At a meeting of the United Nations in New York City, a man is killed mysteriously by a strange noise emitting through his ear-piece translator. In New Orleans, a man is stabbed and tossed into the middle of a funeral parade that just happens to be for him. In the Caribbean, a man tied up by locals is tied up and bitten by a poisonous snake during a ritual. Three men dead, and all three agents of British spy organization MI6.
Enter James Bond (Roger Moore, in his first outing as the franchise spy). MI6 head M (Bernard Lee) and his assistant Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) appear at Bonds doorstep to address the issue of agents dropping like flies. The scene is a comedic game of hide and seek, as Bond steers M away from discovering the naked woman in Bond’s bed. This, and the clever use of a magnetic watch, makes the entrance of Moore as Bond light and fun.
Continue reading Live and Let Die (1973) Movie Review
The cold open to Diamonds Are Forever depicts an angered James Bond (Sean Connery) roughing up a series of people in his search for terrorist supervillain and now arch-nemesis Blofeld (Charles Gray). He finally does find him and, seemingly, kills him. Whatever the case, Connery feels very tired in this scene when it comes to his line delivery.
Following this exacted revenge, Bond is tapped on to impersonate a diamond smuggler. From this job, he encounters a strange cast of characters, including Continue reading Diamonds Are Forever (1971) Movie Review
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the first EON-produced James Bond film not to star Sean Connery in its lead role. Instead, we get George Lazenby appearing in the opening scene of the film. He introduces himself to a lovely woman in the normal James Bond way. Then, he fights off violent criminals in the normal James Bond way. Yet, this opening scene and subsequent opening titles sequence are self-aware of this sudden change in casting. Lazenby, his face a sly grin oozing with cheekiness, says, essentially to the audience, “This never happened to the other fella.”
Despite this acknowledgment that the Lazenby Bond isn’t the same as the Connery Bond we have come to know and, at times, love, the following scenes depict Bond as usual. He is awarded a luxury suite at a hotel. He plays baccarat. He drinks Dom Perignon ’57 as he sits down with a beautiful woman. He even stops to dine on caviar after fending off an assailant.
But Lazenby isn’t Connery. Lazenby is Bond to the next level. He is quicker to Continue reading On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) Movie Review
During a raid on a Phoenix house that may have possible links to the drug cartel, the FBI stumbles upon an array of dead bodies. The bodies are quickly associated with drug lord Manuel Diaz (Bernardo P. Saracino). Following the discovery, Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is recruited to a task force led by the Department of Defense that is enlisted with stopping Diaz.
On a plane to Juarez, where they are to intercept Guillermo (Edgar Arreola), Diaz’s brother, Kate meets the team’s number two Alejandro (Benecio Del Toro). He is terse and stoic, but, as Kate watches him sleep, we see something terrifying within. Continue reading Sicario (2015) Movie Review
Casino Royale is the first of two films to adapt Ian Fleming’s character James Bond under a production company other than EON Productions. The film is a spoof of the genre that its lead character helped to popularize. In it, Bond (David Niven) is long retired, and is approached by an international array of spy organization leaders–including John Huston as Fleming’s MI6 head M–who attempt to goad him out of retirement.
All the while, global terrorist organization SMERSH vie to ruin Bond. The shadowy leader of the organization states boldly that “Sir James Bond is back with his morals, his vows, and his celibate image. We must destroy that image.” This, a direct attack at Continue reading Casino Royale (1967) Movie Review
You Only Live Twice, the fifth James Bond film and the fifth to feature Sean Connery in the lead role, opens on space, where a manned, United States spacecraft is hovering over Earth’s orbit. As one of the two astronauts leaves the craft, a larger spacecraft starts barreling toward them. This larger, unidentified spacecraft swallows the U.S. craft whole, leaving the external astronaut for dead in open space and the U.S. government up in arms over their lost craft.
After seeing this international kerfuffle over the missing spacecraft–the U.S. blaming the Soviets and England blaming the Japanese–we meet Bond in Hong Kong, where he is Continue reading You Only Live Twice (1967) Movie Review
In the opening scene of Thunderball, James Bond (Sean Connery) attends the funeral of a man that he wishes he could have killed himself. Following the ceremony, there is an action sequence almost immediately. It is very well choreographed and fast paced–something that can’t be said about all of the action sequences in this movie. He eludes more armed baddies and escapes into the Paris day.
Oh, and he also has a jetpack. Just saying.
The opening credits sequence kicks in, and we hear Tom Jones singing the titular theme. It is a well-sung song. Perhaps it is apocryphal, but the story goes that Jones passed out in the recording studio after Continue reading Thunderball (1965) Movie Review