#1  
Old 11-19-2008, 01:02 AM
Rant's Bond-A-Thon: 007 Reviews

I was introduced to Bond, James Bond with GOLDENEYE in 1995. I was 12, and it was the first Bond flick I had ever seen (I blame my parents for not turning me on to them sooner). I continued watching the Brosnan Bond’s into my teens, catching them all in the theater as they came out. However, I didn’t become a Bond-A-Holic until years later, when my amigo Kain turned me on to the pre-Brosnan Bond’s, starting in chronological order with DR. NO. Not to say that Pierce didn’t spark my fanboy love, I just didn’t fully appreciate the glory that is the 20+ flick legacy that is the 007 collection, until I had seen how it had evolved. But now, I do. I have since watched them all over at least 3 times and I like them more with each viewing.

Well, my itch to watch the series from beginning to end once again is about to be scratched and I figured, what the Hell, why not try my patience and write up a little companion piece to each one and post it for the masses to skim-through and ignore? Well, here I go. I am starting this a little bass-akwards and posting my piece on 007 #21 first. I am doing so for two reasons, 1. It’s his origin story and 2. I wanted to post it side by side with my QUANTUM OF SOLACE review. So, with out further ado, welcome to…

RANT’S BOND-A-THON



CASINO ROYALE
.:BOND #21 (2006):.


CLASSIFIED INTEL: THE PLOT
An adaptation of Ian Fleming’s first novel featuring the British super agent, Commander James Bond. This franchise re-boot introduces us to special agent James Bond, just as he is earning his Double-O status and his license to kill. Unleashed unto the world, Bond goes on his first case as agent 007, taking him to Madagascar, the Bahamas, and eventually Montenegro in pursuit of a ruthless terrorist financier and poker aficionado named Le Chiffre. Keeping Bond in check, as the pursuit brings him to a high stakes poker game, is a gorgeous Treasury official, Vesper Lynd.

THE THEME AND CREDITS:
The Kiss Kiss, will have to wait, this badboy kicks off with the Bang Bang, as Bond, James Bond achieves his mandatory 2 man body count, passing his entrance test into the crème de la crème of the British Secret Service outfits, the “00” unit. Chris Cornell’s YOU KNOW MY NAME slides on the soundtrack like a lubricated prophylactic. James in it’s sights, the blood-dripping Gun Barrel POV shakes in it’s owners death rattle, effectively kicking off one truly bitchin’ Bond Credit Sequence. Now I have to say, I don’t care for the song. Sorry. To be fair though, my music tastes are as finicky as a child born without immunities. What doesn’t kill me, makes me seriously irritated and physically ill. So, I cannot, nor will not, knock this flick, or any of the other’s (for the most part) for my music taste. Plus, the design of the credit sequence by Daniel Kleinman is spot on with the theme of the story and coincides very well with the beats of the mediocre song.


BOND, JAMES BOND: DANIEL CRAIG
BODY BAGS FILLED (10) BOND BABES FULFILLED (1)

With his lucky number 7 bestowed, James is off and running (literally) on his first case. Bond, on the tail of a bomb-maker named Mollaka, gets himself into a parkour chase through Madagascar. This action sequence does nothing if not prove just how unpolished Bond is at this point. In this chase, the pursued is smooth, cunning and fluid, while the pursuer, Bond, is messy, chaotic and cold. His tunnel-vision to his prey is downright scary. Bond practically destroys an entire construction site and becomes the catalyst in causing massive damage to the local embassy, all to try and catch a minnow in the terrorist organization alive. Bond continues this self-righteous recklessness as he works his way up the underworld chain to Le Chiffre.

Craig’s Bond comes off as a snide, brutish asshole as opposed to the familiar sarcastic, suave ladies man depicted in most of the previous installments. I see him as a mix between Dalton and Connery, which for me, is like mixing chocolate with peanut butter. You can’t lose.

“Hey, you got Dalton on my Connery!”
“You got Connery on my Dalton!”
“Hey! This is like pure win!”
“I Concur, wanna go bang hot chicks?”
“Do I!”

Bond continues his bitter douchieness throughout the first half of the picture and really only displays a sense of humor when it involves hurting others feelings and property. He’s pretty much a bully, with a license to kill… not the best combo for whomever pisses in his cornflakes.

But, thankfully, he is not a completely coldhearted bastard, as Bond’s cheeky side comes into play the moment that Vesper arrives. The scene that follows her arrival, is not only my favorite of the film, but easily in the top three of the entire series. In those few minutes we are shown more about what makes him tick, than in the previous hour, all by having a witty exchange of dialogue with Ms. Lynd. For instance, Vesper points out to Bond that if he should lose in his forthcoming poker match, that their government will have directly funded terrorism. The look that he displays at hearing this tells us without a word that he, in fact, had never realized this, as the thought of losing had never entered his mind. This is the ego of Bond and the beginning of Vesper crushing it. It is clear that Bond is more interested in Vesper than ANY woman he has met in, at least a VERY long time and from this point on, Bond is on a mission. Not only to pound out that dent in his armor of ego, but to break Vesper of her distaste in it. ‘Cuz if it is anything that Craig’s Bond can love, it’s a challenge!

Bond continues his emotional growth during the rest of the film. In losing at poker, he learns to deal with failing himself. In getting poisoned, he learns he is not invincible. In being tortured, he learns how his pride and stubbornness can be used when all hope is lost. In falling in love, he learns that… well, even he can fall in love. CASINO ROYLE is by far the best “Bond” Bond. We get to see what really makes him who he is and just why so many of us love and adore him for it. And while Craig isn’t my favorite Bond, he is arguably the best. (I say this, and hold to it, even after watching the next installment.)

THE BOND VILLAIN(S):


Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre

One of my favorites. Mikkelsen hits this one out of the park. One of the most human of all Bond’s nemeses, he is constantly screwing up and not just in underestimating Bond. He messes up all over the place. Not only does this guy have MI-6 on his tail, he also has his employers, the CIA and a couple of pissed off criminal investors from Madagascar (and I don’t mean that shitty Move-It Move-It Kids movie) after him. Not to mention, he is a pretty sick puppy. From not protesting when two thugs threaten to mutilate his girlfriend to resorting to castrating his men for information, this guy is a major douche. He is overconfident, wormy and overall, you can’t wait to see him get his comeuppance.

Jesper Christensen as Mr. White

Not much can be said for the man, other than we know he is pulling ‘ze strings. Appearing only briefly in this film, he is more of a presence than a certified Bond villain, he shows up only when a deal is about to be made or broken and disappears like Keyser Söze. But for what we do see of him, I dig it.

THE BOND GIRLS:


Caterina Murino as Solange Dimitrios

She’s sexy, she’s sultry, she’s stupefying gorgeous in any attire, but she’s not single. Perfect. At least for Bond anyways. Bond likes to keep his sex life simple, and he does this by only getting involved with non-single women. Sex with copious amounts of hot exotic women and zero emotional attachment, sign me up. Thing is, Bond does not bag this particular dame. Going against the series standard, Bond chooses his assignment, which he isn’t even supposed to be on, to sticking around and “Finding Out”. It’s sad really, as Ms. Murino is one drop dread (literally) Bond Babe.


Eva Green as Vesper Lynd

Ah, the reason why James IS Bond. The Yin to Bond’s Yang, the vodka to his martini, the single-column magazine to his Walther PPK. For many, Eva is THE Bond girl and I can understand why. She is by far and away the most crucial girl in Bond’s parking garage sized stable.

One of only two women that were able to break Bond down to a relationship, Vesper is something special. She is smart, cunning, witty and pretty in a way that makes me want to cut myself. Most importantly though, she is flawed. Shortly after meeting Bond, she is successful in making him feel human, or at least, less than a God amongst men.

For example: When checking into the Casino’s hotel, Bond gives away his real name to the staff and angers her. Vesper makes Bond take the stairs up to their room as, “There is not enough room in here (the elevator) for your ego.” The problem here is, as Bond states it, “You mistake our (meaning men) insecurities for arrogance.” Bond gave away his presumed cover as an attempt to pump himself back up for the doubt that Vesper instilled the previous night. This is his insecurity. Vesper misses this time and time again, and it leads to her downfall. Bond doesn’t HAVE a massive ego, he IS his massive ego, because it is the only way that he is able to survive. Call it the Clip Is Half-Full Approach to his dealing with things. But what is so great about her character, is that she breaks all this apart by caring for him. She gives him his first tux, she shows him through her innocence that killing isn’t so simply black and white and she breaks down his armor of ego and makes him care about something other than himself and the job-at-hand, which consequently makes him unable to continue in his line of work.

The sad/great for us, thing about it is, she is playing him the whole time. Though eventually her love for her ’kidnapped’ mate is displaced and turned to Bond, she does what she set out to do and ends up destroying James in the process. This pains her so much that she takes her own life. “The Bitch is dead.” Shakespeare, eat your heart out.

An interesting thing about all this is that Bond falls in love for the first time, breaking his adultery-only approach to women, only to find out that Vesper is not single after all. Talk about an unhealthy attraction. I think it is safe to assume that this is why Bond reverts, or rather will revert back to his style of using women like shake-and-bake bags, bi-weekly check-ups for STD’s be damned. In her death, the building of a new suit of armor begins, but perhaps this time, it might be a little more pliable and we might get to see Bond lighten up a bit.

THE BOND-AIDS: (GADGETS, CARS & FELLOW AGENTS)

GADGETS: Aside from a portable defibrillator and a GPS microchip implant, there's nada. At least nothing worth going on about.

CARS: Bond wins the classic 1963 Aston Martin DB5 in a poker game and is given a 2006 model from M. Sweet.

FELLOW AGENTS:

Judi Dench as M

To me Judi Dench IS M. Like I said before, my first Bond was GOLDENEYE, so this is who I grew up with and this is who I love. Judi is great as M, but her character has changed with the times and circumstances of the films. When she started with Bosnan, they hated one another, but as this is a reboot, they have a more love-hate thing going on. She knows that he has potential to be the best and their relationship mirrors it. Not to say that she doesn’t keep him in check (as much as she can anyways), she knocks what she can off his ego, but in the end, both her and Bond know, he's the Man.


Giancarlo Giannini as René Mathis

I like the actor, but the character annoyed me. It almost seems he is in the film for only two reasons. 1. To stand beside the 4th wall and explain the card game and 2. To be the red herring. The second was cool in teaching Bond he can’t trust anyone, but IMO, they screwed it up in the sequel.

Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter

I loved this guy! Not only was it a blast to see Felix (at the time, I hadn’t read the book, so I didn’t expect him) but it was a pleasant surprise having an award winning Black dude play him. Wright gave a memorable and fun take on Bond’s American field buddy, my only complaint being I would have liked to have seen more of him.

DEBRIEFING: FINAL THOUGHTS
All-in-all, this is probably the most solid Bond film in the series. The script, the score, the shots: oh, man the shots. Pause the flick at random and odds are you will find the still to be wallpaper worthy, the film is that gorgeous. I have watched this one at least 5 times and I like it more with each viewing. The pacing is great and while I believe it is one of, if not, the longest time wise, this flick books. It’s fast paced without making me feel like an amusement park ride. I.E. A lot of build up, 2 minutes of fun and thrills and it’s on to the next line. ~coughQuantumofSolacecough~ Now while I can’t speak for the pre-’90’s, I think I am safe in saying this film caught THE most shit before it’s release, with entire websites devoted to bashing Daniel Craig, to dozens of false reports and rumors of turmoil on the set. It’s cool to see a film come back from all the negative hype to smear the nay-sayers’ noses in their own carpet-dookie. A modern classic. And as always, Fuck Jason Bourne. THIS is how you make a spy movie.

10 outta 10


~RANT will return in (a review of) QUANTUM OF SUCKAS…erHmm SOLACE~


...hopefully it won't take me 2 years, but I am extremely lazy... just don't hold your breath. Thanks for reading.

Last edited by Rant; 11-19-2008 at 01:07 AM..
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2008, 03:23 PM
Awesome freaking review man.

I agree completely. My second favorite Bond film.

9/10
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2008, 05:21 PM
Also my 2nd favorite Bond film, behind Goldfinger. I loved the characters, the story, the action, just about everything.

9/10
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2008, 05:58 PM
Great Review, and good thread. I love James Bond movies, but I didn't care much for Casino Royal. I'm not saying I don't like Craig as Bond. But I think he is too serious as 007.

I gave Casino Royal a 6/10
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2008, 06:45 PM
I think i like your reviews more than the movies themselfs. Good job.
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  #6  
Old 11-20-2008, 09:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by poopontheshoes7 View Post
Awesome freaking review man.

I agree completely. My second favorite Bond film.

9/10
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigred760 View Post
Also my 2nd favorite Bond film, behind Goldfinger. I loved the characters, the story, the action, just about everything.

9/10
I would say Casino is in my top 3, as I plan on getting around to reviewing all the films, I'll leave what tops it for the write-up. But like I said above, this is arguably the best all-a-round.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geddy View Post
Great Review, and good thread. I love James Bond movies, but I didn't care much for Casino Royal. I'm not saying I don't like Craig as Bond. But I think he is too serious as 007.

I gave Casino Royal a 6/10
Thank you. And hey, no 2 Bond fans are alike, but we can unite just the same in our love for Mister Double O.

Quote:
Originally Posted by D.B. Cooper View Post
I think i like your reviews more than the movies themselfs. Good job.
That's very cool of you to say, sincerely Thanks.

I hope to start my write up on QUANTUM soon and have it posted in the next few days, thanks for reading guys and if you feel like going the distance with me, check back in a few to read the next one. Piece out ~
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2008, 12:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rant View Post
And hey, no 2 Bond fans are alike, but we can unite just the same in our love for Mister Double O.
Amen to that.
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2008, 05:06 PM
I'd give Casino Royale a 9/10 probably.. but Quantum of Suckas as you called it was very good as well. 8/10 from me. I don't understand all the hate for it.
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  #9  
Old 11-21-2008, 07:12 PM
Casino Royale is one great Bond movie. It get's 4.5/5 from me. It's currently ranked 2 in my fav. Bonds right behind Goldfinger.
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2008, 08:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbunn10 View Post
I'd give Casino Royale a 9/10 probably.. but Quantum of Suckas as you called it was very good as well. 8/10 from me. I don't understand all the hate for it.
Rest assured, I'll explain.
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  #11  
Old 11-21-2008, 11:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rant View Post
Rest assured, I'll explain.
Well I've heard all of the negative reviews... the complaints seem insignificant in comparison to the pros of the movie.
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  #12  
Old 11-23-2008, 08:47 PM
RANT'S BOND-A-THON: QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008)

ATTENTION: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS


QUANTUM OF SOLACE
.:BOND #22 (2008):.


