Sunday, 16 February 2014

Live and Let Die

Sunday 16th February

Bond has yet again regenerated, this time into Roger Moore; an interesting man, slightly younger and blonder then Connery with overly expressional eyebrows.

This time jetsetting off to New York where he makes friends with Captain Hook (who’s hand was actually taken by a crocodile), Mystic Meg (this one prefers tarot cards to a crystal ball)  and some quite colourful taxi drivers.  After being rejected by Mystic Meg Bond sulks off to the Caribbean where he is quickly attacked by the always highly dangerous snake on a stick.

The overly screamy and overly easy Rosie appears; first to kill Bond, but her fear of hats quickly gets the better of her so she decides to sleep with him instead – obviously the safest option given the scary hat.   A move, which like so many before her have found leads to her dying, at the hands; or rather eyes of a scarecrow.

In an almost original move Bond convinces Mystic Meg to sleep with him using a pack of tarot cards. In fairness he does then rescue her from a bunch on CCTV scarecrows on heroin so really it’s a win-win.

Betrayed by Mystic Meg and left to the mercy of Captain Hook’s crocodiles it looks like it could be the end for Bond, surrounded with no apparent escape, apart from his trusty magnetic watch; however the watch’s power seem more inline with removing clothing than summoning boats.  This could be it for Bond, until he spots the obvious escape route - running across six or seven alligators, setting a laboratory on fire and escaping in a speed boat – who needs fancy gadgets when you can just lure your enemies into crashing speedboats into sheriff’s cars.

All this accumulates in a high speed boat chase straight through a wedding ceremony, understandable that Bond may have a slight dislike for weddings since the outcome of his own; but that’s no real reason to ruin them for other people.

Unable to keep out of troble, Mystic Meg finds herself as the centrepiece of a tribal ceremony being taunted with a plastic snake; naturally Bond rescues her and they run away to the underground lair of the films super-villain “Mr Big” who probably attended the same class in creating nicknames as Blofeld as its really not all that original. Neither is attempting to drop Bond and Mystic Meg into a sharkpool but I guess since Mr Big isn’t in SPECTRE he thinks he’s being original. 

With Mr Big fed to his own shark it’s a sixteen hour train back to London for Bond and Meg; they pass the time playing cards and fighting off captain hook; who they discover is extremely useful when trying to open train windows.

I did find this a little disappointing; not overly enamored by Moore, no overly ridiculous gadgets, unless you count a magnetic watch which seems to have the same powers of attraction as a weak accido spell performed by a Hogwarts first year.  No overly cheesy chatup lines; and not enough M, Q or Moneypenny.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Diamonds are Forever

Sunday 9th February

So according to the latest Bond instalment, diamonds, unlike George Lazenby are forever.  Thankfully Connery is back, pretending he never went away.  As expected his first priority is to kill Blofeld, in revenge for his becoming a widower.

With Blofeld seemingly dealt with James is quickly moved into his next mission, surprisingly enough it involves diamonds and a trip to Amsterdam; maybe they’re hoping a trip to the red light district will help Bond forget about Tracey.

Masquerading as “transport consultant” Peter Franks Bond meets with the wig loving Tiffany before being forced to kill the real Peter Franks with a fire extinguisher in order to use him as a jewellery box to transport diamonds into America.  Back in the casino James meets Plenty, a stupid name for an equally stupid woman, that doesn’t wear bras despite that she quickly gets thrown about the window, quite literally in favour of Tiffany.

What is noticeable in this Bond is the improvement in the stunts, most noticeably in the car chases; previous Bonds have been extremely unconvincing green screen shoots where Sean throws the steering wheels fiercely from side to side to make the car continue to go in a straight line.

Being the super spy he is James quickly tracks down the people behind the missing diamonds; Blofeld; to be more precise, two Blofelds and of course his ever reliable cat.  Enforcing the saying “third time luck” James kills another double; meaning that surely next time he’ll get the right man, or at least the cat.

Next on the agenda, track down the real Mr Whyte; who’s identity is being use by the ever evil and occasionally cross-dressing Blofeld.  Being protected by acrobatic versions Disney characters Bond finds an extremely confused Willard just as the films plot escalates from stealing diamonds to, very originally world domination.  Whoever told Blofeld “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” really needed to add on, “unless you end up killing lots of people and have spent billions and have the world’s secret services watching your every move” Not as catchy a saying but in this case the disclaimer would have been useful.  Also, a lesson to the worlds politicians, stop sending the same agent to the same job if said agent has failed on repeated occasions to get a quite simple of killing one man done properly!

We also see a different side on Q who has started using his powers for evil by fixing fruit machines with an electo-magnet; maybe he’s trying to raise the funds for that HR department.  There’s  brief appearance from MoneyPenny shamelessly insisting Bond propose to her, so soon after the death of his wife.

I’m almost slightly disappointed that this is Connery’s last Bond, after the last film this was a comforting return back to normal Bond. That being said Connery was in slight need of some hair dye in this film, and he only slept with one woman, perhaps a sign that his time as 007 has come and gone and it’s time to take up a new hobby; just not in fork lift truck driving.

Monday, 3 February 2014

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Monday 3rd February

So James Bond is back, and he has a new hat; and seemingly a new face; new Bond even remarks on Sean Connery being ‘the other fellow’ so we can only assume that Bond is in fact a timelord but the regeneration effects were too expensive to film; that or I missed a crucial end scene of the last film .  Moneypenny has a new face too but this isn’t remarked upon, maybe she’s not a time lord and her plastic surgery just went wrong.

We begin with James “saving” a woman walking into the sea, the woman in question didn’t seem to be in any distress or danger until Bond saves her when she finds herself caught in a fight with two rather violent strangers with very little regard for other people’s property. 

Despite new appearances new Bond still enjoys his card counting and is quickly back in the casino; although this time he’s swapped his rather classic attire for a frilly shirt and dickybow. His choice in casual wear is also distinctly worse than it was; though it does seem to allow for slightly more movement when beating up strangers. He also seems to have swapped his rather impressive track record with women for stalking one woman rather restlessly. Tracy; it seems that no matter how many times she tries to have Bond killed he just persists in pursuing her.

In the middle of a tantrum James resigns from the secret service via a post it, a rather unprofessional method if ever there was one; this backfires when MoneyPenny hands in the wrong post it and James gets two weeks holiday and she gets a kiss; so it seems they’re still looking for that HR department.

New Bond, old villain; SPECTRE – again! This time hiding in some snowy Swiss mountains, since warmer climates have previously resulted in failure. To help him get over his failure with Tracy he is sent to a seemingly female only allergy clinic where they seem to help poor, innocent women with life-threateningly difficult issues such as a dislike of chicken and potatoes and a weakness for overly cheesy chatup lines.

It seems that Blofelt, who has strangely ditched his numerical nickname is also a timelord and has recently completed a hypnosis course at his local college for which curing fears of chicken were merely coursework as his real goal, is rather unimaginably world domination. No wonder all the numbered people have abandoned him; they merely had a realistic idea of the company’s growth and potential and they knew that no matter how hard they worked they couldn’t compete with the cat.

If I’m brutally honest I’m glad this is George Lazenby’s only appearance as Bond, although it was interesting to see the character portrayed from a very different angle - I’m sure at one point he was wearing lip gloss and a skirt as well as a frilly cravat whilst going by the name of Hilary! No wonder they got Connery back.