1/6/2010

Bond. Suburban Angst Bond.

Posted in Side Topics at 6:08 pm by Sam

News came in about the director of the next James Bond film, and the name couldn’t have been more surprising to me. It’s Sam Mendes, director of American Beauty and Revolutionary Road.

On the one hand, I heartily approve of this new trend (does two in a row make it a trend?) of hiring artsy directors in lieu of action directors, the theory presumably being that the second unit can take care of the action scenes just fine on its own (Bond’s second unit team has always been among the best action teams in the business), leaving the producers free to pick a main director who excels at character and storytelling. It worked once: although not as good as Casino Royale, I thought Quantum of Solace was excellent.

But with Mendes in the director’s chair, I can’t help but think that Bond 23 is going to be the one where 007 goes undercover as an accountant to investigate a plague of angst and malaise lurking behind the white picket fences of America’s suburbs. The villain, no doubt, will be a criminal mastermind who has discovered a way of subtly reinforcing oppressive social traditions, thereby driving his victims to such unimaginable horrors as feeling guilty about having affairs.

4 Comments »

  1. Stephen (221) said,

    January 7, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I’m not the first to say this, but seriously, why isn’t Martin Campbell just the go-to guy for these movies? Even if, like Sam and I, you aren’t a huge fan of Goldeneye, it’s still a good Bond and Casino Royale is one of the best. Campbell is a good action director who can handle the character and tone well.

    And I honestly feel like Quantum of Solace often works in spite of its direction, not because of it. While I’m with Sam in that I think it’s a very good movie, it’s a significant step down from Casino Royale in its action sequences. And I don’t see how adding a dramatic director really improved the more character focused sequences.

    Also, Mendes is really not as good of a director as his reputation would indicate. Road to Perdition was a bore, Jarhead was a mess, and American Beauty has not aged well in my mind. (To be fair, I’ve not seen Revolutionary Road or Away We Go, but neither looked very compelling.)

  2. Sam (405) said,

    January 13, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Now news comes that Bond 23 will be filmed in 3D?? Crazy.

  3. Stephen (221) said,

    January 14, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I guess that makes sense. It is an action franchise, and now that Avatar is making all that dough, everybody is going to have to follow suit.

  4. wintermute (157) said,

    January 25, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Surely the logic of movie franchises demands that it be filmed in 23D?

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