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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sean Connery Pix

Sean Connery Stills Owns the Role of James Bond

Here, for no particular reason, some photos of Sean Connery from the early days of James Bond. Easy now to forget how revolutionary the whole idea of a manly spy was back in the early 1960s, which is a tribute in its own way to the very special Mr. Sean Connery. These are all, I believe, from the "Dr. No" - "Thunderball" period.

Sean Connery jamesbondreview.filminspector.com
Sean Connery at the golf course in "Goldfinger."

Sean Connery jamesbondreview.filminspector.com

Sean Connery jamesbondreview.filminspector.com
Sean Connery in "Goldfinger."

Sean Connery jamesbondreview.filminspector.com
Robbie Williams in his "Millenium" video looks eerily like this Sean Connery promo picture

Sean Connery jamesbondreview.filminspector.com
Sean Connery in his first moments as James Bond in "Dr. No."

Sean Connery jamesbondreview.filminspector.com
Sean Connery relaxing at the beach

Sean Connery Thunderball jamesbondreview.filminspector.com
Sean Connery while filming "Thunderball" 1965


Sean Connery jamesbondreview.filminspector.com
Sean Connery, promo from the "Thunderball" period.
Sean Connery jamesbondreview.filminspector.com
Sean Connery in a classic pose

2017

Monday, May 13, 2013

Skyfall - James Bond Movie Posters

Skyfall" Justifies All that Came Before with Daniel Craig

Skyfall movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com
"Skyfall."

""Skyfall" was a huge success. It made a billion dollars, had a wonderful theme song by Adele, and established Daniel Craig as a major figure in the James Bond universe. Generally, audience members liked the story, though it began with another "You Only Live Twice" kind of opening with intimations of death and destruction.

Skyfall movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


"Skyfall" really established Daniel Craig in the role of James Bond. The abrupt about-face of the James Bond franchise when Daniel Craig came on board had startled a lot of fans. Many did not take kindly to this preening usurper, pretending to be some kind of superhero as the iconic Ian Fleming super-spy. Craig's first two films did well financially, but it was clear that he had not won over the general moviegoing audience. All that changed with "Skyfall," which portrayed Craig as a Bond who was hurt but kept on coming. "Skyfall" resulted in the immediate order two more James Bond films with Daniel Craig in the lead role, though those plans were subject to change as they always are in the James Bond universe.


Skyfall movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


The transition from the early days of the James Bond universe, when the emphasis was on the Bond Girls and Bond's savoir faire, to a purely action hero is complete. This is a man's business, the posters seem to be saying, and it is best left to men. Only a few of the posters even included women. The strategy worked brilliantly, and Daniel Craig finally won over the hearts of fans around the world.

Skyfall movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


The strategy of Craig portraying Bond as a heroic loner worked so well, in fact, that there was talk that "Skyfall" might even pick up a few awards from the Academy. The issue, at least as the people associated with "Skyfall" put it, was whether it was right to exclude commercially successful films like "Skyfall" from award consideration. In the event, the more optimistic projections failed to come true, but the Academy gave the film the sop of a statue for "Best Original Song" for Adele's theme. One has to admit that "Skyfall" was a high point in the James Bond universe, and you know what happens after one of those - but we'll get to that another time.


Skyfall movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com

Skyfall movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com

Skyfall movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com

Skyfall movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


2017

Quantum of Solace - James Bond Movie Posters

"Quantum of Solace" Continues the Rebirth of James Bond

Quantum of Solace Daniel Craig jamesbondreview.filminspector.com
"Quantum of Solace."

"Quantum of Solace" was not a particularly successful James Bond film. Oh, it undoubtedly made the studio and producers money and paid the actors quite handsomely. However, critically, it was a major failure. The production was troubled, with bad weather causing trouble and injury on set. The theme song was horrendous, the less said about that the better - but, for verification, see if you can find anyone, anywhere who thinks the Jack White (of The White Stripes) and Alicia Keys song "Another Way To Die" was a top Bond song. Everything about the film was a struggle, with nothing going smoothly. Daniel Craig, though, continued his heroic recreation of the James Bond character in the vein of Sean Connery, and the formula continued working because the formula always works. The problems ultimately led to a long interregnum until the next film (in the James Bond universe, a four-year gap is a very long time which usually signifies some major issues behind the scenes), and there was some question of whether the series would survive at all.

Quantum of Solace movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


In several of the film posters for "Quantum of Solace," Craig is seen walking through devastation, manfully contemplating what he must do in solitude or with a female companion. In other versions of the poster, all that is seen is Craig's shadow, another attempt to de-emphasize Bond that began in the Pierce Brosnan era. Of course, in that shadow we can see James Bond waving his gun, prepared for action, with all the implied menace that an inhuman silhouette can convey - but no Bond, no girls, no villain, no nothing. All these gazing-off-into-the-distance shots, sometimes with a Bond car in the background, almost made Bond come across as the Knight Rider.