CLASSIFIED INTEL: THE PLOT

Daniel Craig’s James Bond returns in the (kinda-sorta-not-really-if-you-think-about-it) “first” direct sequel to the previous installment. The kinda-sorta statement above, is because the first seven official Bond flicks have a pretty solid through-line, so I think it is unfair to deem this the “first direct Bond sequel“, but whatever, it is the first to take place after the last, in such a short span of time. Anyways, Bond is on the hunt to find the men behind the events that lead to his beloved Vesper‘s suicide and he is PISSED. Along the way to finding closure, Bond uncovers a nefarious plan for a coup on the government of Bolivia organized by the chairman of an ecological organization, Greene Planet, named Dominic Greene.

THE THEME AND CREDITS:
The flick picks up with Bond in the middle of a car chase, in which I believe he was trying to escape from what I can only assume (due to the final trunk shot) are associates of Mr. White. Now, I used the words “believe” and “assume” above, because truth be told, I couldn’t follow a God-Dammed thing in the entire pre-credits sequence. If the intention of the sequence was to make me feel as though I were in the middle of a high speed car accident, then kudos, because the only way in which I can explain what I saw will sound like I am recounting being in one.

I remember I heard a lot of loud gunfire noises, followed by some glass breaking, at one point I remember seeing Daniel Craig before slamming into the side of what I think was a semi. The driver side door flew off and after that I felt very disoriented and confused. The last thing I remember seeing was another car going over a cliff edge, at which point I closed my eyes and tucked myself into a tight ball of false security and shattered dreams. The next thing I know, I’m listening to the sound of muffled fart noises followed by mediocre jazz piano. I later pieced together that the sounds bringing me back to the land of conscious thought was the first duet in Bond theme history.

One of the two guys from The White Stripes and that assassin with the huge ass from SMOKIN’ ACES collaborated on one of the lamest Bond Songs ever, ANOTHER WAY TO DIE. Which sounds to me like a corruption of the theme from JAWS mixed with a recording of a bunch of pixie-stick fueled toddlers banging on various kitchen appliances. ANOTHER WAY TO SKREW THE POOCH IN DOLBY DIGITAL more like it. Again… I think most music sucks, but combine this affront to my ear canals with the worst credit sequence in recent Bond memory, and you have one pissy little movie nerd to contend with.

The credit animation is nothing more than re-used Sandman special effects from SPIDER-MAN 3 with superimposed pictures of Daniel Craig thrown on top. Honestly, it looks like the opening to a presentation of Laser-Floyd. Yuck. So, I’m about 5 to 6 minutes into this film and I imagine my face looks like Randy the Red-Haired puppet’s from Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Pissed off and ready to punch a dork wearing a bowtie.


BOND, JAMES BOND: DANIEL CRAIG
BODY BAGS FILLED (12*) BOND BABES FULFILLED (1)

Thankfully, Bond is not that dork. Craig of course returns for his sophomore run on the 007 freight train of awesomeness. Or at least it would be if anyone but him seemed to give a damn. But that’s beside the point in this paragraph. So, Bond is back and kicking more ass than a chorus line of Van Dammes’ at a county fair petting zoo.

There is very little about this entry that I can say I enjoyed, but thankfully, Daniel Craig is one of them. Now, I am very specific in saying DANIEL CRAIG and not JAMES BOND. I have all sorts of issues with that asshole, but I thought given what and who he had to work with, Craig was all I could have hoped for. Thanks Danny Boy. On to my beef with Jimmy B.

Now, I generally feel it is unfair to compare one Bond film to another, but this flick is asking for it by being a direct sequel. At the end of CASINO, James effectively becomes BOND. He says his line, followed by (for the first time) the 007 Theme. This is the cheeky way in which Martin Campbell was letting us know, hey, that was the origin story and from now on, it’s balls to the wall Bond, baby. Well… apparently this was not good enough for the money behind the franchise. That Bond gets put on the back burner and we are given, “BOND SMASH!” Look, I’m all for a darker James, so long as I can still tell that he IS still Bond.

Gone again are Bond’s catch phrases and theme music and not even in a cheeky “We’ll get to it!” way. Bond has been reverted back to being a bully and a general douche. Sigh. Gone also are the little nuances that show us the lighter side of the Spy World, like drinking, gambling and sexy parties, as there was no room for any fun amidst all the incomprehensible action. Double Sigh. I think if they are able to bring back the cliché ‘Anti-Spy Organization’, the exploding base of operations and the gun barrel POV, I want to know why they can’t have Craig say, Bond--James Bond and give me a little fanboy thrill in an otherwise boring as Grandpa watching the weather channel, generic action movie. That’s right, I said BORING. The bottom line here is, this didn’t feel like a 007 picture to me and that is largely because Bond didn’t behave like Bond. This is the first time in over 40+ years and 22 films, I’ve felt this way. What a let down. And I quote Richie Cusack from HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, “How--Do--You Fuck That Up?!”

*Tentative. Needs to be verified via DVD.

THE BOND VILLAIN(S):


Jesper Christensen as Mr. White

I was super-d-duper excited to see that J.C. was coming back for the sequel. I couldn’t wait to find out just who this guy was and who his connections are and most importantly to see how bad Bond was going to make him pay. So, yeah… pretty disappointed. Not only did we find out jack about him, other than that he thinks it’s humorous how little we know about him… but we only get to see him for about 2 minutes longer than the last time. Ass-Bawls. Here’s hope’n for 3 more minutes in the inevitable third flick. ~Finger’s Crossed!~

Mathieu Amalric as Dominic Greene

Al Gore’s wet dream, or so it seems. Dom plays the role of a sharing and caring Greenpeace Hippie Type, while on the downlow he is working for the mysterious organization called QUANTUM. What does he do for them you ask? Well, he helps dictators in overthrowing various governments in exchange for seemingly worthless pieces of land. Lame, right? But wait, the land he is obtaining in Bolivia, is in fact NOT useless, as beneath the soil rests a large portion of the country’s fresh water supply. So, Greene helps appoint a new dictator and then forces them to sign over large sums of money for H2O distribution. What A Pussy. OK, so, Bond Villain’s evil schemes often match the problems and fears of the times, but is this the best they could do? Meh.

Amalric does well with what he is given, but he’s just so damn forgettable. The best I can say for him, is that he fights pretty good for his size, the little guys are usually scrappy and he is no exception. He really goes for the jugular and his blow-for-blow fight with Bond is easily the only half-interesting bit of action cinema in the whole film.

THE BOND GIRLS:

Gemma Arterton as MI6 Agent Strawberry Fields

What a knockout! Well… on the next girl!

OK, just kidding. But there isn’t a lot to say about this gal. From the moment she shows up, she has this befuddled look on her face, that a friend of mine calls the “It’s my Birthday?!” look. She just looks like she doesn’t have a clue what’s going on, and to be fair, I can relate. Also, it’s not like this is ‘Christmas Jones’ territory, but I’m supposed to believe that this girl is cunning and clever enough to be an undercover agent for MI:6? I don’t think so. She looks like she has a hard enough time remembering to breathe while walking, let alone pull off covert operations. And as it turns out, I was right. Captain GreeneEarth saw through her act like a telescope lens.

Course, maybe I’m just an asshole and it could all be a ruse, designed to make her seem less likely an agent, but I doubt it. Stick to what you’re good at, standing there and looking pretty. That is not an insult, shit.. I couldn’t do it. Oh, and something positive, I love the hair and name, it’s just a pity they didn’t bother to play that up, I guess that would make the film seem a little too like one of those silly 007 movies.

On a side note, Field’s death has a notable reference to GOLDFINGER. Strawberry meets the same fate as Jill Masterton in that she is suffocated and left dead on Bond’s bed. Only this time, instead of dying of the old gold-paint-skin-suffocation trick, the villains drown her ass in the new federal reserve, Oil that is, Black Gold, Texas-T. This was a clever and fun little nod, that is until they pulled what I like to call a “Werewolves” faux pas.

To explain: Though it has happened before in many a movie, I first took offense to this film technique in the movie UNDERWORLD. It happens shortly after Selene rescues Michael from his Lycan pursuers and while escaping she explains with the following, “Whether you like it or not, you're in the middle of a war that has been raging for the better part of a thousand years. A blood feud between vampires and lycans… Werewolves.” That last word is for the cheap seats, it’s a “I have to spell this out for you because your dumb movie-watching ass is too stupid to figure out that the word lycan is referring to that man who turned into a giant wolf.” Long story short, that same thing happens here. Not only do they make it clear that this is a reference/homage to GOLDFINGER, , but they slap the 007 fans in the face with it. They somehow felt the need to fade the final shot in the scene into a still shot of her body in the exact position as Jill Masterson. Thanks, but no thanks.

Olga Kurylenko as Camille Montes

I really wanted to like her, but I just couldn’t. Sorry, I know this review is starting to sound like a bitch-fest, but it’s just how I feel. There are two pieces that make up the sum of QUANTUM OF SOLACE, Forgiveness and Revenge, Camille representing the latter. Working for years as an agent (for whom I can’t recall) she has finally gotten close enough to the man who raped and murdered her family, leaving her with nothing but a bag full of physical and emotional scars. She meets Bond while on her vendetta, and it turns out that the man who screwed her over, is the General that Greene is aiding into power in Bolivia. It’s a match made in third-world heaven.

I read review after review saying how Camille is “Not your average Bond Girl”, I have to say I disagree. My problem with her is that she is a simply a watered down Melina Havelock from FOR YOUR EYES ONLY without being nearly as mysterious, sexy, or interesting. She helps set up Bond for the few instances of humor within the film and even with a real, but queer looking tan, she’s pretty enough rub one out to, but like with Ms. Fields, looks ain’t everything and I had an overall, “Who cares?” approach to her character.

One thing I did like that she provided, however, happened toward the end of the flick. Camille becomes struck with paralyzing fear in her burning surroundings as the building around in engulfed in flame. Bond forgoes chasing after Greene and rushes to be by her side. It becomes a true turning point for his character. Just like in CASINO, when James comforted Vesper amidst the falling water of a shower, he now comforts Camille amidst certain death. Believing that this is the end, Bond and the girl are given a second chance in their final moments as Bond uses his quick wits to blow open an exit before burning alive. He couldn’t save Vesper, he couldn’t save Mathis, but Damn if he didn’t rescue this bombshell. The girl lives and gives James new hope and a “can’t rain all the time” attitude that might just save his soul. He is still a pretty cold hearted bastard, to be sure, but he doesn’t outright kill anyone for the rest of the film, for as fate gave him a second chance to live and be the hero, he too gives in fair trade. So yeah, her character wasn’t a complete waste.

-----

Last edited by Rant; 11-23-2008 at 08:54 PM..
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  #13  
Old 11-23-2008, 08:51 PM
continued...

THE BOND-AIDS:

GADGETS: Nope.

CARS: Bond totals his 2006 Aston Martin from the last film in the opening scene. At least I think it was the same car…

Judi Dench as M

Once again, Dame Judi was a peach. Sharp, spunky and fun, she is the only thing aside from Daniel that made this film bearable for me to watch. This time around she is given a lot more screen time, and thank fuck because her scenes with Bond are the best this flick has to offer. The camera was still and fluid and I was able to forget, at least for the duration of the scene, about how disappointed I was with everything else. She brings with her the lighthearted fun and character driven dialogue that is absent throughout the rest of the picture. I swear, if she were 50 years younger I’d hit that like the fist of an angry God. Grrrowl.


Giancarlo Giannini as René Mathis

The plucky Frenchman returns to represent the “Forgiveness” aspect of Bond’s quest for Solace and in my opinion, the filmmakers ruin a really cool opportunity for a potentially reoccurring character. Like I said before, I was upset about how Mathis ended up just being a Red Herring in CASINO, as it is confirmed here in the sequel, he was innocent. Now, I thought it would have been sweet to see Mathis pop up in perhaps the third installment with a vendetta against Bond for ruining his good name and career. Maybe having joined QUANTUM or something, I don’t know. But, that is not the case. Again, I liked Giannini as an actor, but Mathis turned out to be just another disposable tool, much like the jetpacks of yore. It is to be a shame. C'est la vie.


Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter

Again, I Loved This Guy! Too bad all he did was sit around with a scowl, looking pissed. WTF? In the end the filmmakers made sure to mention that he had been promoted and gave hint that we would likely be seeing him again. Cool. This film really could have used a “Buddy-Cop” feel. I think it would have taken some of the stress off of the audience for having to put up with Bond’s steamroller personality. Too bad, really. Love ya, Felix!

DEBRIEFING: FINAL THOUGHTS
All-in-all, this is probably the most solid Bond film in the series. No, wait… that was CASINO ROYALE. What I meant to say was: All-in-All, this is probably the most disappointing Bond film in the series. For a multitude of reasons. Yes, that’s right kiddies, it has come time to talk about the elephant in the room:

Bourne--James Bourne
Back in the ‘70’s the “New John Wayne”, Clint Eastwood, was beginning to widen his creative horizons by branching out of his western roots and making the move to a more modern action hero. The Dirty Harry franchise became a smash hit and suddenly the “New Guy” became the basis for comparison. Shortly after this John Wayne’s repertoire miraculously expanded to include the Hard-Boiled Cop genre with such films as BRANNIGAN and MCQ. Almost 40 years later, film history repeats itself again.

