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In Depth, Bond In Depth - You Only Review Twice

Discussion in 'Reviews & Columns' started by James Bond, May 30, 2011.

  1. Admin Post

    Smarkslayer Tomb Raider

    Can't wait for your next two reviews, Tyler.
  2. James Bond

    James Bond SKYFALL

    I hear ya man, and I agree that it's a team effort to get this place rolling. Since I don't have as much time, I like to keep you guys entertained.
  3. James Bond

    James Bond SKYFALL

    Mission No. 003


    After From Russia With Love took the world by storm, Bond Mania was reaching unbelievable heights. Newspapers had to have been disappointed. I'm sure they would have loved to speculate rumors as to what the follow up would be. The reason for the disappointment? FRWL ruined it by starting a series staple.

    "The end. Not quite the end. James Bond will return in the next Ian Fleming thriller ... GOLDFINGER."

    So they knew what was coming. After From Russia With Love, if Goldfinger didn't hit it off big, I'm not sure what the producers would have done. We'll never know, because immediately after release on September 17, 1964 (December in the US), Goldfinger was a smash. People couldn't get enough and Bond Mania EXPLODED worldwide. Goldfinger made cinematic history by recouping its budget in record time ... despite having a budget equal to that of both the films preceding it. Merchandise boomed. Corgi Toys signed a deal to make a toy model of Bond's Aston Martin, and it became the highest selling toy of the year. Alongside that, there were new deals for tie-in clothing, dress shoes, action figures, board games, jigsaw puzzles, lunch boxes, various other toys, record albums, trading cards and slot cars.

    If there were any a film in the entire Bond series that most fans would pick to be in the registry for films that are historically significant ... this would be the one. This is the film that stamped in the formula that From Russia With Love laid down. Goldfinger laid down a solid teaser sequence, a sung title song (for the first time), and anything else you see in nearly every Bond film that was released after 1964 ... is because Goldfinger perfected the formula.

    Most fans consider it the hallmark of the series. It's easily one of the most watchable films in the series for numerous reasons ... but the best of the series? Let's find out, shall we?

    “I doubt very seriously the Miami Beach Police would take kindly to what you’re doing!”

    Jill Masterson, the true golden girl.

    “You have no objection to increasing the stakes?”

    “Who said anything about STEALING it?”

