"Attempting re-entry", Moonraker appreciation thread

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  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,997
    I just re-watched MR. The strange thing about that film is how much I love it. I'm usually the guy whose tolerance for silliness in a Bond film is pretty low, yet MR always gets away with its jokes and ridiculousness. It's probably the best Derek Flint film they never made, with Moore outshining Coburn and Barry one-upping Goldsmith. But this film was adopted and raised by the Bond family, and it mysteriously managed to combine the best of both worlds. Moore oozes charm; Meddings, Evans and Wilson pull off amazing visual effects; Barry delivers perhaps his best score ever; Adam creates splendid sets--at the same time, MR drags Bond into fantasy land, dispenses with logic and credibility, and decides that being away from Earth is better than being down to Earth. It serves as a delicious travelogue before it turns into a visually impressive laser party in space. MR is as subtle as a brick through a window (or a Chinese henchman through a Venetian piano), yet it proudly manages to turn its outrageous nonsense into a virtue. As a Bond film, it fails on all accounts from A to Z; but as a Derek Flint film starring James Bond, it behaves as a masterclass example of awesome spy spoofs.
  • Posts: 5,863
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    MR is as subtle as a brick through a window

    Q the inevitable Q jokes.
  • Posts: 1,841
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I just re-watched MR. The strange thing about that film is how much I love it. I'm usually the guy whose tolerance for silliness in a Bond film is pretty low, yet MR always gets away with its jokes and ridiculousness. It's probably the best Derek Flint film they never made, with Moore outshining Coburn and Barry one-upping Goldsmith. But this film was adopted and raised by the Bond family, and it mysteriously managed to combine the best of both worlds. Moore oozes charm; Meddings, Evans and Wilson pull off amazing visual effects; Barry delivers perhaps his best score ever; Adam creates splendid sets--at the same time, MR drags Bond into fantasy land, dispenses with logic and credibility, and decides that being away from Earth is better than being down to Earth. It serves as a delicious travelogue before it turns into a visually impressive laser party in space. MR is as subtle as a brick through a window (or a Chinese henchman through a Venetian piano), yet it proudly manages to turn its outrageous nonsense into a virtue. As a Bond film, it fails on all accounts from A to Z; but as a Derek Flint film starring James Bond, it behaves as a masterclass example of awesome spy spoofs.

    Simply one of best summaries of why it's okay to love MR I've ever read.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,997
    BT3366 wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I just re-watched MR. The strange thing about that film is how much I love it. I'm usually the guy whose tolerance for silliness in a Bond film is pretty low, yet MR always gets away with its jokes and ridiculousness. It's probably the best Derek Flint film they never made, with Moore outshining Coburn and Barry one-upping Goldsmith. But this film was adopted and raised by the Bond family, and it mysteriously managed to combine the best of both worlds. Moore oozes charm; Meddings, Evans and Wilson pull off amazing visual effects; Barry delivers perhaps his best score ever; Adam creates splendid sets--at the same time, MR drags Bond into fantasy land, dispenses with logic and credibility, and decides that being away from Earth is better than being down to Earth. It serves as a delicious travelogue before it turns into a visually impressive laser party in space. MR is as subtle as a brick through a window (or a Chinese henchman through a Venetian piano), yet it proudly manages to turn its outrageous nonsense into a virtue. As a Bond film, it fails on all accounts from A to Z; but as a Derek Flint film starring James Bond, it behaves as a masterclass example of awesome spy spoofs.

    Simply one of best summaries of why it's okay to love MR I've ever read.

