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James Bond 25 Countdown Marathon

Moe_Syzlak

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TM2YC said:
Moe_Syzlak said:
TM2YC said:
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!! :D  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.
 

Zarius

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Found this on Youtube....the third Dalton outing :D

 

TM2YC

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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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The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
A year after 'Enter the Dragon' was a smash hit the Bond franchise has moved on from Blaxploitation to being influenced by Hong Kong Kung Fu movies. If Bruce Lee hadn't died suddenly I could well imagine Producers Broccoli and Saltzman seeking to cast him in the role of Lieutenant Hip, Bond's "our man in" (played somewhat competently by Lee-alike Soon-Tek Oh). What a team up that would have been! The too-few scenes between Roger Moore and baddie Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) are a treat as the two verbally spar. The car chase through the busy streets of Bangkok is incredible, concluding with the famous corkscrew car jump over a broken bridge. The dangerous stunt is spoiled by being in (overly) slow motion and a comedy slide whistle being tacked on top. The plot is all over the place, Scaramanga has a contract on Bond's life, except he doesn't, Bond is on leave, except he isn't, Scaramanga is a top assassin but is also involved in solar energy research for some reason, Bond is on the trail of a Thai businessman but he dies before Bond finds anything out, everybody is half-heartedly after a MacGuffin called the "Solex Agitator" and the comedic Sheriff J.W. Pepper (from 'Live and Let Die') is shoved into the film with the thinnest justification. Britt Ekland's ditzy bond-girl 'Goodnight' is too stupid to live. Lulu's theme isn't one of the best, the lyrics are naff and I don't care for the orchestration but the melody is memorable and is woven into the film's John Barry score very nicely (Alice Cooper submitted a theme tune too but it's no better). 'The Man with the Golden Gun' is entertaining enough, not great, not bad, just a middling Bond film.



 

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I love Man With the Golden Gun, it's the only Roger Moore Bond film I've seen, and it makes me want to watch more. I watched it a while ago because it was mentioned in the movie Cube, and because I like Christopher Lee. It was great fun and thuroughly enjoyed it.
 

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48827530283_4e8b301006_o.gif



:D

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
There was a 3-year gap between 'The Man with the Golden Gun' and 'The Spy Who Loved Me' in part due to Bond co-producer Harry Saltzman getting into financial difficulties, selling his share and leaving Cubby Broccoli to Produce the franchise alone. Kevin McClory had also started legal proceedings over his ownership of the Blofeld/Spectre rights, so the villain had to be rewritten and renamed to 'Karl Stromberg' (It'd be 38-years before Spectre would appear in an official Bond film again). After the rushed turn-around of the last movie, I think the pause to regroup worked well.

It's a long time since I last saw 'The Spy Who Loved Me', so I'd forgotten how great it is. For the 10th film in the series and his first in sole control, Broccoli wanted to pull out all the stops. He doubled the budget and reaped almost double the box-office. I wouldn't have ranked it in my top Bond films before today's viewing but it's gone way up in my estimation. They've (mostly) got Roger Moore's wardrobe right for once, he looks dashing in a black and gold Naval uniform. Bond is written just right, not too silly, not to serious. The one liners are heaped on but he's ruthless when he needs to be. The cold blooded way Bond drops a henchman of a roof and the merciless way he plugs round after round into Stromberg is much harder than Moore's usual tone.

The endearing General Gogol (M's Russian counterpart) makes his first appearance, played to perfection by Walter Gotell (A role he would reprise 5 more times). Having the British and Soviets team up, 007 and Barbara Bach's "Agent Triple X" is so much fun as they try to outshine each other. The new Lotus rivals the old Aston Martin from 'Goldfinger' in the gadgets department, including it's incredible transformation into a submarine. Production designer Ken Adam returns, constructing many characteristically huge and impressive sets, even bringing an uncredited Stanley Kubrick with him to consult on lighting. Marvin Hamlisch's score features several great new themes and introduces some Disco Synthesizer into the mix.

There are minor flaws. Barbara Bach looks jaw-dropping and has winning chemistry with Moore (their relationship has some real fire and ice) but she wasn't exactly going to win any Oscars. Her Major Amasova character starts strong and formidable but gets relegated to a damsel-in-distress function by the end. The brief cheesy male chorus-line rendition of 'Nobody Does It Better' which plays as the credits role is awful, I'd remove that in a second. The closing titlecard reading "James Bond will return in 'For Your Eyes Only'" is interesting because the unexpected mega-success of 'Star Wars' (released 6-weeks before) caused EON to switch to the space-based 'Moonraker' for the next Bond film instead.


 
jrWHAG42 said:
I love Man With the Golden Gun, it's the only Roger Moore Bond film I've seen, and it makes me want to watch more.

