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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

Watched The Man with the Golden Gun last night.

This is a perfectly decent Bond movie. In a parallel world with a tighter screenplay and more developed themes, it could be one of the best. There's an opportunity to show Bond his dark mirror image, but alas.

I love the opening of this movie. It sets the stakes and Scaramanga's personality perfectly. The movie never captures that high again, but it's fine throughout. The locales are exotic, the supporting players are game, Lee is delicious as Scaramanga, and the camera work is serviceable.

The biggest problem with the movie is that it's probably a 90 minute story stretched to 120 minutes. There's a bit of filler in the mid section, with lots of chases and escapes. So far the Moore era is defined by a lot of perfunctory action scenes.

6/10



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Scores updated to this point!



The Man with the Golden Gun was one of my favorites as a child, but when I watch it now, it’s hard to keep from being disappointed. Christopher Lee was an excellent choice for a villain and he elevated the film more than it should be. With a better script and possibly a different director, this could have been one of the best of the franchise, but alas it falls short.

The plot is rather thin for a film that’s over two hours. If they had stuck to the story of Bond being targeted by the world’s best assassin instead of mixing in the ripped from the headlines energy crisis subplot, this could have been a taut thriller. Instead the story meanders about as the two stories cross paths in the most contrived manner and we lurch from one set piece to another.

Even the car chase is marred by the unwelcome return of Sheriff J.W. Pepper who just happens to be visiting Thailand at the same time as Bond’s mission takes him there. Now it’s possible to have always hated the character but I thought he did add a nice bit of local flavor to the New Orleans scenes in Live and Let Die while at the same time showing how an outsider would view these espionage escapades. But his presence in this film is so extraneous and his “comical” racism so over the top, that you can’t help but wish for it to be over sooner.

One of the better facets was Maud Adams and it’s easy to see why she was brought back just three films later for the main Bond Girl role. Andrea Anders is beautiful, manipulative and sultry, and a far better match than the almost completely incompetent Mary Goodnight. Britt Ekland is gorgeous but the script treats her character as a joke as Bond treats her horribly and she is still desperate to get him into bed. The treatment of women in Bond films has always been spotty but it’s a complete disaster in the early Moore films.

I wish this was better but sadly it’s a bare bones plot with quite a bit of filler and a waste for the great Christopher Lee. I did like M’s office in the sunken ocean liner, giving the set designer something new to work with and Scaramanga’s funhouse is the perfect mixture of camp and thrills. The title theme is pretty basic but a total ear worm as I found myself singing it for a few days after viewing. I’m going to give this a 5/10. Not the worst Moore film but far from the best. And Jesus, what were they thinking with that slide whistle?

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



Got The Spy Who Loved Me done and dusted last night. May very well be Moore's best Bond film. Score of 8 for me.

This flows very nicely and has numerous wonderful shots that make great use of the locations. Stromberg is a decent enough villain, although Jaws is the more memorable adversary. I think they perhaps go the comical route with him a bit too often (even more so on the next outing), as he could have been really menacing, but generally the humour in the film is well done (there's some really good quips from Bond). I love the theme song (and accompanying credits), but once or twice I find the music a bit off the mark. I also feel there could've been a bit more of an emotional undercurrent with Anya's revenge plot line, but I'm glad she's not dispensable like the Bond girls of the past few films.



Roger Moore finally settles into the role in possibly the best film of his tenure. For Your Eyes Only is my personal favorite so I’ll be interested to see which I put first. Following a three year break from the last film (the longest of the franchise at this point) and the exit of co-producer, Harry Saltzman, Bond returned to the silver screen in a truly enjoyable and action-packed adventure after the more low key previous films.

The plot is rather basic as a megalomaniacal industrialist has a plan to destroy the world with nuclear warfare and then retreat to a life under the sea. My first question was, wouldn’t you build the underwater city FIRST before destroying the world? But that’s immaterial as his true vision is not announced until almost the end and by that point you’ve been swept up for the ride. Stromberg as a villain is rather weak, although Curt Jürgens does at least imbue him with some sophistication, not playing big but rather exerting a more quiet menace. The original idea was to have Blofeld return with SPECTRE, however legal entanglements prevented this.

