Sunday, May 29, 2011

Goldfinger [1964]

Dr. No and From Russia With Love had been highly successful, well-regarded films, but it is Goldfinger which truly began the James Bond phenomenon.  The series had a new director, a new tone, and a leading man who had become a genuine superstar.

This resulted in what was, at the time, one of the biggest box-office smashes in film history, a hit so large that it paved the way for the series to continue into at least the next five decades.  It wouldn't be exaggeration to suggest that this is a feat virtually unparalleled in cinema.

How has Goldfinger withstood the duration of those decades?  Is it still a world-class entertainment, or is it a relic of bygone times?

Well, I can't speak to that; not, at least, without sounding like a pretentious mix of vinegar and water.  However, I am amply qualified to speak as to how the film has withstood the test of years for me on a personal level.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

From Russia With Love [1963]

From Russia With Love is still considered to be one of the best James Bond films, and in general terms is well-remembered and well-loved almost fifty years after its release.  There aren't many movies that survive in the public consciousness for fifty years; 1963 actually fares pretty well in that regard, with flicks like The Great Escape, 8 1/2, The Birds, The Pink Panther, The Haunting, Cleopatra, and Hud still hanging around around actively in the cultural consciousness.

From Russia With Love is as notable a title as any of those, though, and with that in mind, it surely ought to earn a great score on the old Double-0 Rating system, right?  Let's find out.