Sean Connery as James Bond, British government agent and legendary super spy
Venice, Spring 1963
Film: From Russia With Love
Release Date: October 10, 1963
Director: Terence Young
Costume Designer: Jocelyn Rickards
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair
For anyone who isn’t familiar with it, From Russia With Love is a very polarizing film for Bond fans. It is almost a direct adaptation of the novel, a gritty and realistic espionage adventure based on the murder of a British naval attache on the Orient Express in 1950. The film too is grounded in realism, relying on genuine suspense rather than gadgets or contrived villains. It’s one of my favorites (definitely my favorite of the pre-Craig era) and Sean Connery’s personal favorite, so that should tell you something.
After a tense mission and subsequent getaway stretching from Istanbul through Eastern Europe in From Russia With Love, Bond is glad to spend a short holiday relaxing in Venice with new arm candy Tatiana before having to ship her off to London with the film’s MacGuffin, a decoding device. Continue reading
If you’re lucky enough to be an American, today marks the release of Skyfall on DVD and Blu-Ray and, what the hell, let’s assume someone out there is still putting out VHS tapes as well.
British people, enjoy your extra SIX days of waiting. (Just kidding… it’s totally not fair that you guys invented Bond and have to wait longer to add the latest entry to your library. Sorry.)
Daniel Craig as James Bond, disillusioned British secret agent
Venice, Summer 2006
Film: Casino Royale
Release Date: November 14, 2006
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Lindy Hemming
I will unapologetically make no apology for the fact that I think Daniel Craig is the best thing to happen to James Bond since a badass Scotsman first caught the eye of Cubby Broccoli and the Bond producers in 1961. Craig exemplifies what a modern Bond would be: tough but considerate while being slightly arrogant and insecure. He’s got a few quips, but he’s not winking at the camera every five minutes nor is he more focused on staying in bed with his woman-of-the-week while there’s a job to get done.
That being said, I’m a huge fan of the Bond series and will watch any of the movies (maybe not A View to a Kill) any day. I’ve read all the books, blah blah blah… Besides giving Connery his just due, I would argue that Craig IS Bond, at least from the literary standpoint. He may not be what the public wants him to be/thinks he should be, but he delivers Ian Fleming’s original vision to the screen. A very close second to this would be Tim Dalton’s two works in the ’80s; perhaps if Casino Royale had been rebooted with him and it wasn’t the obnoxious ’80s, it would be a different story.
Rant aside, some have also argued that Craig’s Bond took casual wear too far. I would say that these people need to make better use of their time and emotions. Continue reading