This just in — QOS hits the UAE!

The all-important review from the Khaleej Times is now online!

When the Dubai newspaper-of-record gives a new James Bond film the ol’ thumbs-up, we can’t help but sleep a little more peacefully in our beds, knowing that we’ve got a winner on our hands.  The newspaper quotes a diehard 007 fan thusly:

…for Zoheb Bashir, a resident of Sharjah, Bond movies are all about the 007 suits, the flashy cars, and the gorgeous Bond girls. “It’s not something that I have been waiting to watch, but I would probably check it out over the weekend. I have seen a few of the previous Bond movies, and hope Quantum of Solace would be a better than the previous ones.”

Clearly, having seen a few of the previous Bond movies, Mr. Bashir knows his stuff.  We’ll take his imprimatur as a good sign.

You can read the entire probing analysis RIGHT HERE. And you can quell your worries about the effectiveness of this latest 007 opus right now.

CBS coverage of QoS royal premier

“The Early Show” on CBS had a segment of the royal premier of Quantum of Solace. Of course, at one point, reporter Sheila MacVicar asks Daniel Craig what the title means. There’s also a shot of Princes William and Harry arriving while the James Bond Theme is playing. MacVicar notes the Sunday Times in the U.K. didn’t like the film.

CBS supplied the segment for YouTube, so no copyright issues (for those who like to pure about these things). So see for yourself, it lasts 2:15:

UPDATE: Here’s ITN’s coverage of the same event. It has a bit more breathless quality. Also, based on this video, it appears the title song to “You Only Live Twice” was playing when the two princes arrived. Here it is:

ZOO’s Top 10 Sexiest Bond Girls

British-based teen-boy-wacking-material ZOO.com has a list of their picks for the top 10 sexiest of the James Bond girls.  Whether or not you agree with the list, the piece is striking in that it features some pretty rare photographs of the girls in question.  The one of the perpetually underappreciated Mie Hama (Kissy Suzuki of You Only Live Twice) being a prime example.

Check out ZOO for some very sweet eye candy .  Sexist?  Sadly, yes, but yummy nevertheless.

QUANTUM OF SOLACE titles sequence

A Happy Halloween to all of you!

I’ve just seen the Quantum of Solace credit sequence.  If you want to know more about the titles read on, if not, know there may be SPOILERS.

I have sincerely loved Daniel Kleinman’s work on the past five films, and consider each title sequence a highlight of the 007 movie itself.  The title sequences of Casino Royale and to a lesser extent Die Another Day (yes, DAD) are likely my favorites.  I was seriously disappointed when I learned Kleinman would not be returning for QOS.

That said, MK12 has created visually interesting titles that are mostly in keeping with tradition.  I like them, and they work well (mostly) with the song.  With what I have heard as to how people feel about the QOS theme however, your mileage may vary.

Title sequence details:  Just as Bond says to a bound and bruised Mr. White in a boot, “It’s time to get up”, Jack White’s song kicks in and the credits roll.  A silhouetted James Bond fires a gun while the credits fade (in and out) “Daniel Craig… as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007… in Quantum of Solace.”  We follow the (gold) slo-mo bullet as it travels above a desert, through wind and sand.  Silhouette-Bond is seen stalking someone (gun drawn) traversing sand dunes, then approaches the camera.  A silhouette of a yummy naked girl is seen rising from the shifting sand.  More Bond stalking, a bit more shifting of sand (akin to what Kleinman has done before with oil or water/ice motifs) then LOTS of shifting sand and several shots of silhouettes of naked women.  (The lighting here is fairly dark unfortunately.)  Silhouette-Bond falling, then a graphic that looks to be STRAIGHT from Maurice Binder’s You Only Live Twice work – a circle grid.  (You’ll recognize it when you see it.)  Then a ring of many silhouette nudes dancing and cavorting (slow motion) around a blurred sun as silhouette-Bond is depicted falling amongst them  (Binder’s grid in background.)  LOTS of silhouette Bonds falling, starry night in background.  Two silhouette nudes, back-to-back.  Four silhouette-nudes (in high-heels!) dancing as mirror images.  (So maybe it’s just the one.)  Bond’s Walther falling with him into an iris, then onto the desert.  The gun evaporates into sand.  Bond still falling, a cool shot of him firing a gun, again in slow motion.  Complete with the depiction of the casing being ejected and gases escaping. “Written by Paul Haggis and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade.”  (The ampersand has significance as to writing credit.)  We again follow the bullet as Bond walks toward the camera.  Interestingly, at the bottom, the beginning of Binder’s “walk-on” sequence begins – small circles move across the screen.  “Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli” follows the circles.  More silhouette-nudes, an explosion of sand as the bullet hits its target, “Directed by Marc Forster”, and then into the film proper.   (The first few seconds are a red and yellow checkered flag and then what looks like a parade somewhere in Europe.)

