THN’s Bond Movie Titles Rundown Part 5

We’ve been on quite a journey, haven’t we? All 22 Bond film titles have been critiqued and now SKYFALL is out for all to enjoy. But before we get there, we have four more movie names to investigate. There no rush, though. We have all the time in the world.

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH

(1999) dir. Michael Apted

Bond fights Begbie whilst Denise Richards plays a scientist. Oh and Q bows out gracefully. Desmond Llewelyn, we salute you.

Does It Sound Like A Bond Film:

Absolutely, as it overtly conjures images of world domination, though not necessarily in the manner one might expect. If you are familiar with the 007 mythology, you’ll find unquestionably fits into the canon and it’s rather surprising that this title hasn’t been used until now.

Does It Get A Song:

Oh yes. On his second outing as composer, David Arnold gets a title song on which he collaborated with veteran Bond lyricist Don Black. And it’s a beauty. Performed by Garbage, it has the sweeping strings and twangy guitar of old and is so versatile a song that it would have been equally good if warbled by the great Welsh Dame of three songs previous. But she’s not the only Shirley on the block, as Manson’s gruff, seductive timbre give the number a rawness and a real sex appeal. If any Bond song could push you up against a wall, pull your hair back and bite your neck, it’d be this one.

Does It Make Sense:

Perfectly. Fans of the series will know that ‘The World is Not Enough’ is the Bond family motto, first mentioned way back in ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE, tying the films together and giving the series a valid continuity. For people who didn’t know that (which is fair dos, as OHMSS is a steaming pile of plops) the title still has connotations of world domination, a recurring theme in this particular oeuvre, and people may also recognize the phrase as it was Alexander the Great’s epitaph. Nice bit of trivia there.

Alternative Titles:

I Could Do With Another Planet, Actually
Wish Q Were Here
Denise Richards In An Adventure As A Scientist

DIE ANOTHER DAY

(2002) dir. Lee Tamahori

The twentieth outing for James Bond, in which he gets an invisible car. He then uses it to Jump the Shark.

Does It Sound Like A Bond Film:

Well, yes. But by now the formula is pretty tired. I guess they thought ‘As long as it mentions Living or Dying then we’ll be alright.’ It does apply to the plot, and they do crowbar it in as a line of dialogue, a la ‘A VIEW TO A KILL’ and ‘THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS.’ So it does sound like a Bond film, just not a very good one.

Does It Get A Song:

Yes and it is balls. The embarrassing drunk auntie of pop Madonna auto-tunes her way through a song so peculiarly difficult to listen to that it seems more at home with early 2000s Eurovision than the Bond theme catalogue. And the lyrics… Oh Christ in a bag, the lyrics…

‘I’m gonna wake up, yes and no.
I’m gonna kiss, some part of.
I’m gonna keep, this secret.
I’m gonna close, my body now.
I guess I’ll die another day.
I guess I’ll die another day.
I guess I’ll die another day.
I guess I’ll die another day.’

Perhaps she’s being enigmatic. Or perhaps she threw a Speak & Spell down the stairs and put the results into her T-Pain autotune app. Either way, she wants us to work it out, as she says,

‘Sigmund Freud
Analyze this
Analyze this
Analyze this, this, this.’

Well, he did. We found a rare piece from Freud giving an in depth analysis, and here it is;

‘Ze subject known az Madonna iz living in a fantasy land vear her muzic iz in some vay still rrrrrrrevelent. Zis is demonstrated in her first line, ‘I’m going to vake up, yes unt no.’ This rrrrrrrrrepresents the dream like state vich she inhabits, and ze internal strrrrruggle to face rrrreality. ‘I’m going to kiss, some part of.’ Ze grrrrrammatical error in zis sentence is indicative of ze subject’s desire to prrrrrrove rebellious. She later adds that she is going to ‘shake up the system.’ Apparrrrrrrently unaware zat she IS ze system. ‘I’m going to keep this secret,’ implies possibly that she IS avare of zis fact, but zis I believe is giving ze subject too much crrrrredit. The final line ‘I’m Going to close my body now’ does imply zat her body has been open. To give zis a Fraudian analysis vould be…”

The piece ends there, but the space below the paragraph is dotted with semen.

Does It Make Sense:

Perfect sense, as it has two meanings. Bond, of course, lives to die another day all the time, much like LIVE AND LET DIE. Also, the villainous Colonel Moon, who apparently dies in the pre-credits sequence, assumes a new identity as the main antagonist Gustav Graves and thus gets to (as Bond quips) ‘Die another day.’ Presumably the villain assumed the name Graves as a pun relating to people thinking he was dead, tying in with the title.

Alternative Titles:

Bond XX or 20 (genuinely considered apparently)
Bond Jumps The Shark In His Invisible Car
Bond Has An Invisible Car For Fuck’s Sake

CASINO ROYALE

(2006) dir. Martin Campbell

Reeeeeeeeeeboot! After the CG-filled bowl of bums that was DIE ANOTHER DAY, Eon Productions decided to do a BATMAN BEGINS and start over, so here is Bond’s origin film, set in the present day, yet before the other films and still with Judi Dench as M to really screw around with the continuity. And you know what? It’s brilliant. Oh, and hello Daniel Craig. Hello indeed.

