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

 

Classic Franchise – Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)

Director: J Lee Thompson

Writer: John William Corrington, Joyce Hooper Corrington (Screenplay) Paul Dehn, Pierre Boulle (Story/Characters)

Starring: Roddy McDowall, Claude Akins, Nathalie Trundy, Severn Darden, Lew Ayres, Paul Williams

 

Plot: Ten years after conquering the Earth, ape leader Caesar wants the ruling apes and enslaved humans to live in peace. But warring factions of apes led by a militant gorilla general as well as various human groups threaten the stability.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Conclusion to the Franchise

 

Story: Battle for the Planet of the Apes starts with a 5-minute flashback to what has happened through the previous films. We move into the near future, where Caesar’s uprising has seen the apes learned to talk and are still being taught with humans living as slaves.

Caesar looking for answers about his parents arranged to travel back to the destroyed cities but in his absence the gorilla General Aldo (Akins) tired of the humans being welcomed leads his own uprising against Caesar as we are left to see who has control of the planet of the apes now with Governor Kolp (Darden) till fight on behalf of the humans too.

 

Thoughts on Battle for the Planet of the Apes

 

Characters/PerformanceCaesar now leading his colony of apes, still wants answers from his past about the future but now he must deal with a battle from within as well as a battle against man. He is a strong leader, looking for answers that don’t mean war but peace between all kinds. General Aldo is the inpatient leader of the gorilla army that wants to end the peace and exterminate all humans, he challenges Caesar on every opportunity. Lisa is the wife of Caesar who tries to guide him in the peaceful path rather than returning to the fighting world.

Performance wise, Roddy McDowall does continue to do a good job in the leading role, with Claude Akins doing a good job in this villainous ape role. The rest of the performance are good before working for what the film needed.

StoryThe story continues on the story of Caesar and his uprising against humans, we get to fill in part of the blanks into why the planet was now run in apes in the first film. the film takes on three sides of the battle the ape that wants peace, the humans that want their planet back and the general who wants blood to rule the land. I think this all comes together how you would imagine the apes took power of Earth.

Action/Sci-FiThe action sequences are all generic to how you would expect them to be with the future world not at the levels you would expect it to be, this far down the timeline.

SettingsThe settings are pretty much just fields, they could be set up to be anywhere in the world.

Special EffectsThe effects are simple enough when needed only.

Final ThoughtsI like how the story has been writing the history we could once have been heading towards, I think this is smart story telling in the long run.

 

Overall: This is a nice ending to the franchise even if it isn’t the strongest member of the franchise.

Rating

 

 

Classic Franchise – Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

Director: J Lee Thompson

Writer: Paul Dehn (Screenplay) Pierre Boulle (Characters)

Starring: Roddy McDowall, Don Murray, Natalie Trundy, Jari Rhodes, Severn Darden, Lo Wagner

 

Plot: In a futuristic world that has embraced ape slavery, Caesar, the son of the late simians Cornelius and Zira, surfaces after almost twenty years of hiding out from the authorities, and prepares for a slave revolt against humanity.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Continuing the Good Story Telling

 

Story: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes starts in the future of the last film, Caesar (McDowall) raised in the circus away from the world where domestic pets have been wiped out by a plague bought to the planet by Zira and Cornelius, humans now uses the apes as their domestic pets and slaves who are starting to rebel against this way.

When Caesar is captured he must become the leader of the apes as they start to become smarter, sold to Governor Breck (Murray) it isn’t long before Caesar becomes the target of assassination from the humans but now, Caesar leads the uprising.

 

Thoughts on Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

 

Characters/PerformanceCaesar is the son of Zira and Cornelius, he has been in hiding for years but now he finds himself learning the truth about how humans treat apes now. Caesar leads the uprising of the apes becoming their leader against man. Breck is the Governor that wants to keep the truth about Caesar being alive a secret before the apes take over, you know the typical villain. Lisa is an ape that Caesar takes a shine to, one of the smarter ones of the new wave.

Performance wise, Roddy McDowall returns to be a good in the leading role once again, the rest of the cast are fine without having to play any original characters.

StoryThe story here is very similar to what we would know from the modern film ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ because it shows on the one more intelligent ape that is good natured needs to rise up against humans. The story is easy to watch but does feel slow in places though.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is simple fighting sequences nothing more with the sci-fi side that does look into the future where apes are now domestic pets.

SettingsThe future world does what it needed to visually but the truth is, it isn’t anything we haven’t seen before.

Special EffectsThe special effects are used when needed without being anything to make the film more important.

Final ThoughtsThis is once again good story telling by continuing the franchise as we continue to learn how the apes came to rule Earth.

 

Overall: Nicely told story throughout.

