Tag: james bond

MOVIE REVIEW | ***BOND WEEK*** Quantum of Solace (2008)

UK Final Quad

“You shot him at point blank and threw him off a roof. I would hardly call that showing restraint!”

In his three at bats in the role of James Bond, Daniel Craig has a pretty good record. Casino Royale gave the character a new life and energy that it desperately needed if it was ever going to survive in the post-Jason Bourne world. With Skyfall, he made the most financially and critically successful entry the series has ever known. Then there’s the other one, Quantum of Solace, proving they can’t all be zingers. But since I’ve half watched his two successes, and since I try to only write about movies I’m seeing for the first time, I couldn’t watch the series reinvigorator, or the series box office and critical opinion record breaker. No, I had to watch the other one. I had to watch Quantum of Solace.

There’s some old bull shit about a bad guy with a dastardly scheme. Bond thwarts it while knocking off a couple of dolly birds along the way. That’s about as distinct from the rest of the Bond movies as the screenwriters decided to be with Quantum of Solace. So that’s about as distinct as I’ll be with my plot synopsis. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***BOND WEEK*** Die Another Day (2002)

“An ice palace can be such a treacherous place”.

Well, it’s about that time. Just as I was getting into the swing of Timothy Dalton and his take on the part time spy, full time vagina enthusiast, they go and change actor again. Pierce Brosnan is the first Bond where I was old enough to remember the big announcement of him taking over the role. He even holds the honor of being the only Bond who’s movie I saw in the cinema.   I don’t remember anything about Golden Eye, but I mustn’t have thought much of it, since it’s taken me 17 years to feel compelled to tackle this recent binge of Bond.

I think Brosnan might be seen as a good Bond by fans of the character, but I don’t think the movies he made in the role are all too popular. And I made a bit of a point of trying to make sure I watched a shitty one, hoping it at least might be a bit funny. Which is why I watched Die Another Day. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***BOND WEEK*** Licence to Kill (1989)

“Everything for a man on holiday. Explosive alarm clock – guaranteed never to wake up anyone who uses it. Dentonite toothpaste – to be used sparingly, the latest in plastic explosive”.

Eight movies, four bonds and too many hours to contemplate into the James Bond series, and I really had no expectations for License to Kill. Not because it has a bad reputation, not because I’ve hated the series so far. Just because the series has been so underwhelming so far. Sure, there’s some change in tone and feel as the years pass and the different actors put their spins on the character, but I can’t say that I’ve been surprised a single time yet in this endeavor.

Bond (Timothy Dalton) is on the way to the wedding of his old CIA, or FBI, or whatever the shit American mate, Felix. Heading to the Miami wedding in a limo, they’re pulled over by a chopper and called in for a quick mission to stop a drug runner from leaving American air space. They win, they parachute into Felix’s wedding, the trademark gun barrel POV shot appears and we’re into Licence to Kill. It was at this stage, that I thought I might have finally found the James Bond movie that would make me like James Bond movies. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***BOND WEEK*** The Living Daylights (1987)

“Believe me, my interest in her is purely professional”.

I’m familiar with the Sean Connery and Roger Moore takes on James Bond, because they’re the quintessential James Bonds who have fuelled every parody and piss take for the last few decades. I’m familiar with Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig in the role because their movies have come out during my adult movie going lifetime. Even George Lazenby was kind of familiar based on his notoriety of being an Aussie and only getting one crack at the title. But there’s one James Bond who I knew absolutely nothing about. And that James Bond made his premier with Timothy Dalton donning the tux in The Living Daylights.

During some training exercises, an MI6 agent replaces his paint ball pallets with actual bullets and James Bond is the only one to make it out alive. Later, when helping General Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé) defect from the KGB, Bond spots Maryam d’Abo as Kara Milovy, a sexy sniper with a side gig as an opera cellist. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***BOND WEEK*** Moonraker (1979)

“Mr. Bond, you persist in defying my efforts to provide an amusing death for you”.

When I decided to do a week of Bond movies, I made a concerted effort to get a good representation of each actor who played James Bond. I also tried to make sure I chose well regarded entries into the series. I wanted to come away from this exercise liking the series, or knowing I had at least given it every chance. But I also wanted to make sure I embraced some of the more ridiculous moments in Bondome. And nothing looked more ridiculous to me, than Roger Moore in a space suit. Which is why I watched Moonraker.

A space shuttle built by Drax Industries is hijacked while in transit and on loan to the Americans. James Bond (Roger Moore) is called in to find it. He too is hijacked while in transit with a pretty cool opening action sequence that sees Bond battling Jaws (Richard Kiel), fighting over a parachute as they plummet towards to Earth. Soon, Bond decides the best place to start his investigation is with the head of Drax Industries, Michael Lonsdale as Hugo Drax. I wonder if he changed his name after he started working there to show his dedication to the company, or if was just a happy coincidence? (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***BOND WEEK*** Live and Let Die (1973)

“Don’t worry darling, it’s just a small hat, belonging to a man of limited means, who lost a fight with a chicken”.

