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My Bond marathon! Octopussy

 
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My Bond marathon! Octopussy - 15/4/2009 8:03:00 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
Another Bondathon (Bond-marathon) has arrived to Empire!
And I will do this along with my main thread.
The reason? Well, being a Bond fan I wouldn't need a reason, but there's a BFI Southbank Bond season as celebration of Cubby Broccoli's centennary, and I'll be seeing quite a few of these on the big screen.
Dr. No -  page 1
Thunderball - page 1
Goldfinger - page 1
On Her Majesty's Secret Service - page 1
Moonraker - page 2
Octopussy - page 3


< Message edited by Miles Messervy 007 -- 22/3/2010 8:17:51 PM >


_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.
Post #: 1
Dr. No - 15/4/2009 8:03:49 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
"Tell me, does the toppling of American missiles really compensate for having no hands?”

Doctor No (1962, Young)
 ***spoilers below***

The film that started it all is also the one I start my marathon with. My love for Doctor No has always been inconsistent: I thought it was boring when I was little, then loved it when I saw it again, haven't seen it for a while, and here we go again.

I saw it on a big screen, so I'll say a few words about that. As you may know, BFI are hosting a Cubby Broccoli season at NFT, including all Bond films. This showing was the first of the season and it was sold out. For a good reason, too: after the director of BFI Southbank said a few words, she welcomed Roger Moore who was met with thunderous applause. As always, 'Sir Rog', as the fans affectionately call him, was incredibly charming and funny. Joking about his failing memory, he pulled out a note he wrote and read it aloud: "Be nice to everyone and smile a lot”. A few anecdotes later, Moore welcomed the "Broccolis and the Sprouts”. Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the current Bond producers, appeared on stage. Wilson thanked everyone and then began asking certain audience members to show themselves. Among them were Lewis Gilbert (director of 3 Bond films and Alfie, among others), Ken Adam (one of the best set designers ever - think Strangelove's war room), D'Abo (Bond girl in The Living Daylights), Samantha Bond (Brosnan's Moneypenny), David Arnold (composer of 5 Bond films and Stargate), etc., etc.

Finally, the film started (after a short photo montage of Cubby Broccoli, accompanied by "Nobody Does It Better”). The first thing I noticed was the absolutely stunning picture quality. The film literally looked like it came out yesterday.

I must say that since my film addiction started, my love for Bond obviously cooled down. Thus I was worried the film would not meet my expectations. However, one can't deny that seeing perhaps the most iconic Bond film ever (only rivalled by Goldfinger) in a fully packed cinema with amazing picture quality is orgasmic either way you look at it.

Like many iconic films, Doctor No only exists for the iconic scenes. Of course, nobody involved in the production of the film knew back then it would be such a success, but I will just say Doctor No is a rough diamond. It's truly brilliant when it's brilliant, and mediocre or even horrible when it's not brilliant.

Let me take you through the film. The gunbarrel is of course iconic; the titles weird and I prefer Brownjohn's Bond work over Binder's to be honest. The opening murder scene might have been shocking in 1962, but hardly any more. Then we come to Bond's introduction, possibly the most iconic scene ever. Playing Bond hardly requires acting most of the time, at least until Dalton came, all that was required was suaveness, coolness and style. And yet I consider Connery's performance in Doctor No the 2nd greatest Bond performance. He certainly has the suaveness and the coolness, and he's the toughest of all Bonds, using his considerable acting skills when it is required. After the introduction, we get to know M and Moneypenny, and these two scenes are perhaps the best scenes with them in the franchise. The casting of Lee especially was inspired, as he is believable as a person Bond would respect and even fear, unlike Brown's and Dench's M. 'Missing' is the Q scene, as Doctor No remains virtually gadget-free, and I wish the armourer character would be brought back for Bond #23 (Q coming back wouldn't do because of the direction the series took).

It is ironic that Bond's first seduction on screen is actually him being seduced by a woman. "Immediately. Almost immediately” is a great little piece of dialogue which you can only get when you see the scene.

