My #JamesBond #Bondathon has now reached For Your Eyes Only – My (Short) Review

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

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For Your Eyes only is Roger Moore’s fifth outing as James Bond, 007 and brings Bond back to earth after his exploits in space in the movie, Moonraker.

After the underwhelming Moonraker (that did have some very good parts) For Your Eyes Only sees 007 up against Kristatos (played by Julian Glover), via Milos Columbo (played by Topol) and with Bond girl Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet).

Moore is back on form here, doing what he does best in his role of James Bond. A lot of people (including my wife) have said that Moore was looking too old to play 007 but, in my opinion, it didn’t make a difference as he did the job extremely well. I have a lot of admiration for Moore’s Bond, I think he was great no-one will tell me any different.

Carole Bouquet is ever so lovely and plays Melina Havelock in a way that many would admire. Coming across as quiet and innocent with, after the murder of her parents, a tough streak that comes across in her revenge killing of assassin Hector Gonzalez. Bouquet is a French beauty but I feel her performance isn’t amazing and comes across as slightly wooden at times.

The villain, Kristatos is played by British thesp, Julian Glover. An excellent choice for me and Glover is excellent in the role. Great actor.

Milos Columbo, who becomes an ally of Bond is played by the wonderful Topol and this is a role that suits him very well. Apart from 007, he’s my favourite character in this movie. Brilliant.

Michael Gothard plays Emile Leopold Locque, henchman of Kristatos. He does a half decent job and features in a great scene where, again, we see Bonds’ ruthless streak, ie 007 kicking Locque’s car over the edge of the cliff. Love that ruthless streak in Moore’s Bond, also shown in The Spy Who Loved me when letting Sandor fall from a building.

We also have Jill Bennett as Jacoba Brink who plays the trainer of ice skater the young, but not so innocent, Bibi Dahl. Both good in their roles.

Another wonderful character in this movie who, if they’d had a bigger part in it could well have topped Milos Columbo as my favourite is Countess Lisl who was played by the gorgeous Cassandra Harris. Only a small role but she certainly made an impression on this viewer. Cassandra was also a real life Bond girl being married to future 007 Pierce Brosnan before her untimely passing (RIP).

We also have the return of Desmond Llewellyn as Q and Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny, however, this is the first James Bond movie not to feature the character of M, who had only been played by Bernard Lee. Lee had been suffering from illness and passed away in 1981 (RIP). Scenes that he would have been in if illness didn’t hinder him were re-done with the character of Q, including the scene in the confessional.

This is a good Bond movie and better than the previous outing, good actions scenes as well as good performances. Shame about the Lotus but love the Citroen.

Always love Bond scores and the theme by Sheena Easton is pretty decent (but why do we have to see her in the opening titles??).

As ever, I’ll not score the Bond movies out of 10.

Cheers for reading………………..
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My #JamesBond #Bondathon Now Reaches Moonraker – My (Short) Review

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

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After the super The Spy Who Loved Me, big things were expected from Moonraker, Roger Moore’s 4th outing as James Bond.

Unfortunately, due to the success of movies such as Star Wars we get a “007 goes to space” latching on to their successes.

The movie starts off well and looks and sounds like a Bond movie should and, in my opinion, is quite excellent. Once we get to the last 3rd of the movie it kind of takes a dive, which is huge shame. The big stand-off being in space with lasers shoot outs etc. Doesn’t really fit a Bond movie for me.

Anyway, Roger Moore is his usual self in a Bond movie, at least for 75% of it. Ever dependable and with a nudge and a wink he’s a very smooth 007.

The villain of the movie, Drax, is played by Michael Lonsdale and is one of the highlights of the movie. Excellent actor, very sinister in his performance and a worthy adversary for Bond.

Lois Chiles plays CIA agent and, ultimately Bond’s girl, Holly Goodhead (oo-er). She’s ok as a Bond girl, not my favourite but her character is certainly a match for 007.

Jaws is also back in this movie. Richard Kiel is excellent as the man mountain ………………………… until halfway or so through and he meets Dolly. From there on he kind of becomes a joke character before joining the side of good and helping 007 win his battle against Drax. We even hear him speak for the first time towards the end.

