Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Too many “Bonds” for Moore’s death to be definitive blow to film franchise

I’ll state one fact up front – when it comes to James Bond films, I do enjoy “Live and Let Die.” Particularly for its use of Paul McCartney on its film soundtrack, and its inclusion of the New Orleans scene for its storyline.
Moore at his Bond best

But I’ll have to confess that when I heard the headlines Tuesday of “Bond actor dies,” my gut reaction was to think “Sean Connery finally passed.” When I learned it was British actor Roger Moore instead, my reaction was along the lines of, “Oh, well.”

I KNOW I’M going to trigger a brawl amongst film buffs, particularly those who get into the Bond series of adventure films that we’ve been getting off-and-on for the better part of a half-a-century.

Yet those six films that starred Connery as the British secret agent with the license to kill people reach a certain standard that none of the other Bond film actors manage to do.

In terms of pure fantasy (and when you come down to it, how else should you view a guy who hangs around the casinos of Monaco, jets all over the world for adventure, and always finds time to romance the local fair maiden no matter how old he gets), they don’t get any more out-of-this world than Connery’s vision of the role.

So as for the death of Moore, I’m not going to say it doesn’t matter. But it’s not THE DEFINITIVE PASSING that we should think of. Although I’ll admit it’s more significant than the eventual passing someday of actor George Lazenby – who also took on the Bond role.

OR PERHAPS THAT of actor Pierce Brosnan, whose performance in the film “Goldeneye” always manages to capture the spirit of the Connery versions of the “Bond” films.
Pierce has his 'Bond' moments

As for the most recent Bond, I’ll confess that Daniel Craig’s take on the role just doesn’t do as much for me. Although he probably does appeal to the people who are most interested in action sequences rather than the Bond-like campiness leading up to them.

I always figured Craig’s Bond was the kind of guy who would stand up to actor Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” Callahan character (bearing his gaudy Smith & Wesson .44 caliber “hand cannon”), disarm him, then show the “superiority” of the Walther PPK.
Pit Craig's 'Bond' in a boxing ring ...

Whereas Connery’s Bond was the kind of guy who managed to get out of a jam by planting his “Playboy Club card” on a corpse – thereby giving the brief impression that he was dead, and thereby able to leave the scene undetected.

ALTHOUGH I’LL GIVE Moore’s “Bond” character one bit of praise. Like I already mentioned, it gave McCartney a prominent place that led to him getting one of his post-Beatles hits with the title theme song to “Live and Let Die.”
... against 'Dirty Harry'

Considering that Connery’s “Bond” was the guy who in the film “Goldfinger” said that lukewarm Dom Perignon champagne was, “as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs.”

Yes, this commentary is a collection of fluff and trivia. Although perhaps it also is a way of coping with the misery of the British explosion at a concert this week that managed to kill 20-plus people.

Religious fanatics in the form of ISIS, thinking they have accomplished something grand in the name of Allah, have taken credit for that attack. Although I suspect if we had a real-life “Bond,” he’d already be on his way to the Middle East to infiltrate the group, commit an act of vengeance, and perhaps taste for himself a few of those unspoiled virgins who supposedly are the prize for those kind of nutcases.

SO WHAT SHOULD we do to pay tribute to Moore, who admittedly starred in seven “Bond” films – one more than the six Connery did.

Do we have a collection of Bond actors throughout the years gather together to pay tribute to Moore – drinking a “shaken, not stirred” martini in his honor? Even though fans of televisions “The West Wing” remember when actor Martin Sheen’s “President Bartlett” character mockedP such a martini, saying, “James is ordering a weak martini and being snooty about it.”
Now that's the real "Bond, James Bond"

Perhaps they’ll then gather around and watch “Live and Let Die,” writhing in excitement as Moore’s “Bond” avoids being eaten by crocodiles while also trying to bed the mystic “Solitaire.”

Although if they want the ultimate Bond experience, they’d have to tune in to my personal favorite – none tops “From Russia with Love,” and no Bond girl (in my mind) tops the loveliness of Italian actress Daniela Bianchi!


No comments: