You Only Live Twice
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Agent 007 plays dead, then comes back as an Asian to save the world from SPECTRE's Blofeld. The fifth James Bond movie.
The film boasts the best of the Bond title songs (this one sung on a dreamy track by Nancy Sinatra), but the movie itself is one of the weaker ones of the Sean Connery phase of the 007 franchise. The story concerns an effort by the evil organization SPECTRE to start a world war, but the not-so-super villain behind the plot is the awfully civilized Donald Pleasence. The thin script is by Roald Dahl (shouldn't we have expected a better Bond nemesis from the creator of mad genius Willy Wonka?), and direction is by British veteran Lewis Gilbert (Alfie). But the movie can't hold a candle to Dr. No, From Russia with Love, or Goldfinger. --Tom Keogh
- Audio Commentary
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This is the first time we actually get to see Blofeld, though he is alluded to in the previous films, this is also the best incarnation of the character in the franchise with Donald Pleasance playing an ideal Bond villain. Because the movie mostly takes place in Japan, the Bond girl and car (a Toyota 2000 GT) aren't exactly what we are used to, but go together well enough to fit with the story.
If you've seen Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, you know that this James Bond movie influenced it more than any other. From the underground lair, to the fleets of henchman, the bald depiction of Blofeld, the sequences in space and many more. In my mind I will look at this film as more or less the end of the Connery Bond era and thus the end of a great thing.
Bond Element Ratings:
Intro/Title Sequence/Theme Song: 4.5/5
Bond Girl: 3.5/5
Nancy Sinatra sings the theme song. Sock it to me BA-bie!!!!
Preposterous Plot, but who cares??? Classic Bond.
A conflict between the US and the USSR over an encounter in space is causing both to veer into nuclear war. Odd that this movie would bring to fold nuclear war, half a decade after the Cuban Missile Crisis. But its a James Bond story and one that is a pretty cool, but a bit outrageous. Taking it from Hong Kong to Japan, this story has some pretty cool moments. However for fans of the original novel the only good thing that this does bring is Bond vs the mysterious man with the cat in an encounter with the world in danger.
Trademark James Bond storytelling from one-liners, amazing sets, action, lovely women and gadgets are to be expected here.
Nice Blu-Ray and some good special features from the DVD release. B