I watched all the James Bond films this yearby jjambon | created - 13 Dec 2013 | updated - 02 Jan 2014 | Public
Here are notes I took while watching them.
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1. Dr. No (1962)
PG | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
A resourceful British government agent seeks answers in a case involving the disappearance of a colleague and the disruption of the American space program.
Votes: 129,882 | Gross: $16.07M
Really enjoyed it. Kind of amazing to see the Bond "cliches" before they became that.
Holy *beep* Jack Lord as Felix Leiter! I didn't expect that.
Treatment of women: not too shabby. They are all in total heat for Bond but no one gets hurt.
The death of Quarrel was treated awfully perfunctory, for as helpful a character he was. Actually made me laugh how all of a sudden he's in range of the flamethrower.
"You've had your six" - classic Bond moment.
Dr. No was a pretty good villian, but his death: meh.
Oh, and HUGE, expensive looking sets! I was very impressed with the production design.
2. From Russia with Love (1963)
PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
James Bond willingly falls into an assassination ploy involving a naive Russian beauty in order to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen by SPECTRE.
Votes: 101,712 | Gross: $24.80M
Really liked FRWL. A real spy story. Good action pieces.
As a kid, I never cared about locations in movies, but I gotta tell you, as an adult, the "Bond Film As Travelogue" is one of my favorite things about the series. And this one does not disappoint.
Wanna watch it all over again to really savor Robert Shaw now that I know who the hell Grant is.
So THAT'S Lotte Lenya who I've been singing about in Mack The Knife all these years. My God, she's ugly (or at least she is here).
Deaths: Another Bond helper dies: Kerim Bey. Sad story about Pedro Armendáriz too. So far, no dead Bond girls.
Unwanted homosexual advance used as sinister character trait - just like in Skyfall, but not on Bond himself, and of course in 1963 it could not be played for laughs.
From my looking backward perspective, it felt like an excellent continuation of putting the Bond elements in place. The pre-credit sequence, the ladies in the credits, anything Dr No didn't have, this one does.
It was like watching final assembly of a race car. All elements in place, now the series is ready to ZOOM.
3. Goldfinger (1964)
PG | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
While investigating a gold magnate's smuggling, James Bond uncovers a plot to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve.
Votes: 153,866 | Gross: $51.08M
"such a cold finger beckons you"
Ken Adam is back and he makes his presence known right away with the pre-credit set inside the tanker. Complete with half-circle on the top of the screen! I mean, why is there a secret lair in there that also has cans of nitro all around? Because it's cool-looking!
All the big sets are just outstanding.
Blechh, a lame Beatles joke from 007. So, exactly what kind of music does James Bond enjoy? I'm guessing classical and non-bebop jazz.
LOL moment: Tilly: Take me to a garage. 007, trying to be smooth: By the way my name is Bond, J- Tilly, cutting him off: As quickly as possible!
Deaths: The Bond helpers die again, and this time they are women. And they are killed off so fast! We barely get to know the Masterson sisters, and then boom they're dead. I wish they had bigger roles.
So, Goldfinger kills all the USA's top mafia bosses. Okay then. Robert Kennedy very happy.
The whole car crushing things is just silly and unnecessary. But cool, right?
Travelogue: For me, it was a little disappointing that the exotic locations we visit in this film are Miami and Kentucky, but I understand.
Overdubs: third film in a row that has an actor dubbed because of English problems.
007 saves the day only because his magic penis convinces Pussy (or as Connery says it, Pooosy) to contact the feds. And some other guy turns off the bomb. Not the most heroic ending but huge laugh for the bomb countdown ending at 007.
Many plot holes. I don't think this is going to be my favorite Bond film. Am I being too hard on it? (Answer:Yes)
4. Thunderball (1965)
PG | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
James Bond heads to The Bahamas to recover two nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE agent Emilio Largo in an international extortion scheme.
Votes: 92,048 | Gross: $63.60M
Whoa, Thunderball has got some big problems, yes?
What were all my complaints about Goldfinger? Forget 'em. This made Goldfinger seem like fantastic fun by comparison.
Pacing is weird and slow. Silent sneaking around hotel rooms. Silent underwater scenes. Film is at least 25 minutes too long. (Even the title song says "his fight goes on and on and on")
And about that title song: Big comedown from the absolute peak of Goldfinger. Like the film itself, the elements are there but it's a swing and a miss.
Quips are forced. They threw in more villains and henchmen - but none are given anything particularly interesting to do, so I was left wanting.
Connery starting to seem noticeably older.
Plot holes: Oh, Bond just coincidentally is at the same health resort where the pilot double is having his face work done. Small world. Good thing too, or Bond would have gone to Canada and Miami would be smoking rubble.
Haven't seen any of the behind-the-scenes stuff yet, but all I kept thinking while watching it was, "This film must have been a joyless pain in the ass to make with all this underwater *beep* going on. No wonder Connery started looking for the exit." And I notice Terence Young never came back after this.
Also thinking while watching: Gee, scuba stuff must have been quite exotic back then. I remember some GI Joe play-sets that must have been inspired by this movie. And is that the problem? In two films, Bond went from cloak and dagger adult spy thriller to invincible gadget freak - for more kid appeal?
I have to admit, though, that the whole orange good guys versus black bad guys underwater fight was actually kind of thrilling to the kid in me. The whole audacity of "hey, let's stage a massive fist and spear fight underwater" was cool.
But the paratroopers are getting their ass kicked until Bond single-handedly shows up to kick major underwater ass and turn the tide. I mean, really.
Helper deaths: Female Paula, the Lt Uhura to Bond, offs herself rather than spill details under torture.
Relations with women: still quite ridiculous by today's standards.
And hey, for a secret agent, a lot of characters in this film sure know right off the bat who James Bond, the womanizing egoist, is. Wat's up wit dat? It's like they all saw Goldfinger.
Travelogue: Paris (obligatory Eiffel Tower shot), Nassau and the Bahamas.
Ken Adam: Huge beautiful sets. Love the iconic SPECTRE boardroom.
I "Dub" thee incoherent: Largo and Domino.
But hey, Never Say Never Again fixed all of these problems, I'm sure.
5. You Only Live Twice (1967)
PG | 117 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
Agent 007 and the Japanese secret service ninja force must find and stop the true culprit of a series of spacejackings before nuclear war is provoked.
Votes: 84,970 | Gross: $43.08M
First of all, a personal memory. I don't know when this was, but I remember being a child and seeing the beginning of YOLT on TV. I clearly remember the astronaut's life-line being cut off as the rocket-swallow happened. It blew my mind. What a way to die! What would happen to him? So many questions flew around my brain. I don't think I watched the rest of the movie as I have no childhood memory of anything else.
So that and the "killing of Bond" make for a pretty good opening. Although the whole burial at sea/underwater rescue kinda makes no sense.
M & Moneypenny have duplicate offices in a submarine. Ooooo-kay.
Bond's sliding entry into Tiger Tanaka's office is silly.
Bond has to be rescued by Aki what, like, three times? Lame plot device. Robs Bond of his cool.
I like the fight in the modern office where Bond basically throws couches at the other guy.
Cool overhead shot of Bond fighting off baddies at the Kobe docks. This and the volcano set made me wish I could see this on a cinema screen. (Preferably at a drive-in. This seems like a perfect movie for a drive-in theatre.)
Oh, hello Little Nellie! The gyro-copter fight sequence was very exciting. One of the best parts of the movie.
The whole "disguise Bond to pass as Japanese and even stage a wedding" thing was ludicrous nonsense. Ditto for the multi-girl bathing scene.
