While my Maureen recovers from some small injuries from a minor accident we spent the evening together watching "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." It was great fun for me as she had never seen it. Catching all the other Bond references like the family motto (The World Is Not Enough) and the relics from previous movies. She also giggled a bit when she recognized the orchestral accents in the theme music. Since she was a baby she went to sleep to Barry's "Moviola" and "We Have All The Time In The World" was a favorite.
All in all she really enjoyed it. Good action, some good (and bad) humor along the way. No complaints about George and though she knew of the ending she still found it quite moving. I love watching her watch movies and all the things she picks up.
She had a conversation with a customer today about Bond and she asked him who was his favorite. He liked Craig but she impressed him when she ran off all the Bonds. That's my girl.
Netflix is streaming several of the films through Nov. 1.
"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
I, like you MM’57, also like a tough Bond. Shoot to kill! That scientist you referred to in "Dr. No," was also the guy who tried to kill Grace Kelly in “Dial M for Murder”, and appeared to terrorize Doris Day in "Midnight Lace" got the Bond treatment; straight...no chaser. Bond Connery seemed least concerned with the girls in his films if they were killed. Girls died around him...girls that were helping him on his mission and he barely gives acknowledgement that they’re gone. ( Paula in “Thunderball” or Aki in “You Only Live Twice.” ) Bond Connery might be the most ‘Terminator-like.’ I can’t say I saw much conflict with him re: duty & emotion. But it is, as you say Miss G., shown moreso in the later Bonds.
I give a silent “awwwww” when I read from folks here how you watch a classic film with your child or how you try to slip one in there with them and the kidling enjoys it. I think watching classic films does a body good and those are among my favorite things to read here at the SSO. My only claim to fame in that regard since I have no children, is my three-year old nephew staying in the room with me as I watched “The Manchurian Candidate.” He’s 27 now, and has no memory of it, but I can still see his little legs swinging in the big chair as he quietly watched.
* * * * * * * ** *
“THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS” ( 1987 )-John Glen
TIMOTHY DALTON is introduced as the next James Bond. And I can't help thinking it’s a dream come true for a boy now a man. But is it a dream or a nightmare for An Actor? Bond helps a General defect from the West; but when he finds he’s a turncoat, Bond goes about correcting his mistake. We go a couple of places in this one, Russia, London of course and our old pal, Afghanistan. I can’t say I have any outstanding feelings about this entry. I do like it...everyone seemed kind of vanilla in it and there is that rousing action sequence; a Russian airbase, bombs, explosions and horses. The group A-ha sings the title song which I enjoyed better than the Jets' "Live and Let Die." ( I meant to say Paul McCartney and Wings' "Live and Let Die." ) And yes...the opening title is quite an eyeful.
MARYAM D’ABO plays assassin/cellist Kara Milovy who was duped by the love for a general. You can’t love a general, c’mon. She’s pretty enough, but her acting...meh! I will say this, she was a catalyst for bringing out a warmth in this Bond...he was protective of her. They were kind of like...dating. Heck, he didn’t shoot her. She does get a little more aggressive in the end at the big airbase scene. General Koskov is played by Dutch actor JEROEN KRABBE ( from “Choose Me.” ) He’s the General that Kara loves. He’s also an arms dealer and an opportunist. Whether he’s scared to go inside a tube that will jettison him through a pipeline into the arms of the West or eating caviar...he’s like Monty Hall. He just wants to make a deal. JOE DON BAKER as another arms dealer Brad Whitaker just comes off as an oafish redneck to me with his big ham head. Baker plays a different character ( Jack Wade ) in two other Bond films. A leader with his own agenda and very dashing indeed is ART MALIK playing a jailed Afghani in a Russian prison, Kamran Shah who with his band of rifle toting, horse riding troops will help Bond win the day. I really liked Gen. Koskov’s henchman. A tall lean blonde Aryan with not an ounce of body fat, actor ANDREAS WISNIEWSKI plays Necros ( great name. ) He had an air and personality about him even though he was a silent killer. Carrying his Sony Walkman, he uses his ear-budded headphones to strangle people. I loved Necros. He was like a glacier.
