Posts Tagged ‘Sean Connery

31
Jul
16

From Turkey With Love (James Bond 2)

From Russia with Love has long been considered by many to be the best of all the James Bond films. It perhaps isn’t the quintessential film as a few other aspects of the mythos wouldn’t be solidified until the third film. However, in terms of plotting, acting, directing, and spectacle, this movie has got it all.

Overwhelmed with the unexpected success of Dr. No, the producers hurried the sequel into production. The studio doubled their budget, and were expecting big things. The question was which of Ian Fleming’s novels to film next? Since they had already gone out of order (Dr. No is actually the sixth novel), they didn’t need to stay with any sort of continuity. Then-President John F. Kennedy had stated that From Russia with Love was one of his top-ten favorite books. So, why not use that one? They knew they’d have one fan eagerly awaiting the movie.

Since the source material dealt far more heavily with Cold War themes that the last, the producers decided to change a few aspects. SPECTRE once again became the primary villains. In doing so, the writers were able to carry over a few interesting aspects from the first film.

In 2008, the James Bond producers stated that Quantum of Solace was the first direct sequel in franchise history, coming after Casino Royale. Unfortunately, the current producers don’t know much about the history of their own franchise. If they were to watch From Russia with Love, they would realize it is a direct sequel to Dr. No.

Continue reading ‘From Turkey With Love (James Bond 2)’

23
Apr
16

The Doctor Will See You Now (James Bond 1)

The first James Bond film, Dr. No, was released in 1962. I imagine there was little fanfare considering it was the first in the series, and Sean Connery was not yet a household name. It’s fun to look back, over 50 years later, now that the franchise has exploded in popularity and seen several changes in actors and styles.

You can also see how differently movies were made back then. Bond shows up and immediately gets to work on his mission. Everyone interacts as if they have known each other for years. This is not an origin story in the slightest. It’s a bit jarring in a sense, but I think it’s only jarring because today Hollywood is obsessed with origin stories. The lack of an origin story is quite refreshing.

The origin of the film itself is interesting. The producers, Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli, wanted to start at the beginning, with Casino Royale. Unfortunately, they couldn’t secure the rights to the novel, as CBS had already made it into a one-hour television special. It was altered in several ways, including, most egregiously, turning the main character into an American named Jimmy Bond. Even though the TV special wasn’t a hit, CBS was interested enough to turn it into a full-fledged series. Ian Fleming was paid to write an additional 32 episodes comprising two television seasons. When the deal ultimately fizzled, Fleming took what he wrote and turned it into his book For Your Eyes Only.

Continue reading ‘The Doctor Will See You Now (James Bond 1)’

15
Nov
15

A Spectre of My Former Self (James Bond 24)

Daniel Craig returns as Ian Fleming’s James Bond in Spectre, the latest in the long-running film series. After the incredible highs of the previous film, Skyfall, people were eager for the follow-up. And since the same writers, director, producers, and star were returning, it had to be great, right? Right?

Unfortunately, Spectre rehashes the same ground that was tread in the previous film, and does so with less finesse. While it certainly has fantastic action, the rest of the film comes away as forced, leaving us with a middling Bond film.

I’m going to make a lot of references to Skyfall in this review of Spectre. Since pretty much the entire crew came back for the sequel, I think it’s fair to do so. There was a lot to dissect in the latest Bond outing, so I’m going to break down my thoughts into three categories.

The Good

I was immediately pleased to see the opening gun barrel scene at, you know, the opening, after two films shunted it to the end.

As has been the case for all of Craig’s Bond films, the action scenes in Spectre are top-notch. The most incredible takes place during the pre-title sequence. Bond is thrust into the crush of people in Mexico City’s wild Day of the Dead parade. He takes out some bad guys, and gets caught on a helicopter which is careening out of control. The loop-de-loops were thrilling, and the visuals of the holiday festivities alone were worth the price of admission. Bond looked cool as hell in the skeleton outfit he dons in the opening minutes.

Continue reading ‘A Spectre of My Former Self (James Bond 24)’

07
Nov
15

James Bond Pre-Title Sequences, Ranked

As a long-time James Bond fan, I’ve seen all the movies over and over again. The series is famed for it’s thrilling pre-title sequences which precede the story. I’ve listed all the sequences in order from worst to best. Check it out and let me know what you think!

