Showing posts with label James Bond. Show all posts
Showing posts with label James Bond. Show all posts

Thursday, October 14, 2021

[Review] - Octopussy and The Living Daylights by Ian Fleming

Nearly two years after the death of Ian Fleming in 1964, Jonathan Cape published the author's short story collection Octopussy and The Living Daylights. The first edition had only 94 pages and didn't par too well with critics, who called the two stories predictable and complained about the overuse of violence and sex. Subsequent editions included The Property of a Lady and 007 in New York.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

[Review] - The Man with the Golden Gun by Ian Fleming

Before the death of Ian Fleming in August 1964, he wrote one more full-length James Bond novel - The Man with the Golden Gun. Fleming wrote the 184-page tale at his Goldeneye estate in Jamaica between January and March 1964. Usually, Fleming would write 2,000 words per day. But because of his declining health, he would only write for an hour per day. It wasn't Fleming's best work. He planned on rewriting it in the spring of 1965, but, unfortunately, he died of a heart attack on August 2, 1964. Jonathan Cape published the novel posthumously eight months after Fleming's death. Like the previous 007 novel You Only Live Twice, critics didn't care much about Bond's newest adventure.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

[Review] - You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming

You Only Live Twice (1967) might not be the best James Bond film, but it's one of my favorites for one reason - it stars Donald Pleasence as the first on-screen-portrayal of the villainous Ernst Stavro Blofeld. When I first saw the film in the late 1980s, I thought the character was the best 007 villain. Then Mike Myers spoofed Blofeld in his Austin Powers movies, and my opinion changed. The 1964 novel of the same name is the final James Bond story published a few months before Ian Fleming's death. Critics weren't too kind to the novel, with many calling it a complete failure. Playboy serialized the story in the April, May, and June 1964 issues.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

[Review] - The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming

I've watched the 10th James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, many times, thanks to TBS repeating the movie multiple times in the early 1990s. I thought I knew the story by heart, well, that is until I read Ian Fleming's 1962 novel of the same name. Besides the title and James Bond's appearance, the novel and movie have absolutely nothing in common.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

[Review] - Thunderball by Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming's ninth 007 book, Thunderball, got its first publication in 1961. The international crime organization SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion) makes its appearance for the first time. If the name sounds familiar, it's because SPECTRE has appeared in numerous James Bonds films, lead by the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld. In the original 007 novels, SPECTRE is only in full world domination power in Thunderball. SPECTRE gets a brief mention in The Spy Who Loved Me and returns for You Only Live Twice. Later, SPECTRE did return for three novels penned by late novelist John Gardner.

Monday, October 4, 2021

[Review] - For Your Eyes Only by Ian Fleming

For Your Eyes Only was published in 1960 by Jonathan Cake. It's the first of two 007 short story collections by Ian Fleming. There are five tales in the collection - A View to a Kill, For Your Eyes Only, Quantum of Solace, Risico, and The Hildebrand Rarity.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

[Review] - Goldfinger by Ian Fleming

When you hear the name James Bond, the first title that comes to mind is Goldfinger, the 1964 spy-thriller starring Sir Sean Connery. Many fans love the film. However, the film hasn't aged well, and it now comes across as goofy. Like most 007 adaptations, the movie had very little to do with its source material, the 1959 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

[Review] - Dr. No by Ian Fleming

Here's a 007 trivia. Ian Fleming wrote all of his James Bond stories at his Goldeneye estate in Jamacia. In 1956, Fleming started writing a script for the proposed television series, Commander Jamaica. However, it never went beyond the script stage. Later, he used the ideas for a novel, with the working title, The Wounded Man. The title changed to what we all know as Dr. No, the sixth James Bond novel.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

[Review] - From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming

What is your favorite James Bond novel? Hand down my favorite 007 tale is From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming. Publisher Jonathan Cape published the book in 1957 and received high praise from critics. The late crime author Julian Symons said in The Times Literary Supplement that Fleming "brings the thriller in line with modern emotional needs."

Monday, September 27, 2021

[Review] - Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming

The James Bond films haven't aged very well over the years. One in particular that comes to mind is 1971's Diamonds Are Forever. After declining to return as 007 in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the late Sir Sean Connery came back for the rashly-filmed Diamonds Are Forever, where you could tell the actor phoned in his role for a $1.25 million paycheck. Now, this isn't the only reason why I don't like the movie. The dialogue is too cringy. The acting is laughable, and the directing is all over the place. It's just a bad movie, almost like a spoof.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

[Review] - Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming

What's your favorite James Bond movie? For me, it has to be 1973's Live and Let Die starring the late Sir Roger Moore in his 007 debut. I first got a glimpse of the film when it aired on TBS in the late 1980s. Now the keyword here is "glimpse." I was a little bitty kid back then. My dad was channel surfing, came across Life and Let Die, and watched a few minutes before switching over to something else. He's never cared much for Roger Moore's take on James Bond, which explains why he changed the channel. I was disappointed because the few minutes I viewed intrigued my interest. Luckily for me, in the 80s and early 90s, TBS reaired movies many, many times.

Friday, September 24, 2021

[Review] - Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

I grew up watching the James Bonds on TBS in the late '80s and early '90s, a time when cable television played good movies, so I was already a 007 fan when Goldeneye arrived in theatres in 1995. Despite my love for reading, I never attempted to own copies of the original Ian Fleming novels. Though I recall looking at a local library, and they didn't carry any of the titles. The only 007 book I read during my teenage years was the novelization of The World Is Not Enough by Raymond Benson in 1999. It wasn't until many years later that I started to run across 007 books at thrift stores. Since then, I've picked up paperbacks of Casino Royale, The Man With The Golden Gun, Doctor No, and Goldfinger.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Blu-ray Review - Spectre

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

PG-13; 148 minutes; Buy Link: Amazon

With all the Star Wars mania that went on last year, I had almost forgotten about the newest James Bond adventure (twenty-fourth to be exact), titled Spectre which arrives tomorrow on Blu-ray and DVD. My review copy arrived on my doorsteps early this morning, and being a big 007 fan, I went ahead and watched the Blu-ray this afternoon.

There are two reasons why I didn't see the film in theaters:

1. It received mixed reviews from mainstream critics.

2. I live in a small town and the film never arrived at the one-screen theater.

 The previous film, Skyfall, was the biggest grossing entry of the franchise and it was a critical hit as well. The director Sam Mendes returned to helm Spectre, which the film had a handful of product problems including the 2014 Sony Pictures Entertainment hack and rumors of the production going way over budget; with the final budget estimated between $245 to $250 million. While Spectre didn't make as much money as Skyfall, it was still one of the biggest grossing films of 2015, taking in $877.9 million.

In Spectre, James Bond is on a more personal mission this time after he received a recorded video message from his deceased boss, M (a cameo played by Judi Dench). With the 00 division about to be canceled, Bond is on a race against time to overthrow the terrorist organization known as Spectre. His only lead to them is Dr. Madeleine Swann (played by Léa Seydoux), the daughter of Mr. White (played once again by Jesper Christensen). Of course he gets a little help from Moneypenny (played by Naomie Harris), Q (played by Ben Whishaw) and the new M (played by Ralph Fiennes) along the way.