Tell us all about your BONDATHON

1838486888991

Comments

  • edited April 2020 Posts: 1,595
    I like each movie having some distinctiveness. Cinematographer choice I am more okay with because the collaboration between director and cinematographer is very involved, day in and day out.

    As for the composers, though, I totally agree. I like some sense of consistency. It's a matter of dodging too much sameyness, though, and I think having some aesthetic variation w/ cinematographers is a way to dance that line. I also like Arnold, and I think his Barry pastiche is fine, and he does enough to make it his own.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,395
    Though that core team, were pretty much near geniuses. Modern day, not so much.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,395
    True enough dear @Birdleson.
  • Posts: 1,595
    Definitely great points. Cinematographers did tend to change, but we had some brilliant minds at the core (Adam, Barry, Binder) that were quite consistent.
  • edited April 2020 Posts: 7,327
    I more or less adore Arnold's work on CR and QoS. I am not such a fan of his music for the Brosnan films though. I get the continuity argument, but the question is; who is the right man to bring this continuity?

    I am very excited to see what Zimmer will do with a Bond score. I don't think he is the best composer in the world on a purely technical level, but he is an extremely clever man and understands atmosphere and nostalgia more than anyone. He is also extremely good at adapting to the needs and expectations of each individual project he does. I am quite confident he will have understood the importance of respecting the Bond heritage and the Barryesque style. His take on this could potentialy turn out quite incredible!
  • Posts: 1,595
    I am very interested to see what Zimmer will bring. I need to go revisit Newman's scores, but I remember being pretty bored by his SP work, and I found it very much recycled.
  • Posts: 1,595
    Also, back on topic: I don’t think TWINE will ever be a middle to upper-middle Bond flick for me again after I sort of saw it with clear eyes. That said, positivity is always better than negativity, and I am pleasantly surprised by my response to this most recent viewing. There’s more to like here than I give it credit for, even if overall I don’t think it hits what it is going for.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e il momento che verrà
    edited April 2020 Posts: 5,712
    I've always had a soft spot for it, but it has fallen outside my top 10 recently. Still though I prefer it over TND. I'd rather take a well-intended shot at greatness than a by-the-numbers safe shot.

    Nevertheless, one major thing I have always disliked about TWINE is Renard. I just cannot stand the guy.
  • Posts: 1,595
    I greatly prefer TND for many reasons, despite that movie’s shortcomings. I actually find it, despite its thinness and level of camp and disinterest in strong thematic overtones, weirdly prescient as well.
  • Posts: 228
    Just finished Moonraker. Hadn't seen it for 2 years. It has moved-up in my rankings quite-a-bit. I would describe it as a very good film filled with awful moments:)
  • Posts: 4,279
    Just as i watch OHMSS every Christmas, I tend to view FYEO at Easter!! Only watched it recently and had a really good time with it! Gonna throw in QOS this weekend and possibly YOLT (mainly because I havent watched it in a while and its low in my rankings!), thats my Bondathon for this Bank Holiday!
  • Posts: 1,595
    STLCards3 wrote: »
    Just finished Moonraker. Hadn't seen it for 2 years. It has moved-up in my rankings quite-a-bit. I would describe it as a very good film filled with awful moments:)

    Every single time I watch it I realize just how good it is and how undeserved of its reputation it is. From a cinematic standpoint it is absolutely breathtaking.
  • edited April 2020 Posts: 1,595
    Today I’m watching an early Moore entry. Not sure which, yet. One of the Hamilton’s.

    Went with Live and Let Die

    I've been a big fan of this for a long time. For awhile it was my second favorite Moore entry. While I'm not sure where things stand with that nowadays, given that I'm only about 1/4 into a watch through of the entire series, I still hold a lot of love for it. I think much of that falls on the tremendously exciting, interesting, and unique cast of supporting characters, down even to the incredibly small, almost extra, level roles.

