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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Gassy Man wrote:

Except for

1)  Timing.  People were still looking to Bond for high fantasy in the 80s.  They wanted glitz and glamour, jokes and elaborate set pieces.  Bond was only half way through its run then.  A more personal Bond wasn't what they wanted on the menu.  It might have worked if Dalton had taken over in 1981, but by 1987, it was both too late and too early.  In terms of being hard-edged fantasy, movies like Die Hard just did the same thing better.  In fact, Die Hard is just the last 15 minutes of every Bond movie stretched out.

2)  Dalton isn't Craig.  That may seem like a Coke versus Pepsi argument to some people, but though the general idea may be the same, the details count.  People didn't like Dalton as much as Craig.

3) Dalton's film's never felt like they were completely committed.  John Glen's journeyman directing, though a little better with Dalton's films than Moore's perhaps, nonetheless still felt like compromises.  He'd worked mostly during Moore's tenure, and he couldn't quite give up the Moore elements.  Maybe if they'd worked harder to play to Dalton's strengths, that might have improved the films, but the aforementioned weaknesses in his acting stood out by putting him into situations where he had to emote.

4)  Craig's Bonds are much more tailored to his acting style, and the directors approach them as A films.

I'm not saying any of that is wrong, but Craig is clearly unsuited to the more romantic and dryly comedic side of the character. Roger always used to say that he played Bond like a lover, while Connery played him like a killer. Craig falls into the latter category for me. He can only seem to do brutal, cold, rugged, while there's no charm. Although Dalton could not really do the couple of quips they gave him, he was better, I think, at the romance. In TLD, Bond was certainly in love with Kara, or as much as he could be in their time together. I personally see both films as a roaring success, in particular in the character department. Kara is shocked when she sees her new man turn tough, for example, plus the aforementioned balloon scene. 

Neither am I denying your Glen comment when I ask, in what way is he a journeyman director? I'm not really up on the directing side of things, you see, more the writing. In as much as  I think of it at all, I tend to view the auteur idea as pretentious and am saddened when the people who craft the script - which is surely the most important part of the film, otherwise there would be nothing for the actors to do and no story for the audience to follow - are dismissed as hacks and on the level of the caterer when compared to the director.

Last edited by DavidJones (12th Sep 2019 16:24)

My Top 10 Bonds: Octopussy, Goldeneye, From Russia With Love, Tomorrow Never Dies, Licence to Kill, For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights, Moonraker, Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me.

102

Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

DavidJones wrote:
Gassy Man wrote:

Except for

1)  Timing.  People were still looking to Bond for high fantasy in the 80s.  They wanted glitz and glamour, jokes and elaborate set pieces.  Bond was only half way through its run then.  A more personal Bond wasn't what they wanted on the menu.  It might have worked if Dalton had taken over in 1981, but by 1987, it was both too late and too early.  In terms of being hard-edged fantasy, movies like Die Hard just did the same thing better.  In fact, Die Hard is just the last 15 minutes of every Bond movie stretched out.

2)  Dalton isn't Craig.  That may seem like a Coke versus Pepsi argument to some people, but though the general idea may be the same, the details count.  People didn't like Dalton as much as Craig.

3) Dalton's film's never felt like they were completely committed.  John Glen's journeyman directing, though a little better with Dalton's films than Moore's perhaps, nonetheless still felt like compromises.  He'd worked mostly during Moore's tenure, and he couldn't quite give up the Moore elements.  Maybe if they'd worked harder to play to Dalton's strengths, that might have improved the films, but the aforementioned weaknesses in his acting stood out by putting him into situations where he had to emote.

4)  Craig's Bonds are much more tailored to his acting style, and the directors approach them as A films.

I'm not saying any of that is wrong, but Craig is clearly unsuited to the more romanic and dryly comedic side of the character. Roger always used to say that he played Bond like a lover, while Connery played him like a killer. Craig falls into the latter category for me. He can only seem to do brutal, cold, rugged, while there's no charm.

Neither am I denying your Glen comment when I ask, in what way is he a journeyman director? I'm not really up on the directing side of things, more the writing.

Depends on one's tastes, perhaps, but I don't think Craig handles either the romance or the humor badly.  He did an excellent job in Casino Royale with both given what the script required.  But in the follow ups, there was little for him to do in this regard, and with Spectre's more farcical moments, he seemed to underplay things, perhaps so they didn't seem camp. 

