James Bond


(Stanton) #541

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:539, topic:544”]First half hour of A View to a Kill is okay, then it starts getting boring.
It had a few assets: a good villain, good posters and Tanya Roberts’ looks[/quote]

Yes, the first half is ok for me too. but already nothing special. It’s all the typical Bond routine, and the directing is as forgettable as the overall look of the film.

But Tanya Roberts? She’s for me the palest Bond girl of the complete series.

Titoli, the Craig films are different. Casino Royale was an interesting reboot, and Quantum of Soalce is a masterpiece if fimmaking for me (conservative Bond fans usually hate it). Skyfall is at least very good looking, the cinematography is excellent (in Quantum also), but it is also a bit dumb here and there, but in a different way from the old more simple Bonds.


(scherpschutter) #542

Not much of an actress, of course, but I find her attractive


(ENNIOO) #543

Roberts has that something about her that you just want to say hello to her :smiley: .


(scherpschutter) #544

[size=12pt]“Hellooo Enniooo.”[/size]

Being the only who fancies a woman has the advantage of not having competition


#545

[size=10pt]Hellooo Ennioo[/size]” don’t be scared, but do i still look Hot?


(Stanton) #546

Not so much in the film imo.
She looked less good in this film than she did on photos the years before. I was disappointed when I first watched it, and viewed from today she has this typical 80s look, which is for me still worse then any other decade since 1960.


(scherpschutter) #547

[quote=“Lone Gringo, post:545, topic:544”]

[size=10pt]Hellooo Ennioo[/size]” don’t be scared, but do i still look Hot?[/quote]

Don’t know when this pic was taken, but she still looks alright to me.

She was born in 1955, so today she’s 59, women usually look better in their twenties or thirties


(El Topo) #548

[quote=“Lone Gringo, post:545, topic:544”]

[size=10pt]Hellooo Ennioo[/size]” don’t be scared, but do i still look Hot?[/quote]

Another medic miracle called permanent smile, pitty that with so much stretching, she can’t close her eyes


#549

Awesome poster, love the skeleton figure in the background.


(John Welles) #550

The skeleton figure seems to be heavily reminiscent of Live and Let Die; the poster though, is superior to Skyfall’s.


(Asa) #551

Well, over the last month I’ve made a stab at watching the Bonds as part of a challenge on another forum. So far, I’ve watched them all chronologically up to Moonraker (Gilbert, 1979), plus Never Say Never Again (Kershner, 1983) which I watched just after Thunderball (Young, 1965) since the one is a remake of the other.

Here are my ramblings on how it’s gone:

Dr. No (Young, 1962)

DAH DAP!
DAH DAP!
DUH-DUP, DA-DAH DAP!
MMM-MMM, MMM-MMM, MMM-MMM, MMM-MMM, MMM-MMM, MMM-MMM, MMM-MMM, MMM-MMM,
DUNG DUG-A-DUNG-DUNG, DUNG-DUNG-DUNG-DUNG DUG-A-DUNG-DUNG
DUNG-DUNG-DUNG-DUNG DUG-A-DUNG-DUNG, DUNG-DUNG-DUNG-DUNG DUG-A-DUNG-DUNG
DAH DAH DAH DA-DAAAAH, DAH DAH DAAAH!

“Bond, stop tonguing Moneypenny’s earhole and find out what’s happened to our man in Kingston… oh, he was close to rumbling a no-handed megalomaniac in a relatively poorly-defended island fortress, trying to topple over space rockets for shits & giggles (and some outfit he mentions in passing called SPECTRE or somesuch. Doubt we’ll ever be hearing from those again). Aaand… you’ve blown him up. Bravo Bond, take a short break to f*ck Ursula Andress in her boat (that’s the literal AND Cockney rhyming slang versions). Twice.”

THE END!

DUNG DUG-A-DUNG-DUNG, DUNG-DUNG-DUNG-DUNG DUG-A-DUNG-DUNG etc.

It took me three goes, but I got through it. And tbh, it’s really rather good. I love that sumptuous sixties Technicolor quality, Connery was affable and even vulnerable (as well as being suitably quick witted, eager to kill and riddled with sex addiction issues), and the plot wasn’t littered with unnecessary over-complication. Are they all this fundamentally simple at their core, beneath their shaken-not-stirred-now-pay-attention-Bond frippery? If so, I’ve been operating under a grave misapprehension.

