Tag Archives: James Bond

The Bond Films – “Moonraker” (1979)

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I’ll be reviewing the Movie not the Beer
– Vic

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“James Bond investigates the mid-air theft of a space shuttle and discovers a plot to commit global genocide.”

Reviewed by Victor

Directed by Lewis Gilbert

7 out of 10

“Any higher Mr Bond and my ears will pop.”

Poor Poor Roger Moore. Well, kind of. I gotta admit he looked like he had fun making this movie but many Bond fans the world over consider his turn as James Bond in “Moonraker” to be one of the most laughable and over the top entries in the 007 canon. As a die hard James Bond fan I, by default, like to find things to like in all of the movies. But no where like I do in Moonraker. I do hold a special place in my heart for Moonraker since it was the first film I saw in the movie theaters here in Rochester, NY. I must confess coming off of the high that was Star Wars and even Disney’s The Black Hole, Moonraker was a fun watch for me. Perhaps it was because I had still to witness the glory days of how Bond was before Moore with the Connery entries. That was to come much later after I had moved back to NYC and my Uncle and Grandfather insisted I watch “Dr. No” and the rest.

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It’s a pretty simple and decent story about a kind of demented “Noah’s Ark” for the space age which involves the uber-rich Mr Hugo Drax, played with cheeky severance by Actor Micheal Lonsdale. Lonsdale also starred in the fabulous action film “Ronin” from director John Frankenheimer. Here, Drax is the problematic megalo-maniac that has a grand scheme to take over the world and make it his own. Sorta like the aquatic dude in The Spy Who Loved Me. In Moonraker,  Drax  is smooth, menacing and very calculating. He wants to steal all the Moonrakers, or space shuttles for us layman, from around the world and start his own race of super-humans on the earth after he’s purged the current occupants off the face of the planet. That means us, people. This doesn’t hold well with her Majesty’s Secret Service and the ever ready for action, James Bond. Here Moore is very comfortable in his own skin as Bond and he has definitely brought his own charm and grace to 007. Yep, there are the near misses, one liners and the ever present copulations with agents of the female persuasion. By now though it is a bit routine and not very endearing. Lois Chile is very cute, stern and capable as Dr. Goodhead but she’s just well…boring. Her chemistry with Moore really just lasts about 10 minutes then it becomes frosty and by the numbers.

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Of course M (Bernard Lee), Q (Llewelyn) and even Moneypenny ( Lois Maxwell) are fun to watch as they each separately engage 007 in order to ready him for his mission. Moore gets a chance to globe hop of course. Rio being one place where we watch him and Jaws get into fisticuffs during on an aborted skytram ride. Pretty funny stuff as we get to watch Jaws bite in a huge cable with his metal teeth. He runs afoul of Bond a few times one being very comical, the waterfall sequence, and the other quite silly, the parachute scene at the beginning. (Jaws actually flaps his arms like wings…ha,  but it doesn’t work, duh. ) The powerboat chase is very cool and some action pieces come across nicely done but when it gets to outer space it turns into a silly bit of hokum which is appealing to Star Wars lovers like myself but will have more die hard Bond fans scratching their heads. One scene of brilliance I need to mention has to be the Close Encounters of the 3rd kind musical cue pop up as a secret code entry for a lab that has been manufacturing the deadly Drax gas that will descimate the earth’s population. A great reference that is one of many.

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Many think Moonraker is under-rated, fast, freshly paced and full of camp and adventure. I sort of agree. It is under-rated in the spy scheme of things and it does feature Moore actually trying to figure out things that are happening and it does occasionally make for a decent spy picture but nowhere on the level of For Your Eyes Only or even The Man with the Golden Gun. Moonraker, though, is fun and it somewhat tongue in cheek. I do hold it in high regard and I will never forget how much fun I had watching it for the first 5-6 times. After that though, I must give in to the slightly warped universe that is this movie which many fans think is Moore’s best. While I do not, I still think it’s a hell of a lot of fun. If anything watch it for Jaws falling in love and becoming 007’s best friend by the end. Kinda like Godzilla having Jet Jaguar as a pal.

