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 The James Bond films

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Donald McKinney
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PostSubject: The James Bond films   Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:25 pm

Dr. No (1962), where it all began...

In 1952, Ian Fleming wrote Casino Royale, creating the character of James Bond, agent 007. He created a series of Bond books, which became very popular throughout the 1950's. Fleming was interested in taking James Bond to the movies, there had been a few aborted attempts at doing James Bond films throughout the 50's, but it was eventually picked up by producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli, who had teamed up to bring James Bond to the screen, they got United Artists to fund the film, and they got a team together, including a flamboyant British director, (Terence Young), a German production designer (Ken Adam) and the most important element of them all, James Bond, to be played by a Scottish milkman/undertaker/model turned actor known as Sean Connery. Dr. No (1962) is where Bond started, and it set the standard for the Bond films, and all spy films to follow after this.

The film opens in Jamaica with the murder of a British agent, Strangways, and Bond is sent to investigate it. His mission leads him around the island, in which he looks into the mysterious energy waves that are interfering with U.S missile launches, these waves are coming from the headquarters of the mysterious Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman). He goes to investigate, he is teamed up with American CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jack Lord), and the beautiful Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress).

From the moment the film begins with the opening gun barrel, the quite psychedelic opening titles, and John Barry's rendition of Monty Norman's energetic, timeless James Bond theme, you know you're going to be watching something special. It has become one of the most recognisable theme tunes in cinema history. Bond's introduction, ("Bond...James Bond."), is recognisable the world over, and introduced Sean Connery as James Bond, and for many, he is the ultimate Bond, played with tough exterior but a cool, dry wit to boot. The films music, composed by Norman, captures the very essance of the rhythmic beat that was going on in Jamaica at the time. Ken Adam's sets also set a standard, from the low grill of the interregation room, to Dr. No's laboratory.

But, one of the most iconic images is that of Ursula Andress, emerging from the sea, singing Underneath the Mango Tree, with shells in her hand, and in THAT bikini, firmly established Andress as the ultimate Bond girl. The film set a standard, a playful, entertaining but rough spy film, that has something for everyone. Director Young set the tone which the other Bond films have followed, or tried to follow ever since, but with times, moods change, and each Bond film has refected the times. Bond first hit the screen in 1962, and since then, Bond has flown the flag in British Cool.



From the imagination of one man, Ian Fleming, to numerous books to now 21 films, Bond has a legacy which is inimitable, incomparable and iconic. Starting off with one of the more simplistic of Fleming's Bond books, it raised the bar for filmmaking and spy films, and had countless other filmmakers trying to copy the style that all the creative team, (Young, Saltzman, Broccoli, Adam even Connery), had set. The film is a product of the 1960's, but the Bond films will last forever.


From Russia With Love (1963), tough, intriguing, brilliant

With Dr. No (1962) made, it firmly established James Bond as a film series, with the film a success in the UK and Europe, it was decided to bring the series into full swing, and the film hadn't even been released in America yet. They got Sean Connery back as James Bond, Terence Young back as director, for the second one, they chose Ian Fleming's 5th Bond novel, one which President John F. Kennedy had chosen as one of his Top 10 favourite books. With a recommendation like that, they could go wrong. From Russia With Love (1963), was a James Bond film filled with intrigue, suspense, excitement, action and a good plot, which other Bond films lack.

The film involves crime organisation SPECTRE seeking revenge for the death of its operative Dr No. so they set a trap for James Bond, they plan to steal a Lektor Decoder, which can help access Russian state secrets, but the British Secret Service are after it, so they send James Bond to get, but of course, that's just what SPECTRE want him to do, it takes Bond to Istanbul, Turkey and across the Balkans on the Orient Express, where he will encounter evil assassin Red Grant (Robert Shaw) and the ruthless Russian general and SPECTRE agent Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya). Teaming up with Bond is the jovial Kerim Bey (Pedro Armendáriz), and Soviet defector Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi), as they try to avoid the wrath of SPECTRE.

The film is one of the rare Bond films that has him as a down-to-earth spy, actually doing real detective work, rather than let gadgets do the work for him, the Briefcase aside, which comes useful later on. It is a film which is faithful to Fleming's original book, apart from SMERSH being changed to SPECTRE, for political reasons. Connery is firmly established in the role of Bond in this, Shaw makes a good heavy, but it is Armendáriz who steals the film as Kerim Bay, sadly Armendáriz was dying of cancer, and committed suicide shortly after his scenes were completed, it was a fitting epitaph to his career.

The film had a difficult shoot, from Armendáriz's illness, to an uncompleted script when shooting began, to problems doing the helicopter attack and boat chase, which was changed in location from the Balkans to Scotland, more nearer to home. But, somehow despite all the problems and worries this one would flop, all the elements came together in the end. It creates a Bond film which contains a good plot, other Bond films which did this include On Her Majesty's Secret Service, For Your Eyes Only and The Living Daylights. The next one, Goldfinger took Bond in a new direction, one of a more fantastical approach, which was strangely popular with the public, although these Bonds would deviate from Ian Fleming's original stories, even if the films were very good.



From Russia With Love contains some great moments in it, and is one of the most memorable of the Bond adventures, even if it is more a slow-burning character piece. It has some great moments of action, the gypsy camp catfight and eventual battle, and Bond and Grant's fight upon the Orient Express, which must class as one of the best film fights. But, it's rare that we get a Bond film like this, where he relies upon his wits and tenacity.


Goldfinger (1964), 24-carat, quintessential Bond.

With the Bond films now gathering more and more interest around the world. They decided to go bigger for the third Bond adventure, which to many people, is the best one of the lot. The most memorable of the Bond films, which marked the beginning of the larger than life Bond adventures, which would follow throughout the 1960's and 70's. It has the moment memorable villian, one of the most iconic Bond girls, Bond's best Car, and some of the best set pieces. Goldfinger (1964), got Bondmania into swing, and raised the stakes on the series, taking it from low-key, intriguing spy thrillers, into something more fantastical.

The mission starts off in Miami, Florida, where James Bond (Sean Connery), encounters gold magnate, Auric Goldfinger, (Gert Fröbe), who Bond is investigating for apparant gold smuggling, the mission takes him to Switzerland, where he discovers Goldfinger's plan, Operation Grand Slam, which is to contaminate the gold reserve of Fort Knox, Kentucky. Bond also has to face up against Goldfinger's pilot, Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman), and henchman Oddjob (Harold Sakata).

If some people are asked to associate one film with James Bond, Goldfinger is usually the one which most people will remember. From the sight of Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) painted from head to toe in gold paint, dead from apparant suffocation, to Bond's family jewels in the firing line, thanks to a laser beam cutting through a solid gold table which heralds the films most memorable lines, "Do you expect me to talk?" "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!!", a line which showed the menace of a Bond villian, and Bond in a situation where the villian has him in where he wants him. Blackman, fresh from the The Avengers, became the architypal Bond girl, with an obscene name as well, (nearly changed to Kitty Galore.)

But, the piece de resistance in this film, is production designer Ken Adam's imaginative sets, including a full scale recreation of Fort Knox. Refused access into the building, he let his imagination run wild, creating a so-called 'Cathedral of Gold', and a great battleground as well, with Bond trying to stop a nuclear bomb from exploding, fittingly stopping on 007. Plus, there's Shirley Bassey's over-the-top, but instantly memorable theme song, from the moment that begins, the film has got your attention for the next 2 hours or so. But, it does touch upon the silly, and the film injected a little more comedy into the series, including Bond coming from the sea in a wet suit, only to later take it off to reveal an immaculate white dinner jacket, complete with red carnation, which started a trend of Bond overstepping the mark into the far fetched, later repeated numerous times with the other films.



If you should only ever see one James Bond film in your lifetime, make it Goldfinger (1964), it really helped put James Bond on the map, making the character, as well as Connery himself, into global superstars. It's a Bond film which has lost non of it's impact, always delivering on excitement and entertainment, topped off with fine direction from Guy Hamilton, (taking over from Terence Young), and a rhythmic score from John Barry. It's one which audiences, critics and Bond fans alike call one of the best. Plus, it introduced the Aston Martin DB5, probabily the most famous film car ever, starting off another trend of gadget filled cars, and it's appeared in other Bond films ever since.


Thunderball (1965), James Bond goes underwater

With the success of Goldfinger (1964) firmly establishing James Bond as a global icon, and the films growing ever more popular. Sean Connery had become a global phenomenon as Bond, and people warmed to his interpreted of Bond, which seemed appropriate at the times. Goldfinger should have been followed by On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but they got a better offer. One Fleming story, that he had conceived with filmmaker Kevin McClory, Thunderball, was almost going to be a Bond film made outside the series, but when he couldn't get funding together for it, he then decided to co-produce it with Bond producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli. The timing was perfect, and it was decided, that with Goldfinger being such a success, to make the biggest Bond of all, (they always say that), but Thunderball (1965), marked the first 'underwater' Bond film...

The film has Bond investigating the disappearence of two nuclear missiles taken from a RAF Vulcan bomber which vanished during a test flight, stolen by SPECTRE. The mission takes him from France, (with the brilliant Jetpack flight), to a health farm in the English countryside, and onto the Bahamas. The mission him takes him to Emilio Largo AKA SPECTRE 2 (Adolfo Celi), who has associations with SPECTRE, and who seemed to be the mastermind behind this plot. It is up to Bond to find the warheads, and prevent destruction.

