Amph 60+ Years of James Bond 007

Discussion in 'Community' started by Ender Sai, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Remember how I said Octopussy is the only Bond movie I've only seen once? Well, this is the Bond movie I've never seen in it's entirety. I've channel surfed into it any number of times, can never stay with it more than 5 minutes. The combination of "older than dirt" sleepwalking Moore, chemistry of dirt Roberts and Grace Jones are unbearable. Though I would take issue with your accusations regarding her character -- get the impression she really is that much of a freak in real life, the clothes she wears in the movie are no more outlandish than what she otherwise wore at the time.

    Moving on o the questions, I'll have to skip 1+2 since I've never seen the whole thing.

    3. Like you said, Moore defines Bond for an awful lot of people. they know little of anything of the books, or don't care, and enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek nature of of the Bond run. They see Moore's Bond as quintessentially English/British, the perfect gentleman with the sharp sense of humor (as evidenced by painfully bad puns, which really calls their judgement into question). Honestly, I think history may have been kinder to him if he hadn't stayed on so long, seen the his era as a nice break that fit into the campiness of the 70s. But when he stretched that well into the 80s, it became absurd.

    4. Maxwell was perfect as Moneypenny. Her looks: attractive, but not hot. Coupled with her personality and humor, the kind of woman who could make a perfect wife for a successful husband (boy does that sound sexist, sorry). but who never has a chance with the man she really longs for.
  2. Jedi General Gelderd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2004
    star 5
    'A View To A Kill' is my second favourite Bond movie. There. Said it. I won't deny it! [face_not_talking]

    I'll dive straight into your questions (god knows why I never found this thread sooner being a Bond fan more than Star Wars!)

    1. Not me - I agree with your strong points and weak points. I think it's one of the under-rated films, and the factors against it really hurt like Moore's age for one and some of the cardboard characters. Saying that, the strengths really carry the film and make it brilliant. The action sequences are executed really well and have some excellent stuntwork, a standout is the Paris parachute / car chase in the opening scenes. That and the Golden Gate Bridge finale are my favourites. Leading to your next point...

    2. Christopher Walken as Max Zorin elevates this film to higher standards, and think without him it would have one less strength to depend on and win people round with. He's the greatest Bond villain of the series - he's real, yet totally outrageous but very deadly, manical and clever. The perfect mix. No-one could have pulled Zorin off like Walken, and thank god David Bowie turned it down! It's the moments he changes from content, to angry, and back again in a heartbeat and we can see it in his facial expressions, his little purses of the mouth and grumbles to himself.

    The moment when he chuckles as he's about to fall to his death speak volumes about him!

    3. Moore was the longest serving James Bond. He had more generations grow with him than anyother actor and he took the film through the 70s into the mid 80s with great success. I think his films encompass a more family friendly approach to Bond, which isn't a bad thing. More fans of a younger age can connect and enjoy Moore as Bond easier than others, and then branch out to other hardcore Bond portrayals should they wish.

    He had the most fun, and that sense I find Moore's films the easiest to watch when I want an easy Bond adventure, one that I don't really need to focus my brain on for more than 2 hours and think about all the twists, turns, betrayals and politics some of the recent Bond films suffer from. Fun, escapist adventure was what Moore brought to us, and I'll be eternally thankful we had him for so long and he crafted the character as his own.

    4. Lois Maxwell was strong in every film she was in, this is no different in 'AVTAK' than 'DN' 23 years before. She has been ever faithful and sweet as Moneypenny and helped us feel right at home in the Bond films with Connery, Lazenby and Moore. But as she too was evidently getting older, she'd seen so much with her 3 actors I think it right she bowed out ready for a new change which I think she new was coming with the help of the producers, and there was no chance her Moneypenny would have been the one suitable for Dalton, Brosnan and Craig. A brilliant actress, very much missed and one who really was the glue keeping the Bond family on screen together.
  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Erm. How?

    They changed it and made it a tiny bit of Octopussy's backstory...

