Escape to the Movies: Special: Bond Girls

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I think what the movies need right now is a good dose of retro.

The current films are made with too much emphasis on plausibility and realism.
You don't want that when you see a Bond flick... You want Over the top villains,

image

amazingly cool gadgets
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and incredibly sexy women.

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Susan Arendt:
Wow...I'm actually surprised to learn that the feminist movement was ever in favor of the Bond girl mythos. How very edifying, Bob, thank you. :)

For me, to be a true Bond girl, you have to have a silly name. Not as silly as Christmas Jones, mind you, but silly.

Q, I'd like you to meet my new girl friend "Iva Lottatwat".

Onyx Oblivion:
You aren't moving to Tuesday, are you?

Anyways, Halle Berry was the WORST Bond girl, imo.

Nope, Hes still on Fridays at noon. This was a special video to go along with our issue today. He'll be in this friday with his regular video as well!

:)

George Palmer:

Onyx Oblivion:
You aren't moving to Tuesday, are you?

Anyways, Halle Berry was the WORST Bond girl, imo.

Nope, Hes still on Fridays at noon. This was a special video to go along with our issue today. He'll be in this friday with his regular video as well!

:)

YAY! Wonder what he'll review...

Onyx Oblivion:

George Palmer:

Onyx Oblivion:
You aren't moving to Tuesday, are you?

Anyways, Halle Berry was the WORST Bond girl, imo.

Nope, Hes still on Fridays at noon. This was a special video to go along with our issue today. He'll be in this friday with his regular video as well!

:)

YAY! Wonder what he'll review...

A movie ;)

George Palmer:

Onyx Oblivion:

George Palmer:

Onyx Oblivion:
You aren't moving to Tuesday, are you?

Anyways, Halle Berry was the WORST Bond girl, imo.

Nope, Hes still on Fridays at noon. This was a special video to go along with our issue today. He'll be in this friday with his regular video as well!

:)

YAY! Wonder what he'll review...

A movie ;)

How far in advance does he send the Escapist the review anyway?

Onyx Oblivion:
You aren't moving to Tuesday, are you?

Anyways, Halle Berry was the WORST Bond girl, imo.

Agreed and...

G Theriault:
Sean Connery IS James Bond.

Agreed.

The last 2 James Bond movies really felt like a mindless action film, to me.

aLibrarianOfSorts:
I think the summary of Feminism in this is waaaay to simplistic. Feminism has never been a single-minded, unified movement and any contradictions that seem to occur in feminist ideology largely stem from the fact that feminism is as fragmented as any social movement. The ideas that reach a mainstream audience will be those of the movements most vocal members, not necessarily those of the majority. Besides, the 'sexual liberation' of the Bond Girls has been problematic from the beginning, as are most portrayals of women's sexuality in the media. Why are they problematic? Because for the most part, they are portrayals that are crafted to specifically appeal to the stereotypical hetero male. This is largely why many feminists have a problem with the idea of the Bond Girl. The Bond Girl is not about presenting a liberated, healthy role-model for women. She is, rather, a set of instructions on how to best please a man. Even the name 'Bond Girl' suggests a general lack of respect for the authority and autonomy of women; these are adult women, and yet we call them girls. Please do more research next time, Movie Bob.

Just to be clear: I wouldn't want to suggest that "movement feminism" was ever holding up Bond Girls or Playmates as a unified "role model" for young women. I'm speaking more of the movement(s) general tone, and in the mid-to-late 1960s that "tone" was very kind to the female icons of "sexual liberation."

Now, I'm only 28 and not female, so it's wholly possible that my grasp of history here is 100% off-base. But in a general reading of history - at least here in the U.S. - feminism/women's-rights/women's-liberation has had several distinct permutations based on what aspect of womens' lives were targeted for improvement.

Around the turn of the century the focus was on equal-humanity, with figures like Carrie Nation and Susan B. Anthony, and it was at-first part of the temperance (anti-alcohol) movmenet - the idea being that less alcohol would mean fewer wife-beatings (the notion that the beatings THEMSELVES ought be considered socially-unnaceptable being, apparently, too novel of a concept for the time.) After that it was about equal-citizenship, i.e. suffrage/voting rights.