While Daniel Craig has made an impressive impact in his three outings as 007, I’d say to anyone over the age of about 30, the title of quintessential Bond probably still belongs to Sean Connery. I’d also say that the very close second place contender to that claim is Roger Moore. With seven movies under his belt, he stuck around longer than any other actor in the role, and his version of Bond’s persona is just as imitated and spoofed as Connery’s. While I have memories of seeing bits and pieces of Connery as Bond before embarking on this recent binge, I don’t think I had ever seen a single second of Roger Moore’s James Bond until I watched his first outing, Live and Let Die.

Three MI6 agents are killed. One during a United Nations assembly in New York, one outside a soul food restaurant in New Orleans, one in a cartoonish tribal ceremony on the fictional Caribbean island of San Monique. After giving his latest dolly bird a go round on the work bench, James Bond is called in to get to the bottom of these loosely connected killings. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***BOND WEEK*** On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

On Her Majesty's
“There’s always something formal about the point of a pistol”.

So now I’m three ‘official’ Bond movies in, and even with the first change in the series to its main actor, this is still the same old, same old that I got from Dr. No and Goldfinger. Now, while I don’t get it, I guess that sameness finally makes me realise why this series is so unkillable. Since audiences seemed to like the Connery movies so much, and since changing your lead actor is already a big enough risk, it’s understandable that the producers would try to keep as much as possible the same, and nice and familiar for their audience with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

On a beach in Portugal, James Bond (George Lazenby) saves Tracy (Diana Rigg) from committing suicide by drowning. His association with Tracy leads to Bond being kidnapped by her father Draco (Gabrielel Farzetti), the head of some sort of crime syndicate. A bit if a small fish, Bond uses Draco to get to a much bigger criminal, Telly Savalas as Ernst Blofeld, the leader of Spectre, the group Bond has been up against in several movies before this one. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***BOND WEEK*** Casino Royale (1967)

Casino Royale

“You can’t shoot me! I have a very low threshold of death. My doctor says I can’t have bullets enter my body at any time”.

When I decided I was going to do a James Bond theme week, there was one movie that intrigued me the most, one that I was most interested in seeing. Not because it has a reputation as being the best, but because it’s the black sheep, the red headed step child, the most often dismissed of the series. I don’t know if it’s even officially a part of the James Bond series. But from all reports, it’s the weirdest, silliest, and possibly worst entry in the franchise. It’s Casino Royale. Not the new millennium Daniel Craig Casino Royale that made the series more culturally relevant than it had been in decades. But the 60s Casino Royale that is, well, I’m not sure what it is.

David Niven is Sir James Bond, a long retired spy with no interest in abandoning that retirement. But when the heads of MI6, the CIA and the KGB realise they’re losing too many spies to sexcapades and general promiscuity, they beg the chaste Bond to return to the field. You see, in this version, James Bond is a prude. That’s a joke, ‘coz in the other Bond movies, he’s always on the job. Get it? Anywho, he’s eventually convinced to get back into the spy game and has so much success, he’s made head of MI6. His first decree as boss is to name all agents James Bond 007, and train them to resist the feminine wiles of the dolly birds they will inevitably face in the field. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***BOND WEEK*** Goldfinger (1964)


“My dear girl, there are some things that just aren’t done, such as drinking Dom Perignon ’53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs!”

To say Dr No, left me underwhelmed is being pretty generous. The first Bond movie ever made, and maybe only the third I’d ever seen, it was pretty small scale stuff. And while it didn’t blow me away, I could kind of appreciate it as an interesting and careful toe in the water to what would become such a massive, iconic movie series. As a toe in the water test that paid off big, it’s even more interesting to see how quickly the corniness escalated just two years later in Goldfinger.

From the opening minutes, James Bond (Sean Connery) is already on the tail of the movies titular bad guy. There’s no big build up, no big reveal. Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) is revealed as a card cheat and quickly exposed by Bond. But they’re not done with each other. Because Goldfinger’s got bigger ambitions than cheating at cards. And because of his name, that means there has to be some sort of gold heist at the bottom of it all. Because that’s the kind of subtle level James Bond movies work on. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***BOND WEEK*** Dr. No (1962)

“World domination. The same old dream. Our asylums are full of people who think they’re Naploeon. Or God.”

To say my experience with James Bond movies is limited would be an understatement. I saw the latest Daniel Craig one, and I saw a Pierce Brosnan one back on the 90s. I may have seen bits and pieces of one or two Connery outings. But that’s about it. Basically, the vast majority of my knowledge about James Bond movies comes from the Austin Powers movies. While I’ve never seen anything appealing in the character, its iconic status is undeniable. More than 20 movies over more than half a century is an impressive achievement and makes me think it deserves some attention. So I’m starting where the franchise did, with Dr. No.

There’s some shit going down in Jamaica. I don’t really remember what. Dr. No never grabbed my attention long enough to take any notice of the plot. But Bond, James Bond (Sean Connery) is sent to Jamaica to take care of some business. Once there, he teams up with CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jack Lord) and local boatman Quarrel (John Kitzmiller). There’s some sort of threat to the American rocket program, launching from Cape Canaveral, close enough to the Bahamas to be threatened from Jamaica. (more…)