James Bond’s lowest key movie

If you thought Licence to Kill and Living Daylights were low key, wait till you see the next Bond film Casino Royale. As well as Daniel Craig, we now have Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter, Mads Mikkelsen as the Bond villain, and Eva Green as the Bond girl. For most people, that will be a straight “who?”, “who?”, “who?” and “who?” with only Dame Judy as M to ring a bell on the name checks.

As Bond books go, Casino Royale is quite subdued anyway and this is supposed to be something of a re-boot movie, showing Bond’s first outing as an agent. But it’s starting to sound a little dull, particularly if you’ve seen some of the script reviews doing the rounds. Plus Bond playing Texas Hold’em instead of Baccarat and being ex-SAS, not Navy? That’s all wrong. Is Daniel Craig destined to be the next George Lazenby?


Nancy Drew movie in the works

Everyone’s favourite girl detective is finally to hit the big screen. Warner Brothers is filming Nancy Drew right now and anticipates a 2007 release.

I have fond memories of the 70s’ Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries, starring Parker Stevenson, Shaun Cassidy and Pamela Sue Martin, but I suspect this movie is going to be somewhat towards the pants end of the spectrum. Still, we live in hope.


Spiked accuses Life on Mars of missing the point, while simultaneously missing the point

Spiked has posted another of its rubbish TV reviews. This time, in its usual “Argument Sketch” style (“This isn’t an argument. You’re just contradicting everything I say”), it accuses Life on Mars of missing the point of The Sweeney. I would do my normal rant but I thought I’d be disciplined and restrict myself to a few comments

  1. The writer assumes the creators of Life on Mars are as anal about The Sweeney as he is and are actually critiquing particular episodes. They aren’t.
  2. He assumes Life on Mars is intended to demonstrate how Neanderthal The Sweeney‘s characters were. It isn’t. It’s partly designed to demonstrate that certain aspects of policing (and life) have justifiably moved on. Mostly it’s just about having a laugh and enjoying car chases (seriously, its entire premise was based on a whiteboard with “70s cop. Ford Granada” written on it).
  3. He thinks that we’re not supposed to learn anything from the 70s characters, only look down at them. Clearly, he hasn’t been watching. One of the subtler themes, reiterated in every episode is that clinical future cop DI Sam Tyler is supposed to learn gut instinct and a proper understanding of people from his 70s counterparts, among other things.

I also take issue with this statement, written by someone with no understanding of televisual history:

Britain in the 1970s was a tense, edgy and often violent and volatile place. No other TV programme reverberated with this same crackling aggression (and, curiously for a cop show, class anger) as did The Sweeney.

Hmm. He clearly never watched Special Branch, Callan or The Professionals, if he thinks The Sweeney was an isolated incident.

Still, what was I expecting from Spiked? It’s not like they know anything there. Must stop reading it…


Batman to kick al-Qaida’s head in

Frank Miller is apparently working on a new graphic novel in which Batman chases after al-Qaida and kicks their collective butts. Marvellous. I’m not sure how tongue in cheek Miller is being, particularly given that Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again was such a blatant piece of anti-Bush propaganda. Could be entertaining kitsch, could be arse, particularly given how poor The Dark Knight Strikes Again was. It may even put a dent in the “Batman as serious, realistic hero” bubble that’s been forming in the last 15 years or so, as everyone realises that a man dressed as a bat is not the best option for fighting crime, terrorists, rent arrears, etc. I wait with great anticipation, though.