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James Bond 25 Countdown Marathon
(09-27-2019, 03:24 AM)TM2YC Wrote:
(09-27-2019, 12:38 AM)Moe_Syzlak Wrote:
(09-26-2019, 11:57 AM)TM2YC Wrote: I've seen all of them before in random order and most I've seen countless times (IIRC I've only seen 'Die Another Day' and 'Spectre' once).

This implies you’ve watched Moonraker more than once?! Huh

Loads of times when I was young, you do know it's got a battle in space? with lasers!! Big Grin  I don't think I've watched it in a long time though.

I was eight when it came out and I distinctly remember being WTF even then. Never saw it again.
Found this on Youtube....the third Dalton outing Big Grin

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And we're done!

Craig gets plastered at his wrap party

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Live and Let Die (1973)
The Bond franchise takes a risky diversion off into the then brand-new Blaxploitation Genre with much success. Bond also gets a 'Dirty Harry' (1971) Magnum, Steve McQueen's cool black outfit from 'Bullitt' (1968) and is suddenly chomping big cigars but it all works with the character. Instead of the ill advised way in which George Lazenby was introduced with self-referential touches like breaking the 4th wall, 'Live and Let Die' starts in a matter-of-fact way that assumes Roger Moore has always been Bond. Something I hadn't appreciated before about the other Bond actors is that they come off like dangerous thugs who have acquired the veneer of a gentleman but Moore is just an English gent down to his marrow. His charm and wit in the role are very likeable but it does lack that edge.

The speedboat chase across the Louisiana Bayou is one of the franchise's best action sequences and the deadly run across the row of live crocodiles is one of the best stunts. It was accomplished by daring stuntman/Croc-farmer Ross Kananga (for whom the movie's villain 'Dr. Kananga' is named) within five takes, earning him a $60K bonus. Bond's Jamaican boatman ally Quarrel returns in the form of Quarrel Jr. because they stupidly killed off the character in 'Dr. No'. David Hedison has quite a bit to do as Felix Leiter and he's so good they brought the actor back for 'Licence to Kill' about 15-years later. Rosie Carver (Gloria Hendry) is the first black Bond-Girl love-interest in the series, I'm not sure if this was seen as surprising, or controversial in 1973? Paul McCartney's title song is a classic and arguably his most inventive post-Beatles record, it was famously a hit single for Guns N' Roses in 1991:

There are flaws, not too many though. Jane Seymour is stunningly beautiful but a bit drippy as the heroine. The plotting too often feels in service of getting to the next action scene. The set where the finale with Dr. Kananga takes place looks a bit lackluster compared to previous grand efforts. This is down to regular Bond Production designer Ken Adams being off working with Stanley Kubrick and others again (he would return to the franchise for 1977's 'The Spy Who Loved Me'). Yaphet Kotto makes a good villain but he isn't given enough screen time, stuff to do, memorable schemes (he's just a drug lord), or interactions with Bond to have full impact. Clifton James as hick Sheriff J.W. Pepper is hilarious (making cops look foolish is of course a Blaxploitation staple) but it's the start of the outright comedy direction the Moore bond films would go in. After the last two missteps, 'Live and Let Die' puts the franchise firmly on it's feet again.

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