At the time, this was the most successful Bond film ever made, and it still is. In todays money, it has grossed close to $800 million, and the film marked the pinnical of Bond's success during the 1960's. Goldfinger prepared for what would follow, the large-scale Bond film, and it was delivered with this one. Ken Adam created the out of this world sets for the film, some of them being on or underwater. Including Largo's boat, the Disco Volante, which leads to a gripping final showdown.

Director Terence Young, who had helped set the standard for James Bond, by starting the series with Dr. No (1962) and From Russia With Love (1963). After being absent from Goldfinger, he returned to make the first larger-than-life Bond film, which would be eventually topped by You Only Live Twice (1967). Connery still gives it his best in this Bond, a charming spy who is smooth and cheeky, with a tough edge. The underwater battle at the end is brilliantly choreographed, underwater scenes in films can be a bugger to do, and many films had avoided doing it, but Bond raised the standard, enlisting the help of underwater photographer Lamar Boren, who had worked on the TV series Flipper to do the scenes underwater. The result was amazing, and other Bond films such as The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only have tried to recreate the underwater battles and scenes that Thunderball had mastered.



For some, Thunderball is one of the best Bond films, along with Goldfinger as being the quintessential Bond films, the ones which everyone recognises or remembers if they are asked to think of a Bond film. It just happens to have all the right ingrediants, good moments of action, beautiful girls, a nasty villian, a hint of intrigue and Bond himself. This firmly established Connery as a global superstar, but he was starting to grow weary of the series and was wanting to move on, but with the amount of money he made from the series, he wasn't complaining.


You Only Live Twice (1967), James Bond goes to Japan

'You Only Live Twice
Once when you are born, and once when you look death in the face.'


It was this ancient Japanese proverb that opened the original 1964 book of You Only Live Twice, written by Ian Fleming. With the success of Thunderball (1965) behind them, still raking it in big time, producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli decided the next Bond film would be bigger than the last one, for this, they employed director Lewis Gilbert, who would later do The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979), to bring a larger scope to the film. The end result is a Bond film which touches upon the realms of fantasy, but ultimately looks fantastic, and gave a Far Eastern flavour to the Bond films, and it unveiled one of the most famous Bond villains, Blofeld. You Only Live Twice (1967) temporarily marked the end of the big, epic Bond film, but it's a film which also captures the maddening feel of the 1960's.

The film follows James Bond (Sean Connery) as he tries to investigate the disappearance of manned space capsules. But, he's just faked his own death, the reason for this is to ensure that his villain's THINK he's dead. The mission takes him around Japan, leading from Osato Chemicals to a hollowed out volcano, where evil organisation SPECTRE have been hiding, led by Ernst Stavros Blofeld (Donald Pleasence).

This is one of the bigger of the Bond films, and also one of the best. It has a unique visual style and captures Japanese culture beautifully, from a quiet Japanese fishing community to the busyness of Tokyo. It should also have been Connery's last Bond film, he'd signed up for 5, this was the 5th in the series. He was getting tired of the press hounding him, he had enough, he wanted out. So, he was let go, only to come back after George Lazenby jumped ship after On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).

Yet, the film looks splendid, it is shot with an epic scope by noted British cinematographer, Freddie Young, (who had shot Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Dr. Zhivago (1965)). The film has a good script by Roald Dahl, (yes, that one, the children's author!!), even if it does stray away from Fleming's original book. But, it is Ken Adam's eye popping sets that steal the film, Adam is arguably the greatest production designer in the history of cinema, and it's the imagination and passion that goes into his sets that does it. The sheer size of the volcano lair has to be seen to be believed, it cost $1 million to build, (the budget of Dr. No), and it's money well spent. Adam always went for big sets, no matter what the setting, whether it be a replica of Fort Knox for Goldfinger or the supertanker for The Spy Who Loved Me. His vision is always unique. And then there's Blofeld. Pleasence played him with a cool menace, and a sinister look, complete with a scar. Probably the best interpretation of the character, as Telly Savalas and Charles Gray have also played him, very differently of course.



Anyone like this Bond?? It was the biggest of it's time, although the Bond films have always tried to out-do themselves with each coming film. Until they did it again in the 1970's, this was the biggest Bond of them all. Connery was always naturally cool as Bond, and played him with a great sense of panache and menace. Here, it's no different, no matter which Bond he was in, he was tough but a charmer. Which is how Bond should be.


On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), the one-off Bond

With Sean Connery now gone from the Bond series, now wanting to move on and try new things, it was now up to producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli to find a new James Bond. They asked Roger Moore back then, but he was busy doing The Saint. The producers shocked everyone, by going with a complete unknown, someone who had no acting experience, only that of a male model. Australian George Lazenby, who was recognisable to British TV audiences at the Big Fry Man, promoting Fry's Chocolates. It was a scary thing to cast a virtual unknown as the world's most famous spy, but remember, Connery was a virtual unknown when he was cast as James Bond in Dr. No. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), was an interesting experimental Bond film, but one which didn't quite pay off the way it should have...

The film opens with James Bond in Portugal, having saved Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo, or Tracy (Diana Rigg), from committing suicide, and saves her bacon later at a casino. The two fall in love, but before long, Bond is called upon a mission to find Blofeld (Telly Savalas), who is claiming a stake to a lineage in a rich family. He travels to Switzerland, where disguised as a genealogist, he inflitrates Blofelds mountaintop headquarters. He is eventually rumbled, and by chance, it is Tracy who saves Bond's life when he is pursued by Blofeld's henchmen. In return, Bond proposes marriage...

It is probabily one of the few Bond films to stay faithful to Ian Fleming's original book, as it is an emotionally engaging story, showing a real, human side to Bond. It fell upon Lazenby, who had blagged his way into become James Bond, thanks to a chance encounter or two, to make his Bond debut, tackling one of the more difficult Bond stories. Yet, it is the one Bond that feels real, and until the Dalton Bonds came along, it is perhaps, the one of the most believeable Bond films. No fantastical sets here, just a realistic story which has a touching and ultimately tragic romance at the centre of it.

The film wasn't without it's problems though, filming lasted from October 1968 right through until June 1969. The bulk of the shooting took place upon the Piz Gloria, an abandoned mountaintop restaurant upon Mount Schilthorn in the Switz Alps. It was clear early on that it was going to be difficult, Lazenby was given a rough time by the world's press, who protrayed him in a bad light. But, shooting continued onward, even many of the action scenes in this, especially the snow-bound scenes are upped, maybe to distract from the fact that Lazenby wasn't much of an actor. With the press making light of the off-screen tensions, and director Peter Hunt, (who had been editor on 5 previous Bond films), was accused of being manipulative by cast and crew members. When filming was finally completed, everyone was exhausted, but no-one could prepare for what was coming next...

George Lazenby, already stressed by the amount of publicity he was getting from the worlds press, was left drained after the mammoth 8 month shoot, and he took advice from film producer Ronan O'Rahilly not to do another Bond film. It was the end of the 1960's by this point, the Peace and Love moment was just about to come to an end, Woodstock was going on, and Easy Rider gave a whole new groove to films. Lazenby felt that Bond would never survive in the 1970's, and called it a day after 1 film, even though Eon Productions had wanted him to do at least two films. To distance himself away from the series, when the film came out in December 1969, he was seen with long hair and a beard, much to the ire of the producers, who had wanted him to set a good example.

But, ultimately, On Her Majesty's Secret Service is one of the best Bond films, or rather, it has started to be reclaimed as one of the best Bonds. Many people forgot about it, and referenced to it as "the odd-Bond out", but when you actually watch it. You'll find it is a slow-moving story, but a compelling story. Lazenby, although not an actor when cast, does his best in the role, and even his Bond is a tortured soul, especially at the end, in other words, a human Bond. Diana Rigg was a good Bond girl, providing the only woman that Bond has ever truly loved, and Telly Savalas makes a great Blofeld, making a complete contrast to the Blofeld that Donald Pleasence had played, Savalas played Blofeld with a cool, hip feel, a smooth villian who swoons over Rigg. The film has great moments of action, the skiing action, the stock car race and the bobsled action, some of these shot with a sweeping, epic view by aerial cameraman, Johnny Jordan.



Does anyone here like On Her Majesty's Secret Service? At first, it looks like a difficult Bond film to like, as there's no Sean Connery, but once you watch it, and get into it, you'll discover a very human side to Bond, which much of the other Bond films have avoided showing. The ending, which is probabily the only time Bond doesn't get the girl is tragic, and had this been done with Connery, it probabily would have been avoided, but with someone new as Bond, they broke with tradition, and tried something new. It should have paid off, but when it made money, but not as much money as the Connery Bonds, it was time for a new direction to Bond, the 1970's would be the best place to try it out...


Diamonds Are Forever (1971), a near-Americanised Bond

Many people thought that George Lazenby would do more than one Bond, but On Her Majesty's Secret Service proved to be his only Bond outing. To take 007 into the 1970's, the producers decided it was time to reinvent the character once more. They decided that because people didn't exactly warm to the character driven plot of the previous Bond film, they would return to the larger-than-life feel of Goldfinger, hence the return of director Guy Hamilton. But, what was the new Bond going to be like?? Despite dabbling with the idea of making Bond American, the Bond producers saw sense, and decided to keep him British, to do this, they called back the man who made James Bond famous in the first place, Sean Connery. Diamonds Are Forever (1971), despite having a return for Connery, was a much more troubled film than On Her Majesty's Secret Service was.

The mission starts of with Bond, seemingly looking to get revenge on Blofeld (now played by Charles Gray), he apparantly kills him. Before long, Bond is sent on a mission to investigate into the apparant case of diamond smuggling from South Africa to Amsterdam, it is here were Bond meets up with Tiffany Case (Jill St. John), and set off with a booty of diamonds to America, in particular, Las Vegas, where it is suspected that a millionaire casino owner Willard Whyte (Jimmy Dean) is behind all this, but it turns out, it is non other than Blofeld!! He has been creating clones to distract any authorities that might be after him.

