I'm a huge James Bond fan (in case you were wondering). I may not be swapping action figures at 007 conventions, but I'd say I can hold my own in a game of Bond trivia at the local watering hole. I own all 21 movies in the franchise and watch the dvds regularly. Octopussy is my favorite Bond movie. It's the first Bond movie I ever saw, and the title still gives this grown-up the giggles. And even though it's unanimous that Sean Connery is the best Bond, James Bond...my affections lie with Roger Moore, the on-screen Bond that I grew up with.
The Broccoli's have done an incredibly smart thing by making the Bond franchise an event. Like the Olympics or Haley's Comet, Bond movies only make an appearance once every couple years. Okay, so there's a big difference between 2 years in between movies and a once-in-a-lifetime viewing of a celestial wonder, but the point is it's long enough to build wild anticipation and feel like it's about damned time!
I bring this up because the new Bond film already has 2 major strikes against it going into the final days until it's premiere.
1. Quantum of Solace. Without a doubt the worst title of a James Bond movie in it's 22-title history. The name isn't random to the material. It was lifted from an Ian Fleming short story. But as a standalone film title it's bland and doesn't make much sense...(Octopussy didn't make much sense either, but you gotta admit that's one helluva catchy title!). Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, The Man With the Golden Gun, Die Another Day, and...Quantum of Solace. See? Like the fat kid chosen last for kickball, it's never going to fit in with the rest of 'em. Fortunately the title was released early, so it had some time to sink in with the fans, unlike....
2. Another Way to Die. As I stated before James Bond movies are an event from top to bottom: the 2 year wait, the title, who will play the villian, who will play Bond this time, the theme song, and the trippy title sequence. Another Way to Die is the theme song to Quantum of Solace. Written and performed by Jack White of The White Stripes and joined by Alicia Keys, this first duet ever for a Bond theme was released to the public just last week and is, in my opinion, quite ghastly. Have a listen:
Another Way to Die was originally to be written and performed by Amy Winehouse before her troubled ways led producers to reconsider. I would have liked to have heard Amy's version. From what I understand her recording exists somewhere, but will probably never be made available to the public. Her 60's R&B throwback style would have been a perfect fit for a James Bond theme. I find the White/Keys version to be unoriginal, narcissistic, and embarassing (He solos on guitar -- she echoes back in scat?!!). There have been a number of bad Bond themes, but even the worst of them have a certain campiness about them. Another Way to Die just sounds wrong in all ways.
But I won't let it get me down. The early trailers have all but promised that Quantum of Solace will be every bit as great as Casino Royale. I'm excited to see Daniel Craig continue this new direction for James Bond, and director Marc Forster is a solid talent. I know where I'll be November 14th. What say you?