NOTE : “Moonraker” is part of the new Bond 50 Boxed Blu Ray Set – Here is the link to the Blu Ray Review of “Moonraker”

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Moonraker-Blu-ray/3732/#Review

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM

The Bond Films – “Live and Let Die” (1973)

007 is sent to stop a diabolically brilliant heroin magnate armed with a complex organization and a reliable psychic tarot card reader.

Directed by Guy Hamilton

Reviewed by Victor

7 out of 10

“What are you? Some kinda doomsday machine, boy?”  – Sherriff J.W. Pepper

“Let and Let Die” is Roger Moore’s debut film as the iconic spy James Bond. It is actually the 8th Bond over all with Lazenby and Connery having hung up their gadgets. It’s directed by Guy Hamilton who brought us the classic Connery entry Goldfinger and Remo Williams. I really don’t know what happened but the gears changed somewhat and Hamilton (maybe not solely) not only introduces us to the capable Roger Moore but incorporates a comedic and rather campy approach to the Bond movies. The film is based on the Fleming novel of the same name and was written by Tom Mankiewicz (Superman,  Ladyhawke). Unfortunately upon it’s release america was being subjected to films starring mostly African American actors and actresses. Mostly “Blaxploitation” movies. The filmmakers, I feel, in including stereotypes and ethnic cliches doom the film to some mediocrity and causes the movie to feel dated. But the film being dated is not the only thing that makes LALD a “just ok” Bond movie.

It isn’t really Roger Moore’s fault. The culprit is the story, cheesy acting and campy dialog that would cause me to cringe a bit.  “Just being dis-arming, darling” 25 years ago while having some beers with my cousin, we would have a blast at the film’s expense. We loved it. Only back then though. Now? Well, I don’t think I love it as much. Not after some other much tighter, interesting and diverse entries, even by Moore himself. So how does Moore fare, here? Is he great? No. Does he suck? No, not really. Moore is nowhere as rougish or appealing as Connery in his heydey. Moore’s approach is sauve, slippery and sarcastic. At times somewhat being a parody. In his defense though, Connery’s Diamonds are Forever can be blamed for being a bit off the wall, too.When Moore really wants to, though, he can show us that Bond is in his blood. In LALD it happens infrequently though.

Moore’s intro is quite amusing and well done. He is interrupted by none other than “M” played by the incredibly talented Bernard Lee and Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxell) at his home of all places. He tries his best to hide a girl he’s been fooling with but Moneypenny being the curious woman she is catches the young girl scantily dressed and feeling ashamed. I thought as an intro it was unique and gives us a clear cut picture of Moore’s Bond being just as flirtatious as Connery’s once was. A playboy who just happens to be a spy.

Bond (Moore) is sent to investigate the deaths of three of his colleagues (during a parade in New Orleans is one) and is sent to NYC to find out the connection between their deaths and an underworld mob boss called Kananga AKA Mr Big played  by the always awesome Yaphet Kotto. While in NYC Bond is thrust into another world of secret clubs, (There’s a revolving restaurant table, even!) VooDoo and drugs. Seem like Mr Big wants to move some of the happy H around for free to put other rival gangs out of business. He also runs a fictional island called San Monique where the heroin is farmed.  It is while investigating in NYC that he runs into Felix Leiter after having his driver shot and almost getting killed in a crash. Bond then moves on to the previously mentioned restaurant named Fillet of Soul. It’s here that Bond meets the beautiful Tarot Card reader Solitaire. (The beautiful Jane Seymour) She works for Mr Big but is not his concubine. She needs to be a virgin in order for her to “see” using the tarot cards. Or something like that. I just know Mr Big freaks out after he finds out that Bond eventually sleeps with her.

I want to keep the rest spoiler free or this review will turn into a long recap of the movie. By now many have seen it anyway and those who have not could be surprised and entertained while watching the movie. Suffice it to say the film then follows the typical formula of most Bond films. Or just refer to any of the Austin Powers movies and there you go.

