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The Spy Who Loved Me - it's not actually that good, is it?


Thor
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19 hours ago, The Disco said:

I started from the beginning watching them all (doing one a day) and after watching Goldeneye again today, I can say that in my opinion the only two overall good ones have been Never Say Never Again (I don't care that it's not an EON film), and Goldeneye.  I don't recall Brosnan's other Bond films being anywhere near as good overall as Goldeneye and I wasn't a fan of Craigs Bond (too moody).

 

I find it fascinating that a contemporary binge-watch could result in NSNA making the top 2 given that it's traditionally the most derided of the lot. Why did you like it over the others?

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This is going to end up in the overall Bond thread isn't it?

 

NSNA is half decent, but once Barbara Carrera dies it just grinds to a halt.  And Connery is so, so old in it. And the horse stunt.  Lots of problematic bits.

 

Most of the Bond films pre-Dalton have aged very badly indeed. The earliest Connerys get away with it for being a product of their times - which, I hasten to add, is over half a century ago.  However, I feel that standing there and going "well, that's a bit shit" is OK but ignores one hell of a lot of context.  These were huge spectacles at the time, proper events.  The stunts were all practical and often set the bar for action movies.  They had imagination - even VTAK has that brilliant Paris sequence done by Remy-Julienne and the big fight on top of the Golden Gate bridge.

 

That's the thing about TSWLM.  It had the exotic locations for the time (the Pyramids*), that parachute moment, an iconic car, underwater bases and a quite tense couple of individual sequences during the big tanker shootout.  There's also a lot of stuff going on just to get it made.  It's an absurd film but it completely fits together in the context of what it is trying to be.

 

*including the Roger Moore painting!

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NSNA has some really dodgy stuff in it, especially Connery taking the place of a masseuse and feeling up Kim Basinger's character without her knowledge or consent. It works better as a film if you assume Bond has gone mad due to untreated neurosyphilis, escapes from an MI5 asylum at the start, and spends the rest of the film reeling around the south of France stealing motorbikes and distressing people in an arcade who just want to play Centipede in peace.

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TSWLM was the only Bond I ever saw in the cinema - the parachute reveal is particularly good on a big screen - so I have fond memories for that reason. And because of the Lotus.

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On 15/05/2022 at 01:11, jonamok said:

“The Spy Who Loved Me” is, by a country mile, the indisputable GOAT Bond theme song and always will be. Musically, lyrically, performance - just perfect.

 

Though Live and Let Die is a damn fine, if distant, second.

 

Nobody Does It Better is my favourite, but We Have All The Time In The World is the better song.

Live and Let Die is ok, but GnR do it better.  I'd put All Time High in 3rd I think.

 

20 hours ago, Nick R said:

For Your Eyes Only is my favourite of Moore's Bond films. Yes, even though it has that Blofeld helicopter opening and the Thatcher phone call at the end! :o (Which of those villains is worse...?)

 

The FYEO Turbo Esprit is nicer than the SWLM 'submarine Esprit too...

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13 hours ago, Festoon said:

 

Isn't NSNA just Thunderball again?

 

Aye, but mostly done better imo (though I loved the Vulcan bits of Thunderball.

 

8 hours ago, Pob said:

 

I find it fascinating that a contemporary binge-watch could result in NSNA making the top 2 given that it's traditionally the most derided of the lot. Why did you like it over the others?

 

I think because, for me, overall it has a lot more going for it than the rest.  It has better action than any other up until Goldeneye, I think Connery is on great form physically (or if not, the action is directed a heck of a lot better than other Bond films), I first saw it at a time when I was a lot more impressionable than I am now and I got a lot more enjoyment out films then than I have for around 20 years now.

 

Before I started the rewatch though, I would have said You Only Live Twice was my favourite Bond film.  That might have been mostly Rose Tinted spectables and that fact that The theme song by Nancy Sinatra is up there in my top three Bond tunes (For Your Eyes Only and A View To A kill also being in there).

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Watched The Living Daylights. Much better! Still has some issues of its time (the totally rapey Ferris wheel bit for one!) but as an actual spy movie with  political intrigue it's bloody good! Dalton is awesome as Bond.

 

This thread should probably get merged into the Bond one now...

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32 minutes ago, Thor said:

Watched The Living Daylights. Much better! Still has some issues of its time (the totally rapey Ferris wheel bit for one!) but as an actual soy movie wut  polital intrigue it's bloody good! Dalton is awesome as Bond.

 

This thread should probably get merged into the Bond one now...


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You are viewing the films through the lens of hindsight though.

 

 Goldfinger (Still a great film today) was a hugely influential Bond film, that basically created the template for not just Bond films but arguably the action movie genre and you could even make a case for blockbuster movies in general.

 

Easy to take for granted with familiarity, but calling it a throwaway bit of fun is a total disservice to how groundbreaking it actually was at the time of release.

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On 16/05/2022 at 13:50, Plissken said:

And Connery is so, so old in it.

 

He would have been 52 or 53 during filming. That's younger than Moore was in A View To A Kill.

 

Also he's Sean Connery. He gets a pass for being an utter fucking boss.

