Jack White ft. Alicia Keys - Another Way To Die - Official Music Video, Quantum of Solace

Yeah ....

OK, look. I've reluctantly come to terms with the idea that, no matter how profoundly radio rejects these themes recently, the Broccolis and whoever else is involved with producing Bond movies will keep trying to get music that's going to both be popular and sound like "Bond", despite the fact that the two types of music have diverged so widely in recent years. But seriously, this is kind of a hopeless mess. It's trying to be jazzy, it's trying to be Bond, it's trying to be hard rock, it's trying to be soulful, and it tries itself into a musical muddle. I get the impression that they really really don't want to go the way of "Die Another Day", which was popular but did not remotely sound like a Bond song -- apparently Madonna has enough clout to keep the Broccolis from seriously messing with her music, and honestly, I'm not sure what you could do to that to make it sound more Bond-like without destroying it. It has been widely reviled as the worst of the Bond themes; despite not being a dreadful song on its own, it does sound wrong for Bond.

What they really need to do is to make the commitment to moving to a completely different sound for the Bond themes. A very hard, edgy rock song would actually be entirely in character for Craig's Bond, who has a lot more ragged, damaged edges showing than any Bond to date. Dump the violins and the rest of the orchestra, and just go with the rock sound.

I have to admit, I do wonder what would have happened had Amy Winehouse not drugged herself out of the theme song. She certainly couldn't have carried off this song; I'm sure that whatever she was going to do would have been much more period-sounding and backward looking, which probably really isn't the direction they should be looking, musically speaking.

All that said, I would like to point out the following: the title of the new song would be a WAY better title for the film than "Quantum of Solace". I get that it's a title actually associated with the Bond short stories, I understand that they wanted to maintain the connection. Nonetheless. Title sucks, and not in the happy fun way, neither.
It's wrong of me to snicker at the fact that the title of this entry is going to produce some really spectacular false drops, isn't it? Ah, well. Never said I was nice.

Media Relations: bondage. secretarial bondage.

The Moneypenny Diaries
by "Kate Westbrook" (Samantha Weinberg)
volume 1 (London: John Murray, 2005, published in Britain with subtitle "Guardian Angel"; New York:Thomas Dunne/St Martins Press, 2008)
volume 2: The Moneypenny Diaries: Secret Servant (London: John Murray, 2006)
volume 3: The Moneypenny Diaries: Final Fling (London: John Murray, 2008

So, you always wondered what Miss Moneypenny got up to while James Bond was off saving the world, right? After all, she couldn't have been waiting there for James to come back and flirt with her again, no matter how the movies made things look. Well, with The Moneypenny Diaries, we finally get to find out...

[...] Weinberg also illuminates some points of Bond history that either I'd never read in the books or had completely forgotten. For example, it turns out that "James Bond" is a use name for MI6; the most effective agent gets that name on their promotion to the 00- unit. (I wouldn't be surprised if, over time, the 007 call sign winds up permanently linked to the "James Bond" house name.) It also turns out that, very briefly, Bond had a number in addition to 007, because he was administrative head of the 00 unit. It didn't last long; shortly after that promotion, he went to Japan and got involved in the "You Only Live Twice" mess. Getting brainwashed, it turns out, tends to result in demotion. Fleming's books -- though apparently not the films -- also exist in that reality, as a sort of version of James Bond's diaries transcribed by Fleming. "James Bond", in one of those oddly ironic moments, winds up outliving Moneypenny, and we even meet him as part of the story. Very technically, we aren't meant to know that at the time -- Westbrook certainly doesn't -- but honestly, it feels very anvillicious. That said, I don't know if it was more obvious to me because I read the entire series over two weeks; if I'd read it over three years, as originally released, some of the clues might have been less apparent....
My goodness. A day full of sorta kinda revelations about the next Bond film.

Producers reveal title of new James Bond - CNN.com:
Producers have revealed some of the secrets about the latest James Bond film, due for release later this year, including the inner turmoil that drives its suave superagent hero and its title: "Quantum of Solace." As titles go, it's not as mellifluous as "From Russia With Love" or "Goldfinger." But Daniel Craig, returning as Bond after 2006's "Casino Royale," says he likes it. "It has grown on me," Craig told reporters on the film's set at Pinewood Studios near London on Thursday. "It doesn't trip off the tongue. But why should it?"

