Tag Archives: Skyfall

Sam Smith Sings for SPECTRE: Here’s to Alliteration

Because, it seems, alliteration is all we’ve got.

When are they going to learn that a Bond song that’s not titled after the movie is a really terrible idea? I’ve stated before that for a song to be truly considered, in my opinion, it has to be named after the film title. Not that a film-titled-song is a guarantee of success (most people despise Die Another Day) but I do think it’s essential to creating the perfect theme. Unfortunately, the SPECTRE theme is no exception.

If you haven’t heard it, check out Sam Smith’s WRITING’S ON THE WALL which I know is available on Spotify.

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My first thoughts were that the musical score is SPOT ON. Nailed it. Sounds just like it should, especially coming off of SKYFALL. 

Without the musical score, the lyrics fall. Hard. In fact, the pacing and the lyrics feel like they could easily be applied to a Disney movie. Or maybe the next sappy John Legend loves Chrissy Teigen song. Don’t get me wrong–I love both of those possibilities. But they’re not Bond.

I have a few specific problems with the lyrics that I will address.
“I want to feel love” Bullshit. First of all, no. Bond? No. Secondly, remember the time he was married? I thought that sort of cured the love thing. Thirdly, I think there’s some point in one of the books where he talks about falling for all the women he bangs. [If I wasn’t supposed to be doing work for grad school right now, I’d dig out my notes. Maybe later.]

“If I risk it all” Don’t you, always, James? Haven’t you, already? Did you forget Teresa Bond? This is all for Queen and Country. You’re not delivering papers on an especially traffic-y street, my good man.

“When you’re not here I’m suffocating” This is just too much. Unless it’s referring to the job. In which, yes, Bond, you can’t survive without your 007 status. Not for long, anyway, the films suggest.

I’m a little bummed at the content, as well. Given the prominence of Spectre (the organization), the word’s association with ghosts, phantoms, spirits of the past, and all the skulls and imagery that have been produced for the film, that this isn’t more haunting or isn’t hitting at some of those areas. The context we know seems rife for songwriting.

There’s just something about WRITING’S ON THE WALL that is so soft after vulnerable after the strong, deliberate, willful SKYFALL. Initially it’s off-putting and inconsistent, but I know Smith knows more about the film than we do, so I can’t hate too much for that reason.

Also, I’m just going to say it: the falsetto is distracting. It takes me out of the Bond trance. I wonder how this will work on screen.

All of that being said, if you know Bond themes, you know they are often highly time specific. Songs like SKYFALL and GOLDFINGER and LIVE AND LET DIE are rare, especially when you consider the popularity of Adele and Paul McCartney And Wings. Artists like Madonna, Duran Duran, Garbage, and ultimately Sam Smith, contextualize the film within the world and time it’s produced. That in itself has a value and a place in the Bond Canon.

I admit the song needs to be imbibed in the context of the film, and I look forward to seeing and hearing it in theaters this fall. I like the song enough. I just wish it could have been more.

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Pensive in London

So did a lot of people shout something or other at the TV last week when Sherlock Season 3, Episode One “The Empty Hearse” aired? I sure did. Because this scene

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Even Elizabeth Tower could be seen if it weren’t for my blown out phone-pic-of-TV.

was pretty much ripped off of this scene in SKYFALL. 

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I realize I must admit, could easily be modeled after five other reflective rooftop scenes in British cinema and TV. But still! This blatant staging was too soon for this wannabe Anglophile.

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ONE WEEK. ONE MONTH.

ImageFirst of all: SEVEN DAYS to Global James Bond Day! 

I’ve been plotting my outfits. And there might also be a big surprise. Get ready.

Not feeling the excitement? Well, if you didn’t already check out the fun online via this recent post, howsabout you crack-up and reminisce over these Flavorwire’s 50 Favorite Bond Quotes, or get jacked on all the cool people to look at on my Pinterest board JamesBond&007

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Books. Authors. Actors. Films. Places.

