As Craig's Bond is in a completely different universe to the Bond of Dr No to Die another Day, I absolutely hate things like the portrait of Robert Brown in NTTD
Yes and the very obvious musical cues - James Bond Theme excepted
Felix smoking Delectados.... Aston Martins plural.... the music.... the paintings.... the titles... Bond visiting Vesper's grave then being attacked....
I like them. Phrases like "in a completely different universe" mean nothing to me when I look at Bond movies. I'm not at all bothered with the continuity or lack thereof between Bond films from this or any other era of Bond. So if a film from the Craig era wants to borrow from the Connery films, OHMSS, or whatever, that's fine by me. I find these references enjoyable in most cases, even if I'm occasionally suspicious that I'm being fed these tasty morsels in a lazy, fan-service type of way...I still prefer having them around.
Robert Brown is a case in point. I was particularly delighted to see his often overlooked contribution being recognised alongside the celebrated Ms...Dench and Lee. Likewise, the Delectados were an unexpected and in my opinion welcome nod to ony of my favourite bits in an almost universally panned chapter of the series. The deeper cuts are the ones that tend to please me more.
I think some people overthink the portrait, they wanted some portraits of previous M's and they used them to also have little easter eggs, nothing more nothing less, it's still it's own series with nothing to do with Dr No - DAD
Who is to say that Craig's Bond is in a completely different universe? Don't overthink it all - enjoy the films for what they are: pure escapist entertainment. Things such as timelines, universes or whatever they're referred to are nonsensical to me - we live in one universe and on one timeline and only make up constructs like these to explain things that we would otherwise be unable to.
Bond is a recurring character, played by several actors over 60 years now on screen. It's fiction and fantasy, albeit based in reality and espionage fact and if the film-makers want to throw in little easter eggs for the observant, that's fine with me.
Honestly it didn't break the suspension of disbelief for me because it was all over my head by that point.
I do feel they had a chance to create something new in Casino Royale, and sort of took it, but quickly gave up the ghost as if they had no sense of where to go, even the death of Strawberry Fields echoing that of Tilly Masterton and lots of things like that, it was almost like Die Another Day all over again, cram in the references.
Putting in Dalton's Aston - was it his or Lazenby's, I don't know - tends to remind one of more enjoyable Bond films and lacks confidence in the current product, I feel. In this I felt it was a sop to fans. Thing is, Bond films are meant to be in the moment pleasure I feel, you can't be happy emotionally investing in the past or the future for that matter, only the present but for years now they've only ever had nods to past movies. The Spy Who Loved Me did owe things to past films - YOLT of course - but you don't feel that watching it, they style it differently. It would not have been improved by having the Aston back.
These references arguably make it harder to generate suspense because it's always a case of, well, in this movie universe it's not real, it's been going on for decades.
That's very progressive thinking, but would you feel comfortable if James Bond were revised as a bisexual Black woman of 70 in an upcoming feature or if 007 was now actually an agent for the Grand Duchy of Fenwick, or would that be going too far? I think the problem with the "don't take it so seriously, it's only fiction" argument is everyone has a line they don't want crossed. It's just they draw it in a different place.
Regarding the callbacks or Easter eggs or whatever, to me, they're a bit lazy but the current de rigueur in movies, videogames, comic books, etc. The strange part isn't the "homages" in this rebooted Bond -- the Goldfinger-like Germanic guy in CR, Fields drowned in oil in Quantum of Solace, and so forth -- but the literal elements, like the various Ms. Even though Judi Dench spans the two Bond universe, it's evident she's a different M in CR.
2021. Austin Powers and his boss, Basil Exposition, are at the movies seeing the new James Bond film.
Basil: Now remember, Austin, this takes place in a different timeline from the one you remember from the 1960s and onwards.
Austin: Wait a tick. Basil, if this takes place in a different timeline then why do we have a portrait of Robert Brown as M? Why do we have tunes and songs from the 1960s movies? Why is Felix smoking Delectados? Why does Bond have the Aston Martin with all the gadgets plus another one hidden away? Oh no, I’ve gone cross-eyed.
Basil: I suggest you don’t worry about this sort of thing and just enjoy yourself. (Looks straight at the person reading this.) And that goes for you all, too.
Austin: Smashing, Basil!
He's a wise chap, that Basil.
Fan service is always damned it if you do damned if you don’t. I can’t think of a single fan-driven property (Star Wars, Star Trek, LOTR) that has pulled it off well.
The Mandalorian (baby Yoda, Luke’s surprise appearance) is one of the only examples I can think of.
