James Bond Month – Licence to Kill (1989) Movie Rob’s Pick

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“Oh, don’t be an idiot, 007. I know exactly what you’re up to, and quite frankly, you’re going to need my help. Remember, if it hadn’t been for Q Branch, you’d have been dead long ago.” – Q

Number of Times Seen – Between 5-10 times (Theater in ’89, cable, video, 16 Dec 2014 and 14 Nov 2019)

Link to original review – Here

Brief Synopsis – James Bond tries to track down a Central American drug dealer after his best friend is attacked on his Wedding Day.

My Take on it – This is among my favorite James Bond films and upon this rewatch, I got an even higher appreciation for what they try to do here with this iconic character.

This film stands out among most of its predecessors since it allows the viewer to see the emotional side of the character as he does things from the heart instead of solely on orders from his superiors.

The fact that this film has Bond take on a personal vendetta works really well because we get to see a side of him that we’ve never seen before since it adds a deeper layer to the character.

Timothy Dalton once again proves how great a choice he was for this role and it’s really a shame that he only ended up playing this character twice since he brings such a serious tone to the role that none of his predecessors managed.

Loved the way that some of the familiar characters from the franchise are also given more prominent roles in this film and they show us how close the connection has become between these characters over the many years of them working together.

Robert Davi is a great choice as the villain and I really liked the way that they decided to make the goals of the villain something other than world domination.

He plays this role with lots of cunning and intelligence and is developed quite well that it helps make this story feel much more plausible and realistic in all that it tries to do.

Bottom Line – Great Bond film that is among the very best because we finally get to see the emotional side of the character. His personal vendetta in this film takes the character to places that we’ve never seen before and add a new layer to the way that we can perceive this iconic character.  Dalton once again does a great job playing this character and it’s a shame that this was his second and final time playing the role. The way that some of the familiar characters in the series show their personal side also helps the story as we get to see how camaraderie among these characters is quite tight knit after so many years working together. Davi is a great and cunning villain and I really liked the fact that they chose to say far away from world domination villains and made this one seem much more plausible and realistic in his quest for power. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In an interview during filming in September 1988, Timothy Dalton denied media claims that his Bond was not allowed to have as much sex, due to the A.I.D.S. epidemic at the time. However, in a 2007 interview, he admitted that this was true. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (upgrade from original review)


James Bond Month – Living Daylights (1987) Movie Rob’s Pick

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“[after removing his disguise] Thank you both for your help. My name is Kamran Shah. Please forgive the theatricals, it’s a hangover from my Oxford days.” – Kamran Shah

Number of Times Seen – Between 5 – 10 times (Theater in ’87, cable, video, DVD, 16 Dec 2014 and 14 Nov 2019)

Link to original review – Here

Brief Synopsis – James Bond is sent on a mission to help a Russian Army officer defect, but must find a way to keep him safe when an assassin is sent to stop him.

My Take on it – This is a fun Bond film that was the first outing for Timothy Dalton as the iconic super spy.

He does a much better job in the role than he gets credit for and adds a more serious tone to the character and franchise.

The lot of the film was quite timely or when it was made and shows the various tares in the seams of the soon to crumble Iron Curtain.

The way that the story line features how the Russians had difficulties while in Afghanistan is great to watch since it allows us to see how the world looked at that part of the world long before it became apparent in the West that anyone who needs to try and fight a war in that country would have a very difficult time extracting themselves from it.

The story line in this film is quite simplistic and that hurts things a bit especially when comparing it to other movies in the franchise.

The film has some nice twists and turns but they come across as being much too predictable which is a shame.

The gadgets presented in this film are downplayed in order to add more realism to the story but it takes away from the Bond style atmosphere which is accentuated by the various gadgets.

The film does the action scenes well but it comes across as being a bit too tame which takes away from the enjoyment of this film.