Yes, it took me three goes, but I’m watching them very late at night. But so far, so (surprisingly) good.

From Russia With Love (Young, 1963):

"That’s right, Bond. I’m not Nash. I’m Robert Shaw from off of Jaws, codename: Badly Bleachblonde. And we were only keeping you alive long enough for you to deliver us the Lektor encryption device. And now that you have, you’re expendable. And now that you’re expendable, and I have you unarmed and on your knees, with a silenced pistol aimed point-blank at your massive eyebrows, I’m going to tell you everything. You heard me Bond, everything. I don’t work for SMERSH. I work for SPECTRE. That girl in there? She thinks she’s bending you over for the Soviets, but we’re bending her over just as she’s bending you over. Double bond, Bend - I mean, double bend, Bond. Yes. You see, her boss also works for SPECTRE. How did SMERSH ever think they’d keep hold of their soldiers with a sh*tty acronym like that? See here Bond - an incriminating roll of film of you donkey-punching that silly bitch in there. And here, a threatening blackmail letter from her to you. And - hang on, I’m not done yet - I’ve jotted down the address of SPECTRE’s head office in Hemel Hempstead, with an accompanying hastily-sketched map of how to reach it by bus, train and pedestrian footpath. I’ve written it all on the back of a Polaroid of the SPECTRE front gate. Look, there’s our leader, known only as “Number One” - although his name’s Ernst Blofeld, he runs Abra-Kebabra on Dagenham Heathway - standing outside, waving. And now, Bond, I’m just going to open this obviously booby-trapped British Intelligence briefcase…"

Only took me one go, this one. Hooray! It’s strange, this is clearly a superior film to its predecessor, but I still think I personally prefer the more raw and less fully-formed charms of Dr. No. Or maybe I prefer the colourful shirts and Mango songs of the first film over tense steam train journeys across the Balkans. Things are taking shape though now. The concept of the Bond Girl was of course already up and running (and I’m afraid Tatiana Romanova doesn’t come anywhere close to Honey Ryder), but we’ve got Q and his gadgets now, although that briefcase was more like a pre-schooler’s impression of what a spy’s briefcase should be. "An ordinary briefcase, Bond, but inside - and here’s the clever part - there’s a fcking big sniper rifle. Ingenious, hmm?" And the plot itself, whilst still not needlessly convoluted by any stretch, was pretty silly. Connery though is better here than he was in the first movie, and he was pretty bloody good then. The quips and one-liners come thick and fast here yet we still buy into Bond as a dangerous, double-hard b4stard. Silly catchphrases and funny lines are of course a staple of the action hero pic but it’s actually pretty difficult to ride that line without it coming across as… well, sht, but Connery can really do it. At this point, I’m very confident that I will complete the Connery era (incorporating the Lazenby pic), but I fear that the switch to Roger Double-Old-Pension Moore: Licensed to qualify for sheltered accomodation, may be too much for me. We’ll see when we get there, I guess.

So far, STILL so good.

Goldfinger (Hamilton, 1964)

Thunderball (Young, 1965)

Bond: Oh, hello!
Patricia: Haven’t you had enough exercise for one evening??
Bond: Ah, it’s funny you should say that…

