James Bond Month – A View to a Kill (1985)

Director: John Glen

Writer: Richard Maibaum, Michael G Wilson (Screenplay)

Starring: Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, Tanya Roberts, Grace Jones, Patrick Macnee, Patrick Bauchau

 

Plot: An investigation of a horse-racing scam leads 007 to a mad industrialist who plans to create a worldwide microchip monopoly by destroying California’s Silicon Valley.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Doesn’t Feel Like a Bond Film

 

Story: A View to a Kill starts when James Bond (Moore) is assigned his latest mission, one in California looking into Max Zorin (Walken) whose horses never seem to lose, this has attracted known criminals who want to invest in his horses.

James gets an invite to the mansion of Max as he investigates his other business, microchips and ones that can withstand nuclear explosion, he is taking a monopoly on the market which will leave him to demand any price and deal with the highest bidder.

 

Thoughts on A View to a Kill

 

Characters – James Bond remains the man we know, he still uses his charm to get closer to the enemy and always finds a way to get out of the trouble, he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to getting to the bottom of the mission. Max Zorin is the man behind the microchip monopoly, he wants to eliminate the threat of Silicon Valley before it becomes competition, but hi past time in horses paints a target on his chest. Stacey is the Bond girl for the film, she has worked with Zorin which has seen her taking a payoff to become quiet. May Day is the henchwoman this time, strong as anybody else and standing by Zorin’s side, simply to stop him ever needing to get his hands dirty.

PerformancesRoger Moore does seem to struggle more in this more serious role, he is strongest on the campy side which this film doesn’t have much off. Tanya Roberts could be the weakest Bond girl to date, mostly because she doesn’t get much to do in the film. Christopher Walken as the villain is great fun and just as menacing as you would imagine. Grace Jones makes for one of the better henchwomen, what she does is up there with the Jaws character.

StoryThe story here follows James Bond on his latest mission where he must take on a technological genius that is planning to take control of the Silicon Valley technology boom. This story does feel tonal strange because it does feel like a strong action film, only it has James Bond thrown in here, this doesn’t ever feel like a Bond story which confuses as it is an entertaining story. The stakes are high in this film and bringing that extra fear factor to everything what is unfolding here. The fact this isn’t connected to previous films helps too because it doesn’t rely on you needing to have seen them either.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film does have a few chases one with a fire truck being the most notable and the final sequence which has bodies flying everywhere.

SettingsThe film takes place in America which does work and in the San Francisco location would be right where the technology boom would be taking place.


Scene of the Movie –
Fire truck chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It never feels like a Bond movie.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great action movie which does show us just how original stories can be made, the problem is, that it struggles to feel like a Bond movie.

 

Overall: Great action movie.

Rating

 

 

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James Bond Month – Octopussy (1983)

Director: John Glen

Writer: George MacDonald Fraser, Richard Maibaum, Michael G Wilson (Screenplay)

Starring: Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jourdan, Kristina Wayborn, Kabir Bedi, Steven Berkoff, David Meyer

 

Plot: A fake Fabergé egg, and a fellow Agent’s death, lead James Bond to uncover an international jewel-smuggling operation, headed by the mysterious Octopussy, being used to disguise a nuclear attack on N.A.T.O. forces.


Tagline – Nobody does him better.

Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun & Enjoyable

 

Story: Octopussy starts when a Fabergé egg goes missing and one agent ends up dead, James Bond (Moore) is bought into investigate the case, this starts by following Kamal Khan (Jourdan) and Magda (Wayborn) all the way to India and the mysterious Monsoon Mansion.

James will come face to face with a jewel smuggler known as Octpussy (Adams) who has been working with the Russian, can he solve the case and avenge his fellow agent’s death?

 

Thoughts on Octopussy

 

Characters – James Bond is still considered one of the best agents in the force which meaning he must once again go into action as he goes in search for answers when one of the agents gets killed, he still has his charm as he goes about his mission. Octopussy is the leader of a jewel smuggling ring that has an involvement in the agent’s death, she knows how to control the situation and both sides of the law. Kamal Khan is the middle man for everyone, he is working for the Russians and Octopussy, leaving him to be facing all of the deals that are taking place. He will kill anyone that gets in his way. Magda is one of the beautiful women that work for Octopussy, she uses her looks to trick the men into giving her what she wants, including Bond.

PerformancesRoger Moore was always the best Bond for the cheesy lines, which he hits perfectly well, he did have the weak side when it came to the action spots like others hand, this show us why. Maud Adams goes work in the role which could be a villain or just somebody against the law, while Louis Jourdan does make for a fun villain doing the dirty work. For the most part this is one of the better acted Bond movies in a few years now.

