When I decided to go back to school to become an English teacher, one of the undergraduate pre-requisites I was missing was a film studies class. Trying to fit it (and my other two missing pre-reqs) into my full Master's schedule was a little difficult, so I was only able to get into an upper level film course, the focus of which I was unaware of at the time of scheduling.
When I found out we'd be watching James Bond films all quarter, I nearly dropped the class, havoc wreaked upon my carefully planned schedule be damned. I mean, James Bond was misogynistic camp. What could I possibly learn from the bad puns, ridiculous gadgets, scantily clad women with suggestive names, and imperialist attitudes?
Plenty, it turns out. Our professor focused on just how jacked up the Bondian views and attitudes are while we came to appreciate the unparalleled level of campiness that Ian Fleming had no idea that he even wrote into the novels. (True story--Ian Fleming had some bizarre bathroom issues, which you can see if you carefully [and not so carefully] read the novels and watch the films. For example, in the book version of You Only Live Twice, the uber-villain Blofeld ushers Bond into a huge room over a volcano where a seat with a hole has been built into the rock over a roiling sea of molten mud. The villain cackles in delight as he threatens Bond with the fate worse than death--molten brown liquid exploding out of the "throne" up at Bond's vulnerable nether regions. You CANNOT make this crap up. Unless you're Ian Fleming and potty training went so badly for you that you are still bitter about it 50 years later).
Last weekend, the little one actually went to bed at a decent hour on Saturday and J and I stared at each other, wondering what the heck to do with ourselves. We had the usual difficulty in deciding on a movie until I saw that Netflix was streaming From Russia With Love. Ah, yes, Connery as the original Bond. An actual faceless villain who cackles and strokes a cat at the same time. (What's really ridiculous is that this is not a euphemism). Beautiful women writhing for no reason. What more can you ask for from a Saturday night feature?
Perhaps a plot that didn't have quite so many Mack truck sized holes. (So Red Grant is planning on killing Bond and the Russian Bond girl, but he just poisons her with a sleeping pill so he'll have to kill her later...And Kerim Bey installed an actual periscope in the floor of the Russian embassy in Istanbul, but no one there notices the giant scope bulging out of the floor?...The Lektor Machine is such an obvious MacGuffin that Bond doesn't even know what the damn thing does...)
But we enjoyed seeing Istanbul, Venice and other locales far removed from Lafayette, Indiana. And frankly, Sean Connery can make bad, bawdy puns for me any day.