James Bond Month – Octopussy (1983)

Director: John Glen

Writer: George MacDonald Fraser, Richard Maibaum, Michael G Wilson (Screenplay)

Starring: Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jourdan, Kristina Wayborn, Kabir Bedi, Steven Berkoff, David Meyer

 

Plot: A fake Fabergé egg, and a fellow Agent’s death, lead James Bond to uncover an international jewel-smuggling operation, headed by the mysterious Octopussy, being used to disguise a nuclear attack on N.A.T.O. forces.


Tagline – Nobody does him better.

Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun & Enjoyable

 

Story: Octopussy starts when a Fabergé egg goes missing and one agent ends up dead, James Bond (Moore) is bought into investigate the case, this starts by following Kamal Khan (Jourdan) and Magda (Wayborn) all the way to India and the mysterious Monsoon Mansion.

James will come face to face with a jewel smuggler known as Octpussy (Adams) who has been working with the Russian, can he solve the case and avenge his fellow agent’s death?

 

Thoughts on Octopussy

 

Characters – James Bond is still considered one of the best agents in the force which meaning he must once again go into action as he goes in search for answers when one of the agents gets killed, he still has his charm as he goes about his mission. Octopussy is the leader of a jewel smuggling ring that has an involvement in the agent’s death, she knows how to control the situation and both sides of the law. Kamal Khan is the middle man for everyone, he is working for the Russians and Octopussy, leaving him to be facing all of the deals that are taking place. He will kill anyone that gets in his way. Magda is one of the beautiful women that work for Octopussy, she uses her looks to trick the men into giving her what she wants, including Bond.

PerformancesRoger Moore was always the best Bond for the cheesy lines, which he hits perfectly well, he did have the weak side when it came to the action spots like others hand, this show us why. Maud Adams goes work in the role which could be a villain or just somebody against the law, while Louis Jourdan does make for a fun villain doing the dirty work. For the most part this is one of the better acted Bond movies in a few years now.

StoryThe story here continues the adventures of James Bond, this time he enters the world of jewel smuggling which will see him travelling the world and learning just what is the major plan behind the sort after Faberge egg. This does bring the story back to the grounded roots which are always the better stories, with no connection to the previous films. The suspense is kept going through the story and by the end, we do feel like we are in a situation where the worst could happen.

Action/AdventureThe action contains a couple of entertaining chase sequences which seem o place us in location we haven’t seen before including the streets of India.

SettingsThe film does take us across the globe, with India, Austria and Germany being the locations used for solving the case.


Scene of the Movie –
India street chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not understand backgammon.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the most underrated Bond movies to date, it keeps the story tight, has great action sequences and even the cheesy one liners work this time around.

 

Overall: One of the best Bond movies.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012)

Director: Peter Hedges

Writer: Peter Hedges (Screenplay) Ahmet Zappa (Story)

Starring: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams, Odeya Rush, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Rosemarie DeWitt, David Morse

 

Plot: A childless couple bury a box in their backyard, containing all of their wishes for an infant. Soon, a child is born, though Timothy Green is not all that he appears.


Tagline – He’s a force of nature.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Fantasy

 

Story: The Odd Life of Timothy Green starts as Cindy (Garner) and Jim (Edgerton) a married couple learn they can’t have children, in one last night of accepting the truth, they write a list of ideas that would have been their dream child place it in a box and bury it in their garden.

That night something unexpected happens, when the couple learn that Timothy (Adams) comes to life and the couple must deal with being a parent for the first time. Timothy goes through the childhood problems where he meets Joni (Rush), but he is keeping a secret from everybody.

 

Thoughts on The Odd Life of Timothy Green

 

Characters – Cindy is the artistic wife that works in a gallery, she is devastated about not being able to have children, once Timothy turns up she wants to give him everything she wanted to for a child. Jim is a factory worker that sees Timothy as a chance to be a father he never had. Timothy is the boy that appears one night, he has all the good the parents want in their child and shows that he is going help the depressed parents that are facing a childless future, he inspires the people around him, while dealing with the everyday problem in life of a young boy. Joni is the girl that Timothy meets and accepts him for who he is because she knows she is just as different as him, they bring out the best in both.