Donald Pleasence's Blofeld could have been more menacing, but he was okay - but they should never have had him stand next to Connery in a two-shot. That looked ridiculous.
My God, Ken Adam's Volcano Set. I want to go there. Watching it, my mind said "That's gotta be a scaled-down model helicopter. No way this set is big enough to actually land a helicopter in." But it is real. With a *beep* monorail and everything. Just fantastic.
Deaths: The female Bond helpers die again. Well, maybe classifying Helga Brandt as a helper is a stretch, but by staging so clumsy a death for Bond and allowing him to escape, she helped.
My respect for John Barry just grows and grows. I really hated the theme song at first but eventually it grew on me and then took over my brain for a few days. This follows my similar experience with Thunderball,
Travelogue: great use of Japan location shooting.
This wraps up the "classic Connery" period. Over five films, the template has been set for all 007 films of the future. "You Only Live Twice" seemed a solid run-through of our model. However, the overall impact on me was mixed.
6. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
PG | 142 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
James Bond woos a mob boss's daughter and goes undercover to uncover the true reason for Blofeld's allergy research in the Swiss Alps that involves beautiful women from around the world.
Votes: 68,742 | Gross: $22.80M
MVP award to :Diana Rigg - just great, fantastic work. And the
character - this is a Bond girl who could easily be his equal. (I
started dreaming of an alternate Bond series where she doesn't die and
they work together side-by-side.)
Lazenby gets mixed reviews from me. I like his youth, and the attitude seems right for Bond. Great in fight scenes. But some of his line deliveries are just tonally off, too overdone - like, all the quips fell totally flat. Very green. Would have liked to see him in his third Bond film - he could have grown into it. (unfortunately, he seems to have let the star thing go right to his head and I don't think he fit into the Bond "family" very well.)
Disappointed award to: director Peter Hunt. You got all this kudos for innovative fast editing and this is what you do with it?
The film seems too, too eager to say: it's James Bond, yes, the same one!!! The "other guy" reference, the clips from previous Bonds in the (kinda lame this time) title sequence. And there is an explicit reference to all the other films - with the exception of YOLT. The items in Bond's desk as he's packing up are Honey Ryder's knife, FRWL's garrote, and Thunderball's breathing apparatus - all accompanied by appropriate music cues! Oh, and the janitor whistling Goldfinger as Bond walks by.
And speaking of ignoring YOLT, it drives me insane that despite all that effort to establish that this is the same Bond as the other films, Blofeld does not recognize Bond even though they had plenty of contact in the last picture!
The teaser: How does Bond know she is attempting suicide and not just taking a morning dip? Who are these thugs? What's going on here? Worst teaser so far in the series.
The card game did have echoes of Dr No's Bond introduction. That was nice.
Okay, so Tracy's dad/crime boss Draco wants to talk to Bond so he sends a guy to beat the hell out of him? And then kidnaps him at gunpoint? All to say, "Hey dude, I like you, would you marry my daughter? I heard you saved her from drowning and gave her some money and *beep* her. Oh, and I'll pay you." This makes no sense and already I'm very mad at this movie.
I swear I clearly could see nipples on the Playboy centerfold as Bond is folding it up. Scandalous!
The whole "Blofeld really wants to be recognized as the Count" thing is silly but it does get us the Bond family motto.
1969 - weird colors for walls and lighting. And so many goddamm puffy shirts on Bond, WTF?
Love love love the Piz Gloria/Allergy Institute. Will they ever be as lucky as to find a perfect existing place like this again to film in?
Not so keen on Telly Savalas's Blofeld. Too rough, too common, not Euro enough.
Awesome aerial photography. Beautiful shots of the Alps. Johnny Jordan deserved all his accolades and it's a shame he died so young.
"I know what he's allergic to." So Bond's impersonation of this guy makes the girls think he's gay? Why not just a nerd?
The whole middle section with Bond impersonating the guy and the silly Angels Of Death hypnotizing thing is just death for the picture. A whole hour with no Diana Rigg or even mention of her character.
Pet peeve time: okay, so the process shots (front projection) are much better this time around. But I HATE DAY-FOR-NIGHT. It takes me out the picture every time. I can see that the sky is blue and the sun is shining and people are casting shadows. It's just murky. You're not fooling anybody. Just set those scenes in the daytime please.
So okay, the last forty minutes of the picture is pretty great non-stop action sequences. But it should have been paced a little better throughout the film. The slavish "sticking to the book" is not doing this movie any favors.
Bond and Moneypenny at the wedding - pretty great. (Although earlier in the pic he sure was a lot more fresh with her than Connery ever was!)
And no matter what came before it, the death of Mrs. Bond is an incredibly moving scene with real acting from Lazenby. And then the moment is totally ruined by an inappropriate music cue as the credits roll! Grrr.
Like most Bond films, a mixture of high points and low points. I get (and respect) that Hunt wanted be more like FRWL and to de-emphasize gadgets, but the film is just No Fun. I had a lot of no fun watching it, where I *was* totally entertained by FRWL.
7. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
GP | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
A diamond smuggling investigation leads James Bond to Las Vegas, where he uncovers an evil plot involving a rich business tycoon.
Votes: 83,516 | Gross: $43.82M
This was a more relaxing experience than OHMSS, where I had so many
thoughts, I took notes while viewing. This time, my thoughts mostly
consisted of "Look at those sideburns on Connery!"
Am I getting jaded or was this another ho-hum title sequence by Binder?
Theme song: wonderful. Another grower from Mr. Barry. I've been humming it for days now.
The plot of this film doesn't make sense when I start pulling threads, so I decided just to enjoy the ride. And a smooth ride it is. Connery slips back into the role like a hand in glove. That suave bastard. And god help me, I liked the campier tone.
Hey, some field work for Moneypenny! You go, girl!
Charles Gray as Blofeld: now we're talking. Finally got the casting right. Much better than Savalas or Pleasance.
I was ready to dislike Wint and Kidd, but was surprised to find that they are a highlight of the film for me. Bruce Glover sets the standard for creepiness. But Putter Smith is kind of awful. No surprise to watch the "making of" and find out he isn't an actor.
Who are the gangsters who throw O'Toole out the window and into the pool? Are they working for Tiffany Case? Confused.
Tiffany Case wins a carnival game and a kid calls her out for cheating. She replies "Blow up your pants!" Um, what?
Deaths: Poor Plenty O'Toole. I wish Plenty was in the film more as she has the better name. But Lana Wood: more damn dubbing! It really took away from the performance. Why can't we just cast actors who can act, and speak english? Are they so hard to find?
Moon buggy chase: just alright. But Connery's skidding leap off the three-wheeler at the end of it was pretty cool.
Set pieces: elevator fight - great, but clumsily shot. Car chase thru Las Vegas: really great, except I kept thinking "all those buildings have since been demolished." Oil rig attack: just okay, but Bond slamming Blofeld into the control center: great, and the "007" theme is used. Excellent!
I actually did a spit take when it's revealed that Tiffany unknowingly foiled Bond's attempt to change the cassette containing the satellite control codes. Funny!
Jimmy Dean didn't impress me much as Willard Whyte, though I like the Hughes reference.
Ken Adam's sets are great as usual, but you can tell the budget is smaller. (They could be some cheap-ass producers - raking it in and short-changing the film.)
A larger point: each successive Bond film makes its predecessors seem rosy in comparison. Like, looking back from this point, I can't believe I gave Goldfinger such a hard time. Now it seems like the pinnacle of Bond.
8. Live and Let Die (1973)
PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
007 is sent to stop a diabolically brilliant heroin magnate armed with a complex organization and a reliable psychic tarot card reader.
Votes: 84,596 | Gross: $35.38M
"When you were young..."
