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Tommy R

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I hate to say anything bad about Dr. No, but I’ve always found the score by Monty Norman to be not-very-good. The only standout is the Bond theme which, while Norman wrote the music used for it, John Barry I believe “arranged” it if that’s the right term, which created the theme we all know and love.
 

benbess

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One of the reasons I like From Russia With Love better than Dr. No is the wonderful score by John Barry for FRWL. One little thing that bother me in both movies is that it isn't Sean Connery doing the opening gun barrel shot, but instead stunt man Bob Simmons.

 

benbess

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-From Russia With Love - It’s not my very favorite of the Connery films but I understand why it’s so highly regarded. For me, it’s not as cohesive as Dr. No, and I find I like the different parts more than the overall sum, but man, what great parts. The first pre-title sequence is a plus, establishing a format that continues to this date. Robert Brownjohn’s titles here are less interesting to me than Maurice Binder’s, but the visuals and music go well together. I love the Spectre stuff. Pedro Armendariz has such wonderful screen presence. Desmond Llewelyn’s first appearance. I love the briefcase. It’s a great gadget that’s plausible, practical and yet generic enough that it’s existence doesn’t telegraph it’s usage. The plotting is still refreshingly small scale - Spectre wants a decoding device and tries to play the Russians and the Brits off each other to get it. It’s a great scheme that makes for fun viewing - simple but ingenious. I wish more of the films had kept their plotting on this level.

Goldfinger - I know that it’s often ranked the best of them all. I know it’s the favorite for many. And yet, for me, this is the one where all the trouble begins. Lots of people try to pinpoint when the Bond series got silly. Roger Moore’s era is a frequent candidate. Diamonds Are Forever is often part of that conversation. You Only Live Twice is worth mentioning. But it really starts here. The cartoonish villain with the blindingly obvious name and the larger than life scheme to reshape the world. The over abundance of gadgets. And here’s the thing: had this been a one-off approach, it would have been grand fun. But from this point on, whenever the Bond producers get stuck or lose their way, they return to Goldfinger and try to duplicate its sillier contrivances. Guy Hamilton doesn’t take Bond or his world nearly as seriously as Terence Young did, and while that approach works for this specific film, it became a hallmark of many of the other films that followed. I like Goldfinger but it’s hard to take seriously, and the Bond movies that work best for me are the ones I can take seriously. For better and for worse, the franchise was never the same again after this.
Josh makes really good points here.

Although overall I like FRWL better than Dr. No, it does seem like the whole is less than the sum of the parts. A couple of times there are what feel to me like slow patches, with scenes that maybe could have done with a bit more editing. But overall it's an outstanding entry in the series. Here's a fun video of a perceptive reviewer on youtube watching FRWL for the first time.



I agree that Goldfinger begins the sometimes questionable march of Bond toward things that become close to absurd, although the first time I saw the movie as a teenager, about 1980 iirc, ironically I wondered if the movie was giving potential enemies a plan that might work of irradiating our main gold supply lol! I confess I haven't read the Ian Fleming books, but much of the close to silly or objectionable stuff seems to be in the original novel.

 

benbess

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Although I think Skyfall is one of the best Bond movies made, as usual the new Pitch Meeting for Skyfall makes some amusing points....

 

JoeBond

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Josh makes really good points here.

Although overall I like FRWL better than Dr. No, it does seem like the whole is less than the sum of the parts. A couple of times there are what feel to me like slow patches, with scenes that maybe could have done with a bit more editing. But overall it's an outstanding entry in the series. Here's a fun video of a perceptive reviewer on youtube watching FRWL for the first time.



I agree that Goldfinger begins the sometimes questionable march of Bond toward things that become close to absurd, although the first time I saw the movie as a teenager, about 1980 iirc, ironically I wondered if the movie was giving potential enemies a plan that might work of irradiating our main gold supply lol! I confess I haven't read the Ian Fleming books, but much of the close to silly or objectionable stuff seems to be in the original novel.


That video is hilarious. His reactions are priceless in certain scenes!
 

Mikael Soderholm

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So, I finally won the Bond 50 blu box auction, great box set, so now I am watching them in no particular order, mostly the older ones, which I didn't have before, but tonight, I saw License To Kill, and must say the Dalton movies are a bit underappreciated. This one has great locations, TWO great Bond girls, and a lot of Q, what more can you ask for?
Also possibly Benicio del Toro's first major role.
 

Tommy R

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There’s a LOT to point out in Licence to Kill that is under appreciated. The tanker chase at the end is amazing and worth the price of admission. Dalton himself takes Bond to a place we’ve never seen before, and it’s glorious. Both the Bond girls are solid. Davi is a great villain. And yes, Q getting more than the usual screen time was great. I’ll also say the music score is underrated and has some of my favorite uses of the Bond theme. Anthony Zerbe is fun to hate in his supporting role, and his gruesome end sure is something. Its interesting how the use of violence in this movie REALLY went for it, and pushed the PG-13 rating to its limits for the time (at least in the US, no idea how it measured up elsewhere in the world).

