James Bond 007 film-by-film thread

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by mr_spenalzo, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. vzok

    vzok Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Sorry to be late to the party.

    If I can just go back to Dr No. With today's audiences being used to frenetic superhero movies, this one must seem very slow. But it is a rewarding watch. On the one hand it is nothing like the bulk of the other Bond movies, and yet this one sets up so much that remains part of the Bond formula still (Goldfinger always gets the credit for this, but Dr No did the heavy lifting and Goldfinger added some gloss later).

    The first half is like a police detective movie from the 50s, rather than a spy movie. The slow pace lets you soak up the Jamaican atmosphere, though hopefully not as much as that guy dancing at the nightclub did. The second half goes sci-fi with missiles, nuclear bases and metal hands.

    Ken Adam's sets, even on a shoestring budget, are beautiful. Look at the detail of that room where all that happens is Dent collects a spider. The villain is saved until nearly the end of the movie, but you feel his presence throughout.

    Connery plays Bond as much more human and sympathetic than the novels, but he is still a bit of a s**t, as he should be. He was way ahead of Dirty Harry and the others in being a flawed hero. The scene with M is classic stuff. Leiter is cool (too cool apparently, goodbye Jack Lord).

    It is easier to name the negatives, as there aren't too many. The dragon is silly and makes the locals seem dim to believe in it. Bond gets rather colonial at one point. The tunnels don't make a lot of sense, and when Bond escapes from them into the control area I half expect a flood of water to follow him. The soundtrack isn't great - we get a lot of Bond Theme (great, but used inappropriately a couple of times) and a lot of tropical music (OK to set the scene), but the remaining underscore is mixed and a bit stodgy.

    This one is Top 10, if maybe not quite Top 5.
     
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  2. vzok

    vzok Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    So From Russia With Love is a real corker. The slow burn of Grant stalking Bond throughout the whole film is awesome. That's how you do tension.

    This one has the greatest array of villains. Slimy Kronsteen with his wonderfully arrogant plan. I love how when he gets the message to report, he can beat his chess opponent inside a few moves. Hideous Klebb with her spiked shoes, knuckledusters and a lust for Tatiana. The hidden Blofeld with his wonderfully rich voice. Then there is the arian Grant who is built up as being a match for Bond, and he has the edge on him the whole movie.

    It has a real cold war feel, the settings, the characters and the eerie music. There's a macguffin and a love interest to chase after. Bond and M once got up to something saucy in Japan. They get away with an early 60s knob joke. Tatiana skirts about almost naked. Bond and Tatiana make a porno.

    The train sequence is excellent. Kerim Bey is such a joyful ally. I love when he settles down to tell the spy on the train his "life story".

    The soundtrack is miles better here, and yet John Barry is just warming up. He introduces the 007 theme, used in the gypsy camp fight. Plus just listen to the ballsy version of the Bond theme early on as 007 struts around Istanbul.

    Great stuff. Top 3 for sure, probably no 1. I enjoyed it so much I watched the whole thing at x1.
     
  3. vzok

    vzok Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Has the OP moved on to the third movie yet? I hope I'm not jumping the gun in talking about Goldfinger.

    This one is often at the top of "Best Bond" lists. I can see why for a casual Bond viewer, as it is easier for them to remember which one it is. But I'm a little stumped as to why so many Bond fans agree. The first two Bond movies were more serious and looked great. There was still enough humour, but the action and plot had at least one toe dipped in realism. Here the director chooses to go for a much more light-hearted approach, and it waters down the spy intrigue.

    Now there are loads of iconic scenes and moments - the laser table, Bond vs Oddjob at Fort Knox, the golf game, the golden girl, Oddjob' hat-throwing, the Aston Martin and the ejector seat. But these are just moments scattered through a story that starts well and then sags in the second half. Bond is captured by Goldfinger, and he just ambles about changing very little around him, other than forcing himself on to Ms Galore so she can help save the day.

