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James Bond: brought to you by SONY!
on December 8, 2009
Nothing like a dozen product placements every five minutes to remind you that SONY made this film. Talk about killing any feel of reality...which is ironic, as that's what this movie was going for: more reality and less spoofing.
And at that, it does pretty well. Sadly, Bond's sense of humor has been all but excised, which makes him barely Bond, in my opinion. As a fan of the books first, Connery's Bond second, and all the other Bonds way down the list, I appreciated the emphasis on less gadgets but did miss the wryness that Fleming and Terence Young brought to the character. Young defined the cinematic Bond first and best, and while this movie aims to redefine him, it barely touches the elan, wit and smoothness that made the early Bonds, and Fleming's Bond, so special.
I like Craig more here than in Quantum, but I still think he lacks the dry humor and stresslessness that makes Bond. I'd take him over Moore, Dalton, etc any day, though. The balls out scene shows some humor, but is so dark as to be ridiculous. Nice try, though.
And sorry, but there are so many weak Hollywood moments here. For instance, when they have the first beefcake shot of Craig as he walks out of the sea, his hair is all washed back. In the next shot, after the girl swoons at the sight of him, he is still in the same spot...but his hair is now magically and strategically plastered over his forehead. That's a bad continuity man on set, and a bad editor after, and just bad filmmaking, period. Face it, he's going bald...give him a wig a la Connery, or just let him keep his laughable Tom Sawyer haircut and be done with it.
Savile Row suits at two grand a pop...and a six dollar Supercuts hairdo? Come on.
It's stuff like that, and the nonstop Sony logo on every product, that makes this film cheesy after a while...plus, it's 30 minutes too long, I didn't buy the romance (Bond swooning?), and the poker scenes are horrible. Any decent poker player has to laugh at how badly set up those hands are. Last guy goes all in with a non-nut flush on a paired board where the other three players are calling the turn? Not likely he'd last that long playing that badly. Etc. Terence Young would have cut that in two seconds.
But, this Bond is more about selling Sony and a sense of "reality"...and in the end, that's what makes it real enough to be boring after 90 minutes. I've seen this a few times now and each time it seems to get looonger.
But hey, I'm gonna go buy something Sony. Don't know why...I just...feel like it....