“Sometimes the old ways are still the best ways.”
This is the thesis of Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film released in this 50th Anniversary year of the franchise. The point is articulated by different characters in the context of shaving and in planning for an assault, but it’s all over the film even when it goes unspoken. If Casino Royale was a deconstruction of 007, then Skyfall is the reconstruction. It’s not about reinstating the classic Bond Formula, though, nearly as much as it is finding a place in the modern era for the elements that helped to make Bond, Bond.
“THE SCENT and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. Then the soul-erosion produced by high gambling – a compost of greed and fear and nervous tension – becomes unbearable, and the senses awake and revolt from it.”
This is how Ian Fleming introduced us to the world of James Bond in his 1953 debut novel, Casino Royale. We learn throughout the novel of Bond’s background; he served as a naval intelligence officer during World War II where he proved himself more than capable. Fleming explains the basic machinations of MI-6, embellished of course with lots of cloak and dagger stuff borne of his own imagination. Read the rest of this entry »
This week’s Reel Rumbles deals with the subject of kicking ass and taking names. And for this task there are no two men better qualified than James Bond and Jason Bourne. Both men got their start in the literary world – Bond in author Ian Fleming’s iconic novels and Bourne in the 1980 novel by author Robert Ludlum. Though both writers are now deceased, they live on in two of the most recognizable characters in all of literature and film. While many have taken on the mantle of Bond over the last 50 years, none have done so with the intensity of Daniel Craig, who had some big shoes to fill in his 2006 debut. As for Bourne, Matt Damon had a much easier time making the role his own, with Richard Chamberlain his only previous competition from The Bourne Identity’s 1988 mini-series. Both films are arguably the best in the history of their respective franchises, but which one wins head-to-head? Find out in Casino Royale vs. The Bourne Identity.