Moonraker : appreciation or hate?

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  • Posts: 5,634
    Here's why Moonraker is such a good Bond release, no matter what nobody says -


    #1 It has an outstanding Pre Credits Sequence

    #2 The background score at times fits the sequences perfectly, haunting and atmospheric, almost perfect at times

    #3 It has the G-force simulator sequence

    #4 It has Bond getting in a tangle with a giant snake in a rock pool

    #5 It has Michael Lonsdale, who gives some of the best lines of any character in the whole of the series

    #6 It has Corrine Clery, such an intelligent and beautiful actress

    #7 It has double taking pigeons

    #8 It has Drax taking 'One giant step for Mankind'

    #9 It has a worthwhile pheasant shooting scene

    #10 The wrist dart gadget wasn't a bad idea

    #11 Bassey does an adequate job with the music, better than Goldfinger or Diamonds even

    #12 The actual launching into space for the first time is actually very well done and believable, quite an epic set of sequences, amid all the overall nonsense of it (James Bond goes into space)

    #13 Q gives us one of the most famous lines in the history of James Bond

    #14 It was the great Bernard Lee's last appearance as M

    #15 It has some stunning shots of Rio De Janeiro

    #16 It has some good views of Venice, Italy

    #17 Bond gets to talk an array of different languages

    #18 We hear the theme from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

    #19 There is genuine humor to be had

    #20 Whatever your age, - men, women, young and old will find it a good watch

    that's about the size of it
  • Lancaster007Lancaster007 Shrublands Health Clinic, England
    Posts: 1,874
    Apparently MoonRaker is a good film because we hear the theme from Close Encounter of T3K?
  • edited May 2012 Posts: 1,066
    Connery :

    Dr No 5/6
    FRWL 6/6
    GF 4.5/6 (imo it gets too much praise)
    TB 5/6 (underwater scenes can drag at times , still classic 007 though)
    YOLT 4.5/6
    DAF 3/6 (unfortunately last time I watched it I felt cheated after OHMSS......but if you're in the mood for OTT shenanigans you might get a chuckle out of it. It should've been a serious revenge thriller though)

    Moore :

    LALD 4/6 (more about action than plot , still I kinda dig it)
    TMWTGG 1/6 (this , TWINE & DAD I watch the least)
    TSWLM 5/6 (really not the best plot but it's so damn stylish lol)
    MR 4/6 (despite the sillyness I kinda enjoy it)
    FYEO 5/6 (imo this could very well be Moores best acting as 007)
    OP 5/6
    AVTAK 4.5/6 (I think it's all right , Walken and the realistic plot helps imo)

    Even though I feel Conners era was superior I still enjoy Moores era.
  • edited May 2012 Posts: 7,303
    Apparently MoonRaker is a good film because we hear the theme from Close Encounter of T3K?

    Apparently you have no real argument and instead you mock people that actually try.

    O:-)
  • Lancaster007Lancaster007 Shrublands Health Clinic, England
    Posts: 1,874
    SaintMark wrote:
    Apparently MoonRaker is a good film because we hear the theme from Close Encounter of T3K?

    Apparently you have no real argument and instead you mock people that actually try.

    O:-)

    Sorry, but things that make a good film for me are, plot, character, acting, suspense, I don't consider double-taking pigeons and lifting a five note sequence from another film things that make it good. Some of the effects in MR are good, and still hold up today, the rubber snake does not! Jaws becoming friends with Bond is total tosh (as is his escape at the end of TSWLM, this really was a let down for me which at the time - aged 16 - was probably my favourite Bond, the shark really should have finished off Jaws).
    You like MR, you prefer Moore to all other Bonds - that's cool, that's your choice and no-one should make you change that. My favourite is Dalton, closely followed by Connery. We all like different things, and long may it be that way, for it would be boring if we all liked the same - plus there'd be no point in having these forums! We are all here because we love Bond and we will all keep watching. Bond is Best - whoever he is: Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan or Craig. Long live Bond.
  • Posts: 7,303
    SaintMark wrote:
    Apparently MoonRaker is a good film because we hear the theme from Close Encounter of T3K?

    Apparently you have no real argument and instead you mock people that actually try.

    O:-)

    Sorry, but things that make a good film for me are, plot, character, acting, suspense, I don't consider double-taking pigeons and lifting a five note sequence from another film things that make it good. Some of the effects in MR are good, and still hold up today, the rubber snake does not! Jaws becoming friends with Bond is total tosh (as is his escape at the end of TSWLM, this really was a let down for me which at the time - aged 16 - was probably my favourite Bond, the shark really should have finished off Jaws).
    You like MR, you prefer Moore to all other Bonds - that's cool, that's your choice and no-one should make you change that. My favourite is Dalton, closely followed by Connery. We all like different things, and long may it be that way, for it would be boring if we all liked the same - plus there'd be no point in having these forums! We are all here because we love Bond and we will all keep watching. Bond is Best - whoever he is: Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan or Craig. Long live Bond.