Bond continues his globetrotting and in San Monique he hooks up with Rosie Carver,  a very nervous CIA agent played by Gloria Hendry. While there Moore’s act beefs up a bit when he discovers that Kananga is farming Heroin. Moore looks very damn cool in that slick glider of his. So, what follows all of this that works? We get Tee Hee played by Julius Harris who is a deadly foe with a pincer for a hand. He a bit charming too. He is quite menacing especially during some close calls with Bond. The climatic ending with Harris is great! Harris remains above the material though and gives the production some class. Seymour is impressive as Solitaire here as well. She is very pretty, capable and alluring. She plays very well off Moore and handles the material without a hitch. Kotto works here too. He is bad ass, hip, educated and deadly. He knows how to dispatch secret agents and when he resorts to the tried and true method of using sharks (It’s always sharks isn’t it?) he gets this twinkle in his eye that is a gem. The 7-Up dude, Geoffrey Holder as Baron Semedi, the VooDoo priest that is controlled by Kananga is creepy and has that killer laugh that chills to the bone. He hangs out with the bad dudes but he seems like he just doesn’t care what side he’s on. The actors and the performances for the most part bode well in this 007 production.

Now, when we get back to Louisiana, the movie takes a funky turn. It becomes some weird “Smokey and the Bandit” meets “James Bond” hybrid. We get the incredible and inflated Clifton James (Superman 2) as Sherriff JW Pepper. Pepper is loud, boozy looking, rude and is the redneck stereotype in this movie. I have no idea, other than to supply comedy like a hammer to the head, why the Louisiana boat chase with Pepper was done like it was. The action is breezy and well staged with the boat stunts being exciting and dangerous. Clifton James is lovingly over the top and plays the stereotype with laser precision. He even says that they have themselves some “Black Russians” and I don’t mean the drink! I don’t know what to make of it all. I mean it is a Bond movie, no? Not an episode of Dukes of Hazzard. Funny though, these scenes are truly funny and insane to watch if you just let the movie take you for a ride. It’s good for a giggle but in the end it really serves to make LALD a farcical type of film. Hamilton’s direction is curiously tight here though with great cinematography by Ted Moore (Goldfinger). The art direction by Oscar winner Peter Lamont (Titanic) is slick and servicable. The movie is clean and great to look at.

To sum it all up the film is still fun but a bit dated in parts. It is in no way a serious Bond picture and it will take a few more Moore entries to get that. Moore is likable and very believable even though at times he doesn’t sell being in any real trouble very well.  He transitions neatly I must say in his defense. I even love those huge cigars 007 sucks on too. It takes me back to some really fun times watching it with my cousins in NYC on a late Saturday night. LALD is appealing but none too smart and that’s ok just sit back and let Paul McCartney’s killer tunage reel you in. Enjoy.

The Bond Films – “The Living Daylights” (1987)

General Georgi Koskov: I’m sorry, James.  For you I have great affection, but we have an old saying:  duty has no sweethearts.
James Bond: We have an old saying too, Georgi.  And you’re full of it.

Directed by John Glen

Reviewed by Victor

8 out of 10

The Living Daylights is the 15th Bond entry and the first of 2 films that starred Timothy Dalton as James Bond. I wish he had done more. The studio took a gamble that paid off in getting Dalton to bring an edgier, leaner Bond back to the big screen. Fortunately for all involved Roger Moore decided to hang it up with the Bond movies (He was close to 60 years old) after the ridiculousness of “A View to a Kill” which was a critical and financial let down. Moore did 7 films overall and for the most part his Bond was a long running gag, it seemed, until “For Your Eyes Only” which was the best Moore Bond in my opinion. Moore should have stopped there. He didn’t. Much to our astonishment. But, oh well he did have a good run and we had to move on since we all wanted more Bond and more Bond girls.

