New Warhorn Media post by Nathan Alberson:
Interesting that some of y’all have read Fleming. I was considering it, and - oddly - you probably talked me into reading at least one.
Craig was the only Bond I’d seen until earlier this year when an older one was on the TV. So this is an interesting conversation. I thought about watching them all but I didn’t hesitant to invest my time, money, focus into it. And it sounds like that’s a good thing.
I’m not really a movie guy but I oddly like listening to people talk about them in an informed way. Go figure.
I read Casino Royale and I don’t remember it being that bad, but watch out for the sex stuff in some of the novels. Unfortunately, that was a big part of Fleming’s formula.
Enjoyed this episode so much. You all found more in this movie than I did, but in a way that made me want to watch at least part of it again and to take notes. Also appreciated the Fleming background.
Despite being the same age as you all, I didn’t watch any Bond growing up other than some cable TV reruns at my grandparents, and I only got to play Goldeneye at my friends’ houses, so the gadgetry never excited me nor were the women a gateway to pornography (there were other gateways, regretfully.) As a young adult I did covet Bond’s competence, and still struggled with it when I watched this movie, in the earlier scenes where he’s deciding which roads to take and instructing porters, not the fantasy Wick-like action at the end. Fortunately, I suppose, no publication provides a more blatant indulgence of covetousness as Playboy did with the actresses in these movies.
Also, I think I’ve said this here before, but with the last shot in North by Northwest, Hitchcock was just poking the eye of MGM censors as well as intentionally displeasing intense students of the themes in his works. I think that’s clever, but I still think it needed to earn its place in the movie with a more striking look, or a better mountain, or a fun backstory about shooting without a permit like at the UN. It’s a bland end to such a stylish movie now that we’re decades past its ability to shock.
Yeah that ending of NBNW always comes abruptly and strikes me as the wrong note.
And, come to think of it, probably most masculine movies boil down to competence porn, or competence wish fulfillment at the very least.