James Bond Recaps

Bond-50
Welcome to James Bond Recaps! I watched–and wrote–a detailed, humorous(?) recap of every single movie in the James Bond franchise, including the non-canonical Never Say Never Again. I wasn’t familiar with the franchise when I started this project, having only watched a handful of the films up to this point, but now I’m thoroughly well-read (well-watched, I suppose) in this insane 50-year plus spanning film series.

While you read through these, you may also detect that I was going through some personal strife while writing these recaps. I’d like to think this sort of pathos adds color to the work–or at least a detectable edge–at times. But this is why we have our escapist entertainment: to leave our troubles behind and find solace in a good bit of fiction.

Please enjoy reading through these lengthy (and hopefully funny) recaps of everyone’s favorite spy in chronological order!

Watching the James Bond Franchise: Introduction
Escapism is one of the more pleasant traditions that set sail post-World War II: with the Western world finally at rest after many years of bloody conflict, and an entire generation wary of strife and battles, everyone was looking to take an extended vacation. Strictly speaking only from an American perspective, after the war, Americans…

Dr. No

Right into a swingin’ take on the classic theme, with the iconic “barrel of a gun that tracks Bond, but blammo! Take that, barrel!” opening. We get nifty-looking typography that lets us know (hah) that this is Ian Fleming’s Dr. No. There’s no cold open action sequence, which would become standard to Bond films, but…

From Russia with Love

It’s weird writing recaps for movies that I’ve seen before, which seems contrary to logic, but it’s true. It’s especially tricky when fake-outs are involved. I want to keep it “honest” with writing what I’m thinking while watching these James Bond movies; but if I already know what’s going to…

Goldfinger

BA-NAH! (BUH!) BAH NAH! (BUH!). We’re back to watch Goldfinger, widely recognized as one of the best James Bond films, if not the best. But we’ll see about all that. Anyway, it opens with Bond snorkeling his way onto a facility, complete with a fake bird(?) on his head, and the first…

Thunderball

We open up on….James Bond’s funeral?!?! No, just another person’s funeral with his initials, since James is hanging out in an alcove with some Frenchy. He observes some people leaving, who end up at a goddamn palatial estate. The value of one room in this place would set me up for life. Bond…

You Only Live Twice

Once more unto the breach! And Sean Connery’s second-to-last turn as Bond (third-to-last, if you count the offshoot, non-canonical Never Say Never Again, which nearly nobody does). The James Bond theme music starts, but it sounds a little tinny; I’ve noticed that each movie does a slightly.…

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

We open up on the Universal Exports sign, the front for Great Britain’s secret spy offices, and this time we don’t see Bond, but M, Q, and Moneypenny discussing the sticky wicket they’ve found themselves in, a shortage of secret agents or something, I don’t know. But wait! I hear the “James Bond…

Diamonds Are Forever

We open on a man flying through a shoji, and then being thrown through another one, while a man in a white suit (Bond, duh) asks, “Where is Blofeld?” Tossy McThrowaway says Cairo, so we CUT TO a dude wearing a fez and sunglasses gambling saying, “Hit me.” So a fist flies…

Live and Let Die

It’s out with the old and in with the new—the new James Bond, that is! I’ve never seen any of the Roger Moore-era Bond films, so either I’m going to be pleasantly surprised or wildly disappointed. Whichever way it lands, I’m still going to watch every single damn one of them…

The Man with the Golden Gun

We open on a gorgeous beach enclave where a dude with a third nipple and his ladyfriend are being served by a little person in a tuxedo, so this is already the weirdest opening scene for a Bond movie I’ve ever seen. Hey! The little person is Hervé Villechaize of…

The Spy Who Loved Me

All right, Bond franchise, let’s get this show on the road. We open on a submarine, where everyone acts sleepy ( I guess it’s the pressure or something). They drink coffee, play chess, and smoke (in a sub?) until the thing starts to shake, which perks them up. They lose power and try to surface…

Moonraker

Hoo boy, here we are: at what I have been warned is possibly the worst Bond movie ever made. Considering the yo-yo dynamics of the Bond franchise, I guess I should be expecting this one to be a stinker since the last one was so excellent. So I take a deep breath, say a little…