    The sets again are awesome, especially Fort Knox, but the cinematography isn't up to the previous two films, and USA looks a bit dull.

    I'm not keen on the Bond girl, she seems a bit smarmy and is nowhere near as appealing as Honey or Tatiana. She is billed as being tougher than them, and yet caves in so easily. That scene was probably too much back in the day, but is certainly unpleasant now. Goldfinger and Oddjob are top notch though. A-ha!

    The soundtrack is more polished that last time and the Bond theme isn't used so much here. The Goldfinger theme does the hard work. But many of the early tracks are quite quiet and slight, they seem a bit samey. "Into Miami" stands out and is one of the best tracks from any Bond. Very short though. It all picks up as they attack Fort Knox with that insistent dramatic music. Better than Dr No, not as good as From Russia.

    So what do we learn this time. Bond doesn't like heroin flavoured bananas. He likes a roll in the hay (too much). He cheats better than Goldfinger. The gangsters can be crushed as soon as they become irritating or overact. Bras were a lot pointier in 1964. Ejector seats come in handy. Granny has got herself a new machine gun.

    It's a fun and memorable movie, but it set up a formula that moved us away from a lot of the good stuff from the first two films and towards more humour and large scale spectacle. A mixed bag. Mid table, or maybe even lower.
     
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  4. mr_spenalzo

    mr_spenalzo Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The thread is taking care of moving on autonomously. When it’s time for Thunderball, it’ll happen :righton:
     
  5. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Never say never.
     
  6. vzok

    vzok Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I won't strike like Thunderball until you do.
     
  7. Slappy9001

    Slappy9001 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kingston, PA
    The first two Bond movies, DR. NO (1962) and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963) were solid successes--both had small budgets and both grossed impressive numbers worldwide. GOLDFINGER (1964) had a larger budget but grossed much more than the previous two. It became a worldwide sensation and kicked off a flood of super agent films, television shows, and books. The next Bond film was given a much larger budget and tried to prove to the world that the original was best of all. The film spanned several countries and featured a large international cast, large-scale action scenes, and not one but TWO beautiful leading women. Like GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL was also a huge hit and to a large degree shaped all of the Bond films that came after it, both stylistically overall and specifically with establishing certain things that HAD to be part of every subsequent Bond film. The title sequence by Maurice Binder especially set the pattern for literally every title sequence to come after it in the series.

    The plot is fairly complicated for a Bond film, with SPECTRE stealing some nuclear bombs and demanding a ransom from the U.N. Bond is assigned to investigating a lead in Jamaica and stumbles on the bad guys in the process. It's the second appearance of Blofeld in the series, though his face wouldn't be shown until the next Bond film, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE. The story was originally co-written by Bond creator Ian Fleming and others for producer Kevin McClory who had wanted to make his own Bond film prior to Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman buying the rights to DR. NO, but when the movie never materialized Fleming adapted the story as a book. The problem is that Fleming didn't own the rights to the story, and this led to a lawsuit between McClory and the makers of the Bond films. The next Bond film had previously been announced as ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, but McClory was threatening to make his own Bond film. Rather than allow that to happen--McClory had a valid claim to the THUNDERBALL story as a movie--Broccoli and Saltzman settled with McClory and agreed to make THUNDERBALL instead. Thus, the world was robbed of seeing Sean Connery in probably the best Bond story of all. In 1964 Connery was still invested enough in the role to have made MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE very interesting, to say the least.

    THUNDERBALL is probably the yardstick by which I measure all other Bond films. It's not a perfect movie by any means but in my view does a lot more right than it does wrong. The film shows several signs of being a rushed production, with numerous continuity errors and obvious pickup shots. The worst continuity error is a character that disappears at the end of the film. Note in the first capture below that Bond, the girl and another man jump from the ship right before it hits the reef and explodes. Yet when we cut back to the water after the explosion the man is missing and his absence is not commented on. As Bond and the girl are clearly in a studio tank in the close-ups one can only guess that the actor was unavailable several months later when the close-ups were shot.

