My #JamesBond #Bondathon has reached Diamonds Are Forever – My (Short) Review

Plot – A diamond smuggling operation leads Bond to Las Vegas , where he uncovers an extortion plot headed by his nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

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Thanks to the chat on the James Bond #MTOS (Movie Talk On Sunday) on Twitter last I decided to return to the Bondathon I have been taking on recently and have now reached Diamonds Are Forever.
 
Sean Connery returns in this movie after George Lazenbys one-movie stint in the excellent On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.  Personally, I’ve always thought it as a shame he left after the one as I would have liked to have seen how Diamonds Are Forever turned out.
 
Anyway, on to this movie.  As I’ve said, Connery is back for one last “official” Bond outing.  He’s on form in this but I sometimes get the feeling it’s just a final big pay cheque for him taking on this movie.  He has some good moments and some good one-liners as always.
 
Jill St John plays Bond Girl Tiffany Case in this one.  I remember seeing her first in the very first episode of the Batman TV series of the 60’s playing a character called Mollie.  Here, she’s a bold and brassy redhead who gives as good as she gets.  She’s ok as a Bond girl but I don’t think she’s as memorable as some others.
 
The villain is Ernst Stavro Blofeld, this time played by the non-follically challenged Charles Gray.  For me he’s one of the best parts of the movie, playing Blofeld in a completely different way to what has come before, even going so far as to dress up as a woman to make a getaway.
 
Also, in the villain category, we have the very sinister gay couple MrWint and Mr Kidd.  They’re played with such gusto by Bruce Glover and Putter Smith and, in my own humble opinion, are the best characters in the movie.  They steal every scene they’re in and are so watchable.
 
All the regulars are back, Bernard Lee as M, Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny and Desmond Llewellyn as Q.  As always, all dependable in their short screen time and a pleasure to watch.
 
Throw in the buxom Lana Wood as Plenty O’ Toole (named after her father, perhaps?), Jimmy Dean as Willard Whyte, Bruce Cabot as Bert Saxby and Leonard Barr as Shady Tree and you have quite an excellent cast.
 
For me, this isn’t one of my favourite of the Bond movies and, on watching last night, I can see how it may be a little underrated.  There are some excellent Bond moments in here but I feel the producers missed a trick after the wonderful and emotional ending of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.  There wasn’t really anything following on from that apart from the underwhelming opening sequence where Bond is on the search for Blofeld.  This gives the impression that Bond is out for revenge but, after that, the events of OHMSS are forgotten.
 
Another reason this may get a bum ramp is the “campness” of it.  Fair enough there’s plenty of it but it does give a good show of Las Vegas in the 70’s and doesn’t hinder or progress the story.
 
For me, not one of the best but certainly not the worst.  As with all the Bond movies I’ll not be scoring them out of 10.
 
Cheers and thank you for reading.

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Disney’s #Frozen – My (Short) Movie Review…….

Plot – “Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.”

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Saw this movie with my daughter as a treat for her. However, it wasn’t only a treat for her but a treat for me as well.

This, is quite simply, an super movie. It’s typically Disney and it’s excellent.

Starring the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Mendel and Alan Tudyk (who all perform admirably, as does the rest of the voice cast), this is a great Disney adventure and a lovely story based on Han Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen”.

Not only is the story great but the movie is beautiful to look at, stunning in fact. A gorgeous movie to watch.

The music is great, some super songs, in particular the song Let It Go performed by Demi Lovato.

Myself and my daughter enjoyed it very much and was well worth a visit to the cinema. Can’t recommend it enough.

For me, or my daughter and I, it’s a 9/10.

Cheers, and thanks for reading……,

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of #Superman (Pilot Episode – 1993) – My (Short) Review

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After being on a Superman roll recently, watching all 4 Christopher Reeve movies, I thought I’d go for the Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman TV series next. 

This began in 1993 and starred Dean Cain as Clark Kent/Superman and the lovely Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane. 

