Does James Bond Suffer From CTE?

We all know James Bond lives a dangerous lifestyle. From all the smoking, the drinking, the unprotected sex, and avoiding murder just about everyday, it truly is “death for breakfast” for 007.  But there’s one part of Bond that we don’t focus enough on. His mind.

I’m not even going into the psychological scarring that he has endured his entire life (death of parents at a young age, the hundreds and hundreds of people he has murdered, sex with May Day, etc.). I’m talking about all the blows to his head (raises a Roger Moore eyebrow) he has suffered in 24 films over the last 55 years.

Football players aren’t the only ones who should be weary of CTE. Bond’s employers over at MI6 better make sure he has a CAT scan from a neurologist. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma. It’s the dire condition that Will Smith tried to explained to NFL fans in the film Concussion.

It’s extremely dangerous for a human being to lose consciousness for long periods. In this case study, I won’t even count how many times 007 has passed out from poisonous gas, or a dart or a drink. Strictly sticking to blunt force trauma to the head and neck region.

From Russia With Love: Bond is knocked out for nearly a full minute after being hit on the back of the head by Grant’s gun.

Goldfinger: Bond takes a karate chop to the back of the neck from Oddjob, while checking the fridge for champagne, but after he insults the Beatles’ music. Bond is out for a damn long time. Long enough for his new girlfriend, Jill, to be covered head to toe in gold paint.

You Only Live Twice: Knocked out cold by a Kobe docks worker, with what appears to be a wrench or solid piece of wood. James doesn’t wake up until Helga Brandt slaps him around.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: Bond is trying to have sex with just about every girl at the Swiss health clinic, but unfortunately ends up lifting the sheets up to find the frightening Irma Bunt. He’s then hit over the head by an unseen thug, has some weird LSD-type of visions, and is finally awake to hear Blofeld wish his a Merry Christmas.

Diamonds Are Forever: While retrieving money for diamonds at a funeral home, Bond is hit on the back of the head with an urn by Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. It takes being nearly burned alive in a coffin for Bond to wake up.

Live And Let Die: Tee-Hee uses his metal wrist/claw to strike the back of Bond’s neck. Bond is out long enough to be dragged into a car, headed for a gator farm.

The Man With The Golden Gun: Bond takes a blow to the back of the head from Nick Nack’s toy-looking trident.

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Moonraker: Bond is making out with Holly Goodhead on the grass, when faux orderlies spoil the moment with a club to the back of the neck.

For Your Eyes Only: Even when it’s the good guys, James still takes a beating. On the beach, kneeling over yet another dead lover, 007 gets hit on the back of the neck with a harpoon gun by one of Columbo’s men.

Octopussy: The henchman Gobinda karate chops Bond inside his beautiful Indian hotel.

A View To A Kill: Another gun to the back of the head deal. Bond only wakes up as the car he’s in is about to sink to the bottom of a lake.

Licence To Kill: A double whammy here. First knocked out by ninjas and then right after, an explosion causes debris to fall on Bond’s head. He wakes up to the most bizarre statue ever.

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Spectre: After taking a club to the knee, Bond gets hit on the back of the head after listening to Waltz’ Blofeld give a little speech.

  • Connery and Moore definitely took the most blows to the noggin. Brosnan does suffer some unconscious moments, but not due to head trauma. Craig is too busy being a bloody mess to worry about his neck and head.
  • So does the world’s greatest secret agent suffer from CTE?

The symptoms include:

memory loss

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confusion 

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impaired judgment 

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impulse control problems

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aggression

depression

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anxiety

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suicidal tendencies 

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Movie Review: THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH

It’s the last Bond picture of the 20th century, so the producers made sure that The World Is Not Enough would feel like it was in a time capsule, to be neatly stored away and unearthed decades later. This is Brosnan’s third turn as the secret agent, and while the movie doesn’t match up to previous classic third outings (Connery’s Goldfinger, Moore’s The Spy Who Loved Me), there is a very fine film hiding somewhere during this 125 minute feature.

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TWINE Notes:

  • While Goldeneye is Brosnan’s best Bond flick, TWINE gives us Brosnan’s best acting performance as James Bond.
  • There are a few similarities between TWINE and Skyfall: MI6 explodes, Scotland used as a hideout, M in the crosshairs of the villain’s plot, Bond hurt and needing medical clearance.
  • James Bond wearing eyeglasses (even if it’s all a ruse), looks odd to me.
  • Just how long are those blind strings in that Spanish office?! Where’s Bond’s Goldeneye belt when he needs it?!
  • The Clinton/Lewinsky cigar joke still gives me a chuckle, and makes me nostalgic for the late 90s.
  • This is easily the longest pre-title sequence in the history of the franchise. Even if it feels like it takes forever, I think it’s one of the best overall PTS.
  • Bond hijacks Q’s retirement fishing boat. I’d pay good money to have seen Q try to operate it.
  • Love the tie-straightening under water. It’s a classic Moore/Brosnan move.
  • Bond chasing the “cigar girl” assassin from the Thames to a hot air balloon is the icing on the action cake for this opening.
  • I do enjoy a hurt Bond. A broken collarbone is no joke.
  • The title song by Garbage is above-average. The choice of the band is so late-90s alternative rock, that it goes back to my time capsule theory.
  • I kind of dig the title credits, with the oil-soaked lady silhouettes.
  • Sophie Marceau is one of the best actresses in the entire series. But how do we define her character Elektra King? Is she a Bond girl? Villainess? For that matter, is Robert Carlyle’s Renard the main villain or just Elektra’s henchman? Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards) is certainly the Bond girl of the movie…yeah, we will get to that later.
  • Bond having sex with his doctor (her name is Molly Warmflash!) in order to get medical clearance is something we would have seen Connery or Moore do.
  • The final scene of Desmond Llewelyn as Q is ruined by the unnecessary lines of “two things” he always taught Bond. In all his years and scenes with Bond, he never told him to “never let them see you bleed” nor “always have an escape plan.”
  • I wonder how practical that avalanche-proof ski jacket really is.
  • Azerbaijan has to be the oddest location to shoot a Bond film.
  • Renard has a bullet in his head that is slowly killing him. He grows stronger by the day and can’t feel pain. He needs more scars and bruises.
  • James Bond has gone skiing five times in the film series. TWINE is the worst one of the five. It’s rather dull and lifeless.
  • This is the first time we get to see Bond’s Universal Exports employee ID.
  • Is Denise Richards the worst Bond girl ever? No. It’s Tanya Roberts in A View To A Kill. But it’s close. It’s not really her fault. Making her a nuclear physicist, who dresses like Lara Croft, is laughable. She was 28 during the filming, and next to a mature 46 year-old Brosnan, she looks barely 18.
  • I love caviar, but I still get grossed out watching Robbie Coltrane’s Valentin Zukovsky nearly drowning in it.
  • This film suffers from too many twists that we see coming a mile away, and a plot that an audience really doesn’t care about. Was the monopoly of oil pipelines really a major topic in the late 90s?
  • Having just said that, when Bond and Christmas are in the pipeline, that does look like a fun theme park ride.
  • Speaking of a fun ride, how about that sex/choke chair at Elektra’s place in Istanbul?
  • Bond cold-bloodedly shooting, killing Elektra was a rare Fleming-type of moment for Brosnan’s Bond.
  • The submarine fight between Bond and Renard does not rank up there with the best, but the sub crashing into the ocean floor was a nice touch.
  • Yes, the last line is groan-worthy. But when you have a Bond actor like Brosnan (channeling his inner-Roger Moore) and you have a Bond girl named Christmas… this is what we get. And frankly, what we deserve.

Bond’s coolest moment? The opening scene in the banker’s office in Spain. Calm, confident, and dangerous.

Bond’s most embarrassing moment? Carrying a bag full of sneakers.

Bond’s best line?I see you like to put your money where your mouth is.” – Pointing to the gold teeth of Mr. Bullion.

Best acting performance? Brosnan, Carlyle, and of course Judi Dench, all give solid performances, but Sophie Marceau is so good as Elektra that she makes Richards’ Christmas look even worse.

Bond’s most “sexual predator” moment? Bond playing peeping Tom inside the casino with the x-ray sunglasses. He might as well have been drooling.

Worst line in the movie? When Bond asks Christmas if she can operate the machine inside the pipeline she replies with “It doesn’t taking a degree in nuclear physics.” I always feel like Bond could have replied with “Oh so you can then.”

What I noticed for the first time after watching this for the 84th time? In the MI6 Scotland hideaway, there’s a portrait of former M actor Bernard Lee.

Best action sequence? The caviar warehouse scene. It helps to have David Arnold as composer.

Who or what is the title song about? I want to say this is sung from Elektra’s point of view. Almost as if she is seducing Bond.

Best looking cinematic moment? As boring as the ski chase is, I’m a sucker for some snow cinematography. One shot in particular looks straight out of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

How could the villain have succeeded? Not let her grudge against her father and M get in her way of controlling the oil company.

Which other Bond actor could have starred in this movie? With it’s shifting tone from serious drama to campy action flick, Brosnan is the best Bond actor to handle this type of screenplay.

Does Bond ever think he might die? A couple of times. When he is about to get shot in the Spanish office, and of course when Elektra has him strapped to the sex/choke chair. One last screw indeed.

What would have made the movie better? Casting a better actress than Denise Richards. I hate to keep picking on her. She’s beautiful and I think she is doing the best she can. But she sticks out like a sore thumb.

What’s in a name? Bond pretends to be an atomic scientist named Dr. Arkov.

What’s in a title? The World Is Not Enough comes from Bond author Ian Fleming. This is the family motto on the Bond crest. It’s referenced in both the novel and film OHMSS.

Drinking game: Take a shot of Belvedere vodka each time the line “There’s no point in living, if you can’t feel alive” is said. Including in the song.

“WTF?!” moment: John Cleese as “R”, Q’s replacement. He seems like too well known of a comedian for the part.

Fun fact: Originally, the pre-title sequence was just the office scene in Bilbao, Spain. After director Michael Apted tested the film, he decided to include the Thames boat scene.

Overall ranking: 18 out of 24 films.

Review synopsis: There’s a lot to like about The World Is Not Enough. It’s one of the few Bonds to be a “thinking man’s action movie.” It has elements of For Your Eyes Only and Skyfall. What weighs it down are scenes with different tones, one major casting error, and being too “late 90s” if that is even a thing yet. I like Pierce Brosnan as James Bond 007, but this movie along with Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day, should be considered The Mediocre Trilogy after such a promising start in Goldeneye.

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Who Are The Other 00s?