    Thank you, sir.
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    edited February 2022 Posts: 4,508
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I just re-watched MR. The strange thing about that film is how much I love it. I'm usually the guy whose tolerance for silliness in a Bond film is pretty low, yet MR always gets away with its jokes and ridiculousness. It's probably the best Derek Flint film they never made, with Moore outshining Coburn and Barry one-upping Goldsmith. But this film was adopted and raised by the Bond family, and it mysteriously managed to combine the best of both worlds. Moore oozes charm; Meddings, Evans and Wilson pull off amazing visual effects; Barry delivers perhaps his best score ever; Adam creates splendid sets--at the same time, MR drags Bond into fantasy land, dispenses with logic and credibility, and decides that being away from Earth is better than being down to Earth. It serves as a delicious travelogue before it turns into a visually impressive laser party in space. MR is as subtle as a brick through a window (or a Chinese henchman through a Venetian piano), yet it proudly manages to turn its outrageous nonsense into a virtue. As a Bond film, it fails on all accounts from A to Z; but as a Derek Flint film starring James Bond, it behaves as a masterclass example of awesome spy spoofs.

    MR is at the bottom of my list. I can't love it for all its craziness like I do DAF and TMWTGG. But by all accounts, I admire those who do! Love what you want in the Bond universe!

    Nevertheless, this is a terrific take on MR. I may be compelled to watch it for the first time in years.
  • Posts: 341
    Moonraker has one of my all time favourite Bond lines. Having fallen from the cable car, Goodhead to Bond "anything broken" Bonds reply, looking at his ripped suit "only my tailor's heart". Classic
  • DrunkIrishPoetDrunkIrishPoet The Amber Coast
    Posts: 156
    I am in Venice now and I can confirm that the obnoxious pigeon flocks for which St Mark’ s square was once infamous are now a thing of the past. It is illegal to feed the pigeons, and they are gone.
  • MalloryMallory Do mosquitoes have friends?
    edited June 2022 Posts: 1,794
    I’ve just been to see Moonraker in the cinema. Some observations:
    • The 4K restoration was real nice, one of the better ones so far.
    • The circus Jaws falls into, in the pts, the exterior shot is a model.
    • Bond is genuinely “f***** up” by the astro training machine.
    • Drax’s amazing angular phone he uses to call “recruit a hench” for Jaws
    • So many dummies. Particularly in the boat chase sequence.
    • Special effects hold up really well, even in 4k.
    • Bond is a real wind up merchant towards Holly, its only in the third act when he comes to appreciate the skills she has and he doesnt have and assistance, that all stops. Also, more appreciation of Holly this time, even if Chile’s line delivery is mostly flat.
  • Posts: 1,479
    TripAces wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I just re-watched MR. The strange thing about that film is how much I love it. I'm usually the guy whose tolerance for silliness in a Bond film is pretty low, yet MR always gets away with its jokes and ridiculousness. It's probably the best Derek Flint film they never made, with Moore outshining Coburn and Barry one-upping Goldsmith. But this film was adopted and raised by the Bond family, and it mysteriously managed to combine the best of both worlds. Moore oozes charm; Meddings, Evans and Wilson pull off amazing visual effects; Barry delivers perhaps his best score ever; Adam creates splendid sets--at the same time, MR drags Bond into fantasy land, dispenses with logic and credibility, and decides that being away from Earth is better than being down to Earth. It serves as a delicious travelogue before it turns into a visually impressive laser party in space. MR is as subtle as a brick through a window (or a Chinese henchman through a Venetian piano), yet it proudly manages to turn its outrageous nonsense into a virtue. As a Bond film, it fails on all accounts from A to Z; but as a Derek Flint film starring James Bond, it behaves as a masterclass example of awesome spy spoofs.

    MR is at the bottom of my list. I can't love it for all its craziness like I do DAF and TMWTGG. But by all accounts, I admire those who do! Love what you want in the Bond universe!

    Nevertheless, this is a terrific take on MR. I may be compelled to watch it for the first time in years.