The story shows Clarks arrival in Metropolis and looking for a job at The Daily Planet.  At first he gets turned down due to a lack of experience.  He goes out, gets a story about an old theatre about to be knocked down and, ultimately, on reading it Perry White gives him a job.  Lois and Clark end up teaming up on a story about a conspiracy regarding the launch of a space ship.  Clark is unable to use any of his powers to help others as it would expose him and possibly stop him leading a normal life.  Therefore, along with his mother Martha, he goes about designing an outfit in order to combat this.  There are some funny ones shown along the way before deciding on the iconic outfit he is remembered for.  This helps with his quest to help people and save the day.  After flying Lois to The Daily Planet, she then gives him the name, Superman. 

I really enjoyed this series when it first aired in the UK and am still fond of it now.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect and it does have some very silly storylines scattered throughout its four series’ but there was always enough to keep me interested. 

Dean Cain as Superman was always watchable, although it was always a wonder that no-one realised Clark and Superman were the same person.  It was much more obvious than Christopher I think.  Along with Teri Hatcher as Lois they always had very good chemistry.  Cains goofy Clark Kent and Hatchers strong-willed and beautiful Lois Lane were always very good together. 

John Shea as Lex Luthor was always great to watch and pretty much stole all scenes he was in.  He was definitely a worthy villain. 

Perry White, played by Lane Smith, again, always great when on screen and super for the part.  Michael Landes, a short lived Jimmy Olsen (before being replaced by Justin Whalin) was ok but a little annoying at times.  Clark’s parents were played by K Callan and Eddie Jones.  Their story was obviously changed throughout the series as Jonathon was there to see Clark fly the coop to Metropolis.  They were lovable enough though.  There was also Catherine “Cat” Grant played by Tracey Scoggins.  She was pretty much just eye candy in the Planet offices and didn’t really add much in my opinion.  She only lasted the first season before leaving.  Not a loss really. 

All in all, the Pilot is/was enough to keep people interested and was well received as the show lasted 4 seasons before leaving us with a big cliffhanger. 

This is probably a marmite type show; you’ll either love it or hate it but me?  I enjoyed it. 

I’ll give the pilot a 7/10 

As always, cheers and thanks for reading. 

Please feel free to comment………………

#Superman 4: The Quest For Peace (1987) – My (Short) Movie Review

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Ok so after watching Superman 3 a few days ago (and forgetting to write about it here); last night I watched the last of the Christopher Reeve, Man of Steel movies.
 
Superman 4: The Quest For Peace is, probably the world over, regarded as the worst of the Superman movies to be released and was one of the nails in the coffin for Cannon Films.
 
As said before, Christopher Reeve is back in his final performance as Superman in this plain to see, lower budget Superman flick.  He does his best but it’s nowhere near good enough to save this 1987 movie flop.  Reeve also had a hand in the story.
 
The much lower budget is plain to see from the off, the opening credits nowhere near as effective as the original and done cheaply for all to see.  But the low budget spreads through the whole of the movie; scenes supposedly set in New York (the United Nations building) were in fact filmed at an industrial site in Milton Keynes , UK with minimum extras etc.  Some scenes with Superman “flying” towards the camera are also done on the cheap as they show the same film of him flying.
 
The plot revolves around the nuclear arms race and when a young lad writes to Superman asking him to rid the world of nuclear missiles etc, Superman collects them all and throws them into the sun.  Lex Luthor takes advantage and, after stealing a strand of Supermans hair, does a bit of science-y stuff, attaches his “genetic matrix” top a missile, it gets thrown to the sun by Supes and a ball of fire is, erm, fired out developing into Nuclear Man.  Then there’s the standard battle between Supes and Nukes, Supes suffers radiation sickness from a scratch by Nuclear Man, recovers, more battling with some on the moon and, well, we know how it ends.
 
There’s also a side story of The Daily Planet being taken over by tabloid tycoon David Warfield who wants to turn the Planet into a sleazy tabloid newspaper and increasing sales.  Staff aren’t happy, Perry White especially and he gets the money together to become major shareholder and the newspaper stays at it is.  Pretty much a filler story as the movie could have been a lot shorter.
 
