NERD RANT: License to Kill...Tort Reform.
Hey kids, you remember last year when this happened?
In what will surely be the most entertaining class-action lawsuit filed this year, MGM Studios and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment must contend with a James Bond completist upset with the DVD box set she purchased.
In Washington, Mary Johnson is suing on behalf of herself and others similarly situated who bought the box set upon packaging that stated "All the Bond films gathered together for the first time" only to be disappointed by the absence of Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never Again (1983).
Well, it looks like it was finally settled. From the Press Release...
PLEASE READ THIS WEBSITE CAREFULLY. YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS MAY BE AFFECTED, WHETHER YOU ACT OR DO NOT ACT.
A settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit alleging that Metro-Goldwyn-Studios Inc. (“MGM”) and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC (“Fox”) (collectively “Defendants”) did not properly label and market certain James Bond DVD and Blu-ray box sets. The Settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing and the Court has not decided who is right and who is wrong. Instead, the parties decided to settle the dispute.
Who is included?
You may be a Class Member if you purchased any of the following James Bond DVD or Blu-ray box sets in the United States: “Bond 50: Celebrating Five Decades of Bond 007” (SKU numbers M126625, M126627, M129384, M130135, M130146, M132910); “The James Bond Collection” (SKU number M133433); and “The Ultimate James Bond Collection” (SKU numbers M133435, M134821, M134670).
What does the Settlement provide?
This Settlement provides Class Members that timely file a valid claim form with a digital copy of the 1967 film entitled Casino Royale and the 1983 film entitled Never Say Never Again. You may receive these benefits if you qualify.
Now I bought this set a couple of years ago and technically, I am entitled to those downloads.
I'm not touching them.
First off, anyone with a passing familiarity with Bond Film history will tell you that these films are not officially "Bond Movies" in the sense of the word. (One of them barely qualifies as a movie but we'll get there.) Neither film was produced by EON Productions. Neither film is canonical and outside of Connery in NEVER SAY, don't share any of the creative personnel from the main line of films.
Also...they just aren't that good.
The 1967 CASINO ROYALE is at best, a curiosity. Producer Charles K. Feldman has gotten the rights in 1960 and tried to set it up with EON after DR. NO hit. But that didn't work out so he decided to make it as a "spoof" of spy movies just as the wave of spy movies was starting to crest. And it's less a film than a collection of scenes shot by five different directors, (Including ferchristsakes JOHN GODDAMN HUSTON!) and it's barely held together with sealing wax and a Burt Bacharach score.
And NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN is a remake of THUNDERBALL that could be subtitled "Let's stick a thumb in Cubby Broccoli's eye for two hours." And whatever nostalgic charge you get from Sean Connery coming back as Bond is negated by the general listlessness of the final film. (And not for nothing, it has the worst score, Michel Legrand ever wrote.)
That's not to say the films don't have their moments. CASINO has the aforementioned Bacharach score (Which includes THE LOOK OF LOVE sung by Dusty Springfield which alone, justifies its existence.) and has a "Hey, let's throw everything against the wall and see if it sticks" tone that can be fun if you have access to the whacky tobaccy. And NEVER SAY has Klaus Maria Brandauer giving a villain performance so good, it belongs in an actual Bond picture.
But again, to my point. Neither of them can be called official Bond Pictures. And honestly, the whole EON team would probably be delighted to have both films flensed from the public memory, ETERNAL SUNSHINE style.
And anyone who calls themselves a Bond fan knows this.
So no, I'm not signing on to this class action because it's an Asshole lawsuit.
And my mama raised me not to be an asshole.
At least, not about Bond movies.