Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Big Bushel of Bond

I was gonna try to work these in during the buildup to Christmas, but damn, those non-Marvel/DC superheroes really exploded into a more daunting chore than I thought it would be, whole thing got away from me for a helluva while, then there was no time left to squeeze in much else.

AND, when I was gonna do Bond then, I was gonna "make it easy", for myself by cutting it at least in half, if not thirds, but...look at the ones I ended up doing that had 20-something to 30-something anyway....

So, screw it, let's just plow right through these...

Dr. No


The film-

Oriental guy with primitive robot hands, island base that gets blowed up, Ursula Andress walking out of the water, you know the drill.

These are the ones that built Connery's reputation, and why dames still get wet over him even though he's an old fart now.

The history-

Pretty much seen all these on TNT, or SyFy, or AMC, or Spike marathons.
Pretty sure I've seen 'em all, some I remember better than others.
I'll do my best...


From Russia With Love


The film-

Mnh....can hardly remember this one.

Only that it really wasn't as good as Goldfinger, or even Dr. No.

The history-

Ditto Dr. No.


Goldfinger


The film-

Fuckin' awesome.

This is really where the franchise became itself.
Particularly with the opening themes, and animations.

Huh, huh, Pussy Galore....heh.

The history-

Double ditto Dr. No.


Thunderball

The film-

Fuck yeah, the one with the rocket pack!

And the song by Tom Jones.

Does he fight a shark in this one?

Details are fuzzy...dammit.
Too many of these things....

The history-

Triple ditto Dr. No.


You Only Live Twice


The film-

Um...yeah...this is the one where Bond gets made up to look Japanese, and they try to teach him how to be a ninja....yeah, I couldn't get into this one, and bailed, too silly.

Although, I seem to recall it ending in a nice explosion riddled melee like Dr. No...

The history-

Quadruple ditto Dr. No.


Casino Royale (1967)


The film-

The parody with Peter Sellers.

You can shoehorn it into continuity if you want.

The gimmick is, Sellers is the real James bond, and when he retired, he lent his name and double-o number to the guy we know from the first 5 bond flicks.

Then, he lends his name to a whole crowd of people as a smokescreen, and hijinks ensue.

Woody Allen is the villain.
How prescient.

This clearly inspired bits of the Austin Powers flicks.

The history-

Quintuple ditto Dr. No.


On Her Majesty's Secret Service

The film-

Poor George Lazenby.

The first one without Connery, and people were already whining about that, then...well, I'll spoil it...

Bond falls in love, gets married, and gets widowed.

Audiences didn't want him to get married, and they didn't want him to have his heart broken, cuz that made him vulnerable, they wanted him to be a Machismo-Superman forever, and just having a down ending when he'd had an unbroken record of being hands-down victorious rubbed people the wrong way...all of that.

It was a visceral knee-jerk thing, and then wonder why suits think movie audiences are babies and dummies.

Screw you people, I like it.

There's lots of little nods to the first five, so it respects what came before, it takes bold chances, instead of rehashing the same old shit, I think it's a nifty little flick.

But, Bond fans sent the message after this they wanted rehashes, so...there you go.

S'how we got 10 virtually identical fuckin' Jason flicks.
Same fuckin' mentality.

The history-

Sextuple ditto Dr. No.


Diamonds Are Forever


The film-

So, "Her Majesty...", flopped, and the scumbags and dipshits heaped the blame on poor George, so, they upturned bucketloads of money over Connery's head for him to come back one last time.
It worked.

And having him back worked, people lapped this up at the box office, even though it's pretty forgettable.

I do like the opening teaser where he drowns Blofeld in boiling mud, and goes "welcome to Hell, Blofeld".

So, that at least acknowledges needing to get revenge for the end of "Majesty..".

The history-

Septuple ditto Dr. No.


Live And Let Die


The film-

Ah, the first Roger Moore.
The one I grew up with, so, I guess he's "my Bond".
Hey, I coulda done worse.

So, you got Yaphet Kotto for a villain, you got inter-racial hanky-panky, you got Paul McCartney doing the song, not too shabby.

Dunno why fans accepted Moore, and not Lazenby...guess the style of flick really matters...

The history-

Octuple ditto Dr. No.
Still wasn't born yet to see these.


The Man With The Golden Gun


The film-

A rehash of "Dr. No", but for my money, it's more betterer.