Now, we’re really into some James Bond action now. A tricked out Aston Martin DB5 (and you needn’t be a Bond fan to fcking adore that car), revolving pool tables/control panels, swimming pools full of sharks, jet-packs - yes, it’s all gone rather mental. Starting to get a bit overengineered now, but they’re still a lot of fun, for the time being. I would imagine that Auric Goldfinger’s weird obsession with gold could easily be viewed as bloody daft really, but as someone who has watched over 150 spaghetti westerns, an antagonist’s almost carnal lust for gold is positively commonplace (and of course, Goldfinger pre-dates many of those spags). Anyway, really enjoyed Goldfinger whilst not particularly taking to Auric himself (or Oddjob for that matter. That hat thing is silly. Not “good” silly, just silly), and I was dismayed to find the Bond Girl concept still in decline; Pussy Galore is a magnificent name, but Honor Blackman just simply isn’t all that imho. The Masterson sisters were better but all too brief. A very sumptuous, attractive movie though. The sets were all almost as sexy as that car. But Thunderball - ah, now here’s the first Bond sequel that, for me, finally tops Dr. No as the best of the bunch so far, even though it is by far the most over the top and convoluted, traits that I believe will sink my interest in the franchise down the line when handled by inferior craftsmen than star Sean Connery and director Terence Young, back for his third of the first four Bond movies (and his last). Almost as lavish as the previous three movies put together with ever-increasing gadgetry and a star who, incredibly, still seems to be getting better in the role, although James does appear to be moving slowly from “cheeky sex-addicted chappie” to “Actual sex-pest: Keep well clear”, imho. Largo is a better villain than Goldfinger even though I couldn’t shift the thought of Robert Wagner’s turn as Number Two in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, which is desperately unfair since Wagner’s character is nought but a direct parody of Adolfo Celi’s Largo. Also, The Bond Girl concept hits a big spike (Best Rik Mayall impression: Yes, in my TROUSERS!) with virtually every girl in Thunderball being eminently fckable, particularly Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona, Molly Peters as Patricia (both almost as good as Honey Ryder) and Claudine Auger as Domino (as good, if not even better than Honey Ryder, if that’s possible). And the early scene in the health spa with Bond strapped to some Godawful stretching device was a genuine laugh-out-loud moment.

Next, I’m briefly going to abandon the production order to watch one of the “B4stard” Bonds: Never Say Never Again (Kirshner, 1983), which I understand is a remake of Thunderball with poor old Sean doing it all over again at 53 having done it all once at 35. Never say “Never again”, indeed. If I ever get as far as Daniel Craig’s debut in Casino Royale (Campbell, 2006), I shall then watch the other Casino Royale (Hughes/Huston/McGrath/Parrish/Guest/Talmadge, 1967). IF I get that far.

Never Say Never Again (Kershner, 1983)

A queer one this, for sure. I assumed that, since I quite enjoyed Thunderball, I’d get on with this just fine but actually, seeing that good movie lurking beneath the garish slap of this one made it all the more frustrating to watch. Lots of 80’s films have rightly earned classic status over time and yet still typify “the decade that style forgot”, mostly because the ones we recall the best are the ones packed with all the coolest things from that time. Never Say Never Again though, well it appears to be a catalogue of all of the worst excesses of the 80s. Instead of being a cool product of its time, it seems to be an already outdated concept trying desperately to keep up with what was new or current at the time. A duffer, far too late to the party. Like BA Robertson presenting Top of the Pops. All of the women bar Kim Basinger looked like either David Bowie, Patsy Stone or Steve Strange, all caked in makeup. All of the male characters surrounding Bond were unfunny “comedy” f*ckbums, with Rowan Atkinson in particular standing out, doing that character; you know, it’s the only character he can do. Pat “Bomber” Roach certainly had the physique for a Bond villain henchman but I couldn’t look at him without expecting him to say something like, “Okay Dennis, Bomber’s away” in the wide Bristolian accent of his Auf Wiedersehen, Pet character. Ironically, prior to viewing I assumed that the biggest disasters in this movie would be the aforementioned Ms. Basinger and Sean Connery, all bloated and saggy and deluding nobody but himself. But in fact, Connery was still the best thing on the screen, wisely choosing to react to the swooning females around him with appreciable bemusement, as though he too understands that no one’s buying it. That’s how it felt to me, anyway. And Kim Basinger, a sex symbol from back in the day who tbh I never especially rated, is actually very sexy in this. And I never knew she was quite that limber!

So, Never Say Never Again? Well, never say never, but… probably never again. Normal service will be resumed next with You Only Live Twice.

You Only Live Twice (Gilbert, 1967).

Oh. See, this is the movie I feared they all were. It’s all of the excesses of the world of James Bond piled on top of the overcomplicated story which makes little sense on the face of it and is out-and-out stupid looked at any closer (I mean, I guess that’s true of all of them, but the previous movies kept me interested enough not to want to pick away at the holes). I liked the Japanese setting, I liked the styling of Blofeld’s volcano lair*, and that was it really. Oh, the ninjas. It’s hard to dislike an army of ninjas.