    Havac. You overrated it.
  4. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    I prefer Octopussy to A View to a Kill. Despite the presence of MacNee.
  5. JoinTheSchwarz Comms Admin & Community Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2002
    star 8
    Both are criminally bad, but I like AVTAK better.

    1. From Russia with Love
    2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    3. Goldfinger
    4. For Your Eyes Only
    5. Dr. No
    6. The Spy Who Loved Me
    7. You Only Live Twice
    8. Thunderball
    9. The Man with the Golden Gun
    10. A View to a Kill
    11. Octopussy
    12. Diamonds Are Forever
    13. Live and Let Die
    14. Moonraker

    I might have to reconsider and reorder the five last items. It doesn't feel right to have Octopussy rated higher than Moonraker.
  6. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
    I wrote that it "does justice to the Fleming story" and I stand by that regardless of the changes. The scene at Southeby's is directly based on the short story "A Property of a Lady". and is a fairly close rendition of that brief narrative. The rest of the script is invented (except for Khan's reaction to the backgammon game, which is taken from the Moonraker novel), but I think it does a good job of using "Property" as a springboard for a bigger story.
  7. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    1. Eh, E_S already did, but taking Moore's collected works, I don't think you have. Anything in AVTAK is better than the often mentioned random Beach Boys clip.

    2. He works, but I think the whole "Nazi superman" angle was overplayed. Because that angle acts as an excuse for his homicidal behavior. Would he have been even more effective with a different origin? Was the character originally written as such?

    3.This is the movie that had a great influence on Moore locking in his retirement and not doing "one more," despite him getting his largest paycheck, at least based on the DVD extras, when he mentions that he felt really awkward pursuing Roberts, especially since when her mother visited the set, Moore was the same age or older than her mom.

    4. Everyone else has summarized her expertly. I wish she did bridge the Bond movies for a couple more, at least for the 2 Dalton movies, and although it might have been a stretch, being included in Goldeneye.
  8. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    Octopussy was a lot of fun when I first saw it. It's so ridiculously stupid that I couldn't help but enjoy it. AVTAK was forgettable and dull save for the always great Christopher Walken.
  9. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Right, except Octopussy was about Bond catching up to Maj. Dexter Smythe, which is briefly referenced by Octopussy as her father. Hence my confusion.
  10. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Oh, the weirdness was definitely her real-life gimmick, it's just that she specifically was cast to bring that weirdness in -- it's just a sort of recurring problem that blacks have only been cast in "weird," blaxploitation, and yessir-nosir roles. The series has yet to cast a black actor or actress in a "normal" role -- a regular American Bond girl, or an ally with agency of his or her own, a non-blaxploitation villain, that kind of thing. And unless I'm forgetting someone, it would be all the way until 2002 with Halle Berry in DAD that we got such a casting decision.

    That's what you say now, but then you'll do it, and go, "Gee, it doesn't feel right to have anything below Moonraker." There are just too many terrible Bond films. The bottom five are all tragically bad, and in such different ways -- they all deserve to be at the bottom of the list.

    Yeah, the superman thing is weird. It's potentially interesting, but they don't go anywhere with it. Supposedly he was jazzed up on steroids early in his development, yet we don't see him display any special strength in his fight with Bond. Supposedly it made him a psychopath, but the character doesn't need a complex backstory to be a psychopath. He's ex-KGB, so we get a scene with General Gogol, but then the KGB never comes into the story again -- it's just another story element thrown into the meaningless mishmash we get until everything that's actually important to Bond figuring anything out happens right at the end. If they were going to give him the backstory, they should have done something with it; if they weren't going to do anything with it, they should have simplified it.
  11. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Unfortunately, it would be all the way until 2012 with Naomi Harris in Skyfall that we got a well-advised casting decision.

