26

Re: Daniel Craig was miscast as James Bond? I think so

emtiem wrote:
chrisno1 wrote:

I agree that part of the problem with DC isn't that he can't act - he clearly can, he's very good in CR - or that his scripts are poor - well, generally they have been - it's about how he looks.

The comments by several posters above who refer to him as appearing like a 'thug' or being 'monosyllabic' do have a significant point.

The 'blunt instrument' indeed.

One phrase has become the informed description of a one-note portrayal.

emtiem wrote:
chrisno1 wrote:

Whichever way you cut Bond, novels, continuation novels, Connery, Moore etc etc, he's always had an air of studied sophistication about him. Craig's Bond just doesn't. He's a modern 'action' hero lumbered with the same baggage they all have: psycho issues, personal issues, trauma issues; therefore he never says very much and when he does it's a riddle or a joke, he's simply not very personable. CR was great because the screenplay and the intoxicating Eva Green wheedled a decent performance from him. The others? Ah, well...

He only acted well because of Green? C'mon.

No. She brought the performance from him and he from her because they had a decent screenplay with multi-layered characters to interpret. She is exceptionally good and that aids his characterisation enormously.

emtiem wrote:
chrisno1 wrote:

Bond might be disdainful of his superiors, but that's not disrespect, he just thinks they're making bad decisions; he never questions their authority. Craig's Bond seems to be very disrespectful and is constantly turfed out to fend for himself because he's made a 2 & 8 of things. Can't follow orders at all. Can't even be bothered to tell them he's still alive. The stuff in Turkey or wherever the opening scenes of Skyfall were set reveal this sweaty, raki drinking boozer who shags sexy women in his beach combo; he'd got no reason to do this and he looked bloody terrible

Tell that to everyone on here who spend serious dosh replicating that outfit! ajb007/smile

I don't understand this comment. Is it a joke from a Daniel Craig Bond film?

emtiem wrote:
chrisno1 wrote:

Additionally Bond is usually wearing a suit, if he isn't his clothes are still finely cut. Fleming is very clear about this and the early movies got it just about spot on. The rot set in on this in the latter stages of Roger Moore's tenancy with those bomber zip jackets. Dalton's wardrobe in LTK was particularly out of step.

I think you need to read your Fleming a bit more. Bond pretty much only wears one suit for most of the novels, plus another houndstooth one for the country which is described in various states of being 'old', 'battered' and 'yellowing'. He's frequently just in short shirtsleeves or shorts, wears the occasional windcheater (just as Roger did) and even wears jeans a couple of times.
Dalton's outfit in LTK (especially in Key West) is pretty much exactly what Fleming's Bond would wear, and CraigBond updates the Fleming wardrobe pretty effectively whilst upgrading it to suit how we're accustomed to seeing Bond; not the slightly shabby Bond of the books. Brosnan wearing a suit to clean his teeth and go scuba diving was pushing it a bit far.

chrisno1 wrote:

Craig hasn't even been given a decent suit to wear. They are the tightest fitting, most impractical outfits a OO7 has ever had to endure. Just watching him crammed into those Tom Ford three pieces at the end of Skyfall made me weep for his balls and his ribcage. Seriously, the man can't even hide his gun with that combo on.

The Spectre ones were indeed a weird fit, but I'm not sure how you can claim he was miscast on that basis! ajb007/biggrin

Well, I haven't read any Fleming novels since 2009, so I've probably forgotten the details. Whichever it is, I still can't get my head around DC's outfits. The best ones seem to be his swimming gear. He has less to wear and therefore less to ruin. The tux in CR was a good fit, but since then he just looks like rent-a-mannequin in holiday clobber who has a bad eye for sartorial elegance. This isn't his fault, its the wardrobe department's, but it doesn't help me feel comfortable about his portrayal because he looks so, well, uncomfortable all the time.

emtiem wrote:
chrisno1 wrote:

I don't mind him being blonde, but does he have any hair left? He may as well be replaced by Jason Statham.

Eh?

