"Crap! I wish I hadn't seen Ricky on the sidewalk."

"You will be fine for 31 minutes. You will be dead in 32 minutes."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Covalent Bonds

I saw Skyfall last week with my lady chums.  Saw it for free.

Last Saturday, I bought a copy of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Peter Hunt, 1969) from Best Buy, because their $9.99 Bond Blu-rays were packaged with $10 coupons good toward the purchase of a Skyfall ticket.

I also had a $5 Reward Zone coupon, so my Blu-ray only cost $5.44. I chose On Her Majesty's Secret Service because I already own Goldfinger and the Lazenby is frequently ranked among the top 5 Bond movies.

I'm watching it now, as I type this.
James Bond (George Lazenby), handy with a blade

I can tell you exactly how many James Bond movies I watched with my father growing up, because it was the same number of professional baseball games we attended, which is to say zero.

Don't get me wrong, my dad was a great guy.  He drove me to the library a lot, and we ran plenty of errands together.  We just didn't do a lot of traditional father-son things.  He never taught me to whittle.  We never teamed up for a three-legged race or went fishing or slept with the same prostitute.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Telly Savalas) tries to make Bond forget all about Donald Pleasence
So it's really no surprise I came late to the Bond franchise.  I came of age during the Roger Moore era, so my bond was campy and lightweight, a real wise-cracker, not tough and misogynistic like Sean Connery.

I know JFK was a huge fan of the Bond novels, and I own all of them, mostly in vintage paperback editions.  You want to know how many of them I've read?  Double-oh-zero.  But that's the nature of collecting.  You can't just collect what you're interested in right now.  You hedge your bets and collect anything you might be interested in in the future.

This Bond omnibus (Macmillan, 1961) collects three novels: Casino Royale, From Russia with Love, and Doctor No.  Another collection, Bonded Fleming (Viking, 1965) contains two more novels (Thunderball and The Spy Who Loved Me) plus five Bond short stories: From a View to a Kill, For Your Eyes Only, Quantum of Solace, Risico, and The Hildebrand Rarity).  I like to think I'll get around to reading them eventually. 
I have one more unread Ian Fleming book in my collection.  It's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Random House, 1964), the book he wrote for children.  I saw the film adaptation with Dick Van Dyke at a tender age, and despite my relative inexperience with film criticism, I wasted no time telling my parents the movie stank.  This was no Mary Poppins, no Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.  Have you seen this film?  It's shitty shitty lame lame, and I say that as a fan of Dick Van Dyke and his ottoman tripping antics.
But back to Skyfall, which I found perfectly entertaining.  Daniel Craig is dynamic, Javier Bardem is deliciously creepy, and the theme song left my head the moment the lights came up. 
My only gripe is with AMC management, which made me dump my dinner leftovers before entering the theater.  They offered to hold my two slices of Thai Chicken pizza while I watched the movie, but I politely declined and tossed the food in the trash. 
Then I paid $8 for a bag of popcorn, but since I got a free movie ticket it seems awfully petty to complain.



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