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One of the Hungarian commercial televisions is broadcasting all James
Bond-movies from 'Dr. No' to 'The World Is Not Enough'. Yesterday evening
the next in the row was 'Moonraker', the 11th installment in the series.
According to the IMDB rating (5,9/10) and the critics, besides 'A View to
Kill' this would be the worst of the series. Having seen all the first 10
James Bond-movies, I would say that this is one of the best of the 1960s
'70s. Only 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service', 'From Russia With Love' and
'Goldfinger' could top this one.
It is a very good action movie because it didn't take itself
and the film-makers at last realised that James Bond is deeply rooted in
worst traditions of the pulp fiction. Ian Fleming is not Len Deighton nor
John Le Carré. So this is the first 007-movie which doesn't want to be
than an escapist action spectacle with gorgeous locales, sexy women,
dazzling fights and state-of-the-art special effects. Fortunately the
slapstick is more subtle than in the 'Live and Let Die' and in 'The Man
the Golden Gun', which are the lowest points of the series and I'm sure
'A View to a Kill' can't be worse.
Many people say that this was a 'Star Wars' ripoff. I would say that
every James Bond-movie should be watched in the context of its historical
(both cultural and political) background. It's natural that the producers
wanted to profit from the success of the 'Star Wars' and other sci-fi
of the late 1970s. The greatness of the James Bond-series is due to the
that every episode is a perfect interpretation of the actual state of the
politics, culture and movie trends.
I recommend this film to every movie fan but one should consider
observations above first.
P.S. If you don't believe in the power of love, you should check Jaws out.
Moonraker had the testicular fortitude to make a "space" movie on the heels
of Star Wars. Nothing wrong with that. You have to ride the wave in
Hollywood and they did it with Moonraker. The film raked in mega bank and
was a huge success. Roger was gritty and fun. The film had some great names
in it too, such as HOLLY GOODHEAD! Hugo Drax played by Michael Lonsdale was
great too. The boat chase was excellent! The return of Jaws was awesome.
Wonderful sets and special effects. The title song was way cool too.
Moonraker is a lot of fun. I recommend it.
Roger Moore returns as James Bond 007 in his fourth Bond movie. After the fantastic The Spy who Loved Me the Bond filmakers really had to pull out all the stops to top it. To do this they had a huge budget (for 1979) $30, plus they tried to cash in on the Sci-Fi boom created by Star Wars. The result was in many peoples minds one of the worst Bond films, because mainly I suppose because it is so over the top. It is also very similar to in storyline to the previous film (swap underwater for Space), have the same henchman (Jaws) etc. It does seem a bit James Bond by numbers. Then why is it that I love this entry so much?. Well as I mentioned before Jaws returned, my favourite Bond henchman, also John Barry scored the film and its a fantastic score too, especially when they finally enter space. The sets and special effects are wonderful, give me this over the computer trickery of Attack of the Clones anyday! Holly Goodhead (snigger) is a great Bond girl, she's a match for him and Lois Chiles is beautiful AND she can act, actually look out for her in a cameo role in the first Austin Powers film! Also Michael Lonsdale as Drax is the bet Bond Villain since Donald Pleasence in You only live twice. The only downers are the over reliance on comedy, I hate the sequence in Venice when Moore drives his Gondala through the square with a pigeon doing a double take, awful! Plus the theme song is a bit weak too. They made the next Bond film more reaistic so just sit back and enjoy this one, its terrific entertainment. ***8/10***
"Moonraker", the 11th James Bond adventure, is probably the most sloppily
made 007 movie to date. Many consider this to be the worst Bond movie
(others may say "The Man with the Golden Gun" or "A View to a Kill" as the
worst). Well I'm a huge fan of the series and I've pretty much enjoyed every
movie, including "Moonraker". This joyfully silly adventure has our favorite
British spy (Roger Moore) investigating on why a space shuttle was hijacked.
