You Only Live Twice

release year: 1967
genre: James Bond
viewing setting: home Bluray 1/13/19 and 1/10/19 and 12/9/12 and home laserdisc 11/30/99

synopsis: SPECTRE is stealing U.S. and Soviet spacecraft from orbit, and only the British government realizes that it's a setup to force a war, so they send James Bond to get to the bottom of things.

impressions: This was Connery's weakest Bond film so far in the series. He didn't have his usual level of obnoxiousness, there were barely any gadgets, there wasn't much travel, and the plot seemed a little weak. Notable features: fake Bond death and funeral at beginning, Bond trapped in small diving plane, piranha pool, the most insecure ninja training camp that ever existed, the Japanization of Bond, first actual acting appearance of SPECTRE #1 Blofeld.

acting: Sean Connery did okay this time, but compared to the first four Bond movies, his performance was inferior. Donald Pleasance didn't have much screen time as Blofeld, but he was sufficiently evil (though you'd think that SPECTRE people would have learned by now not to grant last wishes to anyone whose last name is 'Bond'.) In the "obscure trivia" department, the big henchman who fights Bond in Osato's office is Peter Maivia (RIP) who was an old-school wrestler and the grandfather of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

car chases: 1

helicopter chases: 1

mass fight at end: SPECTRE agents vs Japanese ninja, in false volcano crater

neat gadgets: tiny, well-armed portable helicopter "Little Nellie"

confirmed Bond kills: 16

confirmed Bond seductions: 2 (almost 3)

obnoxious female name: Kissy Suzuki

defining Bond moments: 

Tanaka: (to Bond) "My mother always advised me to never get into a car with a strange girl. But you, I'm afraid, will get into anything with any girl."

Tanaka: (to Bond as they prepare to be bathed by four women) "Rule #1: Never do anything that someone else can do for you. Rule #2: The man always comes first, and the woman second."
Bond: "I may just retire to here."

Ms. Pratt: "Mr. Osato believes in a healthy chest."
Bond: "Really."

random bad guy: "This is extortion!"
Blofeld: "Extortion is my business. Now go and think it over, I'm busy."

Kissy: "No honeymoon - this is business."
Bond: (pushes away the plate of oysters) "I guess I won't be needing these."

Blofeld: "They told me you were assassinated in Hong Kong."
Bond: "This is my second life."
Blofeld: "You only live twice, Mr. Bond."

final word: While a Bond movie and therefore entertaining watching, this was the first that wasn't a classic.

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