Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Quantum of Solace???

This Friday marks the release of the 22nd EON Bond film, & those of you who read this regularly know I'm some-what of a James Bond enthusiast. Though I've only seen 5 of the films in the theater (A View to a Kill @ Fairlane Towncenter in Dearborne w/ my soccer team, The Living Daylights @ the now defunct Gaslight Cinema in Petoskey w/ my friend Brad, Goldeneye @ Showcase Ann Arbor w/ Stephanie, The World is Not Enough @ the Goodrich Quality 16 in Ann Arbor w/ Stephanie & Casino Royale @ the Showcase Ann Arbor w/ Jean), I've made a habit out of watching them on TV since I saw For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, & Never Say Never Again @ the Rossis' house in the early '80s. The fact that there are 21 of these films (plus Never Say Never Again which isn't included in the official Bond canon), averaging about 2 hours each, & that I've seen them an average of 5.318181 times (I did the math to the best of my ability which is hampered by the fact that I'm guessing how many times I've seen each film... 8 for Dr. No, 2 for License to Kill... it might not be exact but it is close enough), suggests that I've spent 234 hours watching James Bond films which comes to 9.75 days of my life. This seems like a lot, but considering the fact that I've been alive for roughly 294,768 hours, 234 isn't really that much. Besides, I'm absolutely certain that there are many people out there who have spent a greater percentage of their lives watching Bond films, not to mention the people out there who have spent many more total hours watching them.

Although the film was released in the UK last month, it isn't out here yet so I obviously can't review it yet. Having spent so much time watching the others, I feel that I can make a basic preliminary observation though. The title sucks! Apparently, Daniel Craig came up w/ it in an attempt to avoid the hacky titles that deal w/ death & blood. Furthermore, it's taken from a Flemming short story about Bond @ a dinner party which apparently contains no action. It's more of a tribute to W. Summerset Maugham w/ the focus on irony & character development... not Bond's mind you, the character development of 2 people w/ whom Bond never actually speaks. Supposedly, the film has absolutely nothing to do w/ the story which means they could have come up w/ a better title & no one would have been the wiser. It sounds like they pulled random words out of a hat (incidentally, this is also how George Lucas came up w/ the prequal titles). Of all the ways they come up w/ Bond titles, this has to be the worst system. And as best as I can figure there are ways it's been done
1) Name of bad guy = name of film (Dr. No, Goldfinger, etc)
2) Random message in the film (From Russia w/ Love, For Your Eyes Only, etc)
3) Name of evil plan (Thunderball, Moonraker, etc)
4) Random line in the film (You Only Live Twice, Live and Let Die, etc)
5) Random secret agent lingo (On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Licence to Kill, etc)
5.1) Occasionally, there is also a secondary consideration in the naming, specifically, it makes a cool song title ("Live and let Die," "A View to a Kill," etc)
Unveiling a brand new naming system 46 years into the series just doesn't seem right. I'm sure I'm going to love this film as much as I love the rest, & probably more than I love most of them, but it's hard to really embrace a film w/ such a shit name. I'm sure this is the reason films like Manos: The Hands of Fate & Mitchell never really took off. The again, Forrest Gump was huge so I guess you never know.


jason said...

The title Quantum of Solace makes no sense, but it's a kick ass title. The word quantum is cool. Now here are the least cool Bond villians:

Andre said...

An interesting (though flawed) list. Thanks for the link.

jason said...

While we're at it, here are the top 10 Bond quotes:


Andre said...

Nice! kep 'em coming.