Bottom Line – Fun Bond film that has a much more serious tone than most of the films in the series. Dalton is great as the iconic character and is much better than most people claim he is.  The story does a nice job showing the tears in the seams of the Iron Curtain which was in the process of coming apart at the time. Interesting seeing a story line that shows the difficulties that the Russians had in Afghanistan years before the world (and America) got a much clearer picture of what kind of area it is and how difficult it is to defend for a foreign country.  The story here is too simplistic and a number of the various twists and turns come across as being much too predictable. The gadgets are slightly downplayed here which adds an element of realism to the story and makes it feel less like a Bond movie than it should. The action scenes are done well, but also come across as being a bit too tame.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Timothy Dalton was originally unavailable to play Bond, and Pierce Brosnan was then chosen to play 007 in 1986, and was given the script to this movie. Although he was contracted to Remington Steele (1982) for seven seasons, NBC decided to cancel the show at the end of the fourth season, which meant that Brosnan was free to play James Bond in this movie the following year. However, shortly after the end of the fourth season, NBC had second thoughts about cancelling “Remington Steele”, and subsequently approached the Bond producers directly in an attempt to strike a deal that would allow Brosnan to play James Bond and Remington Steele the following year. NBC also offered to completely reschedule the shooting of Remington Steele to ensure that there were no scheduling conflicts. But eventually, Albert R. Broccoli famously told NBC that “James Bond will not be Remington Steele, and Remington Steele will not be James Bond.” Accordingly, Brosnan would only play Bond if the show remained cancelled. NBC had a sixty day deadline to revoke their decision to cancel the series, and at 6:30 p.m. on the sixtieth day of the deadline, Brosnan learned that NBC decided to make a fifth season. The Bond producers subsequently prevented Brosnan from becoming the next James Bond. Subsequently, the role went to Timothy Dalton, who was now finally available. NBC went on to make only six episodes of the fifth season of Remington Steele (1982) before finally cancelling the show for good. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10) (slight downgrade from original review)

James Bond Month – A View to a Kill (1985) Movie Rob’s Pick

You can read more of Movie Rob’s review here

You amuse me, Mr. Bond.” – Max Zorin

“Well, it’s not mutual.” – James Bond

Number of Times Seen – Between 10-20 times (Theater in ’85, cable, video, DVD, 15 Dec 2014 and 11 Nov 2019)

Link to original review – Here

Brief Synopsis – Bond is sent on a mission to try and discover why a computer tycoon is trying to fix a horse race by drugging the animals.

My Take on it –  This is probably my very favorite James Bond movie and that probably has much to do with the fact that I saw it in the theater when I was 11 and then subsequently numerous times on cable in the years afterwards.

Roger Moore was definitely beyond his prime when he made this film, but he despite his advanced age, he does a wonderful job with this character for the final time.

He is able to deliver his lines with his iconic Bond tone and does some great stunts along the way that help endear the character by all that he does.

Love the way that this film’s story brings the franchise closer to the 21st Century by relating with technology and computers as the resource sought after by the villains.

Christopher Walken is superb as Zorin and gets the character’s borderline craziness down pat so well.

The film’s title song by Duran Duran is my favorite of all of the Bond theme songs and is a song that I can listen to over and over.

Its musical theme is used throughout the film and adds much to the tone and suspense of the story.

Check out the video here:

Yes, this film has many aspects that come across as being campy, bit that actually helps make it so much fun to watch and is perfectly set up for the kind of things that Moore did during his tenure in the role and is a fitting finale for him as 007.

His quips are so iconic and enjoyable to listen to.

The gadgets that Bond gets from Q are once again spectacular and enhance the story so much especially when we get to watch Moore utilize them in the most unusual situations.

Grace Jones and Tanya Roberts are the most prominent Bond girls in this film.

Jones is superb in her role, but Roberts and her screechy voice get a bit too annoying.

Bottom Line – Really fun Bond film that still remains my favorite among the entire franchise. Moore is a bit too old for the role, yet still is able to deliver some iconic lines and do some nice death defying stunts. The story helps bring the Bond franchise into the 21st century by dealing with computers and technology as the main resource sought by the villains. Walken is superb as the villain and is able to play the borderline craziness of the character really well.  The theme song by Duran Duran is among my favorite songs and helps give the story a boost by helping set the tone and pacing of things.  There is some campiness in the film but that has much to do with the kind of tone that Moore set for his films especially when it comes to his quips. The gadgets are once again lots of fun to watch being used and they enhance the story immensely.  Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Duran Duran was chosen to do the song after bassist John Taylor (a lifelong Bond fan) approached Producer Albert R. Broccoli at a party, and somewhat drunkenly asked “When are you going to get someone decent to do one of your theme songs?” (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)

James Bond Month – Octopussy (1983) Movie Rob’s Pick

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“Really, 007! Look, I haven’t time for these adolescent antics!” – Q

Number of Times Seen – Between 5-10 times (Theater in ’83, cable, video, 15 Dec 2014 and 11 Nov 2019)

Link to original review – Here

Brief Synopsis – James Bond is sent on a mission to try and find out why someone is creating replicas of a priceless Faberge Egg.

My Take on it – This is Bond film that has always had a soft place in my heart since it was also the very first film in the series that I saw in the theater even though I was just 9 years old.

This is such a fun film in the franchise and proved once again how great a Bond Roger Moore could be especially with his mix of action and comic reactions to everything.

The story itself works really well and they do a wonderful job having the character of James Bond travel to many places over the course of the plot.