This investigation takes Bond first to California, then to Venice, then to
Rio de Janeiro, and finally climaxing in outer space. "Moonraker" has alot
of good things going for it. The action and special effects are fine (if a
bit tacky at times). Bond gets a good female companion in Dr. Holly Goodhead
(Lois Chiles), and 007 crosses paths once again with that steel-toothed
villain Jaws (played once again by Richard Kiel, who played the character in
the 007 movie before this one, "The Spy Who Loved Me"). However if their is
one objection that I have to make about "Moonraker" that would have to be
the main villain Drax, played by Michael Lonsdale. This has got to be the
dullest Bond villain so far. I was constantly laughing at this bad guy
whenever he talked in the movie. Hahahahahahaha! Aside from that,
"Moonraker" is a fun 007 adventure. Not one of the best in the series, but
out of the 19 007 movies in the series to date, it lies somewhere in the
*** (out of four)
Perhaps a bit too far from the james bond formula but this was the highest
grossing james bond film until goldeneye 16 years later.
this is sadly the last appearance of bernard lee as M as he died in the
production of for your eyes only.
Richard Kiel's performance is as good as it can be for the character he plays and the fact that the man is 7ft 2in tall he steels the camera with each appearance
roger moore is now beginning to show his age also but his acting is as fine as ever
the film's biggest attribute is the set which took 22000 man hours to build, and it shows. we have now tacky pictures like we saw in goldfinger and even the explosion pictures are unusually good looking for a james bond film
This is a truly great film. It has a low rating 5.2/10 and even less in others but in my opinion was the (second) most enjoyable "Bond" film that i have seen. I have seen all of them all except the most recent and they are all good in their own right, but this is one of the best. Not only that, but it stars Roger Moore who was the best "Bond." Thank-you.
Moonraker was the last time the Eon team made a slightly
forward-looking Bond. While there are obvious references to the past,
as is inevitable in every franchise, it makes a departure from previous
outings by sending 007 into space. Today's Bond is a retro man, who
tries to capture the romanticism of the past by driving what looks like
Sean Connery's Aston Martin.
One problem is that Moonraker is a remake of 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me with a space theme. Another is, as Bond fans will tell you, that this is hardly 'Ian Fleming's Moonraker' as the titles and movie posters proclaim. Only the recurring characters are the same (Bond, M, Q, Miss Moneypenny), but there is a different female lead role and the villain is no longer ex-Nazi Sir Hugo Drax, but Drax (no Christian name), obsessed now with the conquest of space rather than the destruction of London.
Moviegoers must bear in mind that Moonraker is a comedy. This is about Roger Moore metaphorically winking at the camera. Moore himself has said he enjoyed his Lewis Gilbert-directed outings the most, because he and the director had a similar sense of humour, and both had a fun time injecting light comedy into the piece. Scriptwriter Christopher Wood has created something to suit, although the absence of Richard Maibaum is evident.
Michael Lonsdale plays a suitably mad villain with such lines as 'First there was a dream, now there is reality,' and the famous 'Look after Mr Bond. See that some harm comes to him,' played with a menacingly calm manner (although not as nonchalantly as Gert Frobe in Goldfinger); but on the whole, all characters-and their wardrobes-are cartoon-strip caricatures.
For moviegoers in 1979, one appeal was the return of Jaws (Richard Kiel), the most popular henchman of the franchise. In line with the comedic angle, Kiel has one sentence to say after two films, at the end of Moonraker. While scary in The Spy Who Loved Me, Jaws is now a cartoon villain, playing for laughs while Bond head-butts him in the teeth.
There are some saving graces in the beauty of the Bond girls, but even they are flat characters who can hardly be called independent. Dr Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) may have a Ph.D. but can hardly be called a counterpart to Bond in the manner of the leading ladies in the Brosnan Bonds to date; but like Corinne Dufour (a luminous Corinne Cléry), she is stunning and the camera delights in her presence.
Moonraker is notable for featuring the last appearance of the excellent Bernard Lee as M, here adopting a more fatherly relationship to Bond, as he occasionally does in the books.