What truly sets The Spy Who Loved Me apart is Major Anya Amasova portrayed by the lovely Barbara Bach. Bond’s opposite in the KGB is more than capable of holding her own and can even best 007 at times. Sadly the film still requires her to be rescued during the finale, but because of the relationship built up between the two, it’s not as detrimental to the character as it could be. What starts out as professional rivalry and playful competition blossoms into actual romance. So you understand Bond’s need to go after her rather than let her perish. One of my favorite scenes is their meeting at the Mujaba Club as they size one another up and match wits by revealing how much they know about the other.

Moore is on point here as his Bond starts to resemble the man we knew from the early Connery days of the franchise. He can be cold as when he gets the information he needs and then dispassionately dispatches a lackey. Or, one of his best moments, his mixture of discomfort and anger when Amasova brings up his deceased wife, the first reference to Tracy we’ve gotten in four films. There’s more of this in FYEO and it’s nice to see him take the proceedings a little more seriously. He still manages to shade the character in a different vein and it does work. I couldn’t help but chuckle at his mild annoyance to find the right key as Jaws tore apart the van he was sitting in.

I’m going to give The Spy Who Loved Me a 7/10. Arguably the first completely original Bond film as the original novel has an entirely different story, Broccoli shows that Bond is bigger than ever (and not just with that gigantic tanker set which contained three submarines) and Moore is more than a worthy successor to Connery. Indicative of the shot of adrenaline to the franchise this film represents, Carly Simon’s Nobody Does is Better is the best theme of the 1970s and second only to Goldfinger. Is this Moore’s high point or is the best yet still to come? Stay tuned!

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) Diamonds are Forever



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I've had The Spy Who Loved Me in my top 5 Bond movies for a long time, but it might not stay there for long. I like the movie a lot, but upon this rewatch I knocked it down a point.

This is a big improvement for Moore and 70s era Bond, with tight action, a great theme song, and a really fun dynamic between two rival spies. Moore and Bach's contentious, flirty relationship is the heart of the movie and it goes a long way. I'd actually wish there was more of it. Seeing the couple fall in love would make that reveal all the more painful.

The set design is solid, the cinematography is above average for the series, and the villains are good, if not great.

Some minor flaws: Bach's acting is inconsistent, the movie lingers a little too long on its action set pieces, and the filmmakers don't mine as much material as possible from the "lovers on opposite sides of the Cold War" angle. Still, a solid flick.

7/10



Moonraker is in the books. This has gradually gone up in my estimations viewings in recent years - I'm rating a 7. It'd be higher if it were not for the final space scenes - they're just a bit too 'out there', so to speak.

It is essentially a retread of The Spy Who Loved Me, but I think the characters here are a bit stronger. Michael Lonsdale is brilliant as Drax. He emanates evil - he just has a wonderfully sinister quality, even when he's trying to appear civil. It makes up for the comic relief that Jaws is relegated to, although I have to commened Richard Kiel for how expressive he is without words. Lois Chiles as the unfortunately named Dr Goodhead is one of the best Bond girls at this point - she feels essential to the success of the mission, and I think there's a great chemistry between her and Bond. There's also some superb stunts (the sky diving sequence in particular), and a lot of the humour hits the mark. "You missed Mr Bond" ... "did I?" is perhaps my favourite Bond joke. I'm also a fan of the double taking pigeon, who gets a bad rep.

Musically, I found it to be a mixed bag. There's some good stuff here (some of it made me think of the romantic scenes between Indy and Marion in Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was to come a few years later), but like TSWLM before, I think some of it is ill fitting (eg the boat chase sequence near the end). The theme song is also completely forgettable - I can't recall a note and I watched it last night. This, along with the aforementioned retread of familiar plot structure, is what has knocked this down a little. Still, this is always an enjoyable film to watch.



Can I get in on this? Happened to be rewatching Bond over the holidays.
Long time lurker on the site for sales updates and I saw this thread the other day and thought I’d sign up as a result. Hopefully catch up with you all soon...

