Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
Movies
Byrne Robotics > Movies Page of 2 Next >>
Topic: Time For The James Bond Franchise To End? Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 11630
Posted: 30 August 2018 at 9:12am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Can't argue with some of this:


Nowadays, Bond just doesn't seem unique in a world of Bourne, Ethan Hunt, etc. 

I know there were "pretenders to the throne" decades ago. I know Bond had competition many moons ago. But he felt unique. In today's world, he is 'just one of many agents' on the big screen. In my humble opinion, of course.

On a related note, it must be hard for films to impress us technology-wise nowadays. In the 80s, the likes of KITT impressed us. As did Bond. But nowadays my mobile phone can do everything from pay for coffee to take me to the moon (on a good day!). We're surrounded by technology. I can pay for coffee with my iPhone in Costa Coffee. Technology on the big screen has to work hard to impress me.

I know DOCTOR NO wasn't gadget-driven, but the franchise did take that turn. Can it impress us in the same way when we're all walking around with nuclear-powered toenail-clippers and our phones can pick up an ant's trail six hundred miles away?
Back to Top profile | search
 
Shaun Barry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 08 December 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 5787
Posted: 30 August 2018 at 10:08am | IP Logged | 2 post reply


With over 50 years and 20+ films worth of movie adventures, I'm pretty much done with any real need to see anymore James Bond film entries.

What's out there already is enough to last me the rest of my life!



Back to Top profile | search
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15145
Posted: 30 August 2018 at 11:16am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Y’know, I think it’s time for a lot of franchises to end.

For a long while, I naively believed that they could go on forever, as long as good filmmakers with good sensibilities were in charge. More and more, though, I’m coming to the conclusion that these things may have a shelflife. That they can become played out. Especially if they’re taken in the wrong direction for too long.

I’ve already watched several fundamental pillars of my nerd-ness painfully go down in flames. I’d have much rather seen them fade quietly into the night and become pleasant memories than to see their legacies tarnished by people who don’t understand or respect them. Or to see them milked and flogged to death out of sheer greed. 

If we’re reaching a point where people are fixated on casting Idris Elba as Bond—thus making the character A) No longer Ian Fleming’s James Bond; B) More about race-based stunt casting than exciting and innovative spy storytelling—then it’s probably time to let the character go. To say nothing about the distinct possibility of “Jane” Bond.


Respect the characters and the lore. It’s that simple. Bond could probably be modernized in any number of ways, but then he’s not Bond, anymore. Maybe times have changed, and maybe his day is done. Or, perhaps it comes down modern filmmakers not being creative enough to do interesting new things with the character while still being true to his long legacy. It doesn’t have to be a one-way street. You can still be brave and creative while still remaining true to the character. Of course, present-day Hollywood is fixated on emasculating strong male characters, and is offended by anything and everything even remotely politically incorrect. Bond’s traditional alpha-male traits and his womanizing just aren’t “woke” enough for modern Hollywood, and so he obviously needs to be taken down a few pegs. Another toxic white male who needs to be retooled to appeal to a “new” audience. Never mind that those “toxic” traits ARE the character.


Mind you, I say all of this as only a very casual Bond fan, but I think my reasoning applies to a broad spectrum of beloved franchises which are currently in serious trouble. It’s a troubling pattern, and Bond is becoming a part of it. Still, there’s always a chance that the franchise will lay low for years, until someone comes along and gives it an exciting and new shot in the arm.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Steve De Young
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 April 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 2976
Posted: 30 August 2018 at 12:02pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

The other issue, of course, is that what set James Bond apart, at least in the film franchise, from other spy/action movies is in our present era viewed as casual misogyny.  If you remove those elements, essentially if you remove James Bond from the era in which he was born and thrived in British popular culture, he isn't James Bond anymore.  He's just 'British action hero', as Greg points out.

Now, realistically, the studio isn't thinking about 'what story do we have left to tell' or even 'this is too great a character to let it die'.  They're thinking about, 'Look at this pile of money we've made off of Bond movies, how do we keep it coming'.  That's why these franchises are destined to constant dilution followed by reboot after reboot as every last penny is squeezed out.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Andy Mokler
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 January 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2514
Posted: 30 August 2018 at 12:33pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Instead of shoe-horning Bond into modern day sensibilities, why not make all future Bond movies period pieces?  Seems like an easy out for that problem, not to mention not having to stay out in front of technology.

Edited by Andy Mokler on 30 August 2018 at 12:34pm
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Michael Roberts
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 12165
Posted: 30 August 2018 at 12:54pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I think the reboot vs revival trend has softened my opinion on this. If someone want to continue Bond in a direction that doesn’t interest me, that’s perfectly fine. I won’t be along for the ride, they can do whatever they want, and I still have the older material to enjoy. The new Bond won’t be my Bond, and I’m OK with that.

