Archive for Dr. No

What is a Bond song?

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

This seems like a stupid question, but any Bond fan interested in a discussion of Bond songs actually has to ask it.

Is a Bond song the song that plays during the title sequence? That includes the James Bond Theme, which plays during the titles for Dr. No, but most people don’t include Three Blind Mice, which also plays during that film’s titles. For myself, I’m inclined not to include the Bond Theme, since it’s in all the movies, whereas all other Bond songs are tied to one movie.

Another definition is the song that Eon puts out in the hopes of charting. In that case, the Dr. No song is Jump Up Jamaica, which was a huge hit in Jamaica as a movie tie-in song.

Thing is, if people like a song they want to say it goes on the list of Bond songs, and if they don’t, all of a sudden it doesn’t belong. In terms of mid-movie songs, obviously We Have All the Time in the World from OHMSS has to be included, right? Then why not the odious Make It Last All Night from FYEO? If closing credit songs are included, that should mean Surrender from TND and The Experience of Love from GoldenEye, but to tell you the truth, people only really want to include Surrender.

A comprehensive list normally includes Mr. Kiss-Kiss, Bang-Bang, which wasn’t even in any movie, but what about well-loved covers of Bond songs, like Guns n Roses doing Live and Let Die?

It’s all very confusing. Here’s what I decided. My book includes every Bond song that appears in a Bond movie (including mid-movie snippets like Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?) and closing credits songs (If There Was a Man), but not covers or extras. Except Mr. Kiss-Kiss, Bang-Bang, which I allow as a special exception.

See all that? And I haven’t even discussed the music yet!

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.

Top Bond Films

Posted in Best & Worst with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

From my surveys of a few hundred hardcore Bond fans, asking for a top five, the top ten vote-getters are:
1. Casino Royale (2006)
2. From Russia With Love
3. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
4. The Living Daylights
5. Goldfinger
6. For Your Eyes Only
7. Thunderball
8. Licence to Kill/Dr. No (tie)
10. The Spy Who Loved Me

From the IMDb’s survey of over 11,000 users, asking only for one favorite Bond film back in December of 2006, the top ten vote-getters were:

1. Casino Royale (2006)
2. Goldfinger
3. GoldenEye
4. From Russia With Love
5. Dr. No
6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
7. The Spy Who Loved Me
8. Live and Let Die
9. You Only Live Twice
10. Thunderball