Diamonds Are Forever is probabily an attempt to airbrush On Her Majesty's Secret Service out of existance, when you see Connery back as Bond, it seems that it's just another Bond adventure, probabily as if he never got married, but the opening search for Blofeld suggests that he was married. But, like what Casino Royale has just recently done, this could have been a Bond rebirth, making him an American agent, rather than a British agent, the producers had quit England, and had set up shop at Universal City Studios, Hollywood, they had even cast American character actor John Gavin, (best known from Psycho and Spartacus), as James Bond. But, United Artists weren't happy with that, and were determined to get Connery back at any price, he said yes, but for $1.25 million. He was only in it for the money, even during this film, you can tell he's not interested, and he's probabily wanting to get it all out of the way, and move on as quickly as possible, he's even in bad shape, starting to look as wrinkly as what Roger Moore would later become. But, it was a return to the larger than life style Bond film, and the return of the Ken Adam sets.

Diamonds is a guilty pleasure in the Bond canon, with some of the action looking a bit forced thoughout and played for laughs, it makes you wonder whether the campness of this one was intentional or unintentional, by the looks of it, it seems to be the former. This is the one where we see a more camp Blofeld compared to Pleasence and Savalas, hell, he is even disguised in a dress and wig at one point. Plus, there is a pair of homosexual hitmen, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, (played by Bruce Glover and Putter Smith), who seem strangely sinister but manage to keep it calm throughout. Plus, the Bond girls in this, St. John's Case and Lana Wood's Plenty O'Toole, ("Named after your father perhaps??") are a tad annoying, and Bond meets his match with two of Whyte's female bodyguards, Bambi and Thumper.

But, like all other Bonds, there are some good moments of action in this, such as the elevator fight scene, the car chase down the Vegas strip, (spot the continuity mistake), and the final battle on the abandoned oil-rig of the coast of Baja California, where Blofeld is using a satellite, (powered by the smuggled diamonds), to reek havoc on the world.



It makes me wonder whether the Bond series would have survived if they had really gone with an American James Bond?? Probabily not, plus I don't think Ian Fleming would have approved to have seen his character change nationality for the sake of keeping a series afloat, but ultimately, it was Connery's last official Bond film, before being lured back for Never Say Never Again (1983), but he feels out of place in this one, it rather predicted of what would later come with Moore, and it probabily would have suited him more than Connery, but within the casinos of Vegas, that's were Connery's Bond is in his element.


Live and Let Die (1973), Bond's Blaxploitation Flick

After returning for Diamonds are Forever (1971), Sean Connery announced he would NEVER play James Bond again, (cough Never Say Never Again cough). With him gone from the series, the producers had to find an actor to play 007. Even when Diamonds was in pre-production, they had toyed with re-imagining Bond as an American, actors such as Ryan O'Neal, Adam West and (shudder) Burt Reynolds had been considered to play Bond. But, it was decided to keep him British, and they found a British actor ideal to play him, Roger Moore, a veteran from TV series such as The Saint and The Persuaders, was chosen as the new 007, he had been considered for the role when Dr. No started production, but his commitments to The Saint put a stop to that. But now, it was time to well and truly, bring Bond into the 1970's. Live and Let Die gave the world a new Bond, as well as a brand new feel.

Live and Let Die follows Bond as he investigates the murders of 3 British agents, with one man connecting them, Dr. Kananga (Yaphet Kotto), the president of San Monique, an island in the Carribean. This mission takes Bond from the mean streets of Harlem in New York, to the voodoo of San Monique, then to New Orleans, Louisiana, and the surrounding swamps and bayous. He becomes involved with Kananga's personal Tarot card reader Solitaire (Jane Seymour) and the mysterious Harlem gangster, Mr. Big.

Live and Let Die is one of the best Bond films ever made, as it introduced Moore to the world of 007, who played the character a little more lighter than what Connery did, and the film added more danger, (including sharks and crocodiles.) When the film came out, Blaxploitation films were all the range, including Shaft (1971) and Superfly (1972)), Ian Fleming's original book, published in 1954, had a racist tone to it, but with political correctness already taking place in the world, the producers probabily felt it was time to bring 007 along with the times as well. Plus, all the villians in the film are black. Plus, there is the presence of Sheriff J.W. Pepper (Clifton James), a bonkers Southern policeman, who goes on an amusing little quest to put a stop the amazing boat chase that occurs in Ol' Louisiana.

"By the powers invested in me by this parish, I hereby do commandeer this vehicle and all those persons within! And that means YOU, smartass!!"

As well as the boat chase, the film has some brilliant sequences within, including an opening jazz funeral in New Orleans, the double decker bus in San Monique, ("All change!! End of the line!!") airplane antics at New Orleans airport, ("Let's just wing it, shall we??"), and Bond using crocodiles as stepping stones, while being trapped on henchman Tee-Hee's crocodile farm, plus a ridiculous demise for the villian, ("He always did have an inflated opinion of himself.") Moore was one of the best Bond's as he gave a sense of charm, smoothness and humour, which seemed appropriate at that time, the film has a great blaxploitation-feel score by George Martin, with Paul McCartney and Wings, doing the amazing theme tune, which nearly steals the film.



Anyone like Live and Let Die?? It helped give the Bond series a boost after George Lazenby's one-off and Connery's return, people thought Bond didn't stand a chance in the 1970's, how wrong they were!! Moore was here to stay as Bond, he struck a chord with audiences, and the film was a hit, big time. Even if it marked a bit of a lighter, more humourous tone to the Bond films, it was appropriate then. With Vietnam still raging on and the Munich massacre in the news, people needed some sort of relief, Moore provided it for them.


The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), best Bond villian??

With Roger Moore now firmly established as the new James Bond, winning over a new legion of fans with Live and Let Die (1973), and becoming an immediate success at the box-office, work immediately started on the next Bond film, which introduced one of Bond's most formidable villians, and someone who was a rival to Bond, a dry, smooth killer. The makers made an inspired choice by casting Christopher Lee as the evil Francisco Scaramanga, AKA The Man With The Golden Gun (1974).

James Bond is sent a bullet with 007 engraved into it from Scaramanga, a ruthless hitman who charges $1 million a hit, and he uses a novel device, a Golden Gun, made from a pen, a cigarette lighter and a cufflink, plus he uses golden bullets. This mission takes Bond to Macau, where Scaramanga's golden bullets are made, to Hong Kong, where Scaramanga steals a Solex Agitator, used for harnessing solar energy, Bond follows him to Thailand and to his home in the South China Sea, along with Mary Goodnight, (Britt Ekland).

This is another Bond film which is usually forgotten, because it didn't do that well when it was first released. It upped the comedy, even Lulu's opening theme song borders on laughable, but it was the first time we see a dark side to Moore's Bond, him slapping Andrea Anders (Maud Adams), showed how far Moore could really go as Bond, but people didn't like this side to him. But, Christopher Lee as Scaramanga makes a good villian, already growing tired of playing Dracula, he wanted something different, so he became a Bond villian, plus Lee's cousin was Ian Fleming!! Scaramanga is one of the best villians, as he is truly a challenge for Bond, he might even be a James Bond in some opposite universe, and he lives life to the full. He's a villian with a ruthless streak but stays calm, oh and for reference, yes he's the villian with 3 nipples. Plus, this is the one with Nick Nack, the midget henchman played by Hervé Villechaize, who later became famous as Tattoo on Fantasy Island, oh and if you remember Sheriff J.W. Pepper from Live and Let Die returned for this one, showing up on holiday.

Despite the slip into camp overtones, (which would become even more apparant in the next two), it does have some good moments, the scenes in Scaramanga's fun house, which he uses as practice and to lure any victims into, is a brilliantly imaginative set. Plus, there is some good moments of action, from Bond taken to a karate school, (referencing all the Hong Kong kung-fu films going on at the time) and the car jump across the river, (complete with annoying whistle, which undermines the danger that went into the stunt.)



The Man With The Golden Gun is one of the campest of the Bond films ever made, maybe tied with Moonraker and A View to a Kill. But, Moore played the character with a much more lighter veneer, but Scaramanga remains one of the best Bond villians, up there with Goldfinger and Blofeld, this one was like a darker version of Bond, maybe what would have happened if Bond had not joined the secret service, but had instead become a contract hitman. It would be nearly 3 years before the next 007 adventure would come along...


The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), best Roger Moore Bond??

After The Man With The Golden Gun, the Bond films had went into a slight legal quandry over producer Harry Saltzman's investments, and it nearly bankrupting all involved. After some time, it was all sorted out, and he left the Bond series, leaving producer Albert R. Broccoli to go it alone as producer of the Bond series. For the next Bond film, he would personally have to oversee the creation of a totally original storyline, and also oversee the construction of the largest soundstage in the world, which would contain one of the biggest Bond climaxes ever. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) was the pinnicle of the Roger Moore Bonds, but it's one which got it right on the nose.

The film involves submarines seemingly disappearing, Bond is sent to investigate, it takes him to Egypt, where he meets up with Russian agent, Major Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach), who is investigating the same case, it is decided to team them up to find out who is behind it. It takes them to shipping magnate Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens), who has sent out henchman Jaws (Richard Kiel) to get them.

