James Bond Month – The World is Not Enough (1999)

Director: Michael Apted

Writer: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Bruce Feirstein (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards, Robbie Coltrane, Judi Dench, Desmond Llewelyn

 

Plot: James Bond uncovers a nuclear plot when he protects an oil heiress from her former kidnapper, an international terrorist who can’t feel pain.


Tagline – Some men want to rule the world… Some women ask for the world… Some believe the world is theirs for the taking… But for one man, The World Is Not Enough!!

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Average at Best

 

Story: The World is Not Enough starts when MI6 suffers a bomb from within, James Bond (Brosnan) must investigate terrorist Renard (Carlyle) a man that has survive a gun shot to the head, James works with daughter of the murdered man Elektra King (Marceau) who he does believe is the only connection to the terrorist, be it working with or the next target.

James starts working with Dr Christmas Jones (Richards) a brilliant scientist and Renard reveals his plan which involves transporting a bomb through an oil pipeline for his own destructive plan.

 

Thoughts on The World is Not Enough

 

Characters – James Bond is back once again, he continues to fight for his country, he is the only one who suspects Elektra being behind her own father’s murder, his methods involve him pretending he is dead this time around. Elektra King is the heiress of an Oil tycoon, she was once kidnapped by Renard, with MI6 helping with her rescue, she welcomes Bond into her world after her father is murdered, even if she has her own plans. Renard is a known terrorist, he survived a bullet to the head which means he can’t feel pain, making it hard to fight against, he doesn’t have limits to what he will do. Dr Christmas Jones is a nuclear scientist that works with James to stop the potential nuclear threat.

PerformancesPierce Brosnan is still a good choice for Bond, he has made this own figure which is all we want from a Bond film. Sophie Marceau takes on the role as a seductive Bond villain which does work very well for the film, with most of her scenes being the best in the film. Robert Carlyle feels almost wasted in his role because the character has so much more potential than we get here. Denise Richards on the other hand struggles to be believable in her role for most of the film.

StoryThe story here takes James Bond on his latest adventure to stop a terrorist and oil heiress that want to take over the world because money simple isn’t enough for them. The story does feel confusing because we never truly know what the aim of the villains is and if it does, it doesn’t feel complete explained. We have the traditional formula we all know, it works without being anything new to the franchise, Bond does his job gets the girl and saves the day. We do try to build up some of the supporting members of MI6 which just felt like filling rather than anything important. We do feel like we have some characters wasted, others missed cast, but in the end everything is watchable for the franchise itself.

Action/AdventureThe action gives away the best scene with the opening chase through London, it is easily the most memorable part of the film for the action because everything else always feels too busy.

SettingsThe film continues to take us around the world on James’s missions, this time we focus on the path between Asia and Europe, which works for the oil side of the story, but doesn’t give us many beauty spots like previous films.


Scene of the Movie –
Opening speed boat chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Wasting Carlyle character.

Final ThoughtsThis is an average Bond film, if you have followed the franchise you can enjoy this one enough, but it wouldn’t be the one to draw in the unknown audience.

 

Overall: Average Bond

Rating

 

 

James Bond Month – GoldenEye (1995)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: Jeffrey Caine, Bruce Feirstein (Screenplay) Michael France (Story)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen, Joe Don Baker, Judi Dench, Robbie Coltrane

 

Plot: James Bond teams up with the lone survivor of a destroyed Russian research center to stop the hijacking of a nuclear space weapon by a fellow Agent formerly believed to be dead.


Tagline – When the world is the target and the threat is real, you can still depend on one man. 

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Most Action Packed Bond

 

Story: GoldenEye starts with James Bond (Brosnan) joined by 006 Alec Trevelyan (Bean) on the latest mission, one that goes wrong, seeing Alec executed and James escaping. James starts his latest mission 9-years-later investigating a Georgian woman Xenia Onatopp (Janssen) who has connections to a criminal group operating in Russia.

When the group launch their first attack, James must search for the lone survive Natalya Simonova (Scorupco), first to find out what was being worked on in the apparent abandon satellite facility and soon stop an old friend that has changed sides.