    Regarding AVAK, I share Roger Moore's dismay at the mine-slaughter sequence. What might have worked in a Dalton installment is just too grisly and discomfiting for such a silly movie. Better that the massacre occur offscreen.
  12. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Yeah, it's weird and disturbing and doesn't really work and it goes on forever -- but Walken is great during it, and I think it would work as a disturbing example of his psychopathy if it were shorter and edited a little more tastefully.
  13. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Much too late to edit, but on Naomie Harris, you're overlooking Jeffrey Wright, the first truly great Leiter.
    JoinTheSchwarz likes this.
  14. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Havoc: My mind was focused on the female roles, but you're absolutely right. Up to that point, Jack Lord was the only actor not to embarass himself, and then came Wright, who was just fantastic (as is every actor in the Craig era). I do hope his Leiter returns.

    Slight digression: I just watched Thunderball last night, and realized the movie would benefit tremendously if all the Connery-health spa nonsense was expunged from the first act. Shaves off at least 10 minutes, transporting us to the Caribbean that much sooner. I wish I had the technology to craft a fan edit.
    Last edited by drg4, Apr 28, 2013
  15. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4
    I have Seen a View to a Kill multiple times ans it always left me feeling weird.

    I find James Bond having a very international feeling. he travels to many many countries, A few to a kill feels very American?

    It feels off like the Space one (Its name escapes me at the moment)
  16. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Yeah, that's the most incoherent/unnecessary part.
  17. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
    How is this sentence possible?
    Darth_Invidious likes this.
  18. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    The novel explains it better, but the changes made to the film make it unclear as to why you need it.

    It has some gorgeous car porn in the background!
  19. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    In the novel, does Bond spurn any prospect for a serious investigation in favor of screwing the physical therapist (repeatedly)? I'm curious, because the health spa, for me, is the precise juncture where the Bond franchise abandoned any aim for internal logic. He doesn't even call MI6 or interrogate the assassin! He locks him in a steamer and just leaves!
  20. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    I suggest reading the book to find out.
  21. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    It's certainly possible. But is it probable?
  22. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    [IMG]

    The Living Daylights (1987)

    Behind the scenes

    It is disputed whether Moore, technically, retired or was fired after A View to a Kill. But the important thing is that Moore was out, and it was time for a new Bond. The producers considered several actors, including Kiwi Sam Neill, who got a positive response from Glen and the Broccoli family, but was vetoed by Cubby. Pierce Brosnan's wife, Cassandra Harris, had recommended him to Cubby Broccoli on the set of For Your Eyes Only, and he had met Cubby while she was working on the film. Serendipitously, Brosnan had just been freed up by the cancellation of his American TV series, Remington Steele, and Broccoli started looking in his direction. Brosnan screen-tested and was offered the role. With his casting as Bond, there was enough revived interest in Remington Steele for NBC to renew the series, which they did on the very last day allowed in their contract. Cubby did not want James Bond appearing on TV sets every week, thinking it would diminish the brand. He withdrew the deal and started looking elsewhere. Brosnan's de-casting, of course, diminished interest in the show, which was promptly re-canceled only a few episodes into the season.

    Timothy Dalton had been in the mix for decades, since the series was moving on from Connery. Dalton, then in his mid-twenties, had refused on the basis that he was too young for the role. He had remained on the producers' minds, and was again approached during the regular will-he-or-won't-he process of the later Moore years. He refused again, as Dalton was a legitimate Fleming fan and a fan of the Connery movies, and didn't care for the direction the series had taken in the seventies. Broccoli again came back to Dalton, and this time he accepted. Broccoli had to bring in another actor to screen-test in order to convince Dalton to actually sign a contract, but once things were sorted out, Dalton, now in his early forties, was on board to play a Bond more in the style of Fleming's original character.

    His leading lady was Maryam d'Abo, who had tested for A View to a Kill and been kept in mind afterward. Bond's ally in the film was originally intended to be General Gogol, but the Walter Gotell was ill and could not play the part. The new character of General Pushkin was created to be the new head of the KGB who would be set up by General Koskov. Out of respect, Gogol was not written out entirely, but was given a cameo at the end of the film, having transferred to the Foreign Service. John Rhys-Davies was cast as Pushkin, who was initially intended to be a recurring character. Caroline Bliss came on as the new Moneypenny, the first actress to attempt the role after Lois Maxwell originated it twenty-five years before.

