Bond Film Theme Reviews (Because that Sam Smith Guy Won An Oscar)

So, Sam Smith won an Oscar for Writing’s on the Wall, theme song for the 2015 Bond Film “SPECTRE”. I read the news telling me this and I think to myself “Really?  The song that instantly made me think that the film was going to be rubbish before I even saw it? The song that had me yearning for a remote so I could skip past it during the opening credits even though I was in a VERY EXPENSIVE Ultra AVX theater seat, pre-booked MONTHS IN ADVANCE?”

Yes, I think it’s crap.  Well, crap as a Bond film theme. As a pop song its drivel but passable drivel.  I’d never purchase it let alone voluntarily listen to it more than a few seconds.  It’s better than Adele’s Elmer Fudd mocking Skyfall but then again so is my kid singing Mary had A Little Lamb.

I know, enough, enough.  Not all Bond themes were spectacular, some being downright horrid.  I prefer the thumping exciting ones that get you in the mood for the film as half naked women in silhouette dodge bullets and writhe on the barrels of automatic pistols, but who am I?  JUST THIS GUY who was born on the same day as Ian Fleming and who was named after Sean Connery that’s who!!

I present you with my following quickie reviews of all Bond film themes.  No apologies offered.

James Bond Theme

Nothing short of excellent.  Instrumental, driving and mood enhancing, any mood, any time.  Seriously, play it at a funeral and people will smile.
*****/***** (the standard thus set)

From Russia With Love

A little slow for my tastes but it suits the overall theme of the film and the book as well.
****/*****

Goldfinger

Slamming.  A spectacular thrash of excitement layered with oozing sexiness thanks to Shirley Bassey’s sultry voice.
*****/*****

Thunderball

Lyrically kind of silly but Tom Jones god damn it all in his god damn heyday. Who doesn’t love this song? SPECTRE that’s who.  It strikes fear into their hearts.
*****/*****

You Only Live Twice

The mood is somber, because you JUST SAW BOND SHOT DEAD (or did you?).  A well written, decent song quoting the novel nicely.  And Nancy Sinatra! In HER heyday.
****/***** (Though I am being generous)

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (theme)

Hrmm.  The suckage begins. Not great.  Not good really.  Just, well, meh.
**/*****

We Have All The Time In The World

A beautiful song.  Really.  Tear inducing.  Lots of tears.  The title from the last line of the novel when Bond’s wife Tracy dies. Armstrong reportedly too ill to play trumpet at the time of recording was hired as only he could give the song life and a sense of mild irony to the lyrics.  Who cannot love this song.  SPECTRE that is who!  Heartless bastards!
*****/*****

Diamonds are Forever

Well, I don’t dislike this song at all but it begins the “not quite a Bond Film” theme from this point further. It doesn’t help that the movie is the second worst Bond film. Mr Connery, my namesake (or am I his) should have bailed on this one as should have Ms Bassey.

**/*****

Live and Let (F*cking) Die

(I added the F word).  IGNORING THE MINDLESS LYRICS it is a spectacular song!  Tosses you right from the opening intro into a great film even though it stars Roger Moore who was great as the Saint.  That’s all I will say.
*****/*****

The Man With The Golden Gun

Lulu was HAWT. Hot.  HOT!  And her voice, it could melt the polyester disco suit off a man dancing away to this on a Saturday night! And it is a great song for a mediocre film that really tossed away a good deal of the novel’s plot.
****/***** (close to a 5)

Nobody Does It Better

… Shoot me in the head with a 0.25 Calibre Beretta Automatic.  I have no use for this song.  Wait, I do, if I ever open a toilet paper factory and have a few million dollars for advertising.
**/*****

Moonraker

Worst Bond Film. Terrible song.  Here, watch for yourself. It’s rubbish:
*/*****

Moonraker Intro Theme (it’s terrible)

