Craig Who?????

by David Miller

I’m a Bond fan. Not one of the fair weather fans it seems so popular to be these days. I love all 20 movies good with bad. The sourness & bitching about the past movies puzzles me. Sad part is, most of it comes from the producers.

When Daniel Craig was announced as Bond I held back judgment. I like the Lazenby & Dalton Bonds - though short lived - and was curious about what Craig would be like.
The Sunday paper brought the article I’ve been waiting for (Parade). This marked the beginning of my personal ramp up to the Bond movie ( I normally pay no attention until after the new movie is in the can). From the cover I knew something was wrong. The man on the cover did not emit the Bond vibe. Why not? There must have been months to perfect it. This is after he made the Bond movie, right? OK, don’t judge a book by it cover and all of that. The puff piece status of the article leaves a bad taste in my mouth. What Craig believes Bond needs to be leaves a bad taste as well. I wanted to know why I felt this way so I examined and analyzed my reactions reading the article again. 

Confession: Daniel Craig’s looks are part of the problem. I don’t see Bond there, he is not believable. I say this after reading and watching everything available online, including the movie teasers.
First stop was the Casino Royale homepage. The next stop was the unofficial fan websites. Surprisingly some of the unofficial sites were indistinguishable from the official site. The propaganda is so thick you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. If you could see your hand it looked like Daniel Craig and there was someone standing next to you whispering: doesn’t he look like Sean Connery?  OK he has his supporters and I read everything they had to say. Even followed their links to the Pro-Craig web site (what, there is a difference?) which were so sold on Craig they were sickenly sweet. There had to be a pure vein of syrup tapped here. Felt like I might enter a diabetic coma if I had stayed.
I visited the Anti-Craig sites. OK some of it is juvenile, but it is all tongue in cheek.  Here at the anti sites I found something I did not expect. It was more than pictures, it was written arguments examining every aspect of the franchise in ways I never thought of. In some ways it was refreshing and I didn’t find the hate the rival sites attributed to them. If anything, these guys are the only ones having fun. And they are on the losing side!! However, they reminded me of the Browncoats, Firefly fans whose show was canceled but they did so much about it they resurrected a dead TV series in the form of a big screen movie. They might just pull it off after all.
OK. Finished with both the pro and con sites and looked for a unbiased source. There are none. Everything comes down to for or against. It feels like an election year where everything offered is biased one way or another. Oh my god it is an election year!! Never seen election year politics in a purely movie forum before. Couldn’t find unbiased so I found the next best thing: reviews of the previewed movie. Half way though the second review it hits me these are all plants! The same sentiment, the same words are used to describe the same events, that supposedly happened at different times with different people. If anyone reading this has ever deposed a witness for a court case you know this simply is not possible without collusion. Sure enough I search though the unofficial fan forums and find these keywords appearing again and again. This sickens me worse than any dirty underhanded political trick I’ve seen.
Decided against seeing this movie because all of the reviews (so far) are bracing us for a disappointing Bond movie. A movie about a main character named Bond but not the James Bond we know. What the point of that? The reviews are preparing us for not seeing Bond on the big screen and try to build expectations that it will still be a good movie. Nobody should have to work this hard to be Bond. Either you are Bond or your not. Nothing more to it. Everyone who has taken the role was Bond: not this time.
Even the media spin (pro-Craig according to the anti sites) does not show Bond, the most glowing reports tear down the history of the movies I love.
Am I a boycotter? NO!
Am I interested in see this movie? No.
Can my mind be changed? Yes! If Casino Royale has great reviews from trusted and known critics (have to stress the known part - the situation right now reminds too much of the Sony critic scandal of a few years ago)  I might be there in the theater opening night. The more likely outcome  is I’ll borrow the DVD when its out next May.

Daniel Craig has not convinced me he is, wants to be, or can be James Bond - and I wanted to like him.


c 2006 Alternative 007