Maurice Binder's opening title is probably the best of all his Bonds; the primary colour tones are used to good effect, the typography observes certain rules about balance and letterspacing, and it has, for the most part, aged better than the rest of the film. John Barry's score is absolutely marvellous and heavily orchestral; there are strong melodies and it accurately reflects the comedic action in its arrangement of The James Bond Theme. The Moonraker theme itself is such a beautiful piece that it must rank as one of the finest Barry has composed; it is not as Bondian as Goldfinger or OHMSS, but it is very Barry, used most effectively as "love themes" when Bond meets Corinne in her bedroom-or when Bond meets Holly in hers. Shirley Bassey lends something to the vocals but in some respects she does not seem to be the right choice for such a romantic theme. Matt Munro might have been, but we will never know.
There are some good (for 1979) special visual and miniature effects, particularly the floating-in-space sequences when the first astronaut arrives at Drax's space station, and Moonraker does not suffer as badly next to the space films of the era as, for example, You Only Live Twice (also directed by Gilbert) did against 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Product placement is at its peak in this Bond film, in a far more obvious fashion than in Tomorrow Never Dies. Marlboro cigarettes and Air France tickets are in Holly Goodhead's drawer; Bollinger is referred to expressly by Bond; and a road in Brazil has the billboards of all the major participating companies in this film (!): Seiko, 7 Up, British Airways, Marlboro.
The fun everyone had on the set is apparent. Provided that a goofy and offbeat Bond is what you seek, Moonraker doesn't fail to deliver: Jaws attempts to fly by flapping his arms when he discovers his parachute won't open; Alfie Bass coughs and chokes when he sees a villain's coffin floating down a Venetian canal; the opening notes of Close Encounters of the Third Kind are used as the code sequence to a secret lab; a tourist examines his wine label when he sees a gondola on land (an old joke, but thank you Christopher Wood); and Bond rides across the desert on horseback wearing a poncho to the theme of a wonderfully arranged The Magnificent Seven (a throwback to the John Barry Seven days-or simply a concession to the product placement by Marlboro?).
This is not a Bond where you have to think. Then again, none of the Bonds are. As long as you approach it with comedy in mind, it is successful. Moore fans those who enjoyed The Saint or The Persuaders will find nothing wrong at all with this film and wonder why people are so cruel about it. This is the trademark light comedy Roger Moore Bond, and is a fine example of that genre if it can be called one.
I think that people mistakenly dismiss this movie as pure cheesiness. I
have seen all of the bond films several times and i think that this is my
favorite for several reasons. the locations are fantastic, the villains
(even without jaws) are really interesting, and the way that the plot leads
to outer space, though unrealistic, is just a lot of fun to watch. this
bond film takes all the aspects of a bond film and pushes them to the limit
who would watch a bond film to learn some deep message about life??? if only the new films wouldn't be so serious. If i want a fun film i will watch moonraker, you only live twice, or diamonds are forever. i would pick the evening news over goldeneye or tomorrow never dies anyday.
i like the bond films that make me feel like i am reading a comic book which is what moonraker does best.
WHY? Why all the negative comments about this film? I mean, I'm not trying to be be impartial even though I am a BIG Bond fan and really like Moore's acting ( though he's not as good as Connery or Brosnan ), but I think that this movie deserves more credit than it's getting. It has great action, a great plot and GORGEOUS women!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So Pleeeeeeeeease give this film more credit than it's getting.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After its excellent predecessor "The Spy Who Loved Me", this was a
rather underwhelming film. It cost $34 million to make, more than twice
as much as that film and about 30 times as much as "Dr. No" 17 years
later. However, I enjoyed those films far more than this one.
