Casino Royale

James wanted to watch a Bond film in the weekend, so he chose this one as he has not seen it yet.

I have seen this a couple of times before at least, with my last post about it way back in 2012. So here is what I wrote that time:

I saw this a few years back for the first time and decided to watch it again to see how well it has stood up after seeing most of the older Bond movies.

And I was quite impressed. Daniel Craig was as good as I remember and the rest of the film was much more polished, mature and action-like than any Bond film before it, but pretty much minus the camp Bond humour. That though did not matter too much, this seemed more like a proper action/thriller/spy film that can hold it’s own against the Jason Bourne and Tom Cruise flicks that could have easily wiped out Bond if he did not get up with the times.

Hopefully Daniel Craig does a few more Bond films.

I am in agreeance with myself on what I wrote, but I don’t agree with my score of 8.5 out of 10, it was a tad too generous. There were a few long scenes where the story slowed down just a bit too much and I was longing for some action sequences. The poker game for example dragged on a bit which could have been shortened or livened up a bit with a shootout at some point. And the romance storyline in the third act, which seemed like it was tacked on, was kind of dull… it too needed a shootout scene or at least a car chase somewhere.

But these gripes aside it was still a good Bond film, and solidified Daniel Craig as a very worthy Bond.

Date watched: August 3rd
Score: 7.5/10
James’ score: 7.5/10
Film count 2019: 22

Spectre

Recently I have had a hankering to watch a film made in this century, so I went to my favourite DVD rental place and using their “Five DVDs for 1000 yen” deal I chose five modern films.

The first one I wanted to watch was Spectre because I am a mild James Bond fan, and I am especially a Daniel Craig as Bond fan, I think he is one of the best.

All in all this was what you would expect from a Bond film; it’s got the action, the things blowing up, the humour, the sassy ladies, the cat-stroking villain (although not as much cat stroking as I expected), and the nice sports cars.

Christophe Waltz was great as Blofeld. This is only the second film I have seen him in, but already I would easily add him to my top twenty best actors list.

I found this a tad long, two and a half hours is an eternity compared to the much less than 90 minute (but still story-packed) pre-21st century films I have been enjoying recently. Still, you are getting your money’s worth.

Next up on my modern-movie-athon is Monument Men which I chose purely because it has the Clooney. Which reminds me, in Django the main bad guy was a pre-Clooney clone, it was almost uncanny.

Date watched: July 15th to 16th (I started watching it at 10pm)
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2016: 115

The Clooneys… (actually the guy in Django was older in the film, but in this photo the Cloony-ness is even more striking).

pre-clooney.jpg

Casino Royale

I saw this a few years back for the first time and decided to watch it again to see how well it has stood up after seeing most of the older Bond movies.

And I was quite impressed. Daniel Craig was as good as I remember and the rest of the film was much more polished, mature and action like than any Bond film before it, but pretty much minus the camp Bond humour. That though did not matter too much, this seemed more like a proper action/thriller/spy film that can hold it’s own against the Jason Bourne and Tom Cruise flicks that could have easily wiped out Bond if he did not get up with the times.

Hopefully Daniel Craig does a few more Bond films.

Date watched: September 23rd
Score: 8.5/10
Film count 2012: 94

From Russia With Love

Not a bad Bond film this one, probably my second fave after Thunderball.

There was quite a decent story to follow which was good as there was not a lot of action in this compared to the others. No Bond car at all and the only gadget was a nifty suitcase. Sean Connery was superbness and the leading female role was good too. The lead villain was a cool-ass dude. For most of the film he didn’t talk, then later on he started talking with a jolly good British accent, even saying ‘Old boy’ a lot to James.

One to watch again some days.

Score: 9.5/10
Film count 2012: 39

Dr No

Quite different to the Bond movies that would follow but I think it is probably one of the best, but not the best. It wasn’t campy which I liked, I think the 70’s Bond movies could have done without the camp humour after seeing this. Sean Connery was pretty good but not at his best I think, but it was his first outing as Bond after all. He seemed to fragile to me at times, not always cool and calm as Bond is supposed to be.

There was no Bond car or gadgets except for a geiger counter sent to Bond but none of that seemed to matter really, it was just him running around getting himself into and out of trouble using his skills and cunning. The final battle with Dr No was a bit of a let down though, Dr No could have put up more of a fight, he was the main villain after all.

Still, I was entertained.

Date watched: January 15th
Bond-O-meter: 8/10
Score: 8/10
Film count 2012: 9

Never Say Never Again

Even before the opening credits had finished I knew I wasn’t going to like this one. I didn’t know what year this was made before I watched it but those first few seconds of the credits were enough to know that it is another terrible 80’s Bond movie. That and the fact that this movie cannot really be considered a proper Bond movie because it was made by an independent production company, not the usual Bond company.

The story too was just not right. At the beginning the double-O agents had all been retired and 007 was re-training for some reason, essentially he was out of work, which should never happen I think. And this movie was released in the same year as Octopussy which starred Roger Moore, whereas an aging Sean Connery was in this one.

Sean Connery though was quite impressive considering he was 52 at the time. He was quite physical and did quite a few stunts himself. The bad dude too was quite good but the rest of the cast were mediocre. The music throughout was terrible and didn’t match the action at all.

The story was over-long and I was getting quite bored by the end. Avoid this one.

Date watched: December 8th
Score: 4/10
Film count 2011: 110

never-again

You Only Live Twice

I felt like watching a movie on Christmas evening while I was in bed sick, so I chose this.

I was surprised to see that Roald Dahl wrote the screenplay which apparently used very little of the original Ian Fleming story. The plot though was a bit too muddled in places and some of the dialogue was a bit strange. It was also a bit long I thought.

Most of it was filmed in Japan though which was good to see. Japan in 1967 was very different, especially the Tokyo scenes which most people today would not recognise. Cars in those days were mostly big American tanks which must have been difficult to drive on the narrow Japanese streets.

Not a bad Bond movie but not the best either. I did come to the conclusion though that Sean Connery is the best Bond of all.

Score: 7/10
Movie count 2011: 109