My big concern now is that although I didn’t like this one, I feel that there is far, far worse to come in the Moore and Brosnan eras.

Which contractors do you call in if you want something like that? “We’ll need stairs up to the top of the volcano there, spaceship launch/landing combo pad over there, the collapsible footbridge over a piranha pool just there, with the mini-monorail just behind it over there.” That smug cnt on Grand Designs would have a field day.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Hunt, 1969)

Ah, now this is much more like it. Definitely the best of the bunch so far. The gadgets and silliness pared right back, revealing a terrific story underneath. I thought George Lazenby was really rather good. He’s not as good as Sean Connery but I think it’s possible to miss Connery’s performance whilst still extolling the virtues of Mr. Lazenby. Loved the “This never happened to the other fellow” acknowledgement; I think it was smart that they got that out of the way up front. The story held me from start to finish, there were a bevvy of beauties (Angela Scoular, the actress who played Ruby - the curly-haired chicken-fearing one of Blofeld’s “Angels of Death” - was at one time married to Leslie Phillips. She sadly took her own life aged 65 by drinking bleach), Lazenby’s Bond was a tough fcker who looked good in the fight scenes but was also vulnerable and even scared at times, Telly Savalas was a way better Blofeld IMHO than Donald Pleasance (though that may be because Pleasance’s version has been so parodied over the years), Diana Rigg was gorgeous, hitting #1 in the Bond Girl charts with a bullet (literally), and the entire thing came packaged with the best Bond title track yethttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8XNBpIkQpU and Louis Armstrong’s fantastic We Have All the Time in the World, which I didn’t even know was a Bond song.

Absolutely renewed my vigour for the Bonds to come, this. So good, I want to watch the Bond films I’ve already seen again. I won’t though, not yet. Diamonds are Forever this evening for sure, and I might even crash straight into the Moore era immediately afterwards.

*Savalas was preferable to Pleasance for me but, despite Blofeld’s considerable evil means in OHMSS, I felt kind-of sorry for him; his Alpine hypno-spa still seemed like a hell of a climbdown from his volcano rocket base. Poor Blofeld.

Diamonds are Forever (Hamilton, 1971)

Live and Let Die (Hamilton, 1973)

Well, I said goodbye to Sean Connery and hello to “The Rog” in one sitting. And whilst I agree that Diamonds are Forever represented Sean Connery’s weakest effort individually (excluding NSNA), I think I preferred this movie to You Only Live Twice. Yet another Blofeld, though? They can’t settle, can they? And even though his “space lazers” scheme felt once again more ambitious (ie increasingly fcking sillier) in scope, the poor sod feels miles away from the threatening and shadowy “SPECTRE Number One” he used to be. Now he’s just some smarmy pillock in a nehru suit who’s number Commander Bond very much has. Lana Wood was quite sexy as Plenty O’Toole (!) and Jill St. John was very sexy as Tiffany Case. Hated the theme tune. In fact, I hated the Goldfinger theme as well. I know the Bassey numbers are iconic and arguably the tunes which people most easily associate with Bond but they’re… well, crap. An incredibly American movie, this one. Pressure from United Artists maybe? I’m not complaining, btw. I fcking loved that Mach 1 Mustang.

