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Archive for the ‘Roger Moore’ Category

Octopussy (1983)

Posted by nedev18 on March 30, 2008

OctopussyReleased (US): June 10, 1983
Genre: Action/Adventure
Length: 131 Min.
Director: John Glen
       George MacDonald Fraser
       Richard Maibaum
       Michael G. Wilson
Major Cast Members:
Roger Moore – James Bond
       Maud Adams – Octopussy
       Louis Jordan – Kamal Khan
       Kabir Bedi – Gobinda
       Steven Berkoff – General Orlov
Golden Screen Award (Germany)
       Golden Reel Award – Best Sound Editing for a Foreign Feature (Sound Effects)
Budget: $35,000,000
Box Office: $187,500,000

Plot Overview:In what started as an attempt to stop a jewel smuggling ring, James Bond tracks Kamal Khan to India. However, things become interesting when the Russian General Orlov becomes involved with the plot. Bond meets up with the beautiful Octopussy, the head of an international circus troup, to find out more. Eventually, Bond tracks down Orlov and discovers his real plan to detonate a nuclear device in a US Air Force base in Germany, using one of Octopussy’s circus’ as a cover. Bond must now track down the bomb and convince the base general to halt the circus before the bomb goes off.

Did you know?: Maud Adams, who played the part of Octopussy, appeared in a previous James Bond film. She was killed off in The Man with the Golden Gun, made in 1974.

Kamal Khan (Louis Jordan)Review: The Bond series is in some sort of rut. Ever since Sean Connery departed for good (after Diamonds are Forever), the series has struggled greatly to get back above the average level. In the latest installment (Roger Moore’s sixth as 007), the series certainly escapes this rut, just not in the way they were hoping to.

What ultimately doomed this one was that this has to be one of, if not the, poorest Roger Moore showing so far. The charm was lost, the one-liners were sub-par, and the overall portrayal of James Bond in this one is just downright disappointing. It feels like the series needs a change of scenery, like the product is starting to become stale. That was one thing that Sean Connery did well, he never got old. Moore, on the other hand, is beginning to become redundant and over used. It feels like we have seen this same act before. Of course we have, but the goal is to make the audience believe that they haven’t.

The rest of the cast was below average as well. The best villain, General Orlov (Steven Berkoff) has the smallest role amongst the three primary villains, and that is too bad, considering that he is the best of the three. Gobinda (Kabir Bedi) feels like a Jaws wannabe, and it doesn’t work. Kamal Khan seems too business like and stuck up to be anywhere near a plot to destroy a military base, and he just doesn’t come across as a villain you would see in a Bond movie. He would fit the role of a pompous businessman, which doesn’t really make for exciting viewing in the context of Bond feature.

What saves the cast from pure mediocrity is Maud Adams as the sensuous Octopussy. One of the better Bond girls yet, Adams puts on a great performance. She is sly enough to be involved in a jewel smuggling ring, but her standards are high enough to want to halt any loss of innocent life. Adams fits the role, and it shows, as she is the lone bright spot in the cast.

Overall, the script followed the same sort of format that the cast did; primarily sluggish and mediocre with a bright spot or two. For the most part, the film drags, and it is difficult for the viewer to remain engaged and interested in the movie. The action scenes are, in general, slightly ridiculous and unrealistic. Slightly actually might be too kind, as James Bond is able to box a plane up in a small horse trailer, was able to fight Gobinda and win outside of a plane 35,000 feet up, etc. The ending was not satisfying at all, with the main villain dying not because of a blow from Bond, but because he wasn’t able to control a plane. In fact, I cannot remember fully the ending because of how uninteresting it was.

Octopussy (Maud Adams)There was a fairly interesting car chase about midway through this film, but it is difficult to recall another moment or sequence in Octopussy where the action and suspense even came close to gripping you. This is one of the few movies that I have seen where I found myself checking the time left on the movie, wondering when it was going to end.

A huge step backwards for the Bond franchise, Octopussy loses any ground that it the Roger Moore era had gained in other episodes of the Bond film. Largely disappointing, Octopussy can wallow with the likes of Live and Let Die as one of the worst Bond episodes put together.