 

Thoughts on GoldenEye

 

Characters – James Bond still sees himself, charming the ladies, completing the missions, enjoying a drink. This latest mission will see him come face to face with an old friend, which will see him face his toughest enemy, a man he once trusted. Alec Trevelyan is the fellow 00 agent who James believed died in action. He didn’t and now he has been working with the Russians to become richer than God (his words), he does hold a grudge against James, with this being a chance to kill two birds with one stone, he will become the most difficult enemy to face because of his knowledge of how James operates. Natalya works in the satellite facility, she becomes a target after not being killed, which makes her one of the few people in the world that could disarm the bomb that is being planned to be released. Xenia Onatopp is the henchwoman in this case, military trained, willing to kill anybody, she even enjoys killing her victims.

PerformancesPierce Brosnan in his first outing as Bond is great to watch, he mixes the charm of the most popular, with the action presence needing to make the character his own. Sean Bean brings us one of the best villains to the franchise, he makes his character feel like a try terrorist over super villain. Famke Janssen as the henchwoman is strong, she does make the character her own, but it is the lack of character behind Izabella Scorupco that struggles the most in this film.

StoryThe story here sees James take on one of his closest enemies, in Alec a former agent turned terrorist that is planning on sending England back to the stone age. This story does seem to bring everything into a more personal level for James, it feels fresh from the last few outings, it does have the longest gap between the film to date. We do seem to have the most realistic battle between hero and villain because Alec could easily be James himself if he was to turn, they know each other’s tricks. For me this is easily the most entertaining story we have seen, as we do start to lose some of he sexist behaviour James was known for.

Action/AdventureThe action in this film is easily the best the franchise has offered to date, we have the tank chase through St Petersburg before the train collision with a tank, even the fight sequences feel more intense in this film. The adventure takes James around the world once more, this time we go through Russia and Cuba to save the world.

SettingsThe settings takes us to the known locations we are used to seeing, this does however have one of the most memorable endings in any Bond film with the hidden satellite dish.


Scene of the Movie –
The old friend returns.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Alan Cumming’s generic Russian accent.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily the best Bond movie in the franchise to date, it has the most intense villain for James to face and a personal story for James to take on.

 

Overall: Pure action entertainment.

Rating

 

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

logoDirector: David Yates

Writer: Steve Kloves (Screenplay) J.K. Rowling (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Bill Nighy, Richard Griffiths, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Timothy Spall, Robbie Coltrane, Brendan Gleeson, John Hurt, David Thewlis, Domhnall Gleeson

 

Plot: As Harry races against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers the existence of three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Harry Potter and the Fellowship of the Wands

 

Story: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One starts by showing the wizard council preparing for anything making the people away they are still going to be safe. To be sure Hermione (Watson) erases her memory from here mortal parents. We see Lord Voldemort (Fiennes) and his followers planning to find and kill Harry Potter (Radcliffe). To help protect Harry the defence arranges for a select through the turn into a Harry Potter to confuse the dark lord, with the real Harry heading off with Hagrid (Coltrane). Upon their escape the order is attacked having causalities including a very trusty friend of Harry’s.

Even through the dark times we have a wedding for the Weasley brother and at this wedding Harry learns more about his old friend Dumbledore. Darkness falls on the wedding leaving Harry, Ron (Grint) and Hermione escaping to London. Each step leading to a new danger the three friends most choose their steps wisely. Harry must go back into his past to find the answers to the questions which will help him defeat Voldemort.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One enters into the world that we have been into for years now. We go to the darkest levels we have had since the series started and we take away the school element of the film. Even though this film relies on yet more building and focuses on the friendship a lot more that we have had in previous years. On the negatives we do lack the amount of villain activity as we only see an opening scheming and a few attacks my goons. It might be part spoiler here but it was good to finally see the villains have the opener hand at the end of the film. This is good build and does take the film into a different direction than we have been going with the adventure the three go on. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter with everyone after him Harry has to watch his own friends sacrifice and risk their own lives so he can complete his mission and stop Lord Voldemort. Daniel gives a good performance showing the power that is needed in the character. (9/10)

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Emma Watson: Hermione long-time friend of Harry’s who joins in the quest even if it strains the relationship with Ron. Emma does a good job and finally gets a bigger role and shines in it. (8/10)

emma

Rupert Grint: Ron worried about all his loved ones he questions his place in the quest leaving the other two alone but he does make his return when it is most needed. Rupert gives a good performance and shows a much serious side to his character. (8/10)

 ron

Support Cast: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One has a large supporting cast but in the end they don’t come along or get involved as much as previous times.

