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007...an Agent for the Ages

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cinemalover
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Postby cinemalover » June 13th, 2007, 4:08 pm

I did enjoy Roger Moore as The Saint in his television series. He seemed much better suited for that, and it was a role that carried right into his breezier interpretation of JB. He does look good in a dinner jacket.
Chris

The only bad movie is no movie at all.

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Postby Lzcutter » June 19th, 2007, 1:12 am

I disliked the Bond films when I was growing up and rarely would pay them any mind (though I have always loved Sean). I thought he did his best work as an actor Post-Bond.

Mr Cutter, however, is a big Bond fan and so we saw the Pierce Brosnan ones.

Again, I thought okay, nothing great. Twas a pity that Brosnan couldn't have done the role ten years earlier when he was Remington Steele but that's Hollywood I suppose.

I did, however, love Pixar's The Incredibles which Mr Cutter was all to happy to tell me was heavily influenced visually by the Connery Bond films.

On New Year's Day, we watched a marathon of Connery Bond films on Encore. Waking up mid-morning, I started with You Only Live Twice, was jumping off the sofa at some of the location shots of Diamonds Are Forever (Las Vegas circa 1969) and by Her Majesty's Secret Service, I was thinking what was I thinking all those years ago. These are fun films and are in some ways a snapshot of the international financing of films that has passed into history.

Also, caught Goldfinger and Thunderball. One of these days, I'll catch Dr No and From Russia With Love.

Mr C and I went to see Casino Royale at Christmas and we can't wait for the next one. Daniel Craig was terrific in the story of how Agent 007 becomes James Bond.
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"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."

"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese

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klondike

Postby klondike » June 19th, 2007, 7:43 am

Shame, I say, shame on you all for waltzing so snootily all around the greatest Bond film of all:

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE

To begin with, Bond begins this caper by getting machine-gunned to death while trapped in a murphy bed!
(No exaggeration: his death is even confirmed on-screen, seconds later, by a Hong Kong Colonial Policeman!)
Segue immediately to those titles!
And who can sit through those titles and not feel the hook go in?! Semi-disrobed geisha chicks silhouetted against bubbling blacklight lava, and that beautifully orchestrated theme music, featuring the existentially erotic title song, warbled perfectly by (the otherwise dismissable) Nancy Sinatra . . forget 2001 (n.o.i.), this was the cinema that graphically imploded my adolescent brain!
Lingering a moment on that subject of music, I have to pause long enough to pinpoint that, great theme songs notwithstanding, the only other Bond soundtrack I've ever heard (and I've owned most of 'em) that holds up for listening enjoyment start to finish as well as that from "YOLT", is the elusive, mostly jazz score from On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Now, the villain? How about Blofeld in his greatest personification by that most ambitious of all late British B-actors, Donald Pleasance? Not only is this the first time we see that enduring supercriminal's face, but it is also the dead-on, over-the-top performance that single-handedly births the possibility of Mike Myers' delightful Dr. Evil, albeit 33 years later.
The other heavies? Let's check the menu here: a Sumoesqe hitman that Bond counter-attacks with an entire couch; a bug-silent midnight assassin who attempts to slay 007 with a drizzle of poisoned honey; SPECTRE chopper pilots gunning for James in his miniscule gyrocopter; a mute Scandanavian henchman just begging for some well-done judo chops; an amorous redhead with quickly removable evening gowns (easily the coolest use of magnetics ever commited in a movie!) and a deadly pilot's license; 3 dozen pipe-wielding thugs from the Kobe dockworker's union . . . did I mention the booby-trapped piranha pool?
And then there's the real prize in this box o' Cracker Jacks: the sardonic, irrepresible, completely scrutable Tiger Tanaka!
Query me this: how often has James been awarded a companion that was at least almost his equal? Skinny list, ain't it? The novels seldom did justice to Felix Leiter, the movies even less so; other British agents? Typically, little more than plot devices! There was that Turkish spymaster from FRWL, but a tad much comic patter, overall, and too soon dead; some interesting glasnost colleagues but no-one really memorable . .
But ahh, Tiger-san! He had his own private train, airborne secret police, all the best gadget-toys, that hidden ninja academy (look fast to spot Bruce Lee, head-butting a melon!), and only the most "sexy-ful" speed-driving girl agents! Charmingly roguish, he found his friend, Bond-san, to be "most impressive", and also "so very amusing".
As for climaxes, I challenge anybody to find one that can rival Bond utilizing an exploding dart cigarette to engineer a jail break for American & Soviet astronauts, then Trojan-Horsing an army of Japanese SWAT-commando-ninjas into a fortified secret volcano launch pad.
Shades of Jonny Quest!
The exeunt? Perhaps the drollest of the "interrupted honeymoon" curtain calls in the history of 007 cinema, no hidden cameras needed.
So there's my diagnosis, Ladies & Gentleman; Bond is indeed back from the Land of the Dead, living twice & forever, and we should all plan to get infected by this highly contagious movie!

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Postby cinemalover » June 19th, 2007, 6:11 pm

Klondike,
Outstanding recap of one of the Connery Bonds that sometimes gets lost in the glare of the others. The only part of that movie I wasn't crazy about was the orientalizing of Bond, they just couldn't get around the height issue. Overall though, I would rate it in my top 5 Bonds, and reading your description makes me want to pop it in the ol' DVD player right now!
Chris



The only bad movie is no movie at all.