I feel like I can't properly address the question of "How is Roger Moore as Bond?" because he was my first Bond and therefore became my template of how Bond should be.
For me, he just feels right as James Bond. Suave, yes. Sexy? Eh. Cunning, yes. Tough? Maybe. But I like the twinkle in his eye and man, can he sell a quip/pun.
Teaser: All right! The best opener since Thunderball. No Bond, but I am immediately intrigued by the deaths of three agents. The French Quarter killing was especially cool.
Theme song & Score: Of course, McCartney's song is one of the greats. When the performer is still singing it in concert decades later, THAT'S a great Bond song. And George Martin's score makes liberal use of both the Monty Norman theme and the McCartney song - love that. Also, use of a rock combo makes this more rocking than a Barry score. Good job, all.
Maurice Binder: A 1973 memory: I clearly remember a spooked 13-year-old Roxane coming home from the theatre and telling me that when the song said "Live And Let Die," a human face turned into a skull and that kinda freaked her out.
Stakes are low in this film. No threat of nuclear annihilation this time. Just a little drug smuggling.
What kept Desmond Llewelyn away?
CIA agent Harold Strutter knows how ridiculous this movie is: "It got obvious you weren't coming out front. Not even with that clever disguise you were wearing. A white face in Harlem. Good thinking, Bond."
Favorite dialogue: "There seems to be some mistake. My name…" "Names is for tombstones, baby. Y'all take this honky out and waste him - now!"
Yaphet Kotto is great, as he always is. The man has gravitas.
So, this film doesn't bother with any overt referencing of previous Bond films like OHMSS did. But boy, did I love to see Quarrel Jr. I wonder, though, is he a secret agent too, or did Bond just set him up with that boat with all the hidden fancy equipment for this mission?
Deaths: In a twist, the death of the female helper is also the death of the female villain. For the first time in a Bond film, nobody dies who is totally good and is trying to help 007.
It appears just about every black person in the USA is a spy for Kanaga.
I know the portrayal of black people and voodoo is what's considered dated today, but what really offended me was stupid goddamn Sheriff Pepper. Although he was a hit with audiences, right? And Hal Needham got inspiration from it. So it's not a total loss.
And the over-the-top-ness of this voiceover coming from Pepper's radio actually did make me laugh: "Miss Pearson just called. Seems her dog's foamin' all at the mouth. She's got him locked up in the shed and wondered if you'd like to come over and shoot it for her."
Tee Hee's mechanical arm looks awful. He's clearly just holding a hook in his hand. This was the best they could do?
Big thumbs up for the run over crocodiles and the bayou boat chase sequence.
The climax is only marginally exciting.
I feel the series is settling in and getting comfortable in a routine of great set pieces held together by the thinnest of plotting.
9. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
PG | 125 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
James Bond is led to believe that he is targeted by the world's most expensive assassin while he attempts to recover sensitive solar cell technology that is being sold to the highest bidder.
Votes: 83,466 | Gross: $20.97M
"He's got a powerful weapon..."
At the end of my last review, I said "I feel the series is settling in and getting comfortable in a routine of great set pieces held together by the thinnest of plotting." Now, we have devolved into "One unforgettable stunt, other ho hum stuff, and a boring story."
Yes, the unforgivable sin of TMWTGG is that it's boring. That is something a Bond film should never be - right, last third of Skyfall?
As I said earlier, it's just lacking in ideas, and seems tired. There's not much here that hasn't been done before, and better. I kept waiting for the film to start, for something/anything to happen, but it never really did.
The Teaser: Hey look, Nick Nack (terrible name) and Scaramanga are doing the Clouseau/Cato routine!
Title song and Score: Speaking of tired, Barry is way off his game here. There's one theme run into the ground and liberal use of the Monty Norman theme - which I don't mind, but is unusual for a Barry score up to these point. Again, it speaks to the lack of ideas. The instrumentation is a little more rocking, continuing the trend of the LALD score. And apparently Lulu was a viable thing in 1974. I don't care for the title song.
Nastiness: Bond is pretty rough with Andrea Anders, slapping her and twisting her arm. Ouch.
Solar Power/Energy Crisis: Sadly, this real-life plot device is still relevant today.
The hidden headquarters in the listing Queen Elizabeth: This is about the best thing in the movie. Witty and well done.
You can't accuse this movie of being too heavy on the gadgets. I think a nipple is Q's sole contribution.
Throughout the picture, Mary Goodnight is just astoundingly stupid. Why, writers, why? And I was confused by some of the banter between her and Bond - why keep calling each other darling?
Jarringly, in the middle of the picture, it turns into a kung fu flick.
And just when I'm thinking, oh goody, finally, some excitement! A car chase! And then suddenly there's god damned Sheriff Pepper calling everybody pointy heads and I hate him SO much. Why why why?
The spiral car jump is fantastic. But.
The slide whistle during the spiral car jump is just a horrible choice. That's the *beep* best, most heroic 3 seconds of the entire movie and they reduced it to a cartoon gag. I'm like, have some respect for the stunt!
Deaths: Anders, following the trapped girl turned Bond lover template.
Christopher Lee and Hervé Villechaize are all right with me. They could have been given more to do.
So, there's an elevated walkway right above the liquid helium vat that just happens to NOT HAVE A RAILING right at the spot where it's most imperative to have a railing. Stupid.
Bond impersonating his wax figure to trick Scaramanga: saw it coming a mile away.
Okay, so some great locations in this one but not much else to keep me interested. This would be the first Bond film I can say was irredeemably bad.
10. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
PG | 125 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
James Bond investigates the hijacking of British and Russian submarines carrying nuclear warheads, with the help of a K.G.B. Agent, whose lover he killed.
Votes: 86,260 | Gross: $46.80M
"Nobody does it better..."
Well, the follow-up to the Bond film I never want to see again is one that's so good I had to watch it twice before writing this review. Ahh, satisfying.
M's office door has turned from red to brown - goddamn you, Seventies.
Great teaser. Some real Bad rear projection close-ups of Roger Moore that kind of stand out.
Marvin Hamlisch's "Bond 77" theme is awash in synths and ripped off Bee Gees groove and is perfect for that year but dated now. But Bond is kinda always "in the now" for whatever the year is. And overall the Hamlisch score is quite nice! Thumbs up for him.
The silence during the ski jump is genius. (Almost makes up for the slide whistle in the last film.)
Best work Binder's done in years. The titles are very entertaining.
Ahem, Barbra Bach can't really act. But at least it's finally a real female part and not just "stand around in a bikini & act like you had a lobotomy."
Not sure how it played in theaters, but the miniature work is just *screaming* miniature work to me. The Atlantis doesn't work. The faraway shots of the Liparus work but the close ones don't. It's the damn waves in the foreground that don't look right that kill the effect for me.
Big beautiful wonderful sets. I love you, Ken Adam. Related: The budget is *significantly* up from previous two films. Even widescreen is back. Broccoli and UA have something to prove here and they deliver. And the forced "long" break between films really helped recharge things creatively, it seems. (So glad Guy Hamilton moved on.)
Helper woman (lady at Fekkesh's home) met and killed in what, like, 90 seconds?
That whole tourist show with at the pyramids with them all lit up - I wonder if that was a real thing that happened or is that something that was just done for the movie. (I know now after watching the "making of". This was very well done!)
The whole city of Cairo's *beep* brown and Bond is stalking through it in brown and beige fashions from the Arnold Palmer line at Sears.
So Jaws kills people by . . . biting their neck? Asphyxiation? Or bleeding to death?
Moore gets his first "shaken not stirred" vodka martini (however, ordered by Amasova.)
