Tag Archives: James.Bond

The Living Daylights

Living DaylightsNetflix IMDb
Bond is back, and he’s played this time by Timothy Dalton! It’s a terrific entry in the series, with spectacular stunts and little that it dumb and cheesy. Maryam d’Abo is the cellist/sniper/freedom fighter/pilot of his dreams—which is good because she’s the only beddable female in the film unless you count a much younger and hotter Moneypenny and Pushkin’s girlfriend, who suffers terribly considering that she’s completely innocent. He’s helped along by old friends Felix Leiter and Stewie Griffin.

However, I bemoan the rather clownish villains. I point out that Bond helping out Osama bin Laden Kamran Shah against horrible reasonable and affable Russians might not be the wisest strategy.

Start the commentary after the MGM lion and United Artists logo with the gun-barrel sequence, on the countdown.

A View to a Kill

View to a KillNetflix IMDb
Roger Moore is back for his last rodeo as James Bond! It’s a rather slow, somewhat dull, kind of haphazard adventure filled with lovely women and also Grace Jones!

Honestly, there’s not a lot to say about this one. The whole formula is a bit tired and threadbare. I try to make the best of it and have fun by, for example, noting how stopping a guy from making EMP-proof chips available to the world is kind of a jerk goal for British Intelligence. I point out how Zorin is awfully clumsy about keeping his activities quiet when he puts his name on every chip and has them packed for shipping in his basement.

Start the commentary after the MGM lion, but before the Zorin disclaimer, on the countdown.

Never Say Never Again

Never Say Never AgainNetflix IMDb
Bond is back and Connery is playing him! It’s the one-off Thunderball remake of sorts that comes, as all great things do, courtesy of a contentious lawsuit. It’s the goulash of Bond films, with a little of everything and all, surprisingly, in about the right measure. The music is bad but the gadgets are good, the babes are bodacious, and the villain is batshit crazy with a hint of whimsy.

I analyze the differences and striking similarities in the structure and plotting, compare it to other Bond films, assess the Bondiness of Connery’s 12-years-later Bond, and question why he’s now working for the Jackal.
Continue reading Never Say Never Again

Octopussy

OctopussyNetflix IMDb
Bond is back again for lucky number 13! Yes, it’s still Roger Moore cranking out the cheeky remarks. This time, 007 must stop a ring of international smugglers/circus folk auctioning off—and buying back—priceless Russian treasures, altho why he cares I don’t know. They’re not British treasures, after all. The women are beautiful—except for the creepy one whom I suspect to be a snake in a wig—and the villains and stunts are passable if not spectacular. The sets are likewise lacking in scale, but at least the plot and plot devices are mostly believable.

I examine the origin of “Octopussy” and whether or not she’s a stronger character than other Bond women—such as the other Bond woman who looked exactly like her—and also the wisdom of taking several minutes to put on clown makeup when it leaves you with a mere 90 seconds to save a big chunk of Germany.

I’m compelled to offer some form of apology about the car-on-the-train-tracks idea, since Top Gear actually did it with two different cars. (And somehow failed to mention Octopussy, even tho the guest was Rowan Atkinson talking about the Bond-parody Johnny English sequel….)

Start the commentary with the gun barrel sequence, on the countdown.

For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes OnlyNetflix IMDb
Bond is back! This time, the film makers mine the depths of Fleming’s short stories and cobble something together that is… pretty dang good, actually. There are no gadgets, the girls are not great, and there are no fantastic Ken Adam sets, but there’s also nothing much to really hate—except the idiotic Blofeld appearance at the beginning.

I examine the construction of the plot, defend it against those who say it’s too much like From Russia with Love, and complain that Locque isn’t much of a villain. I lament the birth defect that left Carole Bouquet with a non-functioning forehead and a mustache nearly as luxurious as Topol’s, as well as whatever it is that makes Lynn-Holley Johnson so annoying and seven years too old to be to young for James Bond. And I lament the fact the Roger Moore is just too old to run up all those steps.

NOTE: I think I leave the impression that Willy Bogner performed the ski jump off the cliff in The Spy Who Loved Me. It was stuntman Rick Sylvester who performed the jump. Bogner was, as usual, filming it on skis. Also, Brezhnev died in 1982, Andropov died in 1984, Chernenko died in 1985, Gorbechev took office in 1985.