    Indeed ! Brilliant review, as noted above. As with all the sillier of the Bond films, it has its moments. Not only of silliness, but moments which would be terrific in any of the Bond actors' films - For example, the centrifuged Bond scene, the parade in Rio (reminiscent of the one in TB, yet unique and with its own story-appropriate content), and the dramatically lit silhouettes-in-blue fight in the room full of precious works in Venice, at the end of which Bond's opponent left by way of the quick way out. One is reminded that Time Flies. (I never thought about it at the time but this scene may have been referenced in one or two of Craig's films). We've seen Craig's Bond casually toss away objects for which he no longer has any use - some would say he has treated people that way, too - but did he ever toss away a big ol' boat ?!!!? Overall, I can't much take MR, but it does have its sequences even for fans like me who care less for the over-the-top silly stuff.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    edited July 2022 Posts: 21,997
    I am firmly in the MR Camp camp. When DAF, TMWTGG or DAD go off the rails, they border on insult for me. But MR remains such good fun. At times, when the film flirts with bad taste, either Moore, the location or Barry save the day. MR is also an ambitious technical marvel; DAF and TMWTGG much less so. Lastly, though MR has a pretty silly story, it at least commits to that story. It's a fairly straightforward journey from California into space. I quite like the film, not as a serious Bond film, but as a charming adventure fantasy.
  • Posts: 5,863
    I am in Venice now and I can confirm that the obnoxious pigeon flocks for which St Mark’ s square was once infamous are now a thing of the past. It is illegal to feed the pigeons, and they are gone.

    I recently watched Moonraker with a pigeon and it did a double take when it saw pigeons on St. Mark's Square. Things sure have changed.
  • Posts: 1,479
    MR was the film with Shirley Bassey's third and still most recent Bond theme...Does she still have the pipes for one more ?
  • BondAficionadoBondAficionado Former IMDBer
    Posts: 1,865
    Not sure where to put this but since there's no Tarantino thread...

    There was an episode this week on The Video Archives Podcast where co-host Quentin Tarantino was discussing Moonraker for the first hour of the show. I figured I'd share his main views in case anyone was curious as to what he had to say about the film/Bond in general, especially since he had a chance to direct CR way back when.

    - Tarantino sides with the general consensus that Moonraker is a low tier Bond movie, although he thinks that it's one of the first 'film films' since Goldfinger.

    - He spoke on the history of cashing in on the Star Wars mania of '77. Basically he found Moonraker to be a cheesy rip-off of SW, but with Ken Adam sets, which he jokes might make it better than the SW movie it copied. Later he calls Adam's sets "f*cking amazing"

    - Tarantino's a huge Roger Moore fan but not so much as Bond. For example, he brought up North Sea Hijack/Ffolkes as one of Moore's many superior performances.

    - While avoiding to disrespect Lazenby he believes Moore would've been the perfect Bond in OHMSS, which according to him features 'no Bond in it' as it stands.

    - Tarantino was very blunt at times saying Lewis Gilbert did a terrible job directing it. He joked that Moonraker was made for a "Guy Hamilton reappreciation society" since it had him realize that DAF wasn't so bad after all.

    - The opening parachute sequence reminded him of the raw nature of movies back then with real people doing real stunts (with insane camera work) and it never mattered for audiences back then that a double was performing it. One of his favorite moments in the whole film is when Bond darts forward like a bullet in the air towards the pilot below him.

    - Tarantino absolutely hates Bassey's title song

    - He really likes Lonsdale as Drax yet feels that the character could've been given even more room to shine

    - For some reason Tarantino talked about Drax's residence being shot at Versailles but this isn't true is it? Although with that belief it's the one sequence that really works for him based on what he thinks the filmmakers wanted to achieve. Basically the concept of shooting at a place like Versailles but telling the audience it's California is funny/clever to him and they pull it off really well.

    - He had a lot to say about Lois Chiles' Holly Goodhead and he began by saying that he hates the name. Not for sexist reasons but for the fact that it was overdone by that point and could never be beaten by 'Pussy'. He firmly believes that Chiles was a non-entity in the film but it's not her fault. Rather the filmmakers' who didn't give her a character to play and wouldn't let her since they had several ideas instead of one singular vision. Essentially he believes that they didn't know where to go with her at all.

    - Gondola chase was horrible

    - Spaces scenes were "silly as f*ck"
  • Posts: 1,841
    Not sure where to put this but since there's no Tarantino thread...

