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A mysterious space craft kidnaps a Russian and American space capsule and brings the world on the verge of another World War. James Bond investigates the case in Japan and meets with his archenemy Blofeld. The fifth film from the legendary James Bond series starring Sean Connery as the British super agent.
"I have much, much better. Ninjas. Top-secret, Bond-san. This is my ninja training school."
You Only Live Twice is the goofiest of the Bond movies until at least Moonraker (also directed by Lewis Gilbert), and even then I think it might give Roger Moore a run for his money. It's 007 with ninjas and spaceships. Technically, Bond and the ninjas never go into outer space (as if that makes the premise any less silly), but they do raid the volcano being used as a launching platform for the spaceships. MI6 is transplanted into an underwater submarine, which you know is a submarine because it looks exactly the same except that the doors all have metal frames. Bond is referred to…
My chief enjoyment of You Only Live Twice was developing a better appreciation of where the Austin Powers movies came from. That sounds like a slam, but it's not meant to be--I have a big soft spot for the first Austin Powers in particular and I liked this Bond outing okay.
The Japanification of Bond is the shittiest, most embarrassing thing I've seen in the series to date. If they were going to do it, they could have had the decency to at least give it some kind of payoff, but there isn't even that. I don't remember Bond's Absolutely Seamless Disguise (ASD) fooling anyone important, and later on he's just suddenly not "Japanese" anymore. I also don't understand the…
Sean Connery returns as James Bond in "You Only Live Twice," the Bond series' fifth outing. While the action and fun are effective, this chapter lapses into tedious narrative stretches, finds the series' almost-standard silliness becoming distracting, and misses the opportunity to develop 007 as a character. The film does not disappoint, but it does not necessarily fully delight.
SPECTRE is back. This time, the organization of evil-doers is cherry-picking rockets from orbit in order to pit national powers against one another. Her Majesty's Secret Service sends James Bond into the fray, dropping him in Japan to save the day and the world. As a Bond film plot, the narrative is acceptable. However, the story is marked by long, energy-sapping…
I reviewed this before so this is my half-arsed follow-up formulated during what are the dying embers of a virus. *world's smallest violin*
* They used the same music in Moonraker for a dramatic space bit as they do at the start of this. Recycling is good!
* People have said that You Only Live Twice is looking tremendously racist now but that's not so! Or should I say "Ah so!" Oh dear.
* Mie Hama is a really underrated Bond girl. She's really very good here. She probably would have got more credit if she had been from Europe or America.
* I love Blofeld stroking his cat more forcefully when someone is being eaten by his piranha.
The absurdity of You Only Live Twice can be appreciated, I'm sure, by someone truly seeking nothing more than a good time. It's Bond in Japan, a top-heavy narrative mess that focuses more on the eccentricities of 007 rather than the agent himself. It's a parody, almost; as if the character of Bond had already become so immortal and enduring they felt confident enough to merely feature rather than explore him. This is all style and no substance, and the style is rather recycled and uninspired. Once again, I invite this suffering with my crippling completionist tendencies.
Ah James Bond in Japan what could ever go wrong? A cool and good movie.
Fun fact: On average, James Bond has a drink every 10 minutes and 53 seconds.
(Shaken, not stirred).
I am confused. Is smoking bad?
The end of the Connery era is a bummer. Even with Bond playing dress up as a Japanese man, and with Donald Pleasence being peak Blofeld this movie is rough.
This is really Austin Powers, but not at all funny.
I do like the constant misdirect murders by Blofeld.
All the pieces are in place, they just don't play with each other
+ donald pleasence as blofeld, nobody uh did it better (though the other two also rule)
+ little nellie, one of the dumbest and yet most charming q setpieces
+ that one fight that's filmed aerially, the camera just kinda hovering over bond dispatching henchmen
+ the best bond theme?
- literally everything else
- especially bond in yellowface
- i don't know if i ever successfully watched this the whole way through when i was a kid but my god this movie is racist
Noteable for a few reasons, Sean Connery announced this would be his last time playing 007 (although he would return), and You only live twice was marketed with a Tagline on the poster saying: "Sean Connery IS James Bond". This was done due to the fact that the diasterous Casino Royale was realeased a few months earlier and was, while unrelated to this series, considered a James Bond film, although it was um...not great, very strange in fact. Set in Japan this continues what we've grown to love about these films, fun action and adventure, over the top set pieces and the essential Bond girl(s).
The typical Bond formula, but set in Japan!
This may be the weakest of the first five Bond films. The movie has a strong beginning and the plot is solid, but the middle is bloated and the plan to stop SPECTRE seems a little over the top and nonsensical. Similar to Thunderball, this movie would have benefited from tighter editing.
PS: Amazon Prime only offered the movies for the month of November, so I will have to wait until the next time to continue by Bond odyssey.
The fifth of the Bonds, it can easily be differentiated from the others because it's the Japanese one. It's a product, but probably the most consistently entertaining of the Bond packages up to the time-not as startling as parts of GOLDFINGER but much superior to THUNDERBALL. Ken Adam's sci-fi production designs (including a hollow volcano) seem almost perfectly calculated for the genre. Lewis Gilbert is a rather more humanistic director than his predecessors and he's a reasonably efficient traffic manager; he doesn't let the actors loiter on the sets too long. And Sean Connery's James Bond isn't the sleek, greasy-lipped dummy of the earlier films; playing the super-hero as a paunchy, rather bemused spectator, Connery gives him more character than…
A whole montage to make Sean Connery "become Japanese" and all they do is dye his pubes black.
5 stars for set and interior design. I was swooning so hard for all the furniture.
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This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
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