Then, in the 50s and 60s, it was about social/sexual-equality: Removing the double-standard by which promiscuity was just "bad manners" for men but a "trap" for women, mostly in reference to pregnancy i.e. a man can always leave but a woman can be "stuck" with a baby. Thus, this permutation of feminism embraced the pill, contraception and (ultimately) Roe v. Wade as it's rallying-points and female celebrities and characters that exemplified the "joy" in female sexual freedom (Bond Girls, Playmates, Jane Fonda, Goldie Hawn) as icons of celebration - though not necessarily "role models."

In the 80s and 90s it "switched" again, because the focus was now on being taken seriously in a work environment, and a calculation was seemingly made (for better or worse) that the previous sexually-liberated icons had to get dumped because "objectification" got in the way of serious regard. These things happen. I don't necessarily know that it "means" anything other than the arc of history, but that's what it looks like at this juncture.

Onyx Oblivion:

How far in advance does he send the Escapist the review anyway?

It depends on the film. It changes from week to week. Sometimes we get the review way in advance, sometimes we dont. Theres a lot of rules that have to be followed because of film release schedules and such. If your wondering if I know what films are to be reviewed the answer would be "yes". If your wondering if I can tell which films are going to be reviewed the answer is "no". No spoilers here! Ya gotta tune in and find out! Which really shouldn't be a problem as Bob's reviews are alway top notch and spot on.

:)

Sean Connery was the best James Bond you could find to be James Bond. The others in that time period were also awesome and very talented but nothing could beat Sean Connery.

I agree with you on how the Bond girls...I mean female actors(they don't deserve the title of "Bond girls".) of the 90's and today are just plain bad. I mean baaaaad. There is no such thing as a Bond movie without the sex appeal and a smooth crafty Bond when it comes to the females. It's like saying science is all about being right. It just doesn't make sense. But I can understand why with all the nonsense about feminism which was the thing (as I hear) for the women of the 50's. Now it's about talking to them in the right attitude and not staring at their tits taking them seriously.

Basically what I am trying to say is Bob hit all the right points when talking about the legendary James Bond series.

Also, like other people has sad before, are you moving to Tuesdays? I would have mixed feelings if you were because then my Fridays are bleak and meaningless (unless your making room for Dorians quest. I don't know, but it's a possibility.). Anyway great Histoty lesson on the James Bond.

I never felt an attachment to the old Bond films, sure Sean Connery is the definition of cool, but I never related to the character or the style it had after I turned 12. The new Bonds may not have the old essence, but that to me is fine, had roughly 20 Bond film done the old way, glad the new ones are different and Casino Royale was my favorite Bond, and it also had my favorite female lead in Vesper.

We all bring expectations to films that alter our impressions. I grew up post feminism movement long after days when Playboy was relevant to youth do to advent of mass use of the internet. I can appreciate what they were for there time and why people like my dad enjoy the old ones, but not for me.

George Palmer:

Onyx Oblivion:

How far in advance does he send the Escapist the review anyway?

It depends on the film. It changes from week to week. Sometimes we get the review way in advance, sometimes we dont. Theres a lot of rules that have to be followed because of film release schedules and such. If your wondering if I know what films are to be reviewed the answer would be "yes". If your wondering if I can tell which films are going to be reviewed the answer is "no". No spoilers here! Ya gotta tune in and find out! Which really shouldn't be a problem as Bob's reviews are alway top notch and spot on.

:)

I agree with top notch but I don't know about spot on. I didn't like Distric 9 too much.

Great job Bob. I really enjoyed this.
I agree with pretty much everything you said. Looking forward to whatever you review on Friday. :)

I was wondering when he would do something like this. He makes a good point but I don't think the decline in quality has been that dramatic.

This was definatley a "Movie-Overthinker" sort of review and I liked it. :) The combination of the conversational tone and the way he looks at things in a slightly different way makes Bob's videos feel like talking to randomers in the pub, both a comfort and a pleasure to listen to.

Nice One

Roger Moore is UNDER-RATED?!?!

To most people the definitive Bond is between him and Sean Connery!
How the fuck nuts is he under-rated?

What a fascinating analysis of the Bond-girl phenomenon - I had never realised how closely tied the Bond girls were to the cultural trends of the 1960s; what I DID notice, however, were the glaring differences in how Bond girls had been portrayed throughout the years. I'm going to have to disagree, however, with the assertion that Roger Moore is better than Pierce Brosnan; sure, Roger Moore's earlier movies were top-notch, but as the series developed and many of the former "traditional" Bond aspects descended into self-parody (as you pointed out), so did Moore's performances. What had once been a charming aloofness descended into complete laziness, making Moore out to be more of a clown than a spy. Just watch "Octopussy" or "A View to a Kill" and you'll see exactly what I mean.

misterprickly:
You want Over the top villains,

no

misterprickly:
amazingly cool gadgets

no

misterprickly:
and incredibly sexy women.

yes

Technically, the latest bond movies have James Bond in them and the other movies only star a guy named Bond. Seeing as the Bond in the latest movies is actually based off of the guy in the books ... (Being a spy for MI6 doesn't count ... It's like saying ((movie)) Alone in the Dark's Edward was the real Edward because he's a paranormal investigator.)