    There was an episode this week on The Video Archives Podcast where co-host Quentin Tarantino was discussing Moonraker for the first hour of the show. I figured I'd share his main views in case anyone was curious as to what he had to say about the film/Bond in general, especially since he had a chance to direct CR way back when.

    - Tarantino sides with the general consensus that Moonraker is a low tier Bond movie, although he thinks that it's one of the first 'film films' since Goldfinger.

    - He spoke on the history of cashing in on the Star Wars mania of '77. Basically he found Moonraker to be a cheesy rip-off of SW, but with Ken Adam sets, which he jokes might make it better than the SW movie it copied. Later he calls Adam's sets "f*cking amazing"

    - Tarantino's a huge Roger Moore fan but not so much as Bond. For example, he brought up North Sea Hijack/Ffolkes as one of Moore's many superior performances.

    - While avoiding to disrespect Lazenby he believes Moore would've been the perfect Bond in OHMSS, which according to him features 'no Bond in it' as it stands.

    - Tarantino was very blunt at times saying Lewis Gilbert did a terrible job directing it. He joked that Moonraker was made for a "Guy Hamilton reappreciation society" since it had him realize that DAF wasn't so bad after all.

    - The opening parachute sequence reminded him of the raw nature of movies back then with real people doing real stunts (with insane camera work) and it never mattered for audiences back then that a double was performing it. One of his favorite moments in the whole film is when Bond darts forward like a bullet in the air towards the pilot below him.

    - Tarantino absolutely hates Bassey's title song

    - He really likes Lonsdale as Drax yet feels that the character could've been given even more room to shine

    - For some reason Tarantino talked about Drax's residence being shot at Versailles but this isn't true is it? Although with that belief it's the one sequence that really works for him based on what he thinks the filmmakers wanted to achieve. Basically the concept of shooting at a place like Versailles but telling the audience it's California is funny/clever to him and they pull it off really well.

    - He had a lot to say about Lois Chiles' Holly Goodhead and he began by saying that he hates the name. Not for sexist reasons but for the fact that it was overdone by that point and could never be beaten by 'Pussy'. He firmly believes that Chiles was a non-entity in the film but it's not her fault. Rather the filmmakers' who didn't give her a character to play and wouldn't let her since they had several ideas instead of one singular vision. Essentially he believes that they didn't know where to go with her at all.

    - Gondola chase was horrible

    - Spaces scenes were "silly as f*ck"

    Thanks for breaking this down. Someone else shared the link, but I really have no desire to listen to it.

    This is good stuff. I agree with much of it except the Lazenby/OHMSS views. I disagree Moore would've worked and am very surprised Tarantino is not a fan of the film or Lazenby as he seems to gravitate toward the more cultish things and OHMSS fits it perfectly.

    Now it only makes me want him to devote time to each film in the series. I just gravitate to Tarantino's love for cinema and his thoughts.
  • slide_99slide_99 USA
    edited August 2022 Posts: 521
    Good movie with a third act that takes the concept way too far. Bond going into space was enough, they didn't need to give it a space battle. I'd only make one of two changes:
    1. Have Bond and Holly sabotage Drax's satellite with the help of Jaws, then make it back to earth. No battle at all.
    2. Have a battle scene but keep the lasers out and just have it be a gun battle in space. Bullets would tear through everything obviously, but then again, why don't the lasers? Maybe they could use some kind of special space guns like the Soviets had.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TP-82_Cosmonaut_survival_pistol
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,997
    Bullets in space... yeah, it can be done. But without any sound. We'd have some soft "whoosh" sounds at best, like with a silencer, but carrying no further than in the immediate vicinity of the gun itself. Then again, the lasers shouldn't be making those "phew phew" sounds either. ;-)

    The biggest problem with bullets is space is the recoil. Basically, the astronauts would be hurled in space in the opposite direction pretty fast.
  • slide_99slide_99 USA
    edited August 2022 Posts: 521
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Bullets in space... yeah, it can be done. But without any sound. We'd have some soft "whoosh" sounds at best, like with a silencer, but carrying no further than in the immediate vicinity of the gun itself. Then again, the lasers shouldn't be making those "phew phew" sounds either. ;-)

    The biggest problem with bullets is space is the recoil. Basically, the astronauts would be hurled in space in the opposite direction pretty fast.