    You see how easy it is. O:-)

    Each to his own indeed. that said I found the Jaws vs Jaws at the end of TSWLM very fitting. And Jaws turned out to be a smart baddie who knew which side to be on in order to survive Drax & Co. I do not think he was friends with 007 but found he had similar interests.
    And in such a movie like MR recognizing some greatness in recognisable scifi is rather fitting for this particular adventure.

  • Posts: 1,066
    LOL , Drax looks like Black Adder *chuckles*
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,925
    I enjoy Moonraker no matter how over the top it is. It has a lot of great redeeming factors. I ignore the bad stuff because I enjoy the good. I love the Space Laser Battle, Hard to believe how good and awesome it looked for 1979. John Barry's score is also a big redeeming factor, too bad the best parts are lost and not included on the soundtrack itself. In short I Appreciate Moonraker! :)
  • Posts: 5,634
    It's in my top five of all the James Bond releases actually. I can see why it gets ripped to shreds by some viewers, it is an easy target, and the journey into space at the end with Bond is absurd in itself, but there's so much to get involved in, there's hardly a dull moment, an essential part of any film for me. Yes it may be silly in the extreme sometimes, but it's a movie for all ages, and just simply is a very good watch, one of my favorite Bond releases without question, only spoiled by the aforementioned nonsense Space expedition, Lois Chiles awful Goodhead, too much emphasis on ill advised humor and Moore going from the serious to flippant in one shot to the next. Will watch again for sure when time allows it. I saw a lot of good movies in 1979, it was a good year for film, and this was one of them. I don't care if people berate it, still a good watch for me
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    Its very easy to slag off the space scenes but the fact is MR really has no other option but to go into space.

    It would be a total cop out on the part of the filmmakers if they did anything else. A scrap in the launch base would simply be YOLT again and Lewis Gilbert had already remade YOLT with the previous film.

    Also the public have seen Star Wars a couple of years earlier, the space shuttle programme is just about to launch so they are gagging for anything space related. Had MR not gone into space then there would be a lot of people coming out of the cinema saying it was the same as TSWLM and feeling short changed.

    Also it showed a lot of bottle from Cubby to go toe to toe with Star Wars after Lucas had redefined special effects and I think the scenes of the shuttles launching stands up against anything in Star Wars.

    MR is an over the top Rog romp at its finest and so therefore has no option to end up in space.

    'Other films promise you the moon - Moonraker delivers.' Cubbys maxim of every penny up on the screen at its finest. Whatever your opinion MR is a superlative example of blockbuster popcorn entertainment.

    I'm as die hard a Fleming purist as the next man but if you cant sit down and enjoy MR for all its faults then you really must be someone I really hope I never get stuck in a lift with.
  • Posts: 5,634
    They did say at the time I remember 'This is not so much Science Fiction, but Science Fact'

    I do enjoy Moonraker, but simply given the choice, wish they had stayed on the ground. I haven't read all the novel, but know this never happened in the book. Yes, it was a blatant cash in on the Star Wars theme of the time, Fleming may not have approved of having his creation doing laser battles in the heavens, it was simply to compete or replicate of the boom of the time and to put butts on seats, and it didn't disappoint. Each time I watch it I can't help but feel a bit irritated at seeing James Bond blasting off into the stratosphere, knowing full well it wasn't that far back when Bond was keeping his feet on the ground, and going about his business in a plausible and professional manner (Connery), but it was after all, for above all else, entertainment purposes. The idea that Fleming may have hated it, or it was just damn outright inappropriate seems to matter little. All about the big bucks for some rather than common sense or tradition.. :-<
  • There is a moment in the film that i get chills down my spine, its the scene just after bond uses the floating mines from his q speedboat to destroy a drax boat and 007 theme plays and there is long shot of bond being chased by two drax speed boats.
    just love that moment
  • Major_BoothroydMajor_Boothroyd Republic of Isthmus
    Posts: 2,672
    I always disliked Moonraker the most but I actually have recently discovered a new appreciation for it. Particularly the first hour of the film. It has one my favourite bond sequences. Bond shooting the assassin followed by Corrine's death. I love this sequence - in fact Lewis Gilbert has a couple of great moments throughout the series like this where a scene is elevated beyond good bond into flat out great cinema (the other is the majestic birds eye view of the rooftop fight in YOLT) the death by hounds is like a European horror film. The way it is lit and lensed is beautiful and the pull up to the sunlight peeking through the forest trees, with the church bell chime ringing as we are spared the sight of the poor woman's mauling is exquisite.

