HULK VS. THE BOND FILMS: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963)

March 3, 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.


BOND ENTRY #2. “FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE” (1963)

THE SECOND ENTRY IN BOND SERIES DEFINITELY IN HULK’S RUNNING FOR “BEST BOND EVER.” BUT IN ORDER QUALIFY THAT, HULK FIRST DISCUSS “WHAT MAKE A GOOD BOND FILM?”

TO SOME, THEY JUST WANT GOOD MOVIE. ONE THAT OBSCURE THE NONSENSICAL ELEMENTS OF BOND SERIES IN ORDER GRAVITATE TOWARD THINGS LIKE “STORY” AND “EMOTION.” FOR OTHERS, THEY WANT AS MANY BOND CONVENTIONS TO BE LOADED INTO 2 HOURS AS POSSIBLE. HULK ARGUE THIS SORT OF “ANTI-MOVIE-MAKING” BUT HULK UNDERSTAND IT TOO. BECAUSE THERE THINGS THAT MAKE JAMES BOND UNIQUELY JAMES BOND. AND EVERY COUPLE YEARS PEOPLE WANT GET THEIR FILL. HULK TOTALLY GET IT, BUT IT ALSO CAN GET A BIT PAVLOVIAN AT TIMES (CHECK OUT THE ABSURDLY FRIGHTENING “CRAIG NOT BOND” CAMPAIGN FROM FEW YEARS BACK THAT PREDICATED PURELY ON FACT DANIEL CRAIG HAVE BLONDE HAIR. IT BEYOND FUCKING INSANE.)

B-B-BUT HE BLONDE! AND HIS TIE UNTIED! UNSPEAKABLE!

HULK LEAN A LITTLE HEAVY ON THE “STORY” DIRECTION (HULK MEAN, ARE THESE MOVIES OR ARE THESE MOVIES?) BUT REALLY HULK DEEPLY APPRECIATE THE SUCCESSFUL BLENDING OF THE TWO. WHAT MAKE THE EARLY CONNERY RUN SO EXCITING THAT THEY MAKING THE RULES OF SERIES RIGHT THEN/THERE. IT GENUINELY FUN SEE HOW THE SHADOW S.P.E.C.T.E.R. EXTEND FURTHER AND FURTHER INTO WORLD INFLUENCE. AND THE INCREASING GRANDEUR OF EVIL LAIRS = GENUINELY THRILLING TO AUDIENCE (IT NEAT FOR MODERN AUDIENCE SEE ACTUAL THINGS CALLED “SETS”). SO HULK LOVE IT WHEN LATER FILMS MANAGE TO CAPTURE SAME SENSE OF AWE, ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING HOW DIFFICULT DO SINCE AUDIENCE KNOW IT COMING.

MOVING ON: HULK ACTUALLY HAVE THEORY THAT EVERY BOND FILM MERELY A RESPONSE TO THE RESPONSE OF THE ONE BEFORE IT. NOT ENOUGH GADGETS? THE NEXT ONE HAVE CRAZY GADGETS EVERYWHERE. TOO MANY GADGETS EVERYWHERE? THE NEXT ONE GO EASY ON GADGETS… AND SO ON. FOR EXAMPLE PEOPLE LIKE THE GRITTY, REALISTIC MANNER OF CASINO ROYALE, BUT WANTED MORE ACTION SCENE, SO QUANTUM OF SOLACE GO EVEN FURTHER WITH GRITTY AND ALSO CRAM IT CHOCK FULL OF ACTION SCENE. OF COURSE PEOPLE COMPLAIN ABOUT THIS SO NEXT ONE WILL GO MORE WITH INTRIGUE/SUAVENESS.

AND THIS “REACTION TO LAST ONE” EVEN QUALIFY FOR “FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE.”

THE FIRST FILM “DR. NO” COME OUT AND IT MASSIVE HIT. PEOPLE LOVE THE GAGDET STUFF SO THIS TIME BOND GET REALLY NEAT BRIEFCASE FULL OF THEM. LIKEWISE, SOME PEOPLE FELT DR. NO NOT SERIOUS ENOUGH SPY MOVIE SO “RUSSIA” OBSCURE SOME OF THE CAMP OF FIRST ONE AND FAVOR A MORE CONCENTRATED AND CLASSIC ESPIONAGE/LOVE STORY. IN FACT, THE FILM HAS HITCHCOCK INFLUENCE ALL OVER IT: THE HELICOPTER CHASE RIGHT OUT OF “NORTH BY NORTHWEST”. THE SNIPER SCENE SHOT COMPLETELY IN HITCHCOCKIAN STYLE. THEN THERE WHOLE WONDERFULLY QUIET/TENSE “STRANGERS ON A TRAIN” FINALE.

SOME PEOPLE THINK “FROM RUSSIA” A LITTLE TOO BORING AND NOT “BOND ENOUGH,” BUT HULK THINK THE WHOLE MOVIE WORK GREAT AS PERFECT BLENDING OF PURE BOND ENTRY AND INDEPENDENT PIECE OF CINEMA. IT DEFINITELY ONE OF HULK’S FAVORITES.