Final Grade: D+ (at least Live and Let Die had a good theme song…)

Other Reviews:
DVDTown: “…more than a bit silly compared to its immediate predecessor.”

Reel Views: “There’s a fine line between wit and absurdity, and this particular movie too often falls on the wrong side.”

DVD Verdict: “Though not Roger Moore or the franchise’s best installment (try For Your Eyes Only as Moore’s prime), Octopussy still delivers energy, action, and a feast for the eyes.” “…Octopussy isn’t just embarassing to say out loud, it’s also a nearly outright-dud for the Bond franchise….For completists only.”

Movie Vault: “Rita Coolidge sings the theme song “All Time High” in this action-driven exotic adventure of 007 that does live up to the song title.”

EFilm Critic: “With too little action, the majority of which is dull anyway, it falls back into routine and bad habits throughout. It also has the misfortune to be silly AND boring, which is something no Bond should ever be.”

TVGuide: “The only real excitement generated by Octopussy was whether it would beat Never Say Never Again, a rival Bond production starring Sean Connery, to the theaters in the summer of 1983.”

Watch (allow time to buffer):

Part 1
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Part 4


Posted in 007, Action/Adventure, Entertainment, James Bond, Maud Adams, Movie Review, Movie Reviews, Movies, Octopussy, Roger Moore | Leave a Comment »

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Posted by nedev18 on March 29, 2008

For Your Eyes OnlyReleased (US): June 26, 1981
Genre: Action/Adventure
Length: 127 Min.
Director: John Glen
Writer:Richard Maibaum & Michael G. Wilson
Major Cast Members:
Roger Moore – James Bond
       Carole Bouquet – Melina Havelock
       Julian Glover – Aristotle Kristatos
       Topol – Milos Columbo
       Lynn Holly Johnson – Bibi Dahl
ASCAP Award – Most Performed Feature Film Standards (Bill Conti)
       Golden Screen Award (Germany)
Budget: $28,000,000
Box Office: $195,300,000

Plot Overview: After a quick run in with an old friend, Bond is sent to recover the lost ATAC system, a computer that controls the entire English nuclear submarine fleet. If it were to fall into the wrong hands, the entire British Polaris fleet could be used to attack its own cities. In order to get it back, Bond must travel to the bottom of the ocean and find the St. George’s (the ship that was carrying it). Unfortunately, Bond will have competition from Aristotle Kristatos, a Greek working for the Russians. With the help of Melina Havelock and Milos Columbo, Bond must get the ATAC back before the Russians can get their hands on it.

Did you know?:The title song, “For Your Eyes Only,” by Sheena Easton, was ranked #8 in the UK and #4 in the US on the charts. It was also nominated for an Oscar.

Review: Roger Moore is back again for the twelfth installment of the Bond series, and, while he is better than past duds such as Moonraker and Live and Let Die, Moore still fails to deliver the goods that were abound in the Connery films. Of the Moore films, this one is better than some, but doesn’t quite reach the pinnacle, otherwise known as The Spy Who Loved Me.

To start, this was not one of the stronger casts that the makers of the Bond franchise has ever assembled. Moore (as usual) is solid, but is too light-hearted and comical to be considered a true James Bond character. He has some decent moments of humor in this one, but they somehow lack the same zing compared to the one-liners so masterfully delivered by Sean Connery.

James Bond (Roger Moore) and Bibi Dahl (Lynn Holly Johnson)Additionally, the Bond girls were weak here. Bibi Dahl (played by Lynn Holly Johnson) was a typical dumb blonde. A young woman training to become an Olympic figure skater, her young, flirty personality doesn’t work well with Bond. Her flirting scene in the hotel room is awkward at best, and she seems like an empty shell of a character that serves little purpose. Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet) is better, however, and saves this episode from having the worst Bond Girls in the franchise (up to this point). She is attractive and self-reliant, which is something that all Bond Girls should have, and something that Bibi is greatly lacking.

The criminals are solid in this movie, headlined by the Greek villain Aristotle Kristatos (Julian Glover). It is refreshing to have realistic bad guys return, as the Russians have hired Kristatos to go after the lost British ATAC device, a computer that can control the entire British submarine fleet. Kristatos is not the best Bond villain by any means, but he is deceiving (he nearly fools Bond into going after the wrong guy) and efficiant at his job, nearly accomplishing the Russian objectuve.

