HULK VS. THE BOND FILMS

March 2, 2011

LIKE MANY, HULK HAD GREAT LOVE OF JAMES BOND FILMS WHEN HULK WAS A LITTLE HULK.  HULK RECENTLY FIND OUT THAT BETTY SEEN, LIKE, TWO OF THE ACTUAL BOND MOVIES. SO HULK MADE IT HULK’S MISSION TO WATCH ALL THE BOND FILMS, IN ORDER, WITH BETTY. IN SOME CASES IT BEEN OVER 20 YEARS SINCE HULK SEEN SAID BOND MOVIE.

THE RESULTS WERE SURPRISING.

PART ONE: THE FIRST CONNERY RUN


TO MANY, SEAN CONNERY = JAMES BOND. HULK UNDERSTAND THIS. HE NOT ONLY DEFINE ROLE BUT THERE SOMETHING SO EFFORTLESS ABOUT WAY HE DO IT… THOUGH HULK ADMIT IT PROBABLY THIS SAME EFFORTLESSNESS THAT USHER IN HIS “GOING THROUGH MOTIONS” OF LATER FILMS, BUT IN WAY THAT PERFECTLY UNDERSTANDABLE.

CONNERY’S BOND WAS UNAPOLOGETIC-ALLY MALE. STRONG. PURELY CONFIDENT. SURLY. TOTALLY SEXIST… OKAY SO BOND A DEEPLY FLAWED AND ARCHAIC MALE, BUT HULK ARGUE THERE DICHOTOMY THERE. HULK’S POINT NOT HELPED BY FACT THOSE FLAWS NOT REALLY GIVEN CREEDENCE WHATSOEVER… IN FACT A LOT OF THE MOVIES CELEBRATE THESE NEGATIVE TRAITS (AND EVEN CREEPILY GOING OUT OF WAY TO JUSTIFY THEM AS BEING “THE WAY IT SHOULD BE” … MORE ON THIS LATER). TRULY,  FEMINIST HULK WOULD HAVE FIELD DAY WITH BOND MOVIES AND JUSTLY SO.

SO PART OF WATCHING BOND MOVIES ABOUT WATCHING THROUGH THAT SUBTEXT. THERE PART OF HULK’S BRAIN THAT GO “HOW RIDICULOUS THAT!” AND JUST SHRUG OFF. AND OFTEN THE SEXIST STUFF SO SERIOUSLY OVER THE TOP WHEN COMPARED TO TODAY, IT JUST SO EASY TO SHRUG OFF AS BEING STUPID. THERE NO WAY TO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY.

WHAT HELP = THE ENTERTAINING PARTS TRULY ENTERTAINING. IN OFFERING WORST OF SLICK HOLLYWOOD ENTERTAINMENT THEY ALSO OFFER THE BEST. THE FILMMAKING USUALLY TOP NOTCH AND TRENDSETTING. THEY ALWAYS BEEN BIG AND BOMBASTIC. THE LOCATIONS ALWAYS WHOLLY SEDUCTIVE. THE ACTORS ALWAYS CARTOONISHLY DRIPPING WITH SEXUALITY. HULK ADMIT WATCHING BOND MOVIES WHOLLY “PORNOGRAPHIC” AND HULK NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT THE SULTRY, NAKED SILHOUETTE OPENINGS AND MORE IN TERMS OF “LIFESTYLE PORN”… IT MALES IN TOTAL CONTROL. *

BOND HIMSELF THE PORNOGRAPHIC VEHICLE, AND NOT JUST FOR HIS WIENER. WHAT BOND REPRESENT ABOUT BEING THE WORST OF MEN, HE ALSO THE BEST OF MEN: IMPOSSIBLY STRONG. HE FAR FROM A BLUNT BRUTE, HE INTELLIGENT. HE DEXTEROUS. HE DEBONAIR. HE CULTURED.

BUT BETTER YET, HE ALWAYS HIMSELF.

AND THAT WHY JAMES BOND ALWAYS REFRAIN FROM COVERT ESPIONAGE. THAT WHY HE RARELY HIDE IN DISGUISE. HE ONLY BOND, JAMES BOND… BECAUSE NOT ONLY THERE NO ONE BETTER, BUT THERE NO ONE ELSE WE WILL ACCEPT.