Then, Bond arrives to Jamaica. It is remarkable that with the limited budget the film was shot on location for the most part. Again, the film lags when it's not iconic, but since so many scenes are iconic, it remains brilliant. The tone is immediately established in the airport: Lord's Leiter (one of the biggest regrets of the series is that he didn't stay on, calling for equal billing) observes Bond, who is met by Dr. No's agent, who claims he has been sent by Pleydell-Smith, Bond's ally from the embassy. Bond calls Pleydell-Smith, confirms 'Mr. Jones' is one of the opposition and asks the latter to 'take him for a ride'. Furthermore, he is photographed by an unknown woman. Thus, as the viewer we think Bond has 3 threats. He deals with them rather swiftly: first, he attempts to interrogate Mr. Jones, who conveniently has a cyanide pill. Thus, Bond arrives to the government house and tells the guard to 'make sure he doesn't get away' . Bond returns to his hotel room and demonstrates something which is lacking from later Bond films: he ensures he will know if his things were searched or not (yep, the hair). Then, the 3rd worst thing about the film 'arrives': its obvious racism. Bond must discover Quarrel, the fisherman who went out with Strangways (the murdered man) in order to find out what he knows. Quarrel is the worst character in the film, a stereotypical stupid Negro. Bond even later tells him to 'fetch his shoes'. Anyway, we discover Leiter is one of the good guys, so that's another threat dealt with. And then the photographer is found in the bar Quarrel's friend, Pussfeller, who 'wrestles alligators', owns (naturally, Bond defeats him in the scene before with ridiculous ease). Quarrel threatens to break her arm but she's still and stubborn, making Bond wonder who the employer of her and Mr. Jones is. He discovers there is an island which is owned by a Dr. No... Anyway, I must be boring all of you (if you've made it this far) with this pointless re-telling of the plot, so I'll be brief:

The way Bond deals with Professor Dent and Miss Taro sets the bar for the franchise ("That's a Smith and Wesson...and you've had your six”). The later Crab Key scenes are fairly boring with two exceptions:

-The introduction of Honey Ryder. "Are you looking for shells?” she asks Bond "No, I'm just looking”, he answers. Of course, the scene where she comes out of the sea isn't special any more (it would if they kept her naked like in the book, I guess, what with the Venus similarities and all), but she's still a Bond icon, and rightly so. Then, Quarrel dies (thank God), and we're transported to the evil doctor's lair. He drugs Bond and Honey and checks Bond out in the night (that sounded dirty), but doesn't reveal himself. When the reveal finally comes, with it comes the best scene in the franchise, hands down.

-It starts with Bond looking at No's giant aquarium and then the man arrives. Joseph Wiseman is God of the Bond villains, only rivalled by Froebe's portrayal of Auric Goldfinger. He introduces himself no with "No, Dr. No”, but with "One million dollars, Mr. Bond. You were wondering what it cost”. After dinner, Honey is sent away and the men have a nice little talk, the best scripted scene in the franchise (with the exception, you guessed it, of Goldfinger's laser table scene). I won't quote, but I hope you agree. Then, we sadly get a very anti-climactic ending, which is the worst thing about the film. The 2nd is the horrific score, which is arguably redeemed by the best rendition of the best main theme ever, but Norman heavily overuses it to cover up the horrible parts of the score. No wonder that the producers just took Barry for From Russia With Love. Time to end this lengthy review:

Verdict – The first film in the series is perhaps the most iconic one. It is also a rough diamond, and it is understandable why some might hate it. I certainly don't, but the three that followed are way better. 9/10  

< Message edited by Miles Messervy 007 -- 15/4/2009 8:12:58 PM >


_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 2
RE: Dr. No - 15/4/2009 9:04:05 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
Good, now OHMSS, you must say it is excellent, otherwise this will become the worst Bond thread ever.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 3
RE: Dr. No - 15/4/2009 9:14:52 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
I'll just say OHMSS is one of the 3 others I'm watching on a big screen

_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 4
RE: Dr. No - 16/4/2009 1:00:03 AM   
Epiphany Demon


Posts: 6497
Joined: 14/11/2007

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

I'll just say OHMSS is one of the 3 others I'm watching on a big screen


If it's along with two of either Goldfinger, Goldeneye or Casino Royale, then you rule.

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THE ALTERNATIVE LOOK AT BOB DYLAN'S DISCOGRAPHY - ONE DAY MAYBE I'LL FINISH IT

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RE: Dr. No - 16/4/2009 2:21:03 AM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24509
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
Ah another thread to make me look bad

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WWLD?


quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



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RE: Dr. No - 16/4/2009 8:43:27 AM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
quote:

ORIGINAL: Epiphany Demon


quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

I'll just say OHMSS is one of the 3 others I'm watching on a big screen


If it's along with two of either Goldfinger, Goldeneye or Casino Royale, then you rule.
I'm afraid you only got the first one right. But stay put
Rhubarb, these weren't my intentions, I assure you


_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to Epiphany Demon)
Post #: 7
RE: My Bond marathon! Dr. No (p1) - 4/5/2009 12:18:53 AM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
Another entry, to avoid this from falling to the 3rd page. I'm a lazy bastard, I know
As I don't have much time to watch Bond films, I won't be watching all of them now but probably after my exams. However, as I mentioned before, I am watching 3 more (have watched all 3 already) on a big screen, so I see no reason not to review those. So the list will be out of order as I will review them in the order I watched them.
So, without further ado, my far better review than that of Doctor No!
Well, I think he got the point.”