Famous for having that spiral car jump that they did for real, but plotted out on a super computer.
They don't do shit like that anymore.
They really fucking don't.
They would just do it ON a computer now, and you'd know it was fake, and you'd feel absolutely nothing.

You also got Christopher Lee, and Christopher Lee makes anything awesome.

And, Herve Villachez as a henchman, you can't fucking beat that with a stick.

The history-

Nonuple ditto Dr. No.
Still wasn't born.
Although, could swear I saw this on cable in the 80's before the modern marathons of 'em.


The Spy Who Loved Me


The film-

Yep, for number 10, they really went all out.

The poster says "biggest", and "best", and....I'd say that holds up to this day.
I'm hard pressed to think of ones that top it.

The best Moore one for sure.

The history-

Decuple ditto Dr. No.


Moonraker

The film-

The one with Bond in space.

Yeah, everyone was tryin' to compete with Star Wars.
The thing mutated Hollywood like an A-bomb.

I dunno, I get a kick out of it.

What was so implausible?
The lasers?
There've been lasers in Bond since Goldfinger.

The scale of the space station?
Guess what? A hollowed out volcano would actually co$t more.
If you swallowed volcano bases, ya better shuddup and accept the space station.

Now, if Bond used The Force, then you could cry.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Bond is about lush locations, and bikinis, all right, fine...
"Keep it the same! Keep it the same!".
*Sigh*

The history-

Undecuple ditto Dr. No.
I was born, but not really conscious of these.
All my early budding nerd energies were used up on 'Wars.


For Your Eyes Only


The film-

I can't remember anything about it, and the reviews I dig up to jog my memory keep calling it "forgettable", so...I guess it is.

The history-

Jeez, totally doesn't apply if I can't remember the fuggin' thing, huh?
I remember the theme.
That's it.
I know all the themes.


Octopussy


The film-

Um...I remember the theme ("all time high") I remember the name (duh) I remember the broad, I remember Lois Jourdan as the villain...

The middle bits haven't stayed with me...sorry...

I do remember the whole country becoming a giggling elementary school boy over the fucking title.
*Eye roll*
Yes, it was funny for 15 minutes, let's move on....

The history-

Okay, this one, I was sentient, and it came to HBO a year later.
So, this is where I actually start to remember these.


Never Say Never Again


The film-

Came out the same year as "Octopussy", and that had to be cool for fans.
How often does that happen with a franchise that you get double-decker sequels from two studios?
Pretty damned unprecedented, and as far as I know, un-repeated.

So, this is a remake of "Thunderball", but, people didn't seem to mind so much.
See my rant on rehash-itude in "Majesty's..".

All I can remember, was the guy getting a spear-gun in the dick, and, hot damn, the broads in this!
Those 80's broads!
Sss, those 80's broads, man!!

Yeah, I dig this one.

The history-

Pretty sure this was on HBO too.


A View To A Kill


The film-

The last Roger Moore, and it's pretty good.
You got Grace Jones doing her whole crazy thing, you got Christopher Walken as a villain, you got Duran Duran doing the song.
Very 80's.

The history-

Definitely an HBO.
This is the very first one as a kid I paid attention to all the way through.
I was 10, my neural networks were finally starting to solidify, "grownup stuff", didn't look like static anymore, and yeah, I kept up with this one, and really dug it.

Between that, and how much it drips with 80's pop culture, this one feels like "my", Bond film.
I'm sure everyone's got one.


The Living Daylights


The film-

The first Timothy Dalton Bond.

I liked him.
He played him darker, like the Bond of the novels, which is exactly the take Daniel Craig took, and got applauded for.

I guess "people weren't ready".
*Eye roll*

Aren't you just sick to death of people "not being ready"?
I fucking am.

They "weren't ready", for a new Bond with Lazenby, they "weren't ready", for darker takes with Lazenby, or Dalton, they "weren't ready", for the formula to change...but then they got sick of the formula, but you couldn't change it...

Fuck it, soap box time, expand it out further than fucking movies.
People "weren't ready", for racial integration.
People "weren't ready", for lesbian kisses on TV.
Unh, just every fucking thing.
Every fucking thing is "we're not ready, ehh hehh hehh!!".