    The idea of making the film a prequel was quickly dismissed, and the Maibaum-Wilson script instead moved on to the new Bond without comment (though the winking use of actors who resembled Moore and Lazenby as the other two 00 agents in the opening sequence, each shown before Dalton, was a small visual joke). It adapted the original Fleming short story from which it got its name relatively faithfully, using it as a jumping-off point for the rest of the story, which integrated the SMERSH concept in the modern context and showed off Dalton's harder-edged, Flemingesque Bond.

    [IMG]

    Speaking of Dalton's desire to return to tradition, one other important tradition returned in the form of Aston Martin. Moore's Bond had been issued Lotus Esprits when he was issued cars at all. Aston Martin had made its classic appearance in Goldfinger with the DB5, which returned in Thunderball, but it hadn't had a presence in the Bond film's since 1969, with Lazenby's DBS. For the first time in nearly twenty years, Bond was equipped with an Aston Martin, this time the contemporary V8 Vantage. It initially appeared as a Vantage Volante convertible before being "winterized" by Q Branch in the film and reappearing as a hardtop -- though after that time, rebranded V8s were used as stand-ins, rather than proper V8 Vantages.

    Following the success of Duran Duran's A View to a Kill, A-ha was brought on to provide the title song. They were the last artists to collaborate with John Barry on a Bond theme song, as the longtime Bond composer ended up moving on from the series after this. He did get a cameo as the maestro of the orchestra, however. The Pretenders had been considered for the title song, and in a new development for the series, Chrissie Hynde from the series created a song for the closing credits, as well as another song heard over Necros's headphones throughout the film.

    The film's release in 1987, the fifteenth of the series, marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of Bond's arrival in theaters. Prince Charles and Princess Diana attended the premiere, and the box office returned to the high levels the series had become accustomed to, becoming the fourth-highest-grossing Bond film at that time. Dalton's Bond took some knocks at the time, and he continues to take some now, but he also earned praise at the time, audiences liked the movie, and Dalton continues to be lauded by hardcore Bond fans.

    Plot

    The film opens with Bond on a training mission to Gibraltar with two other 00 agents. An infiltrator to the operation turns the exercise deadly, killing one of the other 00s and leaving a note bearing the Russian phrase Smiert Spionem -- Death to Spies. Afterward, Bond is sent to cover the defection of KGB General Koskov in Bratislava. Bond serves as a countersniper, assigned to take out Koskov's KGB minder, but when he realizes that the KGB sniper is the beautiful cellist from the orchestra he was just watching, he disobeys orders to kill her and shoots her rifle instead. Bond then smuggles Koskov into Austria, where he is taken into MI6 custody. During his debriefing, Koskov reveals that the new KGB director, General Pushkin, is a madman who has revived the Smiert Spionem project to kill Western agents, potentially escalating the Cold War. The assassin Necros strikes the estate where Koskov is being held, grabbing Koskov and extracting him, presumably back to the USSR.

    007 is assigned to stop Pushkin, but has a hard time believing that this is in Pushkin's character. He finds the cellist and quickly realizes that she is Koskov's girlfriend, and Koskov's defection was staged. Bond convinces the girl, Kara, that he is a friend of Koskov's sent to bring her to him, and escapes with her to Vienna. There, Bond's MI6 contact Saunders informs him of Koskov's link to Tangier arms dealer Brad Whitaker before Necros kills him. Bond and Kara go to Tangier, where Bond confronts Pushkin, who confirms that he is being set up by Koskov to stop his investigation of Koskov for embezzlement related to his dealings with Whitaker. Bond fakes Pushkin's death to bring Koskov into the open, but Kara has contacted Koskov, still thinking that she's going to be reunited with him in the West after a genuine defection, and Koskov told her that Bond was a KGB spy. She drugs him and lets Koskov capture him, but before Bond passes out, he reveals that he's a British agent, and proves it by telling her that it was he who shot her rifle when her boyfriend was setting her up to be killed.