The plot is realistic as well, something that seems to be lacking in some of the more recent Bond adventures (Moonraker comes to mind). However, there are still some exciting moments to be had, such as the early car chase and the underwater fight scene towards the end of the movie. Just goes to show that you don’t need an outlandish, ridiculous plot to create excitement. Overall, the script was solid that paced itself well, but there were some holes, however, and the movie didn’t always keep up to speed.

For Your Eyes Only is a decent addition to the Bond movie series. Isn’t the best, but it is certainly not the worst by any means. Better Bond Girls and some slight plot tweaking was all that was really needed to raise this movie’s status a notch or two. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

Final Grade: B-

Other Reviews:
DVDTown: “Most of the outlandish silliness of a few other Bond issues is mercifully absent, replaced by a greater emphasis on believable thrills.”

Reel Views: “In the final analysis, For Your Eyes Only is a solid adventure, although it could have been better….By the end of the ’80s, Bond would be viewed as something of a relic, but at least the decade opened with an enjoyable outing.”

James Bond (Roger MooreDVD Verdict: “Perhaps the best entry in the Roger Moore era, For Your Eyes Only returns to a tougher, grittier Bond who saves the day but this time with very limited gadgets and some of the most amazing stunt sequences ever packed into a single movie.” “As unlikely an adventure as James Bond has ever taken, For Your Eyes Only is one of the better Roger Moore vehicles, thanks to a script that overflows with exotic locales and extreme adventures for our hero to undertake.”

Movie Vault: “The action sequences are entertaining, and sadly are the only good points.”

EFilm Critic: “…its rightful place as one of the best Bonds ever. After all it’s the best Sean Connery Bond that Sean Connnery never made.”

TVGuide: “The success of this picture (perhaps Moore’s best in the Bond series) can be attributed to the marvelous direction of Glen, who had previously worked as a second-unit director on earlier Bond movies.”

Watch (allow time to buffer):

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Posted in 007, Action/Adventure, Aristotle Kristatos, Entertainment, For Your Eyes Only, James Bond, Movie Review, Movie Reviews, Movies, Roger Moore | 2 Comments »

Moonraker (1979)

Posted by nedev18 on March 24, 2008

MoonrakerReleased (US): June 29, 1979
Genre: Action/Adventure
Length: 126 Min.
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Writer: Christopher Wood
Major Cast Members:
       Roger Moore – James Bond
       Lois Chiles – Dr. Holly Goodhead 
       Michael Lonsdale – Hugo Drax
       Richard Kiel – Jaws
       Bernard Lee – M
Golden Screen Award (Germany)
Budget: $34,000,000
Box Office: $210,300,000

Plot Overview:For the first time ever, James Bond goes into space. After a man named Hugo Drax hijacks a spaceship, 007 is sent to investigate. Bond eventually uncovers a plot to commit global genocide and to breed a new super race of humans. The center of operation is a space station, and that is where Bond must go to stop the evil plot.

Did you know?:Moonraker was Bernard Lee’s (M) final Bond film. The actor died during the pre-production of the following film For Your Eyes Only.

Review:After a surprisingly good performance in The Spy Who Loved Me, Roger Moore, and the Bond series, tumbled back down in a surprisingly poor production of the eleventh Bond film, Moonraker. There was potential, with Bond making his first venture into space, but it was never fulfilled. Moonraker certainly does not rank among the better Bond films.

Roger Moore was, again, solid in his fourth Bond film, but that’s all, solid. He didn’t improve on his last outing as 007, and he is still not approaching the Sean Connery level. Even though he is better than his first two attempts as the British spy, the viewer cannot look at Moore as Bond and not smirk a little. Moore is simply to light and humorous to be James Bond. The hardcutting tough guy attitude prevalent in all of Connery’s films are missing, therefor diluting the moments that are supposed to be witty and humorous.

