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Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)" 
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Post Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
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Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:06 am
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
I thought of Licence To Kill as a Connery film in spirit--or maybe retroactively a Craig film. It achieves more of a sense of the Fleming books than any of the nearby films in the canon, although it lacks a cohesive story to underpin that sense. Everything is right except for that.

I'm cautiously optimistic for Skyfall. I have no illusions about Sam Mendes doing anything other than a workmanlike job and the thrill of Casino Royale was pretty well killed by Quantum of Solace, but now these guys have had an opportunity to gain a sense of what works and what doesn't for Bond in the 21st century. I'm hoping for more Flemingesque spy intrigue and less run-and-gun nonsense.

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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
G'Day James,

Good article, as a Bond's fan, I enjoyed it very much now it strikes me in your article that you did not mention the influence of Jason Bourne movies in Craig's Bond like others journalists . For instance:

Quote:
For both Ms. Broccoli and Sony, executives said, the model was Jason Bourne, the character Matt Damon successfully incarnated in two gritty spy movies for Universal Pictures, "The Bourne Identity" and "The Bourne Supremacy."
from http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/15/movies/MoviesFeatures/15bond.html

What is your opinion about it?

Cheers

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Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:53 pm
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
Ken wrote:
I thought of Licence To Kill as a Connery film in spirit--or maybe retroactively a Craig film. It achieves more of a sense of the Fleming books than any of the nearby films in the canon


I agree with that.

I'm hopeful for Skyfall. Mendes is competent enough that he can make it work.

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Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:02 pm
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
James Berardinelli wrote:

I like Timothy Dalton as an actor, and I tend to associate the poor quality of his Bond films as having much more to do with the piss-poor writing of the scripts for those films as well as the fact that one of them was adapted from a poor non-Fleming Bond work (License to Kill). A poor adaptation is bad enough (see The Spy Who Loved Me), but when the source material itself is poor to begin with, the issue is compounded exponentially.

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Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:27 pm
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
For Skyfall, the advertising moment that should boost this film over the top $$$ wise would be him and the Queen during the Olympics.

I liked License to Kill a lot when it came out and still do today. I can't watch Roger Moore Bond movies anymore. I am hopeful for a run a quality movies around Bond as the person has had very little done with him over the years until recently.


Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:58 pm
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
Hmm.

Sorry, James. I'm a huge fan of yours and your site but I have to disagree with some of the things you've written in this Bond Reelthoughts.

Firstly, the grosses of the early Bond movies are hugely inflated due to them being re-released several times each before the advent of home video (becoming popular) in the eighties. They certainly did not earn these numbers upon their original release.

Also, the producers did not put Bond "on hiatus" after Licence To Kill. The delay was (mainly) due to legal problems holding up production of Dalton's third film. They wanted him to do a third but he refused after the half-decade wait and moved onto other things.

Also, Licence To Kill was never marketed as some sort of paired-down Bond. Anyone who regularly went to the cinema / theatres during the spring/Summer of 1989 would have witnessed LTK marketed almost as strongly as Batman or Lethal Weapon 2, with an action-packed trailer to match. It's a fantastic movie and it's poor box-office performance is a puzzle to me to this day. Pretty much every movie-going friend I have agrees with me that the two Dalton movies were MUCH better than every Moore movie (post-The Spy Who Loved Me) and EVERY Brosnan flick (yes, even the hugely overrated, cliche-ridden Goldeneye).


Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:01 am
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
I think the main reason LTK failed at the box-office was because it had too much competition in the summer, whereas in the fall Bond films usually had little to compete against.


Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:50 am
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
I've always admired Timothy Dalton's grittier take on Bond, which is both reminiscent of early Connery as well as truer to the spirit of Bond stories from Fleming (Daniel Craig takes a similar approach to Bond as well). The failure of The Living Daylights (which was originally conceived, if I'm not mistaken, as a project for Roger Moore until he decided to bow out) was indeed in the poor writing, as well as having two of the most limp and pathetic Bond villains in the entire franchise in the forms of Joe Don Baker and Jeroen Krabbe, and a relatively boring Bond girl in the form of Maryam D'Abo (the quality of the Bond films are closely tied to the quality of the villains).

The failure of License to Kill is more perplexing, and could indeed be due to the film being released in the summer in direct competition with the Stallone and Schwarzenegger action flicks.