In 2002, director Doug Liman wanted to make “a Bond for a new generation” and Jason was Bourne. In keeping with the fads and trends of teenage boys and folks over 65, the producers of 007 decided to reconfigure their franchise. Now, I’m all for tweaking and changing shit up, but when you strip away all the little things that make James-Bond, you have just another hard-ass with a bone to pick. They don’t seem to realize that even though a lot of people love Jason Bourne, they can still love James Bond.

Even with the changes made to update Bond in CASINO, he was still very much Bond. In the baby-stages to be sure, but still Bond. This apparently wasn’t enough. This time ‘round the producers decided to not only hire the 2nd unit director of THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, but the editor and stunt crew as well. The films have become so similar, I might as jolly well just watch the God damn Bourne sequels. At least then I wouldn’t feel like I was being molested by money hungry studio whores who only want to break my fanboy heart. Those bastards.

Ask yourself this question, if you were to take away all the familiar names of the characters in this film, would you be able to tell it was a Bond film? Let me ask another rhetorical question, what is the point of seeing an action movie in the theaters if I can’t tell what the hell is going on? Answer: None what-so-fuckin-ever. I HATE shaky cam with every fiber of my pasty overweight being. I swear, Joel Silver needs to bust John McTiernan out of jail so together they can save action cinema before it is completely transformed into this Michael Bay/Paul Greengrassesque 3-cuts-per-second style of filming. If any man can save it, it’s McTiernan. John has what he calls “the geography of the scene.” OK, that means, when shooting action, it is imperative for the audience to know A. Where the people are. B. What they are doing and C. Why. This film fails so epically at each and every aspect of this idea. In under an hour, Bond manages to get himself into 5 separate chases: A Car Chase, A Foot Chase, A Motorcycle Chase, A Boat Chase and A Plane Chase, all of which are amongst the most boring scenes action scenes I‘ve ever seen.

Now, I’m a huge fan of bad-ass cinema and once an action scene begins, my brain immediately goes to work at figuring out the “geography of the scene.” But in this case it is impossible, as not only are there no wide or establishing shots, but by the time that 10 seconds have passed in any of the given action sequences, we have already seen approximately 30+ cuts. After those first 10 seconds, my mind is already backtracking trying to figure out just who was where, what they were doing and why they were doing it. And in taking this time to sort things out in my head, I have already missed the next 50 cuts, and thus I am lost for the rest of the sequence. Fuck it. I can’t deal and my brain shuts off. Less than 30 seconds into each action scene I had given up and tuned out. I never thought I would be so eagerly awaiting the expositional dialogue scenes, but there I was doing it. If for nothing else but to give my eyes a rest and with any luck have them tell me a little bit about what I was supposed to have seen.

Some of my quandaries never got answered though. For instance, why did the camera cut back to the shaky shot of the crowd after Bond was already on to the BOURNE ULTIMATUM-cloned rooftop scene? What the Hell was that hook connected to that Bond latched onto the pursuing boat, causing it to explode? Why did Bond lower the landing gear on the plane to only have it back up again in the next 3 seconds? For that matter, where did those other fighter jets come from? And so on, and so on.

For me, if this is how they are going to shoot action, they might as well just rapidly cut together a string of still frames shot in extreme close up. At least then the God damn thing wouldn’t be moving around faster than my eye can interpret it. I know a lot of you kids out there like this shit, but I just can’t understand the appeal. I don’t want to feel like I am in the middle of the action, if I wanted that, I can go to a fucking theme park and take a ride in a tumble box. I want to WATCH the action. I like to hang back a few yards and sit still, back where the camera should be, as to fully understand what it is I am seeing. As it stands, this crap just looks like 15 camera operators in dinner suits banging into one another at the expense of over 100 million dollars.

Which brings me to another gripe. How the Hell did this film end up being the most expensive Bonds ever shot? Can someone explain this to me? The best I can figure is that they spent it all on plane tickets ‘cuz Bond is hopping borders more than Carmen Sandiego cashing in her frequent flyer miles. I couldn’t keep track, man! Good god, every other scene he is in a different third world country getting into an incomprehensible chase sequence. Jebus Christos eating Cheetoes!

In closing, I have never looked so forward to a Bond film and I have never been so let down. Even mediocre and silly Bond films like MOONRAKER and DIE ANOTHER DAY are superior to this one. If for nothing else, at least it was never a chore to follow along and I could see and understand all the glorified goofy action in wonderful underused steady cam. I miss that, I really do. I never thought a CG Bond surfing on an avalanche after jumping out of his invisible car would top the sequel to CASINO ROYALE… Honestly, I thought GET SMART was a better executed spy flick and that’s just sad.

I refuse to end this on a bad note, so I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the closing scene with Vesper’s ex. I thought that was great. It’s just a shame that it wasn’t the pre-credits sequence to a much better movie. That's it for me. See you next time, underneath the mango tree. Peace.

4 outta 10

~RANT will return in (a review of) DR. NO~

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  #14  
Old 11-23-2008, 09:31 PM
Wow, what a review. Although I highly, highly disagree.

I didnt find the action to be nearly as unwatchable as people are making it out to be. Almaric was effective as the villain. Kurylenko is gorgeous and a suprisingly good actress. Dench rocked as M. The plot wasnt any worse of convoluted then any other Bond film imo. Watching Casino Royale is essential though.

QOS is an exciting, brutal and wonderfully shot Bond film.
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  #15  
Old 11-23-2008, 10:40 PM
I agree with Poopontheshoes. I appreciate the depth of your review, Rant, but I thought QOS was one of the better Bond films.
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  #16  
Old 11-24-2008, 06:54 AM
I also enjoyed Quantum of Solace. Like you said Rant, it is a direct sequel and yet you expected Bond to be all charming, suave, and funny in a matter of hours after losing the woman he loved? I consider it a Bond movie because the main character's name is James Bond, and his boss's name was 'M', and his pal in the CIA is named Felix Leiter. I thought I would miss the gadgets and the cars, but I didn't in Casino Royale and I didn't here. And this car isn't the first one James Bond has totaled in the Bond series. I enjoyed the action, the continued growth of James Bond's character (although there wasn't as much as the previous installment), and the continued story of Bond looking to catch Vesper's killers. QoS won't be remembered as one of the best Bond movies because a lot of its elements aren't too memorable - I'll give you that - but the movie was a lot of fun for me to watch and I can't wait for the next one.

8/10
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  #17  
Old 11-24-2008, 09:29 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by poopontheshoes7 View Post
Wow, what a review. Although I highly, highly disagree.

I didnt find the action to be nearly as unwatchable as people are making it out to be. Almaric was effective as the villain. Kurylenko is gorgeous and a suprisingly good actress. Dench rocked as M. The plot wasnt any worse of convoluted then any other Bond film imo. Watching Casino Royale is essential though.

QOS is an exciting, brutal and wonderfully shot Bond film.
I need to set a couple things strait here.
1. I didn't say that Almaric wasn't effective, in fact I gave him that in the final part of his blurb, what I said was that he was Lame. This is a gripe to the writers.
2. I agreed that Kurylenko was gorgeous, and I could also agree that she was a "surprisingly good" actress, but based on what I've seen of her in HITMAN and MAX PAYNE, she was bound to top herself. My gripe on her was that she was a weaker version of a much better Bond Girl and I don't like that people keep giving her character bonus points for originality.
3. I gave Dench NOTHING BUT Praise... I don't understand how that could be missed.
4. I never said, that the PLOT was hard to follow, I claim that the ACTION was hard to follow. And seeing as how 75% of the film was delivered in ACTION scenes that I could not follow, the film becomes convoluted. But the Plot was in fact Very simple and easy to understand, I agree.
So, if you look at these points, we are actually a lot closer in agreement than what you might have thought, the only big difference between us, is that you liked the film for most of the reasons that I didn't. And that's cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbunn10 View Post
I agree with Poopontheshoes. I appreciate the depth of your review, Rant, but I thought QOS was one of the better Bond films.
If you read my response to Poop's post, I think you'll see that we are also closer in agreement than you might think. And I'm glad that both you guys dug the flick, I just wanted something more like the previous film. It's like I asked for an apple and was handed an orange and when I call the vender on it he says, "What are you complaining about? It's all fruit!" Yeah, that's true, but an apple can kick a oranges ass any day and I want my God Damn Money Back.

And thanks to both of you cats for reading, I'm sure when I post more reviews of the earlier flicks, we'll be in much closer agreement. Cheers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigred760 View Post
I also enjoyed Quantum of Solace. Like you said Rant, it is a direct sequel and yet you expected Bond to be all charming, suave, and funny in a matter of hours after losing the woman he loved? I consider it a Bond movie because the main character's name is James Bond, and his boss's name was 'M', and his pal in the CIA is named Felix Leiter. I thought I would miss the gadgets and the cars, but I didn't in Casino Royale and I didn't here. And this car isn't the first one James Bond has totaled in the Bond series. I enjoyed the action, the continued growth of James Bond's character (although there wasn't as much as the previous installment), and the continued story of Bond looking to catch Vesper's killers. QoS won't be remembered as one of the best Bond movies because a lot of its elements aren't too memorable - I'll give you that - but the movie was a lot of fun for me to watch and I can't wait for the next one.

8/10
We are in more agreement as well than you might think. I never said that I EXPECTED him to be all those things, I simply thought that they SHOULD have made progress toward them. And in a way, they kind of did by giving Bond closure, but like I said in the final paragraph of my review, I thought that that should have happened in the beginning of a better film. Just my opinion. And I agreed that what made this a Bond movie was the names. Take those away, though and what do you have? A Bourne Clone. And I know, people love Bourne, I just happen to think he is a dickwad. Also, I don't have a problem with him not having the recognizable gadgets and cars, if you notice I never bitched about that, I have the spots reserved in my review format, as those things will need talking about in future reviews. I like that they took a lot of the corniness out, I just wish they hadn't taken the fun along with it this time. I really would have been fine and dandy with the story if sooo much of it hadn't revolved around the action, because I hate the way in which it was shot and cut. If it had simply been filmed like ANY of the other Bond's, I guarantee my review would have been MUCH more positive and the outcome of my score in the 7-8 range. Oh, and I too am still highly looking forward to the next installment, provided they don't bring back the same style of action editing... ~Fingers Crossed~

Thanks for reading. Peace out.
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  #18  
Old 11-24-2008, 10:16 AM
Oh hey man, I wasnt referencing your review in my post, just offering my two cents and refering to complaints in general.
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  #19  
Old 11-24-2008, 11:58 AM
Ah. Sorry for the misinterpretation. I took the "2 cents" as a "Why" you disagreed.
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  #20  
Old 11-25-2008, 03:35 PM
I can see how you thought the action was hard to follow.. it was pretty non-stop and fast paced, and I too was expecting something much different. It was a much darker film than I expected.. he was just kicking everyone's ass, being a cold and indifferent killer. After watching it again, I knew what type of movie it was, and I liked it even more. Still though, I think it bothered you more than it did me. But we are all different.
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  #21  
Old 12-03-2008, 06:43 PM
RANT'S BOND-A-THON: DR. NO (1962)

ATTENTION: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS

DR. NO
.:BOND #01 (1962):.


CLASSIFIED INTEL: THE PLOT
Bond is playing the role of the clean-up hitter by cruising down to Jamaica with orders from M to investigate the death of fellow agent John Strangways and his secretary. With a secondary objective to determine whether or not their disappearance is related to some disrupted missile launchings for the CIA. Bond’s keen detection skills lead him to a small island named Crab Key and it’s mysterious owner, Dr. Julius No.

THE THEME AND CREDITS

Bring on that Gun barrel POV Logo baby! Arguably, the most recognizable image from the film series and for good reason, as it is 150% Mutha-Fucka. Added late in post, it was thrown in as almost an afterthought and the role of the Bond’s silhouette was played by Mr. Connery’s stunt double, Bob Simmons. True Fact. I love stunt-man appreciation. So, already this flick is off to a kick-ass start. Now, in future installments, the POV shot is a lead-in to the opening action sequence, but that tradition didn’t get started until the next flick. So for now, we have to settle for the first ever BOND CREDIT SEQUENCE… and, I have to say, it’s pretty lackluster. Blasphemy, I know, but the whole sequence centers around some Technicolor polka dots and conga dancers. Meh. But, whatever, that shit flies by the way side, as for a good portion of the credits we get to listen to the most famous franchise theme music in cinematic history. Originating from the song “Good Sign, Bad Sign” composed by Monty Norman, the track was re-arranged and orchestrated by the musical genius, John Barry. It is, in a word: Fantasmorgasmic. So, all-in-all, not bad for the baby-steps that would grow up and become a beautiful bouncing bad-ass piece of Action Movie history.



BOND, JAMES BOND: SEAN CONNERY
BODY BAGS FILLED (4 + a Spider) BOND BABES FULFILLED (3)

He’s tall, he’s dark, he’s hansom in a toupee, he’s smoking’ (literally) and most of all, he’s shexshy. He’s Sean ‘the Scot’ Connery. We are introduced to his roguish good looks after a series of camera shots that establish his location, but only tease at to what he looks like. It isn’t until the TRUE first Bond Girl sets up his most famous line, that he is unveiled to the audience.

Bond:
I admire your courage, Miss...?
Sylvia: Trench. Sylvia Trench. I admire your luck, Mr...?
Bond: Bond. ~Lights Cigarette~ James Bond.

Que the theme music. The cool thing about this scene is that it is intended as a comedic moment, and though it is that, it also came off as just plain badass. Most people, I think, miss the fact that he is just mimicking the way that Sylvia introduced herself, because he is a smartass and the best way to bag a beautiful lady is to mock her and attack her ego. All it takes is a hop, skip and a shit-eating grin later and he’s in like a dirty shirt. Bond is very cocksure, but it works because he is so charming. The audience must have thought this as well, because to the best of my knowledge, they have the character of Bond deliver it in every subsequent film. (Except for QUANTUM, but I won’t get into that bullshit here.) Connery, combined with director Terrance Young’s influence, crafts the perfect gentleman spy. Darkly Witty yet Brashly Sophisticated, Smooth yet Ruthless, Cheeky yet Cold, Sean Connery was James Bond. And we’re on our way.

