James Bond Month – The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Director: Guy Hamilton

Writer: Richard Maibaum, Tom Mankiewicz (Screenplay)

Starring: Roger Moore, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Maud Adams, Herve Villechaize, Clifton James

 

Plot: James Bond is led to believe that he is targeted by the world’s most expensive assassin while he attempts to recover sensitive solar cell technology that is being sold to the highest bidder.


Tagline – He never misses his target, and now his target is 007.

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mostly Forgettable

 

Story: The Man with the Golden Gun starts when James Bond (Moore) is assigned to locate known assassin Francisco Scaramanga (Lee) who has personally set James a bullet with his name on. His investigation takes him to a bullet making who makes the golden bullets he is known for using.

James works with Mary Goodnight (Ekland) for the connection which takes him to his hideout on a mysterious island with Andrea Anders (Adams) leading him to the answers and a showdown with the deadly assassin.

 

Thoughts on The Man with the Golden Gun

 

Characters – James Bond is the secret service agent we know from the previous film, he continues to be the womaniser and prefers to work solo as he is trying to locate an assassin that has been paid to kill him, away from this we don’t learn much more about James. Francisco Scaramanga is the assassin that is assigned to kill Bond, he will only normally kill the people he has been hired to kill playing along with the honour of the kills, he is a man of myth who sees Bond as a great challenge. Mary Goodnight is the Bond girl that has been working on assignment in Thailand, she becomes the connection that helps with the case. Andrea Anders is the mistress that gets caught up in the middle of the twos battle.

PerformancesRoger Moore leads what is a very average set of performances who don’t get enough to do to make them standout, Moore tries to play this more serious and it doesn’t work. Christopher Lee is the highlight of the performances that makes us want to see more of his stories.

StoryThe story brings Bond on his latest mission where he must investigate an assassin that has been assigned to kill him. Now this does make the story feel more forgettable because it is just a villain who is searching for a challenge, rather than any criminal mastermind that wants to change the world. there is a weak subplot which focuses on the use of renewable energy which could have been a lot more important. Even though Scaramanga is an interesting villain the story just lacks pace to make us truly believe the world is in danger which is what we have gotten the chance to see in the previous film.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film does have a couple of good chase sequences which include car and boat ones, only the fights fall slightly flat. The adventure side of things does take Bond to a new country though it never feels like any of the previous life and death moments he has faced.

SettingsThe settings for the film bought to light one of the most beautiful location in the world, a prefect location for a hideout at the time.


Scene of the Movie –
Nik Nack’s bloody lust.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The American tourist that is racist towards the Thai will on holiday. Or that sound effect for the bridge jump.

Final ThoughtsWhile not bad or good, this is by far the first forgettable Bond movie to date.

 

Overall: Drags along too slowly.

Rating

 

 

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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

 

 

James Bond Month – Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

Director: Guy Hamilton

Writer: Richard Maibaum, Tom Mankiewicz (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Connery, Jill St John, Charles Gray, Lana Wood, Jimmy Dean, Bruce Cabot, Putter Smith

 

Plot: A diamond smuggling investigation leads James Bond to Las Vegas, where he uncovers an evil plot involving a rich business tycoon.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Back to the Best

 

Story: Diamonds are Forever starts as James Bond (Connery) goes out for blood in his battle against Blofeld (Gray) killing him in his base, returning home James gets his latest mission to learn about a mysterious diamond smuggling ring, first sending him to Amsterdam.

James going undercover becomes part of the ring where he finds himself in Las Vegas joined by Tiffany Case (John) to find out just who is the mastermind behind the ring.

 

Thoughts on Diamonds are Forever

 

Characters – James Bond gets to finally take care of his arch nemesis Blofeld before going on his latest mission going undercover searching for diamonds, he shows us his usually swagger, getting the women along the way as he looks to solve this latest mystery. Tiffany Case is one of the connections in the chain of the diamond smuggling, the first one James makes contact with, she must learn the help along the way to get out alive. Blofeld is the old enemy that James gets to take care of early on, the man that has held James up from multiply other mission. We do get to meet plenty of people involved in the ring which only make James’s mission more difficult.