Does It Sound Like A Bond Film:

Wonderfully so, not only because of the concomitance of James Bond and casinos, but the title is taken from Fleming’s very first 007 novel. So technically it is the definitive name. Plus there is a good chance even non-fans will know of the previous and utterly unofficial CASINO ROYALE film from 1967, and will relate it, possibly subconsciously, to that.

Does It Get A Song:

Nope, no song called ‘Casino Royale.’ What we do get though is an absolute cracker by Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell called ‘You Know My Name.’ He is the first male act to grace the opening titles since A-Ha back in 1987 with ‘The Living Daylights,‘ and his song does a great job of reintroducing the character.

Does It Make Sense:

Indeed it does, its the name of the casino in which Bond and Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) duel over the card table. But it’s not just a house of gambling, CASINO ROYALE is an arena which doesn’t so much host a card game as present a battle with world changing results. If Bond loses, he (and vicariously the British government) will be funding international terrorism, so the stakes are higher than Roger Moore’s eyebrow or George Lazenby’s mortgage repayments. Its the only Bond film to use a location as its title which indicates the significance of the place, not just to the narrative, but to the central character.

Alternative Titles:

Bond Begins (Again)
Double Oh The Things I’d Have Daniel Craig Do To Me

QUANTUM OF SOLACE

(2008) dir. Marc Forster

Bond does the impossible and has too much action, too little sex (he boinks only one woman who, incidentally, isn’t the Bond girl) and refuses to quip! Still good though.

Does It Sound Like A Bond Film:

No. It doesn’t really sound like anything. It did take its name from an original Fleming short story, so it carries a little of the history. But it’s a really REALLY dull story about our favourite spy having a bit of a natter at a party. No conflict, no action, just hob-nobbing with no actual knobbing. In that respect, it’s a little like the film, which features only one teeny tiny love scene. But this is indicative of the more serious nature of the current Bond. Still though, Gemma Arterton, eh? Phwoar! Eh? Phwoar! Eh? Arterton? Eh? Phwoar! In that coat? With nothing underneath? Eh? Phwoar!

She’s a very good actor.

Does It Get A Song:

No it does not. Like CASINO ROYALE before it, the theme tune does not adopt the title of the movie. I thought this could be a new trend and that maybe Adele would be singing something completely unrelated to SKYFALL, presumably about Bond’s numerous breakups. Then she had to go and do a really good one, ruining my theory. Here we are treated to the first ever duet in the series, as Alicia Keys and Jack White team up forAnother Way to Die.’ While the song lacks an original sounding name (it’s the eighth song title to mention living/dying and the third in the last five to say ‘die’ specifically), it makes up for it in many other respects. First of all, Keys and White are two of the sexiest, most talented singer/songwriters kicking about today, so that doesn’t hurt. Secondly, it pulls off the rare feat of sounding enough like a Bond song to be a great addition to the collection, but enough of a filthy, indie-rock number to have legs outside of the Bond bubble, which a surprisingly small amount of theme tunes actually do.

However, if you want a theme tune that DOES feature the name of the film, the brilliant Adam & Joe did just that with two superb efforts. Here’s the first from Adam Buxton.

And here’s the version from ATTACK THE BLOCK director, Joe Cornish.

Does It Make Sense:

Well, it’s difficult to say. The phrase (translated from English to English) means ‘A Moment of Peace.’ So that could mean our hero is searching for peace after the mental torment of seeing his beloved Vesper take her own life. But then the shadowy SPECTRE-like organisation that Mi6 must battle is known as Quantum, but that would render it meaningless. I dunno. I don’t know. I simply don’t know.

Alternative Titles:

Sautum of Quolace
Thingy of Whatsit
Gromit of Wallace

So there we have it. Every James Bond movie title has been explored, in depth, by you and I. And what have we learned, dear reader? Well, we know they don’t have to make sense or relate to the plot as long as they’re catchy and memorable, including a reference to ‘Living/Dying’ may be lazy but it creates instant Bondom, and perhaps most importantly of all, it doesn’t have to sound like a Bond film to sound like a Bond film, at least not at first. When SKYFALL first got its name, fans the world over arched they’re collective eyebrows and said ‘Sherioushly? SHKYFALL??’ But those fans have probably seen it by now, as you may yourself. And if they’re anything like us at THN or any of the thousands upon thousands of satisfied movie goers the world over, they will have loved it. It could well go down as being one of the best James Bond films of all time, so the name SKYFALL will one day be synonymous with 007.

Sho, Yesh. Shkyfall.

SKYFALL is directed by Sam Mendes and stars Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Feines and Judi Dench as M. Its out now.

For your eyes only, the entire rundown of Bond Titles can be found here. Positively shocking.

 

John is a gentleman, a scholar, he’s an acrobat. He is one half of the comedy duo Good Ol’ JR, and considers himself a comedy writer/performer. This view has been questioned by others. He graduated with First Class Honours in Media Arts/Film & TV, a fact he will remain smug about long after everyone has stopped caring. He enjoys movies, theatre, live comedy and writing with the JR member and hetero life partner Ryan. Some of their sketches can be seen on YouTube and YOU can take their total hits to way over 17!

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