Today is also exactly one month until I pilgrimage to Bond-and-English-lit-nerd Mecca, and I want to give you a little idea of what’s in store (because, well, it doesn’t quite feel real yet, and I need to get more amped about it). My big adventures include:

-The Hollywood Costume Exhibition at the V&A (I don’t know what I’m more excited about, being in a costume exhibit that close to Halloween, or seeing the V&A. Probably the V&A.)

-A possible visit to the Pre-Raphaelite Victorian exhibit at the Tate Britain (I effing love anything Victorian, especially the brother of Christina Gabriel Rossetti, Dante.) 

-I’m going to The Old Vic to see Hedda Gabbler, and The National Theater for some Shakespeare and Timon of Athens (I’m screwed, really. There’s no way I’ll understand anything while listening to those beautiful accents!)

-Day trip to Bond in Motion and the National Motor Museum (This is entirely why I’m going to London this exact year, and not saving money until I actually have it. Also, there is a replica De Lorean and the Flying Car from Harry Potter.)

-Day trip to Bath, Stonehenge, and Windsor, with a stop for lunch at Lacock (Bath has the Jane Austen Centre. I could probably spend the whole trip there, sans Bond. And the little town with an Abbey, Lacock, is where they filmed some British classics, you’ve maybe heard of them, like Cranford and Pride and Prejudice and Harry Potter.)

-Day trip to Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, and Dover (THANK GOD I’m finally seeing a benefit to being forced to read Canterbury Tales in high school.)

Skyfall in theaters a week earlier than in US (Priceless.)

There’s more, like a Dickens walking tour, and shopping, and eating, and drinking, and two-day passes for bus tours to see all the city sites I can cram into my little eyeballs. But damnit, I’m already more excited just telling you about it. 

 

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A Bond for the People

This 23rd film premiere coinciding (not accidentally, we are all certain) with the anniversary of the release of Dr. No and 50 years of Bond glory, is really bringing Bond to the masses.

1. Royal Approval 

Like the Queen’s Bond tribute wasn’t enough during the Olympics, the biggest news in this arena is the announcement that Prince Charles and Camilla will be attending the October 23rd Skyfall premiere–and the screening will (fittingly) benefit Charles’ chosen charities: those that support members of the three intelligence agencies – the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), the Security Service (MI5) and GCHQ. How cool is that? Seriously. A franchise that has been glorifying an undoubtedly hard, tragic, and far less glamorous lifestyle for 50 years is going to give back–yes, just a tiny amount–to the families and people who have served.

2. Global Holiday

I told you about Global James Bond Day. Everyone in the world will celebrate the birth of the film franchise and what it’s done for cinema. And this isn’t just some namesake event: “Worldwide events celebrating Bond’s golden anniversary include a global online and live charity auction event organised by Christie’s in London, a global survey to discover the favourite Bond film country by country, a film retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, a Music of Bond night in Los Angeles hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Designing 007: 50 Years of James Bond Style opens at TIFF in Toronto.” Hell yes.

3. A View to a Thrill 

Part of a yearlong celebration of Bond, the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu (England)  has a special exhibit open to the public: Bond in Motion, which features 50 different vehicles from Bond films. Staring at that 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III three feet in front of you brings Auric Goldfinger that much closer to everyday Bond fans.

4. Favorites from the Fans 

The interwebs are letting Bond-obsessed fans, like me, have our say, too. Which is not only fun, but also pretty great, since we seem to think we know everything and have the best opinions. In conjunction with its Facbeook page (James Bond 007), 007.com is letting fans vote for the Best Bond Movie Ever. Visiting the tab on their page will display 22 film posters that link to video clips and info for each film (a great way to recap if you aren’t trying to watch all the films before the Nov 9 US premier, like me) and let you select which film you think is the best of Bond. They are also posting “Fans Favourite Bond Moments: Between now and the release of SKYFALL we’ll be posting one of your favourite Bond moments every day, with commentary from you, Bond’s biggest fans.” A while back they asked us followers of James Bond 007 to tell them our favorite movie moment. Now, each day they release a clip and commentary from some of the people who wrote in about it. What fun! I’d certainly love to see my favorite clip up there–I suggested Q’s last briefing in The World is Not Enough.