    [IMG]

    Koskov and Whitaker take Bond to Afghanistan, where Koskov has been buying opium with the money he's supposed to be using to buy arms. He can sell the opium, buy the weapons with the proceeds, and still have profit left over. Koskov locks up Bond and Kara, but they escape and free Kamran Shah, the local Mujahideen leader. Shah arranges an attack on the Soviet base, which allows Bond to attempt to blow up Koskov's opium supply. Bond is stuck aboard a departing plane with Kara, Necros, and the bomb-rigged opium, and fights and kills Necros before dropping the bomb and saving Shah from Soviet pursuit. 007 then returns to Tangier and kills Whitaker, while Pushkin arrests Koskov. Bond keeps banging Kara.

    Bond himself

    A genuine Fleming fan, Dalton was clearly determined to get Bond right and bring him back to the spirit of Fleming's stories rather than the jokey caricature of the Moore years. Though Dalton can't control the occasional silly flourishes left over from the Moore years, he succeeds in bringing a dangerous, world-weary Bond to the screen. From his disgusted, "If he fires me, I'll thank him for it," to his cold fury at Saunders's death, Dalton is every bit the professional killer aware that he's losing his soul. I just wish he didn't dress down so much. Dalton's casual styles aren't as tacky as Moore's safari suits, but his Bond almost never wears a suit, and it does limit the character's feeling of sophistication terribly.

    [IMG]

    Dalton looks the part better than any other actor to play the role, he's a fantastic actor who's completely committed to the role, and the result is one of the best Bond performances in the series' long history. It's a tragedy that Dalton didn't have a longer run.

    How it fits into the series

    As the beginning of the all-too-abbreviated Dalton era, The Living Daylights doesn't entirely shake off the wacky Moore affectations -- slapstick like the cello case sled sequence is a painful intrusion -- but it moves a long way away from it. We've got the more Flemingesque Bond, we've got a shift away from doomsday scenarios and supervillains and toward more grounded, lower-stakes plots. The film is energetic and fresh. Moore's last entries felt worn-out -- Moore seemed bored in the role, but the series also seemed to be running out of ideas, grasping at straws. With Dalton passionate about the role and the writers discovering a new direction, there's a whole new sense of life in the film. The espionage-oriented, character-heavy film is reminiscent of early Connery, but it's not a conscious throwback in the sense that FYEO was -- it's an update, a movie that's very much of the eighties and not aping the glory days, but is determined to bring the important traits of the character and the core foci that made the classic stories work back into focus.

    [IMG]

    As far as the legacy of the series, it introduces a new Bond and a new Moneypenny. On Dalton, I've already made my thoughts known. Caroline Bliss had big shoes to step into, and I think she did very well. This marks the last of the original character transitions, considering the Major Boothroyd/Q switch to count, though obviously not the last of the transitions away from an iconic "original" actor -- for that, we have to wait forty years into the series, when John Cleese abortively takes over from Desmond Llewelyn. Like Dalton, Bliss's career was cut short after two movies, and as a result she hasn't had much of a chance to make an impression in the role. Moneypenny, especially, is a hard role to make an impression in -- it took Maxwell twenty-three years, her entire career, to get to an hour of screentime, and she never made it to two hundred words delivered.

    Review

    Dalton's debut is a solid Bond film, a crackling fun adventure. It loses some momentum in the third act, and doesn't have the strong villain a film really needs to send it to the top, but it's doing a lot of other stuff right, and with one movie it puts the Moore run to shame.

    Dalton is a fantastic Bond, giving us a Bond who finally has his edge back. Moore's Bond lacked the dangerousness of Connery's, or for that matter Fleming's, Bond, but Dalton immediately looks like a killer, and proves it with his intense Bond. The cold rage at Saunders's death is unlike anything Moore ever managed, genuinely scary. Moore could never do scary.