For Your Eyes Only

After taking a day to consult the I Ching and speak with various priests and rabbis (unrelated), I’m back to Bond after the moving disaster Moonraker. So here we are: For Your Eyes Only. And we open up on…a cemetery? Bond is bringing flowers to his wife’s grave, which is actually a pretty tender moment…

Octopussy

Here we are at unlucky number 13 in the James Bond series, the ridiculously named Octopussy. Considering that the last film was pretty OK, I’m expecting this one to be kind of terrible. But let’s leave the judgment for when I’m actually watching it! We open on a military base, where…

A View to a Kill

We’re already up to 1985 with A View to a Kill, and Roger Moore must be about 60 by now. This is his last Bond film, and with this I say farewell to a pretty good James Bond actor. We open on two Russians flying a helicopter in the Arctic(?) and see James Bond digging…

Never Say Never Again

Like Ouroboros eating its own tail or the infinity sign trapped in a never-ending loop, I’m concluding this session of Breaking the Bonds by starting back with the Bond that began it all: with Sean Connery, in his last appearance–official or otherwise–as James Bond.

Breaking the Bonds: Intermission

Before starting this project, in my mind James Bond movies were ones of fun escapism, where we’re whisked away to exotic landscapes and following a protagonist who’s sexy, suave, and smarter than your average bear as he saves the world again and again single-handed.

Breaking the Bonds 2: Bond Harder

By the end of November 2016, I had watched 15 James Bond movies in 31 days as part of a small project that I started called Breaking the Bonds. Although initially I had set out to watch—and recap as humorously as I could—every single Bond movie within that month…

The Living Daylights

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more! Having recharged from my 15-movie James Bond marathon in November, I’ve rallied to finish the series before New Year’s. This time, I’m filled with holiday cheer (mostly booze), so let’s have a little Bond-ing time.

License to Kill

Here we are at Timothy Dalton’s second (and last) outing as James Bond in 1989’s License to Kill. We open on a radar plane flying around and the radar..guys inside, who spot something off the coast of Florida. They contact Key West that a plane is landing, potentially with drugs(?),…

Goldeneye

I bid a fond farewell to Timothy Dalton’s Bond (which was excellent) and welcome Pierce Brosnan as the fifth James Bond in the franchise. I really enjoyed the Goldeneye N64 game in my youth, so I kind of know the broad strokes of this movie. But I’m also leery of it because…

Tomorrow Never Dies

We open on, literally, “A Terrorist Arms Bazaar on the Russian Border,” which must also sell homemade potholders and Christmas ornaments, judging by every other bazaar I’ve been to in my life. A camera robot (?) zooms in and out, R2-D2’ing it all over the place…

The World Is Not Enough

 OK, just two more Brosnan Bonds left but I’ve heard these last two are rough-going so I’ll be sipping on some Sierra Nevada Torpedo during this recap to take the edge off. I also have to say that while I think Brosnan is a pretty solid James Bond, the movies he’s appearing in are…

Die Another Day

It’s the last Brosnan outing, and since every one of his Bond entries has gotten progressively worse, I’m guessing that this is going to be scraping the bottom of the barrel, considering the last one, The World Is Not Enough, was the second-worst Bond film I’ve seen so far in this…

Casino Royale

In the home stretch of the Bond franchise and with only four more films to go, I’m excited. Not only because I’ve heard the Daniel Craig-era Bond films are mostly very good but also because I’m soon going to be done with this project. Having started it back in November 2016 and thinking I…

Quantum of Solace

We open on a sweeping helicopter zipping up to a green mountain and also some cars that are also zipping around this mountain. It’s Bond, and he’s being chased by some dudes that are firing machine guns at him and fucking up stuff in general. A truck is hit and crashes into Bond and…

Skyfall

Second-to-last Bond movie to date and I’m really excited, not only because I’ve heard this is a good one but also because this damn project will soon come to a close. It’s great that there have been 24 movies in this franchise so far, but my God has it been a trek to get through…

Spectre

Here we are, at the 24th James Bond film in the franchise, and I am excited. Mostly because after this recap, I am done with my self-imposed exile into James Bond Land and can move onto another project, but also because I am completely Bond-ed out at this point. Look: I love the franchise…

Breaking the Bonds 2: Franchise Conclusion

Well, I did it: it took me two and a half months, but I finally watched and wrote a humor recap of every single James Bond movie, including one non-canonical one. And now that I’m done, I have to say: that was a long, long series of films to get through. Over two and a…
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