Quantum of Solace movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


However, "Quantum of Solace" was very important to the franchise. The Bond publicists were building a brand, or more accurately re-branding James Bond, brick by brick, and that takes time. They faced strong resistance from that part of the fan base which had grown accustomed to the girly-man image which had infested the Pierce Brosnan film posters. The payoff of this foundation-laying did not come with "Quantum of Solace" itself, but rather with its successor. "Skyfall" would eclipse all of its predecessors in terms of critical and financial rewards because of the hard work recreating the character that had been done in "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace."

Quantum of Solace Daniel Craig jamesbondreview.filminspector.com



But this was not "Skyfall." "Quantum of Solace" was a time-filler, a placemark, little remembered not mourned when it was gone. There simply wasn't any overarching theme to play up. The advertising sometimes even focused on series regular Dame Judi Dench, who plays "Q" - a rarity in a Bond poster, the reason being that there weren't any other dominating figures such as a Goldfinger or a Blofeld to focus on. See if you can ever find anyone who thinks that "Quantum of Solace" is their favorite Bond film - that's not very likely.

Quantum of Solace Daniel Craig jamesbondreview.filminspector.com

Quantum of Solace Daniel Craig jamesbondreview.filminspector.com

Quantum of Solace Daniel Craig jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


Quantum of Solace Daniel Craig jamesbondreview.blogspot.com

Quantum of Solace Daniel Craig jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


Quantum of Solace movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


2017

Casino Royale 2006 - James Bond Film Posters

James Bond Resurrected in Casino Royale

Eva Green Daniel Craig Casino Royale jamesbondreview.filiminspector.com
"Casino Royale."

After the muddled Pierce Brosnan years, with all of the utter confusion about how to fit women into the James Bond formula, EON tries a completely new tactic with a brand new Bond. It is easy to figure that the two things are related - the new Bond (Daniel Craig) and the new, more focused treatment of women. Gone are the scantily clad Bond girls and the Amazonian warriors that replaced them. Instead, we now have women such as Berenice Marlohe who... somewhat act like real women. Not always, but at least it's a start in a coherent direction.

Casino Royale 2006 jamesbondreview.blogspot.com


James Bond needed a major regrouping. They got it with Daniel Craig, an unassuming actor who turned the British man of action that so many fans dearly wanted to see. No longer do the posters show women standing protectively by James Bond, guns handy to do his dirty work as he looks pretty. Now, in "Casino Royale," we have a man of steel, almost a superhero, who is disheveled but gets the job done. Instead of waiting for women to save him, he manfully walks away from the beautiful Eva Green in order to get things done. It was a brilliant turnabout by the producers, sensing that women want that sort of determination from men as much as men want to do it. It paid off handsomely at the box office by winning back part of the audience that found an effete James Bond just a tad too politically correct.

Casino Royale 2006 jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


Instead of women holding the guns, we get manipulative women who tend to meet tragic ends - when we get women at all. The Bond team finally fulfills the promise they made at the start of the Timothy Dalton era to produce a James Bond that is more faithful to the rugged hero of the books - though exactly how rugged the martini-swilling Ian Fleming Bond really was is a matter of debate.

Casino Royale 2006 jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


So, for the most part, the focus returns to where it should have been all along - James Bond himself. Gone are the protective females, the bikini Bond Girls, and Bond in the background. Instead, we have James Bond as superhero, with action shots in the posters again and some tasteful romantic implications - not just girls there to ogle - when women do appear in the posters. In the title sequence, there aren't any women shown at all aside from a quick glimpse of Eva Green's face that many people completely missed. It is a completely new strategy for the franchise.

Casino Royale 2006 jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


While Pierce Brosnan says he came very close to returning to star in "Casino Royale" - apparently, the producers told him he was coming back, then at the very last minute went with Craig instead - it is pretty clear that the entire series needed to be rebooted. Fortunately for James Bond fans - it worked.

Casino Royale 2006 jamesbondreview.filminspector.com

Casino Royale 2006 jamesbondreview.filminspector.com
This poster has it both ways - a hint of old-style Bond girls, and also the new breed of romantic anti-heroine represented by Eva Green.

Casino Royale 2006 jamesbondreview.filminspector.com



2017

Die Another Day - James Bond Movie Posters

Die Another Day Becomes Pierce Brosnan's Last Day as James Bond

Die Another Day movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com
"Die Another Day."