PerformancesJennifer Garner has a reputation for being one of the best parental figures in acting today, she shows us just why she is always picked. Joel Edgerton is strong here too as we believe he is the one that is seeing his chance to be a father in his character. CJ Adams as Timothy is wonderful showing the innocence his character requires to make a difference in the world. Odeya Rush brings everything needed for the rebellious outcast character that has the heart of gold to give to the right person.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that believe they can never have a child only to get an unexpected surprise when one arrives, one they created, they are given new hope as they see new horizons in their lives and the ones he touches. This is a story I didn’t see coming, it felt original in the way everything was handled and shows just how anyone can walk into somebody’s life and change it forever. When it comes to the child learning aspects of a story, this is everything we have seen before, but the fantasy elements make the biggest impact on this story. the story does play into your feelings and will be one that you don’t forget easily.

Comedy/FantasyThe comedy used in the film is standard material, you will get a laugh when you need to even if we are looking at the more serious moments often. The fantasy comes from Timothy as they learn more about his true presence in the world.

SettingsThe film is set in a small town which shows how close the community is when it comes to dealing with their own problems, this helps with the outcome of the film and helps us see how everyone knows each other.


Scene of the Movie –
The leaves.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The football match is poorly shot.

Final ThoughtsThis is a delightful fantasy film that will deliver on the feels, you will see the direction it is heading in, but you will want to be part of the journey.

 

Overall: Delightful.

Rating

 

 

James Bond Month – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

Director: Peter R Hunt

Writer: Richard Maibaum (Screenplay)

Starring: George Lazenby, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas, Gabriele Ferzetti, Ilse Steppat, Lois Maxwell, George Baker

 

Plot: James Bond woos a mob boss’s daughter and goes undercover to uncover the true reason for Blofeld’s allergy research in the Swiss Alps that involves beautiful women from around the world.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappointingly Dull

 

Story: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service starts as James Bond (Lazenby) is tracking down Blofeld (Savalas) after his escape from the last film, he starts by getting close to Tracy (Rigg) whose father Draco (Ferzetti) might just know the location of Blofeld.

Once he gets the led James is off on his mission which takes him to the Swiss Alps where he hopes to come face to face with his greatest enemy Blofeld who has started his next plan.

 

Thoughts on, On her Majesty’s Secret Service

 

Characters – James Bond is back, he is still a womaniser only now he doesn’t have the same spark of charisma that he had been showing in previous films, he still must go head to head with Blofeld, but he just doesn’t feel right this time around. Tracey is the Bond girl this time around, she isn’t as easy as the previous one showing a higher intelligence to stay ahead of Bond and not following the traditions that her father wants. Blofeld returns and for some reason doesn’t recognise Bond even after meeting him in the last film, so that is strange. He has a masterplan to take over the world or at least put money in his pocket, well bank account. Draco is the connection to locate Blofeld with him being Tracy’s father it also helps with the locating as part of a deal.

PerformancesGeorge Lazenby doesn’t have the same level of charisma or charm that Sean Connery brings, this only disappoints and takes us away from the film in places. Diana Rigg does bring class the to Bond girl role, showing more commitment to this role that Lazenby. Telly Savalas struggles to step into Donald Pleasence’s shoes in the Blofeld role almost being a parody of the character.

StoryThe story here takes James on his latest mission which is to capture Blofeld after his escape last time out, this takes him in a new direction away from the tropical islands and into the snow-covered mountain ranges as Blofeld is working on his next plan to become rich. The story is a way too long compared to previous films and does drag at times, the fact Blofeld doesn’t remember James is a big issue for me because them coming face to face was a big moment in You Only Live Twice. The highlight of the story comes from the fact we get a surprise ending which does show us that we are ready to continue the battle.

Action/AdventureThe action is a complete mixed bag because certain fights are good, but then the horrible green screen moments just don’t work. The adventure takes James to a new location which is all we want at times.

SettingsWe are set in the Swiss Alps on top of one of the mountains which shows us a base that isn’t easy to escape from and away from the bikinis we have been seeing too often.


Scene of the Movie –
Ski escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Blofeld not remember Bond.

Final ThoughtsThis is the weakest in the series to date, we just don’t get drawn in like before and the attempted new technology use only hinders the film.

 

Overall: Weakest Bond film to date.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – O – Out of the Shadows (2017)

Director: Allen Kellogg

Writer: Allen Kellogg, Spencer Jay Kim (Screenplay)

Starring: Allen Kellogg, Meredith Kochan, Spencer Jay Kim, Ashly Bossard, Sean Manos, Larry Nehring, Brooke Morrison

 

Plot: Cynthia O’Neil enters a haunted asylum known as the Madison Seminary in search of her father who went missing in the asylum while shooting a reality television show.


Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull Horror

 

Story: Out of the Shadows starts as we follow a paranormal investigation team looking to recruit the only known survivor Carter (Kellogg) to join them as they search the answers about what happened on his famous activity tape.

With the team in place the teams sets up the cameras around the asylum with team member Cynthia (Morrison) getting the first does of activity in a communication from her father, whom went missing in asylum with Carter’s team. Using her as bait the team record her time inside the asylum as they look to explain the unexplainable.

 

Thoughts on Out of the Shadows

 

Characters – Carter is the lone survivor from a previous encounter inside the asylum, he goes back but could have his own motivation for this. Cynthia is searching for her father who went missing but the rest of the characters are just another mix of the crew you would expect on a paranormal investigation team.

PerformancesThe performances across the board are not the best, the crew does feel like it could be a real documentary crew at times but then other times its just a group of actors trying to overreact to everything going on.

StoryThe story does have a good twist, which is the only interesting part of the story, it is nearly 90 minutes investigating the shadows with too many characters to follow, it gets difficult to follow the characters in the dark for the most part and as for the reasoning behind everything well, it doesn’t seem to have one.

HorrorThe horror is a lot of jumping at the camera or activity happening behind the camera, it isn’t scary but will give you a forced jump.

SettingsThe film could easily have only had one setting, the asylum but going back to the motel makes it feel like the evil could escape which does try to make it stand out from just a haunted asylum movie.

Special EffectsThe effects are what you would expect for a found footage film, they work without being ground breaking.


Scene of the Movie –
Welcome to the Devil’s Toy Box.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The scares were too random.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing and mostly dull horror movie, the jumps are too random, the characters don’t make smart decisions and found footage only works in places.

 

Overall: Horror film to skip by the end.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – O – Our Kind of Traitor (2016)

Director: Susanna White

Writer: Hossein Amini (Screenplay) John le Carre (Novel)

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgard, Damian Lewis, Naomie Harris, Jeremy Northam, Khalid Abdalla, Mark Gatiss

 

Plot: A couple finds themselves lured into a Russian oligarch’s plans to defect, and are soon positioned between the Russian Mafia and the British Secret Service, neither of whom they can trust.


Tagline – Who can you trust with the truth?

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Crime Thriller

 

Story: Our Kind of Traitor starts when British couple Perry (McGregor) and Gail (Harris) holidaying in Morocco meet Russian Mafia member Dima (Skarsgard) and the two men bond. Dima talks Perry into taking information back to MI6, which opens the door for the secret service agent Hector (Lewis) trying to investigate the information.

Returning with the information, Perry and Gail gets caught up in the middle of both sides even though they want to get on with their own lives, soon it is their lives that are in danger, who will come out on top.

 

Thoughts on Our Kind of Traitor

 

Characters – Perry is a university professor, he is trying to make amends with his wife on a romantic holiday, he reluctantly gets involved in the information trade with his good nature being used by both sides. Gail is the lawyer wife of Perry, she has become distant from him while still loving him and does question his decision to help Dima. Dima is the Russian mafia handling the accounts, but he wants out to help his own children become safe, he uses his connection with Perry to get MI6 involved in the truth. Hector is the MI6 agent that is willing to work with Dima for the information in exchange for the family, he does have his own grudge with the man they are trying to take down too.

PerformancesThe performances through the film show us just what Le Carre does with his characters, he gives them good moments, without making them stand out. McGregor is good, but you feel a younger up and comer would have been perfect here, Harris is good and doesn’t put a foot wrong, while Skarsgard enjoys his role, shady but loyal. Damian Lewis brings back his true English role which at times does feel weird knowing how often he has been an American character recently.

StoryThe story comes from a John Le Carre novel, so instantly we know we are going to get a thriller that keeps us guessing on what everyone’s motivation will be. The idea that a normal couple get mixed up in the middle of an international information exchange is different and does work for the film because it helps us stay on edge thinking and wondering if they do have a bigger involvement. The story does feel like that one moment to make it great is missing, as everything does end up feeling just normal and good only.

CrimeThe crime side of the film follows a criminal looking for a safe way out of the life for his family in exchange for bringing down the mafia’s dealings in London.

SettingsThe film splits the settings between London, for the deals, Morocco for the exchanges and the final location for the next chapter of the lives, they work because they show how this world would operate.


Scene of the Movie –
The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It lacks the edge of your seat style of Le Carre novels have given us.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid thriller even if it lacks that final factor to make it one of the best ones, it does the by the book material well, but never develops the characters enough to understand the situation they put themselves in.

 

Overall: Simple thriller.

Rating