Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

Ian’s Bond Education: Part 1

I have a confession to make: I’m not a Bond fan.  I’m not anti-Bond either mind you, its just that I never grew up watching them and I’m not as well acquainted with the series as many other film fans.  So I’ve decided to change that.

My history of Bond is seeing Goldeneye back in high school and liking it, I think.  I then watched Casino Royale and loved it.  I know Bond fans are shaking their heads at me, but too bad, its my favourite Bond film thus far, and probably will remain so for a while.  Most of the reason is probably my lack of experience with Bond, but its all a matter of perspective I suppose.

I of course watched the other two Craig films. Quantum disappointed me, like many others.  Skyfall was enjoyable.  I also watched Dr. No a few years back, since it was the first of the series and I felt like I should see it.  I liked it.  It was down to earth, but not completely, the setting was exotic, and I just thought it was a solid film.  I also remember seeing From Russia with Love even longer ago, like when I was a teenager, so I didn’t remember a whole lot except the part where he shoots down the helicopter.  A couple years ago I decided to check out Goldfinger since it is widely considered thte ultimate Bod film, but I wasn’t overly compelled by it.

So there is my history thus far.  I have decided to make a more concerted effort to catch up on my Bond film knowledge, starting with Thunderball and going from there.  I hope you enjoy my thoughts.



Okay, so I watched Thunderball. I do think that the early Bond films have a certain charm to their locations and overall style. I am getting the sense that I much more prefer Bond without the silliness like gadgets or overly complicated schemes. For example, I rolled my eyes something fierce during that opening scene when he flies away on a jetpack for no reason other then to have James Bond fliy away on a jet pack.

For the first half of the film I will admit I was kinda bored. I wasn’t seeing anything that set this apart from other Bond films or even from other spy films in general. But then the underwater stuff came and I understood why this movie had value. There’s some really cool ocean stuff in the second half which brought me back in.

You Only Live Twice

I have come to the realization that I prefer my Bond movies to be a little more settled down and grounded.  When we started this movie in outer space, I started to roll my eyes a little.  And when it appeared that Bond himself was going into space, I really rolled my eyes.  Luckily he didn’t.  But regardless, this seems to be where Bond really starts to move from cool, suave spy intrigue films to silly gadget spy films. Like the magnet helicopter, for instance. I guess thats just not my thing.  There’s a lot of iconic stuff here which I appreciated mind you, like the underground base and the villain with the cat on his lap.
I was somewhat caught up in the story I will admit.  It was sort of the reverse of Thuunderball though. .  Where Thunderball picked up as it went on, most of my interest here was in the first half and I began losing interest in the second.  And James Bond trying to look Japanese?  He looked like some weird Vulcan.
Also, didn’t the whole fake death thing that the title refers to ultimately pointless in regards to the story?
From Russia With Love
I have seen From Russia with Love, but it was many year ago, and I barely remember it.  Its okay.Its a very subdued James Bond, and I like subdued over ridiculous.  Although this might tip a little too much into the mundane.  This tells a moer tradional spy tale with more focus on the intrigue than the action, and I appreciate that.  I suppose I was disappointed with the lack of intrigue in the actual story.  SPECTRE is shadowing James Bond while he retrieves a micro-tape.  Okay then.I liked the direction they took here and the tone it created, but the story was nothing special.  I really liked that Robert Shaw was in it, and I enjoyed his scene with Bond on the train.

2 Responses to “Ian’s Bond Education: Part 1”

  1. Interesting thoughts, glad to hear you’re catching up on your Bond info and movies.

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