James Bond Month – Live and Let Die (1973)

Director: Guy Hamilton

Writer: Tom Makiewicz (Screenplay)

Starring: Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto, Jane Seymour, Clifton James, Julius Harris, Geoffrey Holder, David Hedison

 

Plot: 007 is sent to stop a diabolically brilliant heroin magnate armed with a complex organization and a reliable psychic tarot card reader.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Bond Movie

 

Story: Live and Let Die starts when three secret agencies are killed, James Bond (Moore) is set to investigation the three locations, Harlem, a Caribbean island and New Orleans. His investigations lead him to tarot card psychic Solitaire (Seymour) who is being controlled by heroin magnate Kananga (Kotto).

We watch how Bond must take on a fresh villain with his own plans to bring chaos to the world, this time lives are at risk and he must do everything he can to stop the plan from taking over America and the world.

 

Thoughts on Live and Let Die

 

Characters – James Bond is back with a slightly different look and swagger, he goes undercover in a location you wouldn’t expect to see Bond, dealing with a heroin dealing company, he still gets his girls along the way and manages to escape each person trying to kill him. Kananga is the heroin magnet with a masterplan which has involved killing undercover agents that have gotten to close to his operation, he however is obsessed with tarot cards that will help him make the right decisions. Solitaire is the tarot card reader that can see the future unless she make love, so until she meets Bond, she sees him as a way out of the control of Kananga.

PerformancesRoger Moore steps into the shoes of Bond and while he does bring a different dimension to the character, he doesn’t hit the full quality levels Connery did. Yaphet Kotto in the villainous role is good in the role without ever feeling like a complete threat. Jane Seymour is good in her role even if the character never seems to fit the complete story going on.

StoryThe story here takes James into battle against a drug lord trying to reshape the drug world, James must go through the black neighbourhoods while dealing with his voodoo beliefs and a tarot card worshiping mad man. For a Bond movie this is one of the weaker stories, not because of the performances, but because the case just seems very basic with no peril, it’s a drug lord over any mastermind world dominance plan. It does feel like a bi of a reboot with the new actor, showing him complete an easier case rather than continuing the battles against the bigger enemies, we do try to get a henchman which should bring peril, though he is more comic relief and the whole boat chase feels like something out of a comedy.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film is good for the basic moments, the airplane moment is great fun, though the boat race is comical for the most part.

SettingsThe film does use more recognizable location which is nice, the Harlem and New Orleans settings stand out for this discussion because they make us feel like James is just a police detective.


Scene of the Movie –
The airport sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The villain, while interesting, he never feels like a threat.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun Bond movie, not good one, but one you can easily watch without feeling completely out of the previous world created.

 

Overall: Simple to watch Bond.

Rating

 

 

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The Fly (1958)

logoDirector: Kurt Neumann

Writer: James Clavell (Writer) George Langelaan (Story)

Starring: David Hedison, Patricia Owens, Vincent Price, Herbert Marshall, Kathleen Freeman, Betty Lou Gerson, Charles Herbert

 

Plot: A scientist has a horrific accident when he tries to use his newly invented teleportation device.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic

 

Story: The Fly starts by showing man finds a woman crushing somebody in a mechanical planet. The woman in question Helena (Owens) calls Francois (Price) to confess killing her husband Andre (Hedison). Along with the inspector Charas (Marshall) the body is looked at and the two locate Helena to find out the truth. Trying to uncover the truth they uncover his laboratory, but they do not understand the work that was going on. Helena has a common housefly around the house that she wants to protect and is distraught when it is killed but luckily it is not the one she was looking for.

Helena is trying to protect a housefly and agrees to recount her story about what happened with her husband as long as she can have the housefly she was searching for. We learn that Andre has built a teleporter and shows it off to his wife first time only to discover it has a small flaw. Andre tries to work on his machine by using his pet cat only for the cat to go missing during the test. Continuing on his experiments he has perfected the ability to transport a living being. After an accident Andre leaves a mysterious note for Helena with instruction and nothing more. We learn that Andre has mixed his DNA with a fly by accident while using his teleporter and he is becoming something that will frighten the world.

The Fly tells a very basic story but also mixes up the telling we have the outcome told in the opening moments and then flashing back to what happened before telling us the final consequences. It doesn’t go into too much scientific detail which keeps things fresh for the audience giving us the chance to relate to Helena. I am trying not to compare this to the remake on qualities but I do feel this story is easier to follow but is also designed for extra shock value for the time but if this was compared to the remake it would fall behind on standard. It is a great story for horror for the 50s though. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

David Hedison: Andre Delambre genius scientist who has been working on his teleporter only for it to backfire on himself when a fly gets into the machine while trying it on himself. David gives a good performance and with the shock of his reveal transformation works well. (8/10)

 

Patricia Owens: Helene Delambre suspect who is getting questioned, so she gives her story about what has happened which comes off hard to believe. Patricia gives a good performance that will be a steady scream queen level. (8/10)

 

Vincent Price: Francois Delambre brother of Andre who tries to get to the bottom of what happened. While providing the supporting character Vincent does make his presence known. (9/10)

 

Support Cast: The Fly uses a very small cast and the few supporting characters are mainly medical staff, police and person family staff. Each one helps in their own little way to help the story unfold.

 

Director Review: Kurt Neumann – Kurt did a good job directing this classic which we all know went on to become a film that did get remade with special effects on top of everything. (8/10)

 

Horror: The Fly does have some shocking moments and it is the wait for those moments which is good. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: The Fly would have come over very shocking at the time, but sadly it has dated with the ideas badly now. (5/10)

Settings: The Fly keeps the settings close together and each one makes things feel close to home for the characters. (8/10)
Special Effects
: The Fly used good effects for the time and the added shock value of its reveal works well. (8/10)

Suggestion: The Fly is one for the horror fans out there to watch even though most would have heard of the remake. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The reveal.

Worst Part: Too much is left to imagination.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has two sequels and a reboot.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $700,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

Tagline: Terrifying! Nerve Shattering! Bloodcurdling!

Trivia: Patricia Owens has a real fear of insects. Director Kurt Neumann used this by not allowing her to see the makeup until the “unmasking’ scene.

 

Overall: Solid Classic Horror

Rating80