Shaken and Stirred

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That was apparently Pierce Brosnan?s reaction to news that the producers of James Bond had decided to ?pension him off? (according to the Scottish Sunday Mail) and replace him with a younger actor. Brosnan told Entertainment Weekly that his 007 days were over: ?Bond is another lifetime behind me,? adding ?[We] went out on a high … I look back affectionately at that time and doing those four movies.?

If so, that?s a shame. Brosnan had humor where Timothy Dalton always came across as Heathcliff with a shoulder holster. As for age, hell anyone looks better than Roger Moore in A View to a Kill. In the Bond canon, Brosnan was on par with the entirely underrated George Lazenby, who put in an estimable performance in On Her Majesty?s Secret Service, before being edged out of the role by (in a remarkable formulation) an "ego which went to his head." As for the Bond women, an esteemed aficionado and friend swears by the delectable Daniela Bianchi, who appeared in From Russia With Love, and the trained eye can only agree.

For Bond information, and much else, here is a not bad website, though one dogged by earnestness. By the way, among the prospective newcomers who may replace Brosnan (assuming this isn?t a scam by him to boost his earnings), is Jude Law. He just might do.

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  1. Most Bond movies are silly and formulaic.

  2. Roger Moore is the greatest Bond as far as I’m concerned, and it’s really regrettable that Hugh Grant, the only actor living who could have channeled Moore’s merry, pansified laughability, has not decided to bulk up with Body By Jake and make a run at the role himself.

    Still, from a technical standpoint, Brosnan has been the best of them all. They should have squeezed one more performance out of him. Law and MacGregor are doing too well to bother with the part, and Clive Owen is…ZZZZZ!

  3. The best Bond was Ali G.

  4. Me name is James Bond. James Bond.

  5. ?[We] went out on a high”

    Unless he’s talking about bong hits on the set, that has to be a joke. Die Another Day was the worst Bond flick since View to a Kill, a film that had the distinction of having a villain (Christopher Walken) who would’ve made a better Bond than Bond himself, even with the accent issues.

    Connery’s decision to pass up on OHMSS was a tragedy. The only acting job Lazenby would be good for is an SNL parody about a Sixth Beatle. Daniela Bianchi may have been the best Bond girl, though Diana Rigg was up there as well.

    Connery was the best Bond, though as a fan of the Fleming novels, I consider Dalton to be a contender for the title. I think it all depends on what kind of movie you want out of the series.

  6. Most Bond movies are silly and formulaic.

    Um . . . duh? You know the Fleming novels were kind of spoofs, right?

  7. They’re jackasses for getting rid of Brosnan. He was the best thing to hit the franchise since Connery. Jude Law might do all right — better than Robbie Williams, the target (and source of) many rumors to being the heir.

    Eric II,

    You’re right — “Die Another Day” was awful. “The World Is Not Enough” was the best of the Brosnans, though I know that may be a minority opinion.

    Moore was a little long in the tooth (literally — look at his teeth!) by the time “A View to a Kill” was made, making it one of the worst, Christopher Walken and Duran Duran notwithstanding. Watching him stagger around trying to get out of the burning house with the girl is like watching my grandmother try to read the menu at Red Lobster without her glasses. All of the Moore Bonds are terrible, with the exception of “For Your Eyes Only,” which is one of my favs. (‘Course, “Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker” get points for Richard Kiel). Lazenby wasn’t too great either, tho OHMSS is one of the best simply for the story, cinematography, and Dame Diana Rigg. Hot stuff.

    I would almost consider the console game “Everything or Nothing” to be Brosnan’s fifth and last Bond flick, since it had all the trappings: voice work from all of the principals, name-brand Bond girls and villain (Willem Defoe), theme song by a relatively known pop singer, etc.

  8. Robbie Williams?!?

    We need a Bond for the 21st century. One who speaks to the young people of today and has plenty of attitude.

    Get me Liam Gallagher on the tele!

  9. I think the producers should make a fresh break for their new Bond.

    How about the Olsen twins?

