A View to a Kill (1985) Film Review

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Free-to-air television recently screened all of the Bond films. Just in case you were wondering why I’ve been making my way through them lately. I’ve been enjoying most of them – it doesn’t bother me that they are a bit cheesy, and I can even forgive the sexism – just so long as there are good gags, fast car/boat/plane/ski chases and awesome bad guys. I’ve been loving Sean Connery and Roger Moore, and was wondering why people don’t like Roger Moore as Bond. Then I watching A View to a Kill. Oh, it’s terrible.

There is some suspicion about a racehorse, so Bond (Roger Moore) goes to the private property of Max Zorin (Christopher Walken), a tycoon who is using chemical enhancements to win races. Bond discovers that there is more than meets the eye, and whilst managing to avoid being killed by May Day (Grace Jones), traces the plot back to a mine and a plot to flood silicone valley. Then there is a blimp, the Golden Gate Bridge and *yawn* other stuff.

Seeing a beautiful, young Christopher Walken was wonderful. But the film, oh, stinker, stinker, stinker. I thought this was the worst Bond ever (including Skyfall, which I thought was terrible) until I saw Licence to Kill.

Durran Durran were nominated for Best Original Song for A View to a Kill.

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) Film Review

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Oh no!  A nuclear submarine has been stolen. What to do? Send in Bond. Give him the chance to scuba a lot in his little shorts with beautiful women in bikinis. Things won’t go smoothly – oh no. But eventually, spoiler alert, Bond will beat the bad guy, shag the beautiful woman and the world will be safe again. Until next time.

For me, the best thing in this was Atlantis, the most spectacular of all super-villain bases (that I’ve seen so far). It’s way cool, emerges from the water in the most fascinating and awesome manner and what’s more, despite being an underwater hideaway, it has its own pool with killer sharks. Too good.

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Is this better or worse than any of the old Bond films? I don’t know. I still love the kitsch, the style, the bad fights and the crappy special effects. It’s ace fun.

The Spy Who Loved Me was nominated for Oscars for Best Art-Direction-Set Decoration, Best Music – Original Score and Best Music – Original Song for the song ‘Nobody Does It Better’.

Moonraker (1979) Film Review

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After shaking off the invincible Jaws (Richard Kiel) in a very exciting mid-skydiving fight, James Bond (Roger Moore) is sent to Venice to track down a satellite which went missing during delivery. Eventually winning over the magnificently named Dr. Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles), Bond goes via Rio into space to discover that Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale) has created an amazing space station where he intends to breed the perfect humans to start a new world in the air.

What I found odd about this plot was, having watched The Spy Who Loved Me immediately before Moonraker, both films were about an evil villain who was going to start a new world. Below the sea, then in space. A little more originality, please? Plus, both films had one of those shots where something unbelievable happens and a bystander who is having a drink looks at the bottle as though the drink is causing them to hallucinate. To be fair, it made me chuckle both times.

Moonraker has everything you want in a Bond. Ridiculous scenarios, awesome costumes (especially the ski outfit Bond puts on in the opening sequence. Oh, so yellow), terribly corny dialogue and, as a bonus, this has lots of lasers. Awesome.

Moonraker was nominated for an Oscar for Best Effects, Visual Effects.

For Your Eyes Only (1981) Film Review

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How can you tell a good Bond film from a bad? I don’t think I’ve seen a really bad old Bond film, or at least, not one that was worse than any of the other Bond films.

This was my first Roger Moore. I can definitely see why he is the favourite Bond for many – he is allowed to look fearful and panic, but the second he gains any control, he’s back. Cool, smug and cheekily arrogant.

A boat of the British army has been sunk, with the revolutionary ATAC system on board. The boat is traced by a marine biologist who is then assassinated along with his wife, in front of his beautiful daughter, Melina. Melina gains revenge on the killers, but of course, the plot is deeper than that. Bond finds the ATAC system only to be thwarted by the bad guy. Escaping from sharks and with an extremely conveniently oxygen tank left beneath the sea, Bond eventually comes out on top.

Cheesy lines, terrible vocal dubbing and the death of many beautiful woman, it is marvellous. Long (over two hours long) but marvellous.