1. Unsolicited Bond 23 Advice.
Now that we know November of 2012 will bring us a new Bond film, it's time we start meddling with the production process. First off, I'd like to see the new blood on the writing crew, John Logan, be given some creative license. He's the guy behind Gladiator, The Last Samurai, and The Aviator. Clearly a man with some skill, though the other two writers on the project were behind a very well paced Casino Royale, so we can expect positive contributions there as well. Next up, avoid a stupid title. No Quantum of Solace nonsense. No silly double entendres. Keep it simple and classy. Something like Deception Pass or Midnight Morning. Perfect.
After the title and script were locked, I'd hire Cillian Murphy to be my villain, because he is the creepiest human on Earth. Quantum of Solace suffered from a lesser bad guy, let's not go down that road again. Speaking of casting, Jeffrey Wright must be brought back, he's been excellent as C.I.A. agent Felix Leiter. Finally, Sam Mendes has proven he's capable of introspective dramas (Revolutionary Road) and solid violence (Road to Perdition). As long as he dials in the hand-to-hand combat aspect this next Bond film can't miss. With that in mind, I'd steal whoever choreographed the Bourne fight scenes. There. We've left nothing to chance. Check back in 18 months for the Bond teaser trailer live blog.
2. How to Tactfully Disagree With Your Friends and Neighbors
Some people have bad taste in movies. It's just a fact of life. So how do you get through your day without offending said people, or, even better, how do you say something offensive to them without them catching on? You follow this advice:
If they say they liked Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, you say "I know how you feel. I really liked the toys, back when I was six."
If they say they liked Little Fockers, you say "I think Ben Stiller's best work was back when he hosted the Vh1 Fashion Awards. You catch those? Pretty great."
If they say they liked The Expendables, you say "I'm pretty sure they CGI'd Arnold Schwarzenegger into that due to the California budget shortfall. No seriously."
If they say they liked 2012, you say "C'mon, the Mayan calendar didn't even account for St. Patrick's day. How accurate could it be?"
If they say they liked Paul Blart: Mall Cop, you say "I heard Wal-Mart has a sale on edible paste you might wanna check out."
If they say they liked Clash of the Titans, you say "Krakens are people too, you know."
If they say they liked Couples Retreat, you say "I was cheering for the sharks."
If they say they liked Leap Year you run. You run and you never look back. It’s best just to avoid certain situations.
3. Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man: What We Know
The first still from the new Spider-Man film has been released, and you can tell a lot from a picture. At least a couple dozen words worth. So here's what we can glean about the new Spider-Man project (Click on the image on the left for the larger version).
1. The scratches on his face indicate: He's not afraid to engage in physical combat with a housecat.
2. The dirty costume shows us: No one will dry clean the Spidey suit.
3. Garfield's downward glance means: He won't be singing and dancing, and for that we're very thankful.
4. The book bag strewn over his shoulder tells us: He still has to study.
Final Thoughts: The suit looks more textured than the previous Tobey Maguire version, doesn't it? Overall, I like the mood. Spidey, all alone, with a solid two inches of height on the previous version. The casting of Sally Field as Aunt May is a marked improvement, and Emma Stone is a slight upgrade over Kirsten Dunst. They hired a guy to direct whose last name works nicely into any Spider-Man headline. So we're on the right track. Spider-Man 3 was a bloated and silly mess, which makes this one all the more important. You only get one shot to make your Batman Begins. Don’t let us down, Marc Webb.
On that note, I'm off to live blog The Golden Globes. Good times.
Laremy is the lead critic and senior producer for a website named Film.com. He's also available on Twitter.