Tag: sean connery

MOVIE REVIEW | The Great Train Robbery (1978)


“All anyone ever thinks about is money.”

I have an aversion to generic movie titles.  If you were to see the title alone, with no idea who was in it or who made it or what was it about, would there be a single reason to see something blandly called As Good As it Gets, or Enough Said or It’s Complicated?  I have the same problem with titles that are too literal.  Do I really want to see a movie where the people behind it were so creatively bankrupt, they called a movie about a great train robbery, The Great Train Robbery?

It’s the mid 19th century, and every month, a train full of gold heads from London to pay soldiers fighting in the Crimean.  With four keys, each guarded by a different person and a break neck speed across England, it’s impossible to rob.  Or is it?  No, no it’s not.  Because the gold catches the attention of master thief Pierce (Sean Connery).  Along with his saucy missus (Lesley-Ann Dowd as Miriam), Pierce recruits master pick pocket Agar (Donald Sutherland).  Then it’s time for half a movie of intricate planning, the odd preparation caper and a pretty amazing prison escape. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***BOND WEEK*** Goldfinger (1964)


“My dear girl, there are some things that just aren’t done, such as drinking Dom Perignon ’53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs!”

To say Dr No, left me underwhelmed is being pretty generous. The first Bond movie ever made, and maybe only the third I’d ever seen, it was pretty small scale stuff. And while it didn’t blow me away, I could kind of appreciate it as an interesting and careful toe in the water to what would become such a massive, iconic movie series. As a toe in the water test that paid off big, it’s even more interesting to see how quickly the corniness escalated just two years later in Goldfinger.

From the opening minutes, James Bond (Sean Connery) is already on the tail of the movies titular bad guy. There’s no big build up, no big reveal. Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) is revealed as a card cheat and quickly exposed by Bond. But they’re not done with each other. Because Goldfinger’s got bigger ambitions than cheating at cards. And because of his name, that means there has to be some sort of gold heist at the bottom of it all. Because that’s the kind of subtle level James Bond movies work on. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***BOND WEEK*** Dr. No (1962)

“World domination. The same old dream. Our asylums are full of people who think they’re Naploeon. Or God.”

To say my experience with James Bond movies is limited would be an understatement. I saw the latest Daniel Craig one, and I saw a Pierce Brosnan one back on the 90s. I may have seen bits and pieces of one or two Connery outings. But that’s about it. Basically, the vast majority of my knowledge about James Bond movies comes from the Austin Powers movies. While I’ve never seen anything appealing in the character, its iconic status is undeniable. More than 20 movies over more than half a century is an impressive achievement and makes me think it deserves some attention. So I’m starting where the franchise did, with Dr. No.

There’s some shit going down in Jamaica. I don’t really remember what. Dr. No never grabbed my attention long enough to take any notice of the plot. But Bond, James Bond (Sean Connery) is sent to Jamaica to take care of some business. Once there, he teams up with CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jack Lord) and local boatman Quarrel (John Kitzmiller). There’s some sort of threat to the American rocket program, launching from Cape Canaveral, close enough to the Bahamas to be threatened from Jamaica. (more…)