    I should've mentioned that the hypothetical battle would take place inside the satellite, not outside. Actually Drax somehow firing at Bond in space without realizing that it would fling him in the other direction would be a good, ironic death scene for him. Or maybe Bond firing his PPK as a rocket, directing himself back to the satellite after he gets sucked out of it or something. That would've been clever. Or Bond and Jaws in a zero-gravity fight. There are a lot of interesting things they could've done with the space setting but they basically settled for rehashing the end of TSWLM.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,997
    slide_99 wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Bullets in space... yeah, it can be done. But without any sound. We'd have some soft "whoosh" sounds at best, like with a silencer, but carrying no further than in the immediate vicinity of the gun itself. Then again, the lasers shouldn't be making those "phew phew" sounds either. ;-)

    The biggest problem with bullets is space is the recoil. Basically, the astronauts would be hurled in space in the opposite direction pretty fast.

    I should've mentioned that the hypothetical battle would take place inside the satellite, not outside. Actually Drax somehow firing at Bond in space without realizing that it would fling him in the other direction would be a good, ironic death scene for him. Or maybe Bond firing his PPK as a rocket, directing himself back to the satellite after he gets sucked out of it or something. That would've been clever. Or Bond and Jaws in a zero-gravity fight. There are a lot of interesting things they could've done with the space setting but they basically settled for rehashing the end of TSWLM.

    True. Since they were throwing plausibility overboard anyway, they missed a few opportunities. Even NightFire attempted a few interesting challenges at the end. I hope the new M:I films will have some fun with space physics.
  • BondAficionadoBondAficionado Former IMDBer
    Posts: 1,865
    BT3366 wrote: »
    Thanks for breaking this down. Someone else shared the link, but I really have no desire to listen to it.

    This is good stuff. I agree with much of it except the Lazenby/OHMSS views. I disagree Moore would've worked and am very surprised Tarantino is not a fan of the film or Lazenby as he seems to gravitate toward the more cultish things and OHMSS fits it perfectly.

    Now it only makes me want him to devote time to each film in the series. I just gravitate to Tarantino's love for cinema and his thoughts.

    Yes I was surprised as well to hear that he isn't appreciative of OHMSS. Seemed right up his alley tbh.

    Tarantino vaguely hinted at discussing some other Bond film(s) in the future but it wouldn't be for a while since he doesn't want to do any themed episodes just yet. I had to leave out some things that he was talking about because there was so much, so I'd recommend having a listen if you want the full picture.

    Honestly it was actually rather fun to listen to the podcast with Tarantino's high energy and enthusiasm. Although having said that I won't be listening to the following episodes since the films that are discussed are usually very niche. I only listened to this one because I knew it was about MR. Perhaps I'll keep an eye on the podcast every few months to see if Bond comes up again.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 5,202
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Bullets in space... yeah, it can be done. But without any sound. We'd have some soft "whoosh" sounds at best, like with a silencer, but carrying no further than in the immediate vicinity of the gun itself. Then again, the lasers shouldn't be making those "phew phew" sounds either. ;-)

    The biggest problem with bullets is space is the recoil. Basically, the astronauts would be hurled in space in the opposite direction pretty fast.

    The sanity of physics.
  • DwayneDwayne New York City
    edited August 2022 Posts: 2,067
    Ah….the scientific accuracy of Moonraker. It’s not science fiction, but science fact!!!!!
    =))

    From the PTS to the battle in space there are (wink..wink): problems; lots and lots of problems. Back in the 1983 when I first saw MR on ABC I was literally screaming at my TV. What makes it both frustrating and funny in equal parts, is that EON received technical support from North American Rockwell – the actual contractors – for the Space Shuttle during production. **

    Among the technical lowlights (and very low at that):

    The PTS: While its’ true that the Space Shuttle was carried on the back of a modified 747 for transport, it could hardly be hijacked in flight. And even if you could, where are you going to land it? Airstrips capable of handling a shuttle orbiter (essentially an unpowered 90-ton flying brick) were rather limited. And don’t get me started on the getaway.

