GLOCCOVNAA is an abbreviation for 'Great Life of Conflict, Climax or Virtually Nothing At All'. That was the long and ridiculous name I came out for my blog when I was 18 years old. Do click on the colourful icons on the right to check out different types of posts in this blog.

05 December, 2012

The Art of Bond-ing

Have I mentioned that I am a Bond fan? I think I have, but I haven't said it enough. So here is a little birthday  post for someone named Bond, I mean James Bond.

The first Bond film I saw was Goldeneye in 1995. To be honest I had no idea what the movie was all about because I was only concentrating on the action scenes. The same applies to the next two Bond movies. Tomorrow Never Dies was unique to us Malaysians because we were all proud that Michelle Yeoh was playing a Bond girl. Perhaps I was too young to watch these spy movies since all I knew at that time was Power Rangers and Barney & Friends. *The James Bond Jr cartoon was showing on TV but I didn't watch it* The Bond film that made me a fan was Casino Royale in 2006. Before the movie was released in theaters, I remember the TV was showing James Bond movies every night during the weekends, I watched all 20 Bond films up to that time there and I was a fan. I think I even made Casino Royale's theme song You Know My Name by Chris Cornell as my ringtone. Guess what? The first video I have ever made in my life was a tribute to the James Bond franchise.

Among Bond fan in the internet, the most common question they ask each other is

Who is your favourite Bond?

Many have commented on my video in Youtube giving their own, some even giving their top Bond actors list. If you ask me this question, my answer would be


For non-Bond fans, your first question would probably be "George Lazen...who?". It is sad that this name would only pop up in a pub trivia once in a while together with other Bond actors Barry Nelson and David Niven. I think I need to answer that as well. George Lazenby is an Australian actor/model who was the first person to replace the more famous Sean Connery as James Bond in 1969. He was chosen to play the legendary spy after Sean Connery chose to leave the role after You Only Live Twice in 1967. George Lazenby has not filmed a movie before this, the nearest thing to acting he has done was in a commercial for Turkish Delight.

Imagine the pressure he must have had on his shoulders, to act in a full motion picture for the first time and immediately filling the shoes of a well-established character with five previous movies played by a well-known actor. This movie was unique to the franchise then, and it still is now.

  • The only non-British Bond actor.
  • The only theme song that was purely instrumental.
  • The only time James Bond gets married.
  • Has a love song sung by Louis Armstrong.
  • The only time James Bond to wear a kilt.

Most people dismiss this movie with the main reason that George Lazenby only acted in one Bond film. What many people don't know is that Lazenby was actually offered to sign a 7 movie contract by EON productions. Unfortunately his agent at that time, Ronan O'Rahilly adviced him to decline that contract because he predicted that the secret agent genre would get obsolete by the start of the 1970s. Lazenby's movie career was at jeopardy when he chose to follow that decision. He promptly fired O'Rahilly after his next movie Universal Soldier was a flop and moved to Italy, then to Hong Kong to film with Golden Harvest, then back to his home country Australia.
Lazenby in The Man From Hong Kong (1975) opposite Jimmy Wang Yu.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a very special movie because it differs from all the first five Bond films. It was not just an action spy film like the first five, it was a love story. To weave a love story into a film like this is not an easy task, and acting in one definitely adds on to the stress of the title character. Lazenby was not the best actor of all time in my opinion, but he was the best choice to portray the role of James Bond in this movie. His portrayal showed that the character was not always a cold-blooded and promiscuous person, Bond has a soft side and could actually love and settle with someone he truly loves. Many critics and fans dislike this movie because their impression of James Bond was very two-dimensional, not that it is a bad thing in other Bond films, but this film demands more depth than those films. The scene which demonstrates this very well this the final scene the movie.

When my father was planning our family Europe tour, he asked me whether I wanted to visit Klein Matterhorn or Schilthorn to cover the Swiss Alps. He mentioned that Klein Matterhorn has Europe's highest mountain lift and the view from the top looked spectacular from the top. He has been to Schilthorn years before and the moment he described the place, I instinctively chose Schilthorn over Klein Matterhorn. 60-70% of On Her Majesty's Secret Service was filmed in and around Piz Gloria, a revolving restaurant on Schilthorn.
The view up there was phenomenal. There was a small souvenir shop, an exhibition hall with an awesome introductory film, the same helipad and revolving restaurant which was featured in the movie. I felt like I was walking in his footsteps. So to Bond fans or Lazenby fans out there, if have the choice of locations to see the Swiss Alps, choose Schilthorn.

By the way, my other favourite Bonds are Sean Connery, Daniel Craig and Timothy Dalton. Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan are probably the worst to me despite being the first few I saw because my impression of the character is a serious spy/killer and not a comedian. Connery also portrayed the character to have a sense of humour and spouts out comedic catch phrases, but I think he has his witty charms and can be serious whenever the situation is appropriate. I also don't understand why many dislike Dalton's portrayal as Bond. I believe that if his two films were released in recent years instead of the late 80s, he would get much more recognition because his character is so similar to Daniel Craig's reinvention of Bond.
Lazenby, everyone may not remember you, but I sure will.
Anyway, I have just seen Skyfall recently and I think it was a good Bond movie but it has its flaws, mainly its pacing which contributes to its two and a half hour run time. However I must say that I am looking forward to the next James Bond movie when they use the same ending scene as the beginning of all his coming missions. Oops... SPOILER ALERT!!!
Now I realised how horrible I look with these superstars!


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