Reporting for duty, Bond checks in late with his version of the clock-punch: A Toss of the Hat. Perfect, every time. After some witty banter with film-staple, Miss Moneypenny, James is back on the job, getting chastised for not sticking to the 007 code of arms. This establishes him, early-on as the “Rebel” agent. They don’t use him because they want to, they use him because he is so damn good, despite his idiosyncratic routines and egotistical domineer.

Regrettably outfitted with his industry standard Walther PPK and the lowdown of his latest assignment, Bond is off to kick some Caribbean ass… right after he ties up the loose ends of this night’s sexual endeavor that his, Oh, James! Connery is a great Bond and is understandably most fan’s choice when it comes down to picking favorites. I myself love the old rascal and even in his lackluster (official) farewell performance, I find myself again and again thinking how he was the best part of bringing Bond to the big screen. There is nothing bad to say about the man. I salute you, Sir Connery.

THE BOND VILLAIN(S):
Anthony Dawson as Professor R. J. Dent

The First “Number Two” type character. A local metallurgist, he is also a part-time unwilling assassin for Dr. No. Dent doesn’t have a large role in the film, but along with Miss. Taro, he serves as a great conduit for the evil schemes of the film’s main villain. He is a coward at heart and does a good job of showing us how far people will stoop in fear of a higher authority. Trying twice to eliminate Bond while he sleeps, (what a wormy little douche) he has his six and gets what he deserves.

Zena Marshall as Miss Taro

She’s a naughty little minx and justifiably gets Bond’s comeuppance (double-entendre alert!). A secretary at the Government House in Kingston, Taro lets us see just how high Dr. No’s influence can climb. Bond reads her like a Sunday paper and knows that she means trouble, but what better way to take care of business than to take care of business? None I can think of, and neither can Bond. His intuitions correct, Bond evades death on the way to Taro’s abode and in true Bondian fashion, plays it like he doesn’t have a clue or care in the world. Zena plays her surprise at Bond’s arrival like a true pro and her subsequent scene of duty is one of my favorite in the film. Taro goes the whole nine in her job to keep James around for the back-up, in what today’s standards would be considered date rape. But hey, you can’t blame Bond, she had on a tight towel, and she was helping to have him assassinated. What a cooze. Though she looks a little off with her Asian makeup, Zena looks smoking and even manages to look sultry when spitting in Bond’s face when he sticks it to her… and by that I mean, has her arrested. Ha Ha.

Joseph Wiseman as Dr. Julius No

The title character doesn’t show up until the last 30-40 minutes, but thankfully he doesn’t disappoint. Joseph stays true to his last name in choosing to play the villain as a eerily calm and cold calculating monster. As a nifty little character quirk, Dr. No is outfitted with a pair of metal hands that would make Darth Vader jealous. The funny thing about his metallic mitts though, is that I find them completely unnecessary. Wiseman’s performance was more than enough to sell the diabolical nature of the atomic mad scientist. But, whatever, they don’t take anything away. At one point he calls Bond “…just a stupid policeman”. Ouch. If anyone but this guy had said that it would have came off as laughable, but Wiseman sells it and it connects like a metal bitch-slap. He even manages to look halfway serious in a ridiculous hazmat suit for his final fight scene with Bond. Even with his limited screen time, Dr. No set the proverbial bar for all the Bond Villains to follow and thankfully, he set it pretty high.

THE BOND GIRLS:
Eunice Gayson as Trench, Sylvia Trench

Like I said above she is, IMO, THE First Bond Girl and I couldn’t be more pleased. Well… perhaps a little if the movie were NC-17, but Hell, for a PG this girl delivers her goods. Not only is she super cool for setting up Bond with his iconic line, but she also has money, wits and a healthy outgoing athletic interest… and I’m not talking about her putts. Her appearance in Bond’s apartment is a classic moment in film and makes for a very sexy and funny scene (For an equally sexy and funny scene, check out the spoof of this in NAKED GUN). I really dig this chick and I am not alone, as she pulls off something no other female character has done in this series, enticed James back for more.

Sylvia Trench will return in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE


Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder

What can I say about Ursula Andress that hasn’t been said a million times before? How about that she is a highly overrated C-List Bond Girl that is given far too much credit and is always unfairly titled the First Bond Girl whom set the bar for all the following… How about that?

Anyone still here? OK, allow me to explain. First, let me say what I like about her. 1. Yes, she is extremely good looking. 2. Uh… Hmmm… Well, there you go. I’ll never understand all the love for this character.
What did she ever do that warranted so much geeky love? Sure, she was hot... and then? She shows up with about a half hour to go in the picture and aside from some eye candy and a couple of jokes delivered by Connery, what was her point? Sure, she is the reason that Dr. No was able to find the island invaders, but that could easily been made any other number of things.

I understand that she was the “first”, but it takes a lot more than sentimental tradition to make me jump on the bandwagon. And I am in the WAAAAY minority on this, google search BOND GIRL LISTS and almost without exception, she is always in the top spot and the only reason anyone ever gives is posterity and looking hot coming out of the surf. That is a dish of lame covered in weak sauce.

Anyways, I don’t hate the girl, I just don’t understand her fan base. She does a fine job at walking out of some water, getting a chemical wash and mastering the disinterested look. Kudos. I know I am probably being too harsh as the film was made in the ‘60’s and they cast as such, but whatever, it‘s just my opinion. For her role, I think Ursula does a fine job of standing there and looking pretty, but did they have to make her character so stupid? Honey claims to have started reading the encyclopedia when she was 8, having started with ‘A’, she is now on ‘T’. I guess she must have missed that part back in ‘D’ that says that Dragons are mythical creatures and don’t exist. As James from the novels would say, “Silly Bitch”. But aside from all my personal qualms, she is a fine Bond girl, whom serves her purpose and I am glad she is in the film.

continued...
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  #22  
Old 12-03-2008, 06:44 PM
...here

THE BOND-AIDS: GADGETS & VEHICLES:
Not quite there yet. The role of Quartermaster is played this once by Peter Burton. Major Boothroyd is his name, but that’s about all we get. Bond gets issued his iconic Walther PPK, he uses a geiger counter and he drives around a bit in a Chevy convertible, but other than that nothing to gab on about.

FELLOW AGENTS & FRIENDS:


Bernard Lee as M

To be honest, I never really cared for the man. He does a fine job in the role, but he is the kind of guy that I forget about right after seeing him. Lee fit’s the role though and right from the get-go he subtly lets us in on how his relationship with James is a test of patience. Bond is a just shy of an agent gone rogue and you can see the wear that he has put M through. And in the end, that’s all you can ask for in the role.

Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny

This is the first and last time that I find Lois sexy and deserving of James’s playful flirting. That said, my feelings for her stay much the same throughout her 14 film run on the series. I am glad that she is there and I look forward to the cheeky bits of dialogue fired back and forth between her and Bond, but by the time it gets to the ‘80’s Bond flicks I find myself on the verge of dry-heaving… but in a good way. I love recurring roles and I’m glad that they continued hers, even though I find flirting with Grandma more than a little creepy.

Jack Lord as Felix Leiter

For me, seeing Felix in the Bond movies becomes sort of a game that I forget I’m playing. All of a sudden, out of the blue he’ll show up and I get giddy as a schoolgirl. “Felix!” I find myself shouting, even when I am alone. Arguably Jack Lord is the closest Felix to the book and he does a great and memorable job even though he is just a minor character with little screen time.


John Kitzmiller as Quarrel

Quarrel is interesting because one moment he is getting a broken light bulb dragged across his face without even flinching and the next he is almost scared to tears at the thought of a dragon coming to get him. He helps James by boating his ass around the neighboring islands, lending clues to the mystery of Strangways demise and keeping the film peppered with just the right amount of comic relief. Even in death, Quarrel’s funny, I liked him.

DEBRIEFING: FINAL THOUGHTS
When you put together Terrance Young’s direction, Ted Moore’s cinematography, Peter R. Hunt’s editing, Ken Adam’s production design, Monty Norman’s theme, Bob Simmons’s stunt work and Sean Connery’s performance as Bond, you get something special: The First Modern Action Film. With the fast paced fight sequences, theme music, chase sequences, explosions and post-mortem one-liners, I can’t help but be in awe as I watch my favorite genre get re-defined and made better than it ever was before in DR. NO. This film gave birth to the gritty anti-heroes of the ‘70’s, which in turn birthed the larger than life machismo heroes of the ‘80’s. They would not exist without this film and for that alone, I have undying respect.

This film alone is not perfect. It suffers from some second-act lag, some unintentionally funny moments and some dated customs and effects, but the sum of it’s parts created kick-ass cinema. So, in the end, it’s a solid picture and a great way to kick off the second longest action franchise in history (still has 5 or 6 to go to one-up Zatôichi). May the Gods of Action watch over our dearly departed brothers, Cubby Broccoli, Harry Saltzman and Terrance Young. You gave me so much and all I can give in return is my film geek love. Thank you.

7 outta 10
~RANT WILL RETURN IN (a review of) FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE~


Last edited by Rant; 12-03-2008 at 06:53 PM..
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  #23  
Old 12-03-2008, 08:34 PM
Still one of my favorite Bond films. Some call it boring, I dont think it is. Its well written, well acted, and slickly directed action/thriller. Connery owns as Bond in his first out and Dr. No is among my favorite villains in the franchise.


8/10
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  #24  
Old 12-11-2008, 01:29 AM
RANT'S BOND-A-THON: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963)

ATTENTION: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS


FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
.:BOND #02 (1963):.


CLASSIFIED INTEL: THE PLOT

Number 1, the mysterious leader of evil organization SPECTRE, puts two of his top agents to work on a devious project. Kronsteen aka Agent #5, devises a plan to steal a high-tech cryptographic device (a Lektor Decoder) for the Soviets, while at the same time enact revenge on MI:6 and 00 Agent James Bond, for the destruction of their outfit in Crab Key and the subsequent death of their agent, Dr. Julius No. Rosa Klebb, aka Agent #3, is put in change of carrying out the dastardly deed of organizing for Bond to do the dirty work and in the end, pay for his misdeeds against SPECTRE.

THE THEME AND CREDITS

With a quick, blood soaked POV shot, we are off and away into the first ever Pre-Credits Bond Action Sequence. Woo Hoo! Thankfully, it doesn’t disappoint. The film opens with a peculiar looking James Bond traversing through a garden maze in the dark of night. A creepy, chiseled, blonde beefcake of a man is hot on his trail and after a tense few minutes of pursuit, Blondie catches James and a fight ensues. Amazingly, Bond is quickly overpowered and strangled to death by a garrote wire and dumped violently to the garden floor. W…T…F? Giving the audience only a second to process this travesty, floodlights suddenly blast onto the fallen hero and his killer, revealing a large group of soldiers that have been watching the events unfold from the terrace of a large mansion. Really… WTF!? The supposed leader of the troop approaches Blondie and congratulates him on his time. OK, something is clearly not as it seems here… A moment later the soldier kneels before Bond’s corpse and grabs at his face, peeling off a MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE-style face mask, revealing (and relieving) to us, that this was apparently some sort of disgusting training exercise for AAB (Assassins Against Bond). Or as “THE FILMMAKERS” like to call them, SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion, or SPECTRE for short.

Whew… that was a close one! No wonder Bond looked so odd and was defeated so easily. I KNEW something was off! This sequence, a brainchild of producer Harry Saltzman, is the first of many pre-credits sequences to feature the “death” of James Bond. A brilliant move, IMO, as what could build more tension and fear from us Bondfans than thinking our favorite womanizing super spy has just bought the farm? Not bloody much. This is a truly perfect opener to an equally amazing film. Que that credit sequence baby!

Ah, now we are cooking with fire! After that nail-biting opener, the filmmakers go to work at raising my blood pressure yet again, but this time, my heart is pumping fast for another reason… And That Reason Is… ~Drumroll~ Lisa “Leila” Guiraut! Who is that, you may be asking? Well, I’ll tell you. Leila is the first official female body of the world famous Bond Credit Sequences. The James Bond Theme music blasts off in all its wonder, as the credits are displayed as a light show on the bouncing breasts, gyrating hips and waving abs of the gorgeous belly dancer. Wow, that’s great. Using her skin as a projection screen, title designer Robert Brownjohn, begins a tradition of making credit sequences not only fun, but anticipated. Well done, old man. Note: You get to see much more of the lovely Miss Leila in the gypsy camp scene during the film. Yummy.

BOND, JAMES BOND: SEAN CONNERY
BODY BAGS FILLED (9) BOND BABES FULFILLED (4)

Connery, of course, returns in his sophomore performance as 007. He first appears (as himself, not a guy in a mask) in what would become typical Bond fashion. In pre/post-sexy time suaveness. Chilling like a villain, James is kicking back and having himself a little holiday with returning Bond film Beauty, Sylvia Trench. The formula set from DR. NO is brought back by Terrance Young, as Bond is interrupted in his bliss, by a call informing him that M is cranky and needs him to report for duty. Bond agrees after negotiating out a little extra time to finish the job at hand. Oh, James!

Terrence Young returns as director and approaches this sequel as an homage to the success of the first film, by having all of James’s enduring quirks return, but with a slight comedic ~wink, wink~ post modernism twist . For instance, Bond struts into MI6 (like the pimp he is) and with a toss of the hat, begins like clockwork to flirt with Moneypenny. What’s different this time is that M is waiting and hears James’s banter and scowls with disapproval. Bond takes note, but brushes it off his shoulder like dandruff. These little nuances is what make Bond so endearing.

On the other hand, his character is not all sunshine and puppy-kisses. We are also shown more of Bond’s dark side. The side that makes his superiors pick him time and time again. They know that even though Bond is a bit of a rogue and a joker, when the fit hit’s the shan, Bond will do the dirty work necessary to complete his mission. Be it killing an assassin in cold blood, a la DR. NO, or beating on a woman for information… This flick was made in the 60’s, granted, but I think it still must have been quite jarring. It certainly is watching said scene today. It’s a great reminder to the audience that as charming and likable as James is, he is still a machine with a license to kill and a drive to get the job done, that reaches above morality.

