[personal profile] matgb
Yesterday, I did finish reading [livejournal.com profile] autopope's Jennifer Morgue. It's a damn fine James Bond pastiche with casinos, yachts, a submersible car and Great Old Ones—I commend it to the housereadership.

By random chance, It was revealed today that my good friend [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat, despite being a smart, educated Brit in her mid twenties, has never seen a Bond movie. Now, while I am tempted to complement her parents for managing to raise her and not once have ITV on on a bank holiday, I am completely and utterly amazed that she has managed to never see a Bond movie. Given that I am always aware of the potential problems caused by the small numbers fallacy, I thought I'd find out if she's actually less unusual than I think. Poll time:
[Poll #1296178]
See, I read the books mostly when I was a kid (I distinctly recall reading a fair few while on the caravan holiday in France, which dates it to 1986 just before I turned 12 and started grammar school). I can remember both enjoying reading them and being surprised at how different they were to the films—Bond got married in one, and was getting over her assassination in the next, there was distinct character development and Moneypenny was a bit part.

They were, without doubt, a product of their time, which is why the new films are even further away from them, even if elements (Bond's character) do seem closer than the earlier films. At times I consider going back to reread them, then decide life is too short and I've got far too many other books to read (like the rest of [livejournal.com profile] autopope's books for a start). Anyone else read enough of them as an adult to have an opinion one way or t'other?

Jennie posted a slightly different poll rating the movies awhileback for those of you that are poll obsessed or merely didn't see it.
innerbrat: (drama)

Date: 2008-11-12 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
Look, it's not like I haven't tried. I just get unbelievably bored and...

...oh wait, I think I saw TND at the cinema. It was that memorable I forgot, OK?

Date: 2008-11-12 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhythmaning.livejournal.com
Oh no, you CAN'T have seen one! Not seeing a James Bond movie means you will ALWAYS win any game of humiliation you play.

Now you will have to lie forever.
innerbrat: (woe)

Date: 2008-11-12 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
*dutifully does so*

Date: 2008-11-12 09:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miss-s-b.livejournal.com
"Bond got married in one, and was getting over her assassination in the next"

To be fair, this happened in the films, too. He married Cousin Di.

Date: 2008-11-13 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pmoodie.livejournal.com
He get over her death very quickly in Diamonds Are Forever though.

Oddly, the only times she got mentioned again were in The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only. It wasn't much, but it was nice to see a small attempt at continuity and emotional depth.

Date: 2008-11-12 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bopeepsheep.livejournal.com
I've seen clips, and I've seen the end of Moonraker (on tv) and the credit sequence of The Living Daylights dozens of times (I worked in the cinema) but I don't think that patchwork fits together to justify 'have seen a Bond film'. I've certainly no idea of the details of the plot for most of them, or even the cast/characters beyond the obvious. I have read Thunderball, and some short stories.

I've also only seen (most of) The Empire Strikes Back, I've never seen the end of ET, and I've seen about two minutes of any Indiana Jones film (can't even remember which one it was).

Date: 2008-11-12 09:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyrell.livejournal.com
*Looks at the responses in abject horror and amazement* GET YOURSELVES TO THE DVD SHOP IMMEDIATELY!

It's like never seeing a Star Wars movie, only much less likely if you've ever been in the UK on a Bank Holiday, ever. You have to work really damn hard to not have seen one.

Start with the first three Connerys, then Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun, then Goldeneye. That'll do you for starters.

Date: 2008-11-12 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bopeepsheep.livejournal.com
You have to work really damn hard to not have seen one.
No, really, it's extraordinarily easy. Particularly if you're the kind of child/teenager who prefers to read or go for a walk instead of watch TV on Bank Holidays.

Date: 2008-11-13 11:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pmoodie.livejournal.com
I have a friend who had never seen a Star Wars film until the Special Editions got their cinematic run back in the late 90s. So it's not impossible.

Date: 2008-11-12 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhythmaning.livejournal.com
I think there are a couple of Moore's movies I haven't seen - I was a teenager by then, and disliked Moore after Connery.

I read many of the books as a teenager, too; I doubt I would like them now, but I love the memories!

Date: 2008-11-12 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] davegodfrey.livejournal.com
Its a pity about the misogynism, but in the book Dr No has a pet Giant Squid. Which I feel compensates for an awful lot of things.

Date: 2008-11-13 12:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com
Sounds intriguing. I shall add it to my Christmas list.

