In the Moonraker cold open, a Moonraker space shuttle is hijacked while en route to the United Kingdom on top of a jet plane. In response to this, M (Bernard Lee, in his final outing as the MI6 head) calls for James Bond (Roger Moore). Bond, who is already on his way to London on a plane, is attacked by the plane’s crew and thrown out by assassin giant Jaws (Richard Kiel). The action scene in the air is fine, but everything surrounding it is disjointed and absurd.
Upon safely arriving in London, Bond is instructed to travel to California to meet with Drax (Michael Lonsdale), the wealthy owner of the stolen Moonraker. Our main villain for the proceedings, Drax is Continue reading Moonraker (1979) Movie Review
When Soviet and British submarines disappear, the KGB and MI6 make moves to investigate. Super spy James Bond (Roger Moore) is led to Egypt, where plans for a submarine tracking system are apparently on the black market.
Bond’s travels turn into a cat and mouse game as he searches for contacts, only to find them murdered just prior to his arrival. The killer, Jaws (Richard Kiel), is one of the most Continue reading The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) Movie Review
Roger Moore’s second outing as super spy James Bond, The Man With the Golden Gun, opens on a strange foot chase through a fun house filled with wax figures, mirrors, and full sets. With little explanation as to why, an assassin with a terrible shot follows Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee), an ex-KGB baddie with three nipples, through this house as Nick Nack (Herve Villechaize) goads both men on over an intercom. Eventually, Scaramanga comes across his signature golden gun, which he uses to shoot his pursuer dead.
Let me recap: a tri-nippled Christopher Lee is our villain. He kills people in his fun house lair with his henchman, Tattoo from Fantasy Island. If it sounds strange, that’s because it is.
Continue reading The Man With the Golden Gun (1974) Movie Review
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
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
The cold open of Goldfinger has in it seemingly every James Bond trope. Bond (Sean Connery) sneaks and fights his way into a guarded facility. He uses a gadget to blow something up (for God knows what reason). Then, he strips down to a white suit and diffuses into the social world, where he rendezvouses with another agent. There’s also an attractive woman dancing, just for good measure. A woman Bond then attempts to bed, only to be approached from behind by an armed assailant. And, as always, the altercation ends in a one-liner.
It is James Bond in a nutshell.
Following this cold open, we get one of the better Bond opening title sequences. A stark black background and projected film footage casts gold-painted women in shadows. All the while, Shirley Bassey’s voice erupts above the stagnant visuals. It isn’t hard to see Continue reading Goldfinger (1964) Movie Review
From Russia With Love, the second film adaptation of Ian Fleming’s work to depict MI6 agent James Bond, cold opens on a cat and mouse chase at night. Bond (Sean Connery) steps out of the shadows and moves silently across the grassy landscape, knowing that he is being tailed. The assailant (Robert Shaw), stalks Bond, then retreats to the cover of a nearby bush to wait for the perfect moment to strike. Surprisingly, he gets that perfect moment. Bond goes down, choked by wire at the hands of the assassin. The super spy is bested.
Or is he.
Lights go up, and an army of men are revealed. The event was a training exercise and Bond: a grunt in a Connery mask. Someone is out to get Bond. Someone very powerful.
Continue reading From Russia With Love (1963) Movie Review