HULK VS. THE BONDS: THUNDERBALL (1965)

June 1, 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 #4: THUNDERBALL (1965)

HULK HAVE GET BACK TO THIS ARTICLE SERIES SO THAT HULK NOT FORGET THEM AGAIN. RIGHT NOW HULK JUST FINISHING UP DALTON ENTRIES SO, SAY LEAST, HULK BEHIND. WHEN LAST LEFT THIS SERIES HULK ARGUE GOLDFINGER NOT THE GREAT MOVIE MOST REMEMBER. IT JUST JUST HAVE REALLY GREAT HIGH POINTS AND UNDERNEATH THOSE BITS THERE WHOLE BUNCH OF PROBLEMS THAT UNDO THE SERIES LATER ON.

LUCKILY, THUNDERBALL MORE LIKE IT.

HULK HAPPY TO HAVE ANOTHER BOND IN LINE WITH THE THINGS HULK LIKED ABOUT THE FIRST TWO ENTRIES.  THE FILM HAVE QUIET CONFIDENCE ABOUT IT. CALL IT SURE-FOOTED. THIS MOSTLY DUE TO THE RETURN OF TERENCE YOUNG, THE GREAT DIRECTOR OF FIRST TWO BOND FILMS WHO SEEM EXACTLY KNOW HOW MAKE JAMES BOND FILMS FEEL EFFORTLESS; THERE KIND OF “REALISTIC” PORTRAYAL OF BOND AND YET HE TOTALLY OF THAT PARTICULAR WORLD. BUT IT DEFINITELY CONNERY TOO. HE COMPLETELY KNOW HOW PLAY BOND AT THIS POINT (OR HULK WONDER IF MAYBE HE JUST COMFORTABLE BEING HIMSELF). MORE IMPORTANTLY, THIS FILM THE LAST ENTRY IN SERIES BEFORE CONNERY SEEM LOSE INTEREST IN ROLE.

ASIDE FROM THIS, THERE NOT LOT  SAY ABOUT THUNDERBALL IN TERMS OF DISTINCTION. THE PLOT FAIRLY STRAIGHTFORWARD, BOND NOW MOVING UP THE SPECTER RANKS AND GOING AFTER “NUMBER TWO” A.K.A. EMILIO LARGO. THERE SOMEWHAT NIFTY BIT ABOUT BODY SWITCHING WITH PLASTIC SURGERY DOUBLES. AND SOME NUCLEAR BOMB THEFT. STILL, THERE SOME WONDERFULLY INSANE BITS IN THE FIRST ACT. LIKE THE WHOLE PRE-CREDITS OPEN AND THE JET PACK REVEAL. LIKE THE CORRUPTED “SPINAL TRACTION MACHINE” WHICH TOTALLY FILMED LIKE JAMES BOND FUCKING SOMETHING TO DEATH.

OUCH

HULK LOVE WHEN BOND FILMS SO ON-THE-NOSE ABOUT THIS KIND OF STUFF. LIKE THE CASTRATION LASER FROM GOLDFINGER. THE PHALLOCENTRIC THEMATICS JUST WORK SO MUCH BETTER WHEN IT CLEANER + SELF AWARE. HULK ARGUE BOND FILMS AT THEIR WORST WHEN THE PSYCHO-SEXUAL-MACHOISM STUFF MORE UNDER THE SURFACE AND SNEAKY. IT FEEL MUCH MORE INSIDIOUS. BUT WHEN IT THIS BIG AND BOMBASTIC, WITHOUT BEING OUTRIGHT CARTOONY, IT ABSOLUTELY BEST WAY PRESENT BOND IN ALL HIS RIDICULOUSNESS. YOU MAY WONDER HOW IT EVEN POSSIBLE SHOW ON-THE-NOSE SCENE ABOUT BOND FUCKING TO DEATH AND IT SOMEHOW NOT BE CARTOONY, BUT THAT THE SECRET DIFFICULTY OF DOING A BOND MOVIE. AND IT SPEAK TO WEIRD NATURE OF “TONE.” FILMMAKING, ESPECIALLY THE BIG STUFF, ACTUALLY A REMARKABLY SUBTLE THING. THE LINES BETWEEN INSIDIOUS, BROAD, SUBTLE, AND OBVIOUS OFTEN RATHER SMALL. AND IT THE DIRECTORS JOB BE IN CONTROL OF IT. AND HULK THINK TERENCE YOUNG KNOW STRADDLE THOSE LINES PERFECTLY. OTHERS MAKE THE MISTAKE GOING TOO TONGUE+CHEEK, OR TOO GRIM, OR TOO CURRENT. THUNDERBALL, MEANWHILE, STRIKE HULK JUST RIGHT.

