October 26, 2005

The Name's Blond - James Blond

The Name’s Blond – James Blond

An actor by the name of Daniel Craig has been chosen to be the next James Bond and debut in a re-makeof Casino Royale. Craig, being promoted as the first blond 007, promises to also be the first judgmental, lefty, politically correct James Bond. Trailing clouds of Za-NuLabour and Blairesque prudishness, this cold, ruthless, licensed-to-kill special agent doesn’t approve of … uh, guns. He hates, them, he told the British celebrity organ of record, OK Magazine.

“Handguns are used to shoot people,” he said, demonstrating a grasp of technology rare in the acting profession. “And as long as they are around, people will shoot each other. It’s a simple fact.”

Apparently no one asked him why shooting in self-defense is wrong. One has a mean-minded suspicion that should the lofty Mr Craig encounter an intruder in his home in the middle of the night, he is confident that he could charm him into going away nicely.

Sean Connery and Roger Moore, the two most successful Bonds, always had the nous and good humour to go along with the gag in public and preserve the glossy image. Daniel Craig, though, is bigger than his role. Couldn’t he at least pretend to like martinis “stirred, not shaken”? But no. "I love a martini straight up. I don't think anybody makes a martini stirred any more," he added pettishly, hinting that not only may Agent 007 no longer be on the cutting edge stylewise, but might also be a bit of an old martini pedant. With a star like this, who needs Goldfinger?

It is baffling that outing himself as a ban-handguns-nut didn’t immediately prompt the producers to rethink casting him. A James Bond who shoots himself in the foot sounds more Night at The Opera than Casino Royale.

Posted by Verity at October 26, 2005 12:42 PM

England has fallen on hard times indeed. But, perhaps he can act, and pretend he likes guns and martinis prepared the appropriate, Bond-ian, way. But whatever happens, with glorious DVD we will always have the real thing -- From Russia With Love, and You Only Live Twice being my favorites.

Posted by: Lex at October 26, 2005 12:56 PM

Perhaps the producers are aiming more for the Peter Sellers version of Bond...

Posted by: Captain Mojo at October 26, 2005 01:02 PM

Yeah, a funny Bond could be funny. But there is no one like Peter Sellers these days to pull it off.

I'd like to see a turn completely the other way, a hard-nosed, gritty, lethal Bond, struggling with Colombian drug lords and Al Qaeda terrorists and ex-Soviet gun-runners, the kind of guys Ralph Peters writes about, who need to be hunted down like rats. I'd like to see a James Bond who lived up to his double-O license, one of the Queen's Killers, not some perfumed, metrosexual pretty boy.

Alas, the franchise appears to be going the wrong way entirely.

Posted by: Lex at October 26, 2005 01:39 PM

Well, let's see what they do with Casino Royale -- the first and probably the grittiest of the Bonds. But the new James Bland is, I agree, not off to a promising start.

Posted by: Jim Bennett at October 26, 2005 02:05 PM

SPECTRE will immediately surrender to hugs and fluffy bunnies!

Oh well, at least he did say he could 'act' like he believed in the use of guns. I guess that's what amounts to a stiff upper lip in some parts of British society these days ...

Posted by: Brock at October 26, 2005 02:07 PM

SPECTRE could be depicted as a rogue operation which "went private" after the USSR fell. It could be implicated in a nefarious effort by rogue Iranian mullahs trying to sneak nuclear components to Hizbullah. Meanwhile, an extraordinarily good looking Lebanese woman who is really a Mossad spy is onto the situation. Bond receives a cryptic email, which he knows is the signal to report to London for instructions ... .

The plain fact is that the world we live in now is more Bondian than ever. Oh, Fleming, wouldst that thou were with us at this hour ... .

Posted by: Lex at October 26, 2005 03:00 PM

Hi all:
Frankly I don't care about the actor's opinions. From what I understand he's a skilled actor. Good; now I want the writers to do their job and prepare a good script so that Craig merely has to parrot the words and act appropriately.
I agree with you and I've always found Fleming to be quite perceptive. He subconsciously detected the next generation of fighting that lurked underneath the Cold war.
One last point, I don't want Bond to be a comedy- humourous yes but I want the next Bond film to be serious without being earnest.


Posted by: xavier at October 26, 2005 03:40 PM

I am not sure Daniel Craig can act but it is hardly an issue for the Bond films. But I do deplore the recent (well recentish) habit of asking luvvies what they think about the parts they play. One can't help recalling what Olivier said to Dustin Hoffman when he tried to sound off: "Just act, dear boy."