As I have said in most of my Bond movie reviews we also have the brilliant Bernard Lee as M, Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny and Desmond Llewellyn as Q. Walter Gotell also returns as General Gogol.

We also have Toshiro Suga as Chang and Emily Bolton as Manuela. There’s also the stunning Corrine Clery who plays the ill-fated Corrine Dufour, helicopter pilot for Hugo Drax. The reason I single her out is because she appears in one of the best scenes of the movie and, for me, one of the most haunting scenes in Bond movie history. The scene where Drax fires her and his dogs chase her in the woods gives me chills every time I watch it. Fantastic.

Anyway, not the best Bond movie but not the worst. As ever, I won’t be marking these out of ten.

Cheers and thanks for reading……………

My #JamesBond #Bondathon: The Spy Who Loved Me – My Review

Plot – James Bond investigates the hijacking of British and Russian submarines carrying nuclear warheads with the help of a KGB agent whose lover he killed

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Ah, Sir Rog’s finest moment as James Bond, 007 with his Licence To Kill (…..”and has done so on numerous occasions”). In my opinion anyway, I believe this to be Roger Moore’s best Bond movie of all he did.

Moore is always excellent as Bond but, in this, I believe he excels himself. Sure, he gives us his little innuendos (it wouldn’t be the same without it) but we also get more emotional scenes, an excellent scene showing a very ruthless streak (see his finishing off of Sandor) and a sense that Rog is enjoying himself in this movie.

And why shouldn’t he enjoy himself, opposite the lovely Barbara Bach. Fair enough, she may be a little wooden in her performance but it doesn’t detract anything from the movie. She’s worthy competition for 007.

Speaking of worthy competition, Bond has plenty in this movie. First up we have main villain web handed Karl Stromberg played by the brilliant Curt Jurgens. Jurgens is excellent bring a very tough and sinister villain to the piece.

However, Stromberg, while a memorable villain, is not the more well-known from The Spy Who Loved Me. That honour goes to Richard Kiel, who plays Jaws, an over 7 foot Metal Mouthed Mountain. Kiel was just an excellent fit for the role and became one of the most memorable characters in the Bond series barring 007 himself.

All the usual suspects are back including Bernard Lee, Desmond Llewellyn and Lois Maxwell as M, Q and Moneypenny respectively. Thrown in the luscious Caroline Munro as Naomi and Walter Gotell as General Gogol, among others, and you have a very fine cast.

It’s a great story, great action, great acting, the wonderful Lotus Esprit and, to top it off, that awesome parachute jump. Fantastic.

All in all a great Bond movie and Roger Moore’s best (in my own opinion).

As always, thank you for reading……………

My #JamesBond #Bondathon: The Man With The Golden Gun – My Review

Plot – Bond is led to believe that he is targeted by the world’s most expensive assassin and must hunt him down to stop him

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Bit late with this one as I watched it last week but here is my review of The Man With Golden Gun.

Roger Moore is back for his second outing as 007 in this movie that sees him up against assassin Francisco Scaramanga, played by Christopher Lee.

This was obviously released at a time when Kung Fu movies were becoming a big thing and Bond movie producers seemed to want to cash in on that. They do a half decent job of it I guess, this isn’t the best of Moore’s Bond movies and is, in my opinion, inferior to his previous Live And Let Die.

Moore as James Bond does his best to make the movie better than it is. Always reliable, I love Moore’s 007 and I still love him in this despite the movie not being as good as his last.

Christopher Lee makes a good Scaramanga; he’s a super actor and hams it up nicely as the £1,000,000 a pop assassin.

His henchman is the vertically challenged Nick Nack played by Herve Villechaize. He’s probably one of the most well-known of all Bond movie henchmen.

The “main” Bond girl in this movie is Mary Goodnight, played by the lovely Britt Ekland. She’s ok in the role but seems to spend more time either in a nightie or bikini. Now, to some, this won’t be a problem (at times it probably isn’t to me as she is very lovely) but, I don’t know, I guess it’s just a sign of the times. To be fair, she has more on in this than she does in her turn in The Wicker Man.

There’s also the first appearance of Maud Adams in a Bond movie. Before her excellent turn as Octopussy she played the role of Miss Anders here. Another lovely, she plays her time in the movie well as an ally of 007.