At least it felt like a Bond film though…

So, Live and Let Die. Or, Bond’s Gonna Git You, Sucka!, Sweet Jimmy’s Baadasssss Song, 007 the Hard Way or Super Spy TNT to give it one of its alternative titles. Probably. Without wanting to come across as having dropped a wildly racist pun, this is an incredibly colourful Bond pic, but there was some good and some bad in here. Firstly, watching Rog’s debut so quickly after having completed the entire Connery Bond canon, it’s clear that Rog is nowhere near up to the task of following in the old Anglo-hating Scotland-dodger’s footsteps. That’s bad (or, as they might say on the set of Live and Let Die: Dat’s baaaaaaaaad, honky!). Also, LaLD is infused with an injection of humour so large it threatens to turn the whole thing into an utter farce. Dat’s baaaaaaad too, mutha fcka! But, Rog’s bemused/suave approach greatly suits the new, lighter approach to the character. Dat’s aaaall good, my brutha! The entire Blaxploitation vibe made me feel towards the material the way I felt about NSNA, in that I felt that the filmmakers were just using their franchise to keep up with (what was at the time) current trends instead of setting the trends as I suspect they did back in the Dr. No/From Russia With Love days. Dat’s baaaaaad! Still, any film which gives Yaphet Kotto an airing deserves kudos. Dat’s aaaall good! Also, the tailoring on some of those Harlem and N’Oarlins stereotypes was admittedly specfckingtacular; outfits I would wear myself in an instant. And the henchmen really came into their own on this one: Whisper, Tee-Hee and Baron Samedi, all superb. Double-good, brutha (I’m going to stop doing that, now)!

But what was with the proto-Buford T Justice/Rosco P Coltrane sheriff? Fck me, I half expected the General Lee to crash into view, hotly pursued by Clint Eastwood & Clyde the Orang-Utan, and Burt Reynolds & Dom DeLuise. I mean, I know Live and Let Die predates these numerous 70s/80s hee-haws but we don’t expect (or want) them in a Bond film, do we? And the Bond girls, whilst good, weren’t as good as they’ve been in recent movies. Gloria Hendry couldn’t. Stop. OVERACTING! And her characterisation of Rosie Carver just came off as annoying as a result, and Jane Seymour got sexier as she got older but here as Solitaire… well, she was sexy, sort-of, but was really a bit too childlike and helpless, even as an early twentysomething, to truly stir the loins. And her relationship with a twice-her-age Bond just made old Rog look fcking creepy.

Still, I enjoyed Live and Let Die as the piece of fluff it undoubtedly is, even if it didn’t feel especially Bond-like until close to the end when we got to Kananga’s underground shark-tank-heavy lair. I think, throughout this Roger Moore phase, I need to alter my approach to these movies and see them more as kissing cousins to the Ealing comedies of the fifties or maybe the Carry On… films than as genuinely taut (if occasionally outrageous) spy thrillers/action blockbusters.

What’s next? (checks) Ooh, Christopher Lee!


(Asa) #552

The Man With the Golden Gun (Hamilton, 1974)

See, now I could see myself vegging out to this on a lazy Sunday afternoon, yet I still think it’s fair to say that I didn’t think it was much good. It’s just that it was so lightweight, “not much good” is still plenty acceptable by its own low standards, if that makes any sense. If Connery or Lazenby had been in this it would’ve been an absolute debacle but Moore… well, he’s a bit of a clown really, isn’t he? Comedy Bond. I can’t believe they shoehorned that f*cking sheriff back into the proceedings! What was that all about? I quite liked Christopher Lee - then again, I always likes me a bit of Christopher Lee, he’s the Lord of Darkness - although I reckon I could’ve done without the third nipple. By which of course I mean Nick Nack. I mean, I like Hervé Villechaize, who doesn’t? He was great in exactly the same role opposite Ricardo Montalban in Fantasy Island. But who had him down as a quality henchman? I suppose the idea was that Scaramanga doesn’t need a henchman in the way Blofeld might since he, Scaramanga, is the badass, but still: Hervé Villechaize?? And poor old Scara’s end-of-the-pier-style lair was like something off of 60-Minute Makeover, covered as it was in crappy woodchip props and boards, and shop mannequins. Oh dear! Is that a tuppence-ha’penny second-hand crapper of an exercise bike that that yank gangster just walked past, the likes of which you’d find on any boot fair in the land on an overcast Sunday morning? Yes, it is. And what was Lulu caterwauling about? Possibly the worst Bond tune of the lot so far, worse than Bassey.