For Your Eyes Only

Okay, I have a thing for Sheena Easton (circa 1981-86). This taints my ability to properly review this song.  It’s okay as a song, nothing as good as her Sugar Walls (snicker). The film itself is mediocre at best and if I were to think about it, the song matches the aging Moore’s slowness of gait and schmaltzy way of womanizing.  Honestly, its not good. There, I said it and Sheena will never ever talk to me even though she’s only eight years older than me and it IS possible we could be together, widowed / widowered in a nursing home looking for some “What Comes Naturally” after the staff have put us all in our rooms.  We’d Say “We’ve Got Tonight” then “Strut” in to “The Arms of Orion” for “Kisses”.
**/***** (It should be a 1 but I am still holding out hope)

All Time High

Don’t even start. It sucks donkey. And not in the good “We’re drunk in Tijuana! Lets go see an animal show!” way.
**/*****

A View To A Kill

Here we go! Finally another great theme from one of my favorite bands!  Nothing bad to say about this one.
****/*****

The Living Daylights

Again, a great song, by another favorite band of the time, Aha (taaaaake onnnnn meeee). Movie, well, frig, don’t even start. I’ll listen to the song for 90 minutes and you tell me when Dalton is finished trying to ruin the franchise.
****/*****

License To Kill

Again, where is that 0.25 Beretta.  What a garbage song.  Granted, it DID suit the GARBAGE movie. Gladys damn you have you never watched a Bond film? Okay, okay, she didn’t write it but still. Garbage film, garbage Bond theme.  Jesus Christ.
*/*****

Goldeneye

I’m not a Tina Turner fan and I have no use for Bono but this was okay.  Maybe it’s just because it suited the film or maybe because of License to Kill making everything seem better. Just okay. Not great. Okay in a TV Movie of the Week Theme way.
***/*****

Tomorrow Never Dies

Crap crap crap crap crap. I’m getting tired.  Maybe this is becoming binary. Crap, honey, crap, honey.  This one is crap.  I didn’t even remember it till I YouTubed it.  I must have wiped my memory. Moving on…
**/*****

The World is Not Enough

I love Shirley Manson and Garbage is a great band.  This is a decent song.  It suits the film and brings about a Bondian atmosphere. Nothing bad about this.
***/*****

Die Another Day

Madonna. Meh.  Its not a good song, its not a good Bond theme.  It’s Madonna.
**/*****

You Know My Name

I didn’t like it when I first heard it but it grew on me as I watched Casino Royale over and over and over again.  Yes, a great song.  First in a long while. Suits the film and does not insult the franchise LIKE MADONNA did.
****/*****

Another Way to Die

An interesting combination, Jack White and Alicia Keys. A decent song as well with good brass instrument throw ins to hearken back to old themes.  I like it.  Might not suit the franchise as well as some but suits the film itself.
***/***** (3.5 really)

Skyfall

I do not like Adele.  I find her Elmer Fuddyness makes her otherwise decent range un-listenable. I also do not like this song.  Perhaps if it was sung be someone less apt to marry Bugs Bunny in an opera and perhaps if they cut back the use of the word Skyfall by oh say 75%.
*/*****

Writing’s on the Wall

This is a pop ballad, not a Bond theme.  Ugh.  Maybe an end credits song in the last film of the series when Bond dies.  Terrible shite.
-*/*****

Windy

Windy by The Association.
He hummed it when stressed
It brought about calm
He whistled it when anxious
It allowed him to focus
A throwback to his youth
A memory of his mother ironing
Folding,  cleaning, cooking,  singing
Windy washed away the age
Windy blew away the years
Windy had stormy eyes
Windy by The Association
It allowed him to focus
When he was about to fire a slack worker
When he was about to embezzle his firm
When he stood in line in the bank and contemplated crime
Windy gives his imagination wings that fly
Above the dreary clouds of middle age

Social Fretworking

Grima_and_Théoden

It took me nine years. Nine long years filled with life and lifey things to finally realize what it is that is flawed with Facebook. To realize why we should all step back a bit else society is transmogrified and nothing short of a zombie apocalypse can cause a reset. It is, frankly, messing with us.

I opened my Facebook in the late winter of 2007. A person I worked with stormed into my office all excited telling me about it and how I “had to get on it right away!” As someone who was about a year into my blogging “thing” (replacing my previous emailing of my inane ramblings to unsuspecting friends), the concept of FB was sound. I could collect friends like wrinkly, aged Pokemon (with no powers whatsoever and who sadly said more words than just their name). I could force them to read statuses like “Sean Liddle has just eaten a #21 Black Bean Tofu, extra spicy!” I could send photos. I could write diatribes. It was good.