If only history class was this interesting.
Does this mean that Bob feels the same way for Jason Bourne as he feels for the Daniel Craig Bond films?

Dimbo_Sama:
Roger Moore is UNDER-RATED?!?!

To most people the definitive Bond is between him and Sean Connery!
How the fuck nuts is he under-rated?

Because he's the definative exmple of everything wrong with bond movies in many people's eyes.

aLibrarianOfSorts:
I think the summary of Feminism in this is waaaay to simplistic. Feminism has never been a single-minded, unified movement and any contradictions that seem to occur in feminist ideology largely stem from the fact that feminism is as fragmented as any social movement. The ideas that reach a mainstream audience will be those of the movements most vocal members, not necessarily those of the majority. Besides, the 'sexual liberation' of the Bond Girls has been problematic from the beginning, as are most portrayals of women's sexuality in the media. Why are they problematic? Because for the most part, they are portrayals that are crafted to specifically appeal to the stereotypical hetero male. This is largely why many feminists have a problem with the idea of the Bond Girl. The Bond Girl is not about presenting a liberated, healthy role-model for women. She is, rather, a set of instructions on how to best please a man. Even the name 'Bond Girl' suggests a general lack of respect for the authority and autonomy of women; these are adult women, and yet we call them girls. Please do more research next time, Movie Bob.

I think he was fairly accurate in his portrayal of Feminism with regards to the Bond movies. Feminism has evolved over the years, and so has Feminism's response to cinema. For instance, at the time the first Bond films were released, the Bond girls as characters were seen as breaking away from the power structure of the 'male gaze', while some years later their inclusion in the production is seen as being subject to that same affect. But I think describing the original Bond girls as "crafted to appeal specifically to the hetero male" is a rather limited view, not taking into account the feminist perspective at that point in time. I think it stands to reason that as recent Feminist works move into more meta-level territory (for instance: the effects of cultural standards on female identity as shown in Bend It Like Beckham) it has become harder to establish a powerful Feminist role in such a concise manner as the classic Bond girls, even if those portrayals haven't stood the test of time.

EDIT: Well, nevermind, Bob himself already leveled this matter.

It's been a while since I've seen a James Bond movie... And this was a lot to take in.

Good video, but one thing confused me. You talked about how the Bond Girls had become jokes, particularly their names, citing Octopussy and Goodhead. Thing is, moments before, you held up Pussy Galore as one of the "Golden Age" Bond Girls. Just a bit confusing to me.

Well I feel old as hell now.

Ahh Bob, Bob, Bob... This was excellent. Is there any chance that you'll be doing more "verbal essays" (I dunno what else to call them) to go with your Intermissions? I genuinely find them both fascinating.

EDIT - OT - I've always thought of James Bond as the height of boyish escapism, nothing less than saving the world with kickass gadgets and then getting the kickass girl, with the occasional bout of kicking ass. The problem I have with the new ones is more that they have taken this and made it all so... Serious. Even Sean Connery tossed one-liners to enemies like coins to a tramp and had over-the-top bad guys to defeat.

I haven't even bothered with Quantum of Solace, but I bet they never mention S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

Feminists changing their opinions of how progressive the Bond movies are is really a measure of relative progress. What might be considered progressive years ago would now be considered extremely offensive.
Example: It would be "progressive" during the 1800s to say that black people deserved some rights, but they were still inferior to white people. Abraham Lincoln held this view. Today, we consider it to be extremely racist (because it is).
Back then, Bond women appeared to be sexually liberated, and this was relative progress. Today, they are extravagant sex symbols with the purpose of showing off Bond's "power."
Seriously, can you call a woman liberated because she chooses to fight to the death in a gypsy catfight over a guy? Perhaps with some elaborate justification, but it seems far more likely that it is a symbolic show of man's power over women than the other way around.

You make it sound somewhat like a case of "Oh those feminists, always changing their minds..." which really isn't the case. Modern standards changed, because past standards were still insanely degrading towards women.

