I've always been interested in what other people are seeing and watching, and naturally, I love looking at Weekend Box…
Never Say Never Again
Sean Connery is James Bond 007
James Bond returns as the secret agent 007 one more time to battle the evil organization SPECTRE. Bond must defeat Largo, who has stolen two atomic warheads for nuclear blackmail. But Bond has an ally in Largo's girlfriend, the willowy Domino, who falls for Bond and seeks revenge. This is the last time for Sean Connery as Her Majesty's Secret Agent 007.
If you’ve never seen ‘Never Say Never Again’ then I would advise you to continue to never see ‘Never Say Never Again’. (If you have seen ‘Never Say Never Again’ then you’ll already know to never see ‘Never Say Never Again’ again.)
Good to see you Mr. Bond. Things've been awfully dull 'round here. I hope we're going to see some gratuitous sex and violence in this one!
In 1983 the independently produced James Bond film Never Say Never Again was released in theaters a mere four months after EON Productions' own 007 adventure, Octopussy. Although independently produced, it actually had a bigger budget then Octopussy. It also had an experienced director in Irvin Kershner who had done a little film called The Empire Strikes Back a few years earlier. Most importantly however, it starred the original James Bond; Sean Connery. Whether or not nostalgia…
Largo: Do you lose as gracefully as you win?
James Bond: I don't know, I've never lost.
1983 was a bitter sweet year for James Bond fanatics. First there were two Bond films, Octopussy and Never Say Never Again, and you had an old Bond squaring off against an even older one. And you might not even guess which one is older, but Roger Moore is actually three years older than Connery, despite Connery being the original Bond.
Never Say Never again is based on the novel Thunderball and is essentially a remake of the original Thunderball movie. Both movies share a similar plot and chief antagonist, Largo. This was one of the…
Continuing my journey to see every single 007 film before the release of Skyfall, I just got finished watching the thirteenth (but unofficial) Bond film, Never Say Never Again.
The reason why this is unofficial is because it was not produced by Eon Productions, the company that produced the majority of the James Bond films. Also, instead of an original story or a Fleming adaptation, this is basically a remake of Thunderball, the fourth Bond film. There was a long legal battle since the 1960's where Kevin McClory claimed to help write Thunderball but never got credit from Ian Fleming or Jack Whittingham. McClory managed to retain the film rights and made his own Thunderball. This film went head to…
Has all the flaws of a garden-variety lesser Bond outing: Too long, too slow, unengaging plot, etc, but lacking a lot of the automatic Bond strengths to help them go down smooth. The worst loss is the iconic Bond theme music, which has been replaced with, uh, not iconic music. Also, the very few attempts to do a unique spin on the character (like making M a buffoon) just seem sort of arbitrary instead.
But in the interest of positivity, I'm going to list some stuff I like:
- Sean Connery. Even though the producers sort of squander him by basically making a Roger Moore Bond movie around him, he's still a genuine movie star, and really fun to watch.…
Never need to watch this again!
The unofficial one.
A remake from 1965-Thunderball, with the same actor playing Bond.
Not as good as the orignial, but also not the worst Bondmovie.
If you are a fan of Sean Connery or the Franchise, it's worth a look.
Wrapping your head around the existence of Never Say Never Again takes a bit of effort, and is liable to spawn a migraine or two. Sure, the decades-spanning legal battle between producer Kevin McClory and the filmmakers at Eon Productions is headache-inducing in its own right, but the result of this wrangling--an attempt at establishing a new, "better" James Bond franchise with no ties to and in direct competition with the original--points to a long series of bad decisions fueled by hurt feelings, hubris, and shitloads of scotch.
Not that Never Say Never Again is a terrible film--hell, it's a damn sight better than the official James Bond flick of 1983, the detestable Octopussy--but the creative team behind it gave…
In leading up this I debated whether or not to skip it. Going through all the Bond films was more daunting that I originally anticipated and as this was an "unofficial" Bond entry I figured that if I was going to cut corners this would be the way to do it. But I decided that the name Connery is more synonymous with Bond than Broccoli or Saltzman so I devoted the last dying hours of a Sunday night to it.
And to my surprise, the Broccoli/Saltzman combo were more important to the overall feel of a Bond movie than I excepted. It's hard to articulate exactly how the movie is different, but it definitely felt like a Pod Person equivalent…
Like Thunderball, but with Bond's dad.
This (non-official) Bond film gets some elements right, and you could do worse if looking for a lower/middle tier Bond. The plot itself is an updating of Thunderball, and there's a fascinating legal story behind how the film came about.
The proceedings are greatly helped by Connery's presence, who slips back into the role as effortlessly as you might expect. Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer is a highlight as a wonderfully off-kilter Largo. I can see his performance rubbing some people up the wrong way, but when he threatens Domino, you're left in no doubt that he is every inch the cold psychotic Bond sees him as.
Speaking of 'over the top', Barbara Carrera also takes it up to 11…
It seems impossible, but in at least one instance Sean Connery as James Bond actually made Roger Moore look good.
Coming just a few months after the release of OCTOPUSSY, this non-canonical 'rogue' 007 production brought Connery back to the role some twelve years after DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER. He needn't have bothered. Since it's a remake of 1965's THUNDERBALL the film ironically suffers from both a 'been there, done that' tiredness and a lack of the familiar, beloved Bond staples, notably the gun barrel opening and distinctive James Bond theme. Once again the suave secret agent vies with ruthless SPECTRE operative Largo (this time played by Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer) for possession of two stolen nuclear warheads. Some of…
Too old. Don't need another Thunderball.
I discuss this film at length on the Cinema Chase podcast: cinemachase.net/episode-007-never-say-never-again/
Overall score: 5/10
- Sharky's Machine
- Absence of Malice
- On Golden Pond
- Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip
- To Our Loves
- Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein
- The Abominable Dr. Phibes
- Adam's Rib
Missing films I can't locate on Letterboxd:
Blonde Ambition (1981)
The Devil in Miss Jones (1972)
I Like to Watch…
- From Russia With Love
- On Her Majesty's Secret Service
This year being the 50th Anniversary of James Bond I'm going to rewatch all 24 Bond Films in November and…