Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is full of winking humor that makes for a great palate cleanser for the child torture of Temple of Doom. But it is the much more tongue-it-cheek style that keeps it from being as immortal a film as Raiders of the Lost Ark. I have also seen this film so many times over the years that I have a personal interaction with it.
Is James Bond still relevant? That’s the very obvious subtext of the newest Bond film Skyfall. Methodology, age, changing nature of villainy, and the rise of technology all imply that James Bond is no longer needed. For the filmmakers, they care less about making a statement on secret agents and more on secret agent movies. Can a Bond film still make money? Given the box office of the film in England, they need not worry.
I fell in love with James Bond films as a kid growing up in the Roger Moore era. His Bond was a little older (Moore was already 46 when he made his 1st Bond, 56 when he made his last) with a bit more camp, goofy secret gadgets, and ridiculous villains I loved it as a kid. Then I came across Ian Fleming’s novels and read every one of them. By then, the Bonds were available on VHS and I immersed myself in Sean Connery’s tougher and sexier Bond with more original Fleming stories. (And there was that one good movie with George Lazenby)
The Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan eras did little for me. I was thrilled that reboot came with Daniel Craig and Casino Royale. The movie was really good, but not the best. But I thought Craig’s portrayal was the truest to the Fleming novels. The follow-up didn’t do much for me and has the worst name of any Bond film. At least Octopussy let us say something dirty without getting in trouble. Quantum of Solace was just someone showing off dictionary skills (even if Fleming originated it).