As for doing Bond as a period piece, I think that would be a mistake. I’m fine with the casual misogyny in Bond films as a product of their times, and it doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of the film. Trying to recreate that in a modern film will inevitably feel like commentary or parody. No one wants to see Don Draper Bond.

If you want to see Bond in the 60s, watch a Connery film. 


Edited by Michael Roberts on 30 August 2018 at 12:56pm
Back to Top profile | search
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 10980
Posted: 30 August 2018 at 2:05pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Totally disagree with the argument advanced in the linked article. The notion of a superspy was never realistic no matter which decade you live in. Relations between Russia and the West haven't been so salty as they are now since the end of the Cold War, so why would now be an appropriate time to finish the series rather than after Dalton?

There's plenty of interesting avenues they could explore -- that the films haven't explored anything interesting in the last handful of films doesn't mean they should just call it a day. It just means they need to try harder!

I think one angle would be to drop the notion of a Bond film having to be so BIG. A tense, tightly-focussed tale in one city would be interesting. Unlike Michael, I feel a period Bond would be a blast, specifically a 1950s Bond, as post-war is the era in which Bond makes the most sense and it is an era in which we've never had a big screen Bond.

I don't get the idea that Ethan Hunt and Jason Bourne render Bond irrelevant. Shouldn't it have worked the other way round when folks were first proposing those movies? No, because they are sufficiently different.

The gadgets are, to my mind, a red herring. We had a thread before on this, IIRC, and I outlined my thoughts there about how gadgets aren't core to a Bond film working. From Russia With Love is gadget-lite and is great. Goldfinger is gadget-heavy, but it's not why the films works so well, nor were those gadgets super-high-tech in 1964; they were fun more than anything else. Die Another Day went to the extreme of high-tech gadgetry with its invisible car -- and that movie was weak.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Petter Myhr Ness
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 02 July 2009
Location: Norway
Posts: 2887
Posted: 30 August 2018 at 3:40pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

The Bond franchise has always depended on how well the last movie did - and they've all done well, SPECTRE reaching big highs. Clearly the franchise is not ready to pack it in.

I don't think the movies have the same impact as before; a movie like MI:6 clearly bettering anything I've seen from Bond in the last... well, 25 years or so. But there will be room for Bond as long as anyone is prepared to see the movies. And as long as they avoid the diversity pitfall of turning the character into something he's not. 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Andrew Saxon
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 June 2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 276
Posted: 30 August 2018 at 4:46pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I was talking with my old Dad about this recently and he was saying that when the Bond films first started they were basically travelogues with a bit of spicy soft porn and a punch-up or two thrown in. As far as Dad was concerned the advent of cheap air fares made the Bond movies redundant a long time ago.

As for myself, I'd be fine with the series ending. To be honest, I've found the Daniel Craig Bond movies quite dreary (I actually fell asleep midway through Quantum of Solace). Craig's a good actor but his 007 has no charm whatsoever, he's just a thug in a tux. I really don't care if Blofeld kills him or not.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Matt Hawes
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 14435
Posted: 30 August 2018 at 6:24pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

 Robbie wrote:
...Nowadays, Bond just doesn't seem unique in a world of Bourne, Ethan Hunt, etc. ...

I don't believe Bond should be retired on the basis there are later copycats that came along. Should Superman have been retired because of all the other superheroes that came after?
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 10980
Posted: 30 August 2018 at 6:28pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Exactly, Matt. It also seems a bit selfish, along the lines of 'I've seen a lot Bond films, so why should anyone else have any new ones.'

These characters are for future generations to enjoy. They shouldn't get thrown in the trash just because the current generation has had their fill.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Andy Meyers
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 05 August 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 545
Posted: 31 August 2018 at 3:41am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Bond reminds me of ice cream, even when it’s bad it’s still good on some level. Plus, isn’t the iron law of sequels that only the last one doesn’t make money?

With regards to the last Mission Impossible, I liked it but didn’t think it was better than the last one (I didn’t like the last Bourne movie either). The author makes some points but doesn’t the current, record-breaking box office success negate the author’s premise?
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 112458
Posted: 31 August 2018 at 4:35am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

"Every issue is the first issue for someone."

The Bond franchise is brand new to a whole lot of people every year.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Jim Muir
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1126
Posted: 31 August 2018 at 4:42am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

We've had 25 Bond films. I think saying there's nowhere else to go with the character is somewhat shortsighted. Isn't that like saying after 25 Spider-Man or Superman stories there's nothing else to say?

