James Bond Review Part 9: Live and Let Die

Live and Let Die AKA James Bond VS All the Black People in the World

Authors Note: As we are now entering the Roger Moore Bond era, there will be a few tweaks to my rating system that you need to be aware of. 1) The films of this actor will not be rated out of vodka martinis, as Roger Moore barely, if ever, orders one in his stint as 007. Instead, he will a get rating between one and five cigars, as Moore smokes more tobacco penis symbols than Sigmund Freud. 2) The Rapey Meter will be a lot harsher, deducting points for things I probably would have glossed over Connery for (if not applauding his restraint). Moore is less sexually aggressive and more flirty than Connery, however the portrayal of women in his movies are a bit more sexist, so the bullshit algorithm I use, though staying the same, will be recalibrated with this in mind. Now to the movie!

Roger Moore Live and Let Die.PNG

“This never happened to the other guy.”

1) Cold Opener: The name of the game is assassination. Open on New York City where a very boring meeting of UN delegates is happening. A black man sneaks into the translator booth and replaces the British delegate’s feed with ear dynamite, which he uses to kill him. Jump to the French Quarter in New Orleans. A parade of black people are having a somber funeral procession while an innocent white agent looks on. Touched by the event he asks a strange black man who’s funeral it is and is stabbed to death. The procession than becomes a lively party that scoops up the dead agent into the coffin and dances away with him. Jump to San Monique AKA an island in the Caribbean. A scary gaggle of black folk are all going crazy with their uncivilized voodoo rituals. If that isn’t enough to terrify the average white man, a wild-eyed voodoo priest comes dancing out, looking like a character from a Dave Chappelle sketch, holding a ridiculous green snake. Not scary enough, Jive Turkey? Well dyn-o-mite, there’s white guy tied to a wooden stake who gets sacrificed by these colored savages. Now I know this is a send-off to Blaxploitation movies, but all I can say is “too soon, guys” and give a half cigar for this for the offensive racism and lack of James Bond. It does get the half, however, because of the ear dynamite.

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Dave Chappelle’s last Chappelle show sketch.

2) Opening Credits/Bond Song: Overall, this is a really cool sequence and a fantastic song. We get Sir Paul McCartney, a year after the breakup of the Beatles, writing and performing an out of the ordinary, more rock than usual, Bond song. In the background, attractive black women brandishing guns (and sometime voodoo body paint) are sharing the screen or are engulfed in flames, with a cool effect of one woman’s head becoming a fiery skull to a key tempo change in the song. I’m not only giving this a full five cigar opening, but I’ll use the flames from the credits to light the round.

Live Opening

Only you can prevent forest fires.

3) The Villain: So we have Yaphet Koto, an actor I love, at the evil helm, playing the dual roles of Kananga and Mr. Big. By day, Kananga is a mild-mannered UN delegate, but by night he is the nefarious gang leader/burn victim Mr. Big. Call him what you will, but at the end of the day he is a bad ass voodoo wielding, drug smuggler with a one armed henchmen (Tee Hee), and tarot reading Bond girl (Solitaire played by Jane Seymour) and the ability to mobilize every black person, except one, in the entire world. On his coolness alone, I’m lighting five cigars.

Live_and_Let_Die_Characters

Can you guess who the villains are in this picture?

