Posts Tagged ‘Roger Moore’

One of the greatest Bond sites on the Net …

March 3, 2010

Check this link out: http://www.hazzamon.co.uk/roger.html

You’ll enjoy it. There’s no doubt.

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The dedicated stunt man, Martin Grace…

February 22, 2010

This is quite an impressive image I found, and decided to share, of stuntman Martin Grace on the Golden Gate Bridge for “A View to a Kill”. Obviously, he was very dedicated to his job.

Martin Grace (1942-2010)

January 29, 2010

Bond stuntman and stunt double Martin Grace has passed away at the age of 67. Grace was an accomplished stunt performer and coordinator, and was Roger Moore’s stunt double through most of his Bond films. Grace’s first 007 credit was in Sean Connery’s “You Only Live Twice” in 1967, before becoming Moore’s regular stunt double from “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977) up until his departure from the series in “A View To A Kill” (1985).

Grace’s other major film credits as a stunt performer/coordinator include: “Superman” (1978), “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), “Robin Hood” (1991) and “The Truman Show” (1998). Grace also appeared on screen as an actor, which included working with former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan in “Robinson Crusoe”.

Over his career, Grace worked on 73 motion pictures as well as many popular television programs including “Monk” and “Heroes”. His last big-screen stunt work was on the 2007 Jim Carrey film “The Number 23”.

After suffering a cycling accident in late November 2009, Martin fractured his pelvis and was hospitalized for some weeks. In late January he was taken from his home in Spain to hospital again after developing breathing problems. He died aged 67 on 27th January 2010 after suffering an aneurysm.

Rest in peace.

Celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with James Bond…

November 25, 2009

The SyFy Channel will be airing a total of sixteen James Bond films this Thanksgiving weekend. Below is the full schedule:

Thursday – November 26th 2009

8:00 AM –  Dr. No
10:30 AM – Licence To Kill
1:30 PM –  Live And Let Die
4:00 PM – The Spy Who Loved Me
6:30 PM – Tomorrow Never Dies
9:00 PM – Casino Royale

Friday – November 27th 2009:

12:00 AM – For Your Eyes Only
2:30 AM – The Man With The Golden Gun
08:00 AM – Thunderball
10:30 AM – From Russia With Love
1:00 PM – You Only Live Twice
3:30 PM – Diamonds Are Forever
6:00 PM – Casino Royale
9:00 PM – GoldenEye

Saturday November 28th 2009:

12:00 AM – Goldfinger
2:30 AM – Never Say Never Again

 

All times are EST.

Recycling Bond Girls or: Pulling a Maud Adams

November 1, 2009

It’s not unheard of; Maud Adams played both Andrea Anders and Octopussy in the Roger Moore era of Bond flicks, and for good reason. I don’t think Eon Productions should abandon this concept, as there were a handful of Bond girls from previous Bond films who could still fill the role of a credible Bond girl today.

The Top 5 Girls Who Should Return

1. Sophie Marceau (Elektra King, The World Is Not Enough, 1999)
What a waste of talent. In my opinion, The World Is Not Enough was trash, despite being one of Brosnan’s better Bond flicks.  It’s a shame that Sophie Marceau’s wonderful acting abilities were wasted in this film. Though she played the part of Elektra King extremely well, I’d love to see her come back to the series in the form of a better-written, and more primary character. Perhaps the main Bond girl, instead of being over-shadowed by the bad acting and bouncing jugs of Denise Richards.

Sophie Marceau

2. Izabella Scorupco (Natalya Simonova, GoldenEye, 1995)
Though her talent wasn’t quite as wasted as Marceau’s in Brosnan’s debut film, GoldenEye, I’d still like to see her return in a stronger role. GoldenEye worked pretty well as a post-Cold War, 90’s action thriller, and so did the character of Natalya; if you’ll recall, she was basically a computer technician caught in the middle of all of the action. I wouldn’t mind seeing her return as a primary Bond girl who is more involved with the film’s plot, rather than just being a pretty face on the side. Scorupco’s a good actress, and it’d be nice to see her get a role that she deserves — seems like she’s been signing onto a lot of trash lately.

