The first James Bond movie I ever saw, on television, was Goldfinger. The first James Bond movie I ever saw at the theater was The Spy Who Loved Me, and I’ve seen every one since at the theater… until Skyfall. I don’t know why I didn’t go see it while it was still on the big screen, but I did buy the DVD on the day it was released. But for some reason I didn’t watch it until last weekend.

Wow! Best Daniel Craig Bond yet!

As one might suspect, Sean Connery is James Bond AFAIAC. I have always been disappointed that the Bond of my youth, Roger Moore, played the character for laughs, especially after I read the original novels for the first time in junior high school. Pierce Brosnan was definitely a step in the right direction, but the biggest surprise (to me) was how readily I accepted Dame Judi Dench in the role of M. In my own defense, it wasn’t simply M was a woman, it was that I didn’t think I’d be able to accept anyone in the role other than Bernard Lee. When Craig took over from Brosnan, I was pleased to learn that Dench was retained in the cast, in spite of the fact that this was obviously a different Bond than the one Brosnan played, not simply a continuation with a new actor in the role.

Similarly, I never expected to accept anyone other than Desmond Lewelyn in the role of Q… until John Cleese assayed the role, anyway. And anyone other than Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny? Forget it!

Skyfall, however, introduces both a new Q and a new Moneypenny. Ben Whishaw is perfectly cast as Q, not because he’s old and experienced, but because he’s young, and a genius regarding all of the latest technology, a perfect foil for the new Bond. And the revelation at the end of the film that the field agent played Naomie Harris was actually Miss Moneypenny caught me completely off guard! But the biggest shock of all was the fate of M! The most obvious conclusion to the skirmish at Bond’s boyhood estate was that the caretaker, a sympathetic yet throwaway character, wouldn’t survive, and I predicted as much halfway into the battle. But when M died, I was absolutely gobsmacked!

Obviously, the characters are important to me, but Skyfall is not short on the kind of over-the-top action fans of the movies have come to expect, either. Much of the backstory is taken directly from the novels, which is sure to please fans of the books, too. Sean Connery may still be my favorite Bond, but Daniel Craig comes in a close second. And remember, best of all…

JAMES BOND WILL RETURN

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I really liked this, though I did enjoy Casino Royale a bit more

And the revelation at the end of the film that the field agent played Naomie Harris was actually Miss Moneypenny caught me completely off guard!

Really? I thought they telegraphed that one. There was that one line about how not all agents belong in the field or something to that effect. At the theater a friend leaned over to me and said,"She is going to be Moneypenney."  Right when I was thinking it.

I did like this one, certainly better than Quantum of Solace which I found pretty forgettable.

I was caught off guard by the Miss Moneypenny reveal ... as I was that M left everything to Bond, like he was the son she never had, or something. 

Daniel Craig I took to right away, mostly because I never accepted Pierce Brosnan as Bond; he's just too much of a lightweight to be remotely credible.

I saw Quantum of Solace again the other night, and I have to agree that it was pretty forgettable, as I didn't remember half the stuff I must have seen the first time. But I loved how Bond dealt with the villain -- by driving in the desert out to the interior of the center of the middle of nowhere, and leaving him with nothing to drink but a can of motor oil. And then we learn from M that he was found dead in the interior of the center of the middle of nowhere, with a stomach full of motor oil -- but he was shot, twice. Which means somebody was so pissed off at him that they tracked him all the way to the interior of the center of the middle of nowhere, just to pop two caps in him!

I enjoyed it as a stand alone movie, I liked the nods to the past with the car and everything and I thought Judi Dench really played the roll. Still think I like Pierce Brosnan better, but when I first saw him as Remington Steele I thought to myself that he would be a perfect James Bond.

I'm pretty much on board with everybody else -- I took to Craig immediately, and found Quantum to be a letdown after the fantastic Casino Royale.  I haven't re-watched Skyfall since I saw it in the theater, but my feeling at the time was that it didn't quite reach the level of CR, but was a big improvement over Quantum.

I thought Moneypenny was telegraphed ... and the New M, too.  I like Ralph Fiennes, but I'll miss Dame Judy.

I've never seen Judi Dench in any role she didn't absolutely nail!

I was recently struck by these lyrics from the song Skyfall:

"You may have my number, you can take my name
But you'll never have my heart"

I think it refers to a new M replacing Judi's M.

I guess i'm in the minority on this one. I liked Skyfall but it's probably my least favorite of the Craig trilogy. I thought that the franchise was moving in the right direction when they injected a little bit of Bourne into it and did away with a lot of the campier elements. But with Skyfall, I think there was a conscious effort to bring back the camp. I'm with Clark on Brosnan. I see him more as a TV actor.

I think the rough, tough Bond portrayed by Daniel Craig is closer to the original character in the books. Never liked the camp elements. I truly hate camp. Another plus is that Craig does most of the stunts himself, which adds to the authenticity.

Richard Willis said:

I think the rough, tough Bond portrayed by Daniel Craig is closer to the original character in the books. Never liked the camp elements. I truly hate camp. Another plus is that Craig does most of the stunts himself, which adds to the authenticity.

That's all well and good, but I've never read any of the novels and likely never will, so how well any actor stacks up to the print character is a meaningless comparison to me.

Plus, books are books and movies are movies, and what works in one arena may not in another. Tell people that James Bond is supposed to look like Hoagy Carmichael, and I guarantee you better than 60 percent of the movie viewers, and 98 percent of those born since 1994, will say, "Who?"

Daniel Craig works for me because he's rugged in a way that Pierce Brosnan -- who strikes me as a TV actor, too -- could never convey. 

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