Eagle County residents can be like Bond | VailDaily.com

Eagle County residents can be like Bond

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

He’s a lover and a fighter. He silently kills his enemies and seduces women like it’s his job ” and sometimes it is. The tuxedo looks like it was invented for him. Apparently he’s good at everything from international espionage to poker, skiing and even climbing cranes barehanded.

James Bond is hands down the most popular spy character ever created.

First introduced by author Ian Flemming in 1952, Bond has starred in 14 books and 22 films, the latest being this weekend’s release: “Quantum Of Solace.” Bond has undergone dozens of facelifts and personality changes during his adventures ” so why is he still so popular after all these years?

“Bond is so smooth yet … any moment he can lash out and kill someone,” said Kathryn Long, a former Avon resident who recently moved to Denver. “Think about it, if I was at a bar and some guy grabbed my butt, he would probably kill him.”

Long’s favorite Bond is Daniel Craig ” the current Bond ” but she also enjoyed Sean Connery in the older films.

“Bond is so freaking phenomenal, the fact that he looks good shaven or with scruff (is) amazing. Nobody looks that good,” Long said.

Unfortunately for us average guys, Bond raises the standards of cool to an almost unreachable high. But there is hope. We talked to locals about how men can “Bondify” themselves and take the advantage in any situation.

Over the years Hollywood has given us a Bond who is handsome, well-groomed and charming. While most of us will never own the chiseled features of Pierce Brosnan or Craig, a haircut and nice clothes can go a long way.

Sure, it may cost a little more money (OK, a lot more money) but women take notice of a sharp-dressed man.

“Every man should have their suits tailored, it’s so worth it,” Long said. “When your pants fit, your pants fit.”

Local fashion store owner Luca Bruno said that tailored clothes definitely pay off when it comes to getting extra looks from the ladies.

“You got to think about everybody now, they’re working out, especially men, from 20 years old to 60 years old,” Bruno said. And he’s right ” why not show off that toned body?

Of course, if you have ripped abs like Craig in the new Bond film, you’ll want well-fitting attire to show them off, but even if your physique needs work, don’t worry, there’s still hope.

Cutting back on alcohol consumption and eating a healthy diet will help, said Mike Santambrogio, personal trainer at Dogma Athletica in Edwards. He also suggested some exercises that will help you shed a few pounds.

Three sets of hanging leg raises and bicycle crunches to failure (until you absolutely can’t do another one) is a good start, he said.

“Ab exercises to failure is pretty key, it’s those last two or three almost impossible ones that really count,” Santambrogio said.

Now you may look the part, but you’re still a long way from being Bond.

Part of Bond’s infinite coolness comes from his ability to win in a fight ” or at least look good while trying. Being confident in a confrontation is not limited to super spies though.

“To fight the way you see James Bond fight, you have to have a certain amount of athleticism but at the same token it’s more mentally using your environment and the things in it to get the advantage to protect yourself,” said Matt Bayley, martial arts and close-quarter combat instructor at the Vail Academy of Martial Arts.

His classes on using knives, sticks, guns and empty-hand fighting techniques are much more valuable to an individual than flashy, cinematic moves that would have little impact on an opponent in real life, Bayley said.

“The course that I teach is the closest thing a civilian can take to what you see James Bond doing,” Bayley said.

As the co-owner of Dish restaurant in Edwards, Jenna Johansen sees plenty of couples sharing romantic moments nearly every night of the week. Many of the men she sees wooing women can definitely learn a thing or two from Bond, she said.

“I think a lot of women in general think that kind of Bond type is sexy, but that certainly isn’t very embodied in the valley. We have a lot more of the skier, snowboarder types,” said Johansen, who was one of the top five bachelorettes in the valley last year.

She prefers Pierce Brosnan’s older-gentleman version of Bond in “Die Another Day” because of his smooth and refined portrayal of the character.

“Certainly Bond knows how to wine and dine a lady, not even so much with the extravagant gifts and the nice car, I think he is a little more suave and debonair. He knows exactly how to put the hand right on the woman’s small of her back, he knows exactly how to toast a glass when he’s at dinner. Those kind of little things, I think that’s sexy,” Johansen said.

Bond is the iconic, indestructible man and because he’s human, we can relate to him on some fantastic level. Men and women alike have their reasons for admiring him, but one thing is for sure, he’s likely here to stay.

“We fetishize James Bond. Whatever James Bond does is cool because James Bond does it and James Bond is cool,” said Jacob Held, co-editor and co-author of the book “James Bond and Philosophy.” “(He) fills a kind of niche in our cultural vernacular that we need.”

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.

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