And movies too!

FUN WITH DICK AND JANE (1977) reminds me a little of The Nixon Recession Caper as aerospace engineer George Segal becomes the victim of Ed McMann’s downsizing campaign (“I’ve never just told anyone straight out they were fired before.”), forcing him and suburban spouse Jane Fonda to resort to armed robbery as an alternative to food stamps (“It’s people like you who give this program a bad name.”). Fun (and unfortunately still timely) and well cast, with Dick Gautier as a prosperity gospel minister (“If you give to me, God will reward you many times over.”) and Thayer David as his adjutant. “I guess the old poor have to stick it to the nouveau poor.”
XMEN: FIRST CLASS (2011) is a story of the team’s early days which has Charles Xavier picking up girls with discussions of mutation, Emma Frost proving she’s a diamond in the rough), Kevin Bacon trying to start the Cuban Missile Crisis and Magneto finding a helmet. Good, though I’m curious if they intend to make this dovetail with the previous system (Havoc——Scott Summers’ younger brother in the comics——would have to be his uncle or father in the films). “I agree with every word you say—but unfortunately, you killed my mother.”
THUNDERBALL (1966) is probably more interesting for its history than the actual viewing: Kevin McClory and Ian Fleming originally cowrote a film called Warhead, which introduced SPECTRE (stealing a nuclear bomber as an extortion tool); when it didn’t work, Fleming rewrote it into the novel, Thunderball. When the movie came out, McClory sued on the grounds Fleming had no write to use his contributions, and eventually won the right to remake it (as Never Say Never Again). The film itself, however, is much duller than Goldfinger: It’s a lot slower paced, the actors are no match for Gert Frobe, Harold Sakata or Honor Blackman, and the underwater scenes, while striking, often make it hard to tell one character from the other. However it does have the first unrepentant bad girl, who mocks the very idea of Bond seducing her to the side of good (good character, though pale compared to later incarnations such as Onatop); Austin Powers fans should also note that SPECTRE’s eyepatched Number Two here is presumably the model for Robert Wagner’s role in the later series. “What I did tonight, I did for queen and country—I hope you don’t think I got any pleasure from it.”

4 Comments

Filed under Movies

4 responses to “And movies too!

  1. Thank you for a great post.

  2. Pingback: Back to Connery: Never Say Never Again | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: The Brother of Bond: OK Connery (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  4. Pingback: The hybrid Bond: Spectre (#SFWApro) with spoilers | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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