James Bond film #15 (Timothy Dalton Bond)
The Living Daylights (1987)
The Living Daylights is the first Bond film with Timothy Dalton, a man who would certainly be the most forgotten Bond if it weren’t for Mr. George Lazenby. While Roger Moore altered Bond to make him more comical and suave, Dalton dials back the self-awareness and plays the role more like a serious spy. It’s not a bad idea, and we’ll see that approach work well when we get to Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, but there’s very obvious tension on display in this film between Dalton’s new take and the material’s inability to adapt alongside him.
October 25, 2012 | Categories: 5 - 5.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, a-ha, albert r. broccoli, alec mills, andreas wisniewski, art malik, caroline bliss, Desmond Llewelyn, eon productions, geoffrey keen, ian fleming, james bond, jeroen krabbé, joe don baker, john barry, john glen, john rhys-davies, john terry, julie t. wallace, maryam d'abo, maurice binder, mi6, michael g. wilson, nadim sawalha, paul waaktaar-Savoy, peter davies, red cross, richard maibaum, robert brown, thomas wheatley, timtohy dalton, virginia hey, walter gotell, waris dirie | Leave a comment
James Bond film #14 (Roger Moore Bond)
A View to a Kill (1985)
A View to a Kill marks the 7th and final appearance of Roger Moore as James Bond, Agent 007. It’s been a fun ride that’s lasted 12 years, but as anyone who watches this film could tell you, Moore is 57 years old and looking it. It’s time for some new blood, but not before Moore takes down Christopher Walken, co-starring as the rich and insane Max Zorin. Despite the promise that an unhinged Walken might suggest, A View to a Kill is as worn-out and tired as its leading man.
October 22, 2012 | Categories: 5 - 5.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, alan hume, albert r. broccoli, alison doody, christopher walken, daniel benzali, david yip, Desmond Llewelyn, dolph lundgren, duran duran, eon productions, fiona fullerton, geoffrey keen, grace jones, ian fleming, james bond, jean rougerie, john barry, john glen, lois maxwell, manning redwood, maurice binder, mi6, michael g. wilson, papillon soo soo, patrick bauchau, patrick macnee, peter davies, richard maibaum, robert brown, roger moore, tanya roberts, walter gotell, willoughby Gray | Leave a comment
James Bond film #13 (Roger Moore Bond)
The Bond series becomes a baker’s dozen with 1983’s Octopussy (13), a movie which may very well win the “Worst Title Ever” award. The film itself isn’t so great either, excelling only in setting and severely lacking in story. A Soviet general who’s something like a mix between Dr. Strangelove and Buck Turgidson is attempting to expand the USSR’s borders into Europe through a convoluted disarmament plan. Somehow, an Afghan prince and his unfortunately named business associate get involved, and Bond ends up dressing like a clown. If it weren’t for the absurd name, this subpar Bond film would be long-forgotten by now.
October 21, 2012 | Categories: 5 - 5.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, alan hume, albert r. broccoli, andy bradford, anthony meyer, david meyer, Desmond Llewelyn, douglas wilmer, eon productions, geoffrey keen, george macdonald fraser, ian fleming, james bond, john barry, john glen, kabir bedi, kristina wayborn, lois maxwell, louis jourdan, maud adams, maurice binder, mi6, michael g. wilson, michaela clavell, richard maibaum, rita coolidge, robert brown, roger moore, steven berkoff, tim rice, vijay amritraj, walter gotell | Leave a comment
James Bond film #11 (Roger Moore Bond)
After the success of Star Wars in 1977, Cubby Broccoli decided to jump in on the emerging science fiction craze and choose Moonraker as the next Eon Productions Bond movie. Roger Moore returns for his fourth Bond film, investigating a stolen space shuttle that leads him to Hugo Drax of Drax Industries. Drax’s plan is very similar to Stromberg’s from The Spy Who Loved Me (10) – he plans to destroy humanity and repopulate the Earth as he sees fit. There are a few slight differences – instead of nukes, he’s planning on using poison, and instead of hiding out underwater, he’s planning on chilling in space during the apocalypse – but this déjà vu is symptomatic of Moonraker‘s tendency to coast on the coattails of its spectacular predecessor.
October 17, 2012 | Categories: 6 - 6.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, albert r. broccoli, bernard lee, christopher wood, Desmond Llewelyn, eon productions, ian fleming, james bond, jaws, jean tournier, john barry, john glen, lewis gilbert, lois chiles, lois maxwell, mi6, michael lonsdales, richard kiel, roger moore | Leave a comment
James Bond film #07 (Sean Connery Bond)
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
After George Lazenby’s solo run as James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli were told to get Connery back in the suit at any cost – and that cost ended up being 1.25 million pounds, an amount that equals out to about $32 million in today’s dollars. Having spent so much on their lead actor (in fact, the highest salary to an actor for a role ever at the time), the pair of producers aimed to recreate the commercial success of 1964’s Goldfinger, hiring that film’s director (Guy Hamilton), using Shirley Bassey to sing the title song again, and originally centering the story around Auric Goldfinger’s twin. After Broccoli dreamt of recluse Howard Hughes getting replaced by an imposter, however, the plot was changed to that fantastical idea, creating the character of Willard Whyte and setting most of the story in Las Vegas.