It's a simple plot, but a completely different story from the Ian Fleming book, because it was told from the perspective of a Bond girl, it would be hard to adapt, so the makers could only use the title. To help create this new story, producer Broccoli called back Lewis Gilbert, who had done You Only Live Twice, to help bring back a larger quality to Bond, and it doesn't disappoint. From the opening ski jump complete with Union Jack parachute, you know Bond has still got it. It has a few more gadgets, including the Lotus Esprit S1, also known as the Wet Nellie, which comes handy when being chased by a helicopter.

But, the big set piece comes with Ken Adam's vision of the inside of Stromberg's supertanker, unable to use a real one, it was up to Adam to create a set of vast size and scope. When no soundstage in the world proved big enough, Broccoli had Ken Adam build one at Pinewood Studios, the 007 stage, which would contain big sets like this one. It was even lit by Stanley Kubrick, and it makes for an entertaining and exciting set piece, big enough to house 3 nuclear submarines and big enough for a full scale battle.



A Bond film that wasn't exactly outlandish, but it was truly larger than life, and capture the camp smoothness that Roger Moore was so good at. This also marked the first appearence of Jaws, a huge henchman with metal teeth who encounters Bond and Amasova, once at the Pyramids, and one a train, (a reference to From Russia With Love.) This is the one featuring the beautiful opening song by Carly Simon, Nobody Does It Better, with a playful score by Marvin Hamlisch, it's a Bond film of the 1970's, and even did well up against the might of Star Wars when it opened in Summer 1977. That's what I call, "Keeping the British end up!!" Very Happy


Moonraker (1979), James Bond does Star Wars!!

After The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), had gone gangbusters at the worldwide box-office, everyone was looking to the Bond team to make the next Bond adventure the biggest and best yet. It would be one of the most expensive films ever made, the biggest Bond of them all, but until the tripe that was Die Another Day (2002) came along, one of the most far-fetched and unrealistic Bonds. But, as a sci-fi film, it is one which delivers, it is one which had for it's day, some brilliant special effects and a great space battle, but space and James Bond don't mix, but Moonraker (1979), was one of the cheesiest Bond films ever made, but it seems fittingly apt for Roger Moore's Bond.

Moonraker has Bond investigating the disappearence of a space shuttle, which was being delivered to the UK. The mission takes him to Drax industries in California, run by Sir Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), a man obsessed with the conquest of space, he is teamed up with scientist Dr. Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles), who is also a CIA agent. The mission takes Bond to Venice to Rio and the surrounding Amazonian rainforest and into outer space.

It really is an epic Bond, bigger than anything that had gone before it, so big in fact, that the series' home of Pinewood Studios, London wasn't enough, they moved to Paris, France, and took over all the studios in the city, (Studios de Boulogne, Epinay Studios and Paris Studios Cinéma, Billancourt). To make a film bigger than The Spy Who Loved Me, they called back director Lewis Gilbert and production designer Ken Adam. It is Adam's sets that steal the film well and truly. From the centrifuge trainer, to The Great Chamber in the Amazon to the jaw-dropping space station.

But, space is no place for James Bond to go, the laser gun battle reeks heavily of the popularity of science fiction going on at the time with Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, what else could have inspired the laser gun battle in space?? Even the return of Jaws, (Richard Kiel), should have been something to be excited about, but he finds love in this one, even if he was a terrifying force in Spy, not such a tough guy now. But, the gadgets are more ludicrous in this, (the modified Gondola), and the puns are quite funny. ("I think he's attempting re-entry, sir!!")



A true guilty pleasure of the Bond films, camp and cheesy, Moore's speciality. It does have some stunning locations and great special effects for it's day, (no CGI here, AND it's believeable.) But, luckily Moore and Bond came back down to Earth with For Your Eyes Only (1981), which attempted to make Bond more human after these extravagant adventures. It might be far removed from the classic Bond films we all know, but it's good enough entertainment. Best watch this one with the family at Christmas!! Very Happy


For Your Eyes Only (1981), a down-to-earth Bond

After taking Bond into outer space with Moonraker (1979), everyone thought they'd taken Bond as far as he could go, to get away from the extravagances that were present in the last couple of Bond's, producer Cubby Broccoli decided that the time was right for a more realistic and harder edged Bond film, with the 1980's upon them, it was felt it would be the perfect decade to test out a new approach to the series, which go back to Ian Fleming's original interpretation of James Bond, where he goes back to doing the spy work, without gadgets taking over. For Your Eyes Only (1981), would herald in a new era of Bond adventures, to keep in line with the ever changing times.

The film starts off with Bond visiting the grave of his late wife, showing that it's still the same film series, and still the same character. Before it moves on to a ship carrying a high-tech encryption device called an ATAC sinking, Bond is sent to retrieve the ATAC, and is eventually teamed up with the beautiful Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet), a young woman out for revenge as her parents were killed, trying to look for the ATAC. It takes Bond from Spain, to Italy and onto Greece, where he meets Aristotle Kristatos (Julian Glover) and Milos Columbo (Topol). Only one of these two are in alliance with the Russians, who are after the ATAC.

Roger Moore returned for this Bond film, even though he nearly didn't, even as early as this, it was very nearly to have been Timothy Dalton's first Bond film, (he'd been considered for the role for years.) Even Moore is at odds with the films tone, even from the start, it does away with the gadgets, and in one scene, makes a getaway in (of all vehicles) a Citroën 2CV, ("I love a drive in the country, don't you??") and Moore even starts to show his age in this one, as he refuses to bed the young skating protege Bibi Dahl (Lynn-Holly Johnson), as she is only 17, ("Now put your clothes back on, and I'll buy you an ice cream!!")

But, the film has some good moments of action, including underwater action, (which Bond films like to do), skiing action in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, (involving Bobsled, skiing and a motorbike chase in one!!) Topol adds some good support, being a true charmer to rival Roger Moore's 007, and it makes you wonder whether Topol would have made a good Bond. Plus, it has a brief yet rather pointless opening with Blofeld, (Kevin McClory who produced Thunderball, seemingly owned the rights to the character, this was the filmmakers way of saying, "we don't need him any more!"), he confusingly yells, "I'll buy you a delicatessen, in stainless steel!!" before being disposed off down a chimney at Beckton Gasworks, London.



The film is different from the other Bond films of this era, as it is a slow-moving but intriguing character piece with a hard-edge, adapted from two Bond short stories, For Your Eyes Only and Risico, it creates an intriguing piece which is closer in style to something like From Russia With Love than any of the previous Moore Bonds had done. But, even with a more serious tone, it has a slight comic touch, like with Max the Parrot chatting up Margaret Thatcher, but it still retains a hard edge, especially when Bond kills a man in cold blood, something you wouldn't normally expect from Roger Moore's Bond. But, it was a transitional piece, which briefly did away with all things larger than life, and did a contained, realistic spy piece.


Octopussy (1983), an underrated James Bond film??

With For Your Eyes Only (1981), temporarily bringing back a harder, realistic edge to the Bond films, producer Cubby Broccoli wanted to take 007, back into the realms of the fantastic once more. However, they were facing a bit of competition at the time, as it had been announced a rival Bond production, Never Say Never Again (1983), a Thunderball remake with Sean Connery returning as Bond was in pre-production. The Bond people were worried that it could steal the thunder of the 'official' series. They also were struggling to get Roger Moore to return as Bond, who was wanting to move on. Octopussy (1983) is a Bond film which some people forget, and some which Bond fans would rather forget. But, it is a good film, mixing intrigue with the fantastical which plagued the Bond films throughout the late 1970's.

Octopussy follows James Bond as he investigates the death of a British agent in Berlin, holding a Fabergé egg, the egg is placed in auction, where it is bought by exiled Afghan prince, Kamal Khan (Louis Jourdan), Bond follows him to India, where he discovers he is working for mad Russian General Orlov (Steven Berkoff, another scene-stealing villian). The eggs are being used as far of a funding plot, to blow up an American military base in West Germany. And then, there's the mysterious Octopussy (Maud Adams), who lives on a floating palace, and helps Khan get his jewels smuggled into India.

For some, Octopussy represents the very nadir of James Bond, if you will, to paraphrase the theme song, All Time High, an all time low for Bond, even if it did make money. They went to town on this one with the jokes and gadgets, which were common in the Moore Bond films. The small microjet aircraft at the start comes out of a horses arse, which some feel was apt, considering the tone of the film. Plus, it does have some quite racial jokes seeing as he's in India, ("That should keep you in curry for a few weeks"), and those that make fun of age, ("Having problems keeping it up, Q??")

But, once you get past the jokes and gadgets, there is a good film there, which tackled the fears of Russian invasion, still rife in the 1980's. Plus, it looks beautiful, as it captures the beauty of India, the lakes and the palaces. Even if some of the action sequences are played for laughs and horrendously far-fetched, they're good to watch. The Rickshaw chase for example, featuring tennis pro Vijay Amritraj, and the train scene, with the car following the train on the track!! Shocked Plus, Moore lives up to his lighter reputation as Bond, by dressing up as a clown in a circus. Razz



Does anyone want to defend Octopussy?? For those of us who grew up with the Moore James Bond films, it's one of the greats, he probabily should have called it a day with this, but he went one too far with A View to a Kill (1985). It captures his camp and smooth attitude. Plus, the title of the film is as suggestive as the films he made, ("That's my little Octopussy!!") But, it's good, camp entertainment for it's day.


A View to a Kill (1985), one too far for Roger Moore's Bond??