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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
Scritti wrote:
Firstly, the grosses of the early Bond movies are hugely inflated due to them being re-released several times each before the advent of home video (becoming popular) in the eighties. They certainly did not earn these numbers upon their original release.


Let's take THUNDERBALL. Only had one major U.S. release. Was not re-released wide *ever*. Went to network TV starting in 1968. (Similar story with all the Bonds. None of them got major re-releases.) So that's an inaccurate statement.

You should read the article more carefully. All of the numbers are very clearly presented as "adjusted for inflation" so as to compare apples-to-apples. THUNDERBALL's domestic gross in 1964 dollars, per boxofficemojo, was $63.6M, but that's when tickets cost on average less than $1. Adjusting for inflation, that comes out to be $600M (also per boxofficemojo).

Scritti wrote:
Also, the producers did not put Bond "on hiatus" after Licence To Kill. The delay was (mainly) due to legal problems holding up production of Dalton's third film. They wanted him to do a third but he refused after the half-decade wait and moved onto other things.


There was more involved than just a rights squabble. There was a very definite possibility that another Bond would not be made due to the poor performance of LTK. The legal impasse was instrumental in canceling the third Dalton film, originally scheduled for 1991. However, the legal issues were resolved by 1992. At that time, both MGM/UA and Eon decided that Bond would fare best with a longer layoff and a new actor.

Scritti wrote:
Also, Licence To Kill was never marketed as some sort of paired-down Bond. Anyone who regularly went to the cinema / theatres during the spring/Summer of 1989 would have witnessed LTK marketed almost as strongly as Batman or Lethal Weapon 2, with an action-packed trailer to match.


Again, please read what I wrote. I never wrote anything about LTK's marketing. I wrote that the movie itself was scaled back from the excesses of THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS.


Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:41 pm
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
Quote:
At that time, both MGM/UA and Eon decided that Bond would fare best with a longer layoff and a new actor.


so Dalton is lying? what's your source? I'm pretty sure I've read that Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli wanted Dalton back for a 3rd Bond film as well.

Quote:
In an interview with the Daily Mail in August 1993, Dalton indicated that Michael France was writing the screenplay for the new film, and the production was to begin in January or February 1994.[16] When the deadline was not met, Dalton surprised everyone on 12 April 1994 with the announcement that he would not return as James Bond. At this time, he was shooting the mini-series Scarlett. The announcement for the new Bond came two months later, with Pierce Brosnan playing the role. Dalton reflected in 2007, "I was supposed to make one more but it was cancelled because MGM and the film's producers got into a lawsuit which lasted for five years. After that, I didn't want to do it any more."[17]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Dalton

Quote:
There was a very definite possibility that another Bond would not be made due to the poor performance of LTK.


it made 156 mill WW, & had a 32 mill budget. It was not a 'poor' performance by any means(Bond was always a franchise where intl grosses were higher than US, so I think your emphasis on just US grosses is a bit misleading)


Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:40 pm
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
Vexer wrote:
I think the main reason LTK failed at the box-office was because it had too much competition in the summer, whereas in the fall Bond films usually had little to compete against.

It's a little tough to gauge; after all, starting with "You Only Live Twice," all Bond movies up through the end of the '80s (with the exceptions of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," "Diamonds Are Forever" and "The Man with the Golden Gun") received summer releases and managed to be relatively successful. Then again, the summer of '89 was arguably the first-ever summer to have more than just a few blockbuster titles on its plate. It was the summer of "Batman," "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," "Lethal Weapon 2," "Ghostbusters 2," "Star Trek: The Final Frontier," "The Abyss," etc. It may have just gotten lost in the shuffle... or it may just have been the chilly response to Dalton in the role in general.


Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:57 pm
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
I take the side that a big part of the problem is that James Bond was already many times beyond his natural life expectancy by the time auds finally started getting weary of his adventures.

Reactions to The Dark Knight Rises were pretty subdued, and that's only movie #3 after an extraordinarily positive reaction to movie #2. Now imagine over a dozen Batman films produced at a more or less constant rate. You can begin to see how it might get perfunctory after a while. Another few years, another movie. Tradition would become pretty much the only reason to maintain interest.

And, as many people have pointed out, moviegoers in 1989 were not short on alternatives. A lot of them were crap, but even crap can cause a disastrous multi-way split in the box office totals if there's enough of it.