    The shuttle’s main engines igniting? Really? The SSME’s ran on Liquid Hydrogen and Liquid Oxygen. Where were the fuel tanks? Not In the plane and not in the orbiter. A passing knowledge of how cryogenic propellants are stored (very carefully and not for very long BTW) and their densities renders that possibility moot anyway.

    Drax’s Space Station: Far too small for an artificial 1G environment to be created, but I’ll give it a pass since the space station in 2OO1 also had this issue. And how did he put it into orbit without anyone noticing? If you assume that Drax used his fleet of orbiters to build it (in much the same manner that the International Space Station was constructed), that would mean a lot of launches over a long period of time. Nobody noticed!!!! Those large external tanks (where the shuttle’s fuel is actually stored) and solid rocket boosters used to launch the orbiters have to come down somewhere! Again…nobody noticed?

    The Space Battle: In addition to points made by @DarthDimi , let me add that the in-space deployment of the soldiers made no sense. First, while the Space Shuttle’s assent profile was designed to limit the crew to a relatively comfortable 3 G’s, you couldn’t simply strap yourself in the payload bay and fly. Why? No life support. And this was a real problem since immediately upon reaching orbit the shuttle HAD to open its payload bay doors in order to activate the craft’s radiators (to expel excess heat generated by the orbiter’s systems.

    Interestingly, the script writers could have worked around this by having the soldiers being deployed from a specially designed mission module stored in the cargo bay. In fact, this was actually proposed several years later, but was dropped after the Challenger tragedy in January 1986. While it was possible for crew members to bail out from the flight deck during any inflight accident (given all of the changes made), any crew-members housed in the payload bay would not have time to escape.

    Should I give MR a pass on the method used to dock the shuttles with the space station? No. I will not!!!! Eagled eyed viewers probably saw that the shuttles were docking via the crew access hatch – one that is only used prior to launch. In reality, the shuttles had to carry a special docking adaptor for missions to MIR (the Soviet Station) or the ISS. Scary thought; Drax could have gotten away with his scheme by simply making the docking hatch on his space station incompatible with a standard orbiter. And all films assume that a crew could enter a station immediately upon docking. Not true. The actual shuttle/ISS docking process took a bit of time and then leak checks had to be performed before the hatches were opened.

    All of this said, as I’ve posted on several occasions MR is a fun rainy Sunday afternoon film…when I don’t want to think too hard. And as I’ve also posted on several occasion, MR also has Manuela. :x

    ** And caused a minor scandal IIRC when a couple of their corporate executives billed NASA for their time spent helping EON.

    BTW: This posting goes a long way to explain why my friends stopped inviting me to the movies with them!!!!
    =))
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 11,256
    Regarding sounds in space, wouldn't it be useful to the soldier firing the laser to hear that satisfying sound. And also to hear manufactured sounds that represent near misses to give awareness.

    Similar to essentially silent electric cars that produce a sound for safety reasons.


  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,997
    @Dwayne
    Excellent post, sir, excellent indeed!

    And yes, the logistics. Space flight in this film seems to be a perfectly trivial thing, except when Drax launches his six Moonrakers and is almost in awe when he sees them take off so successfully, like a proud father seeing his kid walk to school for the first time... except that he must have sent a ton of those back and forth already, for if not, how the bleep did that fully operational space city get there in the first place? -- Without, as you pointed out, anyone on Earth noticing. I get it, Earth is big, but a couple of space shuttle launches from the jungle are bound to be noticed soon enough.

    Hilariously, NASA has its own space marines on standby. And an assault/recon flight can happen just like that! What? Ready Shuttle 1, guys, we have to get there in two hours? Try two years.