In many ways the franchise has fallen victim to its own success - Once they had established the 'formula' (evil megalomanic, secret base, cars, gadgets, girls) they never really strayed from it. And that's being generous - a lot of them are essentially carbon copies with different window dressing! But I don't say that dismissively, I grew up with them and still love them now.  Understandably, the success of the formula meant they were very scared to do anything different. 

I agree with Peter that a smaller scale, tense tightly focused thriller would be interesting, but I personally wouldn't like to see a retro 1950s Bond (I think a modern audience would be massively confused why you did that - would be akin to setting Mission Impossible 7 in the 1960s). 
But there are plenty of other directions the franchise could go in without throwing away the core elements of what Bond is about.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 11630
Posted: 31 August 2018 at 6:05am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

 Peter Martin wrote:
Exactly, Matt. It also seems a bit selfish, along the lines of 'I've seen a lot Bond films, so why should anyone else have any new ones.']Peter Martin

Never said this.

Never advocated ending the franchise.

Look at the question mark at the end of my topic title. I was inviting discussion - and everyone's comments have been fascinating - and pondering whether Bond was still unique. It would be helpful if *SOME* people actually commented on what I actually posted (I said I agreed with SOME of what was in the link).

My original post is there to read, and NOWHERE do I advocate ending it. Again, the question mark.


Edited by Robbie Parry on 31 August 2018 at 6:06am
Back to Top profile | search
 
Jim Muir
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1126
Posted: 31 August 2018 at 6:49am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I think there's plenty of life left in the old dog yet. But hey, I love every version of Bond (even the David Niven one... to a degree!)

I'd be interested in a version where they actively embrace the chain smoking, hard drinking, casually misogynistic, blunt instrument rather than coyly sanitizing Bond for the widest audience possible - particularly hard to do in the current 'I'm offended by everything' climate. 
It's perhaps one of the rare (only?) occasions where a Tarantino version may...just may... have some merit.

I read Danny Boyle had dropped out of directing the next one because they wanted to kill Bond off in it... then have him replaced somehow in the following one. (No, I don't know how that works either)
I can only assume that would pave the way for an Idris Elba or Scarlett Johansson.

Yeah, when I said I love every version of Bond...
Back to Top profile | search
 
Eric Sofer
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 31 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 2451
Posted: 31 August 2018 at 7:51am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Mr. Perry, again you've hit on a fascinating subject - this one is a sweetie.

The question has to relate back to the studio - is it still UA doing the Bond films? The answer, as always, is money. Are they clearing enough to make the films profitable? That is the whole question and answer. As they keep making them, I have to assume that yes, they are clearing enough to keep a long running film franchise* going. Good for them.

So perhaps your question can be paraphrased as, "How to keep the Bond franchise interesting and making money?" I, of course, have many opinions.**

TO ME...
James Bond 007 is an undercover intelligence agent for MI6, and as a double-0, he is licensed to kill. There's a lot to appreciate in that description. 

He should not be running around blurting out his name to every Tom, Dick, and Prince Harry. It's okay when he reveals his true identity to one or two people... Felix LiIghter, for example. On the other hand, the scenes in "Casino Royale" (second one) where he just blurts out, "I'm James Bond and I'm here to play poker for Her Majesty's government!" were too disingenuous. There's a REASON he's undercover.

He's licensed to kill... not mandated. If there were a Bond movie where he didn't shoot or kill a single person, I'd be okay with that; his job is espionage, not hired assassin.*** But as has been noted in other fiction, if an assassin has to go running out of his assignment shooting people left and right, his chances of escaping alive are VERY slim. Of course, it IS Bond...

He is an intelligence agent, so I expect him in all sorts of settings... and I like that in the movies. From a pub in Bombay to an elegant party in Hong Kong to a CIA office in Langley to a wretched hive of scum and villainy somewhere, it's intelligence; it's where you find it. This is where Bond uses his brain as well as his pecker or his sharpshooting. The Mission Impossible movies have shown intel gathering as an art (even if a little elaborate) - that's what I like.

The stories are NOT about Bond (or at most, maybe a little bit about him.) This is a trap that the Charlie's Angels and Mission Impossible films fell into. The TV shows weren't about the stars; the stars had missions and they were active in those venues. ONE movie about some super villain seeking revenge on Bond is okay; but Goldfinger or Kamal Khan didn't start out gunning for 007, and S.P.E.C.T.R.E. is aware of him - but they aren't specifically gunning for him.

I think there is definitely a niche for James Bond movies, but I think they have to try to avoid the "Bond as Rambo" style of character. I absdolutely do not want crossovers**** with this franchise; again, it's about Bond and that's how it should remain.