    The Bond character occasionally gets lost in the shuffle as the filmmakers try to cover all of the action; he never actively does anything to propel the story forward. He instead floats along reacting to events he has no control over. Heck, he doesn't even kill the villain. This was perhaps not the intent of the makers but was a byproduct of the dramatically larger scope of the film. The underwater scenes involving the downing of the plane, and the big fight at the end consume a huge amount of screen time. The need for the plane sequence can be debated. Does the film need it to tell the story? Perhaps not, but it's undeniable that it adds to the impact of the film. The underwater fight sequence at the end is sometimes referred to as "indeterminable" by those who have no patience for it, and I can sympathize to a degree. It does go on for a hell of a long time, but again, for putting spectacle up on the screen it works just fine.

    Given all of that, THUNDERBALL remains my favorite Bond film for several reasons. It was the first Connery Bond film I "got" as a youngster. I had seen a few of the films on TV previously--notably, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and MOONRAKER--and weaned as I was on Roger Moore's interpretation of Bond, THUNDERBALL was a revelation the first time I saw it. For the first time, I understood why people were saying that Connery was the best Bond, for in his prime he was truly something to behold. Brawn and intelligence have rarely combined so seamlessly onscreen, and from a purely physical standpoint, Connery was never better than he was in this movie. He moves like a caged animal in this movie, full of confidence and style, and he is still thin enough to look good with his shirt off.

    Though to be fair, he doesn't look tip-top in ALL of the film. It looks to me like Connery showed up in one type of shape at the beginning of shooting and ended up in different shape by the end. I think the location filming was done earliest as he looks best in these scenes. When filming moved to the soundstages later on, he had put on more weight and is beginning ever so slightly to take on the paunchy look that would define his look for the next 10-15 years. In fact, if I were to guess which scenes were filmed absolutely last I would say the fight aboard the Disco Volante was filmed last of all, for he looks the heaviest there. Then again, maybe it's just angles.

    Connery started complaining in the press during THUNDERBALL about how much time and energy making the Bond films took, and if one looks closely you can see a slightly diminished dedication to the performance from Connery. Compare his reaction to the death of Paula in THUNDERBALL to the death of Tilly Masterson in GOLDFINGER, which was just one film prior. In that earlier film he is genuinely moved by her death, but when confronted by a death of a colleague he barely reacts at all. There are any number of ways to justify his reaction in THUNDERBALL: Paula was an agent of her Majesty and so knew the dangers involved, for instance. Possibly. However, I think it more likely that the production was moving so quickly at the point of filming that sequence that it was just rushed through.

    THUNDERBALL was the first widescreen Bond film and Terrence Young's stylistic sensibilities set the bar for future Bond films. The wider frame is used expressively and for effect--characters are consistently spread out across the screen, and the landscapes are appropriately framed to maximize screen real estate. It is the first Bond film to FEEL like a Bond film. Compared to GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL is a work of art visually and set the tone for just about every Bond film to follow. It was an expensive movie and every effort was made to put the money up on the screen, and to a large degree the filmmakers were successful in this for THUNDERBALL has an immense scope to it.

    Aiding immeasurably to this sense of "scope" are the wonderful sets by Ken Adam. Whether it be massive indoor spaces or regular sized rooms, Adams' work on the film is impressive, albeit not always practical. I can go along with the massive meeting room in the MI5 building, but I'm not sure why SPECTRE would need such a large space in downtown Paris. I particularly like the sea shanty used by Q later in the film, and all of the hotel rooms.

