Bond. James Bond. It seems he has been around forever. To me he has been. After all, he was around long before I was born.
Because of when I was born, I missed the Sean Connery and Roger Moore years of James Bond. Most Bond fanatics will tell you that Sean Connery is the one and only James Bond. I’m not sure I can agree with that. Not because I don’t believe it, but because I haven’t seen enough of the old Bond movies to know for sure.
By the time I was old enough to be allowed to watch Bond movies, it was the Timothy Dalton era. His first Bond movie, The Living Daylights, came out in 1987, when I was 9 years old. His other one, License To Kill, came out two years later when I was 11. I don’t actually remember if I watched the first one, but I do remember watching the second one. Other than that, I don’t remember anything about it. I don’t remember the plot, the characters, or the stunts. I just remember that I watched it.
According to those Bond fanatics, not remembering it is a good thing. They hated the two Timothy Dalton movies. I’ve been trying my hardest to try to remember anything else about the movies, but all I’m getting is a vague sense of indifference. I didn’t like the movies, but I didn’t hate them, either. Because of the indifference towards them, I never really went out of my way to watch the old ones. I would catch bits and pieces of them when they were on TV, but that was the extent of it. I never really got into Bond until Goldeneye.
Goldeneye is a great movie. I liked everything about it. Did Pierce Brosnan spout a few cheesy lines? Sure. Was Xenia Onatopp, an assassin woman who killed by squeezing men between her legs, a little over-the-top? Of course. Do I remember the movie more fondly because the video game was so badass? Perhaps…. but I still like the movie anyways. Pierce played James in three more films, but Goldeneye was my favorite of his.
Now, it’s the Daniel Craig era. I loved Casino Royale. He kicked so much ass in that movie. Quantum of Solace was good, too, but I like Casino Royale better. I have yet to see Sky Fall (I actually borrowed it a month ago from someone, but haven’t gotten a chance to watch it yet. Oy vey). I’ve heard that it’s the best of the Daniel Craig Bond movies, and if it is, that’s saying something.
Throughout the Brosnan/Craig run of Bond, I still had yet to see any more than 10 minutes of any Bond movie made before 1987…..until a couple of days ago. It was midnight and I was trying to get my daughter to go to sleep. I was flipping through the channels and saw that one of the movie stations had an old Bond movie on, The Man With the Golden Gun (Roger Moore). It was Bond. It was Christopher Lee as a bad guy (Hey, it worked in Lord of the Rings and Star Wars). It was midnight. What the hell? I’ll give it a shot. Last night, another late night, it was Goldfinger (Sean Connery)(Am I the only other person to notice the ‘gold’ trend? What was Ian Fleming’s fascination with gold?)
After watching those two movies, I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t enjoy the old Bond movies. Not because they’re bad, but because they’re old. Since the time that these movies have been made, there have been major advancements in stunt work, fight choreography, and special effects that make those old movies look horrible. I’ll give you some examples.
In The Man With the Golden Gun, there’s a part where Christopher Lee, as Scaramunga, hooks wings to his car and turns it into a plane. It looked like they glued a glider to the top of the car, so it was incredibly cheesy looking. When it shows “the car” taking off, it looked just like what it probably was…. a modified model airplane. During the shots where it was flying, the camera was so far away from “the car” that all you saw was a dot up in the sky. It was too far away to tell what it actually was.
In Goldfinger, I found myself really anxious to see the fight between Bond and Oddjob, as Oddjob is supposed to be one of Bond’s toughest villains. It was so disappointing. It starts off with Bond throwing a gold brick at him. It bounces off his chest and Oddjob just smiles. They spend the rest of the fight pushing and pulling each other, mostly.
I’m sure at the time these movies were made, these were top of the line things. Nowadays, however, even the crappiest Syfy original movies have better things in them. I’m sure if I had seen these movies when I was younger (before I had seen some of the newer movies) I probably would love the old Bond movies. As it stands right now, I can’t watch them anymore. I find myself thinking these kinds of things throughout the whole movie: “That looks like crap.” “This fight is horrible. You could see that punch coming from a mile away.” “Pussy Galore? Really???”
I can’t watch them. I might try watching more later on, but I can’t watch them anymore right now.