Connery was the whole package.  Of all the actors who played Bond, he was the only one that consistently and convincingly delivered on all levels -- anger, humor, romance, confidence.  He could even be fearful without somehow seeming unmasculine.  For all the derision George Lazenby gets, he had precisely the same quality -- just not as much experience or in the same way as Connery.

Moore started the trend of the more one-note Bonds, playing heavily to humor, but he still brought range to the character.  Dalton tried too much to take it in the other direction.  Brosnan, who should have played the part with more humor, ironically struggled in the tough guy moments.

Craig is playing to the type of "leading man" that's in action movies today -- Jason Bourne, Ethan Hunt, Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark.  These are characters who are psychologically troubled and therefore exhibit more limited comfort with themselves.  That's certainly not the Bond that Connery, Lazenby, or Moore played -- their version was someone who had everything in balance but had to deal with a world where everyone else was lacking.  This is another reason Dalton failed.  At the time, people didn't want to see heroes with deep personal problems.  The whole point of the hero was someone better than average.  Even Bruce Willis' character in Die Hard didn't have psychological problems -- his big mouth is what got him into trouble, which is to say he didn't know when to keep his opinions to himself.

The Lethal Weapon movies arguably introduced a character who was psychologically troubled, though it was never quite clear whether they were real or something of an act, as Riggs seemed not only aware of them but able to turn them on and off in various moments.  Tim Burton's Batman gave Bruce Wayne a screwed up sensibility, but Michael Keaton played him more as peculiar than as truly disturbed. 

I think Dalton's lack of widespread appeal is in part because of his own arguable shortcomings as a leading man and that he wanted layers to a character that weren't really wanted or necessary at the time.  Craig fits better not only because he can do all that but also because he is in many ways a return to the Connery-esque Bond physically.

Glen is a journeyman director because there is nothing particularly memorable or imaginative about his staging or set ups.  He frames scenes in a very conventional way -- which I will admit I prefer to the shaky cam, documentary approach now, where framing seems completely ignored -- and does little other than play it conservative.  He gets good performances, but he also relies too much on stock actions and reactions from the actors, who say the lines and move on to the next scene.  The pacing of his films is sometimes plodding as well, though that seems more a problem in his later Moore films, Octopussy and A View to a Kill, than in the others.  His best effort was The Living Daylights.  He seemed to pull out all of the stops there, and yet because the villains are so weak, the film loses energy in the last third.  His second best effort was For Your Eyes Only.  The rest is pretty pedestrian.  He is what might be called a competent film maker.

103

Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

In my opinion, the big difference is, if Craig shows weakness, you can see him coming back even with more force, while Dalton remains just - weak. And it‘s eating him up.

A big difference also in the actor’s character.
Connery, Moore, and in large parts  Brosnan and Craig are clearly Alpha-Males (also in private life), while Dalton seems to be overly sensitive, weak and personally conflicted.

I agree with TLD‘s villain being probably the worst in the series.
Toy soldiers....  ajb007/insane

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.
-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------
FIRST TO DISCOVER substantial evidence that Chew Mee is in fact not totally nude in the TMWTGG pool scenes!

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Higgins wrote:

I agree with TLD‘s villain being probably the worst in the series.
Toy soldiers....  ajb007/insane

Higgins, Whitaker isn't the villain: Koskov is.
(a) 007 and Whitaker have no relationship- they don't meet until the end of the film.
(b) Koskov and Bond know each other, and have a relationship (basically, Georgi betrays James' trust).
(c) They have whole dialogue scenes, including both friendly
https://i.postimg.cc/0b9f5Kqz/geoff3.png
and normal Bond/villain
https://i.postimg.cc/Tyb758N1/geoff2.png
(d) The plot isn't over when Whitaker dies- it's over when Koskov meets his fate
https://i.postimg.cc/f377hMgc/007.jpg
and
(e) The clincher: Bond and Koskov vie for the affections of the leading lady, a standard Bond/villain film trope*. Bond wins, of course.

It's also irrelevant if Whitaker "outranks" Koskov in their hierarchy- Blofeld (or "Number One", to be accurate) quite clearly outranks both Rosa Klebb and Emilio Largo in their respective movies, but they are obviously the villains.

Having said all that, I do agree that Koskov is one of the weaker Bond  villains.

* many examples- Klebb, Goldfinger, Largo, Blofeld (in OHMSS), Dr Kananga, Kamal Khan....

