Albert R Broccoli Presents Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in...

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Re: Albert R Broccoli Presents Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in...

Postby Mongrel » Thu Oct 28, 2021 11:30 pm

Thad wrote:Ah -- looks like your description of the story was slightly off. She feeds the police the murder weapon, not the victim.

Ah, my bad.
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Re: Albert R Broccoli Presents Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in...

Postby Thad » Thu Nov 11, 2021 12:38 am

The Spy Who Loved Me is great -- it's beautifully shot even by the series' standards, and "James Bond meets his opposite number from the KGB, and she's a sexy lady" is a can't-miss premise. It's less campy than the other Moore-era films I've seen, though it's got some of the silliness characteristic of the era (the puns start with "Tell him to pull out immediately" and somehow find a way to get worse from there). And most unfortunately, it kinda falls apart in the last act, where it decides eh, that's enough of depicting Anya as a badass who's every bit as capable as 007; let's make her a generic-ass Bond Girl damsel in distress and have her disappear for twenty minutes or so while we sacrifice narrative coherence for explosions.

They're very impressive explosions.

Anyway, disappointing (but visually impressive!) last act notwithstanding, I'd still put it at or near the top tier of Bond movies. Great stuff.

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Re: Albert R Broccoli Presents Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in...

Postby Thad » Sat Feb 12, 2022 12:50 am

I get that Moonraker is the silly one, but I don't think it's really that much sillier than the average Bond movie.

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Re: Albert R Broccoli Presents Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in...

Postby Mongrel » Sat Feb 12, 2022 1:10 am

Not in the Roger Moore era, no.
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Re: Albert R Broccoli Presents Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in...

Postby Thad » Sat Feb 12, 2022 1:25 am

Not even once you factor in Connery and Brosnan.

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Re: Albert R Broccoli Presents Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in...

Postby Mongrel » Sat Feb 12, 2022 1:49 am

Yeah, there's more than enough silly to go around. There's a few Brosnan and Connery movies which look fairly serious if you stack them up directly against Moonraker, but then you're just cherrypicking the extremes.
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Re: Albert R Broccoli Presents Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in...

Postby KingRoyal » Sat Feb 12, 2022 9:46 am

Yeah sure the Brosnan ones are serious


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Re: Albert R Broccoli Presents Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in...

Postby Mongrel » Sat Feb 12, 2022 2:33 pm

Whatever scene that was, it's gone.

If it was *literally anything* from Goldeneye, well, yeah. :D
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Re: Albert R Broccoli Presents Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in...

Postby KingRoyal » Sat Feb 12, 2022 2:36 pm

It's still there, must be region locked. It's the scene from Die Another Day of Brosnan paragliding on a CG wave after being shot at by a space laser (a different space laser)

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Re: Albert R Broccoli Presents Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in...

Postby Mongrel » Sat Feb 12, 2022 2:51 pm

One thing I appreciate is that Moore really understood why the humour was there, and that the whole spy-fi genre spins to absurdity with even the slightest push.
Moore explained his approach to the humour by saying "to me, the Bond situations are so ridiculous ... I mean, this man is supposed to be a spy, and yet everybody knows he's a spy ... it's outrageous. So you have to treat the humour outrageously as well".
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Re: Albert R Broccoli Presents Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in...

Postby Thad » Mon Feb 14, 2022 12:13 am

Mongrel wrote:Whatever scene that was, it's gone.

If it was *literally anything* from Goldeneye, well, yeah. :D

And Goldeneye is the least ridiculous of the Brosnan run.

(Well, less ridiculous than The World is Not Enough or Die Another Day. I still haven't seen Tomorrow Never Dies.)

Mongrel wrote:One thing I appreciate is that Moore really understood why the humour was there, and that the whole spy-fi genre spins to absurdity with even the slightest push.
Moore explained his approach to the humour by saying "to me, the Bond situations are so ridiculous ... I mean, this man is supposed to be a spy, and yet everybody knows he's a spy ... it's outrageous. So you have to treat the humour outrageously as well".


I do enjoy the bit in Casino Royale where Vesper briefs him on their aliases and fake identities and cover story and he immediately just walks right up to Le Chiffre, shakes his hand, and says "Bond. James Bond."

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Re: Albert R Broccoli Presents Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in...

Postby Thad » Sat Mar 12, 2022 12:53 am

On Her Majesty's Secret Service is fascinating as the first attempt at a back-to-basics Bond, light on the gadgets and the camp and trying at something a little more serious and down-to-earth. It didn't really succeed at reinvigorating the franchise -- and neither did the next attempt, The Living Daylights -- but third time was the charm with Casino Royale.

