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Forums - Movies Discussion - The James Bond Rewatch: Current Movie - SPECTRE

 

Which is the best movie of the Craig era (so far)?

Casino Royal 7 70.00%
 
Quantum of Solace 0 0%
 
Skyfall 3 30.00%
 
Spectre 0 0%
 
Total:10

For Your Eyes Only is next up. A score of 6 from me.

A far less extravagant outing than the previous few, but less engaging too. The pacing isn't great, as the second half drags on. The villains aren't particularly memorable - in fact, since my last watch I'd forgotten about two of them until I saw them again on screen. The Bond girls don't fare too well either - I feel Melina is more dispensable than Dr Goodhead or Anya from the past two films, and the bratty Bibi is a little at odds with the tone of the film (although I guess she may not be perceived as a Bond girl).

On the plus side, Moore is still doing a good job as Bond. He just about the looks the part (despite looking wrinkled in a few scenes), and is at ease with both the humourous and serious side of things. There's some stunning shots once again, and some of the stunts are spectacular (particularly in the two chase scenes in the first half of the movie). The musical shift to incorporate more '80s influences is well done, and the theme song is serviceable enough too.



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Thunderball
The opening fight scene with Bouvar is woeful, how many items of furniture do they throw each other through? Just when you think it can’t get any worse, he’s escaping with a jetpack and shooting water out the back of his DB5.
Theme tune by Tom Jones is pretty unmemorable. Bond’s mishap with the orthopaedic machine like something out of a Carry On film.
But… Despite my early concerns it starts to pick up. Largo is a good villain, kudos to him getting his hands dirty and carrying tasks himself rather than sending in lackeys. Feeding a henchman to the sharks 😊
Locations are nice and the diving scenes are something new.
It does run on abit though – 130 mins but it never feels like its dragging.
Domino is my favourite Bond girl so far.
A weak start but afterwards was very enjoyable.
8/10

You Only Live Twice
Good them tune from Nancy Sinatra.
Bond’s fake death was handled well, wasn’t too ridiculous, even if I did groan at the ‘it’s what he would have wanted’ line.
The autogyro scene is great, most audacious stunt sequence yet.
The sets are a real highlight here, Bloefeld’s lair is immense.
I remember this being my favourite Bond as a kid but watching now its certainly the weakest so far. The ending set piece battle is great but totally OTT. The whole film really suffers from the amount of parodying its had over the years, but I suppose as result you could claim along with Goldfinger it’s the ultimate Bond film for that reason.
Hardest to score so far, I enjoy parts more than other films but is so bad in parts that I’m swinging between 4 and 8.
I’ll have to say 6/10 and I think I'm being on the generous side.



Moonraker was one of my absolute favorites as a child (space battle!) however it’s clearly earned its reputation as one of the lesser Bond films since its initial release. Pushed forward following the success of Star Wars, Bond takes the action to outer space regardless of how little sense that makes. With a plot lifted almost directly from The Spy Who Loved Me and one that spins its wheels for the majority of a two hour plus film, Moonraker consistently ranks at the bottom of most Bond rankings for good reason.

The really sad part is that it starts off promisingly with the hijack of a space shuttle and one of my picks for all time best stunts: the free fall parachute theft. Indicative of what’s to come, Jaws is illogically inserted into the proceedings and his comical defeat which should result in death but doesn’t leads into the main title sequence. Bond receives one of my favorite gadgets in this film as well, the wrist dart gun which is used sparingly but to great effect. Another highlight is the G-Force simulator. Moore’s reaction upon his escape shows Bond as vulnerable as he’s ever been since Dr. No and the tarantula as he collapses against the wall and can barely bring himself to stand. Compared to the increasingly ludicrous way Jaws survives certain death in every other scene, this was a high point of realism in both this film and the Moore era.

The plot is exceedingly redundant. Bond shows up at an exotic location, tangles with a henchman, romances a woman and then finds a clue that leads him to his next location. This arguably could be said about any Bond film however the plot is so lazy and sparse here, it barely qualifies as an actual story which again is a retread of the megalomaniac who wants to kill off the entire population to raise his own society. Michael Lonsdale is very droll as Drax and while he does gets some good one liners, his performance is so dry, it’s forgettable.

