Tag Archive: Cuban Missile Crisis


Review by C.J. Bunce

Thunderball–the word itself conjures James Bond–the meaning of the word as an atomic bomb mushroom cloud has taken a backseat to Ian Fleming’s ninth spy novel from 1961, and the fourth Bond movie that filled theaters for Christmas 1965.  The novel is primarily Fleming’s own detailed, descriptive Bond character study, but with a twist: The story ideas are a combination of scenes created and introduced in screenplay drafts by two other writers.  Thunderball was eyed initially among the first nine novels as the one worthy of becoming the first movie adaptation.  But conflicts among who created what in a writers room before Fleming wrote the novel would be the source of a lawsuit that sidelined the movie and ultimately resulted in five writers (including Richard Maibaum, John Hopkins, Jack Whittingham, and Kevin McClory) named in the movie credits.  It also resulted in the quirky, additional film adaptation, Never Say Never Again, in 1983.  The novel, with its external inputs, is still among Fleming’s best–it’s a combination of all the best elements of Fleming’s adventure and action man writing, a one-stop shop of sorts for anyone looking for a single Bond story that has it all.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The Courier is the movie that Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy promised to be (and failed miserably at).  The excellent spy film starring Benedict Cumberbatch in yet another unique performance that only he could deliver was an unfortunate bit of pandemic collateral damage.  It premiered in January 2020 at Sundance Film Festival under the title Ironbark, and was slated to arrive in theaters to a wider audience last year.  That means it also missed Oscar contention for the 2020 contest, where The Courier easily would have been the best film.  Because of a brief March 2021 theater push, it is apparently still in the running for 2022 ceremony, which makes it the only major contender for not only the best film, but also Cumberbatch’s performance.  As the masses now finally get to see it, streaming to homes thanks to Amazon Prime (finally with an August release in both the U.S. and UK), we’ll just call it the best drama so far for 2021. 

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