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Tag Archives: Bernard Lee

Classic Review: Dr. No (1962)

It’s the one that started it all. Who would have thought that this 1962 film based off a novel, would spawn a franchise that would run even to today, fifty years later. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to Mr. James Bond?

For the first challenge, James is out to save the space program, and the entire world from the half German, half Chinese, metal hand-having, Dr. No. After a fellow agent goes missing in the Bahamas, 007 is sent to see what is going on. Beaches, babes, and booze are sure to follow.

I really wish this was the first Bond movie I’ve seen. Unfortunately, it is not. And while I think it started the franchise on the right foot, it definitely is not the best. While the formula is not quite there yet, the villain is definitely top notch. Dr. No, may not be the most physically intimidating nemesis, but is mysterious, has a wicked deformity, and is a pretty cool baddie. And how cool is it, to reveal 007, with the famous, “Bond…James Bond”? All in all, a solid Bond, but not the top of the chain.

My Rating: B-

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Review: Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

Sean Connery came back after a one film hiatus to star in Diamonds Are Forever, the seventh official 007 film. Sometimes, even the greats don’t know when to hang them up.

Bond is after the diamond smuggling business and Diamonds Are Forever. James is soon sent to Vegas to investigate Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his high stakes diamond business. Diamonds are rapidly disappearing, and no one seems to know why. Leave it to Bond to put the world back in order.

So far, in my journey of Bond films, Diamonds Are Forever is by far my least favorite. Don’t get me wrong, it had its moments (the multiple Blofeld’s, the rappelling from the side of the hotel). But these bright spots were the minority, and a lot of corny lines, bad acting, and not great fight scenes were the majority.  Luckily it gets better after the first hour or so. The first half we get 007 being chased in a moon rover. The second half is a pretty sweet oil rig battle. Also on the downside is James himself. I’ve been in love with Connery’s interpretation of the character so far, but this older, slightly chubbier version is not the same as Goldfinger Bond. He’s slower, less charming, and just second rate. I’d definitely like the film a lot better if they had the same vibe in the beginning as they did in the end. Unfortunately, Connery had to hang up the gun with a whimper instead of a bang.

My Rating: C+

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Review: Thunderball (1965)

Sean Connery has obviously hit his peak by 1965, as he had 3 previous films as the best secret agent around. Thunderball changed things up however, changing the setting to under the high seas.

Largely located in the Bahama’s, Thunderball finds Sean Connery battling SPECTRE agent Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi). The main problem? Two nuclear bombs that seem to have disappeared.  Of course, Largo and his collection of sharks, and underwater army are in the way of James figuring things out.

I liked Thunderball. It is a consistently good 007 movie. No, it didn’t have the iconic scenes of the previously released Goldfinger, but it was good in its own right. I can’t really find much wrong with it in fact. It’s only downside is the movie that it follows. The film is capped off by a fantastic underwater battle between the good guys and the bad guys. Easily one of my favorite scenes so far in the franchise. Personally, I think old school Bond is personified in these tropical-set movies, and Thunderball is the best of that class. Very very solid 007 film.

My Rating: B+

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