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The never-ending Bond 24 thread

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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:39 pm

I was thinking of the more relatively recent Bond films, but yes, Diana Rigg was phenomenally strong.  Anyone who speaks ill of her, either as an actress or as the character of Tracy, will suffer physical pain at my hands for having the temerity to even try.  And yes, she does deck one of the henchman during the rescue at the end, but the way that she does it fits her character perfectly.  She does not so much outfight him as she dodges and then outsmarts him.  But probably my single favorite moment with her in the entire film is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot.  One of the wonderful things about the movie is that after her rescuing Bond at the rink, as you noted, she ends up driving during their escape, and she genuinely kicks ass behind the wheel (again, something that fits her character perfectly.)  My favorite moment is one single shot during that chase -- I think that it is during their spin through the ice rally -- when she has her tongue sticking slightly out of one side of her mouth.  The expression on her face is one of someone who is exhilarated by the experience; she is enjoying the adrenaline rush.  I cannot think of a better way to define her character at that point than that simple expression.  She lived life on the edge prior to meeting Bond out of having a death wish; after having fallen in love with Bond, now she wants to live, but still enjoys the thrills in a more positive fashion.  It is nice to have a Bond girl react to danger with something other than pants-wetting fear.


I think that Cruise's insistence on finding different directors for each Mission Impossible film is one of the biggest strengths of the series.  He has gone out of his way to find directors with different styles, and as a result each film has had a unique stamp, regardless of the stories.  Though it does sound like Christopher McQuarrie is going to return for the next one.  Hard to argue with that, though, considering both the artistic and the financial success of the last film.  That will be their third film together, counting Jack Reacher, so clearly they are in sync with each other.

My one regret was the director that they lost.  At one point, David Fincher signed on to direct the third installment, but left due to creative differences.  I have little doubt that he would have made the best film in the entire series, once again, regardless of story.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:55 am

Out of curiosity, what do you think of Rigg in Game of Thrones?

As an aside, I've started rewatching the Bonds in order. One other credit that must be given to OHMSS is Bond's wardrobe. Lazenby is one of the best-dressed Bonds ever (frilly shirt aside -- I'm just not a fan). The fit is bang on and his look is rather timeless. Yes, he's blessed as a former model that most things are going to look good on his frame, but still. Credit where credit is due.

I'm now into the Moore timeline, and it's disappointing going in chronological order. Even out of the gate, the Bonds during the Moore years are not up to the same standard. I know this is nothing new, but I was reminded of how striking the contrast is going through it all in chronological order. I already miss Connery and Lazenby.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:39 pm

I love Rigg in Game of Thrones.  She plays the mischievous ambiguity of the character to a perfect T.  

Have you seen any of season five yet, or are you still like me and waiting (im)patiently until it hits Blu-ray on the Ides of March?


I have said before that I love Lazenby's wardrobe in OHMSS, and yes, I also love the frilly shirt.  Only he could have pulled that one off -- or the kilt, frankly, even though Connery was the real Scotsman.  Lazenby was one of those rare people who looks good in nearly anything, and in the case of OHMSS, it does not hurt that they put him in very good clothes indeed.  I even love that sort of a jump suit that he wears on the way to Draco's for the first time.

I did the chronological viewing before Skyfall, but I only watched the Craig films before SPECTRE.  But I think that I am getting near the point where I may want to do it again.  Yes, Moore's films stick out like a sore thumb when you watch them that way.  They are far more tolerable when you watch them in isolation and try to judge them on their own merits (or at least on whatever merits that they do have.)  The best that I can say for them is that some of them are nowhere near as bad as their reputations (for example, The Man with the Golden Gun and A View to a Kill,) and at least Brosnan has officially sunk to a lower level than Moore in my personal pantheon.  Which is damning with faint praise, but there you go.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:01 pm

I haven't read any of the Game of Thrones books, so I can't compare the on-screen characters with those in the book, but I do enjoy Rigg. She often goes beyond mischievous into devilish, and that's just perfect. I haven't seen Season 5. I'm waiting for the Blu-rays to be released.