    “Skip it, I’m ‘not’ interested.”​

    Story - 91

    James Bond is sent to investigate a smuggling operation run by the obsessive Billionaire Auric Goldfinger and uncovers a plot to raid the entire gold supply of the United States. Bond must find a way to escape the villain’s clutches, overcome an invincible henchman, and seduce Goldfinger’s female pilot … all before trying to bring Goldfinger’s plan to a screeching halt.
    Locations - 95
    Goldfinger does away with both the exotic locations modeled in Dr. No AND the urban cityscapes featured in From Russia With Love and ushers in … countrysides. Yes, lovely countrysides. Well, besides the opening few scenes, that is. Those are staged in Mexico and Miami Beach, respectively. After that, the film cuts to one of my favorite locations (and scenes) in the series. A golf course. A golf course? Yes, a golf course. It may be completely random, but it’s a great couple of scenes between Bond and Goldfinger as they play a round of golf. Bond then tails Goldfinger to his factory in Geneva, Switzerland … oh look, there are the countrysides I mentioned. Really good looking stuff. After this, Goldfinger ushers Bond to the United States, just outside of Fort Knox in Kentucky. Even THIS location looks great on film. It’s no wonder why Goldfinger is considered one of the most watchable films in the series. Everything’s all bright and sunny to add onto the brilliance the film contains to match it.
    Acting - 92
    Connery is again at his best, Frobe and Sakata are excellently believable in their roles. That Gert Frobe has a nasty look in his eye, and it suits him incredibly well in this role … not to mention he’s physically intimidating, as is Sakata. This film has some of the best physical acting in the series, that’s why I pointed out the physical intimidation factor. Moving on, Honor Blackman is ace as Pussy Galore (say wha?), and Cec Linder plays arguably the best Felix Leiter in series history. Wonderful.
    Pacing - 92
    The film rumbles along at a great pace, although I can see some complaining about the golfing scenes. I’m not going to complain as I love those sequences, but they are a little odd. Other than that, the film moves along nicely, jumping from location to location, to keep things fresh. It’s edited nicely as well, and shows why Guy Hamilton would be brought back to direct later installments in the series. Overall, a solid pace, if not great. I only mark it 92 because … I’m not sure. I’ll come back to it.
    Music - 93
    Goldfinger has a damned solid score. It incorporated tons of the theme song into different cues throughout, and serviced the film nicely. I just feel it’s not quite as strong as the bits from FRWL. The musical bits that blare through the speakers during the first few appearances of Oddjob, however, are, simply put, genius.
    Cinematography - 90
    The countryside locations are captured wonderfully, as are any other. Take the opening shot of Miami from a copter for instance. The camerawork was starting to get more innovative in the Bonds, and it would only improve afterwards. The car chase in Switzerland is incredibly well shot as well. Now that I think of it, there are tons of aerial shots in this flick.
    Dialogue - 97
    Of course, you have brilliantly worked dialogue from Bond … but it’s really Goldfinger that shines dialogue-wise in this film. I’ll get to that in a bit. Most of it is, again, simple, but it drives the plot the way it should, and brings with it some of the best lines in the series.
    Effects - 88
    We don’t get to see a lot of stuff blow up in this one. Really the main effects you see are a woman covered in gold paint, which looks believable, if a little tacky; and you have the gadgets on Bond’s car coming into play. The toy that Bond has stored in his car’s hubcaps are really well handled. The only shot that really looks goofy is when Tilly’s tires are blown out and she slides into the ditch at what looks like 100mph only to come to a sudden stop … and somehow she lives through it. Hmm. Well that didn’t work very well.
    Bond - 95
    Connery plays Bond nearly perfect, but he’s not as much of a brute as he was in FRWL. He’s still focused on his job, but the women distract him easily in this film. At least he knows it. At one point, a woman speeds by him, to which he readily shifts up to chase after her … only to shift back down and let her go, uttering, “discipline, 007 … discipline.” However, he uses his female situation to his advantage at another point, again … the likes of which I won’t spoil. At the beginning of his mission to tail Goldfinger, Bond seems to be on a personal vendetta, which he quickly dismisses and stays focused afterwards, so it’s still a great Bond. I just wish he’d been a little rougher like he was in the film prior.
    Villain - 95
