Sunday, 21 June 2015

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE TRAILER...



You know, considering the fact that JAMES BOND is
supposed to be a spy, the only 007 movie in the series that
immediately springs to mind as an actual 'spy movie' is From
RUSSIA With LOVE.  That's mainly because S.M.E.R.S.H.
and S.P.E.C.T.R.E. are both major parts of the plot, which in-
volves a battle of wits between British and Soviet spies over a
decoder called a LEKTOR.  Anyway, it's definitely one of
the better Bond films, and the fight between 007 and
'RED' GRANT is an all-time classic.  Enjoy.

16 comments:

TC said...

From Russia With Love is, in fact, a rare case of Bond actually engaged in an espionage mission (stealing the decoder gadget from the Soviets). Most of the time, he seems to be doing counter-espionage or even law enforcement-type work. He stops Dr. No from sabotaging a US missile launch, he stops Goldfinger from blowing up Ft. Knox, he stops Largo from blowing up Miami, he chases diamond smugglers and drug smugglers. In his very first movie, Dr. No called him "a stupid policeman."

Kid said...

The stupid part was emphasized in Skyfall, where Bond seemed to come out on top more as a result of dumb luck than actual acumen.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I'll just point that he doesn't win in Skyfall, he merely survives. Bond being not that polished an agent is quite a consistent aspect of the novels, he's always bluffing and chancing his luck. He's absolute rubbish in Casino Royale, he blown out by Le Chiffre at his first attempt, then he gets captured and tortured.

Fleming doesn't really use Bond as a conventional protagonist, not as much as usual anyway, in certain respects he's a kind of antagonistic character, a nemesis, which makes that 'Stupid policman' quote very apt.

Kid said...

Well, surviving is coming out on top in my book, DSE, but the way his ineptness gets M killed is ridiculous. The movie Bond usually had, at least, a half-decent plan, but taking M to a remote Scottish estate after leaving a trail for a bunch of killers to follow defies belief. He really comes across as completely clueless, someone who relies on brawn as opposed to brains.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I dunno, I think the breadcrumbs leading to Skyfall makes perfect sense within the context of the narrative. Silva has shown himself to be the mover behind everything that's transpired till then, he's not only got Bond beaten, he's shown he can outwit Bond and the entire Secret Service any time, anywhere. The only advantage Bond can fall back on. is to select a battleground. So he shoots off to his old home, where you can see the enemy coming from five miles away and he's got an ace in the hole, literally, in the hole. Does that make bond a kind of brute? Well in a way it does he's been outclassed and falls back into a visceral mode but that's the best option. M has simply has to die, because she's the Bond girl and her death reflects Bond's habit of exploiting the women he encounters to counter his own short comings, either by getting them to trust him or by using them to betray someone.

Kid said...

Nah, it won't wash, DSE, and here's why. If Q can do as Bond asks and lay that trail of breadcrumbs without Silva realizing it's a trap (some trap - no back-up, hampered by an old woman, not even got the sense to take some heavy hardware with him), then he could've safely stashed M somewhere and lured Silva (believing M was with Bond) after him. However, Bond knew that there would be a team of heavily-armed heavies on his tail, so what did he hope to achieve? It wasn't a sensible plan to begin with. And we'd already had a Bond girl's death earlier in the movie. Could've been handled a lot better, in my opinion. I think the only reason that the movie performed so well at the box office was because of the expectation of a knockout film in Bond's 50th year, rather than what it actually delivered. Same director for the next one - he'll have to up his game in the absence of the hype of Bond's 50th birthday.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Well I suppose it depends what you're after in a narrative, in the end, it's just something someone made up. I would argue it's a consistent plot because none of those options you outline are reliable in the context of compromised security structure. It's more than that though, Bonds is motivated by his recent trauma and his compromised level of combat readiness, as demonstrated in the manner Silva has already outwitted him, he's searching for home turf. Skyfall was successful cos it was flippen brilliant, I think the seats were in danger of wearing out our local, normally it's almost empty in there. Yeah I suppose if you wanna Matt Helm/Derek Flint type of slick ending it's a disappointment but I'm not really keen on those solutions. Take Live and Let Die for instance, he beats Kananga cos of a flippen watch, that's OK for Saturday morning, otherwise give me a break man. That's the reason I liked Skyfall and Casino Royale, they reclaimed Bond from the Panto territory it had been languishing in since Roger Moore.

Kid said...

