Writer: Brian DeCubellis (Screenplay) Colin Harrison (Novel)
Starring: Adrien Brody, Yvonne Strahovski, Campbell Scott, Jennifer Beals, Raul Aranas, Thomas Bair
Plot: A reporter becomes involved with a mysterious woman while investigating her late husband’s death.
Tagline – No reporter can resist a siren
Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Mystery Noir Style
Story: Manhattan Night starts when investigative reporter Porter Wren (Brody) tells his story and his place in the New York world, telling people’s stories. He gets asked by Caroline Crowley (Strahovski) to investigate the murder of her husband Simon (Scott) whose murder remains unsolved and covered in mystery.
As Porter gets involved in an affair with Caroline, he soon discovers that there is a bigger cover up going on and his own family is now in danger, can he uncover the truth before it is too late.
Thoughts on Manhattan Night
Characters – Porter Wren is a well-respected journalist in New York, he has a comfortable job in his paper because of his reputation for telling people’s stories. His latest case however will get him looking into the murder mystery that will push himself to the limits when he gets involved with the victim’s wife. He narrates a lot of this which is the films way of trying to have a dig a modern society. Caroline is the wife whose husband has been killed, she seduces Porter, which plays her out to be a siren, only she soon feels like a victim with this character get caught in the middle we never know which side she is meant to be, one that gets what she wants or just a victims. Simon is the husband that has been murdered meaning we only see him in flashback of how the two were married. Lisa is the wife of Porter, she is doctor and from how Porter tells the story they don’t get along as they once did.
Performances – Adrien Brody does well in the leading role in the film even if he doesn’t make his character feel much different than any others from the similar genre. Yvonne Strahovski fits the seductive side to her character, though without being the strongest in the serious side of the story. Campbell Scott and Jennifer Beals just don’t get enough time to show their skills off in this film.
Story – The story here follows an investigation into an unsolved murder which brings the investigative reporter into a series of cover ups and conspiracy in true noir style. Using the noir style is clear here, the execution of the noir style doesn’t quite come off though because the siren doesn’t feel like a siren and by the end you will be left wondering just why the investigation wasn’t solved by the police in the first place, let alone why the reporter is even asked to investigate it. Nothing really comes out of solving the case which is the biggest disappointment from everything we are getting invested in.
Crime/Mystery – The crime side of this mystery does involve a murder that hasn’t been solved, it does have other crime elements involved too which just confuse the simply plot.
Settings – The film is set in New York and uses a secret house to show a place of peace in this busy city and how people can meet and connect through life.
Final Thoughts – This is a noir styled crime mystery that gives us a case that almost doesn’t need to be solved in the end.
Overall: Mystery that didn’t need solving.
Writer: Roald Dahl (Screenplay)
Starring: Sean Connery, Akiko Wakabayashi, Mie Hama, Tetsure Tanba, Teru Shumada, Karin Dor, Donald Pleasence
Plot: Agent 007 and the Japanese secret service ninja force must find and stop the true culprit of a series of spacejackings before nuclear war is provoked.
Tagline – You Only Live Twice…and “TWICE” is the only way to live!
Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Cheesy and Fun
Story: You Only Live Twice starts with James Bond (Connery) faking his death to take the heat off him, on his latest mission James is sent to Japan to investigate a missing America space rocket that was landed near Japan, joining with the Japanese intelligence agent Aki (Wakabayashi) who helps him navigate Tokyo.
Bond believing SPECTRE have returned and are behind the events, he starts looking at a small fishing island and with a limited time frame, can he uncover the truth before Russia or America set off on their next space mission?
Thoughts on You Only Live Twice
Characters – James Bond has been gaining a lot of heat from his missions, now he must fake his own death to go underground. His latest mission takes him to Japan where he must uncover the truth about mission rockets, he is the same womaniser we know this being his biggest weakness, however we do learn how skilled he is when he can jump into any vehicle and know how to operate it and handle himself in any fight. Aki is the Bond girl here, she helps him around Tokyo meeting his connections and turning up just in time to rescue him from danger. Kissy is the fake wife that James must take while searching the island, could easily be considered one of the Bond girls in the movie. Blofeld is the cat stroking leader of SPECTRE Bond suspects he is involved and this will be the first meeting between the two.
Performances – Sean Connery is still good in this role, we continues to make this role the iconic on we all know and remember. Donald Pleasence in his role becomes the most iconic of all the Bond villains which is what we need this far into the franchise. When it comes to the Bond girls we get the beautiful women that don’t get too much to do other than to look great next to Bond.
Story – The story here follow James Bond on his latest mission after faking his death which takes him into battle against SPECTRE once again, by having a returning villainous threat is good for this franchise because we don’t need to keep establishing a new villain which does take time for any film, with the returning villain we can focus on Bond and just how difficult it is to keep his identity secret from the threats to the world. the story does follow the usual movements as we follow Bond meet allies, defeat enemies and save the world from potential world war three. This is one story that is the one I always remember with the final battle which happens to be my favourite for the whole franchise.
Action/Adventure – The action is mostly Bond battle enemies, be in hand to hand, helicopter to make shift helicopter, right down to the mass final battle which is one of the biggest in the franchise. The adventure does take Bond across the world again to Japan on his latest mission.
Settings – The film uses the settings well, we always see Bond in new locations and this takes him to Japan, the amount of small islands there helps add mystery to everything which is all we want as fans of the franchise.
Final Thoughts – This is easily one of my favourite Bond films, it is one I grew up watching the most, it does have flaws but we can’t help that, otherwise this is one you can enjoy and gets better as we go along.
Overall: One of the most fun Bond films.