PerformancesSean Connery is back and back to his best in this outing as the iconic spy, it is great to have him back even if it is only for one last time. Jill St John is good as the Bond girl for the movie though offers nothing new for the series. Charles Gray keeps the role of Blofeld nicely giving us just what we need from the villain role.

StoryThe story here shows James finally getting his hands on Blofeld before needing to head off on a new mission, one that gives him everything he wants, beautiful women, casinos and a villain he wants to stay ahead off. This story plays out just like one of the more famous ones in reverse which becomes very interesting to watch, it has everything you need for the latest adventure for Bond, a villain that is prepared for the intelligence of Bond and the world needing saving once again. This does feel like it has given the life back to the franchise which needed to be bought back from the weaker outings, the story is simple enough and continues to keep us watching along with Bond.

Action/AdventureThe action is good even if the fights are simple enough to show how Bond can beat most in combat. The adventure just takes Bond to new and old locations for his mission.

SettingsFrom Amsterdam to America, we get a much more knowledge set of locations with the bases being in locations which would make sense for a super villain to be hiding in.


Scene of the Movie –
The base attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me They seem to be too friendly Bond and Blofeld.

Final ThoughtsFor the Bond franchise this is a new feel to them, one that is more interesting and strong then the last few instalments.

 

Overall: Returning to what we want to see.

Rating

 

 

James Bond Month – Goldfinger (1964)

Director: Guy Hamilton

Writer: Richard Maibaum, Paul Dehn (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, Gert Frobe, Shirley Eaton, Tania Mallet, Harold Sakata, Bernard Lee

 

Plot: Investigating a gold magnate’s smuggling, James Bond uncovers a plot to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve.

 

Tagline – Miss Honey and Miss Galore Have James Bond Back For More!

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable

 

Story: Goldfinger starts when James Bond (Connery) gets his latest assignment, to follow a mysterious man Goldfinger (Frobe) who has built up a reputation of dealing in gold, one that may well be illegal, James’ must get close and plays into his competitive nature before learning about his operation.

Being caught in the middle of solid dealings and annoying Goldfinger, Bond continues his investigation which shows us just how deadly Goldfinger’s henchman Oddjob (Sakata) is and how Goldfinger’s connection go worldwide.

 

Thoughts on Goldfinger

 

Characters – James Bond is the guy we know, he breaks into hotel rooms to sleep with women, uses his charm to seduce others. This time he starts his own investigation into a mysterious smuggler, getting up close and personal to him hoping to let the rest of team to follow the trails he leaves. Goldfinger is a competitive gold smuggler who has grabbed the attention of the governments across the globe, we learn early on that he will kill the people that cross him including leaving his trademark gold paint behind, his latest job will see him take on the world’s biggest gold reserve. Pussy Galore is a pilot that is instrumentally to Goldfinger’s plans which will includes her skill set. Oddjob is the henchman for Goldfinger, he uses his hat to kill people, making him one of the first and most memorable of all of the henchmen.

Performances –Sean Connery in the leading role once again is good for the most part, he has the charm needed for the whole film. Gert Frobe brings us a different type of villain to the franchise, he makes the character seem likable on the outside while having his motive kept below a smile. Honor Blackman does a solid job even if for some reason we get a total of three bond girls in this film. Harold Sakata brings us the first truly memorable henchman which soon became the key to the success of the Bond franchise.

StoryThe story here puts James Bond on his latest mission, this time there isn’t a connection to the previous two like the last two and this is refreshing because this being a solo story we get to see how James operates. The negatives in the story come from seeing him so close to the villain for most of the film with most of the film being him trying to get a message out about where he is. It is strange though because I did enjoy this one more than the last two because this is one that can be picked up without needing to see anything in the franchise before. Simply put this is one that can be enjoyed as a casual viewer because of how simple the story unfolds.

Action/AdventureThe action in this film does feel toned down from the previous films, simple enough action related material, while the adventure does take Bond around the world next to the Goldfinger.

SettingsWe get plenty of settings which all relate to the idea of where you would find gold, this is perfect for the idea the film is needed.


Scene of the Movie –
Oddjob.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The final twist

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the fun James Bond movies, it isn’t connected to the rest of the franchise which does help make it enjoyable.

 

Overall: Fun Bond movie.

Rating