• Thunderball

    Thunderball

    The apogee of 007 mania produces a long snoozefest.

    We linger in an all-white Bahamas, on a lovely new aspect ratio. Bond kills a cross-dressing assassin, then flies a real jetpack. A masseuse, a villain, and a gamine, each function as a sex prop for Bond. An eyepatch features. Connery actually narrowly avoids predation by a plexiglass fugitive. Happily, a minion 'tortures' Bond by rapturously shaking him on a rack in a massage parlour.

    My pleasure surged only when it ended, after 30 minutes of plodding underwater footage. The boat-based climax sucks less. All the other scenes? Lost at sea.

  • Goldfinger

    Goldfinger

    ★½

    A 'classic' which genuinely bores me, except for when a laser threatens Bond's balls. Bond's hairpiece sucks. The villain threatens to make some bullion dirty. (Did audiences care about this during the gold standard?) The 'romance' boils down to Pussy (Blackman) playing hard to get until Bond assaults her. Three blonde lovers come and go. Two die before they may utter more than a line.

    Goldfinger (Fröbe) pointlessly reveals his plan to mobsters, then kills them. Oddjob (Sakata) spectates the use of a car crusher. Bond's baby blue flannel onesie and Goldfinger's comical suction death stand out.

  • From Russia with Love

    From Russia with Love

    ★½

    For this movie's ploy, Bond faces posthumous release of his sex tape.

    Bond claims to have a wide penis, gets moronically caught off guard, then slaps and humiliates the beautiful Tatiana (Bianchi). Twenty minutes of 'gypsy' tropes include 007 fucking two women who love another man. Adorably slick Kerim (Armendáriz) and Bond develop homosocial romance over violence and objectification of women. Grant (Shaw) and lesbophobic trope Klebb (Lenya) lift an otherwise grotesque film with threat and much-needed soft-core Nazisploitation camp.

    Connery performs best in potentially the most offensive and Cold Wariest 007, but it drags, especially in the final chase.

  • Dr. No

    Dr. No

    ★½

    Dr. No mulches undercooked pulp. Jamaica, independent weeks before the première, functions as Britain's heart of darkness. Bond gambles, jet-sets, assaults women, socialises and karate chops. Spying barely features.

    Sole black character, Quarrel (Kitzmiller) cannot exercise Reason and dies. White men overween, initiating the series' Yellow Peril discussing a 'Chinese gentleman' (Wiseman). Honey (Andress) reveals bizarrely too much trauma to a man she just met. Women are debased and infantilised.

    Highlights include Bond's slightly good hair, ridiculous cyanide and sweat-drenched spider acting, the terrible, screaming score, a cack budget 'dragon' and the inexplicable shower sequence. Bond generates massive nuclear fallout.