Ach, you're haverin', DSE. Apart from a great beginning, Skyfall was a major disappointment. And Bond movies have always had that comicbook (panto) element from the very first. It's just that, as reality has overtaken fantasy over the years, the fantastic (some might say ridiculous) elements of the plots no longer seem so outrageous to the modern eye. Old Roger wasn't to blame for each subsequent movie going over the top; he inherited that from Connery (who admits that very thing) in Diamonds Are Forever, which was a result of the involvement of Tom Manciewicz, who kept upping the humour/self-parody element. In Skyfall, Bond acts like a rank amateur who has no concept of the potential consequences of his actions. And that ending - it was like something out of Doctor Finlay's Casebook, not a Bond movie. Casino Royale was very good, but even there, there were absurdities in the way that Bond behaved, especially that bit where he chases the baddie up that crane (or whatever it was). Sure, it was exciting, but all he had to do was wait 'til the guy came down again at some point. After all, there was nowhere he could go that Bond couldn't get to. The Bonds are just as fantastically ridiculous as they've always been; the only difference is that Craig does his thing through gritted teeth and with a dour demeanour instead of a raised eyebrow.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Actually, I'm a panto fan and I don't mind Live and Let Die taken in the spirit it was intended, I prefer, The Man with the Golden Gun though, it's got a Rebublic Seabea in it and everything. By the time we get to St. Marks square though, I'm reaching for the sick bag, it was just too much for me to take. That was my problem with Bond from about The Spy who Love Me on, it was just too much guff and bluster not much actual drama going on.

Skyfall's Bond an amateur? well I suppose it depends on how you take it, I don't see it like that myself. Sure he's struggling, dealing with with his own mistakes and his flaws, but that's what character driven drama is about, otherwise it's a Miss Marple, another case closed through flawless deduction kinda thing, OK if you like that stuff. I prefer Father Brown myself, who come to think of it, operates in similar mode to Bond. As for the Cronin comparison, that's a compliment -- that was the most popular drama serial in the history of British broadcasting. Yeah it got a bit rubbish towards the end, sometime in the 70's and when are you gonna put up Barbara Mullun up as Babe of the Day?

Dalton had a fair crack with Licence to Kill, I admit it's not a bad flick. It mines the Bond literature quite heavily, there's stuff from Live and Let Die (he disagreed with something that ate him) and one of the shorts, the one about the fish. Goldeneye is worth a gander too but Brosnon bares the distinction of appearing in, not just the worst Bond flick, but one of the worst films ever made, Die another Day, which ranks along side Batman and Robin and Superman Three.

Kid said...

Have to disagree with you about there being no drama from TSWLM on - I think there was quite a bit, but that's by-the-by as Bond movie plots have always just been excuses to tack lots of action sequences onto each other. I hate to say it, but Dalton just didn't work as Bond, 'thought it may not have been entirely his fault as the Bond movies were looking tired by then.

As for Skyfall, it's very far from being a great Bond movie, and I hope that with the next one, they get back to Bond being a fairly decent strategist, and not a blundering amateur who eventually gets lucky.

Barbara Mullen? I'll see what I can do. (Actually, she wasn't a bad looking woman when she was younger.)

DeadSpiderEye said...

Ultimately they have to put bums on seats, it's about the money. Placing the Bond franchise in the market place is a trickier prospect than I think is generally appreciated. He's stereotyped as being representative of dated and dubious values. Which isn't the case, he was created at time when his habits were considered with disapproval but now they're considered anti-social, in the rather more intolerant context of today's doctrinal views.

When Craig leaves, I anticipate all sorts of wierdy shenanigans to surface, Will Smith'll or Robert Downey Jnr. will get the role or something that daft. It'll be time to jump ship again and relegate him to the nights when there's nothing else to do. It's weird really, cos he's an opportunity to exploit a market that doesn't get catered for much and when films do surface in that niche, there's a real buzz around them.

Kid said...

I think a combination of 'comicbook' plots (megalomaniac out to take over the world) and realistic fighting (FRWL, Casino Royale) is the way to go. Not forgetting great music, fantastic stunts, and stunning Bond Babes. We need escapism, 'cos the world's sh*t at the moment.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I think it's most likely your wish will be granted Kid, except for the realism in fights bits. Real physical altercation isn't very cinematic, it's just thump, someone falls to the floor, then he gets his face stamped on. Screen fights tend be a bit stylised, either a Jason Borne cut to action thing or an elaborate choreographed sequence. Although I did notice in Craig's Bond, they've kept that down, in favour of more explosive action after the bit of kung fuey spat in Quantum of Solace.

Kid said...

When I said 'realistic fighting' I meant fighting that looks 'real' (as in it LOOKS like they're hitting one another), as opposed to the standard 'screen punch' (missing by a mile) that you see in most films. The fight on the Orient Express between Grant and Bond in FRWL, where they're kicking, grabbing, missing, etc., LOOKS like a 'real' fight because of the fast-paced, frenzied nature of it, compared to the standard 'Hollywood' fight scene. The fight at the beginning of Casino Royale was also good.

DeadSpiderEye said...

That's still one of the best fight scenes.

Kid said...

Indeedy-doody.

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