We know who 007 is. We know his missions, his girlfriends, his enemies, we even know a little about his past. Over the years, there have been theories that “James Bond” is just a moniker given to whichever person is the current 007 over at MI6. Of course, we know this can’t be true. Specifically after the films Skyfall and Spectre delved into Bond’s childhood.

So it’s settled. All six Bond actors have been the same man, playing the same role of British secret agent 007. Which got me thinking…where are the other 00s?

001 – As far as we know, there has never been any mention of this agent during any of the 24 official films. In Raymond Benson’s Bond novel, Doubleshot, 001 is mentioned. His name is Edward Donne.

002 – Ah good old Bill Fairbanks! He was shot in Beirut by Francisco Scaramanga, AKA The Man With The Golden Gun. A golden bullet right through the neck. Or at least that’s how Moneypenny says it went down. Bond later finds the bullet, being worn as a “charm” by a belly dancer, and swallows it. We have an idea how Bond got the bullet out of him.

We can also add a 002 to The Living Daylights. All we know about him was that he was eliminated from an MI6 exercise when he parachuted into a tree. He’s too klutzy to be a secret agent. He also looks like he is wearing a Roger Moore – Tom Brady hybrid mask.

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003 – Not much to go on here, other than Bond finds him buried in snow in Siberia during the pre-title sequence of A View To A Kill. Judging from his locket, he appeared to have a family. But since MI6 prefers single, maladjusted young men, who give little thought to sacrificing others in order to protect Queen and country… I’m going to guess the picture came with the locket.

004 – Here we have another casualty of the spy games played in the opening of The Living Daylights. Unlike 002, this agent actually loses his life. 004 is murdered by having his rock climbing rope cut. He is sent plummeting down a cliff to his death in Gibraltar.

005 – Just like 001, he’s nowhere to be seen. Although in the Kingsley Amis 007 novel Colonel Sun, he does get a shoutout.

006 – The most famous (infamous?) MI6 agent not named James Bond. Alec Trevelyan (played by Sean Bean) is the main villain in Goldeneye. He was apparently shot and killed on a mission, but later it’s revealed that he faked his death. In actuality, he’s a Russian who is running a crime syndicate.

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007 – I don’t know. Some British guy of Scottish/Swiss heritage, who drinks too much, has lots of unprotected sex, gambles all of his government salary, and he might have mommy issues. That’s all I got.

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008 – This guy is M’s “don’t make me turn this car around” agent. He’s been mentioned in two movies (Goldfinger and The Living Daylights). Both times M has threatened to take Bond off a mission and replace him with 008.

009 – This agent might be the unluckiest of the bunch. In Octopussy, he is not only stabbed in the back, but he has to suffer the humiliation of dying dressed as a clown.

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In the film The World Is Not Enough, it is mentioned that M assigned 009 to kill Renard. He shoots Renard in the head, but for some odd reason Renard lives and gets stronger,  with the bullet slowly killing off his senses. Licence to kind of kill?

In the last Bond flick, Spectre, 007 steals 009’s Aston Martin and takes it to Rome.

 

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In Thunderball and The World Is Not Enough, we get to see a group of MI6 00s. We don’t know names or numbers, but we can guess that James Bond is the best of the bunch. The only question I have is… do you think Bond has sexually harassed that one female MI6 agent? Yeah, probably.

 

 

 

 

Movie Review: THE SPY WHO LOVED ME

After 1974’s The Man With The Golden Gun, film critics and the movie-going public were having their doubts about the James Bond franchise. It seemed stale. As if it had run its course. In the summer of 1977, Roger Moore’s 3rd outing proved the doubters wrong with The Spy Who Loved Me. Not only is it considered Moore’s best 007 adventure, but it’s also in the top tier of the entire Bond series.

TSWLM Notes:

  • The tagline was “biggest, best, Bond and beyond.” It lives up to this billing, although this is basically a retelling of You Only Live Twice, which was also directed by Lewis Gilbert. Replace the YOLT space capsule with submarines and you have TSWLM.
  • Spy gives us perhaps the greatest, most iconic, pre-title sequence. Bond in his bright yellow ski suit (Moore always being flashy) escaping from Russians, skiing off a mountain and opening up his Union Jack parachute. I wasn’t born yet (about 11 months away), but I wish I could have seen this opening in packed theater. I’m sure it was an epic experience.
  • Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better” adds to the list of things that make The Spy Who Loved Me so memorable. This old-fashioned, torch-song, ranks among the very best Bond theme songs ever. Match it will Maurice Binder’s risqué titles and you have a Bond match made in heaven.
  • Barbara Bach’s Russian Agent XXX (they weren’t even trying to subtle anymore!) is supposed to be Bond’s equal, but she doesn’t always live up to his high spy standards. Bach has an interesting beauty that keeps her from being a forgettable Bond girl.
  • This movie, between Bach and Caroline Munro and the busty hotel desk clerk, has the most cleavage in Bond movie history. If you’re looking for that sort of thing.
  • If you are looking for lots of bad 70s fashion, including lots of tan on brown clothing, TSWLM covers that too. Roger Moore’s ties are as big as his Union Jack parachute.
  • Speaking of fashion, always nice to see 007 in his naval uniform. You Only Live Twice and Tomorrow Never Dies are the only other movies, besides this one, were we get to see him be Commander Bond.
  • I would pay good money to see that Egyptian pyramid presentation. Later on, how did MI6 turn the ruins into their office?!
  • The villain Stromberg is just a low-rent Blofeld. Check closely for his webbed hands, which is probably why he doesn’t like shaking hands. He’s also the most comfortable villain in the series. His comfy clothes and cozy furniture, and calm aquarium… minus the shark tank.
  • Jaws is the most iconic Bond henchman, right up there with Oddjob. I do have some questions about him though: What does he do with those teeth? He bites right through objects, but with humans he just nibbles. Also, sometimes he’s very smart, other times he is borderline mentally handicapped.
  • This movie also has the rare mention of James’ dead wife. Moore handles this emotional scene quite well.
  • During the train fight between Bond and Jaws, you can really see the size difference. Roger Moore was a tall man at 6’3, but Richard Kiel at 7’2 is like from another planet. Check out during the brawl, Kiel’s hands are practically the size of Moore’s face.
  • Elon Musk’s favorite car, the Lotus Esprit makes a grand entrance in Italy. Hopefully in the near future, all Tesla vehicles will be able to go underwater too.
  • When Bond’s car rises from the ocean, and Moore rolls down the window to throw out a fish, this might be the most Roger Moorish Bond thing he ever did in seven films. His neighborly nod to the villainous helicopter pilot Naomi is right up there too.
  • The climatic battle between blue uniforms (good guys) and red uniforms (bad guys) inside Stromberg’s submarine swallowing HQ, is another You Only Live Twice-type of scene. Just without the ninja’s and hallowed-out volcano.
  • We get to see Bond diffuse a nuclear bomb like he’s playing the game Operation.
  • No matter how many times I see this movie, I always think the two missles will end up striking each other in the sky.
  • As much as I love the scene of Bond riding the jet-ski, on his way to save Anya (XXX) from Stromberg, I do wonder how long it took him to put it all together?
  • Is Stromberg’s elevator: the best or worst? I feel like many people would have been dropped into that shark tank by accident.
  • Jaws vs that shark is Pay-Per-View fighting at its best. Where was Jaws swimming to at the end?
  • The closing credits, after Bond’s cheeky final line, has one of the oddest musical cues ever. Instead of Carly Simon singing “Nobody Does It Better”, we get what sounds like a gay man’s chorus singing the tune. Which then transitions into Simon’s. Strange!
  • At the very end of the credits we get the classic JAMES BOND WILL RETURN IN… but it reads FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. The movie directly after TSWLM was Moonraker. Why was Bond’s next mission in space? Well, TSWLM opened up two months after Star Wars. Bond producer Cubby Broccoli wanted to strike while the space iron was hot.

Bond’s coolest moment? When he’s at the Mojave Club. Moore is as charming as can be, while also doing some solid spying.

Bond’s most embarrassing moment? The van scene. I love watching James Bond do a Roger Moore comedy bit, but even here he’s pushing it. Just give her the damn keys!

Bond’s best line? When one is in Egypt, one should delve deeply into its treasures.

Best acting performance? I’m going to give this to Moore. He’s so natural this third go-around as the world’s most famous secret agent.

Bond’s most “sexual predator” moment? He starts making out with Fekkesh’s secretary within two minutes of meeting her.

Worst line in the movie? Shaken, but not stirred. – Anya (XXX)

What I noticed for the first time after watching this for the 177th time? When Bond meets Stromberg, he notices a woman’s severed hand in the aquarium. It’s Stromberg’s lady friend that he fed to his sharks in his first scene.

Best action sequence? I love the car chase that leads into the ocean.

Who or what is the title song about? I believe this song is about Bond’s amazing love making skills. Oh and that he’s also very good at his job.

Best looking cinematic moment? That ski jump off a mountain opening, without a doubt.

How could the villain have succeeded? I have major issues with his plan. Destroying the Earth so we can all live underwater doesn’t seem very thought-out. For example, we need air. So I say drop the entire plan and start from scratch.

Which other Bond actor could have starred in this movie? Nobody did this one better. Roger is a perfect 007 in this.

Does Bond ever think he might die? For a second or two, he does think Anya will shoot him at the very end.

What would have made the movie better? A John Barry soundtrack. Nothing against Marvin Hamlisch, but not every track works for a Bond flick.

What’s in a name? Bond goes by the name Robert Sterling. A married marine biologist.

What’s in a title? The Spy Who Loved Me is an Ian Fleming title, although there is 0% of the novel in this movie.

Drinking game: Wait until the 3rd act to drink your Bacardi on the rocks every time a grenade goes off during the battle.

“WTF?!” moment: Jaws taking a bite out of that board of wood for no reason!

Fun fact: Stanley Kubrick helped out designer Ken Adam with the lighting.

Overall ranking: 5th out of the 24 movies.

Review synopsis: The Spy Who Loved Me is a Bond “best of” compilation. This is the quintessential Roger Moore – James Bond movie. It checks off all the boxes: great opening scene, ear-wormy theme song, beautiful women, stunning locations, world-domination plot, a remarkable henchman, and a leading actor hitting his stride in his third Bond movie.

The Bondies: James Bond Academy Awards

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Tonight is Oscar night, so there’s no better time than now to create my own James Bond-type of Academy Awards. These are my personal choices, with a side-note… *if any James Bond movie was nominated for an Oscar, they automatically got nominated in that specific category for my Bondies.