4) The Plot: A bunch of stuffy white people are killed by black people and 007, now played by known stuffy Brit Roger Moore, must find out why. Accompanied by Felix Lieter (this time played by David Hedison) Bond traverses the globe from Harlem, to New Orleans to an island in the Caribbean, to figure out the mystery. The whole adventure Bond is stalked by a strange voodoo figure known as Baron Samedi who, though creepy, doesn’t do much. Bond shows up unannounced at Kananga’s door step and isn’t killed. Instead he lures Dr. Quinn Tarot Reader away from Kananga, who is more than happy to go, showing that a British penis is much more powerful than a black one. After being betrayed by every black person in the movie, except CIA agent Quarrel (who should have been playing Leiter, but instead gets killed), Bond loses Dr. Quinn and gets kidnapped by Mr. Big who literally rips his face off and reveals himself to be Yaphet Koto (record skip! Whaaaaaaaaaat?). After being handcuffed to a chair and told he would be killed if his white penis destroyed Solitaire’s fortune telling ability, Bond is released after Kananga confirms Dr. Quinn’s lack of powers. By the end of the movie, Bond has proven that voodoo is a black people silly superstition and Kananga reveals his plan: to produce and distribute heroin, for free, through his Fillet of Soul restaurants, until every other heroin supplier is out of business. Once he holds the monopoly (or at least Boardwalk) he will jack the heroin price sky high, both doubling his clientele and destroying his competition. It’s so crazy, it just might have worked, except Bond plugs a pump into him and blows him up like a floaty pool toy until he pops. The day is saved, Dr. Quinn needs to play doctor with Nurse Bond and they’re both getting ready for the dirty business in their train car when Tee Hee sneaks in and nearly kills them all with his claw hand. After being tossed out the window, Bond gets down to fucking and the audience is treated to an unresolved Baron Samedi gleefully riding on the front of the locomotive. This plot is messier than a six-year-old brat’s toy room and I’m leaving out the southern racist cop and black CIA agent to e-scared of voodoo to be a professional. All in all, one cigar is being lit here because, as much Bondsense that goes on in this movie, it is kind of fun.

New Orleans

“The hard part wasn’t planning this massive strike on Bond, but on getting our choreography straight.”

5) Rapey Meter: Remember the whole plot line I mentioned about Dr. Solitaire Tarrot Card Reader losing her ability to see the future after Bonding in the bedroom with 007? Well, he literally fucks the power and evil out of her, changing her from a villain with vision to a useless, doting little girl. Remember the black CIA agent (Rosie Carver) I mentioned who turns on him after a voodoo scare? He sleeps with her then threatens to kill her, answering her logic of him not being able to pull the trigger after said sex by saying “Well, I certainly wouldn’t have killed you before.” All in all, pretty sexist and more than a bit rapey so I’m making this a two cigar round.

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“Will you still love me tomorrow? Since we finished, I can’t tell anymore.”

 

6) Wild Card: Here’s where my review gets as convoluted as the plot of the movie, so do pay attention, Jive Turkey, and let’s count the pluses and minuses. First off I’m taking the whole box of cigars away for the uncomfortable racism in the film. When I said all the black people in the world are against Bond, I’m including the aforementioned CIA agent, as well as everyone living in New Orleans, San Monique and Harlem (including the cab driver who randomly picks him up and doesn’t know him from Adam). I’ll add two cigars because I’ve often bad-mouthed Roger Moore as Bond, but I genuinely like his portrayal here. I’ll add another for Tee Hee, who’s only issue is he needed more screen time, and still another cigar for James Bond’s Pitfall Harry impression by jumping on the backs of alligators to escape peril. I’m then removing two cigars for Agent Quarrel’s death, which does nothing to further the story, but robs the audience of a cool character who is black and not evil. I’m taking another cigar because the actor who played Quarrel would have been a great Leiter, but I’m adding a half of one because Baron Samedi is a cool character (would have been a full one if he did more.) Finally, I’m adding a cigar and half for the awesome, soulful cover of “Live and Let Die,” we see in the night club James is abducted from. This gives us a total of three cigars.

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“Just take a listen.”

 

7) So, when you were young and your heart was an open book, you used to love this movie (I know you did, I know you did, I know you did), but when this ever changing world in which we live in, makes you not rank so high, Live and Let Die (gets a total of two and half cigars). Don’t agree with my review? Visit my Gofundme page to contribute to my ongoing bribes to raise the Bond reviews because, honestly “For twenty bucks I’d take you to a Ku Klux Klan cook out.” – Cab Driver.

baron samedi

“I’m just gonna sit here a while.”

 

Don’t Drop The Ball: The Heaven’s Gate Fan Fiction Prequel

Heaven's Gate

My name is Miguel Cauldwell. My father, Claud Cauldwell, was the greatest juggler on the east coast. Bowling pins, top hats, infants – you name it, he juggled it. I remember as a child being endlessly entertained by his juggling, even when I was one of the objects being tossed into the air.

