I’ve been slowly slogging my way through Film Crit Hulk’s huge essay on the James Bond movies. It really is worth the time and effort it takes to ignore the uppercase conceit: part one, two, three, and four. There’s too much good stuff to quote and I end up agreeing with Hulk’s assessment of the films, particularly that From Russia With Love, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and Casino Royale are the series’ high points and Live and Let Die of its lows.
Talking about SkyFall’s over-seriousness, and having talked a bit about The Dark Knight’s virtues and flaws, and Transformers and such, Hulk makes this great point about these remakes (sentence case mine):
Hulk’s had this ongoing problem that’s much discussed where people want desperately for their childhood fandoms to be validated. To be made adult because it justifies continued interest. When really all that needs to happen is a simple acceptance that there is indeed something silly about Bond, or the Transformers, or Ninja Turtles or whoever. But it’s not forgetting childish things and leaving them behind, it’s about realizing the childish nature of things is okay. Silly things are fun. And indulging yourself is okay when you know that’s what you’re doing.
It’s why in some ways I like Batman: The Brave and the Bold and 66’s Batman more than Christopher Nolan’s. Not in every way, of course (and for me the 90s cartoon is still tops) but those movies just seem to be embarrassed about being about superheroes. I didn’t really need silly death traps but at some point you do have to admit your story is about a guy dressed up like a bat fighting a scary clown.