'Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?'
It’s winter of 2002, and Die Another Day releases at theaters and predictably bombs. The James Bond franchise is in freefall after yet another subpar goofy outing. Fans go ballistic when Daniel Craig, 5’10” and blonde, is cast to be the next Bond. Had they seen Layer Cake, I think they would have seen the potential. 2006 arrived, and with it, the best Bond film to date. This Casino Royale was anything but the 1967 disaster. Long gone are the kooky Bond antics akin to Roger Moore. Chris Cornell’s ‘You Know My Name’ is the quintessential Bond song.
I’ve never had any qualms to admit I get fashion tips and advice from odd sources. Don’t believe me? Menswear Dog is my fashion bible. The same goes for films. I eventually found a pair of Onitsuka tai chi that you might recognize from Kill Bill. C’mon, I bought a pair of sunglasses that looked good on Don Draper. Craig’s Bond slowly built a relationship with a few brands that every guy could universally benefit to study. I can not stress this enough. In Craig’s first outing, Bond is an up-and-coming MI6 agent who’s a bit too cocky for his own good. He has just earned his 00-status and is given a huge assignment that will result in him taking on Mads Mikkelsen’s El Chiffre in a plot to foil a terrorist scheme.
Tom Ford dips his feet into the Bond pool with this outing, while Sunpel and La Perla jump right in. We can’t forget Omega, who has been supplying Bond watches since Goldeneye. I’ve accepted the fact that my wrist will never know the finer life of an Omega, and have regulated myself to a Vostok Amphibia Zissou ala The Life Aquatic. I purchased the Persol sunglasses that Craig sported here, and luckily, my wife convinced me that a decade later, stylish they are not.
The film ends with Bond’s new love drowning, setting up a direct sequel in Quantum of Solace. Revenge is the name of the game with this follow-up. The film picks up exactly where the previous has left us, and Bond on the hunt to find the perpetrators for his dead lover’s killers and the organization they work for. Unfortunately for Bond, the villain here is just yet another cog in the machine of the true advisory. This film began the Tom Ford and Daniel Craig love affair that lasts till this day. Prada was featured significantly in this film, as well. I made sure to pick up a pair of the featured Tom Ford Marko sunglasses. I haven’t gotten rid of those yet.
Recently viewing 2012’s Skyfall again, and seeing a weathered, jaded Bond hits closer to home than the greenhorn agent from Casino Royale. I’ll go ahead and say it. Skyfall is the best Bond film. Adele’s opening song is top-notch for the dreary nature of this installment. Bond is left for dead and begrudgingly accepts his fate as an aging tool of the government. I accept my fate as a copycat, this time stealing his waxed Barbour jacket. Even with the film turning into Home Alone at the dilapidated Bond estates, the color saturation and the cinematography will just floor you.
Then there’s Spectre. Other than copping Bond’s Tom Ford’s knitted jacket, this film is something I never wish to revisit. The second I heard Sam Smith’s intro song, I knew it was trash. And I was right. Nothing new.
Tim Bynum is a Jones County native who lives in Laurel with his wife, Lauren. An avid film fan since 1985, Bynum can be found at thefilmsnob.reviews and on Instagram and Facebook: @the_filmsnob.