    The cab driver, the waiter at the New Orleans Fillet of Soul, Agent Strutter, the knife assassin, and the list goes on. So many minor characters make such strong impressions in the film, which really lets each scene breathe and feel alive in its own way. Of course, the *actual* supporting cast of characters is perhaps the best in the entire series. Yaphet Kotto's Dr. Kananga is an imposing and menacing presence, that constant simmer just below boiling point is conveyed by Kotto so well. Jane Seymour is perfectly cast as Solitaire, there's that constant mystery about her, the sense of something supernatural, long after she's lost her ability to read the cards and predict the future. Tee Hee has long been one of my favorite henchmen. He's charismatic, hilarious, menacing, somehow all at once. I love Whisper. I love Quarrel Jr. Hell, I even love Rosie Carver. Of course, Baron Samedi gives the film its wicked, unnatural edge. Delightful.

    Aside from the boat chase the film is perhaps a little lacking in terms of action, but it more than makes up for it in general intrigue and a strong sense of place (despite the fact that San Monique is fictional, it is still evocatively depicted). Ted Moore's cinematography is phenomenal, and the way he captures the color red throughout the film (or directly lights scenes with a red-drench) gives it a unique look. J.W. Pepper cracks me up, and fits into the blaxpoitation archetypes of the period (in terms of a hyperbolic rendering of white and black characters, more caricatures, that is). Oh, and the boat chase is an all-timer. Truly astounding and so much fun.

    Apologies for the rambled and jumbled thoughts, the general anxiety in the world these days has made it difficult to sit down and produce something well-thought out and insightful and well-written. Nonetheless, I loved LALD on this viewing. I've been ranking up various elements of the movies as I go as well, and I'm finding ranking Bond's performances -- particular in the Moore era -- to be extremely difficult, as I don't think he ever had a bad turn as the character. Trying to figure out how to assess his performances in particular has been a struggle. He's really quite good here, and there's a lot more Fleming in his turn than I think most give him credit for.

    Rankings so far:

    1. Goldfinger
    2. Live and Let Die *
    3. For Your Eyes Only
    ---
    4. Licence to Kill
    5. The World Is Not Enough
    6. Spectre

    * For the record, FYEO is extremely closely ranked with LALD, to the point where I'm having trouble deciding which I prefer to the other. Both have immense strengths, for completely different reasons by and large. I'll continue to let them both sit with me as time passes, just didn't want to list this without noting. The current "tier break" would be after FYEO, although LTK isn't necessarily far behind, I feel slightly more confident about its placing.
  • JWPepperJWPepper You sit on it, but you can't take it with you.
    Posts: 512
    I've been watching the Bondfilms in Chronological order for a couple of weeks now. Next up: Live and Let Die.

    Watching these Bondfilms now, I realized how good the first six Bondfilms are. Ranking them is very difficult because they are all excellent.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,475
    Well, off we go. More in hope than expectation I'm starting a chronological Bond watch leading up to the release of NTTD in (don't laugh) April.

    Dr No to kick it off, and still such a great little film (little for Bond that is). And is it just me but Miss Taro is so incredibly sexy. She doesn't get enough love in these parts.

    It struck me that in this film Bond is told of the murder of British agent Strangways. And in Moore's debut the same thing occurs with Bains (killed in the PTS).
    In Dalton's debut the film kicks off with the murder of 00 agents, and in Brosnan's debut Bond witnesses the 'murder' of 006 in the PTS.
    So in all of these debuts the deaths of British agents motivate the plots.

    Could Craig's confrontation with Dryden be added, or is that stretching the point?
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,395
    It's good that you keep the optimism up @NicNac.

    Good gravy Batman, you're right! Each of the actor's debut films involve a murder of an British agent, no matter how tenuous it is. I don't think the murder of Dryden is stretching. Anyway, it's what we Bond aficionados do!

    Dr No is an incredibly seductive picture, not least because of the delectable Miss Taro.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,475
    From Russia With Love

    What is it that Tatiana is mouthing to herself whilst looking at her new passport? I assume its 'Caroline Somerset'.
    Very tight, well structured thriller from Terence Young. Hard to believe its the same director who made Thunderball.

    Connery has smoothed out those rough edges from his debut, and the support cast is also a notch up.

    Holds up very well indeed, and interesting to note that while Connery and Moore's debuts had certain similar characteristics (as mentioned above, the death of British ops abroad causing Bond to be drawn into the plot) , their second films featured Bond up against villains who were sort of Bond's evil twins. Grant here, and Scaramanga in TMWTGG. Both of them fancied they could take Bond out and their egos proved to be their downfalls.
    Except this film is about 20 times better than TMWTGG.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,395
    Birdleson wrote: »
    NicNac wrote: »
    Well, off we go. More in hope than expectation I'm starting a chronological Bond watch leading up to the release of NTTD in (don't laugh) April.

