Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Octopussy [1983]

A quick consultation of the blog's main page informs me that it has been nearly three months since my last post here.  THREE MONTHS!!!

All I'll say in my own defense is that work -- you know, the thing I have to do for 45-50 hours per week in order to have money for rent, and car payments, and bill payments, and cat litter, and food, and whatnot -- has been more than a bit hectic since.  I've also been working on my Stephen King blog, primarily on this whopper of a post.  However, I've felt bad about the extent to which I've been neglecting You Only Blog Twice, so I'm going to do my best to get several new posts up here before doing anything else substantial there.


Alright, moving on...

Today's subject, obviously, is Octopussy.  If we consider where that movie came in, in terms of the history of the series, it's an interesting place: the series had been going for a bit more than twenty years by 1983.  The late '70s had seen a pair of massive successes in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, but those movies came under criticism in some camps for being too outlandish and excessive.  So, producer Albert Broccoli tried to swing things back in the other direction with the next film, For Your Eyes Only, which was more realistic, more patently influence by Ian Fleming's original works.  That film, too, was a hit; not as big as Moonraker had been, but big enough that nobody seemed to worry that going back toward gritty realism had been the wrong move.

And yet, ever in search of the perfection of the formula, the creative personnel made another key decision regarding Octopussy: to keep a certain amount of the realism, but within a highly escapist framework.  The result is a film that tries very hard to be, at once, all types of Bond movies, for all types of Bond fans.

Was it a successful attempt?

Let's have a look and render a verdict.

easily one of my favorite of all Bond posters