Roger Moore had signed on as James Bond in 1972, and had made a great impression of the character, compared to Connery's smooth yet tough spy, his interpretation was more smooth and lighter. By the early 1980's, he was starting to grow wary, and was wanting to move on, he was into his 50's, but the films were still successful, which is why producer Cubby Brocolli kept luring him back. At first Moonraker should have been his last, then it was For Your Eyes Only. He couldn't seem to make his mind up whether he was coming or going, but by the mid-1980's, at the ripe old age of 58, looking more like 78, he'd had enough. It would mark the end of an era for one of the most popular Bonds of all, but A View to a Kill, has Moore exiting with a whimper rather than a bang.

A View to a Kill, based upon an Ian Fleming short story entitled From A View To A Kill, the film has Bond looking into the microchip market, and the duplication between British and KGB microchips, the mission takes him to Max Zorin (Christopher Walken), a millionaire industrialist who also rigs horse races for his horses to win, but Bond uncovers a plan, Operation Main Strike, in which he wants to destory Silicon Valley, California, the computer capital of the world, so he can monopolise the microchip market. (Sounds similar to Goldfinger, doesn't it??) The mission takes Bond from Siberia to Paris and to San Francisco. Along the way he teams up with Stacey Sutton (an annoying Tanya Roberts), and then there's May Day, (Grace Jones), Zorin's deadly companion who proves to be a match for Bond.

For some, this is a guilty pleasure, tallying up the cheesiness of the Roger Moore years, for others, it's just sheer torture, summing up the very nadir of James Bond. The main culprit was Moore, who was now too old to be the gentleman spy, Bond has to be in his late 30's/early 40's, looking at this, you can see that Roberts is probabily old enough to be his granddaughter, as are most of the other women in this film. Seeing Moore, wrinkly and leering in a hot-tub with Fiona Fullerton, ("The bubbles tickle my...Tchaikovsky!"), is quite a disturbing sight. Plus, he's not up for the action sequences either, especially when he's hanging from a blimp heading towards the Golden Gate Bridge, and occaisionally moaning "OOOOHHHHH!!" like an old man with sciatica. You knew he should have said no to this one.

But, having said that, it does have some good moments in it. The scenes Moore shares with Patrick Macnee are quite entertaining. May Day's jump from the Eiffle Tower and Bond pursuing in a breakaway taxi is also fun to watch, as is Bond tearing through the streets of San Francisco in a fire engine, as well as the final battle on the Golden Gate Bridge. But, some of the early sequences are too long and ultimately boring, the scenes at Zorin's chateau, with Roberts' Stacey Sutton screaming "James!! Help me!!" at any given opportunity, plus the opening snowboarding to California Girls makes this entry mostly resemble a bad 80's action flick made by Cannon Films, rather than a true Bond film.



What about you lot?? Do you think it is a guilty pleasure or one of the worst Bonds of the lot?? I'm stuck between the two, but Moore should have called it a day sooner. Thank God Timothy Dalton came along for the next ones, it was just what the series needed. Plus, this one has a brilliant theme song by Duran Duran, and the whole film reeks of the 1980's, oh, and look out for a cameo by Dolph Lundgren... Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:39 pm

The Living Daylights (1987), a good change for Bond??

By the mid-1980's, even if Roger Moore's Bond had once struck a chord with the public, everyone felt that his interpretation of Bond had now worn completely thin, in his last Bond film, A View to a Kill (1985), he was 58, and was wrinkly and unconvincing. Harder-edged action films were on the rise around this time, and it is decided that the next James Bond film, would be a contrast to the Moore Bond films, they would go back to the source, Ian Fleming, and have a James Bond true to how Fleming had originally interpreted him. It would mean Bond would be more harder edged, but if it would be of benefit to the series, it would happen. Timothy Dalton made his debut, as Bond, (even if it was short lived over 2 films), but he helped inject new, daring blood into Bond with The Living Daylights (1987).

The film follows James Bond, as he helps Russian General Georgi Koskov, (Jeroen Krabbe, who nearly steals the film), defect to the west, from Bratislavia, Slovakia to Austria. But, Koskov is seemingly recaptured after a raid on a safe house. The mission takes Bond back to Bratislava, where he meets up with Kara (Maryam d'Abo), a cellist/sniper whom Bond had refused to kill because she was a woman, she has links to Koskov, and it takes them to Vienna, Austria, then to Tangiers, Morocco and finally a daring battle in Afghanistan.

It is a Bond film of it's time, the USSR was still a mighty force, even if it was on the brink of crumbling into the new world order. It still had it's hold over places like Bratislava, and the Soviets presence was strongly felt there until the early 90's. It's a Bond film which goes back to the tone and structure of something like From Russia With Love (1963), an intriguing piece which had Bond battling between the Russians and SMERSH, (the latter are referenced within this film.) This is also an intriguing tale, as it also suggests that Koskov has a secret agenda. But, unlike the Moore bonds, it does away with mad megolmaniacs who want to take over the world, and goes for something believable and real.

But, Dalton shows a new side to Bond, a darker side, a brooding side, but ultimately, a human side. This is a man who kills, but he'd rather not, it's his job though, he has to do it. Dalton had been considered for Bond as far back as 1970, and he nearly got the job in the early 1980's with For Your Eyes Only (1981), but he passed again. Pierce Brosnan was nearly Bond in this one, but he was under contract doing Remington Steele, but he would help with yet another revival of Bond later with Goldeneye (1995). But, for now, we had Dalton, a man who should have done more Bonds, but with the two he did, he showed a new side, that Bond didn't just have be a camp joker or womaniser.



The Living Daylights is a Bond film many people could have had sooner, but producer Cubby Broccoli couldn't let go of Moore until it was probabily too late. But, this one delighted Bond fans, this is what they had been waiting to see, a realistic Bond. From the action packed opening in Gibraltar to the suspenseful finale in the house of mad American arms dealer Brad Whittaker (Joe Don Baker), it's a film which brings back gripping action and thoughtful intrigue, which the Moore Bonds had previously misplaced. With a theme by a-Ha, and good direction by director John Glen, this is one of the best, and was a refreshing change for 007, after one camp adventure too many.


Licence to Kill (1989), the darkest Bond of them all??

During the 1980's, the Bond creative team had tried to shape a new image for 007, having gone too far fetched during the 1970's, they decided that the Bond films made during the 80's would be different. They would try and move away from gadgets and make Bond a bit more reliant on his wits, the first attempt at this was with For Your Eyes Only (1981), but the image didn't quite suit Roger Moore. So, he sat it out for 2 more films, until Timothy Dalton injected new blood into the role of 007 with The Living Daylights (1987), a film which the Bond fans had been waiting for. With a new Bond firmly established, they decided to create a Bond film which would suit Dalton's method of acting, as he was wanting to create a Bond more faithful to Ian Fleming's Bond. Licence to Kill (1989), would be the most daring Bond film yet, but for some, it was a bit too far for 007...

The film has Bond, going renegade, and going off on a personal mission of vengeance against drug lord Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi), who had mutilated Bond's best friend Felix Leiter, and killed Leiter's newlywed wife. Bond resigns from the British Secret Service, and heads off looking for Sanchez, it takes him from the Florida Keys to the (fictional) Central American republic of Isthmus. He is teamed up with cocky pilot Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) and Sanchez's girlfriend Lupe (Talisa Soto). Even Q turns up on holiday, to help Bond out.

This was an attempt at a more back-to-basics Bond, trying to make him more human, a tortured soul and ruthless brute. Which is what Fleming had envisioned him as. To get away from all extravagances that had gone before in previous Bond's, it was decided to move out of Pinewood, and do this Bond film in Mexico, and the rundown facilities of Churubusco Studios. The Mexican shoot was hard for everyone concerned, from producer Cubby Broccoli falling ill under the intense, polluted heat, and the on-set accidents and mysteries surrounding the brilliant climactic truck chase in Mexicali.

Ultimately, although the film was done with the best intensions, the ingrediants don't actually mix together, which is a shame. True, we want to see a darker side to Bond, but this was going too far. It is quite a brutal and ugly film, and even some parts of it resemble an episode of Miami Vice. Many people would rather have seen Bond on an official mission, with the secret service. Even when it came out, it failed to click with audiences, who were turned off by this interpretation of James Bond, it nearly killed the series, only for it to be brought back in the 1990's with GoldenEye (1995).

Having said that, the film is not all bad. Dalton's Bond is the most believeable interpretation of James Bond, and he did it with a hard yet cool exterior. Robert Davi makes a good villian, as drug baron's were, and still are, big news, and he is violent and cruel. Peter Lamont's sets created for the film are lavish and excessive, (it was the 80's), and he would return to Mexico for Titanic. It was also director John Glen's last Bond film as a director, having helped carve a new image for the character throughout the decade. Licence to Kill would be Bond leaving the 1980's with a bang, but people seemed to want two things with a Bond film: humor and a larger-than-life plot.



Does anyone here like Licence to Kill?? It's a Bond film which has divided the fans in two, but it is probabily the first Bond film to truly capture the spirit of Ian Fleming since On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). It doesn't feel like a Bond film, but all the ingrediants are there, the action, the girls, the locations and a villian. But, the mixture feels different from the other Bond films, it was trying to do what The Living Daylights had already done, strip Bond of anything big and lavish and put him in realistic situations. But, it was worth a try, at the time. Lets hope Casino Royale has better luck at it. Oh, and a young Benicio Del Toro appears as one of Sanchez's henchmen... :Wink:


GoldenEye (1995), Bond's Big Comeback

After Licence to Kill (1989), the Bond franchaise got caught up in a legal quagmire with MGM, which would last nearly 5 years. But, while all this was going on, the world had changed. The mighty U.S.S.R. which had ruled over Eastern Europe and some of Asia collapsed. The Cold War was over, the New World Order had set in, the geopolitics of the world changed once more, by Christmas 1991, everyone was updating their atlases to comply with the change. But, one question remained, would Bond seem outdated in the New World Order? Had Britain's Greatest Spy finally met his match?? Unlikely, Cubby Broccoli's family, including stepson, Michael G. Wilson and daughter Barbara Broccoli pledged to move on with the series, and bring James Bond into the 1990's. GoldenEye (1995), introduced a new James Bond in the form of Pierce Brosnan, (maybe the best Bond since Connery), a new audience to Bond and proof that Bond can survive, no matter what the political climate is.