I'll accept that. I had this vague impression his hair had receded and got much thinner, but I am wrong.

emtiem wrote:
chrisno1 wrote:

While Bond is a rampant misogynist in the books and treats most of his women shoddily in the sixties and seventies, we'd broken the back of most of that by the time Pierce came along. DC has had a great love affair in CR and this seems to have made the writers think he can be mean to most of his women friends from this point on. If he has any relationships at all they are framed without the slightest wit or substance. He flirts outrageously with the bosses secretary and even with the boss, but those relationships are chaste. He's just no fun to be around. Even his delivery of the clunky one-liners seems designed to be significant rather than merely funny. Why does every sentence have to mean something? This isn't epic high-brow literature, its paperback thriller territory for goodness sake.

Not really sure what you're on about to be honest. He does the jokes. He delivers them well.

The jokes have ceased to become throwaway lines which remove tension, instead they have become integrated into the unending character psychoanalysis of the protagonists in the latter three or four films. Again, this isn't his fault. It's the writers, who don't seem to understand the role humour plays in a thriller. That's why many commentators consider his Bond to be so serious - it's because he's rarely being simply, outrageously funny (i.e. "I think he got the point"). When he is, it usually falls very flat. he's better at the psychobabble stuff.

emtiem wrote:

He's an alpha male type, which we haven't seen since Connery and Lazenby, and it's a great fit for Bond. He should be A Real Man, as much fun as it was to watch Roger and Pierce flounce through their fight scenes, and he has the brooding presence of a killer. That doesn't mean he can't be the sophisticate that we're used to seeing Bond as, and if he didn't look so good in all of those expensive outfits he wouldn't get so many modelling gigs! ajb007/smile

Are you suggesting Sir Roger or Pierce did not interpret Bond as 'a real man' - I am disdainfully using lower case letters. I'll leave aside exactly what you think 'a real man' should be. Anyway, who's flouncing through the fight scenes in TND or FYEO? And surely Craig only gets modelling gigs because of product placement. I doubt he'd get a look in otherwise.

Thanks for replying in detail. I like a nice chat.

27

Re: Daniel Craig was miscast as James Bond? I think so

chrisno1 wrote:

One phrase has become the informed description of a one-note portrayal.

Well if you're comparing to Fleming, he didn't exactly do nuanced characterisation for Bond either. Craig's Bond is actually way more interesting than Fleming's: there's not that much on the page.
It's very easy to use soundbites like 'one-note' to wave it away, but it's just not true. Yes he's more brutal than usual Bonds, but that's not all he is: just try watching the films. How many other Bonds do we see cry, fall in love, see suffer etc.?

chrisno1 wrote:
emtiem wrote:

He only acted well because of Green? C'mon.

No. She brought the performance from him and he from her because they had a decent screenplay with multi-layered characters to interpret. She is exceptionally good and that aids his characterisation enormously.

Personally I think she was miscast: she can't deliver the banter lines, isn't hugely convincing and can't even do the accent! She also does this odd thing of delivering each line like she's totally emptied her lungs before saying it.
But ignoring that, the idea that he's only good because she's there is insulting and a bit ridiculous. Is Mikkleson not a good actor? Dench? His scenes with them fall flat? C'mon.

chrisno1 wrote:
emtiem wrote:

Tell that to everyone on here who spend serious dosh replicating that outfit! ajb007/smile

I don't understand this comment. Is it a joke from a Daniel Craig Bond film?

Is it complicated? People on this site like that outfit and replicate it. I'm not sure how else to phrase it...?

chrisno1 wrote:
emtiem wrote:

I think you need to read your Fleming a bit more. Bond pretty much only wears one suit for most of the novels, plus another houndstooth one for the country which is described in various states of being 'old', 'battered' and 'yellowing'. He's frequently just in short shirtsleeves or shorts, wears the occasional windcheater (just as Roger did) and even wears jeans a couple of times.
Dalton's outfit in LTK (especially in Key West) is pretty much exactly what Fleming's Bond would wear, and CraigBond updates the Fleming wardrobe pretty effectively whilst upgrading it to suit how we're accustomed to seeing Bond; not the slightly shabby Bond of the books. Brosnan wearing a suit to clean his teeth and go scuba diving was pushing it a bit far.

Well, I haven't read any Fleming novels since 2009, so I've probably forgotten the details.

But that's what you're criticising him on, and you're getting them wrong. It's not 'details' if you're saying Fleming's Bond dresses in a way he doesn't.

chrisno1 wrote:

Whichever it is, I still can't get my head around DC's outfits. The best ones seem to be his swimming gear. He has less to wear and therefore less to ruin. The tux in CR was a good fit, but since then he just looks like rent-a-mannequin in holiday clobber who has a bad eye for sartorial elegance. This isn't his fault, its the wardrobe department's, but it doesn't help me feel comfortable about his portrayal because he looks so, well, uncomfortable all the time.

