30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2012
An example: In the writeup on "You Only Live Twice," the writers assert:
"For some reason, in You Only Live Twice, James Bond did not pilot any kind of vehicle -- first time ever."
That being the movie with a lengthy sequence of some British guy named James Bond piloting Little Nellie, the portable helicopter, and getting into a dogfight with other pilots. You know, while he was piloting a vehicle.
Why even make that assertion in the first place, let alone make it when you're entirely wrong in a way that should have been caught by anyone actually watching the movie? Sloppy, lazy work.
There are also such oddities as the writeup on "Thunderball" being one-third as long as the writeup for the 1967 "Casino Royale." As long as you don't rely on this for any research, and take some "Facts" with a grain of salt, it's a passable read, but the main draw would be the plentiful photos.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2012
If you're interested in this book for the pictures and visual layout, then go ahead and buy it. Otherwise, it's probably the most poorly written item covering the James Bond film franchise. It's clear that the author really isn't that much of a Bond fan, merely praising the more financially successful films and throwing the rest of them under the bus. As a massive James Bond fan and aficionado, I respect everyone's opinion as to who they feel is the best Bond or which films are their favorites, but it's clear from the lack of research and constant inaccuracies regarding the series history that the author is just catering to the expectations of the general public rather than providing new insight as to why certain films are better than others. If you're going to make the claim that Diamonds Are Forever is better than both You Only Live Twice and On Her Majesty's Secret Service, then you better have a lot to offer in backing that decision up.
In fact, there is nothing to back up any of the projected opinions, and the overall negativity of the book leaves a bad taste in the reader's mouth. Isn't this supposed to celebrate James Bond instead of pointing out all the films' flaws? Has this guy even actually sat down and watched a Timothy Dalton James Bond film before casting him off as the worst thing that has ever happened to the franchise? And the speculation that Ian Fleming would have liked the depiction of 007 in the film version of Moonraker is fairly solid evidence that the author either skimmed through the novels or took the even lazier way out by reading the back covers and calling it good.
In summary, the photos are incredible, but the book itself should have been written by a real Bond fan.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2012
I over all enjoyed the review of Bonds first 50 years. I liked the box office reports that shows what the gross's would be by todays standards.
However, the writers of this book nearly lost me with the review for On Her Majesty's Secret Service which they called "more than a little bit lost"?! Are they nuts? When it first came out it was met with some criticism, trying to carry the torch after Connery, but it has since been met with universal praise from film historians, critics, and fans alike. It is regarded as one of the best adaptations of Fleming's novels and one of the best Bond films of all time. I mean are the LIFE writers from the 60's? Modern critics have given an 82% approval rating and In September 2012 it was announced that On Her Majesty's Secret Service had topped a poll of Bond fans run by 007 Magazine to determine the greatest ever Bond film. Goldfinger came second in the poll and From Russia With Love was third. Catch up to the present consensus LIFE. .
They even got it wrong when the labeled OHMSS a flop. It had a budget of $7 million and made back over 11 times that with $80 million which by todays standards is over $400 million. And they call that a flop?! Presently Avengers had a budget of $220 million and made back $1.5 billion, which is about 7 times it's budget. So OHMSS actually made back more of a profit in comparison to it's budget than Avengers and yet Avengers is considered a huge success. At the time OHMSS was released it was considered a disappointment in comparison to what the Connery films grossed, Thunderball was at $141 million, but that certainly doesn't make OHMSS a flop. You people need to get your facts straight.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
I did not really know what to expect from LIFE's 50 Years of James Bond. I received it yesterday, opened the package, removed the book and started flipping through the pages. There were probably a lot of things I would not have liked had I been younger and back in the day. But, as I flipped through the pages I found them, the images and photographs rather endearing. I found myself reminiscing. I had seen DR. NO when it was first released, not even realizing it was a James Bond film. I was too young. But, when GOLDFINGER came out, I remembered the opening gun barrel that I saw in DR. NO again, like Deja Vu. And then there was the Aston Martin, the man with the steel hat, the golden girl and all the rest. I was a kid, but I was hooked from that point on. As I flip through this book again, I see and remember and know that am still hooked and always will be. Yes, I like this book. It not the best book on Bond nor the worst. It is just about James Bond with a very nostalgic visual style and with snippets here and there about what happened, how it came about and such. At this stage of the game, I do not even get too hung up on accuracy any more. Just let it flow. Just enjoy the moment.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2012
This book is a typical overview of the Bond series, a few pages per film, a couple page bios of the stars, and short chapters on Fleming, real spying, spoofs, etc.
