Welcome, Mr. Reader, to the first in my series of contributions to the Blogalongabond initiative, which is re-examining James’s Bond’s back catalogue at the rate of one film per month until the release of the next Bond film in cinemas near you in November 2012.
I firmly believe that the Bond films represent our greatest British cinematic legacy, and over the course of the next 23 months I will attempt to find something in each film which has not only influenced the rest of the series, but also cinema itself. You may wish me luck in advance for when we get to the likes of Octopussy and Tomorrow Never Dies, because I’m definitely going to need it.
So, thirty-nine years on from the original Bond film, what most resonates from Dr. No to this day? It’s not quite the template for every film that followed; somewhere, in a parallel universe, there have been twenty-two Bond films that all started with a series of flashing dots, rather than scantily clad women silhouetted against giant guns, and in that universe there’s probably a much higher epilepsy rate. But thankfully we live in this universe, where Bond has updated and tweaked the template, but the core values have remained the same, and the dots didn’t last. There’s a few things that did, so at the risk of making things even more difficult for myself in the coming months, here’s my top 5 legacies from Dr No. You’ll only get one next month, so make the most of it.
And in case you’re wondering about the selections in my list, there are plenty of iconic repeated moments (such as the opening tracking gun barrel shot and the dripping blood) which are maybe a little too specific to this series, and quite a few standout moments (Bond’s first introduction, Honey Rider emerging from the sea in a bikini) which are fantastic in isolation, but maybe don’t have a lasting impact in the grander scheme.
Month three of my trailer countdown already? My, how time flies. Well, the retrospection first; from June’s list, which I had seen two 8/10 and one 5/10 movies, I’ve since added a 7/10 but two completely eluded me; for July, it’s two 10/10, one 8/10 and one 7/10 and another two unseen. Although I thought it would be City Island I missed out on, it’s actually Splice that has eluded me. My local Picturehouse is suggesting it may still show London River, it just doesn’t know when.
So to this month. I’ve left out The Expendables as I already put that in another post, so this is sort of technically a Baker’s Half Dozen, but I never claimed this would be mathematically accurate. I also resisted the temptation to add the trailer for The Human Centipede (First Sequence), as interesting is really the wrong word for what that’s touting. As always, click on the title of each to jump to the trailer, done that way so I don’t drown in spam.
If Airplane was so good (and it was), why have people struggled ever since to make good spoof movies, or indeed comedies in general? Word of mouth is very strong on this one from those internets types.
Well, I love A Prophet, but I also love The White Ribbon. Which is better? There’s only one way to find out – FIIIIIGHT!!! * Wait, neither of them won? Yes, this Argentinian movie snuck up on the rails and stole the Best Foreign Language Oscar out from under the noses of these two heavyweights – now time to find out if that was a smart move by the Academy. (Since I rate the first two at 9/10 and 10/10 respectively, it’s gonna be tough.)
Ving Rhames! Richard Dreyfuss! Christopher Lloyd!! Kelly Brook. 3D Schlocky Pirahnas though!!
Ever since Oldboy, I’ve been waiting for another truly great Korean movie. Could this be it? Who knows, but it must be in with a chance.
I think I’ve pretty much come to terms with the fact that this one won’t be as good as the first one, which was very good indeed if you haven’t seen it. But I’m still keep to see how the last two pan out.
As a man who prefers Hot Fuzz to Shaun of the Dead, my concern has always been that Edgar Wright’s directorial style needed more work than the scripting of those movies, as amazing as they both were. However, this is where Edgar’s on his own, and gets to show if he’s really made of… The Wright Stuff. (Sorry.) I am seeing this at MovieCon III, or at least the four minutes that haven’t been in one of the many trailers.
(* I was once in the audience for Harry Hill’s TV Burp. Fact.)