    The cast of THUNDERBALL is top notch. The women are voluptuous, with Claudine Auger as Domino a particular standout. She may not have been able to speak English well, but her initial appearance in the film features a swimsuit that remains a favorite for its peekaboo nature. Luciana Paluzzi is impressive as an almost impossibly voluptuous agent of SPECTRE, but Adolfo Celi is almost the prototypical Bond villain. He even sports an eye patch. The main difference between THUNDERBALL and almost every Bond film that came after it is that the main villain is not a major character. "Number 1", or Blofeld, is seen to be the man in charge on the bad side but the villains that Bond deals with are underlings that report to him. Beginning with YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, the main villain would never again be shunted the background, with a possible exception for CASINO ROYALE and QUANTUM OF SOLACE.

    I have strong memories of seeing some of them on ABC around 1979-1980, especially THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and THUNDERBALL. When ABC showed the movies back then, they didn't (couldn't?) censor the main titles, and there are one or two very clear shot of naked breasts in the title sequence of SPY. Likewise, there are also naked breasts in the title sequence of THUNDERBALL. I was 10 or 11 at the time of seeing these films for the first time, do I really need to explain why they appealed to me?
     
  8. California Couple

    California Couple dislike us on facebook

    Location:
    Newport Beach
    I like how during the slow scene where Bond inspects his hotel room, they decide to play the Bond theme to spice things up, just to add a little tension and to remind us that he is doing his spy thing.
     
  9. California Couple

    California Couple dislike us on facebook

    Location:
    Newport Beach
    This has never bothered me as I figured the other guy was a BAD GUY and he was no longer causing any trouble, so he did not matter any more. He was small fish.

    As for continuity, when Masterson is watching Goldfinger thru the binocs, she is on her stomach, then a second later she is on her side, then the next second she is back on her stomach. Since she is wearing only her black bra and panties, this continuity error does not bother me either. :unhunh:
     
  10. Somewhat Damaged

    Somewhat Damaged Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Thunderball (1965)

    James Bond (Sean Connery) searches for missing nuclear missiles.

    Silly but fairly entertaining. A bit bloated. You can see how it could be streamlined into a shorter, more to the point film. I didn’t find the underwater action sequences to be tiresome.

    Above average

    FYI earlier I called a Greta Gerwig movie Modern Women. The correct title is 20th Century Women (2016).
     
  11. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    The selling point of Thunderball in 1965 was Bond's jet pack.
     
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  12. mr_spenalzo

    mr_spenalzo Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Ahem... Claudine Auger, Luciana Paluzzi and Martine Beswick...
     
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  13. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Retrospect, yes.
     
  14. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Prefer the remake Never Say Never.
     
  15. rufus t firefly

    rufus t firefly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Long island, NY
    This is the one Connery/Bond flick that kind of loses me. I think that the overwhelming amount of underwater scenes just doesn't keep me interested. It really is the exception to the rule in the Connery catalog for me.
     
  16. Somewhat Damaged

    Somewhat Damaged Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I would add to my very short review that it feels like a sloppy production with a lot of crude technical elements. Some things like the sped up action looks like a (poor) artistic choice but other moments just look like bad editing or rushed work. The movie does show many signs of being a bit rushed and lacking in polish. It's not a smooth film with a polished aesthetic. It looks to me like a production that could do with more time to do further script development, a few more takes on set to smooth out the rough patches and a bit longer in the edit to cut it down to be more concise.
     
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  17. bostonscoots

    bostonscoots Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Thunderball is a James Bond movie that no doubt sounded great on paper: an army of Navy frogmen, tons of sharks, stolen atomic bombs, surgically created doubles, exotic underwater locations, and a jetpack! Not to mention peak Sean Connery. Who's in...?

    Yet for all the cool stuff in it, Thunderball is slow moving beast of a film. Part of the reason stems from the producers' natural desire to give the audience more, especially after the worldwide success of Goldfinger. The fourth movie doubles down on everything, from Bond girls to Bond villains. On a purely visual level, this strategy works - Ken Adam's sets are enormous and imaginative (for a movie that mostly takes place outdoors), the women are stunning, and the location work in and out of the water is gorgeous.