But all that fun ended after a freak accident involving a meat cleaver. No, he wasn’t juggling knives. Rather, he was at the butcher’s purchasing a hunk of prime rib to celebrate his mother’s 73rd birthday when he slipped on a wet tile and slid into the counter. He was fine, actually – his hands weren’t broken – so he got up and tried to laugh off his clumsiness, turning his palms upward in that “what can you do?” gesture. That’s when a meat cleaver fell off the wall and chopped off his left hand.

From that day forward, my father forced me to become the most famous juggler on the east coast. I resisted, naturally. Children never like their parents to tell them what to do. Still, I practiced every day. Apples, at first, and only later graduating to tomatoes. Life in the 19th century was pretty boring, so my only real source of entertainment was juggling.

I eventually got tired of my father waving his left hook at me, telling me to “Juggle harder!”, so when I was 34 I packed up and headed west. I was determined to become the best juggler on the west coast – a title at the time held by Josephine Reekes of Casper, Wyoming. I knew that the only way to become the best juggler on the west coast was a good ol’ fashioned juggle-off. So when I arrived in Casper, I set to work. I needed to practice. I needed to be at the top my game to topple Josephine. I found a tiny one-bedroom apartment facing some sort of bar/cockfight arena/community center where a bunch of eastern European immigrants seemed to be having a hard time. I didn’t have time for their woes – I had my own struggles to deal with. So while they were organizing, I was doing the one thing I could do better than anything else: I was juggling.

James Bond Review Part 8: Diamonds Are Forever

Diamonds are Forever aka James Bond VS The Amazing Mr. Blofelds

1) Cold Opening: Despondent over the murder of his wife, Bond sheds his young Australian face for the old familiar grizzled Scotsman and literally punches a trail through all of Blofeld’s known associates until he reaches the man himself. After killing Blofeld while he’s taking a mud bath, Bond is left to face off with non-other than Blofeld. It is revealed that old Ernie has been using mud to create body doubles of himself and Bond makes sure to put the real Blofeld in the ground, literally, smothering him to death in a hot mud bath. You know by now I don’t like cold open shenanigans, and this Blofeld (played by Charles Gray) gives us nothing but that, with his game of will the real Slim Blofeld, please stand up. For that I’m taking two vodka martinis off the bar, but replacing one with a voucher for a buyback, because Bond kicking ass and taking names was way cool, leaving this as a four martini opening.

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“You too can have your very own Blofeld blowup doll for three easy payments of several million dollars in diamonds.”

2) Opening Credits/Bond Song: Right off the bat, I’m proclaiming this as a five martini opening. You get the amazing Shirley Bassie back to belt out a song that is arguably better than “Goldfinger,” to a credit sequence that fits the song and movie perfectly. You have Blofeld’s cat, pretty much walking us through the different uses of diamonds, after her right eye becomes a diamond itself. We see head diamonds, finger diamonds, belly diamonds, choker diamonds, pussy diamonds and cat diamonds, all modeled amongst the credits.

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“These are the cat diamonds. The pussy diamonds are exactly what they sound like.”

3) Villain: Hashtag spoilers, none of the Blofeld’s killed in the cold opener was the real one, leaving him as our main antagonist, which is of course not revealed until the end. I’m giving this incarnation of Blofeld three house liquor martinis, for a few reasons. A) He has neither the look of Donald Pleasance, nor the charisma of Telly Savalas. B) It’s explained he gets reconstructive surgery after the last movie, but last I checked you can’t grow back hair. If you could, I’d have thrown in with SPECTRE a long time ago to get my flowing golden locks back. C) He uses voice changing equipment, much like ghost face from Scream, to trick a billion-dollar company into smuggling diamonds for him so he can create a giant space “laser” (for the reference refer to my post about James Bond VS Austin Powers), which was inspiration for both Golden Eye and the Ronald Reagan mad scientist idea of Star Wars.

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Ronald Reagan stars as James Bond in “A Mind Half Gone.”

