From Russia with Love
Not only does he gleefully engage in a distressing amount of coitus in, and around, life-threatening situations for a professional intelligence agent, but the effortless babe-magnet graciously accepts ownership of two gypsy women after their fight over another man is interrupted by insurgents, while making more than a few comments about the appropriateness of a woman's mouth size.
Viewed in a modern context, the overt sexism heavily distracts from a meandering plot that sees Bond knowingly dive headfirst into an assassination scheme orchestrated by Blofeld as retribution for the death of the previous film's villain, Dr. No, in order to recover a Russian decoding machine highly coveted by MI6. Many of the same limitations that plagued Bond's first adventure—Connery's lack of combat prowess, antiquated special effects—hinder this film's durability, but From Russia with Love is notable for introducing more than just the often borrowed image of the faceless super villain stroking a fluffy cat.
Q (Desmond Llewelyn, the most consistent actor in the franchise's tumultuous casting history) makes his first appearance with a gift of gadgetry befitting a superspy; a suitcase with a folding sniper rifle, a hidden throwing knife, fifty gold sovereigns and a teargas defense mechanism should the case fall into enemy hands.
The chief henchmen are more than just indistinct meat shields this time out too. Ex-KGB agent Rosa Klebb, with her impish demeanour, severe bulldog face and thick Russian accent is clearly the basis of the shrill Frau Farbissina from Austin Powers and the stoic, hulking Donald "Red" Grant is a prototype for beloved later series powerhouse, Jaws.
Even though it's somewhat uncomfortable viewing for those less enamoured with the side of Bond that enjoys sex with "the sweet tang of rape", as Ian Fleming wrote of the character in 1953 novel, Casino Royale, From Russia with Love makes some vital canonical contributions and is a distinct artefact of its time. (MGM)
ReviewsOct 29, 2014
The BabadookJennifer Kent
At every Toronto After Dark Fest, there's at least one film that rides a wave of palpable buzz and has attendees clamouring to see it. Last ...
ReviewsOct 24, 2014
Films about time travel are some of the trickiest ones to create as far as sci-fi subgenres are concerned — it's not so much about the...
ReviewsOct 23, 2014
Why Horror?Nicolas Kleiman, Rob Lindsay
As a nerd, it's always pretty weird seeing your favourite genre rise to the surface of mainstream culture, and horror is no exception. In hi...
ReviewsOct 22, 2014
Time LapseBradley King
You don't fuck with time. That's the philosophical takeaway - an idea espoused time and time again by one of the lead characters - in Bradle...
ReviewsOct 21, 2014
John Geddes' Hellmouth is a kaleidoscopic vision of hell that tantalizes with some bewitching visuals but ultimately comes off more as funho...
ReviewsOct 20, 2014
Kumiko, The Treasure HunterDavid Zellner
In 2001, a woman named Takako Konishi was found dead in a remote area of Minnesota. Botched eyewitness information swirled into an urban leg...
ReviewsOct 19, 2014
Man, I really wanted to like Zombeavers. Based on the trailer, which currently boasts over three million hits on YouTube, the film seemed li...
ReviewsOct 18, 2014
ABCs of Death 2Various Directors
When producers Ant Timpson and Tim League announced that they'd be producing a followup to 2012's highly ambitious anthology film The ABCs o...