Uncomfortable? What are you talking about? You were just complaining he doesn't look as smart as Fleming's Bond should do...?


chrisno1 wrote:

The jokes have ceased to become throwaway lines which remove tension, instead they have become integrated into the unending character psychoanalysis of the protagonists in the latter three or four films. Again, this isn't his fault. It's the writers, who don't seem to understand the role humour plays in a thriller. That's why many commentators consider his Bond to be so serious - it's because he's rarely being simply, outrageously funny (i.e. "I think he got the point"). When he is, it usually falls very flat. he's better at the psychobabble stuff.

Which lines are you thinking of here?
Forgive me, but when you're going for 'he can't wear clothes, can only act well when there's a certain actress with him, is balding, can't do jokes' etc. etc. I feel you're overstating your case a bit. It's hard to take seriously.

chrisno1 wrote:
emtiem wrote:

He's an alpha male type, which we haven't seen since Connery and Lazenby, and it's a great fit for Bond. He should be A Real Man, as much fun as it was to watch Roger and Pierce flounce through their fight scenes, and he has the brooding presence of a killer. That doesn't mean he can't be the sophisticate that we're used to seeing Bond as, and if he didn't look so good in all of those expensive outfits he wouldn't get so many modelling gigs! ajb007/smile

Are you suggesting Sir Roger or Pierce did not interpret Bond as 'a real man' - I am disdainfully using lower case letters.

Do you think they did?! ajb007/smile I love Roger; he's my favourite Bond, but does he honestly come across as trained killer to you?

Can you really not see the difference between Connery and Moore in terms of physicality and sheer testosterone? I'm not criticising Roger: that was his style and it was great. But one is a brawler and one is a charmer: isn't that obvious?

chrisno1 wrote:

Anyway, who's flouncing through the fight scenes in TND or FYEO?

Well they are! That's what I'm talking about. They're fine in them but not convincing.

chrisno1 wrote:

And surely Craig only gets modelling gigs because of product placement. I doubt he'd get a look in otherwise.

Yeah sure  ajb007/rolleyes  What do you even mean 'product placement'? That's what all modelling basically is: they show off the clothes and list what they are!  ajb007/lol

28

Re: Daniel Craig was miscast as James Bond? I think so

emtiem wrote:

Well if you're comparing to Fleming

I wasn't, I thought you were.

emtiem wrote:

Personally I think she was miscast: she can't deliver the banter lines, isn't hugely convincing and can't even do the accent! She also does this odd thing of delivering each line like she's totally emptied her lungs before saying it.
But ignoring that, the idea that he's only good because she's there is insulting and a bit ridiculous. Is Mikkleson not a good actor? Dench? His scenes with them fall flat? C'mon.

I don't know which performance you were watching. Very harsh criticism. Rather insulting; which is odd given you consider my well structured comments on DCs performance an 'insult'

emtiem wrote:

Is it complicated? People on this site like that outfit and replicate it. I'm not sure how else to phrase it...?

What? You mean people paid good money to look such a debauched mess?

emtiem wrote:

Uncomfortable? What are you talking about? You were just complaining he doesn't look as smart as Fleming's Bond should do...?

I did say 'whichever way', nonetheless I'd like it noted there is certainly a difference between looking smart and looking comfortable

emtiem wrote:

Which lines are you thinking of here?
Forgive me, but when you're going for 'he can't wear clothes, can only act well when there's a certain actress with him, is balding, can't do jokes' etc. etc. I feel you're overstating your case a bit. It's hard to take seriously.

Maybe most of them.
Ahh, you are starting to understand my chatter. C'mon, I mentioned James Bond and The Big Bang Theory in the same post...

emtiem wrote:

Do you think they did?! ajb007/smile I love Roger; he's my favourite Bond, but does he honestly come across as trained killer to you?

Can you really not see the difference between Connery and Moore in terms of physicality and sheer testosterone? I'm not criticising Roger: that was his style and it was great. But one is a brawler and one is a charmer: isn't that obvious?

Does a trained killer have to be like DC? You're making assumptions about masculinity which do not necessarily apply.
Thanks for the well reasoned reply.