YET EVEN IF HULK LOVE THE TONE OF FILM, THERE STILL NOT TOO MUCH ESPECIALLY DISTINCT ABOUT IT. AND HULK ACKNOWLEDGE TANGIBLE THINGS OFTEN WHAT THE AUDIENCE POINT TO FOR “BAD” OR “GOOD.” RARELY IF EVER TONE… SO HULK SUPPOSE THE FILM REALLY USE THE CARIBBEAN LOCATION TO MAXIMUM EFFECTIVENESS. WHICH GOOD CONSIDERING IT STAY CENTRALLY LOCATED THERE FOR MOST OF MOVIE.

PICTURED: MAXIMUM EFFECTIVENESS

THE FINAL ACTION SEQUENCE OF ALL THE SCUBA DIVERS HAVING HARPOON BATTLE OVER THE NUKES ONLY IMPROVE WITH MORE ONE KNOW ABOUT FILMMAKING. SHOOTING SOMETHING THAT LONG AND THAT COMPLICATED UNDERWATER MUST BEEN ABSOLUTE HELL. AND THE RESULTS HOLD UP REMARKABLY WELL. PRECISELY BECAUSE IT THE EXACT KIND OF FILMMAKING THAT ALL THE CGI IN THE WORLD CAN NO REPLICATE. IT THIS SAME REASON CAR CHASES FROM THIS ERA HOLD UP WELL TOO… NOBODY BOTHER TAKE THE TROUBLE ANYMORE.

HMMM. WHAT ELSE… REALLY IT ABOUT THE BOND GIRLS IN THIS MOVIE, BUT HULK GET TO THAT LATER IN PROPER SECTION.

ANYTHING ELSE? OH YEAH, THUNDERBALL BEGIN THE LONGSTANDING BOND TRADITION OF BRINGING IN HUGE STAR TO DO TERRIBLE THEME SONG. AND YES, TOM JONES’ THUNDERBALL SONG ABSOLUTELY SUCKED.

SORRY TOM

(UPDATE: HULK READER PHIL PRESENT THIS LITTLE BIT ALTERNATIVE HISTORY. ENJOY JOHNNY CASH’S SUBMISSION FOR THUNDERBALL THEME SONG)

BEST MOMENT: THE JETPACK? THE POOL-BOUND SHARK ATTACK? THE ENDING HARPOON SEQUENCE?

LETS FACE IT. IT JAMES BOND PUNCHING A WIDOW IN THE FACE:

PLEASE GO TO 1:32…  (CAN’T IMBED) http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3hsb4_thunderball-pretitle-sequence_shortfilms

HAVE YOU WATCHED YET?

YEAH, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BOND GIRLS?

THUNDERBALL DEFINITELY ONE OF ALL-STAR OUTINGS FOR BOND GIRLS.

1. CLAUDINE AUGER AS “DOMINO” – LIKE MOST BOND GIRLS, AUGER VERY PRETTY, BUT SHE ALSO PRETTY IN WAY THAT HULK FIND PRETTY… SO THERE. HER CHARACTER = THE HONEY RIDER ARCHETYPE, ONLY SOMEHOW EVEN MORE OF A DOE-EYED INNOCENT WHOSE PERSONAL TRAGEDY CAUGHT UP IN THE MAIN GAME OF PLOT. LITTLE SHE KNOW HER BROTHER KILLED IN SCHEME CONDUCTED BY LARGO. WAIT WAS LARGO HER UNCLE? HULK FORGET EXACTLY HOW LARGO RELATED TO HER. MAYBE SHE HIS BOYFRIEND? HULK DON’T REMEMBER. WAIT NO. SHE HIS MISTRESS AND HULK NOW REMEMBERING ALL THESE PARTS WHERE HE NO GIVE HER LOVING AND STUFF CAUSE HE TOO BUSY BEING OLD MAN AND DEALING WITH SPECTER STUFF. YEAH THAT SOUND ABOUT RIGHT. ANYCRAP, THE THING HULK LIKE ABOUT DOMINO THAT THERE THERE ACTUAL HUMAN GENTLENESS TO HER. AS IN SHE ACTUALLY SEEM LIKE INNOCENT PERSON CAUGHT UP IN ALL THE MASSIVE NUCLEAR HIJACKING CRAZINESS. SHE NOT JUST SOME CARDBOARD CUTOUT DESPITE BEST EFFORTS OF SCRIPT NOT TO GIVE HER PERSONALITY.

IN TRUTH, MOST BOND GIRLS LEFT UP TO THEIR OWN DEVICES. THEY PRESENTED WITH MOST BASIC OF ROLES AND THEIR NATURAL PERSONALITY OR RELATIVE LOOK/ATTRACTIVENESS END DOING ALL THE WORK. IT JUST HOW THESE THINGS GO. WAITING FOR A BOND WRITER TO UNDERSTAND HOW WRITE WOMEN SEEM FUTILE (WHY NOT HIRE A WOMAN?). AND AT SAME TIME THE SCRIPT DESERVE CREDIT FOR NOT MAKING HER VAPID ENOUGH TO JUST THROW HERSELF WILLINGLY AT BOND FROM GET GO. THAT WAY SHE NOT CONSTANTLY AT HIS MERCY TO BE GUIDED AROUND AIMLESSLY LIKE HELPLESS VICTIM. SURE, SHE NOT HAVE LOT TO DO, BUT THERE SIMPLE VALUE TO RECOGNIZING THAT AT LEAST THEY NO MAKER HER PLAIN AWFUL.

