I’ve been a James Bond fan since my teens.
My family lived in the Seychelles for a few years back in the ‘70s and I remember watching battered prints of “Diamonds Are Forever” and “The Man With The Golden Gun” in our local fleapit cinema. After being brought up on a diet of harmless Disney fare, 007 came as a rude awakening. Bad guys were shot. Gadgets were used. Cars were chased. And Bond got the girls. Britt Ekland in a bikini was a revelation.
Anyway, the films made me seek out the Ian Fleming originals (less gadgets, more sadistic cruelty) and when we returned to the UK, I started catching up on the back catalogue. I’m still a huge fan (my favourite’s Goldfinger, thanks for asking) and I have hidden up in the loft a generous number of model Aston Martin DB5s and Lotus Esprits. There’s also the movies themselves, many of them purchased multiple times. VHS, laserdisc, DVD, Blu-ray... each new home entertainment format upgrading my collection.
As well as the novels, I also have several books devoted to the making of the movies; I warmly recommend Alan Barnes’ and Marcus Hearn’s excellent “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang! The Unofficial James Bond Movie Companion
”, which I thought would be the last word in incisive, sarcastic commentary on the 007 series.
I was wrong.
I’ve recently been introduced to Blog, James Blog
- Scott Engel’s terrifically idiosyncratic revisiting of the Bond movie canon. Starting in sequence with “Dr No”, Engel breaks down each movie - the actor playing Bond, the villain, the girls, locations, box-office - every imaginable aspect. He then illustrates his extended essays with appropriate (and sometimes incredibly inappropriate)pictures and YouTube clips.
It’s a major project - he’s just posted his dissection of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” - and so it’ll be a while before the Brosnan and Craig entries are covered. However, I urge you to check out the blog yourself. Engel is a real fan of the series, yet he’s not blind to its failings. Regrettably, he rates “Thunderball” higher than “Goldfinger” - of course, it’s clearly the other way around.
The biggest compliment I can give to the blog is that his reviews make you want to rewatch a particular film as soon as possible. Engel’s enthusiastic descriptions had me firing up the DVD player to see “OHMSS” again...and realising what a massive debt “Inception”’s ski chase sequence owes it. Blog, James Blog
is essential reading. That’s all, 007.