There are much better Moore films, so you should have some good times ahead.
 

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Moonraker (1979)
'Moonraker' has the reputation for being one of the silliest Bonds and not very good, the former is certainly true but I had a blast re-watching it for the first time in many years. For all the moments I was laughing at it, there were many more spots when I was laughing with it. I hadn't noticed before that it's basically a re-skinned version of the last movie 'The Spy Who Loved Me'. Instead of Bond teaming up with a female KGB agent/Major, it's a female CIA agent/astronaut (played with plenty of vim by Lois Chiles). The baddie Drax is hellbent on rebooting the human race in space, instead of underwater and Jaws returns as the heavy. Does it really matter if the underlying structure has similarities, when all the surface is new, shiny and different?

I've always had a problem with the bit where one of the bond-girls Corinne is fed to a pair of dobermans because she helps Bond. It's a trope of these films but there is something really cruel and nasty about this instance. Perhaps it's us being left to imagine how horribly she has died, or perhaps it's the way Bond drives off happily just before she is killed, never knowing or caring what happened to the girl (because of him) which makes it feel callous. You need the scene afterwards where Bond angrily says "I'm going to get you for that Drax", or the scene where he finds her body and looks sad for a bit. The product placement for brands like 7-Up is shameless and in your face, one action scene exists simply to drive past billboards. The fake slowmo never convinces as real zero-G. Roger Moore is already looking too old for the part and he's still got three more movies to shoot. The romance subplot between a repentant Jaws and a pig-tailed mute blonde girl soundtracked by deliberately treacly love music is probably the silliest thing in all the Bond movies (if you don't count the tricked out Gondola/Hovercraft he uses in the Venice section :D ).

The cold open is a total classic thanks once again to the daring stunt team. Bond is pushed out of a plane without a parachute but quickly swoops in to steal one off a henchman as the 007 theme plays. The numerous models and miniature sets look incredibly realistic, it's easily up there with Star Wars and other late 70s/early 80s sci-Fi films (perhaps a little better). The assault on Drax's orbiting station by jetpack-wearing, laser-gun toting US space marines is so much fun. John Barry is back with another great score, which has a magical spacey feel. 'Moonraker' is the high water mark for over-the-top Bond nonsense before the producers brought the franchise back down to earth (literally) with subsequent films but it's still kinda glorious.


 

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A few days ago I found an unopened copy of the 60s Casino Royale on dvd, the version that includes the older TV Casino Royale as well at the thrift store. Discussion here led me to purchase it. I look forward to watching both.
 

TM2YC

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jrWHAG42 said:
A few days ago I found an unopened copy of the 60s Casino Royale on dvd, the version that includes the older TV Casino Royale as well at the thrift store. Discussion here led me to purchase it. I look forward to watching both.

Nice.

For Your Eyes Only (1981)
'For Your Eyes Only' has always been one of my favourite Bond films, it gets the balance just right, a grounded, believable and serious plot but still plenty of thrills and fun. Carole Bouquet's 'Melina Havelock' is one of the best Bond girls, far from a "damsel in distress", she's offing henchman with her crossbow before Bond can stop her. It's her story that really holds the film together, the same baddie that James is after has killed her parents and she's out for vengeance. Bouquet's smouldering eyes make you believe it. Julian Glover and Topol play two rival former Greek resistance operatives and smugglers but which one can be trusted?

After the outlandish 'Moonraker', the producers wisely choose to tone down the increasingly silly gadgets and super-vehicles. Therefore they are forced to rely on the stunt team to deliver all the excitement. The car chase that begins with the Lotus getting blown up and our heroes resorting to a yellow 2CV underlines this. It's not about the sexy gadget car, it's all about the amazing driving and the expert camera work. The opening helicopter sequence with a stunt guy hanging off the side as it flies low, right past the camera is terrific. As is the use of foreground miniatures, so convincing I can't even see how it's done with the benefit of the pause button. Bond's climb up the St. Cyril's rock-face is nail-biting and again features an astonishing stunt where a clearly real guy (not a dummy) plummets hundreds of feet.