MY FAVORITE MOMENT:
* The beginning action sequence when a paint ball training mission goes wrong when real bullets start flying
* The ending action sequence when the Russian air base comes under siege by one James Bond
* The Afghan soldiers racing across a bridge with Russians in hot pursuit...and Bond saves them
* The fight between Necros and Bond on the plane and where they both are hanging outside of it
* * * * * * * * * *
“TOMORROW NEVER DIES” ( 1997 )-Roger Spottiswoode
I had a great time with this entry of PIERCE BROSNAN as James Bond. There was a variety of action set-pieces that kept me hyperventilating. I guess you can tell when I really like a movie. I go on and on. In "Tomorrow Never Dies" the plot revolves around the 21st century scourge: The Media.
JONATHAN PRYCE as Media Mogul Elliott Carver. He carries the requisite maniacal gene but not played too too over the top. His means of world domination? Oh nothing as mundane as gold or oil or diamonds or hydrogen bombs. Pish posh...au contraire. Our ‘mad’ man wants to control the news...the flow of information. He wants to create the news and reach every one of the billions of people on earth with His news. Hmmm, in light of our 24-hour news cycle, I’d say this was very prescient. It does unnerve him that his wife had a relationship with Bond. You don't want to be a follow-up act to Bond. Carver's henchman is another tall blonde assassin Stamper played by GOTZ OTTO ( who? ) He doesn’t quite have an outstanding personal touch like Odd Job or Jaws. His Neanderthal-features are very strong and he’s bulky. He follows orders without question or hesitation or glee. I don't think he did anything to make this character distinctively his own. Now someone who DID do this with the moments he had in "Tomorrow..." is VINCENT SCHIAVELLI:
He’s absolutely wonderful in this as Dr. Kaufman, master of torture. ( An intern of Dr. Mengele's, no doubt. ) What a droll bad guy. I think he could have been opposite Jack Benny in "To Be Or Not To Be." Schiavelli looked like he relished his small role. And I got the feeling that Brosnan enjoyed working opposite him.
There are also binders full of women in this movie and Bond shows he can naturally play well with all of them.
JUDI DENCH is “M” and very inspired casting I must say. What an actress, and she's so commanding. This is a great natural progression and changing with the times. My little 9-year old great-nephew will be growing up in a world where real and serious women are in charge ( more Hilary than Sarah...more Elizabeth than Michelle ) and it will be a very natural thing for him and other little boys. I simply love “M” and would follow her orders her to the “T.” TERI HATCHER plays Paris Carver, the wife of our mad mogul. She’s also an ex-lover of Bond. She really was quite striking with her dark beauty. She got to Bond, and I believed her. Their scene is tinged with remorse and regret. She is Ilsa to his Rick Blaine. MICHELLE YEOH plays Agent Wai Lin. Another beautiful woman, Yeoh plays an agent as accomplished as Bond. Yay! And they get to kiss. See that's what I'm talkin' about. It's quite a feather in the Broccoli's cap to get this Martial Arts goddess. Knowing Yeoh as I do from other films, it was fantastic to see her in Bond’s world. And I was happy to see her do her thing! She dispatches a group of bad guys, alone. And if you know Yeoh’s talents, you know she needs no help. But hey, it is so nice to have a man around the house. I wish more producers would use Yeoh because I also think she’s a “...damn good actress.”
MY FAVORITE MOMENTS:
* The first set-piece of action: Bond taking out an armed missile bazaar; hijacking a plane and using it against the terrorists
* Bond sits and waits for whoever the Mogul will send in to kill him:
It's a small moment...gesture, but when the door opens...it’s the way Brosnan reaches for his gun, and then sees it’s Paris. Love the way he reaches for it and moves his arm back. Nice. Clean.
* “Q” hooks up Bond with a new car with gadgets. This time the car can be driven via remote control. And Bond needs it. Bad guys chase him in a parking lot. Bond steers the car from the back seat...via remote control. Exciting.
* Paris has been murdered, and Bond’s reaction to her death; the remorse. Before he has to leave to escape, he kisses her body. Sad.
* Bond and Wai-Lin on motorcycle, handcuffed together and chased by a helicopter.
Geez, this was exciting!! The editing was great. And they used the landscape of the city they were in. Back alleys, little makeshift shacks. But when that copter dips down so the bad guys can shoot into the crowd...monstrous! The way the crowds ran was like something out of..."Godzilla."
