Bond is back, and Connery is playing him—for one last, tired, somewhat out-of-shape, slightly graying time. The cars are American, the dames are American, the villains are campy, and the action is weak, but it’s not so bad. It’s got sausage king Jimmy Dean! I follow the threads of a plot where Bond actually does some investigating, albeit one in which he himself overcomplicates things for no reason. I examine Bond’s need to put the whole murdered-wife-being-the-result-of-his-own-incompetence thing behind him. And I also examine why M feels the need to be such a jerk to the guy who repeatedly saved Europe from the most wanted man since Hitler.
Continue reading Diamonds Are Forever
Bond is back again and
Connery Lazenby plays him. Join me as I investigate the one and only appearance of George Lazenby in the role and try to figure out what the hell is going on. I mock the nonsensical missions-that-aren’t-missions, gadgets-that-aren’t-gadgets, and Blofeld’s plan-that-isn’t-a-plan that amounts to hypno-zombie debutantes with poison spray bottles.
I analyze Blofeld’s weird philanthropic tendencies, Tracy’s unexplained suicidal tendencies, and her father’s henchmen’s random homicidal tendencies. And I analyze Bond’s cozy relationship with the self-confessed second-biggest crime lord in Europe.
I obsessively identify the various cars. I try to imagine a less likely man to pretend to be a homosexual in a skirt and frilly blouse. I try to identify the moment Bond genuinely falls in love. And I try to identify the moment Bond realizes that his sex addiction has allowed a known international terror-extortionist to successfully launch his plan.
Start the commentary with the gun barrel sequence, on the countdown.
Bond is back again and Connery plays him, this time as a humble Japanese fisherman with a “yen” for smoked salmon. (Get it!?) Ah, but the mysterious Osato Corporation has it out for him and will surely do him in if they ever get their miserable act together and if they aren’t foiled by a girl. I examine the overall plan of Spectre, the specifics of that plan, the lack of a plan by Bond, and the awesomeness of ninjas and secret volcano lairs.
I mock the color-coded uniforms of Blofeld’s men, the awkwardness of the gadgets in Aki’s sweet Toyota 2000 sports car, the incredible convenience of certain plot twists, and the absurd unlikelihood of building a rocket base in a hollowed-out volcano with no one noticing. The film mocks me by serving up ninjas attacking a rocket base in a hollowed out volcano with no #@*&$ CGI. I mistakenly say that in the novel “Suki” tries to keep Bond and gets pregnant by him, but her name is “Kissy”. “Suki” is the original name for film’s character “Aki”, who doesn’t appear in the novel. Also, in keeping with the film’s rating, I bleep myself a couple of times.
Note: this was recorded with a headset instead of my usual microphone, so the quality is a little lower than usual.
Start the commentary with the gun barrel sequence, on the countdown. (56 MB)
James Bond has returned in his fourth adventure, this time facing his deadliest foe yet: Spectre, headed by Blofeld, who wants to hold the world ransom for (pinky to lip) one hundred million dollars! I take the story apart, questioning why no one else notices the clues in the photos all the double-0 agents get, how weird and kind of pointless it is that Bond had a fight with the guy Blofeld hired to deliver his audio taped demands, and how weird and kind of pointless it is that Largo hooked up with the sister of the guy he recruited to steal the nuclear bombs. I marvel as Bond dances on a leg with a bleeding gunshot wound. I blither as nameless, faceless men stab each other under water. And I compare the film to the book and somewhat to the later non-Eon remake Never Say Never Again.
Start the film after the MGM lion on my countdown. (62 MB)
Bond is back again in probably the most popular—and certainly most influential—James Bond film. He’s asked to check out Auric Goldfinger in this one, and uncovers a dastardly plot to steal—wait for it—gold! I discuss the gold-painted girl, the Aston Martin DB5, the idea of substituting golf for baccarat, the plausibility of putting a Lincoln Continental in a Ranchero, the plausibility of machismo overcoming lesbianism, the US Army’s sense of humor, and, of course, Pussy Galore.
Start the film before the Universal title at the same time you start the commentary.
Bond is back in one of the best but not best-remembered Bond flicks. Here, he is the subject of a direct attempt to kill him by involving him in a trap that SPECTRE knows he’ll fall for precisely because he knows it’s a trap. The lovely but naive Tatiana Romanova is their patsy and Red Grant their oiled-up angel of death. Along the way, a Gypsy catfight goes on too long, Bond keeps forgetting why he’s in Istanbul and why he stole the Lector device. Tatiana redeems herself in the third ending, and I wonder how Bond is going to explain her to his girlfriend. I don’t have the book to do extensive comparisons, but I do identify most of the cars, not that Bond drives them; he only drives a Chevy pickup.
Start the film with the roaring lion at the same time you start the commentary. (54 MB)
The James Bond series leaps into action with guns blazing as Sean Connery spends several hours talking to British colonial officials and wandering around Jamaica looking for a clue. Then he turns up the heat and starts blasting by sneaking around an island for a while, hoping not to get captured, before getting captured. Okay, it’s a little slow for what we’ve come to expect, but in 1962, this rocked. And even today, Miss Taro and Honey Ryder can still make your palms sweat. I compare the film to the book thruout and look for motifs, iconic elements, and firsts. I compare it to the Flint and Austin Powers movies that it inspired and to other Bond flicks. Note: Some comments are shaken while others are stirred. Somehow I make the bizarre mistake of saying that Sean Connery appeared in Zulu Dawn.
Start the film at the same time you start the commentary. (52 MB)