    Moore is on great form on this film. In fact probably one of my three favourite of his 007 appearances (TSWLM is up there and FYEO not far off). His silent refusal of Holly's help after the centrifugal sabotage really stands out. His fight with Chang in the glass factory is great and both his chemistry with Holly and his sparring with Drax is classic Moore.

    Drax is also my favourite Moore era villain. (Scaramanga and Zorin a close second).
    Drax's death is memorable and ive always liked the exchange 'Desolated Mr Bond.' *dart shoot hits Drax* 'Heartbroken Mr Drax.'

    Holly is a far better Bond girl than the overrated XXX in TSWLM. And Lois chiles a better actress than barbara Bach.

    And on a silly note It has the classic Q line 'he's attempting re-entry!'

    Moonraker really only fatally falls down with the humanising of Jaws and the ridiculousness of the space scenes. A big part of the story but in actual screen time it's less than half an hour. so aside from that and the gondola sequence and lame anaconda fight it's actually a very well shot, pretty well acted, cohesive story with some real stand out Bond moments. I'm always surprised by the MWTGG love on this forum - for me that's the worst and I'd put DAD and DAF down there with it. Hell, I'll even go out on a limb and say that I prefer MR to OP! Which is a real turn around because i had such dislike for MR for so long.
  • I loved Moonraker! It was the highest grossing Bond film at the time. (Until 1995's Goldeneye) I don't understand why it gets so much hate? Sir Roger Moore always gives a great performance as James Bond. I also enjoyed Lois Chiles performance as Dr. Holly Goodhead. And Michael Lonsdale & Richard Kiel were great as Bond villians. (Despite some fans saying Jaws was a bad character) Plus, it's the first Bond film to involve outer space.
  • Moonraker messed up with Brazil's geography, created one of the creepiest Carnavals ever and gave people the idea that all we want to do all day is to dance, but... It made me laugh like no other Bond movie. The score is unbelievable beautiful and reminded me why John Barry will always be the best. It could be worse but it's enjoyable (much more enjoyable than DAD) and that's enough for me.
  • Samba is as important to people in Brazil as soccer

    But some of the location filming was quite spectacular. It has the best background scores of any other Bond movie I truly feel. (for example, Corrine with Drax dobermans, free fall sequence at the very beginning, the discovery of the Drax spacestation and the speedboat chase), which was NOT the traditional Bond theme as one above reply put it, but the very same theme from From Russia With Love with an almost identical sequence with Bond being chased by enemy boats

    Strange how Bond's cyanide tipped wrist darts appear at the very end of the movie, despite being lost throughout since the G-Force simulator sequence, right up until that moment. 'Where did they come from'. Sure that Bond wasn't equipped when he took off into space with Goodhead before that, but we'll let it lie

    But minor issues aside, it's a very good Bond release and on the edge or thereabouts of my top five favorite Bond movies of the series
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 17,604
    Reviving this thread because I watched MR today and I must admit, I still love this film. I agree that it plays like video games even before that kind of video games was released, but I hardly call it dull. I'm most of all fond of the wonderful atmosphere (even when we're no longer in it. ;-)) Barry's score is heaven, some shots are amazing and the special effects work is stunning. I'm smart enough to realise it is a guilty pleasure, but it's a pleasure all the same. It helps that I was a very young boy when I first watched MR and I am prone to nostalgia. ;-)
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,925
    DarthDimi wrote:
    Reviving this thread because I watched MR today and I must admit, I still love this film. I agree that it plays like video games even before that kind of video games was released, but I hardly call it dull. I'm most of all fond of the wonderful atmosphere (even when we're no longer in it. ;-)) Barry's score is heaven, some shots are amazing and the special effects work is stunning. I'm smart enough to realise it is a guilty pleasure, but it's a pleasure all the same. It helps that I was a very young boy when I first watched MR and I am prone to nostalgia. ;-)

    Here Here @DarthDimi! Moonraker is also one of my favorite Guilty Pleasure Bond films. ;)
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 17,604
    It's like this, @Murdock. My brain tells me it really isn't a good Bond film but my heart tells my brain to shut it while watching MR. From the moment the OT appear, I'm in love. I really do owe it all to Barry. Can't imagine that MR would have had the same effect on me without his score. :-)
  • As my hilarious originals cohort @BeatlesSansEarmuffs recently opined, dropping acid or some other type of hallucinogenic drug might be the only way I could enjoy the film overall save 2-3 scenes.

