Browse Category: Bond

RECAP: From Russia with Love

From Russia with Love (1963): Terence Young

Following the modest success of Dr. No, United Artists gave Eon Productions twice the budget for its sequel. The movie barley made it to theaters in time, but the audiences didn’t care. They embraced the movie with glee.

Everything about From Russia with Love is more than its predecessor. More run time, women with more beauty and more women with beauty, more locations, more characterization, more gadgets, more one-liners, and more explosions. And yet, in nearly every way, the movie supersedes the original Bond installment. That’s a feat in and of itself.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Global criminal syndicate SPECTRE, seeking vengeance against James Bond for the death of one of its agents, uses the spy and Britain in a plot to steal a coding machine from the Soviet Union.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Dr. No

Dr. No (1962): Terence Young

Dr. No is not the first book in the Ian Fleming franchise. When Albert Broccoli and Eon Productions set to make a James Bond film, they chose Dr. No for its ease of filming. The budget was low, and that shows up with the small scale of its action sequences and use of sets in England.

The filmmakers cast an unknown named Sean Connery as Bond, primarily because he would sign on for five films. Five deuces later and the series remains in the shadow cast by those Connery films.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A British spy travels to Jamaica to foil the plot of a deranged megalomaniac to foil American rocket launches and launches the most successful film franchise in history.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Quantum of Solace

Quantum of Solace (2008): Marc Forster

Picking up moments after the end of Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s James Bond follow-up is the first true sequel in the Bond canon. That fact alone makes this movie stand out.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: James Bond, fresh off the death of a lovely lady he fancied, tracks the organization responsible for her death.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Casino Royale

Casino Royale (2006): Martin Campbell

Pierce Brosnan’s final turn as 007 was probably his worst. Die Another Day was bombastic, even for the James Bond franchise. Producers wanted a different take, so they brought in a new guy, a tougher guy, Daniel Craig.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: James Bond earns his stripes, falls in love, and wins a crucial poker game, all to have it crash around him.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Spectre

Spectre (2015): Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes takes his second straight trip behind the camera of a Bond movie, three years after the titanic success of Skyfall. Bond’s 24th saga is his longest, nearly 150 minutes, and his most retrospective.

Many times we see the images of fallen friends and foes from the Craig sagas. Perhaps a symptom of the current world-building Hollywood marketplace, or perhaps a chance to do something different in a film world so constrained, the Eon Productions team succeeded in creating a story that can stand on its own and as a sequel.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The author of James Bond’s pain (no, not Ian Fleming) unearths Bond’s past to terminate his future. Continue Reading

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