Izabella Scorupco

3. Rosamund Pike (Miranda Frost, Die Another Day, 2002)
As many will agree, Die Another Day was an absolute atrocity of a Bond film. Rosamund Pike seems like she had lots of potential in Brosnan’s final Bond outing, but it seems like the dynamic duo, Purvis and Wade, seemed to under-write the character. To me, there wasn’t much to Miranda Frost. Yeah, she betrays Bond … just like the Bond girl in the film before Die Another Day. And she sleeps with the villain … just like the Bond girl in the film before Die Another Day, also. That’s about all there is to her. Plus, her death allows Halle Berry to mutter the brilliant line, “Bitch.”

Rosamund Pike
4. Jane Seymour (Solitaire, Live and Let Die, 1973)
Not much to say here, other than she’s a great actress, and she’s looking as good as ever.
I guarantee that this wouldn’t disappoint fans at all.

Jane Seymour

 

5.  Olga Kurylenko (Camille, Quantum of Solace, 2008)
Quantum of Solace was given some mixed reviews after its release. Whichever side of the fence you’re on, I’m sure you can say that Olga Kurylenko’s performance was neither outstanding or horrific. Certainly, she did much better than some of the more recent, past Bond girls. The only problem was that it seemed she wasn’t written very well — a recurring theme with Purvis and Wade… hmm. Anyhow, I’d like to see her play a character with more depth. She’s certainly got the looks, also.

Olga Kurylenko

James Bond in the Post-9/11 World…

September 11, 2009

Because today is the 8th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, I thought it’d be fitting to write up an article regarding Bond in the post-9/11 world.

The Twin TowersIn 1953, when Ian Fleming published his first James Bond novel, the twin towers were not yet in existence. As a matter of fact, James Bond would’ve never known of the towers until 1966, when construction of the structures began. And not until 1973 would Bond have seen them standing proud, side-by-side. James Bond might have seen them in the film version of “Live and Let Die”; perhaps while coming toward the Manhattan Bridge?

Either way, it’s odd, and quite remarkable, to think that a single fictional character has lasted so long to know the period of time in which the twin towers never existed, to when the towers were being built, to when the towers stood tall, to when the World Trade Center was bombed, to when the towers collapsed after being hit by two airliners.

Those eras are over now; today, James Bond is living in the post-9/11 world, which seems to be a very unstable world, at that. The characters of the Bond films are no longer crazed Russians hell-bent on taking over the world, or causing World War III. The time of mad men looking to extort the world’s super-powers are over. Now, James Bond goes after terrorists, their associates, and the new threats of the post-9/11 world. In Die Another Day, despite the film being absolute trash, James Bond goes after a power-hungry villain from North Korea; keep in mind that North Korea’s dictator still makes the headlines today, with his shifty nuclear weapons programs.

Attack on the Twin TowersYears later, a rebooted James Bond character makes a comeback in Casino Royale. The film, loosely based on Ian Fleming’s classic novel, takes the Soviet/Communist/Cold War plot and cleverly turns it into a post-9/11 plot. Le Chiffre doesn’t work for the Russians, but instead arms dealers and terrorists. James Bond even prevents a 9/11-esque attack in the film, by thwarting a plot to destroy an airliner. The world’s greatest secret agent is no longer a man who opposes fictional threats; instead, he’s now placed into very realistic scenarios.  Perhaps this is why many audiences found Casino Royale to be so down-to-Earth and realistic, especially after Die Another Day.

Following 2006’s Bond thriller, we were given Quantum of Solace, which introduced a very unique plot, still revolving around post-9/11 ideas. James Bond was now sent across the world to investigate a mysterious organization known only as “Quantum”. For me, this group rings a bell. Need a hint? How about Al-Queda? “Quantum” is like a modern-day SPECTRE, but carries the traits of a terrorist group like Al-Queda. A great example of this turned up last week; check out this link. This type of real-world scheme reminded me a lot of the evil scheme found in Quantum of Solace; terrorists getting a hold of money, by any means, to fund their lethal operations and private agendas.