Legacy alert: Reference to marriage and killed wife! And Q gets called Maj Boothroyd.
What is the point of Amasova drugging Bond with the sleep cigarette if he's just gonna wake up and find her in the next scene (although that scene is a nice reveal of Gen Gogol in M's office.) (Oh, I get it, because she didn't know they would cooperate. And to get the microfilm. Duh on my part.)
Why does Q have a full lab in Egypt?
Another train fight. Wow, big *beep* hands on Richard Kiel as he grabs Bond in the face.
Hey, you just had sex with Amasova - stop ogling Naomi! Uncool, 007.
Amazing low flying helicopter work while chasing the Lotus.
The Liparus set is just iconic and awesome. And all the red suited henchmen made me smile. *beep* working monorail, bitches.
Stromberg is not much of a villain. He's just okay in my book.
When Stromberg's boat gets shot out of the Liparus on it's way to Atlantis, it's the absolute worst special-effects work I've ever seen in my entire life. Looks like Barbie and Ken dolls for a second there.
The massive fight in the Liparus reminds me of "You Only Live Twice" big time. In a good way.
Jet skis must have been exotic in 1977. (Looked it up. Excuse me, it's a "wet bike." And it's so new, Moore rides a prototype.)
"You shot your bolt Stromberg, now it's my turn." Shades of the shooting of Professor Dent in Dr No.
Jaws vs jaws, man bites shark, hardy har har.
What the *beep* is up with the glee club singing us to end credits? A weird choice.
Oh man, this was a very enjoyable film.
11. Moonraker (1979)
PG | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
James Bond investigates the mid-air theft of a space shuttle, and discovers a plot to commit global genocide.
Votes: 78,978 | Gross: $70.31M
"Where are you? Why do you hide?"
Saw the film in 1979 but the only things that jogged my memory on this viewing was (1) the way they'd tip their bodies head down to catch each other during the sky dive teaser, and (2) the reaction shots of Bond during the centrifuge assassination attempt.
I enjoyed this movie quite a bit. It was just as you described - a pretty good Bond sleuthing caper until they go into space and it gets bad.
Many good action sequences in the picture, none overstaying their welcome.
The title song is just okay but I love Barry's lush score.
Why is Goodhead so reluctant to work together with Bond? And again, the main actress can't really act. Lois Chiles seems to have all of two ways to deliver a line: sarcastic or indifferent.
Love the cable car fight. Really unbelievable stunt work from those guys.
The gondola that's also a speedboat that's also a hovercraft is ridiculous. The reaction shots of a pigeon blinking are uncalled for. But there was a nice touch of Bond throwing the gondolier hat onto a stand.
In like, a minute, the ambulance carrying Bond & Goodhead passes a 7-Up, a Marlboro, and then a Seiko billboard. Product placement much?
Man, there's lots of globetrotting in this movie. No wonder they spend double the budget of the previous film.
This is Ken Adam's last Bond, which makes me very sad. (He took a 6 year break, then returned to film in 1985 with "Agnes of God," and Richard Gere's "King David.") But he went out big, baby. No one set was as stunning as the Liparus from the last movie. But overall, this has got to be his most creative and ambitious work.
During the waterfall boat chase: The "007 theme" is back, baby! Alright, John Barry!
I didn't know you could just walk up to the arch-villain and just ask, "What are you up to here, Drax?"
Great slow reveal of the space station by sunlight.
Oh, my heart sank when I realized: Oh no, they're just going to redo the hand-to-hand fighting from Thunderball - in space. That's stupid.
Oh, hey, we get a disco version of the theme over the end credits. Hmm, I think I like this version better!
And speaking of music: Many musical quotes in this pic (I got this list from Wikipedia):
Frédéric Chopin's Prelude no. 15 in D-flat major (op. 28), "Raindrop"): Drax playing a piano when Bond arrives.
Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra" (op. 30) (associated with 2001: A Space Odyssey): a hunting horn plays its distinctive first three notes.
Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka by Johann Strauss II: during the hovercraft scene on Saint Mark's square.
The alien-contacting theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind: as the key-code for a security door.
Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture: when Jaws meets Dolly.
Elmer Bernstein's theme from The Magnificent Seven: when Bond appears on horseback in gaucho clothing.
No, they should not have made Jaws a good guy with a comedic love interest. Although I laughed when Bond says (as Jaws and Dolly float away in a piece of the space station), "They'll be fine, it's only 150 miles to Earth."
Drax as a villain is just okay.
12. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
PG | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
Agent 007 is assigned to hunt for a lost British encryption device and prevent it from falling into enemy hands.
Votes: 80,944 | Gross: $62.30M
"You can see so much in me that's new"
Did not see the film in 1981. But I remember a big deal being made over the poster, and the fact that the legs and ass came from different models or something to create the perfect image. Marketing!
Another confusing plot. Too many characters: Gonzales, Locque, Kristatos, Columbo. I'm centrally fuzzy on where we're going or who we're after. (Or is it that I watch the films in 45-minute chunks in-between work sets?)
Teresa Bond reference! Died 1969!
Why is Blofeld in a neck brace and wheelchair? Are we to assume his injuries at the end of Diamonds Are Forever 12 years ago have not yet healed?
Blofeld's voice when he's offering Bond a stainless-steel delicatessen sounds just like Triumph The Insult Comic Dog.
Theme song: I always have liked the Sheena Easton song. So sue me. And look, the singer's in the title sequence because Binder was a dirty old man.
Ken Adam is gone but his set for General Gogol lives on! But no more flights of design fancy. Everything normal and realistic now.
Bill Conti: Squealing, wailing synths! Bad faux disco! But generous use of the theme song in the score which always pleases me.
Hey, another Lotus! And then a red one!
The primary villain in this film seems to be the pack of menacing men on motorcycles.
Carole Bouquet as Melina Havelock: not awful, but not memorable either. Julian Glover as Aristotle Kristatos: Donovan!
Bibi Dahl is just a creepy *beep* character. Good name, though. She gets slapped. Hard. Twice! The second one made me laugh out loud for some reason.
Cassandra Harris as Countess Lisl von Schlaf: Pierce Brosnan's wife gets run over, poor thing.
We miss you, Bernard Lee.
Bond staples: Helicopter stunts! Sharks! Skiing! Slow-motion underwater fight sequences!
Loved the sequence in the Bobsled run with Bond on skis and a motorbike too.
Several times during the film, I thought "Moore is really starting to look old."
Good tension on the rock climbing into the mountaintop monastery bit.
Extremely silly ending with the parrot talking to Maggie Thatcher. Just bad, bad, bad.
I'm writing this without looking at the general fan take, but I'm guessing it's not one of the better-regarded entries in the series. As for me, I didn't hate it or love it. It's just a middle of the pack Bond film.
13. Never Say Never Again (1983)
PG | 134 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
A SPECTRE agent has stolen two American nuclear warheads, and James Bond must find their targets before they are detonated.
Votes: 54,258 | Gross: $55.50M
"Forget about long-range plans": review of an Unofficial James Bond film.
We got a cool black Felix Leiter, and an all-around pretty great cast in this flick.
It's bad enough that the title song is ridiculous but it's posted playing over this action stuff. It's comical.
Why is M such a dick?
Hey, Pat Roach!
This all seems immature, like it's a teenager's version of James Bond. Like it was still made in 1965. Not Irving Kershner's fault, I guess. But it doesn't feel right.
Okay, the multiple sharks in the boat scene was actually kind of cool.
So she slowly opens the mirrored doors in this beautiful mansion to reveal . . . a room full of Atari machines. Ridiculous.
LOL'ed at "Your brother is dead - keep dancing!" Let us call this The Exposition Tango.