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Best Picture
Casino Royale

From Russia With Love

Goldfinger

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Skyfall

And the winner is… Skyfall 

 

Best Director
Martin Campbell (Casino Royale)

Lewis Gilbert (The Spy Who Loved Me)

Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger)

Sam Mendes (Skyfall)

Terence Young (From Russia With Love)

And the winner is… Sam Mendes (Skyfall)

 

Best Actor
Pierce Brosnan (The World Is Not Enough)

Sean Connery (From Russia With Love)

Daniel Craig (Casino Royale)

Timothy Dalton (Licence To Kill)

Roger Moore (For Your Eyes Only)

And the winner is… Daniel Craig (Casino Royale) 

 

Best Actress 

Judi Dench (Skyfall)

Eva Green (Casino Royale)

Olga Kurylenko (Quantum Of Solace)

Sophie Marceau (The World Is Not Enough)

Diana Rigg (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)

And the winner is… Judi Dench (Skyfall)

 

Best Supporting Actor

Pedro Armendariz (From Russia With Love)

Javier Bardem (Skyfall)

Christopher Lee (The Man With The Golden Gun)

Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale)

Robert Shaw (From Russia With Love)

And the winner is… Javier Bardem (Skyfall)

 

Best Supporting Actress

Judi Dench (Casino Royale)

Famke Janssen (Goldeneye)

Grace Jones (A View To A Kill)

Lotte Lenya (From Russia With Love)

Berenice Marlohe (Skyfall)

And the winner is… Judi Dench (Casino Royale) 

 

Best Adapted Screenplay
Casino Royale” by Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade

“From Russia With Love” by Richard Maibaum

“Goldfinger” by Richard Maibaum and Paul Dehn

“Live And Let Die” by Tom Mankiewicz

“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” by Richard Maibaum

And the winner is… “Casino Royale” by Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade 

 

Best Original Screenplay
“Goldeneye” by Jeffrey Caine and Bruce Feirstein

“Licence To Kill” by Michael G. Wilson and Richard Maibaum

“Skyfall” by John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade

“The Spy Who Loved Me” by Christopher Wood and Richard Maibaum

“The World Is Not Enough” by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade

And the winner is… “Skyfall” by John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade

 

Best Cinematography
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Michael Reed)

Skyfall (Roger Deakins)

Spectre (Hoyte van Hoytema)

The Spy Who Loved Me (Claude Renoir)

You Only Live Twice (Freddie Young)

And the winner is… Skyfall (Roger Deakins) 

 

Best Costume Design
Goldeneye (Lindy Hemming)

Skyfall (Judy Temime)

Spectre (Judy Temime)

The Spy Who Loved Me (Rosemary Burrows)

You Only Live Twice (Eileen Sullivan)

And the winner is… Skyfall (Judy Temime) 

 

Best Film Editing
Casino Royale (Stuart Baird)

Goldfinger (Peter Hunt)

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (John Glen)

Quantum Of Solace (Matt Chesse and Richard Pearson)

Skyfall (Stuart and Kate Baird)

And the winner is… Casino Royale (Stuart Baird)

 

Best Makeup Team
Diamonds Are Forever

Die Another Day

Spectre

A View To A Kill

You Only Live Twice

And the winner is… Spectre 

 

Best Production Design
Goldfinger (Ken Adam)

Spectre (Dennis Gassner)

The Spy Who Loved Me (Ken Adam)

A View To A Kill (Peter Lamont)

You Only Live Twice (Ken Adam)

And the winner is… You Only Live Twice (Ken Adam)

 

Best Original Score
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (John Barry)

The Spy Who Loved Me (Marvin Hamlisch)

Skyfall (Thomas Newman)

Tomorrow Never Dies (David Arnold)

You Only Live Twice (John Barry)

And the winner is… On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (John Barry)

 

Best Original Song 

“Live and Let Die” by Paul and Linda McCartney

“For Your Eyes Only” by Bill Conti and Mick Leeson

Nobody Does It Better” from “The Spy Who Loved Me” by Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager

“Skyfall” by Adele and Paul Epworth

“Writing’s On The Wall” from “Spectre” by Sam Smith and James Napier

And the winner is… “Nobody Does It Better” from “The Spy Who Loved Me” by Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager 

 

Best Sound

Goldfinger

Diamonds Are Forever

Octopussy

Quantum Of Solace

Skyfall

And the winner is… Quantum of Solace

 

Best Visual Effects
Diamonds Are Forever

Goldeneye

Moonraker

The Spy Who Loved Me

Thunderball

And the winner is… Moonraker 

 

Best Documentary Feature
Becoming Bond

Everything Or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007

Happy Anniversary 007: 25 Years of James Bond

The James Bond Story

The World Of James Bond

And the winner is… Everything Or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007

 

Best Documentary Short
Double-0 Stuntmen

Inside Die Another Day

Inside The Living Daylights

Inside On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

The Music of James Bond

And the winner is… The Music of James Bond

 

Best Foreign Location 

Egypt (The Spy Who Love Me)

Greece (For Your Eyes Only)

India (Octopussy)

Japan (You Only Live Twice)

Switzerland (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)

And the winner is… Japan (You Only Live Twice) 

 

Best Title Credits 

For Your Eyes Only (Maurice Binder)

Quantum of Solace (MK12)

Skyfall (Daniel Kleinman)

The Spy Who Loved Me (Maurice Binder)

A View To A Kill (Maurice Binder)

And the winner is… The Spy Who Loved Me (Maurice Binder) 

 

Best Stunt Sequence 

Car chase (Quantum of Solace)