* Love the last action scene, inside that stealth submarine. Henchmen, villain, and bad guys go down in a hail of bullets, explosion and water. The sound effects in Bond films are incredible. I feel them in the base of my throat.
MY FAVORITE LINES:
ADMIRAL: “I don’t think you have the balls for this job.” M: “Perhaps. But I don’t have to think with them all the time.”
( Dench does the scene with her "As Time Goes By" co-star Geoffrey Palmer )
* * * *
Bond disobeys direct orders and goes after the bomb as the M-16 team and the Navy watch the action unfold on camera:
ADMIRAL: “What’s your man doing?!” M: “His job!” ( You could see she’s secretly so proud. )
* * * *
PARIS ( slowly walks towards Bond ): “What was it James. Did I get too close? Did get too close for comfort.” BOND: “Yes.”
* * * *
CARVER: “The distance between insanity and genius is only measured by success.”
As I've usually done when I see these films in the theatre, I do not leave until the last name in the credits, the last film serial number scrolls up onto the screen and the house lights go on. When I saw “Tomorrow...” I heard and saw k.d. Lang’s name. She’s got a big full-throated voice singing the end song “Surrender.” Rumor has it that producers were a little fearful of a dent in CD-sales by having Lang sing the title song b'cuz of her lifestyle; so they had her sing to the end credits. I don’t know how credible that story is, but someone on YouTube used the opening credits and put k.d. Lang’s singing on top of it instead of Sheryl Crow's. Her voice and the images are really fantastic together. For one brief moment, it made me forget about Shirley Bassey.
Here, you be the judge. If you've read me this far ( and Ithankyou ) you surely have three-mins to check out this clip. By the by, Daniel Kleinman's opening title credits are great:
Last edited by CineMaven on Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Well, Maven, I think these are your best Bond reviews yet! I really enjoyed reading them, every last word. Love KD Lang's voice. What did you think of Adele, most recently?
That photo of Timothy Dalton made my heart leap as it came up on my computer screen! I wish his Bond movies were more invested in by the producers. They just don't seem to have the budget or the style of the earlier films. You can tell though that the producers of the Brosnan Bonds really wanted to create a distinctly "Bond" product, something memorable and of a certain higher tone, with real thought behind it.
I have never been a Pierce Brosnan fan, but your mention of JOHNATHAN PRYCE and Vincent Schiavelli had me wishing I had seen this movie - I am a HUGE J.Pryce fan, he's an amazing actor who is especially effective at playing villains with a twist. I am really going to have to give this one a try, simply to see Pryce.
Thanks for going into details about these films. It makes me actually want to get into the whole thing and see what I've been missing.
Thanx JaxXx. These shorthanded overviews have been fun and grueling to write ( me...straining to be brief though these posts might belie that point. ) k.d. lang has an incredible voice ( have you heard her sing Orbison’s “CRY”? ) I know I can hear Adele sing the theme for the new Bond film “SKYFALL” beforehand, but I’m holding off on that. I need it to unfold for me in the context of the James Bond movie. I heard a few notes and then I had to stop. No no no wait wait wait. STOP! Adele is also an incredible talent and I can’t wait to hear her. ( People are picked based on their popularity and sales I think. ) I like Alicia Keys but her duet with Jack White for “Quantum of Solace” is horrible. Well...I shouldn’t say that; I mean to say...I really hated it.
I tried to find a good serious picture of Dalton; didn't mean to give you heart palpitations. ( I find him attractive too. ) I remember seeing him back then thinking...yeah! Sleek, dark dark dark. I liked him as Bond. ( But if he has a dopey villain or dopey girls around him...ack!! ) I’d veer away a bit from what you said re: budget. I think you can tell the budget of a Bond film by those action set pieces and it was pretty impressive in “The Living Daylights." That Russian airbase...and the whoopin’ and hollerin’ of Afghanis on horseback...and big airplanes. I think here they were breaking away from the Roger Moore Bonds. But I hear you...I could have seen Dalton do more. I bought the Life Magazine book: “50 YEARS OF JAMES BOND” but haven’t read it yet. ( Big glossy pretty pictures! ) Maybe there’ll be details as to why Dalton didn’t do more. Why don’t you like Brosnan?
I included your boy here, Ms. Rippingham. And I see Pryce's resemblance to John Martin Harvey, Art Malik and David Straithairn.