Taliban FightersAs I mentioned, perhaps this is why our cinematic James Bond is no longer the humorous action hero found in the Brosnan era. Instead, Daniel Craig’s James Bond beats the piss out of henchmen and terrorists alike, with no remorse. Does this make him a rogue, or maverick, or senseless killer? Perhaps. But, you could only blame this on the world that we’re living in. Maybe during these tough and deadly times, this is the only way a secret agent could make it in the world. A “trust no one” policy, you could say — something James Bond has adopted since Casino Royale. After all, there was no tee-hee’ing when it came to crippling Le Chriffe’s terrorist funding operations, or eliminating a bent agent, or blowing a hole into the leg of the “Quantum” terrorism ring-leader.

Though he’s merely a fictional character, he’s certainly definitive. “It’s a cruel world…”, and James Bond, of all people, knows this. With trouble still brewing (and will always brew) in the Middle East, and Korea, what other means will James Bond turn to? Will he carry on this serious attitude? I’m sure he will, in one way or another.

My condolences go out to the families of the heroes and victims of 9/11. Rest in peace.

Film Review ::: Octopussy

September 11, 2009

Following the down-to-Earth, Fleming thriller, “For Your Eyes Only”, “Octopussy” seems to relax a bit, and reverts to the jolly, humorous Roger Moore Bond film style — but this time, in moderation.

The film starts off with some great espionage and action. James Bond uses a disguise to infiltrate an air base and plant a bomb. The plan ends up falling through, and Bond comes face to face with the man he’s imitating. After being captured, Bond is able to escape from the back of a military truck with the help of his attractive, fellow agent. Cleverly hidden within a horse trailer, Bond hops into his AcroStar Mini Jet and flies off — only to come into contact with some opposition. After dodging a heat-seeking missile, and performing some amazing stunts, Bond casually lands near a gas station. After pulling up, he lightheartedly says, “Fill her up, please.”

The characters in this film aren’t of the high quality of the characters in “For Your Eyes Only”, however, they work well with the material. I’ve never really been amazed by Louis Jourdan’s performance of the villain Kamal Khan. He certainly doesn’t rank up there with Wiseman’s Dr. No, or Sheybal’s Kronsteen, or even Savalas’ Blofeld. On the other hand, though, he’s not a terrible character. I just never found him to be menacing. On the other hand, Kabir Bedi’s performance (as Gobinda) was quite menacing; I consider him to be a henchman to match the might of Oddjob. I like how the character was taken rather seriously, instead of being turned into a joke like Jaws. Perhaps that’s what added so much menace to the character. The knife-throwing twins, Mischka and Grischska, and the power-hungry General Orlov held these similar characteristics. As far as allies go, Vijay was pretty standard. He wasn’t as amazing as Jack Lord’s Felix Leiter, but he wasn’t as terrible as, say, Rosie Carver. The Bond girls seemed standard to me, also. Maud Adams returned to play Octopussy — but, Bond’s been there and done that. Kristina Wayborn (Magda) played a minor Bond girl, but I seemed to think that she wasn’t much of an actress, and more so an object to please the average male viewers’ eyes. It was fun to see Q in the field, though, landing a hot-air balloon on top of some of Khan’s goons.

John Barry did a favorable job with the film’s score. Though, I don’t consider it to be as legendary as the scores to “You Only Live Twice” or “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, it still beats the hell out of Bill Conti’s dated, cheesy score to “For Your Eyes Only”. Rita Coolidge’s theme song was decent, also, but surely doesn’t match some of the classic themes of the series. Again, I prefer it to that annoying, sappy theme to “For Your Eyes Only”.

As far as locations go, India worked well in this film. The locations in Germany seemed grim, but worked well, also. The rest of the film tends to stay pretty serious, although we do get some ridiculous scenes that tend to take an audience out of “the moment”. For example, there’s a scene where Bond tells a tiger to “sit”, a scene where Bond swings across some vines and the Tarzan jungle-cry is heard, and then just plain-old cheesy lines like “That should keep you in curry for a few weeks”. Though Roger Moore was nearly 60-years-old at the time of the film’s release, he still held up pretty well, and looked pretty damn good.