Michael Legrand's score isn't awful, it just belongs in a totally different movie and not anywhere in this one. It lends to the 1965 feeling.
The special effects and the idea of jumping a horse into ocean is bad.
Missile launched jet packs, bitches. The obviously Raiders-inspired temple set looks cheap.
Thankfully not as much underwater stuff in this film as the original Thunderball. But it's amusing how the big underwater battle from that film has turned into just Bond & Largo fighting.
From the end credits: "Title song produced by Herb Alpert and Sergio Mendes" Now we know who to blame.
This was not a good film. Octopussy kicks its ass all over the place.
14. Octopussy (1983)
PG | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
A fake Fabergé egg, and a fellow Agent's death, lead James Bond to uncover an international jewel-smuggling operation, headed by the mysterious Octopussy, being used to disguise a nuclear attack on N.A.T.O. forces.
Votes: 83,679 | Gross: $67.90M
"All I wanted was a sweet distraction for an hour or two"
Saw it in '83. All I remembered this viewing were the leeches on Bond and the very tense countdown to defusing the bomb.
Good stand-alone teaser. Love the flying-plane-through-building stunt. (Was amazed to find out how simple it was to fake it!)
I have always had a soft spot for "All Time High." The chord change at the end of "Hold on tight/Let the flight/be-gin" is so delicious. Rita Coolidge, not loving her so much. A wan performance. Would love to hear a stronger singer put some muscle behind this.
Also, not enough use of the song in the score for my taste. It's only used for love scenes. But the Bond Theme gets a LOT of play in this film. Anyway, praise you John Barry for a solid synthesizer-free score.
Woo-hoo! Russian meeting room with revolving turntable! Did Ken Adam sneak back in and design this set?
The evil Soviet general is Victor Maitland Herpes Simplex Six!
Bond recognizes his contact in India because he played the bond theme on his snake flute. How the *beep* does Bond know his theme music? This kinda *beep* really bothers me. Like how James Bond is sometimes famously known, instantly recognized, and they even know his standard drink order. Except when he needs to be someone else and so with no disguise Bond just goes in and says, "hello, I'm an expert in [plot point career]." Sometimes this happens in the same goddamm movie!
I LOL'ed at Bond beating Kamal Khan with his own loaded dice. (one of the books smartly pointed out this is kind of a redo of the golf scene in Goldfinger)
Oh, lord, now we've jumped over a camel. I imagine Michael Wilson telling someone, "Be sure and check that off the list of things we've jumped over, okay?"
I love the India locations. (some obvious studio street shots notwithstanding)
Okay, Q gets to give out some gadgets this time. Nothing too fancy, but useful.
Maud Adams is just great in this film.
Alligator submarine! I love it but I know some hate it. For me, the perfect kind of Moore over-the-top bit, and actually pertinent to the location/mission.
I like the whole "most dangerous game" hunting Bond sequence. Although, running into a tarantula web is SO "Raiders." And the Tarzan yell is just silly, and not good silly either.
Most of the quips in this flick fell flat for me, but I got a *huge* kick out of "No, Ma'am, I'm with the economy tour."
WTF is up with those red leotard superhero-looking costumes that some of Octopussy's guards are wearing. A big false note that clashes with the rest of the film's look.
Nooooooo - don't kill Punjab! I mean Vijay!
About this time I start to miss Magda, She kinda just disappears from the film. It's jarring.
Fantastic stunts outside the circus train.
Awesome tension in the whole ticking clock/Bond trying to get people to believe him at the circus ending. And hey, lookee, it's the Force-choke guy from Star Wars!
I hope those stuntmen were paid a lot to be outside the plane like that. Oh man, that was intense. Even more so watching the full stunt outtakes.
A great entry in the series - I liked it a lot - maybe as much as "Spy Who Loved Me"
Again we have a confusing plot, but I didn't mind because this film has so much more imagination than the last. I guess that can be chalked up to fresh ideas from George MacDonald Fraser.
15. A View to a Kill (1985)
PG | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
An investigation of a horse-racing scam leads 007 to a mad industrialist who plans to create a worldwide microchip monopoly by destroying California's Silicon Valley.
Votes: 77,381 | Gross: $50.33M
"Dance into the fire"
Another ski teaser. It's pretty good, until... What the *beep* is "California Girls" playing for? Groan.
Iceberg submarine !
Duran Duran's song is great. I don't like Binder's awful black-light glowing girls. But it is very 80's.
Toss a hat for Lois Maxwell making her last appearance as Moneypenny.
Fantastic car stunts in Paris - love the sliced-up Renault.
Oh how the name "St John Smythe" has always aggravated the *beep* out of me.
Moore looking quite old. His eyes look different. Plastic surgery?
Bond is simply an *beep* to Tibbet. Boo.
The steeplechase scene is weak.
Love the John Barry "love theme"-ing of the title song that pops up several times. I remember it's titled "That Fatal Kiss" and was the b-side to the Duran Duran single. I played it on the jukebox at the bowling alley one night for giggles.
Zorin zeppelin set is reminiscent of goldfinger. Hey, this whole plot is like goldfinger. *beep* they're even gonna kill the hood who wants no part of it.
Christpher Walken should be crazier, man. He's not given enough to do and neither is Grace Jones. They both can be ten times more electrifying than this.
"Détente can be beautiful" has got to be my hands-down favorite line of the entire *beep* series and has been since 1985.
At this point in the film we should be building up to something and instead we are at City Hall looking up stuff. Then an interminable elevator scene and cue the music for . . . a heroic climb down a ladder. Okay, the fire truck cutting in between two cable cars is a notably dangerous stunt! But really, this whole fire at City Hall sequence is useless to the plot, and not exciting enough to justify it's existence.
Ooh, the Mine set is huge!
Okay, they kept talking about how Zorin is a psychopath, but his shooting up the already-drowning miners is the first real psychopathic, menacing thing he's done in this movie.
May Day's flip from bad to good to self-sacrifice is whiplash-inducing.
Oh, Jesus *beep* Christ, like a BLIMP can swoop down and sneak up on you in three seconds. Main villain says "Go out there and get him" to henchman, just like last film.
Best Walken moment is the little laugh he gives just before Zorin falls to his death.
And that's it for Roger Moore, folks.
16. The Living Daylights (1987)
PG | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
James Bond is living on the edge to stop an evil arms dealer from starting another world war. Bond crosses all seven continents in order to stop the evil Whitaker and General Koskov.
Votes: 77,914 | Gross: $51.19M
"Hey driver, where're we going?"
Very exciting teaser sequence. I like Dalton's swagger. But with two double-o agents dead in that training exercise I think Bond should report in now and not wait 2 hours.
Ahem. It's 1987 and rear projection shots still don't look great. Or do I just know too much about movie making?
Titles are sumptuous and good looking. In fact, let's say here that production values seem very high for the whole film. New Bond = something to prove.
The title song is a grower. Very unimpressive at first, but the Barry melodies shine through with repeated exposure. The poor Pretenders get relegated to coming out of earphones with "Where Has Everybody Gone" and the end credits with "If There Was A Man."
John Barry got a drum machine! Kind of jarring at first to hear it used in the score, but it works. The whole score is great and in it, I recognized melodies from all three of the songs.
No M office meeting to get assignment here. Right into next mission. All right.
Okay, General Gogol is going to the foreign service.
Moneypenny gets a little more to do. Necros is yet another Red Grant clone. Sallah is General Pushkin! In Tangier, city of the living!
Yay! Aston-Martin for Bond 25! And do we got some gadgets in this car, hell yes.
I hate the car driving around with the shack on top of it. I don't know what to think about skiing on a cello case. At least there are no animal reaction shots in this flick.
