Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “Sean Connery”

Bond vs Solo: challenge post


Eli over at Coach Daddy asked me to write a comparison of two well-known heroes: James Bond and Han Solo.

Hmm, is what I said at first and thought it would make for a good post. He said he would match my post. Okay, challenge on.

First of all, I have grown up watching James Bond. As a kid I remember waiting for the clean version on television because there wasn’t any way my parents would have taken me to the theatre to see Sean Connery in all his bomb and bombshell glory. For me, Sean Connery remains the definitive Bond: suave, swagger, skilled, gentleman, although a bit chauvinistic, but hey, it was the 60s. Two years ago I had more to say on the Bond Birthday post, when Bond turned 50. Check it out.

Switch over to my college years and we have Star Wars on the screen. That I did get to see on my own. And I did so several times. Stars Wars was amazing! My dad loved westerns, especially John Wayne, and I immediately recognized that Han Solo was a bit of John Wayne in space. He played the rogue hero, the one who knew everyone, had a bit of reputation, knew how to get in trouble and get out of it. And he gets the girl. It was no surprise that Harrison Ford became the BIG star after his gig as Han Solo.

But to compare them, Eli? Seriously? Bond to Solo? That’s apples and oranges. I think they are best left to stand on their own merits. Spy Wars and Star Wars are two different categories. Although it is interesting that Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford became allies in that mash-up genre movie Cowboys and Aliens. Bond and Han made a pretty good team, come to think of it. I couldn’t see Connery slugging aliens, but he did play the Green Knight early in his career, and that’s pretty close to being an alien.

The real problem with this comparison is that there have been so many Bonds, and only one Han Solo. Each Bond played the role differently (again note past post). Han is Han: braggart, lovable rogue, a bit of a McGyver (Harrison even rocked a mullet in the 80s trilogy), a mercenary with a golden heart. Even with his mullet gone gray in the latest Star Wars movie, Harrison is still Han.

So–I’m not seeing much to compare. An apple is an apple next to an orange. I like both, but when it came to choosing which movie to watch in the theatre, I instinctively plunked my ticket down for Bond. Why? Craig has honed his Bond down to perfection, at least Skyfall impressed me. I’m not all that eager to see an aged Han Solo. Dude, who wants to see a hero age?
update: I did see the new Star Wars and was not impressed. I remain a purist. And it’s funny that Daniel Craig managed to get a cameo role. 

Okay, Eli. Your turn. Are Bond and Hans comparable, or are they stand alones?

Bond in space? image: 8bitnerds.com

Movies into Books


Reading a really great book can evoke the response of “Wouldn’t this make a great movie?”  Hollywood might be fall down from lack of source material without all those great reads out there.  Then again, I admit there are some really great movies that would make great books.

1. The Visitor: 2007/Richard Jenkins

The Visitor (2007) Poster

Walter, a widowed college professor, travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young illegal immigrant couple, Tarek and Zainab living in his apartment. While an uneasy friendship forms between them, the relationship becomes complicated when Tarek is arrested and Walter tries to help prevent deportation.

The movie sensitively presents the issue of immigration and illegal immigrants without too much political statement. The richness of moments and dialogue between the characters is what takes the movie to a level of deeply appreciating the various paths each human takes while journeying through life.

I would like to see this as a book to better “hear” each character’s thoughts, perhaps presented in the new chapter omniscient format.

Cover of "The Interpreter (Widescreen Edi...

Cover of The Interpreter (Widescreen Edition)

2. The Interpreter: 2005/Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn

Political intrigue and deception at its best. Set  inside the United Nations, Nicole Kidman plays an interpreter who overhears an assassination plot and CIA agent Sean Penn is assigned to investigate whether there is validity to her claim. Both are hurting from personal losses and form a bond from their mutual pain.

I would like to see this as a book because it is an intelligent thriller that explores aspects of an unknown field of work to me: United Nations interpreter. There are twists and turns to the plot that would make it a definite page-turner. And while Penn and Kidman’s characters are attracted to each other there is no distraction of a romantic relationship sideswiping the plot.