It does cover the 1954 Casino Royale - with 2 great on set photos, 1967 Casino Royale, and 1983's Never Say Never Again.
Lots of photos we've seen before, plus a nice selection of never before published photos. However, the choices are somewhat odd. For example - there are 4 photos from the Austin Powers films, but none of 3 time Bond girl Maud Adams. None of Maryam D'abo, Tanya Roberts, or Jane Seymour, etc. While it doesn't claim to be a book about Bond girls - I wouldn't waste shots of spy spoofs and real life spies at the expense of Bond girls.
There are a few errors in the text (example - claiming that Roger Moore switched from PPK to a Magnum for his run as Bond), and some odd things like entries on how Fleming would view each film (suddenly Life editors are Fleming experts?) and they inflation adjust all the film grosses - which doesn't accurately reflect how the films did at release.
But it is worth picking up - the rare Fleming shots are worth the price alone.
on August 26, 2013
I've only skimmed thru the coffee table type book. Seems good, more or less, though I've some better ones (I think) from over the years. This is very prelim. cursory review...if you're a die hard 007 Bond, get the book anyway...it will add to your collection. I've been a Bond fan, thru moviedom since Dr. No, thru now. Saw the TV version of Casino Royale, went thru some of Fleming's novels, saw spoof type flicks, have my favorites as 007, certain flicks, etc. Guess we all do, but that's to perhaps discuss another time, maybe elswhere, dunno.
Overall, guess I'm just addicted to the 007 Bond, James Bond material, in general. Yes, there were a few movies I didn't care too much for, I won't knock any though. I do however have 2 sore spots, which is why I'm posting this. One is that most Bond movies, and several other famous, good films, had the melodious, hauntingly beautiful, yet spirited music of the late, great John Barry. Some movies without his music was just lacking to me. I hope to see this genius, modern composer's name mentioned in this book. Seems his passing did not get the media coverage really deserved. Yes, there are other good maestros, but Barry had that something special. RIP John Barry...hope you are composing angelic melodies perhaps in the cosmos.
Another thing...though Daniel Craig is a top drawer actor, there is a script to follow. As of late, the scripts haven't been that great to me ..and the 50th Anniv. movie might have been a swan song of sorts for the Bond we came to enjoy all these decades. Yes, Skyfall was action packed, but lacking in familiar Bond material we've come to enjoy...the gadgets, wit, flirtatiousness, innuendos, smiles, light jokes, futuristic things, and characteristics which made James Bond, 007 to his many fans. Skyfall eg could have had an agent called Mr. Indestructible. Film was great for action, CG, and video gamer enthusiasts, but for die hard Bond fans, it was short on familiar "stuff." Would love to hear your comments, replies to this...we'd like our familiar type 007 Bond flicks back. The earlier films were exciting, imaginative, memorable and fun.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2013
You would expect from LIFE editors no less than excellent illustrations and coverage of 50 years of Bond. That's not the case here.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2014
If you're a James Bond fan. You will love this book.
Great pictures from various James Bond films up to most recent.
on June 21, 2014
This book was purchased as a gift, although I certainly looked through it myself before packaging it and passing it on to its rightful owner. There is a good balance between text and photos, and it does a nice job of walking you through the years of Bond. This is an excellent coffee table book - I knew we had to have it for my father in law after I picked it up in a hotel lobby. Shout out to that hotel - their "lobby library" was stocked with books like this in a cozy reading nook...a welcome change from magazines and brochures for local attractions.
on December 26, 2013
Quick read, on Christmas day, chock full of pics and interesting facts about each film. Of course, I wish there was more, because it seems tough to cram 50 years into one book- but well worth it for Bond fans..especially at the cheaper price! I think you could have a book just on Q-branch alone, as well as Bond girls and villians, not to mention location, location, locations! All in all fun read, but leaves you wanting a little more.