4) The Plot: After taking down the man who killed his wife, Bond is ready to get back out in the field so he can get to the fucking and killing we expect from a 007 movie. Sent out to investigate a large scale diamond smuggling ring, Bond takes a cue from Lazenby and goes undercover as diamond smuggler extraordinaire Saxby, whom he kills in front of his contact and brilliantly swaps ID’s with. Enter my two favorite characters Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint, who are assassins with an unknown benefactor who kill anyone and everyone who come in contact with the diamonds. Bond shacks up with villainess Tiffany Case (Jill St. John) using the power of his mighty penis to bring her to the side of good. By the end of the film Bond is taken prisoner, switches the laser control key with a mix tape full of marching music, allows Blofeld to escape through a plot hole, destroys the laser and takes a cruise with Tiffany where the forgotten assassins (it had been about forty minutes since we saw them last) pose as boat staff and attempt to kill the pair with disastrous consequences. It’s a bit convoluted, but doesn’t have the usual scenes that drag the film down, so I’m pouring three and half vodka martinis.

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“You left out my drag show.”

5) The Rapey Meter: So for our last outing with noted wife beater/Bond girl rapist Sean Connery we have a film that has no rapey moments from 007 himself. He has one sex partner, Tiffany Case, through-out the whole movie. He almost sleeps with casino-fly Plenty O’Toole (seriously Peter, you name your daughter Plenty? For shame), expect she’s thrown out of Bond’s hotel window, into the pool below, before any consummation can happen. Blofeld, however, is super rapey as, after he abducts Ms. Case, he makes her walk around in a tiny bikini while she’s in his lair so he can ogle her and make crude remarks to guests. But this meter ain’t here to punish Bond for the actions of his villains, so we get a full five vodka martinis.

Case

“This is me being held hostage.”

6)Wild Card: I’m pouring five vodka martinis for the following reasons: A) Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd are a gay couple, which are not portrayed flamboyantly, nor as comedy, nor is their sexual preference even a plot line/reason for villainy. They are simply two gay men allowed to be characters outside of being gay, which is more progressive I ever would have thought a Bond movie capable of. B) Q uses a Q Branch device to cheat at the slots in a Vegas casino, showing absolutely no interest in the money as he leaves a trail of unclaimed riches behind him, all in the name of science.

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“It’s not cheating if it’s for science.”

7) That leaves this imbalanced, but perfectly fun Bond movie at a three and a half martini rating. And for a bit more on the nature of diamonds: “Hardest substance found in nature, they cut glass, suggest marriage, I suppose it replaced the dog as the girl’s best friend.” – James Bond.

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“I’ve never really liked dogs.”

Heaven’s Gate – A Cocktail

Continuing the precedent set with Hudson Hawk, here is a Heaven’s Gate inspired cocktail courtesy of Brian Matthew Kim:

Ingredients:
-Barley
-Water
-Yeast

Let the barley malt for about a week, then add to a mash turn for 12 hours until the malt is dissolved into a wort. Place the wort into a wooden tank, add the yeast, and ferment for two days. Distill, then store the alcohol in oak casks and let mature for 3-10 years.

Alternatively, you can buy a bottle of top-shelf whiskey that is way out of your price range. (Michael Cimino would have it no other way.)

Drink-o-meter: 1 drink.

Serve your whiskey neat. Sip it slowly, at about the pace of the movie’s dialogue. At this rate, all three hours and forty minutes of Heaven’s Gate will require only one drink. As you consume your drink, admire the wallpaper around you.

James Bond Review Part 7: On Her Majesties Secret Service

On Her Majesties Secret Service AKA James Bond vs Matrimony

1) Cold Opener: A beautiful, deserted beach spans the horizon, with the calming waves lapping on the shore. The beautiful Diana Rigg runs toward the ocean, possibly looking to shuffle off the mortal coil. Enter James Bond, whose face hasn’t been revealed. Sensing possible poon-tang, faceless Bond leaps from his car and rushes to her rescue. After subduing her, and fending off unknown goons with guns, Diana Rigg wriggles out of his grasp, steals his car and escapes. Finally turning around, it’s revealed that Bond isn’t Sean Connery (record skip, whaaaaat?), but instead an Australian model named George Lazenby. Not wanting to draw attention to the change in actors, the studio never addresses the change in face, but does have Bond look square in the camera and state “this never happened to the other guy.” All in all, let’s pour a full five martinis for Diana Rigg in a bikini and the only instance of breaking the 4th wall in the franchise.

