We’ve been watching a LOT of movies this year. It’s been a great way to visualize some of the things we’ve been interested in studying, and it’s also been a jumping-off point into new interests.
Ashar’s latest fascination?
Bond. James Bond.
Specifically, we’ve watched two Bond films so far, with more to come. First, we watched Goldfinger, and more recently, we gave in and rented Skyfall. We talked to Ashar in advance and said, “You know, these aren’t exactly designed for almost-13-year-olds. They’re kind of grown-up movies.” And she gets that.
In fact, she gets it so well that she sat down the other night and decided to write out Things that kids and parents should know about ‘Skyfall’, along with some other related notes. I do have to give a spoiler warning, but I think it’s worth the spoilers to see her (pretty intuitive) take!
Here’s what Ashar says:
1. There are bad words. They do swear. It brings the meaning to the movie, I understand that, but they do it a little more than necessary, I think. I would say that the movie is for mature 12-year-olds, and teenagers and adults. If you are younger than 12, do not watch the movie.
2. There is a lot of romance in it. I mean A LOT of romance in it, because James Bond is a ladies’ guy, so there’s a lot of Bond girls in it. And also sometimes the girls die.
3. I would also say that there is a lot of killing and a lot of guns, and the use of alcohol. I don’t think he [Bond] has that much, though. Sometimes just a glass, sometimes it’s just that he orders a glass and he doesn’t drink.
4. At the beginning of Skyfall, when he gets shot and lives his happy, so-called “Dead Life,” he has a drink because he had a bad day. I can understand that. Because it starts out where his teammate is trying to help him, but she has to take a risk.
5. Q almost got James in trouble, because they were doing something they were not supposed to, to lure the bad guy to them.
6. In the one part of Skyfall, the bad guy, Silva, when he’s sitting in the cage, he pulls out his teeth, because he burned the inside of his mouth earlier in his life. You don’t see it coming and then all the sudden you see him putting his hand in his mouth and you’re like, “What on earth?” (I wonder how they did that part. He couldn’t have worn fake teeth like you can get at the store with other fake teeth over that.) [Note from Dad: I think it was special computer effects.]
7. My favorite part in the movie (this part was also shown in the trailer) is when he [Bond] uses the machine to make the hole in the train, and then he jumps over it and then he lands in the train. Because the bad guy was trying to disconnect the parts.
8. Kids might be sad when the bad guy shoots innocent people when he escapes. That part is really sad, because I don’t think that guy did anything wrong.
9. James Bond’s job for MI6 is to be a spy, but he has a so-called license to kill. To me, I think the more violence gives it [the movie] more action, and for people to see the point of James Bond’s job, as a British secret service agent. I think it would be nicer if there wasn’t so much violence in the movies, but with James Bond you kind of have to understand that the whole point of James Bond is action.
10. To me, Goldfinger, yes, it was a good James Bond movie. But I didn’t think I really saw the purpose of James Bond’s job in that one as well. I saw that purpose that he was going after Goldfinger, but not all the action in between that, like in Skyfall. I didn’t see that in Goldfinger. All I saw was music and then it went right onto the movie. There was action in it [Goldfinger], but Skyfall was a longer movie and it had the part in the beginning, and then it went on to the actual movie. Talking is important, but I think to me the movie [Goldfinger] was mostly talking.
11. There is kind of a plot twist in Skyfall – the part where he has to train again to be an agent. And his “Mom” (M) lies to him and says he passes when he didn’t, because he wasn’t ready. The part that M lied to him was actually funny, a little bit. But it was also kind of sad, too, because she lied to him and she also made him mad by telling his teammate to take a shot at him.
12. Skyfall blows up, but James Bond says, “I didn’t really like this place anyway.” I think that part has the most action, because, yes, it is very scary, because there is a lot of TNT going on in there, like dynamite they throw in the windows and all. That part is scary because Silva is throwing the dynamite into the windows. James Bond is trying to kill him at the same time without dying. That part can get a little bit confusing, if you’re not completely paying attention.
13. James Bond movies have a lot more action than Indiana Jones. I would say Skywall is tied with the Crystal Skull for most action. I think James Bond movies have more girls for James Bond to love than Indiana Jones. I like Harrison Ford. I like how he does Indiana Jones, and he’s a really good actor and he’s the right one for it. I think Daniel Craig is the best James Bond I’ve seen, since I’ve only seen two movies.
14. This is my ranking of some action movies that I have seen.
- The Avengers
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- (tie) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, AND Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
So there you have Ashar’s thoughts on James Bond, and his appropriateness (or not) for kids!
At the bookstore the other day, Ashar picked up something else to add to her Bond fascination: a copy of James Bond FAQ – All That’s Left to Know About Everyone’s Favorite Superspy, by Tom Demichael. It’s not a kids’ book – but she’s gamely working her way through the background about Ian Fleming and the origin of Bond. (Did you know, by the way, that Fleming’s middle name was Lancaster – the name of our neighboring county? Now we do!)
Any recommendations for us on which Bond film to watch next?