Another ally of 007 is Lt Hip played by Soon-Tek Oh. Bond doesn’t figure out he’s an ally until some time after they meet. Bond and Hip share a good relationship during the movie I think and have some good scenes together.

As we’ve always had so far, Bernard Lee returns as M, Desmond Llewellyn as Q and Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny. As always, they are a joy to watch in their limited screen time.

We also have the return of Clifton James as Sherriff J W Pepper in what is nothing but comedy filler really. Doesn’t add much to the story other than a few laughs. He is very watchable though.

There’s some excellent action sequences in the movie, in particular the cork-screw car jump over a canal. Great looking stunt although slightly spoiled by the awful sound effect added in. A little odd if in my opinion. Another odd thing is how Bond is kind of made to look weak after escaping Hai Fat’s karate school. Having Lt Hips nieces kick bad guys arses, ushering Bond out of the way, makes 007 look a little soft for me. That’s just a couple of little things that don’t quite seem right to me but other than that the movie is ok. It also has one of the greatest names given to any “Bond Girl” (although it’s difficult to call her that) in the naked and swimming, Chew Mee. Great!!

Anyway, as always, no marks out of 10 for Bond movies as I’m a big fan but, even though this is disappointing at times, it’s still an enjoyable enough movie.

Cheers and thanks, as always, for reading………………….

My #JamesBond #Bondathon Now Up To Live And Let Die – My (Short) Review……

Plot – 007 is sent to stop a diabolically brilliant heroine magnate armed with a complex organization and a reliable psychic tarot card reader.

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So, my Bondathon closes the Connery chapter………for now and rolls on to New Bond on the Block, Roger Moore.

After the pre-title sequence, where 3 MI6 agents are killed, we’re introduced to Moore’s 007 between the sheets with a beautiful Italian agent. This pretty much sums up Roger Moore as James Bond.

Moore certainly makes his mark as Bond in Live And Let Die playing 007 in a way we’ve never seen before, totally different to anything that Connery or Lazenby did. And it’s a good thing, bringing a whole new freshness to the Bond movies. I have a lot of love for Roger Moore as 007 although I think the best is Connery. If Connery is the best then Moore is my favourite.

As for the villain, well that is Kanaga, played by the brilliant Yaphet Kotto. He’s the heroine “magnate” with a ploy to take over all heroine dealing business. Kotto does a great job in this, especially as he is also playing Kananga’s alter ego, Mr Big.

One of the other villains is the very memorably Tee Hee, him of the claw for a hand. Julius Harris is excellent in this role. There’s also the very excellent Geoffrey Holder who plays Baron Samedi (That’s Saturday for those who speak French).  Apart from Bond himself, one of the most memorable of characters.

The Bond girls of the movie; first of all we have the Queen Of Cups, Rosie Carver, played by Gloria Hendy. Far from my favourite Bond girl she had an important part in the movie and played the dizzy CIA / double crossing agent very well.

The other, main Bond girl, is the stunning Jane Seymour who plays the tarot card reader Solitaire. One of the favourite Bond girls of the series, Seymour is excellent as the innocent, virginial (until Bond has his way) psychic. Seymour is gorgeous and it’s no wonder she’s a favourite.

There’s also Clifton James as Sherrif J W Pepper for comedy value, Felix Leiter, played, for the first time, by David Hedison (he returns in Licence To Kill) and the appearances of the ever dependable Bernard Lee as M and Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny. Unfortunately there is no appearance this time from Desmond Llewellyn’s, Q, which is a shame.

This is a great movie that flows along nicely and is a great introduction to Bond as played by Roger Moore.

A couple of things that bother me are the introduction of Moore as Bond. I know finding him in bed is a typical Moore, Bond moment but it doesn’t hit you like if should. Just my opinion. Also, again my opinion, not the best pre-title sequence. Don’t get me wrong, it sets the movie up nicely but I guess I’m used to being spoilt.

Great music as always and super title song from Paul McArtney and Wings.

Anyway, excellent first Bond movie for Sir Rog. As always, I’ll not be marking Bond movies out of 10.

So, cheers and thanks for reading……

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.

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……,