SO NOW THEN:

1. DR. NO (1962)

THE GREAT THING ABOUT DR. NO THAT NO MATTER HOW MUCH THE NEXT 50 YEARS INFLUENCE THE FRANCHISE, THE FILM STILL COME OFF AS FRESH AND ORGANIC.  EVEN THOUGH THERE SO MANY MOMENTS THAT BECOME “CLICHED” LATER, THEY STILL FEEL LIKE LARGELY NEW IDEAS AND THAT AMAZING TO HULK. BETTER YET, HULK COULD NO BELIEVE HOW FULLY FORMED THE BOND FRANCHISE FEEL FROM BEGINNING. SO MANY BOND CONVENTIONS ALREADY IN PLACE, LIKE HOW HULK FORGOT DR. NO PART OF SPECTER. AND THE DEMURE NATURE OF DR. NO HIMSELF SORTA THE BEST PART. THEY SET UP A FEW HOURS OF BRAWLING THUGGERY AND THE SUDDEN GRACIOUSNESS/HOSPITALITY WHICH OFFERED TO BOND FEEL SO UNEXPECTED AND INTERESTING IN THE MOVIE. IN CONTEXT IT ACTUALLY REFRESHING TO SEE THIS BEAUTIFUL ISLAND LAIR. RARELY WAS SERIES ABLE TO CAPTURE THE SAME AND SUDDEN SENSE OF AWE (ODDLY ENOUGH, IT MOONRAKER THAT CAME CLOSEST AND THAT ONE KINDA SUCK). EVENTUALLY ALL THIS STUFF BECOME SO ROTE IN SERIES (LIKE FILMMAKERS JUST GOING THROUGH THEIR “BOND MOVIE CHECKLIST”, BUT IN “DR. NO” IT WORK SO WELL HULK SEE WHY BECOME CLICHE.

BEST MOMENT: FROM THE GREAT “THREE BLIND MICE” OPENING THAT STILL FEEL SO UNIQUE TO THIS VERY DAY. THERE BEEN MANY SIMILAR ATTEMPTS BUT ALL COME ACROSS AS HOKEY, OR, HEAVENS-TO-BETSY, RACIST.

JUST WAIT TIL YOU GUYS SEE "LIVE AND LET DIE"

YEAH, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BOND GIRLS?:

1) URSALA ANDRESS AS HONEY RIDER. LET JUST BE HONEST, URSALA SET THE STANDARD. HONESTLY, HULK JUST ADORE THAT THEY TRY AND MAKE THIS MORE PALATABLE BY GIVE HER REAL NAME OF “HONEYCHILE” (THIS BEFORE THEY GIVE UP AND BASICALLY GO WITH “FEMALE ANATOMY MCSEXALOT” ). MORE INTERESTING THO IS THAT SHE ONE OF THE BETTER BOND GIRL PROTOTYPES. HONEY = THE GOOD GIRL WHO GET UNWITTINGLY INVOLVED IN BOND ADVENTURE, BUT STILL HAVE PERSONAL TRAGEDY AS RESULT OF MAIN VILLAIN. THESE OFTEN THE LEAST OFFENSIVE BOND GIRLS AND THEY USUALLY SHOW SOMETHING KIND AND BENEVOLENT, DESPITE APPROACHING A KIND OF VACUOUSNESS. OF COURSE, THERE A WAY THIS PURE, MADONNA-LIKE INNOCENCE JUST AS INGRATIATING. IT IT MADE ALL MORE PROBLEMATIC BECAUSE OF HER LATE INTRODUCTION IN THIRD ACT. ANYWAY, IT SOMEWHAT REMARKABLE THAT ONE OF  LEAST OFFENSIVE FEMALE IN THE BOND FRANCHISE SPEND ENTIRE TIME IN BIKINI.

FEMINISM

2) ZENA MARSHALL AS MISS TARO = THE FEMME FATALE WITHOUT HINT OF PERSONALITY. SHE WORKING FOR BAD GUYS SO SHE HAVE TRAP BOND TO KEEP HIM OCCUPIED FOR SOME REASON… BUT IT’S ALSO CLEAR SHE’S INTO HIM SORT OF… BUT IT’S ALSO CLEAR BOND JUST USING HER… SO HE JUST GO THROUGH MOTION AND BASICALLY DATE RAPE HER… THESE SORTS THINGS HAPPEN LOT IN BOND MOVIES… THERE CLEARLY ISSUES AT PLAY HERE (GOING BACK TO FLEMING’S BOOKS, BELIEVE IT OR NOT THE ANTI-WOMAN/ANTI-GAY/ANTI-LIBERAL STUFF IN THESE MOVIES ACTUALLY TONED DOWN FROM BOOKS… SO, YEAH).

