Standing up for 'A Quantum of Solace'

Newbondcast_lAm I the only James Bond fan who doesn’t hate the name of 007′s next movie (starring, left to right, Mathieu Amalric, Olga Kurylenko, Daniel Craig, and Gemma Arterton)? I’m starting to think so, after scanning the reactions to today’s announcement that the franchise’s 22nd entry will be titled A Quantum of Solace. The way bloggers are crying foul, you’d think the Broccoli family had served them some sort of vicious personal insult. “[I]t’s so bad we think we might cry,” spat Hecklerspray’s Stuart Heritage. “Worst Bond title ever? It makes no sense. It sounds like a blancmange,” hisses the U.K. Guardian‘s Xan Brooks. “What in god’s name were [the] producers thinking??” wept Best Week Ever’s Dan Hopper.

I get that this is an easy target — and each of those posts, to be fair, is pretty funny. Still, I gotta say, I really think A Quantum of Solace (which was originally the name of an obscure Ian Fleming short story) is a cool-sounding name for a brooding action flick. So what if it’s hard to figure out exactly what it means? (An advanced particle physics allusion? Some Victorian ethical concept?) Maybe it’s just the geek in me talking, but I dig it. The phrase A Quantum of Solace is lean, smart, mysteriously menacing — just like Craig’s Bond. And what’s the alternative? Heritage, perhaps inadvertently, proves my very point when he sardonically sums up the typical Bond film-naming process: “Everyone knows that all James Bond movie titles should be based on a popular saying with the word ‘Die’ where the word ‘Live’ should be.” Whatever its flaws, A Quantum of Solace is definitely way better than whatever lame proverb-puns the producers could have dredged up.

This still leaves the crucial question raised by EW’s Jeff Jensen in an email earlier today: “How’d you like to be the songwriter assigned to write a classic Bond theme song using THAT title?” Jensen suggested, tongue in cheek, that Radiohead or A-Ha might be up to the challenge; meanwhile, Slezak independently nominated Bond-theme all-star Shirley Bassey for the job. (I’m going to stick to the safe middle ground here and beg for a Shirley Bassey-Thom Yorke duet, with keyboard fills by the dude from A-Ha. Make it happen, MGM!)

But forget theme-song complications. (It’s not like Chris Cornell’s song for the last Bond movie was called “Casino Royale,” folks.) Let’s stick to the important issue: Did anyone else besides me actually get more psyched for Bond 22 when they heard what it’s going to be called, or am I all alone on this one?

Comments (62 total) Add your comment
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  • BrandonK

    It’s not that bad…It’s better than Moonraker or Goldfinger or Octopussy or The Living Daylights…

  • Dtom

    You’re all alone. I’m not a Bond fan (I think I’ve seen half of one Bond movie, ever), so I’m probably not the best person to ask, but it sounds pretty stupid. I don’t think I would want to see any movie called “The Quantum of Solace” unless it featured Jessica Alba naked.

  • Dtom

    Sorry…I meant “A Quantum of Solace.” Still stupid.

  • GeeMoney

    I think it’s a horrible name…. but I’ll still see it anyway. It’s not as ridiculous as Sssssss!, The Hudsucker Proxy, Phffft! or Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death.

  • apk

    I like it, especially considering that this one’s picking up right where Casino Royale left off, and that Bond is still going to be coming to grips with Vesper’s betrayal. I see him finding a quantum of solace (the most microscopic of comfort) in the fact that she was being manipulated by evil as he unravels the mysteries of her puppet-masters. He’ll then exact his revenge for her death, come to grips with her love for him (and his love for her), and finalize his transformation into the steely, calculating superagent of legend. Sounds good to me. Then again, what could they do when all the good ones like Octopussy and The Living Daylights were taken.

  • Court

    I think it sounds really mysterious and slightly sinister and creepy. Imagine it said by that deep-voiced Movie Trailer Guy. It will sound cool. They could call it “Daniel Craig Stars in 007: Horse Manure” and I would still go see it opening night. Because it’s Daniel Craig. As James Bond. Jeez, people!

  • Snarf

    It’s an interesting title to be sure.
    Bet it gets shortend to Quantum of Solace (short attention spans are becomming quite a problem to marketing campaigns) As for the theme song, where is it written that the title has to be mentioned in the lyrics?

  • daisyj

    Yeah, um, no. I mean, it’s not the end of the world or anything, but it’s a monumentally lousy title for an action movie. (Would be great for a period piece with Ralf Fiennes and Cate Blanchett working in a hospital during a smallpox epidemic, but I digress.)
    It makes me think that, having gotten a taste of critical love for Casino Royale, the Bond people have decided that now they are making Serious Films, and will continue to suck the fun out of each consecutive one to the point that people will start longing for Richard Kiel.

  • daisyj

    Ahem. That would be *Ralph*. Duh.

  • Rose Tyler

    I can dig especially since it comes from Ian Fleming’s body of work. Whatever it’s called I’m totally psyched.

  • Jack Yan

    I like the title and the original short story, though I wonder if the dinner scene will even be in the film given that the script was finished before the title was assigned. I wouldn’t mind seeing a dinner scene that at least pays some respect to the short story.
    And it’s not as though A View to a Kill meant too much in 1985. It only seems familiar now because we’ve known of it since the end of Octopussy in 1983. No one complained then.

  • wagonmaker

    I like it. It’s infinitely better than Octopussy – Bond grows up. Hooray!

  • wagonmaker

    How about a Thom Yorke-Paul McCartney duet? But let Thom write the song…

  • kvnbcnfn

    It’s a fine title, and again, so much better than “Octopussy”

  • Si

    I love the titla! as you said, mysterious, and sophisticated.
    It is far, far better than what i was dreading, something with either, Death, Dies, Kill, or Live in it. Wow i can now only imagine the disapointment i would have if it weren’t called something as great as “Quantum of Solace”

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