Everything Else, TGITDNMAR — November 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm

TGITDNMAR (11/9/12)



It’s that time again for TGITDNMAR, which (obviously) stands for Thank God It’s The Day New Movies Are Released.

The fact of the matter is that I’m more or less contractually obligated to see this (it’s the subject of this weekend’s LAMBcast, which I’ll be hosting), so -  SPOILER ALERT – it’s getting 100%.  The question remains, though…how much do I want to see it and/or what am I expecting from it?

Tackling the latter question first, I’m expecting nothing short of an exhilarating action film with high stakes, gonzo-cool technology and a bonkers baddie that may or may not be a pederast, to borrow from Walter Sobchak.  But that’s really only because early word of mouth (especially from loyal reader/dude with awesome film taste Andrew Crump) is so high on it.  So let’s get into that first question a bit.

See, I seem to have garnered a reputation as being something of a Bond hater over the course of the last few months.  This is patently false.  I’ve not seen a single Bond film that I hate.

Which is part of the problem.  No, I’m not going to tell you that I’ve not seen any.  I’ve seen somewhere in the neighborhood of five (plus pieces of various others, as well as three Austin Powers films and god knows how many other ripoffs/parodies), among them Craig’s earlier two entries, as well as Goldeneye, Licence to Kill, and A View to a Kill.  (Those are the ones I know I’ve seen.)  And I have varying opinions on all of them that I won’t get in to, from “tons of fun!” to “cheesy!’ to “”kinda painful,” etc.

To cut to the chase, although I have some minor interest in going back at some point and watching all of them in order, I guess my issue is that I just think the series in general is pretty boring when thought of as a series, and especially when looking forward to new entries.  No doubt everyone has their own set of favorites and ones  they detest and Bond actors they think are the cat’s meow and ones they think are dull as dogshit.  I wouldn’t dare begrudge them those, and were I to watch all of the films, I’d be right there arguing my favorites and such.

But I just don’t care.

Generally speaking (please take note of the usage of that word), what I see when I look at 23 Bond films is one film.  One film that differs greatly due to era, politics, special effects, actors, locations and much, much more, but one film nonetheless.  One film remade nearly two dozen times.  Multiple entries that are indistinguishable from each other or blended by memories over time.  I’m sure the same thing happens to people when thinking of Woody Allen films.  Dozens of films with the same tropes separated by Mad Libs-style modifiers and goofy names.

Reductive thinking?  Hell yeah.  Care to disagree?  Be my guest.

Dylan’s Chance of Viewing (in the theater): 100%

Before I say anything about Lincoln, there’s something I must address.  Longtime readers will know that I am forced to/love nothing more than to tank on the new releases each week, what with them being awful/forgettable some 85% of the time.  Well, turnabout is fair play, and in the interest of equal press, I must say that I haven’t had much to complain about these last few weeks (that is, when I’ve managed to write this piece).  Now, that might seem staggeringly obvious (“Better films coming out in winter aka Oscar Season?  The HELL you say, Captain Obvious!!”), but I feel compelled to state it anyway.  After all, even Oscar Season is more than capable of turning in supposedly prestige films that look like crap to me (see: The Blind Side, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close).  And now, Abe


So…are there plans to replace the real Lincoln’s portrait/profile on U.S. coins/bills with Daniel Day-Lewis’?  Because, ya know, that would be pretty sweet, and couldn’t possibly be any more blasphemous than the existence of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, right?

I don’t personally know anyone that’s “excited” for this film; far as I can tell, we all view it as some sort of homework for a high school class we haven’t been to in a while.  We have no doubt that it will be pretty interesting and perhaps even captivating, but looks to be made with all the personality and creativity as an episode of How It’s Made.  Though those can be pretty captivating, too…

Dylan’s Chance of Viewing (in the theater): 73%


  • Skyfall will kill the box-office this weekend no doubt about it.

  • I will be interested to hear your thoughts on Skyfall, simply because it is a very different to what you expect from a Bond film. It hasn’t rewritten the book on Bond, but is has taken a kind of a sidestep away from a typical Bond film.

    • Better late than never reply? A sign of just how bad I am these days…

      Well, the podcast on it is coming soon, so you can hear the full deal there, but the long and short of it is that it’s a very good film. I got tripped up on some of the more nitpicky aspects of it (or so I’m told), but it deftly handles some topical themes, relevant not only to the Bond franchise but to society in general, draws a number of characters in detail, all the meanwhile giving plenty of nods/homages to the past 50 years of Bond and also looking forward. Kind of a monumental feat in and of itself, and one that would be more meaningful if it didn’t stink a bit of superhero/origin/Nolan like everything else these days. At least they did Nolan right.

  • I’m so ready to LAMBCast the shit out of Skyfall.

    That’s all I’m gonna say. Except that I loved it. And it’s great. And it’s a superbly regressive Bond film, which is meant as a high compliment. Plus Mendes and Deakins.

    I’m gonna see Lincoln sometime soon, too, so there’s that I guess.

    • It is douchey to reply to one’s own comment, but I didn’t even notice the specific shout-out to me in here. Strange because I almost never miss things that are specifically me-oriented. Anyways. Thank you kindly for the flattering words, Dylan!

      • You’re welcome…I think we covered just about everything else on the podcast. :D

  • Thankfully moviedom in general doesn’t share your dismissive attitude. :) Routinely, a new Bond will be near the top of the box office charts in the year of its release (some exceptions aside), so obviously, the public sees the value in their continual offering.

    With a greater knowledge of the series, you’d see the variations within… but if you have no interest in it, that’s going to be hard to obtain. The similarities are an asset to those who follow the franchise… they give a sense of consistency and heritage. And certainly, while they share the same broad similarites, they’re most definitely NOT the same film.

    I’m sure we’ll talk quite a bit more Sunday.

    • Would you at least grant me the validity of my Allen comparison (which I thought of at the last minute and then thought pretty damn apt)? It’s not a statement of quality to say that people confuse the shit out of his films (specifically the NYC-set ones), and to the casual outsider, I could definitely see thinking they’re more-or-less the same film made over-and-over again with minor details altered.

      I don’t think I’m dismissive. The series has validity and I really appreciate what it brings to/means for the Brits, and I’m happy that it’s been able to maintain relevance for five decades, which is truly a feat, especially given its repetitive nature. I guess that, at this point (or at least up to the Craig era?), I’ve felt as though the films themselves haven’t been worthy of the hype/cultural relevance that the series has, from a quality standpoint. Some of that’s on my ignorance, but that’s the impression that I get, anyway.