I don't love the Bond movies, because they are completely ridiculous, in every way. It's not awesome, it's just absurd. The difference between Austin Powers and Bond is that one expects to be taken seriously.

Once again good vid Bob, ty for the review.

The problem it seems is that Jason Bourne is a better Bond than Bond was. The era of superheroics, or even heroics was blasted into parody with that malignant word of "realism".

As I've said many times, "realism" is a crutch for those who simply can't respond to "fantasy", and as an epitome of fantasy, Bond is left as a plaything for those who simply cannot understand that he was NEVER a real person, just as much a cutout as the girls were.

In making Bond real, like the HD TV's, that he's flawed; and a flawed gem just is a hunk of jewellery.

What Bond needs is an injection of fantasy again; like Firefly, Doctor Who or Battlestar Galatica. Less of the real world, and more of HIS world. Where men are real men, women are real women and small blue...sorry...wrong quote.

Just make Bond into BOND again, shrug off the waves of correctness and send him on his way into the dreamscape of espionage, rather than the uber-dull world of spying.

And the villains. Blofeld was an icon of villany. Le Chiffre looked like a marketing consultant.

BTW, On Jason Bourne, killing off the girl in that was a dick move of massive proportions.

The_root_of_all_evil:
The problem it seems is that Jason Bourne is a better Bond than Bond was. The era of superheroics, or even heroics was blasted into parody with that malignant word of "realism".

Well Jason Bourne isn't really the same classification of 'Bond', he's more like a Number Six from that British series I forget the name of. Someone who doesn't know who he is, but understands people hate him, to the point where he strikes back. Bond is more of a man who understands what he has to do, even when he looks the most clueless. Sean Connery did well with this specifically in Thunderball, where you never truly knew if Bond understood who was behind all of the trouble, even though towards the end, it was clear that he knew all along.

You know, I actually had to study this (partially), in A Level. I remember coming across so much of this back then, it was great to see it brought back again.

I agree entirely as well on the point that Daniel Craig is not James Bond. James Bond from the books was a practically superhuman womanising, ultra-slick spy who was actually captured quite nicely by Sean Connery (especially Doctor No). The Bond films evolved to become the ultra campy flicks of Moore, and even Brosnan has an element of that campy humour to them (it's a little darker, but what else was Boris Grishenko doing in Goldeneye?). Whether the film makers like it or not, Bond is not Fleming's Bond anymore, Bond is Connery and Moore and Dalton and Brosnan, and trying to make him realistic and modern just makes him into the tired old anti-hero we see in Jason Bourne.

Either give me back my James Bond, or let him stay where he belongs, in the sixties.

Without a doubt Connery is the best but I always saw Moore as a close second. I have not however watched James Bond in years except for short bits on t.v because I find the new ones boring these days and the old ones my brother only has on vhs but no vcr. I do enjoy a good game of 007 for the n64 which is also the best James Bond game.

Hey, this is cool. Are we um... still getting a review on friday??? *nervous smile*

But this just basically cements my hate for feminist bitches. Not feminists (even though they're bad) Feminist bitches. Like PETA, they have a fantastic mission statement but they just go about things all wrong. Its terrible!!

But hey, a little cultural history and half-naked sexy women... I'm down with that.

You make an excellent observation on the impact of Bond's female friends through the ages. I however, disagree on the point of Moore being a better Bond than Brosnan. I might be rose colored glasses, as Brosnan was the first Bond I saw, but I think he played a better Bond.
Sean Connery will always be the first and best.

The Middleman:

Well Jason Bourne isn't really the same classification of 'Bond', he's more like a Number Six from that British series I forget the name of.

The Prisoner. Be seeing you.

Someone who doesn't know who he is, but understands people hate him, to the point where he strikes back. Bond is more of a man who understands what he has to do, even when he looks the most clueless. Sean Connery did well with this specifically in Thunderball, where you never truly knew if Bond understood who was behind all of the trouble, even though towards the end, it was clear that he knew all along.

Probably true, but when you look at the fight-scenes in Bourne (and especially the car chases), they are so BOND it's untrue. And so much better than the Bond films did.

But the Bond Girls did something that Megan Fox and her ilk simply don't understand. They were sexy, rather than slutty. They overcame their ridiculous names and you actually cared for them. Each "come hither" look spoke of stopped hearts, rather than the "Here's my cleavage" that's so prominent today.

Ursula Andress still is far sexier, sensual and pulse-racing than Halle Berry's childish stumble.

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