22) The World is Not Enough It isn’t a surprise that the worst Bond movie also has the worst pre-title sequence. It’s absolutely bloated with excess. It starts off promising, with him fighting some people at a bank in Spain, but quickly spirals out of control as he goes on an overly long speedboat chase on the Thames River, and ends hanging off a hot-air balloon. It’s like a parody of a James Bond intro. It personifies the over-indulgence of the Pierce Brosnan era.

21) Die Another Day This intro is also pretty bad, but fares slightly better than the previous entry. It starts out completely cringe-worthy as Bond surfs into North Korea, moves along to a ridiculous hovercraft chase scene, and ends with Bond getting captured. The only reason I ranked it higher than The World is Not Enough is because they blended the opening song with the pre-title sequence. They had never done that before, and it kind of worked.


20) Quantum of Solace The crappy Bond movies keep on coming. I almost ranked this one at number 22, but I decided it wasn’t that horrible. It’s a car chase, which is cool in theory. Unfortunately, it’s schizophrenically edited. No shot lasts longer than two seconds. The camera is constantly switching from Bond’s face to the car to the tires to the road and back again. Making matters worse is the shakey-cam in which it was filmed. So, you have shakey-cam with jarring editing. If that doesn’t make you puke, I don’t know what will.

Continue reading ‘James Bond Pre-Title Sequences, Ranked’

12
Jan
15

American Hustle, Everything or Nothing

American Hustle

American Cleavage.

American Hustle was one of those films everyone raved about. When this happens, the movie is usually extremely overrated with little more than coherent storytelling and passable acting, with Argo being a prime example. I figured American Hustle would be exactly the same. The 2013 movie tells the story of con-artists in the 1970s helping the FBI run a sting operation against corrupt politicians. The movie begins with a very out of shape and balding Batman who has seen better days. He has been a con-man for years, and one day meets the love of his life, Amy Adams, who is a masterful con-woman. Batman and Adams are caught by Bradley Cooper who extorts them into working for the FBI. Their goal is to run a larger operation and take down corrupt politicians and the mob. What follows is a dizzying tale of each character trying to get something for themselves. American Hustle is truly a character-driven film. Each character is almost larger than life, played expertly by fantastic cast members. Every player has a developed backstory and clear motivations for what they want in life. There are, of course, double-crosses and cons along they way to keep the film moving. What else would you expect in movie with con-artists? Fortunately, the movie does not rely on the cons, but rather the characters. The 1970s are alive and well in this movie. I didn’t live in this decade, but I can only imagine this is what it looked like, bright, flashy, and very eclectic. The movie required a lot of juggling on the part of the director to keep each character in the spotlight, to keep the story moving full steam ahead, and to not let the pacing get bogged down. Director David O. Russel delivered on every level. The movie really is as great as the hype claims it to be. It is a rare example of a big-budget, star-studded movie done right.
Verdict: Awesome
Everything or Nothing

Such Bond. So secret agent. Wow.

Anyone who frequents Awesome Shitty knows that I’m a James Bond fan. A documentary titled Everything or Nothing was released to mark Bond’s 50th anniversary. I finally got around to watching it, and I must say it was an interesting look back at the genesis of everyone’s favorite spy. The movie begins with Ian Fleming’s early life, and the events that led up to his creation of the Bond character. Bond is essentially an extension of Fleming himself with the smoking, drinking, and jetsetting. The film follows the failed first attempt to bring Bond to the screen on American TV as “Jimmy Bond,” an American CIA agent, and continues on to failed licensing attempts, and eventual success with the first film, Dr. No. We learn the behind the scenes drama of Connery leaving, returning, and leaving again, Lazenby’s hilarious story as to how he was cast as the second Bond, and more. Like a Bond villain himself, Kevin McClory pops up three different times over the years to attempt to thwart the Bond film producers because he claimed rights to the Thunderball story. While I knew the Bond franchise had its ups and downs over the years, I didn’t know how much backstage battling there really was. I suppose there had to be considering it is a 50-year-long movie franchise. The film features great intreviews with producers, writers, directors, and the James Bonds themselves. Only Connery doesn’t appear, which is disappointing, but otherwise, we get some great insights from everyone else. Brosnan in particular had a rough road to becoming Bond and had an interesting story to tell. For fans of the James Bond series, this documentary is a must watch. Even non-Bond fans will like the movie. Mrs. Brik who has seen some of the movies found the documentary quite interesting. I highly recommended checking this out.
Verdict: Good
01
Mar
14