Gene Hackman returns as Lex Luthor and even he can’t save this movie giving a rather lacklustre performance from those he’d starred in before.
 
One bright spot is Margot Kidder as Lois Lane ; she plays her part as she has done before and is a definite plus point in this film.
 
We’re also introduced to Lenny Luthor, nephew of Lex and Lex’s partner in crime (Ned Beatty have more sense than to come back???).  He’s played by Jon Cryer and really adds nothing to the movie apart from a very good impression of Otto from The Simpsons.
 
There’s the usual suspects of Jackie Cooper and Perry White and Mark McClure as Jimmy Olsen but, all told they don’t put the performances in as before (probably not their fault but with a limited budget and low-budget movie director in Sidney Furie it’s most likely expected).
 
This is not a good Superman movie at all with only slight plus points.  From poor special effects due to the low budget to lacklustre performances from the actors it’s rightly said that this is the worst of all Man of Steel movies.  Not the best of Superman movies for the excellent Christopher Reeve to bow out from.
 
For me it’s a 2/10, which is a shame as I’m a fan of Superman.
 
Thanks for reading………………

My #JamesBond #Bondathon Reaches On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – Here’s A Review

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Yes, I’ve now reached the first Bond movie not to feature Sean Connery as 007.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service introduced us to a new but, ultimately, one time only 007, George Lazenby. As well as a new face we also get a new and emotional James Bond movie.

When we’re first introduced to Lazenby it’s on the beach while he’s trying to save Tracey. While doing that he gets into some fisticuffs with a few bad ‘uns. From the off Lazenby shows off some cracking fighting skills as Bond, proving he’s got the toughness for the part. He also does very well with the large emotional part of the story. It’s a big part as Bond falls in love and, well, 007 fans will know the ending. He probably isn’t as cool as Connery but personally, although not overly skilled as an actor, Lazenby does a good job and I wish I’d seen more from him.

His love interest is Contessa Teresa Di Vicenzo (Tracy) played by the wonderful Diana Rigg. She plays a different type of Bond girl from what we’ve seen before. She steals the heart of 007 in a James Bond love story. It’s also very easy to see why she’s a favourite with Bond fans all over.

The villain? Kojak himself, Telly Savalas as Blofeld. Played in a completely different manner to Donald Pleasance in You Only Live Twice he’s great on screen.

I do kinda wonder how Blofeld wouldn’t recognise Bond in this after YOLT and why Bond would go undercover after someone who should recognise him. Not great continuity but as a standalone movie it’s not a problem 

Bond’s ally in this is Draco, Tracy’s father, played by Gabriele Ferzetti. He’s really great as both father and ally.

Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell and Desmond Llewellyn all turn in their roles and, as always, do their bits great.

There’s also Blofeld’s “Angels Of Death” featuring early appearances from Joanna Lumley, Catherine Von Schell and my personal favourite and from just down the road from me in Morecambe Bay, the late Angela Scoular as Ruby Bartlett.

Theres a great plot, wonderful music by John Barry, glorious settings (Piz Gloria is just to die for), lots of emotion (the ending still chokes me up) and great action sequences. This is, in my own opinion, a super Bond movie. It’s one of my favourites and I think one of the best that stays closer to the book than some others.

I’ve always wondered what might have been if Lazenby stayed on. Diamonds Are Forever could have been so different.

I really do enjoy this 007 outing.

All comments welcome.

As always, Cheers and many thanks for reading………

My #JamesBond #Bondathon Reaches You Only Live Twice – A (Short) Movie Review……

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As I’ve been going through one of my yearly Bondathon, I’ve reached On Her Majestys Secret Service (more on that in my next post) but first I watched the last Bond before Sean Connerys one movie break, You Only Live Twice.