    Dr No to kick it off, and still such a great little film (little for Bond that is). And is it just me but Miss Taro is so incredibly sexy. She doesn't get enough love in these parts.

    It struck me that in this film Bond is told of the murder of British agent Strangways. And in Moore's debut the same thing occurs with Bains (killed in the PTS).
    In Dalton's debut the film kicks off with the murder of 00 agents, and in Brosnan's debut Bond witnesses the 'murder' of 006 in the PTS.
    So in all of these debuts the deaths of British agents motivate the plots.

    Could Craig's confrontation with Dryden be added, or is that stretching the point?

    Let's hope not, because to date Dryden is the only evidence of Craig's Bond ever working on anything that was not Blofeld related. I'd like to think he had gotten a little bit of variety in the job.

    Well, Bond spent the first act of CR inadvertently thwarting Le Chiffre. Blofeld didn't sanction Le Chiffre scheme to short the stock of Skyfleet. So... yay?
    NicNac wrote: »
    From Russia With Love

    What is it that Tatiana is mouthing to herself whilst looking at her new passport? I assume its 'Caroline Somerset'.
    Very tight, well structured thriller from Terence Young. Hard to believe its the same director who made Thunderball.

    Connery has smoothed out those rough edges from his debut, and the support cast is also a notch up.

    Holds up very well indeed, and interesting to note that while Connery and Moore's debuts had certain similar characteristics (as mentioned above, the death of British ops abroad causing Bond to be drawn into the plot) , their second films featured Bond up against villains who were sort of Bond's evil twins. Grant here, and Scaramanga in TMWTGG. Both of them fancied they could take Bond out and their egos proved to be their downfalls.
    Except this film is about 20 times better than TMWTGG.

    I assume it is as well. In the novel Tatiana has trouble not saying "Siomerset" so practices her pronunciation. Either way, it's very endearing.

    I wonder if the producers were trying to copy Connery's first two films, with Roger's first two films, as there is a lot of similarity. I get a FRWL vibe to the first half of Golden Gun, Bond investigating the spectre of Franny Scaramanga.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,475
    @royale65 , whether deliberately or not this idea of emulating the first two films does come across.

    Goldfinger
    As much as Terence Young gets the plaudits, and the love from the Bond community, Guy Hamilton made the real blueprint for the films. This is still fantastic entertainment, and apart from the hillbilly music that accompanies the opening scene at the stud farm, the new Felix and his partner who look like extras from a Hitchcock movie and the drawn out car crusher scene I find it hard to criticise anything.

    Just let this movie embrace you in a huge gold coloured bear hug. Brilliant.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,395
    I'll raise you to the first three films of Connery and Sir Rog, having similarities dear @NicNac. GF is the perfect formula film, just as Spy is for ol' Rog. Both embraced the largeness and entertainment inherent in the Bond series, but without becoming too bloated, i.e. TB and MR. So, similar trajectories on their first four movies?

    I agree with on the merits of GF chaps. The run time of GF is already short, but imagine how short it would be if they removed the "pressing engagement" scene.

    "But it's your honour sir!" Lovely stuff.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,475
    @royale65 . First three similarities absolutely! LALD and DN have so many parallels, as do FRWL and GG. And as you say GF and Spy are the first true fun films for both of them.

    Thunderball

    When you look at the positives - the cinematography, the amazing set design, the one liners, the music, the beautiful women (best in the series?) and Connery on top form, its hard to understand what exactly has gone wrong with Thunderball. To illustrate the problem take this particular sequence of scenes.

    1. Bond lunches with Domino. He wears his blue trunks and pink shirt.
    2. We cut to the evening. Bond in tuxedo challenges Largo. The sequence ends with Bond and Leiter watching Domino board the boat.
    3. Bond, back in blue trunks and pink shirt, in his hotel room beats up Largo's goon and meets Leiter for the first time (??)
    4. The goon gets fed to the sharks.
    5. Bond introduces Leiter to Paula and Pinder and they go to work.

    How the hell did these scenes end up out of sequence? Number 2 belongs between 4 and 5. Surely someone noticed? The editor maybe? It makes Leiter's first appearance look faintly ludicrous.