I really like the twisty double-crossing plot. A lot more thought was put into this script. We've got some serious spy stuff happening.
Scene with Bond holding gun on Pushkin and wife is chilling. (I just wish the fake assassination of Pushkin had worked for more than ten seconds.)
Hey Felix Leiter! That dude looks kind of familiar so I'll look it up and it's *beep* Christian Shepard - no *beep* way!
This film is so good that I seriously cannot believe the same people wrote and directed this that were responsible for AVTAK. Somewhere, an uncredited script doctor had to help them with this.
At the very least, it definitely seems the writing was done for a younger Bond. There's no way Moore would have been asked to do some of this stuff. And the love story is so much more believable when the characters are closer in age. But Maibaum said in an 1987 interview: no, we didn't write with Brosnan in mind, in fact we weren't sure that Moore wasn't going to continue. http://www.mania.com/interview-james-bond-screenwriter-richard-maibaum_article_19648.html
Okay, back to the movie.
Joe Don Baker's character should be in the movie more, or cut altogether. Not developed enough.
The mujahedin! The Freedom Fighters! I think I saw Osama Bin Laden in there.
I like Dalton. The acting is great, and he's totally believable. I like the serious non-jokey tone of the film a lot. There's still a little too much "oh, James!" in the female lead, but really she's an improvement.
The mujahedin only went to the Soviet airbase to rescue Bond. But Bond sees them and he's like smirking from the cockpit going okay, bye-bye!
Superlatives don't work trying to describe the greatness of the fight on the opium net outside the plane. Though I did find myself thinking, "Hey the rear projection looks great here!" That's because it wasn't rear projection.
But do we have too many false endings? I could have done without the plane almost running into the mountain. Actually, I could have done without the blowing up of the bridge too, even though the filmmakers are very proud of their miniature work in the scene.
A cameo for John Barry! The pulse of James Bond. God, I will miss him.
Gogol goes out a good guy. I like it.
This was a very enjoyable film. Good start for Dalton.
17. Licence to Kill (1989)
PG-13 | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
James Bond goes rogue and sets off to unleash vengeance on a drug lord who tortured his best friend, a C.I.A. Agent, and left him for dead and murdered his bride after he helped capture him.
Votes: 82,998 | Gross: $34.67M
"And you know I'm going straight for your heart"
Why a different Felix Leiter?
Benicio del Toro impresses!
Good stunt work as usual in teaser.
This title song is an abomination. Written by Whitney Houston's producer and Mariah Carey's producer. Does not deserve to borrow Goldfinger's introduction.
Michael Kamen score is effective, serviceable, but not distinctive. I really miss the use of the theme song melody in the score or any distinctive melody besides the Bond theme.
So-so ho-hum titles. Lotsa Tits!
Note: The final Bond film for actors Robert Brown (as M) and Caroline Bliss (as Moneypenny), screenwriter Richard Maibaum, title designer Maurice Binder, editor John Grover, cinematographer Alec Mills, director and former Bond film editor John Glen, and producer Albert R. Broccoli. (I'm looking forward to fresh blood) Maibaum is so old he keels over two years after this film, age 81.
Ed Killifer is Stilgar/Ed Hurley!
Some nasty deaths in this film.
Bond tropes: sharks, scuba hoses cut by knives.
Sanchez escapes but Bond is the only one who thinks to check on the Leiters???
Wow. Not much is typical or cookie-cutter in this film, and again I can't believe it was written by Maibaum and Wilson.
This time, Bond is the one to read a quip (on Felix) left by somebody else.
Why the hell would 007's fellow agents try to kill Bond as he escapes from the Hemingway house? Really? Dead or alive?
Didn't know there would be so much underwater stuff in this flick.
Man, this film is GRIM. That's the word that keeps coming to mind. Oh wait, the boat runs out of gas and finally there's a kissy-face scene with a mild laugh.
"He's got to be stopped." Really, M?
Where did Bond get the suitcase full of money, when he's thrown every other one he's come across away? (Oh, he kept some from the plane.)
Noooooo, don't kill Sharkey!! (The killing of the helper gets me every time.)
Wayne *beep* Newton? What?
Meditation Institute is a good location.
Yay, a casino, and finally 007 plays a card game I understand - Blackjack. But according to the henchman, bond plays like a real jerk off - LOL. Bond correctly doubles down on 11 and splits two 8's - basic strategy moves.
Is Sanchez's iguana wearing diamonds? Yes, it is. (Books say this might make Sanchez gay. I say, maybe the iguana's gay.)
Robert Davi is good, very menacing.
Is Q going rogue to help 007, or was this sanctioned by M?
Bond gets ready to shoot Sanchez, and suddenly - Ninja fight!? Spider-Man????????
As the "Wavecrest" ship hits the dock, I realize I'm lost. Stop film to check Wikipedia about plot. Why do these movies always have to be so confusing? And not cleverly confusing. Just confusing.
Bond must tell Q and the girl "Alright, this is where you leave" at least five times.
The bullets ricocheting off the tanker truck play the Bond theme!
This film is decent, it is watchable, but it is joyless. I have a feeling it might improve with further viewings.
18. GoldenEye (1995)
PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
James Bond teams up with the lone survivor of a destroyed Russian research center to stop the hijacking of a nuclear space weapon by a fellow Agent formerly believed to be dead.
Votes: 217,092 | Gross: $106.60M
"Revenge - it's a kiss, this time I won't miss"
Uh oh, the score is bad right from the gun barrel start.
"You're late, 007" - ha, ha
Double ohs working together is ultra cool and never been seen before.
The teaser is great and the death of 006 is a shock to the system!
I really like the new style titles - previsuals of what's to come.
The Ferrarri/Aston Martin chase was like a second teaser. Are we going to M's office next? No, it's shades of "Dr No" as Bond and a woman play cards!
Xenia Onatopp: Enjoy it while it lasts. James Bond: The very words I live by. Me: Cool. We're just getting started and the repartee is cracking good.
Alan Cumming makes an Internet reference in 1995! Cutting edge.
Onatopp gets off on killing. Kinky.
Oh yes, this Moneypenny is just right! Great attitude.
"The queen of numbers" arrives! Judi Dench is here to kick your ass.
The character of Bill Tanner (M's Chief Of Staff) was previously seen in TMWTGG and FYEO.
"Your predecessor kept some cognac in the top drawer" is kind of a dick comment. Did she just acquire the position this morning and has not had time to redecorate? Anyway, it's a great M scene.
I spot M. G. Wilson at the russian briefing!
Q looking old but just as game as ever. Airbags in telephone booth is a good gag.
Jack Wade asks "Hey Bond, you do any gardening?" WTF? (Apparently dialogue explaining Wade's gardening fetish was cut.)
Was that Minnie Driver singing "Stand by your man?" Yes, yes it was.
Robbie Coltrane is great.
Hey, you know, the score isn't as bad (drenched in electronics) as I thought it was going to be. There is some nice string work, and the Bond Theme gets good and horn-y.
The 007 in the tank thing is way over the top, or so I thought at the time. No, the statue on top of the tank is definitely too far!
Great looking locomotive for Janus.
I LOLed at Bond's plane crash.
Good miniature work on the satellite dish.
All right! A good old-fashioned three-story underground villains lair - who could not like that!
Counting pen clicks is very intense.
I'm getting vertigo as Bond and Janus are running around the dish. Ooh, an old-fashioned close quarter fight!
Janus' foot on Bond's hand - brutal. (Echoes of Luke hanging off cloud city!)
Oh oh, Janus - Dish to the face!
Great tag with Wade and marines.
Awful closing song - sounds like a retarded Peter Gabriel.