The first thing I loved right away was that the movie was a genuine spy picture and not an unintentional parody of itself. We get a very cool intro involving a training exercise in Gibraltar. Here we are re-introduced to the stoic and deadly serious new “M” played by Robert Brown (who would go on to play M four times) as the head of MI:6. He gives his paratroopers their instructions and has them jump out of an airplane to descend on awaiting soldiers with paint guns. But in typical action movie fashion some jerk has real ammunition and is ready to do some damage to the double O’s that are unaware it’s open season on British spies. This opening is fast and full of well choreographed action as we are introduced to our new Bond – Timothy Dalton. He’s fast, pissed and seriously wants to get the asshole who just did his mates in. And he does and soon after of course he lands on a yacht and convinces a bored woman that he is a “Real Man.”

I must admit, I wasn’t too keen on the “A-Ha” tune at first but it grew on me. It became catchy and after I purchased the Bond songs compilation CD a few years back it became one of my favorites behind Duran Duran’s and Sheryl Crow’s entries.

Right after the opening we get a somewhat faithful adaptation of Ian Fleming’s short story “The Living Daylights” It basically involves a Russian defector who frames his girlfriend Kara Milovy (Maryam D’abo) as an assassin. The defection though is not all that it seems to be since General Koskov  played by Jeroen Krabbe (The Fugitive) is blaming the innocent General Pushkin (John Ryhs Davies – Raiders of the Lost Ark) for putting out a hit on British Spies known as “Smert Shpionam.” Davies replaces Walter Gotell (General Gogol) after Gotell fell ill and could not work. After Koskov is re-captured Bond gets very suspicious and starts to tail Kara to get close to Koskov and pose as his old friend.

Former model D’abo is a bit weak as a Bond girl. She is too timid, quiet and at times too doe-eyed. She starts to really come into herself once she starts to figure out Bond’s intentions. She plays strongly off of Dalton and by the third act she is pretty much playing his equal. Dalton, though continues to impress. His seriousness and anti-establishment leanings are fun to watch as he bends the rules, rubs a co – agent the wrong way and defies orders. For example he gets Koskov out of the country using a very busty Russian double agent to entice a watchmen and off goes Koskov in a small tube in the Russian oil pipe-line. Great stuff. These little bits of levity are welcome but I loved the straight tone of the film. Even “Q” played by the ever lovable Desmond Llewelyn gets into the lighter moments as he introduces Bond to the latest spyware gadgets like my favorite – A large boom box with Missles. “Something we are making for the Americans. It’s called a Ghetto-Blaster!” Just fucking brilliant.

So, on with the rest of the cast. I really liked that they let us have, for once, a very cute and attractive Ms. Moneypenny here with the lovely Caroline Bliss. Bliss is at first a bit stiff but settles in nicely as she starts to flirt with Dalton and obviously she shows us that she pines for him as he turns to leave. She gives us the goo goo eyes and pouty lips. As the action and story nicely progress (after a long stunt filled chase scene in the snow and over a frozen lake using Q’s tricked out car) we end up in Afghanistan and we watch Joe Don Baker chew the scenery as the militant and sometimes buffonish arms dealer Brad Whitaker. He gets what’s coming to him as he double deals and back-stabs to no end. The big surprise for me was Art Malik as Kamran Shah as a leader of the Mujahideen. Art steals every scene he’s in starting as a lowly, dirty prisoner of war then being outed as a military leader in disguise. He and Dalton butt heads but Art’s loveable nature and his devotion to his cause (that involves Opium and Russian figureheads) is very believable.

So, to wrap it up, The Living Daylights is very good and the last “Cold War” entry of the franchise. John Barry’s score is hip but repetitive at times. He gives the movie sufficient momentum during a few tracks like the plane chase during the movie’s finale. I rather admire Barry for his long run as the stand out composer of the Bond films. (David Arnold as well). The finale is rousing fun with a great attack on the Russian airfield and Bond’s desperate attempt  to stop a bomb and drugs from leaving the country. So, there are bombs, bullets, camels, horses and a great climactic fight between Dalton and the dude with the small feet from “Die Hard” – Andreas Wisniewski as the deadly “Necros” (why are all these henchmen  blonde?) who gives it all he has to try and defeat Bond. The stunts are great and the action very entertaining. The last showdown between Bond and Whitaker is just plain hilarious. “He met his Waterloo”

So, enjoy this first of 2 Timothy Dalton entries, gang. It’s a goodbye to the Cold War Bond films and it works in all the right places. Recommended.

