Hi, all. I'm Deborah Lipp, half of the Lipp Sisters team at the Mad Men site Basket of Kisses and author of six books, including The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book.*
Between today, which happens to be International James Bond Day, and the U.S. release of the 23rd official James Bond movie, Skyfall (opening November 9th!), Nathaniel has asked me to deliver a series on the subject of James Bond. We'll focus on lists of seven things — any seven things, provided they relate to James Bond, agent 007 of Her Majesty's Secret Service. And, because I'm generous to a fault, I'm going to start you off, this first time out, with a bonus list. So, without further adieu, here are 007 Things That Excite Me About Skyfall as well as 007 Things That Concern Me About Skyfall.
*Note: If you want a copy of the book, please, please contact me directly.
007 Things That Excite Me About Skyfall
001 It's a James Bond movie. Let's get serious: If the buzz for the movie was terrible, if Ebert used both his thumbs to pan it, if it got the lowest rating in history on Rotten Tomatoes, I'd still be there on opening night, and probably the next night as well. And maybe the following week. And there would be vodka martinis chilling at home, and I know how to make them right.
It's a James Bond movie. Bond has been with me through my entire life, a guarantee of adventure, excitement, sex, and escape. I am, frankly, addicted to these movies, they are like a drug to me.
002 The return of Q. Bond movies have a tradition, and repeating certain formulaic aspects is a delight. Sure, some people want Thanksgiving without turkey, but some of us love the repetition of form, and for us, the return of a beloved character who has been there from the beginning matters a lot.
Q Trivia, Judi Dench, and terrible blonde villains after the jump
[Cool Q Trivia: In the first Bond movie, Dr. No (1962), Bond gets a new gun from Boothroyd, the Quartermaster, played by Peter Burton. Desmond Llewellyn began appearing as Q (short for Quartermaster) in the second film, From Russia with Love. Llewellyn appeared in 17 of the next 18 Bond films (skipping Live and Let Die). John Cleese played Q once, and Q has been absent from the two most recent films. In The Spy Who Loved Me, Q is referred to as "Major Boothroyd," confirming that he is the same character played by Burton in Dr. No.]
003 An exciting cast. Casting has been excellent in many Bond movies, and Skyfall looks to be no exception. Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Naomie Harris, and of course the return of Daniel Craig and Judi Dench. This is crazy actorly goodness!
004 That trailer!
005 Cinematography by Roger Deakins. Hey, one of the things to love about That trailer! is the gorgeous cinematography. Nine-time Oscar nominee Deakins has been director of photography on an impressive array of films, including a bunch of Coen Brothers movies and one of my favorite visual treats, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
006 The producers promise that this story will not be a continuation of Daniel Craig's first two Bond films, but will go off in a new direction. I think that's smart: It's James Bond, not a soap opera.
007 Location, location, location. This will be the first Bond movie to film in China, and the third to film in Turkey.
007 Things That Concern Me About Skyfall
001 Javier Bardem is blond? Really? Christopher Walken was blond in A View to a Kill. Great actor in blond wig equals worst Bond movie ever. Why repeat that?
002 Skyfall is a stupid name. Just is. I've been saying for months the villain must be Chicken Little.
003 The official site says "Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her." M's past did not provide the franchise's finest hour when it haunted her in The World is Not Enough. Why trouble those waters again?
004 Naomie Harris was rumored to be cast as Moneypenny, which made me very, very happy. Now she's listed in the IMDb as Eve. Please be Moneypenny, Ms. Harris. Please.
005 Director Sam Mendes: Dramatic director Marc Forster didn't prove to be up to the task of directing an action movie with Quantum of Solace. Bringing in another dramatic director feels to me like the producers don't recognize there was a problem last time. Oops.
006 Daniel Craig is rumored to feel he's getting a little old for the part. He's signed for more films but if he loses interest, I will pout.
007 Judi Dench has macular degeneration. If she retires from the Bond films, I will pout and stamp my foot.
What excites and concerns you about Skyfall?