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Who is Bond?

This post is part of James Bond January, being organised by the wonderful Paragraph Films. I will have reviews of all twenty-two official Bond films going on-line over the next month, and a treat or two every once in a while.

If you only count official EON productions, there have been six actors to play the role of suave British Secret Service agent James Bond, 007. However, the continuity of it all gets kind of tangled. Is Roger Moore’s clownish spy the same person as Daniel Craig’s cold-hearted assassin? Has the same agent been in operation since Dr. No (clearly taking place in the 1960s) through to Quantum of Solace (featuring all the technology of now)? There’s a popular fan theory that “James Bond” is just a cover identity, passed down from agent to agent as easily as the number “007” – so each iteration of the character is a different agent given the rank. It actually holds up surprisingly well when you watch the twenty-films in the official series.

What’s on the cards?

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Non-Review Review: Hot Fuzz

“You haven’t seen Bad Boys II?” a character states in complete disbelief to police man officer Nicolas Angel. I’m fairly sure that Hot Fuzz is consistently clever and entertaining even if you’re never seen a testosterone-laden big-budget explosive action cop movie, but Edgar Wright’s parody/homage is absolutely ingenious to anyone remotely familiar with the concept. At its most basic, the movie asks what would happen if you asked Michael Bay to make a balls-to-the-wall action movie in a small English village. The result might look a little bit like this, but I bet it wouldn’t be half as charming.

Timothy Dalton takes the biscuit...

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Doctor Who: The End of Time, Part II

That was much better. I mean, there’s still a whole host of half-baked ideas clogging up the narrative (the Naismiths, the Master’s superpowers), but it works a lot more fluidly mainly because it manages to both embrace the sheer ridiculousness of what it’s doing (featuring a Star Wars homage in a flight across the Channel and a cantina scene which seems to exist solely to demonstrate all the aliens created during the run) with some fantastic performances. It would be hard to tell if Tennant has ever been better than he is here, but he nails his final episode as everyone’s favourite Timelord. That Russell T. Davies keeps his hand mostly away from that giant reset button installed in his office helps no end.

The Doctor feels the worst New Years hangover ever

Note: This review will be discussing the episode in depth (including spoilers). If you are looking for a quick recommendation, it’s a yes – as if you weren’t interested anyway. It might not represent the best regeneration story ever written for the show (give me The Caves of Androzani) but it is an emotional farewell to the Davies/Tennant era.

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Doctor Who: The End of Time, Part I

That was… an episode of Doctor Who. I don’t know. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I know that wasn’t quite it. And there are enough cringe-worthy moments here to prevent the episode from becoming a classic (or even just a great episode) there are more than a few diamonds in the rough hidden amidst the mess of an episode. It is very much a Russell T. Davies episode, with all that involves – the ridiculously over-the-top moments paired with a fantastic grasp of character. Is it a fitting end to perhaps the most iconic version of the Timelord (I’m an Eccleston man myself, but only Tom Baker could be said to challenge Tennant as the most recognised face of the Doctor)? I don’t know – I should probably wait for the second part, to be honest. On the otherhand, it certainly doesn’t feel like a crowning moment for the first five years (or even Tennant’s last four) of the revival.

The Master in a hoody... and the establishment did tremble...

Note: This review will be discussing the episode in depth (including spoilers). If you are looking for a quick recommendation, it’s a decided ‘meh’. It isn’t a highpoint in the new series, but some good ideas and some nice character moments (as well as three fantastic lead performances) make something out of the mess that is the rest of the episode. I’m not sure what exactly, I’ll let you know next week. Continue reading