Eiffel Tower jump (A View To A Kill)

Parkour chase (Casino Royale)

Skiing off a cliff (The Spy Who Loved Me)

Skydiving without a parachute (Moonraker)

And the winner is… Skiing off a cliff (The Spy Who Loved Me) 

 

 

 

MOST BONDIES WON:

Skyfall 7

Casino Royale 4

The Spy Who Loved Me 3

Moonraker 1

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 1

Quantum of Solace 1

Spectre 1

You Only Live Twice 1

 

MOST NOMINATIONS:

Skyfall 13

The Spy Who Loved Me 11

Casino Royale 9

From Russia With Love 7

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 7

Goldfinger 6

You Only Live Twice 6

Quantum of Solace 5

Spectre 5

A View To A Kill 5

For Your Eyes Only 4

Goldeneye 4

Diamonds Are Forever 3

The World Is Not Enough 3

Licence To Kill 2

Live and Let Die 2

Moonraker 2

Octopussy 2

Die Another Day 1

The Man With The Golden Gun 1

Thunderball 1

Tomorrow Never Dies 1

Dr. No 0

The Living Daylights 0

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Review: A VIEW TO A KILL

It’s been nearly 33 years since the release of A View To A Kill. At that time, it was critically panned and didn’t do as well as it’s predecessor (Octopussy). It’s taken three decades for AVTAK to go from “worst Bond movie ever” to “I guess it’s enjoyable in a campy kind of way.” The film is one of the wackiest in franchise history, and having the oldest James Bond actor ever (Roger Moore was 57!) gives it an even odder feel. I saw this movie in the theater when was 7, so even though I know it is a poorly made flick, I do enjoy it on some level.

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Even before we get to the gunbarell, we see a disclaimer that reads: “Neither the name Zorin, nor any other name or character in this film, is meant to portray a real company or actual person.” Was there a real life villain named Zorin? Is AVTAK a true story?Apparently, there was a real fashion design company known as Zoran Ladicorbic Ltd. The gunbarell gives us the exact same one Roger Moore did for The Spy Who Loved Me, eight years earlier. No disrespect to the late great Sir Roger Moore, but his looks certainly had changed and it was time to do a new gunbarell shot. I guess some Bond actors have it in their contracts: I do only one gunbarell shot and they get used for all my movies!

The movie opens up in Iceland pretending to be Siberia. 007 has been sent to locate the frozen body of 003 and recover a microchip connected to the Soviet Union. What ensues is a terrific ski chase scene that gets ruined by Bond inventing snowboarding, while “California Girls” plays during the action. More on that later, trust me. The stunts in this pre-title action sequence are very impressive, even though Roger Moore’s stunt man does all the work. After Bond escapes into his floating glacier submarine with a young lady for some sex-time (five days to Alaska!), we get one of the best Bond songs ever. Duran Duran was a pretty hip choice for 1985. Even though the song doesn’t fit the usual type of Bond song, for some reason it just works. Although, the name of the song should have been called “Dance Into The Fire.”

Bond returns to London to have the microchip analyzed. It’s quickly discovered that it’s a copy of one designed to withstand an electromagnetic pulse and made by government contractor Zorin Industries. Bond and the MI6 team take a day in at the races and spy on Max Zorin (Christopher Walker) and his androgynous bodyguard May Day (Grace Jones). Zorin is French, German, Russian and has an American accent. Ummm okay.

Next we see Bond at the Eiffel Tower having lunch with a French detective who specializes in horse racing. This man, who is so French that he is Pepé Le Pew in human form, has been investigating Zorin’s horses. May Day kills him with a poison-tipped butterfly (look, just go with it) and Roger Moore’s stunt double chases her all the way up the Tower, where she parachutes off it. This is another moment in the movie where the ballsy stunt keeps this movie interesting. After a silly car chase around Paris, that sees Bond’s car ripped apart, Bond ends up visiting Zorin’s luxury horse stable and palace in the French country side. Sir Godfrey Tibbett (Patrick Macnee), a racehorse trainer and MI6 agent, has been assigned to be Bond’s sidekick. He’s posing as Bond’s butler, while Bond is posing as a potential horse buyer named… wait for it… James St. John Smythe. More on this ridiculous alias later…

For some reason Bond forgets all about microchips and believes that Zorin’s horse was drugged and the movie spends about 45 minutes focusing on the shady business of horse ownership. At Zorin’s place, Bond meets a mysterious, beautiful woman named Stacey (Tanya Roberts) and discovers that Zorin has written her a check for $5 million. Later that night, Bond and Tibbett break into Zorin’s lab and learn that he is implanting adrenaline-releasing devices in the horses through microchips! See it all ties together, sort of. Bond has a really weird sex scene with May Day, Zorin identifies Bond as an MI6 agent and then has a horse race against Bond. All this time before, May Day failed to recognize Bond as the man who chased her around the Eiffel Tower. May Day kills Tibbett by choking him (she is freakishly strong), and then she and Zorin believe that Bond is dead after they attempt to drown him in a car.

The KGB confronts Zorin for killing Bond without their permission, because they feel Zorin still belongs to them. Keep an eye out for a really young Dolph Lundgren in this scene.  Zorin unveils to a group of investors his plan to destroy Silicon Valley which will give him a monopoly over the microchip industry. We are done with the horse plot.