    None of these things help Thunderball's plot though, which unfolds at a glacial pace. It takes a long time for the movie to get going and when it does, Thunderball then alternately moves in fits and starts. Then there's the sheer amount of scenes taking place underwater. On paper and in execution, Thunderball's underwater work is nothing short of ambitious - but no amount of scale or scope can overcome the limitations of shooting underwater, which makes all movement seem slow and laborious. When the movie does attempt to transcend these limitations by either speeding up the action in post-production or through gadgets like Bond's super-aqua jetpack - they come off as artificial.

    Having said that, there's still so much to dig about Thunderball. First and foremost, it's Sean Connery's last peak performance as James Bond. After this Connery as Bond would be bored, then out of shape, and finally looking to recapture his mojo (which in fairness, he nearly does in Never Say Never Again). Thunderball however, is full-on, grape-stealing, mink-glove sporting, shark-dodging man-crush time. Even Tom Jones can't control his bromantic tendencies in the swaggering title song ("He acts whiiiiiiile other men just talk") that fits Connery like a Savile Row tailored suit.

    For the rest of the cast, Luciana Paluzzi stands out as a near-feral SPECTRE assassin who shares Bond's appetite (and one would assume aptitude) for sex and death. Her obligatory bedding in Bond's Bahamas bungalow (why yes, that should be a tropical drink) is one of the sexier moments in the Connery Bonds, mostly because she's there as an equal - hands on the headboard like they were bars, she enjoying herself as much as Bond. She's even got the spine to throw Bond's vanity back at him after he tries to save face by dismissing their afternoon delight as "business as usual".

    Production-wise, as I mentioned before Thunderball is a genuine epic, with no expense spared. Broccoli and Saltzman make no apologies for trying to give a worldwide audience more of what it came for in the first place and the Bond creative team rise to their challenge, filling the expanded Panavision frame with more imaginative gadgets, expressionist sets, and exotic locations. Not to mention lots of sharks.

    And honor is due to composer John Barry, with one of his most atmospheric Bond scores. It's light on the action cues - Barry's familiar "007" shows up for the underwater battle - but the score seems to perfectly fit the aquatic and tropical surroundings of the film (funny bit of Bond trivia, the original title song for the film wasn't the Tom Jones belter, but the Dionne Warwick-sung "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", which seems a little more delicate and feminine than Jones' bellowing "Thunderball").

    Thunderball isn't a perfect Bond movie, but it is a good one. In its own way, Thunderball was also the end of an era, too. This was Bond at his cultural zenith - when the 007 branded products rolled off the trucks, people bought albums like "Music To Read James Bond By", and studios eagerly looking to get their piece of the spy pie made movies with 007 clones like Dean Martin's Matt Helm or James Coburn's Derek Flint.

    More movies would follow, but they would never mean as much anymore.
     
  18. dukesdown

    dukesdown Active Member

    Location:
    New Mexico
    Thunderball was the first Bond movie I ever saw - at the theater, when I was 9 years old, and without my parents (don't know how I managed to get away with that)! Understandably, it had a big impact on me, and it remains my second favorite Bond film, after OHMSS.
     
  19. vzok

    vzok Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    OK, so we're doing Thunderball.

    The producers clearly thought that as they had hit the spot with Goldfinger that they needed to do the same again but bigger. It's not like they were trying for a remake, but somehow it echoes back to the Goldfinger formula. For me that means they also replicate Goldfinger's lack of pace and tension.

    The pre-titles is nonsensical, and we see the start of some shoddy looking sped up action in the fist fight. Then Bond escapes in a super cool jet pack, with a super uncool safety helmet. There is a classic scene where SPECTRE fry one of their members in his chair for helping himself to some cash. This is much more effective than Goldfinger gassing the gangsters.

    Into the plot and there is intrigue at the health farm. But there is also another scene of Bond forcing himself on one of the Bond girls again. A bit more blackmail than physical force this time, if that helps. Still I'm surprised Bond had the energy for that after his torture on the rack.