StoryThe story here continues the adventures of James Bond, this time he enters the world of jewel smuggling which will see him travelling the world and learning just what is the major plan behind the sort after Faberge egg. This does bring the story back to the grounded roots which are always the better stories, with no connection to the previous films. The suspense is kept going through the story and by the end, we do feel like we are in a situation where the worst could happen.

Action/AdventureThe action contains a couple of entertaining chase sequences which seem o place us in location we haven’t seen before including the streets of India.

SettingsThe film does take us across the globe, with India, Austria and Germany being the locations used for solving the case.


Scene of the Movie –
India street chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not understand backgammon.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the most underrated Bond movies to date, it keeps the story tight, has great action sequences and even the cheesy one liners work this time around.

 

Overall: One of the best Bond movies.

Rating

 

 

James Bond Month – For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Director: John Glen

Writer: Richard Maibaum, Michael G Wilson (Screenplay)

Starring: Roger Moore, Carole Bouquet, Topol, Lynn-Holly Johnson, Julian Glover, Cassandra Harris

 

Plot: Agent 007 is assigned to hunt for a lost British encryption device and prevent it from falling into enemy hands.


Tagline – Bond for the ladies in For Your Eyes Only

Runtime: 2 Hour 7 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Weakest Bond So Far?

 

Story: For Your Eyes Only starts when a British submarine is sunk with the equipment lost putting Britain in danger, with a salvage crew hired they a killed leaving only the daughter Melina (Bouquet) alive. James Bond (Moore) is put on the case to retrieve the equipment before it falls into the wrong hands.

James must work with Melina to figure out just who is behind the attack and working for the Russians, with Milos Columbo (Topol) and Kristatos (Glover) being the prime suspects.

 

Thoughts on For Your Eyes Only

 

Characters – James Bond has returned to his roots after disposing of an old enemy, he must work with other intelligence agencies to figure out who is behind the a British submarine sinking, he still picks up the women, only here he rejects one for once, he will go out of his way to not trust both sides just to be sure who he can trust. Melina is the daughter of the explorer that is killed, she wants revenge and will help James out through the adventure. Milos is one of the potential suspects to whom could be after the equipment. The film does struggle to establish a true villain, we have the hitmen, but when it comes to the lead villain we don’t learn the identity until late into the film.

PerformancesRoger Moore is good as always in his role in the movie, he does bring a more serious approach this time around. Carole Bouquet has the look of a Bond girl no question, but the fact that they have to dub her doesn’t help her performance. When we look at the rest of the cast we don’t get too many standouts because we don’t know who the villain is until too late.

StoryThe story follows Bond on his latest adventure where he must track down a missing component from a British submarine, he must play both sides to whom could be the person behind it all. This time we get a much more serious focus on the story cutting out the cheesy material we have been seeing in the previous films. This is a good thing only the fact the film struggles to establish a villain until later into the film, we never feel like there is a big enough threat in the film. in the end this does feel like one of the weakest stories in the franchise to date.

Action/AdventureThe action brings back the wildly over the top races with the ski versus motorbikes being the highlight of the ones we see here. The adventure does take Bond around the globe again, this is what we come to know from him.

SettingsThe settings add moments of tension in the film with the action sequence feeling fresh, the climbing scene being nail biting and the underwater moments being shark infested.


Scene of the Movie –
Skiing versus motorbike scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The bad dubbing job on Melina.

Final ThoughtsThis feels like one of the weakest storylines to date, the tense moments are great though, the film lacks the iconic villain which most of this franchise has become so famous for.

 

Overall: Not on the best level.

Rating

 

 

James Bond Month – Moonraker (1979)

Director: Lewis Gilbert

Writer: Christopher Wood (Screenplay)

Starring: Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Michael Lonsdale, Richard Kiel, Corinne Clery, Bernard Lee, Geoffrey Keen

 

Plot: James Bond investigates the mid-air theft of a space shuttle, and discovers a plot to commit global genocide.


Tagline – Moonraker Is Out Of This World

Runtime: 2 Hour 6 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cheesy as it Gets

 

Story: Moonraker starts when a space shuttle is stolen in mid-flight on route to the British, James Bond (Moore) must travel to America to meet Hugo Drax (Lonsdale) the mastermind behind the space shuttle which could take tourists to space.

James must work with CIA agent Holly Goodhead (Chiles) to figure out why Drax is trying to sabotage his own space shuttle, which sees him hire an old enemy of James’ Jaws (Kiel) in an adventure which takes him out of this world.

 

Thoughts on Moonraker

 

Characters – James Bond is still getting himself into trouble when it comes to the ladies, using his charm to seduce and his skills to outsmart the villain of this film. we don’t get much new from him this time out. Holly Goodhead is an agent for the CIA, she has been undercover in search of answers becoming a working partner and romantic partner for James. Hugo Drax is the mastermind behind space travel, he has stolen his own shuttle back with plans for his own use of it, something different to most of the villains we have seen through the franchise to date. Jaws is the henchman that has returned, he has been after James and always seems to find a way to lose him, he is too comical in this role if we are being honest.