 

Director Review: David Yates – David does a good job showing the good guys preparing for a final battle with the dark lord. (8/10)

 

Adventure: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One shows a good sense of adventure throughout for our heroes. (9/10)

Family: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One this would be harder to suggest watching with younger family members but can be enjoyed by the old children. (9/10)

Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One keeps its elements of fantasy high level which works for the whole story. (9/10)

Mystery: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One keeps us guessing on who is the ones they can trust and who they can’t. (9/10)

Settings: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One uses new settings by not including Hogwarts also doesn’t seem missed. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One fails to use the extra special effects which works because the ones being used work well. (9/10)

Suggestion: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One would be one to watch as long as you have seen the rest, this may not be one that can be picked up without seeing the rest. (Series Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The adventure between the friends comes off well.

Worst Part: Not enough of what the villains are up too.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: 7 – 8 of the series

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars

Box Office: $960 Million

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

Tagline: The Hunts Begins

 

Overall: Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings

Rating 80

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

logoDirector: David Yates

Writer: Steve Kloves (Screenplay) J.K. Rowling (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Tom Felton, Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall, Jim Broadbent, Michael Gambon, Robbie Coltrane, Maggie Smith

 

Plot: As Harry Potter begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, he discovers an old book marked as “the property of the Half-Blood Prince” and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort’s dark past.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lowering The Levels Here

 

Story: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince starts by the dark master Lord Voldemort’s (Fiennes) and his wizards attacking London. Harry (Radcliffe) has spent his summer enjoy himself away from the abusive family, when a visit from Dumbledore (Gambon) opens up the next adventure. Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Watson) are having second thoughts about returning to Hogwarts for their sixth year. We see Severus Snape (Rickman) conspiring with Bellatrix Lestrange (Carter) and the Malfoy family along with us hearing about a plan for Draco (Felton) to complete the dark lords work.

Upon returning to Hogwarts the students learn how it might not be safe there anymore and the defences have been increased to try and protect the students from the evil outside the walls. We learn more about Voldemort’s time as a student as Hogwarts where he went by the name Thomas Riddle and the interaction he had with Dumbledore. We continue to see Draco planning something as he seems to have cut out the bullying side of his character, while our three leads all deal with relationship issues.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is bar far the most boring of all of the films so far, it deals with way too much relationship issue when the bigger picture seems to be swept under the rug especially after what we saw in the last one. It is sad because the final moments of this film are also some of the most important of the whole series, but as I have said for the last couple it is all build to one big battle that we will not see until next time I hope. I really feel if this one had been a better all-round story it could have been the most emotional impactful so far but because of the lame relationship stuff we just lose interest here. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter known as the chosen one now, he wants to continue his studies so he will be ready to fulfil his destiny and be the one to stop Voldemort. Daniel gives an ok performance but in the end it isn’t the level you have come to expect. (7/10)

 harry

Emma Watson: Hermione she was a strong power leading witch but now all she wants to know is why Ron is taking notice of her. Emma does a solid job but less screen time then it kind of ruins the quality of the friendship. (6/10)

emma

Rupert Grint: Ron stuck in a teenage relationship and new star of the Quidditch team. Rupert is also getting less screen time that pulls it all down for him. (6/10)

 rupert

Support Cast: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has a huge supporting cast but this time not enough of them make an impact on everything that is going.

 

Director Review: David Yates – Pulls the standard of franchise down because we are expecting such a larger level of directing. (5/10)

 

Adventure: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince pulls away from the adventure side to give us all the teen romance rubbish. (2/10)

Family: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is does continue to be one for the family but this could be missed in the most part. (5/10)

Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince keeps the fantasy level up high. (8/10)

Mystery: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince offers plenty of mystery and continues to leave some of the open for a later film. (9/10)

Settings: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince all come off great throughout the film. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince cuts down on the effects but in the end when it is used looks too much CGI used. (4/10)

Suggestion: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the first one of the series I could say miss too, but the final moments make it import to what happens for the next one. (Watch if you have seen the rest)

 

Best Part: Final moments.