Lazanby

You know what also never happened to the other guy? Getting fired after one film.

2) Opening credits/Bond Song: Here’s where things get tricky: the credits are nothing more than “Last Time on James Bond,” showing literal clips from the previous five movies, with a straight forward orchestral score. This normally wouldn’t warrant more than one, boring martini made with house vodka, however there are two factors at play here. Number 1: The unofficial bond song of this film is a beautiful Louis Armstrong tune called “All the Time in the World,” which plays a heart breaking roll at the end. Number 2: the film maker felt the title was too long for a Bond song, without becoming comedic, which makes sense. So for now I’m going to serve up two house martinis for the bland opening and write my own version of an honest bond song, which I’ll add to this at the end. If you comment that mine is spot on my two martinis ruling stands. If you comment on my failure, I’ll raise the drink minimum accordingly.

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“Dr. No, I’m not in this movie.”

3) Villain: this is the second installment that features Ernst Stravo Blofeld, this time played by lollipop sucking, who loves ya baby, Telly Savales. His plan? To prove he is a descendent from a royal line, known for their lack of earlobes, all while using the brainwashed women from his mountain top rehab clinic to mount an offense at the world’s governments. This is a performance and plot so over the top I can’t help but breaking out the authentic Russian vodka, popping open the imported pearl olives and serve up five chilled martinis.

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“If super villainy doesn’t work out, baby, I think I’ll become a cop.”

4) Plot: it’s been three years since Blofeld slipped through Bonds fingers and MI6 is getting fed up with 007’s inability to track him down. After a temper tantrum and the threat of resignation, Bond is granted a three week leave to track down Ernie Bloe on his own dime. Going directly to the nearest casino, Bond runs into Diana Rigg, who bets a ton of money she doesn’t have on a losing roll of the dice. After covering her debt, Bond takes her (boom boom boom lets go back) to his room where she bangs and bails, reversing the 007 sex trope. Shortly after, her infamous mob boss father has 007 kidnapped and we get twenty minutes of Bill Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, as the mob boss trades Blofeld’s whereabouts for Bond’s compliance in breaking his wild stallion of a daughter (add in air guitar licks as necessary). Being a smart, independent woman, Mrs. Rigg has none of this shenanigans, forces her father to give up his information and attempts to send Bond on his way, being pleasantly surprised when he stays anyway to have a serious, committed relationship with her based on attraction and respect.

Emma Peel

There is no caption necessary here. She is just the most breathtaking Bond girl ever.

Eventually Bond hightails it to Blofeld’s mountain top rehab clinic, donning a kilt and a Scottish accent, performing a task no previous Bond ever had: pretending to be someone other than superspy James Bond. Under the guise of Sir Hilary Bray, family tree expert, Bond infiltrates Blofeld’s retreat to uncover his dastardly plot. Ignoring the gaping plot hole that Blofeld should have recognized Bond from the time he blew up his super-secret lair, foiling his plans in the last movie, it is refreshing to see actual espionage. After sleeping with a few English patients, getting caught and imprisoned, escaping and having a long ski battle scene, Bond thwarts Kojak and has a very touching wedding ceremony, joining in holy matrimony with the only woman who he ever saw as his equal: Mrs. Peel from The Avengers. On the way to their honeymoon, however, Blofeld performs a Compton style drive-by, killing Mrs. Bond. The movie ends with Louis Armstrong playing over Bond cradling his murdered wife, assuring himself she was fine because they had all the time in the world. Obviously this is a five martini plot, if for no other reason than when a Bond movie makes you teary-eyed you need to drown those sorrows quickly and get your male bravado back up and running.

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“Edina, darling, once I’m out of Blofeld’s rehab we’re gonna go on a two decade bender that will be absolutely fabulous.”