Dr. Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles)The rest of the cast was a slight step down from The Spy Who Loved Me as well. Lois Chiles (Dr. Holly Goodhead) isn’t a great Bond Girl. Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale) is a decent villain, but he doesn’t seem to have a personality. He is like a stiff, expressionless man with evil intentions. It is difficult to recall any moments where Drax let out an evil laugh, tempted Bond, or showed any significant variation from his standard blank, cold demeanor. Jaws (Richard Kiel) returned which is nice.

As far as the plot goes, Moonraker left something to be desired. There weren’t many moments of truly exciting action or suspense, which caused the movie to drag a bit. Like some past editions of the Bond franchise, there was an unbelievable (in the classic sense of the term) fight towards the end, where astronauts from both sides got into a laser fight outside of a space station that couldn’t be picked up on radar. It was too out there, even for a Bond film.

Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale)

Another issue has to do with character development. Towards the end of the film, Bond is able to convince Jaws that Hugo Drax will eventually turn on him and kill him, thereby causing Jaws to immediately switch sides and fight with Bond. It almost seems like the two, in a matter of moments, have gone from hated enemies to great friends fighting alongside one another. First off, if the writers were going to do this, they should have spread the change out over time. There is no way the total ideology Jaws would have changed so quickly. Bond had, after all, tried to kill him many times. Secondly, it is almost disappointing when this happens. An epic battle between the two would have been much better. Bond and Jaws suddenly becoming friends is almost anticlimactic and does nothing for the movie.

As a whole, Moonraker was a disappointment. The potential was there, but it wasn’t fulfilled at all. Moonraker could have built on the better than expected The Spy Who Loved Me, but it didn’t, and the Bond series fell flat on its face.

Final Grade: C

Other Reviews:
DVDTown: “…one of the best of Moore’s Bond flicks, complemented by its exotic locales and outer-space motif.”

Reel Views: “As Roger Moore’s fourth Bond outing, and the eleventh film in the series, Moonraker is a satisfying followup to The Spy Who Loved Me.”

Bernard Lee (M) made his final appearance in Moonraker before he died.DVD Verdict: “Though not one of the best Bond films, Moonraker remains pleasing movie fare…” “Most rational observers agree that Moonraker is without a doubt the most absurd James Bond movie — definitely of the Roger Moore era and possibly of all time. And it’s exactly that ridiculousness that makes it so enjoyable.”

EFilm Critic: “Too cartoonish for it’s own good, the best you can say about is that it’s never boring. It is however frequently smug, silly and stupid.”

TVGuide: “…007 is less satisfying floating around in space than when his feet are more or less firmly planted on the ground.”

Watch (allow time to buffer):

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Posted in 007, Action/Adventure, Drax, Entertainment, James Bond, Moonraker, Movie Review, Movie Reviews, Movies, Roger Moore | Leave a Comment »

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Posted by nedev18 on March 21, 2008

The Spy Who Loved MeReleased (US): August 3, 1977
Genre: Action/Adventure
Length: 125 Min.
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Writer: Christopher Wood & Richard Maibaum
Major Cast Members:
       Roger Moore – James Bond
       Barbara Bach – Major Anya Amasova
       Curd Jürgens – Karl Stromberg
       Richard Kiel – Jaws
       Bernard Lee – M
ASCAP Award – Most Performed Feature Film Standards
       Golden Screen Award (Germany)
Budget: $14,000,000
Box Office: $185,400,000

Plot Overview: Several nuclear submarines disappeared and James Bond, along with Russian secret agent Major Anya Amasova, is sent to find them. Frequent encounters with villain Karl Stromberg and his henchman Jaws almost trip the two up, but they persevere. However, can they stop the nuclear subs in time before they destroy New York and Moscow? Bond must escape captivity and rescue Anya before it’s all over.

Did you know?: The Spy Who Loved Me is the only one of the Bond films to be produced in the same order as the book series. The tenth movie is also the tenth novel.

Review: Roger Moore returns for a third stint as James Bond 007, and, as always, third time’s a charm. The Spy Who Loved Me is the best of Moore’s first three Bond flicks. This still doesn’t mean that Moore has reached Connery level, but it at least indicates that the Bond series is not totally lost after a couple sub-par installations of the Bond series.

