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Quantum Of Meh


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Just about sums it up.

 

Alright it’s been long enough, I guess I need to get this bloody thing over with now. You may have noticed I’ve put off commenting on the No Time To Die theme song by Billie Eilish for some time now. You would think such a momentous occasion would have sent me running out of the woodwork immediately to weigh in on the title track and give it a swift shellacking or begrudging praise.

Pictured: Begrudging praise.

 

The problem is, I couldn’t muster the “Quantum of Solace” to do so. Last rant I linked to an excellent article from my friend Ian Dunross on the Fleming short story of the same name. As Mr. Dunross explains, it’s a rather un-Bondian novella from the master of over the top espionage, eschewing the gunfire and Soviet plots for a quiet story of marital discord, related by the Governor of the Bahamas to Bond over some after dinner drinks. I bring this up to define the phrase for you, despite what Dan Craig and EON would have you believe from the haphazard film, titled after the Fleming tale, the “Theory of the Quantum of Solace” (QOS) is not about revenge, vengeance or “to make himself happy with the world again.” But, rather the amount of concern one human has for another:

 

“When all kindness is gone, when one person obviously and sincerely doesn’t care if the other is alive or dead, then it’s just no good. That particular insult to the ego—worse, to the instinct of self-preservation—can never be forgiven…. I’ve thought about this and I’ve invented a rather high-sounding title for this basic factor in human relations. I have called it The Law of the Quantum of Solace.”

 

Think of it along this line, to have a QOS for someone or something, one must love or hate them, to care if they live or die, here is a visual scale:

 

-10__________0__________+10

Hate            Nothing              Love

 The Scale of the Quantum of Solace

Pegged squarely on 0 for this song!

 

Since that movie came out 12 years ago, you’re asking yourself:

Hang on old boy, I’m getting to it.

 

The answer is very simple, the theory of the QOS perfectly exemplifies how I feel about this new theme song. That is to say I feel nothing. I don’t like it, but I can’t even muster enough emotion to dislike it, it’s so bland it just exists. It’s the flavor of air, the smell of beige, it just is. This song is on par with elevator music, but less memorable. It just sits there and occupies space. Here see for yourself:

 

I bet you’ve forgotten it already.

Well it seems the world certainly has, have you heard even the slightest whisper of of this tune since it debuted nearly two months ago? Almost immediately after it premiered it skulked back under the rock from whence it came. I have yet to hear it on the radio, despite the local stations playing Eilish’s “music” ad-nausea. I can’t blame them for shelving this masterpiece of nothingness, the orchestration if you can call it that, is so thin you can barely make it out behind Eilish’s vocals. Which is laughable since she’s performing in her patented vocal style of Rhythmic Whispering™. On second thought, that makes her perfect for a Craig film since his patented acting style is Method Mumbling™.

Muh Nams Band, Jims Band.

 

Amusingly, this tune is remarkably similar to the previous film’s theme song, Writing’s On The Wall squealed out by Sam Smith. At least in the symphonious notes that is, since in contrast to Eilish’s monotone, Smiths vocals have the pitch of someone with their wedding tackle caught in a vice. The irony of the horrendous “singing” by Smith is that it created a QOS within me for the song. You see by making the tune so wretched, it aroused a sense of hatred in me, thereby making me care if it was alive or dead, or in this case causing me to immediately remove it from my consciousness whenever it should happen to accost my senses. Whereas, the Eilish song could slip right by me if I were not paying attention to my surroundings.

Just the wind indeed.

 

So I suppose gone are the days of the bombastic Bond themes of yore, songs like Goldfinger, Thunderball, Live And Let Die, etc. hell even the first two Craig film themes, for better or worse, were at least up tempo, now it seems the music has devolved into dirges harkening the death of our once beloved character.

No Time To Die’s album cover.

 

The funny thing is Eilish is capable of up beat tunes, well at least her producer is, her monotone never fluctuates whether it’s the quick tempo Bad Guy or the suicide opus Listen Before I go, she maintains the exact same auto tuned mumbly whisper. So considering the ability to apply a rapid paced veneer behind the singer, why such a paper thin unsubstantial melody was chosen is beyond me.

Visual representation.

 

Perhaps we can gain some insight from this synopsis of an interview Eilish did on the New Music Daily podcast:

“We wrote it in Texas, and we recorded it in a bunk on the bus in a basement in the dark.”

