Thursday, January 24, 2008

Quantum of Solace

So apparently, the title of the new Bond film is out, and it's (hold your breath) Quantum of Solace. Xan Brooks has dismissive things to say about it over at the Guardian Blog (he says it sounds like blancmange[1]) and I have to agree. I mean I don't really give a hang what the damn thing is called as long as it has significant portions of time devoted to the sight of Daniel Craig in tight-fitting swimwear (now there's a man whose quantum I'd be happy to solace any time), but still it's hard to think of any pairing or random words from the dictionary in the _________ of __________ format less evocative of thrilling, action-packed adventure. Even Schopenhauer could come up with racier titles than this. Frankly, it sounds like something out of a Psmith story - Lord Quantum of Solace, meet Lady Pale-Parabola of Joy.

[Actually, if you think about it, the whole James Bond franchise would be rather fun if it were written by Wodehouse. "What ho! old chap. The name is Bond. Pjames Bond." No really. Jeeves could be Q. and Aunt Agatha would make a totally outstanding M. And Gussie Fink-Nottle could be the evil mastermind who secretly (and perhaps inadvertently - this is Gussie we're talking about) plans the destruction of the world while drinking orange juice and tending his newts. And Bertie could be the dashing secret agent who goes off on missions of deadly espionage armed only with a purple cummerbund and comes back engaged to yet another loopy femme fatale. And wouldn't it be fun if you could stop Jaws in his tracks by saying the words 'Eulalie Soeurs'?]

Brooks, in his piece, laments the lack of easy rhymes for the title song. One rhyme for solace he misses [warning: extremely forced transition coming up] is Persepolis [see, I TOLD you], which I watched yesterday and which is a delightful film, surprisingly true to the graphic novel it's based on (I was worried that they may have jazzed it up too much - but no, they've kept the hand-drawn feel of the original) and like that book a heady mix of politics, humor and heartbreak. Satrapi's quasi-autobiographical Marjane may not be the most winning character you'll see on screen this year (that spot, I think, belongs to the title character in Juno) but she comes close.

[1] Not that blancmange's are anywhere near as harmless as they seem.

9 comments:

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

Who would be Miss. Moneypenny, Madeline Bassett perhaps?

Anonymous said...

Title and all is well and good. What cheesy name have they come up with for the heroine?

km said...

Actually, if you think about it, the whole James Bond franchise would be rather fun if it were written by Wodehouse.

Well, you should read this brilliant (but mostly forgotten) British crime writer called Kyril Bonfiglioli. The man was an unabashed Wodehouse devotee. His "Charlie Mortdecai" novels are a bizarre mix of Wodehouse, pulp, noir and wordplay.

Falstaff said...

Shoe-fiend: I don't know. Madeline seems too central a character to be Moneypenny. If it weren't for the gender angle, I'd say Catsmeat would make the perfect Moneypenny.

anon: didn't they stop doing that a while back? Maybe my double entendre radar is failing me, but I can't see anything cheesy about Vesper Lynd.

km: Ah, sounds like fun (also a Britisher named Bonfiglioli? talk about pulling the short straw at the baptismal font), will check it out.

Anonymous said...

Oh cmon Falsie, you know that with a title like Quantum of Solace, the Bond film is a shoo in for an Oscar nomination next year, don't you? Think of the producers making a case for Casino Royale. And lets not even begin to discuss Octopussy's chances at the Os.

Though I still think Clive Owen offers a higher level of quantum solacability than does Daniel Craig. That quantummish end of time Children of Men look. That solacingly smoky Closer voice. That Inside Man confidence. Craig fills out a swimsuit in a way that has you warbling lyrical poetry, sure, but thats about all he can do.

n!

Space Bar said...

Hmm. could be like,

-The name is Bind. James Bond.

-I'm Quantum. Quantum of Solace.

(ok. commenting while being up to the eyeballs in work is not a good idea).

Space Bar said...

sheesh. i meant bond, of course. not bind.

Falstaff said...

n!: Uff! There you go confusing relative and absolute grading again. Whether there are men out there with quanta more worth solacing is irrelevant - I still maintain that Craig meets the bar. Besides, look, it's been a rough week for me already, what with Heath Ledger dying, do you have to take Craig away from me too?

As for Quantum of Solace's Oscar chances, I suppose you have a point. Though if the Bond franchise really wants to win an Oscar they should just make a movie called There Will Be Babes starring Daniel Day-Lewis as James Bond.

Space Bar: Nah, too easy. Now if this were a sci-fi epic there would be possibilities. I can imagine a Jedi fighter called Kwan-tam of Solaest

ggop said...

Yay - I'm glad Persepolis was true to the graphic novel. I'm going to see it tomorrow.