Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday Is Bond Day #5: You Only Live Twice

I'm a week late writing about You Only Live Twice -- the boys and I watched the next movie this very afternoon -- so I'll be brief, and make this post mostly for the sake of symmetry.

This is the one where Bond's death is faked before the opening credits, where we finally see the face of Ernst Stavros Blofeld (in a scarred Donald Pleasance), and where we learn that even ninjas are no match for 007. It also continues the SPECTRE plot, which has been bubbling along since the first movie, Doctor No -- though its focused down to a Bond vs. Blofeld showdown at this point.

So: Bond is officially dead, and so Bond goes to Japan to find out what happened to an American space capsule (which was captured within a mysterious spaceship, which then disappeared somewhere in the Japan Sea). Of course it's SPECTRE and Blofeld, fomenting a US-Soviet war in order to pick up the pieces afterward, and of course Bond leads a team of ninjas to attack the SPECTRE base and foil the nefarious plot -- but he has to get involved with a couple of girls first!

You Only Live Twice has excellent action sequences, and one of the quintessential Bond villains in Pleasance's Blofeld -- it's just a shame that Pleasance and Connery didn't stick around for the next movie, since their replacements were much less exciting.


Brad Holden said...

This also has that ridiculous battle at the end, complete with exploding base in a volcano, right?

It was fine up until the end. The book was one of the better ones, if I remember.

The Brillig Blogger said...

I think this is the best of the Sean Connery James Bond movies. The song and the score are among John Barry's best for the series. It's lush, it's romantic, we get to see lots of Japan, the Little Nellie flying stuff is wonderful. The battle at the end is overdone, but that to me is part of the fun of the series. I can watch this over and over again.

Paul Weimer said...

A few years ago, the amount of Bond that I had seen was relatively small. This was when the new Casino Royale came out. I solicited from a friend, a big Bond fan, ideas on which movies I would like.

This was one of the ones she picked for me. Yes, the ending was overwrought, but otherwise this is Connery-as-Bond at his best.

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