5) Rapey Meter: We have some close calls here, but I really feel this is one of the least Rapey 007 films in the franchise. First off, it’s implied Diana Rigg only sleeps with Bond the first time to repay her gambling debt, but after she pulls her bang and bolt she leaves Bond with an envelope full of cash that says “I always pay my debts,” making it clear that he was the one used in this scenario. Next, he sleeps with two woman in the rehab clinic, in the same night, who practically attack him because he’s the first man they’ve seen besides Kojak in months. Full disclosure, they do think he’s gay and, instead of setting them straight about his sexuality, Bond quips about not usually doing this, but the girl in question being special. While deceitful, his feigned homosexuality was more for his mission and played no part in the seduction. Couple that with the fact that Tony Curtis’ similar ruse in Some Like It Hot, is much more rapey and he’s not even doing it for king and country. Not only will I serve up five full martinis (a rarity on the rapey meter for a Bond movie) I’m also pairing it with a nice steak and seating you at bridesmaid’s table in the Bond wedding.

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“If anyone is getting a walter PPK holstered in their Moneypenny,” it’s you Mr. Bond. Now bend over.”

6) Wild Card: I’m giving this a full five martinis for the wild card, but to be clear, it is not because this is one of my favorite Bond movies. It’s not because I think Lazenby is underrated, nor is it because it gives a personal, emotional depth to a character that usually a walking hard-on. It’s not about seeing Bond in a kilt, or seeing Bond actually spy. It’s not the appearance of Joanna Lumley, AKA Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous. I’m ignoring Telly Savalas as Blofeld, and the reveal of the Bond Family motto “The world is not enough.” I’m not even removing any martinis for the racism present during the rehab dinner scene where the Asian girl eats a bowl of rice and the black girl eats a banana (yeah, it was uncomfortable). Instead, I’m basing this rating solely on my love for Diana Rigg, AKA Tracy Bond, AKA Emma Peel.

Motto

Why couldn’t the Bond family motto have been a good movie?

7) All in all this is a solid four martini movie, missing that last one because of the shoddy opening credits. But don’t let that deter you from seeing this unsung classic of the Bond franchise. It might be one of the longest installments, clocking in at two hours and twenty-two minutes, but as Bond says in the end of the film “It’s all right. It’s quite all right, really. She’s having a rest. We’ll be going soon. There’s no hurry, you see. We have all the time in the world.”

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I’m just gonna leave this here and let you all share my uncomfortable feeling.

 

 

On Her Majesties Secret Service

Music and Lyrics by Jason N. Fischedick

Chorus

On her majesties secret service

We fight for king and queen.

On her majesties secret service

We always make the scene.

Whether looking for a Lektor

Or preventing world war two

We’ll be fighting against SPECTRE

Terrorism they will rue.

 

Verse

But there’s always time, to bed a few chicks

Drink some martinis, and never get sick.

We’ll sample the food, from all over the world

We’ll lick all the goodies, I’m talking ‘bout girls.

 

Chorus

On her majesties secret service

We fight for king and queen.

On her majesties secret service

We always make the scene.

We can fight sharks, underwater

We can save the gold reserve.

Kill assassins, kiss some daughters

Throw a quip and strike a nerve

 

James Bond Review Part 6: Casino Royale

Casino Royale AKA James Bond vs Woody Allan

So, you’re probably thinking I’ve lost my mind. “Jason,” you’re saying (in a familiar way that makes me uncomfortable) “you can’t jump ahead, past all the other James Bonds, skipping Lazenby, Moore, Dalton and Brosnan, and land in the lap of Daniel Craig.” My response: I could, if I wanted to, but this ain’t that Casino Royale. As I’m a purist with horrible OCD, I’ve gone off canon to review the next chronological Bond movie, a sixties sex-romp starring David Niven, Woody Allan, Peter Sellers and a bunch of other dead brilliant comedians: Casino Royale. Now, as this is a bit of a departure from the spy movies I’ve been reviewing on this blog, I want to point out just a few minor changes to my format. Instead of vodka martinis, I will be rating this film between one and five 007s (one being, “oh great, just one James Bond? That’s not an orgy” and five being, “bring on the 007 seven sandwich, in triplicates).