Producer Michael G. Wilson said the title, chosen only a few days ago, was taken from a story by Bond creator Ian Fleming that appears in the collection "For Your Eyes Only." Craig said Fleming defined a quantum of solace -- it means, roughly, a measure of comfort -- as "that spark of niceness in a relationship that if you don't have, you might as well give up."

Filming began earlier this month at Pinewood, the franchise's home since the 1960s. It's a direct sequel to 2006's "Casino Royale," beginning an hour after that film ends, with Bond devastated by his betrayal by true love Vesper Lynd. "He had his heart broken at the end of the last movie and that certainly is a spur for him in this one," Craig said."I'd be lying if I said there wasn't revenge in his heart. But it's more than that. That spurs him on, but that's not what the movie is. It's not a revenge movie. It's about him figuring a few things out." [...]

Bond Girls' Kiss Reveal

One of the new Bond Girls has let slip a smooching secret... So, just who out of Gemma Arterton and Olga Kurylenko will be locking lips with 00-hotness?

Well, actress Gemma Arterton departed some titbits about a smooch at the photocall for the new Bond movie, Quantum Of Solace, at Pinewood studios, west of London. She said: "I do get to kiss Bond. I am an agent, but after a while I become a Bond Girl." Ooh, lucky, lucky lady.

Now, more importantly, will Daniel Craig be sauntering out of the sea in those skimpy swimming trunks? Well, he said: "I'm not going to put them trunks on ever again but there will be a certain amount of nudity in this movie."

Dollars'll get you donuts that "a certain amount of nudity" equals "the bad guys are going to torture him again because nudity makes him look more vulnerable when they're doing awful things to him, and this time we may even see Bond buttock, but we're not doing full frontal Bond because we still want a PG-13 rating in the states. However, we may consider Bond naughty bits for the European market and an unrated DVD release." Though it would be worth trying to find out if an R-rated Bond really would be a lower grossing film. Somehow, I suspect it wouldn't make that much difference.
And the search results go mad, but really, the whole whips and ropes and chains thing, that's not what I'm talking about. I just happened to run across something ... oldish but interesting. Serendipity and the world wide web...

Article reprinted in its entirety due to brevity.

CRAIG WANTS GAY BOND SCENE (contactmusic.com, 2006/11/29):
Daniel Craig is urging movie bosses to revolutionize the James Bond franchise by including a gay scene involving the superspy in the follow-up to Casino Royale. The heart-throb actor has also reportedly told studio chiefs he is prepared to film a full frontal nude scene to please both his male and female admirers. He says, "Why not? I think in this day and age, fans would have accepted it. I mean, look at (British TV series) Doctor Who - that has had gay scenes in it and no one blinks an eye."

...Somehow, kind of not seeing Bond production company Danjaq heading that way with the franchise. Not all the way, anyway. Though they might try the frontal nudity. That said, it's well known that penises trigger an almost reflexive R rating from the MPAA, and I don't think they want to go there; it would technically lock out too many teenaged theatergoers. (Do teenagers watch Bond? At all?) If the MPAA said, "EEEK! A penis! R - R - R! Unless you make it go away!" then they would make it go away. (So to speak, of course.) And anything gay, headed anywhere even vaguely sexual, would also trigger a reflexive R. Danjaq may even be required to bring in the next film with nothing harder than a PG-13 rating. That said, it's entirely possible that Danjaq might make one print for the US and Japan (no pubic hair on screen!) and another for the rest of the world, as long as it didn't make a huge difference to the plot. (Of course, if it doesn't make a difference to the plot, then what's the point?) And they'd probably throw in an extra 20 Bond girls just to shore up his heterosexuality. Then in the Extra Special Kinky International Director's Cut on DVD, we could at last see the full unrated glory of it all.

Honestly, I can see Bond being prepared to Do What It Takes -- as long as he could be on top. Doing What It Takes would likely not extend to surrendering the pink. Bond has had sex with women for purely mercenary reasons; it wouldn't surprise me if he had sex with men for the same reason. I can't imagine him being attracted to a man, quite, but something more in the lines of "close your eyes and think of England, and fake enthusiasm really really well." (And there's the added advantage that it could possibly make Ian Fleming, rampant racist and homophobe, roll in his grave at quite a high speed. Maybe Bond could do it with a nonwhite man, for added rotational speed.)

