Saturday, 6 October 2012
A few weeks ago, Radio Five Live's film review show broadcast a special James Bond themed edition featuring the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra playing the best themes from Bond films, as voted on by listeners. It was, honestly, one of the most enjoyable radio programmes I've heard; accomplished renditions of classic tunes interspersed with Mark Kermode's entertaining-as-ever reviews. Plus, I agreed with the general consensus regarding a musical matter for once - Live and Let Die is indeed the best Bond theme.
And now there's another theme to add to that list - Adele's Skyfall. The song seems to ditch the punchy modern direction of the previous two themes - worked alright for Casino Royale, fell flat for Quantum - and attempt to mimic the style of more classic ballads. With an instance of the word "Skyfall" lasting for 13 seconds and bars of Monty Norman's classic Bond theme riddled throughout, it's certainly the type of song Shirley Bassey would sing. Unfortunately, that's all it is. It's not really an individual piece of music, rather a pastiche of classic Bond, with no punchiness or originality of its own much to make it memorable. I've never been a fan of Adele and this disappointing conservative effort hasn't changed that.
Let's hope the film's a little more exciting. For the series' fiftieth anniversary, Sam Mendes' Skyfall is set to, like the song, hark back to retro Bond styles, but also to keep the pace and grittiness of the previous two Daniel Craig Bonds. To be honest, I am optimistic - the trailers hint at a nice mix of classic Bond wit with the adeptly shot action of Casino Royale and a story less shit than Quantum of Solace, which essentially revolved around a plan to steal a lake. Here's James Bond fighting a train with a digger. Yes, a digger. Bond is back.
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