Akiko Wakabayashi

Akiko Wakabayashi

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You Only Live Twice Review


Excellent
One of Bond's bigger outings from the early days of the franchise, You Only Live Twice begins with Bond (Sean Connery) faking his death to relieve himself of some of the heat of his enemies and culminates with a showdown against nemesis Blofeld (the progenitor of Dr. Evil) in a phony volcanic lair/rocket base being invaded by ninjas, which are on Bond's side. Blofeld's plot is hijacking spaceships while they're in orbit... for unclear purposes. Got all that? The plot itself is protracting and quite confusing for a Bond film, ultimately just a distraction from one of Bond's most memorable adventures, complete with Q arriving with a helicopter in a box. Tons of fun, really, and Donald Pleasence as Blofeld is inimitable.

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What's Up, Tiger Lily? Review


Very Good
It's too much to expect that people stay funny throughout their entire careers, but given the dearth of real humor in any of Woody Allen's recent offerings, it's almost depressing to watch a little gem like 1966's What's Up, Tiger Lily? and remember just how effortlessly goofy the guy could be. In this, his first (sort of) directorial outing, Allen had a great idea: Take a bad Japanese James Bond knock-off, remove the soundtrack, and add in his own dialogue without changing the actual film at all.

Viewers may be alarmed at first, as the film starts off with several minutes of the film playing with its non-subtitled Japanese dialogue intact. It's a fast-paced series of quick action scenes involving bad kung fu and a flamethrower and gives you the impression that even if one knew Japanese, it wouldn't be making much more sense. Then Allen himself shows up and describes what he has done to the film, playing it completely straight.

Continue reading: What's Up, Tiger Lily? Review

Akiko Wakabayashi

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