Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saturday Is Bond Day #2: From Russia With Love

After missing last week, the boys and I caught up with James Bond Movie #2, From Russia With Love, this afternoon over lunch. (Yesterday was entirely taken up with preparing for and having the annual Cub Scout Blue & Gold Dinner.) And I found that I remembered very little of the movie -- the fact that there was a train in it was about all that was familiar. It is a good spy movie, but most of the boy-appeal action is at the very end. (Which led to some fidgeting, though they both insisted that they really liked it. I bet they'll be much happier next week, when we get to Goldfinger.)

The first two acts, to speak pretentiously, do have some action sequences, but they're all part of a detailed plot by the evil organization SPECTRE to maneuver the British and Russian secret service organizations to fight and damage each other, while SPECTRE cleans up along the way. So the plot brings Bond to Istanbul, where a gorgeous young Russian signals officer is going to defect -- but only to him, since she's fallen in love with his file photo. (As an example of how sophisticated big adventure movies used to be, this is immediately assumed by everyone to be a trap, and a particularly obvious one.) The big blonde killer from SPECTRE sneaks around killing people, and getting Russians and British to kill each other. And then, eventually, Bond gets the girl (and a Russian Lektor encoding machine, which is the real coup) and heads off on the Orient Express. From there, we get more talking -- which made my boys restless but is gripping to those of us who were following the plot, a great hand-to-hand fight on the train, a helicopter explosion, and a boat chase. In the end, Bond is victorious, heading back to England with the "girl" who expects him to stay with her. (The first of many.)

This is also the movie that introduced the cliche of the evil mastermind whose face is never seen, only his hands petting a longhaired white cat. (This is, of course, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, whose name I'm not certain is actually mentioned during the movie.) From reading various things online, I've learned that the SPECTRE bits are original to the movie; the book was a purely us-versus-them Cold War thriller -- and the SPECTRE plot does seem overlaid, involving scenes mostly with a different cast in different locations.

I'm watching the reactions of Thing 1 to the sex-plots of the Bond movies with interest, since he's nearly eleven and has been showing a marked interest in buxom blondes. (Thing 2 is only 8, and seems to care much less about the boy-girl stuff at this point -- but he's also less demonstrative, so it's harder to tell.) Thing 1 ostentatiously hides his eyes during kissing scenes -- so does Thing 2, usually, but doesn't make as big a deal of it -- but was also really happy to see the opening credits (projected onto a bikini-clad gyrating dancer), a belly-dancer in mid-movie, and other semi-clad women. I'm pretty sure he doesn't yet know why he's interested, but he's definitely starting to be interested. Kids grow up so quickly!

1 comment:

Suzan Harden said...

*smile* Are you sure you want your Things to learn about male-female relations from Sean Connery?

I don't envy you though. I'm thankful my 8-year-old Thing's movie interests still consist of Transformers and Star Wars (with eyyes firmly closed when Han kisses the Princess).

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