    One of the most fun aspects of the film is how fresh it feels. After fifteen Bond films over twenty-five years – a truly staggering run – the Moore films had gotten increasingly stale and formulaic, and you'd expect it to be hard for number fifteen to break that trend. Instead, the film is remarkably innovative. It starts with Bond on a training exercise that turns deadly. It moves to have Bond serve as a counter-sniper protecting the defection of a Soviet officer. Right there, both are a how-come-no-one-ever-thought-of-that-before sort of premise. And they're not even the core of the film – the main storyline is Bond investigating the recapture/false defection of the defector. He puts together the situation almost immediately, poses as a friend to the fake defector's girlfriend-accomplice, and uses her to get to him. It feels new, it feels energetic, it moves through a wealth of ideas rather than straining to repeat a formula.

    The action setpieces are never quite amazing – the airplane fight hanging on to the dangling netting is close – but they're all fairly solid, and I'm especially impressed with Necros's infiltration of the MI6 country house, which gives us a great, intense fight sequence between a secondary character and an extra. The weakest are the finale, in Whitaker's stupid military funhouse, and the ski-car/cello-bobsledding segment of the car chase. Get your Moore holdovers out of my Dalton movie, dammit!

    [IMG]

    Even aside from the handful of Moore-era holdovers and the occasional eightiesness (Q's childlike enthusiasm saves the "ghetto blaster" line, and Moneypenny namechecking Barry Manilow is unintentionally hilarious), the film does have weaknesses that keep it from being top-notch. The villains are weak, first and foremost. Jeroen Krabbe gives a good performance as Koskov, but the character is somewhat misconceived. The idea of the posh, scaredy-cat, fairly effeminate Russian general secretly trying to manipulate the West could have been good, had he been utilized better, but after the solid scene of his defection, he just sort of wanders ineffectively around the movie until the end, with Whitaker frequently dominating their scenes for no good reason. His plan is ultimately sort of silly, too – an extraordinarily complex attempt to deceive the West into killing the head of the KGB so he can . . . not get canned because Pushkin apparently doesn't keep records? The risk-reward ratio here is really not selling me on this plan. What was wrong with just defecting for real, and living comfortably in the West? His co-villain is Whitaker, a horrible character. The concept of the character – an arms dealer so obsessed with his military pretensions that he turns his house into a military museum and goes around pretending to be an officer – is infantile, and Joe Don Baker plays him with the most generic, grating "ugly American" bluster imaginable. As a side character, he'd be awful. As a villain who keeps inexplicably usurping Koskov's lead role for some reason, he's abominable. The good news is that the henchman, headphone-wearing and hilariously Eurotrashy assassin Necros, is good, both scary and with a weird vibe of his own, and able to own his own scenes.

    The other main weakness is that the film goes a little limp once Bond gets captured. It makes no sense that Koskov would want to bring back a man who had full knowledge of his plot just to get credit for bringing Bond in alive, especially when credit for bringing him back dead would be nearly as good, and none of the Afghanistan stuff, aside from the plane fight, really lives up to the rest of the movie. As allies go, Kamran Shah is no Kerim Bey or Tiger Tanaka.

    [IMG]

    There are other nitpicks – we get a Leiter who can't even act, which is below even the usual low standard, and they cast John Rhys-Davies as General Pushkin, and he's totally awesome, but they underuse him – but there are far more strengths. Kara Milovy is a good Bond girl, a young woman duped into being the villain's accomplice, fooled by Bond for information, falling for him as a consequence of their us-against-the-world isolation, then feeling betrayed by his ruse until she realizes that he's a much better man than her boyfriend, and ultimately siding with 007. She's got an arc, she's got a real relationship with Bond, she's extremely pretty – it all works.

    We also get good turns from Q, as always, and a good new Moneypenny. Caroline Bliss's young, glasses-wearing Moneypenny has a bit of a nerd-sexy thing going, and we get a return to having at least one scene that just focuses on Moneypenny and Bond actively flirting. She's got good chemistry with Dalton and a winning long-suffering back-and-forth with Bond that sort of shifts the dynamic from Bond flirting with Moneypenny for his own amusement and because toying with the secretaries is what you do in the sixties, to his having just a little bit of fun with her unrequited crush.

