christmas Jones in a Bond movie.

-Shawn Spencer, Psych Season 2, Episode 8 “Rob-A-Bye Baby”

My thoughts, exactly. That is the most ridiculous thing in the history of ever.

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Skyfall

Here’s the deal: Since I petitioned for Talulah Riley to be Bond Girl 23 and gasped about the villain queries, a lot has happened. EON went bankrupt/up for sale, and the 23rd film was practically killed and then brought back to life. Pins and needles, folks.

Last week, they had the official press conference to kickoff filming.

A portion of the cast gathered for the Skyfall press conference

Now, I am a vocal Craig hater, so I hate to admit this, but I am SO FUCKING STOKED for the next Bond film “Skyfall.” Here’s why:

  • Judi Dench is back as M
  • Javier Bardem is the confirmed villain
  • Ralph Fiennes is a confirmed actor, rumored villain
  • Naomie Harris (Calypso in the POTC trilogy) is a Bond ally
  • “Skyfall” is NOT a continuation of the “Casino Royale” – “Quantum of Solace” duo
  • Sam Mendes is an Academy Award winning director (this is a first for Bond)
  • French actress Berenice Marlohe is the Bond Girl (and wonderfully reminiscent of Sophie Marceau as Elektra King)
  • Conflicting rumors say this film is “action packed” and “action lacked” meaning it should finally have the right amount of action
  • Adele is rumored to be a contender for the theme song

After all the mishaps and injuries during production of “Quantum of Solace,” it will be interesting to see if the ghosts of Bonds past accept “Skyfall” and let the actors and crews film with ease (it is fully my belief they were trying to prevent that travesty from ever reaching the screen). Release is set for November 2012. Don’t let me down.

 

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Bond Girl 23

With the release of Bond 23 set for November 9, 2012, it’s officially time to keep a close eye on the web for juicy info. Although I generally despise Craig’s Bond, I need this film to play tiebreaker in my kind-of-like vs hate debate.

There’s plenty of gossip already, but what we know is that Sam Mendes is director, Judi Dench is M, and Craig is Bond. What I want to know, though, is who will be Bond Girl.

I’ve crossed a few sources who say Craig’s girlfriend, Rachel Weisz, is on the shortlist. This is most unfortunate news for many reasons–like she’s too old. However, other reports suggest she will be the head of the ubiquitous crime syndicate in Craig’s first two films. This I like. And it keeps Bond Girl 23 open.

Let me introduce my candidate. She’s sexy. She’s 25. She’s British. She’s relatively unknown. She’s coy. She’s killer as both a blonde and brunette.

Talulah Riley

 

Talulah Riley. Click the photo for more images from her UK Esquire shoot.

 

May the Bond gods hear my plea. She’s fucking fantastic.
[And the fucking has really been lacking in the last two movies.]

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Best of Bond: Girls and Allies

BEST BOND GIRLS

1. Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever)
2. Jinx (Die Another Day)
3. Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
4. Tracy Di Vicenzo (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)
5. Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
6. Vesper Lynd (Casino Royale)

Jill St. John as Tiffany Case in "Diamonds Are Forever"

Tiffany Case has attitude. She’s sassy, impromptu, and always looks out for herself. Plus, she slept with Bond in the aquarium/tub. Hot. Jinx was not only a momentary (badass) throwback to Honey Ryder, she’s hot, tough, and had the sexiest Bond bedroom scene to date. Fiona was more successful at SPECTRE work than any other henchmen in Thunderball. She’s fierce and a looker, which helps make her far more intimidating than Emilio Largo. And she died in Bond’s arms. As much as I hate that Bond married Tracy, I have to give the girl props. She’s the kind of girl any guy would want: independent, hard to get, attractive, wealthy, and she never nags. Pussy (pronounced by Sean like “pooh-see”) is a big part of Goldfinger. Auric Goldfinger’s plan revolves around her as much as Bond’s counterplan does. She’s smart, mixes business with pleasure, and her name is Pussy Galore for god’s sake. Vesper is the only girl to outplay Bond. She’s as cold-hot as Bond, and she used Bond for personal motives, much like he does with his women.

WORST BOND GIRLS

1. Christmas Jones (The World Is Not Enough)
2. May Day (A View To A Kill)
3. Mary Goodnight (The Man With The Golden Gun)
4. Helga Brandt (You Only Live Twice)
5. Miranda Frost (Die Another Day)
6. Bibi Dahl (For Your Eyes Only)

Richards as Christmas Jones in "The World Is Not Enough"

Christmas: Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist in a cut-off tank and short shorts? Eeewww. And the “I thought Christmas only came once a year” pun? Sick. May Day is easily the scariest looking person to ever appear in a Bond film. Goodnight has very low intelligence (and standards). She tries to play hard to get, but ends up sleeping in Bond’s closet while he bangs another girl. And she still wants him. How does she work for MI6? I’m sorry to be superficial, but Helga is simply ugly and weird. Miranda is a wolf in sheep’s clothing–and it doesn’t work for her. She’s still unattractive and lacking a personality. Bibi is not actually a Bond Girl because it would have been illegal for James to sleep with her–hence the nod to baby doll. And she’s simply whiny and annoying.

BEST BOND ALLIES

1. Q (regular)
2. MoneyPenny (regular)
3. Tiger (You Only Live Twice)
4. Quarrel (Dr. No)
5. Jack Wade (Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies)
6. Sheriff J.W. Pepper (Live And Let Die, The Man With The Golden Gun)

Q in "Licence to Kill"

Disclaimer: I know M and Felix didn’t make the cut. But I only liked M played by Judi Dench, and Felix isn’t always great. The original really stuck with this character: Q was played by Desmond Llewelyn basically from 1963-1999. He is funny, smart, and always there for Bond–even when he’s abandoned by MI6. Q’s  parting “always have an escape plan” is Bond-movie gold. Lois Maxwell takes the cake as the best MoneyPenny, and much like her character type, I prefer a MoneyPenny that flirts and swoons over Bond–not the ones that sass back all the time. Tiger said, “She is very sexiful,” my favorite Bond movie line, ever. I like their awkward “I love you” exchange, and the way he treats Bond. Poor Quarrel, he was loyal to Bond but died from that damned dragon monster he so feared. Jack Wade is the American CIA agent in a couple flicks, and he always makes cracks about our government. And Sheriff Pepper? Ultimate Southerner stereotype. Totally makes himself (and American tourists) look like an idiot in two movies. Awesome.

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