GoldenEye is the name of a space weapon used by the Russians for training purposes, but it is stolen by the mysterious Janus group. It is up to Bond, refered to by M (Judi Dench) as a "sexist, mysoginist dinosaur, a relic of the Cold War", to find it. From the French Rivera to St. Petersburg, Russia, where he finds the leader of the Janus group, Alex Trevelyan (Sean Bean), who was once 006, one of Bond's closest Allies, before an apparant death 9 years earlier in the USSR. It has Bond teaming up with computer technician Natalya (Izabella Scorupco), to find where GoldenEye has been taken to, even if it does mean confronting the deadly Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen), and the discovery of a huge satellite in the Carribean.

Brosnan's Bond combined all the best elements of the previous Bonds that had gone before him, the coolness of Connery, the wit of Moore and the dark streak of Dalton. It proves to be a winning mixture, a Bond who can go through hell on a mission, but still come out from it all in amazing form. His Bond has a great sense of panache about him, and you know Brosnan fits the role as soon as you see him near the start in the casino.

It's a Bond where he does get ridiculed for being out of place in the New World Order, but as soon as he finds himself going after the villians in a tank through the streets of St. Petersburg, you know this is Bond back with a bang. Destroying everything as he goes along, but the start of the film, which sees him bungee jumping off a dam really helped introduce James Bond to a new generation of moviegoers, and was a great delight for the older Bond fans, but it touches upon the ridiculous too, as he amazingly skydives after a falling airplane, and amazing gets it out of a nosedive!! (Impossible really!!)

But, it has good support, Sean Bean makes quite a smooth villian, (this was Bean pre-LOTR), Judi Dench makes a good M, (nothing wrong with a female M, is there??) Robbie Coltrane appears as Russian gangster Zukovsky and then there's Alan Cumming, who plays geeky Russian technician Boris Grishenko, ("Yes!! I am invincible!!") The set pieces and effects are good, it uses minitures and the like, before the next Bond films would go for CGI overkill. The action pieces are good, the race on the winding French roads are brilliant, the tank "derailing" the train borders on silly, but the ending on the satellite, (a real satellite, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico), is a brilliant set piece. The gadgets too are fun and believable, including the grenade Parker pen, which comes in at a suspensful moment.



Was anyone's faith in Bond restored when GoldenEye came along?? It was the first Bond I saw in the cinema in November 1995, and like everyone else there, I was blown away. After the campness of Moore, and the darkness of Dalton, it was good to finally see a Bond which balanced the two out just perfectly, one with aplomb and a cool exterior. Bond was back, reviving the series and winning over the audiences.


Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), a more action packed Bond

With GoldenEye reviving James Bond, it was immediately evident that the world's greatest spy was back, and work immediately started on making the next James Bond film. Pierce Brosnan was back as 007, having made a great impression as the character, and winning over audiences. But, with no Russians to spy on, what could Bond tackle next?? It was decided the media, which ironically has helped keep Bond famous for about 40 years. It was a difficult film to make, from an unfinished script when filming began, to the death of long time producer Albert R. Broccoli in June 1996. His legacy was passed onto his family, and they have continued to keep it going. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), upped the action, but deep down, it marked the end of one era, and the beginning of a new one.

Tomorrow Never Dies focuses on media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), who is persistant and unrelenting in winning over audiences for his global TV channels and readers for his newspapers, he's determined to get them, even if that means having to create news headlines himself. He organises the sinking of the HMS Devonshire in the South China Sea, by giving them an incorrect reading, and making it seem the Chinese were responsible. It is up to James Bond to stop him, it takes him to Hamburg, Germany where he is united with Carver's wife, Paris (Teri Hatcher), whom Bond had had an relationship with, and he is eventually teamed up with Chinese Colonel Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh) to put a stop to Carver's evil plans...

It is different from the previous Bond film, GoldenEye. Whereas that was in a way introducing a new James Bond, and helping him get into the 1990's. With Brosnan now cemented in the role, they decided to go for a slightly outlandish adventure. Tomorrow Never Dies' plot is slightly similar to that of The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), it involves two agents, one working for her majesty's government, the other from a communist country, looking for a man who plans to destroy the world, or rather Bejing. Plus, they're looking for a ship that is responsible for what they're investigating. Watching this film again, the similarities are slight, but they're obvious.

It is a good Bond adventure, with some brilliant moments of action, and if you're complaining about the Invisible Car in Die Another Day, well there were signs Bond was heading in that direction with his vehicle in this one, the remote controled BMW 750, which Bond can direct from his mobile phone, talk about far-fetched!! But, it also has the near breathtaking Halo jump from 30,000 feet, and the motorcycle chase through Saigon, Vietnam, and the final battle on board Carver's stealth boat. Pryce makes a good, certainly crazed villain, rather like an amalgamation of Rupert Murdoch meets William Randolph Hearst, mixed with the eventual fate of Robert Maxwell. There is more action in this, maybe because the script was having teething problems, and this would distract people from that.



It makes a good action film, and a good Bond film, as it's one which really sets out to attack the media, and they way they tend to blow things out of proportion, and it suggests that they can create the news, as well as reporting it. With what you normally see in todays tabloids, and even broadsheets, it makes you wonder whether Bond was onto something with this one. But, it makes for a great way to kill a couple of hours. Bond still has the ability to woo audiences, but it all depends on the way you portray him, and the mission and situations he's placed in.


The World Is Not Enough (1999), darker & more emotional

With Pierce Brosnan now well and truly the new James Bond, it was time to prepare to take him into the 21st Century, even when some believed he wouldn't survive into the 1990's. It would feature probabily the best Bond opening sequence of them all, and some moments of real emotion and vunerability, which hadn't been touched upon since On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), where the title of this film comes from, as it was adopted as Bond's family motto. But, it marked a bit of a transition, even in this, you could probabily get a hint of what was to eventually come with Die Another Day. The World Is Not Enough (1999), was a return to a more engaging plot, even if the special effects and gadgets were on the rise.

The film starts off with Bond retrieving money from a Swiss banker in Bilbao, Spain, which belongs to oil tycoon Sir Robert King. But, he is killed at MI6, and it is discovered that an anarchist terrorist called Renard (Robert Carlyle), is responsible, he can't feel any pain, due to a bullet lodged in his brain. Bond is sent to protect King's daughter Elektra, (Sophie Marceau), who was previously kidnapped by Renard. It is a mission which takes Bond to Azerbaijan, the French Alps, Kazakhstan and to Istanbul, Turkey. Along the way, he teams up with nuclear scientist Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards), and is led into a web of double cross and deceit.

To help create a more darker and engaging Bond film, the producers called upon acclaimed British director Michael Apted, renowned for such films as Coal Miner's Daughter (1980) and Gorillas in the Mist (1988), with Apted on board, he helped give more screentime than usual to M, who would normally be seen at the start and end of Bond adventures. She does play a crucial role in this, especially when she gets involved with Elektra. Robbie Coltrane returns from GoldenEye, for a scene involving a caviar factory being ripped apart. Sadly, this would be Desmond Llewelyn's final appearence as Q, as he was killed in a car accident a few weeks after the film opened, but the film does introduce Q's assistant R (John Cleese), into the frame, whom Q is training to take over when he retires. Q's final words to Bond, "Always have an escape plan", makes for a fitting epitaph to his career as the gadget-meister.

The film has some great moments throughout, including a high speed boat chase down the River Thames, with Bond in pursuit after the bombing on MI6, which ends up at the Millennium Dome, plus there's the ski chase action involving flying ski-jets, and underwater submarine action. Plus, the film has Bond doing one thing that even Dalton's Bond could never do, kill a woman in cold blood, which is really a shock, as this shows Bond as what he is, a killer working for the British Government. Plus, Richards has one of the sillier Bond Girl names, and makes us wonder whether nuclear scientists are really like this, ("I only thought Christmas comes once a year.") Plus, Carlyle's baddie does look a bit like Blofeld, (or maybe more like Dr. Evil), but having a villain who can't feel pain does take it into comic book territory.



Overall, Brosnan is the heart of The World is Not Enough, trying to add a more human and emotional side to Bond, even with his sprained shoulder, he shows pain, he suffers, he is still human. But the film is still a transitional piece, going from the average Bond adventure, as seen in the previous two, into what we would eventually see in Die Another Day, and it really makes you wish that Casino Royale would have followed on from this Bond film. But, this helped take Bond into the 21st Century, with a hypnotic theme song by Garbage, and proving to be one of the most successful Bond films of all, he can still draw in audiences.

Die Another Day (2002), worst ever Bond film??