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A James Bond sandwich, you say? Can I be the lettuce?

1) The Cold Opening: Peter Sellers, as the dashing James Bond, routinely checks the credentials of a contact. They check out. Both men leave. Done. I couldn’t say any more about it if I wanted to. Neither funny, nor exciting, I give this only one, boring ole, 007.

2) The Opening Credits/Bond Song: So we have a Burt Bacharach original piece, played by Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass. The theme is brassy, upbeat and oozes the image of scantily clad English women running around in sped up film. Terrible for a Bond flick, in its lack of brooding music and lyrics that vaguely connect to the film? Absolutely. Perfect for a sixties sex comedy, however? You betcha! Pair this song up with old-English style lettering, containing yellow tinted shots of the cast, dressed as angels, dancing and playing a harp, and you have the best little pre-orgy acid trip since Timothy Leary met the Kool-Aid man. All in all, I’ll give three 007s.

Angels

They’re in a much different place after making this film.

3) The Villain: For the first half of this movie our intrepid agents James Bond (not a typo; you’ll see) are all working in tandem to take down the evil SMERSH agent: Le Chiffre. Unknown to all, even himself, (hash tag spoilers: it’s Orson Welles), Le Chiffre is a magician with a gambling problem, desperately trying to win back the money he embezzled and lost, before his SMERSH overlords figure out he stole from them and have him killed. In the second half of the movie we have the wiley Dr. Noah, who operates from literal shadows, hiding his shocking true identity until the very end (hash tag more spoilers, it’s Woody Allan, who is also Jimmy Bond, James Bond’s nephew). Noah’s fiendish plan is to replace all of the world leaders and MI6 agents with robot doubles, take over the world, then unleash a virus, specifically engineered to make all women physically beautiful, and kill all men over 4’11”, giving him the pick of any sexy lady he wants. They seem to be villains from two disparate movies: Orson Welles is The Man With the Golden Gambling Problem and Woody Allan is Dr. No Shot at Getting Laid. Regardless, I give these villains four sexy 007s because they aren’t the biggest cartoon characters I’ve seen in a Bond Movie (just wait till Moonraker).

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Don’t you dare make fun of Moonraker. Oh, bloody hell, you’re right, it’s an awful one.

4) The Plot: If Desmond Llewellyn were in this movie, he’d likely tell you “now pay attention, 007, as this plot is a winding road of ridiculousness.” As he isn’t, though, feel free to drift in and out as I lay down the following Bondsense.

Story One: After most of MI6 goes missing, including the spy currently holding the James Bond 007 moniker (see, this wasn’t a new fan theory, but an old movie plot), M attempts to lure the real James Bond (played by David Niven), out of retirement. Unlike our favorite lusty Scotsman, Niven-Bond is a celibate teetotaler who takes pleasure from a good night’s rest and his nature preserve. After refusing to return, Niven-Bond watches M get murdered and his house blown up, literally at the same time. Crushed by the loss of his house, Niven-Bond goes to M’s Scottish ancestral estate to sit Shiva with M’s horny widow and the galley of scantily clad, equally horny, adopted sex slave daughters. Surprise, though, this isn’t M’s family or castle, and the whole thing is a clever SMERSH ruse to lure Niven-Bond’s penis out of retirement, in order to corrupt him over and over again, before killing him. Oh, yeah, and there are some shirtless, brawny, brain-dead hunks skulking about too. Not perturbed by any of this, Bond goes about his funeraling by drugging the entire castle as they try to grope him, bathe with him, dress him and kiss him, so he can drink some warm milk and read a book, before bed, in peace. He eventually proves himself to be the strongest, smartest eunuch in the world, survives an assassination attempt by wooden duck and leaves, only to take over the position of M.

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MI6 can you send our most qualified agent to deal with all these drugged women here?