I've seen your ART and PHOTOGRAPHY thread over in the General TV and Media Forum. Whew!!! What a good idea Wendy, and I see your first post really was well thought out. Will have to re-read it several times to really let these facts sink in. Well-written. Very well done. May I just say briefly that those eyes of Harvey burn into you. I think they had to have an intense look b'cuz with plays you really have to reach the back of the theatre. EVERYTHING was bigger than life.
Well, I learn about classic films, food, cooking and pets here at the SSO. Let me get ready to buckle down Winsocki and learn about Art. But first, I'll need a Grey Goose vodka martini very dirty, with three olives for the next couple of Bond films MoMA unveils.
I'm enjoying reading your Bond comments. I'm not far off from you on either. I like "Daylights" mainly because of Dalton but found d'Abo a bit weak. (You want some strong Bond "girls" check out "GoldenEye.") The locations and most of the action were very good. I did find the whole bit with Joe Don Baker as the arms dealer a bit weak or out of character a little with the rest of the film. But overall, I like it.
The soundtrack is quite different than anything Barry had done for Bond. It has a techno feel to it. Still plenty of brass and strings but in some of the more uptempo pieces there is an electronic rhythm groove that gives it a different energy and feel.
"Tomorrow Never Dies" is helped by having another strong Bond woman. Michelle Yeoh is a terrific athlete and martial arts specialist. I think it enhances the sexual tension between them. Pryce is good in a role that gives him a big ego but not an over the top approach to it. Plenty of good things going on.
"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
Ms. D'Abo may not win any acting awards. But she's heart-piercingly beautiful! For that reason, she's one of my favorite Bond girls. I love the fight that opens this film. Bond and a bad guy in a moving vehicle! In a previous post, I referred to another fist fight. Something in a medical lab. That, I've remembered, is NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN. The tense, destructive confrontation is reminiscent of the great train scene in "From Russia."
I enjoyed better than the Jets' "Live and Let Die."
I'm not sure I get your reference. Was that theme song not performed by McCartney and Wings?
Thank you much MM'57. I like and agree with your succinct comments.
...And you are soright about a strong "Bond girl" in "GOLDENEYE." Onatopp is pure and simple: a black widow. D'Abo is a weak link in "...Daylights," as you write. Again, some of these girls have really good agents to score 'em a role in a Bond film. My contention from waaay back...from before I could even think straight, was that the Bond Villain and the Bond Girl should be top notch actors. Make their words and actions really count. You well note the techno aspect of the Bond music in "...Daylights." Oh Johnnny Johnnny, I miss him. ( He had a cameo as the conductor of the orchestra D'Abo's character was playing in. ) I'm with you again...the stronger the woman the stronger the tension, and Yeoh proves that. I'll be curious to see Noemi Harris match up with Daniel Craig.
By the way, what do you think of Daniel Craig as James Bond, MM?
Maryam D'Abo...well, the spectrum of beauty is so broad. But the Bond girls are really for the men in the audience so I'll say "what do I know?" I went to see "Tomorrow Never Dies" with a male friend. I said to him "Michelle Yeoh was sexy as hell with all that fighting." My friend in his Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn, kicking a can down the road way: "Wellllllll...she ain't no Halle Berry!"
What do I know.
REDRIVER wrote:I'm not sure I get your reference. Was that theme song not performed by McCartney and Wings?
Darned if I know WHAT I'm talking about RedMan. I mixed up two things. I was thinking of Wings' song "JET!" You're right & I stand corrected. It was Sir Paul's band. I'll go over there and change my mistake.
Yes! You know me too well. I like the dark intense fellows. i.e. Pryce as the devil. yay! I finally got a chance to use the little devil emoticon!
Thanks for looking at the art and Photog thread! I had a lot of fun looking through old pictures, and I quite agree that the intense eyes and eyebrow muscles were probably geared to the back row of the audience, lol! What a treat to have seen one of these giants suffering on stage... I guess movies will have to do... Dalton is a great sufferer, especially in the 1983 miniseries of Jane Eyre.... talk about Byronic...
I haven't seen The Living Daylights, so it's not surprising that I misspoke about the bdget. I know the one I saw looked classy for TV, but was not of the quality that I would expect of a Bond movie. You make a great point about good villains and good...ahem... girls to support Bond, I think this is where I get very picky.
