FIVE months into the global onslaught that is BlogalongaBond, we're greeted with You Only Live Twice, the penultimate film of Sean Connery's stint as James Bond (Connery will return in Diamonds Are Forever... and a certain other film which shall not be mentioned).
Along with bloggers around the world, my girlfriend and I have been throwing ourselves into this blogapalooza, with her as the 007 newbie and me as the venerable Bond aficionado.
But not long after putting You Only Live Twice into the DVD player, I realised very early on that this was one of the few Bond films I hadn't seen. And so the mostly made-up conversation begins:
Her: I thought you'd seen them all.
Me: A couple may have slipped by me during my teenage years... those were crazy times.
Her: Didn't you live on a farm as a teenager and mostly sit in your room and listen to Nirvana?
Me: Crazy times....
Her: Anyway, did you like You Only Live Twice?
Me: Absolutely. I think it's up there with Thunderball and Goldfinger as being one of the best Bond films. It's got a good script in particular, written by Roald Dahl, don't you know?
Her: Yes, I knew that.
Her: It was in the opening credits.
Me: Oh yeah. Were you intrigued that the guy who wrote Charlie & The Chocolate Factory wrote a Bond film?
Her: I guess... I think I did a "hmmm... interesting" nod.
Me: Ok... so, did you like You Only Live Twice?
Her: Yeah. Absolutely. What you said.
Me: What did you like about it?
Her: Well, I liked the helicopter battle and the bit where the helicopter picked up the car with a magnet and Little Nellie.
Me: They're all things to do with helicopters.
Her: Oh, and I liked the ninjas.
Me: You liked the ninjas and the helicopters? What are you - a 10-year-old boy?
Her: Ok, ok. But those bits were awesome - when the ninjas suddenly materialised on the volcano, it was a cool moment.
Me: And I have to agree the helicopter battle was quite spectacular, a few dodgy shots aside and the fact Connery looked kind of stupid with his crash helmet and his little yellow autogyro.
Her: Because a crash helmet's going to save your life when that thing falls out of the sky.
Me: True. He didn't seem to have a parachute on either.
Her: Speaking of parachutes, is it just me or was Helga's method for attempting to kill Bond incredibly stupid?
Me: Yeah, that section of the film didn't work. Helga captures Bond and threatens to peel his face off, then Bond works the mojo and she tricks him into getting on a plane with her before trapping him in the plane and parachuting out as it crashes.
Her: Trapping him with a piece of four by two, no less.
Me: Indeed. Not the most efficient way of killing a super-spy.
Her: Another thing that bugged me was the Bond girls. They were... kind of unneccessary.
Me: Obviously there has to be a love interest...
Her: ... you mean a "lust" interest...
Me: ... so the Bond girls are necessary to an extent. And Aki did save Bond's life about three times. But, agreed, Helga was pretty useless. And I don't think it was necessary for 007 to actually marry Kissy.
Her: I did like that wedding scene though. I always enjoy the culture-ish bits in the Bond movies.
Me: What? Sumos raising their legs and showing off their notchas wasn't culture-ish enough for you?
Her: I was trying to block that from my memory. Thanks a lot.
Me: Sorry. Anyway... how about the rest of the positives? I think the script is really good - a few plot-holes aside - and the set design is fantastic. The Osato office, Blofeld's lair, the volcano rocket-launch pad, Tiger Tanaka's home... it all looked amazing.
Her: Agreed. The direction was pretty good too, as was the cinematography.
Me: I thought I was the film reviewer - aren't I supposed to say those things?
Her: Oh... sorry. Would you like to mention something movie snobbish, say about the score or something?
Me: Oh yeah. I'm not much of a fan of the theme song but I liked the bit of the soundtrack in the final rocket pre-launch sequence... it was in a really cool Propellerheads song.
Her: That didn't sound movie snobbish.
Me: Sorry. How about "the pacing of the film was excellent, particularly the opening act, and the dialogue really sizzled in places, giving the film a comedic edge that pushed it above the previous installments"?
Her: That's much better. There were some good lines... amid the groan-worthy ones. I hope it doesn't get any cheesier though.
Me: Just what until Roger Moore takes over.
Her: Oh dear. What's the next guy like?
Me: To be honest, I haven't seen all of On Her Majesty's Secret Service so I can't fully appraise George Lazenby's performance. But he's an Australian, so that's something.
Her: I've got to say I'm a bit nervous about a Bond film without Connery. But it's ok - I'm kind of hoping there's a crap one soon so these blogs will get more interesting.
PS. Can you believe we made it all the way through without mentioning how unconvincing Sean Connery is as a Japanese man?