On the negative side, Moore is looking increasingly too old for the role but at least he is dressed in age-appropriate clothes this time. His flirting with 54 year old Lois Maxwell (Moneypenny) is beginning to sound sarcastic. The pace sags in the middle when Melina disappears from the film and the slightly irritating teenage ice-skater Bibi turns up, who looks old enough to be Moore's granddaughter but still pretends to find him sexually irresistible for some reason. I personally love Bill Conti super-80s synthesizer score but many don't. Luckily nostromo777's John Barry re-scored fanedit is available for when you want a more traditional soundtrack. The comedy call from Prime Minister Thatcher at the end ruins the serious tone but it is funny.


 

TM2YC

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Halfway through the series now...

Octopussy (1983)
Roger Moore was set to retire from Bond and the producers went as far as doing full screen-tests with James Brolin featuring other main 'Octopussy' cast members but when it was announced that Sean Connery was doing a rival film in the same year, EON got nervous and brought Moore back. They also re-hired John Barry to ditch the synths of the last film and do a traditional lush orchestral score, making maximum use of the classic Bond themes, which the rival film would not have the rights to. He collaborated with Tim Rice to write 'All Time High' for Rita Coolidge, one of my favourite title songs. The film is mostly set around India and features Indian tennis star and actor Vijay Amritraj as "our man in". He is clearly having a ton of fun being in one of these films, with an infectious smile and laughing at Bond's antics during the excellent Tuk-Tuk chase. Maud Adams is much less memorable as the heroine (they sadly decided against Star Trek actress Persis Khambatta, who was actually Indian) and Steven Berkoff is astonishingly awful as a rogue Soviet General.

The tone retreats back into some of the camp humour that was mostly avoided in 'For Your Eyes Only'. So we get misjudged moments like Bond using a crocodile-shaped sub, hiding in a gorilla suit and him doing the Tarzan call while swinging from vines. There is some awesome stuff too, like the thrilling micro-plane cold-open, a car being driven on train-tracks, the aforementioned Tuk Tuk action-scene in the packed streets of Udaipur and Roger sliding down the banisters firing an AK-47! The plot involving Fabergé eggs, Nuclear bombs, smuggling, circus acrobats and multiple enemy factions is all over the place. Michaela Clavell is introduced for a few seconds as "Penelope Smallbone", a younger assistant to the aging Moneypenny (Clavell's one and only appearance in the series). Robert Brown takes over the role of 'M' for the first time, with much success. He would play M until the series was re-booted with Dame Judi Dench in 1995. 'Octopussy' was one I saw on TV a lot as a kid, so I am pretty fond of it despite the flaws.



 

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Watched Spectre last night, maybe I'll do it backwards...:)
 

TM2YC

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Never Say Never Again (1983)
Back in the 80s/90s 'Never Say Never Again' would be repeated in the UK as part of ITV's semi-regular "Bond Season" alongside all the other official EON films. As a child I didn't really notice all the off-brand features of the film, it had Sean Connery in it, it was a Bond movie... close enough. Re-watching now, they do stand out, plus of course it's a remake of 'Thunderball', so that's odd. Without the drilled EON stunt team, the action scenes are noticeably less impressive but to compensate the VisFX shots look more expensive and ambitious. Q is referred to as "Algernon" (except in one scene) for no obvious reason and is played as a very different character, Bernie Casey makes a great Felix Leiter though. Klaus Maria Brandauer's take on villain Largo goes beyond the typical gloating Bond arch-nemesis, into genuinely seeming psychotic. Laughing quietly to himself at jokes that only he can hear. Edward Fox wildly overacts as M, clearly collecting a paycheck. It's Directed by Irvin Kershner, with Cinematography by Douglas Slocombe, both hot off Lucas/Spielberg blockbusters, so I'm surprised to say the visuals are kinda bland. Sean Connery looks back in shape and isn't phoning it in like he did during 'Diamonds Are Forever'. They use his age to play the "You're a relic 007" angle, long before 'Goldeneye' and 'Skyfall' would do it. A mixed bag.

This time I watched Blofelds Cat's clever 'Never Say McClory Again' fanedit, which replaces Michel Legrand's score with classic John Barry themes and changes the opening and closing to match the look of the other EON films. It's the only way to watch this film.

https://ifdb.fanedit.org/james-bond-007-never-say-mcclory-again/


 