Still, it remained low-key enough for it to retain at least a core of plausibility (inasmuch as, say, You Only Live Twice really required the fcking Avengers to sort it out, never mind DoubleOhBloodySeven), I liked Scaramanga as previously mentioned (you’ve got to love these megalomaniacs gleefully explaining absolutely everything to Bond, including a full tour of the facilities, right?), I liked the Thai setting and the limited chop-socky action, and I enjoyed the car chase despite the gimp sheriff and [i]the fcking slide-whistle noise[/i] as Bond made the twisty bridge jump (and despite all the cars in this movie being utter bumwipe). And of course, as stupid and irritating as Mary Goodnight most assuredly was, she’s still an in-her-eminently-f*ckable-prime Britt Ekland and, as such, storms up to the Bond Girl summit alongside Diana Rigg and Ursula Andress.

That golden gun’s a piece of crap, though.

The Spy Who Loved Me (Gilbert, 1977)

"Glang! Glang-a-lang-a-lang-a-lang-a-lang-a-lang! Glang-a-lang!"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epRVg9n0fD4

Commander Carter: “I’m sorry, I… hadn’t expected you to be a woman…”
Anya: “Aboard this vessel, Commander, I am Major Amasova of the Russian Army.”
Commander Carter. “Yeah, sure.”

What is it with director Lewis Gilbert and Bond films in which big vehicles are eaten by bigger vehicles? I liked this movie considerably more than Gilbert’s previous outing You Only Live Twice (1967) although it treads a hugely similar path; maybe it’s because Moore suits the ludicrousness of it better than Connery. Still, Lewis Gilbert seems determined to film a live-action Thunderbirds as opposed to a spy actioner. Got to love Stromberg’s underwater lair though, even though it comes straight out of Gerry Anderson’s playbook. It’s maybe my favourite lair of the lot so far. Talking of favourites so far, The Spy Who Loved Me features a pretty hot, seventies-centric Bond girl in Barbara Bach as Russian Agent Anya Amasova, but in a far-too-brief role, it also features Caroline Munro as 'copter pilot/failed assassin Naomi, and since I have long believed Ms. Munro to be one of the hottest women ever to have lived, she now tops my Bond Girl charts.

But no, overall I quite enjoyed this one, for all its goofiness. I’ve got a feeling I saw this one before, years ago when I was a mere wee’un. Scene after scene evoked vague memories of The Towngate Theatre in Basildon back when it was nestled amongst the County Council prefabs upon which the Westgate shopping area now stands, and of being considerably more impressed by metal-mouthed giant imbeciles and submersible Lotus Esprits than I am today. Jaws remains a fun henchman, as silly as Oddjob really but pulls it off far better. He’s like Live and Let Die’s Tee-Hee, but “more” so. Tee-Hee+, if you like. And catching hold of him by his metal gnashers using a fcking big magnet - pure Batman (the TV show), that. Laughed out loud almost as much as I did when Kananga blew up in LaLD. I’m not sure I’m going to encounter a more memorable henchman here on in, and I’ve still got another 35 years of Bond films to sit through! The Esprit though… I had toys of that car when I was a nipper, at a couple of scales, so I must have loved it once but, I dunno, it just looks really dated and silly now. I reckon Bond would’ve kicked Q right in the danglies if he’d really had to swap his DB5 for that fcking thing.

I’ll admit though, I’m not looking forward to Moonraker (1979) at all. It’s yet another by Lewis “I’d Rather Be Making a Thunderbirds Movie” Gilbert and I’ve heard nothing whatsoever to commend it. I might double-bill it with For Your Eyes Only (Glen, 1981), about which I’m considerably more intrigued.

I’ve now seen ten Bond films. Eleven if you include Never Say Never Again. Bloody hell.

Moonraker (Gilbert, 1979).