The ending is really where the film falls apart. Launching six space shuttles in rapid succession to a space station secretly built in orbit seems even more ridiculous now having come off the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. The model work however is really well done as is Ken Adams’ multilevel design of the space station control center. There are elements here that could have worked if the film hadn’t been completed as an obvious cash grab but sadly it is what it is.

A quick moment to honor Bernard Lee who made his final appearance as M in this film. This would also be his final theatrical role although he made two television appearances before his death. Lee provided a real gravitas to the potentially thankless role as Bond’s superior. What could have been little more than an obligatory exposition dump, Lee was able to infuse it with his own touch and it felt as if there were real history between Bond and M regardless who was in the former role. His loss was a profound one for the series.

I’m going to give Moonraker a 5/10. I was tempted to put it below Diamonds are Forever however I think there were enough good facets to push it out of the bottom spot. I wish I could enjoy it on the level as I did as a child however the plot elements you can overlook in youth stick out so sorely as an adult.

Current Rankings:
1) On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
2) From Russia with Love
3) Goldfinger
4) The Spy Who Loved Me
5) Thunderball
6) Dr. No
7) Live and Let Die
8) You Only Live Twice
9) The Man with the Golden Gun
10) Moonraker
11) Diamonds are Forever



On Her Majesty’s secret service.
So no song this time, just a new version of the theme tune, it’s a nice score and we also get Louie Armstrong later but the titles featuring previous characters feels like it’s a desperate attempt to keep the connection going now we have a new actor as Bond.
So obviously the elephant in the room is Lazenby, he looks the part, even more physically intimidating than Connery but you can tell he is inexperienced as an actor. He just never seems to own a scene the way Connery could. It’s a shame the wonderful George Baker didn’t dub the whole film, its only when he’s pretending to be Bray that he really commands any presence.
Diana Rigg, not only badass and beautiful but the first Bond girl to also be a really accomplished A-list actress.
I’ve never been a fan of Telly Savalas but he’s a better Bloefeld than Pleasence, probably the best main villain so far.
Superb action sequences and lovely mountain scenery. That avalanche scene is brutal and the guy who goes through the shredder, yikes.
One criticism, if you are going to have Bond fall in love and marry perhaps not have him sleep with someone else in the middle of it for once?
A heart-breaking ending, 10/10


Diamonds Are For Ever
A poor opening scene. The theme song is the best thing about this flick and even that doesn’t sound as good as I remember it.
Wint and Kidd are awful. They may have worked if they had some chemistry together but every scene it’s as if they have just met and understood the script wrong.
Moneypenny asking him to bring back a diamond in a ring from Holland, must have forgotten his wife has just been murdered? The fact that they don’t build on OHMSS is madness. Quantum of Solace has its critics but at least sows up Casino Royale.
Locations are drab, tacky one arm bandit casinos and bland deserts.
Charles Grey is disappointing as Bloefeld, less intimidating and cultured than Savalas. I wasn’t that impressed with his brief stint in YOLT as Dikko Henderson so its surprising to see him get this role now.
The chase scene on the strip is ok but when the streets are lined up with so many people to watch it being filmed it makes for a distracting background. The car driving on its side is the type of crap I’d expect of Dukes of Hazard and we’ll be seeing more of the light heartedness as Moore takes over the role.
Jill, worse main Bond girl so far for me. Both St John and Connery just look like they don’t want to be here.
There’s absolutely nothing of note here, even the final Oil Rig battle disappoints.
3/10



PSA: Sadly the New Year brings with it the loss of the Bond films from Amazon Prime and Hulu. Back to discs everyone! Hope everyone had a happy holiday and let’s finish strong for the second half of this rewatch!



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Scores updated. Happy New Year!



noir_solitude said:
On Her Majesty’s secret service.
So no song this time, just a new version of the theme tune, it’s a nice score and we also get Louie Armstrong later but the titles featuring previous characters feels like it’s a desperate attempt to keep the connection going now we have a new actor as Bond.
So obviously the elephant in the room is Lazenby, he looks the part, even more physically intimidating than Connery but you can tell he is inexperienced as an actor. He just never seems to own a scene the way Connery could. It’s a shame the wonderful George Baker didn’t dub the whole film, its only when he’s pretending to be Bray that he really commands any presence.
Diana Rigg, not only badass and beautiful but the first Bond girl to also be a really accomplished A-list actress.
I’ve never been a fan of Telly Savalas but he’s a better Bloefeld than Pleasence, probably the best main villain so far.
Superb action sequences and lovely mountain scenery. That avalanche scene is brutal and the guy who goes through the shredder, yikes.
One criticism, if you are going to have Bond fall in love and marry perhaps not have him sleep with someone else in the middle of it for once?
A heart-breaking ending, 10/10


