Skyfall, the next movie in the James Bond saga, is coming out on November 29th this year. Seeing as how we’re five months out from the movie, now’s the perfect time to release a teaser trailer! It’s a tease! It’s like a trailer, BUT SHORTER! Shake up your martinis (particularly if you’re at work) and take a gander:
Insider tip: “Skyfall” was the name of Bond’s pet chinchilla that was killed in a childhood explosion. That’s why he doesn’t want to talk about it.
Cool, huh? Personally, I’m pumped. I’m a big fan of the Daniel Craig version of James Bond (this will be his third movie). While Sean Connery will always reign supreme, Roger Moore always had the most fun, and Pierce Brosnan brought the character back to life (sit down George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton, no one is in your corners), Daniel Craig is creating a James Bond that should rightfully be feared. He’s less pomp and puns and more crush your larynx after you try to stab him at a baccarat table. Craig is a deeper and more complex James Bond than any other Bond we’ve ever seen.
Now, I’ve always been a fan of the James Bond movies. I can remember watching marathons with my Dad on a weekend or two once every year when they’d play them all on TV. I remember getting VHS copies of Goldfinger, Thunderball, and Live and Let Die for Christmas one year and it was pretty much the best thing ever. As an adolescent male, what wasn’t there to love about James Bond? Gadgets, Jane Seymour, spying, car chases, gun fights and Jane Seymour. It was everything a 12-year-old guy needed! Now my son, Max, is six months old. Currently, he’s primarily into bright colors, a stuffed blue elephant, and his dinosaur mobile. He’s quite a ways off from realizing how cool super-spies are. But, after watching the trailer for Skyfall, it got me thinking, when is a good time to introduce your kids to James Bond?
Now, I am in no way claiming to be an expert on this sort of thing. When your kid is ready for one type of entertainment or another is an issue that is entirely up to you, the parent and/or guardian, and it’s usually based on the level of maturity your kid currently exhibits. As far as movies went, I was an early bloomer. Before I was a teenager, I not only absorbed all of the goodness the 80s and early 90s had to offer, but I was also obsessed with James Cagney and John Wayne and other classic movies. I was a cinema junkie from the get-go and my folks could see that I could handle a movie with spy-violence and a character named “Plenty O’Toole” without turning to a life of crime. So, James Bond was always a favorite of mine. Now, I won’t argue the fact that the Daniel Craig movies are a bit more intense than classic Bond movies (not once did I see Roger Moore get slapped in the Qs with a length of rope), and they are probably best suited for kids 13 and up, so you’re probably better off introducing younger kids to classic Bond first.
As a parent, you have to be prepared for the following things with any Bond movie:
- Violence: 007 has a license to kill and he’s rarely afraid to use it.
- Sexy Shenanigans: James Bond is usually romantically involved with AT LEAST two ladies per movie. While, there’s never anything particularly graphic, there is definitely a good deal of smooching and sex puns.
- Intricate Plots: Some Bond movies can be pretty tricky to follow. Some kids may have a hard time keeping up with the double-agents, double-crosses, and unnecessarily complicated plots to take over the world.
- THE OPENING CREDITS: Now, I won’t lie, I was way more interested in the opening credits of James Bond movies than my folks probably realized. Parents of young boys take note: Bond movies have figured out the only way to get silhouetted butts and nipples on network television and four generations of puberty-stricken males are forever indebted to them.
Fun facts about Live and Let Die: It has the best Bond theme ever and Yaphet Kotto has the best cinematic death EVER.
So, that leaves us with the question, how old is old enough for a kid to start learning the ins and outs of MI-6? Since, once again, it can be different from kid to kid depending on maturity level and how interested they are, I’ll lay out the Bond films that are probably the best entry level films for all spies to enjoy, along with what parts kids may love and what may be tricky to explain…
- Goldfinger - This is usually agreed on as THE James Bond movie and for good reason. Sean Connery is at his suavest as the titular spy against Auric Goldfinger and his plot to obliterate Fort Knox. The Awesome: Oddjob, the table laser, the final fight scene. The tricky: Death by nude gold-painting. Pussy Galore…teehehehehe…
- Thunderball - Sean Connery in another super-cool Bond outing. Bond has to stop a plot involving SPECTRE and a nuclear plot against the US. The Awesome: The opening sequence with the guy disguised as a widow. Jetpacks and gadgets a’plenty. The tricky: Domino and underwater boning.
- Live and Let Die - Roger Moore’s first Bond film takes him to New Orleans where he goes up against voodoo, drug smugglers, and a TANK FULL OF FRIGGIN’ SHARKS. The Awesome: The boat chase, running on the backs of crocodiles, Jane Seymour. The tricky: Jane Seymour’s plunging necklines, lots of drug talk, some less-than-sensitive Blaxploitation trappings.
- The Spy Who Loved Me - Roger Moore is Bond again as he teams up with a female Soviet agent to go up against Stromberg and his underwater lair. The Awesome: JAWS, ski jump parachute escape, the final fight. The tricky: Jaws biting guys to death. Escape pod sex. Barbara Bach’s endowments.
- Goldeneye - Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as James Bond is certainly one of the most memorable. Bond goes up against a former ally and his plot to take over a devastating weapon. The Awesome: The opening scene. The tank chase. Alan Cumming’s death by freezing. The tricky: Famke Janssen’s deadly thighs. Pretty high body count.
So those are my picks for an introduction to James Bond. With ANY movie, if you’re not sure you want your kid to see it, watch it first. If you make it that far, then watch it with them. You’ll be there to have fun, answer questions, or create an expertly timed distraction when things get a little too Cinemax for you liking. What do you think? Is James Bond ever appropriate for tweens? Younger? Have a favorite Bond film? Share your secret thoughts in the comments.