Monthly Archives: November, 2012

Trailer for your Weekend: The Host

The Host, based on a book by Twilight author Stephanie Meyer will undoubtebly be a huge hit when it hits screens next year due to its utterly huge ready made audience. I’ve never read any of her books, or seen any of the Twilight films, so I watched this trailer with no idea of what I was getting myself into.

And I came out of it intrigued… well somewhat. It has a pretty intense start. Then a horrible voiceover. The plot is an old one, but a pretty cool one nonetheless. It reminds me of the Animorphs series of books I read as a kid (anyone else used to read those, or just me?). The presence of Saorise Ronan in this is enough to have me prettu interested in checking out how it turns out early next year.

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Princess Mononoke

Director Hayao Miyazaki has been one of the driving creative forces in turning Studio Ghibli into the biggest Japanese Animation outfit in the world as well as making it one of the top 5 animation outfits in the world, both in creative and box-office terms. Miyazaki is responsible for a number of the studio’s greatest hits including Spirited Away (2001), Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), Castle in the Sky (1986) and Ponyo (2008).

With Princess Mononoke (1997), Miyazaki gives a folksy fantasy vibe to the film, which abounds with forests, spirits, gods and animals. Oftentimes a combination of one or more of them at the same time. The story follows young Ashitaka, who goes on a journey in attempt to cure a vicious bite he receives from a pig demon in the opening scene of the film. This journey brings him into contact with a range of beings, from the titular Mononoke, to gods and demons in a range of animal forms, to a highly sophisticated mining operation that is destroying the environment around it. Young Ashitaka is an incredibly complex character with conflicts and nuance raging inside him, that the filmmakers do well to present to the audience.

Like all of the other Studio Ghibli films I have seen (admittedly not a whole lot), Princess Mononoke looks stunning. Especially impressive are the forest backgrounds and settings that a vast majority of action takes place in front of. They are beautifully detailed, not always going for spot-on realism, but always creatively interpreting these amazing places. The animation is not entirely perfect, perhaps slightly showing its age. Some of the movements of the animals are a little clunky for example. I believe that this was the first Ghibli film to incorporate computerised animation for some of the work, so there may be some teething problems in that regard. But to be honest, to even complain about these slight imperfections in the look of the film really is nitpicking because the design and execution of the vast majority of the animation is brilliant. The soaring, orchestral soundtrack is brilliant throughout, enhancing the fantastical feel to the film as well as the emotions of the characters inhabiting it.

The core thematic concerns of the film are still stunningly relevant today, 15 years after the release of the film. Actually they are probably more pertinent today then they were when the film was released. Chief amongst them is ecological degradation. An early scene sees the demon pig god go on a destructive rampage through pristine forests. The exploitation of the environment by mining, definitely a hot-button issue here in Australia at the moment, is also examined with much of the action taking place in and around an iron mine. These scenes see huge swathes of forestland being culled in order to mine the iron. This pillage of the earth is what leads to the boar god’s rampage through the forest that opens the film. Indeed, the chief miner Lady Eboshi is really just representative of all that is wrong with the world. She exploits those less fortunate and is developing super dangerous high powered weaponry which will bring widespread warfare to the land. The film is not just about destruction of the environment, but more a comment on the breakdown in the relationship between humanity and the environment that it exists in (including our relationship with non-human animals). Where there was once respect and co-existence, now there is merely exploitation and pillage. But the film also pokes fun at the notion that people must take up one side of an ideological debate on the environment, rather suggesting that the true path is rarely black and white.

It was interesting that this film reminded me of plenty of others. The early parts of Ashitaka’s journey had a vibe similar to that of the Lord of the Rings films. I also felt that in parts, the act of watching and enjoying the film was similar to the way in which one enjoys Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (2011). It is best to just let the film wash over you, taking it in, without being preoccupied by the detail of plot and character at all times. Princess Mononoke is a grand animated fantasy epic, full of dense animal based mythology that reveals its charms beautifully. It is an intricate film, full of friendship and a wonderful mix of very human and more spiritual explorations. Whilst occasionally slow, is rarely short of totally engaging.

Verdict: Pint of Kilkenny

Progress: 67/1001

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Singin in the Rain

Singin in the Rain (1952) is one of the all time great movies about the movies, as well as being a fantastic musical. I am not the biggest fan of musicals, but there is an undeniable joy about this film and the song & dance numbers that populate it are impossible not to love.