    But I love MR. It's nonsense, but wrapped in a bow.
  • DwayneDwayne New York City
    edited August 2022 Posts: 2,067
    @DarthDimi: I didn’t mean to pick on MR so harshly; Derek Meddings’ special effects were Oscar nominated, Ken Adam’s production design is certainly impressive and some of the “space art” for MR was done by Harry Lange (2OO1, The Empire Strikes Back). But when EON goes the “…its science fact” route it opens itself up to such criticism.

    In reality, all films – even 2OO1 – make tradeoffs between strict technical plausibility and story (or simply to minimize audience confusion). There is a reason, for example, that the Discovery spacecraft from 2OO1 doesn’t have radiator panels (“audiences already had a lot to take in”). As long as (IMO) a film (or a series of films) remains internally consistent, I’m willing to meet it halfway. I’m a fan of Godzilla movies, for crying out loud.

    That said even in a world where a villain can build a lair inside a hollowed-out volcano near one of the most industrialized nations on Earth (in secret), MR really requires one to go easy on the logic button.

    Oddly, in recent years MR has climbed up my rankings somewhat (and TSWLM has slipped). And as a film it is very re-watchable. Plus (and let me add this for the millionth time) it has Manuela!!!!
    fca4224000a11f20bebf449e928a37c5.jpg

    :x
  • Posts: 1,841
    Dwayne wrote: »
    Ah….the scientific accuracy of Moonraker. It’s not science fiction, but science fact!!!!!
    =))

    From the PTS to the battle in space there are (wink..wink): problems; lots and lots of problems. Back in the 1983 when I first saw MR on ABC I was literally screaming at my TV. What makes it both frustrating and funny in equal parts, is that EON received technical support from North American Rockwell – the actual contractors – for the Space Shuttle during production. **

    Among the technical lowlights (and very low at that):

    The PTS: While its’ true that the Space Shuttle was carried on the back of a modified 747 for transport, it could hardly be hijacked in flight. And even if you could, where are you going to land it? Airstrips capable of handling a shuttle orbiter (essentially an unpowered 90-ton flying brick) were rather limited. And don’t get me started on the getaway.

    The shuttle’s main engines igniting? Really? The SSME’s ran on Liquid Hydrogen and Liquid Oxygen. Where were the fuel tanks? Not In the plane and not in the orbiter. A passing knowledge of how cryogenic propellants are stored (very carefully and not for very long BTW) and their densities renders that possibility moot anyway.

    Drax’s Space Station: Far too small for an artificial 1G environment to be created, but I’ll give it a pass since the space station in 2OO1 also had this issue. And how did he put it into orbit without anyone noticing? If you assume that Drax used his fleet of orbiters to build it (in much the same manner that the International Space Station was constructed), that would mean a lot of launches over a long period of time. Nobody noticed!!!! Those large external tanks (where the shuttle’s fuel is actually stored) and solid rocket boosters used to launch the orbiters have to come down somewhere! Again…nobody noticed?

    The Space Battle: In addition to points made by @DarthDimi , let me add that the in-space deployment of the soldiers made no sense. First, while the Space Shuttle’s assent profile was designed to limit the crew to a relatively comfortable 3 G’s, you couldn’t simply strap yourself in the payload bay and fly. Why? No life support. And this was a real problem since immediately upon reaching orbit the shuttle HAD to open its payload bay doors in order to activate the craft’s radiators (to expel excess heat generated by the orbiter’s systems.

    Interestingly, the script writers could have worked around this by having the soldiers being deployed from a specially designed mission module stored in the cargo bay. In fact, this was actually proposed several years later, but was dropped after the Challenger tragedy in January 1986. While it was possible for crew members to bail out from the flight deck during any inflight accident (given all of the changes made), any crew-members housed in the payload bay would not have time to escape.

    Should I give MR a pass on the method used to dock the shuttles with the space station? No. I will not!!!! Eagled eyed viewers probably saw that the shuttles were docking via the crew access hatch – one that is only used prior to launch. In reality, the shuttles had to carry a special docking adaptor for missions to MIR (the Soviet Station) or the ISS. Scary thought; Drax could have gotten away with his scheme by simply making the docking hatch on his space station incompatible with a standard orbiter. And all films assume that a crew could enter a station immediately upon docking. Not true. The actual shuttle/ISS docking process took a bit of time and then leak checks had to be performed before the hatches were opened.

