Sunday, November 4, 2012

10 Reasons Why We Love James Bond

Daniel Craig

The recent James Bond film festival on television and the 2012 release of Skyfall sparked this post. Who is James Bond and why do we love him? The movies are possibly the best way the world has come to know and appreciate Bond.

Bond the Moneymaker: The James Bond film series is a British series of spy films based on the fictional character of MI6 agent James Bond (code designation "007"), who originally appeared in a series of books by Ian Fleming. Earlier films were based on Fleming's novels and short stories, followed later by films with original storylines. It is one of the longest continually running film series in history, having been in ongoing production from 1962 to the present (with a six-year hiatus between 1989 and 1995). In that time, Eon Productions has produced 23 films, at an average of about one every two years, usually produced at Pinewood Studios. The series has grossed just over US $5 billion to date, making it the second-highest-grossing film series (behind Harry Potter), and the single most successfully adjusted for inflation. Six actors have portrayed 007 in the Eon series, with the Sean Connery films largely setting the style and mood of the series, and Roger Moore starring in the most films.

Sean Connery

Bond the Character: In Bond and Other Conspiracy Theories journo Stephen Kelly says: “There’s always been something a bit off about that suave, mysterious, sexually charged murderer, James Bond: he appears to be a shape-shifting immortal. Or at least that’s what the franchise suggests, what with the same man being played by six people over 50 years, making for quite the hefty 00-pension. But where pop culture logic is broken, there’s a fan theory to fix it. In this case: that James Bond is not a single man, but a code name given to agents who fit a certain profile.

George Lazenby
 Makes sense, doesn’t it? For even if this is a profile to which psychologists refer as the Dark Triad of the psyche—a combination of Machiavellianism, narcissism, and a psychopathic disregard for life—each incarnation does come with its own set of characteristics.

Sean Connery, for instance, was smooth and deadpan; George Lazenby: clunky and… forgettable; Roger Moore had fun with the role; Timothy Dalton preferred a serious approach; cigar-smoking Pierce Brosnan played it rugged and old-fashioned; whereas Daniel Craig, moonlighting from his full-time job of protruding out of Mount Rushmore, portrays a more tortured, layered Bond.”

Bond the Hero: For me, James Bond is the hero we love. He’s flawed, he’s brave, he is what we all want—what more can I say… he’s a hero!

Here are my ten reasons why James Bond is the perfect hero. And heroes, to be heroes, are not perfect!

Timothy Dalton
1. He sets out to be a hero, although he may deny it.

2. He saves the world, no matter what the baddies throw at him.

3. He is flawed. He makes mistakes, he lets his heart rule his head, and he always goes back to save the girl.

4. He suffers loss, pain, and anguish. Sometimes a friend dies, sometimes the woman he loves dies, and it cuts him to the core of his being.

Roger Moore
5. He always gets the girl in the end. Despite the fact we know he is a womaniser/playboy/Casanova, we want him to ride/fly/float off into the sunset with the Bond girl in his arms (and all the actresses who’ve played a Bond girl say the same thing!)

6. He has a great sense of humour. Dry wit and a martini shaken not stirred are his trademarks. He laughs in the face of death and usually flings a (cheesy) quip at his nemesis.

7. He loves gadgets, and boy does Q make sure he has plenty of them. Cars that can assume an invisibility cloak as well as packing an arsenal in the trunk, exploding pens, belt buckles with escape wires, watches that can set off bombs, even watches with lasers installed—Q has a gadget for every day of Bond’s week.

Pierce Brosnan
8. He is fanatically loyal to Queen and country. He serves the crown and he will die for his country’s security. You can’t get more loyal than that.

9. He has feelings although he may hide them under that impenetrable mask.

10. If he could, he’d date Miss Moneypenny!

So, out of all the Bond actors, who portray Bond the best?

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