5. Major Media

Because the 50th is garnering such attention, we’ve also seen major American media outlets pickup on the history and premiere. Sure, Bond’s style frequently makes it into men’s magazines, but I don’t think I’ve seen this much heat on the full franchise in quite some time. If you want to know the history behind Bond–and I mean, a whole lot of history, from the life of Fleming, Saltzman, and Broccoli to the upbringing of Connery–check out “The Birth of Bond” by David Kamp in Vanity Fair. It’s incredibly interesting and filled with a lot of fun facts–Roger Moore was supposed to be the first Bond! Fleming didn’t like Connery! There are also connections drawn between Bond and Scooby-Doo and Don Draper, but you’ll just have to read to find out how. Vanity Fair has also recently released staff picks for the best of Bond and a slideshow of images from the franchise–many of which show behind-the-scenes takes with the people not on screen, like Young, Saltzman, and Broccoli. You can also pick up the LIFE special edition (I snagged it yesterday) which has a photo of Connery and Fleming that I just adore.

6. Going Mainstream 

Finally, in one week, all 22 films will be released on blu-ray. Now, I bought the last big box release in college–pre-Craig–so I don’t think I’ll be jumping all over this. But anyone with a blu-ray player (again, not me) should be eating this up. I hope many moms and dads will pass on the “Oh, James!” love to their kids the way my dad did with me.

Although I don’t actually recall what the hype was like with Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace (sorry, I was in college, and excessive sorority life may have dimmed my memories–except the one where I wanted to give up Bond forever at the midnight showing of QoS), I do think that it was nothing compared to this. I am glad, for one, because I think QoS almost ruined Bond–I still don’t own the movie–but also because I hear that some folks gave up after The World is Not Enough (fucking Denise Richards),  and that there are some, God forbid, who don’t know anything about what came before GoldenEye. Let them eat cake, or drink vodka martinis, and get educated!

I guess here would be a good place to tell you that this really is a Bond for the people–even the poor, common American like myself. Not only will I be dressing like leading ladies to celebrate, and sending James Bond postcards for GJBD,  in late October I will be traveling to London. My tickets are already booked for Bond in Motion, and I have more than one free afternoon available to see Skyfall in theaters. I’ll be arriving home just in time for the midnight US premiere, which I wouldn’t miss for the world–jet lag be damned.

After all, you only live twice.

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New SKYFALL international trailer

Ladies and Gents-

The newest SKYFALL trailer is live.

This IS going to be a Bond movie. It just feels like a Bond movie. My faith in humanity is restored.

So good to see some action with Ben Wishaw and Javier Bardem. And Berenice Marlohe and Naomie Harris. And to see James goes for some old fashioned shower sex and womanizing. Fabulous.
86 days! [visit 007.com for an up-to-the-minute countdown, and all the other goodies]

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Q is back!

After the shitstorm known as Daniel Craig ruined my favorite parts of JamesBondom (the shaken-not-stirred martinis, the gadgets, the reckless sex, and the other little bits that defined the franchise), I didn’t think it would happen. But it did, and now, ladies and gents…

Q is back! 

Ben Whishaw playing a much younger rendition of Q

Entertainment Weekly announces here (with excellent photography to pinpoint the evolution of Q) that the beloved long-time character of Q is returning in a fresh new fashion. Although he’s lost the cravat since last I saw him on the big screen, Ben Whishaw is certainly not going to be lacking his poetic way with words. A new Skyfall trailer released at San Diego Comic Con (only my absolute Mecca) has Q telling Bond that he could “kill more people with his computer, while wearing pajamas at home, than Bond can do in a year.”

Yeehaw, kiddos!

Also notable: Villainous Javier Bardem still remains unseen for the most part. MI6 lost a flash drive with, like, the identities of all the secret agents (wasn’t that an episode of Spooks?). And there are rumors of M’s death. Losing Judi Dench is acceptable–losing the character of M is not. Don’t make me regret my current praise, Barb.

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well fuck me

Now I’m only fairly (not completely) certain I’m going to hate SKYFALL. 

God.

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