Date: 2008-11-13 06:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jackthomas.livejournal.com
They are fantastic, recommend reading The Atrocity Archives first.

Date: 2008-11-13 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com
Thanks for the recommendation.

Date: 2008-11-12 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ihavecake.livejournal.com
To repeat what I said in SB's poll; Craig and Dalton are the best actors, Connery is the best Bond. Moore takes it a bit too far for my taste.

I read Casino Royale long long ago and probably didn't finish it, although I don't remember either way. Should I have another go?

Oh, and speaking of films-never-seen, I haven't seen any of the Godfather trilogy therefore being slightly more unacceptable than [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat and also missing a large chunk of pop-culture references.

Date: 2008-11-12 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] davegodfrey.livejournal.com
I've never seen any of the other Godfather films either.
ext_27872: (Default)

Date: 2008-11-12 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] el-staplador.livejournal.com
I thought the books were very dull. I like the films, though - both the old and the new style.
ext_27841: (Default)

Date: 2008-11-13 01:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eldar.livejournal.com
Well, I only own every (official EON productions) Bond film so far released on DVD so I guess I qualify to comment, right?

I only started reading the Bond books long after the films. I picked up a bunch of tattered paperbacks in Haye-on-Wye, and of them only got round to reading Goldfinger. I've since bought and read a reprint of Casino Royale (prior to the movie).

Goldfinger the book, and Goldfinger the film, are pretty close approximations of each other. (But there's no laser-between-the-legs "No Mr Bond, I expect you to die!" moment in the book.)

Casino Royale the film has, at it's core (i.e. the middle hour or so) the book: the card game, the characters, the betrayal. Except it's a different card game, in a different part of the world.

The books are of another world, and Bond of the books is a complete misogynist, but they have car chases and fights and action... they never pretend to be great literature, they never pretend to be relevant or realistic even for the time they were written. In other words, they're fantasies, and in general fantasies need to be timeless. Bond just about succeeds in this.

Date: 2008-11-13 11:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pmoodie.livejournal.com
I can see how someone could grow up here and not see any Bond. All you'd have to do would be to avoid the telly at certain times. And I can certainly see how some people could dislike the films.

But I love them! The first one I ever saw on the big screen was On her Majesty's Secret Service*, and I was hooked. It's still my favourite Bond film, and I think George Lazenby is very underrated as Bond. Considering he'd been a male model up to that point, he makes a damn fine actor.

I'm not so keen on the books. They're rife with snobbery, racism and misogyny, and Fleming was obsessed with status symbols, wearing the right kind of clothes, drinking the right kind of cocktails and driving the right kind of cars. His is not a world I'd want to visit often.

Thankfully the films water Fleming down and put much more emphasis on action and spectacle, and the best ones are hard to beat for pure cinematic entertainment.

As for the actors, I think they're all good. But the quality of the films varied over the years. So my least favourite period was the mid-late 80s, meaning that Moore and Dalton had the misfortune to appear in the worst Bond films, but that doesn't make them bad actors.

*It was a re-release, I'm not that old!

Date: 2008-11-13 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baseballchica03.livejournal.com
I used to take so much shit for the fact that Dalton was my favorite Bond. But since Daniel Craig's Bond is a little dirtier and rougher (note: my new fave) everyone's taking a second look at the Dalton ones, aren't they? I read an interesting article not long after Casino Royale came out about how Bond tends to be a product of the times, and in the kind of crazy world we live in now, we need a different kind of Bond than the campiness of Moore or Brosnan. (Not that I didn't love me some Brosnan - I think Goldeneye was the first one I ever saw, being just a young 'un.) And Dalton was just ahead of his time.

I'm so excited for Quantum of Solace. I'll be dragging David to the theater to see it when it comes out tomorrow. (I hope. I think he has designs on going out of town this weekend. But... James Bond!)

Date: 2008-11-13 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jackthomas.livejournal.com
Disturbingly I also finished reading Jennifer Morgue last week. Awesome was it not?

He's just finished drafting a third novel, but its not due out till 2010.

Date: 2008-11-15 11:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hazeljnutt.livejournal.com
It sounds like suffering from the same thing I get with muppet movies. No matter who's in them, I just fall asleep.
And on the subject of Bond, I've only consciously watched Diamonds are Forever, and that was for my course last year, having to explain why it's a product of the contemporary ideologies on gender. Yeah, fun!
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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