I've seen Connery pull off a kilt, and I think he could have done so as Bond. I think the Bond movies he was in didn't lend themselves to him being in a kilt, and that would have been the bigger challenge -- it simply would have been forced.

It's funny that you mention reputation because I agree that the Moore films you mentioned aren't as terrible as some would have you believe. However, I've seen people say the same of Moonraker and I just don't buy that one. I think the film is terrible and a bore. Incidentally, Moonraker is up next, and I'm stalling. The last time I watched it, I promised never again. But, here I am . . .

Bronsnan plummeted to last place for me some time ago (I think I complained about it in this thread). I'll see how I feel when I get to his films again.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:13 pm

I have read several things lately defending Moonraker, and it just baffles me. That might be the closest thing to a total loss in the entire Moore canon. Yes, the Shirley Bassey title song is pretty good (if the weakest of her three,) and some of the visual effects are quite good. Michael Lonsdale is at least a serviceable villain. Pretty weak tea as a defense. I think that I mentioned that when I did the last run-through of the entire series before Skyfall that I nearly bogged down on even getting through Moonraker, and decided that it was likely the last time that I would watch the movie. I am sure that I will break down on that sooner or later. It seems like cheating to say that you are watching all of the movies in order and then skip one.

While Moore has always been my least favorite Bond, at least until Brosnan took his fatal plunge for me a few years ago, I can at least find something to defend in all of his movies -- even the ones that I do not particularly like. A View to a Kill is often considered one of the worst of the series, but while it may be a failure overall, it has quite a bit going for it. The title song is one of the best in the series, and Barry's score is actually of of his finest -- certainly one of his most underrated. Grace Jones is fun, at least up until the point that they ruin her character by "redeeming" her. The Moore/Macnee interplay is actually well done. The opening ski sequence is great, up until the point that they trash it with the Beach Boys cover. Christopher Walken is a serviceable villain, even if he is not really at his best in that movie.

And yes, I still maintain that The Man with the Golden Gun is actually my favorite out of all his movies, though it is far from the best. I do admit that some of my reasons for liking it are personal, though, and not really related to the quality of the movie.

Speaking of Moore and his unsuitability for Bond, I cannot remember if we have talked about this, but have you ever seen the movie where he truly shone -- Ffolkes? I seem to recall reading somewhere that it was one of his favorite characters to play.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:12 pm

The same could be said of Richard Kiel, as you said for Grace Jones. Even though he is written off as comic relief in most of Moonraker, the biggest offense in my mind is when he is redeemed at the end. I understand that was done to appease the children of that era, who had taken a fondness to the character. Still, I prefer him menacing.

I did get through the film. The good news is that the first 30 minutes or so are watchable. It gets right silly during the canal chase scene and continues to go downhill from there. The last 20 minutes in space feels like two hours and completely ruins the movie, particularly when the lasers start firing. Ironically, I also decided to reread the novels in order, and I just started Moonraker. While I recall that the book is also unrealistic in the third act, I had forgotten how good the first act is, with a look at Bond's home, the gambling and discussion of food and drink.

I'm not sure how'd I'd rank the Moore Bonds just yet. I still have three to go.

I have not seen Ffolkes. I'll have a look; see if I can find it on Amazon.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:48 am

Ffolkes is not available on Blu-Ray, sadly, so you will have to settle for DVD. One of the most fun things about it, and likely the reason why Moore loved it so much, is that his character is the polar opposite of Bond, or Simon Templar for that matter. Ffolkes is a tough and gruff old salt who hates women with a passion. And Moore has a field day with the part.

I actually enjoy re-reading the book Moonraker once in a while, despite the fact that as you note it loses its head after the first half, because it has so little in common with the movie version that it is one of the only books that can still seem relatively fresh to me. I tend to have the movie burned into my brain (mostly in bad ways) so when I pick up the book after quite a few years, it manages to surprise me a bit. But it still ends up disappointing overall, despite the good elements that you noted, though it hardly makes me actively angry like the movie does!