If there’s anything less favorable to say, it has a “cheap” look to it, which may have been due to the budget, and it runs a bit long. John Glen says in interviews that The Spy Who Loved Me is his favorite Bond film, and I think that very much shows in his films, and not necessarily in a good way. God bless the man, he knew how to make super exciting Bondian action, but I think ALL 5 of his films would have benefited from being tighter and shorter (except for AVTAK, which is hot garbage no matter how you cut it). The Living Daylights suffers the least, but Licence to Kill could have easily bested it with a little more focus and a quicker pace. Perhaps they should have brought on a different director (sorry Glen) just to bring something fresh to what would have been a unique entry in the series.
 

benbess

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I'm also a fan of License to Kill. Saw it in the theaters twice in 1989 iirc.

There are other possibilities, of course, but the Hollywood Reporter today says....


"

Why Henry Cavill Basically Already Is James Bond​

The British actor with a soldier’s discipline, a gentleman’s demeanor and a high tolerance for “extreme punishment” opens up about 'The Witcher' season 2, 'Highlander,' his Superman and 'Mission Impossible' futures — and the elusive spy role directors insist he was “born to play.”
BY JAMES HIBBERD

NOVEMBER 10, 2021"
 

Tommy R

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Man, I remember thinking Cavill was all wrong for Bond in 2005 when it came down to him or Craig. I think they made the right choice, but I was totally wrong in short-changing Cavill. To be fair all I knew him from was Albert from Count of Monte Cristo. But, sheesh he would have been an amazing Bond!
 

Mikael Soderholm

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So, tonight I revisited Moonraker, one of the few Moore Bonds I didn't own before, because at the time I thought it was just too stupid.
Well, I was wrong, it's actually pretty good, or good-ish, well shot, good locations, the usual Moore suaveness, some pretty good fight scenes for an old guy, and doesn't really get stupid up until the last 25 minutes or so. Not the best Bond, or even Moore, by a long shot, but still much better than I remembered.
I think it will be fun to continue discovering the Bonds I had previously overlooked.
Must say the Bond 50 blu box set was worth every cent, can't understand how I missed it at the time of release.
 

benbess

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Before NTTD came out there were brief theatrical showings at my local AMC theater of Skyfall and Casino Royale. I saw both of them again, and really enjoyed the big screen experience. For Casino Royale it brought me back to how refreshing and bold Craig's first Bond movie seemed at the time. It's still a really good movie, but there are some elements I'm not wild about. For instance, the opening fight scene in black and white I did find a bit brutal for my tastes, and that goes even more for the big fight on the stairs in the middle of the movie. On the one hand I appreciate the comparative realism, but on the other hand from my pov it just gets a bit too grim and violent. When Bond gets tortured I kind of feel the same way about it. Again, I appreciate that they were going in a different direction, and I applaud that after the invisible car and so on of the previous Bond movies. But I myself would not want Martin Campbell back to direct the next Bond movie, because I feel a lighter touch is needed. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is actually when Bond and Vesper meet, which eon's 007 youtube channel put up a while ago....

 

Keith Cobby

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Bond meets Vesper on the train, as does Jesse and Celine (Before Sunset), as does Walter Mitty and Rosalind van Hoorn, as, of course, does Roger Thornhill and Eve Kendall. The most classy and romantic introductions happen on trains. Alas, it has never happened to me!
 

ScottRE

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One of the reasons I like From Russia With Love better than Dr. No is the wonderful score by John Barry for FRWL. One little thing that bother me in both movies is that it isn't Sean Connery doing the opening gun barrel shot, but instead stunt man Bob Simmons.


Simmons did the first three gunbarrels. Then Sean took over with Thunderball and tripped over his own foot and they didn't do a retake. Oy vey.
 

ScottRE

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There’s a LOT to point out in Licence to Kill that is under appreciated. .... John Glen says in interviews that The Spy Who Loved Me is his favorite Bond film, and I think that very much shows in his films, and not necessarily in a good way. God bless the man, he knew how to make super exciting Bondian action, but I think ALL 5 of his films would have benefited from being tighter and shorter (except for AVTAK, which is hot garbage no matter how you cut it). The Living Daylights suffers the least, but Licence to Kill could have easily bested it with a little more focus and a quicker pace. Perhaps they should have brought on a different director (sorry Glen) just to bring something fresh to what would have been a unique entry in the series.
Of his films, The Living Daylights, For Your Eyes Only and Licence to Kill are my favorites - in that order. For Your Eyes Only is the only one of the Moore films that I consider remotely watchable anymore.
 

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