In 2002, it marked the 40th anniversary of the James Bond franchaise, and the 50th anniversary of when Ian Fleming wrote his first Bond book, Casino Royale. All eyes were looking to the Bond creative team to make a birthday bash with a bang, it could have been the best Bond yet, even early on in the film, it showed potential, it could have been a chance to have the biggest and best Bond yet, with a great plot. But, something went wrong. Instead, the film became a rehash of previous Bond adventures, with lots of CGI shots thrown in, (too many in fact), and was a victim of advertising overkill. Die Another Day rather felt like Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay had taken over the series, and I beg the producers to NEVER take Bond in a direction like this EVER again!! Shocked

The film starts in North Korea, where James Bond (Pierce Brosnan), inflitrates a military camp run by Colonel Moon, where a diamond smuggling operation is going on. However, after a hovercraft chase, Bond is captured, and is taken prisoner and tortured for 14 months, only for Bond to be released and discovers he was betrayed by a mole in the agency, but his superiors, including M (Judi Dench), think he cracked under torture, and gave away secrets. Bond goes off on his own to find the mole. It takes him to Hong Kong to Cuba to London then Iceland and back to North Korea, this search involves billionaire businessman Gustav Graves, (Toby Stephens), his press assistant Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike), as usual, Bond is not alone, he is helped by NSA agent Jinx (Halle Berry.)

With a plot like that, it could have made a good Bond film, but maybe back in the Timothy Dalton era. What ruins this film are the little things, be in Madonna's opening theme song, the bad CGI, (the parasurfing over the waves/icebergs simply beggars belief), a stilted performance from Berry, (the film deserved a better Bond girl), and whilst we're on the subject of CGI, there's the invisible car. The Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, (or Vanish), using a protective camoflague. This is such a bad idea for a spy film, it's moments like this that nearly kill Bond, Invisible Cars are impossible technology, I hardly think that it will ever be perfected, not in our lifetime anyways, and I hardly think a spy would use it. A spy like Bond should be reliant on his own wits, and not use gadgets to help get him out of a scrape.

Much of the film does seem near operatic and forced, I just wanted it all to stop, especially when the CGI goes as far as having electric sparks flying off people when they're electrocuted. The film is no more than a cynical marketing exercise, as bad as the straight to video sequels Disney churns out. Plus, it references all the previous 007 films as well, (crossing it somewhere between Diamonds are Forever and Licence to Kill.) It also takes time to reference other Bond films like Dr. No, Goldfinger and Moonraker, as well as the "old relics" in Q's lab. Brosnan does try his best in what would become his Bond swansong, but we didn't know it yet, but it's hard to give a credible performance as the world's greatest secret agent, when CGI is stealing your thunder. Oh, and the less said about the bonkers subplot involving gene therapy, the better!! :nix:



It's a pity Brosnan's last Bond film was a stinker, he did help save the fanchiase when people thought the series was dead. But, with the film making $430 million worldwide, the public can't be wrong, can they?? Either way, the blame lies with the producers, allowing this to happen, director Lee Tamahori, (his career is as good as dead now), the screenwriters and the CGI team. I'm sure Cubby Broccoli and Ian Fleming must be spinning in their graves that a Bond film like this happened, it makes me pine for the days of Roger Moore. Luckily, the producers have saw sense, and the next one, Casino Royale, will be a back-to-basics Bond, with a harder edge and no CGI, with Daniel Craig injecting new blood into him. Rather like what happened with For Your Eyes Only, after the extravagances of Moonraker...


Casino Royale (2006), Bond's Rebirth

In 1953, Ian Fleming, a journalist and commander in the British Navy, published a spy novel entitled Casino Royale, which was partially inspired by his time in the navy, where he was involved in intelligence activities. The book introduced the character of James Bond, an alter-ego of Fleming, a commander in the Navy who is an agent for the British Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6. The book was praised on publication, (although it was retitled 'You Asked For It!', when printed as a paperback in America.) Within a decade, producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli, had bought the rights to the James Bond books, starting with Dr. No, Casino Royale had been adapted as a live-US TV series Climax! It was quickly forgotten, but adapted once again in 1967, by producer Charles K. Feldman, (who produced films such as A Streetcar Named Desire and What's New, Pussycat?), it should have been a straight-faced Bond thriller, instead, it evolved into a mad, confusing, incoherent psychedelic comedy, which went through 5 directors, and starred David Niven, Peter Sellers, Orson Welles and Woody Allen. Unsurprisingly, it flopped.

With Die Another Day (2002), despite it being a formidable success and being a birthday celebration for the series, (20 films in 40 years), the film was criticised for focusing too much on gadgets, and the CGI overkill which apparantly made this, to some, the worst Bond adventure yet, rather a party pooper considering it should have offered more. It would also seem that Bond was facing a little competition from The Bourne Identity/Bourne Supremacy, which were dark, intriguing and exciting spy films, which didn't rely on CGI or gadgets, and the audiences poured in to see them. Seeing as this was the case, Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, decided it was time for a change, big time. They decided to take Bond back to his roots, they would strip away such extravagances as gadgets and megalomanic villians. Hell, they were planning to reboot the series, showing how Bond got his 00-number. Where better to start than Casino Royale, the first Bond book, where it all began.

The film welcomes Daniel Craig to the role of James Bond. Which begins in Prague, where Bond acceives his first two kills, hence, earning him his 00 status, and a licence to kill, after some trouble in Madagascar, he is soon in the Bahamas, where he later stops terrorist Alex Dimitrios (Simon Abkarian), a henchman to deadly terrorist banker Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), from destroying a protoype plane at Miami Airport. Bond is later entered in a high-stakes game of Texas Hold 'em, at Casino Royale in Montenegro, where he intends to win more money to fund the terrorist schemes he is behind. Bond, apparantly the best Poker player in the agency, along with him are Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), an agent for Her Majesty's Treasury, Rene Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini), a member of the French Secret Service, and Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), a CIA agent whom we remember from previous Bond films.

I'll cut to the chase, this Bond film KICKS MOTHERFUCKING ASS!! It's a break from tradition, (big time), but unlike previous attempts at taking Bond in another direction, which have been at odds with audience favour, (On Her Majesty's Secret Service or Licence to Kill), this one works. It might even give you the suspicion that the previous Bond films before this should have been more like this. It's a Bond film with a good plot, it's one with intrigue and guile. It's not a brainless action film like what some of latter Moore or Brosnan Bonds were like, this is an intelligent Bond film, maybe the first one to have audiences gripped and thinking since From Russia With Love. Smile

Craig, who faced a barrage of unfair, negative publicity as being the new 007, Brosnan wanted to do this one, but he was asking for too much money. But, Craig's interpretation of James Bond works. He is a brutal yet charming killer, as Ian Fleming had envisioned the character. He plays it with a realistic, human quality with an electrifying performance that has you gripped from the opening scene, no opening gun barrel here, wait until the opening credits, that's where they come in, entering a psychedelic fantasia of cards and roulette wheels, brilliantly designed by Danny Kleinman.

It's a Bond film which takes an entirely different approach, the only thing linking the old Bond films, and this new breed of Bond films is Judi Dench as M, still "an accountant". Plus, one line Bond says about M's real name, does leave a debate open for whether that's the same way Bond was chosen. Martin Campbell, who gave Bond a big comeback for the post-Cold War 1990's with GoldenEye, returns to introduce a new 007, and give this Bond film a different groove. It's a long Bond as well, longer than O.H.M.S.S. but this is more about Bond as a person, not showing him as a Superman, which he is normally portrayed as in other Bond films, but this has similarities to what The Living Daylights achieved, which was a good change for Bond, after one camp adventure too many, giving him a harder edge. Even though this is Craig's first time as Bond, he's already made it his own, and the next adventure will prove to be just as exciting, (in some way, this is a 2-part film, depends on which way you look at it.)



A more realistic Bond is just what the doctor ordered, but it's still a Bond film through and through, with a couple of big set action pieces, such as the opening chase across building work in Madagascar and the explosive chase at Miami Airport, (really Dunsfold Park Aerodrome in Surrey, England, where Top Gear is filmed.), But, the sets, created by Bond veteran Peter Lamont are exquisite, from the suspensful, but rather overlong poker game at Casino Royale to a big, literally explosive finale in Venice.

But, in all, it will go down as being one of the best Bond films of them all, (according to some of the critics, it already has), Craig has successfully injected new blood into a stale franchaise, Green makes a seductive and beautiful Bond girl, and Mikkelsen makes a cruel but cool villian, especially when it comes to a moment of near unwatchable torture involving Bond's family jewels and a carpet beater/knotted rope. But, if this is what it takes to show a new side to the Bond film series, then so be it. I have a feeling that Ian Fleming would be very proud of this. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:52 pm

Too much to read this early in the day! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:37 pm

Well, molest my gremlins, that's a lot to read affraid


Will have a go later, there's so much forum stuff to do at the moment (the Decade thread on Empire's Off Topic is high on the list of things to take time with) Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:18 pm

Yeah, I got a bit carried away... Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Mon May 24, 2010 7:53 am

Previous attempts to adapt the James Bond novels resulted in a 1954 television episode of Climax!, based on the first novel, Casino Royale, and starring American actor Barry Nelson as "Jimmy Bond". Ian Fleming desired to go one step further and approached Alexander Korda to make a film adaptation of either Live and Let Die or Moonraker, but Korda was not interested.[2] On 1 October 1959, it was announced that Fleming would write an original film script featuring Bond for producer Kevin McClory. Jack Whittingham also worked on the script.[3] However, Alfred Hitchcock and Richard Burton turned down roles as director and star respectively.[4] McClory was unable to secure the financing for the film, and the deal fell through. Fleming used the story for his novel Thunderball (1961).[3]

In 1959, producer Albert R. Broccoli expressed interest in adapting the Bond novels, but his colleague Irving Allen was unenthusiastic. In 1961, Broccoli, now partnered with Harry Saltzman, purchased the film rights to all the Bond novels (except Casino Royale) from Fleming.[3] However, numerous Hollywood film studios did not want to fund the films, finding it "too British" or "too blatantly sexual".[5] The producers wanted US$1 million to either adapt Thunderball or Dr. No, and reached a deal with United Artists in July 1961.
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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Mon May 24, 2010 11:56 am

AWESOME Donnie, simply awesome. Seriously dude you should write a book!!