  10. Didn’t *anybody* appreciate Dalton’s Bond? I thought he was fantastic — cruel, weird, angry — but I am one of those jackasses who still clings to the Fleming version of the character.

    And I’m still holding out for a Bond movie done as a Cold War period piece. Have no idea who might do it right, as far as director or writer or actor, but the Memento guy just might pull off a 1950s’ Bond.

  11. Lazenby was one of my favorites as well. He seemed the closest to the books.
    My vote for the new bond is Adrian Paul (with a haircut…)

    And the story that Tarantino wants to do Casino Royale and stay true to the book is the best thing I’ve heard in years. Just once I’d like to see a Bond film that follows the books and that doesn’t have watch-lasers and such….

  12. Current word on the street has Orlando Bloom playing a college-age Bond in an upcoming project based on a series of “Young James Bond” books Miramax is publishing (with the permission of Fleming’s estate).

    As for the next “Old James Bond” movie, I’d love to see Robbie Williams in the role, though I’m not sure I’d want to live with it.

  13. “Connery was the best Bond, though as a fan of the Fleming novels, I consider Dalton to be a contender for the title. I think it all depends on what kind of movie you want out of the series.”

    “Didn’t *anybody* appreciate Dalton’s Bond? I thought he was fantastic — cruel, weird, angry — but I am one of those jackasses who still clings to the Fleming version of the character.”

    I thought Dalton quite alright but I think he was done in by License to Kill being such a stinker — quite the worst Bond flick ever, in my view (I think they must have recycled the script from a failed Schwarzenegger vehicle). But The Living Daylights would be in my top five. None of the actors has ever really played the character as he is in the books, which I think would be quite impossible given that the movies themselves have such a very different tone and pacing from Fleming’s stories. But Connery, though a lot of people who are very fond of the books have and would disagree with me here (for instance, Kingsley Amis in his James Bond Dossier panned him), was the only one to really capture the essential personality trait of Fleming’s Bond, which was not Brosnan’s earnest careerism and patriotism (“Her Majesty’s Loyal Terrier”) or Moore’s horndog glibness, but a genuine enthusiasm for and excitement over interpersonal conflict as an antidote to boredom. Connery was the only Bond who was ever able to appear really bored (his eye-rolling at M & Q, for instance), and then light up when the opportunity came to pick a fight. The 007 of Dr. No (“you persist in trying to provoke me, Mr. Bond”) and Goldfinger (“strict rules of golf, Goldfinger”) is the closest the screen hero has ever come to the book hero, and it would be nice to get a new Bond who can pull this bit off. But the movies have become overly shallow special effects extravaganzas, so I doubt this will be much of a priority.

    All right, I’ll geek out now….

  14. They ought to bring in Connery as the next Bond villain. Will the circle be unbroken…

  15. I wonder if they shouldn’t hit the reset button and do the Bond novels again as period pieces. You know, set during the earlier part of the Cold War, with all of the cool retro fun that implies. Now that I think about it, a couple of the better novels weren’t really ever made into movies–Casino Royale and Moonraker. The Bond flicks don’t bring in boatloads of money these days anyhow, so maybe our friends in Hollywood would take the chance. Certainly, the movies aren’t the same without the Soviet Union as alternating bad guys with SPECTRE.

    I actually liked Timothy Dalton as Bond–more anger and edge, which was certainly refreshing after Moore. I won’t say anything bad about Moore–I liked The Saint too much–but his last few Bond movies were so over the top that I started to lose interest in the franchise.

    As for a new Bond, Jude Law might work. He’s a heck of a good actor. I’d especially like him if they followed my scenario; he might not be as good as the pre-packaged Bond of today. Ain’t spy movies fun? Oh, I’ve heard Obi Wan McGregor’s name bandied about as a replacement, too.

  16. Let’s not forget Plenty O’Toole…named after her father of course

  17. Roger Moore looked like James Bond’s hairdresser. Connery is the one and only bond (as long as you forget Never Say Never Wear A Toupee That Bad Again).

  18. Ain’t It Cool News insists Eric Bana is Bond #6.

    http://www.aintitcoolnews.com/display.cgi?id=18051

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