“Roundtable, Entertainment Roundtable.”
There’s just something about that James Bond vibe in the air which makes movies a little bit more fun. So I asked out resident entertainment gurus what they thought of 007’s return, the new hot actors in Hollywood, dream concerts at the Ford Center and the painful necessity of award shows.
Here are their answers – shaken, not stirred.
1. Quantum of Solace is out. What's your take on the current status of the James Bond franchise and which is your favorite of the movies?
Entertainment writer Brandy McDonnell: “Quantum of Solace" made more than $70 million its opening weekend, a record for a Bond movie. It think the franchise is in great shape. In my opinion, to find the best of the Bond movies, you have to go all the way back to the second movie, "From Russia with Love." Intrigue, romance, assassins with knives in their shoes, gypsy girls fighting to the death, great culinary advice (only bad guys drink red wine with fish) and lots and lots of Sean Connery. Nobody does it better.”
Entertainment Editor Gene Triplett:
“The franchise is fully revived and kicking with Daniel Craig filling the 007 role. Like I said in my review of "Quantum of Solace," he's what makes this film and "Casino Royale" (2006) better than anything in the series since Sean Connery hung up his Beretta and turned in his license to kill. Stone-faced Craig is superb, bringing to life the no-nonsense Bond that creator Ian Fleming intended -- dark, deadly, damaged and hard as gunmetal. But my favorite is still "Goldfinger," even though they started taking things over the top in that one. Connery really owned it by that time, and for all time in my book.”
Assistant Entertainment Editor George Lang:
I'm still partial to "From Russia With Love" and "Goldfinger." Time will tell if "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace" hold up as well 45 years from now. I think there's a good chance. The reinvention of James Bond has as much to do with the Bourne films as it does the increasing darkness of our heroes, but it came at a crucial juncture in the franchise -- if they didn't infuse the character with emotion and more physicality, it would have just fallen deeper into self-parody. Other than Christopher Nolan's Batman films, this is the most artistically successful reboot of a series, though it will not have reached its zenith until Russell Brand takes over the character in 2015. Bwah!
Assistant Features Editor Matt Price:
“It's going strong. I think some people are a little surprised at the brutality of this James Bond - he's certainly much less of a quipper than most of the previous 007s. But, that's a deliberate choice, partially because of Austin Powers, and partially because that may be where escapist entertainment is going -- look how dark "The Dark Knight" was.
“As far as my favorite "Bond" movie, it's a tough call. I re-watched a lot of them in order to write up synopses for our 007 site at www.newsok.com/bond. "Dr. No" held up. "Goldfinger" is probably my overall favorite. "The Spy Who Loved Me" is maybe the best Roger Moore episode.”
2. A lot of folks are talking about "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson being the next big thing. Who is your pick for the next young breakout performer in music or movies?
“Twilight” is so big that everyone associated with the film has the chance to become the next big overnight sensation, particularly Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Cam Gigandet.”
“I think we'll see Christopher Mintz-Plasse of "Role Models" and "Superbad" become the next Michael Cera, sort of the ultra-geeky but still somewhat cool guy.”
“High School Musical 3” was meant as a launching pad for Zac Efron's grown-up movie career, and the remake of "Footloose" should turn the trick when it finally comes out in 2010.