TM2YC

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A View to a Kill (1985)
'A View to a Kill'
marks the last outing for Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny and Roger Moore as 007, they were both approaching 60 at the time. It's also the point where Cubby Broccoli began handing over Producing duties to his daughter Barbara Broccoli and step-son Michael G. Wilson (who run the franchise to this day). It gets a bad rap for some reason but the mostly serious tone makes it one of the better Moore films in my book. There is plenty of proper covert spy stuff, gadgets to copy documents, a camera ring, spy shades, a lock picking device and swapping of code words. The stunts are top drawer like the one where Bond is shown jumping a car off a ramp, onto the top of a moving bus and off again in one continuous shot. There is also a base jump off the Eiffel Tower, a vertiginous finale atop the Golden Gate Bridge worthy of Alfred Hitchcock and the opening scene is credited with popularising Snowboarding, which had never been shown in a film before. Patrick Macnee plays Bond's sidekick Sir Godfrey Tibbett, so we get fictional agents John Steed and Simon Templar on screen together. The bits where Moore is lording it over Macnee (who is posing as his valet) are really funny. Christopher Walken is of course terrific as the psychotic villain and Grace Jones makes an intimidating female "heavy" but Tanya Roberts' main heroine is introduced too late into the film and is a bit of a wet blanket on the last act. John Barry composes one of his best 007 scores, weaving the main theme from his and Duran Duran's credits song throughout.




 
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IMG_3009.jpg


The Living Daylights (1987)
'The Living Daylights'
just might be my favourite movie in the franchise. It gets the formula mixed just right, as serious in tone as the later Craig-era but Bond is still allowed to be fun (and funny) when it's appropriate. Timothy Dalton plays 007 with a cold suppressed fury, exemplified by the way he first delivers the "Bond, James Bond" line, terse and understated, like his 007 hasn't got time for that sh*t. The cold open is a cracker, the 00s under attack as they parachute onto the Rock of Gibraltar. It's refreshing to see the younger virile Dalton actually doing some of the stunts himself, after Roger Moore's often phony back-projection efforts. Alec Mills' Cinematography is total class, these films have rarely looked better. I'd forgotten how effective the romance with Maryam d'Abo is, a girl hasn't cut this deep into Bond's heart since Tracy. The scene they share at the funfair is beautifully played, you can see the steely exterior Dalton puts on the character melt away, forgetting his troubles. Then you see how the death of a fellow operative while he was having that fun causes Bond to put the emotional armour back up. It's a portrayal a lot deeper than most of these films go.

Interestingly Pierce Brosnan was announced as the new Bond, which led to NBC not letting him out of his contract on 'Remington Steele' as planned, which led to the Bond offer being withdrawn and so 'Remington Steele' was cancelled. Bad luck for Pierce, good luck for Dalton, although it worked out in the end. The subplot involving Bond teaming up with a dashing Osama Bin Laden proxy (played by Art Malik) to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan looks somewhat different now, than I'm sure it did then. John Terry is a fairly forgettable Felix Leiter, so he would be replaced in the next film. Caroline Bliss is alright as Dalton's new Moneypenny but she's not got the same flirty spark as the actors before and after. Sadly Walter Gotell was ill, so he couldn't do more than a brief cameo as General Gogol (the last of six appearances as the character), so a new KGB chief called General Pushkin was devised. John Rhys-Davies does a wonderful job as always but it would have had so much more impact for it to have been Gogol. Bond gets perhaps his sexiest car from Q, a gorgeous tricked-out black Aston Martin V8 Vantage with lasers and missiles (I've seen it at a museum). John Barry pulls out all the stops for his final score for the series. 'The Living Daylights' is the last Bond film to have a stunning fully painted poster (by Brian Bysouth)... it's bland Photoshop from here on out.




 
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TM2YC

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Problem Eliminator said:
TLD is class, easily my favourite in the series.

1 point to Gryffindor!

600px-Livday-wa2000e.jpg


btw... a minor criticism I had of TLD was the almost comically large sniper rifle Bond uses in the first mission (like a Manga or videogame gun). I always thought it looked like a fake movie prop but no it's apparently a real and obscure rifle, the Walther WA2000 (point of criticism no more):

maxresdefault.jpg


Wikipedia: "Only 176 were built due to its high cost, making it one of the rarest and most sought production firearms ever made." It goes for as much as $75k, so lord knows how much the actual one from the movie is worth.
 

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Likewise, the "rocket guns" from You Only Live Twice were also real, called Gyrojets.  Their explosive bullets were not an accurate depiction of what they did, though.
 