James Bond (Moore) and Jaws (Kiel)Thankfully, the world is threatened once again in a Bond movie. Specifically New York and Moscow, but that’s better than having personal revenge vendettas against Bond or a heroin dealer threatening to flood the market with drugs. Nuclear subs with an evil mastermind seems much more fitting for a Bond flick.

As far as the rest of the plot, it was definitely the best since the beginning of the Moore era. Enough action to keep it interesting, and the action scenes were good. The climactic ending on the ship was particularly well done. While not the most gripping or suspensful movie ever made, there was some tension throughout the movie that made it exciting. Jaws vs. Bond was great and prevalent throughout the movie, it almost seemed like Jaws was the real enemy at some points.

Absent from the previous film, some of the exciting stunts were back as well. Additionally, some of the funky gadgets started to insert themselves into the plotline. Most notably were the jet ski in a bag and the underwater car. They are without a doubt cool, and, although they are certainly more prevalent than some of the more recent Bond movies, they are not absorbing and controlling of the plot.

As far as the cast is concerned, this was probably the strongest of the first three Moore films. Moore himself was solid this time around. He still seems a little looser and more comical than Connery, but he was able to control that slightly better in The Spy Who Loved Me. He is improving a little with each film, and one can only hope that this trend continues in his coming films.

The supporting cast, featuring Barbara Bach as Major Anya Amasova and Curd Jürgens as Karl Stromberg, was strong as well. Bach was one of the better Bond Girls to date. She looked good, was strong, and could hold her own. Compared to Mary Goodnight in The Man With the Golden Gun, Major Anya is terrific. She just seems like the prototypical Bond Girl. Stromberg was a good villain, as his plot to destroy major cities was solid and he appeared to be a genuine villain. Not as good as Scaramanga, but still a solid overall contributor to the movie.

While not the best Bond movie, it is definitely a step forward when compared to the other Bond films featuring Roger Moore. Hopefully, Moore improves on the solid performance.

Final Grade: B

Major Anya Amasova (Bach)Other Reviews:
DVDTown: “…pulled Roger Moore from the shadow of his predecessor and established him as a bone fide Bond who had not yet fallen into self-parody.”

DVD Verdict: “What the movie does do, is move quickly with a great deal of style and panache. It contains all the action, wit, beautiful women, high quality special effects and exotic locations audiences have come to expect for almost 40 years. Along with For Your Eyes Only, The Spy Who Loved Me is Roger Moore’s best work as 007 and as such belongs on any serious action fan’s movie shelf.” “James Bond had his 10th outing in this epic affair, which ushered in the new era of Bond as not just over the top but rather way, way, way over it.”

Movie Vault: “The Roger Moore Bond series reached its pinnacle with The Spy Who Loved Me.”

EFilm Critic: “It may not be as gritty as From Russia With Love or as grand as Goldfinger but The Spy Who Loved Me remains the definitive Moore Bond. Cocky, big and thrilling (oo-er!), Bond was back on firm ground and having the timeof his life.”

TVGuide: “As the Bond series moved deeper into the 1970s, the emphasis moved away from the inventive scripts that made the best Sean Connery films fine examples of the spy genre and toward the kind of feats of daring and visual spectacle that abound in The Spy Who Loved Me.”

Watch (allow time to buffer):

Part 1
Part 2

Posted in 007, Action/Adventure, Entertainment, James Bond, Karl Stromberg, Movie Review, Movie Reviews, Movies, Roger Moore, The Spy Who Loved Me | Leave a Comment »

The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)

Posted by nedev18 on March 20, 2008

The Man With the Golden GunReleased (US): December 20, 1974
Genre: Action/Adventure
Length: 125 Min.
Director: Guy Hamilton
Writer:Richard Maibaum & Tom Mankiewicz
Major Cast Members:
       Roger Moore – James Bond
       Christopher Lee – Francisco Scaramanga
       Britt Ekland – Mary Goodnight
       Hervé Villechaize – Nick Nack
       Richard Loo – Hai Fat
Golden Screen Award (Germany)
Budget: $7,000,000
Box Office: $97,600,000

Plot Overview:After a golden bullet is sent to M with ‘007’ etched into it, Bond is pulled off his current case until the matter can be resolved. Naturally, James Bond wants to find the culprit himself, and departs to try and solve the mystery himself. With the ‘help’ of Mary Goodnight, Bond comes into contact with the worlds’ most expensive assassin, Francisco Scaramanga, a man who carries a golden gun that uses the same golden bullets. Bond is lured onto Scaramanga’s secret island, and must fight to save his life, and Mrs. Goodnight’s.