Differences are not always positive. While Diamonds are Forever is pretty much unquestionably my least favorite Bond movie, possibly topping even Moonraker, on my last read-through of the books it ended up one of my least favorites as well. The book is very different than the movie, but it is pretty much equally disappointing. Interestingly enough, I think that Tiffany Case actually comes off much better in the movie, as controversial as Jill St. John is for many people. (For the record, I kind of like her.)
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:28 pm

The problem with the book version of Diamonds are Forever is that Fleming does a horrid job of representing American mobsters. In short, he makes them out to be idiots. Plus, Fleming's portrait of America is a weird dichotomy. In one sentence, he seems enthralled and fascinated by the land; in another he seems to despise the land and its culture.

In movie land, I despise Moonraker more than Diamonds are Forever. The latter at least has a well choreographed car chase with the Mustang, even if it is a bit goofy. And I have a fondness for Wint and Kidd.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:36 pm

Actually, the film version of Diamonds are Forever has pretty much a horrible representation of American gangsters as well. So in that sense, I suppose, it was faithful to the book. But yes, there are things about the movie that I actually like, even while I hate the whole. The title song is one of the best, I kind of like Jill St. John, and I agree that Kidd & Wint are great. Although that is one case where I kind of prefer the older TV edits that eliminated the cringe-worthy homosexual affectations. (Bruce Glover spraying himself with perfume?!? Thanks, we get it: he is gay.) The whole gay killer thing is problematic enough without using such terribly caricatured ways of presenting it. But they are fun henchpeople nonetheless. Oh, and I half like Bambi & Thumper. But add everything up, and the movie is just plain terrible. I did say that it was possibly worse than Moonraker, though. It gets kind of hard to fairly judge which one scrapes the bottom of the barrel the most. I do know that I will have a hard time ever sitting through Moonraker again, and I cannot drum up much interest in sitting through DAF either. But, the time will come for me to do a chronological run through again, and it will not feel complete if I skip those films.

Have you picked up the Blu-ray for SPECTRE yet? I have not. I actually only watched it one time in the theatres, which is very unusual for me with a Bond movie. I do want to watch it a second time to see if I can let go of the problems and appreciate the good parts more.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:02 pm

And therein lies the problem. Watching the Bonds in order really highlights how bad DAF is on the heel of OHMSS.

I picked up SPECTRE on Blu. Unfortunately, I was more disappointed with it the second time through than I was the first. It is not a good entry. While it has its moments, it is a mediocre Bond at best. The story drags, has a contrived plot with stupid twists to tie into previous Craig entries, and heroic saves that marry a strange dichotomy of deus ex machina and sheer implausibility. I feel the film would have fared better without the larger story arc. There is only one real extra on the disc, which is a short documentary on the making of the opening scene. That is worth a watch. The other extras are the trailers, some video blogs (all quite short in length) and stills.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:12 pm

I did also rewatch SPECTRE on Blu, and I agree that it does not hold up well on a second viewing. It is not just the attempt to tie the movie in with the previous three that fails, but the whole back story and motivation for Blofeld just does not work. Having him be motivated to petty personal revenge by "daddy issues" completely demeaned the character. I hate to say it, but I would now place it below Quantum of Solace. Admittedly, though, it has taken many viewings of that film for me to be able to overlook its many weaknesses and enjoy the good elements that it does have. Maybe multiple viewings of SPECTRE would help me to do the same, but at this point, I doubt it.