I like it.  Well done and graphically interesting.  The contemporary font used throughout is also appropriate.

Still not up to par with Kleinman’s work though.  Or Binder’s.  In that comparison, the QOS titles… are a bit cold.  Like the creators knew the character, but didn’t well… love the character.

I’d like to hear your thoughts after the film as the titles sequences of James Bond films have always been a favorite part of the film for me.

– Tom Zielinski

Daniel Craig on The Tonight Show October 17, 2008

This past Friday, 17 October, Daniel Craig visited with Jay Leno on NBC’s The Tonight Show. Despite having his injured left arm in a sling, and putting up with Leno’s usual gibberish, Craig managed to be both entertaining and Bondy-cool.  Check out the story he tells about getting the role of 007!  He’s out on the publicity trail, thumping the tub for Quantum of Solace, and there’s a very cool, though very short, clip from the movie.

Here’s the first part:

and here’s part 2:

Early reviews of Quantum of Solace

The Times Online caught the new, highly-anticipated, James Bond film at the London film Festival.  It’s got some good things to say about it — RIGHT HERE.

It’s relatively spoiler-free, so you don’t have to worry overmuch about your QOS virginity.

POSTSCRIPT — the BBC just weighed in with their review HERE.  And another good one it is!

Thoughts on James Bond theme songs

There’s an interesting piece in today’s (October 12) London Times Online, about the QOS theme song, “Another Way to Die,” and its place in the James Bond film series’ musical history.

Columnist Dan Caims, in his article “Bond themes: Can nobody do it better?,” doesn’t have a lot of good things to say about the Jack White/Alicia Keys collaboration.  Neither does he have any great love for any Bond theme song since McCartney & Wing’s “Live and Let Die,” from way back in 1973.  What’s really interesting is his recounting of a discussion with David Arnold, wherein the current Bond composer pretty much confirms what we’ve all intuited: the marketing suits, and not the music personnel, are the ones making the decisions about theme song performers.  Caims refers back to relatively weak efforts by  a-Ha and Sheryl Crow trumping the superior work by The Pretenders and k.d. lang, as well as the thin beer of  “All Time High” and “For Your Eyes Only.”

Personally, and the above examples work just fine for me, my thought is always been that EON always misses the mark when they try to manufacture a hit record, based on marketing research and charts analysis and other MBA stuff, rather than musical taste and artistic perception.  People love classic 007 tunes like “Goldfinger” and “You Only Live Twice” and “Diamonds Are Forever” and etc. because 1.) Oh, sure, they’re expertly crafted commercial pop music, but, more importantly, 2.) They’re evocative of the films themselves. You get a small dose of that ol’ Bond magic when you hear the music, because it reminds you of the regular-size dose you received in the movie theater.  That’s why we go for that stuff — not because we’re all big Shirley Bassey or Nancy Sinatra fans.  The best Bond theme songs are like the films they come from: they’re lightning captured in a bottle.  Whenever the producers try to force the magic, it doesn’t happen.

Check out the article.  Though some excellent and perceptive thinking in it, even if you don’t agree with all of his examples or conclusions.

– Paul

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