Friday, February 07, 2014

Me, Myself, and James Bond

James Bond has been on my mind a lot lately.

It's due to a couple of things that have fed off each other. First, I love introducing my son to awesome things and have always impatiently looked forward to a time when he could appreciate stuff that didn't necessarily have giant reptiles in it so that I could introduce him to Bond. This past year he watched Commando with me and liked in in spite of its lack of dinosaurs or kaiju, so I started thinking that he might be ready. He was only 11 though, and in my head I was waiting for him to turn 13, so I held off for a bit.

But in the last part of last year a couple of Bond podcasts started and I've been listening to them. Pod, James Pod is run in part by my pal CT from Nerd Lunch and is a fun if meandering discussion of the Bond films in more or less random order. Then there's Nerdist's James Bonding with Matts Gourley and Mira, an only slightly more structured look at the films that started at both ends of the series (first Dr. No, then Skyfall) and is working towards the middle. All this Bond talk got me interested in watching the films again, so I sped up my time table with David and we've been watching them in order with Diane. Which has me wanting to talk about them myself. I don't have a podcast, but I do have this blog, so I thought maybe I'd write a series of James Bond posts as sort of a follow up to last year's Tarzan celebration.

Since I won't be working through a book like Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration, the format will be different for this. I'm going to read the books and watch the movies and write about all of them in the order they were produced. That means that I won't be able to make this a weekly thing at first while I'm in the novels, because I'm a very slow reader. Once we get to the movies though, things should pick up.

I'd planned to use this particular post to talk about my own background with Bond and explain the format for the reviews, but I think that I'll save both of those things for later as we get into it. I'm really looking forward to this and am going to make it as comprehensive as I can. See you Monday with a discussion of the first Bond novel, Casino Royale.


Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

What a coincidence, James Bond has been on my mind lately ever since last weekend when I was looking for something to watch and I discovered a VHS copy of "Goldfinger" that I forgot I had.

I can sympathize with your dilemma. As an artist/creator, I want to make sure any offspring I have are exposed to the best material there is, especially knowing how they'll grow up in a world saturated with entertainment options. But at the same time pacing is going to be very important.

Perhaps these podcasts you recommend will help scratch the itch further. Thanks for the heads up.

Looking forward to your discussion of the novels.

Michael May said...

If you have a way to play VHS tapes and are interested in the rest of the series, let me know. I've just upgraded to DVD on the Bond films, so you can have all my VHS copies. It's everything up through Dalton.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Thats a very generous offer, especially since my copy of "From Russia with Love" and "Thunderball" were damaged in a basement flood last spring that I had to throw them away.

I had thought about just buying the Connery DVD box set at Best Buy when it was marked at only $10, but felt guilty because it was a Christmas sale and shouldn't be shopping for myself.

Don't know if I'd feel right putting you out for the postage that would cost, especially since I likely wouldn't watch much of the Moore era. His movies were always a little too much on the side of farce for my taste.

Carlin said...

I still haven't listened to "Bames Jonding…"

Michael May said...

They stay on topic only slightly more than you guys do. :) They're funny though, so it's a nice companion to PJP.

Carlin said...

I probably won't listen to Bames Jonding until our project is complete. Don't want anything coloring what we're doing with our show.

It's possible we'd cover Bond again on Nerd Lunch despite James Pod. If so, we'll get you on as a guest for that.

Michael May said...

I think it's smart to avoid projects that are similar to something you're working on. Totally agree.

And I'm already rubbing my hands together at the thought of being able to talk Bond with you guys. Woo hoo!

NoelCT said...

Now Playing Podcast recently did a year going through all the films in order, and even covered Fleming's original novels on their sistercast Books & Nachos.

I'm guessing you aren't going to go into all of the non-Fleming novels, but you may at the least want to give Colonel Sun by Kingsley Amis a go as elements of that were worked into a couple of the films, too.

Michael May said...

Thanks for the tip on the other podcasts! I'll give those a listen.

I'm actually thinking about going through the non-Fleming novels, but reserving the right to change my mind if I'm worn out by the time I get there. I kind of feel like License Renewed plays a tiny role in License to Kill though and I' curious if any other elements from non-Fleming books have snuck into movies.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Well I couldn't help but wonder if "Colonel Sun" was supposed to be an influence on Colonel Moon, the villain from the disastrous "Die Another Day", but thats just a snap judgment based on the title.

Michael May said...

I vaguely recall wondering that when Die Another Day came out too. I have Colonel Sun on my bookcase, but have never read it. I'll keep an eye out for similarities when I do.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

I can't imagine there are all that many because Die Another Day clearly didn't have a story.

I often joke about how some movies are "mad libbed" into completion, but this film seemed to be pitched as "Start in Korea, end in the ice palace and we'll figure out the rest as we go along".


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