Worst Part: Teen romance crap

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: 5 – 8 of the series

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 1 Oscar

Box Office: $934 Million

Budget: $250 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 33 Minutes

Tagline: Once again I must ask too much of you, Harry

Trivia: The only ‘Harry Potter’ movie to be Oscar nominated for the Best Cinematography Academy Award.

 

Overall: Worst in the Series

Rating 66

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

logoDirector: David Yates

Writer: Michael Goldenberg (Screenplay) J.K. Rowling (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Harry Melling, Fiona Shaw, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Fiennes, Brendan Gleeson, Gary Oldman, Maggie Smith, David Thewlis, Michael Gambon, Tom Felton, Jason Isaacs, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Imelda Staunton

 

Plot: With their warning about Lord Voldemort’s return scoffed at, Harry and Dumbledore are targeted by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at Hogwarts.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Battle Is Coming

 

Story: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix starts by Harry (Radcliffe) getting bullied by his cousin before getting attack by two getting attacked by two dementors. Fighting them off leads Harry to get expelled from Hogwarts while he is still dealing with the nightmares of what happened with Cedric. Harry does get rescued from his human home by Moody (Gleeson) and taken to meet up with his friends, where he learns of the Order of the Phoenix who come together to protect against Voldemort. Harry has to go to a hearing to decide whether he can return to Hogwarts. Harry does get its expulsion over turned he returns to Hogwarts with a war approaching.

Harry has to deal with the other students who question what really happened with Cedric but his friends Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Watson) stay loyal to him. The teachers who have joined (yes more teacher changes) are selected by the Witches Council who are out to show Harry as a liar and expose Dumbledore (Gambon). The new dark arts professor Dolores Umbridge (Staunton) is out to change the school and stopping the wizards from learning to fight back against any evil that comes their way. Harry ends up trying to teach his classmates to defend themselves much against the new rules put in place at the school. With the school divided Harry learns who he can trust and who he will have to battle against.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, continues on from the last one with the consequences having an effect on the world we have got to know. We show the sides starting to be drawn up in the battle along with the personal battle between good and evil going on inside Harry. This once again returns to the building up to the bigger battle showing each side preparing and even though we have a battle in the end it is just a test to see how each side is doing with the battles. It is a solid builder to the next chapter but it would be nice to see the bad guys get the final word for once much like Star Wars did. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter after surviving his first encounter with Voldemort he has to help the students get ready for a battle against the dark lord but he has to do this in secret while learning about the dangers that may lie ahead. Daniel continues to improve in the role that is showing a higher level of maturity in his performance. (9/10)

 harry

Emma Watson: Hermione while she helps Harry find the motivation to stand up for what he believes in she also learns more about her own powers. Emma gives a good supporting performance that seems to be getting small as each film unfolds. (7/10)

emma

Rupert Grint: Ron as the trusty friend of Harry he helps Harry stand up to the other students who doubt him. Much like Emma, Ron’s performance was good for a supporting role which is getting smaller. (7/10)

 ron

Imelda Staunton: Dolores Umbridge part of the Wizard’s Council who becomes the head teacher at Hogwarts and tries to change everything that the students learn. Imelda gives a good performance as the very unlikable teacher. (9/10)

 stantuon

Support Cast: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix introduces yet more character that all end up helping the next chapter of the story unfold, this does have side effects because the regular characters seem to be getting less screen time.

 

Director Review: David Yates – David does a good job directing what is the build-up to what will be a bigger battle in the future. (8/10)

 

Adventure: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix continues the adventure side to the story that we have all got to know. (9/10)

Family: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is starting to sway towards the older family and losing the appeal to the younger children. (8/10)

Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix keeps us in the world on fantasy throughout. (9/10)

Mystery: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix offers up a solid level of mystery as we are not sure who is on what side. (8/10)

Settings: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix uses the best settings it can making everything feel very authentic throughout. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix uses good special effects but sadly you can see how much CGI has gone into them. (7/10)

Suggestion: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix should be watched by the fans of the series but by now it will be too late to pick up in the middle. (Watch After The Rest)

 

Best Part: Magic training.

Worst Part: CGI lets it down again.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: 5 – 8 of the series

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for 2 BAFTAs

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $940 Million

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 19 Minutes

Tagline:  The Rebellion Begins

 

Overall: Battles Lines Drawn

Rating 90