It's a good-to-great entry, though it could stand to be 45 minutes shorter, and it seems like a solid 8 minutes of those 45 are stupid-looking rear-projection shots. It's kind of amazing that big-budget movies were still using that Bert I Gordon shit in 1969. Aside from/including the rear projection shots, most of the second act at the clinic begs for the cutting-room floor.

Lazenby is fine. He's got the unenviable position of not just following Connery but having to act opposite Telly Savalas and Diana freakin' Rigg. He's not on their level but he's really not bad; in particular he plays the last scene with a sort of subdued heartbreak that I don't really think any of the other Bonds could have pulled off, with the possible exception of Dalton.

I think on the whole I actually prefer Savalas's Blofeld to Pleasance's. He's more understated. His evil plot is deeply silly even by Bond villain standards, but it's based on a book that came out the year after the movie version of The Manchurian Candidate, so I can understand the whole "sleeper agent" thing was a big part of the Cold War paranoia of the day.

All in all, it ends up being sort of a weird dead end in the franchise, but it's a decent enough movie with some good ideas, and what drags it down most isn't Connery's departure, it's the plot of the novel it's based on. And I think it did a lot to pave the way for the Craig era some 35-50(!) years later.

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Re: Albert R Broccoli Presents Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in...

Postby Thad » Thu May 05, 2022 12:56 am

I kinda love that For Your Eyes Only is what qualified as a more back-to-basics, grounded Bond movie in 1981. Ultimately it's the least silly Moore movie (at least so far; I've still got two to go) and probably less silly than the average Connery or Brosnan entry, but he still uses an umbrella as a weapon and then a parachute and the film ends with a parrot sexually harassing Margaret Thatcher.

The action setpieces are among the best in the series and still hold up; it's a shame about everything that happens in between. The script is, to put it bluntly, fucking boring. Julian Glover is an ideal choice for a Bond villain (and still alive, BTW, at 87; I looked it up!) but he's wasted on paint-by-numbers material; he may be the least interesting villain in the series and his henchmen are even more generic.

Most Bond movies are overlong but this one is even moreso than usual; you could shave a good half-hour off many of them but this one could stand to lose at least forty-five minutes. Hey, I said that about On Her Majesty's Secret Service, too. Well, it's true for both.

It's middling Bond. It's good enough that I won't say it's bad, but not good enough to say it's good. It's adequate. Technically really impressive, great cast. The script is competent and not egregiously offensive, which, okay, for a Bond movie is kind of an achievement in itself.

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Re: Albert R Broccoli Presents Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in...

Postby Thad » Thu May 12, 2022 12:43 am

Tomorrow Never Dies makes two Bond films in a row I've watched that feature a future Game of Thrones actor as a villain who I know could do better if he had better material. Jonathan Pryce as Steve Jobs as Rupert Murdoch? That's dartboard shit. Any one of those could make for a great Bond villain. Mashing any two of them up doesn't make a lick of sense. All three? What is wrong with you.

I also think it's in the running for the worst script in the series. I've only seen 2/3 of them, but I'd rank it in the bottom third.

But it's not all bad! In this film, as in life, every moment with Michelle Yeoh onscreen is a delight -- and fortunately, that's pretty much the entire last half of the film. Ricky Jay is sadly underused (IIRC his big fight scene got scrapped after he almost put Brosnan's eye out with a playing card) but he's another major highlight, and Vincent Schiavelli only gets one scene but he makes it shine.

And it's possibly the best-sounding movie I've ever watched in my living room. Just a great, great audio mix. (NOTE: I've got a 5.1 setup, so I don't know about you kids with your fancy-pants 7.1 or Atmos or what-have-you. But this may be the best-sounding 5.1 mix in my physical media collection.)

And it rarely feels slow. The last two I watched, I said you could shave 45 minutes off each of them and lose nothing. This one? 15, tops. That counts for a lot!

I saw Brosnan's last two movies in the theater. My recollection is they weren't as good as this one. I plan on giving them a re-watch, though. I think at this point I'll circle back to Diamonds are Forever and just watch the ones I haven't seen/haven't seen since the theater in order -- a Connery, two Moore, both Dalton, two Brosnan, and I'll get around to the last 3 Craig whenever I can watch them with my wife.

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