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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Wedding Crashers (2005)

logoDirector: David Dobkin

Writer: Steve Faber, Bob Fisher (Screenplay)

Starring: Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Jane Seymour, Bradley Cooper

 

Plot: John (Wilson) and Jeremy (Vaughn) work together but they look forward to one season every year, Wedding season. The two of them crash weddings to meet woman, they both work hard on their back stories and have a code that they follow. Things change when John meets Claire (McAdams) at a wedding, he convinces Jeremy to break the code and go to a family weekend. Jeremy who has also hooked up with Claire’s sister the wild Gloria (Fisher) have to watch out for their father Secretary Cleary (Walken) and Claire’s boyfriend Sack (Cooper).

 

Verdict: Great romantic comedy

Story: When it comes to romantic comedies it is usually very hard to find one that has a story I like, but this one takes the prize as my favourite happy ending comedy. The story is not just about meeting the girl of the dreams but also about a friendship going through maturing days of the guy’s lives. Each character adds something to the story and watching Vince and Owen work their comedic timing is a treat. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Owen Wilson – John one of the wedding crashers who wants to go into overtime to get to know a potential girl on his dreams. Owen is great as he has to show more range than the others because he is all happy for the first part but once he is exposed he is left to deal with the darker side of love. (9/10)

 wilson

Actor Review: Vince Vaughn – Jeremy partner in wedding crashing who ends up with what he thinks is a nightmare girl and the overtime John wants causes him great stress. This could be Vince’s best comedy role he is quick talking and inappropriate without being to crude.  (9/10)

vince

Actor Review: Christopher Walken – Secretary Cleary the well-respected man whose daughters are involved in the entire goings on. Good performance from Walken because anyone dating anyone who is his daughter would be scared. (8/10)

 walken

Actor Review: Rachel McAdams – Claire the girl who steals John’s heart but her boyfriend gets in the way of her chance of getting to know John even though she slowly starts to fall for him. Fresh of the back of The Notebook she was the ‘IT’ lady for romantic films and this shows she has what it takes to pull it off. (9/10)

 mcadams

Actor Review: Isla Fisher – Gloria the innocent girl that Jeremy ends up with at the wedding full of her crazy personality and wild side makes a great character. This is a great performance from Isla which really put her on the map in Hollywood. (9/10)

 fisher

Actor Review: Bradley Cooper – Sack the boyfriend of Claire that is very full of himself. Bradley creates a very unlikable character here and it wasn’t long after this is, went on to bigger things including his Oscar nod. (8/10)

cooper

Director Review: David Dobkin – It would be fair for say this is his best film to date because it tells and goes through many stories transitions. (9/10)

 

Comedy: Some very funny moments that breaks up a more serious part of the story. (9/10)

Romance: Great romantic stories going on giving the hope that true love can be real. (9/10)

Chemistry: The chemistry between Vince and Owen makes this film what it is. (9/10)

Believability: I’m sure there are wedding crashers out there but the falling in love the way they both do is not believable. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Each setting adds to the story as the house after the wedding shows how out of their depth John and Jeremy are. While each wedding scene gives a very authentic moment. (9/10)

Suggestion: I would suggest watching as I find this to be one of the best comedies of recent years and the chemistry between Owen and Vince hasn’t been match since. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Will Ferrell’s cameo.

Worst Part: Funeral crashing bit too much.

Funniest Scene: hard to pick between most of Isla and Vince’s scenes.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: Brilliant Romantic Comedy

Rating 95