– Victor

Skyfall

When a serious menace threatens MI6, James Bond is on the case — putting aside his own life and personal issues to hunt and obliterate the perpetrators. Meanwhile, secrets arise from M’s past that strain Bond’s loyalty to his longtime boss.

Brian
Rating: 10 out of 10

If I sound vague sometimes in the review, it’s only to keep it spoiler free.

It’s a great time to be a fan of James Bond.  Not only has the character evolved over the last 50 years of films, but they have also grown stronger and attracted a higher and higher level of talent both in front of and behind the camera.

Skyfall is a mixture of everything that makes James Bond special and yet reinvents the formula to create a compelling mixture of action and humanity within the Bond universe.  So much of what makes Skyfall stand out is the technical prowess behind the camera from both Director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition) and Cinematographer Roger Deakins (Shawshank Redemption, No Country For Old Men).  This is the prettiest Bond film to look at of all time. All of the locales each have their own distinct visual styles: Gold and natural light in Asia, deep blues and darkness in Britain, and deep washed out browns in Turkey.  But, you don’t want to hear about the visuals do you?  You want to know whether it has a good story?  Good characters?  Is Daniel Craig his usual ass kicking self?  Yes to all of the above.  Craig has brought so much more to the role than just being a martini sipping quip machine.  He has a past that is explored here including his loyalties to his M, where he comes from, who his parents were, and why he became an orphan.  It adds a humanity to his character that draws you in and Craig’s performance suits this modern Bond so well that I can’t see anyone else in the role.  Supporting work all around is also excellent.  Judi Dench is giving a lot more screen time in this one and she’s typically outstanding, newcomer to the series Naomie Harris is appealing and likable, Ralph Fiennes is great, and Javier Bardem is the best Bond villain ever.  You heard me right….ever.  Why?  The most interesting villains are the ones that aren’t completely single-minded.  He has a damn good reason for wanting revenge against the MI6 agency that Bond works for.  His methods are evil but his reasons are legitimate.  All of it is delivered in a captivating way by Oscar-winner Bardem, who’s ability to play fantastic villains may end up being what he’s best remembered for.

I could go on about all of the action scenes, the terrific dialogue, or the plot progression and pacing, but I’ll close the review with this:  Skyfall is the finest Bond film ever made. There goes our Top 5 Bond Films.

Top 5 Bond Films of All Time

Brian

Wth the release of the much-anticipated “Sky Fall” this weekend, we thought it would be the perfect time to break down our list of the Top 5 Bond movies of all time. It wasn’t easy, with so many styles, actors and quoteable lines that stretch generations… but here goes.

5.  License to Kill
Timothy Dalton only acted in two Bond films, but this was certainly his best effort.  This was the polar opposite of the quirky Roger Moore films like “Moonraker” and “A View To a Kill.” This rings truer to the spirit of the Ian Fleming novels.
4.  Goldeneye:
The first and strongest film featuring Pierce Brosnan in the title role.  The climatic ending with baddie Sean Bean 500 feet up in the air is fantastic and the one liners throughout are great.  One of the most fun entries in the series.
3.  For Your Eyes Only:
In my opinion, this is by far the best of the Roger Moore James Bond films.  All of the action throughout is excellent and the plot has some actual teeth to it as the cold war action permeates throughout leading to a cliffhanger at a mountaintop monastery.
2.  Goldfinger:
My favorite entry starring Sean Connery.  It contains the most iconic villain in the history of the 50 year series and was the first to tighten up the action scenes after the first two films, Dr. No and From Russia With Love, contained far more dialogue and superfluous scenes.  It turned Sean Connery into a household name and set the entire series up for its long and storied run.
1.  Casino Royale:
The quintessential Bond film in every way.  It has a terrific plot, fantastic supporting characters, non-stop action, and the best actor to ever play the iconic lead character.  It also has something that almost all of the Bonds film don’t…a heart.  the chemistry between Eva Green and Daniel Craig is palpable and there are emotional consequences for violent actions.  I never thought I’d see either in a Bond film and for it to work so well.