I did start doing one other chronological thing that I have never done before: listening to the soundtracks. I was missing a few earlier ones on CD, such as Dr. No and You Only Live Twice. So I ordered them and listened to all of them in order, though I am still missing a couple of Pierce Brosnan era soundtracks (The World is Not Enough & Die Another Day. So I do still need to grab those. Not too fond of the movies, of course, but that is not the fault of composer David Arnold, who did quite a good job in his run with the series. But that has been fun. It could easily get repetitive, I suppose, but I end up doing most of my music listening in the car right now, so it is not like listening to them back-to-back without interruption.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:55 am

Nice. I do not have all of the soundtracks. I may need to look into that!
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Mon May 09, 2016 3:34 am

Some of them are out of print or going out of print, so if you do not have them now, grab them. I paid close to $30 for You Only Live Twice, for instance. Surprisingly, a couple of the David Arnold Brosnan-era scores are already out of print, like The World is Not Enough. But I highly recommend doing the chronological sweep. It was a lot of fun. Just take your time with it, since obviously, you are listening to things that often sound pretty similar, especially the earlier John Barry scores. But there is also a surprising amount of variety to them, even when listening to them back-to-back.

Where are you at with the movies?
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon May 09, 2016 4:31 pm

About to view Octopussy. I've been out of town, and away from the electronic gizmos.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Sun May 22, 2016 6:02 pm

Octopussy is still one of my favorite love-hate Bond movies. Parts of it are quite serious, and even reminiscent of From Russia with Love. Other parts, well, are just as stupid as anything in the Moore era. I think that I have mentioned it before, but that is one movie that I would love to see in a fan edit, with the slapstick (and goddamned Tarzan yells!) removed. But it is also worth pointing out that it has one of John Barry's absolutely best Bond scores. He really does not get sufficient credit for the last three movies that he did before he exited the series for good. Octopussy, A View to a Kill and The Living Daylights all have their flaws as films, but the scores to all three films are stellar.

By the way, I just rewatched Ghost Protocol for the first time since I saw it in the theatre. It holds up well on a second viewing and leaves absolutely no doubt that it is a better Bond movie than SPECTRE was.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Thu May 26, 2016 6:15 pm

Love 'em or hate 'em, I also believe it's the first time that we see Bond drive an Alfa. Yes, Octopussy isn't a great film, but it one of the stronger Moore entries and the overall plot is fairly grounded, so it's much easier to watch. I agree with you on the scores.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Tue May 31, 2016 3:13 am

Speaking of love 'em or hate 'em, I have been reading a lot of love lately for the Citroen 2cv in For Your Eyes Only, but I just do not see it. It may be the fault of the scene, rather than the car. It is filled with too much Moore-era goofiness. That is one thing that I have never understood about the love that some people have for the movie as a whole. It is praised for being more grounded, and while that is literally true compared to Moonraker, it still has all of the silly slapstick so prevalent in the Moore era. The 2cv chase is filled with it, but it infects other scenes too, such as the stupid "scoring" on the ice rink.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:49 pm

I'm not a fan of the Citroen, but I think part of the reason people like that car is because it is completely unpretentious and the complete opposite of Aston Martins, Lotuses and the like. It's a car you can drive hard and not get a ticket.

For Your Eyes Only is a wonderful gift if watched soon after Moonraker. The praise it gets must comes with that context. When viewed independently, it's still not great. Heck, I'd argue that none of the Moore Bonds are great. They certainly haven't aged well, and mostly carry nostalgic value for me.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:08 pm

No, I have no real problem with the concept of putting Bond into the Citroen; just the execution of the scene. I would actually be all over them putting Bond into something like a Fiat 500 Abarth in the next movie, especially after how disappointing the Aston v Jag scene was in SPECTRE. But as tiny and silly-looking as that car is, it actually performs quite admirably, and it would be fun to see them thrash it into situations that a larger car could not handle. Sort of like the well-done Mini scene in the first Bourne movie, or the awesome Renault scene in the Jean-Paul Belmondo movie The Professional (sadly, that clip is not on YouTube.) Plus, the delightful growl from that muffler-less exhaust would be great at full volume in a Dolby Atmos theatre!

That is on YouTube:


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