Thursday, January 30, 2014

Agent James Bond 007

           The James Bond series has lasted about 50 years, and many different theme songs have been used in the movies.  Even the main character, James Bond has had seven different actors portray him. However, the latest three movies with Daniel Craig have had some interesting and different theme songs. I decided to work on Quantum of Solace and Skyfall because they have some interesting differences in the introduction of the movie even though they both follow the same format.

            In the most recent movies of the agent James Bond, there is an existing format of how the movie develops. Each movie begins with an action scene where Bond is performing some kind of a mission that leads to the introduction of the movie and the main theme song. In the case of the movie Quantum of Solace, two criminals are chasing Bond in a car race. Obviously, during the action scene, bond gets rid of the two other cars. After successfully completing his mission the introduction soundtrack begins. The song contains hard rock, which is intended to make Agent Bond look like a tough guy. After Bond shoots a bullet the voice of a women is introduced to the song, and Bond walks around with his gun showing that he has everything under control. After, the music starts to calm down, and several women dance in circles around him with the beat of the drums. The producers are trying to communicate that he has everything under control, and that there is no better agent than James Bond.

            The introduction caught my attention and gave me an idea about how the rest of the movie would be. I decided to compare Quantum of Solace with Skyfall, because of the big difference in music and the introductory scene. During the introductory scene, Bond is fighting with another person on top of a train and his ally had been given the direct order of shooting the enemy from a long distance. Unfortunately she misses and Bond falls into a ravine. As soon as bond hits the water, the introduction and the soundtrack begins. Adele sings with a low tone while Bond sink deeper and deeper, being dragged by a hand through the riverbed. The lyrics are really depressing; she repeats, “this is the end” several times. As she sings, a graveyard appears, making me wonder if Bond’s death could seriously be real. Bond looks confused, as many shadows move around him. He tries shooting them but he looks really inexperienced and unprotected. I think that with Adele’s music and the scene, the weakness of James Bond is clearly communicated to the audience.

            It is shocking how different these two introductions are. Throughout both scenes, Bond represents the ethos because he is obviously recognizable. In Quantum of Solace, he demonstrates authority, and great skills. In both scenes, pathos was easily recognizable because of the music. In Quantum of Solace, the upbeat and hard rock music denoted pathos like adrenaline and powerful emotions. On the other hand, in Skyfall, I felt depressed, sad and uncertain of what was going on. James Bond seemed to be vulnerable and weak for the first time, and I wondered if the whole series was going to take a drastic change to a different main character. The logos in every movie are supported by the high reputation and worldwide known series of movies since 1962.

               I think that Agent James Bond series does a spectacular job on the way they use music to communicate with the audience. Gianetti and Lundsford stated that “The pitch, the volume and tempo of sound can affect our senses to any given noise” (Understanding Movies, 208).  In both of the movies I previously talked about, the high-pitched and low-pitched sounds were successfully used to control the emotions of the audience. Furthermore, according to Gianetti and Lundsford “Music can serve as a kind of overture to suggest the mood or spirit of the movie as a whole” (Understanding Movies, 214). In both movies, the introduction gave me a good idea of how the whole movie was going to be. I decided to give them five slurpses because of their successful skills of using sounds and music in their movies. 

Quantum of Solace:

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