    When we find out what is going on, it is a very simple plot. The baddies steal two bombs and hold the world to ransom. Sounds good. But the simple plot still gets muddled with face changing doubles and moving bodies. It slows things down having a double, and just blackmailing the pilot directly works much better in Never Say Never Again.

    And then the bomb is hidden underwater and the film slows even more. They seem to want to show everything in great detail. It looks great and must have been impressive at the time, but it takes us ages to get to Bond uncovering the threat. Worse still, when Bond gets the assignment its as if he has taken a fortnight off work and is seeing the sights and chasing the girls. The bombs hardly get a mention.

    Still there is a lot to enjoy while you wait. The girls are both top Bond girls. Fiona Volpe is smart and sassy as well as beautiful, and Domino is certainly beautiful. Connery is on top form and looks like the coolest 60s spy ever. There are some smart one-liners. I like Bond's quips when he visits Largo.

    But when we reach the climax one bomb is dealt with off screen and one bomb is disarmed by a mousy scientist. Not exactly a ticking clock moment. The final underwater fight is extensive but badly edited. Then the fight on board the Disco Volante is spoiled by the insane back projection. The boat seems to be speeding around sideways at a thousand miles an hour.

    The music is very eerie and sophisticated this time. I prefer Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang to the Tom Jones theme. Like Shirley Bassey last time he is just a bit too piercing for me. John Barry uses both of these themes plus the Bond Theme and 007 to great effect. The "Search For Vulcan" theme is also cool. He really captures the feeling of being underwater.

    So another mixed bag. I like the idea of Bond chasing down a ticking bomb. I picture a desperate conclusion with Bond reaching the bomb just in time, but somehow that was lost here. Another lower mid table effort.
     
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  20. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    The core of the franchise is contained in those first three films; Dr. No, From Russia with Love and Goldfinger.

    Thunderball has never been a favorite of mine, except for the Tom Jones theme tune. The series goes to Panavision and the bloat sets in.
     
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  21. MerseyBeatle

    MerseyBeatle Martha my dear (1995-2012)

    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Found this on YouTube. It’s “Thunderball” by Johnny Cash over Maurice Binder’s opening sequence. I love Johnny, but Tom Jones really nails the title song.

     
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  22. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

    Location:
    detroit, mi
    Thunderball is top 3 for sure for me.

    Luciana Paluzzi was a smoking hot villain.

    Grand movie.
     
  23. Somewhat Damaged

    Somewhat Damaged Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I was clearing out my piles of books when I came across a book called The Man with the Golden Touch: How the Bond Films Conquered the World (2008) by Sinclair McKay. I forgot all about it. Since the films are semi-fresh in my mind I should re-read it ASAP. I also happened to remember a day later that I wrote a review for ir back in November 2009.

    Near scene by scene reviews of all the Bond films

    I was a bit iffy on it to begin with as it seemed he was just going to just tell us the plots in excessive detail, with regular critical comments and tales about how the films were made. Very pointless as anyone reading a book like this will already have seen the films and will know the plots already. And if we want our minds refreshed we'll either watch the films again or read the books instead of reading this. I quickly realised that it was an entertaining read, and not a tiresome recounting of the plot for each and every movie. Yes he does tell us the storyline in detail, but he always has something to say, either as a film critic or with information about how or why it was made the way it was.

    I personally find it to be enjoyable reading criticism for itself, even when the subject isn't very interesting. I was once, not totally unfairly, compared with a character from a film called Metropolitan who confessed to prefer reading the critics than to reading the books themselves. So I enjoy reading someone well informed complaining about stuff. It's usually even better if I completely disagree with their opinion. And it's always fun to see sacred cows slaughtered.

    He has no new information on the Bond films that you probably don't already know if you're interested in a book like this. On the other hand it's interesting to hear his opinion on the films, action scenes, Bond girls etc.

    His particular annoyances seem to be any fights on or underwater. The problem is that there is only two or three things that can be done, and after the first minute of the fight there's nothing else to do apart from repeating itself. Also underwater scenes are always too slow. I agree with him for the most part although I remember the speedboat chase in Live and Let Die and the opening chase in The World Is Not Enough being fairly exciting.

