White Cover Magazine
Oh, am I late already?
This is what happens now. A trailer is released – sorry, dropped – and the Internet’s quickest-to-midnight ejaculate all over YouTube and their own blogs within five minutes of MGM’s first Tweet. And the weirdest part of all that above is, MGM. Yes, Metro Goldwyn-Mayer has one trick up its sleeve, and its sleeves are well cuffed and crisply linked – this is James Bond, after all.
I’m not great with hurrying, not in the published sense. I have an ongoing series called ‘Belated Film Reviews’ to suit my laziness, a way of legitimizing the five years it takes me to put my thoughts on the web. I’ve only recently started to write about the 90s.
But fortunately, Bond’s a fan of nostalgia. Skyfall was a two-hour tribute to Ian Fleming’s original ideas, a reach-back to the good ol’ days and the Cold War, with Judi Dench using Tennyson to slam the 21st century’s jump to judgment and a terrific guest-starring role from Albert Finney, but with enough new-age stuff – Ben Whishaw’s messy hair cast for Q, Javier Bardem being into gadgets and gay, and Naomie Harris’s awesome rotation into Moneypenny – to launch you from black-and-white through colour and onto 3D.
The past is behind Bond now, supposedly. But is the past ever passed?
That’s why Sam Mendes and crew have pivoted to Spectre, a redux on the criminal organization that threw goofy villains at 007 in essentially every film before GoldenEye. What was once intimidating before cheesy as the decades moved on, from Blofeld’s bald head to the stroking of his cat.
The audience entered the room and Sean Connery’s chair spun around to face the door, but Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton were sitting down instead. It wasn’t perfect, but it was Bond. And even in the series’ worst instalments, in the present it’s always seemed suitable. Or expected. Or perfect, kinda.
Even that awful Brosnan one with the ice palace and Halle Berry’s orange bikini – Die Another Day, right? – pulled in $430 million worldwide. Because, Double-Oh-Seven, that’s why.
Now though, the movies are good. And they’re staying great. Casino Royale was a gorgeous film. Quantum of Solace was a decent sequel, or Part B. Skyfall was excellent, and it earned so much money, not even a Bond villain himself could have created a scam so profitable.
Spectre is playing it right so far, too. Monica Bellucci is the Bond woman to end all Bond girls. Christoph Waltz has been on a collision course for this part since 2009. Daniel Craig is Bond now – deal with it, Connery heads.
And the rest will fall into form. Because it has to, and it always has. 53 years is proof enough.
Naomie Harris is the first person we see… a way of letting us know what this movie is without climaxing two seconds in.
Cold climates. Water. Landscapes and a zoomed-out camera… Wait, did we ever leave Skyfall?
Monica Bellucci. It’s never too late.
CAR LIGHTS. RAWR!
He pauses and puts down a ring. This must be an important ring.
“Christoph Waltz, I presume?” That’s what Christoph Waltz would say.