Spy-Fi

MOVIE REVIEW: “The Wrecking Crew” (1969)

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…And so, my friends, Matt Helm Month (Previously known as “August”) comes to a close with our review of “The Wrecking Crew,” the final film in the series. I have to confess, I’m spent. The movies have worn me down. I’m not sure why, but they’re difficult and laborious to review, and I frequently have to re-watch portions of them to keep track of sometimes-incoherent plot twists and what have you, even in the later, more competent films in the series. Here at the end, the producers seem kind of worn out, too.

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MOVIE REVIEW: “The Ambushers” (1967)

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The Smarm Is Back! Cheeze, too. It’s quite odd - two weeks ago I said the first film was like a home movie shot in Hugh Heffner’s basement. The second one was a vast improvement, and far less embarrassing all around, and you’d think the producers would want to continue on from where the standard the second film made, but no. Perhaps they were put off by the thought of a nearly-monogamous Matt Helm? Who can tell. The bottom line is that less than four months after the release of “Murderer’s Row” and only about nine months after “The Silencers,” the third Matt Helm movie was released.

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MOVIE REVIEW: “Murderer’s Row” (1966)

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Ok, last week’s review of “The Silencers” was a bit of a ramble, so let’s see if I can stay a bit more focused this time out. “Murderer’s Row” was the second movie in the Matt Helm series, released barely ten months after the first film, and in the same year. They really cranked ‘em out in the sixties.

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Forty Years of Bondage, Part II

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Never Say Never Again (1982) – Sean Connery returns as James Bond in an ill-advised remake of ‘Thunderball’. How did this happen? Well, Thunderball was co-written by Ian Flemming and some other guy, who then got screwed out of his share of the profits. The courts decided the rights to any movies based on that movie, or characters from that movie, would go to the estate of the other guy, and not the Flemming estate. MGM offered to put up the money, and thus acquired the movie rights to the novel “Thunderball.” Getting Connery to reprise his role as Bond went something like this:

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Forty Years of Bondage: Yet Another Completely Uncalled for Retrospective Featuring Capsule Reviews

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“What the hell does James Bond have to do with Science Fiction?” I hear you asking. Well, Bond has fought so many villains with nonexistent super-high-tech weapons, brought down two illegal space programs, and been in actual space battles with such abandon that “Spy-Fi” has become an accepted subgenre of SF itself, and literally scores of shows from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to Chuck have frequently dabbled with these kinds of trappings to a greater or lesser extent to give their stories a sense of the exotic and also just for a bit of high-stakes peril.

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