Story Two: Niven-Bond hatches a plan to befuddle SMERSH into self-destruction by renaming every single MI6 agent left in the organization, man, women and machine, James Bond 007. Moneypenny becomes James Bond, Ursula Andres (AKA Honey Rider AKA Vesper) becomes James Bond, the irresistible woman-battering Cooper becomes James Bond, as well a bunch of female spies and a little person spy.

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004 reporting for duty.

Story Three: One of the most important 007s in this catastrophe is Evelyn Tremble, played by Peter Sellers, a world renowned author and Baccarat hustler, who is recruited to make sure Le Chiffre loses his embezzled fortune. Sellers-Bond is seduced and recruited by Vesper and, in a sex-romp scene stolen directly by Austin Powers, does a bunch of strange, fully costumed impressions of Hitler, Freud and Napoleon, and is then sent to the James Bond School of Spying.

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Yeah, baby, 00-sex me up.

Story Four: Still needing to manipulate Le Chiffre into a Baccarat game, Niven-Bond recruits his estranged daughter, Mata Hari Bond, to use her mother’s feminine wiles, break into the Mata Hari School of Spying and steal the blackmail pics Le Chiffre is auctioning off. She is nearly sexually assaulted by a strange German admirer of her mother’s, who is wearing a battery strapped to his chest for sexual gratification, then completes the mission.

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Can some one send a terminator back to the minute I finished Citizen Kane? Please.

Back to story three: Sellers-Bond, fresh from spy school, gets drugged by Ms. Goodthighs, still makes it to Casino Royale, beats Le Chiffre, is somehow taken prisoner and…..this is exhausting. Hash tag more spoilers: the movie ends with a sexy fight in the casino, complete with racist red-faced Injuns (who are dancing, inexplicably). Woody Allan becomes a human nuclear bomb and accidentally sets himself off, killing everyone! Except Sellers-Bond who was already dead and who’s ghost haunts the casino in traditional Scottish garb. The very end has the cast, tinted yellow, playing harps in angel costumes, with the exception of Woody Allan, who is sent to hell to burn for all eternity.

Surprisingly enough, I’m giving this five full sexy 007s of all ages and genders. If reading the recent reviews for The Witch and Batman v Superman has taught me anything it’s that disjointed plots, consisting of thirteen different stories, with a lot of buildup to nothing, is just fine craftsmanship my feeble brain doesn’t comprehend, so in order to not look stupid I need to admit I just don’t know the source material, and rate it high. No, wait, I’ll look stupid: one 007 (but the little person Bond, which doesn’t count as half, because that’s offensive, but you get my point).

5) Bond Rapey Meter: Though there is very little sex in this sex comedy, I’m still only giving this one 007. First off, every woman is trying to rape Niven-Bond, to the point where he slips them the “stop trying to date rape me” drug to get some peace. Also, every woman in this film is a villainous nympho, using sex to manipulate our virtuous male leads. Even Honey Rider turns out to be a double agent for…..reasons? On top of all that there is a serious incest, “hot-for-daughter” vibe emanating off of Niven-Bond in all of his scenes with Mata Hari.

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I still feel safer with dad than I do with 004.

6) Wild Card: Five full 007s for the following reasons: 1) Mike Meyers ripped so much off from this movie he should be paying endless royalties to the ghost of its fifteen writers and directors. Burt Bacharach scores his Austin Powers films; he took the character of Frau Farbissina from here, and his portrayal of Powers is a straight up, scene for scene, rip-off of Seller’s interpretation of Evelyn Tremble Bond. 2) The Baccarat scene between Welles and Sellers is tenser than anything in the later Roger Moore installments of the franchise. 3) The film has genuine funny, satirical moments, like people asking the different James Bonds for autographs, or East Berlin being all literally painted red. 4) The unofficial song is “Look of Love” (also ripped off by Mike Meyers).

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Go watch Austin Powers; you’ve seen this exact seen in it.

7) All in all Casino Royale comes in with a shaky two and a half 007s. I’m not saying you should watch it, but if you do, please keep in mind “you can’t shoot me! I have a very low threshold for death. My doctor says I can’t have bullets enter my body at any time.” – Woody Allan.

 

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For you die hard fans: I’m sorry I glossed past the UFO subplot.

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