Bond is off to San Francisco where he learns from a CIA agent that Zorin could be the product of medical experimentation with steroids performed by a Nazi scientist who is now Zorin’s physician. Bond then investigates a nearby oil rig owned by Zorin and while there finds a sexy KGB agent recording Zorin’s conversation about his evil plans. Bond is able to steal the recording off her after shagging her in a Japanese bathhouse. Bond tracks down the woman he met briefly at Zorin’s in France named Stacey Sutton. She’s the one that Zorin attempted to pay off to purchase her family’s oil business.

Keep in mind, Bond is now pretending to be a London financial journalist named James Stock. Bond and Stacey head to S.F. City Hall to review Zorin’s files. However, Zorin and May Day catch them. Zorin and May Day set City Hall on fire and frame Bond for a murder. Bond and Sutton escape the burning building and get in a fire truck. What happens next is Bond and Stacey (who breathlessly says the name James a lot) are in a fire truck chase vs the cops from an unseen Police Academy movie that took place in San Fran.

Bond and Stacey sneak into Zorin’s mine and discover his dastardly plan is to detonate explosives beneath the lakes of the San Andreas fault. This will cause a massive flood and will destroy the Silicon Valley area. Bond and Stacey are spotted and chased by May Day. Zorin then sets off the explosives drowning his workers, and those who aren’t drowned are shot by him. When May Day realizes that Zorin has betrayed her, she helps Bond remove a large final bomb by placing it onto a handcar and pushing it out of the mine. May Day stays on it to make sure the handbrake doesn’t move and once outside, the bomb explodes, killing her and destroying Zorin’s dreams of controlling the microchip industry.

Zorin, who had already escaped in his blimp, abducts an oblivious Stacey. Bond grabs hold of the mooring rope and hangs on for dear life. Zorin tries to knock Bond off the rope by having him crash into the Golden Gate Bridge, but Stacey attacks Zorin, and Bond is able to tie the rope to the bridge. Sutton flees and joins Bond out on the top of the bridge, but a crazed Zorin pursues them with an axe. Zorin and Bond fight on the bridge and it climaxes with Zorin falling to his death in the waters of San Francisco Bay. Before his fall, Zorin lets out a tiny chuckle that is quite amusing to me. Zorin’s mad doctor attacks Bond using sticks of dynamite (I guess blimp owners carry that?!) but Bond cuts the cable free, which causes the Nazi doc to drop the dynamite in the cabin. The dynamite explodes, destroying the blimp.

Q goes spying on 007 and finds Bond and Stacey making love in the shower of her home. Roger Moore ends his 7th and final Bond movie in the shower, with a woman almost 30 years younger than him, and his last words as 007 are “oops I dropped the soap”. If this doesn’t sum up A View To A Kill, I don’t know what else does.

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Bond’s coolest moment? Roger Moore’s James Bond is at his charming best during Zorin’s party.

Bond’s most embarrassing moment? Clearly it’s snowboarding to a cover of a cover of the Beach Boys classic “California Girls”. This might be the most embarrassing moment in the 55 years of Bond movies. Even for this movie, this was over the top.

Bond’s best line? The morning after having sex with May Day, Zorin asks Bond how he slept, to which Bond says “A little restless, but I got off eventually.”

Best acting performance? Walken is a good villain in a Trump meets Stewie kind of way, but I think it’s Grace Jones that gives the best performance. She knows she is in a nuts flick, and it suites her perfectly.

Bond’s most “sexual predator” moment? Forcing himself on a young coworker for 5 days from Siberia to Alaska.

Worst line in the movie? Three-way tie between anytime Tanya Roberts says “James” – Each time “St. John Smythe” is said – Whatever nonsense comes out of the mouth of that Uber-French detective.

What I noticed for the first time after watching this for the 98th time? It dawned on me how many hours, maybe days, it took for Bond and Tibbett to record their fake dialogue, when Zorin’s people bugged their room.

Best action sequence? That Eiffel Tower chase is really well shot. It also goes to show you how powerful the Bond producers are. They got to shut down and shoot at this famous world landmark.

Who or what is the title song about? I think it’s about how dangerous Bond’s life is.

Best looking cinematic moment? The climax in San Francisco, on the blimp, with shots overlooking the city and the Golden Gate Bridge.

How could the villain have succeeded? Why does Zorin need to destroy Silicon Valley to control microchips? He’s killing his potential customers, since microchips aren’t made there. He should have just stuck with being an evil horse owner.

Which other Bond actor could have starred in this movie? Roger Moore sticks out like a sore thumb. Duran Duran, Christopher Walken, Grace Jones, Tanya Roberts, a plot about technology… this movie needed a Bond like a young Pierce Brosnan: 1985 Remington Steele.

Does Bond ever think he might die? When he’s being sucked into that underwater propeller, yup.

What would have made the movie better? Besides having a younger Bond actor, they needed to drop most of the horse plot.

What’s in a name? As mentioned before, Bond uses James St. John Smythe and James Stock as aliases.

What’s in a title? A View To A Kill comes from an Ian Fleming short story titled From A View To A Kill, which came from a poem. In the film, May Day and Zorin say the title in a memorable way.

Drinking game: This a twofer. Take a sip of an Americano anytime you hear “St. John Smythe” and Tanya Roberts as Stacey say “James”.

“WTF?!” moment: Roger Moore and Grace Jones in bed together. Here’s a little behind the scenes for you… Jones had a black dildo with her during the sex scene. Moore was not pleased.