Heh. Maybe he'll wind up accidentally doing it with Vesper's old boyfriend, or they'll try to seduce each other for information in a way that backfires spectacularly. Goran Visjnic and Daniel Craig ...

...Huh. Considering what they did in the last Bond movie, maybe I am talking about that, after all.
Pinewood resurrected: Nice to know it's back, in a film history sort of way. And with its own website, too!
So, two, three entries ago, I said that a Genuine Bond Song was "something you can imagine Shirley Bassey -- or, in a pinch, Tina Turner -- singing without making you wonder in a bemused or appalled way, 'What could she possibly have been THINKING?'"

What follows is not, by any means, a Genuine Bond Song. )
Reprinting the first three points from a flurry of emails between me and [livejournal.com profile] columbina, just because:

So, having seen Casino Royale, finally, on the spiffy EXTREME WIDESCREEN DVD, I would like to make the following completely irrelevant observations:

First, what's up with the aspect ratio? I have never seen such a savagely letterboxed film in my entire life. Fully half the screen is lost to letterboxing, and it doesn't matter if you have a widescreen television or monitor; the black boxes don't go away. It's clearly a deliberate, artistic choice; it's just a weird one.

Second, Craig's Bond is far and away the quietest Bond I can remember having seen. Not a bad thing at all, actually. Works for the character.

Third, I wonder what the difference is between the theme song that Chris Cornell delivered to the producers and the one that got put on film. That's the first genuine Bond song I've heard in quite some time, with the lone exception of kd lang's "Surrender"at the end of Tomorrow Never Dies, and it can't possibly be the song he delivered. ("Genuine Bond Song" being defined as, something you can imagine Shirley Bassey -- or, in a pinch, Tina Turner -- singing without making you wonder in a bemused or appalled way, "What could she possibly have been THINKING?" I'm a traditionalist like that.) I mean, I like Chris Cornell now and again, but you wouldn't normally find floods of violins and brasses within a parsec of one of his songs. I remember Shirley Manson from Garbage being seriously annoyed at what the Broccolis had done to "The World is not enough", and I've heard the Garbage original version, which is comparatively quite spare ... but it's not a Bond song as written, and it was when the Broccolis were done with it. That's what makes me suspect that the song he delivered and the song we got were very different; if you pull the sweetening from that song, you get something much edgier and darker and less romantic-sounding. The Bondification would also explain why it pretty much crashed and died on the charts; he's not a big enough name that he could sell the song on his own, and it's so far from his normal style that his fans wouldn't have helped it along much, and frankly, even with the hard rock stylings breaking through, the Bondification just makes it too old. (Besides, a proper Bond song needs a Beltin' Babe, even one that's not Shirley Bassey. Guys doing Bond songs -- with the sole exception of Tom Jones -- is just wrong. And yes, I'm including a-ha and Duran Duran in that wrongness.) In any event, the song itself is copyrighted by both Chris Cornell and Danjaq (the Bond producers' company), so they must have done something to it.

Fourth, there was all this stuff in the press -- especially the gay press, bien sur -- about the "fetishizing" of Bond's body, about Craig's Bond being presented as if he was his own Bond girl -- but aside from the "Honey Ryder rising from the sea" shot in the blue swimsuit, I really don't see it. Mind, I do believe this is the first time that we've had a clearly and completely naked Bond in one of the movies, even if only in side view and shadow, but since Really Awful Things were happening at the time, I'm not sure that counts as "fetishizing." (At least, not the type of fetish of which the media was speaking.)

And now, let's talk story, just a little! Which means that here be spoilers! Lots of spoilers! Whoa, nellie, you ain't never seen so many spoilers!

And apologies to anyone looking at this through RSS, which ignores the lj-cut tag. If you haven't seen it, and plan to, then Stop Reading Now.

In other words, You Wuz All Warned.

So let's see about a couple points in that story now, shall we? Let's shall. )
Media Relations: bloody bondage/ November 6, 2006:

Don't worry. It's not as gruesome as that title makes it sound.

...I think.

Also, I'm guessing that the referral log listings for that particular entry are going to be relentlessly interesting.

Comment here or there, as desired, if desired.


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