* Maybe the longest, as far as number of films over number of years  There were Superman and Batman (etc.) serials and movies back in the 40s, but while they have the longevity, their frequency can't match Bond's.

** "It's gettin' him to shut up that's the trick!"

*** Although there has been reasonable debate on this... and if he has to kill an enemy of the U.K., I'm okay with that too. Someone once noted that, in terms of D&D alignment, MI6 may have the only lawful good assassins in fictional history.

**** There was a crossover in one of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen books with Bond, Bulldog Drummond, and the woman who would become Mrs. Peel; and in a Man from U.N.C.L.E. special, George Lazenby cameoed. And that's PLENTY enough!
Back to Top profile | search
 
Jim Muir
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1126
Posted: 31 August 2018 at 8:48am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

<<The stories are NOT about Bond (or at most, maybe a little bit about him.) This is a trap that the Charlie's Angels and Mission Impossible films fell into>>

That's a really good point. Flying in the face of modern storytelling, the character doesn't really have an arc in any of the movies - he's a catalyst, an instrument of change. Bond is no different at the end of the movie than he was at the start, other than he's won.

Interestingly the two/three? movies that ignore this seem to be the most critically highly regarded. (OHMSS, Skyfall, Spectre)
Back to Top profile | search
 
Christopher Frost
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 24 October 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 260
Posted: 31 August 2018 at 8:41pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

All they need for a good Bond movie are three things... 1) a good story/script, 2) some cool/exciting stunt sequences and 3) a Bond with charisma (sorry, but Craig lacks this particular item). 

Having cinematic competition by way of the Bourne films (not really spy movies since the character is more like an assassin) and Mission Impossible shouldn't be taken as a sign of the series lacking relevance, it should be taken as a reason to step up their game to remind everyone that Bond used to be the top of the genre.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10187
Posted: 01 September 2018 at 12:27am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

There`s life in Bond if they avoid the temptation to be
Politically Correct, yes he`s a sexist pig, but instead
of emasculating him, make his female characters strong
and equally ruthless, not the demure eye candy they
often were.
Craig`s Bond films have tried to go the Bourne route,
but i think a lot of Bond`s popularity was the pure
escapism.How many people visit Casino`s nowadays wearing
a Tux? But we accept it!
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Joe Zhang
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 12025
Posted: 01 September 2018 at 11:58am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

One would think in this post-Cold War world of terrorists and drug cartels Jack Ryan would be "relevant". The last successful Jack Ryan movie was almost thirty years ago. And nobody knows if and how Bourne and Ethan Hunt will continue after their original actors leave their roles. In terms of longevity, there's only one Bond. 

Edited by Joe Zhang on 01 September 2018 at 12:02pm
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Didier Yvon Paul Fayolle
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2005
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 5045
Posted: 02 September 2018 at 8:30pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

What I liked about the latest Mission Impossible was to
see some practical stunts and action sequences.It felt
realistic.
In some scenes in Bond, it clearly doesn't look as real.

I hope moviemakers will trend to go more in that
realistic direction.
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 10980
Posted: 02 September 2018 at 9:45pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Never said this.

Never advocated ending the franchise
--------------------------------------
So the thread is what? Advocating continuing the franchise? Your thread starts with the question 'Time for the James Bond Franchise to End?'

Matt Hawes gave an answer to the question, along with his thoughts on the subject.

I concurred with Matt, with my thoughts on the subject.

And then your nose gets bent out of shape?

Why ask the question then?

Edited to add: also note that neither my nor Matt's response were directly addressed to you. You provided a link to an article that proposed curtailing the Bond series. The answer of why the Bond series should not end was a specific response to the link you provided.


Edited by Peter Martin on 02 September 2018 at 10:18pm
Back to Top profile | search
 
James Woodcock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4630
Posted: 03 September 2018 at 1:46am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Bond should be Bond. If people want a black, Asian, Indian (male or female for each of these) version then these should be different characters in the same film. They should not be Bond.

I just do not understand why Bond himself should become these. A character is a character. And we have confused the past of race swapping actors with race swapping the actual character, which is the fundamental problem going on at the moment.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Paul Kimball
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 September 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1773
Posted: 04 September 2018 at 11:30pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

There`s life in Bond if they avoid the temptation to be
Politically Correct, yes he`s a sexist pig, but instead
of emasculating him, make his female characters strong
and equally ruthless, not the demure eye candy they
often were.

+++++++
I think there's a lot of ground between sexist pig and emasculation, and Imo
the Daniel Craig bond was much more in the middle then some of the older
versions.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 

Page of 2 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login