The film charts that incredible revolutionary time in the film industry as it stumbled from the sound era to the era of the ‘talkie’. In real life there were artists who seamlessly made this transition like Charlie Chaplin as well as those who found this change a hard one to master for various reasons, like his close contemporary Buster Keaton. Singin in the Rain follows Gene Kelly’s Don Lockwood, a stuntman turned huge silent star as he struggles to move into this brave new world. Joining him for the ride are his newfound love interest ‘every girl’ Kathy Seldon played by Debbie Reynolds and his hilarious, all singing all dancing offsider Cosmo Brown played by Donald O’Connor.

It is a simple story well told, populated by great songs and great characters. The script does lag a little through the centre, especially when developing the central romance, but one of the good things about a musical is that a fantastic song can ratchet things back up a few levels and make you forget about all of that – something this film does on numerous occasions. The musical aspects of the film are nicely complemented by a rich vein of humour, especially for film fans. Try not to adore a scene where Kelly’s Lockwood is shooting a love scene for a silent film, whilst talking shit to his co-star who he cannot stand. Brilliant.

The performance by Debbie Reynolds is one of my favourites in all of film. She is brilliant, with her initial rapid fire dialogue putting the egotistical star Don Lockwood in his place. As good as the other two leads are, and they are very good, for me Reynolds steals the show with her charisma and ability to make the audience care very deeply about what happens to her character. As nice as the love story between Reynolds’ Kathy and Kelly’s Don is, the nicest relationship is that between Don and his best mate Cosmo. The early flashback sequence showing them rising up the ranks from dancing for coins in drinking dens, to vaudeville, all the way to Hollywood; instantly creates their lifelong bond that runs throughout the whole film. Both Kelly and O’Connor are wonderful dancers and bring an incredible verve to their routines. Individually O’Connor is an incredible physical, acting and singing talent, with his “Make em Laugh” routine possibly my favourite moment throughout the film. But there are a whole bunch of really fantastic songs that will be stuck in your head long after the film finishes. There is however one really major misstep in this regard, at least for me. It is the interminably long Broadway Medley Ballet sequence which is frankly absurdly out of place in this otherwise well structured narrative. This inexplicable sequence does cruel a lot of the film’s momentum, but luckily enough, the upbeat ending more than makes up for it.

I think that if you are not a huge fan of musicals or someone you know is not, Singin in the Rain is a great place to start. Full of classic songs throughout, despite the occasional scripting misstep, Singin in the Rain comfortably sits in the realm of classic films. Predominately due to the wonderful central performances of Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor.

Verdict: Pint of Kilkenny

Progress: 66/1001

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The Bergman Files: This Can’t Happen Here

“This story takes place on a quiet summer’s night, in a very small country, wishing to be as small as possible, almost to the point of non-existence. This wish is to be expected. Thus, all events, situations, characters, settings and lines in this film are made up. Nothing is the way it is depicted. But any possible resemblance to reality is not coincidental.” – Voiceover that opens the film.

After Bergman’s return to form (at least from my perspective) with his last film, it was with renewed anticipation that I popped This Can’t Happen Here (1950) into the DVD player. The delightfully self-knowing intro above is what I was greeted with, kicking off a very different Bergman journey.

Whereas most of Bergman’s early films are essentially small love stories with societal concerns. This Can’t Happen Here is a post-war spy thriller. Playing like a combination of The Third Man (1949) and some of Hitchcock’s early spy films, this is a rollicking watch which shows the range of the young director. It’s all classic spy thriller stuff – shadows, close-ups, possible double agents, women with questionable motives and much more. It is incredible how before their time the themes and narrative plot points of the film are. The threat of World War III is hanging in the atmosphere, which is also clouded heavily with anti-refugee sentiment.

The challenge with any thriller or mystery film is to strike the balance between revealing parts of the story and maintaining an area of mystery. Reveal too much and the whole thing does not really feel worth your while. Hold too much back and it just turns into an exceedingly frustrating experience. Thankfully, the script of this film gets that balance right, feeding the audience little tidbits of info – a spy trying to sell secrets to the American embassy, an early murder, hate mail sent to refugees – but takes its time to connect all the dots and reveal what it all means. Throughout, Bergman proves himself very adept at shooting high tension. Backed by the script which is a very good thriller one featuring a bevy of spies and cops with some almost Hitchcockian tension as well. An early murder is shot slow, and is almost unbearably tense as it is totally unclear to the audience what is about to eventuate. The main plot concerns a lost list of spies and plans for future spy operations, as well as the people connected with these documents. There are love stories, betrayal and action galore too.