Thunderball (1965, Young)
***spoilers below***
The most successful Bond film of all times (adjusted for inflation, of course) has received a lot of backlash over the years, and this forum is no exception.
I can't, however, concur. Seeing it on a big screen 2 weeks ago was brilliant. Glorious restored widescreen did help, but the content is more important than the package, and while I'm admittedly getting less excited about Bond every week, the film is still brilliant.
Again, let me take you through the film, but less clumsily this time. The gun barrel sequence is inferior to Simmons's gun barrels; Connery wobbles too much. OK, now that's really nitpicking, but I still have a Bond nerd left in me. The pre-titles are good (although the editing in the fight is typically atrocious) since Connery shows why he is, and always will be Bond from the first second. The 'JB' fake lead is smartly done and while the jet-pack sequence is a bit silly, it contributes to the film's epic feel.
Hearing the song in a cinema was incredible. I sometimes get bored during titles, but certainly not this time. Jones+Binder+Barry=win. Then, we go to the SPECTRE meeting. The taglines for the film screamed: “This is the biggest Bond of all!” and indeed, the film makes everything bigger. From intimate surroundings of From Russia With Love's SPECTRE ship we go to a building in central Paris, which is BTW a great villain disguise. Number 1 is perhaps the best villain of the series, as he is terrifying even to his own people. Wiseman, who played Doctor No, provides the voice of the man with the white pussy (just wanted to use that line), and Dawson, who played Professor Dent, provides the body, so the two Doctor No baddies are re-united. Again, the scene establishes SPECTRE as no other could. We learn SPECTRE values integrity and loyalty above all, and we learn of their plans before anything even happens. Then, we see Bond again, but he's in a health clinic this time. Now I should tell you what my biggest criticism of the film is: it's the plot. Even for a Bond film, there are way too many coincidences, and one has to suspend disbelief all the time. This is proven by Shrublands, as even on holidays Bond bumps into the villains (like Poirot :P ).
Connery's performance in Thunderball may be my favourite Bond performance. He embodies Bond's coolness, smugness, toughness, wit, and sexism. From throwing flowers on JB's dead body and picking up a grape in Lippe's room to shooting a henchman with a spear gun and quipping “I think he got the point” Connery is a super mega-cooleness star. No wonder the film got so much money. In You Only Live Twice, Connery was visibly bored of the role, but Thunderball is his best hour.
Another great thing about the film are the ladies. Fiona Volpe the Voluptuous is the stand-out. My vote for the sexiest girl of the series, and the best accent, too :P She is one of Bond's most interesting adversaries as she never goes to over the top but still manages to entertain. In one of the film's most random moments she picks Bond up on a deserted beach and drives him around so fast he asks whether she often flies there. This is followed by a typical exchange for Thunderball:
Fiona: Some men just don't like to be driven.
Bond: No, some men don't like to be taken for a ride.

Domino is also a great girl. Apart from the natural appeals, it appears Auger could actually act in the scenes like the casino or on the beach. Pat shows the sexism of the times by allowing Bond to practically rape her and appearing to still be willing. Paula is a piece of eye-candy we're not supposed to care about and we don't.
The villains of the film are classic. Number 1 was mentioned above, and has the perfect voice for a villain. Volpe is a classic femme fatale, and Largo appears to be menacing enough, considering he doesn't have the guts to kill Bond.
Now I feel I should defend the film's most criticised scenes: the underwater scenes. Thunderball is one of the two Bond films to win an Oscar, and deservedly, too, the battles are wonderfully shot and staged. They are a joy to look at (well, I am biased, having seen them on a restored cinema widescreen), just like the rest of the film. Thunderball has perhaps the best cinematography of all Bond films and shows off its location for a reason.
Plus, the underwater scenes have Barry's wonderful music to assist them in times of need. The use of silence is also great, strangely. The rest of the score is also great, particularly Mister Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which is in my opinion one of the best Bond songs and shouldn't have been dumped. The instrumental is great as well though.
Overall, Thunderball remains a highly exciting Bond adventure, combining the epic feel of Gilbert films and the coolness and toughness of the first three Bond films. The score, visuals, villains, girls, and mainly Bond all deliver very well. I forgot to mention M and Moneypenny, who are as always brilliant here. It is nice to see all 00s together for once, too.
On the other hand, the plot is highly implausible and at times even random, but since it's a Bond film it's natural it doesn't stand up to scrutiny. The highly criticised underwater scenes are actually exciting, except for the covering up of the plane which was admittedly very boring. The film still gets a near-perfect 9.5/10 from me.


