“What was it, about a year ago that the Bond 24 announcement was streamed? Watching it, I remember being ridiculously excited. First, it was the returning supports: Ben Wishaw as Q, Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny. Excellent, we’ll be building up some newly established classic favorites. Dave Bautista was added. Solid choice. It continued and announced our Bond girls: Monica Belluci (!!!!!) and Lea Seydoux. Excellent. And then, came the big announcement (for me at least). Before Daniel Craig was brought out as James Bond, the final new addition was spoken: Christoph Waltz. Oh. My. Gooooooood. Cue the fan-girling.

Everyone else in the cast is all well and good (better than that actually), but why did this one name send me into such a frenzy? Simply put, this man was born to play a Bond villain. True, it wasn’t actually said he’d be the baddie, but it was an easy conclusion to jump to. As we all (likely) well know, this man has won not one, but two Oscars, both for Tarantino movies. The first of those being for Inglorious Basterds where he was introduced to the world at large, and played his villainous role much like those classic baddies of old, and in four languages no less. As the one shining aspect of Green Hornet, he was basically auditioning for his role here. And now, finally, it was happening. I only had to wait about a year to see it.

And now here we are. I gladly skipped yoga in favor of catching one of the first screenings. Even trying to arrive early, I had slim pickins as far as seats. Except for the bit of a crick in my neck from turning at the same angle I spend much of the day (screen config at the office and couch/laptop/tv config at home), I was happily seated in a single chair at the front, just before the front becomes obnoxious.

The movie played and I had a doofy big grin on my face throughout much of it. There were a lot of throwbacks, mostly digging thru Craig’s tenure though there were some big classic ones as well, many of which I recognized for what they were but some significances were blurry. I tried to recall some of the major details from having watched the full franchise a couple years back. However, there are definitely details I’m wikipedia-ing.

How did it stack up? I don’t know that it beats Skyfall (prolly my fave) or Casino Royale, but it at least keeps pace with those. (We don’t speak of Quantum of Solace). All the names that excited me a year ago delivered last night (relative to when I’m writing, not posting). Waltz especially had me giddy, being everything I hoped for and more. I loved the opening sequence in Mexico City. Apart from some of our bad guy mischief, that would probably be my favorite part. Not too impressed with the theme song or opening credits, but they can’t all be winners. Without thinking about it too hard, I think Casino Royale is what wins that one for me.

And I do really love Daniel Craig. While so many of Bond’s actions are inhuman, his version of the character himself feels very grounded and real. He’s not afraid to show his flaws or delve into his darker side. I very much hope that he does fulfill his contract and sign on for a fifth. He’s still my favorite incarnation of the superspy, and I want to get all that we can out of him.

Spectre – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/”

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