Revising the colour, gender and age of a fictional character has nothing to do with timelines - so James Bond can never be anything other than a white male agent, aged around 38-50 (if we want to see his active years as a 00 agent).
007 however can be whatever the woke generation (who shout so loudly these days) want them to be. Hence Nomi as 007 in NTTD
Indeed, so - I've often been bemused when someone hasn't grasped that Dench didn't play the same M in the Brosnan and Craig films.
I find it worse when people try to argue that Skyfall is a prequel to Dr No.
Yes, I remember the rumours at the time that when Bond walked into Mallory's office at the end of SF, Craig and Fiennes were going to re-enact the first scene between Connery and Lee at the start of Dr. No. I think it was just the set design that triggered that one!
My only complaint with the Robert Brown portrait is that it should have been Bernard Lee.
That was there too, but the scene showing it was cut. Cutting bits of dialogue sadly also meant that Lees painting was cut. Same one used in TWINE.
Good to know, and a nice nod to the early days.
I think some people struggle enough with multiple actors playing one character. Imagine how they feel about one actor playing multiple characters but it's the same character!
Nope. Love it. For the most part, it's fan service and a nod to history. How many people in the theater who are't real Bond fans had any idea of the significance of "we have all the time in the world" and the closing song, for instance? Even if it wasn't a reference to OHMSS it fit perfectly.
Says you because that's where you draw your line. Others may feel quite differently. Like I said, there is no set standard. It's just a question of what individuals are willing to tolerate and still call it Bond.
Right? Her temperament is quite different, for starters, and she certainly interacts with Bond in a different way, being around for the start of his career.
Bernard Lee's M seemed to change personalities in different movies too. (He was a complete grouch in TMWTGG.)
I had a rather wild fan theory at one point that the Craig Bond was connected to the Brosnan era. The fact that Judi Dench was still M was the proof. In Fleming's novel YOLT, Bond and Kissy Suzuki had a son. And it just so happens that Daniel Craig was born literally nine months after the film YOLT premiered. So I concluded Craig could be "James Bond Jr."
But Brosnan's M was named Barbara Mawdsley and Craig's M was named Olivia Mansfield. Unless M deliberately changed her name because Craig's Bond discovered it (in that one scene in CR), I've run out of ways to perform mental gymnastics connecting the two universes. 😀
It's the 25th film of the franchise. Why not have some fun easter eggs in there for the Bond fans to enjoy, especially if they can be put in there organically so as to not obstruct the flow of the narrative being told?
Heck, one of the Brosnan Bond films had Q's lab stocked full of gadgets from prior films. Tons of easter eggs for Bond fans to recognize, point at, and smile about. No harm, no foul.
It's fiction. Just enjoy it.
I don't necessarily hate them but I do think they don't fit all that well and come across as clumsy inclusions. The tone of the Craig films is completely different from the prior ones so they feel jarring. Also, since Craig's movies are basically one long self-contained story that has no bearing on or relation to what came before, callouts like photos of Bernard Lee and Robert Brown don't make logical sense since they are not part of this universe (unless you subscribe to the theory that Bond, "Q", "M", and Moneypenny are all codenames, and I do not). Likewise, using a musical cue like We Have All The Time In The World feels off since that was so strongly tied to Bond & Tracy (who also never existed in this universe) and retrofitting it into NTTD just feels out of place and ill fitting.
Because CR was a reboot, the producers had the choice to make a clean sheet about it, but artistically they chose to bend the narrative a little with the DB5 and M, but that’s okay for the sake of making a nod to Bond’s roots, from his first iteration to the preceding one. However, I think the homages got too heavy-handed, which communicates insecurity and an identity crisis on someone’s part. But on the strength of the DC arc, that needn’t be. The overuse of old references just muddles the story with old plot que signals.
@superado agree entirely - plus it gets tiresome reading threads trying to piece together actual references and coincidental ones
I loved them and thought that references and nods to previous films - and more importantly Fleming's novels - added to it.
I thought they worked well in No Time to Die. Don't take it seriously- it's just a couple of in-jokes for the fans to spot and enjoy.
Perhaps its a parallel universe where Bernard Lee, Robert Brown and Judi Dench were all M in that order, just as in the Classic Bond universe.
Difference being James Bond started his career 45 year later, and never met the previous two M's.
In these sort of parallel universes, most things are the same, eg life still evolved on planet Earth, and Great Britain is still a country with an Intelligence agency known as MI6. Its just one or two crucial details that change enough to allow them to tell new stories.
(Shame Bernard Lee's portrait got edited out. Whatd be really cool is if there were also portraits of John Huston and Edward Fox )