BEST MOMENT:  SURPRISINGLY EFFECTIVE CLOSE-QUARTER FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY IN THE TRAIN / ROSA KLEBB IN THE MAID OUTFIT (TIE)

GENIUS

YEAH, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BOND GIRLS?:

1) DANIELA BIANCHI AS TATIANA RAMANOVA – ARCHETYPE: THE RIVAL AGENT SET UP BE VILLAINESS (THOUGH IN THIS VARIATION SHE SORT OF UNWITTING ONE) BUT SHE ACTUALLY FALL FOR HIM.  SHE CONTINUE THE BOND GIRL TRADITION OF VACUOUSNESS (WHICH ALL MORE WEIRD CONSIDERING SHE A QUALIFIED RUSSIAN AGENT?)… BUT HERE THING. DESPITE ALL THIS NONSENSE, TATIANA RAMANOVA STILL FEEL LIKE REAL PERSON. HULK KNOW, HULK KNOW. THAT SEEM LIKE WEIRD STATEMENT, BUT FILM JUST SPEND SO MUCH TIME WITH HER (WAY MORE THAN ANY OTHER BOND GIRL) THAT EVEN IF SHE BIT NAIVE, HER LOOK AND CHARACTER JUST MUCH MORE OF A “ADULT WOMAN” IN COMPARISON TO THE PARADE OF INFANTILE GIRLS BOND FILM USUALLY SHOVE OUT THERE. BIANCHI’S RAMANOVA  MUCH MORE OF A HITCHCOCKIAN FEMALE LEAD (COMPLETE WITH THEIR OWN PROBLEMS OF SEXISM) RATHER THAN THE COMPLETE FEMALE IDIOT AUDIENCE WILL GROW USE TO. AND PERHAPS THAT WHY SHE ONE OF HULK’S FAVES.

THIS MAY BE ANOTHER REASON

2 + 3) MARTINE BESWICK AND ALIZA GUR – BOTH PLAY TWO GYPSIES IN WHAT ALSO HAPPEN TO BE OUR:

MOMENT OF MISOGYNY: TWO GYPSY WOMEN MADE TO FIGHT TO DEATH FOR RIGHT TO JAMES BOND’S DONG… OF COURSE THEY BOTH WIN.

WHY MURDER WHEN CAN SHARE?

SUPPORTING CAST – DR. NO HINTED AT END OF FIRST FILM THAT HE JUST PART OF LARGER ORGANIZATION S.P.E.C.T.E.R. HERE WE SEE MORE OF SHADOWY WEALTHY GROUP. AND 1) THE MAIN “VILLAIN” IN THIS ONE SIMPLY AN ARYAN BLONDE HITMAN NAMED “DONALD GRANT” WHO SENT TO KILL HIM. HE SPEND MOST OF MOVIE LOOKING MENACING AND TRACKING BOND ACROSS EUROPE (WHILE USING RAMANOVA AS PAWN) BUT RARELY SPEAKING. WHICH MEAN HE SIMPLY NEED HAVE GREAT LOOK/NATURAL PRESENCE. SO WHO BETTER THAN ROBERT SHAW! THAT RIGHT! QUINT FROM JAWS! ANYWHO, HE MOSTLY SET UP AS SILENT BAD ASS. THEN IN FINALE HE SURPRISE AUDIENCE WITH COVERT WITH BRITISH ACCENT IN GREAT TETE-A-TETE SCENE WITH BOND. THE BUILD UP SO GOOD THAT “ARYAN BLONDE ASSASSIN” ACTUALLY ONE OF HULK’S FAVORITE BOND VILLAINS.

ACTUALLY, HE LOOK LOT LIKE DANIEL CRAIG... WEIRD

2) PEDRO ARMENDARIZ AS ALI KERIM BEY – YET ANOTHER OF THE MINORITY SUPPORTING CHARACTERS WHO SHOW UP AND DIE IN SERVICE OF JAMES BOND. THIS ONE MADE ALL THE BETTER BY HAVING A FAMOUS MEXICAN CHARACTER ACTOR PLAY TURKISH GUY (THE 60S CAN GET AWAY W/ THAT STUFF… THEN AGAIN, HOLLYWOOD STILL GET AWAY WITH PAN-ASIAN CASTING LIKE NOBODY BUSINESS). TO BE FAIR, PEDRO PRETTY GOOD IN FILM. MEANING HE SORTA LIKABLE AND HE NOT TOTALLY EMBARRASSING. IT THE LITTLE THINGS… HIS STORY A SAD ONE AS HE FIND OUT HE HAVE TERMINAL CANCER WHILE FILMING AND DIE SHORTLY AFTER COMPLETION.

3) DESMOND LLEWELYN MAKE FIRST APPEARANCE AS Q! OK, HE JUST “BOOTHROYD” AT THIS POINT AND NOT IN FULL Q GLORY YET, BUT WE GET SEE FIRST BITS OF HIS  SHTICK. HULK SAVE HIS “Q” TAKE FOR LATER.

4) LOTTE LENYA AS ROSA KLEBB – TOO FANTASTIC TO DESCRIBE. HER MINCING ALPHA LESBIANISM AND PATENT ABSURDITY EVEN BETTER THAN HER AUSTIN POWERS DOPPELGANGER.

DUMB OBLIGATORY RATING SYSTEM: 5 HULK SMASHES OUT OF5!

BETTY’S TAKE: “I still can’t get over his thighs ”

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2 Responses to “HULK VS. THE BOND FILMS: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963)”

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

  2. Please finish these articles Hulk. They are both fun and light, but insightful and show a great understanding of how Bond works as both films and a franchise. Thanks for the good work.

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