This was an undeniably great flick. I remember loving it in 1995 and I love it now. A great story with a great twist (006 faked his death!), with many tonally perfect nods to the series' history.
19. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
James Bond heads to stop a media mogul's plan to induce war between China and the UK in order to obtain exclusive global media coverage.
Votes: 163,807 | Gross: $125.33M
"Your life is a story I've already written"
I like not seeing Bond right away. But you know he's there.
Oh, come on! There's a key-switch labeled "Peace/War."
That's a great stand-alone teaser that was full of action yet introduces a couple of characters we'll see again like Ricky Jay and Admiral Roebuck.
Grrrr. I do not like this Sheryl Crow theme song. It's wimpy. And besides, I do not forgive them for replacing the Arnold/Lang song which has themes used throughout the film. Otherwise, these are good titles. CG has taken us so far beyond projecting images onto naked females.
I spy M.G. Wilson on Carver's video screens.
Okay, the general sets up a ticking clock - M has 48 hours to investigate before the fleet is in position. The plot seems like a good set up so far.
Charles Robinson is Deputy Chief of Staff at MI6. Where's Bill Tanner? (He'll be in the next film, I see)
Moneypenny doesn't get enough to do.
Carver is orgasming over the headlines. Yet I want Pryce to be even more over the top!
God, I'm just loving David Arnold's score. Truly Barry-like.
Ladies and gentlemen, Teri Hatcher: Actress! This part was well written and would have been better played by someone else. Ooh, knickers and garters!
What is this new "bite the lady's shoulder" sexy move that Bronson's picked up for this flick?
The doctor is famous character actor Vincent Schiavelli, who I remember being a very creepy ghost in "Ghost." He's got an IMBD page a mile long. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001704/
The license plate of the BMW is almost the same as the Aston - ends in 4 instead of A, and of course 4 looks like an A.
The car chase in the parking garage is fantastic - but still, I just don't like the concept of the remote.
The car plummeting into the Avis storefront is a beautiful Bondian touch.
Love the contrast of Wade in ugly Hawaiian and Bond in full naval uniform. More Wade, please! What do you mean they don't use him ever again?!?!?
Ooh, the missiles fell on the door in the sunken ship! Very tense escape.
"Edifice complex" - ho! I finally like a quip.
Love the banner jump, and the fight over who will drive the cycle. Oh man, the cycle chase is off the hook! Love the balconies collapsing as they ride over them.
"Trapped." "Never." Awesome.
Bond saying "Set the timers for 10 minutes" on the stealth boat mines reminds me that we haven't mentioned the 48 hour clock from earlier.
LOL at Carver mocking Wai Lin's Kung fu moves.
Wait, this whole movie is ultimately about obtaining exclusive broadcasting rights in China?
Do I detect hints of Barry's "007 Theme" in the final battle scenes?
Lots of gunfire in this film, unusual for a Bond film.
Damn, the Stealth Boat is a big set. Naturally, it was filmed on the 007 stage at Pinewood - for the first time since "Living Daylights".
Carver standing there to get killed by the slow-moving drill reminds me of kidnapping someone by blimp.
After all that excitement and near-death, and floating on flotsam, they're gonna go with the old "let's not be found" ending? Bad choice. There wasn't much of a sexual situation between them, it was more collegial. But seconds after almost drowning, they just gotta smooch. Ugh.
This is absolutely a solid entry in the series. It seems so confident a film, I was surprised to read that it had a difficult and rushed production.
20. The World Is Not Enough (1999)
PG-13 | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
James Bond uncovers a nuclear plot when he protects an oil heiress from her former kidnapper, an international terrorist who can't feel pain.
Votes: 171,349 | Gross: $126.94M
"No one ever died from wanting too much"
Hmmm, that was a quick and subdued teaser. Now we're having an M's office standard intro with Moneypenny too, and oh wait we're still in the teaser!
The jet boat shooting out of MI6 feels familiar - it reminded me of that awful shot in "Spy Who Loved Me" of Stromberg's boat shooting out of the Liparus.
Totally awesome boat chase thru London on the Thames. Spiral jump!
But adjusting his tie underwater- Come on!
Okay, we're not even out of the teaser yet and I've already shouted "Come on!" at the TV like seven times already.
Another good job on the credits. And of course I love the David Arnold title song. This one uses the "Diamonds Are Forever" template. (TND's "Surrender" used the "Thunderball" template) Arnold's score is pretty good, a little heavy on the electronic percussion maybe.
Hey, I see Chief of Staff Bill Tanner, and the black guy is still here too.
Desmond L. will never be forgotten.
"Do you ski, Mr. Bond?" You know it, sweetheart.
Why did Elektra bet that $1 million and lose it - what the *beep* was all that about? (revealed later!)
What can be said about Christmas Jones, nuclear physicist? I'll just roll my eyes.
Darn it, another confusing twisty plot that I can't really follow. Why do I never know what's going on in these films?
The helicopter slicing up the caviar factory/metal shed is cool looking - but still kind silly.
Bond in the torture chair is creepy great. This is like the only scene that I remember from my 1999 viewing.
Bond says, "Where is she?" And I have no idea who he's talking about. I had forgotten about Christmas Jones. That's how great of a character that is.
Submarine on its nose. Oh, but I love me a sideways set.
We made a big deal about Bond had to go to swimming outside of the submarine to get into the torpedo tube - but now Jones just floats up to another door and joins Bond about two minutes later. So why didn't Bond just do that?
And for the ending, we're going with the old "catch Bond in flagrante delicto." Ugh.
Praise for Sophie Marceau & Robert Carlyle. Scorn for Denise Richards. Not sure about Michael Apted. Thought the direction felt clumsy in places. The editing too.
This wasn't bad. A respectable entry in the series. But to me it seems like the Brosnan films have been diminishing in quality a little bit with each entry. Perhaps the "every two years" schedule is starting to fatigue the team.
21. Die Another Day (2002)
PG-13 | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
James Bond is sent to investigate the connection between a North Korean terrorist and a diamond mogul, who is funding the development of an international space weapon.
Votes: 186,316 | Gross: $160.94M
"I'm gonna wake up, yes and no"
I don't have any problems with this teaser - it seems pretty tight and action packed. I'm going to guess that Zao's gonna keep the diamonds in his face for the rest of the movie. It's a good look for him.
Madonna's theme song is cringe-inducingly awful but somehow catchy enough to stick in my head and torture me. The titles are just okay.
There's a lot of rat a tat electronic percussion in the score so far.
Surely they didn't get permission to actually film in Cuba, right? (Right, it was Cadiz)
Bond picks up a copy of "field guide to birds of the West Indies" LOL
Very cheesy dialogue when Bond meets Jinx.
Having London Calling by the Clash on the soundtrack is a nice and welcome touch.
So Graves is like a Richard Branson analogue? (How dare the villain use a Union Jack parachute!)
Great sword fight between Bond & Graves.
Q Branch: "Does this still work?" - Jetpack reference "Your 20th watch" - the reference to the 20th film - very cute Cleese is very good. Invisible car is double plus ungood.
So this Frost chick is the inside agent, I'm guessing. (Correctly.)
And Graves is actually the dead Chinese guy! Twists!
Hey, this time we actually get to see Bond put the gun under the pillow.
Laser watch cuts hole in ice, Bond jumps in with Thunderball-looking underwater breather.
Ooh. Laser to the back of the head - finally Jinx does something worthwhile. Seriously, this character could be written out of the film very easily, so did it need to exist?
Glass floor breaking is cool.
Para-surfing the tsunami. Ugh. I also didn't really care for the car chase on ice, or in the ice hotel. Supposed to be big action beats but left me cold (pun intended).