The gadgets used in this film are also great and they allow both sides to utilize some very intriguing tools including a yo-yo saw which is quite effective.

They also are able to enhance the “light” nature of the movie allowing Bond to use his usual quips regarding everything that happens.

The villains in the film are pretty tame, yet they all do a great job keeping Bond on his toes as they match both wits and brawn throughout the movie.

The fact that Bond dresses up as a clown and fights off the bad guys in that costume is so much fun to watch and leaves a lasting and memorable impression.

Maud Adams is very memorable Bond girl and her chemistry with Moore is superb.

The film has a great theme song that works really well in establishing the love story aspect of the film.

Listen to All Time High here:

Bottom Line – Another really fun Moore outing as Bond. The story works really well and his globetrotting in this film is done in a very enjoyable way.  The gadgets that the character gets in this film also are great and add so much to the light atmosphere of this film. The various villains are all great and it’s enjoyable watching then and Bond play games of wit and strength in order to try and outdo one another. Seeing Bond dressed as a clown in the circus is hilarious and leaves a lasting impression.  The theme song All Time High is superb and works so well within the context of the film. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Stuntman Martin Grace had a serious accident while filming on the train. Hanging on the side of it, the train went into a non-assessed area of the track and he rammed into a pylon, seriously damaging his leg and hip and hospitalizing him for several months. He made a full recovery. In a similar vein, the actor who uses the buzz saw yo-yo broke his arm when he fell over the balcony onto Octopussy’s bed. Despite his injury and having to wear a cast, he insisted on completing the rest of his scenes. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10) (no change from original review)

James Bond Month – The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) Movie Rob’s Review

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“I’m certain that two such perceptive talents will enjoy working together in Sardinia and that it will help to make Anglo-Soviet cooperation a reality. ” – General Anatol Gogol

Number of Times Seen – At least 5 Times (cable in the 80’s and 90’s, 11 Dec 2014 and 7 Nov 2019)

Link to original review – Here

Brief Synopsis – James Bond is paired with a female Russian agent and are sent on a mission to try and find two missing submarines; one form each of their countries.

My Take on it – This is a film that I have always had fond memories of watching it and since I hadn’t seen it in almost five years, I decided that it was time to check it out again for this series.

This is a great James Bond film because not only does it have all of the elements of what makes a fun Bond film, but it also gives us a few more bonuses along the way.

Roger Moore is back for his third outing as the British Super spy and finally hits his stride with this film.

The way that he delivers his lines is so enjoyable to watch especially when many of these lines have dual meanings.

The story itself, like most Bond plots is quite simple, yet they find ways to keep things fun and entertaining the whole way through.

The biggest problem with this film is the main villain Stromberg who is completely two dimensional and feels like he wan’t developed very well when originally this part was created.

Thankfully, his two henchmen are both great and give Bond a hard time the whole way through.

This film is the one that introduces Jaws to us and makes him one of the most iconic Bond villains in history.

The film’s theme song – Nobody Does it Better is great to listen to and gives off such a great 70’s vibe throughout.

The thing tho that I mostly love about this film is the added layer that they add here to the action sequences.

The idea to take three detained submarine crews and have them work together against a common foe works so well and in some points feels quite poignant.

The way that these brave men must work together in order to escape from the enemy base adds so much to this film and helps keep it enjoyable to watch unfold.

Bottom Line – Another great Bond film that gives us everything that we can expect from a film in this franchise.  Moore is once again great in this role and delivers his double entente lines as perfectly as he can.  The story itself is quite simple but still keeps things very fun and entertaining throughout. Stromberg is a pretty weak foe yet he has two great henchmen that make things worth following including the introduction of Jaws to the Bond canon. The main theme song is also great and allows us to get the 70’s vibe that is present throughout this movie. The film does a great job adding a new element to the franchise by giving us a great action scene where the crews of the three missing submarines try to fight their way out of the enemy base and that has always made this film stick out among most of the films in the series. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – By the time this movie was made, the James Bond film franchise was the most lucrative in the world, and many manufacturers wanted their products featured. There was great competition for the company that would supply Bond’s car. Don McLaughlin, Public Relations Manager of Lotus, realized that the best way to win this coveted position was to make the producers chase after him, rather than going begging to them. One day he turned up at Pinewood driving a brand new unreleased Lotus Esprit, with all identifying names covered up. He parked it outside the Bond set, knowing that the producers would see it when they broke for lunch. Once the car had attracted a crowd, all clamoring to know what the car was, McLaughlin nonchalantly got in the car and drove away without answering any questions. As he had expected, the producers were desperate to discover what the car was, and Producer Albert R. Broccoli later chose it for this movie. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10) (no change from original review)