Thursday, November 16, 2006


The reviews are in and it seems Daniel Craig is worthy of the name Bond, James Bond, after all. Duh.

In retrospect, the hullabaloo over hiring a blonde actor (actor, people, actor) to play moviedom’s most famous super spy was laughable. Um, Meg Ryan fell for Billy Crystal in “When Harry Met Sally” and we all managed to suspend our disbelief for that one.

The question in my mind was never whether Craig was good enough for Bond, but whether Bond was good enough for Craig. I caught Craig in “Layer Cake” maybe a year and half ago. It wasn’t the sort of film I usually gravitate towards—too macho, too violent. The plot and dialogue were difficult to follow. But Craig was riveting and his electric blue eyes popped off the screen. When the Oscars rolled around, I was surprised he didn’t make at least a few critics’ lists in the category of “no chance in hell of getting a nomination but damn he was good.”

To follow up that kind of edgy, star-making performance with the title role in the creaky Bond franchise seemed like career suicide. (Anybody heard from Timothy Dalton lately? I thought not.) When Craig’s named was first dangled as a replacement for Pierce Brosnan (who I adore as anything but Bond), I thought, “Don’t do it!” But the Bond folks appear to have stolen a page from Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” playbook. Stellar actor + decent script = good movie.

So now that we’ve taken James Bond off life support, can somebody please rescue Superman?

* * *

Results from the mid-term elections are barely a week old and the pundits have already moved onto the 2008 presidential campaign, so I guess it’s not too early to start casting next season’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Hurrah for this year’s champs, Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke, who as far as I could tell, stuck to the basic premise of ballroom dancing and did it exceedingly well. I’d add something about runner-up Mario Lopez, but that would just give the man-boy another 10 seconds of undeserved attention.

Here’s a thought for the producers: Next time you’re planning a filler number to pad a one-hour show into two, make the judges dance. Pair up Carrie Ann with Bruno—can’t you just picture him trying to out-sequin her—and let’s see how they handle the Jive and the Mambo; Len can take over as bandleader. You know what they say: Those who can, do. Those who can’t, judge.

For all those who find “Dancing” ridiculous and a sign that the apocalypse is upon us, I offer up two words: “Love Boat.” Or “Fantasy Island.” Take your pick. Because back in the day, that’s where C-list celebs or up-and-comers went to pick up a steady paycheck. People like Lynda Day George and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. built entire careers around these shows and Western civilization managed to survive the escapism. Now, apparently it’s become difficult to find writers who can pen a good “boy meets girl, girl freaks out that boy’s parents are ‘little people,’ boy loses girl, girl has a change of heart” storyline (an actual “Love Boat” plot, on my honor). And that leads us to “Dancing.” Substitute Tom Bergeron for Captain Stubing, Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno for Julie, Doc and Gopher (sorry Isaac, not much diversity here) and Samantha for the horrendously annoying Vicky—it’s virtually the same program.

So when you think about who’s right for “Dancing,” try to imagine them setting sail on the Love Boat. Patrick Dempsey, way too hot (though call back in 10 years). The sister from “Good Times,” far too obscure. Delta Burke, appropriately faded star yet still a familiar face—just right.

All aboard.


Post a Comment

<< Home