The cold open to For Your Eyes Only is immediate action. James Bond (Roger Moore) is taken on a helicopter ride from Hell. The pilot is inexplicably murdered and the plane becomes remotely piloted by Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who commandeers the vehicle toward Bond’s demise. Or so it seems. Bond takes control of the cockpit, flies the chopper to Blofeld, picks the arch-nemesis up, and drops him from a high altitude. It seems an unfitting death for such a pivotal franchise villain, Blofeld having appeared in more Bond films than any other of the spy’s adversaries.
After this diversion, which seems to only serve as an answer to the question as to when Blofeld will return (the answer given is never), we get the real opening to the film. A British naval boat is sunk by an underwater mine, and Bond is sent to investigate. He does, and is promptly captured. The action sequence that follows is Continue reading For Your Eyes Only (1981) Movie Review
The cold open to Diamonds Are Forever depicts an angered James Bond (Sean Connery) roughing up a series of people in his search for terrorist supervillain and now arch-nemesis Blofeld (Charles Gray). He finally does find him and, seemingly, kills him. Whatever the case, Connery feels very tired in this scene when it comes to his line delivery.
Following this exacted revenge, Bond is tapped on to impersonate a diamond smuggler. From this job, he encounters a strange cast of characters, including Continue reading Diamonds Are Forever (1971) Movie Review
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the first EON-produced James Bond film not to star Sean Connery in its lead role. Instead, we get George Lazenby appearing in the opening scene of the film. He introduces himself to a lovely woman in the normal James Bond way. Then, he fights off violent criminals in the normal James Bond way. Yet, this opening scene and subsequent opening titles sequence are self-aware of this sudden change in casting. Lazenby, his face a sly grin oozing with cheekiness, says, essentially to the audience, “This never happened to the other fella.”
Despite this acknowledgment that the Lazenby Bond isn’t the same as the Connery Bond we have come to know and, at times, love, the following scenes depict Bond as usual. He is awarded a luxury suite at a hotel. He plays baccarat. He drinks Dom Perignon ’57 as he sits down with a beautiful woman. He even stops to dine on caviar after fending off an assailant.
But Lazenby isn’t Connery. Lazenby is Bond to the next level. He is quicker to Continue reading On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) Movie Review
You Only Live Twice, the fifth James Bond film and the fifth to feature Sean Connery in the lead role, opens on space, where a manned, United States spacecraft is hovering over Earth’s orbit. As one of the two astronauts leaves the craft, a larger spacecraft starts barreling toward them. This larger, unidentified spacecraft swallows the U.S. craft whole, leaving the external astronaut for dead in open space and the U.S. government up in arms over their lost craft.
After seeing this international kerfuffle over the missing spacecraft–the U.S. blaming the Soviets and England blaming the Japanese–we meet Bond in Hong Kong, where he is Continue reading You Only Live Twice (1967) Movie Review
In the opening scene of Thunderball, James Bond (Sean Connery) attends the funeral of a man that he wishes he could have killed himself. Following the ceremony, there is an action sequence almost immediately. It is very well choreographed and fast paced–something that can’t be said about all of the action sequences in this movie. He eludes more armed baddies and escapes into the Paris day.
Oh, and he also has a jetpack. Just saying.
The opening credits sequence kicks in, and we hear Tom Jones singing the titular theme. It is a well-sung song. Perhaps it is apocryphal, but the story goes that Jones passed out in the recording studio after Continue reading Thunderball (1965) Movie Review
From Russia With Love, the second film adaptation of Ian Fleming’s work to depict MI6 agent James Bond, cold opens on a cat and mouse chase at night. Bond (Sean Connery) steps out of the shadows and moves silently across the grassy landscape, knowing that he is being tailed. The assailant (Robert Shaw), stalks Bond, then retreats to the cover of a nearby bush to wait for the perfect moment to strike. Surprisingly, he gets that perfect moment. Bond goes down, choked by wire at the hands of the assassin. The super spy is bested.
Or is he.
Lights go up, and an army of men are revealed. The event was a training exercise and Bond: a grunt in a Connery mask. Someone is out to get Bond. Someone very powerful.
Continue reading From Russia With Love (1963) Movie Review