Did you know?:Christopher Lee, who plays Scaramanga in the film, is the cousin of the author Ian Flemming, the man who penned the James Bond novels. Lee was also originally going to get the role as Dr. No in the first Bond movie.

Review:Back for seconds, Roger Moore improved as James Bond 007 in comparison to his debut in Live and Let Die. Still, The Man With the Golden Gun is sub-par when compared with the 007 entries Goldfinger, Thunderball, and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

As stated before, Roger Moore improved in his second stint as James Bond. Still,  Moore does not have the same charisma and charm that Sean Connery possessed. Instead, Moore offers a more lighthearted Bond that doesn’t seem quite as serious. Unfortunately, this is not always good when an actor is playing the role of 007. While Connery does certainly have his lighter moments and zippy one liners, Moore can’t seem to turn that mode off. When he is face to face with the villain, it still seems like he is talking with Moneypenny or Q back in England.

Mary Goodnight (Bekland) in The Man With the Golden Gun.The rest of the cast is solid, but not spectacular. Mary Goodnight (played by Britt Ekland) is attractive, but she doesn’t seem like a great Bond Girl. A good Bond Girl is attractive, but can also be resourceful and effective when on a mission with Bond. Goodnight seems almost ditzy and cumbersome. She almost gets Bond killed, gets herself captured, and overall just comes off as the typical blonde you hear about in jokes. She is pretty much all look and little substance.

That being said, Francisco Scaramanga (played by Christopher Lee) is an excellent villain, one of the best so far. He’s evil, deceitful, and easy to dislike, but, at the same time, is smooth and charismatic just like Bond. The perfect villain. His sidekick, Nick Nack (played by Hervé Villechaize), isn’t bad either.

As far as the plot goes, The Man With the Golden Gun is much improved after Live and Let Die. Where the latter seemed very un-Bond and felt like it belonged in an Indiana Jones movie, this one feels much more natural. Flashy action, exquisite location, etc. It was all there, all the ingredients to make a solid Bond film. Still, one flaw is that the plot revolves around the villain wanting to simply kill Bond. These movies are definitely better when the whole world is at risk and then Bond comes in and saves the world. There is the small device that could solve the world energy crisis, but that is more of a convenience than an item that endangers the worlds’ well being.

All in all, an improvement over Moore’s first attempt at the 007 franchise, but it still falls short of the good Sean Connery films. One can only hope that the Bond series will pull itself out of this rut and reestablish itself…

Final Grade: B-

Francisco Scaramanga (Lee)Other Reviews:
Reel Views: “It’s about as far from Ian Fleming’s vision of the superspy as the filmed interpretations have ever gotten, but for those who expect light, totally-unbelievable escapism, this movie does its part.” “…The Man with the Golden Gun, which ranks as one of James Bond’s more absurd outings, involving a maniacal genius (Lee) who’s assassinating folks and has Bond next on his list.”

Movie Vault: “Sadly, nothing about The Man With the Golden Gun is memorable, save for Lee’s commanding performance, Ekland’s bikini-clad adventure, and Villechaize’s diminutive-oriented material.”

EFilm Critic: “One thing a Bond film should never be criticised for however, is being boring. And that’s the cardinal sin that The Man With the Golden Gun commits.”

TVGuide: “Screenwriters Maibaum and Mankiewicz attempted to downplay the gadgetry this time around, but their attempts at adding more humor hinder plot development. The film’s pace lags until the climactic finale.”

Watch (allow time to buffer):

Part 1
Part 2

Posted in 007, Action/Adventure, Golden Gun, James Bond, Movie Reviews, Movies, Roger Moore, Scaramanga, The Man With the Golden Gun | Leave a Comment »