Whilst no doubt belonging firmly in the thriller genre, there is a definite noir sensibility about the film. The iconography is there – sun shining through blinds, the hats that the men wear and lots more – but so is some of the attitude of noir. The film is also quite modern. I have already mentioned some of the themes present that remain pertinent to this day. Some of the torture scenes as well are reminiscent of more recent screen outings such as recent Bond films. As well as that, the motivations of the characters are complex and change throughout the film. Plus there’s a car chase. That’s right, an Ingmar Bergman directed car chase. I’m not going to lie, it’s not a particularly good car chase, but it still obviously has to be seen.

It is just so great to see such a marked departure from everything that Bergman has done previously, especially as it is so well executed. Who would have thought that Bergman would pull out an incredible mix of classic spy films, Hitchcock and even James Bond; but he does so in this rollicking, enjoyable, satisfying and dare I say it populist ride which is a definite product of its time.

Verdict: Pint of Kilkenny

‘The Bergman Files’ Leaderboard

  1. It Rains on our Love (1946)
  2. This Can’s Happen Here (1950)
  3. To Joy (1950)
  4. Crisis (1946)
  5. Port of Call (1948)
  6. Music in Darkness (1948)
  7. A Ship Bound for India (1947)
  8. Prison (1949)
  9. Thirst (1949)

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Trailer for your Weekend: The Angel’s Share

Generally speaking these trailers are for future releases that I am excited about. Something a little different this week, because I have already seen this week’s film The Angel’s Share. Directed by Ken Loach, I think it is an extremely good film, and one that at least here in Australia has gotten minimal buzz. So check out the trailer and if the film pops up in your part of the world, be sure to check it out.

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Bondfest: A (hopefully noble) Failure

You may have already guessed as my progress has gone along, but I will not be finishing Bondfest as I had hoped. I am really disappointed that I will not be able to do so, and feel pretty genuinely like I have failed actually. Here are the reasons why I could not make it in the end.

Firstly, the plan was not well through at all. Some of the best adventures are those that you don’t really think about before embarking. But that is not always the case. It was always going to be really hard for me to complete what I set out to do. I was in Sydney on the first day, so was going to be behind from the get go really. And 22 movies in four days is a whole lot.

Also, when I was pushing myself to complete all 22, I found that I was not enjoying either the watching of the films or the writing about them. Plus I thought my writing was suffering, I definitely do not want to put people off reading my site by posting a bunch of shitty reviews. I still love the James Bond films, but there is no doubt that watching them back to back amplifies the repetitive nature of some of them. Plus like any series, there are definite ups and downs. As much of a joy as watching Dr No through Thunderball is, it does not make it a whole lot easier to sit through You Only Live Twice through Diamonds are Forever. But Bondfest will return. Like I said, I really enjoy the Bond films so will finish off the reviews on a more laidback basis.

I found that once I accepted I would not finish, I started enjoying myself a whole lot more. And in the end, that’s what movies and this blog are all about. You know I probably could have made it, if I gave up everything else in my life for four days. But I enjoyed celebrating a friend’s birthday Monday night, and I enjoyed cooking my partner dinner tonight. Films enhance life massively, but they are not life.

On that note, I have to take off. I have just decided to take myself off to the midnight screening which is on at the cinema just down the road. I have shamefully never been to a midnight screening so will be a nice new experience for me.

Thanks to everyone who has read or enjoyed any of these Bondfest posts.

Peace.

–  Tim

Bondfest: Octopussy

Mission Dossier: Octopussy

The Year: 1983
The Director:
John Glen
The Bond: Roger Moore
The Girl:
Maud Adams as Octopussy
The Baddie: The above, along with Kamal Khan and an insane Russian General
The Scene

Cup of tea time of course.

Octopussy, surely the most absurdly named of all the Bond films, joins a number of the other Roger Moore efforts in being really quite enjoyable, though not spectacularly so.

The enjoyment factor and sense of fun that was so utterly lacking in For Your Eyes Only is thankfully reinstated in this one. This much is obvious from the prologue which sees Bond escape in small plane that he manages to fly through a hangar in a very impressive looking scene.  The film generally concerns diamond smuggling, with a lot of the action taking place in India which is a nice change of scenery for the series. It does eventually expand to include a rogue Russian military official and a nuclear bomb threat. What is nice is that the shift between the two is really easy to follow, avoiding the confusion that a number of Bond plots do bring about. The culmination of all this is broken into two. An excellent, tense bomb defusal sequence followed by a horrid final showdown featuring circus performance. Groan. Though in a major defence of the scene, it does awesomely feature Q piloting a hot air balloon.