    Not just the editing, but the dubbing. Characters speaking without moving their lips. Aaaaaaaaargh.

    And the underwater scenes? I timed the taking of the plane and atomic bombs. It went on for 11 minutes. 11 minutes? They could have done it in 5, easily. On and on and on.

    Thunderball didn't have enough clear cut action scenes, unlike FRWL and GF before it. And when it did, like the fight in the Volante at the end, the superb actual punch up between Bond, Largo and Largo's men it was ruined by the infamously bad back (or front) projection and speeded up camera.

    All in all it was clearly rushed. It needed 6 more months, but of course the deadline loomed and the film had to go out. Shame.

    Up to that point, this is and will always be fourth out of four.


  • JWPepperJWPepper You sit on it, but you can't take it with you.
    Posts: 512
    NicNac wrote: »
    @royale65 . First three similarities absolutely! LALD and DN have so many parallels, as do FRWL and GG. And as you say GF and Spy are the first true fun films for both of them.

    Thunderball

    When you look at the positives - the cinematography, the amazing set design, the one liners, the music, the beautiful women (best in the series?) and Connery on top form, its hard to understand what exactly has gone wrong with Thunderball. To illustrate the problem take this particular sequence of scenes.

    1. Bond lunches with Domino. He wears his blue trunks and pink shirt.
    2. We cut to the evening. Bond in tuxedo challenges Largo. The sequence ends with Bond and Leiter watching Domino board the boat.
    3. Bond, back in blue trunks and pink shirt, in his hotel room beats up Largo's goon and meets Leiter for the first time (??)
    4. The goon gets fed to the sharks.
    5. Bond introduces Leiter to Paula and Pinder and they go to work.

    How the hell did these scenes end up out of sequence? Number 2 belongs between 4 and 5. Surely someone noticed? The editor maybe? It makes Leiter's first appearance look faintly ludicrous.

    Not just the editing, but the dubbing. Characters speaking without moving their lips. Aaaaaaaaargh.

    And the underwater scenes? I timed the taking of the plane and atomic bombs. It went on for 11 minutes. 11 minutes? They could have done it in 5, easily. On and on and on.

    Thunderball didn't have enough clear cut action scenes, unlike FRWL and GF before it. And when it did, like the fight in the Volante at the end, the superb actual punch up between Bond, Largo and Largo's men it was ruined by the infamously bad back (or front) projection and speeded up camera.

    All in all it was clearly rushed. It needed 6 more months, but of course the deadline loomed and the film had to go out. Shame.

    Up to that point, this is and will always be fourth out of four.


    There are more strange scenes. Like the scenes around the Junkanoo and sneaking into Largo's lair.. These scenes are also out of sequence.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,475
    You Only Live Twice

    I'm an unapologetic fan of this one, and I never tire of watching it. Probably stems from my childhood when this film above all the others captured my imagination (for obvious reasons).

    And not just me. Down the decades comedians in film and on TV have dipped into YOLT for inspiration, which is why there are so many iconic characters, sets and action sequences. This is the film of choice when it comes to parodying Bond (with GF and TSWLM thrown in for good measure of course). And parody isn't a bad thing.

    GF is still the one for me from this era, but YOLT will probably always be my guilty pleasure.

    I did love Tiger mixing his words up as well. A lovely touch.

    Might wait until Christmas Eve before going with OHMSS.
  • edited December 2020 Posts: 1,595
    Even though I rank it at the top of the pile, I can understand the accusations about TB being bloated or bizarrely assembled. It still plays to me like the most ambitious Bond film of all of them, which is saying something considering its age, and I think it has its fair share of swings and misses. It is far from a perfect film, but the highs are so high in my book that the overall experience is that of a grandiose classic blend of Fleming sentiment/tone/atmosphere and blockbuster scope.

    edit: This comes down purely to taste, but what many call "slow" (an understandable response) I have always saw as "epic."
  • Posts: 111
    Just finished TLD in my yearly re-watch but this time reviewing the Japanese Laserdiscs is a bit interesting because I have to confess I haven't watched the series before entirely subtitled in Japanese.
    The letterbox series was done in 1993 and features original poster art on the lovely gatefold jackets. Sadly the reports of better transfers aren't true because they re-use the same masters from the US releases with some variations.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,475
    Just finished TLD in my yearly re-watch but this time reviewing the Japanese Laserdiscs is a bit interesting because I have to confess I haven't watched the series before entirely subtitled in Japanese.
    The letterbox series was done in 1993 and features original poster art on the lovely gatefold jackets. Sadly the reports of better transfers aren't true because they re-use the same masters from the US releases with some variations.