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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Mon May 24, 2010 12:15 pm

I don't think I would have the patience or time to write a book. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Mon May 24, 2010 3:04 pm

Ahh you should, its all very imformative an unbiased. Hell i'd buy it if you wrote a James Bond book (HUGE Bond fan here, got all the films and the soundtracks - plus a LOAD of books back in England).

Here's one for you, how many appearences did Pierce Brosnan actually make as James Bond....?

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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Mon May 24, 2010 6:28 pm

Is this a trick question??
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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Mon May 24, 2010 7:04 pm

ah no not really..

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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Tue May 25, 2010 4:01 am

6? 2 games as well as the films?

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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Tue May 25, 2010 11:21 am

Yup!!! Gimli's the winner!!

Goldeneye
Tomorrow Never Dies
The World Is Not Enough
Die Another Day

Nightfire (likeness, not the voice)
Everything or Nothing (Likeness, voice and also featured John Cleese, Judi Dench, Willem Defoe, Richard Kiel, Shannon Elizabeth, Heidi Klum and Mya)

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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Tue May 25, 2010 12:56 pm

I was addicted to Everything or Nothing at one point. And I think it was also that one that my sister and I used to have two players on, rifle-scoping the bad guys!

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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:37 am

007's Twitter page posted this...



That almost looks like the sinks from the beginning of Casino Royale where Bond got his first kill. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:26 am

Looking forward to it soooo much!

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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:20 am

This has the best cast of all the Bonds, along with Daniel Craig and Judi Dench are Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney!! Cool
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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:41 pm

Ben Whishaw off Perfume, I'm Not There and Bright Star, cast as Q!! Surprised Very Happy

Will a younger Q work??
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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:48 am

Interesting. I quite like him.

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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:46 pm

He is good, I remember him from Nathan Barley, where he was Pingu. (Not that one. Razz) But, seeing as they're rebooting it, they might as well go the whole hog.
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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:15 pm

'Ello, 'ello, 'ello!! What's all this then?? Javier Bardem joins the Old Bill in Skyfall!! Shocked



What have they done to him?? His hair is worse than it was in No Country for Old Men... Surprised Razz
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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:34 am

Ben Whishaw as Q!! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:23 pm

Skyfall (2012): Bond's most dangerous and emotional yet...

When Casino Royale (2006) was being made, there was criticism by a lot of naysayers who said Daniel Craig was all wrong for the part, but no-one could have guessed that Craig's back to basics Bond, made after the gritty realism of The Bourne Identity (2002) trumped the invisible cars and bad CGI off Die Another Day (2002). The Bond producers had saw what audiences now wanted, and they went back to Ian Fleming. After the success of Casino Royale, they immediately followed it up with Quantum of Solace (2008), which audiences expected to be one better, but it was hampered by a script spoiled by the stupid WGA strike, a confused plot and quite experimental direction by Marc Forster. After that, 007 faced his biggest enemy which delayed the latest installment in the Bond franchise, bigger than any baddie he faced, bankruptcy. MGM went bankrupt in 2010, and it looked like the Bond Franchise had had it's chips, but they emerged from bankruptcy, and the franchise was back on. Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, for the first time, got an Oscar winning director to helm this installment, Sam Mendes, who showed dark sides to America with American Beauty (1999), Road to Perdition (2002) and Revolutionary Road (2008)), was heading home to take on a very British institution. Mendes had worked with Craig on Road to Perdition, it had been Craig who suggested Mendes for the job. It was an inspired choice, as he manages to make this, the 23rd Bond film, both different and traditional at the same time. It's more emotion than On Her Majesty's Secret Service and more action than the Dalton and Brosnan Bonds could muster.

While on a mission in Istanbul, James Bond (Craig) is in pursuit of assassin Patrice (Ola Rapace), who was stolen a laptop hard drive containing the locations and identities of undercover NATO agents in terrorist organisations. After a chase through Istanbul then onto a train, Bond is accidentally shot by agent Eve (Naomie Harris), and Bond seemingly falls to his death. M (Judi Dench) comes under fire for what has happened by government minister Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes). MI6 is hacked, and M's office is blown up. Bond, who used his supposed death to retire, returns to MI6. He's out of shape and can't even shoot straight. Despite this, M sends him out to find out who did this. Bond find's Patrice in Shanghai, then to Macau where he meets up with Sévérine (Bérénice Lim Marlohe), who takes him to who is behind the attack in London. The mysteriously flamboyant Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), who claims to know all about Bond, all about M and all about MI6. Bond overpowers Silva, and is able to capture him and have him extradited back to the UK, but it all seems too easy...

To say any more about what happens will give it away, but there are some action moments which defy belief, some are absolutely bonkers, (Bond taking on a train with a digger). But, Mendes gets Bond, gets what he's about and what he does. This is closest in tone to classic Bonds like Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice and Live and Let Die. It's the most surprising Bond of them all, with moments of high emotion and some moments you never thought you'd see in a Bond film. Plot wise, it's very well written, with Bond regulars Neal Purvis and Robert Wade working with American screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator (2000), The Aviator (2004) and Hugo (2011)). This is a Bond film that manages to honour Ian Fleming's creation and also manage to be entertaining along the way. Bond here has evolved from the rough and tortured novice off Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace to something of a more experienced agent, as if he's lived through the events of Dr. No to Die Another Day within a few short years. Even after he disappears after the start of this one, and is out of shape, he doesn't give a damn, 007 just wants to finish the job he started. It's respectful of who Bond is, and it even touches on his past in the film's third act, which has seldom been touched upon in the 22 previous films, apart from On Her Majesty's Secret Service. But, it's not so much Bond's story as it is M's story, and her struggle to stay on top of things when MI6 is under attack.

The cast are perfect, Craig's Bond is tough as usual, but he is also able to have a bit of fun throughout, but it's different to see him out of shape and out of condition when he returns after his "retirement", ravaged by too much drink and not enough training leaving unable to shoot straight and unable to do pull ups. Mentally and physically, he's a wreck. But, M trusts him, and sends him back into the field. The only other main character here is M, who is given a lot more screen time than other outings. She's buggered up big time, and she's trying to show she's still capable of running MI6 after what's happened, she's defiant and not going to go out without a fight. Judi Dench puts in her best performance as M, a role she established back in GoldenEye (1995), she doesn't suffer fools gladly and she's also willing to put up a fight. Javier Bardem's Raoul Silva is a force of nature, a loathsome and eerily fey villain who has a personal vendetta against M and MI6, with blonde hair like something David Ginola had. Razz He's a nasty piece of work, and is able to convincingly disguise himself as a Metropolitan police officer. Bardem famously played another baddie with dodgy hair as Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men, and he's creepy and unsettling here. His introduction is one long shot as he comes walking from far away to up front with an analogy about rats. Naomie Harris and Bérénice Lim Marlohe make good Bond girls, the former will possibly be back. Plus, for the first time since Die Another Day, Q is back, this time played by Ben Whishaw, who adds a geekier side to Bond's quartermaster, a change from the older takes on Q portrayed by Desmond Llewelyn and John Cleese, this is a Q is would be good to see again.

Mendes was a perfect choice to do Skyfall, doing the franchise justice and getting a good crew behind the scenes, including renowned cinematographer Roger Deakins, who worked with Mendes on Jarhead and Revolutionary Road, as well as most of the Coen's films. Deakins has a brilliant visual eye, and he helps make this one of the best looking Bond films, with some brilliant camerawork. It's old fashioned and yet it looks brilliant. Mendes has other regulars on board too, Dennis Gassner, as well as doing the production design for Quantum of Solace, worked with Mendes on Road to Perdition and Jarhead, and he returns for Skyfall, creating from brilliant sets, from MI6's makeshift headquarters underground after the attack to Silva's lair, which is a long hall with 2 rows of computer hard drives all connected to one another on either side and the climactic battle up in Scotland, in which the film turns into something out of Home Alone meets Straw Dogs. Mendes also gets his regular composer Thomas Newman to compose a rich, traditional score which is exciting and pleasant on the ear. Also back is title designer Danny Kleinman, who was absent from Quantum of Solace, to create a disturbing and dark title sequence, a gothic fantasia steeped in death and blood.



This is a Bond you won't forget, and it's also a Bond which you can't tell much people about what happens, it's plot is a minefield of spoilers and shocks, and it's going to shape what Bond films will be like after this one. It's a Bond where just about everything is memorable, the villain and his plan, the locations, the characters, the action and even Adele's theme is up there with the best. It's fun, exciting and gripping too. You won't forget the ending either, but YOU CANNOT REVEAL IT!! Once you see how it ends, you KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!! You become part of a secret club once you see how this film ends, even years from now, when it's on TV over Christmas, you can't blurt out how it ends. You have to keep it secret. It's THAT kind of an ending. But, it's a great film to watch, it's long but it doesn't feel it, you're engrossed in the story. Out of all the Bond's, it's visually the best, and makes up for the rushed production of Quantum of Solace, we even have MGM's bankruptcy to thank for how this one turned out, the producers and writers never gave up on Bond 23, and they used the time MGM was in financial limbo to fine-tune the script, make every aspect of it work. It paid off, and it works. Bond 24 will have a lot to live up to, but it'll be fun to see where Bond goes from here. Here's to the next 50 years, 007...
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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:45 am



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PostSubject: Re: The James Bond films   Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:02 am

Oh yeah!

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So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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