THIS is the end of BlogalongaBond.
For 23 months, I've inflicted a 007 movie on my poor unfortunate girlfriend, who has weathered it like a trooper and kindly refrained from killing me in my sleep.
So here goes - our final Bond discussion.
Me: Congratulations! You've made it the end of BlogalongaBond!
Me: Thanks for watching every Bond film with me.
Her: Thanks for nothing.
Me: Oh, come now, grumpy. Surely it hasn't been that bad?
Her: To be honest, they all tend to bleed together a bit. There were stand-outs, obviously, and memorable moments... but don't ask me to name the best ones because I can't remember the names. They're all "Tomorrow Is Never Enough" and "You Only Live Another Day" and "Golden Thunderlove". Having said that, Skyfall is a good one to wrap up this painful project because it's probably the best one.
Her: Sure. And if it's not the best, it's certainly well up there.
Me: What makes you say that?
Her: Well, it's got a great villain, who's actually really freakin' scary. He's not trying to do something stupid like start wars to sell newspaper or bite people with his metal teeth. He's just a psycho who likes to kill people. And he's got a weird face. And mummy issues. It's a perfect recipe for a bad guy.
Me: Silva is certainly memorable and disturbing. And Bardem does an outstanding job in walking that fine line of the over-the-top villain, balancing between chewing the scenery and underplaying things too much. What else did you like about Skyfall?
Her: Nah, that's it really?
Me: What? How can you say it's one of the best....
Her: I'm kidding. Jeez, relax.
Her: I liked the new Q. And Judi Dench's M is always great, but especially in this one.
Me: What else?
Her: I dunno. I guess I just liked the fact it wasn't stupid. And that it wasn't seemingly edited by a blind toddler with epilepsy, like Quantum Of Solace.
Me: Yes, well, the less said about Quantum Of Solace the better. Casino Royale was far from stupid - is Skyfall better?
Her: Maybe. This one had a better villain.
Me: You didn't rate Le Chiffre?
Me: The villain in Casino Royale. He wept blood. And pummelled Bond's nuts.
Her. Meh. He played cards - ooh, scary.
Me: But the nut-pummelling!
Her: Look, Silva's better. Skyfall wins.
Her: Are you agreeing?
Me: Not really, I still think Casino Royale is better than Skyfall. But this one is certainly more Bond-ish, which was one of your criticisms of Casino Royale. And I did enjoy that.
Her: So what are the downsides of Skyfall?
Me: I'm a bit torn over that. I liked that it took it's time, but it also felt a little slow in places. And it was nice to see a Bond movie with an actual narrative theme - old versus new - but it felt a bit overused.
Her: You're just being picky.
Me: Maybe. I have to say Skyfall looked stunning though. We've never seen a Bond fight that looks as good as the one staged in silhouette among neon signs, plus the whole last act in Scotland - probably the most unglamourous Bond locale we've seen - looks great.
Her: Speaking of the last act, that pretty much blows up your theory about each Bond being a different guy who just assumes the mantle of "James Bond".
Me: Maybe. It could just be a coincidence that they found an orphan called James Bond to become James Bond.
Her: Oh come on!
Me: Whatever. Look, thanks for watching all those movies with me. I know you didn't enjoy them all, but I've enjoyed our little chats.
Her: Yeah, well, it wasn't a total waste of time.
Me: Agreed. So, now that you've seen all the Bond films... will you marry me?
Her: Are you serious?
Me: Yeah. Will you make me the happiest man alive and agree to marry me?
Her: Because I've seen all the Bond films?
Me: Well, no. But now that that's all out of the way, I just thought I'd propose.
Her: Hmmm. Sure.
Her: Yeah ok.
(PS. Ok, so it didn't quite happen like that - there was a ring, a restaurant, and I got down on one knee - but we really did get engaged after seeing Skyfall and wrapping up our BlogalongaBond conversation. It was a few hours after, but you get the point, which is "how can you ask someone to marry you if they haven't seen every 007 movie?".)