3. Flawless: 2007/Michael Caine, Demi Moore

Set in 1960s London, Michael Caine and Demi Moore both work for the London Diamond Corporation. Caine, a custodian about to retire, convinces Moore, the lone female executive who longs to break the glass ceiling, to get back at the company that has wronged them by lifting a few diamonds. A heist film of high caliber, exploring class and gender constraints.

I would definitely like to see this as a book because who can resist an intelligent whodunit heist? No murder, per se, just well-written character portrayals with a death on the side. Oh yeah, all those diamonds disappearing is pretty good intrigue, too.

4. Finding Forrester: 2000/Sean Connery, Rob Brown

Rob Brown, in his first role, plays a high school basketball player who happens to be a writing prodigy. He hides his writing in journals he carries in his backpack. On a dare gone wrong, he inadvertently leaves his backpack in an apartment he and his friends explore.  Sean Connery executes a fine performance as a reclusive author who wrote the Great American Novel and retired from writing and the world.

adaptation by James Ellison

Actually this did come out as a book and  held its own.

One thing noticeable about my choices is they are about issues and relationships. CGI nowhere to be seen.  Hmm, that says something, doesn’t it?

So–what movies to books are you hoping for at the  library near you?

Male Bonding


50 years of Bond films
is definitely a time of reflection.

The six James Bond actors of EON Productions f...

The six James Bond actors
of EON Productions films, as they appear in their individual gun
barrel sequences, from left to right – Sean Connery, George
Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel
Craig. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night The MEPA and
I rented Skyfall to celebrate that I arrived
home with absolutely no papers to grade. Perhaps the first time
since school started.  Although we experienced
Skyfall in all its IMAX wonder, there’s
nothing like cozing up on the sofa in my IKEA robe with a handful
of chocolate macaroons, watching a Bond flick with my favorite guy
next to me. Who needs to wait for the weekend?

Bond. James Bond.

English: James Bond films

English: James Bond films
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He is part of the culture. An
icon. An institution.  And he’s held his age quite well,
considering he’s been shot at, tortured, survived impossible
reckless encounters with cars, rockets, really big men with iron
teeth–let alone his penchant for fast women and fast cars.
Drinking martinis alone should have aged him. I’m thinking the
choice of Bond reflects what we expect of our male ideal. Sean
Connery: THE James Bond–cool, calm, quick with a well-place quip.
A man’s man, and every woman’s ideal. Connery reflected the
sixties male of being in control of his environment, and that
included women.

Sean Connery at the private party after the pr...

Sean Connery  (Photo
credit: Wikipedia)

Roger Moore: It must have been tough following Sean’s footsteps. Sean exuded capability, while Moore
attempted charm. He tended to mistake panache for pandering
and I just couldn’t warm up to his lack of physical prowess.

English: Sir Roger Moore

English: Sir Roger Moore
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Timothy Dalton: Dalton had the
looks, charm, and physicality of the suave secret agent. I had
hoped for a longer run.

Pierce Bronsan: A great
transition from Remington Steele to steely nerves and smooth demeanor.  Bronsan brought class to the series and reflected the nineties male who still showed a bit of chauvinism towards women, but also respect–once they earned it.

English: Brosnan Pierce at Cannes in 2002.

Pierce Bronsan (Photo
credit: Wikipedia)

Daniel Craig: When Bronsan got
bounced from the series the pressure must have been tremendous for the next Bond in question, yet this blonde Bond has transcended and
redefined the role. He epitomizes the tough male who is willing to show his compassionate side. I see Craig’s Bond as the modern King Arthur, tough yet revealing a vulnerability. Bond. If you think about
it, he is a reflection of what we expect out of our males for that
particular era. So, bond today?  No pressure, guys. Just
be good with a punch, be it verbal or physical, and don’t forget to shake your martini. Oh yeah, it’s okay to shed a tear for a fallen comrade, should the need arise. Any votes for
your favorite Bond?

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