Connery gives another great performance and it’s clear he is WAY into the role. I’ve read quotes that FRWL is Connery’s personal favorite outing as the character, and it shows. The role is also much more physical and in doing many of his stunts, you can tell that Sean gave it his all. He gets in a brutal fight to the death, a gypsy-camp shootout, he dodges certain death from swooping helicopter blades and gets down and dirty using gasoline tanks and a flare gun to blow up a fleet of perusing boats. Bond just plain kicks ass and this sequel simply solidified that as fact.

THE BOND VILLAIN(S):
Eric Pohlmann as The Voice and Tim Moxon as The Hands of
Ernst Stavro Blofeld aka Number 1

Sherlock Holmes had Professor Moriarty, Van Helsing had Count Dracula, Superman had Lex Luthor, America had Russia and James Bond has this guy: Ernst Stavro Blofeld is his name, but we don’t know that yet. Number 1 is all we get, so why not talk about him first. His face is never shown, but we do get to see his pussy… CAT, you filthy little reader you. Simply represented by his commanding, yet calm vocals, Number 1 is a mastermind to remember. Another genius move by Terrence Young in deciding to shroud this man and his organization in mystery. A tactic that even the producers of the new films decided not to nix, unlike so many other staples to the series. Razzin Frazzin NoGood SonsZa… sorry, there I go again. Anyways, Number 1 is a very small, but very memorable character. Props go out to his subordinates for really selling how intimidating and ruthless this entity of evil can be.

Vladek Sheybal as Kronsteen aka Number 5

A grandmaster at chess and Chief Planning Officer for SPECTRE on the weekends, this guy is the brains behind the nefarious schemes and orchestrated chaos that they specialize in. Number 5 plans this film’s plot like a championship game of chess. He sets up the pawns and forsees all their conceivable moves… almost. Kronsteen forgot one thing, to account for the sheer awesomeness of one British Bad-Ass. Too bad, as this means his ass. Though his part is small and his screen time is limited, I liked this guy and I think he fit well into the role of the cock-sure brainiac.


Robert Shaw as Red Grant

So, Blondie from the opener turns out to be the top student at SPECTRE’s assassin outreach program. Trained in Chuck Norris’s back yard, Red is ready for anything, be it a punch in the gut from an angry Austrian midget, having to sharp shoot at a gypsy camp shootout, or getting into a legendary brawl with Britain’s top agent. Shaw is in my Top Three for Bond henchman of all time. Everything about the man gives me a claustrophobic feeling, always two steps ahead of Bond, his eerily calm demeanor and cold hearted killings cover the film like a too-tight sleeping bag… but in a good way. These feelings, of course, come to a head in a passenger cab on the Orient Express. Talk about feeling closed in. Props again go out to the groundbreaking editing of Peter R. Hunt, for one of the BEST EVER fight sequences featuring two natural born killers. Quint can go take a long walk off a short peer into a sharks mouth, this is my favorite performance by Shaw and set the bar for Bond henchmen that few, if any, were able to pass.

Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb aka Number 3

I tried my best to not drop the written F-Bomb in this review, but I just can’t resist here. This bitch is Fucking Terrifying. AND Fucking Fantastic. She’s so good, even her spoof characters in AUSTIN POWERS and IF LOOKS COULD KILL are Fucking Fantastic. Intimidating, creepy and oddly sexy (I’ll explain), she absolutely owns the screen whenever visible. A Bronze medalist in the SPECTRE organization, she makes it hard to envision the guy that edged her out for the runner up. Most people would put Red as the principle villain of the picture, but I disagree. He’s just a glorified and well toned henchman with a bunch of screen time. Rosa Klebb is the one to watch. Pulling the strings of Number 5’s plan, she hand picks Red and Bond Girl Tatiana like the highest paid casting agent in Hollywood. Klebb knows her shit.

She starts by recruiting Red from the ninja compound and tests his manliness by equipping brass knuckles and punching him in the gut. Nice. Her next mission is to recruit an embassy clerk to seduce Bond. She does this by playing out a game of intimidation infused with patriotic duties and promises of riding-crop fetish spanking for punishment (or pleasure) of fucking up. Grrrrrowl. That stuff in the bedroom with Bond and Romanova ain’t got Jack nor Shit on this sexual tension. But, you know what they say about the best laid plans of overconfident uptight chess players and pseudo-lesbianistic interrogators... or whatever.

When her plan goes tits-up, Klebb decides to get her hands dirty. By becoming a maid. That’s not a joke, just a half truth, that happens to be funny. Posing as such, she infiltrates Bond’s hotel room to steal the coveted Lektor and is betrayed by her own pawn, Tatiana. Bond and Klebb tango about the room as she tries to kick him with a poisoned knife sticking out of her clodhoppers. She fights like a Spartan until finally succumbing to fatal gunshot via Tatiana. Oh, the spanking that would have gone down had she survived! But, she didn’t. It is to be a shame.

continued...
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  #25  
Old 12-11-2008, 01:30 AM
...here

THE BOND GIRLS:
Eunice Gayson as Trench, Sylvia Trench

Arguably Bond’s first girlfriend, Trench is back again for a piece of the old JB. Guess what? I still love this girl. Hard to believe, I know, but she is so great and does so much with her little cameo. Introduced yet again next to Bond, she is looking foxy in a two-piece bathing suit, hair all down, looking like a 60’s pinup… God Damn. Originally it was conceived that she was going to be a mainstay in the Bond films, but sadly that piddled out. Not sure why, but I believe it probably had to do with Terrence Young not returning for the next installment. She was a friend of his and got the gig because of it. So, this regrettably is her farewell performance, but thankfully it is a memorable one. I especially love her little pout she gives when James is on the phone, getting called back into duty. Placating the poor girl, Bond decides to throw her a bone and negotiates for enough time to leave her satisfied, upon hearing which, she claps her hands together in gratitude and excitement… too cute. I know I’ll miss her.

Daniela Bianchi as Tatiana Romanova

Her name is a mouthful, but luckily her mouth is just the right size for Bond. Plus, it sounds so cool when Connery says it: Taught-E-Ha-Na. I must say Miss Daniela is one drop-dead gorgeous little lady and not only that, she scores on so many other Bond girl levels. Tatiana is such a great leap from the “stand there and look pretty” style of the first film. This girl actually does stuff while looking good. Tricked into believing that she is working for her country, she agrees to play the traitor, selling her country out for a man she had only seen in a picture, (it's Bond, baby). Of course, MI6 sees right through this rouse, as was intended by the evil SPECTRE d-bags. MI6 gets Bond to go through with it regardless and this poor girl is caught in the middle. Tatiana plays the role of the love-lost damsel-in-distress a little too well and becomes torn between her fear for Klebb and her love for James. We all know which emotion wins over the other. Ah, amore. It’s beautiful. She follows her heart and takes a beating for it, literally. She’s a great character that you can really get behind and feel for. I’d defect for a piece of her Russian love, that’s fo’ sho.

THE BOND-AIDS: GADGETS & VEHICLES
YAY! We finally get some! This section of my review, now has meaning! Woot! So, Bond is given his first true gadget and it is in the form of a suitcase… hmmm, OK… I guess. Despite feelings of “That’s It!?”, it turns out to be pretty cool and relevant, as they always do. The gadget(s), like I said before, are in a suitcase and are as follows.


- AR-7 .22 Survival Rifle w/ Infrared Telescope
- 50 Gold Sovereigns in Hidden Strips
- A Tear Gas Cartridge Disguised as a Talcum Powder Box
- Two Cylinders of Ammunition for the Rifle
- A Throwing Knife

Try getting that bag past airport security nowadays. Bond ends up using the rifle, ammo and knife to, of course, whip some ass. The Sovereigns don’t really get used, per say, but they end up serving as a badass means to an end. The teargas plays the role of the ‘gadget’ in that if the suitcase is opened in the incorrect manner, it will explode in the face of the foolish person that decided to mess with Bond’s personal belongings. All-in-all, it’s a pretty cool little overnight-bag-of-death, but more importantly, it is designed and delivered to Bond by one of the coolest mother~Hush Yo Mouth~, But I’m only talking about the Quartermaster! ~We can dig it~ Well here he is ladies and gents, the one... not the only, but the BEST: Q!

FELLOW AGENTS & FRIENDS:
NOTE: M and Moneypenny, of course make their returns, but there is nothing much new for me to say about them. Rest assured that when there is something to say, I’ll bring back a blurb about them.

Desmond Llewelyn as Major “Q” Boothroyd

The ‘Q’ stands for Quartermaster and don’t you forget it, bitch. Replacing the actor Peter Burton, Desmond Llewelyn IS Q. One of the best characters EVER and I’m talking about movies in general, not just the Bond franchise. As this is his first outing, it is a small and pretty uneventful appearance. Q shows up much like he did in the previous film. Summoned to M’s office just as 007 is ready to disembark, he delivers the goods from his department in a serene and dignified manner. He does his job and that is that. Not much else to say… for now. It isn’t until later installments that the filmmakers took notice in the untapped genius that Llewelyn had to offer. I’m just thankful that they came to their senses and gave the old boy a shot. Much more on Q as his role develops.

Pedro Armendariz as Ali Kerim Bey

Another one of my favorites. Pedro gives his swan song performance as a plucky and charming Intelligence Chief in Istanbul. Blessed with a cunning smile and a hot lady friend, Kerim spends his days making babies like an auto plant (every year he has a new model) and playing host for whomever MI6 gives him. Kerim knows his territory and knows how to get shit done. An ace in a gun fight and one hell-uva wing man, this is a guy you want on your side. As most of you Bond fans know, Pedro Armendariz found out during principle photography that he was not long for this world. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, his dying wish was to be allowed to finish this picture. Heartbroken and determined, the filmmakers agreed and re-arranged the shooting schedule to capture all his scenes as soon as possible. Thankfully so. Pedro died shortly after he wrapped on the picture, but left behind a fun, memorable and excellent performance.

DEBRIEFING: FINAL THOUGHTS
This film is essentially DR. NO with a higher budget. Along with the extra cash, the filmmakers took a little more care to make a serious and practical Bond. Terrence Young again, takes all the ingredients that made the first film so endearing and added a splash of sheen, comedy and grandeur. The extra money and effort shows. The film is beautiful, smart, sexy and thrilling.

Bond repeats the events that occurred in DR. NO: M has to track Bond down and tear him away from Sylvia, Bond arrives at the airport, this time in Istanbul, but in the same series of shots, he is greeted by a chauffeur, he is watched by a man in a car, he is tailed by another mysterious man, he inspects his hotel room… and so on and so on. What makes this so great is that they allow you to become familiar with Bond’s mission to mission lifestyle. All the while, setting you up for the twist when all these familiarities are thrown out the window of a speeding train. It gives the viewer a taste of what it is like to live a week in Bond’s shoes. The same-ol’-same-ol’ of day to day life as a spy is all a charade. It takes nerves of steel and balls of brass to do what Bond does so well. Thankfully the talented folks behind these adventures knew precisely how to deliver. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE is a fantastic Bond film and re-defined the action genre from the previous re-definition that DR. NO gave it. It is a rare occurrence that a sequel will outshine it’s predecessor, but this movie should be listed as the definition of the circumstance

9 outta 10
~RANT WILL RETURN IN (a review of) GOLDFINGER~

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  #26  
Old 12-11-2008, 09:09 AM
It's been too freakin' long since I've seen From Russia with Love. I do remember Robert Shaw as the badass henchman, and the hot gypsy fight. But that's about it. Should see it again pronto.

And I'm a bigger fan of Dr. No than you apparently, Rant (8/10), but not by much.
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  #27  
Old 12-11-2008, 11:34 AM
In my rank of favorites, I would say From Russia With Love is #3. It was the first Bond I remember seeing and my father and I had a blast watching it together.

9/10
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  #28  
Old 12-16-2008, 06:12 PM

Rant, those are some of the most interesting and fun reviews i've ever read.
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  #29  
Old 12-16-2008, 09:46 PM
Love the reviews so far, Rant. Mostly because I agree with almost everything you've said so far (especially regarding Casino and Russia, two of my top five Bond flicks of all time).

...except in regards to what you said about Quantum. I loved that film to no end, including the much-maligned theme song and action sequences. To me, Casino Royale and Quantum are comparable to Heat and Collateral (no, wait, don't stop reading): on one hand, you've got the epic, near-flawless, multi-layered film that's adored by nearly everyone, and then you've got the frantic, lean, stylish, but no less entertaining follow-up (sequel, in Bond's case) that loses some of the more intimate elements of the first, but still manages to kick the shit out of you by the time you've left the theatre. Dunno, that's just my two cents.

Still, I agree with you about Wright as Felix; I hope he gets more and more screentime as the Craig films progress, because the dude inhabits that role to a tee.
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  #30  
Old 12-17-2008, 03:51 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigred760 View Post
It's been too freakin' long since I've seen From Russia with Love. I do remember Robert Shaw as the badass henchman, and the hot gypsy fight. But that's about it. Should see it again pronto.

And I'm a bigger fan of Dr. No than you apparently, Rant (8/10), but not by much.
It will be interesting to see how we agree and disagree on the coming films. My favorites often differ greatly from the mainstream and I look forward to see how you view them as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poopontheshoes7 View Post
In my rank of favorites, I would say From Russia With Love is #3. It was the first Bond I remember seeing and my father and I had a blast watching it together.

9/10
It's not in my favorites, (it's not even in the Top 5) but it IS a great movie, and one of the best in the series. I think most people would enjoy it, even if they are not Bond fans, as it is such an all-around solid film.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas.300 View Post
Rant, those are some of the most interesting and fun reviews i've ever read.
Thank you, Sincerely. It's always nice to know when one's work is appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double-Oh-Zero View Post
Love the reviews so far, Rant. Mostly because I agree with almost everything you've said so far (especially regarding Casino and Russia, two of my top five Bond flicks of all time).

...except in regards to what you said about Quantum. I loved that film to no end, including the much-maligned theme song and action sequences. To me, Casino Royale and Quantum are comparable to Heat and Collateral (no, wait, don't stop reading): on one hand, you've got the epic, near-flawless, multi-layered film that's adored by nearly everyone, and then you've got the frantic, lean, stylish, but no less entertaining follow-up (sequel, in Bond's case) that loses some of the more intimate elements of the first, but still manages to kick the shit out of you by the time you've left the theatre. Dunno, that's just my two cents.

