Friday, October 12, 2012

James Bond must hate America

I understand why "Skyfall," the new James Bond adventure with Daniel Craig, will premiere in London on Oct. 23. The first Bond film, "Dr. No," opened there 50 years ago this month. What I don't get is why the United States will be one of the last territories on Earth to see it, on Nov 9.

We're coming in after Bahrain and Bulgaria, Iceland and Iraq, Poland and Portugal, to name just some of the 28 countries where it will open Oct. 26. In fact, the United States will snag the movie ahead of only Australia, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa. We are outranked even by Estonia, Nigeria, Uruguay and Vietnam.

There are many reasons such a release pattern could make sense for a movie, but none apply to "Skyfall." Producers aren't trying to build favorable word of mouth (and don't need any). These aren't test screenings for an unfinished film that will be re-cut by the time it gets here. Nor are they festival screenings meant to garner critics' awards before general release.

A conspiracy theorist would argue this is part of a 50-year Bondian degradation of the United States. The American characters in Bond movies are almost always greedy, doltish, rude or unhelpful. CIA agent Felix Leiter, who has appeared in various incarnations throughout the series, is useful but never allowed to take the most important role in any operation. I suppose that's because, in real life, the CIA has always been led by the nose by Britain's MI6. (Not.)

Hey, maybe we should be grateful the studio isn't making us wait longer for "Skyfall." We got "Dr. No" seven months after it came out in England, "From Russia With Love" six months after its London premiere -- and then only in a limited New York engagement -- and the immortal "Goldfinger" four months after the Brits saw it. When you're a second-class nation, I suppose you'd better get used to the soggy end of the crumpet.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

"greedy, doltish, rude or unhelpful"

So in other words actual Americans?

Anonymous said...

I've got a gold finger I'd like to give them...

Anonymous said...

The USA just isn't what it used to be.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the "Blame America First" crowd is in full effect here.

Anonymous said...

Silly article....

John said...

More inane commentary from one of the most inane occupations on earth... movie critics. Like weather people, I tend to do the opposite of what they recommend... you will be right more often that way!

Maybe they just wanted it to be closer to the Holiday season in the US?

John said...

Anonymous 12:31... so when are you leaving the country?

Wiley Coyote said...

Until I read this, I wasn't going to lose any sleep tonight.

Now I'll lose sleep because I did read it and realized I wasted 2 minutes reading it and writing this.

Komodoman said...

Lawrence, can you whine any louder? Did those big, bad people make you feel sad?

Do us all a favor and don't go the movie. That'll em that America should get everything first and everyone has to like us.

Your an embarrassment.

komodoman said...

Cripes, my writing is as feeble as Lawrence's.

Anonymous said...

I think the main stereotype is that Americans all act like entitled, petulant children, as evidenced by articles like this.

Timothy Whitson said...

I agree with you that we're being dissed in a major way, given the box office receipts the US will generate. However, in reality the UK has historically been rivaled only by Mossad in Israel for the effectiveness of their foreign intelligence service. The original OSS forerunner to the CIA were almost all trained by the British during and immediately after WWII.

Anonymous said...

@ Timothy Whitson..WHAT? Are you actually taking this article seriously? Wow. It's a movie. Make believe. And I would think that the article is not meant as truthful commentary on US/UK relations. If so, both of you really need a life.

John said...

He is however, being historically accurate.

Anonymous said...

Pleeaaase, England is a fourth of fifth rate little island now. Jamaica, Haiti and England all share something in common, "They're weak and contribute very little to the world!"