Twitter Feed


2013-06-22: Transfered all of my 2011 "My Year in Music" posts from Facebook.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Superficial Bond Reviews --- #06: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

* From the very start, OHMSS gives the impression that it wants to make a statement, and thank God that statement isn't "I'm going to suck".
The intro offers a rear view mirror-closeup of Bond's cigarette-wielding mouth, and he's driving a 60s Aston Martin that tells you he's a man's man among manly men.
To further emphasize that point, he proceeds to beat seven shades of shit out of some bad guys on the beach. Great fight. The director and editor use primitive tricks to make the fights seem more intense, and it works because it's good-primitive, not bad-primitive. At this point, I'm in love with everything that isn't a goddamn shaky cam.
Then our new hero, George Lazenby, gets to deliver some cringeworthy, self-referential line about "the other guy", because all Bond movies must try to ruin every good sequence. But I ignore it because I'm very entertained.

* The title sequence has one of the best - if not the best - tunes out of all the Bond movies. No screaming middle-aged woman, just cool music.

* The new Bond gets to smack some chick around a little. Good for him, and good for the tone of the movie. Like I said, not because I get some bizarre kick out of that sort of thing - but because Bond should be that kind of guy: someone who slaps a woman for pointing a gun at him.
Yeah. Slap her, George. Slap her!

* After a while, I realize that I'm forgetting to take notes. You know why? Because stuff happens, and I'm entertained.
I write down "I'm entertained" in my notes.

* The tough guy image of 007 gets kinda punctured after a while, when they put poor Lazenby in a puffy shirt and a kilt. I'm unsure whether it's an attempt at humor or plain 60s fashion. Maybe 60s fashion was an attempt at humor in itself.

* Shortly after I ponder the significance of clothing, the tough guy Image of Bond is restored again, as Lazenby kicks some more ass.
I'm convinced that Lazenby's Bond is the one who could beat up all the other Bonds. You can say what you want about ol' Dumbo ears, but his natural athleticism is a great asset to the 007 character.

* Also, Telly Savalas is a great Blofeld... although that weird way of holding the cigarette is freaking me out a bit. Not enough so that it ruins the actual chemistry between the villain and the hero, though.
It would just be slightly worse if Blofeld was constantly sucking on a lollipop.

* Oooh! Mountain Fortress! How very Nazi of you, Mister Blofeld!
The Mountain Fortress is cool, but they should really have invested in a proper holding cell. Bond gets captured, as he always does, and putting a top British agent in a room with a huge hole in it (that leads to freedom), probably isn't the best way to handle him.
The Great Escape it ain't. More like the Awkward and a Little Dangerous, But Otherwise Quite Easily Achieved Escape.

* Ski chase! - and this is the only movie I'll be excited about that.
In OHMSS, the idea of a ski chase is new and fresh, and the stunts are awesome. The outfits also help... and there I go with the outfits again.
Speaking of which: the accessory to end all accessories, is Blofeld's truly amazing goggles. They can best be described as... indescribable.

"My eyes! The goggles do nothing!"

But amidst all the fun, I still notice that having a mastermind criminal like B-feld chase our hero on skis is just silly. Undignified, is what it is. Leave the slalom shenanigans to the hired help, or else you might end up crashing into a tree or something.

* From out of the blue, our sensitive sixties Bond declares that he "loves" his current squeeze, a woman he's known for about 20 minutes.
If it were the very first time I saw this movie, I'd cling to the hope that he was jerking her around for some kind of personal gain. Like sex, for instance. But no - he wants to marry her, and have a baby and a dog and a house and a picket fence and a red mailbox that reads "Mr. and Mrs. 007 and 006 1/2".
This is all wrong. Especially since he's got access to a regular babe-a-polooza in this movie.

* Then there's more skiing, and an utterly moronic chase on a bobsleigh track.
Blofeld, of course, wants to get in on the action, and, doing 100 mph, is promptly introduced to a tree.
Bond sees his arch enemy hanging from a branch, and thinks "oh, well, he's probably dead. I won't have to go back and check if the deadly and insane leader of SPECTRE, the #1 criminal organization in the World, is still alive. Because he looks kinda dead. I win."

* In the end, Bond is married, but Blofeld, still alive (!) and embracing his newfound love for the hands-on approach, does an old-school drive-by and kills the Hell out of Mrs. Bond.
I find that poetic: Being an idiot by asking some random chick to marry you, is canceled out through being an idiot by not finishing off your nemesis.
Nothing excuses Bond blubbering like an idiot either. "She's only sleeping..." he whines to some biker cop who looks at the sobbing man in disgust. Bleurgh. Yeah, that's what you do when you sleep: gush gallons of blood out of a dozen holes in your body.

* All in all, a great Bond movie - one of the best.
Just imagine what it could have been without the touchy feely lovvie dovvie schmoochie poochie element.

No comments:

Post a Comment