This would also mean that one reason why GoldenEye was much better received was the simple fact that people had time to stop taking for granted that there would be a new James Bond movie every few years. They had time to miss the character and remember why they enjoyed seeing the movies.

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Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:01 pm
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
I always feel that Brosnon's Bond suffered becuase he never had a great villain.
Connery had at least Goldfinger,
Moore had Jaws
Dalton had Robert Davi ( perhaps the most realistic bond villaiin)
Craig had le Chiffe
Even Lazenbery had telly Savalis.
The villain with the best potential for Brosnen was the Robert Carlyle nearest to a great bond villain that he faced. But for reason he just wasn't there.
this is one of the reasons why perhaps Brosnon's Bond failed.


Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:26 pm
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
p604 wrote:
I always feel that Brosnon's Bond suffered becuase he never had a great villain.
Connery had at least Goldfinger,
Moore had Jaws
Dalton had Robert Davi ( perhaps the most realistic bond villaiin)
Craig had le Chiffe
Even Lazenbery had telly Savalis.
The villain with the best potential for Brosnen was the Robert Carlyle nearest to a great bond villain that he faced. But for reason he just wasn't there.
this is one of the reasons why perhaps Brosnon's Bond failed.


I disagree with your assessment of the Brosnan Bond not having a great villain. Jonathan Pryce was excellent in Tomorrow Never Dies, and Sean Bean was more than adequate as the chief villain in Goldeneye (not to mention Famke Janssen as the henchwoman).


Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:21 pm
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
StatGuy2000 wrote:
p604 wrote:
I always feel that Brosnon's Bond suffered becuase he never had a great villain.
Connery had at least Goldfinger,
Moore had Jaws
Dalton had Robert Davi ( perhaps the most realistic bond villaiin)
Craig had le Chiffe
Even Lazenbery had telly Savalis.
The villain with the best potential for Brosnen was the Robert Carlyle nearest to a great bond villain that he faced. But for reason he just wasn't there.
this is one of the reasons why perhaps Brosnon's Bond failed.


I disagree with your assessment of the Brosnan Bond not having a great villain. Jonathan Pryce was excellent in Tomorrow Never Dies, and Sean Bean was more than adequate as the chief villain in Goldeneye (not to mention Famke Janssen as the henchwoman).


I couldn't take Jonathon's Pryce's charactors as seriously as let's say "le chiffe". They were essentially the same type of charactor. More of a thinker that any real physical threat.
I could never argue that although Brosnon's villains were rediculas as let's say the man with the golden gun, but in let's say 20 - 30 years time, you will struggle to remember any of the villains that appeared in any of the PB bond films. This has nothing to do with the Brosnon himself. I think that for his time he was a fine Bond, not maybe as iconic as Connery but far better than any of the others that preceede him.
For some reason I didn't warm to Sean Bbeans charactor. And it is funny when you consider that all Sean really plays is either villains or country folk from the North of England.
On a side note, I remember when Goldeneye came out, people praised it for being refreshing and new. It wasn't long until people were howling for Brosnon to go and that Bond has become and imitation of his former self. I wonder how long will current Bond last?


Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:52 pm
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
p604 wrote:
StatGuy2000 wrote:
p604 wrote:
I always feel that Brosnon's Bond suffered becuase he never had a great villain.
Connery had at least Goldfinger,
Moore had Jaws
Dalton had Robert Davi ( perhaps the most realistic bond villaiin)
Craig had le Chiffe
Even Lazenbery had telly Savalis.
The villain with the best potential for Brosnen was the Robert Carlyle nearest to a great bond villain that he faced. But for reason he just wasn't there.
this is one of the reasons why perhaps Brosnon's Bond failed.


I disagree with your assessment of the Brosnan Bond not having a great villain. Jonathan Pryce was excellent in Tomorrow Never Dies, and Sean Bean was more than adequate as the chief villain in Goldeneye (not to mention Famke Janssen as the henchwoman).


I couldn't take Jonathon's Pryce's charactors as seriously as let's say "le chiffe". They were essentially the same type of charactor. More of a thinker that any real physical threat.
I could never argue that although Brosnon's villains were rediculas as let's say the man with the golden gun, but in let's say 20 - 30 years time, you will struggle to remember any of the villains that appeared in any of the PB bond films. This has nothing to do with the Brosnon himself. I think that for his time he was a fine Bond, not maybe as iconic as Connery but far better than any of the others that preceede him.
For some reason I didn't warm to Sean Bbeans charactor. And it is funny when you consider that all Sean really plays is either villains or country folk from the North of England.
On a side note, I remember when Goldeneye came out, people praised it for being refreshing and new. It wasn't long until people were howling for Brosnon to go and that Bond has become and imitation of his former self. I wonder how long will current Bond last?