Our Oscar Season Preview

The leaves are changing a golden hue, little trick-or-treaters will soon be ringing our bells, and the quality of films suddenly takes a huge leap after the September lull that always follows a summer of blockbusters. Yes, Oscar season is here, and we can’t wait to see some of the enticing films coming to theaters very soon or are already here. We each picked three we can’t wait to see.

BRIAN
The Master
Currently in limited release but I have not seen it yet. Director Paul Thomas Anderson is currently, in my opinion, the finest American director working today. This has a chance at a second, wider release, like last year’s best picture winner “The Artist.”

Skyfall
Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty) steps in to direct the new James Bond film. How could you not get excited?

Argo
Ben Affleck directs another thriller, and if his last two films are any  indication, this will be fantastic.

MATT
Wreck It Ralph

It’s not too hard to predict that a Pixar film will be nominated for an Oscar, but this is the first one in a while I’ve been pumped for. It looks stocked full of video game nostalgia wrapped in a nice story.

Lincoln
Steven Spielberg has whiffed on a lot of movies over the last decade, but this ambitious period piece could just put him back on the map. Academy Award-winners Daniel Day Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, and Sally Field round out an excellent cast.

Django Unchained
Any time Quentin Terrantino makes a movie, the world sits up and pays attention. He has yet to win best film or director, but perhaps this is the one to do it. Academy Award-winners Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz star in Terrantino’s first western — a genre that feel made for him.

The Bond Films – “You Only Live Twice” (1967)

[about to make love to Helga Brandt]
James Bond: “Oh the things I do for England.”

Victor –

7 out of 10 –

Why start with the 5th Bond film?  Because I left it to chance.  I felt like being random and I spun my being Bond Wheel and voila! it landed on “You Only Live Twice.” YOLT is the fifth Bond film to star Mr Sean Connery and the very smooth, smart and sexually confident James Bond. Very loosely based (actually almost in name only) on the novel by the same name by Ian Fleming. The screenplay was written by Roald Dahl (Matilda, The Witches). It is the first to be directed by Lewis Gilbert (Alfie, Sink the Bismarck, Educating Rita) who went on to direct “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker” after which he became famous (or in some circles, infamous) for the over the top, comedic and epic scope of the Roger Moore films.

YOLT is neither epic or really that over the top. It falls almost in the middle. It has a very traditional Bond-esque opening where we treated to a very deceptive start. A United State spaceship in orbit around the earth  is hijacked  by another unidentified spacecraft.  The US suspect it to be the Russians but the Brits believe it could be the  Japanese since the spacecraft landed in the waters off the Japanese coast. In proper fashion they send oo7 to check things out and to investigate.  James Bond is sent to Tokyo after faking his own death and confronting “M” about the dangers of being undercover for too long and the seriousness of the situation. The “M” and Bond moments throughout Connery’s films are one of the best constants of the movies and they are witty, biting and hilarious to behold. “M” is played with the stunning timing of a comedic actor and the intensity of  a tax audit by Bernard Lee, who steals every scene from under Connery.

Having Bond go East and jumping right into the Japanese culture and inner circle of their spy ring is a great idea. It shows progress, finesse and an increase of danger and scope. Bond has to adjust and adapt to his Asian counterparts and he does with a wink in our direction and a smarmy bit of machismo. Even as he watches a Sumo match he plays it as if he belongs there and has seen a million matches before. There are plenty double twists, spy lingo, booby traps and a very athletic and brutal fight sequence where furniture gets tossed around. DP Freddie Young also treats us to a long reveal shot of an awesome chase / fight scene.

He teams up with the very alluring Bond Girls (In this order) Aki and Helga Brandt (Akiko Wakabayashi and Karen Dor) . Brandt has the better chemistry since of course she has the meatier role of the femme fatale. During these scenes Connery’s Bond is ever the dominant but is shown eventually that he isn’t always in control. Not a bad thing.