Still, I agree with you about Wright as Felix; I hope he gets more and more screentime as the Craig films progress, because the dude inhabits that role to a tee.
First of, thank you and I'm glad you like my ramblings.

As for QOS, I've been taking a beating for it, but I'm still not sorry. I just can't get past the way it was shot and cut. Like you, it did kick the shit out of me. Problem is, it was my patience and expectations that took the beating. To be fair, I will be sure to sit down and spend an afternoon with the Blu Ray, going scene for scene, remote in hand, and truly try to absorb all that I seem to be missing. Perhaps then I will write an attachment to my review, with a better understanding of the adoration given to this film.

and Yeah, Felix is the Tits.

----
So, I finished re-watching GOLDFINGER earlier today and I hope to crank out my review and have it posted soon. In the mean time I have a couple things to put down here.

First, I realize that I use ellipses in my posts quite often to denote a pause, which is incorrect grammar. This is something that I intend to correct in future reviews, but problem is... I have no idea how to make a dash. Now I could just use a hyphen (-), but that is incorrect as well. While what I need to have is this: (—) Best I can do atm is to copy pasta that shit from another source I have saved, but I'm sure someone far more computer savvy than myself can point me in the right direction and learn me how it is done. If you know, it would be appreciated.

Secondly, my friend and colleague pointed out to me that in my review for FRWL, I made note that Bond Satisfied 4 babes within the movie, yet I did not include any note to whom 2 of them were in the BOND GIRL(S) section. Mainly because it was too fucking hard to find a decent picture of them, and my extreme laziness prevented me from making one myself until prompted to. So anyways, I went back and wrote a blurb for them on my website and figured I would post it here as well. Enjoy, or don't—and you can fuck right off. B-Back soon with another review, Thanks for Reading and Especially for Posting. Cheers.

----
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE: ATTACHMENT

Martine Beswick as Zora and Aliza Gur as Vida

Before pumping his main squeeze Tatiana for information, Bond gets into a precarious situation featuring these two gypsy fireballs. In love with the same man, these two babes are destined to duke it out for the right to woo said lucky bastard. Bond happens to arrive at the camp on the night of the brawl. Oddly, James it appalled as the two beauties lunge at one another in a furry of hair pulling, nail swiping and cheap blows. These kitties like to scratch, Meeeow! Unfortunately, soon after round one begins, an unrelated shootout busts up the campsite. Chaos ensues, but with a healthy dose of super spy ass-kickery, things are set right. Impressed with how badass Bond is, the camp leader praises James and honors a request from him to stop the cat fight. Problem is, this leaves the battle undecided and it is up to the man who stopped it to decide the winner. Tight. James is greeted by the luscious duo later that evening in his tent…

It is still a mystery to this day, as to just what occurred during the long hours of that night, but what we do know is that the next morning a certain two ladies are seen cooking breakfast and mending the clothes of a very satisfied looking Scotsman.

----

Last edited by Rant; 12-17-2008 at 03:54 AM..
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  #31  
Old 12-17-2008, 11:01 PM
RANT'S BOND-A-THON: GOLDFINGER (1964)

ATTENTION: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS


GOLDFINGER
.:BOND # 03 (1964):.


CLASSIFIED INTEL: THE PLOT
The Bank of England contacts MI6 with a request that they investigate a gold dealer they suspect of smuggling and stockpiling large amounts of gold bullion. They want to know why, and how, he is transporting said gold overseas. So of course, top agent 007 is chosen for the job and he is soon to discover that this time, the stakes are higher than they have ever been. EVER.

THE THEME AND CREDITS

We open, in true spy fashion, with a terrific scene of espionage. Bond is on a sneak and destroy mission. He infiltrates a Mexican drug lord’s base of operations in style—wearing a fake duck on his diving helmet. A nice touch of humor to ease the audience into the hardcore bad-assness to follow. Using about a mile and a half of plastic explosive, Bond coats the drug factories chemicals and with that, he casually sheds his underwater wear to reveal an exceptional and stylish tux. With work done, it’s time for play. Bond enters a nearby casino and with the slight hint of narcissistic pride, struts straight up to his contact, pausing only to check his watc ~BOOM!~ Right on time. The crowd flees, his lady shakes her head in disapproval and Bond smirks.

Now, this pre-credits action sequence would have been more than enough to reel in any Bond fan, but the theme of this second sequel is soon revealed to be, “One Step Further.” Bond leaves the club with the object of his desire and makes a bee-line toward his hotel room. Bond meets up with his bathing beauty and it is made clear that this is not the first time they have been together (this is a key moment in Bond history, for reasons I will discuss later). Bond moves to claim his prize, but ever wary, is able to see deceit and betrayal in her eyes—literally. A hidden assassin creeping up behind him, Bond uses the traitorous harlot as a shield from a crushing blow. HA HA! With her out of the way, the fight is on. James battles the assassin in much the same fashion as his Orient Express fight with Red in the previous film. It’s brutal, dirty and ends with Bond the victor through a bit of clever treachery. By having that fight (a microcosm of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE’s big payoff) open the film, it is signifying that this time, you better strap in your seatbelts, ‘cuz this film is gonna be one hell-ova ride if it intends to top that opener.

It is a funny scene, and though it seemingly has nothing to do with the rest of the story’s plot, it kind of does. By making that girl a human shield, Bond (in a way) creates the first of many anti-feminist undertones that snowball from this point. Also, like I mentioned above, by hinting that Bond and the girl had previously been together, the filmmakers started an awesome trend. This marks the first pre-credits sequence that could be considered the END to a previous, un-shot adventure. We the audience get to join Bond at the closing end of another mission BEFORE getting to the one that we paid to see. Bonus! How cool is that?! Answer: Very.

Well, as that was the pre-credit action scene, I guess it is time for the credits and they’re a doozie. Several models, (one of them later plays Dink) squirm and wriggle in full golden body paint to, in my opinion, the best theme song in the 20+ film history. Not my favorite, mind, but it is just sooo well done. Shirley Bassey wailing “Go-wld Fing-Gar!” over John Barry’s score gives me chills and I find myself humming the tune for days after watching it. You know you have a good song when the album sells enough copies to outshine the Beatles on the charts and go—dare I say?—Gold. Oh, me—I so went there!

The theme and credits of this film solidified the tradition and set the bar for all the following. It is solid gold, baby.

BOND, JAMES BOND [SEAN CONNERY]
BODY BAGS FILLED (6) BOND BABES FULFILLED (2 for certain, 2 implied)

When we join him post credits, Bond is staying at a prestigious hotel in Miami, recuperating from his opening scene mission by bathing in the primordial stew of beautiful people. We meet the second of his implied sexual conquests, named Dink, ever so briefly before Connery sends her away with a pat on the ass. Why? Well, because Felix (whoot!) shows up and it is time yet again for “Man-Talk”. Get back to the kitchen, Dink. We find out though Felix (whoot!) that it was M who sent James to the hotel for business, under the guise of vacation (dick move!). It seems as though Bond is starting to take his job a little more serious. Rather than disappearing off the grid, much to the chagrin of M and MI6, he is taking his holiday’s through the organization. This is the first of several character trates that appear in the film that show his growth as a gentleman spy.

Another comes up while James is tailing Goldfinger’s car via transmitter. All is going as planned, until a beautiful girl happens into the scenario. Speeding past his car, Bond gets giddy as a schoolboy at the opportunity of sexual pursuit, but hesitates and tells himself out loud, “Dischipline 007, Dischipline.” —Who is this man and what has he done to my James!!! Soon after, all is set right as the girl takes stake in Bond’s affairs and unwillingly becomes fair game. Whew! It is these subtle tweaks and changes in his personality and habits that keep the character interesting and worth watching like a hawk.

GOLDFINGER catches Connery at his best, in his prime and having the time of his life. And it shows in his performance. Connery plays Bond with his usual comedic lighthearted touch, but this time it is accented with a more relaxed easy-going feel. My favorite performance of Connery as Bond, the man even makes Golf intriguing to me. Now that’s charisma. Though he had played Bond for two years, it is clear that this is the film where Sean became him. And the world joined in.

THE BOND VILLAIN(S):

Harold Sakata as Oddjob

This guy puts the MAN in manservant! Named for his various talents at completing random dastardly tasks, his number one ‘odd job’ seems to be killing off gorgeous ladies—what an asshole! The man says nothing, but never has to. A mere grunt and a lumbering shuffle and the character is sold. While he is not the first to have a peculiar physical trait, (Dr. No’s hands) he is the first to make them memorable. His shit-brick house frame, incredible strength and deadly throwing hat, he is a force to be reckoned with.

Not that he needs it, as I am already watching his every move, the filmmakers also decided to give him his own theme music. The eerie ~Bum, Ding!—Ding!—Ding!~ whenever he is revealed is classic and almost rivals Bond’s own guitar cords. As far as henchmen go, this guy is the tits.

Gert Fröbe as Auric Goldfinger

Arguably the Best Bond Villain of all time, Goldfinger is absolutely diabolical. He starts the film as a mere cheat at cards and golf and ends up being a criminal mastermind and a heartless bastard. The definition of megalomaniacal, Goldfinger redefined the role of the Bond Villain by adding an amazing sense of size and scope to the average everyday thief and practically invented the ‘Evil Monologue’ and ‘Over-The-Top’ presentation of a mad genius. With a moral barometer permanently buried left of the middle, Goldfinger is a sight to behold. Not only does he show no sign of hesitation or remorse to the thought of killing over 60,000 people for the baseline purpose of increasing the value of his gold stockpile, he has also convinced a veritable army of goons that are willing to participate, fully knowing the outcome. Now THAT'S power.

It is appropriate that the film is named after this character as he completely owns every second he is in it. Which is saying a lot as I believe that every performance in this flick is fantastic. Maibaum and Dehn’s screenplay combined with Michael Collins’ voice and Fröbe’s performance, Goldfinger inspired a generation of evildoers and for good reason. He is, in a word: Perfect.

THE BOND GIRLS:

Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterton and Tania Mallet as Tilly Masterson

A sister sandwich I would love to slide my pickle into. These girls represented far more than just the ideal female physical condition, they also represent two different aspects of women’s liberation. And both are grotesquely killed for it. Welcome to the ‘60’s!

Aside from the Gun Barrel POV shot, Shirley Eaton’s impeccable body is arguably the most recognizable image from the film series. Though her role in the film was very small, you can show pretty much anyone that iconic image of her on that hotel bed, covered in gold, and have it be recognized immediately. While her character was simply someone who helped Goldfinger cheat at cards, her downfall, like so many other ladies, was succumbing to Bond’s charm. She helps him humiliate Goldfinger, before jumping into the sack with J.B.. Jilly gets to spend one lovely day with Sean ‘the Beefcake’ Connery before being punished for her actions by being painted entirely with gold and left unconscious to die by skin suffocation on the very bed she came to know God on. That’s what you get for betraying your man, ladies. Tsk Tsk.

T.M. is for Tilly Masterson and V is for Vendetta. Pissed at the grisly murder of her sister, this Bond Babe is out for Blood and rightfully so. Problem is, this girl is all passion and no payoff. She knows what she wants, but is unable to achieve it. Her plan comes apart time and time again as she keeps bumping into Bond. Twice she is stopped in the line of duty by James and thrice she fails at her objective of getting to Goldfinger first. Tilly’s story is by far the most tragic aspect of the film. Shortly after joining Bond in a riveting getaway sequence, her luck is improving as it looks like she will team up with James in bringing down the bad guy. Sadly, this is not the case. Bond underestimates Goldfinger’s henchmen and Tilly gets her neck broke in the process. Tear my heart out with a spoon why don’t cha? This is what happens when you try and take on a man for revenge, ladies. Tsk Tsk.

The sisters’ tale is indeed a tragic one and brought a great degree of mystery and suspense to the film. I shall remember them always.

Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore

Hehehe, her name is Galore. Aside from having the most renowned name in the Bond Girl stable, Pussy is one kick ass Bond Babe. Showing up late in an already amazing Bond entry, Pussy solidified that Bond girls could be more than just Eye-Candy. Unlike Jill Masterton, Pussy is not just one of Goldfinger’s floozies. She’s a pilot that runs a group of all-female aviators called, ‘Pussy Galore‘s Flying Circus’. I believe that Connery said it best, ‘I musht be dreaming.’

Pussy shows up several times in the film, always catching Bond in an act of tom-foolery and for some messed up reason he is always glad to see her. “Poo-she!“ She holds him at gun point, knocks him around with her Judo skills, and after a romp in some hay, decides to help James monkey-wrench Goldfinger’s plan by alerting the CIA and switching out the deadly toxic canisters on her planes with something that isn’t. What a gal. Honor Blackman oozes sex like a sponge contraceptive. She could judo-chop my ass any day.

THE BOND-AIDS [GADGETS & CARS]
With the FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE briefcase of badassery a huge success, the producers decide to up the ante and took it to the limit. I give you:

The Aston Martin DB5 With Modifications
(and what modifications they are…)

- Revolving License Plates
- Radar Screen
- Extending Hubcap Tire Slashers
- Exploding Sun Roof With Passenger-Side Ejector Seat (No Joke)
- Extendable Rear Bulletproof Shield
- Twin Browning Machinegun Turrets
- Rearward Defense Smoke and Oil Slick Sprayers

And that’s just the stuff he uses in the film. The prop department also installed:

- Radar Scanner, Hidden in the Wing Mirror
- A Hidden Car Phone in the Glovebox
- A Hidden Gun Tray Under The Driverside Seat
- A Device That Dropped Nails Out The Rear Headlight
- And Front and Back Extendable Ramming Rods

This car is the shit. Used in an awesome, (for the time) car chase, this bad boy takes on a fleet of Asian stunt men and comes out—well not so good. One of the stuntmen accidentally crashed the poor beauty in a wall. On the bright side, they salvaged the footage and worked it into the film. It's sleek style and flashy design made it the most famous car in cinema. God damn is it a pretty chunk of metal.