Years wore on. I posted, I retracted, I reposted, I shared and shared and over time I began to develop this feeling. An odd, inexplicable feeling that something was wrong with FB. I closed (temporarily) my account more than a few times. I took “Facebookations*” (my word, you can use it). I kept returning and grumbling about it. I couldn’t put my finger on it, why exactly I wanted to leave but couldn’t hold up my part of the bargain I made with myself (yes I discuss things with myself, it’s a sign of efficiency in problem solving. I posted about it last week didn’t you read it?)

But now I know.

Facebook is too social.

You read that right and yes, I know, someone right now is crafting a comment down below that says something along the lines of “it IS called a social network for a reason dumb dumb”. This is an example of the kind of person we like to call a “jerk”. Feel free to skip over their rant, they probably have no real world friends. Read on.

Fifteen years ago, if I broke my arm playing soccer (true story) I would email my closer friends (not every person I know, have ever known or folks I met online because we have a mutual love of Winona Ryder circa 1987) and say “Jebus. I broke my arm!” If I was having a party, I’d email or (ye gods) telephone people I wanted to show up and say “I’m having a party Friday night. B.Y.O.B. and a cute friend.” If it was pre-1996 when I met my wife and I was feeling down because my girlfriend dumped me (never happened, I’m a serial dumper) I would maybe, maybe, tell a couple of close friends. Maybe. They would of course in turn tell me that a) I needed to stop being a girl and b) needed to go out and get completely wrote off on rum and 7-Up. If I took a photo of my kids, my wife playing dead on the kitchen floor or myself looking freaking swole at the gym I would just keep it on my computer. Maybe I’d print out a few of the kid ones and give them to my Mom at Xmas. I’d save the gym one for future use if my wife ever dumped me (never happen, I’m awesome) and I needed to set up a dating profile on an online site (again, never happen, this is really dipping deep into the pool of fantasy).

In NONE of the above situations would I call all of my friends, acquaintances, work colleagues, Winona Ryder fetishists or members of the local Chuck Palahnuik fan club (shh, we don’t talk about it) into a room and tell them about all these things. I would be selective. I would have some sense of shame. I would have a bit of reason about my sharing every aspect of my life.

Facebook goes against this. Facebook gives people a false sense of community where one naturally would not exist. It coerces you into the belief that you really DO have three hundred plus close friends. In the real world you have just as many contacts but they are not all your friends, pre-Facebook you wouldn’t call them such and you certainly wouldn’t share the things FB convinces you to share with all of them.

All of this is disconcerting to someone like me who likes to believe has always been an introvert (and happy as such) but somehow became an online extrovert. No ma’am, I don’t like it. I don’t like how I have been tricked and how this trickery has to bring up another issue, been monetized. The things I post, link to, share, “like” and discuss are tracked, analyzed and assessed by FB and its business partners to focus ads toward me and mine. For the record, as much as I am interested in ads and mass communication psychology, I despise the world of advertising, marketing and selling of things to people who don’t need them. Yeah, I’m the Anti-Snoopy in the Charlie Brown Christmas Special (the first one, not the other ridiculous ones).

It also dovetails nicely into another problem that plagues modern, western society. A massive false sense of entitlement. Dare not tell people they shouldn’t do something that is questionable. Combine the above with an ever growing, more global economy and society and disaster is looming. Okay, maybe not a real disaster, but a social disaster.

Facebook may not be “the devil” but it certainly is the Grima Wormtongue of modern life. It convinces you to share everything, to hold nothing back, to publicly display all that goes on in your head without filter, all for the sake of ad revenue. Facebook does not love you. Facebook needs you. It needs you to modify realistic social behavior so it can make moolah. It’s the annoying kid in high school that convinces us all to skip school on a Friday and head to the beach on their party bus and all the while knowing you’ll buy the t-shirts that they printed and the watered down rum punch for the ride.

It’s time to be less social on social networks and focus on reality.

 

*”Facebook Vacations” for those who have trouble with portmanteau