Diamonds Are For Ever
A poor opening scene. The theme song is the best thing about this flick and even that doesn’t sound as good as I remember it.
Wint and Kidd are awful. They may have worked if they had some chemistry together but every scene it’s as if they have just met and understood the script wrong.
Moneypenny asking him to bring back a diamond in a ring from Holland, must have forgotten his wife has just been murdered? The fact that they don’t build on OHMSS is madness. Quantum of Solace has its critics but at least sows up Casino Royale.
Locations are drab, tacky one arm bandit casinos and bland deserts.
Charles Grey is disappointing as Bloefeld, less intimidating and cultured than Savalas. I wasn’t that impressed with his brief stint in YOLT as Dikko Henderson so its surprising to see him get this role now.
The chase scene on the strip is ok but when the streets are lined up with so many people to watch it being filmed it makes for a distracting background. The car driving on its side is the type of crap I’d expect of Dukes of Hazard and we’ll be seeing more of the light heartedness as Moore takes over the role.
Jill, worse main Bond girl so far for me. Both St John and Connery just look like they don’t want to be here.
There’s absolutely nothing of note here, even the final Oil Rig battle disappoints.
3/10

@bold: yes! That's so distracting.



Live and Let Die
Great song, probably the only theme tune that has truly transcended into pop culture and regular airplay. Opening credits are good.
I like the Blaxploitation feel to it. Its of its time but kudos to having a largely black cast, especially seeing its only Quarrel in Dr No who’s been a significant black character so far. I can’t help thinking that as the main Bond girl, Solitaire should have been Afro-Carribean, perhaps that would have been a step to far in 1973?
Yaphet Kotto, what a brilliant actor, never understand how he was only in a couple of big movies.
Some other great villains as well, Tee Hee and Samedi. Sadly, ruined by the addition of that stupid Sherriff.
Overall its a decent start for Moore. without the 15 mins of crap police chases in Louisiana, it would be a 6.
5/10.



I finished For Your Eyes Only last night.

Here are my reviews for Moonraker and FYEO.

Moonraker
If this isn't the worst Bond movie, it's definitely in the bottom five. This is such an unfortunate step backward for the Moore era, coming as it does between his two best films. As others have notes, the plot is a retread of The Spy Who Loved Me, although even more preposterous. While the writing and acting is lazy, the set designs are great and the stunt work phenomenal. The opening sky dive action set piece is an all-time great...how on Earth did they film that?? The humor falls flat, there's no wit or suspense (minus a tense outer space chase in the final minutes), and the movie never takes a deep breath to set a scene or develop a character--at one point Bond literally glides from one action set piece into the enemy's exposition lair.

4/10


For Your Eyes Only
I've always thought The Spy Who Loved Me was Moore's best, but I've changed my mind. It's FYEO. This is a quieter, more intimate Bond movie, minus the apocalyptic storylines and larger-than-life villains. I'd complain about some of the action scenes being too long if they weren't so well-staged and tense. The supporting characters--both good guys and bad--are memorable. Topol is another in a long line of fantastic man crushes for Bond, Glover is a pragmatic enemy, and Bouquet much more than another Bond conquest.

I actually feel that some of the Bond trappings hurt this movie; that it's best when it's Bond out in the field partnering with shady, lovable characters. When M16, Q, and other staples are reinserted the movie actually comes back down to Earth. I also think the ice skating subplot doesn't add much to the proceedings.

This is a hair away from a great movie.

7/10



Octopussy. This gets a 6 from me.

I've seen this a fair bit on TV in recent years. It's probably in the lower echelons of the Bond film catalogue when all is said and done, but it's decent enough overall. The opening sequence is good, and there's some nice sequences throughout (the bit at the end with the plane is insane). It's a bit overlong though, and a lot of it just feels competent without being remarkable. I always get a bit confused by the plot as well. Moore is getting on, but I don't find his age particularly jarring at this late stage (although that'll soon change).