007 – The Sean Connery Years 5: You Only Live Twice

Shortly after watching my first ever full James Bond movie, I remember my dad telling me a bit about You Only Live Twice. He mentioned how MI6 faked Bond’s death in order to help him infiltrate the enemy. But until I finally saw this movie a couple years ago, that’s all I knew about it. In a lot of ways, this is the most ambitious Bond movie we’ve looked at yet. It also brings a sense of closure to what was at that point intended to be Sean Connery’s last appearance as James Bond.

On Her Magesty’s Secret Service was originally intended to be the fifth James Bond movie, but they decided to delay it until after You Only Live Twice so they didn’t need to search for high and snowy locations just yet. Lewis Gilbert originally declined to direct the movie, but he later accepted after producer Albert R. Broccoli called him saying, “You can’t give up this job. It’s the largest audience in the world.” Gilbert would move on to direct The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, both starring the late Roger Moore.

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Comics of May 23, 2018 + goal updates

I’m not sure if I’m going to write a full review tonight or not. It depends on a couple of things, the main one being that I’m trying to go for a gym workout every day this week and next week. I’m readying myself for my big swimming goal. One thing that got me excited about this goal is that, this past Sunday, I swam my first ever 200m butterfly. I didn’t even plan on attempting it going into the swim, but I actually found the butterfly part of my first 400im (out of the 3 I swam) kind of easy.

That’s actually a great sign for my goal of swimming the 400m individual medley in less than 8 minutes. It helps that I’ve made massive improvements to my butterfly technique in the last couple of weeks, as well as some backstroke improvements. So whether I write a full review or not depends on when I get back from the gym, and how I feel. With that said, these gym workouts shouldn’t affect my James Bond Blogathon. I’ll be watching You Only Live Twice either tonight or tomorrow night, again depending on how I feel. But until then, let’s talk about this week’s releases.

The comics I picked up this week include the Star Wars Annual, Star Wars 48, Super Sons 16 and Detective Comics 981. Here are my first impressions, and if I do write a review, the link will be added below. But just in case, I’ll go into more detail than usual for these posts.

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007 – The Sean Connery years 4: Thunderball


I’ve mentioned this in the previous three 007 posts, but Thunderball was originally intended to be the first James Bond movie.  Yet it’s the fourth official Bond movie, and the first that began production after Ian Fleming’s death in 1964. Why? Because a lawsuit held it back for years. This lawsuit is worth exploring in detail because it’s kind of weird.

Back in 1958, Fleming and his friend, Ivar Bryce, began talking about making a Bond film. Bryce introduced Fleming to a young Irish writer and director, Kevin McClory. McClory initially declined all of the existing Bond novels, and instead started writing his own story, which would become Thunderball. Fleming felt attracted to McClory as a director for his film, The Boy and the Bridge, Britian’s official entry into the 1959 Venice Film Festival. Unfortunately the movie didn’t do so well, and Fleming became disenchanted with McClory as a result.

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All-New Wolverine 35 review

About two and a half years ago, Laura took on the Wolverine mantle after her father, Logan, died. Although Marvel could have handled her taking the mantle a lot better, like having her in at least one team book instead of throwing Old Man Logan everywhere, there’s been at least one consistently good element to all this. The All-New Wolverine series, written by Tom Taylor, has been consistently good. It’s done a brilliant job at balancing action, drama and fun. It continued Laura’s development as a character becoming more independent and responsible than before. Today’s issue concludes this series.

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Comics of May 16, 2018

It’s been a weird couple of days at work. Not bad by any means, just weird. On the bright side, I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would. I also feel appreciated there, which is a lot more than I can say for my previous job. Also, last Saturday I swam three 400m individual medleys in the span of 40 minutes. Made massive improvements on my butterfly technique as well. I’m in the best physical shape I’ve ever been in, and I want to keep improving while I still can. But anyway, it’s time to talk about comics.

After two weeks where I hardly had any comics on my pull list, I’ve suddenly got 6. Although my local shop ran out of Cable 157 before I got there, I still picked up X-Men Red 4, Star Wars Poe Dameron 27, All-New Wolverine 35, Superman Special 1, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 82. Here are my first impressions, and links to full reviews will be added when they’re posted.

All-New Wolverine 35 review

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007 – The Sean Connery Years 3: Goldfinger

1964’s Goldfinger is often referred to as the quintessential Bond movie. Based on the novel of the same name, Goldfinger once again establishes a number of tropes followed in the series ever since. It became the first movie in the franchise to win an Academy Award and to receive largely favourable critical reception upon its release. It’s the first movie in the franchise to double up its extended opening credits sequence and a song titled after the movie. And it’s a great song by Shirley Bassey, who would later go on to sing the theme songs in “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Moonraker”. The gadgets from Q that Bond uses are a lot more high tech – a gadget car. This is the movie that turned the franchise into a true phenomenon.

And yet, I’ve never liked this movie.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it. I just don’t care for it all that much. I’ve seen it three times. It was the second Bond movie I ever saw in full, back when I was in my early teens, and I found it boring. The second time, a few years ago when I bought the Sean Connery DVD sets, I found a couple moments hard to sit through. I liked it a bit more this time, but I still don’t like the movie as a whole. But we’ll get into the specific reasons why later.

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007 – The Sean Connery Years 2: From Russia With Love

Just over a year after Dr. No released, the second James Bond movie entered theaters. There’s no way a movie series of this type would pump out movies this quick these days, but back then, the James Bond movies were still relatively low budget. And like the first movie, it helped establish a number of traits still existing in the movies to this day.

Released on October 10 of 1963, From Russia With Love features pretty much all the same players as the first movie. Terence Young returns to the director’s chair. Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli produced the film. Sean Connery portrays the title character. Richard Maibaum wrote the script (he’d end up writing 13 of the James Bond movies from Dr. No to License to Kill, only missing three of them in-between).

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