Hi True Believers! In my last entry I stated that I would write about the connection between videogaming, movies, and books. After posting it up for publication, I started thinking…how in the hell do I write about something like this? More importantly…how in the hell do I make it interesting enough for anybody to read?
Then I realized…why am I asking myself these questions? Just write the damned thing and see what happens! So here goes…
<Three days later>
OK, after three days of consulting my library of movies, books, and video games…I don’t have bupkus for anything. I need to escalate my efforts, Charles Bukowski-style.
<Five hours and one bottle of Glenlivet later…>
In Dooblin’s fr’zitti, werrrr gorls arre so prtyy….twas werr I met shweet Mollly m………
That’s when it hit me. I was incredibly hung over and was watching a James Bond movie. Incidentally, I always seem to be hung over when watching a Bond film. Apparently there’s a masochistic side to me that even I wasn’t aware of. But I digress…
James Bond is the catalyst here. Sir Ian Fleming introduced Bond to the world in his novel, Casino Royale, in 1953. Incidentally, Casino Royale is the only James Bond book I have ever read…and I didn’t really care for it. He wrote 14 Bond novels, all of which were made into films. Fleming died in 1964 and did not get to enjoy the huge worldwide cultural phenomenon that Bond is today. In the early 80’s, author John Gardner continued the Bond series with the novel Licence Renewed and new Bond novels are still being written and published today. There is even a series of Bond novels about his early days in MI6. I won’t comment or critique on any of these, since I’ve not read any of them. Given Bond’s reputation as a womanizing, martini-swilling, suave, sexy superspy, it is fitting , so to speak, that Bond furthered his popularity in the States when Playboy published some short stories about him – Octopussy and The Living Daylights in the mid 60’s. I only have one question about this….Playboy has articles?
Since Casino Royale is the only literary reference to Bond I feel I am qualified to make, I will only make one point about the book that I remember. That’s the recipe for Bond’s martini. Here it is for your personal bartenders’ recipe book. Cheers!
That’s about all I got out of it…and I don’t even drink martinis! But this does tie in alcoholic consumption with books, movies, and video games. It’s not beer, but it’s close enough. In 1962, James Bond was introduced to the world in the theater with Dr. No starring the great Sean Connery. I won’t spend too much time talking about the films because everybody has had to have see at least one Bond film in their lifetime. Some were great, some were OK, some were just plain out bad. It’s a matter of speculation here, but for my money, if had to pick the best Bond film ever, it would be You Only Live Twice from 1967. Most argue that Goldfinger was the best, but for me, I just loved the fact that Bond went deep deep deep undercover by faking his own death. That being said, it becomes apparent that I am a Connery man when it comes to picking the best Bond. That’s not to say that Moore, Lazenby, Dalton, Brosnan, and now Daniel Craig weren’t great Bonds, but hey…it’s Connery…you just can’t outclass the man. He’s the only one who could deliver those cheesy lines and make them somewhat believable.
The one line that still cracks me up to this day is from Diamonds Are Forever when Bond first meets Plenty O’Toole (I could go on about the misogynistic names of all the women in these films, but I’d never finish this column!). Plenty O’Toole is a rather buxom (just in case you don’t pick up on subtleties all that well) woman and when she introduces herself to Bond by saying, “Hi! I’m Plenty”, he looks at her and says, “Of course you are.” He utters that line in such a way that it doesn’t even sound sexist, even though it obviously is. To go off-subject for brief second, I am completely thrilled that the new ruler of witty banter is now Juno! There is some justice in the world, True Believers!
I just finished watching Casino Royale, the “reboot” of the series and I have to say that I enjoyed it. It wasn’t Oscar-worthy great, but for those naysayers who were just aghast at Daniel Craig being cast as 007, I say get a grip, and a get a life. There’s a reason why I’ve never heard of Bond fanboys – there aren’t any! Bond’s fan base consists of regular guys who like spy movies. I particularly liked this one because Bond is a raw, new talent in the story. He screws up, screws up often, and screws up big. He’s not suave and sophisticated, but more like a thug in a nice suit. Or as Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) says, “You’ve obviously went to Cambridge given the cut of your suit, but you don’t look comfortable in it. Telling me you didn’t come from money.” Another example is when Bond says to Vesper, “I wouldn’t even know what an honest job is.” For those of you that have seen Casino Royale, know that the next Bond film, Quantum of Solace, will be a direct follow-up to the storylines left open. For those of you that haven’t, I won’t give Casino’s whole plot away. Hey! Don’t get mad…I shouldn’t have to do everything for you, should I?!
The tie-in with video games and James Bond seems rather obvious with the huge bestselling Nintendo 64 hit GoldenEye007 in 1997. However, there was a video game released in 1983 for home computers simply called James Bond. I am ashamed to admit that I owned this title. Even for its time and place, this game SUCKED….it was the suckiest suck to ever suck a suck. I mean it was BAD! (Thanks to YouTuber GamesEmotion for having this …though I cannot explain why. He has 135 other Atari classics for your enjoyment, too.)
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