MOVING ON…

2. LUCIANA PALUZZI AS FIONA VULPE -MEET THE FIRST IN LONG LIST OF BADASS BOND GIRL ENEMIES (PUSSY GALORE IN GOLDFINGER NOT REALLY COUNT. SHE JUST SORT OF FLY PLANES AND THAT IT). FIONA VULPE = THE FIERY RED-HAIRED VOLUPTUOUS ASSASSIN WHO WEAR FULL LEATHER SPANDEX AND RIDE AROUND ON MOTORCYCLE ARMED WITH MACHINE GUNS… YEAH IT LIKE 13 YEAR OLD BOY’S BRAIN EXPLOSION.

VROOM VROOM!

BUT REMEMBER, HULK LIKE WHEN BOND MOVIES UPFRONT ABOUT THIS STUFF WITHOUT GOING OVER EDGE. AND TERENCE YOUNG SOMEHOW KNOW HOW MAKE HER CHARACTER NOT COME OFF LIKE CARTOON (MOSTLY CAUSE SHE GET THE GREAT MANTIS-LIKE OPENING). PLUS SHE ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD IN ROLE. PALUZZI ALL SWAGGER AND DEADPAN GLARES OF VENOM. HER SCENE WHERE SHE DANCE WITH BOND WHILE TRYING KILL HIM GREAT… IT JUST SHAME HER TENURE CUT SHORT SO LAMELY.

3. THERE ALSO MARTINE BESWICK AS PAULA, THE FELLOW MI6 AGENT – SERIOUSLY, WHAT UP WITH THE GIRLS BOND WORK WITH? IT THIS ODD REOCCURRING PART OF SERIES WHERE BOND JUST HAVE NO INTEREST IN BEDDING THEM. IT CERTAINLY NOT CAUSE HE PROFESSIONAL. HULK MEAN, THE SCENE WHERE HE LEAVE PAULA TO GO ON DOMINO’S BOAT = HILARIOUS. WHAT GIVE?

OFF SET THOUGH... GULP

MOMENT OF MISOGYNY: DEAR LORDY. IT EASILY IN FIRST ACT WHEN BOND USE THE SPINAL TRACTION MALFUNCTION PROBLEM TO GUILT-TRIP THE NURSE INTO DOING HIM. SHE CLEARLY WANT NO PART OF IT AND THIS TOTALLY FREAKING SEXUAL ASSAULT NOWADAYS, ATTEMPTED BLACKMAIL TO BOOT! BUT IN BONDS 60′S? HAVE AT IT BOY-YO! OH, AND IN TYPICAL BOND FASHION THE FRIGHTENED, MANIPULATED NURSE NOW FULLY SATED AFTER GETTING THE GIFT OF BOND PENIS… THEN HE PROMPTLY LEAVE HER OF COURSE.

SUPPORTING CAST: ADOLFO CELI HAVE KIND OF THIS IMPOSING, BUT BLAND PRESENCE AS LARGO. HE NOT AS LAMELY INEFFECTUAL AS GOLDFINGER, BUT THERE STILL KIND OF THIS WEIRD LACK OF DISTINCTION TO HIM. HULK MOSTLY REMEMBER THE EYEPATCH, BUT HULK ALSO REMEMBER HIS TIME-HONORED BOND-VILLAIN TRADITION OF LOVING SHARKS. THOSE DEVICES REALLY DO MOST OF THE VILLAINY HEAVY LIFTING.

HE WILL APPARENTLY GRUMPY YOU TO DEATH THOUGH

SIGH… ANOTHER BOND MOVIE, ANOTHER FORGETTABLE FELIX LEITER. THIS SERIES GO THROUGH FELIX’S LIKE DARRENS. AND THIS TIME IT RIK VAN NUTTER. HULK TRULY HAVE NO MEMORY EVEN SEEING HIS FACE.

APPARENTLY IT LOOK LIKE THIS

ALSO, HULK COMPLETELY FORGET WHAT MONEYPENNY LIKE IN THIS ONE… CHANCES ARE SHE THE SAME.

SPINSTER!

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

BETTY’S TAKE: “This is the one where he was in shorts for, like, half the running time right? Yeah that was my favorite one.”

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4 Responses to “HULK VS. THE BONDS: THUNDERBALL (1965)”

  1. [...] IN LAST COLUMN ON THUNDERBALL, HULK TALK ABOUT SURPRISINGLY DELICATE TONE NEEDED FOR GOOD BOND MOVIES. THEY NEED BE UP-FRONT YET [...]

  2. Phil said

    Say, Hulk, have you typed, “johnny cash thunderball,” into Youtube recently?

  3. FILMCRITHULK said

    HOLY SHIT… THAT BLOWING HULK’S MIND

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

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