_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 8
RE: My Bond marathon! Thunderball (p1) - 4/5/2009 2:56:36 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
A lot of comments, I see 

Ranking of films so far:
1. Thunderball
2. Dr. No

Ranking of Bond performances so far:
1. Thunderball
2. Dr. No

Ranking of Bond villains/henchmen/femme fatales so far:
1. Number 1
2. Doctor No
3. Fiona Volpe
4. Emilio Largo
5. Professor Dent
6. Miss Taro
7. Vargas

Ranking of Bond girls so far:
1. Fiona Volpe
2. Domino Derval
3. Sylvia Trench
4. Honey Ryder
5. Pat Fearing
6. Miss Taro
7. Paula

Gunbarrel ranking:
1. Dr. No
2. Thunderball

Scores:
1. Thunderball
2. Dr. No

I could go on


_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 9
RE: My Bond marathon! Thunderball (p1) - 4/5/2009 4:31:50 PM   
barkers101


Posts: 2507
Joined: 19/2/2008
Me want more reviews - i like the ranking ideas 

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ORIGINAL: TRM

I will join as long as we can spell Mozoguchi's name right


Vote for you Favourite World Cinema DVD here!

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RE: My Bond marathon! Thunderball (p1) - 4/5/2009 7:50:15 PM   
Lex Romero


Posts: 412
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: southampton
I'm curious to read an OHMSS review, it's been years since I last saw it, and I wasn't fond of it at all, yet it's now looked on as one of the best Bond films.  So I'm not sure whether I was just too young and wanted more crashbang stuff, or whether it really is a bit rubbish. 

_____________________________

My Film list for 2009:

http://www.empireonline.com/forum/tm.asp?m=2164869&mpage=39

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Post #: 11
RE: My Bond marathon! Thunderball (p1) - 4/5/2009 10:10:01 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
Goldfinger next, then On Her Majesty's Secret Service Glad you like the rankings, barkers. I forgot a point I wanted to make in my Thunderball review, the 3rd flaw of the film for me would be Rick Van Nutter's horrible performance. To think this man married Anita Ekberg The reviews will probably be up tomorrow or the day after. After that, I may watch some more, but maybe not.

_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to Lex Romero)
Post #: 12
RE: My Bond marathon! Thunderball (p1) - 6/5/2009 7:29:09 AM   
JoeyPottr


Posts: 2066
Joined: 10/2/2009
I really like Thunderball, especially the scenes between Bond and Fiona. I love the ending it's just cool HANG ON WHOAAAAA!!!

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wandering through the tall grass of life

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Post #: 13
RE: My Bond marathon! Thunderball (p1) - 7/5/2009 9:04:19 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4038
Joined: 19/10/2005

Love those reviews,I toyed with the idea of doing my own 007 review thread as I'm a huge Bond fan too,but this is certainly more than good enough! Maybe one day.  Some quick comments
DR NO I've always looked on this as the 'prototype' Bond film. The elements that later films would build on,are all here,but I feel most were improved on!  The low key feel does sort of work for the story,this is one Bond film where the best scenes are NOT the action scenes,which to be fair aren't that great,but smaller scenes-the tarantula,Bond's intro,etc.  I still like it a lot,and it's easy to see how Bond caught on straight away,but in the end I don't enjoy it as a lot of the others.
THUNDERBALL  One of my favourites,a wonderful,big adventure.  I love the things that people often criticise it for-the leisurely pace,the Shrublands early scenes,and especially the underwater scenes-the final battle is simply extroadinary.  The dialogue is often superb and the locations are gorgeous-they help make the film such great escapism. Conneery is indeed at  his  best and I adore Fiona Volpe too!  Probably my third best Bond film.


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check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

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Post #: 14
RE: My Bond marathon! Thunderball (p1) - 7/5/2009 9:15:21 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
Needless to say, agree with your opinion of Thunderball completely  Fiona Volpe = sexiness.
As for Dr No, I hate the tarantula scene. It's not even deadly I do think it has perhaps the best Bond villain ever, so that bumps it up considerably. And Sean is tough as nails.


_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15
RE: My Bond marathon! Thunderball (p1) - 8/5/2009 3:26:08 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007
As for Dr No, I hate the tarantula scene. It's not even deadly


I actually like that scene, how taste can differ. It may not be as terrifying today as it was back in 1962, but it's still one of those scenes were Bond has to protect himself without his gun - against such a simple thing as a small animal. And I bet the spider could be deadly, if it had a chance to complete the mission. But hey, you're free to hate itm Miles. What really matters here is that you actually gave a great ranking for the film - a 9/10. It truly deserves it!