29

Re: Daniel Craig was miscast as James Bond? I think so

Arguably, casting Craig was a very shrewd move.

The Bond films have survived by continually traversing an arc between two poles – serious and comedic. A balancing act, not always delicately performed.

Some of us - a diminishing minority nowadays, no doubt - still tend to think of 007 as that saturnine chap adorning the painted covers of the 1950s Pan paperbacks. An image strikingly embodied by Connery in his first couple of outings, before Eon worked out what best pleased mainstream audiences made up of more than just those “red-blooded heterosexual males” who constituted Fleming’s original target readership.

Much later, when the franchise was flagging, Dalton tried to resurrect the Book Bond. He treated the role with respect. No ironic distance. No self-spoofing. A purists’ 007. Craig may lack the advantage of Dalton’s physical resemblance to the Book Bond, but he can’t be accused of not making an effort to play the character, albeit within the constraints of the material he’s given. Anyway, the Book Bond is paradoxical and contradictory, a dangerous-looking tough customer who’s nevertheless capable of succumbing to sentimentality and being “old-maidish” and fussy in his habits. Fleming’s daydream version of himself. Has any actor so far managed to convey all of those facets convincingly? (Why, I wonder, does Lazenby’s performance come to mind as perhaps best suggesting those contradictory qualities?)

Yet for a vast swathe of the international public, James Bond, if he registers at all nowadays, is a cartoonish caricature. A punning super-sexist in a perma-tux, equipped with a gadget for every possible contingency, dispatching assailants with nonchalant élan, dispensing groan-inducing quips while shooting his cuffs, straightening his tie and sipping at his vodka martini. Never so much as a hair out of place, with Vic Flick always standing by, just offscreen, ready to strike up his theme tune at the slightest provocation. Like one of those old Action Man dolls - pull a little cord attached to his chest and out come the stock phrases: “Bond, James Bond”, “Shaken, not stirred”. A quaint, painfully dated paragon of what, way back in a woefully “unwoke” era, passed for sophistication. The Alan Partridge/Austin Powers idea of Mr Cool, forever going up against Nehru-jacketed, cat-stroking megavillains. “We meet again, Meestair Bond!” Countless Bank Holiday TV repeats, DVDs and Blu-rays of half a century’s worth of films help keep this hackneyed persona in the public consciousness. Good fun when you’re in the mood, but where else can you go with him? How do you keep the money rolling in, going forward?

Well, you try rebooting him as the tough-as-nails “blunt instrument”, the psychologically screwed-up loose cannon. A new interpretation for tough new times. Someone to give the likes of Bourne a run for their money. Not your dad’s Double-O-Seven. Maybe still not transgressive enough to earn Guardian opinion columnists’ Seal of Approval, but sufficiently “grounded in reality” to at least make the character a little more palatable to modern tastes, more culturally respectable.

This was, more or less, the assignment Craig took on – build a whole new fanbase, male and female. Trouble is, keep reinventing, reconstructing and rehabilitating Bond and you may have successfully kept up with the times and “repositioned your brand” in an increasingly tough marketplace, but you end up with a whole new character entirely. Not such a problem for younger audiences who come to the franchise without a load of sentimental baggage, but a matter of some regret for us sad old sods who appreciate the aesthetics of 007, enjoy witty variations on time-honoured themes, and still remember being a bit pissed off when they first saw DN and noticed that the makeup people hadn’t bothered to paint in a scar on Connery’s face.

That said, the Craig films have started edging back toward the comedic pole, dipping a tentative toe into Cartoon Bond territory, so who knows what’s next…

30

Re: Daniel Craig was miscast as James Bond? I think so

I don’t know if other members are new to James Bond the same as me, but because of this I have looked at the films and the Bond actors ‘back to back’ and without any preconception. Having seen the different actors in action over a relatively short period of time I would not rank Daniel Craig as one of the best. This I think is like other people have pointed out, is largely due to poor scripts. Apart from Casino Royale (which I thought was at least 30 minutes too long), the other films have gone down in a sliding scale to the very poor Spectre.

I try to separate the literary James Bond from the Film James Bond and am aware that he must evolve from the time of his creation by Fleming, otherwise all the films would have to be set in the 1950s, but I think the Craig era has gone a little too far in changing Bond and are at the risk of making him just another generic action hero.