    Barry is his usual magnificent self here, probably why I listen to that far more than once a year in comparison.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,925
    Indeed. It's a gem of it's time. You can't have Serious Bond all the time, that gets boring. Same with Over the top Bond. It's good to Balance the act every generation. Moonraker was a "Fun OTT" Bond. The space scenes don't bother me as it was done reasonably well and only part of the last 15 to 20 minutes of the film. This is why I respect every Bond film. It's part of the times and it shows. And Agreed about Barry's score. It increases the viewing pleasure as well. Even though this is a rerecording, This particular piece of music always makes me feel wonderful.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 15,989
    Are you guys gonna make me finally get a DVD copy of this to watch?
    *resists with all might*
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,925
    chrisisall wrote:
    Are you guys gonna make me finally get a DVD copy of this to watch?
    *resists with all might*
    Come on @chrisisall. :) It might inspire you to build a Moonraker shuttle model. ;)
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 15,989
    No thanks, I already made an Armageddon Freedom shuttle (from scratch mostly):

    SANY4680.jpg

    That was work enough.


  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,925
    chrisisall wrote:
    No thanks, I already made an Armageddon Freedom shuttle (from scratch mostly):

    SANY4680.jpg

    That was work enough.


    Well that's just as nice. ;)
  • Posts: 1,052
    I guess the one thing MR ensured is that Bond will never go into space again and a pigeon will never get another cameo.
  • I used to really dislike Moonraker, but I watched it for the first time in years when I did my run through the Blu-rays last year and to be honest it was by far and away the entry that improved most compared to my original opinions.

    It still has probably the most cringe-worthy moments of terribleness from the entire series (the Bondola, Jaws falling in love, eugh), but at the same time it also had a LOT of really awesome things going on in between the crap. Michael Lonsdale was great as Drax, I loved the mild-mannered menace he exuded. The scene where Corrine is mauled to death by dogs was beautifully shot and quite harrowing, the locations were awesome, and no matter how daft it was for Bond to go into space, I thought the actual sequence where he goes into orbit was incredibly well done, helped in no small part by John Barry's haunting score and some superb model effects that still stand up today.

    There was some neat dialogue too. Bond's quip of, "Bang on time" always gets me sniggering, and how can you not love, "I think he's attempting re-entry, sir." Probably the best double-entendre ever.

    It's still a very uneven film, and certainly not among the best in the franchise, but I really enjoyed watching it again and was pleasantly surprised by how good it is in places.
  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    Posts: 6,897
    LeighBurne wrote:
    I used to really dislike Moonraker, but I watched it for the first time in years when I did my run through the Blu-rays last year and to be honest it was by far and away the entry that improved most compared to my original opinions.

    It still has probably the most cringe-worthy moments of terribleness from the entire series (the Bondola, Jaws falling in love, eugh), but at the same time it also had a LOT of really awesome things going on in between the crap. Michael Lonsdale was great as Drax, I loved the mild-mannered menace he exuded. The scene where Corrine is mauled to death by dogs was beautifully shot and quite harrowing, the locations were awesome, and no matter how daft it was for Bond to go into space, I thought the actual sequence where he goes into orbit was incredibly well done, helped in no small part by John Barry's haunting score and some superb model effects that still stand up today.

    There was some neat dialogue too. Bond's quip of, "Bang on time" always gets me sniggering, and how can you not love, "I think he's attempting re-entry, sir." Probably the best double-entendre ever.

    It's still a very uneven film, and certainly not among the best in the franchise, but I really enjoyed watching it again and was pleasantly surprised by how good it is in places.
    Great post @LeighBurne! MR does indeed have some fine moments and gets unfairly chastised in my opinion. It does have it's fair share of eye rolling moments also but it's not the worst film in the franchise that so many make it out to be. Great to see some appreciation for Lonsdale as well as hardly anyone here agrees with me with that one.
  • ThunderballThunderball playing Chemin de Fer in a casino, downing Vespers
    Posts: 438
    I guess I have to stick out like a sore thumb, because I don't like Moonraker at all. Used to be my least favorite Bond movie until I saw the disaster that is Die Another Day. There are a few good action pieces here and there and the PTS is pretty damn good, but overall, I just can't get into it. The last 20 minutes or so is especially ridiculous.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 15,989
    Jaws makes it really hard for me to enjoy it. I can even deal with Bond in space, but Jaws...
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