Keep up the good work, it sure was a pleasure to read your two first reviews. I'm keeping my eyes open for more...

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

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Post #: 16
RE: My Bond marathon! Thunderball (p1) - 19/5/2009 2:36:47 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
Choose your next witticism carefully, Mr. Bond, it may be your last.”

Goldfinger (1964, Hamilton)
And now we come to what perhaps is the most acclaimed Bond film of all times. It may also be the most iconic – the mute henchman who uses a bowler hat as a weapon; a girl killed by skin suffocation because she was painted gold; Bassey's theme song.
It may come as a surprise to you but a Bond forum I used to be a member of doesn't think much of a film. It does find its way into most people's top 10 but it's mostly on the lower end of them, and some even have it in their bottom 5. I, for my part, unashamedly love the film, and it's not only my favourite Bond film but also has a place on my all-time top 20.
Of course, I was extremely excited about seeing it on a big screen. Originally it was showing on BFI Southbank's second screen, which is much smaller, but to my pleasant surprise they changed it to screen 1. Another pleasant surprise followed after the showing but more about this later. The film was not in widescreen like Thunderball was, but the restoration was still breathtaking.

The pre-title sequence of Goldfinger is the best Bond pre-title-sequence by far. Yes, The Spy Who Loved Me has an iconic one, and Casino Royale's was much better
than the rest of that turd but for me, Goldfinger's PTS is perhaps the best Bond scene ever, as it has all elements that make good Bond films. In opens with what in my opinion is the best Bond gun barrel (hence my previous avatar), then Bond uses a smart disguise, knocks out the guard, sets the explosives and then in a classic move reveals a tuxedo under his wetsuit. Later, his bored face while the bomb explodes is a treat and after the typical witty exchange with his ally (when I was little I thought this was Leiter as well for some stupid reason) he heads out for some 'unfinished business, which is of course a girl. “I have a slight inferiority complex is simply classic, and the way he sees the goon is also typical Bond, implausible and yet utterly engaging. After a quick brutal fight Bond has to rely on his wits to survive and electrocutes the goon with a lamp. He finishes it off by perhaps the best Bond oneliner: “Shocking. Positively shocking.” The door slams, and we get Bassey's classic song, which is in my opinion the best of the series (although some are hot on its heels). It is even better in a theatre, and Brownjohn's titles are great.
While pre-titles and titles represent Bond in general, the sequence after them represents 60s Bond. Brilliant Barry jazz music, quick dialogue and sexism all come together brilliantly. I am also one of the few people who really like Linder's Leiter. Then Bond has to investigate Goldfinger and to be honest, I preferred the way the assignment was given to him in the books, as MI6 wouldn't really care if some guy would be cheating at cards. The scene is brilliant though, Goldfinger owns.
Apparently Froebe didn't know a word of English but through voice coach managed to deliver lines without accent. Still he was too slow, so had to be dubbed. So Collins (the guy who dubbed him) and Froebe created perhaps the best Bond villain ever. It must be said they were also heavily aided by the script, but even physically few villains match Froebe in terms of screen presence and believability.
The following scene shows someone else's talents however. One of the best if not the best seduction scenes in the franchise begins with Bond walking in on a gorgeous blonde in lingerie and delivering one of the coolest “Bond, James Bonds”. Connery shows that he is and forever will be Bond (I already used that line, forgive me :D) by extremely confidently and coolly not only destroying Goldfinger's ego but also seducing Shirley Eaton's Jill Masterson, who has great chemistry with him, BTW. Bond has a curious line about drinking warm champagne (“It's as bad as listening to The Beatles without earmuffs”) which is of course now very outdated but does have its charm. Later she gets killed of course, and we also hear the brilliant chilling Oddjob theme. As I said the image of the golden girl is not only one of the most iconic in Bond but also in cinema, period.
Later, we see Bond with M in London. This is (you guessed it) one of the best M scenes. Bond obviously liked the girl (and due to their chemistry before his rage is much more believable than it would be in most other Bond movies) so he snaps at M and Lee also does the scene perfectly. The banter with Moneypenny is brilliant of course, and still very charming.
Colonel Smithers' lecture is another fine, fine scene. Connery's and Lee's facial expressions are to behold.
The golf scene is one of the reasons why the film is much better than the novel, which is a very rare occurrence with Bond films. It is gripping as two men who really want to win will do anything to defeat each other, but it's also very subtle, with great dialogue. Hawker adds charm to the proceedings. Also, Oddjob's iconic hat is shown in action.
The scene where Bond follows Goldfinger has once again brilliant music by the master and some beautiful scenery. These two are not to be taken lightly, as they are some of the only good things about You Only Live Twice, for instance.
After the worst performance of the film by Mallet is out of the way, we get a great car chase (the gun toting hag is an excellent WTF moment) where Bond doesn't win for a change.
Then of course comes the best scene of the film. Froebe shows why he is the best Bond villain and his “Noo, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die” is classic for a reason.
Many people say that the second half of the film is much worse than the first. I can't agree, although it is a bit weaker. “I must be dreaming” had the audience in stitches and Connery's laid-back style antics were also appreciated. For the life of me, I can't understand why “Vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred” made the AFI top 100 quotes list while the real good lines of the film didn't but I suppose it's a testament to how recognisable it is.
OK, although the review is not over yet, it's time to reveal the second surprise. Guy Hamilton himself arrived to BFI for a quick Q-and-A session, in which he revealed that the scenes on Auric Stud are his least favourite of the film and especially tepid by today's standards. While my least favourite sequence from the film is still anything with Tilly, I can see where he is coming from. However, Froebe and Connery being as brilliant as ever totally redeems the slow pace of the film. I won't bore you with examples of great dialogue in that section. Maybe once: “
OK, guys, I just re-read my own unfinished review and it freaked me out. I don't think that even I have done as much box-ticking in my reviews lately. I suppose it's because when you have seen a film over 10 times you're struggling of thinking of something original to say, and with a film you love all the bits become best bits. So I'm not going to finish it the way I began it, but I don't want to have wasted my time writing the stuff either, so I think it's time to sum it up.
Goldfinger is without doubt one of the most respected and loved Bond adventures. It has Connery in his greatest period, great Bond girls (except for Tilly Masterson) and just about the best Bond villain/henchman combination. It also has a great script (though with plot holes) and score. The fact that it lags in the middle is compensated by some of the greatest scenes in the franchise, such as the laser table scene. It still holds up well. Hmm, one paragraph was enough to sum the whole film up. Anyway, 10/10