-My God, what’s Bond doing?
-I think he’s attempting re-entry, sir…

Nope. No, this joke’s not funny anymore. I mean, I’ve tolerated Moore so far but we’re a long, long way from underneath the mango tree now (and, regarding the “gag” above: I doubt Moore could manage “entry” at his age there, let alone “re-entry”). It’s not the same type of film at all at this point, and this thing - Moonraker - is not the Bond I feared I might be missing, but the Bond I was glad I was having nowt to do with. Moore looks like a chewed toffee wrapped in an Alan Partridge double-breasted blazer, and yet we’re still expected to buy into all these women falling at his feet, although tbh the Bond girls were well below par in this outing; I think Jaws’ squeeze Dolly (Blanche Ravalec) might’ve been the best one, and she looked intentionally goofy. And what exactly was Jaws doing in this picture? And Drax the Dourface had only taken “perfect” people up onto his crappy sexship of love EXCEPT for Jaws and his oddbod missus? That’s handy, once wrinkly James needed a bit of assistance up there. I understand that at this point there were issues surrounding Eon being able to use the characters/concepts of Blofeld or SPECTRE but the Blofeld-a-likes are getting daft now, too. This c*nt here, Drax, was a particularly wooden effort. Who would work for this bellend? Guys in yellow boilersuits and anti-windowlicking headgear, I suppose. And of course, he has to explain everything to Jimmy B, show him around the place et cetera. Yawn. And as a final ballbag-smacking coup de grace, Bassey hits us with not just her worst effort from three, but the entire franchise’s worst theme tune from the eleven up to that point.

Any good points at all? Hm, I suppose the opening sky-diving sequence was okay. The python fight in the pool had potential (although the scene failed to live up to it). Oh, and Q’s exploding bolas were pretty cool, if for no other reason than that they allowed me to make mention of “Q’s exploding bolas” just then. But no, not much at all here worth returning to ever again. All those spacemen floating about “lasering” each other. What a load of old bumsht! It all seemed as though, despite the outer space trappings, the budget had been cut considerably. Everything looked so cheap and nasty. And yet when I looked into it, I noted that Moonraker was up to that point by far the most expensive Bond movie ever made. Depressingly, I also noted that its $210m+ box office was also Bond’s highest, not just at that point but right up until Brosnan’s debut in Goldeneye (Campbell, 1995). Still, I’m going to credit that particular anomaly to George Lucas and the ripple effect of the Star Wars phenomenon rather than to Broccoli, Moore and Lewis fcking Gilbert*.

We’re fully into the territory of Bond as I always expected him to be, now. My open-mindedness is shifting back to a folded-arms posture. In fact if Moonraker wasn’t Lewis Gilbert’s final runout in the Bond director’s chair I’d give it up at this point, having confirmed to myself what Bond was all about. As it is, that fckbum is now out of the picture and I’m only three more Moores away from the (supposedly far better) Daltons. So, I continue. A relatively good 'un next (by the standards of Bond at this stage in the series), I understand. I’ve now seen five truly good movies (but not one since OHMSS), three okay-ish movies, three movies which really weren’t very good at all (if we’re including NSNA) and, now, one fcking rubbish one. The good-to-f*ckbungle ratio has slipped dramatically throughout the seventies.

*I note from Wiki that Lewis Gilbert made some half-decent pictures back in the fifties, such as Carve Her Name With Pride and The Admirable Crichton. What happened to him? I suspect that, like hippo-faced former West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, it just all passed him by at some point, and he outstayed his welcome. He certainly has with me, anyway.

I’ve had a re-think about how I’ve ranked the Bonds so far, too. I had Thunderball narrowly in front of Dr. No and The Spy Who Loved Me narrowly in front of Live and Let Die but I think I’m going to switch those two pairs of positions. So as things stand, fwiw:

  1. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  2. Dr. No
  3. Thunderball
  4. Goldfinger
  5. From Russia With Love
    (rather large dropoff, here)
  6. Live and Let Die
  7. The Spy Who Loved Me
  8. Diamonds Are Forever
    (bit of a dropoff here too)
  9. The Man With the Golden Gun
  10. You Only Live Twice
  11. Never Say Never Again
    (another dropoff here)
  12. Moonraker

I would say though that I enjoyed those top five films enough by far for the Bond challenge to have already been well worth it, even if I were to give up now or even if I didn’t give up but thought all the subsequent Bonds were sh*t. I’d happily watch those five over and again; in fact, I’m eager to give second viewings to OHMSS and Dr. No already.


(Jonny Powers) #553

I have to say, this is some of the best reading I’ve had in a while, a welcome break from academic writings (fuck you, midterms)! I did the same thing several years ago, back when I still got the DVD service from Netflix. Me and my dad spent the better part of a summer watching all the Bond films in chronological order (except the '67 Casino Royale). I wish you the best of luck in your quest!


