Yesterday, I was invited to be the featured reader at the Not-So-Silent Planet, a speculative fiction open mic presented by Wordsprout. I was flattered and, of course, incredibly nervous because I didn’t know what I was going to write and, as always, I had no idea if it was the least bit funny.
The inspiration for this particular story came from the phrase “I just wish there weren’t so many bass players.” I don’t know why as I have no particular hatred for bass players. The phrase just struck me as funny. Over the course of the day, I managed to find a bunch of words to wrap around that phrase and this is the story that emerged. Honestly, I think it works better read aloud.
But I liked it. And I think it worked well. So I’m putting it out on the internet for people to enjoy or ignore. Warning: this story does not contain any cats.
What a difference twenty years makes.
The Living Daylights was made in 1987 and while it doesn’t have the best of Bond villains, I think it is a solid film in the franchise. I’ve already defended Timothy Dalton as Bond so I won’t bother to do that again.
Watching the film now, what I’m struck by is the depiction of the Mujahideen as heroes and freedom fighters.
I’m not making any value judgements on whether or not that is right. Rather, I’m thinking that to a post 9/11 audience, that depiction might not make any sense. I can think of a few reasons why.
The cliché that a Bond villain can’t just fucking kill James Bond is rarely more evident than in Live & Let Die. Bond is constantly surrounded by bad guys with guns and yet not a one of them seems capable of pulling the trigger.
When Bond gets home at the end of this one, I really feel that he’s got to consider himself lucky that the bad guys he faces are so fucking stupid.
Let’s look at a few examples, shall we?
I liked Timothy Dalton as Bond.
There. I said it. I realize that I’m going to catch hell for it but a guy has to be honest. I think that Dalton got a bad rap as Bond.
I’m not talking about the movies he was in, by the way. While I like both of them and I think they are certainly better than the worst Bond films (almost all of which starred an aging Roger Moore), they are both mediocre at best.
Nor would I say Dalton is the best Bond. I’d give that distinction to either Connery or (depending on how the next movie turns out) Daniel Craig.
Right now, though, I ‘m just talking about how Timothy Dalton played Bond . I loved what he brought to the role.
It’s interesting how badly we want our hit men to be heroes.
Leon is a genuinely good guy, right? Sure. He’s a good guy who kills people. For a living.
What we love him for is the fact he’s so bloody good at it. He can even teach a twelve-year-old girl how to be good at it.
But he’s still a guy who gets paid to kill people.
L.A. Confidential is the perfect film to open the L section of the Alphabetical movie project because I have to admit, I’d been rushing to get to the L’s for a while.
I like most of the movies I own. I mean, I wouldn’t own them if I didn’t. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I like some more than others. That means there are some letters that get me more excited than others as well.
Take the letter D, for instance. Man was I looking forward to the letter D. I started out with movies like Dark City and The Day the Earth Stood Still and near the end I got to watch Dr. No and Dr. Strangelove. It was a great letter.
Right off the bat, though, you can see the potential in the letter L. L.A. Confidential is an amazing film. Just knowing I got to start the next batch of movies with such a great one got me really excited.