The Pope, James Bond, and Me

First official shot released from SKYFALL of James Bond (DANIEL CRAIG) from a scene set in Shanghai.  Daniel Craig stars as James Bond in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures/EON Productions’ action adventure SKYFALL.

Ever since childhood I have dreamed about attaching that headline to a blog post.

“But how can that be, Anthony, when there wasn’t even an Internet when you were a child?”

Shut up.

Now, thanks to Mollie Hemingway, I have the hook I’ve been waiting for.

It seems that the Vatican house organ, L’Osservatore Romano, reviews movies. Which I knew. It recently reviewed the new Bond flick, Skyfall, which I did not know, which has been taking Europe by storm, which I knew.

What I really didn’t know was how blue Daniel Craig’s eyes are:

Under the headline “007 — license to cry”, the broadsheet said Skyfall contained all the classic ingredients of a Bond film, from “adrenalin-pumped action to exotic locations, beautiful Bond girls, and the inevitable vodka Martini — shaken, not stirred.”

Sam Mendes, the director, had taken all the familiar components of a Bond movie – “the legendary British Secret Service, MI6”, Miss Moneypenny and an Aston Martin DB5 – and given them a contemporary twist, L’Osservatore Romano said.

The paper said that for his third outing as Bond, Daniel Craig was “even more convincing” than in the first two films, Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale.

Craig’s Bond was “less clichéd, less attracted by the pleasures of life, more introspective and more vulnerable physically and psychologically”.

Javier Bardem’s villainous character was on a par with some of the classic baddies of the past — Dr No, Goldfinger and Rosa Klebb — while Judi Dench was “perfect” as M.

The newspaper ran an interview with Daniel Craig, who was described as “the 44-year-old Anglo-Saxon actor with deep blue eyes”.

Skyfall represented an attempt to bring “more realism” to the Bond formula, the actor said.

Now the point of Mollie’s post was how the Telegraph seemed to confuse the Vatican/pope with this paper and made it seem, via it’s headline, that Benedict XVI was giving a papal imprimatur to 007, despite his license to kill. (Bond’s, not the pope’s. We’re not talking Julius II here. And of course, as everyone knows, the Chair of Peter favors Matt Helm.)

The point of my post is how there’s only six degrees of separation between me and the pope.

I used to be the entertainment editor for Sylvester Stallone’s men’s-lifestyle magazine, Sly. Stallone did the voice of Weaver in Antz, which also featured Woody Allen as Z (he also tried to mug Allen in Bananas). Woody Allen cast Javier Bardem in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Bardem plays the villain in Skyfall. Daniel Craig plays Bond in Skyfall. Craig was interviewed by the Vatican paper. The pope presumably reads that paper.

So the pope, Bond, and me. We’re like this.

And for suffering through that tortured post, I present for your viewing pleasure Dino in The Wrecking Crew. Enjoy.






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