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Watched Goldeneye last night. Hmmm, Brosnan is great, but I found myself switching off for much of it. The plot is ... a bit naff. Has two of the best bond girls ever, though. 

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I think Connery looked older than he was in NSNA because they didn't acknowledge his age, and tried to make him look like he did 20 years ago. The wig looked awful, and mature Connery looked so much better with a beard or moustache. I get that it would have been odd to have a balding James Bond with facial hair, but Connery looked like an absolute badass with his natural hair colour and style.

 

Most older actors look so much better when they stop dying their hair and wearing wigs.

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I watched TSWLM because of this thread, and… Wasn’t too impressed, unfortunately. Haven’t watched a Roger Moore Bond in about twenty years,* and I found his version of the character unlikeably smug. I mean, Bond is unlikeable by design, but this unlikeable version I found grating. The action scenes here more high-stakes and less wacky than I assumed a Moore Bond film would be, but the editing was often distractingly poor and disjointed.
 

* I rewatched most of the Bond films back in 2012, when Sky Movies was showing them, but skipped the R. Moore films completely back as then they didn’t seem to be regarded very positively. However post-Craig, a less serious take on Bond seem more appealing.

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Yes, as Thunderball was co-written with someone so he had the shared rights to that Bond story too. He was going to remake it again in the 00s as I recall…he should have given us that gay secret agent/ Bond-esque film that Rupert Everett was rumoured to do :)

 

EON managed to buy the rights back finally to stop any competing films…and I think prior to the purchase that’s why they couldn’t use Blofeld or Spectre in any of the 80s/90s films for some reason (and why Moore dropping him down a chimney from a Heliocoptor was kept “vague” but I think was supposed to be a pop at the whole legal scenario)

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Over the weekend I watched a few more of these. Goldfinger was surprisingly good given its era. Licence to Kill was pretty decent as well despite a very young Del Toro stinking up every scene he was in*. But then I moved on to the Craig films and one thing really struck me: the quality of writing in the script drops off a fucking cliff, it's noticeable in Casino Royale - "it makes me feel reborn" 🤮 - and just gets worse as the films go on: "Cuckoo!" 🤨. The kicker is, Craig's actually a decent Bond, very reminiscent of Dalton (the best Bond), but what he had to work with ... fucking hell. Perhaps that particular rot was there in the later Brosnan films, I don't know as I have no inclination to watch them. 

 

*I do like Del Toro, he can be absolutely amazing, but it's 50/50 as to which Del Toro you get...

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1 minute ago, JohnC said:

Brosnan gets "I thought Christmas only comes once a year"

Ah, but cheesy smirk-inducing one-liners like are there in all the bond movies, they're deliberate and fun. A lot of the shite in the Craig films is played totally straight. 

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8 hours ago, Thor said:

Over the weekend I watched a few more of these. Goldfinger was surprisingly good given its era. Licence to Kill was pretty decent as well despite a very young Del Toro stinking up every scene he was in*. But then I moved on to the Craig films and one thing really struck me: the quality of writing in the script drops off a fucking cliff, it's noticeable in Casino Royale - "it makes me feel reborn" 🤮 - and just gets worse as the films go on: "Cuckoo!" 🤨. The kicker is, Craig's actually a decent Bond, very reminiscent of Dalton (the best Bond), but what he had to work with ... fucking hell. Perhaps that particular rot was there in the later Brosnan films, I don't know as I have no inclination to watch them. 

 

*I do like Del Toro, he can be absolutely amazing, but it's 50/50 as to which Del Toro you get...

 

The Bond producers seem to rely far too much on Neal Purvis and Robert Wade to turn in a journeyman script. They've been at it since The World Is Not Enough. Whenever the series starts getting stale, they change the Bond actor, try different directors etc. Why they stick with Purvis and Wade to write the screenplays, I've no idea.

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I think I remember reading somewhere that they use Purvis and Wade because they’re really quick and can get the structure and story down early so that they can get on with the immense logistics that go into making a Bond film. Then they get more prestigious, “name” writers in later on to beef up the characters and dialogue. 

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23 hours ago, Thor said:

Ah, but cheesy smirk-inducing one-liners like are there in all the bond movies, they're deliberate and fun. A lot of the shite in the Craig films is played totally straight. 

 

That's because Craig can't deliver a comedic line to save his life.

 

The problem with that "Christmas" line is that as soon as she is introduced, the entire audience is waiting for it.

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On 24/05/2022 at 12:25, Thor said:

Over the weekend I watched a few more of these. Goldfinger was surprisingly good given its era. Licence to Kill was pretty decent as well despite a very young Del Toro stinking up every scene he was in*. But then I moved on to the Craig films and one thing really struck me: the quality of writing in the script drops off a fucking cliff, it's noticeable in Casino Royale - "it makes me feel reborn" 🤮 - and just gets worse as the films go on: "Cuckoo!" 🤨. The kicker is, Craig's actually a decent Bond, very reminiscent of Dalton (the best Bond), but what he had to work with ... fucking hell. Perhaps that particular rot was there in the later Brosnan films, I don't know as I have no inclination to watch them. 

 

*I do like Del Toro, he can be absolutely amazing, but it's 50/50 as to which Del Toro you get...

Goldfinger also has the absolute definitive Bond outfit..

 

 

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