Well, shit, 200 fucking years, and people "aren't ready", for gay marriage, or an atheist president.
It's pathetic.
It's fucking pathetic.
It's infantile, it's pathetic, and...I don't get why I'm on the hook to "respect", it.
No one bothers to walk me through that.
Then I'm the fuckin' bad guy for ranting my rants.
I dunno....

What kind of mental-infant population are we dealing with here?

I thought there were fucking adults in charge of this world, I guess not.

Maybe that's why Bond appeals, at least you can dream for two hours that someone with his big-boy drawers on is taking care of business.
(See how I contorted that back on topic? Pretty damned good, huh?)

The history-

I don't think we had HBO anymore, cuz I missed the Dalton ones until the modern basic cable marathons.


License To Kill

The film-

Wow, now this one was darketty-dark-DARK!

Bond vs. Scarface, essentially.

And it plunged right into the forbidden-ness of "Her Majesty's Secret Service", by bringing up Bond's dead wife by having the same shit happening to his buddy, and him going into full bloodthirsty Punisher revenge mode.

I love it.

That's the kinda fucking Bond I wanna see.

But no, they chickenshitted, and let it lie fallow for 6 fuckin' years.
Tch...
Goddamned bunch of babies.

The history-

Ditto Living Daylights.


Goldeneye


The film-

So, when Bond finally came back, it came back with a big fucking bang.

This is easily on the short list for best Bonds ever.

Brosnan's Bond is great, he deliberately makes his a blend of Connery, Moore, and Dalton.

But, it's perhaps more remembered for the video game of the same name.
That thing's a legend for a generation, and it's recently been re-released with new tweaks.

The history-

Saw this one on Showtime.


Tomorrow Never Dies



The film-

I personally think this one might actually be better than Goldeneye, and for me, the peak of the Brosnan Bonds.

Michelle Yoh is a luminous being, I can't get enough of her.
She's fucking awesome in everything.

And you're hard pressed to do better than Jonathan Pryce as a villain.
Our real life moguls are exactly as scary, so it puts a chill in your fucking blood.

The Sheryl Crow song is okay, but I thought the K.D. Lang one on the end credits should have been the opening theme.
Whomever's call that was, it was the wrong one.
Just was.
Neener.

The history-

Saw on DVD.
Have the soundtrack.
Dunno why, glad I do.


The World Is not Enough


The film-

Meh....
They lost their way.

I like the Shirly Manson song though.

The history-

Back to basic cable.


Die Another Day


The film-

Pierce wanted to take this one in the direction Daniel Craig ended up taking it.

They made him do this Madonna-laced Lucas-esqe video game cutscene instead.

It was a critical flop, and a box office "disappointment", and they blamed Brosnan, and fired his ass from any more Bonds.

Then, they get Daniel Craig, and let him reboot it in the style Brosnan wanted to do it in to begin with.

I can't decide of they're idiots, fucks, or both.

The history-

Can't bring myself to watch it.


Casino Royale (2006)


The film-

Everyone's raved about it, I gotta sit down, and see the thing.

I have seen the famous opening leading into the theme, and that much of it is fucking awesome.

For the rest, see again my rant on "Die Another Day".

The history-

See above.


Quantum of Solace


The film-

Haven't heard many good things about this one.

The history-

N/A


Skyfall


The film-

Not made yet.

The history-

N/A

Well....if I'm gonna include the 60's "Casino Royale", I may as well toss in...


Austin Powers: 
International Man Of Mystery


The film-

The movie that saved the 90's.

The history-

Rental.


Austin Powers: 
The Spy Who Shagged Me


The film-

From here...

Not quite as inspired as the first one, but still a worthy flick to mention.
After a couple stinkbombs, Mike Myers was finally on a good roll.
These, the Shreks, ain't nothing bad about being Mike Myers.

Also, the Brits lost their shit over the title.

Hey, dummies, remember when you sent us "Octopussy", back in '83, and we tittered, but didn'ty cry?
Are you ashamed?
Are ya?
Hmnh?
Whaddya think Connery-Bond would think of ya now?
Yeah.
*Arms cross, nods*

The history-

Rental.
Bought the first two as some of my last VHS-es.


Austin Powers: Goldmember


The film-

Weakest of the three, but hey, ya got Michael Cain.

Hey, thanks for the great times, Michael Myers.
You did a good job.

The history-

Got it on DVD, gotta upgrade the other 2...


Aaand, THERE.

Up next....how about Bruce Lee?


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