Whilst the film is really quite enjoyable, it is hurt by some of the sillier efforts such as the finale mentioned above. Chief amongst these crimes is Bond approaching Octopussy’s castle inside a fake crocodile. Other questionable moments see some truly hideous tennis jokes deployed, a horrible homage to Tarzan, Bond in a gorilla suit, Bond in a clown suit… I could go on. One gripe I really do have with the series overall, which rears its head in this film, is a tendency to have the same actor play different roles in different films. I just think it is totally unnecessary given the number of really good performers out there and it just confuses things. Especially when watching a lot of the flicks close together. Here Maud Adams plays Octopussy, but she also featured in The Man with the Golden Gun. Take nothing away from Adams though, because her performance in this film is really slick and believable. It is a good character too, with a fair bit of depth for a female in a Bond film. She is the head honcho of a smuggling organisation who tries to recruit Bond and has some interesting ambiguity about where her true loyalties and morals lie.  The other main villain of the piece, Kamal Khan played by Louis Jourdan, is also delivered by a really good, menacing performance and the multiple villains in the film interact well throughout the narrative.

There is a lot of fun to be had with Octopussy. There are horrid, cringeworthy moments aplenty, but they do not derail what is a good, easy to follow spy story brought to life by some nice performances from most involved.

Verdict: Stubby of Reschs

Bondfest Leaderboard

  1. Thunderball (1965)
  2. Goldfinger (1964)
  3. Moonraker (1979)
  4. Dr No (1962)
  5. From Russia with Love (1963)
  6. Octopussy (1983)
  7. The Spy who Loved Me (1977)
  8. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
  9. Live and Let Die (1973)
  10. Diamonds are Forever (1971)
  11. You Only Live Twice (1967)
  12. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
  13. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

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Bondfest: For Your Eyes Only

Mission Dossier: For Your Eyes Only

The Year: 1981
The Director:
John Glen
The Bond: Roger Moore
The Girl:
Carole Bouquet as Melina Havelock
The Baddie: The devious Aristotle Kristatos
The Scene

Late night start on this one. Spiced rum and V (separately mind you) were in order.

For Your Eyes Only is based (somewhat) on one of my favourite Ian Fleming Bond books, a collection of short stories with the same title. Coming on the back of the exhilarating Moonraker though, the film is far from a favourite of mine.

The film does open on a very interesting note, with Bond seen leaving flowers at the graveside of his late wife. This is not really revisited though, despite a suggestion of it later on when Bond is unable to save a woman that he cares for. The film sees a British surveillance ship sunk, a ship with a very important piece of equipment onboard. It is the ATAC device which coordinates British submarines. The Russians, who else, are pretty keen to get their hands on the device. And so begins Bond’s race to get to it before them. He gets involved with Melina Havelock, the daughter of a man murdered whilst assisting the British on the case, who is understandably keen to avenge the death of her parents. It all comes to a head during the final showdown at an incredible mountain rocky outcrop. But despite the awe-inspiring setting, this is one of the most tedious of Bond conclusions, seeming to really drag on.

Much of the film drags on really. The only sequence that really engages is a snowbound chase sequence, which are becoming increasingly familiar features as the series wears on This one is a cracker, managing to incorporate one of those huge ski jumps, a bobsleigh run and a couple of motorbikes. Less engaging though is the sheer lack of fire in the relationship between Bond and Havelock. Their interactions are exceptionally wooden, something which plagues much of the film actually. There are a couple of more things that really plague the film too. The music is woefully dated 80s style, some of the worst 80s synth you would ever have the displeasure of hearing. It is even more jarring because music is usually such a strong suit of the series, with John Barry’s brilliant use and invocation of the theme song throughout many of the films matching Bond action so perfectly, whilst this is quite the opposite. The frustrations really add up in the film. This one also sees a return to the horrid special effects that marred films such as You Only Live Twice. Effects that had happily not been present for a number of films. The script is poor too, the criticism of Roger Moore efforts being too jokey is really borne out by this film. The constant, terrible one-liners make this one very difficult to watch without hoping, even just a little bit, that Bond cops a bullet at some stage.

The listless central couple of the film.