I didn't mean that I don't like Pierce Brosnan, I just don't really know him. Maybe I should be intrigued, but he never really wowed me so far. Of course, about the only thing I have seen him in is Mamma Mia, so....
Oh my dear, my dear...you are doing Pierce Brosnan a disservice if you haven't seen him as Bond, James Bond. I hope you give him a try. I'd go with "Tomorrow Never Dies" and "Die Another Day" for starters. I wasn't crazy about "Goldeneye" but I'll be re-visiting it soon...see if I feel differently.
I've checked out the "Jane Eyre" Rochester clip on YouTube.
He's quite...uhmmmmm... effective.
Jane walked out? She needs her pre-Sigmund Freud head examined.
I like Craig as Bond. He has all the things I think are needed. He's tough as he can be. He has a wry sense of humor that is delivered in a very dry way. Look at his parking the Land Rover in "Casino Royale" after he is mistaken for a valet. And the scene where he wins the Astin Martin. The torture scene where he is whipped is carried off by Craig better than anyone else might have done given the situation. He has the body for it which none of the others had. But it is also a scene I never would have imagined in a Bond film.
He is cheeky. The opening scene with M in "CR" shows he is respectful though not above being a bad boy. He'll kill one without flinching. He can be tender too. The shower scene in "CR" and the scene after the plane goes down in "Quantum of Solace" with the leading lady might be good examples.
I'd switch places with you on "Die Another Day" and "GoldenEye." The problem I have with "Die Another Day" is that, for me, it stretches your belief system just too much. It hits the gadget thing a little too hard. The windsurfing the wave and the and even the climax of the plane on its way down made me go "nope." There are a few other points and I think Halle Barry is a drag on the film. She doesn't come across as tough as I think she wants to be. Purely subjective on my part but I don't really care for her here. I do like the first half of the film quite a bit.
On the other hand I think "GoldenEye" is strong because of the two leading ladies and a fine turn by Sean Bean. It has the most interesting back story and it's nice to see someone who doesn't want to rule the world. He is all about revenge. Some great stunt work. The tank ride through Moscow or whatever town it is is "edge of your seat" stuff. It has its weak point too but I'll take this one.
The new question is where do you put "The World Is Not Enough"?
"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
Skyfall is not like any other Bond movie in that it is almost more a really good action picture than the "spy" picture associated with Bond. The basic premise of the story takes a quick turn. It is discovered a hard drive with a list of every agent in the world has been stolen. Bond is to get it back. It doesn't take him too long and when he does it turns out to be an old agent who is out for revenge on "M." This is when the story takes off into its real plot.
"M" is the Bond girl here. There are the other two you see in the trailer but Dame Judy plays a huge part in the film. The story is get Silva (Javier Bardem) before he gets "M." It's a classic chase movie after that. Bond must protect her.
It's subdued in that there are no gadgets. Even the requisite meeting with Q gets him nothing more than a gun and radio. Save for the amazing things you can do with a computer there is little else high tech about it. You get pistols, a 12 gauge shotgun and a helicopter gunship.
Praise be that in this day and age some things are still sacred. We still get the action scene to begin the picture. Fast paced and exciting in the best sense of the Bond films. And thankfully an opening title sequence. When all modern movies seem to have left all that behind we still get a stylish, exotic title sequence.
There is not a lot of globe trotting. The opening scene is Istanbul. A visually exciting set in Shanghai with a short visit to a abandoned island and we are back in Great Britain for the remainder of the film. A good bit of the film is set in London before the ends up in Scotland. One "ordinary" scene involves a chase and a foot race through the subway system. It builds excitement with some terrific editing as Bardem makes his way to a hearing where "M" is speaking and all the while knowing that he is coming for her.
We get some background into Bond's life and some fun references to previous Bond trivia. The revered Astin Martin makes an appearance. When it shows up people breathed an audible sigh of excitement. The best joke in the movie comes in that car.
Terrific performances all around. You get a real good sense of the relationship between Bond and M. Bardem is smooth and charming as many Bond villains are supposed to be. Ralph Fiennes plays a high level government minister and though not a big role it is an important one.
Surprises await you.
We thoroughly enjoyed it.
"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."