Rating

 

 

Classic Franchise – Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

Director: Don Taylor

Writer: Paul Dehn (Screenplay) Pierre Boulle (Characters)

Starring: Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Bradford Dillman, Natalie Trundy, Eric Braeden, William Windom

 

Plot: The world is shocked by the appearance of three talking chimpanzees, who arrived mysteriously in a U.S. spacecraft. They become the toast of society; but one man believes them to be a threat to the human race.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Reverse Planet of the Apes

 

Story: Escape from the Planet of the Apes starts as Zira (Hunter), Cornelius (McDowall) and Mile (Mineo) arrive back in the present time Earth, the three a quarantined in a local zoo where scientist’s Dr Dixon (Dillman), Dr Branton (Trundy) who put Zira and Cornelius through the same struggle to discover why they are not the dominate species on the planet like back home.

When the President (Windom) brings the news to the world, the whole world becomes curious as the world treats them like major celebrities. Dr Hasslein (Braeden) becomes curious about the truth becoming the only man who believes that Zira and Cornelius could be the start of the uprising of the apes taking over the planet. Can the apes live a normal life or will they be the downfall of man?

 

Thoughts on Escape from the Planet of the Apes

 

Characters/PerformanceZira continues her search for answers as she along with Cornelius travels back to where George original came from, present day Earth. She enjoys the new test to prove herself to humans but soon learns what it is like to be the other side of the cage. Cornelius is the supportive husband that is surprised to see how the humans have passed the idea of all believing in one God like figure. Dr Dixon is one of the doctors that supports the apes but Dr Hasslein is the paranoid version of one man seeing them as a threat.

Performance wise, Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowall both are excellent in this film building on what was created from previous films. Bradford is good as is the rest of the cast through the film.

StoryThe story is very interesting, it does reverse the idea of Planet of the Apes by having the apes the strangers in the human world, I think this works well even if it does at times feel just like any sort of friendly alien movie. This does help tell the story of the origin of the rise which in places does help us learn more about what happens in later films.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is mostly a few chase scenes, there isn’t much going on though on this front, the sci-fi works too as it looks to continue the story on for our future run by apes.

SettingsHaving the film back in human time and locations all works because the change in culture comes off perfectly for how the film wants to go.

Special EffectsThe effects are good when needed but this film doesn’t have too much need for them.

Final ThoughtsAnother good addition to the franchise that twists the whole original idea on its head.

 

Overall: Enjoyable prequel but sequel.

Rating

 

 

Classic Franchise – Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

Director: Ted Post

Writer: Paul Dehn, Mort Abrahams (Screenplay) Pierre Boulle (Characters)

Starring: James Franciscus, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, Linda Harrison, Paul Richards, Victor Buono, Charlton Heston

 

Plot: The sole survivor of an interplanetary rescue mission searches for the only survivor of the previous expedition. He discovers a planet ruled by apes and an underground city run by telepathic humans.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Continues Nicely

 

Story: Beneath the Planet of the Apes starts as we continue to see where Taylor (Heston) and Nova (Harrison) travels went after the shocking conclusion of the first movie, but something has split them up and Nova stumbles across the latest visitor Brent (Franciscus) the sole survivor of the rescue mission.

Nova takes Brent to the ape city where Zira (Hunter) continues her mission to show the humans are important, but Dr Zaius (Evans) must join the leader Ursus (Gregory) in a mission into the forbidden zone for answers. Brent learning answers from Zira and Cornelius risks his and Nova’s lives to find the answers that could be peace or safety for the planet of the apes and humans, but what he finds beneath the planet is even more shocking than he could imagine with humans that communicate through telepathic powers.

 

Thoughts on Beneath the Planet of the Apes

 

Characters/PerformanceBrent is one of the rescue team sent to rescue George but finds himself going through the same troubles but also dealing with what is hidden beneath the planet. He isn’t as strong as George though. Zira does have a smaller part but is still trying to create an equality on the planet. Dr Zaius does want the right thing now but doesn’t get enough time to build up this character change. Nova is there clearly for the eye candy with the new humans being a lot more interesting twist in the story.

Performance wise, James Franciscus does reach the levels we got from Heston in the leading role, Hunter and Evans suffer from less screen time but do well enough when they are on screen. The rest of the cast are all fine building the bigger picture within the film.

StoryThe story continues on where the last one finished, which is good, learning more about the planet brings the interest up within the story as we now know we could be heading into a bigger battle on a planet the apes don’t actually control completely. This is a good building part of the franchise.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is all good without being anything ground breaking, the world we are thrown into does help the sci-fi angle because we continue learning about the planet in the future.

SettingsWe continue to get the desert settings showing us how the world has changed in the future with the destruction that has happened in the past.

Special EffectsFor the time the special effects all work well, sure they have dated but they are all what you would expect from a film of the time.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good addition to the franchise, sure it isn’t as good of a film as the original but it continues the story nicely to make us want to learn more about the planet.

 

Overall: Good franchise addition.

Rating