Vesper (Movie Notes: James Bond)

We saw Casino Royale and I thought it a perfectly enjoyable action-adventure thriller. I’ve not been a James Bond aficionado especially; somewhat as with H.P. Lovecraft, James Bond has been a cultural phenomenon I’ve been aware of my whole life without having been particularly attracted to. The outre gizmos and villains, perhaps, rubbed me the wrong way. The only complete Bond movie I think I’d seen until recently was that one about the space shuttle… Moonraker… way back in 1979.

Yet now, as with HPL, I feel a compulsion to check in, to catch up, to come up to speed. I’ve Netflixed the first couple Bond movies. My reaction to Dr. No is to sense its similarity to original-series Star Trek episodes, complete with its formal dinner with the villain and its papier-mache rock wall underground quarters. And the opening scene of From Russia With Love surely prefigures the mask-disguise shtick of the Mission: Impossible TV series.

As for the current Bond film, I was tickled to hear Daniel Craig recite that recipe for the cocktail he dubs a Vesper, which I’d come across before — 3 parts vodka, 1 part gin, 1/2 part Lillet blanc, twist of lemon. Not bad; I’ve made it. But restaurants seem not to have heard of it.

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