26 December 2014

You Only Live Twice

You Only Live Twice 1967
  • Director:  Lewis Gilbert
  • Based on the novels  by Ian Fleming
  • Cast: Sean Connery, Akiko Wakabayashi , Mie Hama, Teru Shimada , Karin Dor, Donald Pleasance Bernard Lee, Eunice Gayson, Lois Maxwell
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Sean Connery  The Rock, First Knight, Murder on the Orient Express, Goldfinger, Marnie, Dr. No, From Russia with Love, The Longest Day and others of the early Bond films but I’m not sure which ones
    • The others: in various old films and TV series
  • Why? Curious. Hal and I saw several Bond films in a Bond festival in the early 70’s and enjoyed them. Sean Connery is the only Bond we have ever seen.  Friends have said later actors have been good too. And with Judi Dench they can’t be all bad.  So we bought the box...
  • Seen:  Once previously, maybe? I really don’t remember. Now, December 12, 2014.
Space travel enters the world of James Bond. And James Bond is murdered! It’s in the newspaper and he’s buried at sea and everything. So dead for sure this time! Ah, but check out the title. He probably wakes up again.  And there he is. His body is picked up by a scuba diver. Wakey wakey. It’s all part of a military cover up. What a surprise, huh.
Global war is to be averted.  The Americans and the Soviets are saying nasty things to each other. Only Double-Oh Seven can save us all.  So he goes to Japan. He has a first in Oriental languages at Cambridge after all.  Aha. James Bond the scholar.
A lot of Japanese minimalist design. Nice.
There are amusing touches but the male chauvinist sexism is even less amusing than in previous films.  Sexism and racism is always distressing, I find.
It’s also not very interesting but a pause to make some popcorn keeps me awake through all the chases and captures and escapes and boring explosions.
Enter the Ninjas. And I thought they were turtles! Enter a lovely Japanese bride. James Bond gets married. But not really, don’t worry. Then he becomes an astronaut.
I suppose it isn’t never-ending. It just seems like it.  And it does end finally with a droll scene. It’s visually quite handsome all the way through and we get to see more of the white cat.  It gets a few points for portraying the US and the USSR as equally idiotic warmongers with the cool-headed Brits saving the day. 
It’s a bit better than the last one so

2 * of 5

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