    The Living Daylights is a great start for Dalton. It doesn't have all the pieces in place, but it's fresh, exciting, and energetic, and it features a magnificent take on Bond from Dalton. It immediately establishes that, twenty-five years on, there's still life in the Bond franchise. If only Dalton had gotten a longer run, I think this would be a lot more appreciated.

    Rankings
    1. From Russia with Love
    2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    3. Dr. No
    4. For Your Eyes Only
    5. The Living Daylights
    6. The Spy Who Loved Me
    7. Goldfinger
    8. Thunderball
    9. You Only Live Twice
    10. The Man with the Golden Gun
    11. A View to a Kill
    12. Diamonds Are Forever
    13. Octopussy
    14. Live and Let Die
    15. Moonraker
    Questions for discussion

    1. Dalton as Bond: what's your take?
    2. Is it just me, or does the film around him not quite live up to Dalton's Bond?
    3. Dalton seems to take more flack from the general public than any Bond actor other than Lazenby. Why, and is any of it justified?
    4. As an actor transition point, the fifteenth film, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the film series, and the current halfway point of the series timewise, this is the ideal film with which to stop and take inventory. Anyone feel like updating your lists of rankings? Anything to say about the series in a larger perspective so far?
  23. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    1. Dalton as Bond: what's your take?

    He's hands down the best Bond, followed by Daniel Craig. It annoys me that people love CR, QoS and Skyfall but rubbish Licence to Kill, as if they wouldn't be all over it had Craig been Bond. As may be known, I am a bit of a Fleming aficionado :)-B) and I can say each time I re-read the novels I can only see Dalton in the role.

    2. Is it just me, or does the film around him not quite live up to Dalton's Bond?

    It doesn't, but it was written for Moore so there's elements of clownish buffoonery that remains despite the purging. But, it is the first Bond film I've seen and for that I'm fond of it.

    3. Dalton seems to take more flack from the general public than any Bond actor other than Lazenby. Why, and is any of it justified?

    I don't think anyone who criticises Dalton understands why they do, it's just residue from a period when people got the pretty boy Brosnan image wedged in their mind.

    I'm glad you mentioned the Aston Martin V8; I have 4 models from the GE Fabbiri Bond Cars line and they're all Astons but this one I'm particularly fond of. Bloody quick in it's day too.
  24. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Sorry, Ender. I love Dalton as Bond (and, in particular, The Living Daylights) and wanted more of him but thought License to Kill was rubbish too (except for a few scenes and some characters). I also hated Quantum of Solace.

    One of the things about The Living Daylights compared to Moore is there are just some scenes that wouldn't work with Moore (probably would with Connery). Specifically, the scene with Pushkin in his hotel room -- that scene basically only works with Dalton; how rough he is with Pushkin's wife, and violent with Pushkin but internal warring to not kill him (even though we believe he would). "Then I must die..." is earned; plus the next scene with the assassination -- Bond's movements are so much more quick than it would have been with Moore. You get the feeling this guy actually does fieldwork...
  25. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2006
    star 5
    Kara Milovy was one of my first crushes, and still is one of my favorite Bond girls. I'll have to do a ranking of Bond girls and villains at some point.

    1. From Russia with Love
    2. Goldfinger
    3. Dr No
    4. The Spy Who Loved Me
    5. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    6. The Living Daylights
    7. For Your Eyes Only
    8. Thunderball
    9. A View to a Kill
    10. You Only Live Twice
    11. Diamonds Are Forever
    12. The Man with the Golden Gun
    13. Octopussy
    14. Live and Let Die
    15. Moonraker

    11-14 are pretty interchangable, but Moonraker is undoubtedly the worst. I'd probably rank it even worse than Die Another Day since Moonraker meant that Dalton didn't do Bond earlier.
    Last edited by Point Given, Apr 30, 2013