Friday, November 17, 2006
WAITING FOR 007
The debut of James Bond, first edition, 1953.
I arrived early at the barbecue joint today so I could eat my lunch and watch PASSIONS in peace before we open at 3PM, and while stuffing my face with an excellent eggplant parmesean sandwich I happened upon a PBS rerun of last night's Charlie Rose show. Rose was interviewing Daniel Craig, the latest actor to take on the James Bond mantle - he's the sixth one on the big screen, for those who are counting - so I decided to listen to what the 007 newbie had to say. After five minutes and a couple of clips, I was utterly sold.
Let's get one thing straight: I love me some James Bond, namely the Fleming novels, and about half of the movies, so I have anticipated the new CASINO ROYALE with great interest and trepidation. The current film is attempting a reboot of the franchise, minus the baggage of forty-four years of cinematic history, and presenting what is essentially the origin of James Bond and how he earned his double-o classification. What interests me most about all of this is that the filmmakers are doing an adaptation of the first Bond novel, and from all accounts it's going to be a pretty straight, violent, and bloody affair, returning the character to his dark and violent roots as basically a government-sanctioned assassin rather than the super-hero he has become over the years. The Bond of the books is a complex creation, a man of deep psychological issues and sometimes creepy, edgy behavior, in short, a mess. A mess with a gun and a sadistic streak. That's a character I find very intriguing, especially as the hero of a series, and I'm dying to see if that interpretation makes it to the big screen.
I was intending to see CASINO ROYALE during its first matinee showing this morning, but I had a lot on my mind and didn't want to see it in a distracted state, so I'll wait until Monday and see it with a friend who's in town from the UK. After that, I'll be back with an in-depth review.
The current paperback edition. Gotta love that retro/pulp design!