Start the commentary with the gun barrel sequence, on the countdown.

Moonraker

MoonrakerNetflix IMDb
Jaws is back, and Bond fights him! (again and again…) It’s the eleventh Bond, and I admire the sights, the women, the stunts, the women’s revealing wardrobe, the model shots, the model-actresses, and the incredible Ken Adam sets.

I don’t do much car spotting or gun spotting because Bond drives boats and fights hand-to-hand pretty much the whole movie. *sigh* The comedy is slapsticky (vaudevillian, to be exact), and the story is a loose collection of great set pieces connected by cardboard arrows. (Venetian glass? Go to Venice! Crates that say “Rio”? Go to Rio! Toxin from the Amazon? Go to the Amazon! Space shuttles? Go to space!) Plus, the villain’s plan is basically the same as in the last movie (kill everyone, clean up the corpses with bulldozers, repopulate). Still, I don’t think it’s the worst Bond of them all. (Your mileage may vary.)

The love music cue at the end is not from Dr. Zhivago (“Lara’s Theme/Somewhere My Love“) but rather the love theme from Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet.

Start the commentary with the gun barrel sequence, on the countdown.

The Spy Who Loved Me

The Spy Who Loved MeNetflix IMDb
It’s the heart-wrenching tale of chance meetings between wounded hearts, daring to reach out, daring to trust again. Also, a 7-foot-tall metal-jawed psychopath bites people to death while his boss captures submarines. Join me for the tenth Bond film and one of the very best. This remains my favorite, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect.

I compare it to the book that it’s nothing like. I thrill at the adventure and swoon at the passion (well, cleavage). I mock the acting and disco music. I point out the—ahem—”re-use” of previous Bond plot devices. And I marvel at the incredible plan/backup plan/backup backup plan that Stromberg seems to repeatedly employ.

Start the commentary with the gun barrel sequence, on the countdown.

Man w/ Golden Gun

Man w Golden GunNetflix IMDb
Bond’s ninth outing is Moore’s second. Join me as I analyze the story, the girls, the cars, the gadgets—by which I mean the fake nipple—and the seemingly endless, awful JW Pepper scenes. However, I actually find myself defending the film against the haters and end up enjoying it fairly well on its own merits, at least a fair amount more than I did Live and Let Die.

I point out the not-so-subtle foreshadowing, analyze Scaramanga as a villain and Andrea as an ally. I try to figure out what country we’re in, what the purpose of the custom golden gun is, and what Nick Nack’s motivation is. I enjoy Maud Adams and Brit Eckland, and I positively adore the half-sunken ship secret spy office.

I forget to mention that the book begins with Bond returning from You Only Live Twice with his memory seemingly intact only to try to kill M and having to undergo rehab to be ready for service again.

Start the commentary with the gun barrel sequence, on the countdown.

Live and Let Die

Live and Let DieNetflix IMDb
Bond is back in number eight, and Moore is playing him for the first time. Everything is different, except that the cars are American again, the dames are American again, and the action is kind of lame again. But—hey—the bad guys are black this time!

I mock Felix Leiter and Whisper and condemn Rosie Carver and writer Tom Mankiewicz. I analyze Mr. Big’s ruthlessly over-efficient gang machine. I mock Paul McCartney’s grammar (but fail to mention how Bond dissed the Beatles in Goldfinger). I compare the film to the earlier entries, to the book, to blaxploitation movies, and to Smokey and the Bandit. I praise Seymour, Kotto, and Moore, but mostly I complain that this just isn’t one of the better entries. I take a break from obsessively identifying cars to obsessively differentiating between crocodiles and alligators.

Start the commentary with the gun barrel sequence, on the countdown.

Diamonds Are Forever

Diamonds Are ForeverNetflix IMDb
Bond is back, and Connery is playing him—for one last, tired, somewhat out-of-shape, slightly graying time. The cars are American, the dames are American, the villains are campy, and the action is weak, but it’s not so bad. It’s got sausage king Jimmy Dean! I follow the threads of a plot where Bond actually does some investigating, albeit one in which he himself overcomplicates things for no reason. I examine Bond’s need to put the whole murdered-wife-being-the-result-of-his-own-incompetence thing behind him. And I also examine why M feels the need to be such a jerk to the guy who repeatedly saved Europe from the most wanted man since Hitler.
Continue reading Diamonds Are Forever