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In Like Flint (1967)
Flint Gets too Silly
10 December 2006
Coburn goes way way over the top in ILF. In OMF he plays Flint as someone who is 'sort of real' ... for example, when Cramden asks him, "Is there nothing you don't know?" "A great many things, sir." In the fight sequences, they are also played 'not campy' ... the fight in the bathroom ... it's more fun when it looks somewhat real, and when the toilet paper and grunt of Gruber comes at the scene's end, it's the right touch.

The same with the fight with the two guards outside Cramden's office. Great stuff. I think Coburn's style influenced Bruce Lee ... or other way around? If Coburn did OMF in 1965 or so, and he met Lee a couple of years later (I'm not certain) .... And after the fight, the comedy is just right; a blend of silliness (the light bulb) and straightness, with Flint saving a life.

Notice also when Cramden is darted, and Flint doesn't mug when he does the cut.

But in the sequel, Coburn is all over the place, over-mugging. While most of the credit for the downsizing of Flint goes to the writers, Coburn also has to take some blame. There is hardly an action scene where he plays Flint like a fighting master ... just for laffs. Again, counter this with OMF : when he climbs the ladder with the guitar rift, happily Coburn doesn't wink and mug. With that great music, it would've ruined the scene(s).

However, the scene in the penthouse, with Flint talking about eating grubs is the Flint form the first movie.

The director should have seen this. Or maybe Coburn thought the script was so dumb, he just let loose and had his own jokes. But Flint loses his fun when it became too much Austin Powers.

Btw, the Powers movies would have been much better if they had been played as a homage to Flint/Bond. That's what OMF did so well. Created a great character with the perfect actor to play him.

But even tho ILF is so inferior to the first, it's still a lot of fun. How can I say this? Because he's still Flint!
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9/10
South62, Of Course, It's Business
8 November 2006
South62, I agree -- the Bond movies are supposed to be fun; at the same time they are supposed to be have at their core somewhere in the neighborhood of reality. This makes them more fun, to have Bond in some danger -- being in a tight situation with a mixture of tenseness and suavity. Connery pulled this off great; Bond is really sort of nuts, but a lovable one. Sort of a guy who escaped from the looney bin, but having fun acting out his fantasies. But the Bonds don't work when they are TOO over the top, like Moonraker's Jaws, who bites cables.

YOLT, for example, has a fine fight atop Osato's office. Splendid stuff : exotic decor, fighting a deadly fighter for keeps. This is one of the best fights of the series. I feel that Bruce Lee must have watched this, and said "That's the way a movie fight should be." Too have blood and guts spilling out ruins it, and I don't wanna see that in Casino Royale (another topic, but I just may boycott it because they made Bond an army guy, and have him play poker,etcetcetc.).

I never considered YOLT in your terms, and now I can. I enjoyed it before, because it is so much fun, with wonderful scenery, funny lines, and cornier dubbing "Nmm mmmh mmmh, you move very well for a dead man, Mr.Bond..." "Why .... I ... love you ..." And the music! The very tops! Captures the Bond world perfectly; the myth of Japan was made for Bond. And Barry is the perfect composer for both Bond and Japan with Bond. Too bad Brosnan wasn't able to do one. Maybe he can play a Bond-character in Japan, now that he isn't under contract. Cool thought.

And the girls! Kissy is one of the most appealing heroines; the shot of the wedding and the Music --- classic -- as her face comes up. And also the shot with the ama girls running in the sunrise .... and Bond and Kissy hiking up past the waterfall with The Music. "Think you can make it?" "Of course, it's business!" (doubly funny, with a paunchy civil servant asking a hard as nails ama girl!) I've spent much time in Asia, and can tell you that when I have adventures there, it's just like YOLT, and the Music is not far from my silly brain. Example, the hydrofoil from Hong Kong to Macau -- pure Bond, looks like an airliner inside with beautiful cabin attendants. And the flight there --- all of the flight girls were pretty to beautiful. Bond heaven! Without YOLT, life would not be as much fun. Once, we had a massage in China, (legitimate, btw) and very funny ... something Bond and Dikko would have done. The girls were practicing "I love you" in English, while twisting us into pretzels, while we were laughing. Very Bonded!
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10/10
The Best Zorro
5 November 2006
Yes, the Tyrone Power film Zorro was very good ... the sword fight one of the best on screen. But Guy Williams was the perfect Zorro --- he was more dashing and handsome than Power / Banderas, etc. (although these actors also did the character much justice), and looked and moved the part. His costume was the best, too, as was the theme song. And he pronounced "Tornado" like it should be, unlike Banderas' mistake "Tor NAY doe" .... As Don Diego, Williams (Armand Catalano) was also the best in the humor dept. (Powers comes close "So fatiguing") along with Bernardo. It's quite a feat that something from TV was this good, and competed with big budget films. If Williams was in his prime today, he would have been the greatest!
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