Die Another Day – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: Lee Tamahori

Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Toby Stephens, Rosamund Pike, Rick Yune, John Cleese, Madonna, Michael Madsen, Samantha Bond, Judi Dench

Film matched beverage: Mojito

Synopsis: After being betrayed by a colleague, Bond is imprisoned and tortured for 14 months in a North Korean holding facility.   When MI6 is led to believe he is hemorrhaging information, they arrange a trade, but put him out to pasture as washed up.   Bond must track down the person who betrayed him to clear his name and exact revenge.

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The World is Not Enough – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: Michael Apted

Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards, Robbie Coltrane, John Cleese, Samantha Bond, Desmond Llewelyn, Judi Dench

Film matched beverage: Christmas Cookie Cocktail

Synopsis: MI6 is fooled into returning money to industrialist Robert King, money which ends up being the device used to murder the recipient,   Bond gets injured in pursuit of the henchman observing the hit, an injury which affects him while he attempts to protect Elektra King, whom he believes will be the next target of the terrorist behind the attack.   After all, she was formerly the kidnap victim of the same man, Renard.

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Tomorrow Never Dies – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: Roger Spottiswoode

Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Jonathon Pryce, Michelle Yeoh, Teri Hatcher, Ricky Jay, Gotz Otto, Joe Don Baker, Vincent Schiavelli, Samantha Bond, Desmond Llewelyn, Judi Dench

Film matched beverage: White chocolate martini (as everything in the news is black and white!!)

Synopsis: A media mogul has plans for world-wide broadcast privileges  but China refuses to allow him broadcast rights.   So he does what any sane entrepreneur would do and attempts to start a war between Britain and China, using stealth ships and stolen GPS encoding devices.   Naturally.

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GoldenEye – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: Martin Campbell

Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen, Joe Don Baker, Judi Dench, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Cumming, Samantha Bond, Desmond Llewelyn

Film matched beverage: Golden Cocktail

Synopsis: After the longest gap between Bond films since the franchise started, Brosnan begins his tenure as the ultra-cool British agent.   Bond tails the mysterious Xenia Onatopp following a chance encounter.   In doing so he stumbles upon a much larger plot.   A few twists later, and it turns out our new villain is not unfamiliar to Bond… Continue reading

30 Day Film Challenge Day 16 – A Film You Used to Love, But Now Hate

Film Nerd’s Choice: Moonraker

Review:

Director: Lewis Gilbert

Cast: Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Michael Lonsdale, Richard Kiel, Bernard Lee, Desmond Llewelyn, Lois Maxwell

Synopsis: This was not originally intended to be the film to follow the successful Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, the original plan being to release For Your Eyes Only.   However, the release and success of Star Wars changed all that, so they jumped to the story Ian Fleming novel Moonraker, entirely rewriting a cold war missile drama to be a space epic.   About the only similarity that the film has with the novel is the names of the characters.

 

I have selected this film as representative of the entire Roger Moore run of James Bond films.    As a child, my favourite James Bond was by far my favourite.   He was not only the Bond I was growing up with at the time, he was one that was overall just fun, outrageous, and over the top.   The more absurd the gadget or story, the more fun I had watching it.   So when you have a film with him running around in space shooting lasers while being chased by popular villain Jaws (Kiel), it was an absolute dream.

Not anymore however.   What has changed for me is that I have become a true student and aficionado of Ian Fleming’s Bond, having read all the original novels, and with time come to appreciate the true glory that peaks with Connery’s original portrayal and Craig’s current hard-edged approach.   In this style of Bond, Lazenby and Dalton were also quite adept, whereas Brosnan was the perfect meld of every interpretation of Bond up until that point.   Moore, however, was a comedian first and a man of action second.   His fight scenes have no real power or pace.  He is over-reliant on Q gadgets.    He also played the role for too long, so by A View To A Kill, he was certainly less convincing as the seductive secret agent type.

For Moonraker, he had not yet aged so poorly, but if there was a Bond film that jumped the shark, this was it.   Stretching reality to include space battles aside, the supporting players were also just not convincing.   Lonsdale’s Drax was little more than a passable villain, with none of the delightful swagger of a Blofeld, Carver, or Le Chiffre.   Lois Chiles’ performance as lead Bond girl left a lot to be desired, and it seems they were trying too hard for a double entendre for her name, opting for Holly Goodhead.   Even Kiel, whose performance itself was just as strong as it was in The Spy Who Loved Me, was let down, with a love story introduced that destroyed any menace the character once had.

To this day, I often marathon James Bond films from Dr. No through to now.   The Moore period however is often skipped over.

2 stars out of 5.

 

Moonraker on IMDB

Moonraker on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMTK5LHOMy8]