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Post #: 17
RE: My Bond marathon! Thunderball (p1) - 19/5/2009 4:12:18 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009


Ranking of films so far:
1. Goldfinger
2. Thunderball
3. Dr. No

Ranking of Bond performances so far:
1. Thunderball
2. Goldfinger
3. Dr. No

Ranking of Bond villains/henchmen/femme fatales so far:
1. Goldfinger
2. Number 1
3. Fiona Volpe
4. Doctor No
5. Emilio Largo
6. Professor Dent
7. Miss Taro
8. Vargas

Ranking of Bond girls so far:
1. Fiona Volpe
2. Domino Derval
3. Jill Masterson
4. Sylvia Trench
5. Pussy Galore
6. Honey Ryder
7. Pat Fearing
8. Miss Taro
9. Paula
10. Dink
11. Tilly Masterson

Gunbarrel ranking:
1. Goldfinger
2. Dr. No
3. Thunderball

Scores:
1. Goldfinger
2. Thunderball
3. Dr. No

Pre-title sequences:
1. Goldfinger
2. Thunderball

Songs:
1. Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (written for Thunderball, unused)
2. Goldfinger
3. Thunderball
4. Dr No theme (James Bond Theme)
5. Underneath The Mango Tree

Other ideas for rankings? Let me know.


_____________________________

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jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

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if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

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Post #: 18
RE: My Bond marathon! Thunderball (p1) - 19/5/2009 8:19:41 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
I knew it. I killed the thread with my horrid review 
On Her Majesty's Secret Service next.


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jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

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if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

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Post #: 19
RE: My Bond marathon! Thunderball (p1) - 24/5/2009 2:49:43 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4038
Joined: 19/10/2005
No mate,not a horrid review at all. I'm going to say that,personally,I'm not a big fan of Goldfinger and much prefer the two films made on either side of it. It does have that wonderful sense of cool and probably more iconic things in it than any other Bond film,but I always find the film a great deal less than the sum of it's parts. It's pretty lacking in tension and Bond does hardly anything throughout. Some of the actings pretty ropey too and if you think about it there's hardly any action. I also loath the Bond/Pussy Galore seduction scene,it seems more like rape to me and the implications are rather horrid. Still,it's a Bond film,and though I've slagged it off I do still enjoy it,Connery is as great as ever,odjob andt he Aston Martin deserve their fame and the Fort Knox climax is still hairaising. ,I do enjoy it,but I've never understood why it's the most popular 007 film.