This is definitely one of the weaker Bond films. Somewhat similar to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service there is little to recommend it when you compare it to the other films in the series. Very little excitement and a not very little good villain leave this as one of the more anaemic efforts. A silly entry to the series that is not worth bothering about.

Verdict: Schooner of Tooheys New

Bondfest Leaderboard

  1. Thunderball (1965)
  2. Goldfinger (1964)
  3. Moonraker (1979)
  4. Dr No (1962)
  5. From Russia with Love (1963)
  6. The Spy who Loved Me (1977)
  7. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
  8. Live and Let Die (1973)
  9. Diamonds are Forever (1971)
  10. You Only Live Twice (1967)
  11. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
  12. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

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Bondfest: Moonraker

Mission Dossier: Moonraker

The Year: 1979
The Director:
Lewis Gilbert
The Bond: Roger Moore
The Girl:
Lois Chiles as Holly Goodhead, a CIA agent.
The Baddie: Hugo Drax, with more than a little help from the returning Jaws.
The Scene

It was my partner’s turn for the TV, so I shipped out to the ‘cave’ at our place, and tried not to get too distracted by the in progress LOTR puzzle.

I loved Moonraker as a kid, but these days Bond in space makes me suspect horrifying cringeworthiness. Horrifying cringeworthiness with lasers of course.

The film does not start in the cringeworthiness vein. In fact the first hour of the film is really quite excellent, with not a hint of space travel involved. The prologue section is one of my favourites in the series. Subtle it is not, but delightfully action packed it is. First of all, a space shuttle is stolen, managing to simultaneously destroy the huge airplane that was carrying it in one fell swoop. Then Bond is tossed out of a plane parachuteless and has to flog a parachute off another dude as he tumbles to earth at great pace. Then Jaws shows up, just for good measure. His parachute does not open, but luckily for him he lands on a circus tent so survives. That may all sound like Bond at its worst, but it is really fantastic. Following this, Mr Bond gets on to the main part of the film involving the villainous Drax. Drax’s company constructs space shuttles, including the one that was stolen. The devious plan is another with a Nazi-esque feel to it, just like The Spy Who Loved Me. This time the idea is to wipe out the human race. Oh except for Drax and the other members of his perfect class of people, they will be up in space getting ready to repopulate the world.

One of the great features of Moonraker, as with a number of Bond films, are the hilarious methods for attempting to kill Bond. This time we have attempted death by centrifugal G-force trainer and death by python in the Amazon. The latter one is actually a really cool and tense scene. The script flirts with breaking the fourth wall but manages to remain nicely self-referential. Late in the piece Drax exclaims with disappointment to Bond that he has managed to “defy all my attempts to plan an amusing death for you”. Drax is a vicious bastard, and there was one point early in the film that really shocked me. When dealing with a lady who assisted Bond, Drax releases his two dogs on her. What follows is the most beautifully filmed scene in the first 11 James Bond films. The woman desperately tries to flee through the forest, with light slanting through the trees. A piano tune builds and there is even the slightest touch of slo-mo used. It comes out of nowhere, but is a stunningly filmed piece of beautiful violence. Overall, the non-space elements of this film are excellent – there is a good villain, a great mystery and a deft touch to the whole thing. And of course it has Jaws, a whole lot of Jaws, including the beloved (by me at least) cable car scene. He also features in that great plot swerve late on when Bond points out the incompatibility between Drax’s rather Aryan view of the future of the human race, and Jaws’ physical appearance. That of his beloved girlfriend too.

Jaws and his lady.

Now to the vexed question of Bond in space. To be fair, it must be said that only the last half hour of the film takes place in orbit. Some of the space effects in earlier films have been to put it bluntly, woeful. Worse than that, they have been so bad that they have seriously compromised enjoyment of the films in which they feature. Moonraker though has really convincing space effects when it finally heads into orbit. To my mind, they are on par with those seen in Star Wars (1977), a film of similar vintage. One of the issues some may have with the film is the fact that the final 15 minutes belongs almost exclusively in the sci-fi genre. Frickin lasers and all. But for me, it works well, and if you can let go of the fact that this spy series is dabbling in the all of a sudden popular genre of sci-fi, then you will find much to like. I think that people who take issue with the space elements of the film are barking up the wrong tree anyway. Without a doubt the worst part of this film is the appearance of the shittiest hovercraft ever seen on film, which unfortunately closes out an otherwise cracking boat chase through Venice. The whole film just has a delightful randomness that more often that not works really well. Take for example the Aikido fighter that pops out of nowhere in Venice. No lead up, but then he and Bond put on a fantastic fight scene. There are ‘fun’ Bonds films, and then more serious ones. This definitely belongs in the ‘fun’ camp, and is one of the very best of them.