So, lets get to the best parts.  The Little Nellie sequence / copter chase.  “Little Nellie” is sent to Bond via Q (Desmond Llewyln) and we get the routine and funny repartee between Q and Bond. Q, as always, detests Bond’s cavalier attitude with his equipment and Bond really lets Q have it by doing not one but two close flybys with the whirly-bird. YOLT is the first time we are treated to actually seeing Blofeld, the leader of SPECTRE.  Here he is played by the brilliant Donald Pleasence (Dracula 1979, Halloween and Fantastic Voyage) and he plays it deadly and straight. Before he is revealed we are treated only to his voice and by the time we do see him, scar and all, Gilbert has set up his villian’s more terrifying traits by his actions and dialog alone. It is just brilliant. Pleasence plays deadly right through his make-up and he relishes in getting rid of some of his enemies in ways that Austin Powers fan will most likely chuckle at.  It is a bit dated but it’s too tongue in cheek not to love.

John Barry’s music is classy but a bit redundant in parts. The title song by Nancy Sinatra is elegant lean but reported to be glued together from 25 takes or so. The we get (spoiler free) the huge payoff where all sides get into the fray of trying to stop SPECTRE from starting WWIII by stealing everyone’s spacecraft’s. There is a nifty, fake lake that will be remembered by the most jaded Bond fans forever. There are ninjas, piranha, self destruct mechanisms. Everything to keep us Bondheads happy. I can only gripe about some of the flat set up scenes in the beginning and at times we are bogged down by lingering establishing shots of the beautiful Japanese countryside. I’m nit picking though. I can strongly recommend this Connery entry even if his execution in parts is lazy. Enjoy, gang. Another Bond review coming soon!

-Vic

Teaser Trailer for next Bond Movie – “Skyfall”

Sound off, everyone, and let us know what you thought of the teaser!

Vic @ The Movie Bros.

Vic’s Classics: Dr. No

On a mission in Jamaica, suave Agent 007 (Sean Connery) — in the first of the James Bond films — finds mad scientist Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman) plotting to derail the U.S. space program and take over the world, pushing Bond into an intimate alliance with the sexy Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress). With the help of Felix Leiter (Jack Lord), Bond battles seductive double agents and sinister villains in his quest to save the human race.

Victor
Rating: 9 out of 10

My first theatrical exposure to a genuine James Bond film was when I saw (I’m cringing right about now) MOONRAKER in 1979. Ugh. What a way to cash in on Star Wars. Well, Disney did it with “The Black Hole,” so why not UA? After the movie I felt as if I had seen all they had in the cool, neat, little package that is James Bond so I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Meh” and moved on to my next flick. My Uncle and Grandfather had insisted that Bond had a very good run of films waaaaay back even before my time. I found it incredulous but hey who was I to argue with my Grandfather and Uncle?  So this is what happened.

Right around the time I graduated high school I went down to Tower Records and Video near Soho, Manhattan and bought every Bond film to date up to Diamonds are Forever on Videocassette. When I got home I popped in “Dr. No” first and that was the beginning of a fruitful and long relationship with Sean Connery as the baddest spy to have ever walked this planet. “Dr. No” was amazing, but I was left wondering how they made “Moonraker.”  Dr. No was produced by Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman back in the early 1960s and it was after they saw Connery in “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” that they knew they had someone who could pull off their version of the hard- nosed, all business agent. But Connery brought more to the table than that. He had danger and threat lurking just behind those studly Scottish lips.

Swiss actress Ursula Andress, who was cast after being seen in a photograph just two weeks before shooting began, is my very first Bond girl. Who will ever live up to that walking out of the water onto the beach scene?  NO ONE!  And She can act, too!  I must, in all honestly,  say that Joseph Wiseman out-acts just about everyone in this film as the evil megalomaniac Dr. No who is involved in appropriate evil Cold War hi-jinks with that grand-poobah of evil global organizations S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Wiseman is chilly, dangerous and very aloof and that makes him very evil and believable. This film is just all around a must see Bond film and a must-own for spy film enthusiasts. Connery is just stunning to behold as he swaggers and assassinates his way through this very economical spy thriller. Now if only I can sell off all those Bond videocassettes…

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