    Sounds frustrating
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,475
    Even though I rank it at the top of the pile, I can understand the accusations about TB being bloated or bizarrely assembled. It still plays to me like the most ambitious Bond film of all of them, which is saying something considering its age, and I think it has its fair share of swings and misses. It is far from a perfect film, but the highs are so high in my book that the overall experience is that of a grandiose classic blend of Fleming sentiment/tone/atmosphere and blockbuster scope.

    edit: This comes down purely to taste, but what many call "slow" (an understandable response) I have always saw as "epic."

    That is a very convincing argument Thighs. Food for thought indeed.

    On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
    Falls nicely in with the Christmas holiday period. The one my wife will sit and watch, the one that could really be taken out of the series and stand alone as a great piece of work (maybe CR does as well). Watching it for the hundredth time it still demands your full attention. How Cubby and Harry decided DAF was the way to go after this is a complete mystery, but business is business.

    Only DAF left before year end. Then the Moore films in Jan, Dalton/Brosnan in Feb, Craig in March. That’s the plan

    Ranking so far
    Goldfinger
    OHMSS
    You Only Live Twice
    FRWL
    Dr No
    Thunderball

    On we go
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,475
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Keep going @NicNac , I'm reading along!

    Cheers @Birdleson . Really enjoying doing a Bondathon this time around.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,475
    Diamonds Are Forever

    There was a moment during the first 20 minutes or so when I thought it was time to re-evaluate this one, and give it some much needed love. Off the back of OHMSS there is a tendency to feel a little aggrieved that the next film could be so slapdash. But yesterday I was enjoying several aspects of the film. The closing down of the pipeline was engaging, the dialogue was witty and clever and the music cleverly integral to the feel of the film.

    But then the real problem kicked in. After some of cinemas greatest action sequences being presented to us during a six film run DAF seemed to throw the towel in. The direction and editing of these scenes, especially the PTS, moon buggy chase and climax on the oil rig was unforgiveable. This is a Bond film for God's sake, not an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man.

    I can quite understand why Connery was won over by the script and thought this would be his best Bond film. He didn't know the action scenes would fall quite so flat. Even the best ones (the fight in the lift, the fight on the cruise ship) were ok at best.

    But, DAF has its charms. Wint & Kidd are great, Charles Grey somehow seems to be the right version of Blofeld for this particular film (although ...gumph...he appears to have ear lobes). Connery is excellent, even the new overweight version.

    It won't end up at the bottom of my pile, but up to this point its the only place for it.

    January will be all about Roger Moore and I'm looking forward to it big time...well, maybe not AVTAK but you can't have everything.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,395
    Marvellous stuff @NicNac!

    Ah yes Thunderball. If only the release date was pushed back even a few months, this film would have benefited enormously. TB is pretty darn good, but lacks the forward momentum that its predecessors have. Still, an eye popping epic feast!

    Peter Hunt did try to trim the underwater segments down, but was over ruled by Harry and Cubby. One can see why - all that expense and effort, just to have it trimmed down.

    11 minutes you say, on the Vulcan hiding? There was a point where I was bored stiff during that scene. So many scenes watching frogmen nail down the sodding camouflage net. But, a couple of years ago, I thought, “what’s the rush?”. A Bond picture is only on for 2 hours. Let it wash over you. I agree with @ThighsOfXenia: TB’s ambition and sheer scope wins out for me. It has the tone and the water sports going for it as well ;)

    YOLT what a film. Daft as a box of frogs, but all the better for it. Abseiling ninjas storming Blofeld’s Japanese Volcano base? Lovely stuff.

    And on to DAF – it misses Hunt’s electric touch. Pity, because the repositioning of the series, a more begin bizarre tone, an underrated element of Fleming’s writing, would have worked well, if the action scenes weren’t so.. flat.

    Great write up Nackers!


Sign In or Register to comment.