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Post #: 20
RE: My Bond marathon! Thunderball (p1) - 24/5/2009 2:51:28 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4038
Joined: 19/10/2005
Agree with you about Mr Kiss Kis Bang Bang,it's a great song for Bond and much better than it's replacement Thunderball!

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Post #: 21
RE: My Bond marathon! Thunderball (p1) - 24/5/2009 2:58:10 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
Yep, MKKBB is a fantastic song.
Obviously, I disagree about Goldfinger. Yes, the seduction of Pussy Galore is a bit shocking, but it's fine considering how much animal magnetism Connery really had. Even Blackman herself said in an interview: "...and then she succumbs to Sean. Well, who wouldn't". And while Bond doesn't do much, Froebe is such a great villain it doesn't matter. For what it's worth, From Russia With Love to Thunderball is my Bond top 3 by far.
Besides, the Fort Knox finale has more tension than most other Bond films together.

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jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

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if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

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Post #: 22
On Her Majesty's Secret Service - 28/6/2009 7:09:09 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
“Moneypenny, what would I do without you?”


On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969, Hunt)
***spoilers***
This film remains largely unknown outside of the Bond fandom. If you would ask a random person on the street to name some actors to have played Bond, they'll know Craig, Brosnan, Connery, probably Moore, maaaybe Dalton. Lazenby? Who is that?
But since when does fame determine the quality of a movie?
Majesty's is very beloved amongst hardcore Bond-fans (a Bond fan forum I frequent ranks it 2nd in their consensus, behind From Russia With Love), and it is easy to see why.
OHMSS is the most romantic Bond film, there's no doubt about it. Diana Rigg plays one of the most beautiful Bond girls, and she could act, too.
Many people lament the absence of Connery in the film. I'm kinda ambivalent here. Connery is by far my favourite Bond actor, but he was visibly bored in You Only Live Twice (who wouldn't, that's where Bond, for better or worse, became a truly excessive farce [I still love it, but that's yet to come]), and Lazenby certainly had almost everything that was required for the job. Lazenby was a martial arts instructor for the Australian Special Forces, expert swimmer, skier, he was the closest actor to James Bond in real life. This is evident in the fighting scenes (reportedly Lazenby broke the stuntman's nose in one of them), but even outside them Lazenby showed some natural charm. There was only one problem: he wasn't an actor. He was a male model. Some people will claim acting isn't a prerequisite for Bond films (which would explain the hate for Dalton among them), but as much as this would be true for a film like You Only Live Twice (and the funny thing is that Connery was indeed an excellent actor, just didn't bother to show it in the film), Majesty's is perhaps the Bond film (and novel, too) which required great (or at least decent) acting the most. Funnily enough, the producers saw Lazenby's potential (which I'm convinced he had, but potential doesn't equal skills) and offered him a 7-film-contract despite him behaving like a total prick on the set. Lazenby declined because his agent thought there was no future in Bond. Since then he was reduced to roles in Hong Kong and softcore films. A shame, since the ending had the whole audience totally silent, and while the novel is still more effective IMO, Lazenby's acting is great. Same with fighting scenes, they show a lot of missed potential, as the horrible editing leaves QOS's action seem as well edited as the shower scene in Psycho.
Let's return to the film, however. Majesty's has quite a few things going for it, apart from Rigg.
First of all, I'd like to mention its glorious use of locations and fantastic set designs. Piz Gloria is up there with the best sets ever (any work Adam did on Bond is fantastic and OHMSS is in his top 3 for sure) and it was amazing to see the helicopter scene on the big screen.
Secondly, the cast around Lazenby is very solid. While I don't consider Savalas a particularly memorable villain, him and Bunt make a pretty funky evil team. Ferzetti is better in Once Upon A Time In The West but is also quite great here even if his character's tirade about how Tracy needs a man whom she can obey caused quite a few unintended chuckles in the cinema. Lee's performance here is one of franchise's all-time best, and Maxwell is fantastic as well.
Many fans like On Her Majesty's Secret Service, because it's a down-to-earth film, particularly when compared to its predecessor (same with Casino Royale and For Your Eyes Only, but I really dislike these two). There are almost no gadgets and while the villain plot is a bit excessive, it's one of the better plots in the series. Again, I'm ambivalent on the Angels of Death. They were in the novel as well, but I agree with those who say that Bond sleeping with 2 (probably 3) of them after confessing his love for Tracy is stupid.
So far, the review has described the film as good. What makes it a great Bond film (though not quite in the league of Connery's best) is the score. It's not only in my top 3 Bond scores (number 1 sometimes) but also in my all-time top 10. Barry really outdid himself there. The Piz Gloria battle is probably my favourite scene, both action-wise and music-wise. Add an Armstrong song to that and you get total success.
However great the experience of watching this on the big screen was, I cringed my way through Lisbon scenes, not only was Lazenby outacted there, but everyone else did a bad job as well. Add to that the stupid falling-in-love-montage and it is understandable why the 2nd half is so much better than the first. Overall, 8.5/10