    He also points out that almost every Bond film has an exciting big ending. And then they plod on for another fifteen or so minutes with another unnecessary, unwanted and less spectacular action scene. So the majority of Bond films end with an anti-climax.

    One thing he touches upon but doesn't ponder at length is how haphazard the scenes are bolted together in the scripts. The films flit from one scene to the next with some very shaky connections. Almost a sense of making it up as they go along. "Whoops, this scene is going down a dead end. I know, let's have the person give Bond the name of someone who might know something. That can then lead to a big fight scene." I particularly noticed how random and unconnected the different segments of the films are the last time I watched Live and Let Die (the airport fight is crowbarred in with a particular lack of subtlety).

    There are a few references to other films that impacted on the James Bond franchise. The 1967 comedy version of Casino Royale gets a few pages of attention. The Thunderball remake Never Say Never Again from 1983 starring Sean Connery gets about a third of the Octopussy chapter. Austin Powers, if I remember right, gets a short chapter to itself. For some reason the Jason Bourne films only get about two mentions totalling about half a page. This strikes me as the writer being either sniffy or paranoid about them as they threaten the credibility of the Bond films much more than anything else does.

    Do you like reading reviews? Do you like or are interested in Bond films? Do you like the idea of reading long indepth near scene by scene reviews of each Bond film? If so then you should like this book. You won't agree with everything he says, but then wouldn't it be boring if you did (he dislikes Thunderball but has almost nothing bad to say about Moonraker and On Her Majesty's Secret Service?!)? I enjoyed it and I would recommend it. Especially if you want something with more teeth than another merchandise tie-in about the girls, gadgets, cars etc. This book is for grown ups who consider those to be much less interesting than the films themselves.

    It's also worth pointing out that this book deals only with the films, and the novels are only referred to briefly when relevant to one of the films.

    4 out of 5


    I also wrote a list of film by film mini-reviews in 2009. Some movies might have been watched at the time but I assume most were comments taken from memory. I'll add them onto the end of my new mini-reviews.

    Dr. No (1962)
    Solid and entertaining if slightly creaky in places.

    From Russia with Love (1963)
    I used to find this to be very boring. I watched it again a few days ago and I liked the first half but found the second half went on too long.

    Goldfinger (1964)
    The gold plated Bond classic. Probably my favourite of the films.

    Thunderball (1965)
    It's a bit stop start, messy and all over the place. I think some interesting stuff is buried in the mess. One of my favourites of the series although it's very flawed.
     
  24. mr_spenalzo

    mr_spenalzo Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I quite enjoy Thunderball. Granted it's messy, but it's also got phenomenal women (Domino is my #1 Bondgirl... I'd ditch the cigar, but ice cubes and tied to the bed... anyway I digress), Connery at his arrogant best (it's like Bond made a new year's resolution to be rude to everyone he meets... and to be as obvious as possible as well: he's just bursting to call out Largo for his Spectre membership during the card game) and he's given some real funny one liners, arguably John Barry's best score, an amusing part for Q ("oh no"), and a fairly plausible plot (albeit with some silly touches... it's remarkably coincidental that while Bond is at Shrublands the unnecessary plastic surgery stuff goes on there).

    Films ranked until here:

    001 - From Russia With Love
    002 - Thunderball
    003 - Dr. No
    004 - Goldfinger
     
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  25. MerseyBeatle

    MerseyBeatle Martha my dear (1995-2012)

    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Just saw this and thought it may be of interest to anyone who bought Bond box sets. The settlement is free digital copies of Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never Again (1983). As we’re talking about Thunderball, I thought this was appropriate to post as it seems the ghost of Kevin McClory is still with us.

    MGM and Fox settle class action lawsuit for James Bond DVD boxset claims
     
    Mark Wilson likes this.

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