Brik Hates the Academy Awards: 90s Edition

It’s no mystery that I hate the Academy Awards. Hollywood spends half the year binging on cocaine and hookers and the other half praising themselves for it. No other industry exerts so much energy and spends so much money on self-congratulatory masturbation than the film industry. These sick fucks have the cushiest, easiest jobs in the world, and they act like what they do is some kind of goddamn accomplishment. “LOL OH LOOK I JUST RECITED SOME LINES SOMEONE ELSE WROTE FOR ME AND SHED A TEAR AT THE SAME TIME! I’M A FUCKING ACTING GOD! QUICK SOMEBODY GIVE ME FIFTY AWARDS LOL!” In theory, I could get behind the awards if they actually awarded things that were deserving. You know, giving a Best Picture award to the best movie of the year. But the Academy rarely gives that award to the best movie of the year. Hell, they don’t even give it to the most popular movie of the year. Usually, they give it to whatever cool person produced the movie, or to the most obscure, independent, foreign piece of shit they can find. Typically, no one in the mainstream public will have even seen the winner. They’ve been pulling this shit for years. So, I decided to analyze the past years, offer my own nominees, and declare new winners. Best movie isn’t the one that makes you cry or makes you think. Best movie is the one that you want to revisit over and over again. A movie you watch once and never again isn’t good. It’s only good if you can’t help but watch it a million times. Rewatchability is the hallmark of something great.

This time around, I’ll be taking a look at the Best Picture winners from the 1990s.
11
Oct
10

4 Horsemen of the Film-Making Apocalypse: Part 2 – Michael Bay

 

The Four Horsemen of the Film-Making Apocalypse

 

For a long time I’ve been carefully watching for the end of the world. According to the Bible (the world’s most accurate and consistent book), the world will end in a fiery shit storm, ushered in by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Well, that time is here, albeit not in a form that anyone expected. In fact, all the pestilence, war, famine, and death are not coming literally, but figuratively in the world of cinema.

Horseman numero dos is none other than Michael Bay. Just like our friend Roland Emmerich, this guy’s “movies” have also grossed over $3 billion worldwide. It’s an impressive feat considering that his “movies” are little more than paper-thin stories used solely for the purpose of stringing together a series of explosions. Here is a list of some of this auteur’s “movies:” Continue reading ‘4 Horsemen of the Film-Making Apocalypse: Part 2 – Michael Bay’

18
Mar
10

Reasons Why Elfen Lied Rules

 

This image had to replace the original, more awesome one. It featured a naked chick killing people in fountains of blood. Photobucket removed it because they are pussies.

1. Gratuitous violence – I haven’t seen any other anime, TV show, or movie that has as much violence as Elfen Lied. Seriously, buckets of blood are spraying everywhere. There are tons of decapitations, not to mention the severing of limbs, and the punching of holes through torsos. When the Diclonius get pissed off, you’d better watch out. No one is safe. Everyone is a target. I love that the violence crosses the line. You keep thinking that it will hold back, but it doesn’t. And the best part is that the show doesn’t look back. Every episode has geysers of blood splattering everywhere, and the Diclonius are complete unremorseful about it. Not a lot of characters make it through to the end. In the first episode the show tricks you into thinking this cute, ditzy girl will be a primary character. Nope. She gets killed very quickly, and then Lucy (the main character) uses her corpse as a human shield against a torrent of machine gun bullets. Badass. The fight scenes are all essentially massacres. They aren’t dragged out over multiple episodes like so much shonen garbage. Instead, they are quick, bloody, and brutal.

Amazing Elfen Lied cosplay.