< Message edited by Miles Messervy 007 -- 28/6/2009 7:11:14 PM >


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jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

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Post #: 23
RE: My Bond marathon! Thunderball (p1) - 28/6/2009 8:53:33 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009

Ranking of films so far:
1. Goldfinger
2. Thunderball
3. Dr. No
4. On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Ranking of Bond performances so far:
1. Thunderball
2. Goldfinger
3. Dr. No
4. On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Ranking of Bond villains/henchmen/femme fatales so far:
1. Goldfinger
2. Number 1
3. Fiona Volpe
4. Doctor No
5. Emilio Largo
6. Professor Dent
7. Irma Bunt
8. Miss Taro
9. Blofeld
10. Vargas

Ranking of Bond girls so far:
1. Fiona Volpe
2. Domino Derval
3. Jill Masterson
4. Tracy
5. Sylvia Trench
6. Pussy Galore
7. Honey Ryder
8. Pat Fearing
9. Miss Taro
10. Nancy
11. Paula
12. Dink
13. Ruby
14. Tilly Masterson

Gunbarrel ranking:
1. Goldfinger
2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
3. Dr. No
4. Thunderball

Scores:
=1. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
=1. Goldfinger
2. Thunderball
3. Dr. No

Pre-title sequences:
1. Goldfinger
2. Thunderball
3. On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Songs:
1. Goldfinger
2. Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (written for Thunderball, unused)
3. On Her Majesty's Secret Service instrumental
4. Dr No theme (James Bond Theme)
5. We Have All The Time In The World
6. Thunderball
7. Underneath The Mango Tree

Allies:
1. Felix Leiter (Doctor No)
2. Draco
3. Felix Leiter (Goldfinger)
4. Quarrel
5. Campbell
6. Felix Leiter (Thunderball)

Other ideas for rankings? Let me know.


_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

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Post #: 24
On Her Majesty's Secret Service - 28/6/2009 9:05:53 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
Moonraker next though I'm getting the feeling I might just wrap this up 

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jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

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Post #: 25
RE: On Her Majesty's Secret Service - 28/6/2009 10:18:15 PM   
Lex Romero


Posts: 412
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: southampton
Aw try and stick with it man I enjoy reading them, considering going through the films in order some time soon myself. 

Agree about OHMSS soundtrack, it's fantastic.

Also I watched Goldeneye recently and discovered something - it's actually a bit rubbish and boring.  The plot takes forever to get going (50 minutes in before we have M doing the "this is your mission Bond" bit!) and the first half of the film is mostly quite plodding, and doesn't have much Bond screen time, instead spreading it among the (too big imo) cast. 


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Post #: 26
RE: On Her Majesty's Secret Service - 28/6/2009 10:22:16 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
At least I have one fan  Cheers. I find Goldeneye overrated but it's still better than the other Campbell film IMO.
I am watching Moonraker and Octopussy soon, maybe I'll just roll non-stop from there.


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jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

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Post #: 27
RE: On Her Majesty's Secret Service - 28/6/2009 10:26:09 PM   
Lex Romero


Posts: 412
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: southampton
I think you'll have more people checking it out if there's some consistency in when you post a Bond review. ¬_¬

Octopussy is one I can barely remember anything about, but I do remember that I hated it heh.  And moonraker is fun in a "oh jesus christ what has Bond become?!" way.


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Post #: 28
RE: On Her Majesty's Secret Service - 28/6/2009 10:27:08 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
I just got back from seeing this at the cinema (awesomeness!) and think it's a severely underrated film. Take away the marriage subplot (and definitely the cringe-worthily bad wedding at the end) and you've got easily one of the top three films in the series. As it stands, it sits comfortably in the top half.

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Post #: 29
RE: On Her Majesty's Secret Service - 28/6/2009 10:30:46 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
What do you mean, take away the marriage subplot? That's the heart and soul of Majesty's, read the novel. I agree that it's top half Bond film though. I see you yourself have been watching quite a few Bond films lately, so I hope you'll keep reading
Lex, yeah, I've been slacking, but now I think it'll go smoother seeing as I'm on holidays. Moonraker is one of my favourites, in a guilty pleasure kind of a way. It's been ages since I've last seen Octopussy, but I remember liking it.


_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

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Post #: 30
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