RETRO REVIEW: You Only Live Twice (1967)

James Bond (Sean Connery) watches a sumo wrestling match in Japan in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE — Photo: United Artists / Eon Productions.

Directed by Lewis Gilbert — Screenplay by Roald Dahl.

After having released a Bond-film for every year from 1962 to 1965, Eon Productions and United Artists took a year-off before the next film in the franchise was released. Filmed mostly in Japan, You Only Live Twice was the second-to-last official Sean Connery Bond-film (and his last Bond-film before George Lazenby took over for one film). This fifth official Bond-film was the first Bond-picture to be directed by Lewis Gilbert who was hot off the heels after having won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival the year before for his film Alfie. Interestingly, 1967 also marked the first time that an unofficial/Non-Eon Bond-film, the David Niven-led Casino Royale, was released. Niven’s film was released a few months prior to the release of You Only Live Twice, and it may have had a negative impact on the box office potential of Connery’s fifth Bond-film.

Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: You Only Live Twice (1967)”

RETRO REVIEW: Thunderball (1965)

James Bond (Sean Connery) swims with sharks — Photo: United Artists / Eon Productions.

Directed by Terence Young — Screenplay by Jack Whittingham, Richard Maibaum, and John Hopkins.

In this day and age, where we just had a six year wait between Sam Mendes’ SPECTRE and Cary Joji Fukunaga’s No Time To Die, it actually is a little bit tough to wrap you head around the fact that United Artists and Eon Productions released a Bond-film every year from 1962 to 1965. Add to that, the fact that Terence Young directed three of those films and it becomes even more astounding. However, this was actually Young’s final Bond-film, and that occasion was marked by the fact that the budget was much, much bigger than when Young introduced audiences to the character.

Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: Thunderball (1965)”

RETRO REVIEW: From Russia With Love (1963)

Robert Shaw as Red Grant and Sean Connery as James Bond in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE — Photo: United Artists / Eon Productions.

Directed by Terence Young — Screenplay by Richard Maibaum.

Dr. No was a huge financial success, so United Artists doubled the budget for its follow-up, From Russia With Love, which was allegedly the final film President John F. Kennedy screened at the White House. Though it is, naturally, a little bit dated, Terence Young’s From Russia With Love is a significant improvement on Dr. No. This feels much more ambitious and extravagant, even though it does suffer from some of the same issues that the first film did.

Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: From Russia With Love (1963)”

REVIEW: No Time To Die (2021)

Daniel Craig as James Bond and Ana de Armas as Paloma in Cary Joji Fukunaga’s NO TIME TO DIE — Photo: Nicola Dove / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios / Universal Pictures.

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga — Screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

When I rewatched Sam Mendes’ SPECTRE the other day, I was reminded of the fact that the previous film in the Bond-franchise was released all the way back in 2015. A lot has happened since then, so much so that you may have even forgotten about all of the behind-the-scenes drama that transpired long before No Time To Die became the first major film to be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After several rounds of rewrites, the shift in director, production, and the pandemic, the fifth and supposedly final film in the Daniel Craig-era of the James Bond-franchise has now finally been released. Thankfully, in spite of the real world drama that threatened to ruin it, this is actually a spy epic that is suitable as a true tribute to Daniel Craig’s bumpy but extraordinary time as the iconic agent. It isn’t the best film in the Craig-era, but it is a very memorable chapter in the franchise.

Continue reading “REVIEW: No Time To Die (2021)”

REVIEW: Skyfall (2012)

Daniel Craig as James Bond and Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva in SKYFALL — Photo: Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Releasing.

Directed by Sam Mendes — Screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and John Logan.

This week, I will watch and review No Time To Die, which is supposedly the final film in the Daniel Craig-era of the Bond-franchise. So, in anticipation of the aforementioned 25th Eon Bond-film, I decided to take a brief look back at one of the most popular Bond films ever made; the wildly successful Skyfall. As this film was released several years ago, I have decided to discuss the film with some spoiler details in this review, so make sure that you have actually seen Skyfall before you go any further.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Skyfall (2012)”

Top Ten Movie Heroes of 2015

giphy.com
giphy.com

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday. I’m still getting through the best heroes of this decade, and we’ve reached 2015. Do note that these characters aren’t solely ranked on how heroic their actions are. Also, some heroes may not be traditional heroes. In fact, this list includes groups of heroes too. Without further ado, here are the top ten movie heroes of 2015. Continue reading “Top Ten Movie Heroes of 2015”

88TH ACADEMY AWARDS: REACTION – MOTION PICTURE THOUGHTS #7

MOTION PICTURE THOUGHTS

Leonardo DiCaprio – Academy Award-Winning Actor! Finally! The 88th Academy Awards was a great show, with a lot of great winners. Chris Rock was a really solid host, and, as a whole, it probably was one of the better Oscar shows in recent memory. Continue reading “88TH ACADEMY AWARDS: REACTION – MOTION PICTURE THOUGHTS #7”

The Next James Bond – Motion Picture Thoughts #2

MOTION PICTURE THOUGHTS

SPECTRE opens in North America this weekend having already broken a lot of records in Europe. But during some of the interviews for the film Daniel Craig seemed done with the franchise. Though SPECTRE is getting mixed reviews, it does work as a possible end to Daniel Craig’s time as James Bond. If Daniel Craig somehow gets out of his Bond-contract (at least one film left, I believe), then who should replace the actor? Continue reading “The Next James Bond – Motion Picture Thoughts #2”

REVIEW: SPECTRE (2015)

Theatrical Release Poster – Eon Productions – Columbia Pictures

The following is an updated* review of Eon Productions’ SPECTRE, a Sam Mendes film.

James Bond – Agent 007 – is a legendary film character from a legendary film franchise. A franchise that, through the good and the bad, has been obligatory viewing for all film enthusiasts. Daniel Craig’s run of films has been rather memorable up to this point. The fantastic Casino Royale was a fresh modern update of the franchise, for various reasons Quantum of Solace was a disappointing follow-up, whereas the thrilling Skyfall brought the Craig-era back on track. Unfortunately, though decent, SPECTRE — the 4th Craig-era Bond-film — doesn’t stand out as one of the best in the franchise.

Continue reading “REVIEW: SPECTRE (2015)”