Dr No
Wow, what an introduction to Bond, Connery has it spot on from the very start. Its surprising how good this films looks despite a relatively small budget.
More beautiful Bond girls played by more famous actresses will come along but Ursulla Andrews remains the most memorable, her introduction being so iconic.
I like Dr No as the villain but ending is a little boring.
The Opening credits and music a little bland.
Overall, a great introduction to the series, let down by the a dull final act.
7/10.

From Russia With Love
The theme tune is a bit more jazzy and an improvement on Dr No, as are the credits. However its used far too much needlessly throughout the film.
Nice introduction to Q without the humour that usually accompanies it.
A great array of villains, Robert Shaw menacingly intimidating, he looks like he’ll be a silent henchman for most of the film only to get some great dialogue with Bond on the carriage. I like the whole structure of SPECTRE. Disappointed that Klebb was killed off, she could have been used in a couple more films.
The train scenes drag on a bit, and I can’t help but think of Agatha Christie after a while.
Loved the helicopter sequence, reminiscent of the crop duster in North By Northwest.
Overall, Bond at its best, even if this was just a standalone film it would still be considered a classic of the spy genre.
9/10

Goldfinger
Our first proper film-specific theme tune, and what a theme tune! The opening credits the best so far.
Goldfinger is of one Bonds more famous adversaries, it’s a bit of change from the previous two films where he is very much a main character and introduced early. I like Frobe’s portrayal but don’t like that he’s humiliated by Bond twice in his opening scenes. It reduces his credibility as a villain.
Oddjob makes a good silent villain but Pussy Galore is only really memorable for her name.
The execution of the fort knox plan is ridiculous but the fight with Oddjob makes up for it.
The locations are a bit drab, especially compared to the first two.
8/10

Last edited by noir_solitude - on 24 December 2019

noir_solitude said:

Can I get in on this? Happened to be rewatching Bond over the holidays.
Long time lurker on the site for sales updates and I saw this thread the other day and thought I’d sign up as a result. Hopefully catch up with you all soon...

Dr No
Wow, what an introduction to Bond, Connery has it spot on from the very start. Its surprising how good this films looks despite a relatively small budget.
More beautiful Bond girls played by more famous actresses will come along but Ursulla Andrews remains the most memorable, her introduction being so iconic.
I like Dr No as the villain but ending is a little boring.
The Opening credits and music a little bland.
Overall, a great introduction to the series, let down by the a dull final act.
7/10.

From Russia With Love
The theme tune is a bit more jazzy and an improvement on Dr No, as are the credits. However its used far too much needlessly throughout the film.
Nice introduction to Q without the humour that usually accompanies it.
A great array of villains, Robert Shaw menacingly intimidating, he looks like he’ll be a silent henchman for most of the film only to get some great dialogue with Bond on the carriage. I like the whole structure of SPECTRE. Disappointed that Klebb was killed off, she could have been used in a couple more films.
The train scenes drag on a bit, and I can’t help but think of Agatha Christie after a while.
Loved the helicopter sequence, reminiscent of the crop duster in North By Northwest.
Overall, Bond at its best, even if this was just a standalone film it would still be considered a classic of the spy genre.
9/10

Goldfinger
Our first proper film-specific theme tune, and what a theme tune! The opening credits the best so far.
Goldfinger is of one Bonds more famous adversaries, it’s a bit of change from the previous two films where he is very much a main character and introduced early. I like Frobe’s portrayal but don’t like that he’s humiliated by Bond twice in his opening scenes. It reduces his credibility as a villain.
Oddjob makes a good silent villain but Pussy Galore is only really memorable for her name.
The execution of the fort knox plan is ridiculous but the fight with Oddjob makes up for it.
The locations are a bit drab, especially compared to the first two.
8/10

Absolutely! Welcome to the rewatch, and welcome to the forums!

I'm adding your name right now :)



Thanks, all, for a great rewatch so far! Happy Xmas!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnuqDV8usBM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu9cFrJDH6w