3 items from 2015
The Film: Lousy, quite frankly. Throws away a brilliant premise and the best villain of the series. A decent if uninspiring first act slides into an utterly shambolic second. Clarity is left by the wayside, dignity jettisoned swiftly after. The Solex Agitator must be the dullest MacGuffin in cinema, the villain’s lair is a solar power plant operated by a single henchman (who looks highly unqualified in thermal energy). Potentially strong scenes are sabotaged by nonsensical additions: Goodnight in the wardrobe, the ‘whoop’ noise as the car corkscrews over the river.
The Villain: Destroys the received wisdom that a Bond film is measured by its antagonist. Were that the case, Golden Gun would be a stone cold classic. Francisco Scaramanga is the baddie benchmark. He is far more compelling »
Following his directorial debut, the 1967 Sonny and Cher vignette flick Good Times, director William Friedkin struggled through a couple of projects before landing his first really provocative title with 1970’s The Boys in the Band. Of course, following that would be The French Connection and so on and so forth. But prior to that, Friedkin helmed a period piece penned and produced by Norman Lear, The Night They Raided Minsky’s, which more or less depicts the accidental invention of stripping during the golden period of burlesque. Plagued by various production issues, including the death of Bert Lahr (you know him as the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz) during filming, the initial cut of the film was famously termed ‘disastrous,’ and the title would be retooled for nine months by editor Ralph Rosenblum and finally see release a year after production ended. While not quite charming or as »
- Nicholas Bell
The James Bond movies have a formula – gadgets, guns, car chases, fight scenes, and, most importantly, beautiful women whom Bond (improbably, it has to be said) seduces at every turn. It’s this very formula that has helped turn Ian Fleming’s super spy into a household name and global brand.
The ‘honour’ of being a Bond girl is bestowed upon few, and while they become part of a legacy, it can be hard for the actresses who portray the ‘girls’ to maintain a level of mainstream success. It’s all too common, sadly, to see women of a fine acting calibre unable to find new material, or to break out of the objectified roles altogether – actresses such as Britt Ekland, Lois Chiles, Barbara Bach, and Izabella Scorupco for example, failed to maintain the global success and exposure that a Bond film gifts.
However, fortunately, more and more Bond »
- Chris Haigh
3 items from 2015
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