I wasn't big on Sean Bean's villain either, Alex was too much of a coward, hiding behind his own men and loudly bragging that he was "better" then Bond despite not shooting him when he had the chance, I found Zao in Die Another Day to be more interesting.


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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
Vexer wrote:

I wasn't big on Sean Bean's villain either, Alex was too much of a coward, hiding behind his own men and loudly bragging that he was "better" then Bond despite not shooting him when he had the chance, I found Zao in Die Another Day to be more interesting.


Hello Vexer,
I have always felt that the fact Bond was captured and actually tortured was the only redeeming feature in Die another day. Die another day was Brosnan's worst film ever, and I include mamma mia in that list.( man cannot sing). at the time I think that XXX had badly influenced the Bond formula. Thank god for the "Borne Indentity " which was a marvellous influence on Casino Royal.
I cannot stand die another day.
As for the villain. he looked interesting enough but in the overall Bond legend he will not be remembered.
Thank god for the "Borne Indentity " which was a marvellous influence on Casino Royal.


Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:42 pm
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
p604 wrote:
Vexer wrote:

I wasn't big on Sean Bean's villain either, Alex was too much of a coward, hiding behind his own men and loudly bragging that he was "better" then Bond despite not shooting him when he had the chance, I found Zao in Die Another Day to be more interesting.


Hello Vexer,
I have always felt that the fact Bond was captured and actually tortured was the only redeeming feature in Die another day. Die another day was Brosnan's worst film ever, and I include mamma mia in that list.( man cannot sing). at the time I think that XXX had badly influenced the Bond formula. Thank god for the "Borne Indentity " which was a marvellous influence on Casino Royal.
I cannot stand die another day.
As for the villain. he looked interesting enough but in the overall Bond legend he will not be remembered.
Thank god for the "Borne Indentity " which was a marvellous influence on Casino Royal.

Well like i've mentioned before, DAD was the very first Bond film I ever saw, so I have a certain fondness for it. I don't know why people keep bringing up XXX in comparison, it couldn't have influenced DAD as they were both being filmed at around the same time, and besides, I really don't think the filmmakers would've wanted to borrow ideas from a film that made fun of Bond in the opening scene.

My vote for worst Bond film is "Man With The Golden Gun", "Live And Let Die" comes in at a close second, neither had much in the way of redeeming qualities.


Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:53 pm
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Post Re: Oct. 16, 2012: "50 Years of Bondage, by the Numbers" (Pt 2)"
H.I. makes a great point by noting how the theaters were packed during the summer of '89, and LTK was competing against a number of movies with a slightly broader built-in appeal. I do like Dalton's interpretation of Bond, particularly his grim humor and the pathos he brought to the role. Even Connery and Craig don't quite reach the same level of pathos.

I remember how stoked I was when Goldeneye was released. I swear I remember people cheering the teaser/trailers. I remember going to see it the weekend before Thanksgiving with some of my high school friends, and we were in awe of the opening sequence. On the other hand, Xenia and Boris could have been toned down a bit.

Alec Treveylan (006) should have been a fantastic recurring villain for Brosnan's Bond. It was foolish of the producers to allow him to visibly and assuredly perish at the close of Goldeneye.

Tomorrow Never Dies should've been a terrific Bond film, and Michelle Yeoh is one of the best Bond girls ever, but it is sunk by awful plot sequencing that reveals the major twist far, far too soon in the film.

The World is not Enough is another Bond film that should've been excellent, but the atmosphere is ruined by the completely horrific casting of a major supporting role.

Die Another Day....awful....just awful....

I do generally like Brosnan as Bond, but he is a bit smug, and he needed to run less and lift more weights to look physically credible in the fight scenes. Craig's physical presence is one of his best attributes - physically he LOOKS the part of one of the world's best hand-to-hand combatants.

I also think the Bourne movies were a positive influence on Bond that pushed the 007 franchise in a healthier direction, away from the excess of DAD.


Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:20 pm
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