Overall, the film is a laid-back successor of “For Your Eyes Only”. There are some scenes/aspects in which “Octopussy” tops “For Your Eyes Only”, but there are also some scenes/aspects in which “Octopussy” reverts back to the old, ridiculous nonsense that plagued Bond films like “Moonraker”. Roger Moore’s Bond era tend to catch a lot of harsh criticism, but sometimes for good reason. This film, however, doesn’t deserve any of that. It’s serious, yet fun. And most of all, it’s Bond. This is one of Moore’s best portrayals, I’d say.

7.5 / 10

7.5 / 10

Moonraker — 30th Anniversay

June 27, 2009

It was thirty years ago yesterday that Moonraker was launched to the big screen.  The eleventh film of the series, and the fourth to star Roger Moore, was the highest-grossing Bond film up until GoldenEye. There’s a lot to like about Moonraker and a lot not to like. Though, none the less, it was worth mentioning this milestone.

Here’s my review of the film:

Premiere Dates & Box Office Earnings

June 20, 2009

I’ve compiled a list of Bond film premiere dates and Bond film box office earnings. Then, I summarized the relationships between them. It’s pretty interesting … check out the results:

*** Stats include domestic box office figures. All of the numbers used are adjusted for ticket price. No worldwide figures are included due to issues that would arise because of exchange rates.

[UK] PREMIERE DATES (By Month)

May:
A View To A Kill (22nd)

June:
Octopussy (6th)
You Only Live Twice (12th)
Licence To Kill (13th)
For Your Eyes Only (24th)
Moonraker (26th)
Live And Let Die (27th)
The Living Daylights (29th)

July:
The Spy Who Loved Me (7th)

September:
Goldfinger (17th)

October:
Dr. No (5th)
From Russia With Love (10th)
Quantum Of Solace (29th)

November:
The World Is Not Enough (8th)
GoldenEye (13th)
Casino Royale (14th)
Die Another Day (18th)

December:
Thunderball (9th)
Tomorrow Never Dies (12th)
Diamonds Are Forever (17th)
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (18th)
The Man With The Golden Gun (19th)

BOX OFFICE EARNINGS (Highest to Lowest)

1. Thunderball: $453,095,866
2. Goldfinger: $394,367,777
3. You Only Live Twice: $262,186,956
4. Moonraker: $201,120,379
5. Die Another Day: $198,892,351
6. Tomorrow Never Dies: $196,009,738
7. From Russia With Love: $191,441,691
8. Diamonds Are Forever: $190,681,422
9. Casino Royale: $183,551,449
10. The World Is Not Enough: $179,420,403
11. GoldenEye: $175,670,569
12. Quantum Of Solace: $168,368,427
13. Octopussy: $154,754,344
14. The Spy Who Loved Me: $150,807,925
15. Live And Let Die: $143,519,092
16. For Your Eyes Only: $141,566,877
17. Dr. No: $135,719,190
18. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: $115,155,535
19. A View To A Kill: $101,790,071
20. The Living Daylights: $93,993,540
21. The Man With The Golden Gun: $80,523,508
22. Licence To Kill: $62,697,523

PREMIERE DATES v. BOX OFFICE EARNINGS (By Month)

May:
A View To A Kill (22nd) $101,790,071

June:

Octopussy (6th) $154,754,344
You Only Live Twice (12th) $262,186,956
Licence To Kill (13th) $62,697,523
For Your Eyes Only (24th) $141,566,877
Moonraker (26th) $201,120,379
Live And Let Die (27th) $143,519,092
The Living Daylights (29th) $93,993,540

July:
The Spy Who Loved Me (7th) $150,807,925

September:
Goldfinger (17th) $394,367,777

October:

Dr. No (5th) $135,719,190
From Russia With Love (10th) $191,441,691
Quantum Of Solace (29th) $168,368,427

November:

The World Is Not Enough (8th) $179,420,403
GoldenEye (13th) $175,670,569
Casino Royale (14th) $183,551,449
Die Another Day (18th) $198,892,351

December:

