Tuesday, November 13, 2012

They cast WHO???????

Every time a new James Bond movie is released, the old argument arises: Who was the best James Bond? People weigh in on their favorites and the discussion fades until the next film is  released. For the record, Daniel Craig is my favorite closely followed by Sean Connery. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sean Connery as an actor and larger-than-life personality. The truth is I’ve only seen a couple of his Bond movies and was less than enamored of the Bond persona of that era. Craig’s tortured, ultra-athletic Bond is more to my taste and the newer plots seem to have more substance.

Regardless of individual preferences, in my opinion all the Bonds had a suave Bondness that worked on some level. Unfortunately, not all casting is successful. How many times have you heard a particular actor or actress was going to play a character from a book you loved and you reacted with “WTF??????”

That’s why I was thrilled to read on Vince Flynn’s FB page that Chris Hemsworth had been offered the part of Mitch Rapp in the AMERICAN ASSASIN movie and Bruce Willis was cast as his CIA mentor. Whether or not Chris takes the part, it’s encouraging that the casting is going in the right direction—especially after the epic miscasting of Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher.

If you haven’t read Lee Child’s Reacher books, here’s a heads up—Jack is a 35 year old, 6’5”, 250 lb, stoic, blond wall of muscle. Tom is a 50 year old, 5’7,” 150 lb, brunette, creepy grinner. Granted, I’ve never been a Cruise fan but this casting is so absurd the only way it could have happened was for Tom to buy the part. Needless to say, I’m NOT going to see that movie!

So what movies do you think were perfectly cast? Which were dreadfully miscast?  Is Hugh Jackman the perfect Jean Valjean? What about Russell Crowe as Javert? Johnny Depp as Tonto? Who was your favorite Darcy? Your favorite Bond? Speak up—we want to know!!


Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

In at least one respect, the casting of the 1994 remake of LITTLE WOMEN made sense to me. I'm talking Gabriel Byrne as Professor Baer. If Louisa May Alcott had described a Gabriel Byrne-like professor in the book, she'd have given Jo the happy ending my kid self wanted for my favorite character. As it was, I remember finishing the book and being happy for Jo's writing success but convinced she'd settled for the professor, jolly and kind as he was.

I liked but didn't love the Alexander McCall Smith series about the African woman who sets up a detective agency. The series came alive for me, though, when Jill Scott, the American jazz singer, took the lead in the television adaption.

Unlike you, I'm going to watch the Reacher movie--to see if Tom Cruise can pull off the part. Lee Child's been supportive of the casting, so who knows?

Lark Howard said...

Pat, I totally agree on the Gabriel Byrne casting--he made Jo's choice a hot HEA rather than the disappointment I too felt with the book and the Liz Taylor & Kathryn Hepburn versions. Then again, Gabriel Byne might have seemed like a yucky old man too when I was 12.

William Simon said...

Gabriel Byrne would have been an excellent choice for "Burke" from the Andrew Vachss novels. The subject matter is what has most likely prevented any of the books from being adapted, but Byrne would have been the best choice.

Cruise as Reacher? (shrug) My pick would have been Jon Hamm (scruff him up a little, he'd have been terrific), but Cruise has the muscle in Hollywood to get it done. I went ballistic over Matt Damon as Jason Bourne until I saw him in an interview: "I would *love* to play James Bond, but it will never happen. This is the closest I can get, and right now, I can make it happen. So, that's that."

Hollywood is a strange land, indeed.

Best Bond? (shrug) There's Connery, then there's The Other Guys...:)

Lark Howard said...

John Hamm would have been much better than Cruise, Will. Then again so would Meryl Streep IMO. Cruise makes my skin crawl so "getting it done" doesn't matter if I don't want to see it.

I was surprised at Matt Damon as Jason Bourne initially but he turned out to be a good action actor and I loved those movies.

Maybe I should go back and watch the SC Bond flicks. Luckily Netflix streams them. :-)

Sarah Andre said...

Meryl Streep, LOL!
I agree re: Matt playing Bourne. Totally thought? "Who?? That baby-face?" but he pulled it off and his 3rd was his best (growing out of that baby-face.)

Bond: Connery, distant second is Pierce Brosnen. I like Daniel Craig just fine, but he's got too much of a psychotic look in his eye to be dashing.

Best casting ever: Dennis Quaid in The Big Easy. Oh mama...

Lark Howard said...

Agree with you, Sarah, that Dennis Quaid was great casting. He had the whole accent and attitude down perfectly.

I love Pierce Brosnan in some of his other movies (the man is still drop-dead gorgeous!) but he's #3 on my Bond list just because I think the screenplays in his era got a bit too silly. The tortured hero always works for me.

Louise Behiel said...

ladies, as always you are a font of knowledge. wow. Saw Roger Smith on the tube the other day and time has not been kind to that Bond. Ditto for Connery. kind of funny how such gorgeous men have not weathered so well.

Lark Howard said...

Sad how they aged and we didn't, isn't it, Louise. :-)