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Mr. Arkadin
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Postby Mr. Arkadin » June 19th, 2007, 7:15 pm

I believe I did mention that one, (:wink:) but you certainly have a way with words! 8)

klondike

Postby klondike » June 19th, 2007, 8:54 pm

Mr. Arkadin wrote:I believe I did mention that one, (:wink:) but you certainly have a way with words! 8)


I don't doubt for a moment that you are exactly correct.
:oops:

But you know the ol' Sled Dog, Mr. A; I try never to let facts deter compulsive behavior.
A widespread Guinness drought is the only chance relevency has against me! :wink:

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Postby nightwalker » September 7th, 2007, 2:28 pm

I too will have to go with Connery, although I will say that Daniel Craig brings a hardness to his portrayal of the character that we haven't seen in some time. I think he'll grow on me.

As far as which of the Connerys is best, that's a tougher call. I'm partial to THUNDERBALL because of the Bahamian location and the truly memorable underwater camerawork. DR. NO has the advantage of being the truest to the Fleming original than any of Connery's other films, and there's that Jamaican scenery as well.

My least favorite? This may come as a surprise, after all the praise that's usually heaped on it, but that would be GOLDFINGER. The reason is that Bond spends about half the movie as a captive, reacting to events rather than causing them. He reacts extremely well, being Bond, but that aspect of the picture has always been a turn-off for me. Loved the Astin-Martin, though!

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Postby Bogie » September 7th, 2007, 3:54 pm

Connery is my favourite Bond. He oozed sophisication, style, charm and he could be rough when he needed to be. Interestingly enough my favourite Bond movie isn't one that he starred in.

I'll first say which is my fave Connery film and then tell you my fave overall. My favourite Bond movie with Connery is Goldfinger (1964) I just love the whole set up and even tho the actor that portrays Goldfinger didn't know a lick of English he certainly was convincing. (I don't think he was dubbed over)

I especially love the scene when Bond is about to be cut in half by the laser.

My favourite Bond movie overall has to be On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) which I found to be the most faithful in tone and style to Ian Flemming's story. Lazenby gave us a very different Bond but one who was more human and had to rely on his resourcefulness rather then gadgets or using charm to get by everyone. It was more of a survivor mentality for his Bond. I truly loved the love story in the film even tho I don't really like romance in movies. I do think that Telly Savalas should've had more screen time tho.

Oh and the movie had by far the best song in any Bond film in "we have all the time in the world" by Louis Armstrong. I believe it was one of the very last songs he ever recorded too.

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Postby MikeBSG » September 8th, 2007, 8:45 am

"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" has a lot going for it. The action scenes, with the chases through the mountains, are spectacular. However, it takes a while to get there, and I think if they had shaved five to ten minutes off the early part of the film more people would have enjoyed it.

Perhaps, or maybe they were just too wedded to the idea of Connery as Bond.

My favorite Bond film remains "Goldfinger." My favorite Moore Bond film is "For Your Eyes Only." I basically gave up on Bond films after "Goldeneye," which was more my fault than the filmmakers' fault.

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Postby cinemalover » March 29th, 2008, 6:22 pm

For those of us that were discussing the Bond thread on another forum here it is, risen from the ashes.
Chris



The only bad movie is no movie at all.

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Postby movieman1957 » March 29th, 2008, 10:08 pm

Thanks so much. Sorry I missed it.

Bogie mentioned "Dr. No" being too boring for him and I don't disagree. But they were finding their footing the first time out. They certainly hadn't come too far with the gadgets. Is the Doctor himself too mild for a villain?

What do you find so different in Connery and Moore?

Any thoughts on Dalton?
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Postby cinemalover » March 30th, 2008, 10:34 am

Chris,
The difference between Connery and Moore was as much about the different tacts their movies took and the changing times. The first Moore Bond, Live and Let Die was almost a homage to the Blaxploitation films that were very popular at the time. From there the producers decided that Moore was better suited to a Bond-light approach and began to emphasize the humor (too much for my tastes). They introduced the stereotypical "Southern" Sheriff character which just made me gag. Then they brought in Richard Kiel as "Jaws". Jaws was an interesting idea for a villain (theoretically in the Odd Job mold) but they turned him into a clown, especially in Moonraker (the worst Bond ever in my opinion). Moore wasn't bad, he's just not my idea of Bond, and the scripts they gave him to work with didn't help as his character came off much "softer" than Connery's.
Chris



The only bad movie is no movie at all.

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Postby movieman1957 » March 30th, 2008, 8:18 pm

Chris:

We van agree about "Moonraker." It's too bad about the sheriff too because he interrupted some otherwise pretty good car chases. (Those may be the only two movies to ever feature the old AMC cars in a chase.)

Bryce:

I also liked "Goldeneye." Good adventure in the Bond mold. I thougt Pierce was pretty good, And like the Connery movies they kept getting wilder. "I like parts of "Die Another Day" but I thought the whole falling plane bit was too over-the-top.

I liked Craig more than you as well as the film. Was it the sinking of the city block that was more than too much. I didn't care for the women. While young they seemed almost too young too have acquired a level of experience they were supposed to have.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Postby cinemalover » April 1st, 2008, 12:26 pm

I had no problem with Brosnan as Bond, I just found the films they produced for him to be celluloid cotton candy. They taste good while you're devouring them, but they vanish quickly from the mind without leaving much of an imprint.

I thought Casino Royale was a good direction to go and after initially being repulsed by the idea of Daniel Craig as my beloved Bond. I found his gritty interpretation to be a blessing after the films have paid too much attention to gadgets and not enough to the warrior himself. Was it perfect, of course not. But I thought it was a good variation to try. The true test will be to see how he holds up to a second film which has been the downfall of several of his predecessors.
Last edited by cinemalover on April 2nd, 2008, 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Chris



The only bad movie is no movie at all.


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