In his fourth appearance, Roger Moore is on fine form, playing 007 with his usual wit and charm. While the then 51-year-old was already beginning to look a little too old for Bond, he was very bit as effective in the role as he had been in the first three films. In his eleventh and final appearance as M before his death in 1981, Bernard Lee was as excellent as ever, though it was quite clear that his health had declined quite a bit in the two years since "The Spy Who Loved Me". He was a wonderful actor with great presence. His performances, even in the lesser films, helped to make M seem three dimensional. The character's bark was often worse than his bite and, in spite of the fact that he frequently chastised 007, he had a great deal of respect for him as an agent and I would like to think on a personal level as well. I'll missed his invaluable contribution to the series in future films. While Lois Maxwell is always convincing in the role, the flirting that was so prevalent between Bond and Miss Moneypenny during the Sean Connery seems to have all but disappeared in the Roger Moore era. As Q, however, Desmond Llewelyn gets better material and more to do than in the previous three films and his banter with Bond is the best for quite some time. He also gets the best line in the film!
However, the guest characters are a bit of a mixed bag on this occasion. Lois Chiles is quite good as Holly Goodhead but the character isn't very interesting. She's certainly a capable woman but she has no distinguishing characteristics. She is also the fourth female spy in as many films. It's beginning to get a tad old at this stage, particularly since they couldn't really have improved upon Anya Amasova and her storyline from "The Spy Who Loved Me". Michael Lonsdale is a very good actor but his acting style is too restrained and understated for a Bond villain. He never really conveys a sense of menace as Hugo Drax, I'm afraid. In much the same way as Holly seemed like a poor man's version of Anya, Drax seemed like a poor man's version of Karl Stromberg. While their appearances are brief, Corinne Clery and Emily Bolton are classic Bond girls as Corinne Dufour and Manuela respectively. The former meets one of the more unpleasant ends for a woman in the films, surpassed only by Helga Brandt in "You Only Live Twice". Among the rest of the film's male contingent, Geoffrey Keen and Walter Gotell were the only ones who stood out.
After the seriousness of "The Spy Who Loved Me", the film marks a return to the kind of silly humour seen in "Diamonds Are Forever", "Live and Let Die" and "The Man with the Golden Gun", which is a disappointment as the previous film helped to re-establish Bond as the premiere action thriller film series. I doubt that the fact that the only 1970s film without copious amounts of silly humour is the best regarded is a coincidence. Reintroducing over the top humour seems like a step backwards, though at least we are spared the sight of Sheriff Pepper in California, Venice, Rio de Janiero or space! In this instance, Jaws is the centre of much of the film's humour and it does neither the character nor the film any favours. In "The Spy Who Loved Me", he was bloody terrifying but introducing a love interest for him and making him a goodie was a dreadful idea. The character should have remained a one- off henchman in spite of his popularity. Failing that, they should have at least waited to bring him back in a more serious film.
As I mentioned earlier, Eon spent what was then an absolute fortune to bring the film to life and it shows. The scenes in Venice and Rio de Janiero look wonderful, the Sugarloaf Mountain sequence is excellent and the space station set is one of Ken Adam's best. However, for all that, I still don't think that it matched the spectacle of the previous film. This isn't helped by the fact that the plot is essentially the exact same as "The Spy Who Loved Me", making it appear rather uninspired. Admittedly, that film's plot owed a great to deal to "You Only Live Twice" but I felt that it improved upon the 1967 film in every single aspect so it didn't bother me. Of course, "Moonraker" is best known as "the one where Bond goes into space." While these scenes are certainly very impressive, I don't think that it was a great idea. The last half an hour or so of the film, particularly the laser battle between Drax's forces and the American forces, seems too far removed from its roots to be taken seriously. I had similar problems with the opening sequence in which Bond is able to steer himself while falling from a plane without a parachute and catch up with the henchman, stealing his parachute. Shortly afterwards, Jaws manages to pull off much the same trick. My first thought was, "Christ, this is James Bond, not Superman!"
Overall, this is a decent and well made film but a rather uninspired one. Bigger isn't always better. It tries too hard to be "Star Wars" when it should be trying to be excellent James Bond. I'm looking forward to the series going back to basics with "For Your Eyes Only", though we were promised that film last time as well!
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