PerformancesRoger Moore does continue the campy side to his version of Bond, it is acceptable for the most part. Lois Chiles doesn’t bring much to the Bond girl figure that we all know and Michael Lonsdale does bring us a simple villain, that never fees like a threat.

StoryThe story brings us a solo story for James, which is good for a stand alone film, but sometimes we like to see him dealing with SPECTRE once again. The villain does have a good motivation and masterplan, while Bond gets to travel around the world in search for answers. This film does have some of the cheesy dialogue of any Bond film which can make things not feel as serious as they could be. The ambition behind this film is something to be praised though because of the pure scale of moving things into space does work for the concept, maybe not on effects level.

Action/Adventure/Sci-fiThe action is large-scale once again, we get new ideas for difficult positions James will find himself in, needing to fight his way out of too. The adventure takes James out of this world literally as he goes into space with his mission. The sci-fi element of the film is focusing on the idea that villain has plans involving space shuttles which does add something new to the ideas we are focusing on.

SettingsThe film uses the settings well because we get the beauty spots, the American base, the streets of Venice, before hitting space showing us just how far Bond will be going this time around.


Scene of the Movie –
Jaws face turn.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Jaws being too comical.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the cheesy Bond movies you will see, it does work for the most part, just don’t go in too seriously with any hopes of a realistic idea.

 

Overall: Cheesy as hell, but fun.

Rating

 

 

James Bond Month – The Spy Who Loved me (1977)

Director: Lewis Gilbert

Writer: Christopher Wood, Richard Maibaum (Screenplay)

Starring: Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Curd Jurgens, Rich Kiel, Caroline Munro, Walter Gotell

 

Plot: James Bond investigates the hijacking of British and Russian submarines carrying nuclear warheads, with the help of a K.G.B. Agent, whose lover he killed.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Moore’s Best Bond

 

Story: The Spy Who Loved Me starts when both a British and Russian submarine are hijacked with nuclear weapons on board, James Bond (Moor) and Russian agent, Agent XXX (Bach) are assigned by their countries to learn the truth, putting them on a collision course with each other.

The mastermind behind the hijacking is Karl Stromberg (Jurgens) who is using his men including Jaws (Kiel) to kill anyone who was involved in the project, it is up to Bond and Agent XXX to stop this mastermind before he uses the weapons.

 

Thoughts on The Spy Who Loved Me

 

Characters – James Bond we can’t really say anything new about this character, only to talk about his role in this film, he must work with a female agent from Russia to track down nuclear weapons, he doesn’t get everything his own way when it comes to the ladies this time and gets to face his biggest opponent in Jaws. Agent XXX is the Russian agent that is forced to work with James on her mission because Russian warheads have been stolen too, she isn’t going to fall for James seductive ways and is easily the smartest Bond girl to date so far. Karl Stromberg is the marine biologist that has taken the weapons in an attempt to cash in, he lives under the ocean and sends his hitmen out to kill anyone that can give away his secret. Jaws is arguably the most iconic of all the Bond villains, his size is huge which only makes him a threat in a fight with mental teeth one character you will never forget.

PerformancesRoger Moore is wonderful in this leading role, this is his best performance to date in the role, where we do believe everything that is going on for his character. Barbara Bach is a delight in the Bond girl role going against the normal character mold we have seen in recent film and while Curd Jurgens is a good villain it is the introduction of Richard Kiel to the franchise that will give you someone to remember.

StoryThe story pits British and Russian spies together to locate nuclear weapons and submarines that have been taken by an unknown mastermind. By putting two rival intelligence agencies together this does become more interesting because both agents know they can’t give away secrets while also knowing they are both just doing a job. The story also gives us the most iconic of all the henchmen in the Bond franchise Jaws. The villain does have a good plan and does feel like a threat to everyone involved which is a big plus from the last outing, this puts the franchise back where we like to see it.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film follows chase sequences, a massive base battle and the fights with Jaws which show his pure power. The adventure does put Bond on a trip around the world to locate the truth which is big for the film, showing us this could be a worldwide threat.

SettingsThe film uses the settings well because the bases that we see our characters fight in are wonderfully constructed for this movie and our worldwide trip takes us to Egypt this time around.


Scene of the Movie –
Jaws.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The villain does seem average compared to his henchmen.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily the best Bond outing for Roger Moore, it increases the peril involved in the film which was need after the last one and gives us a character we will never forget in Jaws.

 

Overall: Back on track.

Rating