2. Violence against women – The Diclonius are mostly women, and there is a lot of Diclonius vs Diclonius action. This means girls are fighting each other, which is hot in itself. They don’t wrestle naked in a mud pit, but they do get naked quite a bit during their fights. Any time these girls battle, they kick the crap out of one another, and it rules. But the women don’t get all the fun. Even the main guy, Kohta, bitch slaps females when they get hysterical. He hits his cousin, his sister, and anyone else with two X chromosomes who is within slapping range. It’s actually very refreshing, as in most anime all the female characters go into histrionic rants constantly and no one ever shuts them up. But Kohta does. Nobody knows how to shut up a woman faster than Kohta, except for maybe Sean Connery.

Kaboom! Splat!

3. Violence against children – The creators of Elfen Lied were really not fucking around when they decided to make the most hardcore series ever. I can’t think of any story in any medium where children are brutalized so much. They get beaten, molested, sliced in half, and tortured. Kids attack other kids in school. The Diclonius kill kids. Hell, even the adults get in on the kid-crushing action. The villainous Bandoh beats up a poor, defenseless human girl for information. Scientists launch cannon balls at kids, and even the motherfucking police gun down Lucy when she was just a little girl. Awesome.

This is the only picture I could find with the dog in it.

4. Violence against animals – If anything is taboo in storytelling, it’s violence against animals. Fucking PETA have brainwashed society at large. It’s so bad that in any movie or TV show we can have humans destroyed in a blaze of genocide and no one blinks, but god forbid the cute horsey gets hurt! These goddamn hippies even got up in arms when the contestants on the reality TV show Survivor were eating rats for sustenance. What the hell were they supposed to do, starve to death? Jesus. Well, this show told those stinky hippies to go to hell. In a flashback scene we see Lucy’s dog held down and bludgeoned to death, and the perpetrators all thought it was hilarious. They were even saddened when the dog died too soon. Of course, Lucy’s revenge that comes soon after is bloody goodness. Damn, Elfen Lied is so metal.

Pic related. Get it? Related.

5. Incest – The only other good anime series I can think of that showed incest was Shakugan no Shana. The Incest Twins were constantly making out, and I imagine they were fucking behind the scenes as well. Kanon came close by teasing us with the possibility of hot incest. Of course it pussied out, and the asshole protagonist in that series ended up choosing a comatose girl instead of going for some sweet cousin-on-cousin lovin’ (oops, spoilers!). Anyway, Elfen Lied doesn’t hold back. Kohta’s female cousin makes it quite clear that she gets wet for him. She is constantly getting mad any time he so much as looks at another girl. She makes a move and makes out with him, and being the super stud he is, he makes his own move on her later. Although we only saw them kissing, we can all guess what it led to. Kohta also manages to make out with Lucy, who also wants him. While this would seem harem-ish (e.g. Tenchi Muyo, Love Hina) you have to remember that Kohta is actually kissing these girls, so Elfen Lied already rises above those typical harem shows. They probably had a giant orgy at the conclusion of the series.

The costume designer really pulled out all the stops for this show.

6. Nudity – Nudity is always better than no nudity. Here we get tons of nudity. Lucy wanders around naked for half the series. Nana is naked for practically all of her fight scenes. Mariko gets in on it, too. Honestly, I’m surprised that more of the female characters didn’t get naked. Nudity rules, and so does Elfen Lied. If you didn’t like this series, then you just weren’t manly enough to handle it.

Verdict: Good

18
Sep
08

Bond…James Bond 1-7

I recently picked up all the remastered Ultimate Edition DVDs of the James Bond films from an Ebay auction. I’m not exactly careful with these types of things. I bid on a whim, and then promptly forgot about the thing. Five days later, my inbox displayed an email telling me that I won. Oh sweet. I was now out around $130. On the bright side, I got all 22 Bond films, and I consider myself a pretty big fan of the series. Over the last couple of weeks I have been watching the movies, and I thought I’d share my thoughts with both of you who read my blog.

If I had to rank the Sean Connery films in order from best to last they’d go something like this (I’m also throwing in Lazenby’s film as it falls between two Connery movies):

  1. From Russia with Love
  2. Goldfinger
  3. Dr. No
  4. You Only Live Twice
  5. Thunderball
  6. Diamonds are Forever
  7. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  8. Never Say Never Again (an unofficial film)

If you’re interested in why I ordered them the way I did (and how could you not be?), read on. Continue reading ‘Bond…James Bond 1-7’




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