Posted by: Helen at October 26, 2005 03:54 PM

Ah, that Olivier story. Classic. The way I heard it is even better. They were working together on the rather good movie Marathon Man -- MM was to the dentist chair what Jaws was to the ocean.

Hoffman, the epitome of a method actor, is playing a guy who has been up for two days and nights. So, of course, he actually HAS been up for two days and nights. Olivier sees him and says, "my dear boy, you look awful". Hoffman tells him he has been "getting into the role." Olivier says, "you should try acting, it is much easier."

Posted by: Lex at October 26, 2005 04:12 PM

At the Bond announcement in London, he also made some sort of statement about being scared by how fast the speed boat was going. Don't actors understand that these sorts of things impact how others see them on screen? If he keeps it up at this rate, potential moviegoers will see the actor as a gigantic pussy by the time the film goes into production. The producers need to have a talk with him. Of course, the movies have sucked so much recently precisely because the producers are idiots, so I don't have high hopes.

Posted by: lindenen at October 26, 2005 09:21 PM

"...the producers are idiots..." Yeah, those prizes are rightfully ours. Any gang of Bond fans with a coupel of cases of beer, a laptop and a printer could come up with a better screenplay in a weekend than the crap they have foisted on us. This is a systemic problem. The scripts are written by committee, and end up being incoherent in any big-budget movie. A good example of this is the Star Wars series, which started out pretty much stoopid, but in a sort of cool way, and then ended up being totally retarded and pathetic. The guy who came up with Darth Vader's blog is an absolute genius, and he actually cares about the thing. There are other people who are the same way about Bond, who love the image, the Fleming books, the idea of a Brit who kicks ass. They'd work for cases of beer and produce something breathtaking. But it will never happen.

Posted by: Lex at October 26, 2005 09:45 PM

Just testing the comments, by the administrator...

Posted by: Rand Simberg at October 26, 2005 11:25 PM

I don't know what happens in the States, but over on this side of the pond, Lex, nobody reads the Fleming books. Well, not nobody obviously, but very few, indeed. The films - and I am not that interested because I am not into gizmos - have become an entity of their own. If Daniel Craig goes on making moronic statements, he may well wreck it all but will, undoubtedly, get a prize of some kind from the "film industry".

Posted by: Helen at October 27, 2005 03:18 AM

The books are not widely read. In fact, they are not well-written. I looked at some of them years ago, and I don't think I even read one of them through. I think I just flipped through to see how close they were to the movies. I recall that the Bond they depict is a cold, tough killer, not the dashing Sean Connery at all.

Posted by: Lex at October 27, 2005 08:58 AM

The real life inspiration for Bond is said to be the playboy spy Dusko Popov. It is the requirements to qualify as a playboy that have changed since Flemming wrote.

Posted by: Richard Heddleson at October 27, 2005 06:17 PM


Codename Tricycle: The True Story of the Second World War's Most Extraordinary Double Agent (Paperback)

by Russell Miller
A gripping and colourful portrait of a celebrated, glamorous, and daring double-agent - possibly the inspiration for James Bond - who epitomised everything we associate with the life of the spy. A wealthy lawyer, debonair ladies' man, consummate actor, and courageous gambler, Dusko Popov played the role of playboy amongst the top echelons of British society to become one of Germany's most trusted spies. In fact, he was one of Britain's most successful double agents, and, some say, the inspiration for James Bond. With full access to FBI and MI5 records, along with private family papers, his incredible adventures can now be told authoritatively for the first time. Recruited by the Abwehr in 1940, 27-year-old Popov immediately offered his services to the British. His code-name was Tricycle. Throughout the war he fed the Germans with a constant stream of military 'intelligence', all vetted by MI5, and came to be viewed as their most important and reliable agent in Britain. But when he was ordered by the Abwehr to the United States to report on the defences at Pearl Harbor, J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, failed to heed his warnings, distrusting all spies and detesting Popov in particular, whom he considered to be 'a moral degenerate'. Facing the danger of exposure, arrest and execution on a daily basis, Tricycle went on to build up a network known as the Yugoslav Ring, which not only delivered a stream of false information to Berlin but also supplied vital intelligence to the Allies on German rocketry, strategy and security. After the war Dusko Popov was granted British citizenship and awarded an OBE. The presentation was made, appropriately, in the cocktail bar at the Ritz.

Posted by: Deborah at November 26, 2006 08:32 PM

An interesting quote by Nikola Tesla...

One day man will connect his apparatus to the very wheelwork of the universe... and the very forces that motivate the planets in their orbits and cause them to rotate will rotate his own machinery

Posted by: Deborah at November 28, 2006 08:07 PM
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