Jonny King Analyse two Bond films and identify how they appeal to the audience
Almost forty years after the legacy was born, there are certain things you now come to expect from a classic ‘James Bond’ movie.
Fast cars, state-of-the-art gadgetry and beautiful women now seem almost routine in the films. A charmingly sophisticated, typically cultured British gentleman with a boyish love for anything with buttons or wheels, and his somewhat unique ability to make the majority of his female audience fall weak at the knees with stunning good looks and overused clichï¿½s, combined with the fact that he is seemingly always able to rise up against all of the unbelievable odds stacked against him, effortlessly surviving spectacular action sequences, death-defying car chases and gun fights without sustaining even a scratch, Bond has become one of the most famous fictional characters of all time.We looked at two trailers from the latest Bond Film “Die another Day”, one, a forty-five second teaser and the other a longer theatrical trailer. The two trailers employ varying techniques, styles and themes to try and relate to as many of this ‘target audience’ as possible, and bring across the infamous character of ‘James Bond’, using only a few minutes of moving image and sound in an attempt to increase interest amongst the movie-going public, maybe attempting to appeal to those people not yet captivate’ by the ‘Bond’ phenomena.The first of the two trailers is a testosterone-fuelled feast of action sequences and stunningly beautiful women which very much sticks to the ‘Bond’ genre.
However the trailer opens with a barren, moonlit landscape with mist rising off it and a profound American voice speaking over the eerie music. This start gives a spine-chilling feel to the shot, and feels like a horror movie or some kind of extra-terrestrial based movie thriller is being promoted and holds the audience in suspense, although as the scene unfolds it becomes quite clear what message trailer is trying to bring across. As the camera moves in closer this surreal blue, inhospitable, ‘alien’ landscape transforms into an endless sea of awakening naked females, obviously implying now that the movie almost certainly will possess underlying sexual themes or ideas; typical of any previous ‘James Bond’ movie. This sexual innuendo gives a sense of irony to the start as we get the feeling of the Bond genre coming through making it a sort of joke referring to Bond as a womanizer.The very deep American voice creates the climax which is broken with the last line “There’s a surprise around every curve”. This notifies to the viewers the kind of humor there is in the Bond genre.
Also this sexual innuendo reassures the audience that they are going to get what they anticipate. After the array of female flesh blurs the viewer is introduced to an ice gun, the emphasis on the gun being made from ice perhaps implies the setting of the film with the ice palace and the villain living in the ice palace showing us yet again the extreme locality that all the Bond films have. The revealing of the gun is very climaxed as the shot swivels round to reveal the gun we get a crescendo of the noise.For a split second the noise pauses and we see the trigger pulled and the bullet made of fire soars through the ice revolver with a deafening bang, the oxymoron of the fire and ice is used by the director to emphasize the acts of good and evil which contributes to the ‘Bond’ iconography throughout ‘Die Another Day’. From this there is a jump shot as the bullet becomes the exquisite silver Aston Martin spinning on a vast expanse of ice, the infamous guitar riff starts playing and this is the point in the teaser of which the audience becomes fully aware that the trailer is that of the latest Bond movie. Consequently we get sudden flashes of action shots of a combination of Bond in action to him making love.
The contrast between the action and the sexual references show the audience all that they want and reassures them that this is to be the best Bond movie to date.The rapid flow to the trailer gives the audience an appetizer of the movie but holds them in suspense as they are left wanting more having been teased with a small taste of the action and sexual connotations which appear in most of the shots to make up the Bond genre. This preview uses visual effects to emphasise the presence of technology and the use of gadgets in the up and coming movie. By having these special effects it shows the audience that there will be state-of-the-art gadgets and modern technology in the film and these will be better, bigger and more powerful than they have been in any other Bond film.The selling point of the film is held in the image on the screen promoting Pierce Brosnan telling the audience what they want to see. By having this in large font across the screen reassures the people that they will see more of what they want and there will be the same type of character who will play the typically English gentleman who saves the world from utter mayhem.
Also at the very end of the trailer it shows a woman blowing smoke of the barrel of a gun, this again reminds the audience that they will see sexual references and shows them the very stereotypical part women have to play in the Bond films.The second of the two is a longer, theatrical trailer with a much more different approach to the teaser. At the start of the trailer the audience does not realise that it is a preview of the latest Bond film as the approach to the trailer promotes the idea of a war horror type genre, the words often associated with war are flashed across the screen, ‘Betrayed’, ‘Captured’, ‘Abandoned’, the idea of this film immediately captures the audience’s attention and the majority of them become enthralled with the trailer as this type genre is so popular with the audience of today, as films such as ‘Black Hawk Down’, ‘We Were Soldiers’ and ‘Pearl Harbor’ have all demonstrated. However there is a voiceover and the audience can recognize M’s voice and they can relate to the trailer being that of the latest installment in the series of Bond blockbusters.At this point the audience is drawn into judging that the new Bond genre has been re-created and this idea would excite people-.
The rehabilitated Bond genre is again emphasized by the combination of electronica and drum and base as a basis for the modernized soundtrack- however at one point in the trailer we do hear the infamous Bond theme tune in the background to remind the audience that ‘Die Another Day’ still contains elements of the traditional Bond films such as exotic locations, beautiful women and fast cars (emphasized more in the teaser trailer). The whole new approach to the movie in this theatrical trailer may cause suspicion in the audience and they may start to think that as the Bond genre has changed so dramatically then would the fate of Bond change? This unquestionably is a skill used by the director to draw the public into watching the movie.There’s a pause from the action as well as the music and we hear Bond say “Got your attention?”, this helps to grab the audiences attention, as having been held in suspense and being shown a totally different side to the Bond genre they are reassured that they will see everything they want from a Bond film when a series of action shots are flashed on screen and we see a juxtaposition of cars, gadgets, women etc. The audience gains a lot of sexual connotations with the trailer consistently switching frames from one woman to another, perhaps representing Bonds physical relationships with the two women; that he switches from one girl to another as the typical womanizer Bond is. like when we see one of Bonds woman saying to Halle Berry” I take it Mr. Bonds been explaining his big bang theory” and then we get a cameo of Bond and Halle Berry having sex and Halle Berry replying “Yeah I think I got the (pause) trust of it”.
This emphasis on the “thrust” shows the audience what to expect and the type of sexual jokes that the film will contain. The sexual innuendo between Bond and the character Jinx is yet again shown during a scene when she says “Wow, now that’s a mouthful” once Bond has told her his name, then glancing at Bonds crotch. The previews of sexual connotation in the trailer gives the audience what they want to see, as most of the Bond supporters are male, they will be fascinated by the idea of plenty o sexual content.All of these techniques help the trailers to illustrate and show the audience a taster of what to expect leaving them in suspense and wanting more. The first trailer focuses very much on putting across that ‘Die Another Day’ will continue to apply the traditional Bond genre to itself however the second very much focuses on the new movie being very different, but both trailers use their own individual techniques to convince the audience that ‘Die Another Day’ is set to be the best Bond movie to date.