In all honesty, I love all things 007 but I’m not so biased as to say all the movies are so wonderful. I know some lack the quality of others and I’ll be honest in what I say. I’ll still love them though.

You Only Live Twice is one of these movies that probably lacks the quality of some others.

It does have some great points though, Donald Pleasance as Blofeld, Little Nellie and the magnificent Volcano Lair setting. The volcano lair being one of the most impressive sets of the Bond movie series. Ken Adam certainly set the bar high.

Again, we’ve got Sean Connery as 007, he does his bit in this movie but gives the impression that’s he’s kinda bored with the role and went through the motions before finishing his first James Bond tenure.

Two Bond girls in this movie (both oriental beauties), first off all we have, before her untimely death, Aki, played by Akiko Wakabayashi. Then we have Mie Hama as Kissy, who spends the last act in nothing much more than a bikini. There’s also Helga Brandt played by the red haired and voluptuous Karin Dor. She gives the feel of a Fiona Volpe type character but with a much worse fate.

Bonds ally in Japan, comes in the form of Tiger Tanaka played by Tetsuro Tanba. He’s pretty much Japan’s version of M but with a cool subway train to help get him around.

The villain is Ernst Stavro Blofeld, played with excellent villainy by Donald Pleasance. Great actor to have in the role.

Then we have the dependable Bernard Lee as M, Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny and Desmond Llewellyn as “Little Nellie’s” father, Q. All great, as always.

Throw in Teru Shimada and Charles Gray (later to play a bigger part in Diamonds Are Forever) and you have a great cast.

Unfortunately, this isn’t one of the great Bond movies. It’s good, but there is something missing. A spark and maybe that’s why Connery very much looks like he’s come to the end of his time as Bond (but we all know what happened a few years later).  Or maybe it’s the story, the writing? I’m not sure.

For me…….ah, I’m not marking Bond movies out of 10. Being a massive Bond Fan that’s something I won’t do.

Anyway, cheers and thanks for reading (Comments etc always welcome!)…….

#CyborgCop (1993) – A (Short) Movie Review

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First of all, yes, I have this on DVD, along with the second one having bought them recently.

I’ve never seen this but kinda got the urge to after reading the SFX Magazine,RoboCop special, where it gains a mention.

Anyway, this movie stars straight to DVD action “star” David Bradley as Jack Ryan (no, not that one haha), who’s on the search for his who has been on a mission gone wrong and, ultimately turned into a Cyborg. Hence the name diverge movie. It easy to see why Bradley be a DVD only actor, he doesn’t really have the acting chops or charisma to carry a big movie. He’s not all bad though, he has some excellent fight scenes that are a cross of Van Damme/Seagal and he pulls them off ok.

The love interest is played by the lovely Alonna Shaw as Kathy. You may well know her from the Van Damme action flick, double impact. As with that movie she does a similar thing, showing off a bit of flesh. Doesn’t add anything to the story but is added anyway. To be honest the love scene is probably her best bit of acting in the movie. The rest? Very over the top and not executed well.
The main villain is Kessel, played by the usual dependable John Rhys-Davies. Wow, he doesn’t half ham it up in this. He may be British but the Northern accent he was putting on left a lot to be desired and very odd. Again, his performance is jot great and he’s done better.

Jack Ryan’s brother, Phillip, is played by Todd Jensen. Luckily for him, after his transformation into a ccyborg any acting skills go out of the window, not needing to do much. The other cyborg (no name) is played by Rufus Swart (RIP), again not too many skills needed to do what he had to do.

Within the movie the actions are ok for a low budget action flick and it does have its fair amount of explosions, which is always good. The finishing of the cyborg is something we’ll probably never see again either. Strange. 

Special effects are as you’d expect but I was particularly unimpressed with the cyborg arm and legs which were quite clearly made from rubber.

To be fair this is a movie I’d watch again despite it being pretty poor. Always quite enjoyed these cheap action flicks, although some are better than others and this isn’t too great.

For me it gets a 4/10.

Cheers and thanks for reading..,,,,