Saturday, July 11, 2015


Not long ago I discovered a podcast called James Bonding (which, when you search for it delightfully causes this to come up also [note: I do not endorse that service]) which has reawoken my interest in the movie franchise.  So I am rewatching the ones with which I am not as familiar as I used to be and the ones I just like watching.  I've mentioned my fandom of podcasts before, but these are like listening to fans talk about things they like.  I am convinced that every sports broadcast would be improved by simply having two well informed fans of one of the teams that have some chemistry call the game, because like 97% of the announcers are worse than having your county council replaced by an aggressive race of crab people that outlaws butter.  (Brent Musburger, you're in that 3% you magnificent bastard.)

Anyway, there are all kinds of comedians who talk about finding henchmen and talking about how incompetent they are in movies like this, and I have all those same questions.  But mostly, as an engineer, the questions that keep coming up for me as a I watch an army of technicians sit quietly at their workstations helping Stromburg in The Spy Who Loved Me end humanity are more about procurement.  There's a scene late in the movie where the henchmen are all wearing custom made Stromburg navy uniforms.  Where'd they come from?  Somebody had to make those.

Also, the plot of this movie hinges on a lot of big machines -- an underwater lair, the largest cargo ship in the world, and all sorts of vehicles that are blown up -- that have to come from somewhere.  And while they do establish early in the movie that he's one of the richest men in the world, helicopters are still expensive.  Another one of the in jokes is that the Russians know a lot about what the English are doing, and vice versa, but the bad guy has a secret submarine swallowing and underwater mansion including underwater aquarium, which makes sense, I guess.  I just can't believe that there isn't some chatty pipefitter who might mention at the local watering hole that he's working on a project that is just bananas.

Don't get me wrong, though -- I love these movies.  I own all of them (even Die Another Day) and this sort of supervillainous silliness is part of what makes it great.  I just wish I could be in the room when the writers were trying to explain to Cubby Broccoli just how they could fit two missiles plus 007's and XXX's luggage into a Lotus Esprit.  But, to quote Larry Miller in episode 22, "I don't know why Ursula Andress comes out with a knife.  Who cares!  It works."

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