    Auric. Goldfinger. What a man. That sounds dirty, but wow … Goldfinger was a true match for Bond. Usually we have Bond dispatching of baddies and uttering one-liners. However, the tables are turned a bit in this one, and it’s the VILLAIN spitting out the back-atchas. We find Bond spread eagle on a table with a laser pointed at his groin, starting off arguably the most infamous dialogue exchange in series history: “Do you expect me to talk?” … “NO, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!” There’s also a great moment where Goldfinger has Oddjob destroy property at the golf course, to which Bond kicks off another great exchange: “Remarkable … but what does the club secretary have to say?” … “Oh, nothing Mr. Bond … I own the club.” Anything Bond throws at Goldfinger, Goldfinger throws it back, only he throws it much harder. Also of note, Goldfinger is another villain who could have killed Bond halfway through … but he wised up and decided that if he kept Bond alive, anyone tracking him would think Bond had the situation under control. After this film, the “keep Bond alive” method became a lost art. Sad really. Anyone in Goldfinger’s way, ends up … simply put, dead. How can you top this guy? Oh wait, I know. Let’s see … we have TWO blunders to which we’ll hold Goldfinger responsible. First, why does he take the time to outline his scheme to mafia members moments before he kills them all? I understand he had to bring them in to make them think they were getting paid so he could get rid of them, but why detail them? You could just kill them immediately. I guess it’s simply a loophole for Goldfinger to outline the scheme in a way the audience would understand. Second, why does he have Oddjob crush the car containing his gold in the trunk WITHOUT having Oddjob remove the gold first? This only causes Goldfinger to have his chemists extract the gold. Ah well, life goes on, and Goldfinger’s still a brilliant villain.
    Scheme - 95
    Goldfinger plans to raid Fort Knox by having the trainees of his personal pilot spray a gas the renders “complete unconsciousness for 24 hours.” Really, that gas is a killer. After that, he plans to raid Fort Knox, dynamite the electrical fence, and make his way into the bullion hold. But wait a minute, he doesn’t want to STEAL the gold … he plans to detonate a bomb inside, radiating the entire gold supply, thus rendering it useless and therefore multiplying his gold’s value by at least 10 fold. What a dirty, dirty bastard. A brilliant changeover from the theft scheme, which was the scheme that was in the actual book. I find this scheme to be far better.
    Henchmen - 95
    Oddjob. What a freak this dude is. A burly Asian man in a top hat. A top hat whose rim contains a blade. Youch. Add to that the fact that you pretty much can’t hurt this guy, and Oddjob’s an ideal henchman. Oddjob knocks Bond out, covers a girl in gold paint, helps Goldfinger CHEAT at golf … cheat at GOLF, slices the head off a statue, shoots a mafia member, has the car containing the body crushed, and then beats the hell out of Bond in Fort Knox. I’d say this guy’s a force to be reckoned with, no? Other than that, the only henchman would be Kisch ... and he doesn't do anything ... like at all.
    Girls - 97
    Let’s start off with the first, shall we? Jill Masterson. Goldfinger paid her to help him cheat at cards and to be seen with him. Bond seduces her before he’s knocked out as is she, then she’s covered in gold paint, suffocating her skin … killing her. I’m not quite sure if she even lasted 10 minutes in the film (doubtful) and she remains one of the most beloved Bond Girls of all time. She was highly attractive, charismatic, playful … and well, excuse the pun, but she was a true golden girl. Moving on, Bond has a run-in with Jill’s sister, Tilly, who is out to kill Goldfinger. Bond doesn’t bed her, but she gets big points for trying to kill the villain. However, she loses points for almost shooting Bond. And being a bitch. I said it. Moving on. Pussy Galore. Yes. You read that name right. Pussy Galore. I must be dreaming. She seems highly immune to Bond’s charm … but look at her. She’s downright sexy, so you KNOW Bond will find a way to sack this kitty. I said earlier that I wouldn’t spoil which female Bond takes advantage of. I lied, he takes advantage of Ms. Galore.
    Pre-Credits Sequence - 90
    You’ll notice I rated it lower than FRWL. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, but I prefer the teasers that actually link to the main story. In any case, Bond blows a place up and tries to bed a chick before they’re interrupted, and Bond has to lay down a whoopin’. Shocking, positively shocking. A fun sequence. Like I said, I just prefer the teasers that have ties to the main story, like the one prior.
    Theme Song - 92
    Shirley Bassey blares over the titles with “Goldfinger.” Who’da thunk it? It’s a catchy tune, if a little unsettling. I think unsettling was partly the aim, because Goldfinger’s a despicable dude.
    Intensity - 95
    Bond spread eagle on a table with a laser ready to slice him in half? Oh man. Oddjob stalking Bond in his Miami hotel room? Yowzers! Fight between Bond and Oddjob inside Fort Knox? Run Bond! Bomb about to explode in Bond’s face … without him knowing how to deactivate it? Again, Run Bond! Final battle with Goldfinger aboard a plane? Dive out, James!
    Gadgets - 94
    For the first time, Bond is united with an Aston Martin. And the thing is LOADED. Machine gun headlights, oil slick, smoke screen, bullet proof screen, tire-popping devices loaded into the hubcap (what’s the proper term for those … someone help,) and an ejector seat. Wow. I want one. There’s also a tracking device, which Bond puts to good use. There’s also a SMALLER tracking device which gets destroyed.
    Allies - 94
    Arguably the best Felix Leiter in series history. This is probably the most Felix is seen in any of the films, as he tracks Bond in the US, to make sure he’s on top of the situation. The only downfall to this Felix is that he’s easily fooled. Then again, who wouldn’t be, with the shortcut that Goldfinger took?
    TOTAL POINTS - 1680/1800
    OVERALL - 93 (93.33)