Plenty of the aspects of this film just should utterly not work, Jaws’ relationship for example, but they do somehow. By far and away the best Roger Moore Bond film so far, and for me, one of the best of all the Bond films. Take a look at this one.

Verdict: Longneck of Melbourne Bitter

Bondfest Leaderboard

  1. Thunderball (1965)
  2. Goldfinger (1964)
  3. Moonraker (1979)
  4. Dr No (1962)
  5. From Russia with Love (1963)
  6. The Spy who Loved Me (1977)
  7. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
  8. Live and Let Die (1973)
  9. Diamonds are Forever (1971)
  10. You Only Live Twice (1967)
  11. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

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Bondfest: The Spy Who Loved Me

Mission Dossier: The Spy Who Loved Me

The Year: 1977
The Director:
Lewis Gilbert
The Bond: Roger Moore
The Girl: Barbara Bach as Anya Amasova, the Soviets’ best agent.
The Baddie:
Karl Stromberg, along with that coolest of all henchmen, Jaws.
The Scene

The Spy Who Loved Me time was also mid-afternoon beer time.

The Spy Who Loved Me sees the finest spies from either side of the East/West ideological divide go head to head. On the Pommy side is our very own James Bond, whilst on the Russian side is Anya Amasova, otherwise known as Agent Triple X.

The film opens with one of the Brits’ nuclear submarines getting into trouble and going missing. In a really clever end to this little sequence, one of the sailors looks into the periscope and simply mutters “oh my God”, without revealing to the audience what they have seen. As a result of the disappearance, James Bond is dispatched to Egypt to establish what is happening. It turns out that the security of the British network of nuclear subs has been compromised. This sees the Russians enter proceedings. First as adversaries and then quite quickly as allies against the unknown enemy. There is so much scope for really clever things to be done with Bond and Amasova sparring with each other. Initially, the subjugation of and condescension toward the Russian are frustrating. Bond easily gets the upper hand, for the mere fact that he is a male. The filmmakers seemingly want us to forget that Amasova is the USSR’s finest spy, surely she would have a fair fight to put up, even against the great James Bond. Gradually though the filmmakers get to grips a little with the great opportunity they have on their hands and they do something rather clever. Amasova appears to fall easily to 007’s sexual charms which had me up in arms. But really, she is playing Bond and in fact utilises her seducing charms to get a big one-up on him. His smugness, believing that no woman on earth can resist his charms, comes back to bite him on the arse bigtime. So that was a nice moment, but the film is a mixture of doing the premise justice and coming up short. Most disappointingly, despite touching on it briefly, the film does not examine in great detail the ideological divide the two when they become allies and eventually lovers, which if done well could have really made the film really stand out from the Bond crowd.

The main villain of the film is Karl Stromberg, whose goal is the slightly Nazi-esque idea of killing off most of society so that he can create a new undersea utopia. Unfortunately though Stromberg is not a very strong villain, actually one of the more forgettable ones in the Bond films. As sheerly forgettable as Stromberg is, the film introduces the only henchman to go any where near matching Oddjob’s popularity in the series – Jaws. Seeing Jaws in Moonraker was one of the things that made me fall in love with the Bond films as a child. And even today, he is such a fantastic character. Richard Kiel is a huge dude, and conveys a lot through his physicality. Plus he has deadly metal teeth so that is pretty darn cool. Fully kitted out gadget laden cars have not really featured in the series so far except for Goldfinger. So it is great to see one of my favourite of all the Bond cars here, the Lotus Esprit submarine car. The car is awesome, on land it seems lightning quick and when it gets wet, it turns into a sub which comes in rather handy.

Jaws and Bond, doing their thing.

This is the best of the Roger Moore films thus far. I can’t help feeling that a little more could have been done with the phenomenal premise involving these two spies. But there are some fine moments and definitely a fine car. Plus for me, any Bond film featuring Jaws is a Bond film well worth seeing.

Verdict: Stubby of Reschs

Bondfest Leaderboard

  1. Thunderball (1965)
  2. Goldfinger (1964)
  3. Dr No (1962)
  4. From Russia with Love (1963)
  5. The Spy who Loved Me (1977)
  6. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
  7. Live and Let Die (1973)
  8. Diamonds are Forever (1971)
  9. You Only Live Twice (1967)
  10. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

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