NOT FEMINISM

3) EUNICE GAYSON AS SYLVIA TRENCH = SHE ACTUALLY ONE OF HULK’S FAVORITE LITTLE BLIPS IN THE BOND SERIES. SYLVIA EVEN SHOW UP AGAIN IN NEXT MOVIE AND IN BOTH SHE PLAY THE SAME BORED SOCIALITE WHO LIKE PLAYING THE FLIRTING GAME WITH BOND (THO ALWAYS END UP DOING IT). REASON IT SO GOOD CAUSE HER FLIRTATION SO CONVINCING. SHE ACTUALLY GOOD AT STONE-WALLING CONNERY, SO IT NOT SO OBVIOUS THEY JUST GOING TO DO IT IMMEDIATELY. THEIR INTERPLAY IDEAL FOR HIM AND MOST WELCOME.

WHEN THIS HEALTHIEST RELATIONSHIP YOU GOT PROBLEM

MOMENTS OF MISOGYNY: PRETTY MUCH THE ENTIRE MISS TARO PLOT LINE. PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING COMING OUT OF BOND’S MOUTH.

SUPPORTING CAST: WHAT GREAT THAT ALMOST ALL THE REGULARS OF FRANCHISE THERE FROM BEGINNING. 1) BERNARD LEE BEGINS HIS LONG REIGN AS M FROM VERY BEGINNING. 2) LOIS MAXWELL BEGINS AN IMPRESSIVE RUN AS REALLY THE ONE AND ONLY MONEYPENNY. IN THIS FILM IT’S SO NATURAL TO SEE HER PINING AND SMITTEN IN WHAT WILL TURN TO BE AT TIMES A GREAT RELATIONSHIP (AND SOMETIMES A FREAKING BIZARRE ONE). HULK MOSTLY REMEMBER HER “OLD MAID” STATE IN LATER FILMS SO IT GREAT SEE HER SO FRESH FACED HERE. SHE RATHER FETCHING. 3) JACK LORD MAKE FIRST AND ONLY APPEARANCE AS CIA AGENT FELIX LITER AND LATER GO ON TO HAWAII 5-0 FAME. 4) JOHN KITZMILLER AS QUARREL ODDLY ENOUGH THE LEAST OFFENSIVE “GENERIC BLACK GUY PAIRED WITH JAMES BOND TO HELP DRIVE HIM AND AROUND IN STUFF” IN THE SERIES. REALLY, THESE GUYS A DIME A DOZEN. IT BASICALLY THERE TO SHOW JAMES BOND COOL WITH MINORITIES AND STUFF. BUT HECK, QUARREL EVEN GOT DEATH SCENE THAT ACTUALLY MAKE YOU FEEL SAD INSTEAD OF NONPLUSSED. SO THAT SOMETHING. AND 5) HULK LOVES JOSEPH WISEMAN’S BROAD TV-SERIAL LIKE TAKE ON THE CARTOONISH DR. NO. IT NOT ONLY SET TONE FOR SERIES BUT HE SEEM HAVING GREAT FUN WITH IT.

DUMB OBLIGATORY RATING SYSTEM: FOUR HULK SMASHES OUT OF FIVE!

BETTY’S TAKE: “I’m in love with Sean Connery’s thighs”

ENDNOTES:

* – THIS SAME REASON PEOPLE WATCH ENTOURAGE. ONLY ENTOURAGE TERRIBLE AND NOT FUNNY.

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3 Responses to “HULK VS. THE BOND FILMS”

  1. Phil said

    As always, Hulk, you’ve clobbered this one right out of the park. Bond’s been a part of my film-viewing life since I was young, and it means a lot when something I appreciated (admittedly, not as well as I could’ve/should’ve) when I was smaller holds up well to repeat viewings later on in life (warts and all).

    I believe I saw Dr. No after I’d seen both From Russia With Love and Goldfinger (I was about 9), so I was kind of nonplussed when it lacked a helicopter/ejector seat/laser beam. In the intervening years, though… Man. Casino Royale knew exactly what to crib, didn’t it?

    If there’s one thing I learned from Bond (particularly Connery’s), it’s the fine line between confident and arrogant. The unbridled arrogance of being a special agent of (frequently) a foreign government who’s been given a license to kill, stepping into the bad guy’s den and announcing his “cover identity” as… James Bond, an executive for Universal Exports will probably astound me until the day I die. Though, now that I think about it, I think Connery grew into the arrogant part of Bond with each successive film (much like I suspect Craig’ll do if he ever gets to make another film or two. Preferably three, or four).

  2. [...] LADY-FUCKER EXTRADINAIRE WHO NEARLY NEED TO SLAP A GIRLS BUT TO SHOW HER WHAT’S WHAT… HULK KNOW LOTS ABOUT BOND. AND NEEDLESS TO SAY THERE PROBLEMS WITH THE [...]

  3. [...] VS. THE BOND MOVIES: DR. NO, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE… THE SERIES WASN’T [...]

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