    Oh, Goldfinger ... so close, yet so far away. It's easy to see why people love this film ... it's great. However, it JUST falls short of FRWL's still-standing high mark of 95. 93's a damn good score and Goldfinger's a sure fire to hit the top 10, and likely top 5.

    It wasn't as cleverly crafted story-wise as FRWL, but it was so iconic at the time, and those iconic moments stand tall today. Even today's Bond films try to mimic little bits and pieces ... but none do it with the same flare. This film must be given SERIOUS nods for perfecting and stamping in the Bond formula, as this was REALLY the film where you see the first full title song, first full meeting with Q in Q lab ... I could go on and on about how this put the formula into rotation set on a permanent basis.

    So while you didn't reach your predecessor, hold you head high, Goldfinger, you're a classic piece of cinema.

    Until next time,

    I'm off for a swim to find Thunderball. From Russia With Love,

    James Bond, Agent 007, Logging Off.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2016
  4. Citan

    Citan Shy Guy Says know your damn role

    Great reviews. Keep up the good work.

    GF was indeed badass.
  5. Admin Post

    Smarkslayer Tomb Raider

    Another excellent review! I've always heard great things about this entry, Goldfinger but the way you capture it here almost makes want go out and get a hold of copy right now! :lol:

    Awesome stuff man. I love the pictures and fun tidbits thrown in as well. I feel like I'm learning all about Jame Bond's journey as you take me along for the ride. Nice job, keep it up. Look forward to Thunderball's review.
  6. Anaconda Vice

    Anaconda Vice Well-Known Member

    Good review, you are hitting on all the major points which is a good thing. I think you may be overrating the film a tad, but then I have a different rating system than you so that makes sense too. Anyhow, keep it up man. XD
  7. James Bond

    James Bond SKYFALL

    Over-rating? I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about, haha. Nah, I'm a Goldfinger lover. One of the earlier films from the series I ever saw. Even as a youngster, I was wowed. Thunderball ... Coming your way tonight, folks.
  8. James Bond

    James Bond SKYFALL

    Rebooting this thread, Thunderball is coming soon, when I can get my image portion done.
  9. Citan

    Citan Shy Guy Says know your damn role

    Awesome, man. Can't wait. :)
  10. James Bond

    James Bond SKYFALL

    Neither can I since I'm coming up on what I feel to be the best review I've written.
  11. Admin Post

    Smarkslayer Tomb Raider

    Sounds exciting. Glad you're getting the ball rolling in these again.
  12. James Bond

    James Bond SKYFALL

    I'm still toying with Thunderball's rating. It's a touch higher than what I aimed for, but I can always come back and mess with ratings later, like I'm going to do with Dr. No to add those new categories.
  13. Admin Post

    Smarkslayer Tomb Raider

    New categories? Intriguing.
  14. James Bond

    James Bond SKYFALL

    Not new new. I added a category or 2 after Dr. No, and I'm considering adding a category for humor, but I'm not sure.
  15. James Bond

    James Bond SKYFALL

    Greetings everyone,

    I'm back once again, and I'll be updating this and perhaps my Halloween thread soon.

    I've been on a Bond kick recently, and it's made me want to pick this up where I left off. Speaking of where I left off, I could've sworn I posted Thunderball back in the day, but I guess not. I remember writing it and putting a big note at the beginning as to why it had taken so long in the first place. Once I recover that file from my old computer, we'll be back in business... that is, if I don't end up just re-writing it to fit my current views on the series.

    A few further notes, I've got a new layout that I'm working on, and will be adding it to the 3 reviews currently up, and I'm really excited about the way it's looking so far. A lot of digging went into finding the pieces necessary to put this layout together, so hopefully you guys think it looks alright.

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