Thunderball (9th) $453,095,866
Tomorrow Never Dies (12th) $196,009,738
Diamonds Are Forever (17th) $190,681,422
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (18th) $115,155,535
The Man With The Golden Gun (19th) $80,523,508

OVERALL MONTHLY SUMS

January – April: N/A

May: $101,790,071

June: $1,059,838,711

July: $150,807,925

August: N/A

September: $394,367,777

October: $495,529,308

November: $737,534,772

December: $1,035,466,069


OVERALL MONTHLY SUMS: RANKED HIGHEST TO LOWEST

  1. June: $1,059,838,711
  2. December: $1,035,466,069
  3. November: $737,534,772
  4. October: $495,529,308
  5. September: $394,367,777
  6. July: $150,807,925
  7. May: $101,790,071
  8. January – April, August: N/A

Seems like the films launched in June and December have generated the most bank for EON Productions. November comes in at third. With these lists, I haven’t taken into consideration James Bond stars, seasons, or decades; therefore, you can expect more stats to come!

Special thanks to Karl Bennett and Box Office Mojo for their assistance with the numbers/statistics.

Film Review ::: Moonraker

June 19, 2009

“Moonraker” brings the fantasy of the James Bond films to a whole different level … a level that I don’t care much for.

The film’s story hardly resembles Fleming’s classic novel. As a matter of fact, it’s simply another lame rehashing of the story from “The Spy Who Loved Me” (courtesy of Christopher Wood) … which was essentially a rehashing of Roald Dahl’s story for “You Only Live Twice” – quite original, eh?

The characters don’t have much going for them. The most complex character of the film is probably James Bond, which is really no surprise. Roger Moore portrays him elegantly and humorously as he did in the past three films. Lois Chiles’ character, Dr. Molly Goodhead, is quite bland, to say the least. Michael Lonsdale portrays Hugo Drax in an interesting fashion, but hardly comes off as menacing or diabolical; he’s more or less a wealthy and extravagant nut case. “Jaws” unfortunately returns in this film and adds more ridiculous nonsense, also. However, this time around, the ingenious writer had the audacity to incorporate a half-witted love story amongst the metal-mouthed henchman and a petite, pig-tailed blonde named Dolly. By the end of the film, Jaws realizes that the odd couple isn’t fit for Drax’s superior race and rebels. This would’ve been a nice cash-in, made-for-TV, spin-off flick.

The greatest aspect of this James Bond film has to be John Barry’s score. If there’s one man behind-the-scenes of a Bond film who always does his job well, it’s John Barry. Somehow, Barry was able to add some sort of redeeming quality to even the cheesiest scenes of the film. One of his best pieces of music for the film is “Corinne Put Down”, which is played during Corinne’s death. The strings and winds really add emotion and depth to the scene. Shirley Bassey’s title track for the film was also great although it was wasted on such a shameful Bond film. The mellow and lovely style of the track really didn’t fit the style of the film. The locations of the film were admirable, also. Bond travels to California, Rio de Janeiro, Venice, and Brazil. The only undesirable location was outer space.

Overall, I think that “Moonraker” starts off just like the previous Moore films, however, it gets out of control as it moves on. It’s obvious that the success of George Lucas’ “Star Wars” films helped to blast this Bond film into outer space. However, while “Star Wars” succeeded as a science-fiction/action/adventure film, “Moonraker” failed as a science-fiction/action/adventure film. Actually, I’m not even quite sure what genre “Moonraker” falls under, as it’s more like a science fiction/action/adventure/espionage/comedy.

I think Bond films like this took the main character off of the path of “secret agent”, and took him onto the path of “generic action hero”. While a Bond film should have a sufficient amount of action, the character must never enter the realm of “generic action hero”. Bond is a trend-setter, not a trend-follower. Bond’s an elegant secret agent, but also a cold killer, if need be. James Bond isn’t a man who flies around outer space and blasts poison pods with lasers, as one would in a Space Invaders video game.

I think it’s safe to say that James Bond should wield his Walther PPK on planet Earth, rather than wielding a laser gun in outer space.

4.5 / 10

4.5 / 10