Fun fact: David Bowie, Sting and Rutger Hauer were all consider for the role of Max Zorin.

Overall ranking: 20th out of 24.

Review synopsis: I can’t call this the worst Bond movie ever because it knows how bonkers it is and never lets up. The locations are some of the best in the franchise’s history. Roger Moore acknowledged he was too old by this point to be romancing women who had mothers younger than him. He wasn’t long in the tooth. He had tusks! Despite all that, he was always a joy to watch as Bond. Walken and Jones make a formidable duo, while Roberts is the worst main Bond girl ever. Yes, worse than Denise Richards. For all my bad mouthing of AVTAK, if it was on TV tomorrow I would probably watch it again.

 

 

 

 

Has James Bond Ever Truly Been In Love?

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On this Valentine’s Day, I’m taking a look at the love life of a man who has enjoyed “a bachelor’s taste for freedom.” This terrific line comes from James Bond himself in the film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. In this movie, it is perhaps one of only a handful of times that 007 has fallen in love.

From Dr. No to You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever, Sean Connery’s Bond never falls in love with his Bond girl. He’s usually too busy forcing lesbians and health clinic workers into having sex with him, and occasionally slapping some of his ladies around. George Lazenby’s one Bond movie is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and yes his Bond does feel something for Tracy. Okay, he does slap her too. Tracy is probably the first bipolar Bond girl, which makes sense considering James Bond has his fair share of psychological issues as well. Most fans agree that Tracy is his one true love because he marries her. But does he really love her, or is he just forcing himself into love? They fall for each other under stranger circumstances, and thanks to Louis Armstrong and a dating montage, we are to believe the ultimate womanizer is ready to settle down.

So there we have it. James Bond is done with all other women. Tracy is his one and only. However, after this sweet courtship clip, Bond goes on his mission and has sex with at least two women, more likely three. The only woman I’m sure he doesn’t screw at the Piz Gloria is Irma Bunt. As Bond fans know, he does marry Tracy, only for her to be killed later on their wedding day thanks to Blofeld and Bunt. Of course Bond loved Tracy very much, but I still don’t think she was his greatest love. More on that later. Oh and a fun fact: George Lazenby and Diana Rigg (Tracy) absolutely detested each other on set.

The Roger Moore era certainly didn’t have any true love in the 70s and 80s. In fact, I think Roger’s 007 bedded the most ladies. He even had some waiting in the closet for him until he was done with another lady (see: Man With Golden Gun). Moore wasn’t as rough a lover as Connery, but his Bond wasn’t loving either. Live And Let Die? Lies to a young girl and takes her virginity. Moonraker? Has sex with Drax’s assistant and gets her killed. Maybe he cared for Octopussy the most, but that just might be because all the other women in the Bond era were old enough to be his daughter.

When Timothy Dalton became James Bond we were in the grips of the AIDS crisis. Was it time for Bond to settle down again? Or at least start using condoms? In Dalton’s first flick, The Living Daylights, after a quickie on a yacht with a bored vacationer, 007 only hooks up with Kara. In fact, for the first half of the movie, our too-cool-to-settle-down hero is kind of put into the “friends zone” by her. Dalton’s second and final Bond movie has him back to basics, although still not too promiscuous.

Pierce Brosnan’s 007 gives the impression that he falls in love very fast, but I’m not buying it. Paris Carver, Elektra King and Miranda Frost are women he has sex with and who eventually die. Brosnan’s acting seems like he knows a backstory full of passion and romance, that the audience isn’t quite in on. He stands and leans over these three dead women in particular in a very odd fashion. Think of Brosnan’s Bond as Moore’s, except his is a little more sensitive. Both men had to deal with two young, regrettable Bond girls in Christmas Jones and Stacy Sutton. So they have that… umm… bond.

Forget about Tracy Bond. Let’s talk about his true love… Vesper Lynd. Casino Royale sees a new Bond (Daniel Craig) start from the beginning of his espionage career. Vesper and Bond instantly hit it off on the train. Thanks to some sharp dialogue in the script, I don’t think we have ever seen James meet his love match like this. She is intelligent, beautiful, witty, sultry, and as cynical and sarcastic as him.

This is what makes Casino Royale one of the greatest Bond movies ever. We believe these two characters are falling in love with each other. Bond is already willing to toss away his young career for her. That’s why her betrayal (spoiler alert: she lies and steals from him) is so gut-wrenching. Bond is shaken to his core and we understand why he never trusts women again. Guys, gals, we have all been there. Heartbreak is real and it takes years to recover from. When James says “the bitch is dead”, we get it. He’s ready to move on, but he will never forget this sickening feeling.

Craig’s Bond doesn’t sleep around as much as Connery or Moore or Brosnan did, but he definitely isn’t monogamous either. Just ask Strawberry Fields and Severine. Well don’t ask them. They’re dead. Look, it doesn’t matter which actor plays Bond because about half his ladies end up dead. At the end of Spectre, we see Bond ride off into the sunset with Madeleine Swann. She told him she loved him after knowing him for about three days. It’s hard to buy a man like Bond, after what he went through with Vesper, to end up with Madeleine. I’m sure in 2019, we will see Craig’s Bond with a new girl(s). Because that’s how we like our James Bond. Someone with an even more complicated love life than our own.

So on this Valentine’s Day, if you don’t have anyone special to love, maybe you should be more like Roger Moore’s James Bond and love yourself.