In just 15 years (and 9 movies) we’ve gone from Bond escaping a slow moving laser using his watch to literal laser fights in space. We’ve replaced henchmen falling over rails a few stories inside of an army base with henchmen exploding in space and plummeting hundreds of miles to earth. Special effects and extraterrestrial settings replace small scenes and fist fights inside an elevator. Bigger and bloated.
Ultimately this movie is one of too muches. Octopussy herself is a fine character with an interesting backstory, but that name is too much. James Bond going uncover in a circus has potential, but dressed as a clown with a tear? Too much. The final nail in the too much coffin was the Tarzan yodeling sound effect while Bond is swinging on vines. Way too much. That would be too much for a Mel Brooks movie. In a Bond movie? Frustratingly too much.
It’s easy to dump on this movie, easily the worst of the Pierce Brosnan era and, in my estimation, the worst of the entire franchise. Because it’s easy and I’m lazy, I’ll do just that.
People around the world have reacted to the global pandemic in unique ways. Some people have taken the forced time at home to complete ambitious projects, re-surface creative endeavors they had been too busy for, or simply revel in the unusual increase in valuable, all-too-fleeting time with family.
I myself rewatched every James Bond movie in order.
We earned our stripes that night
amid the polka dots and cigarette butts
and other signs of life
clamoring for attention.
Those stripes unfurl in
a smoky ambivalence
leaving tentative finger prints,
another reminder of something
illusory that the wind may dispel
just as easily as fire leaves
an ashy mark on anyone
bold enough to reach.
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We buried our despair in the shade of the pine tree,
holding hands as we turned our backs
on those needling thoughts left in the dark.
The hulking ogre took root, waiting
to spring on us when we tried to take cover
beneath the canopy of stars
stretched too tightly that cool night.
A possum or some other unanticipated visitor
disturbed the tranquility, clawing at the dirt
until the ogre — always lurking as we
were distracted by routine — jumped out
to terrorize us once more
while we scrambled for a shovel
or another plot of land.
The stone’s back hides shadows
unspotted by sunlight,
a mossy reminder that some memories abide
in the dark for good reason,
threatening to emerge if the river rises
to knock that weight
until sunlight dissolves
shadows leaking downstream
It would be folly to consider myself
where I ought to be, as if ‘ought’
could glow in your hand
like half-eaten candy thawing
memories under open clouds.
What hubris man to divine
import from earth-bound particles
bouncing among people walking
heads down, the center of it all.
Heavenly bodies revolve
around some other lantern
the same as me, sticky fingers
sweeter from the journey.
The moonlight sang that song
we can’t remember, invisible wings
cascading through the valiant wind
as the stairs insist
on climbing up.
Up where time remains an afterthought,
or hangs on the moonlight
nearly in the future. Time always comes,
playing metronome while weightless,
to ease the ascent.