Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Movie: Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

Now that SUVs come equipped with DVD players – America’s Roads: Getting Safer All The Time! – choosing movies has become another step in planning the family vacation. USA Today offers suggestions for several summer travel destinations. This 007 film is their children’s recommendation for Las Vegas.

I know today’s kids are sophisticated, what with the Internet and DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION. But this strikes me as a spectacularly bad idea, because DIAMONDS unnerved me as a ten-year old.

It’s largely due to the hit men/lovers Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint, played by jazzman Putter Smith and actor Bruce Glover. They have a childlike yet oddly formal relationship that makes their violence even more disturbing. It’s like watching the Goofy Gophers go on a killing spree.

DIAMONDS is thought of as the first Roger Moore Bond film even though it stars Sean Connery, because it marks the point when the series began to emphasize comedy and outlandish set pieces. The producers hadn’t perfected the balance, so the smarm factor is high. Another reason it’s not appropriate for kids. At one point Connery has to hide a cassette, so he slides it into the bottom of Jill St. John’s bikini.

I have no recollection of anything that follows.

Here’s my choice for a movie to prep the youngsters for Vegas: HONEY, I BLEW UP THE KID, about a giant baby terrorizing the Strip. Wholesome fun for the entire family! After seeing the film, Rosemarie and I made a pilgrimage to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino so we could get a photo of the huge neon guitar that the kid rips out of the ground and strums like a ukulele.