October 9, 2012 | Categories: 5 - 5.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, albert r. broccoli, bernard lee, bruce cabot, bruce glover, charles gray, Desmond Llewelyn, eon productions, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, guy hamilton, harry saltzman, ian fleming, james bond, jill st. john, jimmy dean, joe robinson, john barry, joseph furst, lana wood, mi6, mr. kidd, mr. wint, norman burton, putter smith, richard maibaum, shirley bassey, ted moore, tom mankiewicz | Leave a comment
James Bond film #06 (George Lazenby Bond)
Film #23: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
All right. Back to Bond. Mostly, anyway -1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service marks the first time in the Eon Productions series that Mr. Bond is played by someone other than Sean Connery. This time around, newcomer George Lazenby fills the role for the longest Bond film that isn’t Casino Royale. It wasn’t until midway through production that Lazenby decided he’d only play Bond once, having been convinced by his agent that 007 would become irrelevant in the 70s. The film’s length and the fact that it features an isolated Bond actor puts it in a unique position amidst the Bond canon, and at times the film seems uncomfortable with itself as it struggles with the new Bond incarnation.
March 17, 2012 | Categories: 6 - 6.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, albert r. broccoli, angels of death, bernard lee, bond, Desmond Llewelyn, diana rigg, england, eon productions, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, george baker, george lazenby, harry saltzman, ian fleming, ilse steppat, james bond, john barry, john glen, lois maxwell, michael reed, Peter R. Hunt, portugal, richard maibaum, sean connery, switzerland, telly savalas, tracy draco | 1 Comment
Film #15: You Only Live Twice (1967)
James Bond film #05 (Sean Connery Bond)
Sean Connery is back as James Bond in the fifth film of the series, You Only Live Twice. SPECTRE’s back again, trying to goad the US and the Soviets into a war by eating up their astronauts with a big ole hungry spacecraft. Despite the fact that SPECTRE just stole two atomic bombs in Thunderball, the Americans and Soviets blame each other, so of course it takes level-headed Britain to take care of things. Noting that the mysterious hungry hungry spacecraft landed somewhere in the sea of Japan, they dispense their top agent to the land of the rising sun to see what’s up. During his mission, Bond finally comes face-to-face with SPECTRE’s number 1, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, as played by Donald Pleasance and as spoofed by Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers series.
February 22, 2012 | Categories: 7 - 7.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, Akiko Wakabayashi, albert r. broccoli, austin powers, bernard lee, Desmond Llewelyn, donald pleasence, dr. evil, eon productions, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, hans, harry saltzman, helga brandt, ian fleming, james bond, john barry, karin dor, kissy suzuki, lois maxwell, maurice binder, mi6, Mie Hama, mike myers, nancy sinatra, osato, Peter R. Hunt, q, ronald rich, sean connery, spectre, Tetsurō Tamba, tiger tanaka, united artists, you only live twice | 1 Comment
Film #15: Thunderball (1965)
James Bond film #04 (Sean Connery Bond)
After their absence from the third Bond movie Goldfinger, SPECTRE is back in Thunderball to screw with the world and try to kill James Bond in the process. This time, hook-nosed, eye-patched #2 Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) hijacks two atomic warheads from NATO and threatens to destroy Miami unless he gets 100 million pounds in diamonds. It’s a classic hostage situation that must have reminded audiences of the contemporary Cuban Missile Crisis, and it’s a great return for an evil organization that uses Cold War fears to enrich themselves.
February 21, 2012 | Categories: 7 - 7.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, Adolfo Celi, albert r. broccoli, bernard lee, Claudine Auger, Desmond Llewelyn, domino, emilio largo, eon productions, harry saltzman, ian fleming, james bond, john barry, Luciana Paluzzi, Martine Beswick, maurice binder, mi6, Paula Caplan, Peter R. Hunt, q, sean connery, spectre, terence young, thunderball, tom jones, united artists | Leave a comment
Film #14: Goldfinger (1964)
James Bond film #03 (Sean Connery Bond)
Goldfinger, the third in the Eon Productions James Bond series, sees Connery return to the role for what many consider the quintessential 007 film. Amidst the usual babes and bad guys, Bond is after eponymous villain Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe), who plans to attack the United States’ gold depository at Fort Knox. Goldfinger takes the formula that From Russia With Love established and adds many things that would become staples of the series. It’s also chock-full of iconic lines and scenes. Many things that spoof Bond pull dialogue and imagery from this third installation, so if you’re watching this for the first time (like I was), you’ll undoubtedly be stricken with a constant sense of déjà vu.
February 16, 2012 | Categories: 8 - 8.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, albert r. broccoli, auric goldfinger, bernard lee, Desmond Llewelyn, eon productions, Gert Fröbe, goldfinger, guy hamilton, Harold Sakata, harry saltzman, honor blackman, ian fleming, james bond, jill masterson, john barry, mi6, oddjob, pussy galore, q, sean connery, Shirley Eaton, tania mallet, united artists | Leave a comment
Film #12: From Russia With Love (1963)
James Bond film #02 (Sean Connery Bond)
With the success of Dr. No, the makers of the first James Bond film were given double the budget to do it all over again. And boy, did they. From Russia With Love, released a year after its predecessor, ups the ante on everything that made Dr. No such an excellent flick. Taking place mostly in Turkey, this installment sees Bond (Connery once again) agree to help a beautiful Russian agent (Tatiana Romanova, played by Daniela Bianchi), purportedly defect, in order to obtain a cryptographic machine known as a Lektor. Little do either of these absurdly attractive secret agents know, the entire engagement is a ploy by the terrorist organization SPECTRE, which is plotting to kill Bond in vengeance for the death of Dr. No.
February 9, 2012 | Categories: 8 - 8.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, albert r. broccoli, boat chase, daniela bianchi, eon productions, fist fights, flare gun, harry saltzman, ian fleming, james bond, james bond film, johanna harwood, john barry, lotte lenya, pedro armendariz, richard maibaum, robert shaw, sean connery, ted moore, terence young | 1 Comment