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The Bond ultimatum

16 Comments
By Chris Betros

James Bond movies probably generate more debate among fans than any other series – everyone has their favorite Bond actor, Bond girl, villain, etc. So it’s not surprising that Daniel Craig has to put up with the same questions over and over again as he goes around the world promoting “Quantum of Solace,” the 22nd official 007 film.

The 40-year-old Craig, who was born in Chester, England, and grew up in Liverpool, purposely avoided press conferences after his first outing as Bond in “Casino Royale” in 2006 because he said he didn’t want to be compared to previous Bond stars Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. Rather, the stage-trained actor said at the time that he wanted to wait until he had settled into the role, which he apparently has now.

“Quantum of Solace” picks up where “Casino Royale” left off, with Bond looking for revenge over the death of his love, Vesper Lynd. His quest takes him from Italy to Haiti, London, Austria and Bolivia, as he learns of a shadowy supranational eco-terrorist organization called Quantum.

In continuing their “reinvention” of the British secret agent, producer Barbara Broccoli and director Marc Forster have done away with the gadgetry and humor. There is no Q, no Miss Moneypenny, nor even the famous gun barrel sequence at the start. Many critics have noted that this Bond film could easily be just another installment in the Bourne series.

However, Craig said it was important for the series to go back to basics. “I think we’ve made a beautiful, emotional, action-packed film that has its roots in the early Bond films of the 1960s,” he said during a recent visit to Japan with co-star Olga Kurylenko, Broccoli and Foster.

Looking fit and dressed in a suit, Craig said: “Early on, Marc and I discussed the themes. Although a lot of you think this is about Bond looking for revenge, it isn’t. He is trying to find the truth about himself and the woman who broke his heart. The script was in constant development. Fortunately, we had a lot of passionate people on board, who supported our vision, and it all came together.”

For German-Swiss director Forster (“Finding Neverland,” “Monster’s Ball”), “Quantum of Solace” marks his first action movie. “It’s not just any action movie. It is Bond,” he said. “The pressure is enormous. Once you start, the momentum keeps building like a runaway train. You have to go along with it. My challenge was to focus on the characters and try and make sure the audience will feel an emotional connection to them. Casting is very important, especially with a Bond girl. You have to audition hundreds of women. Most people think that’s a lot of fun, but it is hard work for a director.”

Ukrainian actress Kurylenko, 29, got the nod for the role of the feisty Bolivian intelligence agent Camille. It was her first action film and she found it grueling. “I had to train every day for six months. I learned a new profession – being a stuntwoman,” she said.

Craig said he didn’t escape injury-free amid all the action scenes. “I’ve just recovered from shoulder surgery. I was going to doctors for bruises, cut, to get stitches and things like that. The most difficult scene was where Camille and I jump out of a plane and freefall. We couldn’t wear goggles, so we used special contact lenses instead. That was really hard on the eyes.”

"Quantum of Solace" opens in Japan on Jan 24.

© Japan Today

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16 Comments
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I think they should make a Bond movie in which Bond doesn't kill anyone - instead he uses his noggin to outsmart his adversaries, like MacGuyver. But I guess ( sigh ) that would be a box office flop.

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James Bond will be released in Japan THREE months after its release in England and Europe. It has been released in every other country in the world already except for Uruguay (it opens there tomorrow). The DVD rip has already become available on the internet and it STILL hasn't come out in Japan. Is this because there were Japanese movies being released which would have had their box office revenues reduced if Bond was released at the same time? It obviously couldn't have been subtitling issues because the movie was released expediently in Mandarin and Korean shortly after the English release. A great big WTF to the movie theater industry here.

Oh, and I must say that this film doesn't live up to the expectations set in Casino Royale.

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Quantum of solace is, to me, the most boring James bond movie I have ever seen ... Not enough action, I even thought it was a low budget movie ...

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Sarge - would you really go and pay money to see that? Just go watch MacGuyver if that's what you want to watch.

Saw it a couple of weeks ago and I really liked it. Daniel Craig is really fitting into the Bond role in my opinion.

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I enjoyed it a lot (some of the designs were excellent, though some of the camera shots moved a bit too fast for one to register what was happening), but Mr Zaichik wasn't that keen.

Was watching Mr Craig yesterday in one of his earlier screen outings, as a thug in season 3 of Drop The Dead Donkey.

Merry Christmas to all of the staff and readers of JT. Hope Santa brought you all that you wanted.

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Not enough action, I even thought it was a low budget movie ...

For me it had too much action and not enough plot. I had the impression that they rushed the production of this film possibly to cash in on the success of Casino Royale. Quantum of Solace is lacking in a decent storyline and hook. Action doesn't really compensate and is the problem with a lot of films nowadays. This film is mostly hype and bluster derived from Casino Royale.

On another point, why is Japan the only country in the world that is three months behind others in the showing of this film? Can't all be down to tranlsation issues, surely.

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You're right, the plot is not that good too. The action is not related to anything ... it's like "Bond is walking, someone arrives, fight". Why? ... Well... it's a fight, who cares why?!

Japan is late for a lot of movies (almost all of them). Sometimes, the DVD of the movie is in shops in Europe and USA and the movie is not yet out in theatre here in Japan! I thought about that and I thought that maybe there is kind of a quota for foreign movies, like in China I think. Maybe that's a way to protect local production but limitating the amount of foreign movies at a time. But then, how they choose which one to be shown at a time, I guess there's the money factor.

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zaichik - Drop The Dead Donkey... now that was a great comedy! Not heard of that for years.

As for release dates, it used to be that US release dates were way ahead of the UK and Europe, but soon after DVDs took off the release dates were brought into some sort of conformity. Not sure about the exact details but that's what I remember.

As for why Japan is different and being late with movies, probably just because they can.

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I think they should bring back Roger Moore. But probably nobody else thinks that.

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Yay, bring back Roger Moore. He can batter the baddies with his Zimmer frame.

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I've seen movies on JAL flights with Japanese subtitles before the movies come out in the cinema here.

Still have not seen either of the Craig bond films - need to catch up me thinks

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Didnt this movie come out almost a year ago?Japanese movie theaters are amazing,they are like time machines.

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Sometimes, the DVD of the movie is in shops in Europe and USA and the movie is not yet out in theatre here in Japan! I thought about that and I thought that maybe there is kind of a quota for foreign movies, like in China I think. Maybe that's a way to protect local production but limitating the amount of foreign movies at a time. But then, how they choose which one to be shown at a time, I guess there's the money factor.

I don't think Japan has quotas; they are difficult to maintain under WTO rules. The trend, moreover, is toward a single release international date, such as for the Matrix movie back in Dec 2003. (I was in Beijing and every single theatre in the city was screening it on the same day it opened in the USA.) That undercuts piracy.

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James Bond movies probably generate more debate among fans than any other series

What's to debate? Sean Connery is the best James Bond and You Only Live Twice is the best Bond movie. Geez, everyone knows that.

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Betzee, this trend is not for every movies. The majority are not out at the same date. I don't know what is WTO and anyway, what I said is just a guess, I am probably wrong.

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DC is the fittest Bond. Try his workout:

http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/James_Bond_workout/Training_Schedule_Basics.php

A martini to any who can finish it.

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