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Licence to Kill (1989)
For Timothy Dalton's second and sadly final outing as 007, they go all 'Scarface' 1983, pitting Bond against Robert Davi's Sanchez, a sadistic South American drug lord. This latest viewing gave me renewed respect for one of the most focused scripts/stories in the franchise, James quits MI6 and goes rogue on a rage fueled vengeance quest, with minimal globe trotting and no subplots getting in the way. However, I've always had a problem with quite how comparatively nasty and mean spirited the film is and my mind hasn't been changed. Felix Leiter (played with real warmth once more by the recently late David Hedison) gets maimed by a shark after his new bride is implied to have been raped to death on their honeymoon (and in her wedding dress), we see Sanchez whip his girlfriend, Bond gleefully feeds a traitor to a shark, forces a henchman into a mincing machine and later burns a villain alive, the corpse of one of Bond's friends is pictured hooked up like a piece of meat, we see a guys head exploding 'Scanners' style and Sanchez drops a man into a propeller blade. I don't think there is another film in the series that has anywhere near this much violence and certainly not without cutting away from it. It's not fun anymore.

The cold-open action sequence is incredible, featuring Bond hooking a plane out of the air and then parachuting in with felix in time for the latter's wedding. It's so badass. I loved the semi-meta scene where one of Sanchez's underlings is trying to explain to his enraged boss how Bond made another miraculous escape and he realizes he is in trouble because 007's exploits don't sound believable. I also liked the feeling that James is making things up as he goes along, improvising, using his cunning. A very young looking Benicio Del toro looking like a total psycho gets one of his first roles as the top henchman. I'd forgotten how stunning Carey Lowell is as Bond's love interest and action sidekick. The bits where Moneypenny and Q help Bond out behind MI6's back are kinda charming. 'Licence to Kill' is the end of an era in many ways, the 16th and last Bond film Produced by Cubby Broccoli and the last of five Directed by John Glen. Legal and financial troubles at parent studio MGM would stall production on the next film for 6-years. Then we're into a different post 'Jurassic Park'/'Terminator 2' FX-blockbuster 90s world with a new M.



 

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GoldenEye (1995)
He might not be quite my favourite now but Pierce Brosnan was "my Bond", 'GoldenEye' was the first one I was old enough to see at the cinema, my friends and I watched it to death on TV and VHS and we played the classic N64 game until out thumbs needed plasters. If 'The Living Daylights' was a near perfect example of a "realistic" Bond film, 'Goldeneye' is a near-perfect example of the fantasy end of the spectrum, just the right amount of outlandish fun to keep Bond feeling cool. Brosnan was born to play Bond, he's got Connery's suave sexiness, Moore's cheeky charm and Lazenby's anger. It's sad that this first movie was Brosnan's high water mark, IIRC the other three decline in quality exponentially. This is the first film to introduce Judi Dench as M, Robbie Coltrane as Valentin, Joe Don Baker as Jack Wade (a new character), Samantha Bond as Moneypenny and Michael Kitchen as M's adjutant Bill Tanner (now a regular character in the franchise). This was also the first Bond film without Producer Cubby Broccoli and the first Produced entirely by his daughter & son-in-law Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.

Considering how popular 'GoldenEye' and 'Casino Royale' are with the fans, it's surprising Director Martin Campbell hasn't done more. He succeeds in bringing the franchise up to date, with more gunplay and action packed violence as Bond mows down hundreds of faceless henchman with an AK-7, blows up everything in sight and rides round in a T-55 tank. This time I appreciated the way Bond girl Natalya (Izabella Scorupco) is shown to be a proficient character in her own right. Using her wits, knowledge and confidence to find and outfox Boris (her own mini-nemesis outside of Bond's vendetta with Trevelyan). Felix Leiter is replaced in the Brosnan era with Jack Wade, a brash unsophisticated CIA agent. I probably prefer him to Leiter because he has more personality. I wonder why he was introduced, perhaps it's down to the ongoing legal dispute over 'Thunderball' (which included the Leiter character), so the producers wanted a brand new CIA sidekick that only they owned.

As is often the case with Bond re-launches, Eric Serra's score makes maximum use of the classic themes. Sean Bean, Famke Janssen and Gottfried John make a terrific and threatening trio of villains. Janssen's sex-maniac sadist 'Xenia Onatopp' character rides that line of campiness perfectly. On the down side, some of the model shots look a bit 'Thunderbirds', too much fuss and comedy is made of M now being a woman (cringe) and Desmond Llewelyn (Q) is looking decrepit and blatantly reading his lines off a card. Also this is where some of the overly aggressive product-placement begins with one scene existing purely to show Bond driving an ugly looking BMW Z3 convertible.

Wow this vintage trailer is good!:




I found this fun video featuring a mini-version of the film re-dubbed with the N64 game soundFX:

 
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