Friday, October 5, 2012

License to Sell

James Bond fans, of whom I am one, have long suffered with the ubiquitous product placement that has gradually consumed more and more of the films over the years. I thought that it peaked during the Brosnan age (with "subtle" nods at Virgin Airlines, Hertz Rent A Car, Sharper Image, Norelco, etc. etc. ETC.) until I watched people stare at their cellphones for two hours in between playing cards in "Casino Royale." I get that these films cost a lot of money, and if Barbara Broccoli can get back some of that cash by inserting a commercial here and there, I supposed I have to understand.

 Still... James Bond drinks vodka martinis- shaken, not stirred. Martinis were good enough for Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce "Waiter with a Gun" Brosnan. Sure, this was parlayed into product placement opportunities in the later films, but that was acceptable because Bond drank vodka martinis ANYWAY- might as well let the audience know what brand of vodka he preferred. Didn't change the character, just cheapened him, slightly. But if Skyfall (I thought Quantum of Solace was a bad title- still, both were better than Tomorrow Never Dies or Die Another Day) is going to show us Bond drinking a beer- well, sorry, but that's just going to leave a bad taste in the mouth of THIS Bond fan. Hey Barbara, why don't you just have 007 reach into a bucket of KFC or use to book his next exotic travel adventure or scan recent texts on a Sony Ericson phone to learn more about it's previous owner (oh wait, he already did that, several times, in Casino Royale?)

 Then again, who am I to question Barbara "I Inherited this Empire from my Dad, and I've been working with my brother to destroy it since the mid-90s" Brocolli? After all, she's the one who insisted on replacing Dalton, a classically trained Shakespearean actor with a refreshingly dark take on Fleming's iconic character, with a talent-deficient mannequin, simply because that mannequin was more popular with American audiences. And I'm not even going to get into the stunt casting which marked the whole Brosnan period (no Bond fans really want to be reminded that Denise Richards was cast as a nuclear scientist in one film, and both Madonna and Halle Berry had prominent roles in another. You'd have thought Madonna's theme song would have been torture enough...) BTW, anyone else think that Craig is so pale in this ad that it's very hard to see where his hair ends and his face begins? I mean, that's just weird.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not a Craig detractor (he's vastly better than Brosnan, which is saying very little) but I don't get people who instantly crowned him the Best Bond Since Connery five minutes after "Casino Royale" came out. Please- he's basically Jason Bourne in a tux, Stephen Seagal with a bigger budget. Dalton was the last Bond who really brought any weight to the role.