105

Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Gassy Man wrote:
DavidJones wrote:
Gassy Man wrote:

Except for

1)  Timing.  People were still looking to Bond for high fantasy in the 80s.  They wanted glitz and glamour, jokes and elaborate set pieces.  Bond was only half way through its run then.  A more personal Bond wasn't what they wanted on the menu.  It might have worked if Dalton had taken over in 1981, but by 1987, it was both too late and too early.  In terms of being hard-edged fantasy, movies like Die Hard just did the same thing better.  In fact, Die Hard is just the last 15 minutes of every Bond movie stretched out.

2)  Dalton isn't Craig.  That may seem like a Coke versus Pepsi argument to some people, but though the general idea may be the same, the details count.  People didn't like Dalton as much as Craig.

3) Dalton's film's never felt like they were completely committed.  John Glen's journeyman directing, though a little better with Dalton's films than Moore's perhaps, nonetheless still felt like compromises.  He'd worked mostly during Moore's tenure, and he couldn't quite give up the Moore elements.  Maybe if they'd worked harder to play to Dalton's strengths, that might have improved the films, but the aforementioned weaknesses in his acting stood out by putting him into situations where he had to emote.

4)  Craig's Bonds are much more tailored to his acting style, and the directors approach them as A films.

I'm not saying any of that is wrong, but Craig is clearly unsuited to the more romanic and dryly comedic side of the character. Roger always used to say that he played Bond like a lover, while Connery played him like a killer. Craig falls into the latter category for me. He can only seem to do brutal, cold, rugged, while there's no charm.

Neither am I denying your Glen comment when I ask, in what way is he a journeyman director? I'm not really up on the directing side of things, more the writing.

Depends on one's tastes, perhaps, but I don't think Craig handles either the romance or the humor badly.  He did an excellent job in Casino Royale with both given what the script required.  But in the follow ups, there was little for him to do in this regard, and with Spectre's more farcical moments, he seemed to underplay things, perhaps so they didn't seem camp. 

Connery was the whole package.  Of all the actors who played Bond, he was the only one that consistently and convincingly delivered on all levels -- anger, humor, romance, confidence.  He could even be fearful without somehow seeming unmasculine.  For all the derision George Lazenby gets, he had precisely the same quality -- just not as much experience or in the same way as Connery.

Moore started the trend of the more one-note Bonds, playing heavily to humor, but he still brought range to the character.  Dalton tried too much to take it in the other direction.  Brosnan, who should have played the part with more humor, ironically struggled in the tough guy moments.

Craig is playing to the type of "leading man" that's in action movies today -- Jason Bourne, Ethan Hunt, Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark.  These are characters who are psychologically troubled and therefore exhibit more limited comfort with themselves.  That's certainly not the Bond that Connery, Lazenby, or Moore played -- their version was someone who had everything in balance but had to deal with a world where everyone else was lacking.  This is another reason Dalton failed.  At the time, people didn't want to see heroes with deep personal problems.  The whole point of the hero was someone better than average.  Even Bruce Willis' character in Die Hard didn't have psychological problems -- his big mouth is what got him into trouble, which is to say he didn't know when to keep his opinions to himself.

The Lethal Weapon movies arguably introduced a character who was psychologically troubled, though it was never quite clear whether they were real or something of an act, as Riggs seemed not only aware of them but able to turn them on and off in various moments.  Tim Burton's Batman gave Bruce Wayne a screwed up sensibility, but Michael Keaton played him more as peculiar than as truly disturbed. 

I think Dalton's lack of widespread appeal is in part because of his own arguable shortcomings as a leading man and that he wanted layers to a character that weren't really wanted or necessary at the time.  Craig fits better not only because he can do all that but also because he is in many ways a return to the Connery-esque Bond physically.

Glen is a journeyman director because there is nothing particularly memorable or imaginative about his staging or set ups.  He frames scenes in a very conventional way -- which I will admit I prefer to the shaky cam, documentary approach now, where framing seems completely ignored -- and does little other than play it conservative.  He gets good performances, but he also relies too much on stock actions and reactions from the actors, who say the lines and move on to the next scene.  The pacing of his films is sometimes plodding as well, though that seems more a problem in his later Moore films, Octopussy and A View to a Kill, than in the others.  His best effort was The Living Daylights.  He seemed to pull out all of the stops there, and yet because the villains are so weak, the film loses energy in the last third.  His second best effort was For Your Eyes Only.  The rest is pretty pedestrian.  He is what might be called a competent film maker.

Very interesting reading.

My Top 10 Bonds: Octopussy, Goldeneye, From Russia With Love, Tomorrow Never Dies, Licence to Kill, For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights, Moonraker, Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me.

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

ajb007/cheers