Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Gimme Some Moore James Bond

I tried working my way through the James Bond movies chronologically a couple of years back (I'd only seen the Daniel Craig films at that point) but my interest waned by the time I got to Thunderball, only the fourth film in the franchise, so clearly James Bond isn't entirely my bag, baby.

Point being I have never seen Roger Moore play 007, and today with the news that he's passed (there's an appreciative obit for him over at The Film Experience, which is where I'm also stealing the below graphic from) I'm curious -- if I skipped ahead and watched one of his Bonds, which one should it be?

Weirdly we just posted about A View to a Kill last week for Grace Jones' birthday. Also earlier today I did a list of my favorite movies of 1974 and was looking up The Man with the Golden Gun as part of that and it looked possibly fun. (I mean, Christopher Lee! In polyester lounge-wear!) But most of all I know what my boyfriend's answer to this poll will be - he's been screaming about how much he loves Moonraker for years. And I do love the Shirley Bassey tune....


Pierce said...

First watch Moonraker, because it's Jaws in love and it's also really sexy. Then watch Octopussy because Louis Jourdan is the villain and it's also really sexy. RIP, Sir Roger Moore.

Scott said...

The Moonraker song is great - I go back and forth on my favorite Bond song, but it may well be that one (it's one of the Basseys).

I'd say The Spy Who Loved Me is definitely the best of these movies, but Octopussy is awfully entertaining in its way - I mean just hearing Louis Jourdan say "Octopussy" brings a smile.

Anonymous said...

Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me are heterosexual camp at it's most flaming. Roger Moore's stiff awkwardness during the action scenes was still endearing rather than just sad and they have the most beautiful models, loving lit and shot to ravishing perfection. Sure, the opticals used to combine them with the live action might seem primitive today but to me they're still more magical than any amount of CGI.

Even though they just recycled The Spy Who Loved Me's plot for Moonraker, I prefer it for the following reasons.

1)More models

2)The crazed eugenicist in Moonraker has remembered that if he's going to repopulate the earth with his chosen perfect people, some of them will have to be women.

3)The Bond Girl isn't betraying her country and the memory of her dead lover for a man whose spent most of the film negging her, their inevitable romance is more like the spy equivalent of a fling at a business conference. Instead of spending the films climax tied to a chair she's at least as smart and useful as Bond and can fight as stiffly and awkwardly as any man. Admittedly she's called Holly Goodhead but you can't have everything.

4)A laser space battle done with real lasers. That they then got an animator in to do properly as real lasers look like nothing on film.

A View to a Kill is only worth watching for Grace Jones and the sheer terror Roger Moore is barely concealing during their love scene together. RIP my favourite Bond.

Anonymous said...

The Spy Who Loved Me is his best, but I have a real soft spot for Octopussy which is really under rated.
A View to a Kill was my first at the cinema, and you never forget your first... but he is well past his prime in it.
Whichever one you chose, enjoy!

ernesto66 said...

My favorite of Moore's depends on my mood. "Live and Let Die", "View" and "Spy" are all dismissable IMO but each has at least 1 redeeming feature like its theme song or Bond girl. "Moonraker" makes me nostalgic for late-70s sci fi and the way every picture there for a couple of years wanted to be "Star Wars".

I like "Octopussy" for its very decent action sequences, beautiful photography, and terrific villain. I would never call Louis Jourdan hot, especially at that age, but the way he overenunciates every line is almost erotic.

"Golden Gun" has one of the alltime best villains. Christopher Lee manages to be genuinely funny and genuinely frightening at the same time. Him just putting the gun together is a lesson in how to underplay a scene but still be the one everyone's watching.

IMO the best of them all is "For Your Eyes Only". The series had gone way too far out into Joel Schumacher territory with "Moonraker", but somehow managed to come back with a solid script, an actual performance from Moore and (especially for this franchise) very suspenseful sequences - underplayed and drawn out with almost no music or dialogue to undercut the tension. Even the silly gag at the end is still funny.

will h said...

Live and Let Die is amazing. It's the blaxploitation Bond! It has Jane Seymour as a virginal tarot card reader! It has voodoo! It has Yaphet Kotto!

Anonymous said...

The Spy Who Loved Me still holds up as a very entertaining film. I also really liked For Your Eyes Only. I enjoyed Moore's take on Bond. May he rest in peace.