Archive for Die Another Day

Continuity and Casino Royale

Posted in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace with tags , , , , , , , on October 29, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

Short answer to continuity questions: There is none.

This came up yesterday. I was discussing Casino Royale with a rare fan: The kind who didn’t like Casino Royale. (And you know I absolutely adore fans with unusual opinions.) And one of her complaints was that the whole “prequel” idea didn’t work for her. She complained that Bond having been in love in the beginning of his career diminished his relationship with Tracy; that the whole premise of OHMSS is that it was Bond’s first love.

So, first of all I think if you feel that way you need to acquaint yourself with the novels. And second, I don’t believe a great and deep and tragic love is diminished by the notion that there was a love before it.

But more importantly, I have to correct this fan: Casino Royale is not a prequel.

A prequel is a story that jumps backwards in a continuity sequence to tell a story that happened in the past; often the first or “origin” story.

A reboot is a story that wipes clean the slate of previous continuity; all other stories are gone and never existed. Batman Begins is a reboot; it is not the story of Batman before he encountered Jack Nicholson as the Joker: It’s Batman fresh and new who never existed before.

Casino Royale is a reboot. There is no Tracy assumed or foreshadowed in Bond’s future when Bond meets Vesper (and I doubt they’ll ever write a Tracy). This is a brand new character. The other 20 official movies are self-contained, from Dr. No to Die Another Day, that continuity (such as it was) is over. I honestly don’t know why fans hook on continuity in Bond films, since it was always virtually non-existent. But there you are.

A major flaw of Casino Royale, I’d say, is that this was not made clearer to fans. Maybe this isn’t a flaw of the movie so much as of the marketing campaign. That, a year later, people still discuss the movie as a prequel means that someone at Sony didn’t do a good enough job.

So, for the record, there is no continuity between Casino Royale and any previous Bond film. And in a number of ways, that’s a great thing, but let me point one out that I don’t think has been mentioned before: The erasure of continuity means they can do it right this time, there can be continuity from CR to Bond 22, from 22 to 23, and so on. And that just might be really cool.

Rosamund Pike engaged?

Posted in Wacky Media with tags , , , , , on October 16, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

The fabulous Rosamund Pike, who played Miranda Frost in Die Another Day, is supposedly set to marry filmmaker Joe Wright. Neither WENN nor The Daily Mail are my favorite sources, but sometimes they’re right.

I wish the couple well.

Rosamund Pike and Joe Wright

Happy Birthday Michael Madsen

Posted in Birthdays with tags , , on September 25, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

Rumored to have been the introduction of a recurring character in Die Another Day, he lost the reboot lottery, to the relief of many fans.

Michael Madsen

Casino Royale is a HUGE hit with the fans

Posted in Best & Worst, Casino Royale, Ultimate JB Fan Book with tags , , , , , on September 19, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

I’m in the process of re-doing the statistical portions of the Ultimate James Bond Fan Book. I do several different sets of statistics.

First, and most labor-intensive, I tabulate as many “ranking” lists as I can find. That’s where fans rank all the Bond movies in order. I use this massive amount of data to develop a “master” ranking list. Such lists, though, are only produced by hardcore fans who are really obsessed with that kind of thing. It isn’t going to represent the general public.

So I also look to sources like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb and general media surveys (which I’ve pulled out of magazines, news reports, and the like) to get stats on movie ratings (how many “stars” or “thumbs” or whatever), and on people’s #1 Bond film, and on people’s top five.

Top five is interesting, because it shows movies that are consistently very popular but may not hit #1 that often. You can also get a lot more fans to tell you their top five than their full list, so it’s more “general public” and less “geeks (like me).” I assign five points for a #1 position, four points for #2, and so on.

So last night I finished tabulating the Top Five stuff, and Casino Royale got twice as many points as the next nearest contender. That’s like…unbelievable.

Now, I fully believe that’ll moderate a bit over time; newest movies get the strongest reaction. I don’t think, for example, that Die Another Day will stay as low in the rankings as it currently is; it’s that low because people were angry, not because it’s objectively worse than A View to a Kill. But Casino Royale won’t moderate much, and it’s really damn impressive.

Dan Bradley on second unit for Bond 22

Posted in Quantum of Solace with tags , , , , on September 4, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Bourne Supremacy stunt director Dan Bradley will be the second unit director for Bond 22.

Of course, the article has to indulge in the kind of tired snark that drives me up the wall.

Ever since the “Bourne” movies have come on the scene, the makers of James Bond have been in the line of fire for having a dusty, lethargic spy on their hands — “Casino Royale” notwithstanding.

But it looks like EON Prods. and Columbia Pictures might be kicking it up a notch for the next Bond film.

Taking a page from the “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” handbook, the production has hired “Bourne Supremacy” and “Bourne Ultimatum” action designer Dan Bradley as the film’s second unit director.

That crap makes me want to scream! The Bond films have always been cutting edge with stunts, starting with the unique choreography of fights by Bob Simmons, the first-of-its-kind filming of ski action, moving into the nineties with a record breaking bungee jump, and continuing right up to the present day.

HR wants to set aside Casino Royale? Fine. There were two outstanding man-to-man fights in Die Another Day: Bond vs. Zao in a roomful of scary medical equipment (he squeezed his IV! Ow! He strangled him with the IV! OW!), and the swordfight between Bond and Graves. Plus the woman-to-woman sword action at the climax, and the hovercraft chase, and the Aston Martin vs. Jaguar gadget battle. Yes, DAD had the Evil CGI parasurfing fiasco, but that leaves a whole hell of a lot of excellent action.

What Eon achieved with CR was not to “kick it up a notch” but to tone it down. DAD was too far into the fantasy realm, but Eon didn’t need flippin’ Jason Bourne to figure that out.