(Reverend Danite) #554

I’ve never been that keen on the franchise - in particular didn’t really get the Moore cartoony stuff, and have certainly never enjoyed them as much as I have just now.
Thank you Sir Caress ;D


(ENNIOO) #555

Speaking of Moore will soon be attending an audience with Roger Moore.


(scherpschutter) #556

I’ve read the ramblings until one of them went up in smoke. Where on earth have those diamonds gone? Forever?

Enjoyable stuff, yes. A bit surprised to see Dr. No up there with the very best. I never think of it as a real, 100% real Bond. Same goes for From Russia with Love, but that one has the advantage of being rather close to the Fleming novel, which is very good. I like Fleming as much as the franchise, but to me they’re two different things and the franchise only starts with Goldfinger.


(Asa) #557

Well thank-you, sir! :slight_smile:

Agh! My… heart… you’re saying I’m not… I’m not academy standard! :’( Truly, Reverend Danite, Brother Powers here hath giveth, and then he hath taketh a-f*cking-way. Eth.

:slight_smile:


(Asa) #558

For Your Eyes Only (Glen, 1981)

Oh, MUCH better! I don’t know how necessary the sequence with “Bald Villain in Wheelchair” was; I suppose they decided that they’d have to have some sort of closure with a villain of Blofeld’s calibre and, since they no longer (at that point) had the rights to use the name, they’d have to make it a quickie. Still, once that was out of the way what we had he was a story utterly befitting the means of a superspy; almost a From Russia With Love vibe going on, in a way; something at stake here - the ATAC - to which someone like Bond would be assigned. There were plenty of enjoyable action set-pieces to be found here, not least of which was the 2CV car chase down a mountain road with cars finding themselves upside-down, spinning around, moving backwards at speed and winding up stuck in the trees (I wasn’t sorry to see the back of the white Lotus Esprit, and I think I liked the red Esprit Turbo better). They likes their ski sequences in the Bond films though, don’t they? The one on offer here is an absolute belter however, with Bond on skis being chased by nutters on bikes down an entire Winter Olympic location including ski jump and bobsled run. All very silly once again, but “fun” silly this time. Locations were all beautiful as ever, Topol is always incredibly likeable IMO and that’s no different here, and although Bond wins out in every eventuality (of course; they are Bond films, ffs), it doesn’t feel quite like the foregone conclusion it really is. The Bond girls in For Your Eyes Only were undeniably very attractive without necessarily raising carnal temperatures, with Carol Bouquet’s “Melina” up at the classier end of the spectrum and Lynne Holly-Johnson’s “Bibi Dahl” down at the “wide-eyed naïf” end. Quite why a twenty-three year old girl would be interested in a sucked humbug like Roger Moore, God alone knows. But at least old Rog had the good grace to look suitably embarrassed by the attention. I had to laugh though watching him say to that pretend countess, “I’m a writer researching… um, smugglers. You don’t happen to know any, do you?” Straight out of the Homer Simpson book of subtle subterfuge, that one.

It didn’t look promising with the Blofeld intro and the insipid theme tune with Sheena Easton actually on the screen wailing away (the synth score went a bit hysterical from time to time, too), but it was indeed a minor classic, and maybe not such a minor one at that. I know that few have anything good to say about Octopussy or A View to a Kill but the director of this film, John Glen, helmed those movies too. AND the two Dalton pictures. So yes, it’s a fantastic comeback from the dead of Moonraker, and I’m back in the pink and looking forward to Rog’s (and Tim’s) shenanigans in the next little clutch of movies.

I’m over the halfway point. Over the point of no return even, some might say.

EDIT: Oh yeah: Janet Brown! F*ck me sideways, she was bloody everywhere in the eighties, wasn’t she? Doing her Thatcher bit. Could’ve lost FYEO a lot of brownie points had the movie not essentially already been done and dusted by then.


(The Man With a Name) #559

I like The Spy Who Loved Me and You Only Live Twice. It’s a difficult choice between Sean Connery and Roger Moore. I like them both equally.


(scherpschutter) #560

Ah, I found the Diamonds review, in the back pocket of Live and let Die. A bit dissapointing, should have been in a more prominent place, if only for Jill St. John as the very sexy as Tiffany Case.