So Bond is about to jump out of an airplane and I'm thinking "oh boy, airplane, here comes some sort of special stunt dive" but no, they're going to do some sort of CG plane surfboards or whatever and that just takes all the fun out of it. CGI is is not Bond. We are a long way from Goldeneye.
The disintegrating plane I also don't like. Unreal.
A tender Moneypenny moment with kisses, oh and on the desk now, oh and it's her with the virtual reality glasses, ha ha, they got me.
The plot of this film was good and interesting. But most of the action stuff fell flat.
I *hated* the use of pseudo-slow-motion shots.
The supplementals made it sound like this was a troubled production, with late casting, frantic re-writing, locations falling through, and injuries.
Sorry, but this is my least-favorite Brosnan film. Not a horrible film, but the least.
22. Casino Royale (2006)
PG-13 | 144 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
Armed with a license to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007, and must defeat a private banker to terrorists in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, Montenegro, but things are not what they seem.
Votes: 523,653 | Gross: $167.45M
"If you take a life, do you know what you'll give?"
No dots to start the film.
First use of black-and-white in a Bond film?
I love love love these titles. First female-free titles?
Great song, great score by Arnold with liberal use of the song in it. (That ought to be mandatory for Bond scores.) The Bond theme works so well with the "you know my name" quotes.
The Madagascar chase is thrilling & exciting. Beautifully photographed too, love those wide shots swooping around the cranes with the water in the background.
I totally dig Bond winning the Aston Martin DB5. That brings up something about tone. The nods to the legacy of Bond are all done with winks, rather than elbows to the ribs. And the tone of the storytelling is deadly serious. It's right for the film.
Helper woman dies. Oh Fleming, you lady-killer.
Skyfleet airliner sequence: couldn't Bond have taken a minute to alert airport authorities to help him catch the henchman who wants to blow up the plane?
Bond and Vesper meeting on the train is a great scene.
I still marvel at how they made the card-playing scenes so tense and involving. The stairwell fight helps.
Jeffrey Wright is smoldering as Leiter. He's great.
Lots of Sony product placement.
The torture scene - great. The sinking building sequence - great. The entire film - great. This is why I didn't want to take notes while watching. What is there to say about this film except it's a practically perfect Bond film.
23. Quantum of Solace (2008)
PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
James Bond descends into mystery as he tries to stop a mysterious organization from eliminating a country's most valuable resource.
Votes: 366,949 | Gross: $168.37M
"Another ringer with the slick trigger finger for Her Majesty"
I had the same thought while watching some of the action as I did on my first viewing: "There's some cool stuff going on here. Wish I could see more of it." Damm shaky camera and fast editing. Instead of heightening my excitement during the action sequences, the fast editing reduces my excitement because I'm confused.
Mr White is one cool cucumber. It's a shock when he says we're everywhere and then the agent starts shooting. (What about the money from CR, though?)
White, Slate, Greene: three colors, three Quantum members.
Noooooo! Don't kill Mathis!
I like the airplane battle but you can't pull your parachute six feet above the ground and live. When they find the water in the sinkhole, I had to chant "Arrakis, Dune, desert planet."
Fields drowned in oil is a nice Goldfinger nod.
I like the sub-plot of American interests aligning with Greene, even thought this plotline doesn't give Felix Leiter much to do except sulk.
I hate the Hindenburg Hotel. Why would there be a hotel in the middle of the desert? And why would you build something that could blow up so easily?
And Camille kills Medrano, but then freaks out and freezes still in a burning hotel room? And Bond BLOWS UP THE *beep* ROOM for them to escape but that explosion doesn't kill them too. Lame.
Stranding Greene in the desert is stone cold, though, and I like that.
The tense scene with Vesper's former lover is cool.
This is not a perfect Bond film, but it hangs together better than I remembered, and works really well as a double feature with CR.
CR: Bond resigns from the service but rejoins by the end. QOS: Bond is to be arrested but is reinstated as an agent at the end. Skyfall: Bond uses his supposed death to retire, and then fails psych and physical exams upon returning, but is an agent again by the end. Enough of this "he's-in, he's-out."
If CR and QOS take place back-to-back, then when did Mathis have time to retire? Let's assume that there was at least a few months between the scenes in CR where Bond sees Vesper's message with Mr White's phone number, and the scene of Bond shooting White in the leg/beginning of QOS.
I Spy Michael G. Wilson as the Police Chief that Mathis has arrested in CR, and as a man reading a newspaper in a hotel lobby in QOS.
The Arc Of M: The Craig films to date have featured Bond's first case (CR, QOS) and last case (Skyfall) under Judi Dench's M. Wonder what adventures he had in between?
24. Skyfall (2012)
PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. When MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
Votes: 576,780 | Gross: $304.36M
"This is the end; hold your breath and count to ten"
Yes, this is the end of the Bond rematch project, making myself watch Skyfall on December 30, so I can say I got 'em all in in 2013.
And you know what? I liked it better this time.
Knowing the disappointments to come made them hurt lessened I got into the flow of the story more. Previously I thought the film started to go south somewhere in the tube station chase. But now I think the movie is officially still damn good until 1 hour and 44 minutes when Bond and M get in the Aston Martin and go to Scotland. So, yeah, the final reel is still weak.
So, let's get on with the review.
Excellent teaser/beginning - too bad the rest the film doesn't quite live up to it.
Don't really like the Adele song all that much. It's okay, I guess. Coulda been better. However, I think the title sequence is great.
To me, it feels like this is not the first time we've seen someone type Bond's obituary. But I'm confused.
Daniel Craig's Bond sure makes a habit of breaking into M's offices and residences in all his films - doesn't this guy ever knock?
I'm still bothered by this whole "Bond is washed up" thing as a plot point - three films in to Craigs tenure.
They sold his flat - that's cold, baby. Can I imagine that Daniel Craig's flat was the one that Roger Moore lived in L&LD? Cuz that would be cool. And why not, if he's got the same *beep* Aston Martin as Connery, as we're about to see…
MI6 testing: Like, no, James Bond does not just forget how to shoot a gun all of a sudden! And he magically recovers enough by the end to impress Albert Finney.
Can I say, the movie looks good - beautifully shot and lit. Sumptuous.
I'm sure MI6 could find you a doctor if you don't want to dig those fragments out yourself, James.
Knowing that the black chick turns out to be Moneypenny really makes their banter work extra well as they meet post shooting.
Finnes as Mallory - just really great! And hello Tanner!
Shanghai looks great - nice photography - but still not sure about this impressionistic take on the cat and mouse thing in the empty building.
We did get some use of the Adele title song in the music used in their approach to the casino, and in the end credits. I always appreciate that.
A nice subtle touch - we don't hear Bond make the order, but she's clearly shaking a cocktail into a martini glass so we can assume it's a shaken and not stirred martini.
Okay, I like the casino scene but I don't know about the Dragon - just seems silly. Wish he would not have lost the PPK.
We don't see Silva until pretty much the exact halfway point of the movie. I hadn't remembered that.
Hey Q, virus prevention 101 is not to plug the villain's laptop into the network - geez.
The "boom" songs for Silva are a nice touch - I like that
What is the point of the whole "we need to disappear so we're going to go switch vehicles, and go somewhere secret, but leave a trail so the villain can track us exactly, but we're not gonna bring any weapons to fight against him." It doesn't make any sense if you think about it too much - sloppy writing.
"Home Alone Bond" at Skyfall. The old ways are best, my ass.
Overthinking it: M becomes the cliche female Bond helper that dies.
Love that Mallory/M has a padded button door again - I wish that it was red and not dark brown!