FRIENDS AND ALLIES:
Desmond Llewelyn as Major “Q” Boothroyd

Q is given a larger part and for the first time, we are shown his lab. Bond, of course, immediately thinks of using Q’s inventions to serve his sex life. Thus begins the mock nemeses relationship of Bond and Q. Bond finds Q’s briefing a bore and Q finds Bond’s apathy for instructions irritating. Like an old married couple, Q is the one person who doesn’t have to put up with Bond’s nonsense and this just makes James push it further. Grow up, 007...

Cec Linder as Felix Leiter

For this outing, Bond mostly goes it alone, but on the sidelines we have his go-to CIA liaison Felix (whoot!) making his second on-screen appearance. This time played by Canadian actor Cec Linder. This time around, Felix is always one step behind as Bond does his spy thing. He spends most of the film hanging out in his stakeout car waiting for Bond to make a move and dining out at the local KFC. Where was that corporate tie-in? Again he has limited screen time, but Hell, it’s Felix (whoot!) and I love seeing the guy, no matter how small the part.

DEBRIEFING: FINAL THOUGHTS

Some may say you need a grain of salt to fully digest a Bond film and for this outing, a pinch may be required. As the entire outcome of this film comes down to one Bond gadget that is never shown on-screen. I’m talking, of course, about good old PP, 7 and a half—(flaccid), Skin-Flute of Pleasure.

If Goldfinger has the Midas Touch, then James Bond has the Maternal Touch. Bond spends nearly the entire film being outsmarted, defeated and in captivity. His one saving grace? His libido. Here me out. It all comes down to that memorable scene in the hay loft. Charged with making Bond look at ease for the on looking CIA agents, Pussy takes James for a walk and tries her best to not act disgusted by his thick flow of male-chauvinistic charm.

When Bond first meets Poo-She, he tries immediately to crack her prickly demeanor, but as Pussy says, “You can turn off the charm. I'm immune.” What she is REALLY saying is, I am batting for the opposite team and I don’t just mean working for Goldfinger. This is kept pretty low-key in the film, and might go unnoticed by the casual observer. But I know a lesbian when I see one.

So, this all adds up to the most blatant of examples in the anti-feminist undertones. It is in that hay filled stable that Bond crushes feminism much like Stallone crushed the iron curtain in ROCKY IV. After ending her charade of kindness toward Bond with a judo flip, the two continue to show off their moves resulting in Bond forcing himself on Pussy and kissing her until she bloody well likes it. Bond understands, sometimes you have to take the Pussy. NO! BAD! DANGER!

Lucky for James, in the realm of the 1960’s spy world, date rape can apparently get you everything you need to save the day. In giving Pussy some serious deep dicking, Bond gets her to renounce her same-sex ways and turn over a new flap.

Pussy betrays Goldfinger, alerts the CIA and successfully aids James in saving over 60,000 lives and the entire U.S. economy. All because of his fully stocked slacks (you know—his Pee-Nish). The best part about all this is that this wasn’t even James’s intention! He just wanted to get some ass before he died. When Bond speaks with Felix (whoot!) after helping to disarm the bomb, he asks how they foiled Goldfinger and were able to help, only then finding out that it was a defected Pussy that saved his ass. Wow. That is some powerful man chowder.

GOLDFINGER is the epitome of everything a Bond film should be. A Charismatic Hero, Gorgeous Leading Ladies, Action, Mystery, Suspense, Drama and a Little Old Lady With A Machinegun. What a ride. This movie inspired countless films and characters. From the spoof film SPY HARD to the comedic action films like IF LOOKS COULD KILL and TRUE LIES, to being the source of 90% of Mike Myers’s AUSTIN POWERS jokes. Everyone tries to copy it, few come close and none have surpassed it. The film is an event not to be missed.

10 outta 10
RANT WILL RETURN IN (a review of) THUNDERBALL


Last edited by Rant; 12-17-2008 at 11:03 PM..
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  #32  
Old 12-17-2008, 11:50 PM
I couldn't agree more. Goldfinger is my favorite Bond movie and has been for years. Goldfinger is the best villain in the Bond franchise because he's unique. He's not out for world domination . . . he's doing what he's doing for the most selfish of reasons. He's got the coolest henchman, beautiful babes by his side (are you really surprised that they head over to Bond's side most of the time? Who would you rather hang out with . . . Bond or Goldfinger?). Great movie that most of the others have failed to match, though some have come close.

9/10
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  #33  
Old 12-19-2008, 10:49 AM
I like Goldfinger yet I find it somewhat overrated. It seems to have aged worse than most Bond films and it was the first step the franchise took the being completely ridiculous. I still kinda wish Terrance Young directed this one...

Still, Goldfinger is a fast paced, fun and exciting Bond film with good humor and a great villain.

7.5/10


PS. Am I the only one that thinks the them song sucks big time? I mean the lyrics are really, really bad even for 1963. Bassey just wails and screams the whole thing and it isnt the bit good.

Sorry...

Last edited by poopontheshoes7; 12-30-2008 at 04:29 PM..
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  #34  
Old 12-24-2008, 01:37 AM
Very funny and entertaining review Rant! I'd put Goldfinger as my favorite Bond flick. All the elements that make a great Bond flick were present and it is still a blast to watch. I look forward to reading your next installment! Alright first post!
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  #35  
Old 12-24-2008, 02:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigred760 View Post
I couldn't agree more. Goldfinger is my favorite Bond movie and has been for years. Goldfinger is the best villain in the Bond franchise because he's unique. He's not out for world domination . . . he's doing what he's doing for the most selfish of reasons. He's got the coolest henchman, beautiful babes by his side (are you really surprised that they head over to Bond's side most of the time? Who would you rather hang out with . . . Bond or Goldfinger?). Great movie that most of the others have failed to match, though some have come close.

9/10
Agreed. And I think I would rather hang out with Goldfinger, I'd have to look better by comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poopontheshoes7 View Post
I like Goldfinger yet I find it somewhat overrated. It seems to have aged worse than most Bond films and it was the first step the franchise took the being completely ridiculous. I still kinda wish Terrance Young directed this one...

Still, Goldfinger is a fast paced, fun and exciting Bond film with good humor and a great villain.

7.5/10
Tough—But fair. Though I love Terrence Young, I am one of those guys that really loves Hamilton's entries. As my reviews progress, I'll be sure to explain in great detail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by B.A. Usher View Post
Very funny and entertaining review Rant! I'd put Goldfinger as my favorite Bond flick. All the elements that make a great Bond flick were present and it is still a blast to watch. I look forward to reading your next installment! Alright first post!
Thank you. And I'm happy my thread could break your Joblo Cherry. Don't feel ashamed that your post ended too fast, it happens to a lot of newbies. In all seriousness, glad you liked the review and look no further for the follow up...
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  #36  
Old 12-24-2008, 02:53 AM
RANT'S BOND-A-THON: THUNDERBALL (1965)

ATTENTION: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS

THUNDERBALL
.:BOND #04 (1965):.


CLASSIFIED INTEL: THE PLOT

SPECTRE is back and in full force. Seemingly abandoning his vendetta on Bond, Number 1 holds a conference bringing together all his operatives to report on the progress of their various nefarious deeds. Enter Emilio Largo, HEM-EELIO! or as he is known within SPECTRE, Number 2—hehehe. Largo unveils his plan to highjack a British Vulcan bomber for it’s cargo of two atomic warheads, to be held for ransom for 100 mil-leon dollars “MuWahahahahahaha!”—worth of uncut diamonds. Pleased with his report, Number 1 praises Largo and the plan is set into motion. Stage one of Number 2’s plan begins at an exclusive rehabilitation clinic, where a certain world-renowned British spy is recuperating from the pre-credit’s action sequence. Hint: His initials are J. as in James and B. as in Boobies.

THE THEME AND CREDITS

Bond is back and striking like Thunder!—ball? OK—whatever. The point is he is back! Or is he? The film opens up on an elaborate coffin featuring the initials of J.B.. Gods of Action, say it isn’t so!

French Chick: The coffin - it has your initials: J.B.
Bond: At the moment, rather him than me. <-- (I don’t quite get it, but that’s what he says)

Whew! Another heart attack averted. We join Bond at the funeral for a one Jacques Bouvar, a man responsible for killing two of Bond’s fellow agents. James surveys the proceedings with a sense of uncomfortable uncertainty. Something is clearly up. As the ceremony comes to an end, Bond watches the widow Bouvar enter her car and something suddenly becomes clear to him.

Bond tails the widow home to her château and surprises her with a punch to the jaw. She drops like a sack of hammers and Terrence Young successfully manages to top all the misogyny of the last entry within the first couple minutes in his return to the series. Eat your heart out, Guy Hamilton! But wait! A second later the scenario becomes reassuringly PC, as the grieving and now punch drunk woman is revealed to be her “late” husband, SPECTRE agent Jacques Bouvar in disguise! That’s right!—That ain't no woman! It's a man, man!

Bond saw straight through his ruse, as Jacques failed to wait for a man to open his car door for him. Hmm—This was a pretty thin hunch to act on, but thankfully for women’s lib’, Bond was right as always. Of course this means that we now have a fight on our hands—and what a fight it is! This week on EXTREME HOME MAKE-OVER, we are joined by special guests: Actor Sean Connery and Stunt Choreographer Bob Simmons. War has officially been declared on Feng Shui as Bond and Bouvar proceed to fuck shit up on a massive level in one totally bitchin WWE-style grudge match. The only thing missing was Michael Buffer and the 10-second tap-out rule.

The two fist-tango until Jacques gets out of hand and whacks James with a iron-poker. Bad form, Bouvar! It‘s cool though, James gets him back by strangling him with it and throwing a bunch of flowers on his corpse. Take that, old chap! By now Bouvar’s men have heard the commotion and are in pursuit as Bond scurries outside to the terrace. But wait, there’s more! In a weird non-sequitur, where-the-Hell-did-that-come-from move, Bond dodges the henchmen’s bullets and escapes with a conveniently placed—Jet-Pack. A Fucking Jet-Pack—Wow, OK. I guess he placed that before going inside? I dunno, doesn’t matter. What does however that it is awesome. Even in the cheesy green screen shots it manages a certain amount of goofy WTF charm. So, Bond lands and jumps inside his now legendary Aston Martin DB5 and decides to perform a demonstration of his latest Q-Lab modification: duel water cannons. Blasting the baddies in copious amount of H double-O, the action comes to a close with a water-logged dissolve into the credits.

And what credits they are! Naked women in silhouette withering around in Technicolor water. The bubbles dance as the ladies smoothly dodge slow-motion harpoons whilst still remembering to let the occasional nip be slipped. It’s fun, it’s wet, it’s sexy, it‘s THUNDERBALL. Well—I’ve seen the film several times and I still don’t really know what the Hell that really means. James’ operation is code-named Thunderball, but it is never explained as to why. Whatever it seems to mean, one thing is for sure: it really pumps Tom Jones’s Nads. He wails his nonsensical lyrics with lounge room swagger and I sit back and giggle. I’ve never been able to take this style of music seriously. I mean, how can you? But, I understand that this genre of music is about entertainment over substance and it, like many Bond films, manages to deliver what it promises.

BOND, JAMES BOND: [SEAN CONNERY]
BODY BAGS FILLED [17] BOND BABES FULFILLED [3 for certain 1 possible]

With the massive success of GOLDFINGER, Bond-Mania was officially born. Connery became an action icon and for the time being, he ran with it. Connery appears neither shaken nor stirred about following up the worldwide smash of the previous installment and hits the ground strutting just a few months after the phenomenon that was GOLDFINGER. It takes a lot of chutzpah to jump right back into a role that is sure to be critically compared and heavily scrutinized, but lucky for us, Connery is a pro and doesn’t disappoint.

It is hard to talk about Bond without bringing up the an amazing key factor in his on screen creation and success: Terrence Young. Back in the director’s chair, for his farewell performance, Young makes sure to get his views on the character across and put the new budget and success to bloody good use.

It is easy to tell that Young has returned to the helm, even without reading his name in the credits. The main indicator being in the return of a more able 007. Bond is back on top and rarely lets the villain get the better of him. This is something that was clearly, I won’t say lacking, but missing, in GOLDFINGER. In THUNDERBALL, Bond spends the better part of the film using his keen detection skills and witty demeanor to stay in step with a villain that has the upper edge. He does this to not only solve the mystery of the missing NATO warheads, but also to prove to himself (and the audience) that he is still the MAN. In order to keep up with Largo, Bond spends every scene he shares with him cleverly berating and mocking the man. Both Bond and Largo know that he is guilty, so it becomes a game of wit and class. Can Bond break Largo’s cool and discover how he is hiding the warheads? Or will Largo continue to stay a step ahead of Bond and prove that he is worthy of his position in SPECTRE?

The only times that Largo manages to get the better of Bond is when Bond himself screws up. For instance when Bond almost gets himself eaten by sharks in Largo’s outdoor tank, it was Bond who alerted them to his presence by dropping his gun and making noise. Young does this, I think, to assure us that Bond is still human, he makes mistakes—BUT, he is STILL James Bond. Rest assured he will still save the day, get the girl and defeat evil, ‘cuz Bond is the MAN. Bond is not some sap that allows the villain to control the plot of the movie. This is Bond’s world and don’t you forget it.

THE BOND VILLAIN(S):


Guy Doleman as Count Lippe and Paul Stassino as Angelo Palazzi

These two rascals play key parts within the film, yet have very little screen-time and are both taken out early on in the film. I thought them both worth mentioning as they still gave memorable performances. Lippe is great, simply because he tries to kill Bond with a back-breaking hump machine. They call it a “spinal traction machine” in the film, but I know a pelvic thrust toner when I see one. As for Palazzi, this guy is hardcore. He has spent two years of his life undergoing flight training and complete facial reconstruction to play the role of François Derval for the course of an afternoon. The problem is the silly bastard thought that he could demand a higher payment the day of and actually expect SPECTRE to pay up AFTER the job was completed. What a maroon.