    All of this said, as I’ve posted on several occasions MR is a fun rainy Sunday afternoon film…when I don’t want to think too hard. And as I’ve also posted on several occasion, MR also has Manuela. :x

    ** And caused a minor scandal IIRC when a couple of their corporate executives billed NASA for their time spent helping EON.

    BTW: This posting goes a long way to explain why my friends stopped inviting me to the movies with them!!!!
    =))

    If they're as entertaining as this one, I'll gladly read 24-26 more of these if you're so inclined. Personally, I count YOLT as the one with the most ridiculous and contrived situations and logistics.
  • BondAficionadoBondAficionado Former IMDBer
    edited August 2022 Posts: 1,865
    Checked the podcast again and there's an after show on Moonraker that features unheard clips of their discussion. Only 26 mins so a bit more digestible than the full episode if you don't have much spare time.

    "Any movie that cuts to a reaction shot of animals doing comic double takes can never be taken seriously under any circumstances. And there's three of them!" – Tarantino xD

    Listening to Tarantino talk about MR has been nothing short of hilarious. It's made better by his co-host who's an avid defender of the film, flaws and all. So it's basically one argument after another. A must listen.
  • Agent_Zero_OneAgent_Zero_One Ireland
    Posts: 521
    Not sure where to put this but since there's no Tarantino thread...

    There was an episode this week on The Video Archives Podcast where co-host Quentin Tarantino was discussing Moonraker for the first hour of the show. I figured I'd share his main views in case anyone was curious as to what he had to say about the film/Bond in general, especially since he had a chance to direct CR way back when.

    - While avoiding to disrespect Lazenby he believes Moore would've been the perfect Bond in OHMSS, which according to him features 'no Bond in it' as it stands.
    I do agree Moore could've pulled OHMSS off. He did the rare emotional moments of his tenure in a nice understated way. I still like Lazenby's take though.

  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e il momento che verrà
    Posts: 6,145
    - For some reason Tarantino talked about Drax's residence being shot at Versailles but this isn't true is it? Although with that belief it's the one sequence that really works for him based on what he thinks the filmmakers wanted to achieve. Basically the concept of shooting at a place like Versailles but telling the audience it's California is funny/clever to him and they pull it off really well.

    Indeed that was not Versailles, it’s another castle in France called Vaux-le-Vicomte.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaux-le-Vicomte

    I gave it a visit a few year ago, it’s a lovely château.

    Versailles was actually built later, and was even inspired by it.

    Dwayne wrote: »
    .
    Oddly, in recent years MR has climbed up my rankings somewhat (and TSWLM has slipped). And as a film it is very re-watchable. Plus (and let me add this for the millionth time) it has Manuela!!!!
    fca4224000a11f20bebf449e928a37c5.jpg

    :x

    I’m going to quote you on that one and agree wholeheartedly. MR is a lot of fun, and Manuela makes it even better ;)
  • I have always had a problem with MR for all the reasons we know… I would usually rank it among the worst ones. I watched it again a few weeks ago after I don’t know how many years though and to my surprise, it wasn’t that bad! I thought I was going to cringe for most of it but actually I quite like it, it’s just the Jaws bits…
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,997
    I have always had a problem with MR for all the reasons we know… I would usually rank it among the worst ones. I watched it again a few weeks ago after I don’t know how many years though and to my surprise, it wasn’t that bad! I thought I was going to cringe for most of it but actually I quite like it, it’s just the Jaws bits…

    I love MR but I will agree that Jaws should have stayed in TSWLM. I get why they brought him back but he was too much of a lovable giant at the end of MR. His shift in allegiance is a bit cheap. Still, MR is a film I enjoy from start to finish. In its science "fact" it is so bonkers and off the rails that even DAF tells it to shut up. Perhaps that's why I love this beautiful film with its delicious score so very much.
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