 

Huh?! There’s got to be an and or comma missing here, you recorded it in a bunk… OK. On the bus… OK, so far I follow, the bunk was on the bus, as is so often the case with tour buses. In a basement… whoa, whoa, whoa, did you also record in a darkened basement or was the bus under a house while you recorded there?! Ether Ms. Eilish gave that interview high on something other than life, or the author of that article was when writing it!

Yeaaaah, now I’m ready to start typing.

 

As to the quality of the film, Eilish offered this pronouncement:

“Barbara Broccoli …laid out the movie, which the singer hinted was “f#@king fire.”

Well, she’ll certainly fit in well with Danny “F-Bomb” Craig!

 

Getting my money’s worth out of this one lately!

 

Not to be outdone in the realm of nonsense, producers Barbara Broccoli and half wit… I mean half brother Michael G. Wilson (the G stands for Gaslight) had this to say:

“We are excited to announce that Billie and Finneas have written an incredibly powerful and moving song for ‘No Time to Die,’ which has been impeccably crafted to work within the emotional story of the film.” 

If that statement is true, then it does not bode well for the film. If this easily forgotten monotonous lament denotes the story of this film in any way what so ever, forget about dropping your popcorn and fluff your pillow instead!

Getting ready to go see No Time To Die.

 

Since we have our pillows fluffed and a dull plodding lullaby, courtesy of Ms Eilish, playing in the background, it seems to be the perfect time to discuss some other “meh” inducing promotional material from the past few weeks:

 

Another trailer that offers nothing new…:

 

Except this:

So realistic!

 

Wow, the CGI is strong with this one! Die Another Day’s got nothing on that, what year is this again? So that folding “Swiss Army Knife” plane is also a boat now?! Hey, maybe it’s a submarine too! Much better than that invisible car Craig-heads keep lamenting over!

So ridiculous… folding plane, boat, submarines are much more realistic and gritty!

 

In boring still photo news, we got yet another poster for the film:

The names Bland… Dull, Bland

 

So is this the winner of the poster design contest introduced so long ago? Since EON hasn’t bothered to announce a winner, despite the film’s promotion having had a premature start, one has to wonder if this competition was on the up and up. If the contest was legitimate, I would have thought something should have been chosen before March for promotion leading up to April?

Just as legit as the poster contest.

 

Another Poster to hit the streets was this one:

Eh…

I mean it’s not bad, even OK perhaps, but it seems a bit more fitting as a smaller piece in an amalgam poster, like this one from a much better Bond:

 

Ah those were the days!

  6 comments for “Quantum Of Meh

  1. Avatar
    Gareth
    April 2, 2020 at 7:53 am

    Ah yes, the theme song always seem to reflect in some way the Bond movie that follows it.
    The theme song for very underrated ‘Octopussy’ was sung by Rita Coolidge and penned by John Barry and Tim Rice. Understated, seductive and optimistic. The movie that followed was entertaining and had some of the best sustained action sequences in the series. Much better than anything in ‘Skyfall’ (which has a 92 % rating on RottenTomatoes, would you believe?!).
    Fast forward to 2020, and we have the ‘No Time to Die’ theme song. Dreary, overwrought and depressing. What are we expect of the movie? It doesn’t bode well.

    • dirtybenny
      dirtybenny
      April 4, 2020 at 5:18 pm

      Absolutely Gareth, Bond themes, like the films, were always entertaining, when they go them right they were fantastic, when they were off, they were still enjoyable. Now they’re slapdash, paint by numbers and full of garbage stunt writing the producers think will con the audience into believing the stories are “deep” and the themes songs have followed suit. The con was working, now thankfully it seems people are starting to wake up.

  2. Avatar
    Vincenzo
    April 5, 2020 at 7:31 am

    Judging from that poster, and what I’ve seen in the trailer, I smell a massive Great Escape ripoff, sorry “tribute”.

    How low can those creatively bankrupt halfwits at EON go?

    F@@k this, I need a drink….

    • dirtybenny
      dirtybenny
      April 5, 2020 at 7:11 pm

      Your absolutely right Vin, I can’t believe I didn’t pick up on that myself! Make that order for 2 adult beverages!

  3. Avatar
    Janna Watson
    April 7, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Yes the themes are usually the highlight to a great Bond thriller. Not this one though. I couldn’t even listen to the whole thing… after hearing it I had to go back and listen to “ From Russia with Love” instrumental version with bongos just to lift my spirits from being home bound.

    • dirtybenny
      dirtybenny
      April 7, 2020 at 9:34 pm

      I’d say it required a palate cleanser but one must have something on their palate to cleanse off. I suppose it’s more like eating a very bland meal and requiring a rich dessert to give you satisfaction.

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