Philip Locke as Vargas

This wormy bugger is Largo’s bitc—er, personal assistant. Coming off of GOLDFINGER’s Oddjob and competing for screen-time with fellow henchman, Fiona, this guy almost disappears within the film. His unique henchman characteristic is that he is the founder of the straight-edge movement. Vargas abstains from alcohol, smoking and hanky panky. He is kind of like a willing version of myself. So for that, I remembered him. Plus he has a bichin’ death scene and allows Bond to deliver my favorite post-mortem one-liner in the film. After getting impaled onto a tree via harpoon, Bond quips, “I think he got the point.” Oh James, you cheeky fucka’ you!

Bob Simmons as Colonel Jacques Bouvar aka Number 6

It takes a real man to pull off whippin’ ass in a pair of 6 inch heals, thankfully they had such a man. Stuntman extraordinaire, Bob Simmons. We only know a little about Jacques, he killed a couple of James’s colleges, he tried to fake his own death, and he’s the type of lady that doesn’t feel the need to have to shave her legs to attend a funeral. I already dished a bunch about my thoughts on his fight scene, so I’ll just say I’m glad this man gets his due on screen. A great fight, by one of the godfathers of modern action. Bob is God.

Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona Volpe

Holy Bulbous Flesh-Melons, Bond-Man! I start my blurb on this girl with a crude male-chauvinist remark breaking her performance down to a mere objectified physical thrill. I do this because this woman represents the complete opposite, and I figured I should take the initiative to knock the feminist movement down a peg or two as Fiona Volpe builds it back up from the rubble left in the wake of Pussy Galore.

Apparently the writers of THUNDERBALL took a slight offense to some of the negative remarks made by critics over the ludicrous presumption that a lesbian henchwoman could or would renounce both her professional and sexual lifestyle after spending one afternoon bumping uglies with Bond in a hay loft. In response, they created Fiona. A villain that mocks James for his ego and gives him an awesome verbal beating:

“James Bond, who only has to make love to a woman and she starts to hear Heavenly choirs singing. She repents, then immediately returns to the side of right and virtue. —But not this one.”

While she is not the first sexy Female SPECTRE agent, she is certainly my favorite. Not only is she stunningly beautiful, she is also a take-no-shit cold-blooded assassin. How cool is that? She seduces, she kidnaps and kills. And the way she handles her rocket-fitted motorcycle with enough grace and skill to make Chuck Norris blush—makes Fiona the perfect villainess.

Adolfo Celi as Emilio Largo aka Number 2

So, you may be asking, what exactly does Number 2 do? Well, as his name would suggest, he is second in command only to Number 1 (whom I must mention is portrayed once again by Eric Pohlmann and Tim Moxon). And to get to such a high position within the organization, this guy has to know his shit (as his name also suggests, tehehe) A master planner and head of SPECTRE’s extortion operations, Largo is a return to the more realistic villain and represents the brain of the Bond nemesis.

Much like Goldfinger, Largo is a cold calculating man, with plans of grandeur. He differs in that he is never able to one-up Bond, as his temper and pride keep diverting him from the overall goal. Largo openly invites James into his inner circle, daring him to figure out how he is pulling off his global act of extortion. He is so confident that he has pulled off the perfect plan that Bond’s consistent mocking doesn’t sweat him one bit. Until, of course, Bond turns his mistress against him. Women… It is in her that his downfall lies, but also—his most memorable villainous endeavor. When Largo tortures a bound Domino with lit cigarettes and ice-cubes, he truly makes you hate him. It takes a complete lack of morality to perform such an egregious act on someone so beautiful. Hey, I think I figured out the title! Yes, sir, to harm Bond’s love interest in such a way—Emilio Largo shows he truly has—Thunder-Balls. Looking like Jay Leno in pirate regalia, Adolfo Celi really had his work cut out for him in following Goldfinger and I think he did a pretty good job.

THE BOND GIRLS:

Molly Peters as Patricia Fearing

Sent to a health clinic for well—his health—Bond is taken under the care of nurse Fearing. First off, I have to say, not the best choice in naming someone that is in the position of health care Mr. Fleming, but hey—How about them titties?! Anyways, this girl is special in that she is the first girl that I can think of that manages to completely shut Bond down after numerous charming attempts at coitus. Not to say that they don’t have sex, ‘cuz Boy do they. It just happens to be against her will. No, Bond doesn’t rape her, but he does the next closest thing.

After Bond is nearly humped to death on the “back” machine, Patricia begs Bond not to tell her superior as she was supposed to be watching him. Bond agrees, provided… Yeah you guessed it. Of course after this steamy instance, she is completely in love and embarrasses her self time and again with her fondness for Bond the remainder of his stay.

There isn’t much else to say about the girl. She serves her purpose of eye candy and comedic relief, but her role is rather small and other than saving Bond from being humped to death, she doesn’t have any relevance to the plot. So, I guess what I am saying is, I’m done talking about this bimbo, lets move on.

Claudine Auger as Dominique 'Domino' Derval

You know the type of beauty that makes you feel like you’re an unworthy zit on the ass of sub-par existence? Well, this is Claudine Auger. Arguably THE most naturally beautiful girl to ever grace the Bond stage. Spending almost all of her screen time in skimpy bathing suits, she is almost a threat to the writers work as I find it hard to follow the plot while staring at her navel. Even her name is sexy beyond all rational fairness: Dominique—Mmm, excuse me while I massage my nipples for a minute or two. So, what else do we know about this goddess? Well, according to Bond, she swims like a man and has two moles on her left thigh. Oh, she is also sister to François Derval and mistress to Emilio Largo. The latter two details arguably being the most crucial to the plot—arguably.

I forget how, probably because I was goggling her physique, but Domino is entrusted to Largo as his plaything. On one hand it makes me want to cry, on the other—I should be so lucky. Claudine plays the role like a world class game of—checkers. The subtle character quirks play out like wetdream. When with Largo, Dominique is quiet and demure, never making eye contact. The opposite when in Bond’s company. She has a sparkle in her eye, a spring in her step and it‘s the only time you see her smile. Domino is class personified and though her situation sucks, she handles it with grace. That is until Bond lets her know who killed her brother, right after some underwater escapades (they screwed in the ocean). A woman scorned is a dangerous thing, Largo—you pompous fuck. So, Dom decides to help Bond find the stolen warheads and in return she asks him for one thing, that he make Largo pay for his misdeeds with his life. It's a Deal. Sealed with a kiss.

This, however, is before Domino is caught trying to locate the warheads and is subsequently tortured for it. Largo—you sonnovabitch. This seems to be the last straw for Miss Derval. Freed from her bonds, rope bonds, she takes matters into her own hands and ends up saving James in the nick of time by blasting Largo in the back with a spear gun, effectively getting revenge and making herself even MORE of a turn on. A feat I thought previously impossible. Domino is one girl I would love to be slapped down next to—two congruent pieces, edge to edge, the perfect combination of two ends—double six’in it all night. Yeah.

continued...
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  #37  
Old 12-24-2008, 03:03 AM
...here

THE BOND-AIDS [GADGETS & CARS]
With the creation of the modified DB5, the Bond franchise got something that had previously been missing from the series. Lucrative merchandising. A mistake they planned not to make again. Not only does the “most famous car in the world” make another appearance, so does Q and a cavalcade of new gadgets.

Q visits Bond in the field for the first time and boy does he bring the Calvary:
- A Portable Pocket Sized Air Supply with 4 minutes of oxygen
- A Breitling ‘Top Time’ Diver Chronometer Watch with built-in Geiger Counter
- An Underwater Camera with infra-red film and another with a built-in Geiger Counter
- A Portable Pocket Mini-Flare Gun

Bond also begins the festivity of the highest budget Bond film (at the time, of course) with the ever memorable Jet Pack. The fact that this thing was a real working device back in 1965 is crazy. Up until watching this a few years ago, I had no idea that such a device was probable. I did go to a small town public school, in my defense. Even though Bond looks like a total dork in his ping-pong ball helmet, this doesn’t dissuade the Jet-Pack from being one of the coolest Bond gadgets of all time. As an added bonus, Bond is also outfitted with an underwater Jet-Pack thingie late in the film that fires harpoons, has a built in smoke screen (misused in the film), a headlight and a high speed propeller. This baby moves!

FRIENDS AND ALLIES:

Martine Beswick as Paula Caplan and Earl Cameron as Pinder

Paula is hot and Pinder—well, he’s Pinder. These two agents(?) are Bond’s liaisons in the Bahamas. Paula helps Bond to get in good with Domino and Pinder—well, he just helps. These two work behind the scenes with Felix (whoot!) giving Bond intel and helping him search for the location of the missing NATO plane. Paula has a small role and is the potential Bond lay mentioned above in the tally. She lies around her hotel room and provides a good amount of on-screen Dominoless sexiness. Eventually she is captured by Fiona and taken to Largo for questioning, where she takes her own life via cyanide capsule. And it’s very sad. But if you want to see her in a role in which she fo' sho' spends the night with Bond AND lives past the next morning, check her out as Zora in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE.

Pinder on the other hand, he survives and manages to do nothing of any consequence or interest. Probably the most useless character I have ever bothered to mention in a review. I will say he has a perfect name for such a do-nothing character. He’s just Pinder…

Rik Van Nutter as Felix Leiter

I’ll be God Damned! It’s Felix—AGAIN! Whoot! Yes, he is back and played yet again by a new actor with a nutty name (Durp!) This time around, Felix is riding high with James as his helicopter pilot. Cool. Whatever he does, don’t matter to me. As I’ve said before I love this guy.

Much closer to Ian Fleming’s Felix, than Cec Linder’s, Rik does a fine job filling in the CIA man’s shoes and was actually approached by the producers to reprise his role indefinitely throughout the series. Problem was, the filmmakers were unable to find time or cause for his character to appear within the next two films and his option of returning was subsequently lost. It’s a shame as he was ready, willing and played a damn fine Felix.

DEBRIEFING: FINAL THOUGHTS
With the massive success of GOLDFINGER, the producers vowed to the public (and to their wallets) to have another Bond adventure in theaters by the following Christmas season. A perfect time for all the new plastic replicated gadget toy lines to get their corporate tie-ins! How convenient!

So, production began asap and in order to one-up the previous installment, the producers turned once again to cinematic Bond maestro, Terrence Young. The theme this time around seems to be BIGGER than the BIGGER theme of GOLDFINGER. Knowing they had a surefire hit on their hands, producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman sparred no expense. And it truly shows. Roughly 25% of the film takes place underwater and that ain’t hay. It’s H20. Lame jokes aside, you have to give them a hand, this film is beautiful. But it is not without consequence.

With the insanely popular Aston Martin making mad cash in appearances at expos and racking it in on the small scale toy side, it was clear that the public liked those nifty Q-Lab creations. How is this a negative? Well, this is the beginning of style overtaking substance. It’s not to a horrifying degree, but it does take a little away from the story and characters. Rather than a need to be crafty or inventive, Bond merely just need to whip out whatever it was that Q conveniently created for him a day earlier. It’s a real double edged sword with laser sighting and built-in ball washer.

The other problem that more money creates is grandeur. As in the grandiose underwater sequences filmed for the climatic battle scene. Superbly shot and action packed, they just kept shooting. Editor Peter Hunt has said that the original cut of the sequence was about four minutes, a full minute longer than what he normally kept to. Amazing though it was, the producers clamored for MORE MORE MORE! And a tight spectacular little submerged scene transformed into a 10 minute juggernaut. And boy does it begin to wear after the 6 minute mark. You can only watch so many faceless stunt men get hit bloodlessly with harpoons and engage in slow-motion struggles with diving knifes before my attention starts to wear. Again, it’s not bad, it’s just a little too much.

The only other real issue I have with the film comes directly after the underwater showdown. Escaping with what little he has left, Largo powers up his boat and makes for the equator. Too bad for him, Bond is on board. James confronts Largo and a handful of his men in the ship’s bridge. Of course, nothing can be easy and before long the boat is at high speed and out of control. It’s a thrilling scene of macho fisticuffs, but it comes off as silly because the footage is inter-cut with shots of terrible looking green screen. The green screen footage is traveling at ludicrous speed and even with well placed shots of someone dramatically turning the wheel to avoid collision, there is just no believable way that they would be able to dodge the islands at the speed in which they are flying at the screen. It’s just—silly.

That said, THUNDERBALL is still an immensely entertaining entry and apparently I am not alone in thinking so. Back when it premiered, this flick made more in it’s opening week than the three predecessors made combined. Increased for inflation, THUNDERBALL has made almost One Beil-Yun Doll-Rs worldwide. That kind of money can buy a lot of James Bond Scuba Dolls, to be sure.

8 outta 10
RANT WILL RETURN IN (a review of) YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE

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  #38  
Old 12-24-2008, 08:52 AM
Keep these bad boys coming Rant!


As for Thunderball, I like it better than Goldfinger. I saw it before Goldfinger and its always been a favorite of my dads and I. The action and cinematography is incredible and Connery is still on the ball as Bond. The underwater fight is truly awesome and probably my favorite action scene in the series.

8/10
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  #39  
Old 12-26-2008, 06:45 AM
I love Thunderball for the women for than anything else. Fiona Volpe is my favorite Bond girl in that she is the most unique and, in my opinion, the hottest and most beautiful. Domino is up there too (top three probably). Bond is still cool as hell, Largo is a great villain, and the story and action sequences keep the movie fun and interesting. But I love watching the movie for the women alone.

8/10

Another great and fun review, Rant.
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  #40  
Old 12-29-2008, 09:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by poopontheshoes7 View Post
Keep these bad boys coming Rant!
You keep readin' 'em, I'll keep writin' 'em.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigred760 View Post
Another great and fun review, Rant
Thank you once again. Especially for making my name bold.

Just wanted to mention that this thread has gotten over 1100 hits, now I figure about 100 of those are my own, coming on to see if anyone commented, which means the rest must be at least a few people diggin' my rhetoric. As always, it's much appreciated. Especially to those who take the time to post.

Speaking of which, whether you like my stuff or not, I would love to see more of that. I don't make a dime off my reviews, (not that I think I should) so my payment, if I successfully entertain, is to read viewer comments. It's always nice to get feedback, so if you read my stuff and got a spare minute—it will be greatly appreciated and guaranteed a response. Thanks.


That said...
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