Sam Mendes' return to the James Bond canon bodes well for a franchise which has struggled for successive successes since the Sean Connery era. Not commercially, of course, but critically... However excellent Skyfall was it had plenty of flaws, so here are five ways for Mendes to make Bond 24 a better Bond outing.
A man came over to the bench and sighed deeply as he sat down next to us. Dad nudged me."He's wearing my anorak." Sure enough, he was wearing the same anorak as Dad, albeit a slightly less battered version. He nudged the man: "Nice anorak," he said. The man looked up and it was Roy Kinnear.
Adele might have been flying the flag for the Brits over in Hollywood, thanks to an Oscar win for her omnipresent Skyfall theme song, but there wasn't a huge amount to celebrate back at home. With last week's triple A-credit downgrade still casting its murky shadow over the coalition government, it was a case of divide and fail to conquer as the Conservatives and Lib Dems went head-to-head in the Eastleigh by-election. Well, head-to-head was the idea. Ukip rather got in the way of that, with their representative, Diane James, relegating Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings into a rather undignified third place.
After the film's BAFTA and SAG awards, there should be no need to convince you that this is a film worth checking out, Bond fan or not.
What the hell's going on? Is Bond working for Silva? Because if he is, he couldn't have done a worse job of protecting poor M. Who'd've thunk that a private army equipped with state-of-the-art helicopters and weaponry could get the better of one MI6 agent and two pensioners?
Date night, for us, the first one in an absolute age. So we decided to go back to the place that holds a special significance for us, Corinthian. It's where we conducted the majority of our brief courtship.
If you'd only read the reviews the gushing reviews of Skyfall, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the character of Bond is no longer a sex-crazed misogynist without a conscience.
The fact that Judi Dench's M is certainly a match for the intelligence, professionalism and cunning of Daniel Craig's Bond should mean the producers have greater license to provide for Bond girls like Miss Goodnight, from The Man with the Golden Gun.
Ultimately, I think it might just not be permissible to make an old-school Bond movie in today's social climate. A movie where women are objects of desire, men are either baddies or assistants, and emotions are drowned out by gunfire and martinis. It's sad, because in my eyes Bond is harmless male fantasy, nothing sinister or threatening. I hope the tempering of the franchise's escapist edge is just down to the whim of a certain group of sensitive filmmakers.
Popular cinema will not let Bond die. Given his prowess for survival 007 may live even beyond the end of times!
For once I have arrived at a motoring event during the middle of the morning, quite a leisurely time indeed and also for once I am quite undressed, I ...
With Bond the critical faculties of UK reviewers and the film going public generally, are temporarily suspended. Because Bond is 'our thing', one of the last bastions of the British film industry (at least for appearances sake) holding out in a normally money starved wasteland.
Leaving the cinema, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. A sense of achievement. Not because our blue-eyed Bond had foiled the evil schemes of a peroxide partisan but because the film captured a true sense of contemporary British identity.
I contemplated this dilemma on a crowded flight, as I sat sandwiched between two executives reading business journals of such unimaginable dryness that I longed to have the latest edition of "Closer" to balance them up. We were squished together on an evening flight so full of suits that it seemed to be a scene from "50 Shades of Grey", the bible to bespoke tailoring, and a title with slightly less sado-masochism than its racier namesake.
Dear Sam Mendes, then, can I just say: thank you. Thank you for a Bond movie - finally! - that I'm not embarrassed to have enjoyed.
When she took to the stage in the Olympic Park this summer, it was near impossible to take your eyes off her. She almost melts into her own music, living and breathing each word and note like a one-woman theatre company. It's really quite incredible what this lady can do.