The James Bond franchise begins to go off the tracks again with "Die Another Day, and the marketing subtly reveals some of the issues. The key question of how to use women in the marketing - everyone in marketing is "used" - goes from a simmering, low-key pressure point to a flaming inferno of confusion. For those who have followed the James Bond film posters in progression on this blog, from first ("Dr. No") to this one, the odd film posters for "Die Another Day" will come as no great surprise, because they represent the culmination of experimentation that had been going on since the Timothy Dalton era. The subtle changes made in the first few Pierce Brosnan films (beginning with "Goldeneye") are now confirmed and even extended. The Bond Girls have moved from their supportive position behind James Bond to front and center. Indeed, they are actually standing beside him and firing with him, just as capably as he is firing. Some of the ads don't even feature Pierce Brosnan at all, just a gun on some ice, as if the producers are trying to hide him or think that he can't carry the picture.

Die Another Day movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com
Where is James Bond? His name isn't even mentioned. Very curious.

It is a complete turnabout from the Sean Connery days of James Bond, when the spy would roughly seduce a woman and then callously hold her as she got shot in the back ("Thunderball"), or the Roger Moore days, when he would vigorously throw his young lovely behind himself and step forward to take shots at the bad guys ("The Spy Who Loved Me"). It almost seemed, from the film posters for "Die Another Day," that the Pierce Brosnan version of James Bond needed all the fighting help he could get from the Bond girls around him. The subtle implication was that it was he, the pretty boy, who needed protection, not the Bond Girls.

Die Another Day movie poster jamesbondreview.blogspot.com


I want to be clear that I'm not coming down on Pierce Brosnan. He wasn't responsible for marketing, and I'm sure he wanted to be as manly in the role as anyone. Clearly, others didn't want him to be. And I'm not necessarily the biggest fan of Daniel Craig's over-the-top portrayal of James Bond as some kind of superhero. My taste lies in between, more like the balanced Sean Connery and Roger Moore characterizations, heroics mixed with knowing banter. That mixture only looks better as time passes.

Die Another Day movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


Needless to say, the weak portrayal of James Bond as a kind of girly man was not what many die-hard fans were expecting from the series. What exactly is the point of a James Bond spy who isn't in control? Sean Connery might have been in jeopardy from dominant females now and then ("Goldfinger"), but his movie posters didn't have the women taking shots to protect him. Having brought this "Bond as damsel in distress" theme as far as they could - what was next, the Bond girls standing in the front and Pierce in the background? Actually, look below, they already were actually going there - the Eon producers belatedly realized a change was in order. This explains why they made the abrupt transition back to the Sean Connery mold of a manly spy rather than a sort of "group hug" sleuth. Daniel Craig was waiting in the wings, and he would turn the entire James Bond dynamic around.

Die Another Day movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com

Die Another Day movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com

Die Another Day movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


Die Another Day movie poster jamesbondreview.blogspot.com

Die Another Day movie poster jamesbondreview.blogspot.com


2017

The World is Not Enough - James Bond Movie Posters

"The World is Not Enough" Falls Flat

The World is Not Enough movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com
"The World Is Not Enough."

Pierce Brosnan had settled into his role as James Bond by the time of "The World Is Not Enough," and things were rolling along nicely. The producers got the hot band of the moment, Garbage, to perform the theme song, which they did in bravura Bondian fashion. Everything seemed set for a real revival of the franchise, which would secure Pierce Brosnan's position as the true heir apparent to Sean Connery for years to come.

The World is Not Enough movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


The film posters once again, however, did their best to undermine Pierce Brosnan's masculinity as James Bond. Gone are any shots of James Bond actually doing anything; he just stand still or walks somewhere. While he holds the obligatory gun, he does not grab the women, they grab him. Sometimes they are in the foreground, with Bond in the background. Many poster versions have the females moving up protectively beside Brosnan and even using their arms to shield him. It is almost as if Bond is Moammar Quaddafi, with his cadre of attractive female bodyguards.

The World is Not Enough movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


Denise Richards stands there in an athletic tank top, hair up in a bun, glaring at the camera. She practically dares you to make the wrong move before she breaks out the brass knuckles. "Are you looking at me? Are... you...looking....at....me???" So much for trying to look glamorous and inviting! However, on the positive side of the scale, she does (sometimes) flash her bellybutton.

The World is Not Enough movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


The trend of having posters devoted solely to the Bond girls, without James Bond at all, also accelerated. While the producers may have been thinking that this was a good way to broaden the audience to include more women, emasculating the titular character hardly was the best way to do it. "The World is Not Enough" has gotten a lot of ribbing over the years for beautiful Denise Richards playing a nuclear physicist, but the real weakness of "The World is Not Enough" started right with the poster presentation.

The World is Not Enough movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com


The World is Not Enough movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com

The World is Not Enough movie poster jamesbondreview.filminspector.com



2017